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coz1 said:
I'd agree on the advertising, AB. In fact, some people are already doing so. :)
*flagrantly posts to show off his signature*

No, actually, I did want to make a few comments more. Firstly: you beat me to it, coz, because I was just about to post my guesses of authors' names ... but the only one I got right was J. Passepartout :p .

And now to the authors. First, I want to congratulate Nil-the-Frogg: I was planning, when guessing the authors, to explicitly say this author had to be a native English-speaker! Your mastery of the literary end of the language especially is astounding, perhaps quite more than you think. :) I was going to guess coz1, Director, Lord Durham, or perhaps Secret Master - who is now active on the forums once more.

J. Passepartout ... what can I say. Except, I am not as confident as you are that it needed "one more letter" ;)

As for story #4, this seemed upon multiple readings to be a tribute to Craig Ashley's brilliant, glacially updated Last Testament of Alejandro Reyes, one of my very favorite AARs. Maybe it is. Care to comment, fj44? I enjoyed your work here very much.

As for Wopkins: I have read some others of your works before, and am absolutely delighted that you're here and writing. You have some tremendous power and an uncanny ability to almost beat readers' emotions into the shape you intend; hopefully one of our next topics will enable you to post one of your stories which really knocked the wind out of my lungs [no exaggeration] ... or you could write a new one? Pretty please? :cool: :)
 

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Shows off his supercool brand new sig link :cool: :cool:
 

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Hajji Giray I said:
And now to the authors. First, I want to congratulate Nil-the-Frogg: I was planning, when guessing the authors, to explicitly say this author had to be a native English-speaker! Your mastery of the literary end of the language especially is astounding, perhaps quite more than you think. :)
:rofl: Nil-the-Frogg has gone to astounding lengths to improve not just 1) his knowledge of English, but also 2) his understanding of English, which is probably far more important to the craft of writing.

Reading his "Not Chicago" AAR, one can easily believe that he is a native English speaker exploring and experimenting.

As for FJ44 -- my question is whether you're a fan of Melville, and whether that was a conscious attempt to emulate Moby Dick. :D Very well done, in any case.

Rensslaer
 

Nil-The-Frogg

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Hi everybody ! Just hoping by the forum because I knew it was time to reveal the authors. So, I guess it’s time to reply, eh ?

For those who wonder, this concert actually took place in Leningrad in August 1942. Can’t remember the exact date, but you could probably find that easily if needed. The starving musicians (a few of them had to be carried by their friends because they were too weak to walk) played Chostakovitch’s symphony nicknamed « Leningrad » (the 7th IIRC) which was brought to the city by plane through German lines and AA defences. The starvation had been terrible, leading inhabitants to eat any lifeforms, including rats and trees (that is their leaves, bark and roots…).

Hajji Giray I said:
The food allusions were quite high-falooting
Yeah, I love food. And I can imagine how I would crave for it in such circumstances.

Hajji Giray I said:
Our author #1 is a true romantic and an impressionistic author (I liked how we were only 'debriefed' on the situation at the end), though he may have been a dirty old man who wanted to write about pretty females. Congrats, sir (or madam!), and thanks for contributing!
So, what’s your conclusion about these guesses ? Romantic ? Dirty old man ? Madam ? The last one wouldn’t be a question in French, because of all the adjective according to the gender, but I like how English language allows to leave doubts about the gender of a writer (unless using third person, of course).

Nil-the-Frogg said:
I suppose I would have personally tried to spread them more through the piece
Perhaps, but OTOH, it’s placed in the mood set by the concert.

