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Help please. CASH PRIZE!!!

674 Views 37 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Martinelv
Bare with me please. I know you?re all bored with my posts, but I need your help. All of your help. From every single one of you.

I?ve recently entered a literary competition, funded by our local arts council, and managed to squeeze my way into the last 200 with my silly Tangle Man story. Now I?ve got to submit a chapter of no more than 3000 words from a novel that I?ve written, and the best three get short-listed to win ?5000, and the winner to get ?20,000 and a foot in the door of the publishing world.

Problem is, I?ve got one completed novel (A Tranquil Breeze) and one unfinished (My House on the Fjord), and I don?t know from which I should submit a chapter, even though I?ve decided on the chapter from each! The first is my real baby, nurtured over many years, and the second is just something I?ve spewed out since I?ve been ill. The problem is that I don?t know which one (or chapter from one) to submit. My heart says ?A Tranquil Breeze?, but I think it might be a little too ?off the wall?, even though I regard it as my finest work. But the other, which was more spontaneous and less provocative, might go down better. My ?House on the Fjord? seems, well, just a little trite to me, but I can?t be sure, because I enjoyed writing it so much. ?A Tranquil Breeze? has been a real slog, They are looking for unpublished writers with ?potential?, and for years I?ve been told that I have this. But now it?s crunch time. I need you all to be honest. Brutally f*****g honest. Please, I need a consensus on which chapter to submit. I?m fed up of people around me telling me how talented I am, which I know is a lie, I?m an average writer at best with a little imagination, so I?m counting on you, my faceless friends, to nudge me in the right direction. You may also notice that the occasional phrase, or sentence, has been stolen from one novel into another?but I?ve been told all authors do this! Please read the whole chapter of both, even if you?ve read them already, as I?ve spent the last week editing them to hell. I'll post them on this thread, so as not to sludge up the rest of the forum. Forgive format, lack of indentations, etc. Bloody Forum. :wink:

Please? If I win, or ever get published, I promise I?ll either donate a portion (probably insignificant!) to DPSelfHelp.Com, or dedicate the book to you all. I mean that sincerely.

Deadline for submission is in exactly a seven days time. So if you could just read the chapters from each, below, and decide for me what I should do, I?ll be eternally grateful. I know it?s selfish of me to ask, what with all your own problems, but this really is make or break for me. If I fail, my only recourse will to become a priest, and you know what?ll happen then!!! If you don?t, check out Revelations in the bible! :twisted:

Sebastian, Terri, Janine, ShyTiger, of all people, tell me what to do!
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It's a relief that you mentioned that.... that I haven't done something improper.

terri* said:
I am offering myself up as the sacrificial lamb for people who have no idea how to critique a book. I look forward to learning, if only a bit.
I couldn't understand that.
Oh, that's me trying to say, in a joking way, that I do not have any understanding of doing critiques or reviews. Martin, Janine and hopefully a few other intelligent people, will be discussing the book at levels I know I did not even think of when I read the book. But, because I would like others to see that even someone a little less smart, like me, is willing to participate...I write that I am offering myself up as a sacrificial lamb to their intelligence, basically.

I hope that makes it clearer for you to understand.

Take care,
Terri - you're not kidding anyone by putting yourself down. There is a difference between being 'intelligent' and having 'wit'. I don't mean 'wit' in the ha hah ha sense, I mean someone who has, well - the spark, or rather human abilities other than to collect PhD's and speak 14 different languages. I don't care for people like that - and I've known a few. For example - I went on a date with gorgeous italian woman (sigh, dislcaimer) who I had been admiring from a distance for a while. She was a philiosophy PhD, spoke fluent english, italian, french and bloody mandarin, was superb at her job, and had loads of interests - such as adventure sports, astrononmy etc. Yet - after a couple of dates I came to realise (and dislaimer#2, I don't regard myself as intelligent or witty in the extreme) that she was completely 'witless'. Totally. Fair enough, I did the dirty deed with her - which was my duty - my duty as a complete and utter bastard, but I was the one who had to make her laugh, make the effort with she thought she deserved it, or - as I think, was totally incapable. Bollocks to that. Give me someone with a face that looks like it's been pressed against a hot iron, and who 'thinks' they are thick as pigs shit but can make me laugh and talk about something other than their goddam hair.

