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Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

a new study bible! posted:

Suggestion: Preening about your writing styles, intentions, or any other elements of your story, whether written as a preface to your story or in response to results/criticism, should be a probatable offense.

Take it to IRC.

One of the unspoken commandments is don't get mods involved, not least because one outcome means losing the free avatar each week. Another reason is that mod involvement would lead to rules lawyering which is poison.I feel like the community here does a good job of policing itself with words and swear words?


a new study bible!
Feb 2, 2009

A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly

sebmojo posted:

One of the unspoken commandments is don't get mods involved, not least because one outcome means losing the free avatar each week. Another reason is that mod involvement would lead to rules lawyering which is poison.I feel like the community here does a good job of policing itself with words and swear words?

I recognize and agree that it's bad to get mods involved. When I was thinking probation, I was more thinking that you were probated from participating in the next week or something.

Again, too many rules are bad, so the above suggestion is unnecessary, but public rumination about how you are going to improve is nothing more than white noise trying to validate how cute or clever your idea was.

It shouldn't be encouraged.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Thunderdome 2017teen: Bunker Down In Our Abonend

Thunderdome 2017teen: Like A Modest Proposal, But For Writing

Thunderdome 2017teen: You May Already Be A Loser

Mar 21, 2013
Would just like to pop in to say that I love the TD recaps. Everyone in them does great work. :)

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

a new study bible! posted:

I recognize and agree that it's bad to get mods involved. When I was thinking probation, I was more thinking that you were probated from participating in the next week or something.

Again, too many rules are bad, so the above suggestion is unnecessary, but public rumination about how you are going to improve is nothing more than white noise trying to validate how cute or clever your idea was.

It shouldn't be encouraged.

Yeah for sure. If a judge doesn't want to judge someone because they've been a dick they won't, but the thread pushback over any hint of MY IDEAS SO BEAUTIFUL is p strong

Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.
Thunderdome 2017teen: Illiterature at Its Finest

I suppose an apostrophe would be appropriate, but I shudder to behold it.

Dec 15, 2006

b l o o p
Thunderdome 2017teen: I shudder to behold it

Dec 15, 2006

b l o o p

Apr 12, 2006
Thunderdome 2017teen: Write Short Stories Win No Prizes

Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

curlingiron posted:


Thunderdome 2017teen: I Have No Talent, and I Must Write

Feb 25, 2014
thunderdome2017: we write bad words, so can you!

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

thudnerdome '17 IT'S IS ONLY EVER SHORT FOR IT IS YOU loving ZOBES

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Thunderdome 2017: Read the OP you big dumb jerk it's not even that long also it's a hard limit and stop prefacing your posts I hate you all

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Here come (some of?) the last crits of 2016.

Jagermonster posted:

Ride of the White Knight
780 words

Justin steeled himself for confrontation as the bus crawled through rush hour traffic. Too often Justin read about women being harassed or groped on public transportation. Justin knew what he would do if he ever witnessed some scumbag doing stuff like that. A palm strike to the nose would stop the assaulter dead in his tracks. Several jabs would send the shattered nose bone up and into the brain, killing them. Hmmm OK I get it I get the joke you're setting up please don't disappoint me

Justin gripped the hand rail as the bus made a sharp turn. He never sat. So many men sat, taking seats meant for women. Women deserved better. They deserved a good guy like Justin. Oh I see, he's a 'good guy' I mean I think the preferred nomenclature when being mocking about this kind of silliness is ;nice guy' but whatevs I get it I'm picking up what you're putting down. Seems like it might be dumb and bad but I've been wrong before.

Justin's arm shot up a little bit as he imagined himself confronting some harasser. He stopped himself before he completed the full palm strike. He glanced around to make sure no one had seen him spasm around. Yep hate this protag which I guess is the point but not in a 'ooooh he's a jerk' way more in a 'this is a dumb caricature from an overtold joke' way.

All it would take is one confrontation and Justin would be known for the hero he was. A palm strike straight to the nose - Bam! Someone would film it and it would go viral. Women everywhere would feel safe knowing Justin was out there. I mean not much else to add here. I get it, what a pathetic loser, lol etc.

And Justin would get so many blow jobs. He debated whether it would be ethical to accept one from the woman he saved. Other women would want to give him blow jobs too. Justin took a seat to hide his erection. I actually don't mind this sentence though it's kinda funny I guess.

The bus stopped at Verring Avenue. Justin jumped up so she wouldn't see him sitting. The bus stood idling for a moment. Justin's hopes fell. Maybe he had mixed up her work schedule. Or it had changed. Or she was just running late. Then he saw the top of her golden head. Oh good just in case we hadn't entirely gotten what a pathetic schmuck this guy is you made him a stalker that's just swell.

She handed her money to the bus driver and smiled. Justin would do anything to kiss those perfect red lips. Justin turned toward the window so she wouldn't catch him staring.

"Hey!" a deep voice yelled from the street. A guy in an Ohio State hoodie climbed onto the bus.

"I have to go to work, Kyle," she said.

"We aren't done talking!" OH man this guy's pretty 'alpha' will the nice guy prevail? LET'S FIND OUT

"Yeah, we are," she said.

Kyle closed in on her. Justin's hand tightened on the hand rail. With a jolt, the bus started rumbling down the street again.

Kyle grabbed her arm. "Don't just walk away from me like that."

"You better take your hands off me right now."

Justin took a step forward. "Hey!"

She looked back to Justin. So did Kyle and the rest of the bus.

Justin closed the distance between them. "Back off!"

"gently caress you, bro," Kyle said.

Justin stopped within striking distance. "I said back off."

"And what are you-"

Justin jabbed the heel of his palm up toward Kyle's nose. It stopped just short.

Kyle's fingers dug into Justin's wrist. "You just take a loving swing at me?" WHAT A TWIST! THE HEAVILY CARICATURED NICE GUY FAILED TO MURDER THE ALPHA BRO? OUTRAGEOUS

Justin tried to tug his arm back. He jerked it forward and down like they teach in Karate. Kyle's grip wouldn't give. Justin panicked. He lunged forward, head first, aiming for Kyle's nose.

Justin ended up bent over, with Kyle's other hand on the back of Justin's neck. Justin slapped at Kyle's arms. They were as solid as the metal poles on the bus.

Kyle's knee shot up into Justin's face.

She gasped. "Stop it!"

“This guy attacked me!” Kyle said.

"Please," Justin managed to say before Kyle kneed him again. Something popped in Justin's face. His right eye lost vision. Pain coursed down Justin's spine into the pit of the stomach. His head felt like it would burst. Kyle kneed him again, then let go. Justin collapsed to the floor.

Kyle raised his foot. This wasn't how it was supposed to go. It was supposed to be Kyle's head punctured like an inflated balloon, not Justin's smashed like a watermelon. Justin was the hero.

Justin heard a thwack. Kyle's foot came down to the side of Justin's head. Another thwack.

