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cargohills
Apr 17, 2014



Sounds good. Any other newbies want to swap crits?

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Quoting for the new page. Judging is going to take a while, so here's some poo poo to keep you occupied and prevent you from reflexively crapping your pants while jumping up and down screaming for results.

Bad Seafood posted:

:siren: INTERPROMPT :siren:



Wizards are lame and for nerds so let's talk about barbarians who unlike wizards are totally sweet.

You have 300 words to tell me a story featuring barbarians. I literally do not care what your story is about as long as it contains barbarians. Wizards are absolutely prohibited unless they are on the receiving end of a barbarian's sword, axe, or fist.

Now go forth and find out what is best in life.


Sitting Here posted:

OUTSTANDING TOXXES: You have until noon PST to avoid the reaper's blade.

Okay guys I have an :siren: assignment :siren: of sorts for you.

This isn't mandatory, but I would like for everyone to critique at least one story this week. You can set up swaps, pick randomly, or whatever it takes to get those goony fingers tapping. If you're new or not very comfortable with critiquing, all I'm asking for is something like 3-5 sentences. Think about

-What you didn't understand

-Where you stopped reading (if you struggled with reading the whole thing in one sitting)

-Whether or not you understood the characters' motivations

-Whether the ending resolved things satisfyingly, or at all

Don't worry if you don't think you have anything helpful to say. Let the writer assess that for themselves.

GO.

also, anyone who wants to FJGJ at the judges must do so in the form of wizard pictures and gifs.

The Shortest Path
Jun 21, 2012



I almost want to write 300 words of a barbarian critiquing someone's story.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Your proposal is acceptable.

Go forth, my child, to crit and conquer.

Maugrim
Feb 16, 2011

I eat your face



Crits: I do copy-editing for a living. I will point out your grammar errors and tense issues and explain in detail why they're wrong. I'll also crit style and story a bit but grammar is my thing. If that sounds helpful to anyone, I'll crit the first three takers. (also grateful for return crits)

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo



Pham Nuwen - Chance Man

This is very well written for a TD newbie, with good punctuation etc.

I'm having trouble caring about your protag. There isn't really anything that likeable about him and he doesn't do much except react to the situation.

The fourth paragraph (starting with "You wouldn't expect...") is quite expositiony. I feel like most of it could have been cut and the rest woven into the story.

Overall - a solid action/adventure piece with a cool wizard power that fails to connect emotionally.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






newtestleper posted:

Pham Nuwen - Chance Man

This is very well written for a TD newbie, with good punctuation etc.

I'm having trouble caring about your protag. There isn't really anything that likeable about him and he doesn't do much except react to the situation.

The fourth paragraph (starting with "You wouldn't expect...") is quite expositiony. I feel like most of it could have been cut and the rest woven into the story.

Overall - a solid action/adventure piece with a cool wizard power that fails to connect emotionally.

If you're wondering how a good, concise crit looks, this is a great example.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

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




Here's my crit for newtestleper's story just because I read it so might as well talk about it.

At first, I was really confused for some reason, but I think that's just the tiredness speaking. There were a bit of grammatical errors as well as some run-on sentences, as well as you mixing up the whistle with a watch. I did like the use of the whistle and its humming, and I also liked that it was discarded once it was used up, almost like using it for the spell sucks away its meaning. That's a cool concept that I wish was explored a little more in depth in the story (if that was intentional). I felt like when you explicitly said "cast a spell" it felt tonally off. You could just say you stopped the bullet without having to explain that it was exactly a spell. Characters were a bit so-so, I felt like you had the ability to explore Walter's life and your main character more through the lenses of his powers, and I was given little hints, but not enough to make me care for them immensely. Overall, I thought it was fairly good, some very nice words, a few errors, but overall something that was good and enjoyable once I actually remembered how to think.

Also, i have a line crit for Dr. Kloctopussy that I offered in irc but that'll probably be up tommorow after i actually sleep. i just wanted to get newt's out before i forget and i also did it in-line because im dumb.

flerp fucked around with this message at 08:30 on Apr 27, 2015

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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


The following people have toxxed and will receive bonus crits: Broenheim, Wangless Wonder, ravenkult, newtestleper, Dr. Kloctopussy, Benny the Snake, skwidmonster, kurona_bright, curlingiron, JuniperCake, Auraboks, Doctor Idle, Maugrim and ZeBourgeoisie if he mans up and submits something, anything, like seriously :justpost:

If anybody toxxed and isn't on that list, speak up.

Maugrim posted:

Crits: I do copy-editing for a living. I will point out your grammar errors and tense issues and explain in detail why they're wrong. I'll also crit style and story a bit but grammar is my thing. If that sounds helpful to anyone, I'll crit the first three takers. (also grateful for return crits)

I'm ESL and I'd like this. I was going to crit yours anyway, so you'll get a bonus linecrit instead.

Entenzahn fucked around with this message at 08:23 on Apr 27, 2015

Jay O
Oct 9, 2012

being a zombie's not so bad
once you get used to it

Maugrim posted:

Crits: I do copy-editing for a living. I will point out your grammar errors and tense issues and explain in detail why they're wrong. I'll also crit style and story a bit but grammar is my thing. If that sounds helpful to anyone, I'll crit the first three takers. (also grateful for return crits)

Cool! I also do this for a living! :hfive:

But I am more likely to crit story and characters and stuff because that's what I care about. (It is also the other thing I do for living, write reviews of media that is.) I'm just getting back into the dome and I need the mental exercise, so I'll do three line-by-lines for the first three people that ask for one from me, and three wee concise-crits for the first three people who ask for one of those, making six in total, as per Sitting Here's :siren: assignment :siren:

EDIT:

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Anyone (who participated this week) who does 10+ non-poo poo critiques will get a gift certificate for a custom avatar. For this illustrious award, you will need to do more than the minimal 3-5 sentences, but SittingHere's guide (above and quoted below) is a good guide. Crits don't need to be a line crit, but more than a few bullshit sentences. It's arbitrary. Deal.

Well, dandy! In light of this, I'll extend it to three line-by-lines and seven concise-yet-efforted-crits. If I don't get that many by Wednesday night (a distinct possibility), I'll pick out entries at random to fill the difference. Sounds like fun!

Jay O fucked around with this message at 08:43 on Apr 27, 2015

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


Aw, shucks.

AgentCooper - Tulpas for the One Percent

It is possible to write evil characters people care about, a good example is Frank Underwood from House of Cards. Your protagonist does bad things, but in an uninteresting way with uninteresting motivations. A dull baddie is even worse than a dull goodie, because at least we can connect to the goodie with empathy.

There is no conflict in this story that I can see.

If you want to write about something icky and controversial like pedophilia you should either know you're doing it sensitively or not do it at all.

Overall - This story had a lot to dislike, and very little to redeem it. You need to go back to basics.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

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




you know what gently caress it I read another one for some reason so i'll crit it as well.

Wangless Wonder

You seem to be trying way too hard for making your protag edgy and cool and that it just doesn't work. If it's supposed to be ironic, it didn't seem like it, and if it was intentional, well I didn't think he was cool, so w/e. The beginning was also kinda stupid, him just being expository for really no reason. It was a bit strange when you introduced the paladin because you said the man when you first introduced him, so i thought you were talking about the police officer but then it was another dude so it was confusing. I did not like the dialogue that much, kinda just felt like two people trying to one-up each other on what cool things they could say. felt like deadpool dialogue (ok tbh i never read deadpool but this is what i imagine it being, edgy and trying really hard to be funny but not working at all). it was also kinda weird how your paladin was like invincible or something, or that cop couldnt fire for poo poo. i didn't like the ending at all. it just feels a little deus ex machina to me and just fits with the whole "my protag is super cool and awesome and has everything figured out." it just wasn't satisfying at all, but I do like the idea of him trying to spread his sigil around and make it a logo in order to become more powerful. i thought that was p. cool.

also, thanks ent, you're too kind.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Hail, me Groth the Barbarian. Me crit baby pansy wizard story. Wizard make Groth SO MAD HE TYPE ALL CAPS. This how you know what Groth say.

Sixty one stories mean Groth roll sixty one horse knuckles to random pick one. GROTH HORSES VERY MAD NOW. Groth horse kick him in face on fifty-six roll. Story fifty six is one with bones in title.

