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Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


I'm breaking kayfabe for a while to see how we can improve TD. We're doing good now, but let's get better. Everyone chime in.

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Peel
Dec 3, 2007



I like where it is right now, really. Regular prompts which are interesting but not ridiculous. The posturing is mostly kept in amusing check rather than being stifling. The atmosphere is pretty positive under the macho veneer, even people who lose a lot get a good reception if they keep coming back for more.

I can't think of anything I'd change right now regarding organisation of the thread.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

We can do it (I'll force the other two to man/woman up). Do you think it would be helpful or discouraging? We're just three people with opinions, so while I love the idea, I think it should be a free for all where people give an effort to do it. Make it inclusive, and we'll poo poo on the trash people as we always have.

I like the idea.

While I think the idea would be great for the writer, it's really kind of lopsided. I feel if a writer wants a profile from a judge, the writer should have to profile another writer. Why is it fair for you to have to read 15+ submissions from someone just to indulge them?

This way there's more back and forth effort instead of someone sitting back and waiting.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

I don't know if I'm sold on the idea of a Scorecard, since it's tertiary to the goal of improving week to week. It also gives a judge a cheat sheet that might influence 'em in a bad way ("Ah, Poster_X's strength is car analogies, and he used one, I get it!!"). Thunderdome is about faceless warriors being dragged out of their comfort zone and slaughtered.

As for What I'd Love To See More Of is guaranteed critiques. Getting a line or two a week of "I liked this piece, but didn't like this part" isn't really helpful. I understand we've had a huge influx of combatants and that it's hard to give a meaningful response to 30+ short stories. I think a good way to handle this would be after initial judgments are made, the judges try to split the stories amongst themselves to give feedback. Or maybe we find a way to incentivize non-judges throwing their two cents in, after judging. I've tried to pipe up with things that stick out to me as being solid or weak, and I'd like to see more of it.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


I'd like every Week Challenge post to have links to their contestants' entries. It's utterly pointless, but I'm anal about links. Also the list of past weeks and results are okay now, but as it grew longer it became more unsightly. My idea is to link instead to a Google Docs Spreadsheet, so there could be more information about each week and the results could be moved to a separate column instead taking up precious few seconds of scrolling. I'd give an example, but my internet isn't stable.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Throwing-poo poo-at-the-walls idea: everyone gets assigned a partner and has to crit them.

HiddenGecko
Apr 15, 2007

You think I'm really going
to read this shit?


You need an Archivist who will be responsible for keeping track of the results, collating everyone's work into an easily accessible format for perusal or download, results of past weeks so you can chart your progress, etc etc etc.

I nominate myself. I'll get started tonight. It will probably be in a Google Docs thing. It'll be outside the thread and all that but it will ALL be in one place.

Erik Shawn-Bohner can vouch for me, I just want to see you all writing at your best and being able to track your progress is essential to that.

dromer
Aug 19, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

twinkle cave posted:


Points for using the flash rule non-ironically or absurdly. As a morality tale it serves its function. More original language and situations may have added to this, but as immigration/dreidel story in a box it works. Acceptable though not mind blowing. There are a lot of little-bit words laying around that could be struck.

Rating: Almost died by strike-thru, but still living severally maimed leaving you partially deaf to beg the streets for survival, or taking your chances with the dreidel.


If I hadn't bothered to blow this off until the last minute, I probably would have spent some more time researching Jewish history to find a more original setting than Battleground Europe. Thanks for the critique, I'll definitely try to improve on this next week.

As for the prompt:

The Saddest Rhino posted:

FIRSTLY: Write, in one thousand (1,000) words or less, a story which revolves or involves a condition where the senses and stimulation operate in a way that is uncommon. You may choose to go with synaesthesia, or any other condition such as sensory deprivation, exaggeration or something you made up completely.

To be fair, my story's still a bit of a stretch as deafness isn't exactly unheard of, but like you said: gently caress the rules.

Also, why is my name not on the list of entrants.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


HiddenGecko posted:

You need an Archivist who will be responsible for keeping track of the results, collating everyone's work into an easily accessible format for perusal or download, results of past weeks so you can chart your progress, etc etc etc.

I nominate myself. I'll get started tonight. It will probably be in a Google Docs thing. It'll be outside the thread and all that but it will ALL be in one place.

