Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Driven to Murder Wrap Up Post - SURPRISE AWARDS!

Hello there, Romantic Friday Writers

The stories this month were such a treat, Donna and I can't ignore the opportunity to hand out awards.

I'm sure, like your hosts, you enjoyed reading the varied entries which certainly encapsulated what we had in mind when we set this challenge - the basic challenge was that it was to be a husband/wife or a lover commit murder, and mostly this was highlighted with aplomb.

We've had our usual email discussions re Featured Writer and Runner Up. We both chose the same person for FW, but this person is over word limit, which, actually, *several of you were. However, seeing no one knew this was to be an award challenge (including your hosts) we are not disqualifying anyone this time for being over the word count - we'll allow the academic 10% over - 1100 words.

THEREFORE, AWARDS ANNOUNCED, along with a critique of the stories in the challenge:

NILANJANA: Both of us chose Nilanjana for the FW this month. I love poetry, especially epic poetry, and Nilanjana's poem had it all - the many stanzas had symmetry,  the plot consistently progressed and added tension through each one and the ghosts of the lovers and the plot to kill the king lingered long after their deaths. Dwijen or his lady love may not exist, but they came alive in this powerful tale of self-sacrifice, deceit and...romance. Most of us struggled to find a romantic element...I think Nilanjana managed very well.  An epic tale, even if it was over word count. That second-last stanza was inspired.

CHARMAINE: Charmaine and Sally rivalled for RU. Both had excellent stories. In Charmaine's, the policeman was putting together the plot based on years of experience. The cliche "its always the husband" was used to good effect, showing that just because a theme is well used, it doesn't mean a good writer can't come up with her own twist and make it work. After much splitting of the atom, we voted for Charmaine as the RU this month.  Her writing shone just that little bit more..

SALLY: Sally hit about all the motives too; love, money and power and a touch of revenge all tied together with the wife scheming on the husband's behalf. Sally had a more direct lover's link than Charmaine's story, although as noted above, Charmaine's was the more polished piece of writing. Sally, the Encouragement Award (which is for someone who missed out on RU by a cat's whisker) is for you.


DAWN: Dawn. we really loved the long term plot here; a serial killer in the making due to being jilted by a beautiful, callous, careless lover. All the plot planning was excellent, and the creepy feel was intense. This writing was also a bit unpolished, but it is obvious this is the beginning of a larger writing which could prove very successful as it is refreshingly different. Please take the Highly Commended award Dawn.

And on with the critiques:

ANNA: Anna continued the story of the lover's trio - Emil, Caroline and Romona, but there is no lover's plot -- (accidental death during a lover's quarrel doesn't count), and the plot was about hiding the body and avoiding discovery rather than murdering the lover.  

ROLAND: Roland, grisly scene, and although Claus and Strasser were lovers, it's clear Strasser played no part in the death and there doesn't seem to be a love triangle for a jealous lover/affair to have killed Claus. 

YOLANDA: Yolanda had the required plot to kill the ex-spouse - we loved the twist of the male partnership/black widow theme - but the action was a little clunky, and sometimes the First Person POV can be problematic when the perspective character is to die.Yolanda's story was very last minute so as a result it lacked that final polish, but the story ticked the boxes...creepy as... 

Donna has critiqued both of us...

DONNA: Admits she had some problems with the flow of the story, some things were deleted to keep in word count so the plot looks a bit thrown together - and it was still over.

DENISE: Donna says she liked my husband-did-it murder - she noted a good twist to the plot and adding the Macbeth "out spot" theme was brilliant. Then letting the reader know it was the hubby, setting up the extra-marital lover for the blame; lots of good plotting in that writing.

*WORD COUNTS: Donna counted words on all excerpts (and went by author honesty on those with posted counts):

Dawn: 1053
Roland: 1803 even without the backstory which was considerable
Donna: 1015
Charmaine: 578
Anna: 999
Nilanjana: 1086
Yolanda: 993
Denise: 996
Sally: 1000

.Thank you all for planning, crafting and delivering creative stories for our March challenge.

Now onto our April Challenge...or lack of April Challenge. Some of you will be disappointed, some of you will be relieved...but after much "Yes, we will, No we won't, Yes, we will.." Donna and I have gone with "No, we won't". We've been around the A-Z Challenge long enough to know that those of you who are participating will be frazzled enough without planning a story for RFW. This is the first year I won't be committing to the challenge, but I will be happy to support you in your endeavours.

My plans are to have my novel submitted by the end of April and Donna has a lot of critique work to do, plus she really wants to get back to her own writing which has taken a back seat for sometime.

So...we will be back with a bang on Wednesday May 1st. We will post the Inlinkz sign up for our May Challenge -- Letters. Most of us will have letters of the alphabet on our minds during April, whether writing to the letter of the day or commenting. RFWer's Letters will be a little different.

