Sunday, November 20, 2011

Judge's Report - The Deathly Mallows

Tupeni's character Jacob said “Let’s go to adventure!” and that's what you all did this week. In one way or another, you went into battle.

There were many individual moments of brilliance, and times that you made me smile and gasp. The beginnings of your stories inspired me so much this week that I want to share some of the different styles and the effects of each:

He was standing in the rain with an axe in his hand (Ali Abbaspour Mojdehi)

It was a lonely day for clones. All humans had left the region, packing smart little suitcases and driving off over the dusty plains in newly washed Fords or Toyotas. The move was sudden, without any warning. The cat’s food bowl left half empty, the sprinklers still spraying water over mowed lawns. (Caroline Moratti)

... a great warrior rose from the planet FaBo 2 ancient ruins from when the mighty picaro fought off the invaders from before bread was discovered and even before guns were created ...(Levi Simiona)

We stood there. Our heads bowed. The Secretary and Treasurer lowered the oak coffin into the ground. The church bells rang and we silently walked away. King Bartholomew III had died. The last of the Royal Fabo family. Now no one ruled Planet Fabo2. (Matthew Illing)

This one by Imogen Wiseman has a completely different, almost lyrical style:
Deep in the darkest parts of planet FABO the cloud of wonders lived. That cloud could blow the roofs of houses when it was angry and sent gentle breezes through the forest when he was happy and then when he was sad he would split up into a million little balls of fluff rolling through the sky. This cloud had power but only a sliver of it and that tiny bit of power didn’t help him when it came to his life. He was tired of not being able to live peacefully among the villagers; he was tired of being forced into eating spiders and cockroaches. His life was a messed up one.

And this fabulous one by Izaak Glynn. The blood stained blade shone from the dim glow of the moonlight. Madras looked down at the corpses of the centaurs his troops have just slain. The evil cringe on his face crept to a chuckle. The thunderous sky above was booming. “What will you do Jupiter?” madras screamed to the sky, “there is no force on Olympus that will stop me!”.

I also liked the way you told me about your characters:
I opened my eyes and there stood the bony man I had first met when I had come here. He was grouchy but he was small. I could beat him up blind folded! He was one of the many people I was not afraid of in this dump. (Issy Meikle)

Your dialogue had tension, hints at drama to come, and even humour, as was the case in William Taber's conversation between Sam Spader and Benji, just before the evil Dr Manwell strikes.
"Why do you have a kitchen knife?" said sam.
"I was making you cucumber salad," replied Benji.

Actually, I think Matthew Illing should write for Star Trek. Look at this:
We clambered through the pipes towards the echo of BB’s voice talking to his executive assistant P.L.E.X. “When will we have enough Pixie dust to power the UIP’s?” BB asked.
“At about twenty-two hundred hours, sir,” replied P.L.E.X.
“Good P.L.E.X. Send in those annoying trespassers”, he commanded.
“Yes, sir.” responded P.L.E.X. as he pushed a button on the remote control in his hand.

Food was commonly mentioned but it didn't always sound good. Lunch at fabo2 east school was like barf on a plastic platter (Izaak Glynn), they ate goat for the main course and for desert oranges (Benjamin Ziegler). I particularly liked the sound of Lucy Spence's chocolate demise cake.

Your endings also made me realise how much you've learned about rounding off a good story, and leaving your reader with something to think about, as was the case with Raghav Parekh and Caroline Moratti in these examples.

Daniel put the Anubis stone on the fountain and the lair illuminated. Al Zalam was free, Zarok… killed. And Daniel died as the great hero of Gallomere. (Raghav)

Peace was formed in the palm of friendship, as life moved on. (Caroline)

Caroline's ending was beautiful, and thought-provoking. So was her beginning. The rest of her story was full of intricate detail around the setting and characters and the story developed logically, but with the occasional unexpected reversal in it, so that it was never predictable. Caroline has consistently written well in a variety of styles throughout the Planet FaBo competitions, so we're awarding her the GRAND PRIZE today. We expect to see her name on a book one day.

I'd also like to congratulate Izaak Glynn for a brilliant, dynamic full-powered piece of writing that seriously challenged Caroline's winning entry, and Matthew Illing, who has also consistently written so well in this competition.

Thank you to all of you for all those moments throughout our writing adventures on Planet FaBo. And thank you to your teachers who have helped to inspire you to write them down.

Don't stop now that you're on a roll. Get writing that novel. Read the winning entry called Revenge and Cleaning Sprays by Caroline Moratti, and check out the latest geographical location on Planet FaBo.

Kathy White : )