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[Voting] Writing Contest, May 2019
  • The Zelda Universe Writing Contest, May 2019:
    Voting!


    It seems there's elections going on everywhere nowadays, so why not stretch your voting muscles again? We have four marvelous entries for the May Writing Contest, and one needs to be crowned! The prompt is "Until we meet again," so...that's pretty much all I have to say!

    Here's what should influence your votes:
    • plot (if applicable)
    • writing style
    • structure
    • how well and/or creatively they follow the prompt, "Until we meet again" (Remember when considering this that some writers may choose to follow the prompt in wildly different ways.)
    • 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 numbers (and titles, if you so wish) of up to two entries that you would wish to see win this contest. (Note that you cannot vote twice for the same entry.) 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!


    VOTING ENDS ON THURSDAY, 30 MAY @ 11:59 PM EDT

    The winner(s) will be able to pick the next contest prompt, and their entry/-ies will be featured in the Creator's Retreat thread and the results thread. The runner-up(s) will also have their entry/-ies featured in the results thread. All winners and/or runners-up will have their usernames and the titles of their respective entries announced in the Community News segment in an upcoming episode of the ZUCast, ZU's homebrewed podcast.

    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. And please include the entry numbers of your votes.

    ~~~~~~~~~~


    Entry #1: "The Christmas Surprise" (original short story)
    Display Spoiler
    The year is 1996. The place is calm. No one spoke a word. Everyone was walking around to make sure everything was going ok. A tall, 45-year-old man named Joseph Bern is standing by his daughter. This event was for his daughter, so he had to come. Joseph gets up and looks at his daughter.

    “Till we meet again next Christmas”, said Joseph. With a tear in his eye, he leaves the event with his wife, Maria Bern, following behind him.

    The year is 1997. It is Christmas night. It is around 2 AM. Joseph and his wife Maria are fast asleep in bed. The cold wind outside is blowing strong. Feet of snow covers the ground, making a pure white blanket. The house was eerily quiet. No creeks, no movement, and no sound. Suddenly, there was a thud on the first floor. Joseph hears the sound but heads back to bed. Another thud happened, this time, on the second floor. Quietly, Joseph gets out of bed, grabs a flashlight, and heads out of the bedroom.

    “What caused that noise?”, he said to himself.

    When he got to where the second thud happened, he saw a broken vase. A broken vase that originally wasn’t on the second floor. In shock, he quickly heads down to the first floor to see what caused the first thud. He shined his light, to see his old, and deaf dog. He thought that the dog must have thudded against something until he panned his light to the side. There, he saw a massive bowling ball. Right next to the dog’s head. He hasn’t bowled in a year. Not after Christmas of last year. Joseph, startled, quickly makes it back up to his bedroom but finds it locked. He bangs on the door to get his wife up, but she didn’t say anything. He starts charging at the door, but he is always knocked back every time he charged.

    “Maria! Open this goddamn door!”, Joseph said in a commanding voice.

    Joseph charges at the door again. The door flies open, and Joseph falls down onto the ground. He gets up and looks at the bed. His wife was laying in the soft red bed. He stretched over to his wife and shook her!

    “Wake up!”

    Nothing.

    “Wake up, Maria!”

    Again, nothing.

    “Goddamn Mari-”

    Joseph flips over Maria to see a giant bruise on the back of her head. On the floor, next to her, lay the same bowling ball that was downstairs.

    “Maria! No! Maria… Not you too…”, Joseph says as he falls down into the floor, crying.

    Joseph, still crying, looks over to the hallway that leads to the bedroom. There, he saw a small feminine figure standing at the end of it. It ran down the stairs. Joseph reacts quickly and follows the figure. Down the stairs, and into the driveway outside. The figure gets into a car and starts to drive off. Joseph quickly gets into his car and follows after. The roads were icy and unsafe to drive, but he didn’t care. He wanted to get the figure that killed his wife. His car crashed into the side of the road. The figure also crashed. It started running away from Joseph. Joseph gets out of his car, and, though injured, still gives chase to the figure. The snow was coming down hard. The wind was blowing very cold air towards him. The case was long. It leads to a graveyard. Joseph got closer and closer to the figure. The figure stopped in front of one grave. Joseph stops right behind the figure.

    “Who the hell are you, and why did you murder my wife?”, Joseph said in an angry tone.

    The figure turned around. Joseph freezes in place, and, in bewilderment, laughs.

