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Friday, October 14, 2011

The Friday Challenge — 10/14/2011

This week in The Friday Challenge:

STUPEFYING STORIES volume 1, number 1 escapes! • Join the discussion...

STUPEFYING STORIES volume 1, number 1 gets its first review! • Join the discussion...

Bruce Bethke brags us about his coolest Geek Artifact. M refrains from telling anyone about his android head of Philip K. Di—oh, wait. He's still not gonna tell anybody about that one. • Join the discussion...

Kersley Fitzgerald shows a fellow writer The Way. • Join the discussion...

xdpaul wins our You're the Editor challenge, by not rejecting the twin dawns, twin Dawns or twin dawns. • Join the discussion...

All this and more, as Moldy Cheese Day” bumps up against National Angel Food Cake Day”, and the inmates discuss the view from their respective places in the asylum.

Local Newsworthy

As of this morning, we have received the following entries for our current challenge (listed in their order of appearance within Files > Friday Challenge 2011 10 14, or linked if posted as a blog/comment):

An enthusiastic “Huzzah” to all who have entered! The judges are considering your submissions, and a winner will be declared by the evening of Sunday, 16 October 2011.

Zero (point?)

And now it is time for this week's Friday Challenge, courtesy of xdpaul:

Jay McInerney, Nathaniel Hawthorne and William Faulkner, among others, distinguished themselves by an occasional long foray into 2nd person narratives. Faulkner also rather famously tried his hand at a rotating 1st person point of view in As I Lay Dying. I, Robot was told in a somewhat unusual 1st person plural.

So fiddling with point of view is old hat. Is there anything that hasn't been done?

Thus, the challenge: Write a story told from a point of view other than 1st, 2nd, 3rd (or omniscient) person point of view. Call it the Zero point of view, if you like.

That's all: tell an authorless story, from the point of view of no one. How would that even read?

Please note that I don't even know if this can be done in anything other than an artificially processed machine language (or maybe Finnish), and even then, I'm not so sure.

If it can even be done, I would imagine the stories will be quite brief, but, heck, if you can tell a tale from no one's point of view and it rumbles on for 6,000 words, go for it. No word limit. No speed limit. No sanity limit.

That's why they call it a challenge, folks.

I'm glad I'm not you - good luck.


Better to say: Whether good luck is wished or not, the substance of fortune will be necessary.

Anyone can enter, except for xdpaul. You may enter as many times as you wish, but each entry must be independent of the others. Your entry must not be discernable as 1st, 2nd or 3rd person POV (or as far from such as conceivably possible for the purposes of determining a winner), and must not build upon the work of any other challenger.

Everyone is asked to vote, and to say a few words about what they liked, and why. Or to say a few words about what they disliked, as the case may be; by submitting an entry, you implicitly agree to accept criticism, because there will probably be some handed out, and no one is immune. When voting, please rank a work as either “0” (not so good), “1” (not as bad), “2” (could have been better) or “3” (pretty good stuff!). If you give either a “0” or “3” vote, feel free to argue in support of your reasoning.

Don't like the negativity? Feel free to think of the levels as “0” (Not bad for a first attempt), “1” (Right on!), “2” (Holy cow, I wanna buy this now...) or “3” (Sweet mother of God, how did you write something this awesome?!!). The point is to clearly differentiate, and rank according to your own preference.

For the purposes of this challenge, xdpaul will be serving as Ye Olde High Marker, Voluntarily Walking th' Plank.

As of now, we are playing by the loosely enforced and slightly modified rules of The Friday Challenge. All entries are due by 6 AM Eastern time on the morning of Friday, 21 October 2011. A winner will be declared by the evening of Sunday, 23 October 2011.

Oh, there is one more thing... but it is the most important! Have fun. Always have fun.
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