Saturday, August 2, 2014

DIY Masks Challenge Results!

Lets hop right into it!

First caption is from Dawn (Commentator) who submitted this one to me via Rachel's Haven where she contributes 99 percent of her captions and does a great job of welcoming newbies.

Next up is Brittany7, from the Haven. Not too familiar with her, but its always fun to have new people submit entries to the DIY Challenge. I hope she enjoys what she wrote for the caption setting and decided to do more. It was definitely a good start!

At the last moment, we have this caption from Helena, who wanted to honor Caitlyn as best she could, so she held out sending it to me until the last moment. I'm sure she'd like it lots Helena!

Lastly, we have Ian's submission. I am posting it twice, as when i first plugged in his story, it stopped at a certain location which I thought ended the caption well. However, I did notice that there was a whole extra paragraph at the end. So this first one is the way I thought it should end ...

And here is the way that Ian originally wrote it. Please let us know which one you like better? It'd make a good topic for comments on how editing can make a caption better or worse!

Thanks to everyone that submitted something to this DIY Challenge. Another one will be coming soon!

Oh yeah, I ended up making one a few minutes ago, while listening to Savatage, which is one of my favorite metal bands of all time. So symphonic that essential they turned into Trans Siberian Orchestra. I used some of the words to one of their best songs, "When the Crowds Are Gone" as I feel it can be indicative of what we do here as creators and readers of TG fiction, and how its a part of our lives. Are our lives a part of the act, or the act a part of our lives?

If you are interested in more from them, search out songs like "Gutter Ballet" , "Believe" , "Edge of Thorns" , "Hall of the Mountain King" . "Somewhere in Time" . "Follow Me" , "This is the Time" and so many more!


  1. In light of your next post, I don't think the "burner" cap is the reason for people to stay away. It is a fun cap, and for some reason I was like "♫ Let's Do The Time Warp, Again ♫", so looked it up on YouTube:)

    You can always count on Dawn to have a original well written cap. As this one is.

    I admit, I'm not familiar with the work of Brittany7 either, but if this cap is any indication, her work is definitely something to check out. A lovely sweet caption.

    I remember with one of my earlier DIY entries, that you edited a paragraph out, and it became better.
    In Ian's case, I would have to say, it didn't gain by leaving the last paragraph out, but it didn't lose anything either. It reads to me now as a caption with an epilogue. No matter what version, lovely story Ian. Well done.

    It is amazing how the lyrics from "When the Crowds Are Gone" fit here, and a wonderful job how you used it.

    And seeing my own here, I only notice how I could have done things different, to make it better. Knowing that I even made some adjustments to it, when I was writing my mail to you, I realize: Without a deadline this cap might have never seen the light of day. I would go back to it, change something, and still not be satisfied with the outcome.

    1. I think its a hard thing to learn WHEN to just stop making adjustments and let the work be considered "done" because at a point, the changes are going to start being detrimental to the quality of the work.

      Many bands debut albums remain their best because they had time to flesh things out beforehand, and yet, only a limited amount of time and resources to make the album. Hence, there is an energy and lack of refinement that makes that early work seem more vibrant and real. Then as they become successful, they can obsess or nitpick themselves into overdeveloping their ideas and the means to indulge their whims.

      I believe that Black Sabbath's Paranoid album was recorded for around 800 pounds in 1970, which was an incredible bargain even in the early 70's. There is a legend which is probably true where an A&R guy went to see the Ramones on the first day of recording at lunchtime, and asked how they were doing. The reply was, "not very well. We've only got 4 songs done." and the A&R guy said, "Well 4 scratch tracks are good for a half day in the studio!" and they replied, "No. We mean we've only completed four songs!"

    2. I'm glad you liked it Caitlyn, and coming from you that IS quite a compliment.
      I have to admit though, it was a mere coincidence this came out. I was still working on the story, because I didn't have an ending, when I came across the picture from the door. That gave me the idea for the ending. Because the red worked well with Dee's picture, I decided to use that as a background instead. From there on it was mainly trying out what I liked best in the position of Dee's pic and the text.
      I was already writing a mail to Dee, when I decided to make a slight alteration to my ending.
      Originally I wrote these lines:
      "A door was closed,
      Left behind was the mask."
      A few question marks changed the impact, at least in my mind.

    3. You say 'mere coincidence', but I see a smart creative mind that when presented with an idea was good enough to take the idea and run with it. Even the last minute tweaking of the ending... that's just a sign of a mind open to other possibilities. I believe most people are incredibly hesitant to change their story once it's 'done', but you saw an opportunity to improve the cap and it worked out great!

