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  • Locked thread
flerp
Feb 25, 2014

LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

new rule i just made up: if 10 people emptyquote this, benny the snake, the legendary rulebreaker, is banned from entering the thunderdome ever again

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skwidmonster
Mar 31, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Jonked posted:

imma brawl you backtalker

Oh my god yes just somebody write something for fucks sake

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007
:siren: Twist and Jonked brawl :siren:

What happens when you Twist a Jonked? This:


You two will write a story in which your hero belongs to one genre (Western, Sci-Fi, Horror, Romance, etc.,) and is suddenly thrust into a different genre and must save the day.

Maximum wordcount: 2,000
Deadline: June 10, 11:59 PM Central Standard Time, because Texas, that's why.


Go hog wild. Remember, all brawls automatically come with :toxx:

blue squares fucked around with this message at 03:12 on Jun 3, 2015

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

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

docbeard posted:

:siren: Guts and Bolts vs Blue Wher :siren:

Write for me a story, 750 words minimum, 1250 words maximum, in which mortal enemies must work together toward a common goal. Make sure I give a drat about your characters, their conflict, and the reason they have to work together. Keep posturing, in and out of your stories, to a minimum.

Due Wednesday, June 3, by 9:00 PM CST cuz I'm not staying up late on a workday to make sure you loudmouthed fools deliver.

Speaking of brawls, this one comes due in less than twenty-four hours.

Do not disappoint me.

Nothing will happen if you do but I'll be sad and do you really want to make a grown man cr...never mind. (Oh, and I guess since no one, including me, brought up the Brawls Should Be Toxxed thing this time around I won't hold you to that, but seriously, don't weasel out like a bunch of weasels.)

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

I

AM

MAGNIFICENT






LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

new rule i just made up: if 10 people emptyquote this, benny the snake, the legendary rulebreaker, is banned from entering the thunderdome ever again

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

new rule i just made up: if 10 people emptyquote this, benny the snake, the legendary rulebreaker, is banned from entering the thunderdome ever again

Fausty
May 16, 2014

"Flowers!"
"Is there a
John Luck Pickerd
here?"

LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

new rule i just made up: if 10 people emptyquote this, benny the snake, the legendary rulebreaker, is banned from entering the thunderdome ever again

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010


If you must blink, do it now.

Humboldt Squid
Jan 21, 2006

I don't want to ban anyone but benny it would a good idea to sit this round out so you can learn to chill.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME





Humboldt Squid posted:

I don't want to ban anyone but benny it would a good idea to sit this round out so you can learn to chill.

Hi squid can I just take the time to say how much I appreciate you not banning all of us assholes for being a collective nuisance

now that you're all buttered up can I ask you to make my av link to this thread? :3: :3: :3: My debit card has trouble working in the store.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

GUM CHEWING INTENSIFIES

Humboldt Squid posted:

I don't want to ban anyone but benny it would a good idea to sit this round out so you can learn to chill.
Will do.

Humboldt Squid
Jan 21, 2006

Sitting Here posted:

Hi squid can I just take the time to say how much I appreciate you not banning all of us assholes for being a collective nuisance

now that you're all buttered up can I ask you to make my av link to this thread? :3: :3: :3: My debit card has trouble working in the store.

Done!

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Behold my brain the golden throne of my consciousness. In here I am seated. Shackled. From here I police the land.



:perfect:



:mediocre:

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






A thousand thank yous forever

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









omg i hate you all so so much it is like a hate volcano festooned with white-hot rage boners

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

I

AM

MAGNIFICENT






Benny the Snake posted:

The Willow and the Ribbon
(700 words)


You've used less than half of the words available to you. Lets see if that's justified.

I sit on the park bench checking the clock on my phone for the upteenth time. boring opening. it's literally a dude checking the time. you should know better than this by now. †My text log reads like this: awkward "meet me @ the bench in front of the library in 10 mins, come alone" this is all cliche. what about this makes it unique and original to you? why are you telling this story? why do you tell stories at all, if you're just going to rehash things others have already said? OWN your poo poo. Say things in a new way. Storytelling is about creating, not parroting.

That was at 10:30--it's now 10:45 pretty convoluted way to say he's late. and here I am, sitting in on a park bench in front of the campus library, worried like a motherfucker for my best friend. †What happened? †What's wrong with her? †

I hear steps behind me and I whip my head around. †"Jane!" †I shout and jump up. †“What’s-” †

She shakes her head. †Something’s wrong, but I don’t ask;show, don't tell. how does he know something's wrong? explain what he sees and how he knows. I just nod and we sit on the bench. †She inches as far away as she can from me, totally understandable wrapping her arms around her shoulders, hiding her face from me, breathing silently. a bit of a weird description "breathing silently." Like, i don't usually think of breathing as being loud, and we almost never mention it unless it's actually audible or visible. Furthermore, what is her silent breathing supposed to symbolize? it's just kind of a fact here, given without a clue as to what it means. is silent breathing a sign that something's wrong? It just sounds kind of normal to me. might as well tell me she's wearing pants.††We sit there for what seems like forever this is totally useless because i have no idea how much time has ACTUALLY passed. it could be 10 minutes or an hour. Stuff like that matters, and there are nuanced ways to describe time in a way that is both intelligent and useful. until I break the silence. †"Are you okay?" †derp. i hate when characters say exactly what is going on in their heads. you could have asked ANYTHING here. ANYTHING at all would have broken the silence and started the conversation. this is a perfect time to include some characterization for either character, or both. "I saw you got an A on the test, I only bot a B." boom. breaks the silence and gives you more info about the chars. furthermore, it still fits with the rest of your dialogue. this is what you should be doing, ALL THE TIME.

