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[Voting] October 2018 Writing Contest
  • The Zelda Universe Writing Contest, October 2018:

    It's finally that time again! You've waited two whole months to cast some votes in a ZU Writing Contest, and I am honored to reward you for your patience! This time around, the theme is Guilt, which has yielded two pieces born of despair. (Blame our August winners...) One is a deep poem with rich imagery that will give you chills, the other a fan-short that puts a much darker spin on the ending of Skyward Sword. Both are examples of the finest writings that the Creative Corner has to offer. Unfortunately, only one can be crowned winner. So get to crowning! (That sounded much better in my head...)

    Here's what should influence your votes:
    • plot (if applicable)
    • writing style
    • structure
    • how well and/or creatively they fit the theme, Guilt (Remember when considering this that some writers may choose to adhere to a more abstract interpretation of the theme.)
    • how well the entries resonate with you and your interests (You shouldn't let this dictate your votes entirely, however. ;))
    To vote, simply make a post in this thread containing the number (and/or title, if you so wish) of the sole entry that you would wish to see win this contest. Our entrants would also greatly appreciate any feedback that you can provide for their works as you vote for them, although it is not required. (If you don't have the time or energy, you can just put the numbers of the entries you're voting for.) You cannot vote for your own entry; if you do so, your vote will not be counted, and that would be such a waste!


    The winner(s) will be able to pick the next contest theme, and their entry/-ies will be featured in the Creator's Retreat thread and the results thread. (Because there are only two entries, no runner-up will be named.)

    If you have any questions regarding the voting process or the Writing Contest(s) as a whole, please contact me directly, either via my wall or via Conversation/PM. I would ask that you please reserve all posts in this thread for votes only, so as to make my life easier when I tally up the votes at the end.


    Entry #1: "The Right Hand" (original poem)
    Display Spoiler
    Yellow is my favorite color
    And always so is gray.

    My hand stained yellow from an earthy treasure.
    My eye waned gray from celestial terror.
    The dime sun cracked when it faded laughing.
    And Hunger hid from view.

    He tied a string from hand to foot
    And set me marching in my line.
    I climbed a tree and soaked up rain
    And knew that everything was fine.

    I'd like to say the villainy of time explains my death,
    But evil is so rarely bad and grievance makes no case.
    What villain does not hate the hero's efforts to protect?
    All shame is mine to bear

    When time had come to make a choice:
    The yellow hand, the graying eye?
    Remembering old Ezra's book,
    I plucked the gray and kept the tie.

    I'm haunted now by dreams of the right hand.
    A macabre trophy of imagined dignity
    Strung along behind, still
    Twiching, grasping at straws underfoot.
    I kept it only, now I see, because I would not crawl.

    Gray is always my favorite color,
    But yellow gets to stay.

    Entry #2: "Faithful to the End" (Skyward Sword fanfic)
    Display Spoiler
    "What? Impa, why? Come with us!"

    Impa was silent for a moment. "Zelda, Your Grace, you possess the memories of the goddess," she finally replied. "You must understand why that is not possible. I am a being of this age. My place is here."

    Her mistress hesitated, taking a couple tentative steps forward. "I... I know that, but..." she stammered.

    Feeling a constriction in her chest, Impa wrenched her gaze from Zelda to look at the Gate of Time behind her. "You must return to your own time," she insisted. "I will take care of the gate once you have passed through."

    There was a pause, and then Zelda rushed toward her. "I... can't do that," she said, her voice cracking. "You and I have been through so much together. I don't want to leave you alone." She looked up with pleading eyes. "Please, Impa. Come back with us."

    Again, Impa felt that twisting sensation in her chest, but refused to let this show, laying a hand on Zelda's shoulder. "Zelda, at the command of the goddess, I passed through the Gate of Time. I did so to protect you and aid the fight to prevent the world's destruction." She paused, the sensation in her chest progressing to a keen pain. "The last remnants of Demise are decaying slowly within the sword. Someone must stay behind to watch over this blade. His spirit must not reawaken. He must never be allowed to threaten the world again." She smiled. "This is the nature of the task given to my tribe. As a member of the Sheikah, the goddess's chosen guardians, I gladly welcome this duty."

    Zelda continued to look at her with the same pleading expression for a moment, then bowed her head.

    "Zelda, I shall watch over the Triforce," she tried to reassure her mistress. "'Its power is too great to leave in the grasp of man. Dependence on its might is an invitation to disaster. When it has served its purpose, it must be secreted away to lie dormant once again... the knowledge of its existence hidden from mortal history.' These are the words the goddess spoke to me long ago. I remember them well. As do you, I'm sure."

    Zelda slowly looked up at her again, catching her eye and maintaining eye contact for a long moment- then quickly removed the bracelet on her left arm, offering it to Impa.

