Lot of darkness out there this time. Lot of doom. Destruction. End-of-days type stuff. That’s cool, though—we pretty much forced the hand of darkness on this one. We knew what was coming. We were prepared.
The Alpha-Omega Challenge received 167 submissions!
That’s like, almost the record (The Flash Fiction Challenge pulled in 180, but who’s keeping track?).
There were some solid writing-skills brandished in this challenge. Strong myth-building. Superior world-destruction. We’ve never had so much fun reading about the end of the world over and over again. So, without further delay…
The winners of the Alpha Omega Writing Challenge!
Why it won: Ok, some might say that the fairy in the glass orb is borderline on being a “world.” We’ve got two return volleys. 1.) Nobody ever writes about wizards doing quirky (and a little bit pervy) things with their magic. But you know they totally would. You know Saruman was doing the same damn thing up in Isengard right before Gandalf rode in all, “the One Ring is back.” You know he was! 2.) There was a world destroyed. The wizard’s private (semi-pervy) world he made for himself away from his wife and whatever wizard-responsibilities to which he was beholden.
Lastly, the grease smudge from his nose was a killer detail. It’s one of those tidbits that seems small, but really brings the scene to life, and keeps it alive. Well done.
Why it won: Talk about setting a scene with some vibrant imagery. The first paragraph of this entry put pictures in our minds. Clear, mostly cool toned pictures. There’s something at once unique, somber, and beautiful about a pair of lovers drifting down a river, creating a world as they go, and then slowly having it decay and die. And there are some lines in this one that you just want to read over and over again, like this: “We’d been on this raft all our lives, Shauna and me, born on the briny deep.”
Why it won: This entry caught our eye because of the perspective. Now, this certainly isn’t the first piece of fiction to go “Tree POV,” but man did KV follow through with some evocative images. Crisp runoff, waste from a castle, oil leaking from a vehicle. The steady progression of manmade pollutants culminates in the splitting of the atom—releasing untold energy and laying waste to the ancient and wonderful parts of the earth. Tragic, deep, good.
Why it won: The perspective was original and made for a quick read. But to be honest, we didn’t see this one as a winner until the last three lines. Leave them there to die?! That is cold-blooded sadism! But the thing is, when it’s just a game—a simulation that can be duplicated over and over again—why not leave two souls to die? What’s the difference to him? This really encapsulated the numbness and disconnection that world-destroying often involves.
But more than that, when we were done reading, we couldn’t help but think of those two survivors. What if it’s a man and a woman? What if they don’t give up? What if they endure? We wanted them to. We really did.
Why it won: There wasn’t a lot of humor in these entries (for obvious reasons) but this one made us laugh. Pretty hard. Even after a few reads we were chuckling. Ohhhhh, Carl. Always coming in at the last second with a (possible?) dinosaur-killing meteor and then coming up with the dynamite idea like giving people hands. Nice work, we use our hands constantly. Also, even before Carl’s entrance we were digging the names of the creators (Beast-Path was the personal WEbook fav) and the contrast to the “ - names” with Carl just made everything that much more hilarious.
Why it won: First and foremost, this was just a great scene. Well established without being exposition-extreme, vibrant, and full of growth and movement. Each character changes with every sentence. They’re never static or neutral. That’s really key, both for micro-scenes like these and for longer works (maybe even more so for that old 700 page novel). Make stuff happen!
And we dig turtle creators. If we were gonna pick who would name the world, it’d be Turtle. Sorry if you were with Bear or Eagle, that’s just how we feel.
These two entries both had tons of stuff working for them as well. Give them a read—you’ll see what we mean.
Congratulations to the winners. You shall receive your PageToFame coupons in the mail shortly. Grab a digital tent next to your digital inbox.
The next challenge is still open, but not for long. So the 100 of you who haven’t submitted yet should get on that. This one is funky and culturally relevant: The Daily Deal Writing Challenge.