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  • Locked thread
Feb 20, 2013
In. I always swore that my midlife crisis would consist of me collecting every lego set from my youth. I like to think of this as a fun pre-cursor to the existential torture I'm going to feel then.


Dec 15, 2006

b l o o p

In, although I know next to nothing about legos.

Aug 2, 2002




curlingiron posted:

In, although I know next to nothing about legos.

Lesson 1: they are Lego brand building blocks, not legos. just "Lego" is acceptable.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time.

I know who you are. You are destiny.

Anathema Device posted:

I'm in. What's my flash rule?

Also I'm bored. I will crit three stories if anyone asks.

Give my last one a shot?

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Put it all together.
Solve the world.
One conversation at a time.

Anathema Device posted:

I'm in. What's my flash rule?

Also I'm bored. I will crit three stories if anyone asks.

I would be grateful if you could crit my last story, but if you criticise my niece and call her an annoying child I will just nod slowly in mild disappointment.

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.

I loving hate Lego, which is why I'm stepping up to judge. There better be a god drat story in your poo poo or you'll find an angry Merc is not a fun Merc.

Apr 1, 2010


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
In please

Ugly In The Morning
Jul 1, 2010
In. If I could get my flash rule as soon as possible, that would be great, I'm starting a new job tomorrow so I have no idea what my time situation is gonna be like.

Anathema Device posted:

I'm in. What's my flash rule?

Also I'm bored. I will crit three stories if anyone asks.

Can you crit mine, please?

Benny the Snake
Apr 11, 2012

Let's rock

Aug 2, 2002




:siren: important announcement :siren:
A lot of people ask "can I have somebody look over my story before I submit?" and the answer is GOD YES PLEASE. I'd say a majority of the people who write good stories each week have somebody else look them over. Trading crits is the best way to do this (hey if you look at mine you can show me yours). Good writing doesn't happen in a vacuum, and other people can tell you "hey, this is loving stupid and/or boring, but I liked this part" so you don't have to hear it in the judge's crit post.

If you scored mid/bottom tier in GoD's crit post up there (or have not done well in the past) I will give you a free PRE-crit this week. If you are interested:

1. Paste your document into google docs. I don't want no pastebin or whatever. Enable comments.
2. email me your document link at my forums username
3. don't respond to my crit. I'm not interested in having a shitload of conversations and hearing your excuses. i will give you my honest opinion and some advice, and you will choose to listen or ignore it, but you can do that by yourself.
4. email me sometime from now- Friday night. if it's saturday morning or later i may not get to it.

my credentials: i can type 60 wpm

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards
Special crits for special people (nah j/k, don't let your precious lil egos puff up over it):

Sitting Here - Ripples

SO. I did some thinking about why this didn't grab me by the metaphorical balls like it wanted to, and here's what I came up with. First of all, your narrator is unproblematically good. She mentions certain flaws to us, but they don't really play into the story. What happens in the story is that she is upset over abuse and injustice (rightly so), and does a good thing in response, which is met with some amount of success. Now, your narrator does have interesting traits - for instance, she seems like someone who would fight hard for her friends, but then we don't see her taking any risks to do that. A different story could showcase this better, I think. So: consider what you're trying to convey about the narrator. There just isn't enough of her here, and she's too one-note, too easy. (This is starting to sound like I'm critting your personality, isn't it?) Second, the transition from conversation, to conversation, to long walk through the woods, is a bit of a mess. So you start out by giving us this really tight, telling, intimate depiction of two people. Then you give us another one. Great - you have a keen ear and a knack for dialogue. The first section gave me shivers. But then all of a sudden you want us to expand outwards and care about people walking around in your setting, and the setting itself - and it kind of violates an expectation that's set up by the first part of the story vis a vis how the whole thing is going to read. That's the second thing.

The Saddest Rhino - How My Niece Became a School Bully

So this is miles better than the pre-edit version you showed me. It has a point now - everybody listen up, because this is the way to write a story where somebody has a trait (that is illustrated through their actions), has a formative experience due to that trait, and then changes. It's no longer overly light and fluffy. Narrative is the strength here.

I don't like your title-at-the-end gimmick anymore, although I do like the idea that she became a bully because of her increased confidence. Choose when you use a gimmick like that wisely, or it just becomes cutesy (it has). Make the concept part of the story instead, and allude to it earlier on (maybe that she's timid and fearful in school when the story begins).

You've got a couple of errors sprinkled in among the appropriately idiosyncratic English: "We’ve to go in", "jump back to the sea". And some clunky phrasing: "splashed around in frantic strokes". There's also a section where there's just far too much back-and-forth dialogue that largely doesn't move the story forward (starting with "we've to go in?" and ending with "brave girl. Let's go snorkelling.") You could definitely tighten up that section a bit.

But overall, I liked this. It has heart. It's just a bit unpolished yet.

Fumblemouse - CHiSH
sebmojo - Backwash

Aww, look at you two. So Fumblemouse wrote a good (albeit straightforward, uncomplicated) story about two teenagers bonding over their mutual love for a woman. I don't like the resolution ('they just decide to get over it and be buddies' might be realistic, but it's boring), but I do like the playfulness of your language and the keen observations that set this story in time. Specifically stuff like this for the former:


Dean admitted that, in fact, he had not worshipped CHiSH from afar since the age of ten.

and this for the latter:


He edged beyond precariously towering piles of paperbacks, trying not step on the underpants of dubious provenance that lay like miniature mines between him and Dean’s desk.

Nice writing, Fumblemouse.

Now mojo. I couldn't even tell whether this story was a prequel or sequel to Fuumblemouse's before you told me. The first scene, with the eyepatch talk, would be fine as a fluffy piece of scene-setting in a larger work, where we actually knew the people involved. In a story this tiny, it needs to get cut down to a sentence.

Really all you've got here are two scenes which, while nice and competently written, feel more like an excerpt from a Kevin Smith movie or something than a story in themselves. I just don't get the context, the point, why this happened at this moment, how the girl reacted, how Dean felt about it, etc. It's well-observed, sure, but a story it ain't. Tsk.

crit for systran and line by line for Arkane are imminent.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?
In solely for Chairchucker's crits. I will decide my Lego-based theme later though because I have an appointment with a skeleton I have to keep.

The Saddest Rhino posted:

I would be grateful if you could crit my last story, but if you criticise my niece and call her an annoying child I will just nod slowly in mild disappointment.


Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!

gently caress it, in.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk


Feb 15, 2005
Of course I'm in.