She turns around and stares at me. †creppy Her hazel eyes, once full of life and warmth, are now dead, this is cliche bloodshot, and staring right through me. so she's staring at you but through you? pick one, as they are mutually exclusive.†"Jane, what-" don't have dialogue from one character on the same line as an action from another. It's misleading and confusing. if that name hadn't been there, i'd assume it was the chick.

"Don't," she says quietly. †

"Okay." †

"You really want to help?" †um. she say's "don't" then immediately talks about what she said she didn't want to talk about. that's weird.

I nod. †"You mean it?" †

I chew my bottom lip. †"Jane, what's-" SHE JUST loving SAID DON'T, AND NOW YOU ASK THE SAME GOD drat THING. LITERALLY WORD FOR WORD. WHO DOES THIS?!?! ARE YOU AN ALIEN?!? furthermore, why do you bother having him nod, bite his lip, and then ask her the same question straight away? nothing has happened in between him saying yes and just loving going right back to dumbsville. Did you forget to put her reaction to his yes in? futherfurthermore, if it's all the same char and same dialogue, you can just keep it all on one line.

She grabs my hand and holds it in a vice-grip no, she's holding it in her hand. you're using "vice grip here as a noun, not an adjective.. †I look into her eyes again--she's not looking through me, she's staring right into me. †I see it now--something so primal and insatiable this is a weird description. sounds like she's about to just jump your bones, rather than being sad. that I'd be scared if I didn't also see agony and regret in her. you just straight up tell me 4 things you see in her eyes rather than actually showing me any of this stuff. what does this poo poo look like in her eyes and how does your character know? †"Okay," I say simply as she leads me towards the grove. †

***
let's take a break here and breathe for a second. In the first half of this story, we know that a girl is like, upset for some reason, and she was late to a meeting. She sits on a bench and broods while some idiot alien friend doesn't know what to do or what's going on. This isn't much of a story. There's not really a conflict. Having somebody be upset is not a conflict in itself. He wants to help, but has no idea what is going on, and neither do we. This is almost a conflict, but because there's nothing specific that anybody wants other than to "not be sad," the stakes are pretty loving low. you need to include your reader on what's happening. this is first person, so we're just as confused and it the dark as your character. this is not a fun place to be. it does not make a good story. It could, maybe, if they were talking about anything substantive, but all they do is talk about the problem at hand. They exist solely to talk about the fact that one of them is sad. There's nothing more to either of them other than this sadness. Emotions can't exist in a vacuum, they need to be attached to events and actions.


We're lying underneath a giant willow tree, its branches reaching down to the ground, our naked bodies drenched in sweat, our breathing alternating in a staccato beat. †My whole body aches. †My head hurts. †My heart is palpitating. †We haven't said a single word since. †I don’t dare say anything. †I don't want to ruin...whatever the gently caress this is. †and they gently caress. ok. this is a very juvenile way of handling this, imo.

She gets up. †Before she gets on top of me again, I stop her. †"Wait." †

"What?" †

"Jane-"

"Don't," she says. †

"What the gently caress is wrong with you?" I ask and get away from her. †OMG STOP ASKING HER THAT. SHE SAID DON'T ASK. SHE SAID SHE WANTED YOU TO HELP BY loving HER RAW, AND SPECIFICALLY BY NOT TALKING. YOU'RE HURTING HER. YOU'RE HURTING HER WITH YOUR MOUTH. SHE LITERALLY JUST hosed YOU TO SHUT YOU UP AND YOU WON'T STOP ASKING HER QUESTIONS LIKE A GOD drat TODDLER AT THE ZOO. JUST SHUT UP. SHUT UP. SHUT UP.

"What the gently caress is wrong with you?" †She asks me with a bitter scowl on her face. †"This is what you want, isn't it? †Don't you dare lie to me, Johnny, I know you've always wanted to gently caress me." †

"Not like this," BRAVE loving POSITION AFTER THE DEED IS DONE. YOU loving DISHONEST BASTARD I shake my head and back away. †"Jane, what the gently caress's gotten into you?" JEEZE IT DIDN'T SEEM TO MATTER WHEN SHE WAS LUBING YOUR SMALL COCK WITH HER SAD VAGINA.

