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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






kurona_bright posted:

I'll be in as an employee.

Your character works in The Back, taking in freight and stocking shelves. A shopping facility the size of Voidmart requires a stock room the size of a small city. Don't think too hard about what else might be back there. Statistically, you're not likely to encounter it/them.

Crab Destroyer posted:

In as a customer. Also, :toxx:

Your character is probably a very nice person, but they hunger for human flesh and/or blood. Unfortunate, really. Voidmart understands. As the CEO's proverb goes, demand begets supply.

Sarkimedes posted:

IN with Employee.

Your enthusiastic IN makes us think your character has the energy and enthusiasm for quality assurance! It's their job to walk the store, tidy racks, straighten displays, and execute the requisite customer protection protocols in the event of a redacted

Entenzahn posted:

In. Investigator. :toxx:

I'm toxxing because I failed. I don't need your pity words.

But I'll take them anyway.

Certain prominent theorists theorize that Voidmart's internal space is not consistent with its external mass, perhaps owing to some secret tesseract-based technology. Your character doesn't care about the details, but is dead set on making sure Voidmart is paying its full share in property taxes.

newtestleper posted:

In and Customer and :toxx:

Your character thought they were in for a nice, relaxing shopping expedition, but that was before their spouse wandered off to some far, unknown reach of the store. It's been three weeks. Luckily, Voidmart stocks state-of-the-art search and rescue gear!

Boaz-Jachim posted:

I always regretted joining too late for the first Voidmart.

Employee.

Your character is the time-keeper! That is, they run the clock and timepiece department. Sometimes time does fly, but it's not because your character is having fun...

Beige posted:

Thanks for the answers.

I lost my first Thunderdome attempt two weeks ago and I backed out of last week's round. Therefore I'm in as a customer with a self-imposed :toxx: for redemption.

Your character is looking for a friend :unsmith: Voidmart has a number of products that are rated for human companionship, though they tend to come with minds of their own...

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Kaishai posted:

:siren: Thunderdome Recap! :siren:

You'd better avoid airport security, TD, because things get friggin' metal--or in some cases, friggin' plastic--in Week 217: SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS, ATTACK! The challenges inherent in the prompt come up for debate, as does the widespread decision to kill or enslave everyone with a Y chromosome. You do know women can shine without all the men being dead? Yes? All right, then. Maigius's "An Ordinary Day" gets a ride on the Dramatic Reading Express, so join Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and myself as we delve into the intricacies of Valkyrie Quality Control.

I road up the main path as well, on my unicorn, Weiss.



A quick note on recaps:

You can now add Thunderdome recaps to your podcast app. Just enter the URL http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:34819740/sounds.rss into the search field, and every episode will be available for you to listen to while you swab the floors of the local school, or walk down to the grocery store to return rotten produce. (Thanks Newt for showing me how stupid easy it is to do this with Soundcloud).

edit: also, sorry my audio is complete garbage in this episode. Not sure what happened there, as everything was perfectly intelligible while we were recording. That's life when you run a low-rent podcast, I guess.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 00:09 on Oct 18, 2016

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


I, a customer, am in.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

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


I am an investigator.

....INvestigator you might say.

Edit: especially if you were J.A.B.C. who made this joke in the very first investigator sign up........

Edit 2: :toxx:

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at 22:27 on Oct 20, 2016

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


Fellow void-martians should pop in to #thunderdome on synirc and mention loudly that you're in this week.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I am a... customerian.... erm... in as a customer, throw a little toxx on there. Gotta get this done before fiction war so be ready fit an early sub.

Blastinus
Feb 28, 2010

Time to try my luck
:rolldice:
Crap.

In as an Employee. I already work retail, so how hard can it be?

Pity Party Animal
Jul 22, 2006


I'm IN as a customer. This prompt seems like a friendly jumping off point into the shark tank.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


Hey everyone, I recommend coming to our irc channel, #thunderdome on Synirc, and talking loudly about voidmart. No one will secretly message you... Or will they?

yes they will

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


I'm in, but have long since left the world of retail behind. Today I'm just a customer.

