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sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Crit for vintagepurple's Tracey and the Vintage Vegetable:

This isn’t funny or amusing, but there’s a strong enough command of the prose here that saves the piece from being an embarrassment. (Though Kevin the ape-clerk really pushes the line.) The core problem here is that this story goes for whimsy without conflict, and a deadpan, aw-shucks protagonist observing weird poo poo just isn’t that engaging. I get the appeal of surrealism, but it’s not used effectively for dramatic or comedic ends here. No conflict means there’s no real sense of urgency here (there’s no good narrative reason for Tracey to order and evaluate her latte) and no organic escalation, since the story just throws wackier and wackier things at us before it just ends. Kevin (or another, better character) needs to offer Tracey some sort of resistance in getting the plant. That kind of resistance is fodder for jokes and fodder for a more interesting structure, which this story really needs.

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newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


Crit of Tracey and the Vintage Vegetable by vintagepurple

Again I have a linecrit of sorts for you, which gives examples of what I mean below.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ECpNKKmpK-Yipy4ctaIxnInfqveh1Q-Pgo4tYO2BxIs/edit

My problem with this is that there’s no story here. It keeps feeling like there’s a story on the verge of breaking out, but then it just kind of plods along into another slightly odd, completely unrelated situation.

I think that it suffers from an opening section that serves no purpose. I think a great idea here would be to scrap everything outside of Voidmart, and replace it with one line that establishes Tracey’s motivation. Then work the golden bean stuff into the rest of the story cos I liked that.

A story isn’t just a series of events - they need to mean something in relation to each other. This greater meaning is totally absent.

The prose, apart from in the clunky first paragraph, is quite good. It was easy to read and flowed just fine. Not much of it wowed me, but it didn;t get in the way - and that is not a bad place to be.

For your next Voidmart story I’d recommend looking up some of those madlib style story plot generators, and use one of them to make a really simple story arc, then write to that.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Voidmart Crits for BeefSupreme and llamaguccii


BeefSupreme, "Chasing the Dragon"

I dig your version of Voidmart. The departments and the park and the sale on choirs of angels strike a vein of golden absurdity. The entry is a setting showcase, however, and not much of a story. Fred is a camera without a personality, his life outside the store a thing hinted at in the vaguest way. His quest only stops where it does because of the 1,300-word limit. Nothing changes, nothing is resolved, and reading the piece is like looking at a landscape, but without the usual room to imagine yourself there.

Work on the nuts and bolts of your prose! In the third paragraph, I believe your use of the past tense in "The first, Perfect Recordings, was a single aisle" etc. is incorrect because you're describing something in the past of a past-tense story. That means you want the past perfect: "The first, Perfect Recordings, had been a single aisle" etc. "He’d then tried Holy Music, which confused Fred" is itself confusing phrasing; you could have avoided that by putting Fred's name first, like so: "Fred had then tried Holy Music, which had confused him" etc. Eyelids might peel themselves open in Voidmart, but I don't have the impression you meant to suggest autonomous body parts, so Fred should have peeled them. Commas go inside quotation marks in American English. If one sentence is properly capitalized on a yellow sticky note, the other probably should be too. You get the idea.

**********************

llamaguccii, "The Plunge"

You've written a story in which everything worth seeing takes place out of view, a major character's name changes spellings, and the mysteries introduced at the start--what is Ixa? What's her relationship to the protagonist? Where are they going?--are revealed in a clumsy rush when they're revealed at all. It reads like you ran out of time. The length of the conversation with HR in the middle third is borderline criminal given the ending, but I'd have no issue with it if you'd shown Connor's first contact with Ixa/Iza and done something with that drain instead of hitting fast forward. It's decent! Your ideas are decent! I could have enjoyed this a lot, maybe! But not like this. Not like this.

Another sign that the clock may have beaten you: poor proofing, of which Ixa/Iza is the most obvious example. You spell positive wrong; you use threw in place of through. The scene breaks contain an inconsistent number of asterisks. I think you would have caught all that with another pass. I'm not as sure about the phrase "intertwined [...] into" (improper usage: you intertwine with), the lack of a hyphen in dirt-streaked (it's a compound modifier), or the mispunctuated dialogue here and there. Your prose isn't so rough as to be crippling aside from the Ixa/Iza calamity, but more polish rarely hurts.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 03:32 on Oct 25, 2016

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Beefsupreme’s Chasing The Dragon

This was head and shoulders above your last submission. I’d love to chat with you a bit on IRC, but for now, here are some notes:

Something I’ve been corrected on many many times, that I’ve finally started listening to is to not mention the name of the protagonist so much. Usually once a paragraph is sufficient and then you can go on with he or she. It’s more noticeable with an unusual name so it wasn’t really bad in this case, but it’ll still make your story a lot smoother.

Overall, your story worked. I wanted more in places and wanted less in others. The prompt being focused on the crazy nature of Voidmart, I think it’s OK that you spent a large percentage of your words on Voidmart itself, but as this conflict is largely internal, I think some more time spent on Fred’s process and less time spent on the actual journey would have helped you.

I like how he got so close. What if he got close more than once? I’m not going to claim to know how junkies work but I think perpetual SO CLOSE moments is a thing. Maybe?

Anyway, this was a good step in the right direction.

llamaguccii
Sep 2, 2016

THUNDERDOME LOSER


The Saddest Rhino posted:

Ascent

You don’t touch each other to conserve energy.


In the spirit of fresh eyes, here’s a critique for Ascent by The Saddest Rhino.

Good stuff:

Solid opening. Eyes communicate intrigue, so opening with a line about seeing gets me in the mindset of wanting to be shown (not told) the story through the narrator’s eyes.

I love the use of the second person. It works really well here, adds to the mystery of the piece. It also forces the reader to become intimately attached to the narrator’s perspective.

The dialogue of the greeter is strong and definitely propels the story forward by offering pertinent information about the operations of Voidmart.
“You don’t touch each other to conserve energy” – great line.

I can totally buy the struggle of the ascent even though it’s completely impractical. It is told in a way that is acceptable to the characters, so as the reader I accept it also.

All the descriptions of Lakshmi are great. The descriptions of the still birth and wife dying are chill worthy.
The last line feels accurate, not cliché in this piece.

Not so good stuff:

“You have scaled across deserts.” “Scaled” in reference to “deserts” bugged me.

“It warms your face with indifference.” This sounds cool, but I don’t think it adds anything. Are you implying they actually have suns up there? And if so, then why is it getting colder (snowing) the closer you get to them? Does indifference really warm your face? Is the character or the light really indifferent to each other?

“She let it fall into and in between the fingers of Smith.” I guess I could see it fall both onto (but not into) and in between the guy’s fingers, but I’m not sure what the significance is. I feel like there has to be some sort of significance, but it’s lost on me. Also, it has a sexual vibe to me.

These points are definitely nit-picky, but this is a really strong piece (like usual) and my favorite out of those I’ve read thus far for the week. I felt like the story had good pacing and the reveal of the stakes at hand came across as a surprise (although looking back it makes perfect sense). What else would the characters go to such great lengths to restore if not love?

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

newtestleper posted:

Crit of The Doppol by Jay W. Fricks

I did a linecrit in a google doc. It has examples of everything I mention in the summary below.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dBGdIdmIz0NLhghojKw0oRK5PCoumXwyUoct2PLb9R0/edit

The number one thing causing you problems here is your prose. The actual words are clunky, and you have paid no attention to grammar or punctuation or any of those guidelines we use to make stories nice and easy to read.