Justin rolled over. Kyle covered his bleeding face. Her hand shot out like a cobra, striking him twice in the stomach. Kyle doubled over. She brought her first up and slammed it down on the side of his head. Kyle collapsed on top of Justin. Oho the tables have turned, this sister is doing it for herself, FEMINISM OORAH

The bus screeched to a halt. "What the hell is going on back there!" the bus driver said.

"Please call the police," she said.

A woman in the front said she already had. "And an ambulance for the other one."

"Hey!" Justin heard himself say in a small garbled voice from somewhere behind him. "Back off!"

Someone laughed. "This poo poo is going to go viral!"

Justin closed his eyes and listened to himself getting kneed in the head over and over.

I hated this story, and it's mostly because you set the protag up in such a way that it was obvious he was going to be a hopeless failure. And it was full of dumb and bad caricatures.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Hawklad posted:

Tribal Wisdom
793 words

All of humanity is jammed in the City because the Earth has turned to poo poo. This is an OK start.

It was a mad rush at the end, before the virus finished everyone off. Scientists stuffed survivors and startled natives into glorified shipping containers along with last-minute cultural scraps and fired us into orbit until the rockets ran out. All in the name of preserving human biodiversity and art and history until we could return. Only that part didn't happen, did it? The virus is still down there, waiting, and it's got hooves and wings and flippers in which to hide while we rot away up here. Didn't mind this paragraph either.

So we joined together, safety in numbers, a giant, spinning, swaying mass of aluminum trusses holding together a motley menage of habitats, solar panels, recycling stations, production facilities, and radiation shields ever tilting towards the horizon. Somehow we survive. But this place, what we call the City? Well, it's become poo poo too. It was never supposed to last as long as it has. What's left of humanity is more stratified and divided and distrusting as ever, only now we're crammed together, totally dependent on each other for survival. Maybe we were before, too, but we just didn't realize it. Hmmm yes OK this is some reasonably told exposition.

At first everyone was worried about the indigenous tribes, how they'd survive up here, but in the end they were more adaptable than the rest of us. They made the City their own and now much of it is under tribal rule. OK good set up and now into the story.

Which is why I'm currently in low Earth orbit, lashed to a waste conduit, facing four masked San Bushmen hopping and dancing around me, hooting and clicking, while their gnarled old chief looks on. Oh OK but now surely you'll finish with the back story and get into the actual story.

This tribe had recently taken over the Sector Nine Food Production Lab, and the UN needed someone to open negotiations to get it back. I'd taken a few African Studies classes in college and was itching get my first assignment so I volunteered. In retrospect, a bad decision. Come on now it's only an 800 or so word story, you've got to get to the actual story part some time.

Flaunting my expertise in exotic African languages, negotiations started with me calling the tribal chief's mother a "cock-starved hippopotamus." Talks broke down quickly after that. Hmmm well I guess this part is almost story rather than exposition?

So now I'm a prisoner. The San tribal habitat is enormous, nearly one hundred feet long, bamboo huts sprinkled across a dirt floor from which hopeful tubers protrude. The tribespeople studiously ignore what's happening with me and the chief and the warriors. Instead they go about their business planting seeds, cooking stews, and tending the fires that make their habitat hotter than the Kalahari. Still exposition then? Well OK

My only hope is to try to talk my way out of this. "A deranged mountain goat approaches," I say in their language. I need to let them know I mean no harm. OK So here's the story! Right! Swell!

Apparently I'm not convincing, for the largest warrior steps forward and sinks his spear into my right leg. Pain shoots upward, but only for a moment. My leg goes numb and a warm feeling starts to spread from the wound.

This recalls a tidbit of information from my college days: Kalahari tribesman favor a slow-acting but deadly poison derived from a native beetle larva.

"Hey!" I say. "Water my donkey!"

The old chief shakes his head. "No," he says in clear, precise English. "It's diamphotoxin. Slow, but quite effective." What a twist, the native speaks English!

They're all laughing now, dancing around me, thrusting their spears into the air. It's weird because you've kind of subverted the initial WHOA THIS IS TOTALLY RACIST impressions with the buffoonery of the protag and the chief speaking English and saying long fancy words, but they're still shaking their spears ridiculously, what's that about?

"Look, you can't just kill me," I plead, switching to English myself. "I'm an envoy from the UN. On an important mission." The numbness has reached my groin and I feel the muscles there begin to relax.

"So why did they send you?" the chief asks.

"I have a minor in African Studies," I say. Two classes short, actually. OK I mean sure, this part of the story is being told in 'now' so to speak, but they're just giving us info that was kind of there in the exposition.

"And I have a degree in Civil Engineering,"WHAT A TWIST!!!!!11111! the chief says, "but nobody's responded to help me fix the oxygen feeds. We've got so much extra oxygen up here we're lighting fires to keep it under control."

"So that's what they're for," I say. "I thought it was just...ambiance?" It's at this point that I can't help notice that nothing's happening in your story except that ALL OF OUR PRECONCEPTIONS ABOUT THESE SUPPOSEDLY IGNORANT TRIBAL CHAPS HAVE BEEN TURNED ON THEIR HEADS and now they're talking a lot about these aforementioned preconceptions.

The whole lower half of my body feels like it's floating now. The chief stares the the THE THE? WHAAAAAT? puddle at my feet. "Well that's unfortunate. Looks like you've only got a few minutes before the toxin reaches your heart."

He reaches into a leather pouch at his waist and pulls out a cell phone, punches it with a leather finger, and puts it to my ear.

"UN operations division. What's your emergency?"

"Code six! Envoy in trouble!" I say, panicked. I report my location. The code will bring a rescue team to save me.

The chief sighs and pulls a horse needle of antitoxin from his pouch. He motions the warriors to cut my bonds.

"Maybe now I can get my drat pipes fixed," he says, and buries the needle into the side of my neck.

OK so this story is 'protag dumps exposition on us for almost half of the story, protag chats with tribal chief, tribal chief outfoxes him to get a rescue team sent.' I dunno it's just kind of dull. Too much exposition, too little anything I should care about. Kinda boring conversation too.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Chili posted:

Dangling - 725 Words

19 tamers have failed before me. As I cling to a cloth tether and my legs swing freely, I can't quite appreciate the view, fearing that I am the 20th. Dunno how I feel about present tense in that last bit.

In principle, the job the royal guard hired me to do seemed simple: tame the King’s griffin and make him presentable for the royal festival. Sure, a host of tamers had been maimed or killed on the job, but I was different. Where they failed, I would succeed.

Or at least, that’s what my mother assured me. Hmmm OK

If ever I were to have a child of my own—an unlikely prospect as I feel the muscles in my fingers cry in agony—I don’t think I’d tell them they are special. In fact, I’d do quite the opposite. Maybe I’d tell them they are worthless. I’d give them something to prove! OK so honestly don't hate anything about the story up to this point except that really, nothing much is happening. All the 'action' of the story has occurred prior to the start of the story, and now it's just some random musings.