She glares at me before closing her eyes and walking towards me. †"Okay," she says and loops her arms through mine, holding my head, WHAT THE gently caress IS GOING ON HERE? ARE THEY ALIENS? IS THIS HOW ALIENS gently caress? DID SHE JUST PUT YOU IN SOME SORT OF SEXUAL HALF NELSON?! "Listen to me very carefully, Johnny." †

"Okay," I say and carefully wrap myself around her. †HOW MANY TENTACLES ARE INVOLVED IN THIS SCENE? I'M GOING TO NEED SOME DRAWINGS OF THIS WEIRD ARM WRAPPING AND HEAD HOLDING AND CAREFUL WRAPPING

"This is the last time we'll ever see each other again." †ET PHONE HOME

"Wha-"

"Stop," she says, her eyes flashing. OH gently caress SHE'S GONE FULL CUTTLEFISH.†"There are two ways we can do this. †One, I'll tell you and leave right now. †Two, we'll spend the rest of the night together and you'll never know. †What's it gonna be?" †

I think back to when we first met--how she stood up for me after everyone laughed at me SELF-INSERT in Shakespeare class HEY, THAT'S THE PROMPT FOR THIS WEEK! HI MOM! for asking if Hamlet had an Oedipus complex. NAH KISSING YOUR MOM IS COOL AND NORMAL ON PLANET EARTH. WELCOME FRIENDLY FELLOW HUMAN †I think back to all the study sessions together. †The gossiping, salacious texts we've traded surreptitiously. HELLO I HAVE INFILTRATED THE HUMAN EDUCATION SYSTEM. DO NOT SHOW ANYBODY ELSE THIS TEXT. IT IS A SECRET. PLZ INFORM THE SUPREME COMMANDER †How much and for how long we've come to confide in each other. WHAT IF THESE HUMANS ARE SENTIENT BEINGS JUST LIKE US? †Just like that, she's handed me the end of the ribbon 'round her neck--now all I have to do is pull. OUR EVOLUTION HAS DAMNED US WITH EASILY REMOVABLE HEADS. WE, THE SWEATER PEOPLE OF PLANET YARNONIUM HAVE BEEN LIMITED IN OUR INTERGALACTIC CONQUEST DUE TO THIS FATAL FLAW

Funny thing is, something inside me YOU HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH EARTH PARASITES. PLEASE REPORT TO THE MED BAY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE already knows what'll happen if I pull, that her head is gonna fall right off her shoulders. YOU WILL BE COURT MARTIALED†And when I look into her eyes, I see it--the sorrow, the pleading, the tears rolling down her face. EACH EYE HAS ITS OWN CHEEKS, SUCH IS ANOTHER CRUEL TWIST OF FATE OF OUR BIOLOGY†Holding her face in my hands, I kiss her on the lips as deep as I can as we collapse into ourselves and fade away into the darkness. INTERDIMENSIONAL WRAP INITIATED

***

I wake up to the sound of nightingales singing. †I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, my body aches. †I look to the side and she's gone. †I scramble for my phone but stop--I can't even bring myself to cry. †I don't know what happened to her or us but it's gone now, never to return. †

This is a pretty boring story that reads more like a teenager's fantasy than an attempt at an adult story. Some girl is sad, she meets her friend, he keeps badgering her and in order to shut him up she fucks him. then she disappears and nobody has grown or changed and nothing has been resolved other than a weird creep took advantage of somebody who needed a friend in order to get himself some of that sweet poon that he was entitled to after he had the courage to let her stick up for him in class.

thank you for only making that 700 words

Jeebus christ.

crabrock fucked around with this message at 04:18 on Jun 3, 2015

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010
whoa there's like a million posts in the thread I wondered what happened nevermind it's Benny trying to weirdly lawyer the rules of a no-stakes internet creative writing competition despite the fact that that's really dumb and petty, but also if he's gonna push that line really hard, precedent is against him pretty loving hard and Thunderdome, being an English language competition, is clearly a common law system over a civil one so precedents (especially one upheld many times in the same material circumstances) are pretty binding k that's my contribution go back to reading about Rosa Flores getting 4 army dicks put in her

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

I

AM

MAGNIFICENT






For the record, Benny, this will be the last time I ever acknowledge your existence. I did that crit so that others could see it wasn't just tyran being a big ol' meany. It was you writing a lovely story.

I am adding you to my ignore list. If you enter a round that I am judging, I will ignore your entry. If you try to talk to me, I will ignore you. This is literally the first time somebody has ever gotten a mod involved in something that they thought was unfair, rather than take responsibility for their writing.

Fausty
May 16, 2014

"Flowers!"
"Is there a
John Luck Pickerd
here?"
I lost last week and I wanna make up for it. In.

Can I get a flash rule?

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010


If you must blink, do it now.

Fausty posted:

I lost last week and I wanna make up for it. In.

Can I get a flash rule?
A friendly wager ends up with someone's reputation on the line.

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool
bye

anime was right fucked around with this message at 05:56 on Oct 27, 2015

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019

More crits of last week's

docbeard - Appearances

Good. I don't have any complaints, really. You missed italicizing a paragraph.