    4. You know, I do agree with Dee and Dawn, usually your first response is the correct one, and it IS hard to learn when to stop making adjustments. But in this case it just didn't feel right. While I'm not the most experienced writer, I have learned to trust my intuition in other fields. I knew I had to go back to the drawing board. Yet without Dee's deadline it might have stayed there. I'm glad it turned out great, but I realise it could have turned out worse than my first concept.
      In the end this was probably the most educational DIY I made.

  2. I approach making a cap like I did taking tests. Usually your first response is the correct one. This one was written in my head by the time I downloaded and opened it in paint to write. The only thing I do is post it then look at it to see how much I screwed up the spelling and grammar. It may be embarrassing to see live but I think I proofread better after the fact. The story concept seldom changes. The only thing that may happen is editing for space, something as a former newspaper editor I am used to doing.
    The one thing I thought about and i think the others did too was why does Caitlyn wear the mask? I wanted the story to be about her rather than a generic type story that you could plug any name into. And Caitlyn likes film noir so I tried to give the cap that kind of feel.
    I am always amazed and humbled by the stories others see in the same picture. No matter the style, the sheer variety of the caps made with this pic were wonderful (and don't we all hate going first btw).

  3. I actually saw these caps the day they were posted. Sadly though I was traveling and didn’t want to bungle up a reply via my phone’s auto correct and my fat fingers. Reading this post and all the lovely captions inside brought a big smile to my face though!

    I love how Dawn’s caption reminds us that while a mask can help bring us out of our shell, a kiss can really seal the deal!

    Brittany’s submission is nice and leave a lot to the imagination. My mind continues to wander what the sister has planned for ‘Caitlyn’.

    Helena…. Wow! Talk about taking a concept and emphasizing it through creative design! It was always one of my goals to make the layout/design more of the storytelling process but I rarely (if ever) achieved it in such a stunning manner. Bravo!

    I really enjoyed Ian’s story and I’m torn as to which ‘version’ I like better. The cut-off version really leaves the door open to how Marie will react while the full version gives us a clear glimpse into how much she’s changed.

    I couldn’t view/hear the song that Dee’s was based upon, so what I had in my head while reading the story was a quiet piano and a softly singing woman. That set the tone even more inward and the cap made me think of the last year or so of capping. I didn’t read the ‘crowd’ as my audience, I instead read the ‘crowd’ as my inner muse… my Caitlyn. I recently commented on Rauk’s blog on how his final cap could sum up my feelings of leaving Caitlyn and capping behind, but I think this cap really sums up how I struggled in that last year. Hoping/praying that the ‘crowd’ would come back and that I could continue on one more night, and in the end being left alone in the dark and seeing things more clearly. Reading this last cap really put me in an introspective mood that has lasted more than a week now.

    Thank you Dee for the wonderful cap and for giving everyone a creative exercise. I’m so happy that I could be at least a partial inspiration to everybody!


    1. So glad you liked the captions. When I saw the source picture originally, I was so reminded of Caitlyn, with the way the color red stood out while the rest washed washed out, and of course the masque.

      I too had read Rauk's going away and it helped inspire the 'caption' I produced. I hope you do end up hearing the song that inspired it, and I wonder if it would change your view of the caption, though you did capture 90 percent of what I was trying to convey. For instance, I read the words sung during the quiet parts (piano and vocals) as Calvin, and the words in the heavy parts (full band) as Caitlyn .. which to be honest, I just noticed as I was writing the rest of the comment.

      Mostly the main lines in it for me, as pertaining to Caitlyn/Calvin, are "Never wanted to go, always wanted to stay. 'Cause the person I am are the parts that I play." which fit the dynamic of your last year of capping, and the coda, which is Calvin saying, "And the lights, turn then off my friend. And the ghosts, well just let them in. 'Cause in the dark It's easier to see." aka, "my performance is done, but the memories shall remain and echo outward as my perspectives change."

      So glad that you saw this and responded! This post may have not reached as many people as I wanted it to originally, but at least it reached the ONE person that really mattered!

    2. I like that image and know that I've seen it before. Heck, it might have been one of the images that inspired me to color in images as I was wont to do. I did finally listen to the song and while overall it's not my cup of tea, it does add to the cap. I can hear what you are talking about... the two 'themes' coming from the heavy and quiet parts.

      Those two lines hit me the hardest... "Never wanted to go, always wanted to stay". That's really what that last year was about... I didn't want to go. And "Cause the person I am are the parts that I play"... yeah in that last year I was Caitlyn only in that I was playing her part.

  4. hi Dee thanks for posting the DIY I have been using an old computer which would not let me comment.
    I think the edit works well. I think I put the extra line because I am not brave enough to leave the story fully untold. (what if they "the reader" don't get it?),
    Have to say I usually just get an idea then bash a caption out on the fly , but it is good to have things pointed out so I have had to think a little.