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

The Bone Loom
1,292 words

Before the plague, the people of old Tissai’s village were happy with her Little Charms. CHARMS ARE FOR THE WEAK IN HEART In winter, they gathered in the great room of her manse, breaking bread and sharing stories in front of the giant hearth, which stretched as wide and deep as the tallest man, SO YOU MEAN GROTH and provided plenty of room for all the children to toast their cold feet. In spring, the children splashed along the banks of her pond while she sat on a tall chair in the center, IN CENTER OF WHAT, BANK OF POND? WIZARD TRY TO TRICK GROTH, GROTH KNOW POND BANK IS LINE weaving on a loom of living reeds, humming along to the sound of the shuttle flying and the buzzing of bees. The Miller twins, her secret favorites, for a wizard must try to be impartial, HAHAHAHA WIZARD LIES would swim WOULD IS WIZARD WORD BY WHICH GROTH MEAN MAKES WORDS WEAK around her, singing made-up songs to accompany her work. That spring, they burst with news of the baby brother they were expecting. HORRIBLE WIZARD TO EXPLODE CHILDREN BECAUSE OF NEW BABY! JUST LIKE WIZARD TO DO THIS THOUGH.

“He will be named Pierre,” said Lily.

“No, he will be Josse,” said Rose.

Most likely, thought Tissai, he will be Ambroise, which was what Mrs. Miller said.

Hay and wheat Tissai wove on the reed loom, cotton and vines of the field to bring successful sowing and reaping. Like for Like.

Then summer came, and the children began to die. GROTH SUSPECT WIZARD, WIZARD HAS BAD TRACK RECORD OF EXPLODE CHILDREN Daughters and sons, beloved to their parents, GROM BELOVE ALL SONS AND DAUGHTERS, WHO ARE WEAK PARENTS WHO DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH LOVE and the village, and Tissai. Beatrice, who had brought locks of her brother’s hair for Tissai to weave on her iron loom with leather and copper wire, to keep him safe on the roads. Henriette who asked the same for her beau, and Claude, for his mother and sister who travelled to market on Sundays. Lily and Rose were silent when their mother brought Ambroise to Tissai for his blessing. GROTH WAS WORRY CHILDS WAS DEAD THE WAY YOU PUT THEIR NAMES FIRST

In September, two more girls and three boys, Francois and Louis in the same week. AND NOW SUDDEN FROM LIVE CHILDREN BACK TO DEAD CHILDREN, IS WIZARD RESPONSIBLE? Last year, they proudly brought her their first squirrels and she sat at her wood loom, carved from the trunk of a huge fir, with roots still in the ground, and wove them charms for good hunting.

Now people began to ask for the Grand Charms. The magic to turn Death away from their doors and deny him his due. She couldn’t. She wove the little healing spells that she could. Fresh grasses, fur still warm from the hunt, vines with flowers still clinging to their stems. She wove on the reed loom for life, the wood loom for strength, and the iron loom for cleansing the blood, but for every child that grew well again, two died, and three more fell ill. WIZARDS USE NUMBERS FOR KILL CHILDREN? MORE ON STORY ONLY ON GROTH NEWS

Like for like, thought Tissai, and the life of a vine or a squirrel is not like enough to the life of a child. TO WHAT TO LIFE OF CHILD? Every death, another old friend came, begging and pleading for the lives of their children. But she wouldn’t.

The night of the first freeze, Lily and Rose fell ill. After three days of coughing and feverish seizures, they died, one within an hour of the other. Mrs. Miller drank nightshade. Her husband found her, cold in bed, the infant Ambroise still clutched to her breast, his forehead burning hot. He came to Tissai and fell on his knees, weeping. ACCEPTABLE GRIEF FOR END OF BLOODLINE

“Please,” he cried, “Not my last…”

Tears flowing down her own face, she promised.

She wished she had not. FICKLE WIZARD!!! In the churchyard, Tissai hacked through the frost-carpeted ground. A cloud passed, throwing darkness over the pine box holding Lily and Rose, buried together. Breaking their final embrace, Tissai took the twin on the right. In death she could not tell them apart, and she was too weak to carry them both. WIZARDS ROB GRAVES OF GREAVING FAMILY: MORE ON STORY AS DEVELOP

She retched on the way home and again when she began her work. Gently, she slid her knife beneath the child’s translucent skin, slicing it from the muscle in thin, fragile strips. Memories of made up songs filled her ears. She forced them away, but still she made many mistakes and stopped many times to heave up burning yellow bile.

At dawn, she sat at the reed loom and wove. Her nimble fingers faltered, and the shuttle would not fly. The charm resisted her, twisting and refusing to hold. Finally satisfied, she removed the hated cloth and carried it inside. Clenching her teeth, she slid the knife under the skin of her own arm, peeling back a bloody ribbon. She bound the charm complete and then wrapped her arm in clean, white cloth. When she heard the knock, she tugged down her sleeve to hide the bandage. She pushed the charm across the threshold, but Mr. Miller recoiled, face ashen, when he touched it. HE IS WISE FOR WEAK MAN TO NOT TRUST WIZARD

“Like for Like,” she said, not looking up. He took it and left without a word. AAAAA GROTH JUST SAY DO NOT TRUST WIZARD

Ambroise recovered, but the next child did not, nor the next. She tried the wood loom and the iron loom but still many children died. Her left arm was covered in scabs when Tissai THESE WORDS MAKE GROTH ASK WHOSE ARM COVERED IN SCAB returned to the graveyard and lifted out the other twin. She cut deep into the child’s belly, pushing through the gore. Bloodied to her elbows, she lifted out the intestines. She cleaned them, meticulously cutting away the fat. She steeped them in boiling water, then in lye. She stretched them and twisted them together into string. With these she threaded the looms, and continued.

That winter, no one came to share a meal or toast their toes in front of the great fireplace, but they came. In the dark, silently, alone. They took the charms, laid them upon their children, and prayed. But still, for every child who lived, one died, and two more fell ill. WIZARD MATH AM CONFIRM EVIL!

She took the carving knife from the kitchen, and returned to the workroom, where a dozen more children had joined the twins. She tied a bag over the tallest’s head, and stripped the flesh from the bones. She butchered three more corpses, then drug the clean dry bones to the fireplace. A simple charm removed the great hearthstones, uncovering dark, wet dirt. She buried the femurs half-way in the ground and lashed the big bones of the arms as crossbars. She worked carefully, letting the feel of the bones guide her as she fitted each one into place. The ribs became heddles and fine finger bones the shuttle.

She strung the bone loom, sat down, and, surrounded by smell of ash, continued.

These charms defeated Death and the plague fled the village. Both arms itching with bloody scabs, Tissai bricked over the fireplace, sealing the bone loom away, and returned to her Little Charms. She sat at her reed loom, but no children came to sing. No farmer came to trade cellared squash for spring blessings. In the village, old friends made the sign against evil when she passed. VILLAGE WISE NOW

“The plague was ending anyway,” they said.

“I certainly didn’t buy her wicked charms,” they said, Mr. Miller loudest of all.

First the men came and hacked her reed loom to pieces. They tore out the roots and filled the pond with mud. Next, they burned her wood loom, filling her the nostrils with smoke. Last, the iron loom was torn from the ground and the ring of the forge filled her ears. They hammered the bars over her doors and windows. NO VILLAGE, LIVING WIZARD CASTS SPELL, DEAD WIZARD NOT CASTS SPELL!!!

After she saved them!

Iron bars can't hold an old wizard, but still Tissai stayed and watched from the window as the children of her village grew. She watched Ambroise learn to walk and sing Ring-Around-The-Rosy. One day, he met her eye through the window bars, and she waved. He hurled a stone at her. Tissai turned her back on the window and tore the bricks from the fireplace.

Like for Like, she thought, can mean so different things. Humming a little tune, she began to weave again.

Groth think story good for warning of dangers of wizard. Me am not sure if wizard or witch, but maybe because distinction based on gendered actions. Story am reaffirm magic very evil and Groth justified in kill all wizard.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


Anyone (who participated this week) who does 10+ non-poo poo critiques will get a gift certificate for a custom avatar. For this illustrious award, you will need to do more than the minimal 3-5 sentences, but SittingHere's guide (above and quoted below) is a good guide. Crits don't need to be a line crit, but more than a few bullshit sentences. It's arbitrary. Deal.

Not gonna lie, there's no good way to make this "objective" so you're going to have to rely on my own interpretation of the above. Life is hard and luck is mostly on your side.

If you hope to see a new picture under your name, PM me with a link to your critique post(s). If you cannot PM me, you will have to ~enter the IRC~ where pretty much anyone can pass me the message. (It's #thunderdome on synirc, by the way, and if you don't hang out there 24/7 you are a ...silly person who should make less silly decisions).

Sitting Here posted:

-What you didn't understand

-Where you stopped reading (if you struggled with reading the whole thing in one sitting)

-Whether or not you understood the characters' motivations

-Whether the ending resolved things satisfyingly, or at all

Don't worry if you don't think you have anything helpful to say. Let the writer assess that for themselves.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Jay O posted:

Cool! I also do this for a living! :hfive:

But I am more likely to crit story and characters and stuff because that's what I care about. I'm just getting back into the dome and I need the mental exercise, so I'll do three line-by-lines for the first three people that ask for one from me, and three wee concise-crits for the first three people who ask for one of those, making six in total, as per Sitting Here's :siren: assignment :siren:

groth would like concise crit of story of HONORABLE BARBARIAN WIZARD

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Yo Cache Cab, you've been and gone and clearly don't give a poo poo about my offer, so I'm passing it into somebody else.