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica


IN: With A Confession & Apology:
My original application for employment was a ruse designed to gain executive level access to Voidmart™ in an attempt to steal the secrets of its absurdly high employee and customer satisfaction rates. I'm not saying I was wrong to do so, I'm saying I could never betray this wonderful place to talentless poachers.

As recompense I present the foundation of the 2016 VOIDMART™ EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK: Which I've deliberately created an incorrect hyperlink for, as it can only be obtained on our secure company chat line.

I am willing to step down from whatever my position in this store was in penance. But if I was sent to steal our secrets there will doubtlessly be more behind me. I wish to retain my employment at the mercy of the C.E.O. and will accept whatever department she finds to be a most fitting punishment or best suited for my skills.

I included a copy of the document with which I have so throughly dishonored myself as an open sign of honesty.

Sincerely,
Clive


quote:

VOIDMART
5150 Fountainhead Crossing
Libertyville, IL 60048
ATTN CEO/HUMAN RESOURCES
Care of: Sitting Here


Greetings,

My name is redacted I will be working at VoidmartTM for the next few months. This was arranged by the board of directors of Voidmart's parent company for reasons I am not at liberty to discuss. It is my firm belief that my life experiences make me an ideal candidate for several departments within your company. My work history is a checkered one, and many of the positions I have held are not of a nature one would discuss in polite company. Needless to say my previous employers equipped me with a diverse skill set with which your company could make good use of. I have strict non-disclosure agreements with the companies, syndicates, and governments I have contracted for in the past and thus am unable to disclose the traditional applicant questions regarding: problems I have had with customers or coworkers, and times I was put in charge of an operation. In regards to my skills however, please note that I:

Am Fluent in 6 Foreign Languages (Portuguese, Russian, Persian, Pashtu, French, and Korean).
Have a working knowledge of network security and information systems and I am competent in the field of digital intrusion.
Trained in several martial arts disciplines and am EMT certified in the State of Illinois.
Have experience in high-risk negotiations and financial transactions.
Am familiar with the Material Safety Data Sheets of all commercially available chemicals, as well as their chemical interactions.
Have experience in physical security and surveillance systems and am familiar with their deployment.
Highly skilled in printing and graphical design. (Please notice that I have duplicated the Voidmart/i]TM confidential internal-use-only letterhead for this correspondence)

You will notice that I did not include the standard application or resume. Please do not construe this as contempt for your application process. My work history demands anonymity, a virtue I believe you as the CEO of VoidmartTM can both appreciate and respect. I will be waiting for you in your office before start of business Monday to discuss my start date and payment requirements. I look forward to meeting you.

I have no reservations regarding department, as I am sure you will place me where my skills will be put to the best use. Therefore consider me

IN

Regards
[i]Redacted

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016







I'm in.

Hit me with some employee flavour.

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


Well, it literally can't get worse as far as results go, so with that out of the way

In as a customer.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

I, a customer, am in.

Your customer wants to make the screaming stop. They have tried everything short of lobotomy. Let Voidmart help.

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

I am an investigator.

....INvestigator you might say.

Edit: especially if you were J.A.B.C. who made this joke in the very first investigator sign up........

Some experts assert that there are a number of unspeakable living horrors who are integral to the continuing operations at Voidmart. Your character has reason to believe that these creatures are not being fairly compensated for their labor. Voidmart is an equal opportunity employer and offers competitive pay and benefits :)

Chili posted:

I am a... customerian.... erm... in as a customer, throw a little toxx on there. Gotta get this done before fiction war so be ready fit an early sub.

Your customer's Voidmart brand smartphone has been exhibiting some strange symptoms, including glitches, lags, frags, and violent weeping. They should probably take it to the Tech Sage counter, though the wisdom of the wise ones tends to come at a price...

