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  • Locked thread
Corn Syrup
Feb 6, 2006


I'm in.

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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

in with :toxx:

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



In.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

edit wrong thread

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

wrong thread

Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014

heyHEYYYY!!!


In

si

de

yo

ur

ey

es

de

mo

ns

pi

ss

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


This is my jam. In.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


Grizzled Patriarch:
I wasn't joking when I said your story was literary Oscar bait. The meta-story of the author and their relationship with their characters has fascinated me since I read Stephen King's short story on that subject. Word Processor of the Gods, I think? Anyway, we were all fans of the subject matter.

More importantly, I feel like I need to compliment you on an excellent sense of pacing. You managed about as excellent a slow boil as you could hope for with only 1000 words. Another story would have ramped up the weirdness too fast, or even worse, let the normal sit for too long.

As for criticism, your story isn't perfect. Lydia seems strangely distant for the story, although that's possibly intentional. The ending was like an early M. Night Shyamalan film - mind blowing on the first take, but somewhat nonsensical on the second and third read through. Overall, a good effort that deserved the win.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Holy poo poo a week I might not get a DM or loss in I'm in

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





Phobia posted:

yeah sure I'm in let's do this.

A person practices bibliomancy in their apartment.

Sitting Here posted:

This sounds cool and awesome, I'm in!!

A curious piece of mail arrives at the dead letter office.


A county fair attendee has eaten more food than they should have.


Someone rents an unlabeled film.

sebmojo posted:

a tin of tomatoes perched on the firm red skin of a gargantuan tomato skewered on the spire of the Empire State Building, juice running down in bloody rivers

Something, or someone, has been digging holes in the front yard.


There are eight minutes left on a kitchen timer.


Two people enter a diner just before closing time.


An amputee experiences phantom limb syndrome.


Someone has left a note under the windshield wiper.

Paladinus posted:

In

si

de

yo

ur

ey

es

de

mo

ns

pi

ss

A physician's patient complains of pains.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

This is my jam. In.

Someone makes an unusual announcement on live television.

ZeBourgeoisie posted:

Holy poo poo a week I might not get a DM or loss in I'm in

Someone comes home to find a dog on the couch.

Grizzled Patriarch fucked around with this message at 02:09 on Dec 9, 2014

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Incy wincy spider

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


ZeBourgeoisie:
I was intrigued by the plot of your story. It's an interesting take on the legend of the mermaid, and like I said about Ollyd's story, I enjoy horrible people being terrible. My first read through, I had judged it flawed but with potential. But...

There's no polite way to say this. Your first and last sentences are horrible. "I can't really describe her but trust me she's CRAZY" is not a good way to open a story, especially when you're going to spend the next third of the story describing her and how she's crazy. As for you ending, I literally made a "pfft" sound. You squandered your good will on twist ending that didn't make sense and wasn't even necessary.

And then there's stuff like '“Take the garbage out, shithead!” was the sound that that fateful day.' What does that even mean? A lot of sentences felt this way - weird and clunky in a way that broke immersion.

Finally, some nitpicks - the descriptions of the filth felt gratuitous, and you don't knit panties.

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

Tr*ckin' and F*ckin' all the way to tha
T O P


Give me a situation. I'm in.

QuoProQuid fucked around with this message at 02:15 on Dec 9, 2014

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





Fumblemouse posted:

Incy wincy spider

A lounge singer takes a request.

QuoProQuid posted:

Give me situation. I'm in.

A local store has a going-out-of-business sale.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


give me the most boring poo poo you can think of

Clandestine!
Jul 17, 2010


In and this time I won't let pointless poo poo like familial obligations distract me

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





crabrock posted:

give me the most boring poo poo you can think of

Someone watches paint dry.

