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  1. The Colorless Short Story Anthology: Vol.4: Download and Feedback Thread

    #781012014-06-13 15:58:30 *DarkChaplain said:

    This thread is a follow up to:

    For the full project details, please refer to those threads.

    As promised, here's the Fourth Writing Project Anthology for you.

    Once again you'll have the choice between Mobi, Epub and PDF formats, so feel free to choose your favorite way to read these stories.
    Like with the third project, the PDF format is very clean and improved, so PC readers shouldn't be at a disadvantage anymore. Of course, the other two formats should still be better for reading in dedicated eReaders, and on phones.

    Pick your format:

    • .EPUB
      • Most common eReader format, Calibre might be good for reading on PC)
    • .MOBI
      • My favorite, works natively on Kindle, iPad and co have apps for it. Use the MobiReader for use on PC
    • .PDF
      • Most likely the simplest due to the easy availability of the Adobe Reader, but inferior to proper eReader software. This time it is well-polished, though.

    The following users participated in this project:

    A big THANKS to all of 'em. This would not have worked out this well without your participation!

    The word range this time around has grown to a maximum of around 7500 words, and it made me happy to see some submissions being very close, or even meeting, this ceiling. This might be the biggest, richest collection yet. You’ll find gumshoe detectives, glimpses of horror and psychological trauma, humor and tension. We have gone all-out to make this one as entertaining as possible for you.

    I will leave you all to the stories now. Please provide feedback on this thread, but do so with respect and without flaming. Unacceptable behavior may get you excluded from this thread!

    I hope everyone's gonna enjoy the result of our combined work!

  2. #781322014-06-14 08:31:50Kirn said:

    Yay! Now, probably I won't start reading this until monday. Damn, somehow this weekend I don't even have much time to play goddamn games... But anyhow, I already heard interesting things from people who did read the book, so I am looking forward to reviewing this.

  3. #781352014-06-14 10:27:48 *Yugure said:

    Kudos to all of those who have participated in the 4th Colorless Short Story. Even though it's just 9 stories, let me tell you this - READ THOSE 9 STORIES! Alright, let's get down to business, starting with:

    @Dark-B with "Bravery's Dim Light"

    • Simple and Straightforward - I was able to picture it on my mind: the whole setting, the action, the characters, etc. As for me, it lacked the actions that I want to see when it's the confrontation of both the detectives and the assassins - just gunshots, and no chasing? I'll count the brawl of the drunkards as action, but it wasn't enough. Still, it is a very nice story overall.

    @Kirn with "Slow Night"

    • This is a classy one, but it focuses more about the police's duty, work and other stuff. The setting and the chain of events were astounding, no doubt. I was expecting more, but then again, not all my wishes come true. And, somehow, somewhere in the story, I chuckled for some reason. Nonetheless, good job. :D

    @Rinneko with "Peccatomania"

    • SHIT WAS REALLY INTENSE HERE. The title perfectly suits the story. Everything was detailed, plus this time, it's the perspective of the criminal! I literally froze when I read the last part, and I felt sorry afterwards. But in all aspects, you nailed it. I imagined that I was the one who committed all the crime. The story was too realistic for me to tell. The story, all in all, was both awesome, and thrilling.

    @--Jack-- with "Just a Matter of Time"

    • Crime-fiction, and sci-fi (?), all-in-one. The setting was good. THE CHAIN OF EVENTS WAS MARVELOUS!!! In my opinion, I find this refreshing to read, and at the same time, confusing (at first). Leaping through different time-frames on the same universe - if it wasn't for those italicized sentences, I would have a headache for hours. I was "mind blown" at the end of the story. One of the most unique story that I read. Boggle.

    @DarkChaplain with "The Ashebourne Revelation"

    • The characters were explained nicely. The setting itself is amazing! While I was reading it, I can picture the whole place, the events, and the interaction between the characters. In my opinion, the ending was...meh. I mean, I already know what the ending would be. It's kinda like, I'm expecting a large-scale ending (like everyone died, with only a few survived or something). Word limit, I guess, but if there wasn't a maximum limit, I'll bet it would turn into something...surprising. Still, I loved the story overall.

    @johan_5179 with "Decent Folk"

    • The story was pretty good. If I am not mistaken, this is more on the tactical side of the crime fiction (lack of gunshots, as well as chasing). At the beginning of the story, I was confused with the characters, 'cause there wasn't any descriptions about them. However, as I read further, the clearer the story becomes, as well as the role of each characters (forgive my mind). Even though it was a cliffhanger, I find the story enjoyable.