Blastinus posted:

In as an Employee. I already work retail, so how hard can it be?

Your character also works in The Back, taking in freight and stocking shelves. A shopping facility the size of Voidmart requires a stock room the size of a small city. Don't think too hard about what else might be back there. Statistically, you're not likely to encounter it/them.

Pity Party Animal posted:

I'm IN as a customer. This prompt seems like a friendly jumping off point into the shark tank.

Your character is looking for an unforgettable birthday present for a very eccentric friend. Voidmart has gifts for every occasion, no matter how mirthful, melancholy, or macabre.

Blood Spookydude posted:

I'm in, but have long since left the world of retail behind. Today I'm just a customer.

Every time you think you're out, they drag you back in. Your character is a secret shopper. They may look like they're having a care-free retail experience, but their contented smile conceals hawk-like attention to detail. They will be reporting every speck of dust, every lackadaisical employee, every space-time anomaly back to Voidmart Corporate.

SkaAndScreenplays posted:

IN: With A Confession & Apology:
My original application for employment was a ruse designed to gain executive level access to Voidmart™ in an attempt to steal the secrets of its absurdly high employee and customer satisfaction rates. I'm not saying I was wrong to do so, I'm saying I could never betray this wonderful place to talentless poachers.

As recompense I present the foundation of the 2016 VOIDMART™ EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK: Which I've deliberately created an incorrect hyperlink for, as it can only be obtained on our secure company chat line.

I am willing to step down from whatever my position in this store was in penance. But if I was sent to steal our secrets there will doubtlessly be more behind me. I wish to retain my employment at the mercy of the C.E.O. and will accept whatever department she finds to be a most fitting punishment or best suited for my skills.

I included a copy of the document with which I have so throughly dishonored myself as an open sign of honesty.

Sincerely,
Clive

An enemy is simply a friend over whom you have leverage
~A CEO proverb

There is a more dire betrayal than yours in our midst. You believed yourself to be a tool of our enemies; in reality, you were being honed into into a glorious instrument of the Void. Go forth, noble traitor, and unearth the deception within our ranks.

steeltoedsneakers posted:

I'm in.

Hit me with some employee flavour.

Your character may or may not be a tech wiz. Either way, they work in the electronics department. Maybe humanity isn't entirely ready for some of the gadgets your character sells, but considering they barely make minimum wage, they're not inclined to think too hard about it.

BeefSupreme posted:

Well, it literally can't get worse as far as results go, so with that out of the way

In as a customer.

The song. Your character heard it in their dreams, a haunting cascade of unearthly arpeggios. They long to recreate the preternatural beauty of that ephemeral melody. Voidmart has something for even the most discerning audiophile, and features the latest in blessed and cursed instruments.

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In as a customer, and, since I failed to deliver last week, :toxx:

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


In because I promised Mojo while drunk that it was time for a return to the Dome. And because I said I'd do it "next week" three weeks ago, add a :toxx:.

Present a dilemma for my investigatrix to decipher.

Vinny Possum
Sep 21, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER


In as an investigator

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!



College Slice

In as employee, and I'll :toxx: for the bonus words

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I was on my phone and too lazy to futz around and find a colon so here's the official emote :toxx: with my in.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Fuubi posted:

In as a customer, and, since I failed to deliver last week, :toxx:

Your character is a voracious consumer of entertainment. They are looking for an entertainment that they cannot get bored of. Voidmart would be honored to try and sate their need.

Erogenous Beef posted:

In because I promised Mojo while drunk that it was time for a return to the Dome. And because I said I'd do it "next week" three weeks ago, add a :toxx:.

Present a dilemma for my investigatrix to decipher.

Your character is a deeply pious person, but after a life of flawless adherence to their faith, they long to look into the face of their god/gods. They surmise that Voidmart could only offer such a wide range of products if their supply line went directly to the source of all creation. They're going to have to infiltrate the highest echelons of VoidCorp to find god.