Lake Jucas
Feb 20, 2011


crabrock posted:

Great stuff

Thanks for the generosity. I'll be sure to take you up on the offer, and I am happy to return the favor.

Jay O
Oct 9, 2012

being a zombie's not so bad
once you get used to it
Oh good, I get to have "Everything is Awesome!" stuck in my head all day. :saddowns:

In. And flash rule me quick, before I even know it happened.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Just an FYI there are at least two people who are going to get hit with surprise flash rules for their sins LATER ON.

Nov 15, 2012

erm... quack-ward

I'm another big baby that would like its flash rule now. I'll be at work most of the weekend and I'd appreciate the headroom.

Mar 21, 2013

Grimey Drawer
In like my belly button used to be, before this weird, hernia-like thing made it more of a squashed yet bulbous tomato than an asterisk.

Apr 12, 2006
I'm in.

Mar 14, 2012

So it doesn't seem like I'm a crybaby, I'm not in for this week's but I wanted to express thanks for both the general crits I received. I'd ask for a more line by line crit but it really seems like I need to work on an overall style adjustment first.

Apr 29, 2013

Good ideas 4 free
Fun Shoe
My cup is empty. In.

The Great Moo
Nov 7, 2005

I'm in.

Edit: And I also went with the Random Page thing another goon mentioned, so I'm putting my set link here so I don't lose track of it.

The Great Moo fucked around with this message at 23:51 on Feb 18, 2014

Nov 15, 2012

erm... quack-ward

Palisader posted:

So it doesn't seem like I'm a crybaby, I'm not in for this week's but I wanted to express thanks for both the general crits I received. I'd ask for a more line by line crit but it really seems like I need to work on an overall style adjustment first.

That's okay, we always welcome new material for the list.

P.S. I've taken a look at your story and I'd say style is the least of your worries. I don't usually do this but I guess I'm a big boy now so

Palisader posted:

The Move
word count: 967

When I was eleven years old, I lived in Hong Kong. This is the first impression of your story and it's weak because there's absolutely nothing interesting about it.

In general,Stuffy prose EUGH this isn't necessarily an exciting thing. Something close to 7 million people live in Hong Kongright nowYou speak in the present tense, no need to remind me it's right now. Fly to Macau and proudly announce that you live in Hong Kong and you'll get a funny look and a gentle reminder of where the aquarium is. You start your story with a boring statement and then you explain that it is a boring statement. Do you see the problem?

At any rate, moving to Hong Kong was exciting. Up to that point I wasI'd been - When you talk of an event or state preceding the past, use past perfect, without a doubt, a tiny little southern girl living in a series of tiny little southern towns. I didn't have seriously your use of tense in this paragraph is confusing a tiny little southern accent to go along with it, but the same couldn't be said of my worldview. I lived in America. To me, other countries were a bit like fairy tales—they existed, but possibly I'm going to take your little toys away from you now only in theory. To this day, I describe my move to Hong Kong as the best time of my life. Since then I've married and had a child, so it's not entirely true, I suppose. But it was definitely the best thing that could have possibly happened to me at the time. This is where my eyes trail off the screen because I don't want to read anymore. You are rambling. Imagine this story in the voice of Abe Simpson.

I can't really describe the experience. DON'T DO THIS, you're a writer, if something's worth describing, describe it. If not, leave it out One day I woke up and I was living on an island that you could drive across in one day. I saw buildings so high that it could rain and their roofs tops would stay dry. I saw open-air markets, shouting fishermen selling eels, silent temples, monsoons, and a shop that sold ivory figures of couples in poses from the Kama-Sutra that my mother definitely wouldn't let me inspect too closely. I can't describe it, so here's a description! It isn't bad but we're 250 words into the story please get to the point

My mother, far too bored of housework to stay home for long, worked at the school that I attended my school, being one of the few places that didn't require either of us to know Cantonese. This meant two things—onethings: one, that she rode the school bus with me on the school bus every morningI think it sounds less stuffy in that order, just a suggestion, a trip that took more than an hour, and two, that I would accompany her on weekends and holidays any time she had to go to the school for work related things. I didn't mind. I loved that school. Hong Kong International School it was called, and to this day I still remember how to say it in Mandarin. Well, that comma and I can count to 100 and say "thank you". I would make the most polite Chinese accountant that there ever was. There is not going to be a plot is there

My best friend at the time was named Amy, and she was from Singapore. Her family had a sign up in their bathroom that was a list of all the things that could get you fined in Singapore. I asked her once if it was all really true. “Oh yes” she said, her eyes going wide “they're very strict there. You can't even buy gum!” I was shocked and horrified. I still wonder if that's true. EXCUSE ME SIR IM LOST I WAS TOLD THERED BE A STORY HERE BUT I CANT FIND IT CAN YOU HELP ME PLEASE ITS DARK AND IM SCARED AND HORRIFIED

Sometimes, on the occasions when my mother would have to visit the work at school in order to work, Amy would come with me in a concerted attempt to keep both of us out of trouble. We'd occasionally disappear for a while and walk around, which wasn't considered 'getting in trouble'. We did that a lot, and nobody seemed to mind. It was a bit of a small town mentality, only in a city of 7 million people. Apparently crime like that just didn't happen.

On one occasion, we decided to investigate the large hill that stretched out behind the elementary school across the road, since there was a path there COMMA okay I cant possibly catch all of these I give up and really, why not? The path itself was an informal affair, and possibly long-forgotten, mostly overgrown in places. There were signs that it was set up intentionally, at least to a preteen—a log, mostly stripped of branches, placed across a crevice to make a perfect bridge, some brush cut away here and there. We were explorers! We took many extremely thought-provoking pictures of ourselves posing majestically on the side of a hill, or draped across the aforementioned log.

At first, we were sure we'd find treasure. After a while we became absolutely positive that we'd find treasure, because we had read far too many Nancy Drew books and by golly you don't just have a weather-beaten old path with no treasure! After a longer while we became absolutely convinced that we would, at some point, at least find the top of the hill. It was a very large hill.

And then we did. We reached the crest just as the sun was beginning to set, and it cast a glow across the whole of the world. And there, at the top, right as the path ended completely, was a tiny stone temple, about waist highwaist-high. And if you bent down, which I did, inside of it you could see a tiny stone Buddha. As I bent down, I saw a tiny stone Buddha inside Someone had placed an incense burner in front of him, and the ashy remains of a stick of incensean incense stick were still there. The trail wasn't completely abandoned after all. <-- This is the kind of detail that could be important to a story, but it isn't important to this story, and there is no story, and even then you don't need to state this detail directly since you just made it pretty clear by alluding to it with the incense stick.