Do you know what I'm talking about? I reckon if I went on a date with you and your sciatica ridden arse, it'd be love. On my part at least.

So shut it woman. :twisted:
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"So shut it woman. :twisted: "

I just love it when you talk that sweet love talk to me. :D

I didn't think of it necessarily as putting myself down, which I can see it could be taken that way. Anyway, I am looking forward to talking about Enchanted Nights. I'm reading it again and taking notes. We need to get up with Janine and see when we are going to get started.

"Fair enough, I did the dirty deed with her - which was my duty - my duty as a complete and utter bastard,..."

See? That's what I like about you. You have such a sense of duty even in the vilest of situations.

My hero. :D
Did I give you permission to speak ? Did I ? :wink:

Incidently, I see you've changed your avatar. I can't make it out. It looks like a boil on someone's penis being lanced. Apparently that's what it looks like, I meant to say.
Martin Honey, let's face it, you are a very sick man.

It's a damn magic wand!! I have powers you don't even know about. :twisted: I can poof your ass to kingdome come! double :twisted:

Don't mess with my poofer...Dear.
Martinelv said:
Incidently, I see you've changed your avatar. I can't make it out. It looks like a boil on someone's penis being lanced.
Now that's comedy!
If I just print out this entire thread, repaginate it, sign it and send it the competition Martin is talking about, will you all hate me if I win?

Just to clarify...I changed my avatar because we have a new production in the making about smoke and mirrors. The Captain had piped in so much smoke I could hardly breathe! ( A thought...his intention perhaps? :? )

Anyway, I've also got my waders on as Martin makes up so much sh$t
it gets hard to walk around here at times.

Really? You think boil on the penis is funny? :? Sounds downright painful to me. Ouchy. :shock:
terri* said:
Really? You think boil on the penis is funny? :? Sounds downright painful to me. Ouchy. :shock:
Now terri, how would you know what a boil on the penis feels like? For all you know it's the most pleasurable sensation around.

I must say though, i was rather fond of the avatar. Women with wands have always struck me as a pretty cool concept. I don't know why. Something to do with elves i suppose, like just about everything else in my psychologically repressed sexual fetish repertoire. :roll:
"For all you know it's the most pleasurable sensation around. "

Well now, they do have those ribbed thing a ma jiggies I used to be particularly fond of...

( terri thinks dirty, trashy thoughts. :oops: oh for shame)

Maybe I will resurrect the wand...
terri* said:
Oh, that's me trying to say, in a joking way, that I do not have any understanding of doing critiques or reviews. Martin, Janine and hopefully a few other intelligent people, will be discussing the book at levels I know I did not even think of when I read the book. But, because I would like others to see that even someone a little less smart, like me, is willing to participate...I write that I am offering myself up as a sacrificial lamb to their intelligence, basically.
Yes, I understand now. But you know it's not like this.. I have read abouuuuut... 10 books so far and, the last one was when I was 13, so I can't possibly... :)

The fact is that the romance is something that overly "tortures" me, so I got myself into it and just compared the character with myself. I will check to see if I can find that book in my native language.
I can poof your ass to kingdome come!
Ah, please do. I could do with some ass action. In either ass. :twisted:

Janine - I reckon you should do it! It would probably win with ease. You know, some of the threads on this forum are fantastic, witty and intelligent (except for anything Terri* says of course, the dimwit :wink: ). Maybe we should compile it into a book. We could call it:

My psychologically repressed sexual fetish repertoire
Tee hee. Why do things like that make me laugh? Sigh.

