Iron Fic 5-6: Money Troubles


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Money Trouble

You've made great plans. Grand plans, plans to change the world, to save the world! ...All you need is a bit of capital.

Money makes the world go round. It's funny how many stories tend to ignore the need to pay for the tools and man hours you need to carry out your plans. R&D, hazard pay, overtime, insurance...You get the picture.

This week's challenge is to write about money: how you get it and how you spend it, and the problems that crop up everywhere in between. Perhaps an employee's skimming a bit, or maybe the entire organization is. Maybe the official you've been bribing to continue operating has been replaced by a straight-laced idealist. Maybe the cash has run out and you need to grind for more to continue the adventure.

No matter what your trouble is, the challenge is made.


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I'll volunteer to judge this week if people want. My story idea really isn't going anywhere. Just for one week, though. Hopefully inspiration will strike me next week and I'll have an entry.


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Got an idea. Let's see if I can get it together by the deadline.

Edit: Story si done, in about 38 minutes. Please hold off on judging until the time limit has elapsed, because I may or may not have time to go back and edit it. I still have one hour and about forty five minutes before the contest is officially over, so I would rather give myself the option to go back and fix it if I can get away from work for a bit.

The Collapse


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Here's mine


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The Color of Money is Red [Blood Bowl/Warhammer Fantasy] by QE1

WRITING PROFICIENCY: A handful of missing words and some punctuation errors. I've not taken points for what I've labelled pedantic. 16/20

THEME: Money: the main character wants it. He does stuff to get it. You're well within the ball park for this one. Still, you didn't do anything particularly special. We're told that Geoff Camill needs the money but I never really feel the emotions that drive him. 18/20

SOURCE: I used to play Warhammer Fantasy and at least know what Blood Bowl is. This is good because I think I would've been completely lost otherwise. I feel that you could have done more here. Perhaps use the opening paragraph to have Rob explain to Geoff what Blood Ball is. Or, if you want less info dumping, explain about his team and there by the sport. Some of the campy goodness of Blood Ball showed through but that's about it.

At the same time, you didn't explicitly violate any of the guide lines laid down in the marking guide. 17/20.

STORY: No real depth here, just a fund little adventure. Some good jokes but we didn't get in the head of the characters particularly. I’d say again, this story happens in too much of a vacuum, with the Blood Ball world not really shown. However, I've already covered that in SOURCE so I won't penalise you here. 18/20

OTHER: Despite all I've said, I really like this piece and I get to show my biases in this section 20/20.

TOTAL: 16+18+17+18+20 = 89


Never Enough Gold [Neverwinter Nights] by frostdragonz

WRITING PROFICIENCY: Some minor punctuation and tense errors. 18/20

THEME: Money to make the world better? Pretty spot on. You do well to show us why the main character wants to do this, which I'm especially pleased to see. 20/20

SOURCE: Neverwinter Nights. I've played it but so long ago I've forgotten everything. I think you do a good job of conveying the main character in relation to the source but I didn't get any feel as to Neverwinter itself. That wouldn't be a problem (the story could easily be a personal journey) but you hit the 'Golden Age of Neverwinter' too much to get a complete pass. 18/20

STORY: It's not very fun to read. See OTHER as to why so I won't double penalise you for that. However, there are other things I will note here.

Large parts lack environment. There are many ways you could have made the world feel larger, more vivid. You could have elaborated on him getting his sword, described the choice, the meanings, the foreshadowings. This would have fleshed out the start of the story. Alternately, you could have started eairler, let us see his ordination as a paladin, sacred oils, chanting, the touch of his god. Let us feel it. We can't see and feel what the character sees and feels because you don't tell us. The action was also clunky.

Still, you don't do anything too bad, as defined by score definitions. 17/20

OTHER: If you read my post in the story thread, you'll see I highlighted a few particularly bad uses of passive voice. I'd advise you to learn to spot and remove them. They break flow. Also you start too many sentences with 'I'. It reads like a laundry list. At the same time, I like the moral message. 16/20

TOTAL: 18+20+18+17+16 = 89


The Collapse [Harry Potter] by zerohour

WRITING PROFICIENCY: Only a few real errors that are not just me being pedantic but some of them a quite big. The missing sentences are really bad. Still, outside these places you're spot on spelling and grammar wise. 18/20

THEME: Using money to complete your goals. Good. A twist that it's too much money that does the trick. Also good. Still, I don't get any emotional feel why Harry is doing this from the fic. I've read the books, so I know why, but this fic would be better if you drove that home to readers somehow. 19/20.

