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The Damn Fine Pasta Contest WINNERS

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I Got Idea Man

Jimmy Scott-Sycamore Trees (Twin Peaks)02:17

Jimmy Scott-Sycamore Trees (Twin Peaks)

Come on in and let's finish this

It's finally done. It's taken me forever, but it's done and it will never happen again. Not like this. Probably should've limited it to one entry per person. Oh well, I wanted entries and I got them and ultimately, I'm happy about that.

More than 100 stories were submitted and I read them all (well, a few were deleted before I got to them). The bad ones, the good ones, the short ones, the long ones (oh, god, the long ones. . .). It really reminded me that the best way to learn about writing is to read. The common pitfalls that people fall into become really apparent.

I'm sorry to say this, but I won't be giving feedback for those who requested it. I feel awful about it, but this has taken me months just to read through them all. I just can't write critiques for all these stories. I like to go in-depth with my critiques and it would take so much time. It sucks, there are some where I would really like to talk to the writers, but it wouldn't be fair to single people out.

I feel like this intro should be way longer, like I should say something of substance, but this has taken long enough. Let's do this.

Below are surviving stories. There's a little over 90.

THE ENTRIES!

A-Lord-of-Birds: June 8th, 1944

AldoDN: Mermaids are Starving

Ameagle: Blackouts

AndrewEB: Hymn of Valor Cove, Fire Creek

AwefulWriter: The Choosing

Banningk1979: The Demon Tobit of Delphia, Joe Montana Saves the Princess, Secret Bar

Blacknumber1: Ole' Broken Bones Pete

BloodyeyedWitness: Boney Bonnie

Booboofinger: A Girl and Her Imp, Nana Razor, Bad Day at the Midway

Brelooooom: Mortimer, All in My Head

Cartoon Reaper: Just My Nightmare

ChaoZStrider: Son's Revenge

CharminglyShallow: The Cold Shoulder, When Gods Blink, Support Call ID: 100156-03

Crickshaw: The Man and the Birds, "Silent Hill", No One Lives Forever

The Damn Batman: Another World

Datafragment: The Value of Data

DevEngl: But I Came to You

DontpKaniC: Investigation Journal

Dudedosa4: The Red Boy

Ecuinach: Twenty, White

Emerry: Memory Archeology, Wasted Life Recordings, Conveyer

FlakyPorcupine: A Howling Dust, The Diner, An Apparition

The Flea bitten Wolf: The Pack Leader

GardenOfShadows: Come, Little Children

Hank412: He Without A Face

HorrorOtaku: Oh Dolly

Itiscoming: My Boy's Wicked Smart

Jamaba: New Generation

JR22: Injustice

Kris958: The Loop

LethalPen: The Criars, 90,768, The Lighthouse in Munish

Mikemacdee: Teacher Wanted, Must Love Children

Mirgill: Insanity, Anatomy, Tap Tap...Tap Tap

Mitram: There's Something Wrong With The TV

Necrosanity: It's a Wonderful Life, The World Belongs to Him, Poisoned to the Rotten Core

Pepman: Nightlights

Peppers245: The Deal

PsychoLamb: What Can't You See?

SpongeDemon DeathPants: The Tests of Tartarus

Stovenoven: How Teachers Grade Their Tests

Sykokillah: Earth's Revolt, Bloody Snow

TacoExpress: The Unicorn Mask

Tbok1992: BooTube, Watch for Wandering Towers

Thecrownclown: The Noise, The Little Door, The Fun House

Thedarkbackward: Jars

TheDivineAuthor: Improbus, Paternal, The Eyelid Man

Thedonspastas: The Man in the Ice, Reality

TheWorldsWorstSwordsman: Do You Know What True Fear Is?

TicciToby TheThirdProxy: I'm a Sane Babysitter

T0astill: On the Mystery of Human Perception

Trycksterr: Ghost in the Mirror

TwilightJokerHF1: The Crow Caws at Midnight

Umbrello: Jason Loved to Read

VookVook: The Jolly Good Gift, The Lonesome Child, The Reflection is Still There

WatcherAzazel: In The Circle, My Encounter With the Black Eyed Kids,

Whodoesntlovethepasta: Aka What Comes with Grey, What Scares Us, Time Killing Itself

Willythekid30303: The Rocky Mountains Incident

Xelrog T. Apocalypse: I Am Real, Anima, Erik

Zerosabers: Monster

If your story is not there, it was either deleted, ineligible, was disqualified for extenuating circumstances or I forgot to put it on there. If it's the last one, let me know.

Before I list the winners, let's look at the huge prize pool they will get to drink from. It has grown since the contest was announced and continued to grow after the submission period was over.

Roll that beautiful bean footage.

Games, Games, GAMES!

Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten

Planet Stronghold + DLC

Hotline Miami

Pixeljunk Monsters Ultimate

Magical Diary

Kingdom Rush

Skyward Collapse

Bad Hotel

Vanguard Princess

Saturday Morning RPG

To the Moon

Metal Slug 3

Civilization III: Complete

Ethan Meteor Hunter

Dustforce

Duke Nukem 1 and Duke Nukem 2

Containment: The Zombie Puzzler

Arsenal of Democracy- Reviews on this are kind of mixed..

Septerra Core*

System Shock 2*

  • I'm not sure about the codes for Septerra Core and System Shock 2. If they get picked and the codes don't work, I will buy and gift you a copy.

Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition

Bionic Dues

A Valley Without Wind and A Valley Without Wind 2 (Bundled together)

Hacker Evolution: Duality

Terraria

Orcs Must Die 2 - Complete Pack

Crusader Kings II

King of Fighters XIII - Steam Edition

Syberia

Syberia II

Scratches: Director's Cut

Gunpoint

Luftrausers

Gone Home

Papers Please

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines

Commandos 2: Men of Courage

Deadly 30

Eldritch

Euro Truck Simulator

GRID

GRID 2

Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Ultimate Climax Boy

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Kickbeat Steam Edition

MX vs. ATV Reflex

The Book of Legends

Turbo Dismount


And Then. . .It Was Time. . .

For the Clash at Demonhead.

All right, before we get into this let me say a few things. If you didn't win, don't feel bad. Firstly, there were a lot of good stories. There was originally going to be an honorable mentions section, but it was too hard to choose. I'm sorry, I wanted to include it, but I just couldn't make the call.

Also, while I have used no personal bias against any writers, it's harder for me to keep bias toward content in check. And that was part of the contest, I made it clear that I was the only judge and I was judging on my personal idea of what is good.

So, a story might not have made it on the list because I don't care for the style. Another one might have made it on because I find certain plot elements more interesting than others. Others will disagree with me.

Don't take anything to heart. Again, thank you all for contributing.


Third Place

WatcherAzazel - In The Circle - I love movies and I love plots involving movies. I'd say Azazel does, too, because as a reader he calls out my expectations for something like "Cigarette Burns" by John Carpenter. "In the Circle" has a nice, tight little plot, moves well, I was engaged during it. It was lacking something I can't quite put my finger on and doesn't quite reach great. Well written and with a fairly original plot, I'd say that qualifies as a damn fine pasta.

LethalPen - The Lighthouse in Munish - This is a good story that is almost great. It just moves too fast. There's a wonderful, mysterious air to the story, a potential for some great imagery and a lot of room to flesh things out. I wanted more and it just wasn't there. This was going to be an honorable mention, but so was another LethalPen story The Criars, which also suffers from moving too fast. Two stories that I enjoyed, I'd say that warrants a promotion.

Jemaba - New Generation - When I talk about there being kinds of plots that I enjoy more than others, this is a great example. This is a weird ass story with some gross imagery and a really dark scenario. I'm a sucker for that kind of story. It's fairly vague, but not in a problematic way. I feel the writer knows perfectly well what is going on even if I'm not 100% sure. It could've benefited from a little more, a little more imagery, a little more emotion, but the current amount is not a problem. This almost got second place and even now I'm debating whether to move it or not.

Congratulations WatcherAzazel, LethalPen and Jemaba. You've written damn fine pastas and each win two games.

Second Place

Banningk1979 - The Demon Tobit of Delphia - Anyone who got the chance to read my story "The Black Dog and Goat" while it was on the site, probably knows I'm a sucker for dark gods and arcane rituals. Banning and I are kindred spirits in that aspect as all the stories he submitted contain dark gods and two contained arcane rituals. I went back and forth a little on which story to feature (this or Secret Bar) and whether this should be a second or third place winner. In the end, I gave it to Banning's ambition and just the scope of the story. I like tight writing, I prefer a shorter story, but I can't deny that this is a great adventure story with the kind of occult elements that I love.

CharminglyShallow - When Gods Blink - This is a great piece of science fiction, it's not much of a horror story, though. There is a horror element to it, that's undeniable. All in all, it's a very clever story with a great flow. Clever stories are a rare find and should always be appreciated.

FIRST PLACE

Mike MacDee - Teacher Wanted, Must Love Children - There's something I don't get a lot on this site and that's the feeling of being excited to read more. Even rarer is having an idea of what's going and it not being right. Both of those happened with this story. This was one of the last stories I read and it was long and I wasn't particularly excited for it. After a few of the e-mails, I was in. Complete 180 mood change.

And then I got to a point pretty early where I thought I had it figured out. I was okay with that, it was a decent twist. I was wrong and I was glad. Whether intentional or not, the misdirection made the story more enjoyable.

Everything is set-up nicely for a pay-off later. The characters are built so naturally. You have to pick up bits of their personality from how they write. It's wonderfully done. The e-mail/text exchanges in this story is a little gimmicky, I don't think it was entirely necessary, but it worked perfectly.

I had only one problem with it and that is one teacher wrote a little too. . .prosey for an e-mail. He was writing a story. It didn't detract much, but it didn't feel natural in places. Other than that, fantastic story.

Congratulations, Mike, you've written a damn fine pasta and won yourself four games.

Dale-cooper-meme-generator-damn-fine-pasta-damn-fine-ab60b1

Claiming Prizes

Here's how it works. First place gets first pick, then second, then third, the the honorable mentions. Winners for each section are listed in the order they submitted their entries. Earliest submission gets first pick, then it goes to the second, so on and so on.

I can get the codes to you a few ways. Either in chat or you can give me an e-mail address (I recommend a disposable one made especially for this). Each person will have some time to realize they've won and make a decision. After a few days, I'll move on to the next person. If you get skipped, you'll be taken care of as soon as you respond, but the game you wanted might have been taken.

If you want to give me a list of games you're interested in (preferably in descending order of interest) and an e-mail address, that will make the process much faster.

If you don't want any games, that's fine. I understand and I dig it. There are no alternative prizes, but let me know so that I know to move on to the next person.

Conclusion

Again, thank you everybody for participating. It was a nightmare, but I'm glad I did it. I hope everybody gets a little more exposure to their stories, not just the winners. And I hope readers take the time to check out a lot of these stories.

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