In the spirit of Thunderdome, I'll also nominate myself as an Archivist. I'll also be using Google Docs, so really what I'm saying here is I propose a duel between me and HiddenGecko on Archiving Things On Google Really Good. I can't imagine a more interesting match.

HiddenGecko
Apr 15, 2007

You think I'm really going
to read this shit?


toanoradian posted:

In the spirit of Thunderdome, I'll also nominate myself as an Archivist. I'll also be using Google Docs, so really what I'm saying here is I propose a duel between me and HiddenGecko on Archiving Things On Google Really Good. I can't imagine a more interesting match.

You're on.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


My mouth is an ole' six shooter;
I'm the best poet around and
if you come wide at me, boy
I'm gonna shoot you down.




we hadn't had machismo in a while

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


toanoradian posted:

In the spirit of Thunderdome, I'll also nominate myself as an Archivist. I'll also be using Google Docs, so really what I'm saying here is I propose a duel between me and HiddenGecko on Archiving Things On Google Really Good. I can't imagine a more interesting match.


Make it so.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


sebmojo posted:

THUNDERBRAWL - TWO GOONS ENTER, ONE GOON LEAVES


Word limit: 1000 words or under.

First prompt: DUEL IN THE SUN

Constraint: No male characters may speak.


A Woman's Work

Words: 1000

Amelia looked through the wooden shutters. Those two idiots are just undressing each other with their eyes, she thought. Sheriff Poolt and “Black” Addison Walker stood at either ends of main street, too far to hit each other from that distance, but neither moving closer.

“Miss Amelia, I don’t really know how to shoot one of these,” Louise said. City girl, Amelia thought.

“Just keep loading those guns, Louise. You can bet as soon as Walker and his boys finish celebrating Sheriff Poolt’s untimely demise, they’ll be coming this way.”

Chairs and sofas were brought down from the second floor rooms, and put in front of windows, and bandages were stock piled in the back office. Amelia went through each section of brother’s foyer, checking the barricades.

“Sophie, you and Elizabeth please get the mattress from the back room and put up against this window here, we’re gonna need more than some chairs and throw pillows to keep those boys out,” Amelia said to two of her newest employees.

In the office, a young girl sat between the wall and the last unmoved desk in the building. Josephine, skinny but well fed, I think her favorite color is periwinkle, Amelia ran through the details in her head as she approached the girl. Josephine shook noticeably.

“Josephine, dear, this ain’t no time for sitting around,” Amelia said.

Josephine looked up at Amelia, her round eyes wet and glistening. “But, but, Johnny, he’s real good with Walker, he said everything would be just fine,” her voice shaking.

Amelia pushed hair away from the side of Josephine’s face, revealing a high bruise by her hairline. “Darling, if you think a man is only evil enough for some scrapes and bruises, then consider yourself a very lucky girl.”

Josephine began to sob and Amelia pulled her close. Wondering if Josephine could feel the burn scars beneath her silk blouse, Amelia heard a shot rattle off outside. Heeled boots stomped all around the wooden floors as girls scurried to the make-shift bunkers Amelia had set up.

Amelia pulled out a knife from her thigh-high and pushed it into Josephine’s chest. “You take this and go to your room, ya hear? I give you a gun, you might just shoot yourself on accident.” Josephine scrambled up off the floor and ran out of the room.

Waiting for Josephine to be completely gone, Amelia opened a cabinet on the desk and pulled out a metal lockbox. Full of bills, neatly stacked, and an assortment of silver, the lockbox was what had been neglected to be deposited at the bank. With Poolt dead, Amelia was glad she had waited so long to go to the bank. Across the room, Amelia pulled up a loose floorboard and stuffed the lockbox into the underbelly of the house, and covered it back up. Brushing her self off, she stood up and collected a pistol from desk. She closed her eyes and whispered to herself. Another shot rang out. The still air had somehow grown even more silent.

Two more. “Get away from the windows girls!” She shouted. Amelia’s knees shook, and her guts started flipping. Poolt had been a good man, an average lover, but a good man, she thought. Treated Amelia and her girls fairly, like a real business person. He didn’t deserve whatever desecration his body was going through right now. She hoped to be able to offer a prayer at his funeral, but she wouldn’t waste time preparing anything in advance.