“Come on,” said Amy “we have to get back.” She turned away from me with a bit of a sigh. There was no treasure, just a stupid stone Buddha. Okay I'm sorry it's past midnight and I have to work tommorrow, but I think you catch my drift

I stayed bent down and stared at him it, it's a stone statue for a moment, the setting sun casting Buddha in a deep shadow. He smiled serenely at me. It was beautiful. Amy shouted at me again, and we left.

I never went back.

I wonder if you really can't buy gum in Singapore. I wonder if it's still okay for two little girls to wander the streets of Hong Kong alone. I wonder how my life would have been different if I had never gone there. And I wonder if, sitting on top of a lonely hill behind an elementary school, there's still a tiny temple with a tiny Buddha statue, the wafting smoke of incense barely visible against the setting sun.

I'm giving you a lot of poo poo, but I don't think you're hopeless or even bad. You can craft images. You have a consistent tone (wistful). You have characters, though I've read 900+ words about you and your family and friends and I don't know much about their personalities, safe for maybe Amy.

But you make mistakes. A lot of them are typical for novices, like super stuffy prose. Padding is usually a sign of a lack of conficende. You need to watch out for that. Generally it reads like this is your first draft. There's a lot of weird sentences that could do with some rephrasing. Also, I don't know if you could tell from my crit, but there was no story. It was a series of images and info-dumps about your life in Hong Kong. Nothing happened, except that you found a stone Buddha.

Here's what you can do: read the first page of The Fiction Writing Advice thread. It covers a lot of the technical mistakes I think you made. Also look at this post from EroBeef and his often quoted plot mantra. Enter again this week. Your story wasn't good, but I think you have potential. Work on it. Nobody expects you to be awesome right off the bat. Go through at least two drafts, edit at least once after that and proofread once more. Submit.

Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.
Palisader I also wrote a crit for you in the Fiction Farm thread, not seeing the one here. Entenzahn and I overlap on a lot of points, which although they are negative, is probably a good thing?

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet

Black Griffon posted:

Bohemians - 960

You spend a lot of words on descriptions of everyday things. While those descriptions are nice, they aren't making me see anything in a new light. Think about paring down your descriptions so that every detail you give sheds light on something critical to the story.

We stared out over the ocean, city lights in our peripheral vision, growing brighter as the last light kissed the water. The park was filled with voices, and the smell of grilled meat filled the air. I felt the sting of gin now and then as we passed the bottle around.

I wanted to keep this moment as something solid. The grass whispering to bare feet, the slow passage of enormous ships as they left the bay. In their industrial splendor, they became part of the landscape, an extension of the glittering water. The alcohol kissed my blood and I felt the last rays of sunset burn their goodbyes. Your first two paragraphs are really heavy on description and light on anything happening. A guy gets drunk in a park at sunset.

I walked with Mila as song filled the park and the people disappeared. Have you been walking the whole time? Where is the song coming from? Our group remained, too careless and content to leave. We followed the paths as the dark and the cold bit into us, held at bay by thin jackets and cheap beer. Beer? What about the gin?

“I guess it's the contrast,” I said, “I've been alone most of my life. This is different. This whole year has been different.” I like this dialogue coming out of nowhere. There's a suggestion that this broke a long silence. However, I'd consider starting the story here.

We reached the edge of the water, where a pier and a shingle beach met the waves.

“Different can be a whole new world sometimes,” sShe said.

The city lights left reflections in the water, growing and shrinking in the movement.

“Will you keep an eye out?” she said.

“Yeah. For what?”

She walked down to the water, looked back at me and smiled. Taking a few deep breaths, she dipped her bare foot into the cold.

“It's not too bad,” she said.

I sat down on the pier. She stood there for a while, with her foot in the water, and then she stripped down to her underpants and waded out. I laughed, and so did she, teeth clattering, arms crossed.

And then she just stood there, a statue half submerged, arms dropped to the side and fingers curled in the water. Dark against the light of the moon, I couldn't see her face, but I imagined she had her eyes closed against the white light. In the distance, the singing carried on; Norwegian drinking songs and raw, beautiful laughter softened by the wind and the night. I like this scene from the beginning of the dialogue through here. I'm not sure how it ties into the next scene though.


The cold became too much, and we walked back to Wilde's place. Mila said goodbye at the door, had to catch the last bus home. Something so mundane left a small crack in the dreamlike nature of the night, where the ships were like whales and the cars like strange beasts prowling the streets, but the thought disappeared as the warmth and the light and the music filled my ears. It leaves a crack in the story, too. Mila is central to the first scene in the story. It's a letdown to have her leave in such a boring way.

We passed around an old bottle of wine, tongues too dull to care about the sour and bitter taste, and watched the cartoons we'd watched as children. We all laughed, some had tears in their eyes and wide, grateful smiles. We'd reached that place where everything had some intrinsic deeper meaning. If we were sober, we'd shake our heads at the stupidity, laugh at how pretentious and young we were, but we were too full of joy to care now. Watching memories from our childhood on a widescreen TV was suddenly something we could have written books about. Great poems and scientific dissertations. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This paragraph is boring.

Jonathan climbed out of the ceiling window just as we opened a bottle of champagne. A few people objected at first, but as soon as Wilde said it was safe, we all climbed out.Does it matter to the story that people objected? We found comfortable positions in the dip between two sloped roofs, and watched the moon bathe Bergen in silver. In the distance, we could see the softly swaying trees of the park. Scattered clouds moved fast across the sky and painted shadows on the water, and behind the photopollution, we could see the stars. Again, this is heavy on the description. However, it does set the scene nicely.

We talked about everything. Wilde sang a soft song, her eyes closed. On the second beer run back into the apartment, Jonathan found a guitar, and we all joined in. Six voices, all without shame but none without merit. At first we sang softly, like Wilde. We'd sing about what we could see; the moon, the roofs and the hidden stars. We'd pass the song along, weaving it together and without pause. We couldn't stop. After the first fifteen minutes, the song picked up the pace, and after half an hour it was a wild thing so full of joy that we barely contained it. The first complaints started after an hour, as a window opened and someone screamed at us to shut up, but like the boat-whales and the car-beasts, he was nothing more than a part of the landscape, and we took it into our song and spun a tale about The Man in the Window.This is my favorite paragraph.