Blue Squares - Would that we Could

Good stuff. Nothing I can see to criticize, really.



LOU BEGAS MOUSTACHE - They Call Him Girl

"When Girl is a toe is shy the door," - What? I can't even figure out what you meant to write.

"Sticking out of a dumpster is a purple bubble jacket, Girl slips it on." You use comma splices way too much. They almost never work, especially with sequential event narration.

Bozo spits acid? Literally, apparently? And it burns on contact with skin? And "he laments the flammability of his face loudly." :rolleyes: You could be droll but it doesn't work here.

"Girl chunks polygons of Jackís skull right into some white matter." how... what happened?

Despite some technical construction issues and a fairly confusing chronology of events this is pretty good at evoking place.



Claven666 - 'Till Death

I don't get it. This is a metaphysical final resting place? And he got in for good behavior, only it turns out he wasn't so good after all? Why didn't the supernaturals know that already? How did he get in at all? And then if she is a demon in disguise, and the rules apply to her here, how can she use her powers anyway? I don't understand any of this story's logic. And I'm not sure how much it squares with your plot prompt, either.



crabrock - My New Church

OK, metaphorical. Not a bad story. There are some awkward constructions that slow down reading a bit, but nothing egregious.



Blue Wher - The Gryphon Spell

What's with all these people with names like Hrokar this week? Is there some in-joke I missed?

"King Bernan grimaced, worried." You used the same grammatical construct (-ed) with different semantic meaning twice in a row. That's distracting and hard to parse. Best to rewrite one. Also the past tense of cast (and broadcast) is (broad)cast.

Meh. I don't see much in this story that necessitated nonhuman characters; you didn't do much with the different body shapes, just made them fly sometimes. And it's a boring story over all.



Grizzled Patriarch - Dispatches from the Capital City

Seems good so far. Descriptions are somehow not overwhelming despite archaic style. And despite that the story moves at a good pace and events are described clearly. Motivations are a bit murky -- why is the prince imprisoned by the Duke, and why is the King mobilizing an army... to get him? I'm not sure the ending has much resonance either, the political situation seems too undefined to me.



Killer-of-Lawyers - The Monaco Shuffle

OK. I don't have too much to complain about this. I was a bit confused at first because usually in a heist story these are robbers stealing a thing, not cops unstealing a thing, but you were intentionally vague in the opening.



Pete Zah - Eyes Only For You

Uh, how does this conform to your plot at all?

This isn't badly written but I don't really see the point of it. Doctor sees lab-grown eyes successfully implanted, kills herself... because her colleague was the tissue donor...?



skwidmonster - Immortal in a Time of War

This feels like an unrelated series of scenes. I don't see how they go together, besides maybe being in chronological order? But I don't see why you've chosen them and I don't really understand what's going on, either. The introduction makes it science fiction but that's dropped immediately, and the end is an unintelligible non-sequitor.

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Tyrannosaurus posted:

:siren: Week 147 Judgement :siren:
newtestleper, dmboogie, God Over Djinn, Djeser, SkaAndScreenplays, guts and bolts, Auraboks, JcDent. You all are failures. You could not muster up a single word for an internet writing contest that you yourself signed up for and you should be ashamed. gently caress you forever. Goddamn and amen.
I signed up this week?

poo poo I didn't even remember the prompt.

Oh well...In this week and gently caress it :toxx: and flash rule while we're at it.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!
Gonna need a flash rule.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010


If you must blink, do it now.

SkaAndScreenplays posted:

I signed up this week?

poo poo I didn't even remember the prompt.

Oh well...In this week and gently caress it :toxx: and flash rule while we're at it.
The fate of world rests on the outcome of this game.

curlingiron posted:

Gonna need a flash rule.
Your protagonist's opening ante is their fondest childhood memory. Literally, their memory.

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Sitting Here posted:

This isn't loving FIFA
To be fair FIFA maybe isn't the best example of an organization fond of rules.

Still, it's Thunderdome, and not that big of a deal. Every now and again you've got to break the rules. Look what happened to Blaster.

skwidmonster
Mar 31, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Fuschia tude posted:

More crits of last week's

skwidmonster - Immortal in a Time of War

Danke fur die crit, fyoosh

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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

LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

new rule i just made up: if 10 people emptyquote this, benny the snake, the legendary rulebreaker, is banned from entering the thunderdome ever again

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









crabrock posted:

For the record, Benny, this will be the last time I ever acknowledge your existence. I did that crit so that others could see it wasn't just tyran being a big ol' meany. It was you writing a lovely story.

I am adding you to my ignore list. If you enter a round that I am judging, I will ignore your entry. If you try to talk to me, I will ignore you. This is literally the first time somebody has ever gotten a mod involved in something that they thought was unfair, rather than take responsibility for their writing.

This is me too, by the way benny.

You had one job, and you hosed it up.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

new rule i just made up: if 10 people emptyquote this, benny the snake, the legendary rulebreaker, is banned from entering the thunderdome ever again

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

crabrock posted:

For the record, Benny, this will be the last time I ever acknowledge your existence. I did that crit so that others could see it wasn't just tyran being a big ol' meany. It was you writing a lovely story.

