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  • Locked thread
Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

I took a week off but I'm in

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Fuubi
Jan 18, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER

magnificent7 posted:

I'm waffling on this one, but OKAY FINE. I'm in!

YEAH! ZING!

I was gonna do a dumb waffle joke! Oh well, I guess I can't mussel my way out of this... I'm in with a :toxx:

Aesclepia
Dec 5, 2013
Next verse same as the first.

Fuubi posted:

I was gonna do a dumb waffle joke! Oh well, I guess I can't mussel my way out of this... I'm in with a :toxx:

PralINe.

Also :toxx: and flash rule plz

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


Sham bam bamina! posted:

I'm in and will have a flash rule.

Article 324bis. of the Belgian penal code defines criminal organisations as "any structured association of more than two people which lasts for a span of time, with the aim of plotting crimes and misdemeanors punishable by three years of prison or a harsher punishment" but feels the need to specify that political organisations can never be considered a criminal organisation in the sense of this article.

magnificent7 posted:

I'm waffling on this one, but OKAY FINE. I'm in!

YEAH! ZING!

no don't make pu-

Fuubi posted:

I was gonna do a dumb waffle joke! Oh well, I guess I can't mussel my way out of this... I'm in with a :toxx:

DON'T


Exmond posted:

I took a week off but I'm in

ok

Aesclepia posted:

PralINe.

Also :toxx: and flash rule plz

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambroise_Boimbo

quote:

Ambroise Boimbo was a Congolese citizen who snatched the ceremonial sword of King Baudouin I of Belgium on June 29, 1960 in Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) on the eve of the independence of the Belgian Congo.

Deltasquid fucked around with this message at 14:18 on Oct 2, 2017

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I giggled. I'm an adult.

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


magnificent7 posted:

I giggled. I'm an adult.

Due to line breaks in the Belgian constitution's printed form, there's a line that reads like "none can be jerked off against their will" in Dutch if you don't read the word on the next page.

For the record, I'm still looking for one or two snobs to judge the contestants at my sides!

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016


Got Out.

Grimey Drawer

In and flash!

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


Jay W. Friks posted:

In and flash!

The Walloon city of Spa opened the first casino (then called a gambling hall) in the modern sense of the word, called La Redoute.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li%C3%A8ge_Revolution

quote:

In the 18th century, especially from 1750 onwards, the spa-town of Spa saw great success as a travel destination, seeing princes and crowned heads arrive there every season. High-class 'bobelins' came to its twenty springs seeking a cure from England, France, the Netherlands, Prussia and Italy and Spa became known as the 'café de l'Europe'.[14] Among the town's attractions were its gambling houses. The La Redoute assembly rooms opened there in 1763 as Europe's first modern casino, and in competition Spa's 'Waux-Hall' (named after Vauxhall Gardens near London) opened its doors in 1770 despite the exclusive patent banning gambling which it had initially been granted by prince-bishop John Theodore of Bavaria. In 1774 the two gambling houses stopped competing and merged,[15] participating in Spa's naming as the Café de l'Europe in 1781.

Somehow the only English information I could find about this casino on wikipedia was an article about the revolution in 1789. No, not the French one! The one in Liège!

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

I took a week off and read all the stories so how about some CRIIIIIITS

Keep in mind everyone here is a better writer than me so take this with a grain of salt. I prefer interesting starts so I focused on that.

Burkion
Start is a bit... timid? We are told SOMETHING IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN but it takes a while to get there.
The dialogue is great and the reverence to to the object is very well done
The paragraph describing the suicide is a bit rough
The paragraph where the suicide actually happens is very confusing and a bit of a GOTCHA moment. I was expecting Kyle to die on stage, but all of a sudden its a different guy on stage? It's a bit hard to follow
Cool ending with the retirement
Commas are a bit oddly placed, sometimes they appear when a full stop would work.

Overall:
Takes a bit to get started and stumbles halfway through but "plays" out well in the end

Advice:
Maybe read it without a "Writers Voice" to see how it plays out.

Yoruichi

Your start is incredibly boring. I'd take the advice T-Rex gave to me and have your conflict known at the start and go from there.
I think you have an interesting idea, foreign protagonist that really cares about his Japanese grammar.
I didn't get much from your character save for the fact that he hates living in Japan. When he does speak Japanese, the parts immediately afterwards where you take a step back and explain what is being said (or have the protagonist angsty complain about his Japanese) takes away from the story.

Overall:
An interesting risk of having protagonist not speak English but fails at keeping the readers interest.

Advice:
Improve your starting paragraph. Make it interesting and reveal the conflict right away.

Dreaming Roses
Cool start that shows conflict quickly
Takes a bit to figure out whats happening but it's still cool

Overall:
Solid story kept me reading and interested throughout


Advice:
I got nothing, good story!


Okua
Start is okay
Premise comes early and punches fast
Dislike "THE SCENE" paragraph
The end comes suddenly but meh its flash
Grammar and Punctuation keeps getting in the way of enjoying the story
You wrote your protagonist well, hes a dislikeable jerk that only enjoys eva's company, and didn't turn off the reader

Overall:
Neat little story that needed a good edit.

Advice:
Get Grammarly and run the story through it.

Weird sentences:

This particular Thursday, he had found something interesting, and besides him and Eva, the only other person in the kitchen was Olive munching on her granola bar before her evening run.
Across the room, Olive from room 3 didn't even look up from her phone. He couldn't really get around to liking her, just because of the way she looked at him. Like he wasn’t allowed to sit there. She said, "There's got to be stuff on the internet."
Back in his room, he brushed his teeth and smelled his breath, thinking of how clever he'd been - usually, he couldn't talk about drama or novels at all, but as long as computers were involved, he had a home field advantage

Captain Indigo
Starting paragraph is rough. Filled with grammar issues and at the very end reveals it is a first-person narrative.
Conflict comes up quickly but the justification for it is odd. It's theatre critics complaining about having to watch a play? Why are they not looking forward to the play they know nothing about? I think revealing that Jamie Bellows was a terrible playwright in the first paragraph would have gotten around this. I think you had an uhh predictable twist so you didn't want that to come up.
Your dialogue and characters are good!
You repeat damp twice in the same paragraph in the mid part :P.
Cutting suddenly to chaos is... kind of lame and at that point, I have already predicted what was going to happen.
I like your ending

Overall:
A rocky start that gets much better once people start talking. A predictable ending but fun to read.

Advice:
Fix your start or do a complete rewite of the start.





Magnificent7
Exmond's GRAMMAR PICK OF THE DAY
GRAMMAR baby. You use the commas too much in the Aunt Mildrew part. I keep tripping over the commas you put in your sentences. I would turf the whole describe Aunt Mildrew part as it's rife with grammar errors.
Im bored by the funeral scene. I thought the conflict was the creepy uncle but uhhh..
Yeah pacing was a problem here, If you had more length and more time you could have written a small novella with two subplots but it doesn't seem to work in flash fiction

Overall:
A simple horror story that gets sidetracked by a funeral

Advice:
Look up parenthetical commas.

"The fact that he spoke so highly of her, despite having never met her, annoyed both Uncle Frank and me."
VERSUS
"The fact that he spoke so highly of her despite having never met her annoyed both Uncle Frank and me."

The top one makes frank and protagonist sound like a jerk. They hate the fact that the priest spoke highly of Aunt Mildrew!
The second sentence makes gives them a reason why they dislike the priest speaking highly of Aunt Mildrew.


