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  • Locked thread
anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


Djeser posted:

Thunderdome would be easier if we all just had two hours from signup to write because we all do it last minute anyway lmao

says you

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anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


also, in.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


sittinghere posted:

im a dumb poopy buttbrains fart fart fart, that's the sound my brains makes

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003

by Nyc_Tattoo


IN

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica



In For Two This Week Because The Blood Queen Demands It
on this one too I guess...

EDIT:
Just a regular toxx on this one though.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Djeser posted:

Wake Up In The Morning Feelin' Like E. Tiddy
1678 words

Melissa was just like all the other girls. Maybe it was just a gift of precocious perspective, or maybe it was a sign that she should see a therapist, but she could find nothing that defined her. She was not particularly attractive, as well as not particularly attractive in the sort of way you can disguise as being unattractive, either. She liked to play video games sometimes, and sometimes she wore yoga pants to school, and she had a reasonable collection of makeup stowed in the bathroom she shared with her brother.

It was as if the most interesting thing about her was that she'd been abducted by aliens.

Blue-skinned ones, to be specific, and made up of so many tentacles that they may have just been all tentacles, though she hadn't bothered to ask. Mostly since being abducted she'd sulked in the darkest hemisphere of her bubble-pod and tried not to get bubble-pod goo on her socks. She pulled her cell phone from her pocket to check how long she'd been sitting in the bottom of this pod on this gross ship waiting for the Splurgakians to decide whether to slice her lengthwise or crosswise. At least, she figured that's what they were thinking. And that wasn't their real name, it was just the sound their tentacles made when they splurgakked down the halls, just as one was doing now. Except instead of passing by her pod, it turned and approached her.

"Greetings, Earth specimen!" said the alien, doing a nauseating squirm-shuffle that looked a bit like the inside of a can of bait.

"Can I go home now?" Melissa asked.

"Oh, don't worry about home. You won't need it soon!" the alien said. Its circular mouth puffed a bit like a fish's, positioned up at the top of its squirming mass.

"If you're just going to dissect me to figure out how we work--"

The alien recoiled with a virulent squelching. "Dissection? How awful! We want you very much alive, so we can test your viability."

Melissa was quiet, waiting for the Splurgakian to explain him-or-herself. When it didn't, she asked, "Viability for what?"

"Mating!" the alien said, with the sort of enthusiasm one might use to announce that they had brought pizza.

Melissa began to scream. The alien seemed undaunted by the noise, or by the way she was now thrashing from side to side inside of her pod, trying to dislodge it from its steel clamps with a renewed fervor.

The Splurgakian reached out a tentacle to slap a large, sticky-looking button. "Don't worry. You'll be almost the same person once we're done preparing you."

Melissa aimed a kick right at the midsection of the pod, but without floors or friction, she essentially just flung herself for a loop-de-loop and tumbled over onto her side. Her cell phone flung out of her pocket, bounced against the front of the pod, and landed in front of her. A shower of slick blue goo began to rain down on her from the top of the pod. Her phone started to rattle out a tinny Justin Bieber. Oh god. What was she, twelve? She already wished the aliens would have just sliced her up and spared her the humiliation

Fumbling through the goo, she managed to grab her phone and jab the mute button. But even with the phone off, she heard a faint 'baby baby bay-beee oooh,' coming from somewhere. From outside of the pod. The Splurgakian was swaying and singing under its breath, if it breathed. There might be gills under the tentacles. Melissa didn't judge.

"Gah. What is this? It...it repeats..." the alien sputtered out in the space between lines. "It doesn't...doesn't leave my head!"

Melissa looked from the alien with a song stuck in its head down to her hands. They were turning blue. Not like Blue Man Group blue, but definitely blue, and she didn't like the looks of that. "Hey!" she shouted, pounding on the wall. "Let me out and I can stop it!"

The alien's squirming had grown more frantic, and it was beginning to huff and screech in desperation. With a slap of another wet button, the pod vanished, and Melissa splashed out onto the ground in a puddle of blue goo and blue herself. She was a shade of Splurgakian blue, but at least her fingers were mostly-non-tentacle-like.

"Get...it out...!" the alien stammered.

"I lied," Melissa said with a shrug. As she took off down the hall, she heard the Splurgakian start to beat its head against the wall.

It was after about a minute of running that Melissa realized she both didn't know what she was doing, and didn't have anything less embarrassing than Baby queued up. Hunched in the shadow of a doorway, she flipped through her album list until she found something that she could at least feel comfortable infecting alien brains with.

She had a fistful of Avril Lavigne playing full blast, and a head full of zero plans for what to do.

---

"Help!" one of the Splurgakians yelled, sprinting as best one could on tentacles toward the security station. "It's one of--aaahh," it cried, twisting its body and bending over as if struggling against a great force. "One of the specimens, it's..." A glorp of blue slime splattered from its mouth and it began to belt out in an off-key voice, "Hey hey, you you, I don't like your girlfriend."

---

It was like a musical force-field, Melissa thought, as she sprinted through the halls, looking desperately for something that looked important. Somewhere where she could make them take her back to earth.