    (At the first few scenes, I was like: What the hell am I reading?!")

    @Maudia with "A Tall Tale for a Bad Time"

    • The story was interesting. Everything seemed so real, but I dunno. I liked the introduction, and the chain of events afterwards. The thing caught me off guard was the ending. Dammit, my mind was confused at first and after re-reading it, I understood it. Like Jack's story, this made my mind blown, but this one is unique. It was made creatively, especially the part where the police officer interrupts the story. :D

    @Frey with "Heist!"

    • I got to admit, this story made me look on the positive side of crime fiction. The story was both humorous and spectacular. I literally voiced some dialogues there (not the F word). The setting was perfect for the main event, and well, the characters! - a detective, the police officers, the renegade, and most of all, THE REDHEAD GIRL WITH GLASSES (A hitman, I think) ON ONE EPIC STORY! The story was balanced, and I really enjoyed this one.

    (Frey being Frey - "And I'll puff and huff and blow your house in")

    Lastly, @hellstrom901 with "The Usual Suspects"

    • This was futuristic, in my opinion. I liked each and every detail, and how you included the "Username and Password" The story was rather straightforward, and simple. :D

    Again, I congratulate you people for making this project a success. I present you all my feedbacks. I'm hoping to read more stories in the upcoming projects soon. :)

    (Just tell me if I spoiled something. I'll gladly remove it)

  4. #781512014-06-14 20:56:31CQKumber said:
    • @Dark-B While the pacing seemed a little quick, it didn't make the story any less enjoyable! There was a decent amount of action, the characters were likable, and I loved the cliffhanger ending. I would've liked to see some more of the husband/wife team in action though! All in all, nice job~

    • @Kirn The consistent setting and characters made the story easy to follow, and the dialogue was well-written and believable. Even though there wasn't much action going on, it still managed to hold my attention really well. Although it didn't need it, it would've been nice to see some more action! Altogether, it was a nice read~

    • @Rinneko By the time I'd finished reading, ya done broke my brain. As if the plot itself wasn't impressive enough, your writing in general was descriptive and captivating, and the story flowed nicely. I gotta say, I would've enjoyed seeing something bad happen to the twins before the story ended... even if it was just tripping and falling in a puddle as they ran off lol. Keep up the great work!

    • @--Jack-- Your story broke my brain in a completely different way. Despite never really understanding it, time travel's always been a fun and enjoyable subject for me, and I loved the way you delivered it. "Ohhh, OHHH!" <-- My reaction near the end of your story, as things began to fall into place. I wish I could've seen him stop another crime or two though, that was pretty cool. Very nice!

    • @DarkChaplain While some characters weren't around for very long, you still managed to give them enough personality to leave me literally saying "Aww, that's bogus" when they died. The setting was detailed and easy for me to picture, considering you pretty much described where I live. The ending left a lot to be desired, so I'm curious as to what you could've come up with if not for the word limit. I had a lot of fun reading it!

    • @Johan_5179 To be honest, I had a bit of trouble staying interested while reading your story, which is a pretty sure sign that it was mature and classy lol. I really liked the way the beginning played out, I hadn't been expecting that. The characters felt very real, as did the setting. Really nice overall~

    • @Maudia Your plot was unique and the story itself was fun to read. I loved the sudden transition in the middle of the story, and the names you chose were all interesting as well. I had to read some parts again to understand what was happening, but I like that in a story. I really enjoyed it overall~ you should take a bow!

    • @Frey I loved how lighthearted and almost whimsical your story was, it was a nice change of pace after reading the other's. I also enjoyed all the action, there was hardly a moment of downtime! I would've liked to learn more about the crystal though. Great job!

    • @Hellstorm901 While I'm not a big fan of science fiction in general, I love things dealing with androids/robots/cyborgs, so your story was exciting to read. It was short and sweet, though I wouldn't liked to see some more Aug use! Nice work!

    Awesome job to everyone who participated, I'm really looking forward to the next anthology~

  5. #784832014-06-21 09:14:37Kirn said:

    Finally started reading. Not counting my own story, there are 8 of them there, and I am now done with the first half. Have to say, already this looks like a very interesting batch.