But no, my, “unique scholarly brain would surely be able to temper the wild beast.” Thanks, mother. Don't you sass your mother young man. :colbert:

It wasn’t as if I didn’t try. I did! After I signed up for the job, I read everything I could find about griffins. Half lion, and half eagle, griffins were fascinating, and research was rampant. I read about their temperament: cynical and proud. I read about their weaknesses: not many, but they didn’t seem like to GOT THESE IN THE WRONG ORDER YOU BUFFOON! (Buffoon is a v. fun word, I recommend everyone use it.) fire. I read about their strengths: flight, power, and a kick that could separate a head from any beast’s neck. This bit reads a bit awkwardly, maybe 'any beast's head from its neck?' Otherwise it could be any head being separated from a completely unrelated neck. Most importantly, however, griffins will find ways to test a human’s worth.

I devised a plan. When the royal guard ushered me into the griffin’s den, I ignored it, and started a fire as far away from it as I could. I treated the fire casually, interacting with it as a mere tool to cook a dinner of whitefish, which--I learned through my readings--griffins couldn't resist. Hmmm OK so this is the main story I guess because things are actually happening that I should care about. Telling story in flashback is OK I guess let's see how it turns out.

It worked. Moments later, in my peripheral vision, I saw the griffin approaching me. I kept my gaze on the fire but set a plate of whitefish to my side.

He ate in peace, but when he finished, he rose to his hind legs. According to my readings, this meant trouble, but I was ready. I stood up and grabbed my stool. It was a special stool I requested, and it was crucial to my plan. It had five legs, and when I turned it upside down and stuck the legs in the griffin’s face, he got confused. Target confusion, I read all about it. The griffin didn’t know which leg to focus on and got overwhelmed. Well OK this seems highly improbable (HE SAID OF A STORY INVOLVING A GRIFFIN YES I KNOW SHUT UP VERISiMULITUDE IS A THING OK I KNOW THIS IS A SIDE NOTE AND NOT SPECIFICALLY REALLY ADDRESSED TO YOU BUT I'D JUST LIKE TO SAY THAT ANYONE EVER WHO SAYS, OF A STORY, THAT IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE REALISTIC BECAUSE IT IS FANTASY, SHOULD PUNCH THEMSELVES IN THE FACE) OK so that outburst over with, let's continue with this story.

He backed off and then I saw a look in his eyes that was new. A look of respect. v. expressive eyes.He bowed, and with his beak, he picked up the long, cloth tether that was attached to a harness around his body. He walked over to me and placed the tether in my hand. I took it.

And then, before I realized what had happened, we were in the air. I was amazed at first, and couldn’t believe my good fortune. Here I was being personally flown by a griffin around the royal courtyard!

But then, the griffin didn’t stop flying.

And then, I recalled that griffins—when they are fond of humans—allow them to ride on their backs.

And so, here I am, dangling. I’ve been holding on as best I can for the past hour but I know I don’t have much strength left. The griffin has been content to circle over a canyon Wait over a canyon? How the hell does the King keep a griffin as a pet when the griffin can literally fly up and away over a canyon any time he pleases? and his stamina to do so will certainly outlast that of my tensile fingers. what's a tensile finger I recall from my studies that griffins can fly indefinitely, so long as they hunt airborne prey and rest on thermal waves.

Now, I have a choice. Do I let go, or do I hold on as long as possible? In my studies of philosophy, I have read that action is always the nobler pursuit over inaction. That, if one is torn on a decision, one should choose the path that requires a bold choice.

I make my bold choice.

I fall.

As I fall, it occurs to me that there was perhaps a bolder choice to make: climb the tether and face the griffin. Wait he didn't even think about doing that? Perhaps this was its way of testing me. Why this occurs to me now, as I plummet to my death, is far beyond my comprehension. Though I think read somewhere—

Protag is dumb ending is bad.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Entenzahn posted:

But I smiled
794 words

Brian sat in front of the Christmas tree like he was some kind of puppet that nobody had played with in years. It was hard to watch him like that, chest lazily rising and lowering, not saying much through the festive music that played in the background. Here was a 12-year-old boy, and I’d tried my best to prepare a nice Christmas Eve for him, but I’d no idea how to do it, and it was never gonna be nice anyway. Decent start IMO.

It’d been about three months. Drunk motherfucking rear end in a top hat up in Reno smashing his ride into the sidewalk, taking people with him. Making an orphan out of the boy. You think being godfather is mostly a ceremonial gig. You hope. You don’t want to imagine what’ll have to happen. Well then. This is a cheerful start.

I’d never decorated a Christmas tree before, and it showed, looking more like the Lucky Charms leprechaun had puked his guts out all over a firn. Fun story I used to think fern was actually spelled this way and still occasionally try to in my head until I'm all like no that's dumb but anyway the point is YOU DONE MESSED UP ENT But I guess it didn’t matter. We were mostly doing it as a formality anyway. Chrissake, what was supposed to happen? I mean, you couldn’t just not celebrate Christmas. But there was no celebrating it either. Like you don’t want him to cry, but he sure as poo poo ain’t gonna laugh. I am picturing a gruff old guy here. Like an old guy with a heart of gold but a gruff exterior who often accidentally yells at the kid but deep down really loves him and so there'll probably be a Christmas miracle where they all learn the true meaning of Christmas or something.

I’d never learned how the boy celebrated Christmas and I didn’t think he’d care enough to tell me in advance, but back in my childhood, I’d always gotten a gift on Christmas Eve. Now there were a few of them under the tree. I didn’t earn much, but I’d tried my best, GOD BLESS YOU WORKING CLASS HERO and at the very least I was young enough to remember what I’d liked as a boy. That was probably the only thing I actually knew something about. I don’t just mean about the gifts, but that too. Running through the stores, past stacked-up boxes with bright, bubbly letters promising you some good family fun. What do you get a child that has nothing left?

There’s the same Santa Claus actor sitting in a display in the middle of the mall each year. Kid sits on his lap, whispers his Christmas wish into Santa’s ear, and then afterwards Santa tells his elves, and they slip you a note so you know what to buy.

I knew what it was going to say. Even before I’d seen their faces, or heard their I’m-Sorry’s.DID YOU JUST PUT AN APOSTROPHE ON A PLURAL YOU JERK?

“Thank you,” Brian said as he unpacked a stupid video game, and I caught myself holding him a bit too close. Stopped myself from apologizing. Didn’t want to make a drama out of it.

Of course he wouldn’t like it. He wouldn’t like anything. All the gifts under the tree were the same crap: plastic toys and digital entertainment stored on discs. Time wasters. Useless distractions for a boy who had a void to fill. Um actually video games are awesome how dare you.

“I-- I got another gift for you.” I bit my tongue as soon as I’d said it, but there it was. A gift I’d hidden in the closet. Because I’d chickened out. Because I’d gotten scared it’d just make him sad. But there was no making him sad no more. That ship had sailed.

If there’s one thing I could do right as his godfather, I could at least try to make his Christmas wish come true.

The present was hidden on the top shelf, behind the paper towels and washing agents. Most of my gifts looked like a one-armed frat boy had wrapped them inbetween That's two words you nincompoop shots, but this one was especially bad: a crumpled, dark red wrapping so rough it reflected the lights in a Picasso pattern.

