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kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


Thanks for the crits. :)

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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

Thanks for the crits, Guys and Gals!

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

32.

Capntastic posted:

The No-Nothing Thief
(1300 Words)

That title! :argh:

Nah, the joke actually works (which is more than I can say for my jokes). In the first paragraph, you change the wizard's pronoun from "they" to "he," which is confusing. Are thieves trained? That's an odd bit of detail to drop in. I wish the narrative had held more tension, especially since rumor was such a large part of the story. Ridulph's teleportation spell was actually pretty cool, and made me wonder why she isn't considered a wizard. I don't think the dialogue at the beginning was necessary. Starting with the journey to the farmer's field would have worked just as well. A sense of what the wizard was doing with that void-in-a-box would have been interesting. I think he accidentally bespelled himself to do nothing, but I don't know that for sure.

33.

Jagermonster posted:

Of a Feather
1195 words

Some readers will have a hard time with soldiers being dicks just to be dicks, but people in a position of power being dicks to others is a thing which has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen. I was alright with this. I am less alright with randomly capitalized birds. I'm not sure why Trutlag did a rapid 180 between not wanting to use his bird powers against the king's men because it would be immoral to deciding to humiliate them. That happened really quickly. I also pretty much expected birds to poo poo on everyone, so you delivered there. The resulting comedy of errors felt too pat, and I didn't get a great sense for how Trutlag felt (at first he was panicked, then he was abruptly alright with the infighting?).

34.

Wangless Wonder posted:

Sigil - 1300 words

Was the paladin wannabe hanging around the scene from the start? His intro confused me; I thought he was the cop at first, just with a really odd uniform. I'm not sure why the protagonist wasn't startled until James' second line, either. It reads like you rearranged some dialogue and didn't catch a few snags. The conflict worked, the motivations worked; I like that James is not very good compared to the modern idea of a paladin. The ending dialogue was a bit too on the nose, since you already mentioned silkscreened shirts previously. It probably would work better if you saved the idea for the ending instead of merely repeating it.

35.

Cache Cab posted:

Cities Fall Yet Rivers Still Flow 960 Words.

Sure is a lot of cock in this story. I wish the prose had been tightened up; "autie" got spelled more than one way, and there are some simple errors still hanging around. The style feels uneven. You start with pretty clear prose, but then it gets closer to how the characters are speaking, or maybe the perspective is moving closer to Rivers'. I don't know your writing well enough to gauge how deliberate this shift is. The dialogue being all in some weird vernacular worked fine for me, since I had a grand old time reading Trainspotting, but most readers aren't going to have the patience for that type of preciousness. Every reader has a certain amount of attention for your story and trust in your ability budgeted before they get past the first line; everything you hit them with after that point has the potential to deduct from that limited pool. Accents are one of those things which set writers back.

36.

spectres of autism posted:

Cloning Blues
796 words

Healing Ward and Chaos Wave: Are these Warcraft spell names? You mention two named characters who don't play any role in the story and capitalize a bunch of common nouns to lend them gravitas that they don't earn in the narrative. Ether is capitalized occasionally; if you're going to do that, be consistent. Unintelligible dialogue didn't add anything to the story. It's probably best to avoid that sort of thing unless you make a legit cipher for a curious reader to work out. I didn't get that sense and I wasn't curious enough to try. Instead of telling us how weak your protagonist is, show it in his struggles to escape. You had a really cool prompt, but I finished this story feeling pretty unfulfilled.

37.

Broenheim posted:

1291 words
A Brat’s Request

I don't understand why the protagonist doesn't know anyone in their entire village who can give a stuffed rabbit a new ear. Does everyone just run around naked? Surely someone can sew besides a dragon.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.



Thanks for the crits everyone. Also RedTonic you're spot on about what happened to Ridulph

Radical and BADical!
Jun 27, 2010

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

I know it is a little late but here are your crits. Blame the Court system for absorbing so much of my time if you don't like it. Though my knowledge of the intricacies of grammar is rudimentary, I am pretty good at identifying inconsistencies so that is what I will mainly focus on.

Wesley the Wizard by angel opportunity

I liked this story, mostly because Wesley reminds me of myself when I was a kid.

The Bad

However, Wesley seems to have much more self-control than a socially awkward, horny little sperg would have. The one thing I don't get about it is...why didn't Wesly just ensorcel Cynthia and be done with it? Also, Janice is pretty much just shoehorned in to make your ending work. Was she with Cynthia's friends? Do her and Wesley have any backstory whatsoever? Describing how Janice always pined for him but Wesley never seemed to notice would have given your ending a bit more oomph, and also would help explain how Janice managed to spy on Wesley and Cynthia when she supposedly already left.

The Good

Honestly, I don't know how you did it. "Bye Wesley...I'm Janice" is a very innocuous phrase, but you somehow managed to convey the fact that Janice has a crush on Wesley, probably has for some time, and is ready to make her move. I am also glad that you had Wesley choose nonsense phrases to imbue with power. That tells me you put some thought into the actual mechanics of how Wesley uses his powers and approached it logically. All in all, I'm gonna say well done with this story.

Joy by Guiness13

I had luke-warm feelings about this story mostly because the writing seemed a bit heavy-handed, the same problem I admittedly faced when writing my story. However, the way that you turned such an abstract concept as "joy" into a tangible thing that can be manipulated was top-notch.

The Bad

This story is obese. The narrative is just plain not rich enough to support the amount of words used, so you pretty much stuffed it with corn syrup and cheetos. Now, this is just a personal gripe and is based wholly on my own predilections but I find it hard to read a story when all of the characters are unlikeable. Despite the fact that Petunia makes 500 loving dollars an hour and works with purely distilled joy, she seems to have nothing but contempt for her client. I understand that Petunia is basically a magic psychiatrist and that the mundanity of her existence sucks the life right out of her just as it does to us all. If you intended to be as subtle as you did well then mission accomplished but some of your readers may have a hard time recognizing this. In that regard, I feel that you missed a chance to juxtapose the miraculous things Petunia is able to do with the dreary, grey 9-5 she so obviously sees when she looks at her own life. It would have humanized her a bit and explained why she sees her clients with such contempt. Maybe she is jealous that she can't do for herself what she can so easily do for them? Also, the ending makes no sense. Why not say hello to the person who fixed all the poo poo decisions you made? What was the point of Audrey snubbing Petunia? I just don't see the motivation.

The Good

Like I said, you had something of a difficult subject to nail down with words. Joy is very ephemeral but you did a great job turning it into a malleable substance. The way you described the ritual Petunia performed was also nice. I especially liked the idea of setting the whole shebang on fire and then blowing the ashes into Audrey's face. It evoked images of a bunch of shaman sitting around a fire, breathing in the smoke and going on vision quests, like "back in the frontier days, our joy masters had to do this in front of a camp fire. Now you can just come into an office and have it done like a colonoscopy." Basically, the underlying idea of how Petunia's magic works and what she has to do to sell her product is the biggest strength of this story.

