SilvaShado

Pirate Plank

22 posts in this topic

Here's my entry for the Pirates of The Caribbean Writing Contest.

pirate_plank_entry.jpg

Pirate Plank

During a skirmish, our anti-heroes were sucked into the void of the Bermuda Triangle…

With one eye, Captain Redbeard stared across the table. “Life was simple before I battled ye two. Only Imperials and Islanders to contend with.”

Captain Barbossa grimaced. “I blame Jackie.”

Jack Sparrow grinned. “I blame the Bermuda Triangle. Time to be rolling the dice so I can be getting back to my rum, savvy?”

The three stared down at the odd game. A tiny pirate ship with four planks jutted above shark infested waters. A red figure lay on the blue plate while a yellow figure stood at one plank’s edge. On another plank stood a white figure.

Jack grabbed the abnormal die and rolled. It bounced erratically, landing yellow up. Grumbling, Barbossa knocked his yellow figure off the plank. While Redbeard sighed, Jack secretly palmed the strange die.

Suddenly, a doorway appeared in the void. The sounds and smells of the ocean wafted in.

“You have fun, mates!” Jack shouted as he dashed to the portal. As the two pirates rose to their feet, Jack dove, head-first. A soft splash was heard as the doorway disappeared.

“This isn’t the end, Sparrow!” Redbeard spat.

Barbossa’s eyes gleamed with malice. “I’d pray he drowns, but he’s got the devil’s luck!”

The two looked at each other and nodded. As they turned to the table, they saw the game had changed. A board with curved track on it lay next to a booklet that read “Race 3000.”

“No!” groaned Redbeard. “Not this accursed game. It don’t make sense!”

“Aye, it’s why we left it for last,” Barbossa said quietly. “It’s not even piratey”

Redbeard nodded as he grimaced. “Let’s get on with it so we can leave this hellish place!”

Barbossa murmured, “At least one of us.”

(299 Words)

Edited by SilvaShado

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Is this a finished product or are you still tweaking it?

Good luck in the comp either way.

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This is a rather complex story you've created in 300 words. Let me see if I got all the references.

Old Pirates

POTC

Board Game Pirate Plank

Belvile

And I think something about a budget which tells me this is happening at a convention?

Then there's a costume contest and the fact that this is all started by entering the bermuta triangle.

Honestly, I really like the story since I get all the references. The only thing I want to mention is that the more references you have, the more likely it is to lose a reader. This is really excellent work. Just remember it may suffer from being too complex.

My suggestion is to consider what you have:

LEGO characters playing a LEGO game at a LEGO convention on a LEGO pirate day.

Then ask yourself if this description would confuse someone. If the answer is "yes," you may want to slim down the layers.

I really hope this helps. ;)

Will

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My need for complexity will be my undoing. lol!

*sigh* It does currently say what I want it to say, but I am very aware that it says a lot, too much for 300 words. Flash fiction was always a challenge to me.

I'll give myself a couple of days away from it, distance myself and see if I can come back this weekend with more objectivity on how to simplify and focus the story.

Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you like it, but you're right that I'm going to lose a lot of readers if I don't change it.

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My need for complexity will be my undoing. lol!

Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you like it, but you're right that I'm going to lose a lot of readers if I don't change it.

Not necessarily. You can help the reader by including footnotes to the story, kind of like Will did it for you. You can include this as a list, or incorporate it in some humorous way.

This will aid the reader in understanding the complexity as well as learn something interesting. :pir-blush:

Entering a contest is more than just the entry itself. The packaging and presentation is a major part of it.

I like your story as it is (especially with Will's footnotes), but sleep on it, and see what inspiration you get. :pir_laugh2:

Edited by akunthita

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I love the idea of the plank game being included in the story. And the description of how stupidly the dice bounced wins for me in this story. But, I do find it too complex with the doors appearing from nowhere and for my taste, the story makes no sense after announcing that Jack has won. If it wasn't for blackpyre's description, I would've never got it - if that is correct at all? But still even then, it still misses something crucial - the pirate feel!

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The footnotes is a great idea. And I missed that reference to magic. Hmm, if tied in with POTC it could be voodoo magic?

BTW was there a fourth player playing the game. I know Pirate Plank is a four player game and if they're at a convention it would be hard to imagine an empty seat. Perhaps Bones one of the many skeletons featured in the Pirates line?

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Hello

Thank you for this, another dynamic entry into the contest, this time cleverly working in the Pirate board game. This scene reminds me of a more lighthearted version of the dice game that Davy Jones, Bootstrap and Will Turner played in "Dead Man's Chest". Was that your inspiration? Nevertheless, it had several elements to it, and the Belleville joke was a funny touch.