:siren: HEY, LOSERS :siren:

Yeah you, people who have lost. The first three of you that ask, I'll give you a full line-crit of any one of your stories of your choosing. No loss = no crit. I'm looking to help people get from the bottom to the top.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


Claven666 - Old Lady Cabuncle

Immediately your first paragraph strikes me as meaningless. This is flash fiction, you need to dive straight in, not give us this long winded, hokey, introductory crap that serves voice and nothing else. Also random AIDS is off-putting.

Okay so your use of voice is what really struck me, as you laid it on way too thick. I couldn't help but read this in the accent of Jed Clampett from the Beverley Hillbillies. It's actually bordering on insensitive. Voice can be a very powerful tool, but it's never an excuse for your story to meander around with nothing happening.

So I guess some stuff probably happens in the second half of this story, but I didn't get that far, mainly because of the aforementioned voice problem. But don't worry, I have a prescription for you! TD veteran Tyrannosaurus is extremely good at using narrative voice to tell stories. Here are a couple of good examples you should read.

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=3417&title=Five+Minutes+on+the+Powerline
http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2679&title=Awesome

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







thehomemaster posted:

I'm putting my hand up for judging next week early.

maybe make sure you don't lose first hey

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.



Noeland posted:

Three Dimensions, More or Less 1272 words

The same does not go the same for a paper cut received when you're pulling books from the dark, dank, dusty shelves of the deep stacks in the libraries of the University Arcanus.


You said 'same' twice which looks really awkward and you have used too many adjectives for shelves, it's really not worth the alliteration.

quote:

Instead, I cut myself on the pages of less sinister, but no less dangerous volume, a 9th edition 'Practical Papercraft for the Occasional Occultist'.


Well first, you need something like 'a' or 'the' in front of 'less sinister' I think, and second, Practical Papercraft is clearly way less dangerous than a book that turns your head inside out.

quote:

Rough or worn edges of the book being handled are usually a great preventer of mishaps.


What? What does this sentence mean? I think you are missing a word or something because that doesn't make any sense.

quote:

Nobody cared to share such info with me, so I happened to be a soft handed senior student when it came time for me to take the task of fetching and replacing some of the most rare and dangerous volumes of recorded magic in all of wizarding history.


I don't like this sentence either, it feels longer than it needs to be and has lots of words like 'happened' and 'came time for' and 'take the task of' that could be replaced by much fewer words and be easier to read.

quote:

For some reason, that book is constantly going missing despite being one of the heaviest set of texts to ever make print, it has 10 volumes!


I reckon maybe a colon or a period or something would work better instead of that last comma.

quote:

Anywho, the Papercraft book tends to generate such excitement for folding with its readers that most people tend to take the pages straight out of the bindings and begin to practice right then and there.


You used 'tend' twice in the one sentence which is bad IMO.

quote:

In the opposite hand I held the red hot colored ink stamp, an ancient anti-theft device to prevent more books from disappearing like the Sourceresses volumes, ready to mark the new book with the magic words, "PROPERTY OF THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY ARCANUS, PLEASE DO NOT STEAL".


'Red hot colored ink stamp' sounds confusing. Are you saying the color is 'red hot'? Or are you saying that it is red hot, and also colored?

quote:

The proximity of the red hot stamp caused the horsehide to begin to get nervous and sweat.


This makes it sound like the latter, but I dunno.

quote:


My memory becomes a bit hazy as to what happened next, but what aren’t hazy are the secret texts hidden within the book that had just done a real number on my main mitt. I can now proudly say that my hundred years at the University Arcanus have not been wasted, if only because I fumbled a book. So here I am, now an inadvertent master of the ancient art of Paper Fu, of dimensional folding and inter-universal mail techniques, and traveling through the cosmos with paper manipulation on only 5 dollars a day.


Really? That's how you're going to treat the only thing that actually happens in this story? "I don't remember anything about it, but now I can do wizard stuff?" Uggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


So, the main problems with your story are as follows:

Your sentences are too long and too wordy. It's OK to do this occasionally IMO, but if it's all the way through your readers will get bored; and

It's all exposition. There's no moment when I, the reader, feel like I am immersed in a thing that is happening, I just get to read the report about it later. A little bit of exposition is all right, and the tone could've carried it a bit for a paragraph or so, but that's all there was to it, so it was pretty dull.

My advice: next time, try to avoid exposition, and try to use some shorter sentences.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Even if wizard use number for evil like in bone story, Groth use number for honorable crits. Groth only use one number (five) but he use it five time and then five time again so he have fifty.

Story fifty have different number in title. Wizard definitely trying to kill Groth but Groth too smart.


curlingiron posted:

Twelve Steps
1300 words



"Good evening, everyone, and welcome. My name is Stephen, and I'm an alcoholic, as well as your Secretary." WHY IS STEPHEN CAPITAL SECRETARY, IS HE SECRETARY OF STATE OF BARBARIAN LANDS OF CIMMERIA The man DIFFERENT MAN? ALSO WIZARD? GROTH TRUST DRUNK BUT NOT TRUST WIZARD, IS PARADOX behind the podium smiled. Ana hugged herself and tried to slip down lower into her chair.

Someone started to read from a book. It was the usual thing about how doing the steps worked if you committed to them. IS THIS WILD PARTY WITH NO RULES WHERE RANDOM PERSON STARTS READ? IF SO GROTH SAY HAVE BETTER PARTY Ana found a curious feeling of hope rising in her breast, attempting to break out from her usual cynicism. IF HOPE IS RISING FROM CHEST AND TRYING TO BREAK CYNICISM IS CYNICISM IN WOMAN THROAT?

The door banged open just then, and a bearded man in robes and a floppy hat walked inside, carrying a duffel bag. WOOOAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH

"Sorry! Sorry I'm late. I forgot my hat when I left the house…" The man mumbled as he made his way through the group, oblivious to everyone staring. He sat few seats away from Ana, and looked up. "Carry on!" He made a gesture with his hands, and the speaker began reading again, as if he had never stopped. WIZARD VIOLATES SANCTITY OF MAN'S BRAIN, THIS NOT NEWS JUST NORMAL DAY FOR TERRIBLE WIZARD

Ana went back to her thoughts. Maybe she could finally break free of this cycle she had been trapped in. She looked around the room at the other members. They seemed happy, hopeful. Maybe this could work.

The old man sitting a few seats down from her was wiping a tear from his eye. He had an assortment of empty jars on the seat next to him, arranged by size. Ana wondered if the man was homeless, or maybe a hoarder. OR ALCHEMIST, WHICH IS LIKE WIZARD BUT LESS DANGEROUS AS ALCHEMY LAB EASY TO BREAK

"Now I'd like to take a minute to ask if there is anything anyone would like to share. Yes, Robert." The Secretary OK GROTH CONCEDE CAPITALIZATION pointed to a man in the audience, who stood up.

"Hi everybody, my name is Robert, and I'm an alcoholic."

"Hi Robert," everyone echoed. Ana started to say it belatedly, and then stopped, blushing. The old man next to her picked up a jar.

"I just wanted to tell everybody that after a year and a half of sobriety, I got visitation rights with my kids." Robert grinned. "I figured it was about time I remembered why I started drinking in the first place!" He laughed, and several others laughed with him, only to stop abruptly. The old man next to Ana continued to laugh heartily for several more seconds, holding an open jar in front of his mouth before screwing a lid firmly in pace. GROTH THINK LAUGHTER UNHEALTHY, ONLY GOOD EXPRESSIONS ARE SCOWL AND LARGER SCOWL

Robert looked around, the grin on his face replaced with confusion. "So… Yeah." He sat down in his chair and shook his head.

"Thanks, Robert," the group said, somewhat less unified than before. Ana glanced over at the old man, but he was sitting quietly, and no one else seemed to notice him. WAIT IS OLD MAN ALSO WIZARD? IS OLD MAN DIFFERENT WIZARD FROM OTHER WIZARD? STORY PUT SPELL ON GROTH RAAAAAAAAAA

"Anyone else have… Any news to share?" Stephen sounded less sure of himself. He looked around the room vaguely, until his eye landed on Ana in the back.

"Oh! I'm sorry, we have a new member with us today! Would you mind introducing yourself, miss?" He smiled at Ana, a bit of his certainty returning.

Ana stood up, her hands trembling. She had hoped that by sitting in the back she'd be noticed. The mix of emotions churned inside her, and felt like they would force the breath out of her chest. She opened her mouth.