Storey said:
which for me was lyrical in nature. Relying on powerful images to build to a simple task of eating a meal was well done. My favorite of the four. A suggestion might be for the author not to identify what war was involved. That way the reader could place it wherever they felt it belonged.
Glad you liked. It’s a style I’ve used for a long time, but I have some difficulties writing like that in English. This text has been written in French actually and you got a translation, which is not my usual procedure. For instance, my AAR is directly thought and written in English (the next update will be an exception, for technical reasons). Your suggestion is interesting, but since this particular historical concert originally gave me the idea for this story, I did not want to discard it (you can see that as gratitude ;) ).

fj44: Well, I think I’ve already answered to your comments, mostly…

The Yogi said:
I get the impression the writer is not used to writing in such a poetic fashion and maybe he tensed his bow a little too far this time.
Well, you’re right in that I’m not used to writing at all actually. « No, it’s probably not Chicago » is my first sizeable text, even though I was considered pretty good at French back to school. Not that much in English though, but more about that later… Oh, and I can imagine your grandfather’s horror ! :eek:

Hajji Giray I said:
I was planning, when guessing the authors, to explicitly say this author had to be a native English-speaker! Your mastery of the literary end of the language especially is astounding, perhaps quite more than you think. I was going to guess coz1, Director, Lord Durham, or perhaps Secret Master - who is now active on the forums once more.
Now, that is VERY high praise, sir. I’ve done my best anyway. It’s always frustrating when I know I’m capable to write rather well and still stumble (and fall over) basic grammatical tricks or vocabulary… I suppose that’s normal for someone who learnt the basics in school and the language only ten years later on Internet… Oh, and I can’t write everyday street English either : no slang or colloquial expressions, which I sometimes miss, particularly for dialogs.

Rensslaer said:
Nil-the-Frogg has gone to astounding lengths to improve not just 1) his knowledge of English, but also 2) his understanding of English, which is probably far more important to the craft of writing.
Yep, this AAR has helped me a lot and is still helping me a lot (well, would be if I were writing it ATM). I’ve realized this thanks to Guess the Authors. The first submission I sent to coz1 months ago came back to me with many corrections, while he never mentioned anything about the last one (but he may have done them without notice). Forums are a great way to learn, you just need to meet the right people there. :p

Now, to put an end to what's getting longer than the submission it's all about: many thanks to all of you taking time to comment and congrats to my fellow authors who have submited these great pieces!
 

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Nil-The-Frogg said:
Yep, this AAR has helped me a lot and is still helping me a lot (well, would be if I were writing it ATM). I’ve realized this thanks to Guess the Authors. The first submission I sent to coz1 months ago came back to me with many corrections, while he never mentioned anything about the last one (but he may have done them without notice).
Didn't mention any because I didn't catch any. ;)

Truth be told, I don't usually do much editing of these pieces unless I see a glaring typo or mistake. If it's the first time I have dealt with the author, I usually ask if they mind. But outside of that, I try to let each submission stand on its own. After all - some writer's weakness is poor spelling and grammer and sometimes it is useful to have this pointed out to them by good constructive criticism.

A large part of why I heavily edited the first piece Nil sent (and asked before I did so) was that his style stood out at the time and I knew people would guess it was him if they had read his other work.

And Nil - I have definitely seen a tremendous growth in both your English and writing since you began. It's been a joy to follow. :)
 

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J. Passepartout said:
Author #4: At first I had thought the Venetians had been hired by the Spanish or English to go to the Caribbean, but apparantly not, after I noticed the mention of Moors and so forth. Otherwise good, and this quibble of mine could easily, probably is, my fault.
I'm not quite sure where the Caribbean aspect came from, but given the historical ventures of the Merchant Republics, I can see where the mercenary aspect came from, especially in conjunction with the way I described the narrator being hired.

Hajji Giray I said:
Author #4 surprised me when the Thing came out of the water and swept everyone into the drink, and surprised me again when the narrator's friends all became hors'd'oeuvres at a picnic lunch in tribal Africa.An almost physical interpretation of a nightmarish story. The understatedness of the opening, which made me wonder briefly why I was reading (sorry!), actually only made it more terrifying when our hero was awakened by his slumber and cast to the fates.
That's the only way to write one of these. Horror-type stories thrive on hitting the reader with surprise after surprise.

Hajji Giray I said:
A fairly strong story, bordering on a hallucination.
:D
I had to kind of hyperfocus on the story, completely ignoring my own surroundings to get that sort of feel, though I really think it could have been a lot better.