Solitair
I don't know what the conflict is and there are a lot of words at the start
Mid way in I still dont know what the conflict is
Reddit Reference!!!!!
This seems more non-fiction than fiction. It's a bit tough to read with no conflict of interest
Paragraphs are long and similar length (I know nitpicky!) Makes it intimidating to read.

Overall:
A great article for wikipedia

Advice:
Uhh, put a conflict in your story and put it in early

Fuschia Tude:
Hah, good starting sentence, its funny and explains a lot using few words. Humor keeps up on the 2nd sentence
By second "Scene" I don't know what the conflict is.
You mention the protagonist's name but it's a bit awkward. Easy to miss that shes named Veirs
By the third scene I know what was going to happen, the rest of the scenes did little.
Good ending

Overall:
Good story with a great start

Advice:
Maybe cut the story down a little bit.


Blue Squares
Opening sentence is weird. You get straight to the point and beat around the bush.
A man who maybe has never had a friend, but if he had, he sure didn’t look like Tashard.
This is a really weird sentence and I don't know why the two are connected.
Don't use maybe
Some good descriptions "Picturesque future that neither of them would experience"
Ill be honest I stopped at the 3rd scene, didn't know what the conflict was and got bored


MockingQuantum
Start is a bit weird, lot of character names, description of objects.
Conflict is the show started and some dood left?

Advice: Shorten the story and bring the conflict and interesting stuff waaaay earlier


Jan
Cool descriptive start!
By the fourth paragraph, I think I know the conflict, or at least what the interesting part is about your story
Good dialogue
Very descriptive, I felt I could see the room and characters

Only nitpick is some grammar things
Little "Conflict"

Ending is touching, but it is also an ending where we are told a lot of things (Info dump).

Overall: Great story



ChairChucker

gently caress YES COOL START
Great references, funny story
Action scenes could be more fleshed out
Wha.. what was that ending

Overall:
Great story that has a lot of good references and funny scenes. Action scenes are.. oddly written and the ending comes out of nowhere and loving ends the thing when obviously it should of been a novel.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


In with Flash Rule.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Exmond posted:

Magnificent7
Advice:
Look up parenthetical commas.

"The fact that he spoke so highly of her, despite having never met her, annoyed both Uncle Frank and me."
VERSUS
"The fact that he spoke so highly of her despite having never met her annoyed both Uncle Frank and me."

The top one makes frank and protagonist sound like a jerk. They hate the fact that the priest spoke highly of Aunt Mildrew!
The second sentence makes gives them a reason why they dislike the priest speaking highly of Aunt Mildrew.

I hate commas.

EDIT:
I hate my love of commas.
Thanks for the crit!

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 14:54 on Oct 2, 2017

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


Burkion posted:

In with Flash Rule.

A Belgian Jesuit won an astronomy competition in Qing China and became head of the Beijing Observatory.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Verbiest

Pretty much everything about this article is bonkers.

wikipedia posted:

Father Ferdinand Verbiest (9 October 1623 – 28 January 1688) was a Flemish Jesuit missionary in China during the Qing dynasty. He was born in Pittem near Tielt in the County of Flanders (now part of Belgium).[2] He is known as Nan Huairen (南懷仁) in Chinese.
...
The contest was held at the Bureau of Astronomy in the presence of senior-ranking government ministers and officials from the observatory. Unlike Yang, Verbiest had access to the latest updates on the Rudolphine Tables, and was assisted by telescopes for observation. He succeeded in all three tests, and was immediately installed as Head of the Mathematical Board and Director of the Observatory. .

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



Yes. Good. This is good. Crits are good.

Jan
Feb 26, 2008

The disruptive powers of excessive national fecundity may have played a greater part in bursting the bonds of convention than either the power of ideas or the errors of autocracy.


Thanks for this :v:

Toadsmash
Jun 10, 2009

Dave Tate's downsy face approves.

In with :toxx: since I was a horrible procrastinating bastard last time

Also flash me because why not

Captain_Indigo
Jul 29, 2007

"That’s cheating! You know the rules: once you sacrifice something here, you don’t get it back!"



Tintin..... Tintin is from Belgium right? Give me one of them flash rules too, please.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again



Lipstick Apathy

back in and flash me!

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

And I understand if you ask
Was this life,
was this all?


Mini-crits for the yellow bastards.

Burkion: No Mask
Eh, I've read this done before and better by Poe's Masque of the Red Death. Watch out for weird sentence fragments like “Retrieving the case but leaving the safe open, he dared not to open it.” My eyes wanted so badly to skim the majority of this.

Yoruichi: The new guy
In which the weeb learns that poo poo people are everywhere. I feel like I was missing something without Google translate even though context implies that I'm not. Must be the cultural divide at work.

DreamingofRoses: Just A Book
I liked it. Competently written. I liked the subtle insanity and the disease/vector kind of thing you were playing with but it almost felt too subtle. Not sure if you were going for protective or reverse-psychology with the “put it back” stuff.

Okua: Shared between us
I think I liked it more when I thought it was going to be another infection style story. Nice obsession, nice visuals, ends a little like a wet fart where you're wondering what happened.

Captain_Indigo: Carcosa
Watch your commas. Loved the description of the room breathing like an animal but was almost a let down that all the effects were real and not psychological.

Deltasquid: His Name Was Natale
First thought was Candle Cove creepypasta. Otherwise I enjoyed it.

magnificent7: Sleep Song Somniloquy
Touching and strange. His uncle was weird, not sure why he was sitting there watching our narrator talk in his sleep in the first place.

Solitair: Crowning the New King
Interesting interpretation with a lot of big fancy words. Felt more like a review than a story-which, if that was your intention, you did well.

Fuschia tude: Dim Procession
It was okay until the ending when we popped into James' head for the childlike conclusion.

blue squares: A Crack Begins to Form
For being a place called Hell on Earth that was mighty mundane. Were you going for being driven sane by madness?

MockingQuantum: Beyond the Black Curtain
Well written and engaging. Second half reads like a fever dream and I kept waiting for “and then I woke up”.

Jan: Sanatorium
Watch your tenses. This was the most refreshing take on this prompt I've read yet, but the punchline was weak poo poo.

Tyrannosaurus: marvel at the forest
Thoroughly horrifying. Personal favorite. I like the slow creep of the miscarriage.

Chairchucker: All Shook Up
Good pun. The whole story has the flavor of your avatar text-which I remember from a previous story. Didn't like the aliens out of nowhere as much though.

Benny Profane: Passion Hides in Painted Smiles
Another good reference to yellow royalty. Another personal favorite with the realization that the King has been coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


Toadsmash posted:

In with :toxx: since I was a horrible procrastinating bastard last time

Also flash me because why not

A popular legend/folklore/myth in Belgium is that of the horse Bayard, and several cities lay claim to being the true origin of the story. The most famous claim to fame is without a doubt the Ros Beiaard van Dendermonde; every ten years the citizens of Dendermonde search a family of four brothers who will ride a massive wooden horse to re-enact the legend in a parade. Due to dropping birthrates though, it's getting harder and harder to find elegible siblings.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayard_(legend)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ros_Beiaard_Dendermonde
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Sons_of_Aymon

quote:

Bayard first appears as the property of Renaud de Montauban (Italian: Rinaldo) in the Old French twelfth century chanson de geste Quatre Fils Aymon. The horse was capable of carrying Rinaldo and his three brothers ("the four sons of Aymon") all at the same time and of understanding human speech. Near the end of the work, Renaud is forced to cede Bayard to Charlemagne who, as punishment for the horse's exploits, has a large stone tied to Bayard's neck and has the horse pushed into the river; Bayard however smashes the stone with his hooves and escapes to live forever more in the woods.