Clandestine! posted:

In and this time I won't let pointless poo poo like familial obligations distract me

A paleontologist visits the new dig site.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

Modern worldly poster

Week 120 Crits: Part One of More Than One

ZeBourgeoisie - A Stranger in Gingerbread Junction

You’ve got something creative, and even a little daring, going on here, and the transformation of a light candyland fantasy into something darker could have been quite potent. Unfortunately it just doesn’t quite work, and the things that don’t work serve to tear the whole thing apart.

I see no motivations for your characters here, just abrupt tonal shifts. Mr. Taffy becomes scared of the stranger because...well he just does. Or maybe he’s always been paranoid, except we’ve not seen a hint of that in your story. The stranger is mysterious and cool, no, wait, he’s creepy and sinister, except, wait, no, he’s actually just a doctor with no malicious intent at all and everything’s fine and he just sort of declined to mention this to anyone because...well it was for a reason, we promise! Or he actually is evil and now has the entire town under his thumb, but the scene from his perspective doesn’t suggest that at all.

It’s that ending in particular that undermines everything. Your final revelations (about the stranger, about Mr. Taffy) fly in the face of everything established to this point; they should have given us information that we lacked before that made things clearer. Instead they just come out of nowhere.

It also completely destroys any hope of tying this to your proverb. Without any reason given to keep the inhabitants of Gingerbread Junction ignorant of the doctor’s true purpose (and indeed after that “game”, there’s not even any ignorance at all), we’re left with no reason for the proverbial pen, or even any indication that there is a pen. Whatever you may have had in mind for the ultimate truth of Gingerbread Junction, it didn’t make it to the page.

J.A.B.C. - Corporate Losses

I can, I think, see what you were going for here, but it falls apart with even a modest examination of the details.

Lose the setup angle entirely. It makes no sense, and you don’t need it. It’s enough that your narrator completely missed his friend’s suspicious behavior because he was so focused on the janitor who’d pissed him off. Also, consider giving his friend some suspicious behavior. Something to make the payoff more than “Eh, I guess he was the embezzler because he was the only other character in the story”.)

Your plot more-or-less works, but the idea that Kevin is anything but the prime suspect after disappearing at the same time as a bunch of stolen funds is completely ludicrous. It would have, at the very least, been more thematically resonant had the police been questioning your narrator specifically about Kevin, only to have him consistently try to shift the blame back to the janitor. That might even be what you meant to come across, but it didn’t.

Also, whatever television has taught you, bank transfers, especially in such massive amounts, and especially across national borders, are neither instantaneous nor easy to hide. There’s a reason that the entire complicated practice of money laundering exists. Not a huge deal, the mechanics of the theft are so not the point here, but it stood out enough for me to comment on it.

Cacto - No Talent Squandered

You’ve done a lot with your 400-odd words. I think my favorite thing about this is how much you sketch out with a few details. There’s never any doubt in my mind as to what’s going on or why, and I get a solid picture of the wider world in which these people find themselves even without a lot of actual detail about that world. Not every story would work this way, and obviously this approach doesn't work for everyone, but this one did it for me, quite well.

That said, some of your word choices oversell things a little, I think, things like “she stabbed the button” or “she gasped and sobbed”. I think a lighter touch would work better in these cases.

blue squares - The Producer’s Wife

There’s a lot that could, and has, been said about this story, but, for all the poo poo you’ve gotten (most deserved, some perhaps not) for it, it’s not without its redeeming features. I thought your first scene in particular was quite effective. You could do with laying off on the similes, though, and there’s something a bit off about the tone you set.

Tone is probably the biggest problem I had with this story. While I think I agree with you, in the end, that this isn’t erotica (or if it is, it’s terrible erotica in that it’s not terribly erotic), there’s a certain coyness, a certain “tee hee hee aren’t we being transgressive” in your descriptions that did nothing but push me away. That’s a really subjective thing, of course; no doubt it’s going to work for some people. It didn’t for me.