And then the floor snapped out from underneath her, and a blue bubble surrounded her body. She bounced briefly, thumped against a wall, and came to a stop inside a ball that completely muffled the outside world. A buff (or at least, thick-tentacled) Splurgakian lowered a large gun with a cocky expression, and said something she couldn't hear as he approached her.

Melissa traced a swoosh on the front of the bubble. Nothing, he still squirmed closer. She tried a peace sign. Nope. Then she fogged up the surface with a breath and started to draw lines. Three vertical lines, then another three underneath, and diagonal lines connecting the two, until it formed an S-like shape.

The gun fell out of the Splurgakian's tentacle. It reached up to the wall, starting to trace the same shape that Melissa had made, as if in a trance. Then it began to do it with another tentacle, and another...and soon it was spread out, frantically drawing the S-shape with its own goo, using every tentacle it had.

The bubble fizzled and popped. Melissa's butt hit the floor, then she was up, running again. She had to find the bridge. Or the helm. Or whatever ships had where you steered them. They called it the bridge on Star Trek, right?

---

"Splir, there's reports of psychological disturbance coming from decks two and three," the comms Splurgakian said, lifting an earbud from its aud-holes.

The highest ranking Splurgakian squiggled up from its seat, brass bands glistening around the bases of its tentacles. "What? Have we been infiltrated, spladet?" it barked back.

"I'm getting reports it's a...a...skater boy," the comms spladet said.

"What?" the captain asked.

"She told him later boy. He wasn't good enough for her. He was a skater boy, she told him later boy, he wasn't good enough for her."

As the Splurgakian at the comms station began to hunch over and screech to drive the sound-loop out of its head, the doors to the bridge slid open. There, in her drenched clothes and blue skin, wearing an expression of vicious musicality, was Melissa, cell phone clutched in hand. Everyone froze. A security officer moved to reach for his bubble-gun, but Melissa pointed sharply at the spladet curled into a ball on the floor, sobbing out Sk8r Boy and thumping its head against the floor.

"If you don't want to end up like him, you're going to turn the ship around and take me home, right now," she said.

"We don't negotiate with terrorists!" the captain spat.

And then Melissa's thumb slipped. "IF YOU WANNA BE MY LOVER," filled the bridge. "YOU GOTTA GET WITH MY FRIENDS." In his frantic thrashing, the captain slapped at the panel in front of him, and the PA system for the whole ship switched on. "MAKE IT LAST FOREVER, FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS," echoed through the halls of the ship, followed by an out-of-tune and arhythmic chorus screeching back in reply.

Melissa took a deep sigh, and let the song keep playing as she stepped over the twitching captain to peer at the ship's emergency escape map, pinned up on the back wall of the bridge.

---

The first two escape shuttles she'd kind of wrecked trying to get out of the ship, but the third she'd gotten into space, and it turned out space was pretty forgiving even if you were a bad driver. It wasn't like she could have gotten any help from the Splurgakians; they were mostly catatonic or quivering wrecks belting out fifiteen-years-out-of-date pop music.

The Galactic Federal Handbook sat on her lap as she read it, letting the shuttle cruise out to a good distance from the ship. 'In UY 224, all forms of psychological compulsion, including ear worms, looping melodies, slogans, and other tools of psychological warfare, were unilaterally banned as being vastly too dangerous to allow into Galactic society,' read the section she'd thumbed open to.

The joystick controls for the ship sat in front of her, and Melissa pondered her options. On one hand, she'd look crazy if she went home, suddenly blue and flying an alien spaceship. On the other hand, if she stayed in space, she'd have to live with catchy music being a war crime.

Sweet space adventures, or Katy Perry?

It took a really long time and a couple serious internal debates before she grabbed the joystick and pushed it away from Earth.


SkaAndScreenplays posted:


In For Two This Week Because The Blood Queen Demands It
on this one too I guess...

EDIT:
Just a regular toxx on this one though.

yes

good

more

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!


SkaAndScreenplays posted:


In For Two This Week Because The Blood Queen Demands It
on this one too I guess...

EDIT:
Just a regular toxx on this one though.

hey yeah ill write two stories idgaf and theyll both be better than urs

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






great, i can't wait to read more bad words

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






haha just kidding, if i were that invested in reading bad words i would just subscribe to lowtax's twitter. anyway pls write some good words

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






I'm in. I'm so loving in.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Mercedes posted:

I'm in. I'm so loving in.

Aww yisssss

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Oh hey a chance to bloat my wordcount and make SH hate herself.

In.

I will finish crits for The War, On Christmas week before I submit a story this week.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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


rhino finish your loving noir crits or BRAWL ME YOU SON OF A BITCH I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL HUNT YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH FOR THESE CRITS AND THEN I WILL END YOU TOO

THREE ROUNDS

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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


ALSO IM IN

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.

Yeah OK I'll write something I guess.

katdicks
Dec 27, 2013

SO BIG

in

Is there a PO box or something for the blood?

Also this week we should prolly allow smut.