The neighbouring city of Aalst created their own horse as a parody of the pride in Dendermonde.

Captain_Indigo posted:

Tintin..... Tintin is from Belgium right? Give me one of them flash rules too, please.

Correct!

Brussels has been a famous destination for Europeans in exile, as the Belgian neutrality meant Belgium often did not concern itself with politically touchy matters in its neighbouring countries. Amongst others, Karl Marx wrote his communist manifesto in Brussels, and Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables in Waterloo, near Brussels. A famous saying goes: "When it rains in Paris, it drips in Brussels" because revolutions in France usually ended in exiles, and the exiled usually stirred up emotions in Belgium. Other famous exiles include Jacques-Louis David (1815 to 1825), Alexandre Dumas (1851), Charles Baudelaire (1864 to 1867), Napoléon IV (1870), Auguste Rodin (1870 to 1886) and Paul Verlaine (1872 to 1873).

derp posted:

back in and flash me!

Okay this one isn't Belgian per se but there's one of these in pretty much every Gallo-Roman museum in Belgium so whatever.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_dodecahedron
http://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-other-artifacts-news-unexplained-phenomena/enigma-roman-dodecahedra-002371

Roman dodecahedrons (dodecahedroi?) are basically one hell of a head-scratcher and nobody knows what they're for. One museum claimed they might be alien artefacts. Who knows! There's a statue of one of these in Tongeren (a famous Belgian town with Gallo-roman roots) though.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

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


As one of the few people in TD who has actually been to Belgium (pretty sure this isn't too big of an assumption), I feel obligated to judge.

Here's what I think of all of you:

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

As one of the few people in TD who has actually been to Belgium (pretty sure this isn't too big of an assumption), I feel obligated to judge.

Here's what I think of all of you:


Way to ruin what my story is about.

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

As one of the few people in TD who has actually been to Belgium (pretty sure this isn't too big of an assumption), I feel obligated to judge.

Here's what I think of all of you:


Eendracht maakt macht!

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 14 hours!


In, toxx for entering and not losing, flash rule please, and additional toxx that I will not enter IRC until I have submitted a story and not lost.

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

Kaiju15
Jul 25, 2013



I'm in. Please help me learn more about Belgium with a flash rule!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Getting part one out of the way. Crits for the most recent week, 269


OK folks. I make my disclaimer every time so I'll be brief. Tl;dr, I'd much rather actually talk about your story with you. Come find me on IRC if you'd like to. Run-N-Gun are my thoughts as I read, Overall is my impression after I've read and thought for a bit. Did these out of order, for the shiggles and to get a different viewpoint than the other judges.



Burkion's No Mask

Run-N-Gun: Oh, so someone is into Dexter. Flow of your first graph is not great. Need some commas, like after Instead. And don't bother telling us what we should expect. There's no money in the safe. That's enough. Less is more etc.

Why doesn't The Theater Manager get a name? I suppose it's a choice, but it's a clunky one and I suspect I won't enjoy reading “The Manager” over and over again.

More clunkiness into para two: “Thought that those who did were foolish.” Bad sentence. Comma issues persisting.

By the third paragraph, not much has happened. I'm bored. No more crits from me until something interesting happens. Standby.

OK, little interesting with the whole suicide tradition thing. Maybe. You already did the “manager as a younger man” thing once. Once is enough.

First bit of action doesn't happen until paragraph 6 and it's a flashback.

So many sentences start with “The Manager”. It would be a lot less bad if it were just the name of a dude.

Your phrasing continues to be kind of off: “He approached the door of changing room belonging to Kyle.” Why is this not “He approached Kyle's changing room door.” Read your words out loud. This problem will go away if you do.

Overall: There are too many technical/prose issues for this story to stick its landing. The last paragraph is a mess. Read the first sentence of your paragraph out loud. Tell me you can't do better than that. I dare you. This needed more time. It needed a lot of work.



Yoruichi's The new guy

Run-N-Gun: Not a whole lot of tension established in the opener, but it's not bad. Proofing/grammar errors abound. Missing commas, double punctuation, improper semicolon usage. Meh. Do better. “As I walk along the fifth floor corridor I get a good view of the huge school, all modern concrete and glass, big enough for thousands of students.” Go read that out loud.

“I hate petty bullies.” Hot take.

The action is clear, but this doesn't move me all that much and I'm not sure what you're going for.

Overall: Clear enough, but again, why? What's important or interesting about this story? I don't really see much in the way of novelty and it doesn't evoke much. What did you want the reader to feel when reading this?



DreamingofRoses's Just A Book

Run-N-Gun: Opening with dialogue typically doesn't work. And it doesn't really work here.

Several graphs in and this is just uninteresting, mundane action, over people talking. You use 1000 words total in this story, that's not that much. You're wasting time.

You get one “incredulous” per story. A snort is incredulous enough, no need for that help.

Saw where this was going, was hoping I was wrong, then I wasn't.

Overall: Nothing terribly gripping or engaging here. Prose is flat, turn is obvious. Lot of narrative voice where I would've rather seen cool poo poo happen.



Jan's Sanitorium

Run-N-Gun: Starting with description ain't a great way to get a hook going. Tell me why I should care first then tell me what things look like. And we're starting with someone waking up. Still not great.

I'm lost starting the second beat. I get that these are mentall fragile folks, and they may be somewhat inconsistent, but that doesn't mean your story has to be.

You don't have a handle on how to punctuate dialogue. Do what I did, go here and get yourself right: http://litreactor.com/columns/talk-it-out-how-to-punctuate-dialogue-in-your-prose

There's a way for you to start your story at your third beat. That's where thing seem to get moving.

Solitair's Crowning the New King

Run-N-Gun: Is this a lecture? It sounds like a lecture.

Dude... what are you doing? I know you can tell a story. What even is this?

I'm praying for an ock at the end or something.

Oh, good, he begins his journey when the story ends.

Overall: What? Like really, what happened here?


MockingQuantum's Beyond the Black Curtain

Run-N-Gun: This is the week of bland openings, it seems. We've got a dude doing mundane things. Come on, you've got every conceivable action to choose from. Start where things get interesting.

Oh good, your protagonist is yawning. Now I yawned, and it's not because yawning is contagious it's because your protagonist doesn't care and I don't want to either.

Top heavy exposition.

“Could be. Then again, maybe it’s not a prank.” zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Lotta descrtiptive action stuff that doesn't accomplish much.

Overall: Pretty underwhelming. Found it hard to care about much throughout this.


Deltasquid's His Name was Natale

Run-N-Gun: I'm finding myself getting through this one quickly. You handle the technique well and it stays fresh throughout. Yeah. This was pretty solid.

Overall: You do a good job of slowly building intrigue and in telling a cool story. I was surprised that this method worked for me as it isn't typically something I enjoy reading, but good on you.



Tyrannosaurus's marvel at the forest

Run-N-Gun: Now there's a loving opener. Thank goodness.


““Eh,” Marcel says, scratching at the thin line of pubes that creep up over his jeans.” Good.

I'm not generally in for druggie stories, but this is working for me.

“There is snow as far as I can.” Meh.

This is some pretty horrific poo poo, it's making me feel things. Thank you.