There are other problems too - the structure doesn’t really work and the twist ending is very bad, but I think that you should TD again this week and just concentrate on your sentences - reading them back, breaking up the parts and putting them together in different orders, using stronger verbs - just to make the story less painful to read.

There’s actually some things here that are really good to see - in particular your protagonist is a somewhat interesting and likeable character, who has a strong motivation - but all this is ruined by the poor prose.


Welcome to the dome, and thanks for sharing your story - We all know how tough it is.

One other thing to you and all the newbies - please don't be afraid to wade in and critique someone elses story, even if it's just a few sentences on what you didn't like. You being new to the dome is actually an advantage - your bringing new ideas about what you like and don't like and we want to take advantage of them!

Thanks buddy.

llamaguccii
Sep 2, 2016

THUNDERDOME LOSER


flerp posted:

interprompt

a very slow and bad judge(s)

150 words

Deliver Us From the Interim
Word Count: 150

Like all good trinities, one divinity co-existed devoid of responsibility. These divinities, for lack of better name, shall be referred to henceforth as: The Judges Three. For further clarity, we bow before the Judge of Sitting, The Judge of Twisting and The Judge of… Non-existence. Now, Non-existence is not a nice name to give someone of judicial stature, but can one be blamed for the making of such distinctions in the absence of defining presence? We poor souls of undesirable fate, lament the fractions of weekly trinity. Please, we beg, Judge of Non-existence make thyself know. Join the favored wielders of anguish. Trample our pitiful frames with your mighty presence. Squash our creation into the foundation of despair. Appear! Almighty deliberant, be our deliverance from the interim. We lay ourselves before you, casual casualties. Claim us. Maim us. Just don’t leave us be, quivering in the darkened posts of indecision.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning




llamaguccii posted:

In the spirit of fresh eyes, here’s a critique for Ascent by The Saddest Rhino.

Thanks dude!

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







i'll do three crits, newbies preferred. pipe up if you want one.

llamaguccii
Sep 2, 2016

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Kaishai posted:

Voidmart Crits for BeefSupreme and llamaguccii

Thanks for the crit!

Beige
Sep 13, 2004


sebmojo posted:

i'll do three crits, newbies preferred. pipe up if you want one.

I'd very much appreciate some critique.

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

sebmojo posted:

i'll do three crits, newbies preferred. pipe up if you want one.

I'll take a crit, thanks!

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


sebmojo posted:

i'll do three crits, newbies preferred. pipe up if you want one.

WITNESS ME...please.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Fuubi posted:

Prompt: Voidmart Customer - Voracious devourer of entertainment

The Finding of Happiness - 1992 words

Part 1
Preparations


"Extra batteries?" "Check."
"That little pen flashlight aunt Martha forgot a few years back?" " Check."
"The external hard drive with the Belarusian drama comedy series you haven't watched yet?"
Brian shrugged, glancing away from the small TV-screen next to his checklist, towards his wife. "I'm still pretty sure I've watched it. Remember, I had my Eastern European phase a few years back during the Big Hollywood Drought." He shivered. Those had been a baaad couple of months.
"Anyway, let's finish the list," his wife, Betsie, said.
"Oh, come on!" Brian exclaimed impatiently. "We've been over the list two times already, and I'm losing precious minutes of watching 'Umashikahito' doing this."
imma delete this para trust me it's for the best
Things were not so good for Brian these days. To say he enjoyed watching shows on TV would be the understatement of all understatements. Brian did not 'just' enjoy it. Heck, he didn't even 'just' love it. He could not live without it! It was as important to him as breathing, or taking a poop, and he'd rather go a lifetime without either than miss the next episode of whatever shows he was binging at the moment. In fact, he'd many times gone weeks without doing the latter, until he had a screen installed in the bathroom.
This was not his problem. No, he was completely content with his life, and he did have an active lifestyle. He kept in shape by jogging on a treadmill, and biking on his exercise bike. He met his friends regularly. He was even able to make a good living off of his lifestyle by becoming a professional reviewer for a major online entertainment site. He just did all of these things with at least one eye, and 51% of his attention, on the screen. His problem was that, after spending years watching just about everything ever produced for the tv, he was familiar with every trope, every storyline, and every unexpected twist, that it had started to lose its appeal. It simply did not entertain anymore.

At the moment Brian was in his Anime phase again,but even running subtitles for the hearing-impaired to mix things up did little to stave off the perpetual state of boredom that he felt was looming. Something drastic needed to be done, and there was only one place he could do it. ok so this is all basically ok but you are absolutely telling us the story. this will only be fine if you use the rest of your words to show us something awesome. i belief in u! go!
"What about the map?"
Betsie's sudden question startled him. Does she know?, crossed his mind, before he realized she was talking about the map they had plotted his route on.
Relieved, he glanced back at the screen, where Koisuki had just fired off an earth-shattering attack. It'll miss, he thought with a sigh, before turning back to his wife.
ditto
"The map is in my pocket. I have all the points charted, I know what roads are the quickest, and I have even marked the battery recharge stations. And before you say it, yes, I know your uncle Frank, the 'cop', got eaten by the cannibals somewhere on the basement levels, lolwtf and no, I will not go down there, even though it's the fastest route, even if it means being stuck in the elevator lines for a week or more." He took a deep breath, and continued before Betsie could get a word out. "I got enough snacks to keep me going for a month, and I can always get something at the Hot-Dogs-and-Alternatives stands if I run out."
He took her hand, and, after making sure that the Evil Demon Lord Rampushadu was stuck in one of his long monologs, looked her in the eyes. "Sweetie, don't worry. Nothing will go wrong. It shouldn't take me more than ten days, two weeks tops, to reach the entertainment department, and a week max to find the right section and get out with as many shows as I can carry. I might get stuck in the checkout line for a week or so, but all-in-all I should be back home in a month or so. No sweat."
His wife did not look relieved, so she went back to checking the big bag of supplies. Brian turned back to his show, where Koisuke and the well-endowed hamster-lady Waruimono were gathering their energies for a final attack to save the Papier-Mâché kingdom of the Future, and he started mulling over his real plan.

Soon, he would fulfill his destiny at Voidmart.

Part 2
The Plan


Voidmart.
Just the very name filled men and women of all nations with wonder and excitement, and a little dread. It was the one place where all tour tsk dreams could come true. Literally. I mean, if you dreamt of having your own spaceship, Voidmart had a few thousand off-the-shelf products. If you wanted to start your own colony on a deserted island, you could buy a startup-kit, and lease a suitable island at Voidmart. If you wanted a device that would freeze time around sexy women (or men, Voidmart's all about equality) then that's where you'd find it.