Chance Man by Pham Nuwen

I really liked this story. Newbs that only suck a little instead of a lot UNITE! :fistbump:

The Bad

I honestly don't have very much bad to say here. Another poster already touched on the fact that a KGB operative would be waaaaaaay too smart to drop a penny from the empire state building on someone's head with the intent to kill him. Better that he had hosed up and missed outright with a really outlandish thing like...oh say someone jumping to their death or a chunk of frozen waste from an airplane. I also like that you recognized the fact that your character could technically set himself up as king of the world with his powers if there weren't someone always watching him. However, who exactly would be powerful enough to stop him? All he would have to do is go "welp, today my monitor wasn't watching and I also found a document that proves I own all of Russia!" and then boom, dude is the Tsar. Who could stop that? How do you subjugate such a person?

The Good

You nix the idea that Chance Men could potentially just set themselves up as the kings of the world right away. I like the fact that you did that. Your character is likeable and charming, and the story flows a lot better than mine did. The fact that our hero is responsible for the U.S. entering the Vietnam war is a very interesting thing, and then jumping straight from that point of interest into an attempt on the protag's life definitely keeps one reading. The story was paced very well, and the ending neatly tied the whole thing up.

Cities fall but you know i don't care by Cache Cab

The Bad

Everything. No I take that back; your use of voice was worse than even mine was, and I thought I took home the award. It took an otherwise pretty funny story and made it a complete slog to get through. Actually wait, did I say funny? I meant to say somewhat insulting and ignorant. F-

The Good

Well, it's not every day that your protag is a full blown autist who stims when he casts spells. I kind of chuckled at that.


I read more but lunch break is over.

Something Else
Dec 27, 2004

What use was time to those who'd soon achieve Digital Immortality?


Thanks for the crits, stoked to have HM'd, in for smell-o-writing

bigperm
Jul 10, 2001
some obscure reference

I'm in for this week's. Popping my TD cherry here. Oh god what am I going to do...

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

I'm in, and I'm calling my shot:

Fairy Market
Otherworldy golden incense, blooming wind-flowers, everlasting lavender, bluebell, a faint whiff of exotic sugared candies, and fae mist upon wet green grass.

Ectoplasm
A luminous, viscid blend of white amber, lemongrass, white oakmoss, and davana.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 19:50 on Apr 29, 2015

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

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


Kaishai posted:

I'm in, and I'm calling my shot:

Fairy Market
Otherworldy golden incense, blooming wind-flowers, everlasting lavender, bluebell, a faint whiff of exotic sugared candies, and fae mist upon wet green grass.

Ectoplasm
A luminous, viscid blend of white amber, lemongrass, white oakmoss, and davana.

drat it, I really can't afford to buy more perfume right now!

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at 00:17 on Apr 30, 2015

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Reading these stories has been more physically draining than scrubbing the paint off of walls with a sponge. It was a pretty bitchin' sponge, but still.

Jay O posted:

Recompense
Which appointed hour? Nine? Ten? How does being vague contribute to your story other than making it less detailed? Other than that, your first paragraph Shows a relationship nicely. The exposition in dialogue is acceptable, although I can still feel it, but it does make sense given the context of the world.

A bit of a misread on my part, but when the man stumbled then said "his father's recovery from TB", I thought for a second that the memories of the altered past were just hitting him. I think there were enough words after the first part of his sentence, which didn't strike me as important, that I partially forgot about it. I still get the impression that that's what's going to happen, especially since he's allowed to explain the details now. I'm also okay with that as a framing device, because I don't see it too often, but it would wear thin mighty quick were it common.

The use of temporal paradox as a plot point is solid -- we all intuitive believe things behave that way, so it makes perfect sense that it'd be a restriction on her powers. Intriguing concept that the wizard has to travel to unfamiliar realities to revisit her clients -- makes sense but I hadn't thought about it before, so now I feel enriched. But I don't entirely buy that her clients would so easily swallow "her reality" without protesting, as from their point of view they categorically cannot perceive any of the effects of her actions

Blackmail, huh? While I buy that that that works, I'm still not convinced that the dude would believe that her version of events actually happened. You had a few interesting ideas which I would've liked to seen explored more: she can change the past, but not paradoxically, then is shunted into the new future. It worked for Quantum Leap. But though you didn't waste words, per se, the words you used to convey these concepts left little room for anything else to happen. There's not great reason to empathize with the dude, and there's no real plight or growth on the part of the lady. I liked it, but very little transpired.

Auraboks posted:

Open and honest discourse
The sarcasm in the first line falls flat. I do like how you Show the working of your magic, how it's not quite precise but it is in the moment. Then the next two lines, while they help establish tone and character, aren't enjoyable to read. I know it's narrated by the protagonist and that he's a bit smug / insecure / not as well educated as I'd expect him to be, but it's tricky reading all the words from the perspective of someone whose perspective I'm not amused by.

I like the conflict you've established; I assume this is intentional but I'm cheering for the secondary character more than the protagonist as she's the one being wronged. The format is established quickly, which causes the "I doubt she'll be back" line to flop -- I wholeheartedly expect her to be back in the next scene. Which reiterates the friction of having a dumb guy provide the narrative.

The girl's dialogue is effective; the guy's is flat. Things were handled pretty logically from everyone's point of view but the protagonist's. He's pretty clearly letting himself get trapped and responding in ways that seem at best foolish every step of the way. I have a hard time believing he'd have such power yet still be so poor at applying it intelligently. That being said, I enjoyed this story in a quick-read sort of way; the conflict was clear, the resolution was sensible, and one of the characters made sense.

Wait, everyone on the island celebrates a 19th birthday or everyone goes to that island to celebrate their 19th birthday? Jarring tense change. The wail's belly? Was that intentional? I guess so. "As the year has passed, I [took/have taken?] on a peculiar sense."

It's a shame there were so many minor stumbling blocks that broke my flow, because you have some really good bits of prose and a generally solid story. But there was enough in there that, upon first encounter, I had to stop and think about, and this was a piece that needed to wash over me uninterrupted. I also find it a little strange that she died/disappeared just as (because?) he was overwhelmed by a bad memory. That thread feels a bit unresolved in my mind.

For half a second, until I recalled we were likely talking about wizards, I didn't know if you meant magical wards or beings-cared-for-by-the-library wards. I'm already rooting for the protagonist because assaulting a library is a heinous crime, and that's a nice showing of the use of magic -- in a few quick, action-oriented sentences I understand the rules of the game. Oh, he absorbs the text? Interesting, and I'm sure that'll become important. I misread "outstanding fine" as "outstanding fire", for some reason assuming the intruder would be charred. It's still a sad sentence, but it lost its first impression due to a slight conflict in my expectations (which were probably unfounded) and a similarity in letters. Maybe "a late fee"?