Overall: Yeah, this worked. Felt like Trainspotting. It hit hard even if it was disorienting and confusing. It felt intentional to me and I was still able to follow the emotional beats of the story.


Captain Indigo's Carcosa

Run-N-Gun: Starting off with telling not showing in your first sentence. Boo. But at least you get to it quickly.

Heavy on the description, but you do a creditable job with it. I love the reveal of who was invited. I wish it came sooner. I don't think you need nearly any part of your entire first beat. Get to the good stuff faster.

What... What happened? WHY DID YOU CUT AWAY AND SKIP OVER THE GOOD PART?!
OK, you do get back to it, but I wish I could've seen it start.

Overall: I like the idea behind this but the execution doesn't quite do it justice. You took too long to get where this really picks up.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Burkion posted:

No Mask
1507 Words

I had to read this story, especially at the beginning, taking pains to understand what you're saying. The writing seemed pained. It was laid out so matter of factly, as though every effort was put into getting across every beat of the story, establishing every detail that would be significant, that it was devoid of any aspect of style or emotion. It came across as overwrought in significance, with no level of simplicity or confidence in the words coming across to the reader. To me it seems like you struggled with the writing, not that you are someone struggling but more that you were considering every element of what you were saying and tied yourself in knots guessing and second guessing what you were saying.

When I say it was laid out matter of factly I'm not saying there was no emotive words in there. There was but it was like you had chosen a word from a thesaurus and placed it in the middle of a sentence, already complete, to put a tone on the message. Everyone has a voice to their writing, whether they know it or not, and no matter how accomplished or not it is. It's like you've skipped over saying what you want, and how you want to say it in an attempt to write "properly." If I was you I'd try and speed write a first draft without giving thought for technique, style or deeper meaning, or the audience's affect on reading it. Then go back and see where it can be dickied up, and made more you.

As it came towards the end of the story there was a disconnect for me in what was happening. It read like you had a convoluted idea of what was happening but didn't manage to get it across, in simplicity, to me. There were dramatic pauses and jumps, but the start of the story didn't establish the right presence or mood for those to work.

All in all this comes across as the writing of someone second guessing themselves. Effort, thought and consideration can go some way to getting you to a good, well appreciated story, but really the only thing is to just keep writing more and more. The story was filled with authorial doubt and worry.

Yoruichi posted:

The new guy
985 words

I don't really know what to make of this. I read it, and it had something happened, but I don't understand the point of it all. At first you show someone having trouble fitting into a new life, but it doesn't seem about that. There's nothing telling about his state of mind, nothing revealing in what he's going through about alienation or isolation and it's so explicit it doesn't create any empathy. Then there's a knife fight, and he acts out his anger to the smallest degree. It seems like you just slammed together King in Yellow with an event happening, trying to get us to draw the two together. The problem with all this is that it seems completely insignificant. There's nothing driving the story, and without that drive there needs to be deeper meaning, or even beauty, but there's nothing to be taken from it. It's like a snippet of someone's mundane life, with a serious event thrown in that doesn't show any struggle in the person, or any meaning for me as a reader. On top of that the prose reads as pretty basic and un-evocative. If you want me to see the beauty, madness, severity, desperation, or whatever in a simple event then the prose needs to indicate that. This didn't. I guess this didn't have any depth to it for me, and without that depth I don't see the point. If you could figure out some way to indicate conflict or desire, even in foreshadowing language it could cause me to step back and think. You didn't cause me to do that, so it seems purposeless.

DreamingofRoses posted:

Just A Book

1,048 words

“The King in Yellow?”

This is a strange mix of storytelling that falls, for me at least, purely because of your choice of first person narrator. The fact that nothing happens is a problem as well, basically someone borrows a book and the other person is mad, but still nothing happens. However, with the first person narration though I was left with little doubt about the narrator's intent. She didn't voice a desire for anything, not in her own mind which was the mind I was in. She never said she'd do anything, there was no threat, so I didn't feel any threat. If you had put this in third person so I didn't have access to her intent it might have established some doubt about the fate of the person borrowing the book. Instead, while in the narrator's mind I had no inkling she was insane or any feeling she wished harm on anyone. Then you trotted it out at the end. Also, this is pretty much a "looking in the mirror" story. Someone is looking in the mirror, and seeing something. The bits with the book were just to establish the book sends you mad.

"Don't read that book, it'll make you mad."
I look in the mirror. I see I am already mad.

Is pretty much your story, with a lot of not very fun writing around it. I think if you established tension around the other persons fate you might have had something, but ultimately the story didn't say or do much.

Okua posted:

Shared between us
1601 words

I almost enjoyed this. I did enjoy it, but not fully. There were parts of the writing that were too transparent, and the whole plot came obvious right at the start given the theme. I think the thing that most effected my enjoyment was the change in tone and style mirroring the events of the story. You started off perfunctory, explaining what was happening and doing quite well in getting across Liam's personality. As the story progressed imagery and simile/metaphor-like stylistic flourishes were added. This really telegraphed all of your intent, and made me far more aware of what was happening than the story needed. It's like you hadn't considered the writing's effect, instead leaning fully into what was happening. If you could have had the same writing touches you had at the end right from the beginning the conceit wouldn't be so obvious. Even then those flourishes weren't written in any stylistically or thematically interesting way. It came across as cliche and staid. The reason I'm saying all this is because the story was proficient, but its style and premise was quite lacking. Reading through I was looking for the prose to really add to the mood, but it didn't. Instead it detracted to see you embrace fully such a simplistic approach to a story about weirdness. Your idea is sound, even if telegraphed and mundane, but the style and writing was a little eye-rolling being both stodgy and basic in thought and approach. It's a story with proficiency in telling the beats of a rather simple happening, but without any greatness, depth, deftness, or love for what's there. This seemed phoned in.


I quite enjoyed some of the description on this, and the dialogue between the two critics, but otherwise there was a lot holding me back from really feeling it. I think your advantage was knowing we know The King In Yellow is to be a part of your story, which immediately set everything in store. I knew what was to happen and just got to sit back and enjoy some of the pretty decent description. Apart from that everything rolled out with little tension. My big problem is in what you chose to tell. You had two scenes that established what was happening, and one final scene with the madness. Instead of two establishing scenes you needed something to build up the tension, foreshadowing what was to come, showing some discomfort but problems that the characters dismissed. I think this needed to be structured differently and if you had you would have pulled off a much more effective piece of storytelling. Another aspect would be giving a bit more interiority. You need to show some of the thoughts of the characters, and if you had your tension building act it would have been vital. It's a fine piece, telling a story I expected but unlike Okua I believed in your prose which was less stymied and more telling in its style (apart from what seemed like a few errors in your prose.) In the future I would focus more on what parts of the story play on the reader, rather than jumping straight to getting across the story. Think about what the reader is learning, and how the feel as they read.

Deltasquid posted:

His Name was Natale (1439 words)

I really enjoyed this, right up until the last email. For some reason it just didn't resonate with me. I'm not too sure how much more words you could play with, but it was the ramping paranoia and sense of something wrong, all's not quite right that pulled me in. I think you needed more space to add to that, and play with the reader. The description of the worker's death was a bit long for me, and I can't imagine someone describing something so horrific in detail, especially in an email so I feel like you could have more words to play with emails, possibly becoming even more frantic and thus brief and disjointed. If I was you I'd work this up to something a little longer, showing more of a descent into whatever the man is going through, and see where it takes you. It's a solid idea, especially for one I saw beginning on IRC. It needs a bit more work, especially in establishing the stakes and problems happening, but for what you did it had an effect on me.

magnificent7 posted:

Sleep Song Somniloquy
- 1720 words. No Flash Rule.

