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Hidden nuggets in your story

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Viktrune View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Viktrune Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2019 at 11:16am
For me, the use of the Caldwell Dragon comes from an actual report in the early American military where one general reported that he and his troops encountered a dragon in the Appalachians that drove his troops away and seemed to protect the Natives. 

There's only one historical report about it, but I felt it was just too horribly interesting not to throw into a story. 
C1: G9, Suspense/Morgue/Remote Control; The Caldwell Dragon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote td333777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2019 at 12:48pm
I wrote a historical fiction flash piece two years ago in round one.  I set the story in 1950’s Argentina, and the main thrust of the story is that the main character is a concentration camp survivor and he’s walking to synagogue with his little daughter.  What you don’t know until the end is that he’s planted a bomb in the doorway of his neighbor’s house, because he knows the guy is a Nazi in hiding.  The little girl refers to the neighbor as “Mr. Klement.”  That’s actually the name Adolph Eichmann used while hiding in Argentina.  In real life, he was not exploded by a vengeful neighbor.  Eventually, the Israelis kidnapped him and took him back to Israel to face justice.  I thought it would be cool to use his real pseudonym, just to see if anyone would know, or look it up.  Believe it or not, one of the judges did!  Totally made my week when I read the critique.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote steph9289 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2019 at 1:12pm
Originally posted by Chuzo Chuzo wrote:

My plot is about entering in other stories so I won't say that they are nuggets, more full ingots stolen from a strongbox. I did put a very particular (and very disgusting) reference to a part of a book from Chuck Palahniuk that nobody pointed out specifically, although I guess that not everybody got so impressed by that detail as me. 

Oooh...I love Chuck Palahniuk! I will definitely be looking out for the reference when I read yours!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LindaNZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2019 at 5:44am
Originally posted by cat_astrophe cat_astrophe wrote:

I love making nuggets out of names! I did that with mine semi-intentionally – the main character has a familiar whose shape is never quite described outright (there were more descriptions originally that made it more clear what he was, but were then cut for the sake of the word limit) but his name, Dandy, is a play on the kind of animal he is. 

I didn't want to say outright what he was for fear of it sounding too juvenile and incongruent with the tone of the rest of the piece, but the wordplay makes me smile and I think a couple of people have picked up on it! No big deal if the judges don't, it's mostly headcanon/backstory for the larger undertaking if I ever decide to do it. 

I am embarrassed by how long it took me to work this out! Very cute nugget! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ChillyToez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2019 at 9:51pm
I didn't think that I had a "trick" nugget in my piece, but there seems to be a 50/50 understanding on who/what one of my characters is... 

Of course whenever I think something is clear, folks seem to flounder. Then I overcompensate and hammer them on the head until they have a literary concussion. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Zelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2019 at 10:09pm
Originally posted by ChillyToez ChillyToez wrote:

I didn't think that I had a "trick" nugget in my piece, but there seems to be a 50/50 understanding on who/what one of my characters is... 

Of course whenever I think something is clear, folks seem to flounder. Then I overcompensate and hammer them on the head until they have a literary concussion. 

Oh my gosh. You have no idea how much I can relate to that dilemma. Especially with the judges. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. They might say, "Don't tell me the character's feeling a certain way; show me." So then you go back and take out the description you gave and have the character engage in a movement or mannerism, right? And then the judges have no clue whatsoever how your character was feeling, because almost any movement or mannerism can be openly interpreted. I'm sad to here this is also a Spheniscidae issue!! Shocked
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2019 at 10:17pm
Originally posted by ChillyToez ChillyToez wrote:

I didn't think that I had a "trick" nugget in my piece, but there seems to be a 50/50 understanding on who/what one of my characters is... 

Of course whenever I think something is clear, folks seem to flounder. Then I overcompensate and hammer them on the head until they have a literary concussion. 


This explains everything.  By the time the judges get to my story they're concussed...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AineKnees Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2019 at 10:22am
I wouldn't really call it a hidden nugget but I do have a concern that the judges or some of them might think I've gone TOO dark with the end of my story, and not realise that in my research I found out that that exact thing did happen (maybe not involving a bearskin rug! But a woman in the siege of Leningrad was charged with doing the exact same thing my MC does at the end of the story).  I can imagine the judges reading it and thinking "Did we really need to go there?" 
What I found out in my research was yes, I do need to go there. But I hoked and poked when I was researching and of course the judges aren't going to have time to do that.
I also think they just might go "Eeeeww!" - I put a trigger warning on the forum (once I realised you could!) but the judges won't have that. But I guess at this stage they're well used to it! 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dennymike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2019 at 2:25pm
I don't know that I would consider it a nugget or anything special really. My genre was fairy tale and fairy tales tend to have a lesson, but when I was writing it I had absolutely no clear idea of a particular message. I didn't even think about having a message until I started reading some of the responses I was getting. Everyone who commented on the message seemed to take something different away from it. So I'm curious to see what message, if any, the judges take from it. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hirundonova Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2019 at 3:05pm
What a great idea for a topic! I’m really enjoying reading everyone’s answers (though not too happy with the theme of judges overlooking these details!).

In my story, one of the characters notices that a hanging carcass the MC assumes is a deer has its legs pointing the wrong way- which is a hint that the carcass is human (deer have really high ‘ankles’ so their legs bend the other way). Not sure if it’s too subtle!
How can a painting be scary? Find out in my story Red Velvet. Feedback is welcome and I'll review back :)
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