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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

sebmojo posted:

edit: actually, fuckit. Systran, brawl me or be proven a weakling before god and man.

Okay, you choose a judge etc.


Mar 21, 2010

systran posted:

Okay, you choose a judge etc.
I'll do it, if you two are interested. Got a prompt lined up.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk


Mar 21, 2010

This is a prompt that’s been brewing a long time. I had it planned way back for the first thread, but I despite a lot of HMs in the time between, I’ve never managed to clinch another win. In the meantime, the number of entrants has gone up, and the word counts have gone down, and it’s not really viable for a big ole’ whole ‘dome rumble any more. This feels right, though. This feels just. The universe was waiting for this moment, for me to lay down the rules by which you live. This is gonna be epic, lads. Your prompt is:

:siren: Set a story in a new world. Not America, not Mars, not Neo-London: something totally unrecogniseable from the earth we know and love. I want to be able to taste it in the air, I want to be able to smell it, to hear its songs. I want a living, breathing place constructed entirely from your imagination, as different from Terra Firma 2014 as a siberian tiger is different from a big mac. :siren:

Furthermore, you must tell a story. Characters, motivations, plot. No encyclopedia entries or blog posts or naturalists taking notes. You don’t have the time nor the space for that. You need to sell your world through the fabric of the story, through the way the characters perceive their world and choose to act in it. May God help you if it reads like Malazan: Book of the Fallen.

Finally: Mojo no cyberpunk, Systran no Chinese/Turkish-esque mashup.

Your limit is 2500. That is a hard limit: one single word over (title inclusive) and I will fail your rear end so hard that your children will be born with losertars instead of faces. I will count every single word and every single one over the limit will be taken as a personal insult that I will avenge by coming to your house and making GBS threads in places that poo poo does not go.

Deadline is 11:59pm Wednesday May 7th. Since you’re both in wacky-rear end timezones, we’re running by the only true clock: Singapore standard time. That’s UTC+8.

C'mon little doggies, let's rumble.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart
i accept your terms

Mar 21, 2010
:siren: OPTIONAL BRAWL THEME: Hope in strange places. :siren:

Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition

:toot: Results of the 89th Thunderdome, The Party Games :toot:

Having spent an evening reading jumbles of words and unable to drink to blur the pain, let’s do this.

Pin the Tail On the WINNER:

curlingiron wrote a touching story about a group of gamers dealing with one of the loss of their own. Double honor for making this D&D-despising judge love this D&D story more than any other she's ever read. Bravo. I pass the party hat to you.


We Landed On The Moon, despite the initial formatting wince on my personal end, wrote something touching about people facing down the end of the world and made the formatting work. That's how you play with words.
Entenzahn took a flash rule and made it shine, writing about a kid who wanted that cake and didn't get it with a hilarious ending line.
Erogenous Beef wrote a party blowing up (literally) that rolled with lots of good description and riveted from start to end.


PootieTang didn't go anywhere or say anything, despite many words about warriors.
Sir Azrael also went absolutely nowhere with cardboard characters and ended on a weed joke.
Hocus pocus wrote political fanfic and by all rights should be DQed. Boo.

LOSER who Pissed in the Punchbowl:

Drunk Nerds wrote some weird rear end poo poo about a valet stalking a director, doing weird poo poo to get his screenplay read, and then getting pissed because his writing was poo poo. You don’t get any cake.

A special failing call-out for Cache Cab. A hint for future trick writing. If your special snowflake formatting makes it so a judge can’t read the story, don’t further compound it by not leaving any text that can be read. As soon as the middle image started pulsing I got so sick I almost threw up. Congrats, you pulled a judge that’s photosensitive. Dis-loving-qualified. Get out my house.

You'll get your quick paragraph crits over the course of the week, and if you want longer ones you can ask after they're up. Now someone clean up this mess.

Lily Catts
Oct 17, 2012

Show me the way to you
(Heavy Metal)
Congratulations, curlingiron! Now PROOOOOOOOOOOMPT

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk


Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!
:siren: Thunderdome XC: Down With the Sickness :siren:

Okay kids, I’m about to plunge into all-morning meetings that determine my pay grade for the next year, but y’all need your fuckin’ prompt, so here it is:

Write me a story on the theme of contagion. How you interpret that is up to you with the caveat that the contagion in question cannot be something that is usually contagious. Please also note that using laughter or love as your contagious element will get you disqualified, because I hate happiness and am driven by suffering (see also why I THUNDERDOME).

You have until 11:59 PM EST Friday April 25th to sign up and until 11:59 PM EST on Sunday April 27th to submit (because I have to get up early on Mondays and I enjoy being fast) to write me 1200 words on the subject. And make it an actual story, would ya?

Hope that’s simple enough for you chucklefucks.


crabrock posted:


The Saddest Rhino

List of the Quarantined:

Erogenous Beef
Bushido Brown
WeLandedOnTheMoon! Flash rule: "That's when sunlight came from behind / a rock and began to follow my hand."
Paladinus :toxx:
God Over Djinn
Starter Wiggin
The News at 5
QuoProQuid Flash rule: No dialogue.
Lake Jucas :toxx:
Drunk Nerds
Hocus Pocus
Thalamas Flash rule: Your story involves a house on fire.
Djeser :toxx: rule: WeLandedOnTheMoon must confirm a first draft of your story was written before Friday.
lambeth Flash rule: Part of your story takes place in an aquarium.
That Old Ganon
Schneider Heim
Griff Lee
Some Guy TT
Grizzled Patriarch
Cache Cab

curlingiron fucked around with this message at 04:18 on Apr 26, 2014

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart

Bushido Brown
Mar 30, 2011


Jul 18, 2011

Deny it!” cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. “Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end.”

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009

A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly

I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell.

Mar 21, 2010
I like this. In.

Jan 11, 2014

In with :toxx: as promised.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009

A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly

Also, I'm going to need a tissue flash rule.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards
so in.

Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
and the deranged degenerates who only want their



using laughter or love as your contagious element will get you disqualified

Inb4 someone writes a story about a widespread outbreak of kissing booths.

Starter Wiggin
Feb 1, 2009

Screw the enemy's gate man, I've got a fucking TAIL!
Do you know how crazy the ladies go for those?

Apr 4, 2013

The News at 5
Dec 25, 2009

I'm Chance Everyman.
I am down with the sickness. In.

Jan 12, 2012

Tr*ckin' and F*ckin' all the way to tha

In, with an additional self-imposed flash rule: No dialogue.

QuoProQuid fucked around with this message at 17:50 on Apr 22, 2014

Lake Jucas
Feb 20, 2011

In with a :toxx:

Nov 18, 2003

I don't think you understand, Gau.
In before I catch whatever Cache Cab has.

Drunk Nerds
Jan 25, 2011

Just close your eyes
Fun Shoe
In. I can do better.

Jun 20, 2013
I'm in, also offering two critiques for the first two to claim them.

Sep 17, 2012

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS

leekster posted:

I'm in, also offering two critiques for the first two to claim them.
In and critique me please, my submission was posted by Glass for me.