I really liked this right up to the ending. It's quite possible a really creepy opening carried it a lot of the way, but that's a good thing. It set in store something strange to come, and then the rest of the story hinted at it without revealing it. In the end you had the main character seemingly figure it out from nowhere, and I don't believe he could have figured it out what happened while he was asleep, so it kind of flopped at that point for me. A good story, that didn't stick it's landing. There was also a few points where I was unclear on who was talking, or what order things were happening in but that's seems mostly a formatting error (or lack of clarity) and it was easy to get past it. I think what most stuck out in this story, especially in comparison to others is that you kept the same style and tone throughout. It made it a little more unsettling, while also keeping up the appearance and possibility that all that happened could easily be explained. From what I know of The King in Yellow, and the whole tome of stories that go with it, it's the appearance of normality that works, until people die from it. People refusing to see the madness and despair that hides behind what we want to be true. This got that across very well. I think if you had a better way of hitting an explanation of what happened to the uncle, because it did need some connection to the rest made explicit to work, then I wouldn't have an issue with the story. It was an enjoyable read. Well done.

Solitair posted:

Crowning the New King
(1744 words, no flash rule)

This is the most forum-post-like short story I've read in TD. At the beginning I was wondering what the frame was. Is this an article on a newspaper, on a wiki somewhere, and with the personal sentiment and declaration at the end I came to the conclusion it was a blog post or forum post. I like the metaphor that I found, especially during the final third about search for meaning and reason, that worked. I didn't like the lack of personality, especially when the author addressed himself as the author by the end. It didn't have enough idiosyncratic feeling, language or touches for me to really believe in the person behind it. I could see, at a stretch, that the person is aiming for erudite in what they're saying, but it had no personality to it; no flaws, hang ups, desire, manicness, anything that I could latch onto. You could get all meta on it and say that this person is attempting to achieve that type of writing, but it would be looking for too much. For what had a solid core to it, at least by the resolution, it didn't cause enough of an empathetic reaction for me to believe in this screed being representative of a person's actions. Even then I don't know who it's written for, and that blurs my view between you, Solitair as the author, and the fictional author who's supposed to write this. There was too often where I was doubting the real world author of this, and your intent, versus the intent of the fictional author. All in all I think it needs more personality, and more grounding in the world I expect the author to be writing for.

Fuschia tude posted:

Dim Procession
1586 words

Something definitely happened in this story, but at no point did I care. It's possible because details were added in that didn't seem to have any significance beyond servicing the plot, but mostly it just seemed so devoid of emotion or mood. It read like you were writing without a care for building tension, with no thought on style, and with no understanding of the turmoil someone might go through. For all that mattered in this story it might as well have been someone explaining how they pour cereal in a bowl. Emblematic of all that were the extremely short paragraphs, like you were struggling to think past the basic turn of what was happening. If you had built up a thought beyond it's basic occurrence you might have had an effect on me. Instead everything was meted out as a basic framework to the story with no consideration of writing. A plot is important, but writing is what makes the plot work. This was just the bare shell of a plot, and not a very interesting one put onto the barest skeleton of prose to get that plot across.

blue squares posted:

A Crack Begins to Form
1750 words no flashrule

Reading through this I wasn't liking it. It wasn't that it was a terrible story, more that I felt it wasn't my kind of story. With The King in Yellow being the prompt I figured it was going somewhere spooky. That made sense to me because the story certainly wasn't about characters. There was no real insight on the people's personality, dreams, ambitions, desires, or anything. There was no depth to the people. It started with a little piece establishing the scenario, then we were straight into a fight. This all said to me this a story about action, serving plot and probably about mysterious goings on. Then it comes to the end and its about people finding friendship through reading, and mental escape. You didn't do anything to set that resolution in store. It was like you wrote one type of fiction in the style of a completely different one; one almost at odds with the style you were going for. Because it had two separate ideas about the purpose of a story, the action story on one hand, and the character and idea exploration on another, and these weren't on point throughout it did nothing for me. I could accept an action-y story as decent for what it was, or a story featuring occultists, or strange goings on, but when it turned out to be about freedom it came from nowhere. It wasn't a "twist" in the story. It was a twist in your intent that wasn't pulled off because the groundwork wasn't laid and the buy-in wasn't established.

MockingQuantum posted:

Beyond the Black Curtain
1651 words

I kept hoping this would have an effect on me, but ultimately it was just too bland an occurrence for it to matter to me. You spent the first almost-third establishing a backstory for what was to come, justifying it. With that I was turned off almost straight away. It was protracted, it had no drive to it. You don't need a hook straight away, I'm happy to go with something waiting for the pay off, or enjoying the prose and thinking on what's happened, but this was just an excuse to justify what was to come. When what was to happen did happen I had no reason to care. I wasn't bought into the characters or situation. It was a simple, adequately written account of an event. The thing with these events, especially horror, is that I need to feel the horror. There was nothing there to cause me to feel it. There was no ramp up in the character's worry or fear, and when I didn't care about the scenario you'd set (due to long winded, emotionless backstory) it left with me no appreciation. I also think that simple accounts of a single "happening" or event, like this is, needs to offer more than just describing what happened; intellectually, emotionally, whatever. There needs to be a deeper reason for me to care, or something for me to take from what's happened. You didn't establish the horror, and there was no idea, thought, or reason to dwell on when I did read it. This read like you were attempting to make the literary equivalent of a popcorn film but without the production values to get me to live in the experience.

Jan posted:

Sanatorium

1,484 words

"and was now but a whisper" I think that summed up the story for me. It was a simple story, but the prose was overwrought with descriptive touches and flares, and prose stylised so far it became unnatural. I can see how there's beauty in easing into death, but this was grasping for that beauty so hard and was so obvious in it that it didn't work. This might be a personal preference, other people might like it, but it's not for me. For me you need to pare it down, and allow less but stronger sentences carry your intent. When you're writing the third description of the weather in a row it's too much, and you're pushing too hard. When the weather features so often, at the beginning of every happening you're really hammering it in, and effectiveness is lost. If you allowed yourself to give those touches to more thoughts from the woman and man, and to more than just the description of surroundings it might have worked better. In the end this seems to be attempting a style that I'm not sure was ever actually a style, rather a stereotype of style.

Tyrannosaurus posted:

marvel at the forest
1750 words

This was accomplished writing and disgusting in every way possible. The start was decent, but I didn't hate the people, which might have helped with the rest of the story. Then there was a drug trip, or possibly not. Possibly spooky evil. Possibly fantasy. Mostly an ending with moralising that didn't work for me, and made me dislike the story. I went with the evils happening to the woman, trying not to be reactionary to see if there could be any merit to it, which there wasn't. You could argue that because it's had an effect it's a good story. It could stick with me, so maybe it's effective. Ultimately it provided no insight. People hurt themselves because they're hurt seems to be a message to this, and I'm not sure it's a necessary one. The whole story seems unnecessary drug/torture porn. That raises it above a lot of TD stories in that it elicits a reaction beyond the functional aspects of storytelling, but getting past the functional aspect of storytelling isn't to be lauded on its own when the result is a purely aesthetic accomplishment in something bad. Good job on getting that far. I'd still question anyone who sees this work of literary edgelording as worthy. It’s like a story by the guy who links to execution videos.

