Terrouge E-zine Archives
Guest Article: Rystan, QBII 1st Place Finisher
It all began in early February. I was browsing through the latest issue of Terrouge, when I came across three glorious words: Questors Bold Two. I remembered the first Questors Bold; I had entered it, but completely messed up and wrote my application as a description rather than a character sketch. So I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be grand if I entered again?" Okay, I didn't think those exact words, but you can see where I'm going with this.
I entered only one category, though I tried to write character sketches for several others, such as Female Vole, Male Mouse, and Male Squirrel. The words just didn't come as easily to me for those categories as they did for Female Rat. And so, I put all my hope into my young ratmaiden, Rystan Celenni.
Time flew by faster than I thought it would, and after much excitement at having been placed in the top thirty, I received a fateful email late in March. "I'm sorry to inform you that your character has made it in," I think it said. I had to read it several times before I realized they were playing a little joke. I laughed, though my heart was pounding like a timpani drum, and then everything sort of hit me. I think I actually shouted, "I get to be the rat!"
I created an account, my first ever on the Terrouge Redwall Forums, and I became QB2Ratgirl, later revealed as Rystan. I met nine other remarkable writers, and together we began to plan. After a week or so of anticipation, and some minor technical difficulties, the story began, and I was the second Questor to strut my stuff. Everything seemed to be a new experience for me.
I am, and will be, eternally grateful for the suggestions and criticism I received throughout this contest. I thank you, the audience, for taking the time to give us advice. It greatly helped to improve my writing, and I believe you can see the difference as you read through my posts, beginning to end. Each week, I tried to improve Rystan, tried to make her more likeable, and I was always relieved and ecstatic every week when we received the voting results, for I was still alive and kicking. However, my initial joy was almost immediately replaced with sadness, because one of my friends' characters had to die. To all the deceased Questors, my friends, I would have loved to see how you would have continued, and I hope to read more of your writing in the future.
I had so much fun writing for Questors Bold Two. I even loved all the planning and debating in our hidden Contestants forum on the message boards. Before I knew it, however, it was down to the final three Questors, and much to my surprise, I was one of them. Although the idea of winning was alluring, I wouldn't have been upset if I placed second or third. The other two finalists, Cairn and Delaila, are fantastic writers and I would have been happy to see either of them claim the title of Questor Bold.
But, as fate would have it, I was voted the winner by an extremely slim margin. When I saw the results on my computer screen, I squealed aloud with joy and actually hopped up and down in my chair. My first words were, "I can't believe it!" I'm not sure I believe it yet, even after having ended the story.
Ah, the ending. That took some thinking. I had the privilege of writing it, all by myself if I wanted to, but I wanted to include Cairn and Del. As far as I was concerned, they earned it. It was also my right to decide what became of their characters, but I gave that right up and let them decide. I was a little held up in writing the ending because the winner was announced two days before my high school graduation. Two big events in one week! Everything appears to have turned out well, though.
I hope my nine fellow Questors and I remain friends and stay in contact for a long time. Questors Bold was an amazing experience, and I highly recommend that you apply for the next one, so long as the staff of Terrouge decides to hold it again. You'll make great friends, improve your writing, and who knows? You may just be the next Questor Bold…