Vinny Possum posted:

In as an investigator

Your character heard a rumor that a percentage of Voidmart's staff never takes meals or breaks, and in fact don't seem to ever leave the store. They decide to go undercover to uncover labor violations. Voidmart would like to remind readers that it is an equal opportunity employer and provides competitive pay and benefits :)

Hawklad posted:

In as employee, and I'll :toxx: for the bonus words

Your character works in the Boxes (cardboard boxes, wooden boxes, treasure boxes, snuff boxes, jewelry boxes, puzzle boxes, music boxes, false books, stash boxes, Pandora's box, box-storage boxes, and more!) section.

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica


It's kind of a dick move to require IRC access to get the 2016 VOIDMART™ Employee Handbook so I'll risk posting it here in earnest. EXECUTIVE LEVEL STAFF IS FORBIDDEN FROM VIEWING THIS DOCUMENT UNTIL IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE UFCW LOCAL 51200

EDIT: First person to get the pop-culture reference in our union designation gets a new avatar. I'll :toxx: that promise, to be paid out by 10/29/2016.

SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 20:38 on Oct 18, 2016

Armack
Jan 27, 2006


Merry Critmass

Week 219 Crits, part II

11. Sitting Here – Purchase

- Muffin suggested that this was a sequel to some other story of yours that I haven’t read.

- You win big points for setting. The story is quintessentially Seattle: rainy, notorious for its housing crises. (I’ve never even been to Seattle, but my social media feeds include Kshama Sawant discussing the housing problem there all the time.) What’s even better is that your setting bore upon both the progression of your plot AND your social commentary. Your Seattle Gothic was thoroughly Seattle and gothic, so good job with that.

- My main criticism is that there are parts of the story where you evidently stopped trusting your audience to pick up on the subtler facets of your message. You craft intricate symbols and ideas but then retool them, cheapen them with on-the-nose explicitness.

- “‘It’s a mammalian adaptation,’ she said. ‘I’m just trying to get a grip.’” Way too on-the-nose. By now we’ve already got the point. The symbol of wrinkled skin was more effective before Erin hammered the reading audience over the head by stating this directly.

- “in a city that was increasingly inhospitable to it’s lichenous crack-dwellers.” I feel like you’ve already said this in a less telly way. Your story shows the highrises, depicts “the luxurious ghostlight of progress,” features an eviction notice, and alludes to the fact that the city is changing. We get it, the city is inhospitable to its underclass. You’ve already made it emotionally resonant; no need to get telly, that’s just belaboring the point.

- “Money is bleach. It makes everything smooth and clean.” Does bleach really make a thing smoother?

- Good ending.

- I think with revision and a renewed commitment to subtlety, the piece will be publication worthy.

Vote: HM

12. SkaAndScreenplays – The Slow Death of the Suburbs

- Setting matters, so you’ve got that going for you.

- The jokes are a bit corny. “You seem a decent ghoul…” etc.’

- “I let out a laugh. I’d always joked with my friends from the inner city that I was dying the slow death of the suburbs. Now here I was, living that expression damned near literally.” We get it. No need to be so on-the-nose.

- “Pathetic,” the voice behind me dripped wet with enmity, “It’s a wonder you monsters have time to ruin our communities when you spend so much time fighting amongst yourselves.” Okay, good. The social commentary is clear. And having used vampires to get there, this story is thoroughly gothic.

-The main problem with your story is with the protag. You’ve made him so pathetic and miserable that the anti-vamp crowd decides to leave him alone out of pity. Passive protags are usually frustrating to read about, and your story hinges on his personality being this way.

Vote:No Mention

13. BeefSupreme – Member’s Only

- You didn’t exactly win over the judges with a misspelling in the title. I think some of us were hoping it would turn out to be an intentional pun, but nope. You just hosed up.

