Freedom Writers

Alrighty, if you’re looking for the IBSH Freedom Writers contest website, its URL is http://freedomwriters.ibsh.co.cc/. (2013/03/28: The link is now dead. I’m not surprised; it’s just more evidence that free websites of the “do your own html files” type are really fragile things.) I just tried to help my sister find it through Google, it’s nowhere to be found, and instead there are hits in ancient archive posts from this blog.

I didn’t enter this year because I couldn’t think of any good ideas. Anyway, I’m going to rant about review my fellow 9th graders’ stories now. If you wrote one of these stories, I apologize in advance; it’s not a personal thing.

  • Two Hundred Percent: A few spelling mistakes that jump straight out (breath/breathe, loose/lose). The jump from third-person to first-person is justified but still a little awkward. And you know this story concept right away. The movie was called Limitless. There are vivid descriptions for a few parts, but a lot of the build-up is hand-waved too quickly to catch my interest.
  • Haunted V-day 2: The writer consistently uses the present perfect tense instead of the past perfect, which is just a little distracting. I don’t think a biannual short-story contest is a place for to-be-continued pieces. The horror is pretty well-balanced, nevertheless. An okay story part, but I’m not sure how I can rate this highly in a short story contest considering how far we are from the ending (apparently).
  • The Death of a Detective: Spotless mechanics, smooth build-up, and clear conversation, but full of fridge logic. There is what looks like a twist ending, but the story just barely makes any sense to me at the end, to the point where I can’t really enjoy it. Why the hell would you put a letter describing your hiding location and inside knowledge in a car? How do you know the cop who found it wouldn’t be corrupt? What prevented Amanda from publishing the zarking information before any of this? Why would she need rescuing if she could flood the tunnel by herself already?
  • Love of a Friend: Maybe two-thirds of this is good story, with description and foreshadowing, but the ending is abrupt and absolutely fails to get the story anywhere. It ends up as a bunch of preachy talk about accepting death.
  • Zombie Outbreak: The prologue needs fixing up to get its message across. There are a lot of omitted details that I’d like to know about. The grammar is meh. The ending, frankly, doesn’t makes sense at all. What does being a billionaire have anything to do with all this?
  • The Greatest Fears: Holy Zarquon’s flying fishes, this story makes my eyes bleed. I’m hard-pressed to find a single sentence that’s grammatically correct. Half the story reads like a statistics-loaded governmental document, and the other half like a four-year-old’s diary.

Ugh. Two that don’t make sense, two that are excessively sketchy, one incomplete, and one full of document tedium. How can I vote for one of these?

There may be more reviews of other grades or stories if they’re put up, but my appetite for more of this stuff has been completely disabled and I want to get that link out there.

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