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.

leekster posted:

I'm in, also offering two critiques for the first two to claim them.

Yes please. Would love to know what the newbies think of my lunacy.

Hocus Pocus
Sep 7, 2011


Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Brief crits, still chugging on my last two weeks so won't do longer ones.

Glass lotus clumsy but nice closer
Turtlicious blah wgaf d&d fanfic with cheaty pointless close out
Drunk nerds this is garbage learn to write kid
Cc ok that was pretty funny
Thalamas complicated and annoying
Gau nerd burns party to dea th; unconvincing.
Whalley bland clunky and endlessly protracted
Ebeef broliciously awesome hm/w
Tenniseveryone effective yarn, good use of detail, televisionitis?
Curlingiron, dorky, cheesy, but well done and affecting. Clever with the prompt too. Hm?
Entenzahn decent, kinda funny,
Bushido brown o god shut up
Kurona bright blah dull L?
News at 5 nice guy fanfic but it works, if crudely at times hm?
Wlotm tight and clever hm?
Nickmeister wtf dreadful dm?
Maultaschen, competent prose. But endless lead up to a baffling close
Pootietang lots of nice and convincing detail but lots of fatally muddled words
Starter wiggin nice work, clever pivot from teen emo to vampire and good words hm?
Kaishai awww poo poo bangin hm/w
Kalyco good words but protracted and weirdly unsatisfying plu o god ending
Leekster better words but jesus dude
Quopro no you dont get to handwave the party
Walamor cyberpiffle
Jeep eh blah blurg
Sir azrael oh get hosed who cares
Grizzled patriarch wow nice poeing hm/w
Hocus pocus bush fanfic
Noah clumsy and over intricate but some nice emotion
Fm glorious hm/w
Djeser great idea, prose a bit too sloppy, but good work
Crabrock tight and grimy, good work
Phobia way too many words i dont care about

Jun 20, 2013
Seb could you expound a little bit? I'm not asking for anything more than a sentence or two.

Nov 18, 2003

I don't think you understand, Gau.
Crit for Thalamas.

Thalamas posted:

Only One Brother 1199 words

Matthew looked down at the corpse and took another swallow of beer. This is a really awkward sentence. He clambered is the table a hill? onto the table into the center of The Apostle Inn where the body lay. Wait, is the dude like, standing on a table with a corpse on it? Is this a thing the Irish do, put dead people on tables in bars? Also, is this table steel or something to support two people? ”James was a good man, a loyal friend, and he could drink most of you under the table.” The gathered mourners raised their glasses. Why? “I’ll always remember the time we caught that badger and let it loose in here one Easter. You lot all screamed like a bunch of ninnies while Eve chased it out with a broom, calm as the day is long. She never took shite from you and she certainly didn’t take any from that badger. To our dear James, you’ll always be in our hearts, and to his lovely wife, slàinte!” I think you need to break up this speech, it just drones. Maybe show us some reactions (Matthew's or the crowd's).

Slàinte!” the crowd shouted back.

Standing By the bar, Paul wrapped his free arm around Eve. Tears shone in her eyes. “Drink, Eve. It helps,” he said, and followed his own advice.

She faced him. “I’m not sad, Paul," said Eve. "I’m happy the bastard is dead. Thank God I look like a grieving widow, but don’t mistake my tears.”


“We shouldn’t have done it,” the youngest brother I found out this was Paul in the next paragraph, but you should really say so here said in a low tone. “We’re going straight to Hell, Matthew. Jesus Christ, when Eve asked, I’d have done anything for her, but I regret this.”

“Shut your Goddamned mouth, Paul. We can’t talk about this here. We can’t talk about this anywhere.”


Drunken fools. He and Eve had been the last ones in the Apostle after a night of hard drinking two years ago, Matthew and Eve had been the last ones in the Apostle. They’d turned the Open sign to Closed and bolted the door. One night alone had led to hundreds sneaking, hiding, and loving.

In the end, it had been her words that had changed everything. “You’re the man for me. I can’t go back to James. No more, no more,” she’d sobbed. “You have to kill him, it’s the only way we’ll ever be free.” The blacked eye and purple ribs, an echo of his own childhood, had spoken as strongly as the words.


“Outside. Everyone is in here for the wake, we can talk there,” Paul said. He opened the weathered oaken door with an unsteady hand and they stepped outside. The din of drinking songs, speeches, and clinking glasses the wake faded as the door shut, leaving them only the quiet patter of spring rain for company. They walked along the slick cobblestones in silence, past fiery flickering? gas lights and houses, to the church. Matthew unlatched the gate and they entered the hallowed place. Is it important that Matthew opens the gate? Do you have to enumerate their entry?

Tombstones filled the grassy grounds. Matthew led them deeper, to the fresh, empty grave near the back where the light was dim. “Well?”

“I’ve got to confess, brother," Paul slurred. "It’s my only hope for salvation. I asked you for the poison, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be implicated,” Paul said, his words slurred.


“Brother, you’ve got to stop this. You’ll kill her if you keep it up. Eve is as tough a woman as I’ve seen, but another bad blow to the head like this and she’ll not wake up.” Matthew washed the blood off his hands in a bucket, then wiped them dry.

James sat on a stool. Long hair obscured his face as his head hung down. “I love her so drat much, Matty-boy. You remember when we first met and I made her that garland of wild asters and anemones? She looked so beautiful.” His voice was faraway.

Matthew snapped his fingers in front of his brother’s face. “You listen to me, James! Stop. Drinking. You’re just like Father and, if you keep this up, Eve will end up like Mother.”

James looked up and the demon was in his eyes.

This doesn't do anything for your story. You already established that Eve was abused by James, I just don't get what this adds other than the fact that James isn't a complete monster for about three sentences until he is.


“No. I’ve already lost one brother, I won’t lose another.” Matthew grabbed Paul by the arms as he swayed. “They’ll hang you.”

“Better an earthly death than a spiritual one. I thought I could do this, but I’m not that kind of man. You take care of Eve and The Apostle for me when I’m gone.” He broke his brother’s grip, but as he did, he slipped in the wet soil and fell. The open hole beckoned and when he hit the bottom there was no movement. Okay, I like the idea you have here, this sort of ironic falling into the grave, but you don't set it up properly. If he's going to die, you need to to hit that. What you've got here is him slipping and...maybe dying? Maybe passing out?. If you cut the last sentence and get to the reaction, it will help a lot.

“Paul? Paul!” He scrambled down and checked for a pulse. Blood covered a large stone, but no more welled from his sibling’s skull. I don't buy that there's a rock big enough to kill a person in a freshly dug grave, but that's just me. Also, there should be blood everywhere. I think that description would be more visceral and hit a better emotional chord.


Eve left. The condolences disgusted her. The beer tasted of ash on her tongue while his face still lingered there. Outside, the rain was coming down hard and felt pleasant on her upturned face: peaceful, cleansing. She turned down the street and headed for St. Mary’s, the only other place she felt at home. The great double-doors were well oiled and opened easily. She walked down the length of the aisle and sat in the front pew.