I am adding you to my ignore list. If you enter a round that I am judging, I will ignore your entry. If you try to talk to me, I will ignore you. This is literally the first time somebody has ever gotten a mod involved in something that they thought was unfair, rather than take responsibility for their writing.



this but as a gender identity


but irl, this is also me

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart

crabrock posted:

For the record, Benny, this will be the last time I ever acknowledge your existence. I did that crit so that others could see it wasn't just tyran being a big ol' meany. It was you writing a lovely story.

I am adding you to my ignore list. If you enter a round that I am judging, I will ignore your entry. If you try to talk to me, I will ignore you. This is literally the first time somebody has ever gotten a mod involved in something that they thought was unfair, rather than take responsibility for their writing.

And my axe!

Blaming the reader (read: judge) is a tyro move. The only person who can improve your writing is you, and if you don't take responsibility for your own failures to communicate with a reader, you're never going to improve.

Given the number of chances you've had, and the increasing volume of drama, I'm also throwing in with the rock 'o crabs. You're barred from any week I judge.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2022




You're welcome to join in any week where I just won and am now judging, Benny! Unfortunately that's not often, I guess everyone is biased against me or something?

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006
If I ever win, Benny is the only one allowed to submit a story.

hubris.height
Jan 6, 2005

Pork Pro
This week in the Thunderdome:

Nubile Hillock posted:

:siren: HOW TO RECEIVE CRITIQUES, A THUNDERDOME GUIDE:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBqTng4c2iU&t=135s

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?
THUNDERDOME EURODOME Ė EAT CRIT AND DIE

your stories were bad. many were boring. some were just bizarre. some were both, somehow. shhhh dont cry now, its all good. im here. iíll fix it.

Claven666 Ė No More Hunting Stars
One thing thatís always a good idea is to start telling a story by showing how two people argue over an undefined *thing* that may or may not happen or actually matter plotwise. You know, make yourself seem really mysterious, make me ask the important questions, like ďWhat the gently caress is going on?Ē or ďWhy should I care?Ē or ďNo seriously, what the gently caress is going on, are they like gay lovers or something what are they talking about?Ē

So the intro scene is pointless because it establishes that there is a conflict but then it keeps dancing around it as if not knowing whatís happening will make the read so much more enjoyable. Then I have no idea whatís really going on in the middle either because I never know anyoneís motivation or what theyíre up to. The exciting part of a story is to see a protagonist work towards a goal we identify with, and you donít have that.

Donít hide your protagonistís agenda from us. Itís not clever.

The ending hints at something that finally resembles a story, and thereís so much conflict here that it baffles me how you managed to not include it earlier. A man torn between two flames, doing immoral things out of unreciprocated love. Thatís good material. You should have used it.

But then you also skipped one of the most important parts, where the old guy volunteers his safe to the protagonist, so now Iím not sure if you even knew what story you were telling.


Blue Wher Ė Motherís Violin
Here's a selection of possible reactions to realizing that thereís a ghost living in your violin:
  • Yelling, ďHoly poo poo, there's a ghost in my violin!!Ē
  • Slowly descending into madness as objects all around you suddenly seem to be filled with dead ancestors who give you pep talks.
  • Going on a magical adventure until the local media catches wind of the mysterious girl and her talking violin and an eccentric billionaire sends out his henchmen to steal it and add it to his own collection of possessed instruments.
  • Getting coffee.
The violin is the one interesting thing in your story and you just glance over it. Then weíre left with a boring person and her boring, lazy soul-search, which is resolved by going for a coffee and, by pure chance, having other characters pop out and insist on how much they totally do care about her. I donít. And I donít buy it either. I donít know any of these people and from what I do know about your protagonist, I donít miss her. And then the ending isnít believably sweet but forced and saccharine.


spectres of autism Ė Dragon
This was weird, and not in a bad way, but not in a good way either, just bizarre from start to finish. The whole idea of having an adult take his girlfriend to a childrenís theme park so he could propose to her is hard to wrap my head around, and then the mascot uses the chance to step in and give a pep talk and the guy lets it happen and it actually works and nobody points out how strange any of this is is just :psyduck:

Thereís also a ton of exposition thrown in at the weirdest moments. When the protagonist suddenly reminisces about his dog, or his mom, it all comes out of the blue and seems mostly unconnected to what is going on in the real world. Not just that, but itís also very dark and sober while wacky things are going on in the background, and then Iím not sure if this was supposed to be a whimsical comedy or an emotional coming-of-age piece, or whatever you were trying to do.

My personal theory is that you started with a bizarre idea and came up with the protagonistís background as you went along, and then you didnít bother doing another editing pass to polish this into a proper story.