- I realize you’re trying to establish a distinct voice for your narrator, but the stuffiness is grating.

- Your prose is too often clause-heavy.

- I don’t know anything about your hometown so I’ll just assume that the place really is this bougie.

- It’s difficult to make sense of parts of your story, which leads me to wonder if at times you’ve attributed dialogue to the wrong character.

- Your story is basically a privileged dude acts like a douche to a bartender, and when some guy intervenes, the privileged dude arranges to ruin the man’s life. You mention “when you hear of it, you will think it absurd that anything at all could have come of it. Anywhere else, it would be absurd, but in the town of Danville, certain things can have exaggerated consequences.” But do you see the problem here? You’re acknowledging that the audience isn’t going to be able to relate to this, nor even consider it realistic. You’ve set yourself up to fail with your reading audience.

Vote: DM

14. Thranguy – Another Country, With Another Flag

- This story was very meh for me.

- It’s a bit too dialogue driven for my usual tastes. Just my opinion, see what the other judges say.

- You may have been overly ambitious here. The story has a few different moving parts to it and there isn’t the space to flesh them all out: Alcoholism, civil war history, the afterlife/hell, the hometown, the protag’s backstory. To the reader, it feels like you’re throwing bit things out there that don’t fully actualize into a cohesive whole.

-You did satisfy the prompt, so props for that.

Vote: No Mention

15. The Cut of Your Jib - The Mostly True Tale of John Bowman

- “The stranger was known.” Kind of an awkward phrase.

- Good job making the location and culture of rural Pennsylvania relevant to your story.

- Bucky O’Hare on the NES. Now *that* was a game…</nostalgia>

- There is too much voice shifting (third person, then alternating second and first). It’s too jarring. Makes for rough prose.

- You include just a snippet of something interesting (the murder) in the middle, but it’s bookended by a less interesting prelude and epilogue which dominate the piece.

Vote: No Mention

16. Llamaguccii – What the Eyes Can’t See

- You got a special acknowledgment from the judges for having improved since your prior entries. Congrats.

- The setting matters. It’s good that you paid attention to that this week.

- You’ve got some unfortunate typos. Please proofread better.

- The story read in a reasonably smooth manner.

- The morbidity and violence as well as the talk of demons serves to pique the reader’s interest well. Good job overall.

Vote: No mention

17. Tyrannosaurus – Hawaii 1968

- This story was excellent, thank you for this.

- Nice job with the opening line. You caught my attention.

- You do well showing early on how the community has seriously diffuse interpersonal boundaries. This sets up the story’s conflict nicely.

- The story is sufficiently Hawaii, but it could have used a bit more of a gothic touch to hit the prompt squarely. I mean, there are some elements, a ruined church is certainly a gothic image. But the story still seemed light on gothicness.

- It feels fresh to read a story where a male is threatened through sexual coercion, and he’s not in a prison setting.

- The social psychology here is interesting. Like McElwain says something that doesn’t quite make sense, but everyone agrees with it because he’s in a position of power and starts nodding.

Vote: HM

18. kurona_bright – Bile Discharge

- Nice title

- You’ve got some proofreading errors, like “thequiz”.

- The opening dialogue is kind of generic, complete with “Jesus!” and ““Yeah. Wow.”

- Unfortunately, setting doesn’t seem to matter much in this piece. Other than just name dropping the water district, what makes this characteristically Silicone Valley Gothic? It seems like you could’ve set this story anywhere and gotten a similar product.

- There’s really not much gothic about this piece at all.

- I’m not sure what motivated you to end the story the way you did. So you have two friends, Emma gets irritated with Ana for purely selfish reasons and therefore leaves Ana to fend for herself in the dark. Then the next day, Emma is happy that Ana is still missing. I’m guessing maybe that the reason Emma is happy is because she likes spooky stories and now this is a somewhat real life one, but that’s not entirely clear.