  6. #785392014-06-22 09:21:41Kirn said:

    Alrighty, I am now done, so I shall commence the bashing of the authors. I will say, though, that this time around the average quality is higher than usual and definitely higher than I personally expected. Oh, and I will talk a bit about me own story at the end. So, let's get to it! Oh, and yes, I will probably have spoilers here, so ye be warned.

    @Dark-B - "Bravery's Dim Light"
    my big disappointment for this one was that I kinda expected a sort of investigation, but after initial conversations all we have is either violence of exposition. Mention of the parliament made chuckle, because I kinda remembered the Sherlock Holmes (2009) movie with a similar thing in its plot. I have to say that the writing itself is not really good at all, there are things that are alright on chat, but do not work well in proper writing, like writing words with ALL BIG LETTERS. Well, I guess you are improving with your english writing style, but you have a really long way ahead of you.

    @DarkChaplain - "The Ashbourne Revelation"
    You know, I did read me some Lovecraft back in the day, and I know well about the concept of the investigators in Lovecraft universe. But this is my first time actually reading something of that particular genre/setting combination. Very nicely written, though not heavy on the crime part, I think... I guess, mostly because there's not much of an investigation, and the whole thing feels more like an event. Also, I do know that you had to cut it somewhat, and when epilogue started, I kinda had to re-read the end part of the last chapter to really get that it is actually over and how it all played out. I'd say, this is one of the top three stories of the book.

    @Frey - "Heist!"
    So, one advice for writing your first story - do not make it long. If you write for the first time, you are likely to not write well, and extending the story is just making readers suffer needlessly. For me, this was the hardest story to read and to get into. Feels like you have no idea what style you wanted to have there - you start at a plans/mystery stage, then go into fast-paced heist scene (heist scenes are hard to write because they do require planning and good descriptions, which is really not the case here), and in the end you just forfeit it all and go for full unrealistic action with bullets and knives flying around. Needlessly long, inconsistent writing, and bad writing form too. I barely got through the damned thing. And what is it with more and more CAPSED WORDS towards the end? It felt like you were having a fit. I believe this is the single worst story of the book.

    @hellstorm901 - "The Usual Suspects"
    First of all - really? You rip off that name?.. Still, the story was alright. Decent writing, though it needs a bit of polishing up in a few places, a simple enough, but proper crime setting with investigation and all. Justified setting with augmentations and protesters. And I did appreciate the fact that the story wasn't longer than it had to be. I do wonder about the ending, because it kinda makes the reader to overthink things, both about the story and about the crime scenes. Still, a decent story that one.

    @--Jack-- - "Just a Matter of Time"
    I have to say, this is probably the story that is the least about crime among all that we have here. There is crime, but really, it's just there as a background. Also, time-traveling is kind of an evil thing to touch for a writer, though you did a fine job making up a person imposing on a new timeline. The writing itself is very good though, and you made good work of making exposition interesting enough, which is really not an easy thing to do in a time-travelling setting. Well, in the end I do, like with many other stories like this, have to ask a question of 'how the hell did this loop started in the first place, really?', but still, it was nicely done, so it is also one of the three best stories in the book.

    @johan_5179 - "Decent Folk"
    And this one is probably the one that is the most about crime. Good writing, well-thought out story. This one was also somewhat hard to follow, but not because of the flaws, but because it was better thought out than I expected to read. Interesting take on things, with not much violence, but some very nice graphic images there. I also liked that the story is pretty much understandable - you see what is happening and you don't have to think about what it all means, like it was the case in some of your previous stories. Well, you did have a character who is a walking conscience there still, overthinking things at the end for us, but he doesn't interrupt the good parts, so it's all well. This is also one of the three best stories here.

    @Maudia - "A Tall Tale for a Bad Time"
    I guess, this is an interesting idea in its own right - trying to show cause and effect. However, there are problems. And if I would just brush off the improbability of the premise - after all, we are writing fiction here, so there is a place for exaggerations - I can't really ignore the writing itself. Style is not good at all, and the most often offence here is that you constantly switch between past and present time in your sentences. Which really makes it a pain to read. And I couldn't really get into the structure of the story. At first you give us a fiction within fiction, then the middle part is just exposition, and then it turns out that the guy was actually telling all this exposition to people who are understandably bored after hearing all that. And in the end you just try to forcibly rub the reader's face into the moral of the story which feels like something between fanfics are evil and fanfics don't really matter.