The Dewey Decimal numbers are a nice insertion, and understanding the rules, I enjoy the significance of the Hunting aisle. (I'm going to trust that those numbers are accurate, but if you wanted to trick me, that'd be the place for it.) Delightfully suspenseful lead up to and presentation of the creature. For a minute there I thought you were implying that the child had somehow accidentally summoned the creature. Fantastic job of connecting the books to the spell to the reader. I got a minor thrill when I realized he was trying to biblically smite the creature. Ooh, proper shivers at the ending.

Evocative, touching, tight prose, well-concluded. You treat your words brick and they treat you stone. Really the biggest thing hampering this peice was when a few bits conflicted with my preconceived notions, some of which I would not have held were it outside of the context of all these other entries. This one could stand on its own two legs elsewhere.

Jonked posted:

Oneiromancy
Are his mentor and his master the same person? Opening paragraph is all right, but I'm really getting tired of the convention where someone finally scores a hit only to find their opponent had withheld a better hit. The soldier's lines feel stilted; shoehorned in just to move the plot along. Don't need "icy" and "cold" right next to each other. "Strange teal drink" feels weird to read, and in general the alchemy is too convenient and lazy. Oh, there's an emergency. Let me put a little rum in that coke and... voila! Magic!

All of the dialogue is grating on me. It doesn't feel like there are people behind those phrases. "It could drive me mad." I got no emotion out of. Is the king worth me going mad? Oh, he is? Let's continue, then. That's not how people react to trepidation! You want those plants to feel scary, they need to be both alive and malicious. Don't water it down with "seemed almost" alive. None of your specifics are specific enough "cloth-like film", "some thick liquid". Vague descriptions don't make me feel like the objects described actually exist (even in dreamworld, even to the mind of the fictional protagonist). "Died again"? Everything's too indecisive to have impact. "A giganitc and grotesque version of his mother's body" -> "His mother's naked body, gigantic and grotesque". More punch.

Has his sanity been pushed to the breaking point? It doesn't seem that bad, even if he didn't have all that training. The one nice detail I've come across is how a nightmare is even more hideous in the clarity of the real world. I like that thought. The stealing from dreams is all right but not impressive. I have some ideas as to what you meant by the ending, but not enough interest in the content to try to decide what you were actually saying. There are a few okay concepts, but the execution ranges from bland to awkward.

In the first three lines some things happen, and I'm not against them, but I don't connect with them, either. It's a little too dry, a little too this-then-this-then-this. I know who your protagonist is and I guess a minor problem that she has, but nothing about her motivations nor her character nor her plight. Too many maybes in the narration. I don't know what she's trying to do or why she's trying to do it, just that it might maybe work. That's not compelling.

I sat in on an AA meeting once, and my experience reaffirmed the expectation I already had, but I thought they beginned (wow, I actually typed that. I'm so worn out) by going in a circle and having everyone introduce themselves every time, even if it's been the same group of people for the last decade. So the situation you're utilizing ("Oh, she's new.") doesn't seem possible according to my expectations of reality. (I also suspect they'd skip anyone unwilling to participate.) That thieving wizard is the one thing keeping me mildly interested.

How did she manage to get all angry (an emotion) without him just snatching it away, ready jar or not? Also boo exposition. Too many details don't make sense. Not so much that they're confusing, but that I have existing beliefs that certain things would not happen or certain people would not respond in that fashion, and your story is not able to override these feelings or convince me otherwise, so it's dissatisfying in a way that's hard to see beyond.

I'm good and grinnin' at the end of the first sentence. The prose is losing its charm just after "Tong". Hah, Not Tom Hiddleston. In my good graces again. Haha, all right, there was enough here that I enjoyed it. Also that's probably the most Twitter-format I've seen in my entire life.

You know what you're doin', and I miss the prose of the days back before you turned your powers to evil, but the concepts and their execution are good enough for a cheap laugh and the overall tone of the piece screams not to analyze it too closely (which I didn't). I liked the dialogue because it was bad 'cause you were makin' fun of those people it's totally cool to make fun of. But I'm also guessing your heart wasn't in it. And now that the smirks have vanished, I'm not left with much.

Grizzled Patriarch posted:

Jesus Walks Into a Motel
I can see the tenderness you're trying to hint at, but I don't really feel it myself in the opening paragraph. For whatever reason, it doesn't connect. I don't really feel the fear leading up to the hesitation, so I don't experience the relief. I'm just told about some event that could've been cute. "Like fishermen casting their nets in the shallows" would better apply to all of us. The paragraph about fliers is nice, I think? There is imagery that ought to be powerful, but again it doesn't stick. I'm not sure if the fault lies with me or you on that one. Their lives of their own are interesting, but about a half a sentence too wordy.

I feel like there ought to be some power to your ending and better impact to your prose. But maybe I wasn't in the mood for it. They seemed like good words, but they didn't feel good, just neutral. And there were a bunch of them, seeing as how you painted a mood as much as a story. Traces of loneliness crept in at certain points, but either I wasn't up for feeling it or the whole is less than the sum of the parts. I s'pose I should take a break before the next one.

hotsoupdinner posted:

The Wizard's Song
The first two paragraphs aren't bad, but I'm also not pleased by them. There's exposition, and it doesn't interest me. Still too much Telling. The line (surrounding sentences) with "Ten fingers have we" catches my interest, but still in a distant sort of way. Ack, it's so cut and dry and all the Telling removes me from any sense of urgency, action, interest, or emotion. Some stuff happens and the words could've been all right but I'm reading them from an encyclopedia, not a story. You're speaking at me, not to me.

You don't need to say "featureless" when you're saying "it was the only feature in the land"; ends up being repetitive. I'm having trouble sensing the conflict here... the wizard got thirsty? Glad that's resolved. Why is he suddenly afraid of the insects now? "I had received my answer. I will learn what it is. I did not receive my answer." Don't do that. It's not a startling sense of contrast when the read is already dry and declarative. "The song was deafening. I tried to muffle it. It threatened to deafen me." So it wasn't deafening the first time?

Your description of oppressive silence is adequate -- not hearing heartbeat or breath is a good detail. The ending works logically, but nothing worked emotionally. Why should I care about the protagonist and his quest? There was hardly a conflict because there were hardly characters or forces or personalities in opposition -- he does some stuff and some stuff happens and I guess a god who spoke once willed it and it didn't work out all that well. Bummer.

Garfield + Pink Floyd = Garfloyd? Other than the weird names, the opening is decent. I know that the characters are nervous about whatever's about to happen, though I don't know what's about to happen or why I should care about them or any other hooks to draw me in. Luckily you cover those things rather quickly, Showing me that there's some sort of urgency around getting a possibly illicit gift that Amy really needs. Oh, Wilbart is peddling the wares? Interesting.