"Hi, my name… is Ana, and I'm… I'm an alcoholic." Tears sprang to her eyes as she said this, and she felt a great swell in her chest-

Which stopped as quickly as it began. WIZARD STEAL EMOTION? WHAT IS PUNY WIZARD GOING TO DO WITH BARBARIAN RAGE?? WRITE ANGRY SCROLL? She looked around, confused, and saw the old man next to her blowing his nose, stuffing the tissues into a jar.

"Great, Ana, thank you for coming," Stephen said from the podium. "Is this your first meeting?"

"Y-yes," she said.

"Well, if you feel comfortable, you can share what brought you here, but there's no pressure to do so." He smiled again, and she smiled back. She felt some stirring of emotion again at the thought of sharing, but it seemed much more remote now.

"I… I started drinking when I was 13. My father had always spoiled me when he was around, and my mother was always hard on me when he was gone..." SOUND TO GROTH AS IF SHE NEED MORE MOTHER WITH STRONG BARBARIAN VALUES

She let the words flow out of her, let the emotions rise up. She was crying, but she didn't care. She felt free for the first time in years, like she had hope, like she had a life again.

And then it was all gone, snatched away in a second. She stopped mid-sentence, and looked around, shocked at the change. There was a sob next to her and she saw the old man had tears rolling down his cheeks and a huge smile. He was wiping his eyes and laughing, holding a large jar.

"Wonderful, just wonderful," he mumbled, blowing his nose and closing the lid.

"I… um. So that's… That's it." Ana sat down uncertainly.

"Thanks Ana," said a few scattered members, completely out of sync. Everyone was looking at each other, with the exception of the old man and Ana.

"Well, thank you, Ana, for that… I hope that you keep coming." Stephen followed Ana's gaze to the old man. "Oh, we have another member! Would you please stand and introduce yourself to the group, sir?"

The old man looked shocked that he had been called on. "Oh, well, I suppose… My name is Merlin, and I am not, in fact an alcoholic. I am powerful magic user, what some might call a wizard, and my domain is that of emotion. I draw my power from the highs and lows of the human experience, the triumphs and the tragedies. ALCHEMIST WAS WIZARD ALL ALONG! WORSE SURPRISE THAN SLAYING DRAGON THAT TURNS OUT TO BE GROTH'S FAVORITE HORSE IN DISGUISE!!

"This might seem like an easy domain to have, for what is the human experience but emotion? WIZARD TALK LIKE rear end in a top hat EVEN FOR WIZARD But I'm afraid that it's difficult to find the extremes of feelings that I require in everyday life, and I had to find a great wealth them WIZARD SHOULD NOT DROP WORD LIKE BARBARIAN DOES if I was ever to live up to the family name.

"I'll spare you most of the details of the journey, but I eventually found myself in one of these wonderful meetings. JUST LIKE WIZARD TO AVOID REVEALING SECRETS OF THEIR POWER. HOW AM ME MEANT TO KILL WIZARD IF NOT KNOW THEIR SECRETS And, I don't mind telling you, business has never been better! The emotions that I have seen at these events has been more than I could ever have hoped for-"

Ana stood up, hands clenched at her sides. "You bastard! That's what you've been doing over there with your stupid jars! This was supposed to be catharsis, and redemption, and freedom, and you took it all away! I'll kill you!" YES ANA YOU ARE GROTH FAVORITE CHARACTER KILL ALL WIZARD! She threw herself at him, and the room erupted in people shouting, pressing forward to try to get at Ana and Merlin, some trying to pull her away from him, some attempting to go after him themselves.

It was unclear who it was who began smashing the jars, but all at once the air was full of howls of laughter and sobs of despair, tears of rage and joyous song.

"No!" screamed Merlin, as the gamut of emotions racked his body. The air crackled with magic, and the room filled with a vicious maelstrom. THIS AM TELLING ME AND MOVING PLOT VERY FAST, LIKE SNEAKY WIZARD TRYING TO HIDE WIZARD SECRETS Ana climbed under a table and waited until the winds had died down before venturing out.

Nothing was left of Merlin but his robes and floppy hat. THIS IS BEST FATE FOR ALL WIZARDS: TO BE GONE His jars lay shattered on the ground, with no signs of their contents but a few limp kleenex.

People milled around for a time, but eventually someone started to sweep up the glass, and others started to filter out. Ana righted one of the chairs and sat down, staring at the wizard's robes. WITH DISDAIN FOR SHE IS TRUE BARBARIAN HEROINE

"Ana, isn't it?" She looked up and saw the Secretary, Stephen, YES GROTH KNOW standing next to her. "I'm sorry, this was a hell of a first meeting. Are you okay?"

And thought about it for a moment. "Yeah, thanks. I feel… Happy." She smiled. "For the first time in a while."

Groth think this have best character so far because she kill wizard. But story is tough in beginning because hard to convey conflict specifically about loss of memory/emotion. Groth say first part of story weak flabby wizard-like part of story, which should be killed to make world a better place for all. Story become interesting when people start to lose memory and emotion, so why not start there? For story with numbers in title (sign of wizard evil), story itself is not bad.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Anyone (who participated this week) who does 10+ non-poo poo critiques will get a gift certificate for a custom avatar. For this illustrious award, you will need to do more than the minimal 3-5 sentences, but SittingHere's guide (above and quoted below) is a good guide. Crits don't need to be a line crit, but more than a few bullshit sentences. It's arbitrary. Deal.

Not gonna lie, there's no good way to make this "objective" so you're going to have to rely on my own interpretation of the above. Life is hard and luck is mostly on your side.

If you hope to see a new picture under your name, PM me with a link to your critique post(s). If you cannot PM me, you will have to ~enter the IRC~ where pretty much anyone can pass me the message. (It's #thunderdome on synirc, by the way, and if you don't hang out there 24/7 you are a ...silly person who should make less silly decisions).

EDIT: These crits need to be completed by sign-up deadline for next TD

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Groth get new number from thing Groth just have to punch then it gives number. But all numbers very close so Groth think probably wizard trying to keep me from good stories with low number. This time number is fifty nine. This story title about sleeping, which is best time for attacking wizard.


skwidmonster posted:

When He Sleeps

WC 756


"So, sometimes they get loose."

She held his hand as he talked, because he was shaking and unbalanced and she was afraid he might fall. She fought the impulse to wrap an arm around his back. NOT SURE WHAT THIS MEAN YET, IS GOOD IDEA TO ESTABLISH CLEARLY WHAT HAPPENING IN BEGINNING. UNLESS YOU ARE WIZARD TRYING TO CONFUSE BARBARIANS.

"Sometimes they get loose, sure enough, and mostly I find them and sometimes I don't and they stay loose."

It was warm, and she hadn't had anything to eat or drink since she left for the city this morning. She glanced around for a bench or a stoup or somewhere to rest. There was one of those mini-parks a half a block up, and she ushered him towards it.

"S'why I never had kids, myself. THIS MAN'S BLOODLINE END WITH HIM, A TRAGIC STORY I mean, I'm a smart man. drat smart. NO CHILDREN AND CALLS SELF SMART? PROBABLY WIZARD THAT EXPLODE CHILDREN And I know I'd marry myself a clever little thing. Who knows what kind of-"

He coughed for about seventy seconds into the hand that she was holding. She tried a couple of times to pull it away from his spittle-flecked mouth, but each new bout of whooping made him squeeze a little harder.

"Ah well. It doesn't matter."

She led him to the bench and eased him into it. His body cricked forward, his knees creaking into a ninety degree angle. URAGH WIZARD NUMBERS

"Doesn't matter, anyhow."

****

"His name is Bungles, an' he's got magic powers, but he's not 'upposed to use them. An' he's always around, an' you can only see him when he lets you, an' his fingers light up when he does magic like pcheww!!! MANY EXCLAMATIONS GOOD IF YOU ARE BARITONE BARBARIAN (BARBARITONEIAN) BUT IF NOT BE CAREFUL Wumwumwumwumwummmm..."

Lara grabbed her son's ankle and held his leg still. She scrubbed with a rough rag at the residue coating his thigh. "So where were you hanging out with Mister Bungles?" WAIT THIS NOT STILL OLD MAN? MORE WIZARD CONFUSION

"Bungles isn't a mister! He's just Bungles. He hates it when we call him mister."

Lara nodded slowly. "So where were you hanging out with Bungles?"