PoshAlligator Ė The Black Mountain's Bell
Jump naked into a pool of fire ants and you have a good idea of the pain I went through reading this, plus youíve just taken the first step on the long road towards your deserved punishment for crimes against the English language. Sorry, but this is garbage. Normally Iíd say something uplifting like, ďThereís a neat story underneath here,Ē but I donít see it. I donít even understand whatís happening on a physical level. My brain just checks out halfway through and is like, ďWelp, see you later,Ē while my eyes keep racing to the bottom.

Letís just pretend none of this ever happened and move on with our lives.

But then maybe Iím just a bit iffed because you prefaced your story like a NOOB


hubris.height Ė Saccharine and Gasoline
This wasnít irredeemably bad, just full of beginner mistakes.

The intro is a clusterfuck of unclear dialogue attribution, unclear POV and expository dialogue. The first two could have been fixed by just using the words Ď,he/she saidí. The last, where characters explain things they already know to each other as a lazy way of relaying information to the reader, thatís something youíll have to grow out of. Let the information emerge organically. Or just tell me. Or do it through dialogue, but make it believable, and more interesting. Whatever works.

The POV problem runs through your whole story. Our protagonist talks to his wife through video screen; then we see her leaving the hospital break room after sheís already cut the connection. Our protagonist is racing behind a rival; suddenly weíre inside her cockpit, and head, plotting our protagonistís demise. These crude POV shifts are jarring and they serve no purpose other than to destroy any sense of immersion you might have built up for your audience.

You tried to work some theme about the protagonistís dead family into this, but I donít feel it. Itís like you sat down and said, ďThis needs a personal message,Ē not because it makes sense for your character but because ďthatís what grown-up writers doĒ. Well, yeah, but itís usually handled with a bit more finesse. I donít see how winning the race will help him overcome any personal issues relating to the accident, so I donít see the connection, and really most of what you do with his background is to keep telling me that it exists and itís super-sad so we should totally root for your guy. Itís a bit transparent.

My suggestion is to read more, and write more. But apparently you decided to end your TD career on this stunning debut piece, so Į\_(ツ)_/Į


JcDent Ė Shame of Shamus
Before you start writing your next story please take a long, hard look at your idea and ask yourself, ďWould I really like to read about this?Ē and then work on your idea until you can answer that question with a yes. Because at the end of the day thatís what matters, putting down words in an order that makes for a satisfying experience. Thatís where you failed and itís been a problem for you in the past.

Seriously, it doesnít even have to make that much sense as long as itís interesting.

Iím not sure whatís actually happening in this story. Thereís words, but none of them seem to advance any kind of narrative, itís just exposition about Shamusís dad and hornbulls and internal monologue so emo Iím wondering if Iíve stumbled into Sephiroth fanfic. But then Shamus switches off a simulation at the end, so obviously something has happened at some point, Iím just not sure what it was. And to be quite honest I canít be arsed to do a second read-through to find out. Because I know itís just a simulation, so who cares.

The more I think about it the more Iím convinced you came up with the title first and then quickly attached a couple hundred words to it. If the story is about Shamus and how he lives in his fatherís shadow, ehrm, maybe show me what he does about it.


TheGreekOwl Ė One Last Breath
The one thing elevating this above PoshAlligatorís piece is that I know where I am and what year it is. But even after intensely arguing with the other judges I am still not sure whatís going on here. Are the townspeople killing her for running her mouth? Someone burned something so I thought she was an arsonist? But maybe the fire is figurative? Point is, I understand that sheís a prisoner in a tent, but Iím not sure why, and I have no idea what the point of the protagonist is, or of that entire scene. Itís a grey sludge of expository dialogue that fails to expose properly, and references to the female chest, because this story is edgy and for adults you see.

Grammar and spellchecking were piss-poor to a point where I felt a little insulted. I know youíre ESL and the occasional mistake happens, but there is no excuse for this level of neglect. If youíre bad at the language, you should work all the more on it.


bigperm Ė Danes Odhajam
Synopsis: a collection of wacky things someoneís mother did.

On its own this is bad because really, there is no story here, just exposition. I am told that this may work as some kind of in-joke for people who are familiar with your prompt, but I disagree with that as well. Basically you looked at your video and went, ďWow, thatís wacky, what if something like that happened in real life, that would be wacky.Ē Then you wrote that. Cool. You know what else is wacky? Video games!!! Like how in stealth games, when the guards forget you just shot their buddies? You should write a webcomic about that. Lol!

Please try harder.


Broenheim Ė A Million Things I Wish I Had Done
This wasnít the most exciting read ever. The story only kicks into gear when the boxer reveals his unsavory contacts and the danger they pose, and even then itís never really elaborated on, you just tell us theyíre kind of there somewhere. I mean it didnít bother me that much, since the story was supposed to be more about his relationship than the mafia. But as your only source of conflict, the whole gangster angle is underdeveloped.

I do get a feeling for your protagonist and I want to see him succeed, and yeah, I thought the story was believable in spite of the hats because you divert attention mostly away from the syndicate subplot. But thatís also the problem, because thatís where your tension comes from and then youíre kind of inbetween talking about the gangsters and ignoring them and neither works for you.