Handing it over seemed to take years, and then I instantly regretted it. But I smiled. It must have come out all weird. Least that’s what it felt like.

Brian carefully unwrapped a large photo album. On the pages there were pictures of his parents, memorabilia, written notes from their daily lives and other odds that gave you a glimpse into the kind of people they’d been: concert tickets and recipes and the old polaroids his dad had used to shoot.

In the back, there were some letters.

“They started writing to you when you were still small,” I said. “I don’t know when you were supposed to get them. I thought--” And then I’d run out of words to say and my throat had run out of space to fit them through. And the loving Christmas music kept singing along in the background while Brian leafed through the album with quivering lips on a stone face.

“Thank you,” he finally said. He set it down, carefully, almost as if putting a child to bed. Then he shuffled over to me, hugged my side, and breathed into it until I realized he’d started crying.

And I was right there with him.

OK so my esteemed judges weren't overly fond of this one. I kinda liked it apart from the things I criticised. It was definitely better than the previous stories. Yeah it was a bit of a feelgood cliche, but I don't mind those so whatevs.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Benny Profane posted:

The Entertainment
799 words

“Balls,” said Dr. Wembley, who had never had much of a talent for cursing. Dunno what you're talking about, nothing wrong with that curse word.

“I’m sorry,” came the voice over the phone, “could you repeat that?

“Oh--,” said Dr. Wembley, “Apologies; I was just, ah, talking to my assistant.”

“...right. So, ten-thirty, yes?”

The clock on the wall showed just a few minutes until ten. “Of course. We shall eagerly await Madame Secretary’s arrival.”


Dr. Wembley hurried along the corridor towards the Entertainment Ward, trying to keep things at a brisk walk. His assistant Johnson, shorter than Wembley by a solid head and a half, had no recourse but to scamper at his side. OK this is good, I can see this in my head.

“And you’re only just finding out about this now?” said Johnson, dimly.

“Obviously,” said Dr. Wembley. “She has requested a direct exhibition of recent results from Project Entertainment.”

“Meaning, the charts you had me fabricate for you while you were on vacation.” oho the plot thickens

“Johnson, I know that I say this an awful lot, but I feel I must once again remind you that you are eminently replaceable.” This is good imo, good banter

“Yes, Dr. Wembley.”

Upon reaching the door to the Entertainment Ward, Wembley gestured irritably in front of the security sensor.

“Access denied,” said the door, in its pleasant yet firm tone that Wembley found quite insufferable.

“If I may?” said Johnson, waving his hand back and forth once.

“Access granted. Welcome, Dr. Johnson,” said the door, sliding open.

“What an unbelievable waste of money,” said Wembley. He pushed past Johnson, only to stop abruptly upon entering the Ward.

It was, for the most part, empty. Beds stretched into the distance, atop which tangled cords and bulky headsets of discarded Entertainment Units lay scattered.

“Where -- where are the Subjects?” said Wembley.

“Well, there’s one, I suppose,” said Johnson, pointing to a bed towards the end of the hall. In the bed lay a man, face obscured by a large head mounted display, tracing soft and rhythmic gestures in the air with a plastic controller. His other hand pumped away merrily beneath the blankets.

“Is he…?” said Wembley, lost for words.

“It would appear so, yes.”

“Oh dear. And the others?”

“The break room, perhaps?”

“The break room?” said Wembley, a high note leaping into his voice. “But -- how were they able to tear themselves away? The mental anguish of separation from The Entertainment should be neurologically unbearable!”

“Well, yeah, I mean, I guess so,” said Johnson. “I mean, for the first few days or so, yeah, they seemed pretty into the whole thing, but most of them started getting bored pretty soon after, and then once they worked out how to get porn on the devices that’s pretty much all they do now.” OK so, they're TVs? And if they didn't want them to just watch porn, can't they just disconnect that channel or whatever?

Wembley’s mouth hung agape. All words were beyond him. The only sound was heavy breathing and the periodic rustle of a scratchy woolen blanket. woollen I think. Two 'l's. EDIT: OK KAI HAS TOLD ME THIS IS A US vs CORRECT ENGLISH THING SO NEVER MIND

“Johnson, I’ll handle this. Go and receive the Secretary in the foyer, and stall her by any means possible.”


Wembley burst into the break room. All of the Subjects were indeed there. Around one table crowded with empty beer bottles, several men played cards. On a couch, four men held game controllers and hooted at a large television. Wait so is that bit dramatically different from 'the entertainment'?

“It… it defies all logic,” said Wembley, whispering to no-one in particular.

“Oh Jeez, it’s Mister Nobel Prize himself,” said one of the Subjects.

Wembley, aghast, looked at his watch. The Secretary would be arriving shortly. He shook his head to clear his thoughts. “Your attention, please,” he began, using his loudest public speaking voice. “Let me be blunt: I am going to leave, for five minutes, and when I return, any man who is not in his bed and engaged with his Entertainment Unit will be killed via a to-be-determined, but assuredly gruesome, method.” Harsh. This protag is probably the best part of this story. Which is mostly kinda uneventful.

After a short pause, the men started to rise from their seats, grumbling and shuffling towards the door.


Wembley met the Secretary at the door to the Entertainment Ward. “I feel I must warn you, Madame Secretary, that what you are about to see may be disturbing -- the sight of a mind, so utterly dominated by animal craving for stimulation, I'm making these crit comments after having already read the story once through, so this sentence deserves a pre-emptive 'lol' so reduced to base function by science, it can be… upsetting. ”

The Secretary eyed Wembley coldly, and said nothing.

“Ah, very well then,” said Wembley. “Er, Johnson, if you would do the honors?”

With a wave from Johnson, the door slid open to reveal the gleaming Entertainment Ward. Each bed was occupied, and all of the men were silent behind their head mounted displays, tracing gentle caresses is that an SA injoke? in the air with controllers held, for the most part, in their left hands. Throughout the ward, blankets rose and fell rhythmically, and the air was full of the scratchy rustle of bedclothes.

“Oh dear,” said the Secretary, staring incredulously. “Are they all…?”

“It would appear so,” said Johnson.

“Balls,” said Dr. Wembley.

I dunno it was kinda silly. Not really much substance, and the fact that 'the entertainment' seemed very similar (from what descriptions we'd been given) to a TV but obviously wasn't one (because Wembley Stadium got annoyed when they were all watching TV) was kind of confusing.

Chairchucker fucked around with this message at 18:09 on Dec 31, 2016

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Baleful Osmium Sea posted:

Turning Lock

The Supervisor's exoskeleton went haywire first. It backhanded the adjacent docker right in the face cage with an almighty clang. The other driver stared at her boss, too surprised to swear. Without her touching the control sticks, her own XO-Skel returned the favour by lifting an iron-and-cable-thewed Thewed is a weird word, isn't it? I'm sure it's a real word, but I'd never heard it before. I kind of got the gist by context but still a little confusing. leg and booting the Supervisor right in his metallic arse.I appreciate the fact that you used this version instead of 'rear end'. One by one, the other machines began to fight each other, their human operators powerless. Mechanical graspers clamped down on mechanical limbs, pulling and bending, until they detached in a shower of sparks, uncovered human limbs wriggling like tiny worms. Unbalanced, the XO-Skels toppled over, still waving and kicking in spasmodic jerks.

