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Thread: TotW Commentary Thread.

  1. #21
    Boustrophedon's Avatar Grote Smurf
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    Default Re: ToTW 122- One to rule them all

    Quote Originally Posted by HeirofAlexander View Post
    So, if I want to join, I have to use all the five keywords? Does the writing have to do anything with the quote and the picture?
    The picture and quote are for inspiration but the 5 keywords have to be used in your story.

  2. #22

    Default Re: ToTW 122- One to rule them all

    Quote Originally Posted by Boustrophedon View Post
    The picture and quote are for inspiration but the 5 keywords have to be used in your story.
    OK, thank you very much

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  3. #23
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    My pleasure and welcome to Tale of the Week

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    Default Re: ToTW 122- One to rule them all

    Quote Originally Posted by Boustrophedon View Post
    The picture and quote are for inspiration but the 5 keywords have to be used in your story.
    The five keywords don't have to be used. The only limitations are 200 words minimum and 500 maximum. I have used maybe one or two keyword, if any, in my last 2 submissions.
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    Default Re: ToTW 122- One to rule them all

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    The five keywords don't have to be used. The only limitations are 200 words minimum and 500 maximum. I have used maybe one or two keyword, if any, in my last 2 submissions.


    5 keywords that have to be used in the story
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    I thought these were the rules:
    - 1 picture
    - 5 keywords that have to be used in the story
    - Word limitation of Min. 200 Max. 500 words, in a spoiler
    ninja'd by Hesus

  7. #27
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    Well, then I propose a rule change

    Seriously though, I see no reason why to add keywords that all of them have to be used, especially since it wasn't even checked that they were all used. I have no problem using 2 of them (I won't like it though), but using all of them is horribly constricting: You'll write something out, something that you see as a true masterpiece, but just then; "Oh... I forgot that little word..." And you have to add a sentence to add context to that word, that will be purely out of context unless you add a few more sentences, and eventually write a piece you're not satisfied with whatsoever. This rule can do more harm than good, because to be honest, I've read through some of the stories and just thought to myself "What the hell does that word have to do with anything?", or "What? That sentence makes absolutely no sense in context to the rest of the story". As far as I'm concerned, those keywords limit creativity greatly and add a sense of awkwardness to the stories.
    Last edited by Nazgūl Killer; January 08, 2012 at 03:16 PM.
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    You'll write something out, something that you see as a true masterpiece, but just then; "Oh... I forgot that little word..."
    The 5 words can also be used as inspiration, along with the quote and the photo. I for one, have taken them more into account and tried to write using them in an efficient manner. That doesn“t mean one has to write the first thing that comes to mind, but try to work around the small inconveniences (like one or two words being outy of the same "area" as the other ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    I've read through some of the stories and just thought to myself "What the hell does that word have to do with anything?", or "What? That sentence makes absolutely no sense in context to the rest of the story".
    Maybe to the writer it made perfect sense, who knows? It may also helps the writer(s) if we could discuss these aspects because, after all, it is yet another oportunity to learn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    This rule can do more harm than good...
    As far as I'm concerned, those keywords limit creativity greatly and add a sense of awkwardness to the stories.
    I disagree with this statement(s), I believe, as I said above, that they can be used as inspiration as well, not only as something you must use. I think this rule stimuates the creative use of the words, therefore creativity.

    That being said, I think the rule should stay.
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    I'll be honest, I don't like being forced to use the keywords at all. I think it should be left as an option. There's a difference between challenging a writer and disrupting his creativity as far as I'm concerned.

    For example; How would I have incorporated the word 'Saddle' into the dramatic scenery of modern-day soldiers gathered around a campfire in the middle of the desert? Or crumbs and bread into a gladiator story?

    It just doesn't fit my style of writing as it encourages the writer to describe everything, or at least describe a lot and halting the flow of the story, not to mention it clashes with the 500 maximum words and forcing the writer to use more and more words to describe everything and less and less to show what he wanted to show with his story. My specific style of writing is more cryptic when it comes to short tales, forcing you to think and use your own imagination rather than describe everything which I find both annoying to write and to read, that's why I'm suggesting it become optional, not remove it entirely because it can indeed be helpful.
    Last edited by Nazgūl Killer; January 08, 2012 at 03:18 PM.
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    Saddle- 'He felt free like a horse at the end of a long days ride, let loose of its saddle and bit'
    Crumb- 'He plunged his dagger deep into the stomach of the man, yet no look of remorse for the lost life passed his face, not one crumb of regret shadowed his thoughts as he took the very being of another.'
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Storm View Post
    Saddle- 'He felt free like a horse at the end of a long days ride, let loose of its saddle and bit'
    Crumb- 'He plunged his dagger deep into the stomach of the man, yet no look of remorse for the lost life passed his face, not one crumb of regret shadowed his thoughts as he took the very being of another.'
    I knew someone would come up and write some random line. Try to incorporate those in my stories. Not yours, not a story just made, but the stories I've already written.