I thought the ending was sad and wistful and I really felt for your protagonist. He tried, and lost something important and came out a different man for it. That touched me, and as far as Iím concerned, this might even have HMed. However, itís not a very thrilling story. Thereís conflict, but not much is done about it. Thereís excitement, but the story is told in retrospect so itís muted. Thereís action, but you show little and tell a lot so itís like watching all these cool explosions but from really far away.

Some odd choices take your story down a couple notches, but itís kinda there so keep Ďem coming.


Jonked Ė Love You While I'm Gone.
We were debating if your ending was supposed to be a twist and Iím still not sure. If this was some kind of mystery story, the setup didnít intrigue me and the ending didnít surprise me. If it wasnít, I donít understand what the point was because then itís just 400 words to say ďsome comatose stranger has a nice dream and dies.Ē

The description at the end with him drifting away creeped me out a little but other than that this was mostly inconsequential. Well, at least you wrote something.


Schneider Heim Ė The Final Siege of the Black Steel Castle!
Iím not sure if this was supposed to be a parody or an homage. Maybe you werenít either, so you ended up just kinda going back and forth, back and forth until finally you came to the solid conclusion that ďboy, I really like anime :circlefap:Ē and played all the cliches straight while winking at me inbetween the lines as if being aware of how stock and nonsensical this is somehow makes it okay.

You obviously tried to do something with this, it just didnít work. Thereís all that over-the-top action, but in comparison to the genre tropes itís neither novel enough to be interesting nor exaggerated enough to be funny, and as its own story itís kinda boring because nobody matters to me and it just reminds me of rushed Power Rangers fanfic.

I mean, I didnít hate this. It was kinda silly/dumb/cool, just not enough of either of these things. Seriously, thereís a castle-sized flaming fist but somehow you managed to make it feel vanilla. Maybe your language wasnít up to the task, or maybe you didnít put enough work into making it sound awesome. I dunno, but it didnít click.


Tyrannosaurus Ė Itís Not Always A Serpent That Makes You Sin
It isnít often that we get stories in Thunderdome that arenít a chore to read, so this was a really nice surprise.

Bullís simple wish for freedom is a goal I can relate to, so Iím interested right off the bat. Then you have dog, who is cool and funny and adorable but sadly not helpful, and cat, who is kind of a tosser and tries to screw everyone over. Itís a very simple setup of characters but it works beautifully and makes for a strong conflict. Everyone is believable and interesting in their own way, and I have someone to root for and someone to be sad for and someone to hate. Everyone does their job.

The language was spot-on for a story from bullís POV because it was simple enough to be believably animal without all that ďawkwardly describing common thingsĒ bullshit that hounds so many dog stories. So this was engaging, and it was easy to read. The perfect combo. :siren: Listen up bitches, this is what entertainment looks like. :siren:

The cracks start showing towards the end. I hate cat when he turns on bull, but bull gets his revenge so quickly I barely have any time to nourish my disdain. Then itís kinda lazy how the solution to his problem is ďkick the door again, but right this time.Ē Also bullís regret for killing dog is a bit muted, like heís mostly angry about being betrayed by cat as opposed to being sad for his dead friend. Which is a shame, because you built up their friendship and his inner conflict beautifully, so I was ready to be taken along a guilt trip.

Finally, there was a lot of discussion concerning your piece vs crabrockís. Yours is the more light-hearted and entertaining one, whereas his has a dash more poignancy and heart. Maybe these are matters of taste. But then your story also showed a technical quality, a polish that crabrockís thing lacked. So I was ready to give it to you. Alas, humor is a slippery slope and it didnít click with the head judge. It happens. You still wrote a cool story.


Benny Profane Ė The Saunier Mausoleum
You know, when I gave all these short one-line comments I made a joke about how I totally forgot about your story. But just now I was about to post my crits, and I went through all the entries in the archive to make sure I hadnít misspellt anyoneís name or story title, and suddenly this entry popped up and I realized that there was no crit for it yet because I really had forgotten about it.

Maybe this tells you what kind of story you wrote. Itís not bad. Itís not much of anything, really. Itís justÖ there. The writing is competent because youíre a competent writer, but the plot is flabby and goes nowhere. Thereís no conflict. Thereís no resolution to anything. Itís a well-written account of a boy meeting a girl, and then they have sex.

This could have been cool if you hadnít played coy with the girlís secret and shown me how they handle it as part of a developing relationship, instead of having it kinda fizzle out in the middle.


Grizzled Patriarch Ė Tiny Edible Things
Oh goddd grizpat write storiessssss with endingssssss UGHHHHHHH

Seriously, do you even need crits anymore. You know youíre good at line level, this is not a story, thanks, bye.


Killer-of-Lawyers Ė The Star and The Skull
Nice idea, dull execution. The protagonist just kinda stumbles into the scene and while heís wounded it never seems like a terribly urgent problem to him. Then he meets an enemy nurse who takes care of him, but I get to know nothing about her, or the protagonist for that matter. Theyíre just some faceless people who run into one another and manage not kill each other.