We sang until the half light of dawn streamed through the streets. Until our voices were hoarse and Jonathan's playing hand fell asleep. Until the neighbor from the the apartment next to Wilde's climbed out, thanked us for our song but told us that he really had to sleep now.

“Actually, I'm writing a book about spontaneous moments,” he said, “And I'm grateful. I wish I could be like you, I appreciate what you've shown me.”

We climbed in through the window again, past the Moomin DVD and the empty wine bottles. As I said goodbye and headed home, the world was stark and sober. People weren't just angry shadows from distant windows or strange authors writing serendipitous books. Cars were cars and the ships were drab metal things in the harbor. The noise of traffic and people had none of the poetic quality of that hazy night.

But as I looked out across the sunlit bay, I could see moonlight on soft skin and hear songs sung until dawn, like an echo never ceasing.

The best thing about this piece is the dreamy, unreal, very suitable tone. The worst is that it's boring. It reads like a list of events. You set up in the dialogue that this is a contrast for you, but we don't see how that effects you at all. This is a story about you, but it's still a story that needs conflict, character development, etc.

The story feels directionless, like it's floating along as spontaneously as the characters. Pick a purpose, something you want to convey with the story, and let that drive the narrative. What I see that has potential is this: “I guess it's the contrast,” I said, “I've been alone most of my life. This is different. This whole year has been different.” This night – spontaneous music with others – is very different from being alone. How does that feel? How does it change you?

The Saddest Rhino posted:

After a breakfast of fried rice with pineapples and fresh squid, I walked my niece Zoe to the harbour overlooking the emerald-blue waters of the South China Sea. It was her first time ever at the tropical islands of Perhentian, and we were going snorkelling. As far as my sister was concerned, an eight year old would beat eight years old she was ready for the ocean, even if her dad - who was stuck at work in the States - could not be there.

We had some time before the boat came to pick us up. As soon as Zoe caught sight of the sea, she released my hand and took off running. Outside the resort grounds, a couple of workers cut down coconut trees to make way for a new chalet. She stopped and watched them. “They are killing the trees!” she cried. “What about all the animals living in them?”

What lived in coconut trees? Monkeys? I still had not learnt how to answer questions by children. “I don’t think there are any.”

“Hmph,” she crossed her arms and looked away. “I guess some people don’t care about animals, like I do.”

Then she blazed off over to the beach, and I had to run again. The sun was hanging lazily above the horizon, and the heat was still comfortable instead of a scorching skin-searing nightmare (“Daymare,” she corrected). Warm sand seeped between the toes of our bare feet.

She pointed at little holes peppered around the coast close to the waves. “What are those?”

“Crab holes,” I told her. She looked at me quizzically. “They go inside at night to sleep. When it’s daytime, they come out and run into the sea to look for food.”

“There are… crabs?” she said, her voice quivering.

“Tiny ones.” As if for confirmation, a translucent crab the size of a dime jumped out of a hole, and criss-crossed sideways down the beach.

“They… they may sting or bite IT’S COMING HERE,” she proclaimed, the exclamation points and capitals are giving enough emphasis to her speech. I think “said” would be more unobtrusive than “proclaimed” and “cried” then ran away screaming.

“I thought you care about animals!” I cried after her.

“Only the cute ones! Not the ones that can hurt. IT HAS CLAWS,” she yelled upon reaching the other end of the beach.

It took some time to calming her down. When my sister finally emerged from the resort, I took her aside and whispered, “You’ve made her too scared of everything. How’s she going to cope with the sea?”

“I want her to be safe,” she countered. “You’ll understand when you have a child.”

I looked towards my niece. She was standing on a wooden platform, staring down at the sand with the little holes. “They should put rocks to cover up the holes so the crabs don’t come out,” she said to nobody in particular.

In the distance, a speedboat filled with tourists from another resort streaked across the sea towards the harbour. “She’s one of us,” my sister said. “She can deal. Let’s go.” I like this subtle suggestion that “us” (your family?) are strong people.

The boat rocked when we climbed in. Upon sitting down, she put on a life vest in an efficient, disciplined manner, impressing a boatman. I observed my sister giving her an approving nod. Of course she had been trained. Is trained the word you're looking for here, as opposed to “taught” or “prepared”?

Salt water sprayed on our faces as the boat sped across the ocean. We laughed and made conversation with the tourists and boatmen, and Zoe charmed them all by speaking in her Midwestern-accented Malaysian English.

“Your little white gwai mui so pandai wor!” said a middle-aged tourist. “Where she learn to talk like us ah?”

“I learn in school, leh!” she answered, to the oohs and aahs of everyone on board. Then she turned around to her mother and switched to American. “Momma, can I have something to eat?”

My sister opened her bag to pass her a candy. Inside was a set of toy shovel and pail. She caught me looking. “In case this doesn’t work out,” she whispered.

I gave her the Dear Sister, I Have Strong Opinions About How You Raise Your Daughter, Perhaps We Should Talk About It, Love, Your Brother look, and she shot me back with a Dear Brother, I Understand Your Position On This Matter But Have Severe Views About Your Misgivings, And This Is Hardly The Time, So Shut It, Love, Your Sister stare. So I nodded my I’ll Drop This, Purely Because I Have Faith In You nod, and took a candy too. I love the silent communication here. I do think it should be formatted like normal dialogue, though (paragraphing) since it really is a conversation.

The boatmen threw out the anchor once we reached what they named the Baby Shark Bay. Gray rock formations jutted out in the middle of the sea like large fins, and when we looked down we could see corals of a hundred different colours. Tiny fishes the boatmen called “black nemo” peeked out from behind pink and white anemones. A boatman told us to look out for baby sharks - in reality bamboo sharks - and gave us our snorkelling gear.

“We’ve to go in?” Zoe said, sitting at the edge of the boat. The rest of the tourists were already in the water, fumbling around hunting for sharks.

“You wanna see the fishes, right?” I cajoled her.

“Can… can I just stay here?” Her voice was trembling again. “I’ll watch from the boat.”

“You can touch them, when you’re in the sea,” I said. “It’d be really cool!”

“Aren’t fish cold?”

There was a splash. Her mother had jumped into the ocean, and she looked up at us from behind misted goggles.

“Zoe!” she said. “If you don’t get down, you won’t see what’s beautiful in here! Jump!”

“Momma, I’m scared!”

She pointed a finger at her daughter. “I did not raise you to whine, girl! Now jump before I give you a telling!”

“I’m really scared!” Zoe shouted, knuckles white from gripping boat railings.