Nil-The-Frogg said:
A nice little piece here (and other cannibals). Very well written and well tuned to all the tales about sea travels during the late medieval area and the renaissance (oh, wait a minute: what about the Odyssey?). The cape Bojador comes to mind.
Though the story is set late Medieval/early Renaissance, it doesn't really mirror the sea tale writing style of that time. As The Yogi mentions, this piece mirrors the writing of later centuries.

Nil-The-Frogg said:
But strangely enough, I ended up thinking “so what”? It's hard to explain such a feeling. It's like when you put your hands on a nice computer game with wonderful graphics and good ideas behind but progressively realize that, for some reason, the gameplay does not allow you to fully enjoy the appealing scope of the title.
I know what you mean. I am never satisfied with any work I do, as I know where the writing can use more work. Another possible explanation is my imperfect skill with the English language.

Nil-The-Frogg said:
Perhaps the story was just too straightforward for my taste, a bit like the one involving Bismark in the preceding round.
If you'll look back to the previous round, check the writer for that one. You'll see it's not coincidence. ;)

Rensslaer said:
I love the atmosphere and mood you set in this story. Magnificently done!
It took quite a bit of work, as this was my first real attempt at that kind of writing.

Rensslaer said:
I was rather entertained to find in the 3rd paragraph that it figured on a whale, as I'd identified a definite similarity in style starting from the 1st paragraph to Melville's Moby Dick! This style was maintained very well throughout the tale.
Melville? Who's that? ;)

Well, it wasn't based on Moby Dick, though looking back, I can see the similarities. I haven't even read Moby Dick for at least a decade. :)

Rensslaer said:
This, I think, was the most expert of the 4 stories. It had a definite flow and texture to it that was consistent -- it seemed complete, without distractions, which is difficult to do in short-scene-writing challenges like these.
As I mentioned earlier, this story has plenty of room for improvement, but, all in all, I'd say I did fairly well. Thanks for the compliments.

Rensslaer said:
EDIT: A short p.s. after reading J. Passpartout's comment. The Moor, I think, was a comrade of the author's, who seems to have survived. There was a Moor, or something akin, in Moby Dick. The natives seem to have been from Mauretania, which I thought was a rather realistic and inspired choice.

It isn't The Moor, person, but The Moor, the people. In other words, I put an Arab settlement on the Atlantic coastline of Morocco for the narrator to use to return to Europe.

Storey said:
I enjoyed this tale of the sea a great deal. A sailor asleep who is suddenly thrown into the sea? Did he see a real sea monster of was it part of a dream? He makes it to shore and finds cannibals! The story was well constructed and a pleasure to read even if it did involved roasting humans, lip smacking cannibals who do what cannibals do so well.
Thanks for the compliments. In terms of whether the Leviathan is a dream or real, it doesn't matter. It advances the story, which is what counts.

The Yogi said:
This story captures the feel of earlier times perfectly, although perhaps more that of 19th sailor stories than 15th century travellers. In its gruesomenness it reminds a wee bit of Lovecraftian cannibal stories (Anzique feasting, anyone?), which together with the very skillful writing makes me point the finger at my prime suspect - cthulhu, did you do this?
After reading your comments, I realized that you are indeed correct. The story mirrors later accounts far closer than true Renaissance sea stories. Also, I am very honored that you would think that cthulhu wrote this piece.

Hajji Giray I said:
As for story #4, this seemed upon multiple readings to be a tribute to Craig Ashley's brilliant, glacially updated Last Testament of Alejandro Reyes, one of my very favorite AARs. Maybe it is. Care to comment, fj44? I enjoyed your work here very much.
I had not read that AAR, but thanks to that link, I have now. A very good AAR, especially given the breaks of time between updates.


Many thanks for all the compliments, gentlemen, and I especially appreciate the critiques. This is how I improve my writing, seeing what other, impartial critics, think.
 

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G-t-A: The Next Round:

Just a tad bit late with this, but I was having some trouble with my email. Now that the issue is resolved, let us move forward to the next round of Guess the Author.

This time around, and in honor of the EUIII release, let's use a topic from that game: An election as Holy Roman Emperor.

This can be by letters, having everyone in the same room, underlings talking, or what have you. Feel free to be creative! This time around, the deadline will be Feb. 11th. I will accept the first 4 people that PM me with interest. The anonymous submissions will then be posted very soon after.