SOURCE: Good use of characters and good use of the Accountant cousin. Still, the cast was a little dry and you didn't attempt to evoke the wonder or fantastical-strangeness of the wizarding world at all, which I think is one of the most important parts of the books. You're dropping names and not much else. Also, it isn't very well grounded. I couldn't even tell when this was supposed to be set or at what point it diverged from canon. 17/20

STORY: Too much summary narration. Too much tell, not enough show. Some nice turns of phrase, here and there, and sometimes you use the summary narration to give insight into the character's minds but not enough for this stylistic choice to carry the fic. Still, I did find it carrying me on more than I expected and there's no glaring problems. 18/20

OTHER: I hate the premise but you did better than I expected. The accountant cousin was a nice touch. If Harry or Hermione was the one to work the money thing out I might have screamed. Still, I don't like the central idea of this story. I believe you are hand waving problems here and there. For one, giving wizarding currency to muggles must surely violet the statue of secrecy. Also, I don't think most currency exchange offices deal in gold coins.

Finally, there are some problems with the way you convey the plan. Harry changes pounds for galleons but we're never told where he gets the pounds. Second, the way you describe the transition from stage 1 to stage 2 of the plan is confusing. To me it reads like the bottleneck hits while Harry is still in stage 1 but then we're told he still has plenty of gallons in the early parts of stage 2. I think I understand what you were going for but it is not very clear.

Still, I'm not going to mark you down more than a point for a pet peeve. I am going to take a couple of points off for not doing it better, however. 17/20

TOTAL: 18+19+17+18+17 = 89

(On a final note, all three being 89 total is pure chance. I only added the individual scores up at the very end, after I'd given them all.)


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Iron Fic 5-6
Bored Judging Notes

Zerohour – The Collapse – Harry Potter
Writing: 14/20
“Squid” should probably be squib. Probably.
“Only meant that” ends unexpectedly
“Once” ends unexpectedly

Theme ($$$): 20/20
Source (HP): 17/20
Super-Fan Super-Fanon ideas. Otherwise OK
Story: 18/20
Repeating, again, a common theme in fanon.
Other?: 17/20

Total: 86
QE1 – The Color of Money is Red - Blood Bowl/Warhammer
Writing: 17/20
Strange sentences.

Theme ($$$): 18/20
Seems a little tacked on, not the focus of the action at all.
Source (WH): 18/20
Story: 17/20
Predictable and yet still annoyingly hard to believe.
Other?: 19/20
Total: 89

Frostdragonz – Never Enough Gold – Neverwinter Nights
Writing: 16/20
Disconnected where and ever
Bad Commas
Theme ($$$): 19/20
Source (NWN): 20/20
Gotta go off and do random crap instead of main mission. Not to Skyrim levels, but still.
Story: 17/20
The actual story-type content is a little short. Show more, tell less I’d say.
Other?: 20/20
Total: 92/100

TL:DR - I'm drunk


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Thanks Glimmer. Also Ninsaneja too, but Glimmer went ahead and labeled all of my errors to make it a little easier.


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QE1 said:
Thanks Glimmer. Also Ninsaneja too, but Glimmer went ahead and labeled all of my errors to make it a little easier.
No problem. I probably missed a few but I thought if I was going through the stories anyway, I might as well do it properly. Plus, encouraging lurkers to post more and write fics is always a good thing.


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[Harry Potter] The Collapse by zerohour: 87. 89+86+87=262 (Avg.=87.33)

[Warhammer/Blood Bowl] The Color of Money is Red by QE1: 93. 89+89+93=271 (Avg.=90.33)

[Neverwinter Nights] Never Enough Gold by frostdragonz: 84. 89+92+84=265 (Avg.=88.33)

Hm... should I change my grade for The Color of Money to an 89? Just kidding, good work QE1.