On a balcony above the fray, Jackie stabbed at the red Override button that should have shut off her autonomy module. Down in the Docking Bay, the noise of metal against metal grew louder, punctuated by electrical explosions. Jackie raced to the central control desk, and initiated the dampeners. The lights went out, replaced by the dull red glow of the emergency bulbs, and an unnerving silence.

Jackie clambered down the Bay ladder. All around her I reckon I'd add in a comma right about here so you can tell that 'her' isn't the possessive pronoun in this instance. giant XO-Skels and their sundered appendages lay in disarray. The Supervisor was clambering out of his harness of his Dunno about 'his' twice. Maybe 'the' harness of 'his'...?horizontally compromised machine. Eventually he stood beside his fallen machine, surveying the carnage. His gaze reached Jackie, control pad in her hand and guilt across her face, and a screaming fit was thrown. I like that turn of phrase.


It was after midnight before Jackie finished re-attaching severed pieces of XO-Skel. Honestly that feels quick. Surely welding metal takes longer than that? But I guess it's the future so whatevs maybe they have better welding stuff. She was grateful he hadn't been busted on the spot, Wait, grateful who hadn't been busted? You switched pronouns on me so I'm not sure. but SkelTechs in this region, even amateurs, were rare. As she finished up the unit tests to make sure normal operation had been restored, she heard footsteps behind her.

"How's it going?"

She sighed, letting her shoulders sag a little. "All patched up. Testing's nearly finished."

"I kinda meant you, not these metal bastards."

Jackie turned away from the test readout but failed to look Linda in the eye. "I hosed it up this time," she said, staring at her feet. "Royally. The deployment protocols, somehow the pipeline isn't what I thought. The autonomy module got into production, and I hadn't figured it all out anyway, so…" She waved at the XO-Skels, standing like soldiers in an iron platoon. Well that sure was a lot of tech sounding words

"What did the Supervisor say? Does he have a name? Most people don't really call their supervisor The Supervisor do they? Gotta admit, I enjoyed booting his arse."

"He said I'm a 'goddamned useless bitch' and next time it's a one-to-one limb removal exchange, them and me." She slid to the ground by the control desk, and looked up at Linda. "I thought I was helping. After what happened with Jones and Simmons, I thought, if we could just automate them…. But i Is that a lower case 'i' you pillock?!!? don't know enough to get them to behave intelligently." She hid her head in her hands.

Linda slid down beside her, resting on her heels. "Don't know how you do it. Fixing these pieces of crap for the hundredth time so some drunk docker can crash them into a wall. Can't you, I dunno, transfer out.Give us a question mark here I reckon. Don't they have academies or something? So you can learn to do it properly?"

Jackie looked up. "I've asked the supe. He just laughed. Not enough local SkelTechs."

Linda patted her shoulder. "Let's get him to reconsider," she said, with a thoughtful look. "You can still do pre-programmed stuff, right?" THE PLOT THICKENS


Jackie watched as Linda and the other dockers clambered into their gear, tying harnesses and flexing their augmented physiques as they ran through their preliminary tests. A hastily implemented green button glowed on her control pad.

She waited until the XO-Skels were lined up in two equal lines, ready to depart to the shipyard for pickup. Then she pushed "Go". A camera drone leapt into the air then slowly circled the machines.

All the XO-Skels turned 90 degrees, facing one another. Some grabbed their opposites by the mechanical waist, some by the shoulders, and then they linked their free graspers.

Somewhere a speaker blared out The Blue Danube. As one, the XO-Skels began to waltz. Jackie heard the Supervisor scream her name. She remotely guided the drone to shoot Linda waltzing him around the bay for a while before she approached, bobbing and weaving around the dancing giants as the drone followed.

"Yes, Sir?" she yelled.

"What the everliving gently caress have you done?"

"This? This is my video application for the engineers' academy."

"You're on report," shouted the Supervisor, his face red and upside-down as Linda dipped him.

"Thank you, sir. Now, about my application. I've got some great footage, lots of close-ups. Just needs your signature."

Jackie ducked as Linda's XO-Skel whirled the supervisor around. She caught a snatch of Linda talking about fixing servo-droids before enlisting.

"No close-ups," said the Supervisor when he next span Span? I'm thinking spun TBH. past, looking decidedly green.

"No, sir," said Jackie, saluting.

I don't really 'get' this ending. The supervisor wasn't going to sign off on her applying to the academy, but now because she upset him again, (with her being on report and all) he will? Ehhhhhh I dunno dude.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Erogenous Beef posted:

A Change of Mind (800w)

Samuel Slopbucket Hell yeah that's a name, you have my attention. swished his ragged old mop in a wide arc across the floor of the storage bay, edging as close as he dared to the strange plastic pod that had arrived today. It was far away from the other cargo, and there was a big red circle around it — a sergeant had ordered Sam to not even think of setting foot inside, but there were bootprints Sam couldn't reach without entering. Two officers were watching, and Sam hoped he wasn't about to get more demerits

Across the bay, the Captain eyeballed the distance between the capsule and Sam. Three meters separated a dopey private and the galaxy's last sample of sapiophagica unilateralis, the psychic murder-fungus.Awwwww yeah. I am ready for whatever this story holds. Even with a protective band of foil on his head,lol your captain is wearing a tinfoil hat this is great the captain still felt the thing tugging on his mind. He glanced at his XO. "I'd rather he wore a psychosafing cap."

"He's got a neurosuppressant pump; the fungus couldn't possibly tempt him, sir."

Sam rubbed the bump at the base of his neck and a warm sensation washed over him, like he'd just drank a cup of milky tea. The bump had itched when they'd first put it in, but rubbing it made him feel better.

The XO beamed at the captain. "See? Smiling like a cat."

The captain wished he had the XO's confidence. He'd seen sapiophagica in the wild: a woody stalk with a puff of hairy psi-tendrils atop it, like an oversized dandelion. Mesmerized, two platoons of marines had murdered one another before someone napalmed the fungus. He cupped his hands. "Private, report!"

Sam snapped to attention. "Sir, the private is cleaning, sir!"

"Would you rather be doing something else, private?"

Sam looked at the captain for a second. He'd never talked to an officer before. A lieutenant had spoken to him once, to say Sam's fly was down. Sam had cleaned a lot of johns after that. I am enjoying PTE Slopbucket's inner monologue here.

The captain scowled. "Are you hard of hearing, private?"

"Sir, no, sir!"

"Then answer! Is there anything you want, private? Anything at all?"

"Sir! Uh… a new mop, sir?"

Twenty years of command saved the captain from snickering. "A mop."

"Yes, sir. The marines get alien blood on their boots, sir." Sam raised the mop's head; he'd been patching it with old socks. "See? Eats right through, sir."