Great Lord, I pray to you for forgiveness on this holy day. I’ve sinned and I know how terrible a sin it is, but I’ve also done what was right in my heart and I believe you’ll forgive me for it. Maybe one day I’ll even find it in my heart to repent, but right now all I feel is anger, so I guess what I’m praying for today is the strength to let go of that anger. In your Holy Name, amen.

She could feel a lightness to her steps as she walked out the doors. Once again, I think you need to hit the emotional nature of this redemption moment a little harder. The focus is on the prayer, not on what the prayer does for her.


“Eve, oh God!” He had climbed out of the hole, covered in blood and mud, and cried. After a few minutes, he’d gotten up and wandered to the church entrance, looking for any kind of guidance. At first I think he sees Eve, then he's still in the hole, then he goes to see Eve. :what:

“Matthew, what happened to you? Where is Paul?” She was staring at him. Why? What is she feeling? What is he feeling? What is ANYONE feeling?

“I don’t know, I don’t know. He’s dead, Eve. He fell in the grave. Oh Lord, he wanted to confess and I said I wouldn’t let him. I couldn’t lose him and now he’s dead. If only I hadn’t brought him here. If only I hadn’t grabbed him!” He was wailing, ranting. Yeah, you need to tell us this in the middle of the dialogue. Help the reader hear your character, tell them what's happening as it's happening.

“You did this? You killed my Paul?” She flew at him in a rage, knocking him down, and then fled for The Apostle, crying, “Murder, murder!” A lot happens in this sentence. You should split it up, let us feel what's happening.

“No, Eve. It wasn’t me, he slipped!” Matthew shouted, but his cry was lost in a crash of thunder. But she's gone? I guess?


The people of The Apostle Inn mourners fled out into the night in search of the murderer, following righteous Eve. They followed her right past the alley at the side of the building where Matthew slumped in despair. As the last one filed by, he looked up and the demon was in his eyes you use this phrase twice and I have no damned idea what you mean. He stood and went inside for a drink as his father always had when things were dark. Oh, okay, you mean he wants to angrily booze. How do you see that? What does it look like?

On the table, James took a breath as the poison wore off. Matthew did not see, for he was looking down into the swirling gold of his beer. The eldest brother slowly sat up on the table and turned. He walked over to Matthew, who was hypnotized, and laid a hand on his head. “I have seen much in the land of death, brother. I am risen and, in the name of the Lord, drink no more. Where is our brother?” Good news: this is the strongest part of your story. Bad news: I still have difficulty imagining it. Matthew can't see James, then he's hypnotized by James.

Big Issues:

1. The ordering of your little segments is awkward and adds to an already confusing story. There's no need for a flashback. Your plot is fairly straightforward and you just confuse it by scattering details in pointless asides and POV changes. As an exercise, just rewrite this as a straightforward sequential story. It'll be better. I get it, I fall in love with stupid lovely storytelling devices too. Pretension will strangle you.

2. You need to get your reader inside your character's heads. You combine dispassionate dialogue with a lot of telling to make me not give a gently caress about (or even understand) the emotional impact.

3. If you're going to give us a turnabout gotcha ending, you need to set it up. Even something as simple as "Matthew wanted to tell Paul the truth, but he couldn't" would give us the idea that there's more to this than "James is dead." Since we start in Matthew's head, we should really get more than that. Also, why doesn't Matthew tell Paul the truth in the graveyard? Don't answer that, you should already know and so should I.


Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!

WeLandedOnTheMoon! posted:

Also, I'm going to need a tissue flash rule.

Flash Rule: "That's when sunlight came from behind / a rock and began to follow my hand."

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009

A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly

Reminding you clowns that I'll crit up to two stories based on request.

If you have already requested on from someone else this offer doesn't apply to you.

a new study bible! fucked around with this message at 00:26 on Apr 23, 2014

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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

I'll take one of them then!

Bushido Brown
Mar 30, 2011

WeLandedOnTheMoon! posted:

Reminding you clowns that I'll crit up to two stories based on request.

If you have already requested on from someone else this offer doesn't apply to you.

I'll take you up on this and I'll offer up two crits of my own to any takers.

Some Guy TT
Aug 30, 2011

Nethilia posted:

You'll get your quick paragraph crits over the course of the week, and if you want longer ones you can ask after they're up. Now someone clean up this mess.

Guess that's me, since you seem at least kind of busy and Seb has a backlog.

Cache Cab posted:

Some murderer or child or maybe both at some point goes on an acid trip and it's not at all clear what's happening or when.

Your special effects are neat, but unfortunately you don't frame what happens well enough to make this at all entertaining without the gimmick. A good gimmick, when readable. You wanted a story that took a turn for the incomprehensible, and that's exactly what you wrote. The trouble is that the integration isn't very good. The final product reads like it was made by a computer- the characterization is random and not particularly interrelated, as is the weirdness emphasis. Yes, I know that real life acid trips have the same feeling- but you're not trying to write a documentary. You're trying to tell a story. Don't just manipulate the format, manipulate us, too.

GlassLotus posted:

A couple of girls get into a fight then one runs away to the cemetery, where the faeries are having a party and one of the girls learns a lesson. Oh and none of it was real anyway so nobody learned anything.

It took me several rereads to see your ending as ambiguous instead of just straight up telling the reader that the story was pointless. The former is good, the latter insulting- pay close attention to properly toeing that line. As to merits, the description of the faerie party was good, and I wondered why you spent so much time on Zoe getting lost when there's a lot more energy in the fantastic stuff. If you want to write about a faerie party, just do that. Don't tie in themes boring normal people and sisterhood just out of obligation. I could tell the difference. If you actually cared about Zoe you would have given her proper characterization and a proper ending instead of the nothing we ended up with.

Turtlicious posted:

A king is having a wedding party, then some thief interrupts the narration, calling it boring. Then the thief and his partners bicker for awhile until they're found out and everything gets messy. Plot twist- they were playing Dungeons and Dragons all along.

It's bad enough you had to make this a Dungeons and Dragons story- those are already almost always obnoxious in-jokes. But you had to make it a twist ending too, which only calls attention to how poorly written all this was. Yes, none of it actually matters because it was just a bunch of nerds screwing around on a tabletop. So what? Why should anyone care what a bunch of obnoxious faux witty geeks do in their free time? They're jerks, their characters are jerks, same difference. It's all equally boring and obnoxious. The first few paragraphs at least try to set the scene and give environment, and then Ragnar gets whiny and the whole thing just feels horribly lazy. Not that your opening was great, but it's nowhere near bad enough for snark to be amusing, or for the twist to come off as anything other than rude and assholish.

Drunk Nerds posted:

Some aspiring screenwriter is trying to get a screenplay read by a well regarded director. She uses the persona Chameleon Man to get close, but when he expresses disgust at the writing quality she decides to destroy his Ferrari.

Were you trying to anti-pander or something? Your hero writes a bad story and has a temper tantrum when somebody tells her it's bad. I don't care if the scumbag director has a teenage wife, I'm going to side with him unless you give me a real good reason not to. Which you don't. Who is Chameleon Man? Exactly what he sounds like, I guess. Or is it a she? The director calls her a bar bitch. Your action isn't engaging, and your characterization is really weak, so all we're left with is a rage story about why nobody understands my totally cool story ideas man.