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013

Did you FAIL THUDERDONE Kunona?

katdicks posted:

in

Is there a PO box or something for the blood?

Also this week we should prolly allow smut.

Lmao

In with my gay slashfic

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


loving look at these goddamn sexy signups holy cow

lol watch this week backfire and we lose half of thunderdome

Sitting Here posted:


blood:
flerp
djeser for midnight PST on 1/9/17 COMPLETED!
Ska for an HM or better
Chili
Jitzu
muffin
mojo
anime was right
newtestleper
ska (again), regular
Flerp again, that both stories will be better than Ska's
merc
e.beef will finish Christmas crits before submitting
ent
Chairchucker
katdicks
Kurona_Bright

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Kid Krits

The ďnotesĒ section is written as Iím going through, ďoverallĒ is after Iíve read your story. As per usual, people who submitted stories earlier get more brainpower, and usually more words out of me. Please keep in mind, I judged and critted these stories while I had 2 week old kittens climbing on me. This meant that any given moment I was in a fabulous mood or in excruciating needle-kitty-claw pain. Who knows which story got which chili?!

As always, if I didnít go as in depth as youíd like, feel free to holler at me on IRC, I always enjoy talking shop.

Gonna Catch a Big One

Notes Ė Susan is the ďrest of the expeditonĒ, not a huge fan of this unless youíre basically saying that sheís the one actually in control. Youíre taking for granted that we know these characters are kids. Thatís ok, but Iíd prefer to see a bit more characterization up front. Imagine that this story was read by a stranger, they wouldnít understand why you have people who are going on an expedition that would involve bears, but not know what they eat.
The whole opening was weak. You basically just established and didnít tell much of a story or get me interested. You didnít use a ton of words, so thatís good, but you also didnít hook me, and thatís bad.
ďMum stopped him before he got out the door and made sure he put on a jacket first, because it was cold out there and he would catch a cold, and was also making her cold just looking at him.Ē I think youíre going for humor here, but it doesnít really land.
This is a story thatís supposed to be focusing on the kids, but in your second beat the humor is mostly derived from how parents see kids. Not a huge fan of that.
ďIs it purring?Ē asked Susan.

ďI donít think bears cry,Ē

What?
She dropped the rest of the sandwiches in front of the bear, and they quickly made their way around to the trap. Susan crammed the stick into the trap.
Ew.

Oh come on, thatís it?

Overall:

This was fine I guess, but there were essentially no strong choices in this story. Apart from the cutesy kid stuff, which you did a pretty decent job with, there was no tension and nothing happened that really mattered. The most interesting part of your story is when they find the bear, that happens far too late. Start there. Now youíve got kids with a trapped bear and maybe 800 words to play with. You can do a lot with that. What I was hoping for was that the momma bear would show up and then youíd shift perspectives to her perception, just like you did with the kidís moms, which would have been a fun parallel. Something like ďMomma bear though that these things with two legs were surely torturing her cub, because thatís what things with two legs generally doÖ etcĒ Instead, they find the bear, free it, go home seemingly feeling very little about their accomplishments and the story ends. I get that they were going hunting and they ended up freeing which is like soooooo opposite, but come on, thereís more to tell here.

An easy read, but not a particularly riveting one. I wish you went bigger.

Scales

Notes:

ďMaddie and I were not supposed to go to the public pool on our own, but this one evening under a summer heat-wave, Dad had hesitantly let us out of his sight.Ē
That donít sound like no kid.
Yeah and in your next few graphs, that problem seems to be continuing, this sounds like a 20-something writing a story.
ďWe carried it with us down the road until we reached the beach with those dunes that glowed like giant pieces of buried amber washed up ages ago.Ē Oh come on, now it doesnít even feel like youíre trying.
Got an odd parenthetical sentence. Not sure why you did that. The whole thing is her though process. If you were going for something on the backburner dashes wouldíve been better here.
Ē Itíd only be a few minutes before I was home, and the desire to be on the couch with Disney Channel on, sitting on a big beach towel as I air-dried, grew overwhelming.Ē This sentence sucks, read it out loud.
Sea-foam came sailing in on chest-high waves - not the common yellowish kind of foam, but pearly white stuff, and Maddie saw it swirl around her legs. Not quite how dashes work.

That ending thoÖ. What? Why does her hearing the latch fall into place matter at all?

Overall: I like that you went for the point of view from the actual kid. That is, in my mind, the stronger choice this week. Itís riskier but gives a better opportunity for showcasing kidvoice. Unfortunately, you didnít do a great job of that. Her voice was uneven. Sometimes she sounded like a kid, sometimes she sounded like an adult writing a story.
As for the story proper, for some reason, this feels like it was based off something personal. Whether or not thatís true, itís good. It feels like it really happened. I believed it. The bad news, however, is that again, not much happens. Kid tries something, it doesnít work, thatís pretty much the story. Make a bigger choice. What if Maddie got badly injured? You raised the stakes by letting us know thereíd be trouble if that happened, and then it doesnít happen. Iím not trying to rewrite your story, but Iím just bummed that it didnít have more weight to it.