“If you don’t come into the ocean, how are you going to brag to your friends back in school!” my sister yelled in her angriest voice. “It’s worse than not getting an A! Or losing to that loser Justin in chess after three moves!”

Zoe’s eyes widened, and she became still for a second.

“You’re right, momma!” she cried, and before I could stop her, she hurled herself off the boat. “Gereni-” She hit the water. “COLD COLD COLD AHHHH!”

She splashed around in frantic strokes, and my sister swam over. “Easy, baby.” She hugged her. “Brave girl. Let’s go snorkelling.”

Within a few hours, Zoe touched fishes. And squids. And starfishes. And black nemos. And sea cucumbers (“They fart!”). She saw a moray eel hiding in its coral cave. She saw a bamboo shark and screamed underwater. She drank sea water, coughed and laughed, then dunked her face underwater again immediately.

When it was time to leave she swam away, so both a boatman and I had to jump back to the sea and spend way too much time fetching her.

It was evening when we returned to the beach. There were still holes in the sand, and she squealed upon seeing them.

“I’m digging them up!” she shrieked. She grabbed the plastic pail and shovel from her mother’s bag, and ran out to the sands.”Face me, crabs!”

I shot my sister a Dear Sister, Okay, I Concede That Her Upbringing Is Fine And She Is Ready To Face The World, Love, Your Brother glance. She gave me a Dear Brother, I Told You So, But Really, Thanks For Always Believing In Me, Love, Your Sister look. Then we watched the setting sun casting everything on the beach in a silhouette with a warm orange glow, and my niece having the time of her life running around on the sand, throwing a pail at scattering crabs. We shared a Brofists are Not Our Thing But This Will Do look, and sighed together.

How My Niece Became a School Bully (1,299 words)

E: Formatting

Overall this is a very nice story. My only real complaint is that the story is largely about your niece, but told from your point of view. We don't really get to see your feelings about your niece's actions throughout the story except in the silence conversations with your sister. I like the conflict caused by questioning the way your sister is raising her daughter; that can be a real point of contention in families. If there was one thing I'd change, it would be to emphasize the adult emotions in the story – exasperation, pride, worry, whatever was going on could be more obvious to the reader.

Ugly In The Morning posted:

A Little Too Routine
1,219 Words

Another day at the office. The same, everyday, average frustrations. The dumb customers, the micromangement, the tedium. Another day to finish, file away, and forget. And it could have stayed that way, too. Life’s a lot like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, where the author got lazy. Half the choices seem to just lead to the same page, one that says “You get home and go to bed. The End!”.

But when they don’t, boy howdy, look out.

I logged off my computer (It freezes and takes longer than normal- go to page 63, you get home and go to bed, the end!), and headed down, through the lobby, past the street meat carts (I decide to get a snack? Page 63 again!). I trudged down the same stairs I walked every day, I waited in my usual spot for my usual subway car. I could have walked ten feet to the right, stood on a different shaped puddle of subway goo, and had this day be just the same as any other. But I keep waiting right where I always wait, having the same day I always had. I think this whole paragraph could be cut without losing anything story-wise. Your references to pg. 63 later on are enough to set up the ending, and we don't really need the details of leaving the office.

The train arrived. I boarded it, and started reading what had to be the hundreth Harlan Ellison short story I had read that week. Great way to pass the time on a long, dull commute. Just couldn’t wait to get home, relax, and go to bed. Use deliberate sentence-fragments sparingly. This is getting choppy. It may not be exciting, but drat if I don’t love that page 63 ending sometimes. Now this is a nice, relevant tie-in to pg. 63 that also shows something important: that you look forward to it.

Today, though, I’m snapped out of my book.

“Hey, an “excuse me” would be nice!”

“gently caress you, man, get out of the door!”

Oh, wonderful. One of the happy-hour crowd has decided he’s going to educate somebody in proper manners. Unfortunately, the University of Subway Manners, R Train campus seems to be having a student protest, and they seem to prefer yelling and screaming over a good old-fashioned sit-in. Drop the clever metaphors and show the action.

A drunk businessman and an angry homeless man arguing? Well, I thought, it beats breakdancers. I watched, closely. I’ve never been a fan of having emotions run that high when I’m that close to the action, so I wanted to at least keep an eye on things. The homeless man was gesturing wildly with one hand and- hey, wait, where’s his other hand?

My eyes darted over him, and I realizeed his hand iswas tucked away in his back pocket. Well, gently caress. That’s really not good. There’s plenty of reasons to reach for your pockets, but when you’re that heated up in an argument, all signs point to you being about to make a really bad decision.

You just changed tenses. The narrative has been in past-tense up until this point.

“C’mon, man, take a swing at me! Take a swing! You know you want to!”

Christ, he’s baiting him. He really wants to be able to say “The other guy hit me first!” when poo poo hits the fan. The Professor of Manners seemed to have realized his mistake, and began apologizing, saying it’s no big deal, don’t worry about it. I wanted it to work. I wanted to turn to page 63, to have another boring non-event of a commute, and destress from work.

The homeless man takes a step forward, swinging his arm from his back pocket towards the other man. He stopped it short, obviously having just been trying to draw him into striking first, but clenched in his hand is piece of metal, gleaming brightly against the grime of the dingy old subway car.
poo poo. poo poo poo poo poo poo. It's not clear that this is a knife, as opposed to a gun or brass knuckles.

What’s weirder is how nobody seems to really be noticing what’s going on. All headphones and tablets, their routines insulted by a wall of comforting noise. Lucky bastards.

“Woah! Hey, what the-! Put that away!” Is this you talking, or someone else?

Well, that did it. Some reactions from the peanut gallery, people scooting away, clearing out. I don’t exactly have the luxury, being cornered between the back of the train car and the rapidly escalating fight.

The brakes kicked on. A stop. Thank god. The doors swung open, and the man who started this whole mess had his first good idea of the trip and got out. A few of the other passengers joined him. The man with the knife, though? Stayed right where he was. It wasn’t about being disrespected anymore, and with the adrenaline in his system and his target beating a hasty retreat, he didn’t have any one clear outlet for his rage.

The doors shut. The train started to move. So did the man with a knife. He paced, he muttered, he shouted. He waved the knife. None of it was coherent. Page 63 seemed like a distant dream by now,. Aall I could hope for is to not do anything that would give me the other Choose Your Own Adventure standby ending,: a good old fashioned “Surprise! You’re dead!”

Don’t draw attention. Stay calm. I can do that. I took out my phone. I began to type, trying to look as if I didn’t notice anything was even happening, like I was just playing Angry Birds on my way home.