Chairchucker posted:

In the future bratty teenage girls will have robots to act as bouncers for their totally rad parties.

Well, hm, this isn't really a story so much as a concept, but it's a good concept. At first I thought Gabrielle was a robot, too, given the way she was using SAT words awkwardly, but once you get rolling this is fun stuff. B2000 is plausible as a robot precisely because it isn't particularly consistent. Real machines are like that more than we like to think, and yet it's still plausible that B2000 is looking out for Gabby rather than just acting out a subroutine. Even if your word choice isn't that well set-up, it's often cute (I really liked “friendzone”), so you got smiles out of me. That's always worth something.

Thalamas posted:

The party is a wake for some dead dude who used to beat his wife. He's dead because his brothers poisoned him over his domestic abuse. Then the brothers argue over the moral ramifications, and one of them dies by accident. Then the widow leads an angry mob against the surviving brother. Plot twist- the first dead brother wasn't actually dead, the poison just wore off.

Everyone in your story is in such a hurry to move on to the next narrative thread there's never any time to slow down and actually give the reader a chance to learn about the characters. Heck, there isn't even enough time to set up the twist ending, which once again, turns out to be really pointless. If you want to make a story with Easter imagery, try using characters that also fit the imagery instead of a random domestic abuse love triangle. These tropes are cliched, but they can still be used to good effect in longer form fiction with better built-up. But that's straight up impossible in a story that's under 1200 words long. Cut out about half this stuff and you might have a story with breathing room, though I'd probably still stop short of calling it good.

Gau posted:

Somebody gets their house totally destroyed due to the most epic party ever. He then decides the only way to end it is to murder everyone in a fire.

I want you to consider the fact that you spent nearly every last word in your story describing the terrible state of the house. That's not a story. A story needs something to happen, and we only get that right at the end when Hank decides to destroy the house. Now, never mind that he chickens out. That's a heck of a decision to make and the personal background of that really needs to be explored. By contrast, we really do not need to know the location of all the semen stains. You get some mileage out of decent description but you overplay your hands and make the proceedings boring. A good story needs balance. A good resolution sprouts from seeds planted in the beginning. Keep this in mind next time.

Whalley posted:

A graduate student throws a party so as to prove his amazing theory- that a Partysphere exists which connects us to the multiverse of all the perfect parties throughout time and space.

I was hopeful when you opened up with the arrival of the stereotypical professors, but then you immediately toss all their characterization away and make them wear costumes we don't actually get to see. The trouble with your story is that the premise is exactly as stupid as it sounds. I'm not happy that Kumar got a Nobel Prize. I'm annoyed because nothing that happened made any sense, not even in the realm of fictional pseudoscience, but Kumar's being rewarded anyway because the story has to end somehow. The whole thing feels like a quantum physics in-joke anyway, and speaking as someone with only a passing understanding of that stuff, none of it was funny.

Erogenous Beef posted:

A bunch of embassy frat boys prank their way into World War III

Your story's easy to understand. It has a simple concept, and comprehensible prose. There's no major technical problems here, but I took an immediate strong dislike to it. John is an obnoxious jerk. His pranks aren't even charming- I could buy him destroying the world with a butt fax if he was drunk but there was nothing in your writing indicating this. What's worse, half the story actually takes place after the apocalypse, and I guess I'm supposed to find it funny that the world has been destroyed and the pranksters are now stuck in the aftermath of the fallout. The jokes have to connect for this kind of story to have any kind of impact at all, and I didn't feel any of it.

tenniseveryone posted:

A group of...teenagers? College students? They're playing Seven Minutes in Heaven, and she wants nothing to do with it, but he's an alien.

Your perspective constantly jumps around here, and it gets confusing. Is this from Chelsea's point of view or Reggie's? Make up your mind- especially if you're going to toss in fantastic elements like destroyed worlds and resource plunder. The whole bit about the wind had me completely lost- Chelsea thinking it was a pick-up line about farts made a lot more sense than whatever was actually happening there. Was this supposed to be romantic? I'm not a woman but I'm guessing they aren't generally down for making out with aliens at a moment's notice. Well, unless it's a weird woman. Which could make for an interesting story. That would not be this one.

curlingiron posted:

A bunch of nerds play Dungeons and Dragons in the wake of the real life death of one of the members of the group.

As hokey as the premise is...actually that's not much of a problem, because your story addresses it. While your characters aren't given much detail, they react plausibly to the game, especially to the appearance of their dead friend's player character. I really enjoyed how, even if I didn't know these people, I got a very good idea of their overall relationship from James' letter. It's actually quite touching. The idea was a bit of a tweak, given that the theme was parties, but the effort was well worth it. In a week filled with parties that were the stuff of legend for typical epic stuff, you made one that built its foundation on something a lot more meaningful. That's how you won.

Entenzahn posted:

A delightful cake entices a small child to eat him. Because only the birthday boy deserves cake.

I always wondered why children are so insistent on starting fires. Dumb children. And cakes. Oh cakes why do you have to be so delicious stop tempting me. While your story was obviously intended to be comedy (and works quite well on that level), it's the way the themes work on a universal standard that really makes it effective. Maybe the boy didn't learn anything, but I learned why it is that we always have to keep our eyes on small children at all times to keep them from killing us all. There are good universal themes at play here- something that was lacking in this week's stories, which gives yours a fair amount of heft.

Bushido Brown posted:

Anthropological aliens study Earth, then destroy it, because it's their culture or something.

So Klaxxor doesn't want to destroy the Earth, but he's a giant weenie so he does it anyway. And I guess I'm supposed to feel bad because I live on Earth and he just killed me for no reason? If you're trying to tell a disturbing story about well-meaning people doing evil things because their culture said so, don't make them aliens with ridiculous names. That would have destroyed any pathos you were trying to build up. Not that you had any to begin with. Klaxxor is just too wishy-washy for his angst to really mean much of anything. I'd be a lot more interested in a story about his buddies. A funny story, because for pity's sake, there's aliens with beer pong here. Talk about misuse of essential story elements.

kurona_bright posted:

This guy going off to college is moping because his best friend won't be coming too. Then he has a talk with his dad and looks to the future.

The premise is fairly generic, and your prose is below average. A lot of this is just awkward phrasing. There's plenty of background detail but none of it is relevant. We only get to real story territory when Robert starts talking to his dad- up until then we're only vaguely in Robert's head at all. Is the idea here that he's thinking of boring, inconsequential stuff because he's trying to distract himself from his impending separation from Chris? Because all it does is make me feel bored reading a story where nothing is actually happening. Work on your technique- the story structure's not great either, but it looks pretty good relative to the other offerings this week.

The News at 5 posted:

This guy goes to an old friend's wedding with a gun in his hand. Then he shoots himself but I guess it was a blank even though it made a loud noise.