Agua Mala, Agua Pura

Notes: Read the prompt hurfdurf.

Right off the bat, the point of view is clearly an adult narrator, which is fine, but Iím gonna want some good kid dialogue to make up for it.
He saw firsthand, her unending thirst and would take glasses, bowls, cut open milk jugs, and leave them out on the windowsill of their bedroom during rainy days. This is kind of a mess of a sentence.
These images would make him melancholy. Thanks for the feelings update. The next statement should do that work for you. And it kinda does. You shouldnít lead into it by telling us how your character feels.

Reading through this, Iím honestly pretty lost. Weíre not hearing enough from the kids.

Yeah, sorry, Iím continuing on and Iím just having the hardest times grasping what in the Christ is happening with this story.

Overall: You lost me. This was just unclear and hardly gave us much in the way of a kid story. Stuff happening to kids doesnít really cut it so much, needed more agency, early on.

The Understudy

Notes: Right off the bat, youíre nailing this prompt. This is good kids voice, you set up a really dumb underthought kid plan with great clarity, and I am on board with your story. Very nice.
I didn't have a problem with her. I mean, she was totally wrong for Peter Pan, but I didn't think she was disgusting. I like this.

"I dare you," Marissa said, as her eyes darted around the room, "to take a sip of that gross stuff Kat always carries around." So happy youíre story went in this direction. Let this be a lesson to everyone. When you set up a scenario with a clear outcome, if the clear outcome happens, you have a lovely story. Tom should drink the poison, not Marissa. Good lesson for stories.

Tony unscrewed the cap, and took a sniff. "This smells nasty," he said. We all leaned in close as he moved the bottle to his mouth. I was seriously about to tackle him for it, but then I thought: wouldn't it be fun to play Captain Hook? Yeah, they didn't usually let girls do it, but maybe they'd make an exception for me? Wasn't I villainous, more villainous than any of the boys? Yeah, this is still firing on all cylinders. Funny and good.

[ii]I've never been one to turn down a dare. I drank, drank, and drank, making eye contact with Marissa the whole time. My stomach churned as the other campers cheered, and I just kept staring at Marissa, just to make sure, whatever the outcome, one of us would see this to the end.[/i]Ö. You had me until here. I donít understand this ending.

Overall: So for the most part, mostly everything here worked. Your voice was spot on, the stakes were established quickly and the motivations made sense. I loved how the character kept on referring to people and then mentioning their roles. It was a really nice touch. As for the endingÖ it doesnít really feel like an ending? I mean your character wanted something, then didnít get it, then very quickly rolled with the punches, and then the story kinda ends? Why does it matter that sheís staring at Marissa, Marissa has essentially nothing to do with any of this, sheís even characterized by the protag as not all that bad. This was still a pretty strong entry; I just wanted more out of the ending.

Letters

Notes: Right of the bat, lose ďpoutedĒ in your opening line, we can infer as much.

Your first beat doesnít get me excited to read everything else. You havenít set up much, except for some curiosity about a letter, and some whiney kids. Thatís not much of a hook.
The next beat doesnít do much else either. We learn that Edward is basically a standard big brother, trying then getting frustrated, fine. I donít see why this is in a story.

Richard brought the letters to the window anyways. You didnít establish this tone, so donít start up with it now.

Good ending.

Overall: Your ending saved your bacon here. Iíll admit Iím a little annoyed I didnít see it coming, because in hindsight, itís somewhat obvious. Regardless, it ended up being a sweet brother story and those always find my favor easily. The problems with your story start early and make it kind of difficult for there to be enough interest to carry your everyday sort of reader to the end. Really, who wants to read a story about a whiney kid and his lovely older brother? Of course, thatís not how it ends, but we spend the bulk of the story without that good bit of information. Iím not quite sure how to go about fixing that, but my 2 cents tells me that a story where we follow Edward a bit more instead of Richard, and see how he covers things up and has to suffer silently and stay strong for his brother may have overall been more compelling.

Resizer

Notes: Child narrator using the word embankmentÖoy vey. Not a great hook overall, havenít given me much of a reason to care about this story anywhere in your first beat.
Second beat is pure characterization, wouldíve preferred to have some story happen.

Ok, so I may be getting caught up on the prompt, but again, this is just bothering me. Sentences like this: Moments later, I saw the pyramid shaped cabin hovering along the tracks through the narrow cutaway of the birch trees. just donít sound like they are coming from a kid POV. Iím annoyed with this because writing in a new voice is a fun opportunity and it seems like people are largely blowing it.
So at this point, Iím halfway through the story and I have no idea what theyíre going to do. Theyíve done a lot of walking, and the story has basically been a ďletís round up the posseĒ type of deal. Now, donít get me wrong, rounding up the posse is greatÖ in a novel, but youíve got 1200 words to play with and youíve spent half of them not telling your story. This is a problem.

My dad says that they only use these things on, wood and stone, but he told me that they could work on anything as long as itís strong. Iíve avoided being pedantic and nitpicking grammar on everyoneís stories up until now. THOSE COMMAS brought me out of that however. What is with THOSE COMMAS

12 year olds donít say iridescent.