The text was to myself. “Red plaid shirt. Missing two teeth on the top right. Frizzy long brown hair. Has a black trash bag on a roller trolley . About 5’10” ”. Work this information into the previous couple paragraphs. What you have now is a list of events. I want to be able to not just see and hear the commotion, but smell and feel it as well. What're you thinking and feeling? How are you reacting? Any details I could see, anything that might be useful if the worst did happen. I watched, I waited. He walked in front of me, shouted something I didn’t quite catch. I was more focused on the knife pointed at me. It was probably only a few inches long, but in that moment it was monolithic. My breath caught in my throat, this was bad. Did he see me texting? Did he think I was calling the cops? Visions of all the mundane things I could have done differently and not ended up here, in this situation flashed before my eyes. The moment hung, it stretched, it lengthened to infinity as it was pulled towards the event horizon of my panic. [/b]Here we go.[/b]

It passed. He shouted again, walked further down the train car. He came back around. I watched, I waited for the right moment, and I switched sides of the train car. A stop was coming up, and now I was on the side with a door. Nothing would block me this time. I waited. He came around again. I tried to look casual. I have no doubt I failed. He kept walking, at least. There's a pattern here. I did this. He did that. I did this. Break it up some. Show us more than just what happened – show how it effects you.

The screech of the brakes. Again with the sentence fragments.Normally, I hate it. This time, it may as well have been a choir of angels. I stood up, quickly but deliberately, trying to avoid grabbing any more attention. I quickly turned round the barier, just two feet from the door, and stepped into the station. Home free.

I broke into a ran towards the end of the train a car away, waving my arms, flagging the conductor. “Yo! Hey! You have a situation! Man with a knife! One car down!”

No response. Not to me at least. The train pulled away as the conductor began to radio ahead. The police would be waiting at the next station.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I sank into the wooden bench. The next train, then. Hopefully I could just read my book in peace the rest of the way, as long as my hands stopped shaking so much.

Turn to page 63.

The best part of this is the ending. Because you set it up earlier, I can picture you going home, having a normal evening, and going to bed. It lets the story slip back into the routine of your day.

Your action scenes have some issues. You just write what happens, “He did this, the other man did this, I did that.” That gets boring. To catch and hold a reader's attention, there needs to be stakes. The contrast between Page 63 and “Surprise, you're dead!” starts to set that up, but more details would help. You hold your description of the homeless man until your text, which means that the reader can't picture him during all of the preceding action. Give us stuff to hold on to. Help us imagine what's happening.

Mar 14, 2012

Thank you Entenzahn and Jeza! I'll check out the crit in the Fiction Farm.

Benny the Snake
Apr 11, 2012

Just wanted to stop by and say thanks to God Over Djinn for your criticism. My story "Summer Memories" was written from a happy place and I wanted to evoke those same feelings of nostalgia in my reader. I was careful to be wistful without being whinny, and I guess I forgot to form it into a narrative instead of vignette.

The News at 5
Dec 25, 2009

I'm Chance Everyman.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Courtesy of Network Executive Stereotype

tenniseveryone posted:

Behind The Dome

You got two pitches here. Soap opera that's about a soap opera? Nerds eat that meta poo poo up. Soap opera about an apocalypse? Get AMC on the phone, we got a followup to Breaking Dead. Put the two together and your viewers are gonna get confused. You gotta have actors doing stuff too. Dramatic scenes, you know? Right now all we got is someone doing the recap.

Nielson rating: 6.7

Meinberg posted:

Oh No, Clones!

Clones and mad scientists is top drama material. But holy poo poo, we gotta get a better cameraman. Where the hell are these guys? You got the sorta complex poo poo bored housewives love, but I'm not feeling the emotion. And this scientist guy--what's he trying to do? Evil clones have to have an agenda, and that agenda is drugs and politics.

Nielson rating: 9.5

The gently caress is a Newberry? STDs are good poo poo, let me tell you. But why'd they stop and act all self-referential for a minute? You've got forty two minutes between the ads, and I want every inch between Tide and Godiva dripping with poo poo that makes our viewers stick around. Tell you what, you got a pilot, if one of them comes back as a vampire or some poo poo. We need the teenage girl demographic.

Nielson rating: 14.2

Lake Jucas posted:

Hearts of Gemini

You got a pretty solid cut. Maybe you don't have a good director, maybe your scenery guy's kinda poo poo. Gonna have to get someone in to fix that up, give it some punch that'll make the idiots tune in. But you got your heart in the right place for twin-based melodrama. Tell you what, I'll pay you for the rights, and we'll give this to someone who'll make it look loving great.

Nielson rating: 10.1

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Trouble in Paradise

This look like Telemundo to you? Well you better start calling me loving Pedro cause you got a show. "Hombre." Hahahaha.

Nielson rating: 16.9

Dec 15, 2006

b l o o p

Never mind, awaiting instructions from Chairchucker.

curlingiron fucked around with this message at 07:29 on Feb 19, 2014

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Benny the Snake posted:

Just wanted to stop by and say thanks to God Over Djinn for your criticism. My story "Summer Memories" was written from a happy place and I wanted to evoke those same feelings of nostalgia in my reader. I was careful to be wistful without being whinny, and I guess I forgot to form it into a narrative instead of vignette.

I bolded the only bit that anyone should be saying. If you want to wax goddam lyrical go to Ficktion Advice.

Barracuda Bang!
Oct 21, 2008

The first rule of No Avatar Club is: you do not talk about No Avatar Club. The second rule of No Avatar Club is: you DO NOT talk about No Avatar Club
Grimey Drawer
In. Flash me, please.