I think you're laboring under the assumption that thrillers are entertaining because we like to guess how they're going to end. This is incorrect- mysteries are fun because we want to know why it ends a certain way. And you never actually do anything to explain Paul's motivation. The little information we do get doesn't explain his bizarre behavior at the end. For the most part you just write about a wedding where one of the guests happens to have a gun. There's no sense of heart, urgency, or excitement to anything that occurs here. Motivation is essential, and it needs to be telegraphed well enough that the reader isn't left guessing.

WeLandedOnTheMoon! posted:

The world is ending and two lovers at opposite ends move toward resolution in the center, becoming one as the universe smashes together.

I want to rant at you for using that format- my computer's screen wasn't big enough for the verticals, and I had to tilt it, too. Fortunately my irritation was mostly ameliorated by the poetic writing, which the format does a lot to reenforce even if it's a giant pain-in-the-rear end to read. It was a wise decision to leave out the interpoints. We see Dylan and Marie in their loneliest, darkest hour, and then everything's all right. We don't need to see how this happens. The greater theme is about being alone and them being together, just as the planets, too, collide together. It's effective stuff.

nickmeister posted:

A community group that has something to do with taxes has a party at the beach.

I'm pretty sure something happened in this story but I'll be darned if I have any idea what it was. I'm not even sure who these people are, or what their relationship with each other is supposed to be. Al likes Alayasha even though she's a lot younger than him, and that's all I got. If there was some sort of context maybe I could bring myself to care about these people, but without it the story's just incomprehensible. Your prose is good enough that I can understand that something is happening, but in this case that just reminds me that nothing is happening and I'm wasting my time with this.

Maultaschen posted:

A realtor attempts to sell a future house to human aliens, but her plans are foiled by the dastardly United Nations and she gains superpowers.

Oh how I wish this story was as funny as that synopsis makes it sound. You took all these weird and absurd elements and turned them into an extremely banal story about an optimistic realtor working in less than ideal conditions, and then it turns into a revenge fantasy that stops right when the exciting stuff happens. For the ending to make any sense, it has to somehow relate to who Belinda is as a person. Is she willing to sell homes to possible terrorists because she's desperate to help her family and will sink to any level? Then make her depraved. Make her connected to the family. Don't make her show us a bunch of random future tech. And foreshadow the political situation somehow so this doesn't all come out of nowhere.

PootieTang posted:

A religious guy impresses a general with his personality, then goes somewhere to meet someone.

I have no idea what actually happened here. Your main character never actually says anything but everybody else stands around him and says stuff that I guess is relevant somehow. It's just plain weird how you make a story called The Messenger and then never actually tell us in vague terms what the message is about. You had plenty of words left over- wait, no you didn't, since the appearance of opium cut your word count in half. Although you're still over the limit, and I'm not so hot on your interpretation of what constitutes a party either. Get a flash rule next time. You need more clearly defined direction.

Starter Wiggin posted:

I'm all giddy because an eclipse is happening and my crush wants to spend it with me. But plot twist I am a vampire and will do the same thing with other guys.

I liked your use of the second-person. It really gets the story into an emotional feeling, which is appropriate for romance. Except this isn't romance it's vampires. Why are there vampires. Is it because you thought the story needed a twist? It didn't. We connect with characters based on who they are, not the arbitrary labels assigned to them. You figured out that much just by using second-person speech in the first place. Technically I am the main character in this story, and I can feel it. I can understand that kind of life experience. I don't understand the need to suck blood from the person I'm snuggling with. That could work as a metaphor, but allegorical stories are pretty much the worst possible place to use second-person narration, which is all about keeping things relatable. I'd say either ditch the narration style or the vampires, but your writing is good enough that the combination isn't totally bad.

Kaishai posted:

A prisoner is forced to cook a feast for the enemy banquet because she's good at her job, She poisons their food and makes them all go crazy.

This is the rare story that actually needs less characters with names- the impact here is all about Ronya's suffering and Ronya's revenge, and naming the enemy soldiers detracts from that. It's not like they're sympathetic and we're sad that they die- these people have almost no characterization. Focus on Ronya- make this about her knowledge of herbs, her memories of better times, and her quiet determination to take revenge on her captors. There's elements of this that shine through, but the short length of the story and the emphasis on mechanics rather than emotions weaken the impact. Reorganizing the events here along those lines instead of sticking to simple beginning to end chronology might help as well.

Kalyco posted:

A couple of priests on gravedigging duty meet up with a doctor and a bunch of gypsies, and come up with a scheme for a border run.

Your whole story was a set-up to a meme. Fortunately this is a very old meme that works in the historical context of the story, so we're fine, but only because it matches up with Judd's characterization. I guess. Frankly speaking all I have for motivation is that John dislikes war (because it's inconvenient), Judd is jolly, and everyone else just wants to avoid getting killed. For an escape story this isn't so bad- but the emphasis needs to be on the escape, not the backgrounds. Tell us the kind of people your characters are by having them act. As it stands your story is decent because there's no major contradictions, so you do at least have the advantage of having flaws that work to the benefit of your writing.

leekster posted:

A family prepares to spread ashes out over the lake. They succeed in doing so, and then dive into the lake with the ashes.

I had to read this story several times to figure out what the relation is between all these characters. You have four men with generic names, three in the generation after the dead guys, one of them being a grandson. Cut down the number of characters- two should be enough. And actually discuss why the glitter is so important. There are a lot of conflicts here but the glitter is the only one that actually matters, going by the ending. Give us a bitter angry fight between two grown men over whether or not to use glitter while scattering ashes, and make it sound important. A good story only needs one idea. Don't clutter it up with unnecessary characters and backstory.

QuoProQuid posted:

An angel enlists a nun to help him get to a sweet party via carjacking.

I suppose Mary Margaret (why did she need two names?) reacted to Raphael's request about the same way any of the rest of us would. That's a problem- just the fact that she's a nun should give the woman a different interpretation of events, and here you have her being fairly blasé about everything. She doesn't even ask the big question- why Raphael chose her, why they're even doing this at all. “It looks cool” isn't a good reason, at least not with this kind of prose. You focus on detailing the basics of the story events than actually making it sound exciting. At the end Raphael has to tell us the entrance looked cool, because you didn't write a cool sounding entrance. When working with an outrageous concept like this, show don't tell is a pretty essential rule.

Walamor posted:

In the future, it is forbidden to look at plants.

Yeah, I guess there was a plot in here about a guy who likes looking at plants, and this woman who likes stealing plants, but really, the star of the show here is the setting, which really needed better explanation. Felix doesn't actually explain what he's doing there until the story's practically over, and as far as I can tell Sam is just a wacky thief who teaches him that it's better to have plants than to look at them. Most of the story is an extended action sequence with no dramatic stakes. Partially this is a result of generic characters, but the absence of a coherent well-defined setting is the real culprit here. Make me care about a future where there's little access to plants, or don't bother writing about it.

Jeep posted:

This eccentric guy died wanting his funeral to be a giant drunken church orgy. Now he's dead and gets his wish.