The other problem is related. The kinky sex/Muppet fetish stuff isn’t enough, in itself, to elevate the story somewhere interesting, but if you remove it, there’s not a lot else there. The plot could have been lifted out of one of those dreadful sitcoms where there’d be no show at all if the two leads would have a five-minute conversation like adults and there’s no conceivable reason why they don’t. George is kind of a halfway-realized character, but I know literally nothing about Michelle other than what turns her on. You say (and again I agree) that you’re not really writing erotica, but erotica’s one of the few genres where plot and character are (or at least can be) incidental because the sexy stuff is the actual point. I actually do think you’ve got the workings of a solid, interesting story here, but you haven’t actually got there yet.

To finally address head-on the sexy animatronic elephant in the room, while this may not have technically broken any rules, you clearly, clearly, misjudged your audience for this piece. And when you’re writing for an audience (which is to say, when you're writing) it’s probably worth asking yourself at least once “is this really the best place for my Muppet fetish story”?

Fumblemouse - The Fishing Expedition

You do a terrific job of evoking your setting. A lot of description, but it all works, and never becomes overwhelming. Your plot is fine, if not exactly full of surprises (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing) and you hit your prompt pretty well.

My one complaint is that I don’t really have a sense of your characters. For all that this is from Adam’s point of view, I really have no idea why he did anything he did, and only slightly more than that of how he feels about any of it. The other characters’ motivations are even more opaque. They do what they do because that’s what they’re there to do, and that’s it. Not that I need a biographical sketch for everyone, but any insight at all, any answers to “why” that aren’t “because that’s what the story says happens now” would be welcome. That’s ultimately what kicked this down from “great” to “good” for me. But it absolutely was a good story, and well worth the read.

Entenzahn - Viral

This felt to me more like a reversal/refutation of your proverb’s meaning than an exploration of it. That doesn’t really matter so much to me, because you do such a good job with that refutation.

In a way, you might have done too good a job, in particular, at showing us Maxwell’s mental state. It served to push me away rather than draw me in, but I’m not sure that’s actually a weakness, and I’m not sure that’s actually a complaint. This probably should be a bit uncomfortable to read, and you’ve managed that very well.

Jitzu the Monk - Ayahuasqueros

First sex, and now drugs. I sure hope we get some rock’n’roll soon!

I could probably repeat most of what I said about Fumblemouse’s story, but the problems are a bit more egregious here. There are a lot of flashing lights and pretty colors (and to your credit, the colors are quite pretty and the flashing lights quite bright) but little of substance beneath it all. Psychedelic spiritual battle is an interesting concept, and I think it’s fine that it’s presented as it is, without explanation for how and why it’s possible, but I think it needs something to give it context and meaning. Some motivation for the players, some idea of the actual stakes, some...well...anything. Hector invades Sonja’s ‘room’ because he’s an Evil Witch Doctor (and let’s not even discuss the cultural minefield you’ve wandered into there) and for no other reason. It’s all very shallow, and you had plenty of opportunity to add some much-needed depth.

Hammer Bro - Maculatus

Your ‘Mary talking to/building God’ scenes don’t fit at all with your ‘Mary and Joe’ scenes, to the point where it felt like two separate stories got into a car wreck. Worse, neither narrative really stands well enough on its own, and while I’m sure they’re well-connected in your head, those connections are sufficiently opaque on the page as to be nonexistent.

Some details just don’t make sense. Setting aside the awkwardness of her conversation with her husband, if she’s openly working on this project, then why is she so frightened about her company finding out about it? I’d guess they knew about the ‘talking to God’ thing but didn’t know she’d succeeded or that she was building the vessel, but it just serves to add to the disconnect.

And the ending makes no sense at all. Again, I can construct a theory (that Mary’s made herself pregnant via the vessel and she’s taking steps to convince Joe that he’s the father of their eventual divine artificial superbaby, and presumably later on they’ll have a vacation in Neo-Bethlehem that they have to take right now for tax reasons where they’ll stay at a lovely bed-and-breakfast that turns out to be stable-themed because Motel 6 was all booked up and then some Ph.Ds show up with gifts, etc., etc.) but at that point it’s not really you writing the story at all, it’s me coming up with a story to make sense of the sparse hints you’ve dropped.