"He showed us a creek behind the animal shelter, an' he made the water all glowy and orange and yellow like lava, but it doesn't hurt when you fall in! WIZARDS TEACHING CHILDREN TO NOT FEAR LAVA, IN ORDER TO LULL INTO FALSE SENSE OF EXPLODE-SECURITY An' he made the trees grow over it so you can't see in, an' there's birds an' a dog an' he says if Warren's really really good he can have a dinosaur! Samantha made a fairy nest, and Bungle filled it up with a fairy family, an' there's a mommy an' daddy an' an old lady gramma fairy, and a baby fairy that doesn't even have any wings! His name is Wendell, but I call him Poopy." He giggled, and Lara smiled along in spite of herself. BEWARE OF FAERIE THEY ARE ASSHOLES WHO STEAL BARBARIAN LOINCLOTH. ALMOST AS BIG ASSHOLES AS WIZARDS BUT FAERIE EASILY SQUISH

"And what did Mr. Bungle make that got your legs-"

"He's not a mister, mom!"

"What did he make that got your legs so gross and sticky?"

His eyes didn't meet hers, and not for the first time in this conversation, he made her worry.

"Prescott?"

His cheeks were red, but he puffed them out a little and shook the tears out of his eyes. CHILD IS WEAK LIKE WIZARD "I didn't want to tell. But I know that's like lying." His voice, already soprano, gained a hint of a squeak. Somehow, Prescott held himself together, through the shame of nearly lying to his mother. He shook.

"I rode a slug." NOT APPROPRIATE STEED

For just a moment, she was caught in full-fledged panic. Every possible meaning to that sentence terrified her. Just as she opened her mouth to ask the impossible question, whether he had been abused, he unleashed.

"I'm not allowed to ride horses, you said, THIS IS TERRIBLE MOTHER AND PROBABLY SECRET WIZARD and slugs ruin the garden, but Tanner wanted to be slug cowboys and I hate being on the other team as him. He cheats." THIS BOY SURROUNDED BY WIZARDS, GROTH WEEPS FOR YOU PRESCOTT

Lara was so relieved, she was furious. "Did I or did I not tell you not to lie to me? Making up stories is lying too, Prescott Lee."

His face scrunched in toward his nose. Now the tears would fall. WOULD IS WIZARD WORDS

"I'm not lyiiiiiiinnnnnnng-"
"Alright, alright kiddo, jesus. Prescott, kid, you know I love you, but I'm you mother, and that means I worry. Now when you lie to me, I can't trust that you're safe. When you lie to me, I can't believe anything you say ever again. Even when you're telling me the truth. "

At that, the soul-shattering wail that had been churning and building within his chest burst through the floodgates of his mouth, and she hugged his convulsing body to her steady frame, rubbing his back between the shoulder blades. He was noisy, and he as a little bastard for sure, but she kissed his forehead and shushed into his ear until he passed out on her boney shoulder. YOUR MOTHER AM WIZARD PRESCOTT!!

Groth want to say is tragic story of wizard mother and barbarian son but is not really story. GROTH LOVE CONFLICT and where is conflict? Mother does not believe son because she is bony wizard sympathizer. At end son does not make choice. What is important about beginning? Groth does not understand, which means story is probably written by wizard. Groth does not support wizard parents to gaslight barbarian children who just want to ride horse.

Jay O
Oct 9, 2012

being a zombie's not so bad
once you get used to it

Djeser posted:

groth would like concise crit of story of HONORABLE BARBARIAN WIZARD

*grunt, nod*

Once again, I'm gonna focus predominantly on story/character for my crits, and just touch on style and grammar with a q-tip, because there are scads of domers better equipped at critique on those levels than me and idk my taste level there. I'll talk more style and grammar for a line-by-line though, of course.

Djeser - Sif the Strong

It seems like a little thing, but the first paragraph/first two sentences could easily be cut for a much stronger hook into the story, and that changes the energy of the whole thing right up front, in a good way. In fact, that lead-in seems to be telling a different story at first. It seems like there's a peaceful debate or argument going on between barbarian friends (with Sif as the subject) before it U-turns violently into the attack, which means it doesn't really matter what they were doing beforehand. You want to start with your best foot forward and discard anything that doesn't matter, at least with flash fiction in this vein. You reinforce Sif's feelings of weakness and inadequacy in other places in the story (and could stand to do it more, but I'll get into that below), so that aspect isn't needed in the opening lines either. Crop 'em and it's already a big improvement.

Anyway, the heart of your story here is good material. Sif's perceived inadequacy gives way to a hidden power. She feels weak, but she's really a powerful warrior (of a different kind). This is a good skeleton, you've just got the bones in the wrong places. Since the thing that matters most here is Sif's view of her own self-worth and how it changes, you don't want to blow your load too quickly on that and then focus too much on extraneous details. Sif's turn from weakling to ubermensch happens in the first third of the story, and it's too soon to really have any impact. No sooner have we learned how she feels about herself than her problem is solved! She doesn't fully realize this, but nothing she does during the dragon fight affects her emotional journey, so it's basically the case: the audience already knows how this story is going to end from the moment she merges with the dragon, but hasn't had time to invest enough emotion to feel catharsis from it, so you've shown your hand way too soon. The dragon fight is cool, and the imagery of her as its beating heart is cool, but it belongs in a different story, because its elaboration requires too much detail to pack into this one. Long story short: decompress and hone in on Sif's feelings of helplessness, particularly the scene where she's being cornered by her potential kidnappers. That's where you'll build tension most effectively, and the dragon-summoning that follows it is the gently caress Yeah of your reward if you've grabbed the audience's hearts with this more intimate focus. Yes, it means less detailed dragon action, but you can only fit so much into a flash story.

Stylistically, this story has a lot of rabbit trails, particularly in the final third. All that stuff about Sif's new Hagrid isn't necessary at all, and could be cut in service of greater focus on Sif's father's newfound respect for his daughter. The good news is that there's no comprehension problems, even when the prose gets wonky. Due to the curt sentences and focus on immediate emotions and reactions, the action is very easy to follow, and the story reads fine. You just need time and practice to refine your voice and cut the chaff.

On a grammar level, there are some run-on sentence parties goin' down, and mismatched tenses like "grabbed the man around his chest and raising him into the air," (past tense incongruous with present progressive) but you'll have to ask someone else to grammar-crit you, because writing about grammar kinda puts me to sleep. :eng99:

----------------

Six concise-crits left up for grabs, three line-by-lines, first come first serve.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

I wrote fantasy for the first time and found it difficult, would love a concise crit, please.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Groth want smaller number this time and me get smaller number, which means me certain wizard is behind numbers. This story is name worst thing ever: just a wizard.

Nubile Hillock posted:

Wizard 1300 words

Thick clouds of ganja smoke hung near the ceiling of his one room basement apartment. WIZARDS RELEASE SMOKE WHEN MAKE EXPLODE! WIZARD CONFIRMED Tendrils of Seattle sky GROTH THOUGHT THIS WAS NAME FOR VILE WIZARD WEED clawed their way through the barred windows, settling on a ragged carpet, threadbare couch and a stolen spool of industrial cable. It was the best he could find in America on such short notice.

He tapped his pipe twice on the spool-come WORD IS CUM, LIKE WHAT WIZARDS DO IN THEIR PAJAMAS-coffee table. This pile of ash marked the fourth point in a pentagram. MORE EVIDENCE THAT MATH IS IN SERVICE OF WIZARDS The clatter roused his friends. A great scratching and scurrying erupted in between the ancient lath and plaster. A few moments passed and a plump young vole scurried across the carpet, up the cable and over to the pipe. It stood on its hind legs, twitched its whiskers and left him a gift – a dry green nug sparkling with THC. ARE WIZARDS TAKE LETTERS NOW???

When this too was smoked he emptied the charred remains onto the final point and connected the points with a finger. “Ubi est meum denari” he spoke, softly, and a greasy pile of twenty dollar bills appeared on the table. Enough to cover the rent, anyway. DEADBEAT WIZARDS! DEAD, BEAT WIZARDS!!!

This place, it was always raining. Incessant drizzle mixed with car exhaust, splashing up out of too-deep puddles and slowing down the constantly clicking wheels of consumer driven capitalism. GROTH FAMILIAR WITH THIS (THIS IS SOCIAL COMMENTARY JOKE GROTH MAKE) Maybe it had been a mistake coming to the New World? GROTH COULD HAVE TELL YOU THAT Maybe he was just getting old. A truck roared past and knocked him out of his reverie, just before the muddy tsunami knocked him off his feet.

A woman reached out and helped him up. They locked eyes, her smile faded. Not again…

“Holy. poo poo. Ten years! Ten years and not so much as a single phone call! Do you know how much child support you owe me? John’s almost eighteen now, you better pay up!” NOT SUPPORT AND LOVE YOUR BLOODLINE IS TERRIBLE BUT SO IS CREATE FALSE BLOODLINE WITH WIZARD MAGIC
He broke into a run. She shrieked behind him “Cops! Help! Anyone! He owes me money!”

Casting fortify he didn’t stop running until he was miles away. VERBS AM NOT GOOD HERE He swore at himself for smoking that cursed gypsy weed EVEN WIZARD DO NOT LIKE WIZARD all those ages ago. Turns out the only thing more powerful than that Arab indica was Arab magic.