So help me, if one of these kids gets ďresizedĒ Iím going to very angry with you, authorperson.

Oh good, they only squished a hobo. Nobody cares about hobos.

Overall: You wrote a story where one thing happened. And that one thing was that a hobo got squished. Thatís not very nice. Reconsider your life choices.

Weíre Not Supposed To (this is the best title so far, gives some idea as to whatís going on and sets a kidlike tone)

Oh, and hey, a nice hook that gets things going, if not a little awkwardly phrased. Otherwise though, not bad.

And now you're kinda losing me a bit with this description of the injury and the wound. Also, now Iím confused if the character was calling ďuncleĒ as a plea for mercy or for their actual uncle.
Oh it seems like itís the latter. Now your hook is less hooky and promised something that isnít being delivered.

And now thereís blocking galore. This is getting harder to follow.

Ok, I may just be a dumb guy, but why is the uncle(who is begrudgingly a real person and not a cry for mercy as your story got me excited for) firing a gun. What is happening? WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Alright got to the ending. Still canít tell you what this is about.

Overall:

Story starts with an injured person and then an uncle fires a gun. I donít know. Thereís too many kids doing too many things, moving around in too many places. This whole story just kinda loses me quickly. And seriously, Iíve probably said it enough at this point, but consider what it means when a kid shouts UNCLE and then some other kid wonít let them leave.

The Treehouse Heist
Notes: YAY! Now this is a hook that gets me into the story. Good word choice here, and I know whatís going on.

ďSher-iff Devin is a poo-py butt,Ē came the song. ďHe eats his poop and he liiiiii-kes it.Ē I hate that this made me laugh; youíre a bad person.
Reading this, Iím getting an Andy-playing-with-his-toys vibe. That is a good thing.

Read the rest quickly.

Overall: This was a good little action piece. I like that you told it straight. It helped contrast the dialogue. I wanted more, so well done there. I think that you nabbed the spirit of this prompt the best so far, but this was a little light. Play is a good place to explore whatís really going on with character but you didnít go much below the surface here with that. Not a big deal really, this was strong.

The Terrible Truth of (Personal) Space
I had to stop and reread a bunch of stuff in your opening graph.

he said, his eyes large as a hadron collider particle accelerator. naaaaahhhh

12 year olds analyze Shakespeare, what kinda school are these kids going to?

Reading this Iím not quite sure what the deal is?

Alright got to the end and Iím having a hard time with this one.

Overall: Not really sure what you were going for here. These kids donít feel like kids, which I think is kinda the point youíre going for but it doesnít really make for a compelling story. Iím also hung up on whatís real and whatís not. It sure seems like this is imagination station, but these kids are 12 and seemingly doing really advanced schoolwork so that doesnít really work. The alternative would be that theyíre really in some kind of pickle and if thatís the case, I donít think 12 year olds would be handling the situation with such aplomb.

Big duck, little duck

Starting your story with a character ďnot mindingĒ something isnít exactly a strong choice. Other than though, you painted a nice picture with your opener.
Lose the ďsoĒ in your second graph.

Halfway through and youíve got me hoping for a good ending. I like this enough so far. Ending was kinda nice but didnít really do much.

Overall: This wasnít much for story. Kinda similar in theme to what weíve seen so far in that thereís an older sibling who ultimately does right by their younger sibling.

Your whole story boils down to a bullshit mom dragging a 5 year old to a pageant, the kid doesnít like it and the sister reassures her. Their relationship isnít highlighted enough for the meat of the story to be that minimal in nature.

This wasnít bad, but it didnít wow me.

The Percussionists

Notes: Decent enough opening. You tell us whatís up, the problem is defined nicely, and that attitude of what appears to be your protag is illustrated.

Your dialogue is poppin. Making for a quick read.

Nitpick point, just a preference thing, but start your characterís names with different letters. Makes for easier reading.

He didn't hit his face, not hard, that doesnít read nicely.

Overall: Probably my favorite so far? The relationships are the focus and, fortunately, the highlight of the piece. The characters speak naturally to each other and another glimmer in the story is the comic imagery of the pathetic cannonball. Itís also a refreshing change of pace to have a friendship thing in what appears to be a sibling heavy week.

Anyway, good story.

Keys to the Kingdom

Notes: Nice opening. Got me slightly concerned that itís going to be hard to keep track of the characters/blocking throughout the story, letís hope Iím wrong.
The characterization of Leslie is solid.

Not really much of an ending.

Overall: Good little story. Not a whole lot in terms of plot, but thatís OK because, as in the last story, the relationship dynamics work. The kids are good I especially like the ďcan I edict that?Ē bit, you used language to decent effect here. Kinda wanted more out of the ending, it all just seems largely out of the protagís hands. But otherwise, this was solid enough.

Itís Not Much to Listen

Notes: Oh sheeeeeyit, we got ourselves a heavy story a-brewin! Good opener, and liking the point of view from the kid. We get a ton of information very quickly and the voice is established. This is how itís done, folks.