Brian was after something slightly different. His wife had had the, tsk again quite brilliant idea that, if the Multiverse theory is correct, then there would exist a literally infinite amount of TV-shows that he had not seen yet. And somewhere in Voidmart, there would be a section with all of these shows just waiting to be snatched up. With a large enough sack, Brian could buy enough of these TV-shows that he'd only need to do this once a year.
Brian had considered Betsie's plan carefully, and then had rejected it. It was good, but Brian's biggest problem was that he was able to see the pattern of the stories, sometimes just from knowing the titles. He was at the point where he could figure out what most characters would say, down to the last inflection. Maybe shows from a different dimension would keep him guessing for a while, but sooner or later he would figure out the pattern, and then he'd be back at square one.
No, his problem wasn't the lack of quantity, or even variety, the stories. His problem was his own analytical skill. i'm actually enjoying this, i want to know what happens please do not disappoint me ta

He now stood inside the gates of Voidmart, blinking from all the bright lights and slightly impossibly shaped sculptures on display in the atrium opening up in front of him. He gazed at the walkways and floors, filled with people searching for their dreams, disappearing into the distance far above his head. For what seemed like forever he could do nothing but stare as a new wonder replaced the last, but at last he regained his senses and started thinking of the task at hand. ditto etc
He took out the map he had made with his wife, crumpled it in his hand, and threw it in the nearest Void-o-matic trash bin. He then proceeded to take out the real map, ?? don't understand?? showing a slightly different route through the gigantic complex. His first stop was at the Hypnosis"R"Us, which meant taking the elevators to the 32nd floor and then proceed to the D-quadrant, a mere 3 days journey away.
Brian opened his big backpack, and took out a small screen, a specially designed stand, a big battery, a hard drive, as well as the necessary cables. He connected the screen to the stand, put the stand in the holster on his belt, and connected the cables to the batteriy and the hard drive. He then put the battery and hard drive back into the bag, pressed a few buttons on the screen, now suspended in front and slightly to the side of him at eye level. Once the screen came to life, he put the backpack back on, and went off to find the store. i just got real bored fyi

At the store, the helpful-but-not-quite-there clerk informed him that while they technically had the item he was looking for, it was at the moment still in the warehouse over in O-quadrant, and had yet to go through inspections. If he was willing to wait, say, two to five months, the clerk kinda groggily informed him, he could have it five percent off. The waiting area, while a bit spartan, was quite nice-looking, Brian admitted, but the fat lady oozing in her own filth who may or may not actually be dead was a bit of a turn-off. Brian declined the offer, crossed out the store on his map, and headed out again.
ditto double etc
His next stop, after spending an afternoon at one of the Dark-Energy recharge stations to recharge his setup, was the 438th floor of the F-quadrant. With the ever-popular Home Decor department store being in the same quadrant, the lines to the elevators were a few miles long, so Brian opted to take the escalators. This was the wisest choice, and Brian found himself, after only five days, in front of Vaccuums! a vaccuum store. He went through the display section, where customers were testing out all the newest brands and models of Vaccuums. He almost lost his backpack when one of the industrial strength vaccuums got loose and tore down the aisle. He managed to throw himself out of the way just in time, and after brushing off the dust, walked up to a group of clerks chatting in a corner.
His request was a bit of a long stretch, Brian had admitted to himself, and it turned out to be a dead end when one of the clerks guffawed out a "You want us to suck out what!?"
lol ditto again what are the odds
Not one to be discouraged, Brian decided he might as well go for his final, craziest idea.
Outside the store however he made a horrible discovery. The map was gone! Brian was completely distraught. What should he do now? He didn't even know the path to the exit!

He wandered through the hallways, and over endless walkways for what seemed an eternity. His snacks ran out. The battery for his entertainment system died. He discarded each piece of equipment as he walked with heavy steps, eyes dulled, and nk hope left. Brian was completely lost, and at last he sat down on a couch to die.
holy cocking poo poo that was dull

Part 3
The Finding


"Brian?" A voice woke him up. "Brian Bradbelly, is that really you?"
Brian opened his dried out eyes slowly. After blinking away the blurriness, a familiar face took shape. "Frank?" He sat up sharply. "Is that you Frank? How's it possible? Your brother Everett told us you got eaten by the cannibals!" Indeed, it was uncle Frank, the cop uncle Betsie liked to tell stories about whenever she had a chance. lolol wtf
"What are you doing here? And why are you wearing that?"
Brian looked at the suit Frank was wearing. It was the one Voidmart employees wore, and it had the Voidmart logo in gold and abysmal black and everything.
"Well," Frank began. "The whole cannibal thing is true, though I got lucky and they started on my left leg, you know, the one with the metal plates I got after I kicked the hand grenade. You've heard the story from Betsie, I know." He grimaced in apology, and then continued. "They seemed to think I was a god of some sort, made me their king, and gave me this suit to wear. Later, when an ispector came to check on the cannibals' living condition and found me she took me up here and put me to work. I'm quite happy here actually. No grenades thrown in my face for instance." wwttttfffff
Frank looked at Brian. "So, why are you here?"
"Well," Brian said sheepishly. " I'm here looking for a way to get rid of my analytical skills."
"Oh, nothing more?" Frank answered. "That would be the 132nd floor, M-quadrant. The De-Analyzer should do the trick."
"Huh, look at that," Brian sighed.
"Well, I guess I'll try it out. Try to come over for dinner whenever you are off, OK?" Brian said over his shoulder as he walked into the throng of people to find his destiny.

"There's no 'off' at Voidmart," was the reply. fffffffffff

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I'm up for doing 3 more crits as well. If you haven't gotten one yet, feel free to ask. Same as seb, newer folks preferred. My favorite title of the 3 who ask for crits will get a line-by-line.

Moxie
Aug 2, 2003



I'll take a crit. My title is bad tho

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


College Slice

I would love a critique. I'll try to give a couple when I get a chance.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Moxie posted:

I'll take a crit. My title is bad tho

Nah, it's fine. You were the first to submit so get ready for a whole lotta crittin.

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!




the very slow and bad judge

once upon a time there was a judge that was slow and thus bad. she sat on the thing judges sit on and then hit the gavel on the podium or whatever its called and said to all the word criminals "but your all good people i cant condemn any of u because u all tried so hard!!!" so the criminals sat in that court room forever, listening to the terrible judge listen to the Beach Boys and talking about how in her latest dream she pet a cat.

the end

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Crit: the Beach Boys suck, but Pacific Ocean Blue is pretty good, so you're on the right track!

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Voidmart Crit for ThirdEmperor's Distractions

My guess is that this story had some very high ambitions that it mostly failed. What it looks like you were trying to do was to have a surface story of this shopping trip while telling the real story mostly in subtext. The problem is that the surface isn't interesting enough in its own right, so what we get is a story where the reader is far more interested in what you aren't showing or telling them than what's actually happening.

First, there's a lot of time spent on the minutia of the Voidmart itself, and the problem is that it's not interesting enough, not weird enough, not funny enough to really carry the story. Second, the main surface story you're telling, of a guy (lawyer? accountant?) trying to buy wedding presents for a shady client and his filthy rich bride doesn't work. That story, the 'find a gift for the man who has everything', absolutely needs to end with the actual gift, something that actually fits the need and is well described. There is a version of that kind of story that does have an utterly baffling but somehow correct I-don't-know-what-this-is kind of gift, but that version (which is probably the C-plot of a sitcom episode) has to play out further and end with the reaction of the recipients.

The business with the sirens is a bit confusing as well. If I had to guess, they're following him because he's a grown man who randomly starts running through the Voidmart for no reason, but that's not nearly well-established enough. (It also feels like you might be collaborating with another story, and if you'd been in the main collab group I'd absolutely have wanted to cross over a bit.) And the ending you do use is also a bit of a miss: misanthropic/self-loathing narrator meets and randomly asks helpful employee on a date is not an ending at all. Again, a version of this story that spent a lot less time describing bland Voidmart departments and instead used the words to extend the story through the actual wedding might have been a more successful take on these characters and situations.

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!




Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Crit: the Beach Boys suck, but Pacific Ocean Blue is pretty good, so you're on the right track!

thanks for the crit and yes the beach boys are very bad :)

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

The Secret Edge – A Line By Line Adventure with Chili! I’m gonna bold my comments and I’ll strike out what seems like fat.

Hi, my name is Jeff. I have all my fingers and toes. It's quite a feat! Right away, I’m worried. Not necessarily because this line is poor, but your establishing a very tough tone to pull off. This is a decent hook, and the pun is equally decent, but again, you’re writing quite a large check that I’m hoping you cash My boss lost an arm a few years back when a new employee improperly handled an item in the One-of-a-Kind Aisle. It is a rare anniversary when we celebrate the service of a coworker with 100% of each ear lobe. These two sentences are weird. You establish the stakes with people losing limbs and then you neuter it with ear lobes. Blades and Cutlery isn't the most dangerous place in Voidmart, I assume. Nevertheless, it pays to be alert. And commence further neutering. Why are you doing this? You went to pretty decent lengths to highlight the danger of the place, why tamp it down at all? You made a strong choice, stick with it. And sure, it probably isn’t the most dangerous place in Voidmart, but isn’t a bigger and stronger choice if your character thinks it is?

"Jeff!" My supervisor's voice startled me a bit as I was in the midst of admiring a particularly shiny item. "Get out of the Throwing Aisle. You're assigned to the wedding registry today." By far our biggest seller: sets of 8-67 stainless steel blades accompanied by blocks of wood to store them blades hidden. Unfortunately, this was a situation where popularity didn't equate to prestige. Mr. Smith really had it out for me despite my alertness; I found myself assigned to selling knife sets nearly every day. “really” “a bit” “this was a situation where” all accomplish nothing to advance your story or paint your picture. This is a situation where you’re really weakening your writing a bit vs You’re writing is weak. See?

"You got it Mr. Smith!" I said cheerfully. "Seeya later, Gaspar!" This makes no sense until the next sentence is read, but I went back and looked for what the gently caress was going on.

"Who the... Don't name the merchandise and get to your station!" I smiled and nodded as I walked six aisles further away from Katanas.

"Howdy, Magnus," I whispered. "What's up, Sinbad?" Naturally, Sinbad said nothing; blades can’t talk. I loved the weapons, but they weren't people. Just unique and beautiful pieces of merchandise. If he knows they’re not people and that they won’t respond, why is he talking to them? Admiring is one thing, but talking is zany and needs more motivation. I dodged into the Gladius and Dirk Aisle as a customer's handicapable cart rolled by at top speed. Julius sparkled as he reflected the light from her silver hair. "Good one Julius," I giggled. He was good for one of those a shift. No time for him now though. Your blocking is weak. You say he leaves but never that he arrives. You can accomplish more effective blocking by either adding or subtracting but only going halfway won’t help you much. I’m also not entirely sure of what Julius did. It seems like some prank that led to someone losing control of their cart, but it’s not very specific.

A few more steps brought me to my destination. Home, sweet home I suppose. This mass produced merchandise honestly bored me half to tears. though a few pieces had potential again, why are you killing your story with this stuff? Make a big choice, stick to it The aisles here shrank to waist high, affording me a view all the way from Golden Bean to The Back. This along with my relative lack of mutilation made me the de facto customer service guy for B&C. Again weak blocking throughout this paragraph, I’m having a hard time tracking your character’s movements. Also it seems like him being the “de facto” guy is about his lack of mutilation which means it’s more about people seeing him than him seeing people

"Excuse me, can you point me to the saw blades?" Wonderful things, to be sure, but for whatever reason they are secreted in the Tools quadrant. Sorry, sir.

"Hey guy! Jeff? Yeah where are your axes?" Blades do not chop in my opinion. They part matter like curtains and divide one into many as politely as possible. I kept my opinion to myself and offered a crooked finger pointed toward the Wood Accessories.

"Hey Jeff," said a shy voice. Martha from lingerie stood just outside my department in one of Voidmart's main arteries. As always she was as clean as Sinbad and twice as curvy. Not a single edge on the poor girl, unfortunately.. Sooooo what is going on in these three paragraphs? It looks like it’s supposed to be a rapid fire montage of customer conversations but then we meet Marth and he’s describing her like a knife. I’m confused.

"What's up?" As I turned around she took a step back, glancing nervously at the large knife I was sharpening. The pretty thing had looked like a king next to the smaller copies in its wooden block, though I'd seen better edges on the axes. STOP APOLOGIZING FOR YOUR CHOICES JESUS gently caress

"Uh, you want anything to eat? I'm headed over to Prepared Foods for some takeout."

I held out the knife at an arm's length to inspect it. When I looked up she was another pace further away. "No thanks! My lunch isn't til 3."

"It's past three."

"Oh... I guess i'll have whatever you're having."

"I'll get you something you'd like," she called over her shoulder. My attention had already turned to testing the knife with a few air slices. Though it probably feels natural to you, never assume that your reader can detect who is saying what. This is messy and you could have cleaned it up a bit. One little “she asked” in the beginning would have helped.

"Jeff stop waving that goddamned butcher knife! Do you want to hurt someone!?"

Mr. Smith, stressed out as usual. "I'm careful, sir." His eyes bulged. As was his habit he preceded his next statement with a prolonged exhale. who cares? "How many couples have you signed up today?"

"None so far, sir. A few people wanted these blocks but they didn't want to get married." You’re not being consisten with how you layout your dialog. Sometimes you’re linebreaking, sometimes you’re not. I’m not sure if this is intentional but it’s not helping you

"I don't care about that, you have to reach the monthly quota. Matrimony is breathing down my neck, and you're my ace for registries."

"Yes sir."

"One more thing. We have some new merchandise." We got new items nearly every day, and I always hoped for a new addition to the One-of-a-Kind Aisle. I might be banned from that aisle, but there was nothing more interesting in the Voidmart, except for maybe the death predicting waffle irons. I added that last bit to show you how bad it is to apologize. I’m glad you didn’t do it here, but I was ready for it. I usually got to sneak a peek when Mr. Smith was showing a trainee how to sign people up for weddings. This time, he pulled out a new cutlery set display.

"This is the new Carvington Elite Collection Atomic Edition." Instead of a plain wood block with a crowd of desperately jutting handles, he presented a humming black cube with only three beckoning new friends. "It has three carbon nanoblades kept suspended in a magnetic field." He pulled out the largest of the set. It was so dark "so dark" is not as helpful as a specific color, put the image in my head, except for the edge. When it caught the flourescents, it drew a thin crescent of light across my retina no one ever says this. I felt like it was telling me a secret. "You must never touch it!" My jaw dropped. When Mr. Smith resheathed the atomic edge, I finally was able to turn my gaping expression towards him. "Do you have any idea how dangerous this is?" Again inconsistently breaking up the dialog, and it’s confusing as to who is actually talking here.

"Um, well surely it needs to be sharpened-"

"None of these knives need to be sharpened, Jeff. They're just display models."

"But a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one!" My words fell on deaf ears. Apparently the CECAE was crafted from a single chain of covalent bonded carbon atoms, and could cut anything with an atomic number higher than 14. It was the first thing I had ever encountered more beautiful than a hundred fold blade that thirsted for the blood of good men. Sorry, Musashi. This paragraph doesn’t seem to help you

I paced around cutlery, neck hurting from keeping my gaze pointed directly at the atomic set. I could still see the brilliant afterimage of its secret. He had sliced my ocular nerve from three yards away! I hoped it was permanent. I jumped again as a tiny voice said my name from the artery.