I was only confused a bit by the mention of an official and a convention budget (both of which are at the Bermuda Triangle it seems). What I took out of it was that the three are playing to get out of the Bermuda Triangle. However, the mention of a crowd, official and a convention kind of throw the reader off course. These are elements that, were you to have had more words to work with, could be explained away; but because you have to respect that hard deck of 300, the reader may be confused by introducing themes that aren't explained. Unless you are really attached to these two aspects of the story, I would suggest leaving them out. At a glance, I think it works to have the three Captains gambling their ships (or their souls, as in DMC) in a LEGO board game minus the official and convention.

Honestly, for me, your story also reminds me of Hades: I imagine three cursed Pirates passing eternity playing a game that no man can ever hope to win. You've got many options on the table here because of your humorous setup. You could even include Blackbeard in it, as he would definitely have earned a seat at the table with the three Captains...

Again, take it or leave it, they're just suggestions. Your dialogue and narrative are strong enough to keep it a contender.

No matter what you choose to do, you've got an excellent start here because the idea is so unique and can be modified in so many ways. Here's hoping you have an inspirational weekend!

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LOL

I completely forgot about that dice game in DMC. Now that Bricks4Fun mentions it that really tickles my funny bone.

LOL Good one :D

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Thank you all for your feedback. I was finally able to revise it. It took a week, as I expected, to get far enough away from the creation mode so I could get into editing mode.

As many of you suggested, I got rid of the convention setting. It was too confusing and it only led to the punchline of the pirate-themed Belville building contest. While I will miss that line, it just wasn't making sense in this story. I'll file it away for another tale.

I'm not really sure what inspired me. My typical method for writing is to think hard about the prompt then forget about it. Some time later, usually that day, ideas will pop forth into my head and I start writing them down. That's how this one came to be with so many different concepts.

Oh, and I hope this has a more piratey feel to it.

Please let me know if you have more suggestions for improvement. I have a knack for editing other people's work, but ne'er my own. 'Tis with a blind eye that I see my work. lol!

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Hey nice changes Silva! I like the more straight forward appraoch. I only have three comments for improvement.

1. Jack may be a pirate but his dialogue is usually cultured. The way it is writen here looks as though he's slurring his words for reasons we don't know.

2. This particular line is confusing. I know what you are saying, but the part about the instructions lay net to the game looks odd.

A board with curved track on it was lay next toa booklet that read “Race 3000.”

3. Your last bit of dialogue is not attached to anyone. Are they both saying it? Is only one of them saying it? It's a little confusing.

Other than that, this is a much easier to read story. I did like the orignial, but it was busier than most readers feel comfortable with given the small amount of words you have to work with.

Good luck on the contest.

Will

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Hey nice changes Silva! I like the more straight forward appraoch. I only have three comments for improvement.

1. Jack may be a pirate but his dialogue is usually cultured. The way it is writen here looks as though he's slurring his words for reasons we don't know.

2. This particular line is confusing. I know what you are saying, but the part about the instructions lay net to the game looks odd.

A board with curved track on it was lay next toa booklet that read “Race 3000.”

3. Your last bit of dialogue is not attached to anyone. Are they both saying it? Is only one of them saying it? It's a little confusing.

Other than that, this is a much easier to read story. I did like the orignial, but it was busier than most readers feel comfortable with given the small amount of words you have to work with.

Good luck on the contest.

Will

Thanks for all the feedback, Will! It's fixed up again, with your help. :-)

If anyone else has any feedback, I'd love to know whether this new version is good as is or needs more tweaking.

I must say that I'm much happier with it.

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Now that the story has been rewritten it is much clearer what's going on. Though I still miss the connection to the real world - if there is any? I don't know what exactly is the hellish world nor does the reader get any idea of how LEGO games or the characters got there. The door apearing from nowhere is still a bit confusing. But after all it's a very distinctive entry!

And to add to a more pirate feel, why not include the pirate code instead of the racing game ... also it makes more sence for Brickbeard beeing dissapointed, since it's a thinking game and the cruel pirates were not the smartest guys around :)

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I think you got it now! I liked the original version too, but this one is more rounded and whole in itself. The story makes sense and it is exactly 300 words! :pir_laugh2:

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Hello

I think I will reiterate what Mstrofppts was alluding to in his comments. While I understand that the unknown aspect of the Bermuda triangle makes it reasonable to assume that absolutely anything (including being forced to play board games) is possible, it might help to add some explanation of how or why they are there. Was it Will Turner and the Flying Dutchman who sucked them in as retribution for being left out of Pirates 4? Was it Blackbeard and his voodoo magic? Was it the one-armed man?

Regardless, you have an opening here as I see it, because of your picture. While you do a very nice job of describing the pirate game in detail, perhaps you can cut that sentence a bit and use the spare words to add a quick line of narrative explaining what happened to them. I believe you can afford this because of the nice pic you have included of the three playing the game, which already allows one to visualize it. Again, I'm not saying to scrap the description of the game, but maybe cut it down a bit and use what is left for a Bermuda explanation.