His dad pushed him along and his dad went with my Mom into the living room. Ew. Read your stuff out loud please.

And more pretty glaring proofing errors. This needs a cleanup pass.

Ok, read the rest fairly easily, but thatís not so great in this situation.

Overall: This is a big old bowl of JEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ. Just a rough ending and Iím not sure what the point of the story was at all. Not sure I get what you were going for. This is a sad story for sadnessís sake. Donít think youíre accomplishing all that much else.

There we some nice touches here and there. The Big Bird blanket, for whatever reason, kinda resonated with me and helped paint the picture.

Without a Clue

Notes: Lotta unfamiliar stuff going on, hope my little brain can keep up.

Alright, well I thought some other stories were avoiding the whole ďthese should sound like kidsĒ element of the prompt, but you are just wholesale ignoring it entirely. These do not sound like kids.

What even is this story? Who are these people and what is going on? I canít keep track of any of this for the life of me.

Overall: Iím kind of at a loss? It ends with a decapitation so thatísÖ. cool I guess?

Oy Vey.

The Lost Gold of Old Man Finkelstein

Notes: Takes a bit to get going. Donít really know what the kids are up to from the jump, could use a bit more here.

Read the rest pretty quickly. It works kinda but I didnít care about much of any of it and didnít find anything particularly funny.

Overall: Not sure what you were going for here. Not detecting any good chemistry between the kids that makes for a good story and the dialogue needs a bit of work. There were also some proofing problems. Didnít dig the ending.

Unruined

Notes: Good Hook.

Boy is this talk-heavy. Problem is, itís not quite snappy enough to carry the story. I like the skeleton angle, and I like that the story is a bit distant from reality. Apart from that, Iím not getting much here.
Overall- Gotta work on making the dialog more meaty, it does sound like itís coming from kids, Iíll give you that, but itís not moving the story enough and itís not telling me enough about who the kids are. I donít know, this was fine I guess, had a bit of a time following much of it but it kinda worked in parts.

Dumb Baby Stuff

Notes: First three graphs are worldbuildy and scene setting. Not poorly done or anything but thereís also not a lot to hook me in to the story until that very last bit. The imagery of the kids catching the parent's loving was striking and handled perfectly.

I like this. Got through it quickly.

Overall: Good story, with a lot of good little moments in it. The dynamic between the kids is solid and the backdrop of their imagination set in contrast to the real world events is nicely balanced. This was also one of the better endings of the week so far.

Missing Pieces

Notes: Hook has a pop culture reference that I got, but didnít care for.

About a quarter through and your voice is pretty solid, but there ainít much in the way of a story so far.
Halfway through now, still the same issue.

And yeah, now weíre at the end and yeahÖ pretty much the same issue again.

Overall: I enjoyed the read enough but not a whole happened that showcased strong choices. Could just be me running out of steam, or maybe the kittens clawing into my thighs, but I guess Iíd like to see more. Not a horrible entry, but I wanted more.

Prester Jane
Nov 4, 2008


I've been meaning to get involved in some sort of writing group thing, so I'm dipping my toes in for this week.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


War, On Christmas crits

Hello youse. Before I begin with the crits proper, let's have a little CYOA. If you're trying to write a story, go to (1). If you're trying to write a vignette, something artsy or otherwise not-a-story, go to (2).

(1) For a story to work, you need to pique and hold my interest, and you need to do it fast. Do this in the first twenty percent of your story to leave enough time to deal with plot and character development, tension building, climax and refractory period/denouement. Remember, this isn't a novel, this is flash fiction. If I splash out for your selfpub werepire gayrotica, you can get away with fifty pages setting up the brilliant plot twist where, despite all protestations to the contrary, Dracuwolf really does want it up the butt from Count Chocula.

In your average Thunderdome entry, you have 1000 words. In the first hundred, I want to know at least some of the following:
* WHO is involved?
* WHAT is at stake?
* WHERE is the story set?
* WHEN does it take place?
* WHY is this moment important?

By the third hundred, I should have a good handle of all five, and you'd better've started down the path to your plot development and climax, because poo poo, kid, you've only got seven hundred words left.

(2) Go gently caress yourself.

And now for our feature presentation...!

Boaz-Jachim / Flight: This is a very longwinded way of writing about a guy being chased by another guy, more focused on finding "clever" ways of obliquely describing the action than actually informing the reader about either the runner or the shooter's actions, and it ends with the wet fart of the shooter letting the runner go without so much as a hint of why. Why is this chase interesting? Why does the runner get away? Why do I care about this hazy, gray world you've implied? I have no idea what's at stake, beside the immediate "runner is gonna get shot" -- that sort of thing can work, if I care about the runner, but I don't, so this is kinda like watching a Natural Geographic special where a lion stalks a gazelle, except I'm high on paint thinner and watching it on a smeary black & white TV from the sixties with bad reception. Work on clarity and pacing.

Tier: Bad.