He spent the remainder of the day testing the power of his curse here. WHY AM HE TEST NOW IF HE HAVE CURSE AGES AGO? BECAUSE HE IS TERRIBLE NO MORALS WIZARD The barista broke down in tears showing him the tattoo of a dead bird she’d got when he’d divorced her. When he bought clothes at the mall hordes of women caused a minor riot when they tried to claw their way to him, GROTH IDEA OF GOOD TIME each brandishing court summons or love letters or both.

At least in Europe there was a certain kind of politeness about things. GROTH WEEPS THAT THIS IS HIM LEGACY Sure there were more heartfelt speeches and long walks along the beach, often at knife point, OK THIS AM BETTER but it was the kind of thing one could, in retrospect, grow used to and even miss. Not here.

Maybe there was something more powerful then the curse THEN THE CURSE, THEN WHAT? (HAHA GROTH MAKE GRAMMAR JOKE) here in America? Something so absolutely degenerate that no woman could ever admit to associating with it? He laid out the things he’d dug out of the dumpster on the way home. He inhaled and blew a lungful of smoke onto them, transmogrifying them into the summation of American Culture: a television with an internet connection.

The next weeks went by in a haze. He caught up on the century or so of pop culture he’d so arrogantly dismissed. Time dilation spells, cheeto spells, poopsock and mountain dew spells all crackled like lightning out of his bony fingertips. BONINESS CONFIRM WIZARD TRAIT An entire culture’s worth of T.V. seeped into his ancient brain. Slowly a picture formed. Neon letters on white wife beaters, tanned skin and rippling muscle; giant trucks, protein shakes, cheap malt liquor. GROTH SUPPORT SOME OF THESE The word came from deep within and his lips spoke as if it was the first word they had ever uttered…

“bro” GROTH CONFLICTED, BROTHERHOOD IMPORTANT BARBARIAN VIRTUE

Filled with a new confidence and padded out by buff-as-gently caress spells he ignored the rain that soaked his ALPHA MALE poo poo wifebeater and beaded off his shades. Sure, the megablunt and half liter of cough syrup might have added to his mental state, but he was sure it was mostly confidence.

He floated down the subway steps on a cloud of smoke, a homeless guy taking a dump looked up in awe. A flick of his bony wizard fingers and the poo poo was instantly turned into rainbows, sending the homeless guy flying in a foul smelling arc right onto the tracks. He landed with a thump and a sizzle. GROTH NO LONGER CONFLICTED, WIZARD IN BARBARIAN GUISE IS ABOMINATION

“Watch that third rail, bro.”

Someone started screaming. He furiously cast a terror-to-opera spell but the panic was growing too fast. He was lost in his casting, in step with the bass beats coming from his rap-brand headphones. He didn’t notice the teeming mass of black rats that had picked the homeless guy’s bones clean. Having given up on converting the terror solely to opera he began casting other spells, somehow forgetting any memory erasure spells. Instead he cast spells like embaldment, hand-to-foot, mule’s head, pet rock mania, sweater-to-hoodie and moustache of bees. GROTH WILL USE SPELL LIST WHEN DISCUSS EVILS OF WIZARDS
Someone grabbed him from behind.

“Yeah that’s him! He owes me like ten grand!” A lady was yelling over a group of bewitched countertenors.

“That’s it bud, you’re coming with us,” one of the policeman said before punching him in the gut. Red cough syrup shot out of his mouth and splattered all over his Air Jordan’s and the world went black.

He woke in a cell with a splitting headache and only the faintest recollection of what happened the night before. He checked his pockets. The magic had worn off and his Bro gear had changed back into his wizard’s robe. Either way, they’d taken his weed. He sighed, not remembering how to cast a spell if he wasn’t high as balls when he did it. HAHA GROTH NOW HAVE ANOTHER WIZARD SECRET
He lay down on the concrete bed and tried to keep from thinking, finally realizing why most people only chug cough syrup once. There was a rattle at the door. He groaned. A guard slid a tray of food through a slot, but it only made him want to dry heave.

Whiskers brushed his cheek. “If you want the food, it’s yours,” he said. Before he’d even finished the sentence a great number of tiny feet scurried across the concrete and carried off everything the tray had to offer, leaving only tiny turds. WIZARDS FRIENDS WITH DIRTY RATS, UNLIKE BARBARIANS FRIENDS WITH DIRTY HORSE. HORSE DIRTY MORE HEALTHY FOR YOU.

It may have been a week or a maybe just a day before they dragged him out of the cell. Without his life-giving vapours he was getting frail. The courtroom was oppressively bright. The prosecutor smiled when he saw him, knowing that he’d make history for being the first ever lawyer to win a divorce and child custody class action case. He was representing no less than seventy five women that day. IF NOT FOR WIZARD MAGIC GROTH WOULD APPLAUD THIS MAN

The wizard’s public defender stumbled into the court room, spilling the contents of his briefcase. Turns out he’d mostly brought hard candy. The judge was tired of waiting. He raised his gavel and struck it down thrice. The wizard swore he heard a rustling in the walls.

The judge began reading out the charges, having to raise his voice over the growing groans and tremors in the courthouse walls. He glanced nervously at the deputy, who could only shrug. The room began vibrating slightly, a great wall of sound was descending on the court room, or would have been if humans could hear the frequencies. The floor underneath the jury box caved in, the walls began to crumble and a great roiling sea of rodents descended on the court room. There was no time to even scream before thousands of the tiny animals had eaten everyone’s tongues. Before long there was nothing left but gleaming skeletons and piles of mouse poo poo. THESE MICE ARE WELCOME TO JOIN GROTH CLAN

The wizard walked out the back doors, bowing as he left. The new world had been a mistake. NO, WIZARDS ARE MISTAKE!!!

Story confirms many beliefs that wizard are terrible. Groth think main trouble with conflict is story ends with status quo and character has not really change. Is okay, story is mostly meant for amusement. Groth think better amusement if story ends with few paragraphs of wizard burning, or beheading, or crushing, or drowning, or other fun way of kill all wizard.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

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




Jay O posted:

Six concise-crits left up for grabs, three line-by-lines, first come first serve.

I'm down for a concise one, really curious to see how people liked my story

cargohills
Apr 17, 2014



Jay O posted:

Well, dandy! In light of this, I'll extend it to three line-by-lines and seven concise-yet-efforted-crits. If I don't get that many by Wednesday night (a distinct possibility), I'll pick out entries at random to fill the difference. Sounds like fun!

Can I have a line-by-line crit? Thanks.

Additionally, I'm gonna see if I can do 10 crits of fellow newbies or people with losertars.

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010

"COME PLAY MECHS M'LANCER."

Or at least use Retrograde Mini's to make cool mechs and fantasy stuff.

:awesomelon:


Slippery Tilde

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Yo Cache Cab, you've been and gone and clearly don't give a poo poo about my offer, so I'm passing it into somebody else.

:siren: HEY, LOSERS :siren:

Yeah you, people who have lost. The first three of you that ask, I'll give you a full line-crit of any one of your stories of your choosing. No loss = no crit. I'm looking to help people get from the bottom to the top.

Hit me. Heres your victim. If you'd prefer to use the google docs link, go right ahead.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006


Jay O posted:

Six concise-crits left up for grabs, three line-by-lines, first come first serve.

I'd like one.

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

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




Morning Bell posted:

I wrote fantasy for the first time and found it difficult, would love a concise crit, please.

-What you didn't understand: Is your character also an eye wizard? Or just a guy taking on the eye wizard? And how is that power used? She has monsters, she has a weeping statue that fills a pool with tears, but we never get an understanding of what she does. Is it spying? Is it summoning? I'm not sure where the magic is.

Also, I confused Kieron with the rebel leader a few times. Why is he guiding him and learning maps, if the character can see and he is a worm?

-Where you stopped reading (if you struggled with reading the whole thing in one sitting): I didn't really struggle reading it. It felt like it went by really fast, so we didn't get a lot of characterization. It felt kind of rote, to be honest. Hero loses eye, goes back to get eye, loses friend, almost defeated by big bad, kills big bad. That's it.

-Whether or not you understood the characters' motivations: The motivations were fine enough, but it all felt somewhat superficial. Sure, he's out for revenge, Kieron a worm, Cassandra is evil.

-Whether the ending resolved things satisfyingly, or at all: It resolves things, but so what? She's dead, his eye is itching, and that's it. Is there another mage using his dead eye? Is he trying to use it, and that's why it itches? What about the liberation army? Did they let the city fall into ruin, after all that time?

It's competently built, but I don't feel anything reading it, if that's understandable.