    Again, the pain in Impa's chest fluxed, but she again mastered the pain, covering it with a grunt as she placed her hands over the piece of jewelery, touching her mistress's hands. "Do not despair Zelda," she said, smiling widely. "You and I will surely meet again someday."

    With that, she took the bracelet from Zelda, turning and raising a hand at the massive gears behind her. With a musical sound, the Gate opened, a great dark tunnel of gears stretching off into the future. She turned again to Zelda, gesturing her through. With one final saddened stare and a nod, her mistress walked past her into the Gate. A moment later, Groose did likewise, offering a quick wave and a grin before rushing to join her.

    Bringing up the rear was Link, who stopped just in front of her and looked her in the eyes for a moment, then nodded once. She returned it, and with that, he ran through as well. Impa turned to watch the three of them go, waiting for the Gate to close once again and indicate that they had safely crossed. The moment it had done so, she charged a ball of power in her hand, tossing it at the Gate, and with a great cacophony of noise, it exploded, shattering the great gears and turning them into a pile of so much cold rubble.

    Only once it was broken did she finally let her composure slip and the tears begin to fall.

    She turned toward the small door in the eastern wall of the temple, staggering toward it with trembling limbs as her vision swam, blurred by the water pouring down her cheeks. Once she had opened the door and taken perhaps five steps into the forest beyond, her legs finally gave out beneath her and she crumpled to the ground, letting out wails of anguish.

    In the dirt before her, laying so still as if frozen in time, was the empty husk of her goddess.

    Link had been successful. The Demon King had been defeated, and his broken essence was now slowly withering away. With his defeat, Zelda had been saved... at least, a version of her had been.

    "I'm... sorry..." she gasped between sobs, neither able nor willing to staunch the tears. She'd been right there when Ghirahim had emerged, had tried to fight him off, but he'd caught her completely off guard. And now, because of her carelessness, her failure, Zelda's soul was lost forever, and now, at least in this time, the goddess was lost to her.

    She squeezed her eyes shut, feeling like the hard earth beneath her had fallen away, leaving her careening down a bottomless dark, cold abyss. Her mistress, her guide, her charge, the one she and her tribe had sworn to protect and serve... she was gone. And it had been Impa's failure to defend her that had doomed her.

    She reached out with trembling fingers, which she ran through Zelda's golden hair, unable to tear her eyes from the girl's serene expression. She might have been asleep, had her chest not been still and her breath silent.

    Impa looked up at the gray sky. There were things she had to do- Her Grace's body had to be given its proper rites and laid to rest, her tribe had to be informed, courses of action must be planned...

    ...Yet all she could do was stare at the cloud-covered heavens, utterly lost and alone.
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  • I'm certainly attracted to variations on the concept of a second Zelda being present in SS, given that my long-standing headcanon is of a timeline split caused by the game's ending. However, I feel like the writing takes far too long to speak something of itself; the majority is just a quotation of in-game events.

    And as for the short portion that speaks of the death, I find a lot of emphasis on grief and loss, but not so much guilt. The writing is good, workable, but there's nothing special or emphatic with it. It contains the theme, but does not address it well.


    The Right Hand is... complicated, its meaning pretty well obfuscated, and imagery pretty nice where used. I'm not opposed to free verse but the lack of rhyme or consistent meter does irk me. When it comes to what the poem is actually saying, I think I'm gonna need some help. Seeing things like "Ezra's book" and "All shame is mine to bear/alone" makes me think there's some Biblical allusion going on -- "eye for an eye", from the Law of Moses, perhaps?

    I can see that, literally, the poem is talking about a man who plucked out his eye and had his right hand cut off, but the latter is still tied to his foot as he walks along. But I honestly can't see the meaning of the first half and its relation to the literal. The one thing that very much perplexes me is "evil is so rarely bad and grievance makes no case".

    This poem, too, contains the theme, but boy howdy it tries hard to not let you understand it.

    Entry 1, if only for the general quality of the writing itself.
  • Entry 1
    Boy I wish I understood poetry more. Like I feel for some reason its attached to Lovecraft for whatever reason, and its very well written. Reading logicalpencils comments has helped me get some idea for it. I'm struggling to fully grasp the concept of grief - though I can see perhaps if the person was exiled, that could itself be a reason.

    Entry 2
    This entry isn't bad. It captures the essence of grief well - especially toward the end. It does well with descriptions too and I think it's strongest writing is when Impa is alone. I do think, however, there could be more scenic descriptions. I also think there could have been more foreshadowing to the twist. Give more context to the descriptions and I think it could really emphasize the gut punch at the end. I haven't completed Skyward Sword, so I'm somewhat lost and confused on it, so it relies on people completing the game which isn't as in our cultural ways as say Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask is.

    OK so this was really tough. Neither were bad and each had their own strengths and weaknesses. Entry 1 writing quality wise I would say is better, but Entry 2 is easier to follow and I can see the gut punch.

    At the end of the day, however, I think I'm going to go with voting for Entry 1

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