It was Martha. She presented me a sandwich of thinly sliced meats, which I accepted graciously. That would be for later. Who could think of food at a time like this?

"Thanks Marth woops. Proofread your story, unless this is his nickname for her, but based on what I’ve seen so far and in what’s to come, it isn’t . When do you get off?"

"Ah, I was off at three. I'm just going head over to Sleep... are you okay?"

The secret of the atomic edge finally became clear. I knew Martha liked me as a man likes a blade; I could never put my finger on why until now, not that I would put a finger on that atomic edge. The afterimage gave Martha an edge of her own, and I fear my gaze may have lingered a bit hungrily. She was beautiful too!

I stepped forward and dropped to one knee. "Martha. Will you marry me?"

I looked her in the eye. The secret looked like a tear of joy gleaming down her cheek. Her mouth was agape, just like mine when Mr. Smith told me I couldn't touch the new Carvingtons.

Mr. Smith ran up, huffing and puffing. "You're not on break, Jeff! What the hell is this?"

"I asked Martha to marry me."

"What?" He looked her over. "You're not holding a blade named Martha are you?"

She looked at him wide eyed and shook her head.

"You want to legally marry a human woman?"

After clearing up the initial confusion and both Mr. Smith and Martha's supervisor speaking up on my behalf, she said yes! I rushed over to the wedding registry to add the Carvington Elite Collection Atomic Edition to our list. Martha herself insisted on adding twenty items of her choice.

"Congratulations, Jeff," Mr. Smith said later. "You've reached your quota."

"And I get the knives!"

"Not a chance in hell."

Why does he care?
____________________


OK: So I’m guessing at what happened here but it seems like the knives manipulated the dude into doing that so that he could buy them. Fine. I guess that’s an OK ending to your story. Break down what you’ve brought to the table though. Why in the world is she saying yes? Your character is a lunatic, and that’s OK but her agreeing to marry him fell out of the sky. I’m unsure of my emotional response to your story. Setting aside the pick-a-part I did, why should I care about any of this? I never felt myself rooting for your character, I never was given a good reason to care about him. You got a little more focused on talking about the knives themselves than the character. Just because it’s your prompt doesn’t mean it has to command all of your attention. Also, and this is entirely subjective. Why not have the knives talk back? Your story is happening in a bizarre superstore with tons of odd poo poo going on. Personally, I took this prompt as an opportunity to go nuts, and I had a lot of fun with it because I made that choice. You had an opportunity to go big and I think if you took it, you would have had more options.

The good news is your writing has a sense of joy to it. It’s tough to put a nice little label on what the means, but I could tell you had fun with this piece, and that counts for a lot. I was worried at first because of the tone you were going for, but that didn't prove to be a problem.

Get clearer, don’t add weakening modifiers, work on your blocking and the physical layout of your dialog and I think you’ll be able to put together something solid.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






flerp posted:

the very slow and bad judge

once upon a time there was a judge that was slow and thus bad. she sat on the thing judges sit on and then hit the gavel on the podium or whatever its called and said to all the word criminals "but your all good people i cant condemn any of u because u all tried so hard!!!" so the criminals sat in that court room forever, listening to the terrible judge listen to the Beach Boys and talking about how in her latest dream she pet a cat.

the end

Hey bud, it's good seeing you put effort into something even if it wasn't your story :)

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






You can all thank flerp for any delays in judging, btw :) :) :)

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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


thanks flerp for saving us from terrible judging

Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The longer it takes, the longer until I'm declared loser.

I'm OK with it.

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


Sitting Here posted:

You can all thank flerp for any delays in judging, btw :) :) :)

flerp posted:

interprompt

a very slow and bad judge(s)

150 words

anime was right posted:

flerp (1 word)

flerp

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!




heres some crits so sh can stop being sad about nobody liking the beach boys

bringmyfishback who i think is now Fleta Mcgurn

quote:

There are a lot of positives to working in the Costume Department yeah this is an awful way to start holy poo poo. like its hard to explain why but its like a combination of no concrete image w/ a well why do i care about how nice work in the costume department. it also has the issue with "wait why are you starting with how nice everything is thats not v interesting". For one, you don't have to wear the normal employee uniform of t-shirt and shackles hahaha wacky shackles!!; you can sport one of the costumes on display. You have to pay for it yourself, but I've been working here so long that I own one of every costume that's ever hit the discount bin.

Tonight, as I trudge towards Aisle A-44- Hollywood Movie Monsters- I am dressed as a Sexy Spider Plant. Tiny plastic spider plants dangle from green-and-white-striped pasties, and more plants act as a combination belt and ra-ra skirt over a green thong. We only sold two of these last year and all employees were obligated to purchase the remainders, but I think it works for me. More interesting than an old t-shirt, anyways. nope nobody cares. wacky image ok sure but wheres the story

You cannot do a Sorting Shift with shoppers on the floor. By the time you reach the end of one of these cavernous aisles, at least a hundred people have blown by you and messed up all your neat arrangements. is this the conflict? Sometimes they drag in things from other departments by accident- ghosts clinging mistily to shoppers' ankles and whispering "sShhhh" at me, or poltergeists that zoop zoop? thats not a word im p sure. yup not a word. into the plastic vampire teeth and eventually cause some really weird injuries. Speaking of vampires, NO SHUT UP GET ON WITH THE STORY I DONT CARE ABOUT VAMPIRE they tell me it's much more peaceful to sleep in this department- standing up, sandwiched between rubbery versions of their own faces and crappy copies of their luxurious capes. i get it the costume department has monsters but why. do. i. care???? It doesn't sound too comfortable to me, but if someone's banging on your coffin and screaming "WAKE UP!" every few minutes, I could see how the relative quiet of the Costume Department might appeal. Vampires wake up with a good jab from a broom, but they get awfully huffy, and occasionally take a nibble at you. So rude. no. this paragraph is bad. ok cool u have wacky costume department w/ ghosts and poo poo but like wheres the story???? wheres the intrigue????

That said, at least they're predictable. Last year, a bunch of vegetables somehow got mixed up with their mask counterparts in Aisle D-12 and rotted. We thought there had been another accidental zombie delivery, but it was kind of worse, because the forensic investigators we called got into a huge argument about whether you can call Belgian endive "just endive" and...well, the inspectors eventually came. I'll leave it at that. is this your stand up routine? it has the same cadance and style of stand-up, of non-sequiturs but isnt actually funny or interesting.

I hate walking through Aisle A-44 alone. The masks and costumes range from cheap garbage to professional-quality, and while the expensive ones are spooky, the cheap ones are actually creepier. were like five paragraphs and you havent told me what the gently caress the point this story is. is it just "look at how wacky this is?" because if so i hate you. They almost look like they're screaming silently in pain- "I was built to be the perfect man! Why would I have bolts in my neck? Why would my face be made poorly-molded rubber that's covered in flammable paint? Help meeeeee."

Still, I have work to do, and I won't get done any faster if I procrastinate. I pick up my Official Sorting Stick and begin whacking a display of hanging Sexy Zombie Elsa pop culture reference the peak of comedy costumes. I know nothing will pop out of there- the real Sexy Zombie Elsa works at the Hot Topic franchise three floors away and spends most of her time picking at scabs and pretending to still find Jack Sparrow culturally relevant i dont i just i dont know how to respond to this. this is just painful.- but if the cameras catch me skipping any costumes, I'll have to attend a retraining session, and those always leave unsightly red marks.