I'm sure there are people in the world with such a bizarre goal for their funerary rites. It's too bad I don't know why Sanders wanted that- you constantly make comments to the effect of “he sure was a strange guy!” but never actually explain the specific level of strangeness that would get at this request. Irritatingly, you almost get there, when his daughter starts with the stories, but we only get the vague outline of one rather unimpressive one. The rest of this is just beer and piss and vomit and sex in the church and, you know, outside of shock value, there's nothing here of any worthwhile substance. There's no philosophy. Just a bunch of boring sodomy with no conflict. The fire doesn't count- I have to care whether any of these people are going to live or die first, and most of them don't even have names.

Sir Azrael posted:

This woman dumps a guy and tells her friend they're having a party. Then they go to this other guy's house, do some small talk, and prepare to summon a demon.

The minute something is actually about to happen in your story, you end it. Good grief. Your dialogue is horribly wooden, to the point I was expecting a twist that they were robots or the living personification of nature or something. Don't do something as silly as introduce friends named April, May, and June unless you have some kind of thematic excuse. Also, don't expect your reader to care about their relationship drama unless there's some kind of background to make it interesting. These people are not funny or interesting. They just do all this dull unremarkable stuff, to the point that the demon thing isn't even a twist. It's long awaited characterization and context that needs to be at the beginning of the story, not the end.

Grizzled Patriarch posted:

There's so many cannonballs flying around everywhere that nobody can get any sleep.

I like Goran. He has a personality. Too bad the guy's only in one scene and we have to spend the rest of the story with Pavel, a guy so whiny I can't sympathize even when he's about to die in the middle of an unexplained war. If you want to go dark, you need to write some kind of backstory that makes the reader feel bad about characters dying, if only because they were interesting and will no longer be able to entertain us. What we have here instead is just a bunch of bad stuff that happens without rhyme or reason. If there's barbarians at the gate, make them terrifying. Here they're just too distant, too unknown to make any kind of impact. Give us fear- then we could empathize with Pavel even if he didn't have a personality.

Hocus Pocus posted:

George Bush is a lonely old man who spends his days painting. Then he meets his other famous friends.

I'm not buying Bush as the quiet reclusive type and his buddies as frat boys. Not because of political reasons, but because everything about this is so generic. If you're banking on the context of us all knowing who these people are to make the story work, don't. Remove the political element and this is just a story about a bunch of old people who...didn't even have glory days, actually. All they talk about is hurt feelings and boring angst. There's almost no characterization here at all. I have no idea why you felt the need to write a story about a bunch of famous people, but if there was a point, political or otherwise, to any of this, I missed it.

Noah posted:

A woman has had two lousy birthdays in a row, and her life hasn't been going so hot outside of that either. Her current birthday utilizes elements from both the previous ones to tell a story.

I have to give you credit for telling a story at least. I can see how Margie's had a rough enough time that she can't recover, and the ending does let the woman resolve her twin betrayals, sort of. I really wish you'd focused more on Margie's mental state, because you throw in a lot of details, like the size of the goons or the alienation of Margie's family (even though she has guests?) when the focus really needs to be on the woman's depression. You get that general tone down pretty good at least, accentuating it well by having her snap at the people who love her while still holding an undercurrent that they probably don't deserve her love in the first place. Not that she knows that. You don't keep a perfect focus, but it's still pretty decent considering the format.

Fumblemouse posted:

A policy writer who hates his job and the people there prepares to hatefully rip into everyone as a final parting shot at his retirement banquet.

It's clear immediately that Arnold has suffered a lot of meaningless indignity in his life. But just when it's obvious what he's been planning a curveball shows up and completely alters the story's direction- not in a way that makes much sense. I like how your story is dumb in a way that clearly takes into account why the prompt had a penalty for non-alcoholic drugs in the first place. Even considering that, though, some foreshadowing would have been nice. On balance I still liked the general idea of taking a revenge fantasy trope and screwing it up randomly. Your story only needed one chuckle to succeed, and you got that much from me at least.

Djeser posted:

A bunch of dumb teenagers keep getting themselves killed because they mistake a shadow beast for evil.

I'm assuming they're teenagers anyway, since that's the genre trend you're making fun of here. Not exactly the most original concept, but well executed nonetheless. You make the deaths funny, obviously preventable, and yet so unremarkable that it's easy to sympathize with the shadow beast's general defeated tone. It's easy to second-guess her actions here, but she's probably tried every possible permutation by now and gotten about the same results. Your interpretation also handily explains why people in this universe are so genre blind- to any outside observer these kids just got drunk and killed themselves. Good work here.

crabrock posted:

A couple of girls who are definitely not lesbians and don't even like each other that much get into a party game that ends predictably and obnoxiously.

The narrator (who really needs a name) is that nice mix of person who doesn't like parties, goes to them anyway, then remembers why she doesn't like going to parties in the first place. Lilly is a great friend for her, too, since without Lilly the narrator would otherwise avoid doing social stuff and then we'd have no plot. The whole lesbian angle is a good one, because that is absolutely an annoying assumption people make way too often, but the reference you use is a little weird. Ellen, really? Didn't they stop making that show last century? Regardless, this is a good story that hits all the right beats.

Phobia posted:

A bunch of sixth graders have a tea party, but one of the girls is having a tough time at home so she's not playing correctly.

You really need to start with the whole sixth grader thing. At first I couldn't tell whether these were actual snobs, a girly tea party, or a girl playing by herself and all of this stuff was in her imagination. Also, if you're going to make them this old and actually call your story The Last Tea Party, there needs to be some sense of finality, like the girls aren't going to be doing this much longer. Aside from that, this is a decent enough story about kids growing up, learning the true value of friendship because parents are terrible. Work on your background description and setting the tone. Those are your main weaknesses. You do pretty well as far exposition goes, but that tends to go down better in narration than in dialogue.

Some Guy TT fucked around with this message at 00:28 on Apr 23, 2014


Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition

Wise Fool crits for Grandmaster.flv and Starter Wiggin, with Party Week #1 coming down the chute later this evening.

Grandmaster.flv posted:

fuckin' lol next time I'm not writing scifi because I spent too loving long worldbuilding. Also this is my first entry ever and I am garbage at writing dialogue but no excuses.
(blah blah blah write up or shut up)

1,468 words
(And we start with the word count above what it should be, that's always a good sign. [/sarcasm])

From this high up the skyline of the city seemed almost pretty. poo poo, it almost looked tranquil from this distance. The neon glow faded into this beautiful sea of lights, and unlike at street level, she didn't feel oppressed by the advertisements and billboards everywhere, shilling their wares. (My personal rule of thumb? If you need more than two commas in the sentence and there's no inner clauses, the sentence is too long.) The skyscrapers seemed much less ominous from a mile above, and she could actually see the drat moon and stars for once. (Who the gently caress is "she"? Does she get a name? I mean, some stories run on nameless people but I hate nameless characters. Use a name generator.)

And its not like she didn't have plenty of time to enjoy the view, since the drat chopper was on autopilot. She missed the feel of the joystick, and quite frankly would've just jumped in herself but "mission parameters" dictated that she run the digital side of the infiltration and let the chopper run itself. (this sentence is long.)