Chairchucker posted:

All Shook Up 1089 words.

I'm not too sure what to make of this. It's the opposite of an origin story and still the origin story for Elvis' Alien Adventures. The puns were funny. The toilet was a nice nod. The aliens make sense. The King in Yellow was the best. It's perfect for what it is, even if it was made up almost entirely of dialogue. It hummed along nicely, with me not doubting the telling or the story at any point. It was entertaining fun, ultimately pointless, lacking in any nuance or depth, and hinting at bigger stories. The bigger story seemed more interesting than a quick jaunt through whatever it was I read. It was like half a bite of a McDonald's chicken nugget from my child's Happy Meal. Not what I'd ever want for culinary delight, and if I did want it I'd like something more than half a nugget, but fries and a drink as well. I'm still glad someone offered me that half bite though. It shows me they care.

Benny Profane posted:

Passion Hides in Painted Smiles
1750 words

By the end of this I was feeling a little anticipation of what the outcome would be, but you made it very hard for me to get to that point. The prose read more strained than the marriage you worked very hard to show. Sentences seemed to go on for weeks, with no rhythm or song to them. There were points when I was reading I questioned my desire to ever read again. If the writing was meant to be a reflection of the droning life the character lived you succeeded, but it was successful drone and not at all enjoyable to read. The allusions were pained. The descriptions were the opposite of pithy and apt. That you managed to have any effect on me by the end was enough of a shock. There was no energy in the writing here at all. If you were to write for effect you'd really need to look more at the beat of the actual words and descriptions you're using and the implementation of how those words run together in your sentences, and further in your paragraphs. It might be a fine story, there's enough plot there for it to be sinister, but the writing didn't work in any way to achieve that.

Jan
Feb 26, 2008

The disruptive powers of excessive national fecundity may have played a greater part in bursting the bonds of convention than either the power of ideas or the errors of autocracy.

Lots of crits this week. Thanks, Chili and Mrenda!

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


Yeah, thanks for crits, everyone.

Edit: put me IN and give me a flash rule, please

Solitair fucked around with this message at 02:55 on Oct 3, 2017

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Dans, flashez-moi s'il vous plait

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




The Crits in Yellow

Okay, to start off, this first bit is for almost everyone: there are rules for the use of capital letters in title. (Titles aren’t ‘Nam.) There are multiple sets of those rules, true, but literally one-third of the stories this week are not correct under any one of them. First and last words go capital, as do nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Also subordinating conjunctions. Articles, prepositions, and other conjunctions in the middle go lower case. The main place where the style guides differ is some of them want to capitalize prepositions that are more than four letters long. You want to say you’re some kind of ee cummings rebel and leave it all lower-case, then commit and do that in the whole story, see how that works out for you. Otherwise, I’m just going to assume you’re lazy. Or deliberately trolling me.

On to the stories, or, who knew a rapid spiral into insanity could ever be so boring...

Burkion’s No Mask

This story fails to work on many levels at once. To begin with, it opens with a lengthy passage full of bland exposition and narration, spending far too long to introduce action, conflict, or even an interesting character. Making the main character nameless serves only to make him even more boring than he already is. But more than that, on a plot level all you have is a series of cliches piled onto each other, strung through a thread that is the most literal and boring possible interpretation of the prompt, utterly predictable from start to end. The only bit that might have startled a little, to a reader unfamiliar with Chambers and the King, you ruin both by giving it away in the title and keeping it in the meta-level, in the story within a story.

Also, you misuse the word ‘belie’. The proper use of that word, though, is ‘don’t.’ I had this at the bottom.

Yoruichi’s The new guy(sic)

Tenses are awkward in the first paragraph. Nothing is exactly wrong, but you’re jumping around from present to past perfect to future in a way that stops the narrative flow from building up any steam.

Overall, this piece is slow to establish any kind of conflict or action. We get some eventually, but then it escalates very quickly and then de-escalates just as fast, and we’re left with this surreal school setting in which students can have casual knife-fights with teachers and nobody suffers any consequences. Good job setting it in Japan where a reader might believe that things might actually work that way, maybe.

The use of the play was almost nonexistent, and I don’t really see a thematic tie there, either. If so many others hadn’t gone too far in the opposite direction that might have counted against you. I had this in the middle.

DreamingofRoses’s Just A Book(sic)

Untagged dialog is a horrible way to start a story, generally speaking. To pull it off requires one to quickly define and differentiate your two talking heads through the dialog. When it’s a series of 3-4 word lines, that’s going to be tough.

Congratulations on not doing a “Howard was HP Lovecraft all along” ending twist; was worried you were going to go there (or for Robert E Howard, for the slightly less annoying version.) Anyhow, this piece is sort of just...there. It isn’t offensively bad, but it doesn’t really do much. It warns of an impending descent into madness, but never pays off on that. Another one for the middle.

Okua’s Shared between us(sic)

The word I’d use to describe this story is ‘unsubtle’. There’s a lot of redundant description going on here. You use the exact phrase ‘was the kind of guy who’ twice in two paragraphs. You’re doing some good character work, but as far as the plot goes, well, the entire first half could be gotten across in a short paragraph by a more efficient writer. Which would be a good thing, because you’re really left without enough space to go deep enough into the madness, into the uncanny, and so the ending sort of just flops down. In my low middle group.

Captain_Indigo’s Carcosa

The opening line is just a pure waste. The paragraph it’s in is full of misplaced commas. And then there’s this line:

quote:

Her partner, a wiry older man, was scanning the crowd as I was with thin lips
The image of two critics scanning a crowd with their lips is frankly more disturbing than anything else in the story.

The characterization is okay here, though. But the story itself is heavyhanded, and like others makes the error of foregrounding the production of the play and relying on implied horror, things happening after the ending made to carry the weight. More of the middle of the week.

Deltasquid’s Her Name was Natale(sic)

I don’t have many notes on this, because it’s just that good. It actually does the work, establishing an atmosphere of dread and delivering actual horror that feels fresh. I have one logical quibble, and that’s the fact that I’m not entirely sure why the narrator is immune to the memory-altering phenomenon, but that only on a third read or so. My top pick of the week.

magnificent7’s Sleep Song Somniloquy

The main problem of this story is its pacing. It gets off to a good start, then drags a bit in the middle and ends in a way-too-abrupt manner.

The prose is strong, though. Some good imagery in there.

I’m not sure how the redundant countermeasures are supposed to be working, though. If you really need both, need to only read it in reverse and only have one actor’s part in your head to avoid madness, why didn’t they go crazy when they performed their parts in the correct order? Is there really enough time for the narrator to sleep-recite the entire play? And who was it who prepared the actor’s texts, separated the various parts?

Solitar’s Crowning the New King

I liked this story a lot more than anyone else in the judgeroom. It’s not perfect, but it has a really interesting approach, taking The King in Yellow, a bit of horror that is inherently metatextual, and using a metatextual approach to it. I can see what you’re trying to do here, starting with a meditation on the play/concept, gradually revealing that your narration is coming from an alternate history, a distorted reflection of our world that grows so dystopian that Chambers’ Carcosa looks like a paradise. It reminded me of Borges, particularly of Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, which is always an accomplishment.