The Unholy Ghost / System Memory: Like the previous entry, this one commits the sin of trying to be writerly and profound without having earned the privilege. For nearly two thirds of your overly-verbose entry, you bore me with tedious irrelevancies trying to build a dystopian near-future but without so much as a whiff of why this event is interesting. Then a gun gets pulled in an artificial attempt to inject some tension and action, but since I can barely distinguish any of the bland papercraft dolls you're passing off as "characters", it falls flat. Worse, the ending that reveals that this is some guy blandly trying to replay the depicted event over and over again also shows us that this particular iteration had no gravitas -- look, this is an idea that could work in a longer piece, so long as you didn't mind aping the poo poo out of your average Philip K Dick novel, but you haven't the time in 1000-2000 words to convey the horror of being trapped in such a loop, nor the redemption of breaking out or the misery of surrendering to one's fate.

Tier: Bad.

Mrenda / Christmas to Forget: The cardinal sin this piece commits is withholding information that's crucial to the plot until the end. I cannot sympathize with two characters barfing backstory at me without the contextual information that their Earth is about to get nuked from orbit; hell, up until the final paragraphs, I didn't even know this was a sci-fi story. Really, the characters are sockpuppets through most of the story.

Please stop using dialogue as a longwinded substitute for exposition.

Tier: Bad.

Thranguy / A Snowball's Chance: I got an immediate smile from the juxtaposition of military verbiage with a children's snowball fight. Your story's action and scenario are clear and well-presented. I like the terse, declarative style of your sentences here; it compliments the theme of the piece without jumping up and down screaming "LOOK AT ME" like so many overt styles do in TD stories. Where it falls down is in the final 2-3 paragraphs, this twists around from being a weird, lighthearted snowball fight into something that's attempting to build character, and I don't really quite get the moral you're looking to put forward, unless it's "always wear safety equipment like a square, kids". It feels like you just didn't know how to tie up this piece.

Also, there's a few proofing errors. A few turns of phrase (esp. "Geneva-Conventions-violating snowball") are too awkward to come off as cute or clever. Overall, though, I didn't hate this.

Tier: Meh+.

GenJoe / Eris: For gently caress's sake, leave off the enter key! You do not need to put every loving sentence on a new line; it makes the prose harder to read and immediately distracts me from the actual writing. Which is stilted and muddled. I barely know who these characters are or what they're involved in, but I do know that they love shouting emotionally-charged yet narratively-empty dialogue at one another. When you're writing dialogue, like any other kind of sentence in a story, ask yourself: how does this line reveal character or advance the plot? A bit of flavoring is all right, but your characters do not need to precisely imitate the cadences of a real conversation; we do not need every single "hmm" and "yeah" and "what?", we need meaning.

The "don't tell Charlie I'm Santa" device is clever and cute, but the rest of this story is muddled garbage.

Tier: Bad.

Benny Profane / A Saturnalian Carol: I was originally predisposed to liking this story, because it'd be cool to see a biopiece that delves into Cicero's hatred of Carthage and the politics of the Punic Wars. And then you wrote a whole lot of pretty-but-empty words that depict the literal images of a weird pseudosupernatural rite without any context or tie back to the rest of the story. Too much heady detail, too little character or plot movement. I have no idea how scene two ties into scene one, at all.

Tier: Bad.

Lead out in Cuffs / The Necessary: Despite the ugly formatting, I'm inclined to enjoy a story about the struggle of a woman to get by during the London Blitz. The dialogue could use some fat-trimming while the descriptions of setting and action could use some fleshing out; I need more meat to really get into the desperation of the characters to really empathize with their struggle. You need more than one minor plot beat where Mary grits her teeth and does the necessary before you really earn the gruesome ending.

Good job on making something I didn't immediately hate.

Tier: Meh.

Baleful Osmium Sea / "Father...": This story is directly in my wheelhouse. The contrast of fantasy-fairytale bombast with wry Pratchettian ridiculousness is exactly what I like. The only thing I wasn't totally sold on was the violence paragraph immediately following the "god of Wha" joke; that violence paragraph is muddled and unfocused and feels out of place. Still, I found the jokes amusing and the pacing good.

Only reason this didn't win is that both my co-judges didn't like it. Sorry-notsorry.

Tier: Good.

Entenzahn / Live the People: The failure of this piece is that it's all action. The characters feel like marionettes instead of people, and the plot like a series of events instead of a meaningful narrative. 'm guessing you were trying for something like this but without a "happy" ending. Without more plot for the action to hang on, it's too hard for me to get invested or interested.

Tier: Meh.

katdicks / Ashes: Another all-action vignette. There's lots of words spent on motion and noise, but too little on motivation or character. The "crying baby" bit feels like a cheap attempt to tug at the reader's sympathy. There's numerous places where the use of language changes oddly: heartfelt at one moment, mechanistic at the next, and I'm not inclined to say that those choices were intentional.

Setting your piece in the Syrian Civil War was a courageous choice, but in the end I still need a good strong character for this narrative to be more than sockpuppets prancing on a stage.

Tier: Meh-.