The hours limp by. I find an adorable real yes we know these are all real you have beaten us the head with this concept i get it ok fairy in Aisle A-78 and send her back to her own department that couldve been interesting to see. I perform two quickie exorcisms on some plastic pumpkin masks that couldve been interesting too and slap a "RECALL FOR DAMAGE" sticker on some cheesy "witch hand" gloves that had somehow been sculpted to be permanently flipping the bird that could've been interesting too like a prankster running the costume department. too bad YOU DIDNT DO ANYTHING WITH THEM AT ALLLLLLLLLLL. Other than that, it was weirdly quiet- except that I kept hearing footsteps it was weirdly quiet--- EXCEPT FOR THE NOISE. i hate you. At first, I didn't think anything of it. Other employees occasionally walk by on their way to other departments, and sometimes Security sends a bot or a warlock down if there have been a lot of critters found during a Sorting, but I suddenly realized that I'd been hearing these whispery little footsteps for almost an hour. That was not normal at all. your like literally in a department where there are zombies and ghosts and vampires and hearing footsteps is apparently the not normal thing here. i know this is supposed to be a "joke" but like come the gently caress on.

oh yeah and now FINALLY FINALLY you got to the conflict. why didnt you start with the footsteps.

I kept my training in mind, and pretended not to notice. I kept checking the costumes and rearranging messy shelves. Eventually, I started to notice a pattern- there was more than one set of footsteps. They'd pause just after I stopped walking, then pick up again exactly three seconds this reminds me of that really stupid tendency that creepypastas have where they give us exact time frames of time. like, think about this for a second. how does your narrator know it was exactly three seconds? did they have a loving stopwatch? also, how is something moving at exactly three seconds every single time. also the three seconds doesnt even mean anything in this story its just a useless detail (like the rest of the story) after I moved again. This remained consistent, no matter how quickly or slowly I moved.

I waited until I reached the Sexy Gardening Supply costumes ok i kinda like this joke ima give u one (out of like the other 100 stinkers youve given me. Their real counterparts were located so far away that they hadn't infiltrated our department in over a decade, and I felt reasonably certain there wouldn't be anything hiding there tonight. I pretended to be closely examining a rack of Slutty Sunflower costumes and then, after I thought I'd heard a single stray footstep, I whirled around and shrieked, "HA!"

Before me stood ten or twelve fellow employees. All of them looked weirdly alike, with long single braids on the women and the men in high-collared shirts under their VOIDMART IS A BUSINESS! what does that even mean. of course voidmart is a business i dont understand ASK US TODAY! uniform tees. In fact, they were dressed and coiffed exactly like the Voidmart employees in the official framed photo of the original department team. They looked at me with mild eyes what are mild eyes?, seemingly peaceful, and said nothing.

"What the hell are you people doing?" I readied the Sorting Stick, trying to look menacing.

A man in front with a blond bowl cut stepped forward nervously, placing his hand on his heart. "We found her," he murmured, and the others behind him erupted into excited gasps and even a couple of small, restrained squeals. Everyone's eyes seemed to glitter with unshed tears of joy.

"What the--" WHAT THE. man i hate that kinda dialogue

Bowl Cut cleared his throat. "Please, this is going to sound strange, but...I am Steve, and we are the employees of Aisle L-8."

Aisle L-8? "I've never been in there," I said. Wait, hads anyone?

"Most employees haven't." He smiled, relaxing a bit. "Ever since Opening Day, we have remained in L-8, watching. Waiting. Fending off the demoniac creatures that haunt this place." EXPOSITION HO!!!!!

"We were afraid to leave," one woman added. "We took the full-size Barney costumes and used them to block off the aisle, and we've been hiding ever since."

"Oh, god, those Barney costumes freak me out," I told her. "That's why I always just rush past that aisle." this dialogue is bad

"That's the idea," Bowl Cut agreed. "We've only had a few invasions in the past ten years."

"But how can you live in there? What do you eat? Where do you, um...go?"

"People drop food all the time," Bowl Cut assured me, "and Golden Bean delivers when we call." He indicated his walkie-talkie. "As for the other thing...well, we use a Barney head." WHO CARES I DONT CARE I DONT CARE ABOUT HOW THEY EAT FOOD AND poo poo TELL ME ABOUT THE GOD drat DEMONS

Well, that answered one of the long-standing departmental mysteries: why we occasionally find poo poo-filled Barney heads. I DONT CARE AHHHHHHHHHHH

"Why are you telling me this?" I asked. yes plz why answer some questions move the plot along

"We see your Voidmart Spirit," Bowl Cut said, gesturing to my costume. "You are one of the true employees. Also, you're quite skilled with your weapon." you are the chosen one. i hate this. i want to die. let me die plz

"My Sorting Stick?"

Bowl Cut nodded. "We need someone with your strength, your ferocity, and your knowledge of the outside world. Our former leader left us for Automotive Repair and Time Travel, and none of us are as good at fighting off interlopers. If you agree to join our team and protect us, we'll accept you as our leader, and help you defend Aisle L-8. You can call the Golden Bean for food and sleep on a fine pile of Barney suits, and you'll be excused from corporate training and all of the team-building exercises. It will be a good life, a hard life, but I think you will be happy with us." more exposition i love this i love my life life is worth living

It was a strange offer, but an appealing one- no more trust falls? I drew myself up proudly and straightened my spider plant cap. "Show me to the Barney suits. I'm ready to transfer." why no why why why why why why why why why why why
.
WHY THE gently caress DID YOU WRITE A SETUP TO AN INTERESTING STORY AND THEN loving END IT WHERE IT GOT INTERESTING. I WANT TO SEE THEM FIGHT DEMONS I WANT TO SEE INTERESTING THINGS WHY DO YOU HATE ME WHAT DID I DO TO YOU???

so my advice for you is to 1) get to the conflict as soon as loving possible and 2) don't make your character just saying "ok yeah sure" without any conflict or resistance or anything because that is boring as gently caress

Sarkimedes

holy poo poo... a conflict in the first couple paragraphs??? character motivations??? personalities??? i think i just loving died

ok so just formatting wise uhhh please double space between every line break its just really really annoying to read the way you formatted it. like i know manuscript form doesnt do that but when posting on a forum its just better.

yeah this is cute i like the conflict so far but it feels a little flat. like, you say they hadn't sold anything in for two years but i wouldve liked to see that, and also wouldve liked to see them actually change the signs to point away from their section instead of just being told that they did that (also, me as a reader already assumed that the people changed the sign when he said that all the signs pointed the wrong direction so maybe you dont even need to tell the reader that they did that)

this is probably a bit too dialogue heavy. it's not terrible dialogue but its not especially engaging. it gets the point across but doesn't like *pop* or draw me super in. its not bad so i guess thats a good thing???

yeah thats' definitely the problem here -- everything's told to us through dialogue. every action someone takes is given to us in retrospect and we just see the reactions that people have to actions instead of seeing the actions themselves. makes me feel cold and distant.

ok this is like a p decent story that i dont like want to fling myself off a bridge so good work i guess. but like, with there being like no real action (things happen, but they happen off screen and people just tell us that stuff happened), its not super engaging. you got a real nice start though, since the conflict is kinda silly but also treated with enough respect that it was enjoyable without taking the piss out of itself. i just wanted a little something more, it has a narrative arc, but not an emotional arc. why do bern and larry care so much for the order in their section? what does it mean to them? i know it's important to them but like... why? also i dont think larry is really needed since he's just kinda there, and then that would give you some space to flesh out bern or possibly sam's character more.