The fact that last time she was out she crashed both the company car AND the motorcycle Chairman Lito so the background person gets a name but not her? had so graciously loaned her didn't really help much but given the uh, (poo poo WE DON'T NEED ) blatantly illegal nature of her missions, something about how she was never actually caught on any of these jobs ingratiated her to the executive board.

You have taken three paragraphs to tell me gently caress all. I don't have a name and I have only a spit of a plot. Instead I have some bloated descriptions that could have been pared down and some backstory I don't need. This could have been one paragraph and a lot less words.

Tonight's mission was fairly run of the mill. Take down perimeter security, set down on the roof, bust into the datacenters, and snatch and grab and get out. Silently. Chairman Lito had been very VERY hat tip, if you have to say "very" twice in a row use a better word specific about exactly how quiet it had to be.

Her partner for tonight was this stoic type by the name of named K-Roll. Partner gets a name, she doesn't. Ugh. Young enough to not remember the old days. Before the self-contained company "campuses", before those companies merged, and merged, and merged again, annexing entire towns. hi there sentence fragment haven't seen you in a while poo poo, the kid was probably born after the fall of the US government, probably was born into one of those megaplexes that sprang up once everything went private and the US became a series of privately owned nation-states. on and on and on about backstory poo poo

He didn't really say much. They had been running recon ops for the past week, and after their initial meeting, he was strictly business. She couldn't tell if he was a pro, or just really fuckin' shy, but either way it suited her just fine. Dude was either at his terminal or in his "cage" lifting weights or some other caveman poo poo. She was decked out in all kinds of augmentations. He seemed to be a lot more old-school about his approach to things. More backstory poo poo that's not even needed in a short story. Sweet loving writing gods.

They had been canvassing one of the habs, trying to find an in with an engineer or somebody who had access to the internal datanets, posing as Arbiters. It was one of her favorite covers because, to most people Arbiters were below rent-a-cop status and only existed to add more bureaucratic horseshit to the process of keeping the infrastructure going. lots of words leading to nothing.

poo poo, her Arbiter uniform even had her loving proper name on the badge. "Sossa Grey, Deputy, BoostrapCorp" in nice bold black letters. Oh, so now we get a name, all the way down here in the middle of the story. It should have been much earlier. K-Roll was a little harder to make convincing, but he was muscular and imposing enough that people didn't really ask many questions.

After hours of inquiries, turning up jack poo poo, one of the housewives seemed to take a liking to K-Roll, the neanderthal looking motherfucker, and pointed us in the direction of one of the penthouse residents, one of the higher ups in accounting for Bootstrap by the name of Ellis. On and on and on this sentence went. We stepped into the elevator, and getting out of the penthouse, it was clear that the top of this hab lived a very different life than those below. There were actual real, live plants in the landing, and not a single advertisement on any of the vidscreens. I stand by my prior comma statement.

I did you just change POV on me, bitch? BZZZT don't don that rang the doorbell, not really looking forward to talking to yet another useless suit. I You did, eeeegh looked back at K-Roll, who had the same deadpan expression on his face. I swear to god the kid might be retarded, but the Chairman's personnel brief had nothing but glowing commendations on his hacking work, let alone his more uh, *glare* physical abilities. comma comma comma comma

The door swung open, and I was surprised to see the man behind it. If you have to tell me this it's flat. A fairly slim man, almost handsome if it weren't for his drat beard, dressed about as well as any of these penthouse HENRYs were greeted us.

"Evening, arbiters. What can I do for you tonight?"

"Sir, I'm from Enterprise Division. We've had multiple latency complaints from penthouse residents and we wanted to take a look at your hub" period missing

"Oh but of course, come right in! I've been having some bandwith problems tonight and I'm glad Enterprise is so on top of things!"

It wasn't necessarily a lie. The particular hubs Boostrap used had a nasty tendency to poo poo themselves if you prodded them a certain way, and weirdly enough K-Roll had dropped a bug on the hab's intranet to let us play with them at will. Including this dumb bastard's.

Ellis's apartment was pretty drab, even by HENRY standards. He could afford real fruit, in the future we will not be abble to afford actual food and some of his furniture was even real wood. Something twigged me out though. A lot of these things were a little TOO *if you have to cap it to stand out you're writing it wrong, use italics nice for what was collectively a shithole.

He caught me staring a little too intently at his fruit bowl. I almost got the feeling he was sizing me up almost as much as I was sizing him up.

"Those oranges are organic you know" All those commas you used earlier, and not one here. he said, slightly haughty [period needed] "I prefer most things in my life to be organic. Even in this day and age of technology, there's something to be said for the old ways. Would you like one?"

I shot K-Roll a look as if to say "its IT'S not like I can afford this poo poo on my salary" and I went right in as he fiddled with the hub. Ellis was completely oblivious, prattling on about the history of that orange, how it was grown in some grove far to the south in another complex and how the taste reminded him of his old house, and how the plex was filling up with tourists and other unseemly types. on and on and on and on and on.

While he was gushing about his orange, K-Roll was working on the hub, dropping in backdoor that would let us commandeer all of Ellis's traffic, so we could shape his traffic and do all the intranet stuff we needed to break in. on and on and on Once he nodded at me I broke in politely continued crimes against punctuation "Sir, it seems like my partner has finished up with your hub. Let us know if you have any further trouble" [period needed again]

He smiled, and as we were walking out, he followed us, carrying a scooter. Fuckin' HENRYs were intent on showcasing their wealth, and the latest trend was these stainless steel monstrosities. "I'm going out for a drink, would either of you care to join me?" he said as we got into the elevator This sentence is pregnant.

"Sorry sir, we're still on shift. Another time, perhaps" I'm not saying it again. I said, coldly. "Oh of course, of course" he smiled as he unfolded his scooter and rolled off into the night.

I put a space here, because that's how you dialogue

K-Roll bursted BURST *eyetwitch* out laughing as soon as he was out of earshot. "That dude gives me a bad vibe, yo. Creep status" there is something in the water.

That was the last full sentence he haid *stare* said to her, POV SHIFTS WILL GET YOU KICKED in the week following, and even on the chopper right now. Speaking of which, dishonor on you and your cow the landing chime sounded, so she got ready to move. The Chairman was right, K-Roll had done his homework because she got all the way to the datacenter without so much as a peep.

He stood guard outside as she darted in and hopped on a console. She couldn't help but glance at the data she was jacking. Highly unusual, but then again this job tended to be exactly that. This time, however she was seeing some VERY "Very" is a weak rear end word. questionable financial transactions. Almost as if somebody at Bootstrap was intentionally trying to sink the ship to leverage a buyout from my loving POV shifts company. Not her and back it goes question to ask. That being said, she couldn't help but notice a massive acquisition order for some fruit flash by. Right as the transfer finished, the console went apeshit Don't do that. and alarms started ringing out.

K-Roll charged in. "Let me deal with security you get your rear end to the chopper and we'll deal with exfil when we get to it. GO GO GO".