Not sure if that was an intended double-cross or just brute carelessness. But the conflict has upped its ante. I don't buy that a second would be enough time for a crossbow bolt to diver to an opal, nor that they'd entirely fit within the surface area of the opal, nor that their impact wouldn't cause serious harm. If it's magical enough to stop the force, it shouldn't need to hit the opal. If it needs to hit the opal, then it's just redirection, which should still hurt. ('least that's how I experience it.) "Got the horse going with a slap" is a little weak. "Slapped the horse into motion"?

Feels endearing and childlike that the girl snaps fully awake on mention of a surprise. The ending's kind of cute, but there's not enough of Amy for my feelings for her to contribute to it and Wilbart kinda stole, double dealt, or otherwise sketchily acquired something I imagine he could've gotten more fairly. This story was reasonably tight, but how Wilbart got into that situation in the first place doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

CrazySalamander posted:

Run, Wizard, Run
You've heard it before and you'll hear it again: don't preface your stories. We all hate everything we write basically all the time and there are really good reasons for each of our problems, but if you want to write something ever to be read by someone unknown, you don't get the luxuries of feedback. This is practice for that.

This isn't the worst start I've ever seen (which you were trying to make it out to be; that's another reason we don't like prefaces: it poisons the well). There's some action, rough but urgent, though it's lacking in context (who when where). I can't really get into the action since I don't have enough context. A guy I don't know is running from a thing he doesn't know, and his attempts at escape don't have much meaning because I don't know the rules of engagement (the world, anyone's powers, is this a dream?). There's nothing to anchor myself on.

I don't really like it when characters talk aloud to nobody. I can tell they're talking for the benefit of the reader, which they wouldn't do if there weren't a reader. In general, try to establish one or two characters which the reader can connect with -- give them some shared human experience to empathize over. Most of us haven't had to run for our lives for whatever reason. Start with the hobbits in Hobbiton -- they're happy easy-going honest people (all virtues we associate positively with), then something comes along and threatens them and we want them to come out unscathed. I know flash fiction practically demands throwing one into the middle of a story, but if the story isn't about people we care about then even well-written actions will be wasted on the reader.

You establish a peaceful rustic setting and I'm with you. Then I start to connect with the protagonist when you mention her secret favorites, which she's trying hard not to have; that's super humanizing. The lines from the twins and the line after are also endearing, because who hasn't fondly but silently patronized youth? I sense some foreshadowing with your "Like for Like". There's a weird way one can mis-parse the next two sentences to think for a moment that Tissai died; I think because I treated the period like a comma. I feel like some of the details around those two died went on a little long, but I understand their point. Your descriptions of what go into her spells do rub me the right way. You've got me fully engaged again when she makes her promise.

The detail about picking an arbitrary, indeterminate twin is chilling. Good details on the tragedy and revulsion. Not having wove, I didn't realize what the shuttle was until just now. My oh my, that's a lot of corpse-material. Ooh. There is quite a lot of character growth in this little piece, and I buy all of it. Her descent into witchery with the bone loom seems a little too easy. Not easy, because there's pain with the first child or two, but not as driven by necessity when suddenly there are a dozen, and now she's practicing carpentry.

I can understand the motivations of all of the characters, empathize with the protagonist, and feel remorse when the last threads of her good nature are purged from her by the exigencies of reality.

Gnap! posted:

Intangible
I don't buy it that most wizards would murder to get their name dropped (by whom?) annually. Two lines in the prose is off and I'm at odds with the statements: your claim about most wizards is contrary to my preexisting beliefs, and distinguishing your guy for behaving in a normal fashion is not very distinguished. The attempts at I guess humor aren't working. I am not amused by the term "hairbeard". The only reason I'm smiling right now is this duel of garish wizards for unknown reasons and who have silly names reminds me of Abracadaniel. That guy's awesome.

The action is presented poorly. A guy charges an attack, it does not hit. Lame. Later you explain that the other dude is deflecting every [whatever] thrown at him. Only slightly better. What you really want is to show this happening: "A lightning bolt shot forth from Mercurius' outstretched arm, but Xelzellus deflected it effortlessly." Active verbs; actions being taken by characters. Not passive some-inspecific-stuff-happened. Huh, allergies? Where are they fighting and why and how is the protagonist involved? None of this is clear. Your descriptions around the centipedes are all right, but how did he not notice them sooner? They're not generally microscopic.

Ugh. So the flow picked up a little, and I mean a little, partially because I was in a hurry to be done reading this one. The idea that he's been making little dormant critters at this place for so long that he's forgotten about them and now they're accidentally activating en-masse is an okay one. But the execution is confused as hell. I don't initially know why he's there, there's no sense of position (people just seem to teleport into and out of the foreground), wizards be all fightin' for reasons unknown, and then some bad stuff happens with a frequently passive voice. Why should I even care what happens to any of them, including the protagonist? Do they have any redeeming or relatable qualities?

Chairchucker posted:

That Was a Pretty Wizard, Wasn’t It?
Your sarcasm, humor, and alliteration are lost on me. I'm so tired of reading at this point (so I'm glad this will be short), but I sense the attempts at humor were halfhearted to begin with. Half a reluctant smirk with your pretty fly whitewood log.

It was short, I'm guessing you phoned it in, it wasn't the worst thing in the world but it also didn't have much of a reason to exist. I'm sure you knew all this.

skwidmonster posted:

When He Sleeps
A minor run-on sentence from the character I assume is the more mature of the two (whoever they are). Don't crick and creak in the same sentence. The kid sounds like a kid, but his run on ran a little too on for my disposition at present (which is weary). Ick, a longer sentence. Be careful to balance what's realistic with what's palatable to the reader. I much prefer this kid when he gets prickly about Mr. Bungle than when he rambles.

Why the sudden descriptive details about the wail? They feel out of place. There's very little conflict and an unsatisfying resolution to this story: you can see where it's going, then it goes there, and the journey wasn't very far. Nobody grew as a character, I wasn't enriched by enlightening ideas, I had little empathy, and they're just going to do it again tomorrow. I don't tell you about that day I did something kinda similar to most other days 'cause none of it is notable and you have no reason to care about me. Same with your characters and stories.

Don't preface your story. If you absolutely have to, preface it with "This is going to be the most awesomely satisfying and rewarding thing you'll ever read." to at least put us in a good mood. And actually that's not an egregious opener. I can tell why the protagonist is avoided, maybe feel a bit of his desperation, and know a bit about the state those boys will be in. "Slow" and "slowly" in the same sentence, there. Don't have replies by other people in the same paragraph, if indeed that is what's going on.

How do those ingredients presently take their toll when the years of research have already been paid? Can't he just continue to reap the rewards of that research, toll-free?