Blastinus

i dont recognize your name and all the new newbies have gotten crits now so im giving u one too

quote:

Of all the possible positions at Voidmart, Shipping and Receiving had been nearer to the bottom on Geoff Thurman’s list. Not even the returns desk would have been above him. At least then he’d be able to talk to someone. But this department…well, he had a tablet computer, and all it did was chirp out work orders. ok i dont hate this first paragraph but maybe my standards have just lowered but like it sets up a relatively ok conflict (i dont like this place). its not like a good first paragraph since its p weak and not all that interesting but hey it works for now

If Voidmart seemed dauntingly huge on the consumer end, the storage side was somehow even more so, sprawling out in a complex that, at first glance, could be mistaken for a metropolitan skyline. The ceiling was lit by thousands of fluorescent tubes, many of which were flickering close to death, if they hadn’t burnt out already. Someone would be out to replace them soon, management had said to complaining staff, but in the meantime, there they stood, like a sparkling constellation of cheapness i would've liked a different word then cheapness -- something more concrete or surprising. sparking constellation doesnt work on its own because its too positive so idk this is a metaphor ud have to think about a bit to make it really work.

As one might expect, no simple forklifts would satisfy the demands of this storeroom, not when the shelves were hundreds of feet in the air. Instead, the skies were abuzz with the rotors of hovercrafts, weaving through the dimly-lit steel corridors at the whims of their tablets. ok cyberpunk/scifi storage room i might be ok with this lets find out

“Dock GLC!” it what is this it? the computer? chimed one day, in a mechanical approximation of cheeriness that grinds on the nerves after the fiftieth time hearing it. As per usual, a map of the complex lit up on his screen, showing the location of the shipment in question, but something was different this time.

“Floor 3?” he muttered to himself, rubbing his two-day fuzz. He’d never really questioned where the shipments came from. They just sort of appeared on one of many docks scattered throughout. But he’d heard that the lower floors were strictly off-limits after some sort of incident. Nobody really wanted to talk about it, but the short version his supervisor had told him was that somebody dropped a crate they shouldn’t have and the ground floor was full of zombies.

It was probably a joke though. Jerry jerry's the supervisor name right? plz clarify that when u refer to the supervisor[ was well-known for his tall tales.

He ok so heres a good example of a bad pronoun. the last named character (and also what the pronoun before this one was referring to) was Jerry but I know you're talking about the protag (Geoff). so like I know your referring to Geoff but my mind makes an auto connection to this He being Jerry so its confusing and might i say not good hoped it was a joke.

“Well, no point standing around,” he said maybe just make this a thought into actual dialogue, once again to nobody in particular, and began his descent. Whatever reservations he had about the walking dead paled in comparison to the threat of losing his job this could be interesting if explained.

The hovercrafts weren’t really designed for speed so much as heavy loading, so Geoff had plenty of time to see his doom come into view. Suddenly everything made sense, inasmuch as a crate two stories high could make sense, that is. No way that something that big would fit in one of the docks above.

A portly man in shorts was standing by the crate, holding a clipboard and smirking like a man who’d just brought in something guaranteed to ruin some poor employee’s day i mean.... he's not smirking like a man who does that, he literally is a man that did that.

“Hey!” Geoff protested said is a great word i love it a whole bunch try using it a lot more as he brought his vehicle in to land, “You do realize this thing’s only rated for ten tons, right?”

“Relax,” the man replied with a dismissive wave of his hand. “It’s mostly hollow.” He banged the side of the wooden box to emphasize the point, and the instant he did so, a loud bellow sounded from within. “Oops!” he exclaimed disingenuously. “Must have made it upset.” meh this feels kinda like cliche? something ive seen a bit before in like silly scifi comedies (futurama probably did this idk i have bad memory)

“What’s ‘it?’” Geoff asked, taking the clipboard. The shipping manifest only had one item on it, written in a manner far too formal for the subject matter. Geoff gave an incredulous smirk, and blankly said, “A T-Rex. Really.” thats cool i like dinosaurs

“Feel free to take a look. Poked some air holes in the side.” With a confident swagger i dont really see why hes being confident rn when hes about to like ship a trex or w/e, Geoff walked around and noticed a few holes about the size of a hand’s breadth. He was going to put the truth to the lie right here, right now. i mean... you make this out to be like a BIG DEAL but we literally just learned that there could be a trex. its not rly a big deal to me rn in the story. also maybe its just because of me or like the context of the week but im not like surprised by trexes (maybe its because of the hovercraft u got me to alrdy like suspend my disbelief a good amount so im like yeah so what its a trex who gives a gently caress)

A few seconds later, white as a sheet this is odd since like its a simile to something that isnt actually defined in the sentence. idk this might just be me but its weird, he checked off the box on the manifest, signed the line at the bottom with a shaky hand, and handed one copy back to the pudgy delivery man. “Good luck, buddy!” the supplier chuckled, and walked to the end of the dock, disappearing in a flash of light and leaving Mr. Thurman with a crate that was shaking back and forth with the complaints of the creature within. im glad u didnt actually describe the trex (im not actually im lying im kinda sad) because its like a low budget movie where they like yeah theres a big monster but you dont ever see it because they didnt have the budget to make the monster

For his part, Geoff took the matter with a surprising degree of professionalism, digging through the employee manual for instructions. As one would expect with a department this huge, the manual in question would be stiff competition with War and Peace. You could quite literally kill someone with a book this size. yep dont rly care. hell itd be funnier if it was like a really small pamphlet and they had a section for dinosaurs

“Let’s see…exotic animals, exotic animals…Okay, Floor 28. Immediate delivery.” Depositing the weighty tome back in its compartment right above the pilot’s seat, he fired up the loading clamps. As long as he just stayed in the hovercraft and never, ever left, the big bad dinosaur couldn’t get him.

Right?

The crate was an unwieldy fit, to say the least. Normally he’d have had to slowly close the clamps on the article as he hovered overhead, but judging by the whine of the motor, he was pushing his luck at the maximum breadth. Guess he’d just have to take it slow.

The liftoff was sluggish, but still steady. So far so good. Just had to get around a few shelves…

Suddenly, the container shook again as the creature took another monster-sized tantrum. The hovercraft drifted to the side. A metal column came into view, and it took a hard jerk to the right on the flight stick to avoid crumbling the flying machine around it.

Almost there. He was on Floor 17 now…Just had to keep rising…

A burning rubber smell started to fill his nostrils. Something was straining on this machine. It didn’t matter. He just had to make it, and then he could go back to the employee area and get a new one. He’d probably get a dock in pay, but if one of the rotors suddenly blew out and he started plummeting to his doom, that would be far worse.

Especially if that had just happened.

As in, right just now. ughhhhhhhhhhhh i hate this its too wacky, pulls me out. this should be like a tension filled moment but here it just deflates because of that

Geoff might have been screaming at that point. He couldn’t rightly recall, as his mind was instead flashing through all the different ways he could save his skin. His mind flashed back to what he’d been told about the hovercrafts during orientation, that even if a rotor failed, the other one would be sufficient to keep it aloft. So why was he falling?