-What’s the message you’re trying to convey with this story? What’s the point of it all? That some people are mean, that young girls aren’t always kind to their friends? I’m not clear about what readers were supposed to relate to or take interest in throughout this piece.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly



In as a Customer

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

In as an investigator
:toxx:

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

Tr*ckin' and F*ckin' all the way to tha
T O P


i am choosing to ignore my real-world responsibilities to be in. only fair that i be an employee though.

force me to write something different this week, sh

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Hey folks! In addition to Ska's stuff, newtestleper set up a broader doc that's got a lot of collaboration going on in it. Poke your head in:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1URr8BQGQKj0j2sSu5iaSBvivwE70_gAaY6-bEvqENQQ/edit?usp=sharing

***NO JUDGES ALLOWED***

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

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THUDNER-DOME






a new study bible! posted:

In as a Customer

Your character desperately needs to pick up their prescription, but it's prohibitively expensive. Luckily, Voidmart is now offering generic versions of most common medications, manufactured in-house so we can pass the savings on to YOU :)

Morning Bell posted:

In as an investigator
:toxx:

There's a terrifying new drug on the rise, and your character believes it's being synthesized from ingredients specific to Voidmart's line of generic medications. One way or another, they want to blow the whistle on Voidmart's poorly-regulated manufacturing process.

QuoProQuid posted:

i am choosing to ignore my real-world responsibilities to be in. only fair that i be an employee though.

force me to write something different this week, sh

After the last on-site employee therapist suffered a traumatic breakdown, your character was promoted to head of staff mental health services! It's their job to keep morale high among the low-clearance employees.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Erogenous Beef posted:

In because I promised Mojo while drunk that it was time for a return to the Dome. And because I said I'd do it "next week" three weeks ago, add a :toxx:.


Guess that makes me in too, customer. This and the next three entries are :toxx:

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


I'm in the market for some niche product. Tell me, what can Voidmart do for this loyal customer?

contagonist
Jul 21, 2014

You shouldn't be doing anything with fluorine.

Sitting Here posted:

You are one of our elite maintenance engineers (aka janitor). You keep mess, malfunction, and other things at bay...

Cool. I'm going to have fun with this.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

I'm in need of money and voidmart sounds like a fun place to be an employee .

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


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sebmojo posted:

Guess that makes me in too, customer. This and the next three entries are :toxx:

Your character has lost something, but can't remember what. They seek that which was perhaps never found to begin with. Voidmart is your one-stop-shop for yearnings effable and ineffable.

curlingiron posted:

I'm in the market for some niche product. Tell me, what can Voidmart do for this loyal customer?

Your character has acquired a very strange pet, but they have no idea what to feed it. None of the local pet stores have a clue, so your character has turned to Voidmart to feed your new friend's inscrutable appetite.

Jay W. Friks posted:

I'm in need of money and voidmart sounds like a fun place to be an employee .

Your character works in Voidmart's menagerie, AKA the pet department. Strange, adorable, majestic, and terrifying things abound there, and it's your character's job to keep them fed, groomed, and safe from grabby customers (and vise-versa).

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

Noice. I've always liked corridors of fur and teeth.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


In, employee. This is my first Thunderdome and I'm a little scared :ohdear:.

vintagepurple
Jan 31, 2014

by Nyc_Tattoo


In, customer

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


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bringmyfishback posted:

In, employee. This is my first Thunderdome and I'm a little scared :ohdear:.

Voidmart believes no one has one true face, so we're happy to offer disguises year-round! Your character works in the Costume department. Among their other duties, it's their job to make sure those idiots who stock the shelves don't accidentally put something "real" in with the costumes. Voidmart does carry some products that could fall under the technical definition of "dangerous" so it's best to be diligent.

vintagepurple posted:

In, customer

Your character is hoping to find a very robust plant. Their house/garden is terribly afflicted by a number of pests, so they want to find something that can fend for itself a little better...