Not terribly-written, but a bit bland. You're describing things that are of some interest (molecular biology but magic), but you're Telling me about them instead of Showing things happen. Also it's less satisfying for the reader when people end up in basically the same position that they started in, unless you're trying to make a statement about the cyclical nature of something. In this case, the situation of the boys changes slightly, but the protagonist, the one we're supposed to empathize with, is basically where he started.

kurona_bright posted:

The Tapping Anticlimax
I've got some empathy with the narrator already, because I know what it's like to be bothered by harmless distractions that everybody else seems to ignore. Nice interjections of tap. I'm having PTSD here.

I can see why the coworker is laughing and why the protagonist is not. But I don't see why, if he's been there so frequently, she doesn't just ask him. Such things are not verboten in most offices I've been in. Ah, at least she's about to now. Better late than never. How did it take a few months to get a guy's name out of Dave? She can't be paralyzed with shyness -- she's a presenter. This aspect is really distracting me from an otherwise smooth read.

I like that the climax was more of an anticlimax -- nothing suspicious, just the protagonist freaking out. Decently written, although I suspect I personally empathize a bit more than usual 'cause I can't filter out sounds for the life of me. Wearin' industrial grade earmuffs right now.

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!







Crit for skwidmonster's week 139 entry Cornflakes

https://docs.google.com/document/d/19UIXPGho6yGCMvDXMMRHcJ9Hon7UJBXvJ51bfsCXhek/edit?usp=sharing

my other promised crits will be up sometime before whenever i said it was (sunday or saturday)

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Whoops, I forgot I already did RedTonic's.


Hammer Bro. - Sequelae

The second scene shift is incredibly disorienting. I get that that's somewhat intentional, but when Dante wakes up with bloody knuckles... what the hell happened? And who is Randall? Was that supposed to say "Dominic"?

And the end... took me a few rereads to get it... I think. Santa Clause, right? Kill death and take its place? Using the telescope to amplify the dessication power, making it fully optical, may be a bit goofy but I guess it works. Death goes out like a chump, though. The Death character overall felt more like a nagging voice than a real full-throated threat.

I like the broad story arc. Escalated nicely, given the space you had available. Maybe a bit too much, but then Dante seems human and believable enough in his actions.


Tyrannosaurus - Nothing More. Nothing Less.

That was cute. The dialog might be a little too, uh, grade-school for the setting, but at least that's better than the other extreme and being ponderous.

The tone for the story itself works fine, I suppose it's fittingly optimistic. But Ivar's voice just seems too naive and eager for someone with all this training and practice working with this sort of thing, independent of whatever age he's supposed to be.

The story structure worked. I'm not sure about the second practice scene, whether it would have been better to just reference it in the final scene. They both seem to convey the same information about using the power on a human. Also, halfway through the first scene you seem to have forgotten he still had a broken nose.

Ol Sweepy
Nov 28, 2005

Safety First


crabrock posted:

If anybody with a losertar HMs or wins this week, I will buy them a new avatar. If they do not have one in mind, I will make one for them.

Hey Crabrock. Is this still a thing if you haven't spent all your money on booze to drink away the wizard memories?

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Bompacho posted:

Hey Crabrock. Is this still a thing if you haven't spent all your money on booze to drink away the wizard memories?

do you want a gift cert to change your own or do you want me to make you one?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Well, time to get back into the grind, I'm in!

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

DON'T YOU DARE JUST WRITE A BUNCH OF DESCRIPTIONS AND WORLD BUILDING AND EXPOSITION FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

SONOVA–

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!







oh yeah i have one left-over crit from week 142 when i planned on doing a bunch and then i realized gently caress you all

Capntastic

Story starts out way too slow. It’s kinda interesting in what you're talking about, but there’s no action. The character doesn’t really feel like anything, just kind of a vessel for you to move the plot forward. I feel like you put a little too much stock in the whole rumors/truth theme and while it is interesting, it’s not enough to carry this story. I wasn't really feeling this story in any particular manner. It felt average, the prose was fine, the plot was ok, characters not really characterized, and it all kinda just happened without me really feeling invested in any way. Idk, it was just kinda there. Not awful but not especially compelling. A cool concept with the rumors/truth thing, but it can only carry a story so far.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007

JUST POSTING WHILE JERKIN' MY GHERKIN SITTIN' IN A PERKINS!

BEATS SELLING MERKINS.


Fun Shoe

I'm in, but that perfume site is the most pretentious poo poo I have ever seen. It's perfume, overpriced perfume for dumbass nerds with too much loving money. IS OLD SPICE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU CUNTS OR WHAT?

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Screaming Idiot posted:

dumbass nerds with too much loving money

DrK got that lawyer money

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007

JUST POSTING WHILE JERKIN' MY GHERKIN SITTIN' IN A PERKINS!

BEATS SELLING MERKINS.


Fun Shoe

DrK gonna end up in the trunk of my car while I collect that lawyer ransom money

just kidding i do not own a car

EDIT: OH MY GOD THEY HAVE STEAMPUNK PERFUME

LIKE, WHAT DOES IT SMELL LIKE? GREASE AND NECKBEARDS AND SWEATY GOGGLES? THIS SITE IS A loving GOLDMINE

Screaming Idiot fucked around with this message at 05:16 on Apr 30, 2015

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


I, too, had to laugh, but hey, I've seen stranger ways to make a buck.

My potion of choice is Embalming Fluid BonBon.

Because: how could I not?

Mercedes
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.






Step aside, pudding punchers. I have something really important to say.

In.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Goddamit Doc, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab prompts again?


I hate reruns. Since I'm co-judge, that means I hate all of you. May god have mercy on you if you pick the same perfume I did last time and do it worse than I did.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In. Flash me a perfume, I'm lazy.

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007

JUST POSTING WHILE JERKIN' MY GHERKIN SITTIN' IN A PERKINS!

BEATS SELLING MERKINS.


Fun Shoe

Flash me a perfume too, browsing that site makes me want to burst into scornful laughter and sorrowful tears because Jesus Christ what kind of loving nerd drops that much money on stink-water. YOU ARE THE EPITOME OF THE DECADENT WEST YOU loving INFIDELS.

Ol Sweepy
Nov 28, 2005

Safety First


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Goddamit Doc, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab prompts again?


I hate reruns. Since I'm co-judge, that means I hate all of you. May god have mercy on you if you pick the same perfume I did last time and do it worse than I did.

I loving hate myself and I hate you.

I'll pick a stench-bottle for myself but can I please have a flash rule?

CrazySalamander
Nov 5, 2009


Thanks for the crits!

Also, in for this week.

Wangless Wonder
May 27, 2009


I cannot in good faith navigate that website, please flash me a smell

wigglin
Dec 19, 2007



Line crits take forever and are exhausting. Here's another two. I am done doing line crits for now.

Run, Wizard, Run by CrazySalamander

Minor Opportunity by Sodacan

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









Mercedes posted:

Step aside, pudding punchers. I have something really important to say.

In.

:swoon:

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

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


crabrock posted:

DrK got that lawyer money

You know it: negative net worth.