Oh, right, because he was dragging a giant crate underneath.

Desperately, he scanned his finger across the myriad buttons on the dash. The clamps were designed to stay locked while the hovercraft was in motion, but there had to be a…

There! The emergency release!

The sudden deceleration back upwards slammed Geoff into his seat as the crate went crashing down into the abyss. Guess the zombies would be eating well tonight, he thought to himself, relieved at his quick thinking.

But no sooner did Geoff realize that he was no longer falling than a new problem suddenly surfaced. He’d been flying straight upwards since dodging the shelving unit, so he was right alongside it, and with one of the rotors out, his craft was listing to one side…

Before he even understood what was happening, he’d knocked the broken rotor off entirely and was now grinding the shattered remains against boxes and boxes of assorted toys and trinkets before finally coming to one last sickening halt against a large crate of washing machines.

A minute or two later, Geoff flopped out of the open window of his wrecked vehicle. Something was broken, that much was certain, and he’d have to crawl all the way back to the lift leading off of this shelf, but he was alive. Almost definitely fired, but alive. Maybe he could apply for disability pay. huh this kinda just petered out huh?

this wasnt godawful either so congrats i guess! but still some pretty annoying issues. first of all -- get to the point. too much time was spent on the buildup, get to the conflict which was trying to move the dinosaur around to the other section. get that going as soon as possible, putting in a few details that we need for the setting and then there u go its more interesting already!

but like this is kinda one of those stories that like is just kinda there to be like a fun little tale that i dont take it seriously, but it lacks that bit to make me really invested. i mean geoff doesnt have like a super big personality cause hes just basically doing his job.

also that ending was lame cause i was like... what happens now??? he just dropped a crate holding a trex! like, that's sure to cause a whole bunch of problem. hell, that seems like a bigger problem then what geoff had in the beginning of just trying to move the dinosaur. maybe that needs to be done in a longer story but like as it stands it just kinda ends with yep oh welllllllllllllll.

Beige

alright, conflict established quickly if a little vaguely not a bad ol' start if i do say so myself.

that fourth paragraph really confused me w/ its pronouns i dont like that

quote:

She appeared to give a small surveillance dronelet a slight nod before leading Alexandra along the broad aisle, leaving the plethora of electronic creatures in their wake.

did she appear to? or did she just actually do it?

why is a woman rapping what/????

quote:

From the distance came the sounds of a commotion. A crash of metal and breaking glass followed by desperate screaming.

cut "the sounds of a commotion," and make it just "From the distance came the sound of the crash of metal..." and find a way to make the sentence work w/o the sound of im 2 lazy to figure it out myself

hmmm i dont rly like how this story has shifted. it seemed to have started with Alexandra wanting a friend and Harmony like manipulating her into just accepting whatever, but now its all about Harmony dealing w/ some weird monster. also im gonna predict that Alexandra and Harmony become friends.

i really have no idea whats going on theres like a reality field wtf is a reality field

did this become like a really lovely horror game?

your shifting perspectives again -- it started with Alexandra then Harmony and now Alexandra -- please keep it consistent

wtf happened to this story i was all for a happy go lucky story about finding a friend and now its all like super angsty and melodramatic

i dont get it

i dont understand im so lost and confused

i have no loving clue what this story was supposed to be about and i really cannot comprehend my reality at this moment i need to lay down for a little and try to stop myself from screaming thanks

maybe dont make ur nice little story about a little girl trying to make a friend turn into one where people have existential terror in some hellverse because theyre a witch ok cool thanks.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

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



Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Crit: the Beach Boys suck, but Pacific Ocean Blue is pretty good, so you're on the right track!

flerp posted:

thanks for the crit and yes the beach boys are very bad :)

Outrageously bad music opinions from these chumps.

Blastinus
Feb 28, 2010

Time to try my luck
:rolldice:
Crap.

Thanks for the crit there, Flerp. And yeah, I agree. The story could have used a clearer focus and a stronger ending.

contagonist
Jul 21, 2014

You shouldn't be doing anything with fluorine.

*patiently waiting for crit*

llamaguccii
Sep 2, 2016

THUNDERDOME LOSER


contagonist posted:

*patiently waiting for crit*

I'll crit yours tonight (even if someone else does it before then).

contagonist
Jul 21, 2014

You shouldn't be doing anything with fluorine.

*patiently waiting to lose*

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

contagonist posted:

*patiently waiting for crit*

Instead of waiting, go crit something.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


contagonist posted:

*patiently waiting for crit*

Nice writers never get the crits. They always go to the jock writers with rippling finger muscles who treat crits like poo poo. I don't want you anyway, I can tell you'd be the kind of crit that would open its advice for any jerk.

I bid you good day, m'crit

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




Voidmart crit for contagionist's Aisle Null

quote:

Darla and Miles are just watching him do the thing.

This line sums up most of what is wrong with this story. You've got five 'main' characters, plus a nonhuman antagonist, and that's a whole lot for a story of this length, and you really don't have anything to do with Darla and Miles, who just start out as unconvincing teenagers, and then do nothing so conspicuously that you feel the need to put a line of them doing nothing just to remind the reader that they haven't fallen into a wormhole.

Also, Dusty never introuduces himself, which makes dropping the name a problem in a third person limited viewpoint. (And if you were willing to give him a name even without an introduction, why in the world wouldn't you give your un-named future multigendered person a name and save yourself from having to overdo the awkward pronouns to the point of unintentional comedy.) (I sort of wish Jim had answered their last line with "What? No, I just wanted to know what your name is.")

There's really not that much going on here, as far as an actual plot is concerned. Jim pretty much just follows instructions and it works out for him. (He has one fairly clever idea, although if the bug isn't an actual insect and is some future bug-shaped mammal descended from humans it probably only worked by chance). But there's not much opposition, not any hard decision to make, and no change or declined opportunity for change, so no story, just way too many characters going around doing things. Or not doing things and just watching them happen.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


flerp posted:

heres some crits so sh can stop being sad about nobody liking the beach boys

bringmyfishback who i think is now Fleta Mcgurn

.
WHY THE gently caress DID YOU WRITE A SETUP TO AN INTERESTING STORY AND THEN loving END IT WHERE IT GOT INTERESTING.

Actually, because I didn't realize 1300 words was the limit, I thought it was the minimum and then after writing like 2500 words went "fuckkkkk."

other than that, very helpful crit, thanks. Made me laugh and feel bad about myself at the same time, which captures the SA essence well.

ETA: Might as well ask here- Is it always a HARD word limit, or can we go over by a couple hundred words? Just for future reference.

Fleta Mcgurn fucked around with this message at 01:17 on Oct 26, 2016

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Actually, because I didn't realize 1300 words was the limit, I thought it was the minimum and then after writing like 2500 words went "fuckkkkk."

other than that, very helpful crit, thanks. Made me laugh and feel bad about myself at the same time, which captures the SA essence well.

ETA: Might as well ask here- Is it always a HARD word limit, or can we go over by a couple hundred words? Just for future reference.

The word limit is the number of words you should not exceed. If you go over the word limit, the judge is free to disqualify you. A couple hundred words is pretty significant when you're dealing with flash fiction length stories.

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Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Djeser posted:

The word limit is the number of words you should not exceed. If you go over the word limit, the judge is free to disqualify you. A couple hundred words is pretty significant when you're dealing with flash fiction length stories.

Gotcha, thank you.

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