    @Rinneko - "Peccatomania"
    The more psychological one, that is. This one was also somewhat hard to read, in part because of the style that, like Hell's, does need some polishing at times, and in part because of the whole mind-games style of the story. Again, the exaggeration here is the idea that kindergarten kids would do such stuff... and I don't mean the act itself - kids are evil, we all know that - but the planning behind it. I did like the obsession theme, and how it was not real, but actually still real. Character grasping at the fact that she is actually sick and twisted - nice touch that was. Also, this kinda reminded me of my own story that I did for the horror anthology.

    Well, that's that. We have three prime stories in the book, some that are alright, and some that are not good at all. As I said, I expected it to be worse. And I really feared that, with as many words as some stories here have, it would be a painful read, which was not the case. Well, except Frey's story. I guess, all that is left is for me to poke at my own.

    @Kirn - "Slow Night"
    I guess, most people already noticed that I went for a classy setting of some mid-30ies here. And there's really not that much crime going on. Well, yes, there's a bank job, there's a high-ranking member of the mafia doing his business, but it's mostly a background. I have to say, before I sat down to write this, I only knew I want it to be 30ies and my inspiration was the Nighthawks painting by Edward Hopper. So, I sat down and I just started writing, and it took me just 4 hours to finish it all, so really, there's not much effort put into this. I am somewhat happy with how it turned out though, because I managed to keep to my usual writing style even if the genre is something unfamiliar to me. In the end, I guess the strong point of the story is also its weak point. It's a light reading. It's easy enough to read, but at the same time it's not meaningful or really substantial, and there's no moral of any kind or even a message. Oh well.

  7. #785412014-06-22 09:48:20hellstorm901 said:

    I didn't know about the film the usual suspects until I saw it mentioned on a Watchmojo video sometime after I wrote this.

    Which is funny as I've actually seen bits of the film, just never knew its name.

  8. #785402014-06-22 09:47:58DarkChaplain said:

    I was gonna do A LOT more of investigational content. Then I hit 5k words and knew I wouldn't get it all in. Heck, I say 2500 more words would've been necessary for a better wrap-up, but in truth, I could have written at least twice what I did.

    Some notes of things that I couldn't do:

    • Harker's pub. I tried to set up a promising location for rumors and interrogations in Amanda's part of the story. I was planning to have Peyton pay them a visit
    • Ellis was supposed to tell Peyton about Amanda's disappearance and beg him to look into it. That would've led him, obviously, to the pub. Ellis was not supposed to be such a bystander.
    • Amanda was supposed to be killed in a separate scene with Walker. I was planning to have him do some fancy ritual killing, while going on and on about occult bollocks.
    • Peyton's revelation was planned to be more of a spectacle, rather than implied via Ellis's point of view. But when I got there, I was 200 words from the limit, with nothing to cut
    • Ward, an obvious nod to Charles Dexter Ward, alongside plenty of other (hopefully subtle) references, was supposed to give a lot more background on Ashbourne's decay.
    • The Chants are still out there. As they should be, but I was concerned about them going off the records later in the story.

    Those are the points that come to mind on the spot. Actually typing them out here makes me feel like I need to get back to that story and expand on... well, everything, with no word limit to hamstring me...

  9. #785442014-06-22 09:58:11Kirn said:

    @DarkChaplain yeah, figured there was a lot..

    Oh, one thing I forgot to mention also. You are the only one who had the whole thing separated into chapters, and I think it also made for more comfortable read. Clear switch between scenes, I'd say. I think I tried to do chapters in some of my writing some years ago, but personally, I never could manage to make them really work.

  10. #785452014-06-22 10:05:38DarkChaplain said:

    I worked right with the chapters, calling them in roman numerals, followed by the character's name. But since I (re)introduced the relevant characters right at the start of each chapter anyway, I decided to just put numerals. Too bad I didn't make it to at least XIII, heh.

    How did the chapter flow work for you anyway? Did each chapter end with some sort of incentive to continue reading?

  11. #785462014-06-22 10:46:13Kirn said:

    @DarkChaplain well, I don't know about incentive, didn't think about that. But I think they worked well. I was kinda afraid of your story, knowing how big it is, but it was easy to read. And I guess chapters contributed to that.