Screaming Idiot posted:

DrK gonna end up in the trunk of my car while I collect that lawyer ransom money

just kidding i do not own a car

EDIT: OH MY GOD THEY HAVE STEAMPUNK PERFUME

LIKE, WHAT DOES IT SMELL LIKE? GREASE AND NECKBEARDS AND SWEATY GOGGLES? THIS SITE IS A loving GOLDMINE


One of them does does smell like grease and googles.

ALSO, $17.50 for 5oz of perfume oil is not expensive. If you diluted it to the same oil/alcohol solution as Old Spice, the Old Spice would be significantly more expensive per ounce. In fact, the Old Spice Cologne, at full price is $27-32 on amazon, for 6.37oz. Even if you compare volume-to-volume, the BPAL scent will be $3.50/oz and the Old Spice will be $4.24/oz. If you consider that the typical dilution ratio for cologne is 95/5 solution/oil, your 6.37oz bottle of Old Spice only contains 0.32oz of perfume oil, so you pay $84.37/oz of perfume oil. Basically, Old Spice is 24 times as expensive as a standard BPAL scent.

If you compare it to department store fragrance, it's an even better deal, and let's not even talk about designer fragrances because holy loving god who spends $500 on perfume?!?!! Perfume has an extremely high profit margin and if you ever get famous enough, DEFINITELY start your own fragrance line.

DID YOU REALLY THINK FOR EVEN ONE SECOND THAT I WOULD NOT DO THIS??

Your scent is: Some Strangeness in the Proportion
http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/shop/halloween-2014/strangeness-proportion/


Noah posted:

In. Flash me a perfume, I'm lazy.

Eat Me
http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/shop/beloved-favorites/eat-me/


Wangless Wonder posted:

I cannot in good faith navigate that website, please flash me a smell

Fallen
http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/shop/sin-and-salvation/fallen/

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at 22:17 on Apr 30, 2015

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!







hit me up with a perfume, none of them are really striking me as any good

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

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


Broenheim posted:

hit me up with a perfume, none of them are really striking me as any good

Old Demons of the First Class
http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/shop/marchen/old-demons-of-the-first-class/

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet


DRK AM I IN THIS WEEK???

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

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


A Classy Ghost posted:

DRK AM I IN THIS WEEK???

Yes.

Ol Sweepy
Nov 28, 2005

Safety First


Bompacho posted:

I loving hate myself and I hate you.

I'll pick a stench-bottle for myself but can I please have a flash rule?



Disregard the above. I have a flash.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

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


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Goddamit Doc, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab prompts again?


I hate reruns. Since I'm co-judge, that means I hate all of you. May god have mercy on you if you pick the same perfume I did last time and do it worse than I did.

It's not exactly the same prompt. Anyway, that's why I made you co-judge.

Meeple
Dec 28, 2009


Some more crits, from a different bit of the list...

The bit where I started to regret this, and also skipped a few so the guys at the end weren’t left out: entries 30-39

30 Thyrork The Hum of the Woods

I don’t like your reliance on “X would”, “Y thought”, “Z hated” constructs. See showing/telling arguments and subtle infodumping. It’s not awful, just detracts a little from what’s otherwise an okay story.

You drop the actual explanation for what’s going on quite late. As an aside, ambiguous sentences like “ without certain things they wouldn’t survive the coming winter” should be avoided. Specificity lends strength. Say “medicine” or “blankets” or “early 1980’s Action Man figures” rather than implying you don’t quite know what’s happening in your own story.

Your flow is a bit off, though it’s hard to put fingers on it without getting line-by-line. Your action scene is all short sentences, which gives a sense of urgency but perhaps went a bit too far.

The story itself feels a bit weak. I’m not sure why, but it feels like a rather forced solution to their problem, but that may just be me.

31 cargohills A Day in the Forest

Hey, congrats, you completed! Good work.

It’s short, but not awful. I dunno if you just don’t have time to finish and figured this was better than nothing, or ran out of ideas, but whatever. Less to read, hurrah!

This is a recurring theme this week, but try to avoid “I dunno how this works, so nor do you”, in this case with Landon just mysteriously knowing how to read.

For such a short story, you still did an okay job of fitting in a little bit of plot, though it really is only a little bit. With more time and words you could’ve made more of the conflict.

Finally, it’s important to distinguish between child protagonist and child’s story, a line which you drift across a few times.

32 Noah Familiar Patterns

A very literal take on the prompt you were given, but that’s not an automatic negative mark.

There’s a lot of typos and mechanical flaws in this work. If you didn’t do edit/proof passes, you should; if you did, well… (is English your first language? Some of the constructs seem like ESL ones)

A few examples from the opening:
Niclaus had been sober a whole year. He reclined on his bed, hands behind his head, confident being able to say that Meredith was visiting her mother’s and not because he had a made a scene. That was how a beautiful morning had started. Weird way of cutting in the flashback, which I don’t like. By mid-afternoon Dulahan’s Raiders had breached the forest surrounding the village, and would be upon his tower soon.

He stood on the parapets,
a spellbook in one hand a spellbook, the other performing minute movements, weaving the fabric of reality into a tapestry of horror. Niclaus’s brow was drenched in sweat, and while his hand was mechanical in its precision, the rest of his body shook all over. The familiar upwelling of strength and energy left him staggered as it left repetition doesn’t work well here as the meaning of each ‘left’ is subtly different his outstretched hand, and forced him missing a verb? “to take”, perhaps several moments to right himself and peer over the parapet.

The meadow surrounding his tower became a field of treacherous, slimy and wriggling worms. They poked their tiny heads from the dirt, creating a slick expanse the marauders continued to charge through, albeit slightly more gingerly. Niclaus hanged his head in defeat. So far he had managed to summon a storm of lice, which he guessed they probably already had, and a mist of what looked and smelled like lemon juice. And now he had managed to wrench from the earth,
Don’t like the structure here, don’t think it works. I get what you’re going for, but it’s not doing it for me.

“loving worms,” he said.

Descending from the roof, he moved down past the solarium and into his library. Several books lay scattered and strewn about the floor; a stark reversal of activity compared to the dust that had been collecting on some of the other shelves. He scanned the shelves, searching for inspiration amid the taunting repertoire of ancient lore that he barely remembered from his college days, much less wield in his current state.
Take the first clause out and you get “that he barely...wield in his current state”. Missing a ‘could’ or a rework.

Behind him another arsenal loomed. He cursed his obstinacy when Meredith had suggested maybe he didn’t
shouldn’t? keep his liquor in the same place he studied.

Your punctuation in dialogue frequently jars me out of the flow. I think replacing a lot of commas with full stops would make it work better, for example in “I don’t even know how I did it, I gave up trying after the first month.” or “Without my protection, this village would have crumbled years ago, not something Archfield Jones can say,”.

Dogspot is an oddly comedy name that seems out of keeping with the tone of the story.