You’ve got a neat premise here (though it took me a few reads to figure out just how neat, which is kind of my point in all of the above), but it just hasn’t come together as a story yet.

N Senada - The Holdout

You’ve given us a pretty sinister take on your proverb, one which I felt worked very well. I honestly don’t have a lot to say about this story; it’s a good story in a week where there were many worse, and some better.

I do think it could have been even more powerful, though I appreciate that you probably didn’t have the space to do this, had you added more nuance to some of your characters. The mining executive came across like a cartoon supervillain, and I think that the formation of the townspeople into an angry mob would have had a more interesting texture if we’d come to know some of them as otherwise decent, normal people who were swept along by the proverbial rising tide.

systran - Systran Has This Kind Of hosed Up Sense Of Entitlement Because Of Something That Happened To Them In Thunderdome

I don’t know. Jasmin comes across as this completely shallow caricature of a real person and no one really wants to see anyone, even a child, lectured like they were a child by such prattling hangers-on, especially for as little justification and payoff as this.

And furthermore, nice description but there’s not really much of a narrative arc and I don’t see what the evil or possibly benevolent steampunk supercomputer has to do with anything at all and all the goddamn said-bookisms and...

Oh. Well look at that. I went and critiqued the wrong story! My goodness me is my face red!

systran - Logan’s hosed Up Fetish Etc.

Your title made me nervous, I won’t lie, and I don’t think it’s actually a very effective title for your story. If for no other reason than, if being kicked in the groin after you’re caught in an utterly transparent lie, even as a young teenager, is enough to trigger a fetish, then a hell of a lot more people would be lining up outside the Ballkick Brothel (™ and © 2014 docbeard).

Otherwise, I really liked this story. I thought you presented both Audrey’s and Logan’s character perfectly. In Logan’s case in particular, you made his ultimate fate seem utterly deserved without necessarily making us lose sympathy for him, which is not an easy trick to pull off. What could have been a terrible sitcom plot really worked because of the strength of your characterization.

I feel like your proverb was almost an afterthought here, though. I can just about see the relevance, but it’s not exactly a key theme for your piece. Which doesn’t detract from the strength of the work as a whole.

wigglin
Dec 19, 2007



I'm in as long as someone can tell me what the hell is going on between Murakami and people's ears.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





Pete Zah posted:

I'm in as long as someone can tell me what the hell is going on between Murakami and people's ears.

As someone walks down the street, they hear loud sirens.

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

Don`t fall asleep, you gotta write for THUNDERDOME

I was considering taking a break this week but ah what the hell, I'm in, and :toxx: me up as well.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.




Why do I do this to myself?

IN

Time to get weird.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





Your Sledgehammer posted:

I was considering taking a break this week but ah what the hell, I'm in, and :toxx: me up as well.

Someone receives a phone call from an unknown number.

J.A.B.C. posted:

Why do I do this to myself?

IN

Time to get weird.

Someone throws away an important object.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

weINers

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006


ektexine

Bad Ideas Good
Oct 12, 2012


gently caress it, I need a kick in the rear end.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.






A man on the sidewalk makes an odd prediction.


Someone receives a sea monkey kit for their birthday.

Bad Ideas Good posted:

gently caress it, I need a kick in the rear end.

The relative of a deceased person collects their inheritance.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


Obliterati
Your story earned its Honorable Mention on one solitary fact - it was really, really funny. James Bond as a decrepit, drunken explosion is a great story, and your heavy armed Grandma fighting the internet is ALSO a great story.

That said, it came very, very close to disappearing up it's own rear end in a top hat. That's what held you back the most from getting the win. It's like one of those 70s SNL skits that goes just a little bit too long. I liked the hint of social commentary at the end, but it got lost a bit around the 3rd hip flask. Running gags are good for a laugh, but they do bring the story as a whole down a bit.