LETTERS will be the central theme of our new challenge. You can use letters any way you like.

Multi-generic writing is popular ATM, probably always has been. Multi-generic writing includes embedding other text types within your prose/poetry. Within prose you could add letter/s to/from lovers, letters could form the bulk of your story. You could add other text forms  -- death certificate, diary entries, appointment calendars, a found as creative as you want!  Your entry will be a free-flowing story interspersed with whispers from the lives of the lovers. A poetic entry could be interspersed with the same type of texts -- let your imagination have free rein.


*One of the lovers may have gone away - to work, to war, has left the relationship, wants time out...
* Someone has been left at home - fretting, upset, determined to save the relationship, determined to have revenge
* Perhaps one of the lovers wants a holiday by themselves, (not unusual these days), and the one left at home is furious, feels unloved, or relieved to have some time out too

These are scenarios that just pop into my head. Your entry may use all/none of these suggestions. It is your story, your way, your era...just let's go back to a romantic element in whatever form we write for this challenge.

The Timeline will be -- Inlinkz Submit List will be posted on May 1st. You will have until May 24th to post your story.

If you're participating in the A-Z Challenge, please tell us in the comments and we will try to visit you.


  1. Oh. My. God. Thank you!!! So honoured and beyond astonished! Denise, Donna and you have indeed made my day! :)

    Congrats to the other winners, personally I enjoyed reading all of the entries.

    Wishing the very best to every one who's participating in A to Z, or NaPoWriMo which I understand runs next month too.

    Happy Easter and happy spring/autumn. And thank you once again, not just for the award, but also for the other gifts that go with being part of the RFW community.


  2. Well done NILANJANA, your writing was brilliant and to Charmaine for Runner Up. Thank you so much for my Encouragement Award which is such a boost and a great way to start my day. Well done Dawn for your highly commended and to everyone else who contributed to this month's challenge.

    It is probably wise not to have a challenge in April. I am participating in the A - Z and trying to get some posts written in preparation as I will have a few days out with my husband to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary!

  3. Awesome awards, and YES to Nilanjana! Charmaine and all! Excellent work all the way around, fun, fun, fun!

    Such a wonderful way to begin spring break, with a break -- well, for some. A to Zer's go and good luck.

    Wonderful wrap up Donna and Denise! See you in May!

  4. Greetings everyone!
    Congrats to Nilanjana, Charmaine, Sally and Dawn.
    Hope you're all well. The May Challenge sounds good, Denise. Hope to be back with you and fellow RFWers by then. I've missed you all! In the mean time I'll come round and have a peek at your villa.

    1. It'll be great to have you back Adura. Have certainly missed you.

  5. All the entrants deserved awards for creativity :) Wonderful, seriously twisted story lines!

    Congrats to the winners, and I wish all who are joining A-Z good luck and happy writing. And good luck also for whatever you are working on for April, even if its just a break :)


  6. Saturday March 30th, 2013

    Dear Denise, Donna and other RFWers,

    Good wrap-up. It was nice that awards were given to the winners who really wrote excellent posts. Congrats to Nilanjana, Charmaine, Sally and Dawn.

    But this proves that you two - Denise & Donna - cannot be trusted.
    You sneeky little raskels!
    If you had said ahead of time that there would be a prize, I am certain that many more would have posted.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in May. I have no idea what to write for 'Letters' or if I even have time to participate. We'll just see what happens...

    In any case...Happy April!

    Best wishes,

    1. Ha ha Anna! Sneaky little rascals are we? Well it was spur of the moment Anna! I do hope you get inspired for “Letters”.

    2. Oh no! Did I misspell 'sneaky' and 'rascals'?
      So embarassing!
      But I still think of you as sneaky little rascals! That you are!


    3. By the way.
      I will participate in A to Z. But my posts will be very brief.
      Hello again,

  7. Wow! Thanks for the award! I was not expecting that.
    I have to say I'd be assigning my awards to Donna and Denise this time around. (Very unfair critique on yourself Donna) I LOVED the zombie story and hey, if you can't off a rival during a zombie apocalypse, when can you? And Denise's intertextuality with her murder and Macbeth, well those two have always paired well :)

    1. That's big of you Charmaine, but we two love to spread the love in response to great stories. I've got high hopes for Letters as it's so wide open.

  8. *blushes*

    Awww, thank you for the kind honor. I just had fun seeing other people's responses to the old attempt though yeah, it could use a good rewrite.

    I'm doing A to Z as usual, both blogs, so probably good to have a break. And I need to edit and write a novella. So much to do, but this challenge is fun too and I will look forward to another attempt in May.

  9. Well done everyone. I must get round to reading all your entries. I have been spring cleaning, now that the sunshine has FINALLY returned and the viruses are gone. Whilst ironing, I came up with my own belated RFW entry for this challenge, which I will post for you in a moment.


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