"Back to your duties, private. Make this bay shine." The captain spun on his heel and motioned for the XO to follow.

In the hallway, the XO grinned. "Xeno blood is rather acidic—" Wait so like the aliens from Alien? But OK continue

"Button it. You're right. Poor man hasn't a light on upstairs."


Sam leaned on his tattered mop. He'd scrubbed the entire cargo bay again, but there were still bootprints next to the plastic pod. The captain had said to make the bay shine, and a captain's orders overrode a sergeant's, right? LOL yesssssssssss Sam stepped inside the circle, keeping his back to the pod so he wouldn't have to look at it. What was in the stupid thing, anyway?

Fifty cartons of finest Denebian whisky.

Sam blinked. He hadn't drank in a long while, but he rubbed the back of his neck and the fleeting desire passed.

Aldebaranese lads' mags, where the girls have three tits.

Sam glanced at the pod, rubbed the back of his neck again and went back to scrubbing.

Is there anything you want private? Anything at all?

"A new mop," he said to the empty cargo bay, and glanced at the pod. Was there a mop inside?

The finest mop in the galaxy.OK yes. This is good. This is great.

Maybe he should look inside. No one had said he couldn't have a peek. He laid his old mop aside and twisted the top off the pod.

Inside was a wooden rod with a thick cottony-white puff on top, jammed into a pot of dirt. Sam yanked his new mop free.

In the armory, the chief of security shot two ensigns dead. In the lounge, a dozen officers tore one off another's clothes and the captain declared a general orgy. On the bridge, the navigator plotted a course to Earth, locked her console and forgot the passcode. Neat. I like this. This mayhem is good.

Sam twirled his mop over his head, grinning. A new mop! And not just any mop. This mop felt like part of his arm. He could clean anything, anywhere!


Yes, he'd go everywhere, cleaning dirt with his trusty new mop. He felt the mop thrum with excitement.

Where better to start than here? He dunked the cottony-white head into his water bucket, jammed it into the wringer and crushed sapiophagica unilateralis' delicate psychic tendrils to powder. For a moment, Sam felt his mop scream, and then he was holding only a useless stick.

I liked this story. It was fun and funny. I also enjoyed how the ecological terror that is sapio - I'm not even gonna try - was defeated without the protag even realising.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


OK well now this story is archived so I'm not gonna bother line by line critting SORRY FLERP.

I actually really liked this story and would've been down with giving it an HM. Yeah not much happened but the vibe kinda worked for the character, and I really started to care about Johnny and his turtle. I was also somewhat amused by the fact that he just forgot his phone was off so didn't notice all of his friends leaving. There were a couple of minor errors too but overall it was an oddly pleasant story about the end of the world.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Thunderdome 2017: Five million words and we still haven't found the good ones

Jon Joe
Oct 20, 2011

Grimey Drawer
Thunderdome 2017: How I Learned to Start Writing and Love the Crits

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016

Got Out.
Grimey Drawer

Jay W. Friks posted:

Hello all. I'll be subbing for Twist for THUNDERTOME for the next few weeks. With that in mind, if anybody still wants to speak about BURNING CHROME, the previous book to discuss, do so, perhaps when it comes time to discuss the book I have chosen for digestion from now till JAN, 6th, 2017: BARDO99 by Cecile Pineda.

I have already read the book and will provide a link to the amazon page for those who want to purchase or study it beforehand.

It is a thin book and reads quickly. It is in the realm of surrealism, which you can guess from the synopsis, "Depicting the 20th century as a character, this novel explores what happens when that character, dying, passes through a Bardo state—an intermediate state of the soul between death and rebirth."

Come JAN, 6th, 2017, I will be in THUNDERTOME IRC to participate in a discussion of the book and any thoughts derived from it.

Be seeing you!


Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005

Thunderdome 2017teen: Write Makes Might!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Djeser posted:

Code Crimson

Boaz-Jachim posted:

For my brawl against Djeser.

In Brazen Image

These are two incredibly different stories. As I write this post, I'm not entirely sure which I like better. Stay tuned!!!


This spends a bit too much time on the day-to-day drudgery of VoidAbyssMart. I ran into the same issue when I wrote about my own job (and rightfully DMed). The narrative voice is jaunty enough that it wasn't like, totally unpleasant to read, but I found myself wondering when Michael was going to do something other than his job. The vampire was pretty thin. I would've liked more characterization in your antagonist. I get that this is a fun, light story, but you missed the opportunity to bounce your two characters off of each other. As is, their interaction boils down to a chase scene and some combat, which was all clear and easy to follow, but didn't do much for me since the vampire got virtually no characterization. I will fully admit, the various references made me smile. Over the years, Thunderdome has stockpiled a wealth of tropes and in-jokes and I am of the (possibly unpopular) opinion that it's perfectly fine to write a story using things from the TD micro-mythos. That said, it presents an obstacle in judging because it's difficult for this type of story to beat out a les niche piece.

Michael is fairly likable and sympathetic. He's pretty fully characterized, which is probably why the thinness of the rest of the characters/set pieces was so stark. He deserved a more interesting conflict than a chase/fight scene, though the his one-liner at the end (and subsequent thoughts about it) was cute. I'm a fan of the expanding SatireMart universe. Stories like this make me wish for some hypothetical TV show that is a mix between, IDK, Superstore and Once Upon a Time. The prose is jovial and generally smooth, so no real complaints there. The action, as thin as it was, was at least easy to read and visualize.


There isn't anything I really think is truly 'bad' about this piece. It does exactly what it intends to do, I think, so it comes down to whether the reader is into that. Very little happens "on screen" until the end. The reader is left to infer a lot, so the "change" that happens in the story isn't so much a character arc as it is an informational arc. The narrative revolves around the revelation that this formerly subjugated artifice/automaton is now an oracle for the creatures that once enslaved it. I thought it was....pretty good.

The language is pretty. Where Djeser went for straightforward language that lent itself to clarity, your piece definitely has a more poetic bent. A different reader might have quibbles with the way you chose to present the story (mainly the formatting, I know some people's eyes glaze over when they see lots of italics), though I personally didn't mind.

I want to write more crits but I am at work and deeply entrenched in a sort of banal conversational siege so here it is: I like both stories. They are too different to fairly compare. However, if a reader that wasn't familiar with TD were judging, they would probably find more to like about Boaz-Jachim's story.

So grats Boaz, although really if I were a butt I'd say you guys tied because at the end of the day I enjoyed reading both of these pieces.

Sep 14, 2007

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Chairchucker posted:

Here come (some of?) the last crits of 2016.

Some of is right

Thunderdome 2017teen: Crit more

Crits from The War, On Christmas


Your story does not work, at all. It starts with the fact that it is impossible to tell what is going on. Where are we, when are we, who the hell is talking? What are these character’s names? What in the hell is happening? Is he a time traveler? Is he dreaming? Is he on a spaceship? It’s basically impossible to understand.

I’m also not sure your story actually hits the prompt, which is a war affected by Christmas. Can’t see much of either here, except for the word Christmas twice, and some oblique mentions of war-type things.