  12. #785902014-06-23 10:44:45 *Rinneko said:

    I have enjoyed this round's anthology, really. Great job to everyone who contributed to this in general. After a long bout of procrastination, here's what I basically think about the stories.

    @Dark-B, with Bravery's Dim Light - I liked how Alexander's character developed throughout the story. We originally only glimpsed Alex saying that others viewed him differently from his true character but I feel that it really came through when he was trying to save himself. It was a nice show of how pathetic his true self was, and his thoughts. The ending mention of this Vaughn character left me interested in Alexander's future investigation of him. I would've liked to hear more about the Greyson couple's plans though. What incited them to think about changing the Kingdom's future in the first place?

    @Kirn, with Slow Night - Truly, you did stick to your usual writing style. It felt like a very Kirn-like story. I liked how it was an easy read because there was comparably not as much as action as the other stories. The title was quite suitable because it did depict a slow night. It was an interesting touch to find out that Mark, who had been present the entire time, was behind the entire crime set-up. It gave the feeling that the perpetrator just slipped between the police's fingers.

    @--Jack--, with Just a Matter of Time - This story reminded me of the movie Looper, and the grandfather paradox. While this was the story that held the least crime, it had that mind-blowing effect. I enjoyed how everything came back in one loop. It left me wondering why that time-travelling device had appeared or how it came about, though. The technical aspect of it, like the explanation of the Multiverse Theory, made everything feel very logical and believable.

    @DarkChaplain, with The Ashbourne Revelation - Like Kirn mentioned, this was the only story that was separated into chapters. The roman numerals reminded me of the Lies of Locke Lamora, and also made it a comfortable read. I could compartmentalise the different characters' lives easily. Without the word limit, you could've expanded with those notes above and this might've turned into a good novel, perhaps. The dark religion could probably spin more tales, too. The epilogue wrapped things up nicely, and left me with a sense of forewarning.

    @johan_5179, with Decent Folk - Well, this was quite well-planned. It is not an uncommon storyline that brought up Heather's sense of justice. I respect Heather for allowing herself to get beaten up, as well as have spent one year undercover. The portion about eating a man's balls made me laugh a little. I also enjoyed Cliff's reflection towards the end about the sad reality of the world.

    @Maudia, with A Tall Tale for a Bad Time - I really liked the front portion of this story with its depiction of the original death. I thought the voice was a nice touch. It was interesting how the man's trapezius muscles were removed, and its metaphorical significance as the uplifting of a guilty conscience. While it was a unique ending how the suspect actually only wrote the story about the death, it was a bit disappointing how we did not manage to learn about the true murderer. It felt like brushing off a story as the main character's dream.

    @Frey, with Heist! - This wasn't as confusing as you thought it was but I found it a little long-winded. Although the writing had discrepancies and a few strange sentences, I still got the basic idea. Alan talked a little too informally for a detective on the job ("Ah don't be so nervous brother..."?), I think. You might also want to avoid writing in capital letters next time, and make use of italics and bold letters instead. The part about huffing and puffing to blow the house in was neat, and I liked the plot twist at the end as well. :)

    @hellstorm901, with The Usual Suspects - Oh, I really enjoyed hearing about the idea of Augmentations and the protests against this altering of one's body. Adding the numbers and letters for the username and password made the story feel very real as well. All in all, I pretty much enjoyed this story quite a bit so good job on that.

    I had fun participating in this project. I think my story did a bit better than the previous science fiction one so that was good. However, I do think that the language I wrote was a bit too flamboyant for a kindergarten kid's thoughts, and yes, it was an exaggeration for children to perform such feats.

  13. #785962014-06-23 13:03:18Kirn said:

    @Rinneko you know, apparently, the story played better than I personally expected, because I didn't imagine Mark as the one being behind the bank set-up. I just wanted to have a small irony of, while one crime is being prevented, an important mafia guy being there, with police walking around, planning his own deal and having documents with him that could put him and everyone he knows in jail forever.
    But if it looked like the bank heist, which had its own distraction, was just a distraction from another deal and a way to set up an upstart Irish gang... sure, that works for me too )

  14. #785972014-06-23 13:23:26Rinneko said:

    @Kirn I didn't really take the bank heist as a distraction. Rather, I thought that it was just one of the many things Mark was continuously involved in, along with the other deal. He was that mastermind walking in plain sight but the police never noticed he was the important criminal they needed to catch, in my opinion. Yes, the irony in that was awesome. :)