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Sunday, August 29, 2010

And the winner is...

In the matter of the 8/20/10 Friday Challenge, "The Sound of Summer Running (Void Where Prohibited By Law)", the winner, obviously and sadly by default, is Miko, given that "The Sound of 'Tweener Texting" was the only entry submitted.

Still, the raison d'ĂȘtre for the Friday Challenge is feedback and discussion, so we're going to have at it anyway.

Henry: Your story is almost the antithesis of Bradbury's original, and that is why it is so absolutely brilliant. Douglas wants the sneakers so badly he offers to work for them. Kaitlyn wants the cell phone so badly she whines, begs, and plays the divorced parent card. Douglas reacts just as we're told children reacted sixty years ago. Kaitlyn reacts just the way we know children react today. But there is a deeper tie between the sneakers and the cell phone with unlimited text messages, perhaps one that was unconscious or just a fortunate turn of circumstance. Both children want their world to be faster and more connected. We consider Douglas's "faster" and "connected" is considered more wholesome -- he wants to run faster and feel more connected to summer -- than Kaitlyn's "faster" and "connected," but both children want, essentially, the same thing. The story is well-written and would have been a strong contender even had we received half a dozen entries or more. Well done, indeed!

Bruce: What I found most interesting about this story were the reader reactions in Friday's comments. I even printed this one out and tried it out on a couple of twenty-somethings I know, just to do a sanity check. The results?

At first, my focus group said they hated this story. But then, on further discussion, they realized it wasn't the story they hated, but Kaitlyn. A little more discussion, and the truth started to slip out: they hated Kaitlyn because she was so true, and the truth hurts. Each of them knew a Kaitlyn, or could think of a time when they'd let their inner Kaitlyn come out and turn the screws on mom or dad.

Congratulations. Giving the reader a thrill, a laugh, or a fright is comparatively easy. Making them squirm because they see themselves reflected in an uncomfortable truth—without getting shrill or sanctimonious—is hard work. Good job.

Kersley: Pass.

And the winner is...

Miko, obviously.
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