In spots, you have good words. The problem is, your words are all jumbled up. I’m pretty sure you ran out of time, but you’ve got to tidy this stuff up.

I think this is supposed to indicate that the mug is sweating OJ, but it is incredibly unclear. "orange-juice-sweating" would help, but I don't know why I care that the mug is sweating OJ.


he drank his orange juice sweating, festive mug

This sentence is bad. You've got an unclear antecedent, since there are technically two possibilities for who chewed away on automatic. Since I know the grandfather is eating, and it's closest to him, I know that it should refer to him; even so, it makes the reader have to do work that you don't need them to. Unless you're intentionally being confusing in this story, which, well, good job. Also, if "at the two portraits" is supposed to give us an idea of what else John looks at, either he looks at the portrait (so say that), or he looks at anything but his grandfather, in which case, tell us some more things.


It was weird and John stared at anything but his grandfather as he chewed away on automatic, at the two portraits sitting on the wall.

Besides the slight but strange tonal detour this story takes right about here, this sentence is bad. I know you're writing it as it might be said out loud, but this is bad dialogue. Strange that he'd say "heck" and "loving" in the same sentence.


Heck, I - I'd let you forget that, do let you forget, so eat your loving cornflakes. I don't need this.

Lol come on man. Six fucks, seven lines. It's not as expressive a word as you seem to think.


"gently caress."

"gently caress."

And after a minute. "gently caress.[...]"

"Fuckit,[...]. loving [...]"


"gently caress."

Final thought: gently caress


I like this story. I think it was one of the stronger entries this week. I’ve got some quibbles with your language in places, which I’ll go through below. Overall, I could have used just a tad more characterization of these guys. I think we’re supposed to root for these guys because Mockwood represents the rich politicians pulling the levers of war, but I don’t think we get enough to actually identify with Rocke and Seet in their coup attempt.

This feels a bit like an alternate timeline WWII set in the US (based on the politician titles), I think you could leverage existing knowledge of the war if you more clearly identified the setting. That could help with establishing the audience’s favor. If it’s NOT supposed to refer to WWII, making clear the conditions of war could, again, help us to sympathize.

Language stuff:

You use this construction twice. There are times when it works, but I don’t like either instance of it here.


their hedges were still trimmed, and the paint on the walls was still pristine, and strings of colorful lights bathed the pathway to the front door in holiday cheer


They hadn’t expected seeing use the infinitive: to see an armed suit

I don’t like this sentence. Starting with “but” feels flat. Maybe “in the process, however,” or incorporate “simultaneously” or something. Anyway, don’t like it as is.


But he took return fire

This next bit happens immediately after that and it feels like it’s missing a piece of blocking. When did they enter the living room? Or are they not in the living room? Immediately after this it’s clear that they are in the living room, but it talks about opening the door, not barricading it.


The pounding on the door started just as they’d finished their makeshift barricade. The cabinet held firm.[quote]

Since I’m pretty sure this story is from Seet’s perspective, this sentence doesn’t quite make sense. How does Seet know what Rocke started to say? I’d say you could use gunfire to literally cut Rocke off, here.
[quote] “We don’t have time for this poo poo,” Rocke started to say.

You repeat this construction twice, but it isn’t significant enough to add anything—in fact, I think it detracts in this case. Either restructure, or use it more (don’t think it’s strong enough for that, though)


Somewhere along the way Rocke bled out on the floor. Somewhere along the way more bullets slammed past him.

That’s all nitpicky stuff, but I think another revision would significantly strengthen this story.


A pattern has emerged in all of your stories: you need to work on your punctuation. Often, you put commas where you need periods, or vice versa; your punctuation in and around dialogue often makes it difficult to read. If you want, for your next story, I’d be willing to give you an edit before you sub.

Overall, I think this particular story suffers from a few big picture issues.

1) There is no conflict, really. Obviously, there is a war going on, but we get no real sense of it. Some imagery here might do the trick. But in the plot of this particular story, no conflict happens for any of the major characters. It might be a function of the warm, fuzzy Christmas feel you’re going for, but it needs something more.
2) Your characters are all flat. They don’t all have to be round, but you need at least one or two. None of your characters, though, are complex in any way. This story needs some context. Who is Walter, and where did he come from? Where are his parents? What have these characters lost, due to the war? Something.
3) In general, we have no sense of the war. Is the ceasefire likely to last? I have no idea, because I have no sense of either side, or the conditions of the war, either in the past or at present. Mostly, we don’t feel the war in any specific way. Makes it hard to feel for the characters, either.

I don’t think this story works as is. The idea of a kid who befriends a group of soldiers getting them gifts is fine, even potentially interesting, but you need more than you’ve got here.


This story is goodish. Not sure it quite hits the prompt (where is the holiday? I guess the soldier letting him run is a Christmas miracle?). The stories I’ve read of yours (not many) all do a good job of establishing specific elements of the characters involved; that is true here. You can feel the refugee’s (?) fear and desperation. You can feel the animalistic nature of the soldier. That’s done with good consistent imagery.

I’m not sure what to make of your verb tenses. Obviously, you’re playing with them on purpose, but I am not sure how I feel about them, whether the future tense adds anything substantive to the story. Maybe it paints a picture of a continuous reality, in which predator hunts prey, or something? Might work. Might not.


This is a nice little story. Maybe a little bit of a stretch, but does a nice job of relating the seriousness with which children take the things they do, the things that happen to them. Overall, I like it.

A couple of problems. One, you’ve got a few typos. Nothing major, but missing letters are distracting (officers, hand).

Two (and I acknowledge that this might be a reader problem), there is a tone shift when your protag gets hit by the rock snowball. Before that, despite the comparisons to real war, the tone is pretty light. The protag is telling a nice little story about the Snowball Wars, with no hint that War Is Hell is coming down the pipe, which you might expect a storyteller to let you know up front.


Story doesn’t work for me. It’s not bad, it’s not good. It kind of just is. The biggest problem for me is that I have no clear sense of what’s going on, and I can’t see a reason that I shouldn’t. Being vague about story details works if the story is generalizable, i.e. it could be about any war. This one is clearly about a specific war, but I don’t know anything about it, except we’re fighting (North?) Korea? I sure know a lot about what these dudes are getting their kids for Christmas, but not why he can’t give him a spaceman figure now. What is the plan? Why are the satellites down?

The ending also really does not work for me. It’s abrupt, and gives no good sense of direction. Obviously he’s going to see if his family is safe. But that line of dialogue is not strong enough to end on. I need something more.

Overall, not enough detail, and not enough anything else to make up for that lacking detail (i.e. Boaz-Jachim’s story). Also, not really an ending.

Benny Profane

At first, I definitely did not get your story. I think now I do? I still think I might be missing the historical context to make this story work better for me. Your language is decent, though stumbles at times. Don’t like this sentence: “The crowd did not part in advance of his approach, but permitted his passage as he slid between their bodies”. Are they moving or not? I’m not sure if that sentence achieves anything, really, which I feel about some of the imagery in general.