Towards the end your flashback/forward/sideways jumps get really confusing. You either need to signal them better, or reduce the number of jumps. I mean, we go “a long time ago” to “a year ago” to “earlier that afternoon” to “present” to “welcoming banquet even longer ago” and back to “present” again in about 300 words at the end, with no scene change markers.

I like the idea of “alcoholic wizard saves the day by drinking” but it doesn’t present itself as an obstacle to overcome so much as a descent back down the pit. Also your prose detracts from the story in this case.

33 Capntastic The No-Nothing Thief


I really like the weird world you’ve made with rumours and information given magical strength. Unfortunately it wasn’t the wizardry you were given in your prompt, which only shows up a tiny bit at the end. It’s not an unforgivable crime, but personally I count it against you as it ends up feeling like adhering to the prompt was an afterthought.

Your tone overall is quite expositiony, which I’m not fond of, though you avoid gratuitous infodumping at least. Still, you spend a lot of your words, and early words at that, telling the reader about the world rather than showing something interesting happening. Even your opening sentence abruptly turns out to be exposition rather than dialogue.

There’s a few parts of your story that seemed logically inconsistent, which I found jarring. Turning books sideways to stop people reading them seems futile (what about people sitting next to her, for that matter), calmly painting tar onto books in the middle of a bonfire, Ridulph being too hasty to look behind her or wait before entering the room, but then spending an hour staring at the wizard to make sure it’s not a trap.

Your ending is abrupt, a bit too clever for its own good, and if I didn’t have your prompt in front of me I’m not sure I’d’ve worked out what was actually going on. Maybe telegraphing the wizard’s power in advance might make it a bit less out-of-nowhere.

34 Jagermonster Of a Feather

A lot of little mechanical flaws, especially early on. Using ‘Trultag’ twice in quick succession, and doing the same with ‘the soldier’ again later, both spoil the flow. Your first few sentences are all very short; again, flow. Starling shouldn’t be capitalised. Some of your dialogue doesn’t flow well off the tongue to me, such as the second sentence especially in “I still have shelter and friends. That’s all one really needs, so yes, young Roddie.”.

Trultag’s change of heart about punishing the king is a bit abrupt, though you later hint this is maybe intentional. Still, the ending seems a bit hollow, almost rushed to me. I get the whole prank-gone-wrong thing, but it just accelerates so rapidly from prank to accident to regicide to minor civil war, and your protagonist doesn’t really have much part in any of it. He just sits at the edge, looks horrified for a very brief period and then is all “welp, guess I wanted to witness wholesale slaughter today after all. Hey, buzzards! Grub’s up!”

I didn’t really like the arc of this story as a whole. Not enough was made of Trultag’s arc from pacifist to prankster to indirect murderer; I just didn’t feel like I cared enough about him as a character and the story seemed to be more about the effects of his actions than himself.

Otoh raining birdshit on the king’s parade was pretty funny, in a 12-year-old kind of way.

35 Wangless Wonder Sigil

The first note I have about this one is I found the opening very, very confusing. I couldn’t tell who was talking to whom, as your protagonist started out with a monologue, and then another character showed up without much ceremony and picked up the conversation in the middle. Some clearer introduction of James, and a clearer cut when the protagonist changes to addressing him rather than the mesmerised cop, would help a lot here.

Describing the sigil out loud bugged me. It seems really unnatural. I get you wanted to work the description into the story, but I suspect you could probably have held the story together just fine without ever actually describing it. As we’ve got first-person protagonist, it’s something he knows so intimately he won’t ever need to explain it.

A few minor gripes about pacing and sentence flow, for example: “The can of spray paint clattered against the floor. My, my work here was done. They’dThey had been…”. The comma just doesn’t flow well for me, and when you’re writing first-person narration you want to stick with more natural sentence flow with contractions like you’d hear in speech. When you suddenly skip to the flashback about the storm passing through, you probably want past perfect tense (“A storm had passed through…”) given you’re already telling the story itself in past tense.

The plot and magic were pretty cool, a fairly clean arc of setup, goal (not die, I suppose), antagonist, resolution. I liked the ending. It’s not an awful story, but a lot of little niggles made it less pleasant to read than it should’ve been. Work on those and the rest will shine more.

36 Cache Cab Cities Fall Yet Rivers Still Flow

So, dicks, pop culture and autism, then. Shock factor is a valid writing style, but you gotta know your audience. It’s like showing up to a life drawing glass, dipping your dick in the prussian blue and using it to write “Hitler did nothing wrong” all across your canvas. Sure, it’s art and some people are gonna love it, but stories like this don’t go down well in TD any more than a little seaside art gallery is going to display your thirty-canvas epic “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Dich”.

Which is almost a shame, because once you look past the gratuitous crude poo poo, it’s not a bad story and you write good prose. A few minor mistakes here and there, eg He gasped for breath, and Rivers could hear the gurgles as Ranged Range sucked in, then he saw though I don’t personally like the change in tense the blood that Range hacked up as he coughed and coughed. and “Raaaa! Urrrrr! Thraa gaa sssuhhh!” Waswas all anyone heard, except the bugs.
Nothing another editing pass couldn’t pick up, though.

37 spectres of autism Cloning Blues

Bunch of random bits that offended me in your opening:
My door disintegrated, sending splinters flying at a million angles. I ducked, a couple grazing my cheek and drawing blood.

As Personally I’d either write this as “I took my hand… as the intruders” or better yet, skip the “as” entirely. They aren’t really related actions so tying them together doesn’t add much to me. I took my hand away from my face the intruders stepped past the door fragments. Bronze armour glinted in the sunlight shining through the open space. Guardsmen.

“There’s been some sort of mistake,” I began, but then I saw those crossbows raise A bit weird with “raise” in the middle of all the past-tense, it’s not ungrammatical but just flows odd and was moving, ducking behind my desk as the bolts thudded into the wall behind me. Serious thuds. Serious weight on those things.

I reached out into the ether. My clones were still out there, so I could do it quickly and easily. Lucky. This was a bad spot, and I realized I’ve ranted about this a lot this week, but you can usually skip the “I realised” or “I thought” or whatever when you’re doing first-person narrative. This sentence is really a good example of what I hate in first-person narrative - you’re telling the reader that you’re thinking some facts about the situation, rather than just describing your character’s reaction to the situation. You could probably replace the entire thing with “Whatever this was, the guards clearly weren’t interested in talking it through. I was going to have to shoot my way out.” and even that is more “let me tell you about my motivations” than I like. that the fact that the Guardsmen were already firing at me meant they were probably as pissed as could be. Whatever this was, I was in deep already. I had to shoot my way out.

I built up my magicks, feeling the flame of Panika burn inside me. Flash fiction is not the place to be dumping lots of made-up magickckc terms on your reader. Save it for the five-book epic with glossary at the end of every volume. You can get away with maybe one made-up concept.