As stated, we will run this for the rest of Feb. and through March, revealing the authors near the end of that month so they can respond to feedback.

So who's in?
 

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Hmmm intriguing. If I get a spare moment it would be interesting to have a look into. Is there a limit to how many you take?

I think if I ever was selected for one of these it'd be too easy; my spelling and grammer are as one English lit student put it, was as if it was a second language to me (which sadly it's my first) but I could be wrong.
 

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canadiancreed said:
Hmmm intriguing. If I get a spare moment it would be interesting to have a look into. Is there a limit to how many you take?

I think if I ever was selected for one of these it'd be too easy; my spelling and grammer are as one English lit student put it, was as if it was a second language to me (which sadly it's my first) but I could be wrong.
Four writers are selected, first come, first serve.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. The thread title is really a misnomer. This is about critiquing one another's writing, and helping each other grow as writers, rather than trying to guess who wrote what.
 

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Yeah, the reason names are only given later is so that people can critique freely (and then find out it's an AAR writing guru he' just insulted :p)
 

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AmbassadeBelgie said:
(and then find out it's an AAR writing guru he' just insulted :p)
that's why we don't insult :)
 

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Hajji Giray I said:
that's why we don't insult :)
Indeed. :)

I am happy to say that we now have our four authors, and I look forward to what they come up with. Check back just after the 11th. :D
 

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coz1 said:
Indeed. :)

I am happy to say that we now have our four authors, and I look forward to what they come up with. Check back just after the 11th. :D
I completely missed this...

Is there an usual length to these things? 1000 words? 5k?
 

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dag231 said:
I completely missed this...

Is there an usual length to these things? 1000 words? 5k?

Nothing specific. Usually I go for 700-1200 ... about the range of an AAR post. Any shorter and you risk going too fast for your reader, any longer and you risk losing their interest.
 

CatKnight

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It's the 12th.

Where could coz be? :(

Could he have taken all the entries and run off to a third-world country?

Could aliens have kidnapped him and stolen the entries? :mad:

Could his copy of EU3 have sucked him in, and now he's stuck in 1453 with nothing but four entries that, depending on their content and translation to High German, could get him killed for plotting treason!? :eek:

(Or a new job as an Elector's statesman...)

He may need a rescue! Quick, to arms!!
 
Last edited:

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CatKnight said:
Could his copy of EU3 sucked him in, and now he's stuck in 1453 with nothing but four entries that, depending on their content and translation to High German, could get him killed for plotting treason!? :eek:
:rofl:

Even coz1 could succumb to the power of EU3. But we must not give up hope yet. Perhaps he will find the way back... :cool:
 

AmbassadeBelgie

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coz1 shall prevailllll!!! And otherwise we can hang him for plotting treason ;)
 

unmerged(11366)

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AmbassadeBelgie said:
coz1 shall prevailllll!!! And otherwise we can hang him for plotting treason ;)
Playing EUIII is not treason. :)

I am looking forward to our authors, though. :)
 

CatKnight

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He didn't say it was! I gave 3 options.

In two coz could yet well prevail against the evil aliens or...uh...Late Medieval Germans?

In one he stole the entries and ran off! That may not be treason, but it's not nice! :)
 

coz1

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I have all four and will be posting them in just a minute or two. This looks to be a great round and and I hope you folks will enjoy them as much as I have and hopefully as much as the writers did as they wrote each.

As we always do, I will post all four in anonymous fashion and then the floor will be open for comment and critique. Of course, nasty comment is right out, but if you feel something needs work and have suggestions as to how to fix it, then please feel free to speak up. After all, this is a workshop of sorts and our writers are doing this to gain perspective and constructive criticism of their writing.

We will let this run through this month and into March. I will most likely reveal our authors near the mid to end of that month so they can respond and we can discuss.

I'd like to take the opportunity to once again thank our writers for putting themselves in this position and allowing us to grill them, and I'd like to thank each of you commenters ahead of time. Without you, this project does not work.

Once again, our topic was: An election as Holy Roman Emperor

And now, the submissions: