derek and i noticed something without or rankings of my stories from this past year – we both though the same 5 were the worst (in a different order however), we had the same pick for #7, the next 5 were the same (also in a different order), and had the same clear cut winner for which story was my best. i’m curious to see how close we rank his stories.
12. The Efficiency Expert (March) – my largest problem overall with derek’s writing (and he knows it) is that he sometimes has a tendency to be strange for the sake of being strange. while i like the concept of having an efficiency expert come and detail exactly why a super-villain is always failing at everything he does (because they’re all dumb, duh), but this story gets a bit out of hand.
11. The Exorcism of Anne Foster (June) – knowing that some of his previous stories had been a bit insane in nature, when we each wrote the first parts of a story for the other one to finish, i made an attempt to introduce as many characters as i could in as boring a setting possible. derek managed to turn it into a game of party quirks, which foiled my plan entirely.
10. Heads of State (February) – again with the fun idea taken overboard with the crazy. i liked the eradication story, but this one just didn’t really do much for me overall – bitchesssssssss.
9. Leaving Gunite (April) – the problem with putting two stories into one story is what happened to me. i really enjoyed the old people on the bench stuff, and didn’t really care for anything else.
8. Sleepytown (October) – out of all of his crazy stories, i liked this one the best by far. it does, however, contain what i find to be the one of my favorite names for his characters – alvas grundstock. no idea why, but it gives me a good giggle.
7. Finding Home (January) – while his first month did bring the crazy, it ended up being much more serious and depressing than i thought it would have been. i liked it enough to use my december ‘sequel or prequel’ story to continue the saga of portis goolsby.
6. Seeing the Forrest for the Trees (September) – i like this story, i really do and wish i could have placed it higher. even being written as a case study didn’t make it boring to me. the idea of someone with multiple personalities having personalities that are aware of the others and want to cause harm to them was interesting enough to keep my attention. it was an interesting use of having to insert 9 names into a story without having a giant cast of characters.
5. Unbecoming (May) – honestly, the only reason why i rank this story as high as i am is because of the work derek put into designing that staircase. i’m talking spreadsheets people. the story itself isn’t bad by any means, but the effort put into what i’ve decided is the main character (the staircase) is beyond compare.
4. Sunset at Belham Bay Park (November) – this was far and away derek’s most ambitious story of the year. the fact that there are a couple long stretches of story without any adjectives. the world being erased as the story goes on is just fantastic, even though i had to read part of it twice.
3. Cornered (August) – derek has a style of writing. the vast majority of what i’ve read of his (both in and out of this project) have been in that style. this story shattered that style into a billion pieces. it was actually a bit surprising to read a very angry narrative voice in his story. this was close to being ranked #2 but couldn’t because of –
2. Two Pair (July) – this story was fantastic. and i’m saying this while admitting completely that 90% of the poker talk bored me. the interaction between the not-devil and not-god was fantastic. the end of the story came as a nice twist. just a very well done story.
and of course, this leaves my favorite story as
1. Birth of the Stone (December) – maybe i’m biased because this was based off of one of my stories. i just really had a great time reading the history of two almost throwaway characters. well, they weren’t really throwaway characters in my story as they both had important roles to play. the world i created didn’t have a lot of description. derek came up with an entire history (placing his story centuries before mine took place) of that story universe. it was extremely well done, and i loved every word of it (even his initial draft which had such major plot holes i laughed at him).