    I write in a spur of the moment, garner inspiration from several things. Admittedly, in the TotW 120 I took inspiration from the quote, in 121 I took it from the picture along with the quote.

    My first story (120) was meant to show the sometimes-horrible feel of being a soldier (Yes, it can sometimes truly drive you into melancholy), and none of the characters there felt 'Free like a horse at the end of a long day's ride, let loose of its saddle and bit'. Not even close to that, and I can assure you that no soldier in active duty in a combat zone ever feels that.

    My second story (121) hadn't even focused on that whatsoever, not the killing, not the regret, nothing even remotely close to that, I won't speak of it any further because the vote is currently in place and it would be rather rude to do so.

    Trust me, I'm a good enough writer to conjure up sentences for these words, but it's very hard to make them in context with the story sometimes, and being forced to do that is simply distasteful as far as I'm concerned.

    And that's what I don't like about these keywords, it forces you to conjure up sentences to wrap those words around, and then write a story from those sentences. That's not how a good story's written. A good story's written with inspiration, writing fluently, going about it like a maniac and before you even know it you've finished writing a whole chapter. And then you review it, tweak it, edit it. You don't write a sentence or two and then decide what to do about them because it just won't feel right.
    Last edited by Nazgūl Killer; January 08, 2012 at 03:30 PM.
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    For example; How would I have incorporated the word 'Saddle' into the dramatic scenery of modern-day soldiers gathered around a campfire in the middle of the desert? Or crumbs and bread into a gladiator story?
    Regarding your soldier story, I imagined the timeline being 1890“s or something, anyway, a time in which they may have had horses.
    Regarding crumb, I wouldn“t know what to say, each has different views.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    My specific style of writing is more cryptic when it comes to short tales, forcing you to think and use your own imagination rather than describe everything which I find both annoying to write and to read, that's why I'm suggesting it become optional, not remove it entirely because it can indeed be helpful.
    One doesn“t have to use them to describe stuff, they can be used metaphorically...again, it depends on various aspects, inspiration, knowledge of English (reffering mainly to non-natives) etc. I do think that they stimulate the use of imagination, how to include something that at first sight is not easily included.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    ...especially since it wasn't even checked that they were all used.
    Maybe the person in charge of verifying word count could also check for the words.
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    The fact is Nazgul, I just searched your last piece in word and I couldn't find any of the keywords
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  14. #34
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    I've been itching to write something to be honest. Great set of rules and I see TotW is already up to a good start, considering its recent history. 8 votes in two days means something
    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer;
    As far as I'm concerned, those keywords limit creativity greatly and add a sense of awkwardness to the stories.
    Now I'm confused.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    @Dark Storm: He did say that he never used all of the five words.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    I have used maybe one or two keyword, if any, in my last 2 submissions.
    @ Radzeer: Maybe he didn“t realize the use of the five words was mandatory.
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    Damn my skim reading, sorry nazgul
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  17. #37
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    I never realized the five keywords were mandatory:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgūl Killer View Post
    The five keywords don't have to be used. The only limitations are 200 words minimum and 500 maximum. I have used maybe one or two keyword, if any, in my last 2 submissions.
    I wrote the post in quotation before Hesus and Boust showed me the rules.

    I see no reason why they should be. I'm not handing in an essay, I'm writing a story to hone my skills as a writer, and have others review it. If anything, the keywords encourage the stories to be alike, and I'm an outside-the-box kind of writer and I don't like writing stories that are similar to that of others.