That said, the execution is far from perfect. The voice is far too dry, the build is too slow. The worldbuilding of the alternate history is, well, lazy. The idea that political assassinations are a regular thing is more interesting reversing the results of a few elections, and the strange re-convergence of history, down to the point that this world not only has Reddit but calls it that, particularly. A better-realized alternate world, one that does more of the work to sell the idea that the people there would prefer Carcosa, would make for a much better story. The summary of the play is too long. This was my third favorite of the month as is, though.

Fuschia tude’s Dim Procession

The opening is okay, but, well, it’s the rule of three and not the rule of four for a reason.

The rest of the story isn’t great, though. We have a handful of scenes taken from a boring police procedural, only the scenes that have nothing to do with any actual mystery or crime for some reason, and mixed in is another by-the-numbers descent into insanity, but since, like so many stories this week, it’s just an impersonal, clinical, completely external kind of insanity with no real bite to it, the story fails to grip. This one was in the lower middle for me.

blue squares’ A Crack Begins to Form

The opening is okay, although it probably could be made shorter and better, could be tightened up a bit.

This is a good one, with strong character work and a story that manages to be sweet in spite of itself. The choice to subvert the obvious route here was a good one. My main problem with it is that the plot doesn’t quite resolve. I mean, there is an ending, a change and a resolution, but it’s the kind of thing that feels more like one beat in a longer story than a complete ending. Still, in the high part of the middle group for me.

MockingQuantum’s Beyond the Black Curtain

It ought to be easier to make someone care about a descent into insanity. But these stories...

This is another by-the-numbers story about actors performing the play and suffering for it. The execution here is considerably better than the losing story, the prose better. So this is more or less as good a version of that painfully obvious approach to the prompt as is possible. It’s still not very good, in the low middle.

Jan’s Sanatorium

The opening is slow, as is the story itself. It could use a bit of pep. It’s not a horrible story, though. The ending, though, I don’t like. The story works fine for a reader with no prior knowledge of The King in Yellow, but the ending doesn’t make sense to that reader and is utterly redundant and anticlimactic for a reader who does know their Chambers.

Tyrannosaurus’ marvel at the feast(sic)

A very good opening. And a very good story afterward, although one that could use some editing. (preview your posts and check your tags every time.) A good story, but I think it doesn’t quite hit the prompt on-center, which wouldn’t be an issue except that it’s using Hastur and the play so directly, and to me, the center of horror for that should be insanity, the loss of rationality, actual full-willed suicide, and you’ve changed it into a slasher film. A very well-executed slasher film, but not quite the right kind of horror for those signifiers. Still, my second favorite of the week.

Chairchucker’s All Shook Up

Cute. But there’s not much to it apart from the metatextual joke, really. Lots of talking heads dialog, a secondary prompt used solely as a macguffin, and a plot that can’t come to a resolution because it really doesn’t exist; you need a lot more detail dropped to really pull off the illusionist’s trick, to convince the reader that the long story actually exists and informs this shorter one. Probably would have been middle if not for the DQ.

Benny Profane’s Passion Hides in Painted Smiles

I didn’t like this one nearly as much as the other judges did. It’s possible that some of that is unfair, that after that many stories about actors putting on the play one more finally broke me. But there are real problems. The opening is overwritten. The pacing is too slow, too much summary rather than fleshed-out scene. But the main problem I had was with the ending. The ending here just doesn’t work remotely for the hypothetical reader I mentioned in an earlier crit, the one who has zero knowledge of Chambers, The King in Yellow, the Mythos. That reader is going to be unable to do anything with this ending, and unlike that other story the ending isn’t a tacked-on twist, it’s doing the heavy lifting and load-bearing for the entire story. So I had it in the low middle at best.

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.



Thanks for the crits Mrenda and Thrangles. Thanks for nothing T-Rex you lazy jerk.

jk T-Rex gj with crits

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


hey ho I don't have time to write good and such but I do have time to beat up some stories real good

three crits up for grabs, first come first serve just link me your story any story you like

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


Good crits, everyone! Thanks!

Flesnolk posted:

In, toxx for entering and not losing, flash rule please, and additional toxx that I will not enter IRC until I have submitted a story and not lost.

Lots of toxxes!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_rail_transport_in_Belgium

Belgium has a long and proud history of things that go "choo choo". Second in the world (after the UK) to build railways between two cities! Increasingly, Belgian capital and expertise were in demand to build railways abroad: Belgian designs and crews were used to build several railways in Russia, Egypt and even China!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing%E2%80%93Hankou_Railway

Kaiju15 posted:

I'm in. Please help me learn more about Belgium with a flash rule!

I can't even find an article in English about this, that's how obscure it is!
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blokkade_van_de_Schelde
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/3eohub/the_closure_of_the_river_scheldt/

With Belgium's independence in 1830, the Dutch were obviously pissed off and they blocked off the Scheldt river, an important and wide waterway that leads to Antwerp but flows through a part of the Netherlands before reaching the sea. Blockading the river was not unknown at the time, as the Dutch had done it on multiple occasions to squeeze the Spanish lowlands whenever they had a war or uneasy peace (i.e. all of the 80 years war). After the revolution, Belgium and the Netherlands signed a treaty to re-open the Scheldt on the condition that the Dutch could raise a toll on every ton of cargo passing to Antwerp. In the 1860's, two Belgian parliamentarians promised to put an end to this toll, and the Belgian state received almost universal support in raising an international fund (21 countries participated) to buy off the toll for good.

This is widely seen as one of our best "gently caress you" moments to the Dutch, as the removal of the toll benefitted everyone in Belgium but cost the Dutch millions in taxes over the next years.


Solitair posted:

Yeah, thanks for crits, everyone.

Edit: put me IN and give me a flash rule, please

Belgium had a hand in starting the first world war, and in ending the second. Don't believe me? Franz Ferdinand was assassinated with the use of a Belgian-made pistol (the FN model 1910) and the nuclear bombs that were dropped on Japan in 1945 were made with uranium dug up in the Belgian Congo. This would almost be food for conspiracy theories, were it not that my government is too incompetent to do any sort of conspiring whatsoever.


sebmojo posted:

Dans, flashez-moi s'il vous plait

You can't use "dans" in that way!!

Belgium has a long beer tradition, as you are aware. Perhaps less known is the privileged status of "trappist", a specific form of abbey beer. In order to be considered a trappist, the beer must be brewed within or just outside the walls of a monastery, under the direct supervision of the monks in that monastery, and the revenue goes to feeding the monks and maintaining the abbey, with large chunks of the profits typically going to charity instead.

The most famous one is perhaps brewed at the abbey of Westvleteren, renowned for the simple fact that you cannot buy them on the market. Indeed, the Westvleteren trappists are considered too pure and blessed to be sold on international markets. Anyone who wants to drink it, needs to drink it at the abbey of Westvleteren itself. This used to be a closely guarded secret in the region, but tourism and mass media means many do day trips to Westvleteren now, and as a result it has somewhat lost its rustic charm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westvleteren_Brewery
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trappist_beer

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Thanks for crits.

In and flash please.

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Thunderdome is forever.


Fleming. Flash plz

DreamingofRoses
Jun 27, 2013


Nap Ghost

Thank you for the crits guys!

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I appreciate all the crits I just wanted to point out you don't get it see I

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Exmond posted:

I don't know
Thank all

of you

Mrenda posted:

Something definitely happened in this story, but at no point did I care.
for your

Thranguy posted:

the story isn’t great
fine crits!

Deltasquid posted:

For the record, I'm still looking for one or two snobs to judge the contestants at my sides!

You have my

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


Yoruichi posted:

Thanks for crits.