Killfast37
May 7, 2007


Benny the Snake posted:

La Voz Silenciada
(1294 Words)


"And that was 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall’--ask your grandparents, kids," the humble, elderly busker joked to his audience inside a busy New York City subway station. "My name's Pablo and, as always, the entertainment's free, but tips are greatly appreciated," he said while nudging his open case forward and was greeted with a shower of donations. The tone shifted suddenly Show the tall figure parting the crowd. Any suspense you could be building here is ruined. as a tall figure made his way to the front, the crowd parting instinctively \from his slight air of scumbag entitlement. If the officer is an entitled scumbag show it. "Well hello again, Officer Kowalski," Pablo said with a smile. "What can I do you for?"

"Please collect your items and remove yourself from the premises," Kowalski said exhaustedly. Yeah what a self entitled dickhead. Exhaustedly implies this isn't the first time Kowalski has run into Pablo. If Kowalski is so exhausted wouldn't he just tell Pablo to gently caress off?

"But officer," Pablo said with his palms open, "I've told you before that I'm perfectly within the MTA's rules on street performing." While giving his spiel, Pablo scanned his audience for the right person--a young man in a Dodger's hat. Once he found his stagehand, he caught his gaze and the two nodded at eachother. "Let him play," someone from his audience called out as the rest shouted in agreement.

"Put your hands behind your head and stand up slowly," he said as he reached for his cuffs with one hand and called for backup with the other. Pablo's audience crowded closer, several pulling out their phones to record, others booing and hissing.

"Son," Pablo said and rose slowly from his collapsible stool while playing a up-tempo tune, "I played at Berkeley to protest 'Nam. You're doing a piss-poor job of intimidating me."

The tone shifted again--one moment the crowd was about to turn hostile, now they were clapping The crowd clapped along to the up-tempo tune Pablo was playing. Kowalski resisted for a quick second before bobbing his head to the beat.

"I-lit-up from-Reno, I-was-trailed by twe-nty-hounds," Pablo sang in a rich, melodic baritone. to further charm the crowd. His intention is already clear.

"Didn't get to-sleep that-night, 'till -the morn-ing came-around," his stagehand sang along.

"I-set-out-run-ing, but I'llll take-my-timeeee," Pablo continued.

"A-friend-of-the-Devil-is ah, frieeend-of-miiineee," an older member of his audience picked up. I hate reading lyrics. When they are exaggerated like this I skip them.

"If-I-get-home be-fore day-light," Pablo warbled--spontaneous audience participation always made him laugh. "I just might get some sleep-"

"To-niiiiii-iiiiigggghhht..." everyone harmonized perfectly. His audience now fully bewitched, Pablo kept playing and got up from his stool. As he moved towards the boarding platform, his stagehand gathered his effects with everyone else still lost in the music as a train arrived.

"If-I-get-home-to-night," Pablo sang as the doors opened,

"I-just-might-get-some-sleep-" his young stagehand continued and followed behind.

"To-niiiii-iiiiiight..." his audience finished for them as the two disappeared into the departing train. The music ended and the spell broke. After a moment of confusion, Kowalski walked out of the station embarrassed as Pablo's former audience applauded his sudden escape.
You went really overboard on the lyrics.
"Pablo, mind answering me something?" His stagehand asked

"Shoot."

"How much does that song apply to you?"

"Kid, don't ask."

The stagehand shrugged and ruffled through the inside of his master's guitar case. "Well at least today's haul was good."

"Put that away, kid," Pablo ordered and snatched his case away from him.

"I keep telling you my name's Juan."

"And I keep telling you, you haven't won my respect yet."

Juan rolled his eyes. "So what's with the cop, then? I thought La Voz worked on everyone."

Pablo shook his head. "La Voz is a trick--you can only use it and spin it so many times before someone figures out they're being played."

"So Kowalski then-"

"Yep."

"So why do you still do it, then?"

"'Cause I'm too old to do anything else," Pablo responded. "Why the hell do you wanna learn what I know then? I thought you'd know better by now."

Juan stared off into the distance. "Well if we know better<---- Sounds clunky to me. , why does anybody learn music, then? I mean, the greats I look up to, Hendrix, Cobain, Morrison, all of them were awesome performers and their pursuits lead to their ruins."

"So you wanna learn La Voz just to outlive your idols?" Pablo asked and stared at his stagehand.

Juan shrugged. "I wanna see how far and how long something like that could take me."

Pablo chuckled softly. "You know, I was the same way when I first started learning La Voz myself. Although instead of Morrison and Cobain, mine were Lennon and Garcia." The last sentence feels awkward.

"No poo poo?"

Pablo nodded. "We start lessons tomorrow, Juan."
I'm kind of surprised that Pablo jumped from not wanting to know this kids name to his mentor just because they both like rock.
***

"And that was 'Rockaway Beach!'" Juan called out as the audience applauded. Him and Pablo were sitting on a high curb underneath the shade of a giant tree in Central Park and today their audience was in the dozens. "We're Pablo and Juan," Pablo said, him with his humble acoustic and Juan with a second-hand Stratocaster. "As always, while the entertainment is free, tips are greatly appreciated," he said while the two nudged their open cases forward and were greeted with a shower of donations. This is the second time cases have been nudged forward and the characters have been greeted with a shower of donations.

The tone then shifted by the sudden presence of the air of scumbag entitlement. This is the third time you have shifted the tone. The crowd parted, revealing a phalanx of officers lead by a familiar face.

"Ladies and gentlemen," Juan called out, "Lemme introduce you to our old friend Officer Kowalski." Their audience booed as Pablo grimaced at his apprentice's antagonism.

"Put your hands on your head, you’re under arrest," Kowalski said simply.

"On what charge?" Juan saidchallenged him.

Kowalski got within inches of Juan's face. "I don't know what kind of unholy-voodoo-poo poo you two are doing," he whispered as Pablo's heart almost stopped beating, "But I'm on to the both of you and your little con, you loving Satan-worshiping spics!" I'm confused. Did he just whisper real loud?

"Whoa-whoa-whoa!" Juan jumped up. "Did y'all hear that?!" He called out to his audience. "Kowalski here just called us Satan-worshiping spics!"

The audience booed and hissed. "Juan, cut that poo poo out," Pablo plead. The audience now hostile, Kowalski and his phalanx reached for their weapons and their radios, now in full riot mode. Show us. What is full riot mode? Are they throwing tear gas and bashing peoples faces in? Or are they just holding a line with riot shields? Its hard to get a good image in my head from this.

"Nothing's changed since back in your day, huh Pablo?" Juan asked. On cue, Pablo strummed a familiar staccato riff. Juan followed up by shredding along to a manic protest melody. Almost everyone else clapped along to the double-time tempo--only Kowalski stood alone, un-bewitched, yet he dared not break the spell, lest the crowd turn on him and tear him apart.

"There-must-be-some-kinda-way-outta-here," John said. angrily belted. Who is John?

"Said-the-joker-to-the-thief..." Pablo morosely crooned behind him. The two continued their performance, yet at no point did Juan retreat as they planned. They planned for this confrontation?

"Aaaaaaalllll-aaaa-loooongg-the-waaa-ch-tow-aaaaaaaah!" That lyric is just obnoxious to read. The entire crowd erupted with Juan as he advanced onto Kowalski and circled around him. The same antagonism inside of him he was pumping into the crowd and they in turn were channeling back into him, his eyes now blinded with fury. Pablo didn't bother begging silently or praying--he knew what was coming, all he could do was keep playing.

"Out-sideee-in-the-cold-dis-taaance!" John sang at the top of his lungs. Who the gently caress is John? I'm kidding Benny, but you should proofread better.

"A wildcat did growl..."

"Two riders were approaching..."

"And the wiiiiind...begaaan-to-hoooooowllll!" The audience wailed.

Juan stopped playing. Holding his electric guitar like a bat, he smashed it into the side of Kowalski's head with a loud, wet crunch. Blood sprayed in the air as the officer fell dead onto the ground with a nasty cleave in the side of his head. The spell broke. Covered in blood, Juan dropped his guitar and held his arms up into the arms in triumph. In one moment of shock, the calm persisted until Kowalski's fellow officers drew their sidearms and opened fire on Juan, avenging their fallen comrade.
I'm confused. Did Juan intentionally kill the cop or was he overwhelmed by the bad magic? After the spell breaks he holds up his arms in triumph so I guess he was planning this.
With everything around them descending into chaos,How did it descend into chaos? Did the crowd start attacking the cops under the influence of the magic? Do you see how its hard to get a mental scene from that type of broad description? Pablo dropped his guitar and knelt down to his dying apprentice. "I-I'm sorry Pablo..." he struggled and coughed. "I-I guess I can't be the eye of the storm..." I'm not sure what he means by that.

"I know, kid" Pablo said and looked away from his dying apprentice. "I know."