I think despite the low word count you put some work into this, but you didnít know how to make it more engaging. I mean in theory this should be a touching scene, but I never learn why these people do what they do because thereís so little communication, and then neither of them seem to have much of a personality, or a goal, or any kind of growth. Nothing is learned at the end. You even point out how the important questions are still unanswered.

Itís neat, but it doesnít do much for me. This was leagues above your fairy story though so please keep writing.


skwidmonster Ė Mr. War Criminal
This is very similar to some other stories this week in that I have no idea what the hell is happening. Right from the start people do *stuff*, and they obviously have tasks and roles, but you donít communicate them to me, itís just a bunch of tiny motions without much rhyme or reason, seen through a protagonist who does nothing. Like when the pianist walks by her and drops something into her glass and she just stands there like :downs: and Iím like, lol she doesnít give a gently caress about getting poisoned sheís that desperate to get out of this story

Kaishai took some more time with this than I could ever justify and she told me that apparently the protagonistís job is to hold the bossís glass, and the drug thingy is some kind of long shot at surprising attackers? Itís probably the only way this could make sense, but I wouldnít know. Hell, I canít even follow the fight scene. There are all these people I donít remember from the messy intro, only now they also have code- and nicknames and keep switching sides and then someone gets acid in their faceÖ thatís the thing in the glass, yes? Did I get it? Did I crack the code?

Assuming Kaishaiís interpretation is correct, I still donít get what the point is. Why is the protagonist working this job? Why is she siding with her boss? What does she want? What is the point of the story? Itís like you knew you had a shaky idea and tried to distract from it by flailing your arms and screaming gibberish at me.

Cue a joke about how the biggest criminal of this story is the person who wrote it.


crabrock Ė A Probabilistic Route to Happiness
My other win candidate. Itís true that this is pretty messy, and yes, in retrospect it seems like the robot spends the majority of the first half wandering around the story trying to figure out what itís about before he realizes that heís in a romance. Maybe you tried to cram too much stuff in there, or maybe you didnít redraft. Either way, what matters is that I take something away from this story. It was admittedly not as entertaining as Tyrís, but more satisfying, if that makes sense, because I enjoyed the theme of a robot waking up to consciousness, emotions, love, and sacrifice. Heís a tragic hero because in spite of his emotions he still has his robotic rationality, and the good sense to give himself up when he knows it will lead to the best outcome for the one he cares about. That kind of silent martyrdom is a feat I can really admire in a character, and you get it just right.

Like Tyr, you had an original idea and your execution of a non-human POV was good. The robot is relatable, as he should be, having woken up to free thought, but heís still a rational machine at heart. I liked the prison setting and I actually thought you made decent use of it.

This wasnít my winnerís pick because the lack of polish shows a little and it didnít grab me start to finish like Tyrannoís piece did. But I donít mind this winning either. It does different things right.


Sitting Here Ė Full Circle
Granted, I think most other writers couldnít have made 1500 words about an old man getting out of his chair and lumbering across a grass field sound so interesting, but thereís an upper limit to how engaging this scene can be. Itís a rather low ceiling and now I feel like thereís all these scratch marks on the bottom where a better idea tried to claw its way out.

When you get past the stunning track and field action itís a really odd story because itís about Chris and Lacy, but most of it happens decades after theyíve separated and then I get kind of a creepy vibe from Chris because he immediately starts following her and he still carries her presents around after all this time and then she lies face down in the mud which he sees as the perfect opportunity to confess his feelings to her. And her relatives have no reaction to that. lol.

I think you meant for this to be some kind of story about a guyís One Last Chance to confess to his true love but thatís not really how it came across to me. I would have liked more proactivity from Chris as opposed to just running into Lacy at a party and then stalking her, and it would have probably come across as less creepy if theyíd seen each other at some point during their forty years of him still being in love with her.

Entenzahn fucked around with this message at 13:37 on Jun 3, 2015

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!
In. Hit me with a flash rule please.

skwidmonster
Mar 31, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Entenzahn posted:

THUNDERDOME EURODOME Ė EAT CRIT AND DIE

skwidmonster Ė Mr. War Criminal

Appreciate the crit!

hubris.height
Jan 6, 2005

Pork Pro

Entenzahn posted:

hubris.height Ė Saccharine and Gasoline
This wasnít irredeemably bad, just full of beginner mistakes.

...

My suggestion is to read more, and write more. But apparently you decided to end your TD career on this stunning debut piece, so Į\_(ツ)_/Į

Thank you for your crit. You hit the nail on the head so hard that it has shaken me to the core. I hope I haven't given the impression of having "given up" on Thunderdome! I was busy with finals and registering for classes for next semester the last couple weeks, as well as work. Honestly, I also didn't think I could write up stories that fit the last few prompts.

I love the Thunderdome, and have been mostly lurking, and definitely intend to continue competing in it.

Thanks again!

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hubris.height
Jan 6, 2005

Pork Pro
You know what, gently caress it, I'm in. Please give me a flash rule.

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