To me, it appears this story is about a man unwelcoming to the increasingly inevitable Carthaginian influence (obviously, re: Carthago delenda est), a fact that will be (is?) his downfall. That assumes that the curved golden-handled blade on a purple pillow is particularly Carthaginian, which I don’t know.

Ultimately, I don’t know what to do with your story. It’s too vague in the contextual details, given that the specifics of Roman-Carthaginian conflicts are hardly common knowledge. And ultimately, there’s no real ending here, without having a specific knowledge of the meaning that blade. Which I don’t have.

Lead out in cuffs

Whoa this got dark in a hurry. Anyway, not a bad story. I think in the middle to upper tier for the week, from what I’ve read. Does a good job of setting up important details, decent dialogue, fine pacing. I understand the characters pretty quickly.

John is pretty cartoonishly evil, which I guess is a danger of short stories. The things that his character does are terrible; you’ve got to make us buy that people would stick around him. Maybe it’s just because he can provide for these two women, but to me, he needs some charm or some other magnetic quality. Idk, maybe that’s just me though.

Also put another line breaks between those grafs. You do it for like half the story; do it for all of it.

Baleful Osmium Sea

This is fine. Well realized within the bounds of the world you have set up. Biggest problem I have is the seeming lack of explanation for why Jeohavhai suddenly becomes bloodthirsty and hateful. Isn’t foreshadowed at all and seems fairly out of character for him.

Also, is rabbit hunting a holiday tradition I am unaware of? I know about Wren Day in England, but not something about rabbits. Or perhaps you have invented your own holiday, which would make sense in the context of this story. I’m thinking that’s it.

Sep 14, 2007

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome

Katdicks -- Ashes

Crit for a newbie!

Sitting Here gave you a good crit already, and I generally agree with it. This is an OK story, and compared to my first entry, quite good. Below, I've included some thoughts about specific portions of your story. Here are my general thoughts:

• The story is generally lacking in consequences. Despite it being about a bomb detonation, aside from a collapsed building, everything we encounter survives. Not saying it needs to be a gorefest, but if the consequences are as dire as your protag feels they are, we need to feel it to. I think that would make the ending feel more gratifying, as well.
• Like SH said, your characters are flat. Why are we following THIS guy, and not some other guy? If it’s supposed to be an everyman tale (which, maybe it is, since we don’t get a name), I think you’d need more details to deliver that. We need some specifics about the experience that these characters have. And a couple of times, as I’ll mention below, you have opportunities for that but you decline to use them.
• Pretty decent action choreography, which can be challenging. Never had any real trouble understanding where I was, Though I do think you could fix your initial description of the house in some small ways.


I chased the sound and arrived, panting, at the remains of a home. The second floor had crumbled, and the weight of it had demolished two of the four outside walls.As becomes clear momentarily, it’s not the entire house. be specific: which side of the house? Which walls? I found an entry point through a window in one of the standing walls which one? and heaved myself into what had been a bedroom, mostly intact save for the dangerously warped ceiling. The sounds led me out of the room and to the end of the hallway, where the outside wall stood to my right, the collapsed portion of the house to my left, and straight in front of me, a single small is where I had to flip the house, because earlier you left me to imagine the building but now you give specifics.
• I generally have a hard time buying the sappy, happy ending, but (despite my criticisms above) I do in this case. Overall, this story works.

Specific thoughts:

Pretty heavy with the description of this delicate flower. Too much for me.


My wife gave me a warm embrace, kissed me softly on the cheek, and stepped back from me. Her jaw clenched as she picked up the scuffed white helmet, the mark of my trade, with her delicate hands. Her brows furrowed and she stared up at me with dark, doe eyes.

I don't know how much this prologue does for you, other than introducing the character of his wife and telling us that it is currently holiday. Like SH, I don't love the stuff where the protag sees his wife's face, finds the strength to go on, etc. And this section is pretty clearly only here to provide that character for your protag. I think you could give us a lot of this detail as the protag rides to the bombsite, or as he sits waiting for the alarm. The first advice I received upon arriving in the dome is start your story where it gets interesting. Not sure this is that place. Also, the dialogue could be used here to deliver some of the character description this story is lacking (like SH said), because as is, it is pretty cliché.


“Today there will be peace, right? For the Prophet’s birthday?” We could hear the chatter from the crowds outside beginning to form. Soon there would be raucous chanting to signal the beginning of Mawlid. When I was a child, the noise excited me. Now, it only reminds me of what I could lose.need something here. Has he lost something? Is he afraid of losing his wife? What could he lose? I yearned for the silence and the peace that it indicates. should be indicated, since it apparently no longer indicates that. Also, I am pretty sure "it" refers to the noise, so I'm not clear how noise could indicate silence.

“Yes, and I will celebrate with you, my love,” I swallowed my longing, “after I return from my duty.”

The elegant line of her body slumped, and her head slowly nodded. After a moment, she raised her sad eyes to mine again and smiled.

“Then return safely.”


I met with my fellow White Hats in our rescue center. We talked and ate, all the time dreading the call to action.I think you could stand to show us the ways this manifests. Maybe it affects the way they go about their daily routine, or something. Make us feel it. The sun rose directly above us, and we began our prayers. We prayed aloud for peace and for our love of Mohammad to be shown through our work. In my head, I prayed selfishly to return to my wife. We sat in hopeful silence after the midday prayers.

Then we were called. Good.


The eight of us hurried out of our makeshift ambulance and into the center of the bomb site, marked by a large crater and thick smoke. We quickly surveyed the destruction. waste of words, especially after you describe the bombsite

I think the lack of consequences could be replaced by mention of previously felt consequences, which you allude to here. Maybe give us more, give us a specific memory, something.


The crying stopped, and for a moment I sat motionless, entirely numb and cold. My mind rushed with memories of past failed rescues, of the bodies, the screams.

Sep 20, 2015


Sitting Here posted:

Stay tuned!!!

Thanks for judging, Sitting Here.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

*in kayfabe voice* i hate every 1 of u assholes......
*in normal voice* lol actually i just hate most of u :)

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Entry closed, haha. Subs due in 28 hours or so I guess

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
no kayfabe: I'm a dumb twat

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 04:29 on Jan 1, 2017

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Ironic Twist posted:

no kayfabe: I'm a dumb twat

You're actually p cool and write good words

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


kurona_bright posted:

Would just like to pop in to say that I love the TD recaps. Everyone in them does great work. :)


Kaishai could stand to turn up her mic though

Mar 21, 2010
I like you guys

a new study bible!
Feb 2, 2009

A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly

i dont like anyone

a new study bible!
Feb 2, 2009

A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly

except for flerp

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Reminder to go through and edit out the stories you think you might ever want to sub for publishing, leave a link to writocracy if you like.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

sebmojo posted:

You're actually p cool and write good words

well yes, the two aren't mutually exclusive

also thank you, you wrote good words before I did


Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit

Fun Shoe
Love you all, happy new year and may you all find yourself atop the throne at some point.

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