Pablo never took another apprentice. He never played or sang again, either. Like that, another voice was silenced. Crappy ending. Was the main character supposed to be Pablo or Juan? Neither of them do much in the story. There wasn't any character motivation, I still don't understand why Juan killed the self entitled cop. The dialog felt forced. I really hate reading lyrics. But I wanted to see how you pulled off your wizard so I kept reading. It would have helped if you fleshed out the characters more. Next time show more and drop the ly adjectives. I did skip some of those lyrics so maybe I'm missing something. I'm not trying to be a dick, just honest.


I'll try to hit at least 2 more people with crits later today.

Jay O posted:

Six concise-crits left up for grabs, three line-by-lines, first come first serve.
I'll take a concise crit if you have the time.

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010

"COME PLAY MECHS M'LANCER."

Or at least use Retrograde Mini's to make cool mechs and fantasy stuff.

:awesomelon:


Slippery Tilde

Jay O posted:

Six concise-crits left up for grabs, three line-by-lines, first come first serve.

Oh hey, I'd love a concise-crit too. :unsmith:

Jay O
Oct 9, 2012

being a zombie's not so bad
once you get used to it

Okay, I have one concise crit left to offer, and two line-by-lines. I will do all these tomorrow after I get some goddamn sleep it is four o' butt in the morning now.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Thyrork posted:

Hit me. Heres your victim. If you'd prefer to use the google docs link, go right ahead.
I've put my comments into the google doc. I'll repeat some of the general comments here, since they're applicable to a whole lot of people. Google drive is cool and great, and everybody should use it for editing/crit work.

1) it's important to try and find the right balance between action and dialogue. 'action' doesn't need to be fireball kung-fu fights- it can often just be little physical things somebody is doing while they're speaking. They look around, clean under their nails, take the last cigarette out of the pack then stare at it for a few seconds before putting it back etc. Also, you can have a great story with no dialogue, but it's really hard to have a story with no action.

2) simple language is better than complex language in most cases. If you're going to throw out a big fancy-looking word, make sure that you're using it correctly, and that there's not a more elegant way of saying the same thing.

3) sometimes the prompt locks you into doing something that's just kinda eh. There's always the option of going back and editing the story later though, to really make it shine without worrying about the judges getting mad.

4) the 'dome is weird. The quality of entries and the number of new writers have both been increasing a lot over the last maybe year or so, and that leads to situations where a story that's simple 'meh' ends up losing. I don't think we've seen anything genuinely awful a la Rural Rentboys or The Golden Bean in a long time (nb I have managed to blank out "Elmo is going to gently caress you now" please don't trigger my flashbacks tyvm) but at this point, losing is not the indicator of low quality it used to be. If you lose, don't get discouraged, and do keep coming back.


I got two more line crits. Who wants 'em?

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


sebmojo posted:

maybe make sure you don't lose first hey

:toxx: if I lose

Sodacan
Dec 6, 2014

it's a nose, right? right?

Jay O posted:

Okay, I have one concise crit left to offer, and two line-by-lines. I will do all these tomorrow after I get some goddamn sleep it is four o' butt in the morning now.

Concise me please! First entry, curious as to how many inches of toilet water I'm allowed to drown myself in.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Good evening, my ambulatory presentient rear end-tumors. I'm going to crit some randomly-selected "people" (term used loosely) because gently caress you.

A Classy Ghost - “A Gift for Amy”

This story’s more problematic than a neo-Nazi skinhead in a Women’s Studies class. Let’s start with the small stuff. Your word choice and sentence structure are both very rough and rocky. In several places, you use weird, jarring words or phrases which don’t fit your milieu, and your paragraphs lack rhythm and flow. Read more fiction.

At a higher level, you’ve grasped the very basic idea of what a story is - a sequence of events which proceed from one another via an internal logic - but you’ve missed everything else. Your characters are practically anonymous, with little in the way of distinct personalities or roles. Crucially, their motivations are opaque, as are the consequences of their actions.

We basically have a “mob deal gone bad” scene which you’ve slapped a robe and wizard hat atop. It’s not until the fifth paragraph that I know Wilbart’s motivation, and it’s a weak one: he needs to make a sale (which doesn’t yet seem sinister or interesting) for someone named Amy. He doesn’t seem to be in distress or under pressure.

The whole opening is slack, without urgency or tension, and that’s not how you hook reader interest. I was bored by paragraph six. Drop at least one detail into the opening paragraph which whispers to the reader “something odd is going on”. Illustrate both what’s commonplace in your story-world and also what’s unusual about the situation.

I don’t see a reason for you to have Garfloyd in this story at all. He barfs a few lines to prompt Wilbart into saying something, but he seems to serve no narrative function at all. He’s described as “hired help,” he displays neither interesting motivations (e.g. being at cross-purposes with Wilbart) nor is he given a distinctive personality. He’s a mook with a name, and he disappears without impacting the story’s action.

The ending has no payoff, either. A guy gets a magic present for his kid(?), which he had to do because… he’s the best wizard daddy ever? I have no idea.

There’s no consistent theme beneath the muck, either. The characters don’t exemplify or illustrate any interesting ideas, and your writing isn’t smooth or interesting enough to hold up the saggy plot.

TL;DR: I hate you, please die.

Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi - The Square Root of 13

Ah, federal wizard cops, a setting dear to my heart.

This could do with a minor proofreading pass; you have some mistakes a basic spell-check would catch (“Spacial”) and some which require eyes(“I’ve got memorize”). Not a capital crime, but c’mon.

The headline problem? The story doesn’t matter and the characters are marionettes. You start off with the hook of “why is a number-wizard blowing up 13th floors, and 13th floors in particular” and then resolve it with “oh I was just bored”. COME THE gently caress ON, YOU LAZY COCKSUCKER. This reads like you had an amusing thought, hacked out an opening and then couldn’t figure out how to actually wrap a character around it. So you just went “gently caress it, magical gunfight”. Consistency of character, theme and motivation are the skeleton supporting your story, rear end in a top hat; spend time on them.

There’s a few places where you could trust your reader more. The paragraph where you describe the wizard’s lair could just end with the equations; they’re obviously wrong, and that can draw interest - there’s no need to belabor that point in the following sentence. If needed, remind the reader later on, when it makes sense.

Those numbers bring up another point - you have a lot of wacky ideas, but you follow through on none of them. Winnow the story to revolve around one or two well-developed, well-observed details instead of tossing irrelevent tidbits everywhere. Focus.

TL;DR: I hate you, please die.

Entenzahn - Hunting Golgoth

I hate this less than the two stories above this, but that’s like saying I prefer gonorrhea to AIDS.

You’ve got a cracking opening line, and then the story goes limp as a wet noodle. We have three wizards who go looking for a rogue creation of theirs, either to put it down or protect it. That’s the setup for some conflict, but how does it “keep coming back” to haunt them? I feel like there should be more fighting between the wizards which is ostensibly about how to deal with Golgoth, and is really about some deeper issue regarding responsibility for one’s creations - that’s what your opener has set up.

Instead, we get some wandering-around-at-home pablum and some wandering-around-outside pablum. You could cut all that and focus on the issues at hand:
  • Why did they create Golgoth in the first place?
  • What harm/help has he done to them in the past?
  • What’s at stake now? How is this time different?
  • What does their decisions to kill/protect Golgoth say about the wizards?

I also feel like you could cut one of the three wizards out. Sanguinis feels like background material; his impact is minimal, and his role as “instigating the attack” could easily be moved to Bags.

Focus the story on what the characters are doing, on why they’re doing the things they’re doing.

There’s some minor linguistics which could be touched up, words which could be tightened or omitted, but it flows better than the other stuff I’ve read this week.

TL;DR: I mildly hate you, please have an excruciating-but-nonfatal bowel movement.

SadisTech
Jun 26, 2013

Clem.


I would really dig receiving any criticism that anyone has to offer about my story for this week, despite its excessive length.

Not contingent to the above in any way, I am also going to do up a brief crit of each story entered this week by Friday week, as I haven't offered any crits to date. :toxx: I mean it.

Radical and BADical!
Jun 27, 2010

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe


Thanks for the crit.

Radical and BADical! fucked around with this message at 15:52 on Apr 27, 2015

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skwidmonster
Mar 31, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Djeser posted:


Groth want to say is tragic story of wizard mother and barbarian son but is not really story. GROTH LOVE CONFLICT and where is conflict? Mother does not believe son because she is bony wizard sympathizer. At end son does not make choice. What is important about beginning? Groth does not understand, which means story is probably written by wizard. Groth does not support wizard parents to gaslight barbarian children who just want to ride horse.

Truly Groth has a warrior's soul and an honorable heart. My INterprompt submission will be dedicated to you. I'll show you barbarian conflict the likes of which will make your hands itch for something stabby.

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