    So, basically, if I may, these are my arguments against the mandatory-five-keyword-usage:
    1) Being forced to use these keywords can interrupt a good flow of a story by forcing the writer not to write what comes into his mind, but rather what he must write in context of these words.
    2) Using all five keywords as a mandatory rule rather than an inspiration giver (For example; The picture and the quote) gives it a sort of 'schoolwork' feel to it, as if I'm supposed to please some teacher by incorporating all those words rather than write something for myself and the public and have people review it for me so I know what I did wrong and learn for next time.
    3) Using all five arbitrarily chosen words makes it so that more than often people would write about similar stories, that either start or end the same, diminishing originality.
    4) Nothing but the 200 words minimum and 500 words maximum here is mandatory (Or was), why change that? I mean, I highly doubt all writers from the past two competitions all used all five keywords, and for good reason.
    5) My last argument comes from my experience as a writer; Each writer has his own style, some can write by thinking of how to incorporate those words and expand on that, some think of an ending and then start to think of how to build up toward it, and some start writing and go with the flow. I'm the latter, and it really discourages my creative spirit by reaching the final word, saying "Whoa. That was... I never saw that ending coming" (To be honest, it happens to me a lot. My stories often catch me by surprise), and then realizing I had forgotten two or three keywords and instead of being happy with what I created, I am forced to create more and more sentences to add in those words, which will likely cause me to eventually delete my story altogether because I won't be pleased with the outcome.

    So, I have a question: Do you have any solid reason why to make these words mandatory? Seriously. Give me one good reason. Inspires people? You can do easily the same without using it as a mandatory rule. Makes it more difficult? I think it doesn't make it more difficult, it simply changes your style of writing completely, and forces you to think in a way that, to me at least, is not natural to the way I've established my style of writing.

    Regarding crumb, I wouldn“t know what to say, each has different views.
    This is exactly what I'm trying to say. Each has different views, especially as a writer, and being forced to write these five exact words in a 500-maximum tale is highly demanding, especially considering the majority of us write an average of 250-300 word tales. We all have different views, so why make it mandatory? Make it optional, as I've seen it at first.
    And, I must confess, some of these keywords gave me inspiration from time to time, when I was stuck I just scrolled up and looked at them, and they sparked inspiration, and that's why they're there for... I don't see the reason to use them in my story. Call me old fashioned, but the things I write I want to reflect me, my style and my views. Not someone else's.

    EDIT: I'm sorry if I'm being a picky about the rules of this competition, but writing is one of my true passions in life and TotW has greatly helped me improve my writing and establish my style - Something that has done me a lot of good in 'real life'. As such, writing is extremely important to me, as is this competition, and I want to be able to state my case and opinion on the things that matter to me - And not only that, but also to have my opinion examined and taken into account. The mandatory words to me are very discouraging to be honest.
    Last edited by Nazgūl Killer; January 08, 2012 at 06:03 PM.
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    I too write (best) under the guidance of the muse, though not all the time and not always for the TotW. To me, this rule is just a creative excercise, it makes me try to creatively include these words into the story and not use their most common meaning. That is, to me, the whole point.

    That being said, we made our positions clear regarding the five word rule so maybe we should hear other people“s opinion. Or, if it isn“t too much trouble for the staff, another poll could decide whether to keep it or not, though removing it might slowly take us back to the "write anything you want" TotW, which was the reason of rethinking the competition rules in the first place. We“ll just have to wait and see what happens.
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  19. #39
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkan View Post
    I too write (best) under the guidance of the muse, though not all the time and not always for the TotW. To me, this rule is just a creative excercise, it makes me try to creatively include these words into the story and not use their most common meaning. That is, to me, the whole point.

    That being said, we made our positions clear regarding the five word rule so maybe we should hear other people“s opinion. Or, if it isn“t too much trouble for the staff, another poll could decide whether to keep it or not, though removing it might slowly take us back to the "write anything you want" TotW, which was the reason of rethinking the competition rules in the first place. We“ll just have to wait and see what happens.
    I guess so.
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: ToTW Commentary Thread.

    We had these new rules under discussion for some time, i am sorry if they where not clear to you Nazgul. However we are not going to change the new rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkan View Post
    To me, this rule is just a creative excercise, it makes me try to creatively include these words into the story and not use their most common meaning. That is, to me, the whole point.
    We added the keywords to give ToTW a new creative difficulty level and a challenge to writers. As Darkan said it's a creative exercise to develop your skills even more.

    From ToTW 123 on we will ask every one who competes to put the 5 keywords in bold this rule will be added to the rules list.

    The contestant will mark the 5 keywords in bold.
    Last edited by Hesus de bodemloze; January 10, 2012 at 03:00 PM.
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