Mar 5, 2004

I couldn't decide on a set so I hit random page until it gave me something and

you better fuckin' BELIEVE I'm not going to write a boring piece of poo poo this week.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Mister Morn posted:

Loser Brawl: Mister Morn vs Crab Destroyer

The Struggle of Almaty Zoo - 296 words

bland title

The envelope lay on the desk, taunting envelopes do not taunt they are strictly inanimate the staff of the Almaty Zoo was 'the staff' the best possible way you could introduce these characters? or are they an actual staff a la Gandalf the Grey?. They hovered around it, EERIE 50'S THEREMIN GO barely able to stand from the work they'd done cleaning up the exhibits and preparing a new place for what they hoped would be the 351st species to have a home with them. yuck run on sentence plus 'hovering, barely able to stand is p nonsensical. You would have done so much better to have a single character or maybe a duo - an indeterminate number of staff levitating around an envelope is basically a quantum physics approach that will win you no favour in the rigidly deterministic world of thunderdome

The first visit had been disastrous. The representative ARE YOU LITERALLY ALLERGIC TO NAMES from the Beijing Zoo had looked around, muttered words in Cantonese that his interpreter refused to translate, and eventually stormed away without even finishing his tour. It had come down to Almaty and London, and unless the Almaty zookeepers turned their entire zoo around, I am enjoying the image of burly kazakhs in white gumboots holding the edge of the zoo and shuffling it round like 90 degrees London was going to get the honor for sure. So the staff worked overtime, day and night, to prevent that from happening, as well as to overcome their embarrassment and make the Almaty Zoo something they, their city and their country could be proud of. BUT ARE THEY RESCALING THE ZOO PARADIGM TO SCAFFOLD THE UPSHIFT

The second visit had taken a lot of begging, but at least that time the Beijing representative finished his tour. Differences in culture and language made it hard to tell whether he'd been impressed with their efforts, or whether he was just being polite and London had already been chosen. if it is hard to tell then why are you telling us i would hate you to strain a fuckin muscle Nonetheless, the staff redoubled their efforts but the decision has already bin made are you saying kazakhs are dumb because i will seriously cut you in anticipation of the final decision, which was in the envelope on the desk in front of them.

The head zookeeper 'Gandalfski' picked up the envelope, and, trembling pipeweed addict, pried it open. He read the words on the sheet of paper within and, with a whoop castin a spell, threw the paper onto the table so his staff could read it. The answer was written in Kazakh, Russian, Cantonese, and English, English, Maori, Italian, Belgian, Luxembourgeois, German, English again and Thai, and it said “we would like to congratulate the Almaty Zoo on being the latest zoo we have selected to house a giant panda.” assssssssssssss.

You may have noted the word 'rear end', said with an unnecessarily long string of 's's on the end as though spoken by an enraged steam whistle. That was me, expressing my feelings about your story. Super bad, gotta say; it's like writing a story called 'the exam!' and the lead character is called the student and he walks down the road and thinks about how dam hard he worked at the exam and studying for the exam and then he reads the results and woo he won! End! Would you read that story? Willingly? NO. No you goddam would not because it is boring and tedious and dumb. You are LEASING OUR EYEBALLS. Make your story worth the time we spend on it.

Also: twist endings? not a fan. Especially when the twist isn't even a twist.


Crab Destroyer posted:

Loser Brawl: Crab Destroyer vs Mister Morn

Temujin's Mercy - 265 Words

My brother told me the massacre of the Mongol caravan was a mistake. Doh! Inkidinkally who did the massacring, was the brother there, why is the brother in the story since he plays no further part in it? Why not just start 'I should never have massacred that darn Mongol caravan!'He said Otrar was doomed and suggested that we flee west. I couldn’t follow him. My duty to Allah, peace be upon him, and the Khwarazmian dynasty was too important. What Khoresmshakh Mohammad II knew the Mongols were preparing for an invasion with their caravan of spies and was acting accordingly. How? Mohammad proved his military acumen with his expansion of the empire, Huh? and had the wisdom to be wary of the Mongols. Otrar is where the Khan’s merchant caravan was intercepted, Um. and it was here that his diplomatic envoy was executed by the governor. Bummer! The Khoresmshakh must have known that if the Mongols would strike it would be here. Duh! Yet we were not ready for their invasion. Doh! Again!

Otrar now lies in ruins. Mongol soldiers have massacred most of the townspeople and are now corralling the survivors to be used as slaves. All the Khwarazmian soldiers who remain are surrendering. The Mongols are watching us intently; be wary of ascribing specific actions to general groups of people, it nearly always reads weirdly once the Khan decides what to do with us the looting can begin properly Actually just cut this word.. I am surprised to see Genghis Khan in the flesh is... is he in the nud. instead of one of his generals. He addresses us through an interpreter that speaks Turkish.

“It is wise of you to surrender. The Khoresmshakh will regret his rejection of my trade offer, but you do not have to die for his mistake. You have proven yourselves worthy of a place in my armies. Will you join me? Or will you die?” WHO THE poo poo IS THIS GUY THAT WOULD BE NICE TO KNOW

The answer is obvious. Allahu Akbar and praise be unto the Mongolian Empire. AND THAT'S HOW WEASELS CAME TO KAZAKHSTAN

This is also very bad; confused, infodumpy, lacking in vital information like oo lets see WHO IS THE PROTAGONIST but I dunno at least something happens, and I can see an actual story coming out of this after a savage slashing series of edits and rewrites that left about 5% of the wordcount intact. So on balance, and with the caveat that both stories are truly terrible, 'victory' to crab destroyer.

Mister Morn: prepare your brow for the damp flaccidity of the losertar.

Mar 21, 2010

Whalley posted:

I couldn't decide on a set so I hit random page until it gave me something and

you better fuckin' BELIEVE I'm not going to write a boring piece of poo poo this week.
Dude, that is some Shining poo poo going on right there. Why have the animal mask dudes/hellish man-animal hybrids taken over the fire station? What are they doing with it? Do they prevent fires, or do they set them? The fox appears to be carrying an icepick.

Their leader stands under a clock. He has conquered time itself: the lands of men should be a pushover.

Mister Morn
Feb 9, 2012

Losertar for me, eh? Well, that happened. Thank you to everyone who read and critiqued my lovely writing.


Apr 12, 2006
Crits, yo. There were a lot of you fuckers and a lot of bad entries and this is taking a lot of time. I'm not done yet so if you don't see your name don't panic like a little bitch.

Black Griffon - Bohemians
I found myself liking this in spite of myself. You ramble on in this way that should infuriate me but your writing here is just so drat wonderfully wistful and poetic. I found memories of my own echoing in your words. And I liked that. You did an excellent job encapsulating the experience in this lovely, reminiscent, dreamlike way. I liked it but, like a dream, I found in lacking substance. You jotted down, with great accuracy, this night but failed to link to anything greater. Failed to weave in the importance of it to you as something more significant that “something that happened.”

I hate you for making me miss night likes these.


Arkane - Kisscapades
Technically, you wrote a story. A boy picks up a girl and hey kiss. Congratulations. This is pretty much all that you did well.

Where to start on what you did poorly? Your dialogue sucks. Your formatting for your dialogue sucks. What made you decide to cram everything into the same paragraph? I know your enter key works. gently caress. Put it to better use. But, please, don’t think I’m knocking your dialogue just because you don’t know how to format. It was stilted and boring and most of it was unnecessary.