Chili / Memories in Blue: This feels like a small part of something larger, and that feeling doesn't help the piece. I feel like I'm expected to know more about these characters than I do; Macy just seems like a slab of cardboard to me, a bland everyman protagonist meant to stand in for the reader, but it doesn't work. I'm really missing a reason to care about these characters. The "Jews" phrase feels tacked on, like you're trying too hard to be edgy. The worst part is that Mama Sue's death really doesn't do much for the plot, and also feels predictable. Perhaps you foreshadowed it a bit too hard?

Tier: Bad.

sebmojo / Goodwill to all men (and ultramen): I got some good "WTF" chuckles out of this one; its gleeful ridiculousness is its saving grace. Thing is, it's rife with proofing errors that distract from the humor, and there's a few places where the continuity seems out of whack: I did a double-take and had to reread the sentence where a character "flung the twin dogs aside", and Pertinax shows up far too soon after Thraggo for Thraggo's earlier comment to not seem directed at Pertinax. The revelation of their relationship doesn't really feel like it naturally emerges from their earlier behavior; I'd expect more love/hate playacting to really sell it.

This feels like something you rammed out without going back to edit for consistency or syntax. It'll win because it's at least second place for all the judges.

Tier: Good-.

ThirdEmperor / Fifty Years and a Wakeup: This story combines the sins of GenJoe and Mrenda: it willfully and clumsily obscures the information needed to really make sense of its plot and characters while also consisting mostly of tedious dialogue that two characters shout at one another. In the end, I got that you were trying to go for some kind of Forever War thing, but by the time I figured it out, the piece was over and I'd ceased to care. All the shouty dialogue makes this a real slog to read through, and "freezerburn" makes me think Gramps needs to store his dentures in better Ziplocs -- find a different name for the affliction? Work on your clarity, work on your dialogue (see GenJoe's crit for more on this), work on delivering exposition in a timely manner.

Tier: Sewage.

BeefSupreme / A Christmas Feast: A vignette that's again mostly concerned with delivering action; I see that you're trying to deliver some characterization with the action, but it's spread too thin, and the sausage device is too one-note to work. Gimme more than just "my gramma makes the bestest sausage". Also, who the hell is going to eat sausage that's been rotting in the hold of a military cargo ship for the better part of a year? Dude's going to be hovering over the latrine for days. Anyway, this needs more character for its plot to hang together, or a tighter, better-paced plot than "gotta win back gramma's sausage" to earn its gunplay.

Tier: Meh-.

SkaAndScreenplays / Throw Another Yule Log On the Ceasefire: The idea of a kid giving a squad of soldiers gifts for Christmas is cute, but it's not executed well enough for this to be a satisfying vignette, and there's no real development -- you spent the entire time going through the presents and not enough building this character up for me to have empathy for your conclusion. Also, I generally dislike vignettes. Give me some plot or development to give this gift-giving scene some impact.

Tier: Bad.

Metrofreak
Mar 17, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


to do crits for the last two weeks i judged by subs close this week.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

In while listening to Bobby Womack.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


in

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






Entenzahn posted:

rhino finish your loving noir crits or BRAWL ME YOU SON OF A BITCH I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL HUNT YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH FOR THESE CRITS AND THEN I WILL END YOU TOO

THREE ROUNDS

what if............... i don't!

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly



hello.

i am your third judge.

i have nothing inside me.

figuratively.

the person who puts something.

anything.

the biggest thing.

the best thing.

inside me.

will be my choice for winner.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly



make me feel anything.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


a new study bible! posted:

hello.

i am your third judge.

i have nothing inside me.

figuratively.

the person who puts something.

anything.

the biggest thing.

the best thing.

inside me.

will be my choice for winner.

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


if we're not careful TD will get sick from all this IN

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


a new study bible! posted:

hello.

i am your third judge.

i have nothing inside me.

figuratively.

the person who puts something.

anything.

the biggest thing.

the best thing.

inside me.

will be my choice for winner.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






I ain't no loving bitch.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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


The Saddest Rhino posted:

what if............... i don't!

you're asking me as if I could give you any advice about never writing crits or stories in thunderdome

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Entenzahn posted:

rhino finish your loving noir crits or BRAWL ME YOU SON OF A BITCH I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL HUNT YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH FOR THESE CRITS AND THEN I WILL END YOU TOO

The Saddest Rhino posted:

what if............... i don't!

Entenzahn posted:

you're asking me as if I could give you any advice about never writing crits or stories in thunderdome

wow that is actually a p sweet burn.

ok so sounds like a brawl awesome, gimme like 500 words on the magisterial RISE OF THE CHAOS WIZARDS by GLORYHAMMER may not contain chaos, or wizards due in oh idk high noon nz time on 13 Jan 2016

e: you can also pick the also magisterial TONY'S THE SLAP if you want. No tonys, slapping, obv.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 10:22 on Jan 11, 2017

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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


a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly



since sittinghere couldnt be bothered to make an appropriate flavor image, i did it

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


i crave death

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!


Sitting Here posted:

i crave death

me 2

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steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016





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