    “I guess we were destined to meet again. I didn’t expect it would meet like this though. See you in hell.”. Joseph falls into the ground. The figure sinks into the ground. Joseph, before drawing his final breath, looks at the grave.

    R.I.P. Sophia Bern.
    Daughter of Joseph Bern and Maria Bern.
    Born: March 24, 1975
    Died: December 15, 1996.

    Beloved Daughter, Gifted Bowler, and had a bright future ahead.


    Entry #2: "Blinding Storms and Peerless Beauty" (original poem)
    Display Spoiler
    Breathtaking beauty

    Eyes to melt the skies asunder

    A smile to die for



    Hands so delicate, they seemed almost pitiful in comparison

    But that’s what I liked about you



    Ages apart, drawn ever closer by our love

    It seemed only yesterday you gave me pause

    Made my heart skip a beat



    I knew I liked you at first conversation

    Though it was merely gossip at the time

    You smiled and laughed



    I felt relived, as I was nervous as anything

    Sweating puddles

    Eyes darting away from you

    But you whispered ‘it was okay’



    Until we meet again

    Your hobbies similar

    Your passion to help people identical

    The moment you said ‘I DO’



    On that stage of stages

    Bright light white dress on

    Our wedding was the best and worst of times

    Since that was the day I lost you



    To cancer, to the devil, to unfairness

    We were destined to be as one

    But were split apart by absurdity and unknown knowledge

    How could we have known, you had cancer gone too far astray?

    When there were no signs or symptoms to be had?



    I lay awake in a sea of tears, thinking about you each night

    The darkness drags on and seems like an eternity in my wake

    Our friends were flabbergasted, our families shifting from all sorts of emotions at once

    Rage, anger, heartbreak, sorrow, regret, madness



    We all felt it that day you left us

    Until we meet again

    All you will be is in my head

    An endless memory of what we shared together



    I still hear your voice sometimes, but then I realize what has happened.

    It hasn’t sunk in yet, and it has been 10 years now

    As I sink to the bottom of any little feelings I have left, like a stone



    I visit your gravestone everyday and pray for you

    For us, to be together again in another life

    As this one, has lost all meaning to me…

    until we meet again


    Entry #3: "Logging off for the last time" (original short story)
    Display Spoiler
    I stared at the glowing screen, looking at the article being displayed on the screen.

    The article was written four and a half years ago and was about a kid I used to play games with online. One day, my group of online friends were playing another game as usual, and the kid logged off for the last time, saying “I’m getting tired, I’m logging off for tonight, see you guys next time!”. That was the last time I had ever heard from him and I never expected to hear anything about him again.

    The headline of the article read “Teenage boy dead after tragic accident outside local school”. The article delved into more detail about the accident, but I was fixated on the top of the article. The photo they showed was of a kid that I had played with every day for months, and yet I didn’t recognize the photo. We talked for hours about plenty of things but somehow, I never knew what he looked like. It was strange seeing him as an actual person, because in my mind he was just an idea.

    The day after he logged off, the rest of my group kept playing as usual. We noticed he wasn’t there, but we assumed he was sick or preoccupied with something. As the days went by, our group became a little worried, but assumed that it was probably problems with internet or a broken console or some other similar issue. Eventually we moved on and forgot about him, figuring he was done with games for good, but we never really knew what happened to him.

    I never expected an answer to why he disappeared, expecting it to be a mystery that would never be solved. Now that I had the answer in front of me, I began to wonder about all the other friends I’d made that faded away from me on message boards and in my memories. They were presumably living their own lives, separate from my own.

    In essence, all those I left behind and all those that left me are wiped away in my head. I never knew when the last time I would see them would be, but after they were gone, I figured that we would never meet again.

    In this instance, I was surprised to be wrong.

    After all, the only reason I found this article is because one of my old friends tracked me down. After finding this article for himself, he decided to track down the rest of our group and send us this so that we would know what happened to the kid. How he found us, I didn’t know, but now I was facing the idea that I might reunite with my old friends.

    My friend who sent me the article also sent me a link to a group chat, with all the members of my old group. I want to join and see how everyone is doing, but I don’t know what to expect.

    One day we all logged off for good, although we didn’t know it at the time. Now it was time to meet them all again, and I was terrified. They could be entirely different people than the kids in my memories, and I didn’t know if I wanted those memories to change, or if it was better to leave them in the past.

    It was a surprisingly hard decision to make, deciding whether or not to see my old friends again, but of course, I had to.