“loving kill him!” shouted the sergeant, or whatever rank he was. I get that you’re using an unreliable narrator here, so he genuinely doesn’t know, but I have this habit of jumping down people’s throats when they use “somewhat like” and “whatever” and “sort of” so consider yourself told. It’s a pattern that translates poorly from speech to written word.

I cast Explosivus. Aaand you blew that one. Does this phrase add anything? Would the character actually think that? Are you doing anything more than adding extra cognitive effort to your reader as they have to parse an unfamiliar word and work out what it means? “I blew up the room” not only has more impact through casual understatement, but is less effort to read.

Your vast amount of infodumping and made-up terminology spoils what’s otherwise a reasonable story, frankly, as it only gets worse from there on in. Spending time explaining everything just makes the narrator sound patronising, and every word you spend telling me what your next cool spell does is a word you didn’t spend advancing the plot, describing action or actually making me give a poo poo about the story. I wanted to read a story, not chapter 12 of your totally rad home-brew RPG’s spellbook.

Weak ending, the random interlude about the stitching falls flat though I know what imagery you were trying to evoke. The same imagery without the explicit reference to the tailor would’ve been stronger. I get this “he was dead a clone all along!” but you fumbled the reveal a bit, especially as with all your other made-up terms I wasn’t entirely sure if “Fikr” wasn’t just an in-world curseword.

There’s some neat ideas in there, but work on telling the story rather than describing the world.

38 Broenheim A Brat's Request

Alright, it’s a cute little piece, but it mostly reads like the storyline to Fetch Quest #322 in another copy/paste MMO and I think you gave me PTSD.

Sure, you’ve got the arc of a story there - motivation, obstacle(s), resolution - but it’s all just buried because you have to spend so much of your time introducing new characters, describing them, having them make their requests, and then unwinding the whole stack again at the end. Your protagonist just doesn’t really do much in all this, other than trundle around taking McGuffin A to Character B, skipping through the dialogue, repeat. It’s only on the last god that he even does anything active himself, and frankly that feels more like because you had to end the recursion somewhere rather than it fitting the story. Why can’t he throw runes at any of the other gods? There wasn’t much challenge there anyway, given it’s all “oh, you could’ve just asked :eeyore:”. Honestly, the protagonist just feels like an rear end in a top hat throughout.

Bunch of minor mechanical errors show you could’ve done with another proof/editing pass (But the snow still feel hard early on, don’t capitalise even after question marks, exclamation marks or both in speech, repetition of ‘body’ in The snow fell onto Astol’s burning body, steam rising from her body etc etc).

Your dialogue with Astol is clunky, and I can’t work out what you’re trying to do with her character. Some of her lines make it sound like she’s supposed to be a young child, but she’s smirking all the goddamn time (seriously, enough already) and at others sounds like a willful teenager, or a bitchy adult. I think you could’ve worked harder on her voice there. The other two gods basically have the same voice, which is I AM ALL POWERFUL CLICHEREON, LORD OF FIRE AND BAD FANTASY. That’s a hint, by the way, that I didn’t like them either.

The underlying idea was nice, and I liked it, but it just got drowned. In conclusion, more work on (likable) characterisation, less WoW clones please.

39 Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi The Square Root of 13

Right, seriously, I’ve had enough of the loving infodumps and exposition and explaining your goddamn made-up fantasy bullshit to me this week. You have 1300 words. Do you really want to be wasting them on explaining what “wiz-steel” (which sounds like something out of a schoolboy joke catalogue) is?

You had a lot of neat little turns of phrase (I especially like “open-skyscraper surgery” for some reason). Those are good, keep that sort of thing, but stop before you get to the “lecturing the reader” stage. I don’t need your narrator infodumping to me, especially not when he’s also your protagonist. The whole reasons-behind-his-secret-code spiel is the worst offender, as it adds in a bonus “Look Ma, I read wikipedia!” to the endeavour.

The fight scene at the end is just a bit too far on the side of ridiculous to fit with the rest of the hard-boiled-cop theme. It reminds me a lot of kids educational TV shows, which is probably not what you were aiming for. I think you could’ve made it work if you’d skipped all the description of the numbers themselves, and just concentrated on the fact that he’s making ink/pencil marks fly off the wall and stab you in the face. Telling me that getting attacked by the number 5 is particularly unpleasant just doesn’t have the same gravitas to it.

Plot-wise, you were doing great until the big reveal at the end was just “eh, I don’t like irrational numbers” (ps you really missed an awful “it just makes me so… irrational” pun there. This may or may not be a good thing). It’s a shame because the rest of it was kinda neat, you handled the whole “crazy wizards in a normal world” quite well, though I question how this guy has form for wiping out 13th floors on a regular basis and hasn’t been locked up for life yet.

Still, some neat ideas in there, but like so many other entries this week they were buried under expository bullshit. Quit it, all of you.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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


Attn wizard week toxxers: I promised you wizard week crits but since there's been a fuckton of them flying around already I'll instead give you the pick of any of your TD entries. Just let me know what you want critted. I'll probably start going through the list by Sunday so if I haven't heard from you till then you get your regular old wizard crit.

The list again: Broenheim, Wangless Wonder, ravenkult, newtestleper, Dr. Kloctopussy, Benny the Snake, skwidmonster, kurona_bright, curlingiron, Auraboks, Doctor Idle, Maugrim

Also thanks for the crits sh, crabman, beefman, hammerman, maugriman and tonicboy aka the half-a-dirty-dozen

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Entenzahn posted:

Attn wizard week toxxers: I promised you wizard week crits but since there's been a fuckton of them flying around already I'll instead give you the pick of any of your TD entries. Just let me know what you want critted. I'll probably start going through the list by Sunday so if I haven't heard from you till then you get your regular old wizard crit.

The list again: Broenheim, Wangless Wonder, ravenkult, newtestleper, Dr. Kloctopussy, Benny the Snake, skwidmonster, kurona_bright, curlingiron, Auraboks, Doctor Idle, Maugrim

Also thanks for the crits sh, crabman, beefman, hammerman, maugriman and tonicboy aka the half-a-dirty-dozen

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=3429&title=The+Truth+Above+All

thanks!

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Maugrim
Feb 16, 2011

I eat your face



Entenzahn posted:

Attn wizard week toxxers: I promised you wizard week crits but since there's been a fuckton of them flying around already I'll instead give you the pick of any of your TD entries. Just let me know what you want critted. I'll probably start going through the list by Sunday so if I haven't heard from you till then you get your regular old wizard crit.

The list again: Broenheim, Wangless Wonder, ravenkult, newtestleper, Dr. Kloctopussy, Benny the Snake, skwidmonster, kurona_bright, curlingiron, Auraboks, Doctor Idle, Maugrim

Also thanks for the crits sh, crabman, beefman, hammerman, maugriman and tonicboy aka the half-a-dirty-dozen

I'd still prefer a crit for my Wizard Week story if that's okay! It's the one I'm most likely to end up rewriting, since people seem to like the premise.

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