I must add that I like this version much more than the last one and that the aforementioned is merely a suggestion.

Best of Luck!

I also wanted to add that the characters are definitely more 'Pirate-like' in this entry. I like how you amped up the comedy, particularly in the line where Barbossa hopes that Jack drowns. I can absolutely picture him saying that. Other than what I mentioned in my last post, I would be happy taking this entry to the judges.

Nice Work!

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Thanks MstrOfPppts and Bricks4Fun for the feedback on solidifying the location. I'm going to work on adding an introductory sentence that will help with that. I do tend to be subtle and rely on subtext too much.

But I'm going to stick with the Race 3000 because the point is that it isn't very piratey. That's why they hate it so much. If it were Pirate Code, they may not have as much problem, although they're being forced to play board games to escape which they probably don't like in the first place.

Akunthita - I'm glad you like this version better. :-)

I have posted the revised version in the first post. Let me know what you all think.

Edited by SilvaShado

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This is very well written and it has very good dialogue as well. Clever in some instances too with a joke here and there. I'm not sure what the first version was, but I do like what you have here. Nice pic too BTW! I think it was keen on your part to include the pirate plank game.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but its missing something. Its not very good of me to make such a statement without a better explanation, but I guess I'll defer to calling it an 'X' factor. I need something that makes it stand out from the other stories besides the crafty idea to throw the pirate game in there. Were this a bigger contest, I would strongly suggest addressing this. However, for this small contest, you have a strong story.

Please don't take it too seriously, its just my opinion; I just try to look at the story and ask myself "what do I think it would be missing if I had written it" I f I want to win, I would try to have it have something that distinguishes it from the other stories.

In all fairness, I'll be posting my own story this week for you all to comment on; just need more time :)

jb

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SilvaShado

I am happy you found my comments useful. The story does make more sense now after the introductory sentence; now when you mention the Bermuda Triangle in the middle, it seems much more sensible and for me, it allows me to picture the story better. Also, because you mention the BT being 'a void' it goes very well with your picture and its all white or 'void' background. Was that purposeful? Brilliant! Just take credit for it already! ..thats what I would do anyways ;)

Julie; I am going to go ahead and very respectfully disagree with you here, I believe that the story stands out because it is well written and the dialogue is strong. While I see what your getting at with the whole 'X' factor thing, I think that in terms of uniqueness, one can say that the BT is also something memorable from the story as I believe no other entry has any mention of such a place or story element.

Just an opinion, in the end, I believe its fine right now as is.

Good luck and thanks for taking my advice into account!

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Thanks for the feedback, JulieBlue and Bricks4Fun.

I'm still open to tinkering with the story, but unfortunately, I'm not sure what to change at this point to make it more unique. I already parred it down so it wasn't so chaotic and focused more on what remained.

I'm glad to hear that you both think it is well written and has good dialogue. Those are some of the best comments a writer can receive. Even if I can't make this stand out at the top, at least I know I'm solid in the middle. And that may be good enough to win something. :thumbup:

And I'm glad I was able to reinforce the void of the Bermuda Triangle better. I think I was relying on subtext too much. And yes, of course, I planned for the picture to also reinforce the void. *cough* Yeah, it was brilliant of me. :pir_laugh2:

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You know, I was thinking about this entry. What if instead of explaining that you just have to get past the finish line, Barbosa claims that it's not even pirate?

On the whole, it's a wonderul entry that feels very short to read.

Great work!

Will

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You know, I was thinking about this entry. What if instead of explaining that you just have to get past the finish line, Barbosa claims that it's not even pirate?

On the whole, it's a wonderul entry that feels very short to read.

Great work!

Will

Thanks for the suggestion. Taken and revised! Hope you enjoy. :pir_laugh2:

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Hi SilvaShado, I think you have a great idea for a story but unfourtunately its full potential was limited due to the word cap; With a couple dozen extra words you could have definatily made an outstanding story. The reason you could have done with some more words is that it is hard to follow the story because of the lack of description. If you had added more description, however, you would have had to have cut down on the speech which keeps the story moving. I also think grouping your lines into paragraphs would have made the story easier to decipher, such as:

The two looked at each other and nodded. As they turned to the table, they saw the game had changed. A board with curved track on it lay next to a booklet that read “Race 3000.”

“No!” groaned Redbeard. “Not this accursed game. It don’t make sense!”

“Aye, it’s why we left it for last,” Barbossa said quietly. “It’s not even piratey”

Redbeard nodded as he grimaced. “Let’s get on with it so we can leave this hellish place!”

Barbossa murmured, “At least one of us.”

Although it would have had to been tweaked to make more sense by removing the first line and adding their names, this would make have made it clearer to the reader when something is beginning/ending. Other than that I think your story is very good and I also like the fact you included the pirate board game.

I hope you appreciate my advice and I wish you the best of luck in the competition!

Edited by Zilcho

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