    I clicked the link and said hello.


    Entry #4: "Wishes" (Super Mario RPG fanfic)
    Display Spoiler
    If Rosalina hadn’t known better, she would have sworn her realm had been taken over by Toads.



    Star Road was usually such a serene, peaceful place, much like the Star Spirits that made up its population.However, as the Mother of Stars floated lightly across her ethereal, cloudy realm, her vision filled with the dazzling light of her people frantically shooting here and there, reminding her more of the surface world’s panicky mushroom people after a Bowser attack than her own calm subjects. Their worried thoughts reached her mind: that quake, it broke Star Road! What will we do! No more wishes …



    Only one Star Spirit was different, floating calmly to her side, though Rosalina could sense its worry. She gave the spirit a reassuring look, and extended that calming feeling outwards to the rest of her citizens, until the Stars entered a tranquil orbit around her, their rainbow colours forming a spiraling pattern, with her in the middle of the miniature galaxy. Finally, when she was sure her Stars were all listening, Rosalina “spoke” in the silent, thought-based language of Star Road.



    My little ones, please do not despair. Yes, our home was broken, but it can and will be repaired, and the wishes of the worlds beneath us will reach us once again. Feeling the Stars calm down, she continued. However, we must make our own wish come true, in this case. One of you must travel down to the Surface World and retrieve the lost Pieces of our home. It will be dangerous. Rosalina looked downwards through the wispy clouds at her feet, and could vaguely see hilt of the giant sword sticking out from the top of a castle far below. The evil being who tore through our world now threatens the surface. His minions will be on the prowl. Our champion cannot act alone. They must find and join with the Heroes of the Surface.




    Like Mario? One of the spirits asked.



    Rosalina smiled. The plumber always did seem to get involved in situations like this. Possibly. She reassured her stars. Now, which of you volunteers?




    At this, Rosalina felt her Stars’ wariness. They were a kind people, yes, but much preferred to grant the surface dwellers’ wishes from the safety of Star Road. Actually going to the world below, this was something far outside her people’s usual courage.



    “Usual” seemed to be the key here, as the one, calm Star Spirit floated from her side, and did a little swirl in front of her, a Star’s equivalent to a bow. I will go, my Queen.I will find the Heroes and the Star Pieces, and return them safely to Star Road.




    Thank you, my Knight. Rosalina “whispered”, so only he could hear. She waved her wand and tapped the spirit gently. Be blessed with a portion of my power, Champion, she continued, in her regular “voice”. The Star Beam, Boost, Whirl, Blast and Flash are all yours to use. You will have to find a mortal form to use in your adventure, but I’m sure you’ll find something perfect.




    Until we meet again, my Queen. The Star Spirit “bowed” again and immediately set off, floating down through the clouds, far to the surface below. Rosalina could not help but be intrigued by his courage, his confidence ... so unlike most Stars ...



    Rosalina watched the Spirit, and wished she could go as well, then remembered that now was not the time to be making wishes. Her place was here, in her Galaxy with her Stars and Lumas. Her own adventure was yet to come.



    For now, she would watch over her Knight, and wish (despite herself) for his victory, and his safe return ... to her side.



    I wish you well … Geno.


    NOTE: If you entered this contest, please don't reference that fact in this thread or anywhere else on ZU until after voting closes. Bias is a real thing lol.
  • Okay, so!


    Entry One:

    So, right in the first paragraph, the narration switches between present and past tense a full four times. That’s four times too many, and it keeps happening throughout the rest of the story. Then there’s the fact that the story just plain doesn’t make sense. Girl dies and just randomly decides to murder her parents from beyond the grave because reasons? And she kills Joseph by just kinda sorta anticlimactically making him sink into the ground somehow?

    Entry Two:

    … Well that’s depressing. I don’t really know enough about poetry to give any meaningful feedback, so I’ll just say it does a good job of being very sad.

    Entry Three:

    So, this one kinda hit home. As someone who spends like a lot of time on the internet I definitely know what it’s like to have people just disappear, and I have worried about what happened to those that did, so this entire story is very relatable. It’s long enough to get its ideas across without dragging on. Kudos to the author, I think they did a good job.

    Entry Four:

    So, first off, the formatting in this story needs some work. There’s really no need for so much space between lines. There’s also issues with punctuation, including the use of quotation marks for things that aren’t quotes, which is very jarring. Not much else I can say due to my lack of familiarity with the source material, so yeah.



    Final vote: Enry Three!