The door rattled. Everyone caught their breath inside. She could hear shuffling, and hammers being pulled back to ready. The door thumped. Someone was using their shoulder. Amelia heard a chair shift and fall from the tower they put infront of the door.

As the chair fell from the top, the door gave, scattering all the loose furniture into the lobby. Louise shrieked, and a shotgun blast went off and two bodies hit the floor, along with the clatter of the gun. Old Confederate gun, Amelia thought, what dumb girl thought she could shoot that? Louise shrieked again, shakier and less force than before.

Amelia popped out, pistol at chest height. Sheriff Poolt lay face up in the foyer and Louise, with a reddened and rapidly swelling left eye, was on her knees near the body. Amelia ran up quickly and pushed Louise to the stairs, where another girl took her up. Grabbing the shotgun from the floor she rushed to the Sheriff.

Dead as dirt, and still smoking from the shot. Amelia poked her head out the door. People had started poking their heads out their windows and doors to see what had happened. Addison Walker lay crumpled in the street, and two men were also dead, slumped near an alleyway.

“Sophie, Elizabeth, Margeret, you drag those dead boys in here right now, and get this door blocked up nice,” Amelie said. No one moved. “I said now!”

”Yes Ma’am,” the girls faintly said, pulling up their skirts and moving out into the open street. Amelia stepped out onto the boardwalk, shotgun braced against her shoulder. She wheeled it around, daring someone to make a move on her girls. They weren’t the fastest, but the girls managed to drag all three bodies into foyer without harassment. Josephine sobbed from a balcony overlooking the mess.

“We’re gonna sit tight until a Marshall arrives, you hear, girls? That could be a couple of days, maybe more. But we’ll be fine, I promise you,” Amelia said to the silent crowd of girls. They nodded, but said nothing.

Amelia bent over and pulled Sheriff Poolt’s badge off his vest, and pinned it to hers. She stepped out onto her boardwalk so all could see. Holding her gun at her side, she gave every onlooker a stare. “Next man that steps foot through this door better have God behind him, ‘cause he sure as hell ain’t got the law!” She shouted, before slamming the door shut behind her.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


I remember it like she told me to,
smell of summertime
the rain coming in through the window,
how her eyes were low and blue
like a hung-over harvest moon.

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.

I've initiated contact with my co-judges regarding which of the stories I hated the most so whenever they wake up or whatever maybe we'll have some results, oh boy.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Throwing-poo poo-at-the-walls idea: everyone gets assigned a partner and has to crit them.

I like this. It's been patchy with crits (me included) and a big part of that is the size of the commitment.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


The scorecard thing needn't be that complicated, really. Could just boil the whole thing down to everyone's best and worst; two sentences to remind us where we're going and where we've been. A little tonic of pride and humility. We could pick each other's or all convene. Whatever works.

Similarly, strengths and weaknesses. No reason we can't keep it simple. "Snappy dialogue, stiff descriptions." Four words. A little praise and a little homework.

Honestly though, Capntastic's got it pat. You could throw this whole thing out if it meant more regular critiques.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


I just watched a car explode beneath my apartment window.



Carry on.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

Stuporstar posted:

I just watched a car explode beneath my apartment window.



Carry on.

300 Word Bonus Fun Prompt: Why did the car explode

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Capntastic posted:

300 Word Bonus Fun Prompt: Why did the car explode

Because it was on fire.

Peel
Dec 3, 2007



Stuporstar posted:

I just watched a car explode beneath my apartment window.



Carry on.

Yeah well you should have written better words, this is Thunderdome, there are consequences.

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.

Stuporstar didn't even enter this week.

I think there's a lesson here for everyone, enter the Thunderdome or we will carbomb your street.

Peel
Dec 3, 2007



The problem with pairing people off is that the membership isn't constant. For example I'm planning to take another break once my toxx expires.

e: unless we did it on a week-by-week basis



People should post their stuff in fiction farm or independent threads more often.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Peel posted:

The problem with pairing people off is that the membership isn't constant. For example I'm planning to take another break once my toxx expires.

e: unless we did it on a week-by-week basis

That's easily solved by pairing everybody up after the entry deadline, so that everyone that enters gets an in-depth critique and has to give one, but you get different people each time you enter.