The entirety of your first paragraph is irrelevant. Are you the “funny guy” in your friends group? I get the feeling that you’re probably a funny dude in real life (or at least you think you are). Either way, your writing isn’t amusing or charming enough to pull off these constant zings. Your first paragraph is one long joke that simply isn’t amusing. Neither is the stuff about Casey’s name. Your “observations” aren’t hilarious, profound, or even poignant. They just make me groan and hope that you won’t dilute another sentence with one more hilarious monkeycheese random metaphor.

For real. Cut down on the stupid metaphors and descriptors. It doesn’t make you unique or interesting. In fact, your writing style is incredible common amongst young writers.

Your ending is abrupt and terrible.

(See what I did there?)


Palisader- The Move
I didn’t hate this one as much as my fellow judges. They found it criminally boring. I thought it was just boring. You don’t have to describe everything. You shouldn’t describe everything. Make it all meaningful. Make it all count. You might have something half way decent buried under all of the excess fat.


Elfdude- Highschool Justice
You put so much emphasis on the fight when the fight wasn’t really that important. It was being a good boy. That’s what is interesting! The relationship between the mother and the narrator and between the narrator and himself. You are okay at writing action scenes but I think you should try focusing elsewhere. For your next story, just as an experiment, try to avoid as much physical violence as possible. If it happens, find a way to have it occur offscreen. Work on character development. Keep at it!


Huntersoninski- It Could Have Been Worse
Your sentences are clumsy. Especially in your opening paragraph. I get what you are saying but its written in such an inelegant way that I don’t want to stop reading and move on to something else. Aim for simplicity. Get your point across and then stop. For instance, I don’t need to know that you’ve been living independently for a year. It doesn’t add anything. You’ve already told me that you’ve been living apart. I, the reader, will agree that it sucks to move home regardless of your time apart.

I don’t have much more to say other than that. Clean up your writing.


Xenocides- Slaying a Childhood Devil
You got a lot of grammar and tense issues to work out. It doesn’t matter what you write about if you can’t get a handle on basic skills then your work is unreadable.


Little Mac- Last Date
Your opening line only makes sense after reading the entire piece. This isn’t necessarily a terrible thing to do if you can do it well. Yours is too esoteric. If you confound me early on you then risk me not reading any more of your piece. .

You’re not a bad writer. You have a nice feel for language. I think with this piece you tried to “do too much” because it was a real experience. Treat it like a story. Cut what isn’t interesting or important. Expound upon what IS interesting or important.

Adding two characters right at the end was maybe a poor choice. Your story was already done! It felt tacked on and, again, confused me. Who are these people? Why are they important enough to be included but only right then at the end?


Quidnose- Go Home, You’re Drunk
If this is a story, and I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here, it isn’t a very good one. Which is a shame because you nailed being drunk. Absolutely nailed it. Really well-written. I just wish there was something more here than “I got drunk and drank some more and then went home.”


The Leper Colon V- Someone I Didn’t Deserve
Don’t write a summary of a story as a story! Write a story!


Anathema Device - Breathe
“Always have a good book handy; breathe at the periods; and don't worry too much if the paper gets wet, because it's the words that matter.”

I thought your story was cute but that’s all it was. Without more insight into the narrator’s world and the way these “life lessons” have changed him/her I’m left with a college application essay rather than a story.


Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi- Feeling a Clot Better
This was very bland. Like a wafer or something. It wasn’t poorly written but nothing of note occurred. Sickness. Diagnosis. Recovery. Celebration. I’m sure it was a stressful situation but there is nothing panicked or upsetting in your writing. I was just kinda like “Huh, well, glad that worked out” and then I moved on.

Also- don’t edit. You should have been disqualified.


Crabrock- My Life in Knots
Very charming, nicely written, and the only entry to make me laugh. The dialogue was fun to read and I got distinct voices from the different characters. I think you did a really nice job of tying in the scientist thing so that it was an actual story with growth and what have you rather than recitation of a real life occurrence. Well done.


Ugly In The Morning- A Little Too Routine
You start up slow and kind of ramble from there. You describe settings accurately enough but you get pretty muddled when you start involving action. With that being said, your incorporation of the Choose Your Adventure stuff was pretty clever and a neat enough idea though that it made your piece bearable.


Meinberg- When the Cold Wind Blows
There is probably a way of telling this story without it coming across like the bitch fit of bitter nerd who got friendzoned but you didn’t do it here.


Comrade Black- Maternity Fingers
In what world is a twelve year with knowledge of penis and births considered “sheltered?” I get through one paragraph and I’m scratching my head. And it goes downhill from there. You need some serious work on your sentences. Structurally they’re all over the place. You use too many words. You include stupid poo poo.

Here’s an example:

“Apparently, you needed hot water in order to make the yeast rise. Or something. I can’t really remember why we needed hot water for pizza dough, but I didn’t care.”

Why did you make me read these words? Did you really need them all?



NewsGunkie- Away
You need a better intro. You need a more definite plot. I need something interesting to happen. This is supposed to be sad and it isn’t.


Erogenous Beef- Sodom Has No Pause Button
You took me for a trip and I’m glad I went. You won so I’m not gonna sit here and jerk you off with praise. You know you’re good.


Whalley - Dads Roll Out
This is impossible to critique because this isn’t a story. This is a journal entry or maybe an answer on a college application or something. You’re not illiterate. You’re not a lovely writer. However, you didn’t write a story. gently caress.


Mister Morn - Empire State Heights
This reads like your english teacher made you write a reflection on your summer vacation to New York. I have to assume it was a pretty lovely trip if this was all you could come up. I mean, what happened here? How did the narrator grow or change because of this experience? I hope your teacher failed you but you probably got patted on the head and told what a good writer you are. Tell a drat story next time.

Also, I need to get this off my chest.

“It was the highlight of my trip, and it really made that weekend worthwhile.”

This is bad. Don’t ever do this again. If you did a good job of, oh I don’t know, writing a story then I already got this.


Nikaer Drekin- For Your Consideration
I thought this was really quite insulting.


Djesar - To Impress
Any other week this would have been a DM at best. I have no notes that you don’t already know. Give a poo poo or get out.


Sebmojo - Backwash
This feels like a middle piece. Not in a good way. You didn’t drop me off in media res but rather in between the introduction and any sort of action. There are some characters and some relationships and right when things start happening its over. So, I end up knowing nothing. I end up feeling nothing. There is no story because there is nothing. Very uncharacteristic entry from a writer I enjoy.

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