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


please send somebody down to find out what is up with THE THWUMP

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Submitting late is scads better than not submitting at all, so have a crit, kurona_bright!



kurona_bright, "Bile Discharge"

A minor point, but you make a common error twice in your first two sentences. If the clause that follows a conjunction has no subject of its own, you shouldn't use a comma--so the first line should be either "The chain-link fence loomed over Emma and gleamed a dull gray in the moonlight" or "The chain-link fence loomed over Emma, and it gleamed a dull gray in the moonlight," whichever you prefer. I would advise the past tense and not the past perfect in the opening of your second section: you're describing events in sequential order, so why not say "Scaling the fence was easier" etc. and go on from there? There are sloppy bits all over the place that remind me you were pressed for time. Take a look over the work and see if you can spot them yourself. I think you're a better proofer than thequiz would suggest, so I assume you would have caught several of these if you'd had a chance. Rushing stories out at the last minute is a persistent problem for you; you don't seem to be one of the 1% of TD writers that can get away with such shenanigans.

On to the main event! This isn't Gothic horror or indeed horror of any variety. It's the story of how a young rear end in a top hat punished the friend she resented for trying to do well in school by ditching her in a vague setting (is it an abandoned office? An old warehouse? What? "Santa Clara Valley Water District" doesn't tell me much. Probably you have a real place in mind, so what you need is more concrete detail) to find her way home alone in the dark. One teenager being a dick to another because of her self-pitying personal drama isn't enough to scare anyone when it's as minor and petty as this. You might be implying in your final line that Ana never made it home, but I can easily interpret her absence in less sinister ways. No matter what happened, Emma's a dick for smiling about it. Emma's a dick, period. She's so banally unlikable that there's not much about her story to enjoy.

I don't get a firm sense of your location, but if you'd pulled off what I'm guessing you were trying to do, that wouldn't have had to be a problem. Is the high pressure on these kids to succeed the rot you're trying to reveal beneath the wallpaper of Silicon Valley? It's an idea you've touched on before. Your treatment of it is way too light for horror; if Emma had snapped and killed Ana outright, maybe you'd be in business. Maaaaaybe. More critically, no suggestion that Emma makes any effort in school has made it into the work. She pities herself for not being praised for a B on a quiz? Boo hoo. Her parents were furious that she flunked her midterms? Gee, do you think? She's hostile to the very notion of studying, so I'm inclined to believe her low grades are her own fault, and the possible commentary on Silicon Valley fails accordingly.

What's more encouraging is that I could see myself digging this story with some relatively easy changes. Tell us or show us somewhere that Emma worked hard for that B. Bam, her resentment is immediately more understandable. Condense the meeting at the... whatever-it-is (and do a better job of describing whatever it is); chop the glossed-over ghost story, which reads too much like you hitting the fast-forward button. Kill or maim Ana to get a horror story. Have Emma shove her into a piece of rebar, maybe, or onto enough broken glass that she gets seriously hurt, and if she survives that, have Emma either try to save her and fail or leave her there to die. Either could take the pressure-to-succeed motif into horror territory if you played it right.

I like this much more than I do most of your SF or fantasy work despite its faults; it has possibilities and completely avoids the old fanfic-of-your-own-worlds problem. You've improved since the last time I saw you. I look forward to reading what you do next.



In the slim hope of encouraging even one person to be less of a disgraceful colostomy bag of failure, I'll critique any other late submissions for Gothic Week that are posted before the closing of this thread.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 22:26 on Oct 19, 2016

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Kaishai posted:

Submitting late is scads better than not submitting at all, so have a crit, kurona_bright!

In the slim hope of encouraging even one person to be less of a disgraceful colostomy bag of failure, I'll critique any other late submissions for Gothic Week that are posted before the closing of this thread.

This is good, you are good

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Beige
Sep 13, 2004


This week's prompt is so much fun. I'm really looking forward to reading the submissions. The character designations are equally exciting. Praise Sitting Here.

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