Anyway, now that I've free to indulge myself, I wrote another chapter of 'My House on the Fjord' last night. Now, is it just me, or am I starting to indulge myself a little too much....without knowing it, I seem to be veering towards some kind of lovey-dovey psychoanalysis (disclaimer) stuff....what do you think ? Of course, I demand an immediate reply. But please bare in mind, sentimentality is only sentiment that rubs you up the wrong way.... :twisted: (I read that in a book)

Chapter 5

It was a few days before I saw my girl in red. Days where the waters of the fjord became grey and chilling to the touch, where the moss on the jetty yellowed and died, where the sky tumbled with irritated clouds and no miraculous sightings of any note. Was I to be Raoul and my girl a pensive Christine Daae?

It was one morning as I lay in misery, contemplating these thoughts of unrequited love, the seal-fur duvet itching my skin and a howling gale bending the hinges on my door, that I heard a shuffle of feet outside. I leapt out of my bed in thoughtless expectation; at last, at last I could redeem myself with the girl. I threw open the door, ignoring the shower of pebbles and shingle that stung my face, to find myself looking into a face from the gutter.

?It?s cold,? it said, for surely it couldn?t be my lady. Before me stood a wizened old woman, cloaked and hunched, eyes sunken in dried out hollows, cracked lips and flesh stretched so thin that her cheekbones almost pieced her skin. ?It?s cold,? she repeated.

The voice was still hers, but little else was. ?Yes, it is,? I agreed.

Tears of salt ran down her cheeks, which swept off her face in rivulets of milky fluid. A shrivelled hand emerged from her cloak and reached out to me. In that hand was held a dull pink balloon, bouncing madly in the wind. Instinctively, I took it.

?Can I come in??

I looked at the balloon then back at my girl. ?Sure.? I stepped aside and let her, this thing, hobble into my house. I closed the door and my girl sat down painfully on my bed. The balloon shrivelled and drooped in my hand, like a forgotten Christmas decoration hanging limply in the corner of a room. I was at a loss, a mute fool in his own home. I stood there as the balloon expelled the last of it?s rancid air; surely not the sweet breath of my girl, with a creeping feeling of certainty that it was me, here in what was once paradise, that had brought her to this state.

?It?s ok?, she said. ?Come sit next to me.?

I dropped the balloon, which farted like a collapsed lung, and sat down gingerly beside her. ?Are you OK?? I said.

From beneath that hood came the same savage laugh I had come to know. ?Do I look ok??

?No, to be honest, you don?t.?

Another laugh. ?You were always honest, I?ll give you that.?

I thought about removing her hood but by the way she kept her head titled away from me, in shadow, scolded me otherwise.

?Have you decided what you want yet?? she said, as I looked down at the pencil thin legs that poked out from beneath her cloak.

?Of course,? I replied. ?I want you.?

She shifted a little on the bed. ?That?s not enough.?

?Yes it is, I told you so, out on the boat.?

The thing, my lady, turned her haunted face towards me. ?No, you said it?s never enough.? She coughed nastily into her hand. ?Correct me if I?m wrong.? Something spiteful and malicious danced in the vacuum of her eyes.

I sat in silence, unable to legitimise a reply.

?Don?t you think,? said my girl, breaking the uneasy hush, ?that it?s rather bizarre that people associate balloons with fun and merriment??

Again, I sat mute. My eyes flicked to the flabby balloon crawling across the floor in its death throes.

She continued. ?Because really, people are terrified of balloons. Almost everyone, except children and the innocent.?

?What?? I said, ?Everyone likes balloons. Don?t they??

?Ah they think they do, but secretly, they are terrified. Shall I tell you why??

?Go on.?

Unlike the balloon, my lady seemed to swell a little under her cloak. ?Think about it, silly man.?

She called me ?Silly man?. It echoed around my head like the memory of something briefly forgotten.

?No, you tell me. I?m intrigued.? In truth I felt troubled, agitated, like this was leading somewhere I didn?t want to go.

?Think about it,? she repeated. ?You go into a room full of balloons, slowing bouncing around the floor ? like they almost have a life of their own. Yes??