In and flash please.



"Bread machines" are a sort of vending machine that sells, you guessed it, bread. They dot the Belgian landscape because pretty much every bakery has one in their wall or next to their front door: ideal in case the bakery is closed but you really need some bread. Belgians find this entirely normal but every foreigner I've ever met in Belgium completely lost their poo poo when seeing these for the first time so I guess they're neat?



Similarly, the city of Leuven has two "meat walls" as we call them: a sort of vending machine for your midnight snacking needs, right in the cultural centre (between all the bars and night clubs) of Leuven. This concept actually originated in the Netherlands but it's quickly being adopted here as well.

I guess pretty much any weird old thing could be shoved into a vending machine if you try hard enough.

For more context:

quote:

00:40 sittinghere meat walls??
00:40 sittinghere tell me of your meat walls
00:41 *** QuoProQuid is now known as Wall
00:41 Wall Meet Wall
00:41 Deltasquid well
00:41 Exmond_Pufferfish Yes I wish to know more of your Meat Walls
00:41 Deltasquid okay so
00:41 Deltasquid basically
00:41 Exmond_Pufferfish boo's at QPQ's pun
00:41 *** Nethilia1 quit (Ping timeout: 180 seconds)
00:41 Deltasquid uhhh
00:41 sittinghere are they made of meat???
00:41 Deltasquid you have a wall right
00:41 Deltasquid no
00:41 sittinghere right
00:41 sittinghere ok
00:41 Deltasquid and behind the wall
00:41 *** Wall is now known as QuoProQuid
00:41 sittinghere is meat???
00:42 QuoProQuid is the meat a metaphor
00:42 Deltasquid you have a bunch of people who work by deep frying whatever snacks
00:42 Deltasquid like hamburgers
00:42 Deltasquid or frikandellen
00:42 Deltasquid or
00:42 Deltasquid you know
00:42 Deltasquid snacks!
00:42 Deltasquid basically anything you can buy at a frituur
00:42 sittinghere wait so are these meat slingers like
00:42 sittinghere part of the wall
00:42 Deltasquid they're ina room hidden from the public
00:42 Deltasquid and then like a bank teller I guess
00:42 Exmond_Pufferfish Okay
00:43 Deltasquid they have a compartment where they can put the food in
00:43 Exmond_Pufferfish they have a HIDDEN MEAT ROOM
00:43 Deltasquid that's kept warm
00:43 Exmond_Pufferfish that serves the MEAT WALL
00:43 QuoProQuid what
00:43 Deltasquid and from the street side
00:43 Deltasquid you insert a coin into the wall
00:43 Deltasquid like a vending machine
00:43 Deltasquid open one of the small plastic containers
00:43 Deltasquid take the snack
00:43 Deltasquid close it again
00:43 Deltasquid and while you unwrap your food and walk away in a drunken stupor
00:43 QuoProQuid Is this real?
00:43 Exmond_Pufferfish And its 24/7?
00:43 Deltasquid the people working inside replace that specific box
00:43 Deltasquid yes
00:44 Deltasquid this is
00:44 Deltasquid actually
00:44 Deltasquid totally
00:44 Deltasquid for real
00:44 Deltasquid legit
00:44 Deltasquid and it's not 24/7 but like
00:44 QuoProQuid It sounds like world-building for a very bad steampunk book
00:44 Deltasquid from lunch to 6 AM absically
00:44 QuoProQuid like, little orphans in pre-industrial vending machines
00:44 Deltasquid so 18 hours
00:44 Deltasquid 7 days a week
00:44 Exmond_Pufferfish 12pm - 6am
00:44 Deltasquid usually it's like
00:44 Deltasquid indonesian migrants
00:44 Exmond_Pufferfish Is it staffed by people?
00:44 Deltasquid working there
00:44 Deltasquid yeah
00:44 Deltasquid only inside though
00:44 Exmond_Pufferfish Okay so let me get this straight
00:44 Exmond_Pufferfish You have a HIDDEN MEAT ROOM
00:44 Deltasquid like 1 or 2 guys
00:44 Exmond_Pufferfish that supplies DELICIOUS MEATS
00:44 Exmond_Pufferfish to a vending machine god
00:44 Deltasquid yes
00:44 Exmond_Pufferfish that you put a dollar in and get your meats
00:44 Deltasquid exactly
00:44 QuoProQuid sweeney todd's meat pie vending machines
00:45 Exmond_Pufferfish And its funded by the blood of immigrants
00:45 Deltasquid gently caress it I might just go out and film that poo poo tomorrow night
00:45 Exmond_Pufferfish Is this a big allegory for how the US works?
00:45 Exmond_Pufferfish also this sounds AMAAAAAZING
00:45 Deltasquid and show you guys in real time
00:45 sittinghere totally adding this concept to my cyberpunk novel
00:46 sittinghere MEAT WALLS
00:46 Deltasquid it's amazing how much foreigners just go ??? at this
00:46 sittinghere HELLO CITIZENS PLS ENTER BIOMETRIC DATA TO RECEIVE M E A T
00:46 sittinghere THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING MEAT
00:46 QuoProQuid Where is this?
00:46 Deltasquid Leuven, city centre
00:46 Deltasquid it's called the City Snack
00:46 Exmond_Pufferfish Deltasquid
00:46 Exmond_Pufferfish this sounds AMAZING
00:47 Exmond_Pufferfish Your city demands so much MEAT it employs immigrants to do shift work to provide SAID MEAT
00:47 Exmond_Pufferfish you dont want a restaurant, no that gets in the way of the meat delivery system
00:47 Exmond_Pufferfish No you want a vending machine
00:47 Deltasquid p much
00:47 Exmond_Pufferfish to deliver the meat
00:47 Deltasquid never underestimate how much cash drunk people are willing to splurge for a quick burger on the way home from a party
00:47 QuoProQuid i thought leuven was a quaint medieval city and not some grotesque dystopian meatpunk village
00:47 Deltasquid it's both
00:48 Deltasquid https://igx.4sqi.net/img/general/200x200/141007571_ONbdSqCMjF8RccSHU2AlxqsIwqeoJD_e58SG8X6ceZc.jpg
00:48 Deltasquid here's a tiny picture but
00:48 Deltasquid it's a girl showing you her M E A T
00:48 QuoProQuid jesus christ
00:48 Deltasquid which she can retrieve from the wall
00:48 sittinghere nice to "meat" you
00:48 Deltasquid you see all the meats in there
00:48 Deltasquid in the plastic see-thru boxes
00:48 Deltasquid you just pick them
00:48 Deltasquid literally a vending machine
00:48 Deltasquid that's being refilled continually
00:48 QuoProQuid I'm joking, but it's seriously Dickensian, Delta


Obliterati posted:

Fleming. Flash plz

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tchantch%C3%A8s

Tchantchès is a folkloric figure who originated in Liège in the 19th century amongst factory workers, as a marionnette that was used to recreate many popular plays at the time but usually put a satiric spin on things. Carefree, silly and a bit of a lover of genièvre (a local spirit), he evolved into a mascot for Liège over time, and during parades they often make a massive wooden version of him. His name is a Walloon form of the Dutch "jantje", which translates literally as "little John" but which has the same connotations as "Joe" or "Jack" in English. An average joe. A Jack of all trades.





:swoon:

Deltasquid fucked around with this message at 22:54 on Oct 3, 2017

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blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


I'm going to write a story this week. It will be about Belgium

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