I POV SHIFTS WILL GET YOU PUSHED DOWN STAIRS beat feet *stare* to the stairs. No way I could make it up in the elevator in time. I heard K-Roll cursing over comms as security poured into the datacenter but I was too busy sprinting up the stairs to care. I burst through the doors to the roof, only to find the fuckin' Just type the drat word out chopper was all the way on the other side.

As I ran to the chopper I heard the elevator chime, and the sound of wheels, and a foot rhythmically hitting the concrete. By the sound of it there was no way I could make it to the chopper before the scooter caught up with me.

I sighed as I drew my katana.
I sighed as I came to the end of a story that didn't have anything worth a drat happen.

Weakest Link: First of all, you bounced from POV to POV. "She" to "I" to "she." Don't loving do that in a short story. Pick one view or the other, especially when the POV shift is applying to the same drat character. I see no wise fools, unless it's girl with one-off name. Or the guy in the apartment with his fruit bowl? Fssh. There's a lot of wordbarf that try to scream "this is the FUTURE" but it is wholly unneeded. The story came to a weak confrontation that ended with a katana, of all things.

Strongest Chain: In this story the strongest chain is made of baby spit and wet gum. That is, there ain't one. If there was I couldn't see it past the drat SHIFTS.

Picky Bitch poo poo: "When you use dialog," she said, "you put commas and periods inside the quotation marks." She dug into the citrus fruit with her fingers. "Yes, even at the end of the sentence. And yes, even when the paragraph is over. If you don't do this, your writing is poo poo to read. It's basic high school grammar, for gently caress's sake."

Overall: Don't write like this. The characters were weak and barely distinguishable. There were a lot of words wasted on poo poo I didn't give a gently caress about--all that "worldbuilding" wasn't needed in a story that should have been 1200 words max. Worst of all, the story meandered to a clichéd ending that didn't even make anything happen.


Starter Wiggin posted:

Truth and Beauty Bombs
811 words

It’s nighttime, and I’m placing C4 around the perimeter of the building. Intriguing start, at least. It’s ramshackle enough, but you can never be too sure. I’ve got explosives packed around all the major supports that I can find, and extra just for flair. I’ve also set more explosives on a 10 spell out numbers, they don't add to the count minute timer. That’s when I figure anyone who is going to come see what happened will have showed up, and then BOOM! The most invigorating vacation yet.

There’s a small hill a bit back from my project. I shelter behind it, away from the brunt of the first blast. These could have been one sentence. It The explosion? Say that. goes off without a hitch. I climb to sit on top, and the melody of far off Use dashes, they're nice. sirens trickles through the cold night air.

The fire department is the first to arrive, their hoses aimed towards the flames that lick the sky. Behind them are police, then a lone ambulance. I crouch behind the hill again. The rescue workers stay back, but not far enough to avoid the second wave of explosions. Screams puncture the night, and the adrenaline that I crave so dearly is overflowing from my every pore. That's...not a nice mental picture. Through veins, yes. Out of pores? Ew, it feels gross. My eyes feast on the scene playing out below me. It’s slow and painful and the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.


I get excited for burning buildings. Tragedy pushes adrenaline through my fibers. Natural disasters make me feel alive. I don’t throw caution to the wind; I vivisect it and determine it to be a hazard to my health. Being reminded of the temporary nature of life is my drug. I think Joey Comeau said it best, “I’d rather die terrified than live forever.” The man makes a great point. What’s the point of being alive if you’re not actually living? I don't like these last two sentences, they don't add anything and just tell me what you already said in the quote.

Don’t think that you’re crazy for thinking me insane or foolish; all my friends do. 90% of the time, don't write stories to the reader. This isn't a Choose Your Own Adventure Prompt. I can’t share this ‘hobby’, as it were, with them. They Your friends? Why not say that? worry for me. They call my obsession dangerous. For a while, they invited me to share in their hobbies, mountain biking and karaoke, but the rush isn’t there. It’s like comparing sandpaper and citrus, if you’ll pardon the butchered and trite analogy. I will not pardon it, to the execution chamber.

They don’t know the worst of it, though. If I need a fix, and nothing sufficiently insane is happening, I make my own fun. I don’t go too terribly far, really. I stick mostly to light arson. I’ve dabbled in pipe bombs. I’m experimenting with chlorine gas. These projects fill the times when the world has gone quiet around me.

This entire section feels like it should have been much earlier in the story. Yes, you've shocked us with the explosion, that's all fine and good for sheep, but now it meanders into his philosophy and slows everything down. This could have been woven into the above part, and the bottom part.


I didn’t think to count the explosions, so I didn’t realize that there were two that hadn’t gone off. They did, maybe five minutes after the second wave, and I didn’t duck or cover my face. I was too busy taking in my handiwork. The charges ignited and flared into the dark and smoky air, blinding me. This is so clunky.

My field of vision was destroyed. Everything, everywhere I looked, was a brilliant white. I covered my eyes with my hands and blinked, hard. Nothing. I could still hear the muffled sobbing coming from the wreckage below, and I listened while going through my options. You're pretty chill for a just blinded by an explosion you made guy.

I couldn’t walk home; it was hard enough to get out here without getting lost with my sight intact. I couldn’t go down to the paramedics; they were in no shape to help. My last and only option was to voice dial a friend and have them find me. But I had to wait until morning. If my friends came out here and found me right by this ‘crime scene’, they wouldn’t hesitate to turn me in. As far as they knew, my obsession only extended so far as things that I had no control over.

I waited until more sirens came and worked through the carnage of their friends. I waited until people that sounded important came and ruffled around with their dogs. I waited until I could feel the noon sun beating down on my upturned face, and then I called my friend. Repetitive, and not in a good way.

He found me, comma not needed and brought me to a hospital. He didn’t ask any questions; I think he was just resigned to not wanting to know how it happened. The doctors asked their questions and whispered in the corner.

“Don’t know that he’ll recover…”

“Psych eval for sure, maybe the third floor has room…” Why are they taking him to psych? Has he shown anything that would turn him in? Cause they don't just psych check you for being near an accident.

I got to talk to the shrink. She sounded calm, but what reason would she have not to? A newly-blinded man is probably not that much of a threat. She asked me how I was blinded, what I was doing so close to the scene of the explosion, why did I have explosive residue on my hands. If this is why he was hauled to psych, say so. So far it came off like he just, you know, got hauled off by routine, which don't happen. I guess I gave her the answers she wanted, because after that she only asked one more question before she left me.

“Why? What were you thinking?”

“I’d rather die terrified than live forever. Wouldn’t you?” Oh, the quote's back. We're ending on that. Fine.

Weakest Link: The part where we go into his headspace for wanting to set things on fire/blow things up is a slow drag between the actual stuff happening. Weave it in.

Strongest Chain: I like the part about why he's doing this. I just don't feel like it was in the right space.

Picky Bitch poo poo:There are lot of clunky sentences that jar my reading. Also, that citrus tie-in was weaksauce. Is he the wise fool? Cause to me he's just blowing poo poo up for the thrill, and that's crazy as poo poo but that's not foolish.

Overall: Like the premise, don't like the execution. Middle of the road.

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