?Ok,? I said.

?And you will, without really realising it, start to tread very carefully in case you step on one and make it go bang. Before you?ve inflated a balloon, it?s nothing, but once it?s inflated it?s a thing of horror. A skulking bag of,? she clapped her hands, ?noise.?

I nodded.

?It?s the expectation of the noise, the sudden blast that scares people.?

?If you say so.?

She continued as if in rapture. ?We secretly fear balloons like we might fear, well, I don?t know, hearing the click as we step on an unexploded mine. And the way they always seem to end up under your chair, or lurking in a corner, or rolling towards a cactus with murderous stealth. One minute it?s sitting harmlessly in the middle of the room, then you look back at it?s inches from?BOOM!?

I nodded again. ?Fair enough. Your point being??



?Yes, dread. The dread of these horrid little bouncing things, full of potential fright. Things of our own creation.?

?That?s slightly over the top isn?t it??

?Is it?? she replied. ?Haven?t you noticed how we, as adults, cheer when watching a balloon float off into the sky, and only children cry??

I stood up and walked to the middle of my room, brooding. ?Is this some kind of metaphor?? The trapdoor creaked under my weight. I looked down at my feet and sighed, a little too extravagantly. ?Ok, I see. You want to know what?s down in the cellar??

?I already know.?

I laughed viciously. ?I very much doubt that.?

?Trust me,? she said. ?I know.?

I thought I was beginning to see her point. ?You?re saying that I dread whatever is in the cellar??

She said nothing.

?And this thing in the cellar is my creation? Correct me if I?m wrong,? I said, with deliberate sarcasm. ?My monster from my f*****g Id??

My girl stood up and made for the door. I put my hands to my temples, wanting to scream, to calm the rage boiling inside my skull. Everything was so wrong; everything was rotting, decaying, my paradise falling apart around me. And it was my fault. All my fault. I collapsed onto the floor. ?I?m sorry,? I wept. ?I?m so sorry. I just want things to go back to how they were before.?

A brief scent of lemongrass filled the room. ?It?s not that easy.?

I looked up with soggy eyes. It was my girl in red. My beautiful girl in red. She smiled and took my hand. ?Don?t worry, I?ll be with you.?


?Not forever. Always."
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Oh, by the way, Sebastian, why don't you post some of your writing? I know you have, er, issues with posting your work on a public forum, but I feel the need to be humiliated, so why not knock something up that you don't care about and post it.
Hello Martin,

I wish all the chapters from "The Fjord" were together. Kind of hard for me to keep the cohesion thing going. This is the first time you have introduced this character as an old woman, isn't it?

For me, the concept of the storyline is really holding my interest. I personally, love the way you are letting the main character's feelings of passion and desire spill out over the pages without any embarrassment.

If you were an actor you could play many roles. How you can write something like this and then something like "A Tranquil Breeze". It is the mind of a writer, an artist, to have so many layers and so much torment.
Such is your life.

Dimwit :evil: Yeah, I'll give you a :wink: .
Hey Martin. Where can i find chapter one of My house on the fjord? You mentioned its posted somewhere on the forum and i would like to read it but having trouble finding it.
ShyTiger - it's a few pages back on the forum, simply entitled 'My House on the Fjord'. It's quite old, and I've edited it quite a lot since, so if you want it 'straight off the press', then I can email to you if you like.

Terri - yeah, sorry. I don't really want to keep posting my stuff on here all time time, complete that is, as I'm sure it get's on peoples nerves. But anyway, thanks for your kind words. I appreciate it. I'm not happy with it seems to be heading in a direction of it's own...sort of without my control. Weird. Frankly, 'The House..' is how I normally write, my natural style and content, which is was 'A Tranquil..' was such a chore.

And yep - the old woman and the girl are one and the same person. She has 'mutated' into this horror because of what has happened to him...but she won't stay that way....dammit. She's too goddam sexy!
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