Feel free to add your own comments. I do recognize that I am critiquing skilled writers, some more skilled than me, so don't be offended if I offer advice that I myself need to follow, or that deliberately contradicts the effect you were going for.
Vortigern: I greatly enjoyed this piece, especially the conversation of the protagonist's 'friends' around her bedside. I had difficulty deciding whether to vote for yours or Matias's, but eventually went with Matias. My only criticism is that it feels too choppy in places. Periods aren't the only methods with which to make pauses in the character's thoughts, and I think that with a few sentence rearrangements and different punctuation in places, some passages could be improved. Other than that, I can't really offer anything.
Rafv Nin IV (me): I was not entirely pleased with this piece. I did not feel as if I gave the ending justice--it was too abrupt and leapt without enough explanation from a druggie in a bathroom to a brutal murder among bookshelves. However, I'm rather pleased with the first Shawna Pearson scene. I don't normally write true short stories; most of what I write could be termed vignettes, so there's lots of room for improvement.
Mike: With a prompt of sin, what better topic to write on than Original Sin? While I had a fair bit of fun reading your entry, it was severely fragmented, although that appears to be a style choice. The same remark I made about Vort's piece being choppy applies here. This was, regardless, a nice piece...except that the word count limit was 1500 words, not 2500 words. That's the primary reason I didn't consider yours for voting along with Vort's and Matias's. I'll also say that the phrase "I woke up" is not exactly one that catches the attention, but the story picked up quickly enough that the weak entrance did not detract too much.
Matias: I'm not entirely sure what the qualifications are, but I always seem to be able to recognize your writing without looking at who the author is. You've got a distinct voice. The quality I loved most about this piece was that, of the five of us, you were the only one that seemed as if you had a point to prove other than "I can make a cool story about sinful people." The commentary on the right to doctor-assisted-suicide gave a sense of passion to the piece--that you really cared about what you were writing.
Ithilienranger732: That's an entertaining couple of paragraphs, but it is obvious that you didn't worry overly much about this contest. That being said, thanks for contributing *glares at non-competitors*. I've seen writing of yours that far surpasses this, so next contest... Additionally, I'm not entirely sure why you wavered between past and present tenses in sections.
I didn't cover everything, but I've illustrated what I thought when I read. Feel free to add your own comments.
Edited by Rafv Nin IV, 07 July 2009 - 03:41 PM.