December Octopodes
Dec 25, 2008

Christmas is coming
the squid is getting fat!


I'm in.

Kor
Feb 15, 2012



Put me in.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


N. Senada
I'm going to be completely level with you - your story barely earned the DM. If the judges had different tastes, you probably wouldn't have earned it all. The ultimate decision had came down to me, and I made it based on a few things.

Your story isn't really complete. I know it's hard to fit a complete narrative into a flash fiction format, but that's part of the challenge. Instead, your story ends just as things started getting exciting. It felt very unsatisfying, and it felt like you could have used your limited space a little bit better. The description of Agent Orange's battle with the phone is fine enough, I suppose, but I would have cut it instead. Plus a screenwriter also being a two-bit actor in PSAs is kind of weird.

The humor is a bit off too. The absurd description of the World's Dumbest PSA is fine enough, but it clashes somewhat with the Kafka-esque story of the writer who released national secrets through said PSA. Of the two, I enjoyed the latter more. You had all this color and atmosphere in the first part, but the second part is just rough sketches. I mean, we're introduced to the general as merely "bedecked in medals". I'd rather get his name than Peter Abelson's, to be completely honest.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


Crabrock
Much like N. Senada's DM was hotly debated, so was your HM. I won't lie - my initial reaction to your story was not very favorable. I mean... you wrote an entire story about a penis. That said, it's not actually about his penis, but still it's very off-putting. After the initial read, I pretty much set aside. It's only after the other two judges praised it that I gave it a second read and started the appreciate it. Like I said, it's as much a story about the protagonist's mental state as it is about his genitels. And it made me really uncomfortable, so clearly something worked.

That said, I do have some criticism. Chopping a boy's dick off is certainly shocking and powerful, but it does feel a bit... cheap. Grindhouse. You did accentuate the shock be luring me into a false sense of security, so I'll give you that. It also felt a bit phoned in. Journal entries are an easy way to tell scenes without the trouble of transitioning them. You also made some annoying typos and mistakes. Also, the tense is weird? It doesn't feel like journal entries to me, on some fundamental level. He also writes at the same level at 8 years and 16 years old.

So, uh, yeah. Congrats on the HM!

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!




This is prompt is too good not to be in

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?


in

theblunderbuss
Jul 4, 2010

I find dead men rout
more easily.


I'm in.

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

You can't spell in without in.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.






Someone comes across a hitchhiker.

Kor posted:

Put me in.

Someone is fired from their job.


Broenheim posted:

This is prompt is too good not to be in

Someone wins a talk radio contest.


It's feeding time at the zoo.


Someone is visited by a door-to-door salesman.

Roguelike posted:

You can't spell in without in.

Someone has an odd allergy.

Grizzled Patriarch fucked around with this message at 17:06 on Dec 9, 2014

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

:siren: OFFICIAL THUNDERDOME IRC IS #THUNDERDOME :siren:

Just a reminder that the official IRC channel for this thread is #thunderdome on synirc.

Please consider making the switch from #kyrena, as that is the IRC channel for an epic, six-page novel four years in the making, not for Thunderdome.

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Ah, jeez. I'm burnt out creatively, working long hours, and coming down with a cold. Then docbeard comes along and sees-what-I-did-there and Grizzled Patriarch is all like, "Write me some of that milky, deliberate confusion," and I'm all "Agh. Ugh. IN."

So, docbeard, you win a detailed crit of your choice for the vindication. But I might not start on it until next week.

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ADBOT LOVES YOU

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


systran posted:

:siren: OFFICIAL THUNDERDOME IRC IS #THUNDERDOME :siren:

Just a reminder that the official IRC channel for this thread is #thunderdome on synirc.

Please consider making the switch from #kyrena, as that is the IRC channel for an epic, six-page novel four years in the making, not for Thunderdome.

thunderdome is a cool channel where we talk about drugs and okcupid and 401ks

  • Locked thread