Edit: somehow didn't see your edit even though I quoted it, herp derp.

Peel posted:

People should post their stuff in fiction farm or independent threads more often.

My goal is to write more non-TD stuff and post that in other threads, because I feel lazy otherwise

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


Yeah, I agree with the critique thing. The one line ones are helpful sometimes, but an in depth critique would be super.

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


Zack_Gochuck posted:

Yeah, I agree with the critique thing. The one line ones are helpful sometimes, but an in depth critique would be super.

But what if my critique sucks and I couldn't satisfy my partner?


Happy New Year from a GMT+7, Thunderdome. I hope you're always cruel.

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.

toanoradian posted:

But what if ... I couldn't satisfy my partner?


At least you'd be used to it, hmmmm?

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


toanoradian posted:

But what if my critique sucks and I couldn't satisfy my partner?


Happy New Year from a GMT+7, Thunderdome. I hope you're always cruel.

I think you could totally offer up some standards. Any thoughts? I picture something like a minimum 150 word critique with a suggested line edit? It's easy enough to put together in 15 or 20 minutes, but still has a bit of substance.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Zack_Gochuck posted:

I think you could totally offer up some standards. Any thoughts? I picture something like a minimum 150 word critique with a suggested line edit? It's easy enough to put together in 15 or 20 minutes, but still has a bit of substance.

I think if we specify that it has to be an in-depth critique, that should be enough. We (should) all know the general level of detail to expect from an 'in-depth' critique, and between the judges and the more vocal/constant participants I think we'd be able to effectively self-police things if people's critiques aren't up to par. I'd be okay with a minimum word count for critiques, but I wouldn't want to force people into a specific critiquing style beyond that, because everyone works differently in how they prefer to present that sort of thing.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Fanky Malloons posted:

I think if we specify that it has to be an in-depth critique, that should be enough. We (should) all know the general level of detail to expect from an 'in-depth' critique, and between the judges and the more vocal/constant participants I think we'd be able to effectively self-police things if people's critiques aren't up to par. I'd be okay with a minimum word count for critiques, but I wouldn't want to force people into a specific critiquing style beyond that, because everyone works differently in how they prefer to present that sort of thing.

Yeah, this. It would be easy to pair entrants off after the sub deadline, and it gives people who fail to enter a story a way to redeem themselves.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


I had an idea to do a little offsite thing regarding the critiques. I've found it helpful to meet over Skype and go over work in small groups each week. It gives you a deadline to work toward and more freedom to write what you want, whether it's poetry, fiction, your TD entry, or a script. You also get a close-knit crew of writing buddies to crack the whip and give you encouragement. It's a small time commitment for a big payoff if you stick with it.

We could try to arrange groups of three to five who can meet at the same time/day weekly. Ideally, the groups would be diverse, meaning that you don't want four people writing post apoc sci fi in the same group. Fridays are good for a lot of people. If desired, I could run around to each group to show off how to run one efficiently, and I've got the experience in being in both small and large dysfunctional writing groups.

Show of hands? Even if there's only a few interested, those few can meet, and it'd be good for ya.

Beezle Bug
Jun 5, 2009

I love painting trees.

Yeah I'd be down.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

I personally like the idea of in-thread critiques because everyone benefits from them, and we can publically shame people who don't hold up their end.

I'd be down to do some off site stuff, but seeing as that might not be for everyone (due to different time zones, schedules, availability), I think we should also pair people off each week for a critique exchange.

Maybe we could have a list of people willing to offer critiques or advice over PM/email in the OP? I've done a bit of that just because every now and then a brave soul will find their way to my inbox and ask for suggestions (though I've been a bit behind because of the holidays), usually Thunderdome specific stuff.

Someone change my av to TD Newbie Appreciation Station

But all good ideas. I am most drawn to the idea where we pair everyone off because that can be immediately implemented in the thread, possibly to the great utility and amusement of all.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I think keeping it in thread is a better idea for the concerns Sitting Here said. It seems like it would be more populated on-site than off.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


I assumed ESB's suggestion for groups was more general, and not necessarily strictly related to TD critiques?

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Yep I banged my asscheeks on the keyboard without using my reading comprehension.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Fanky Malloons posted:

I assumed ESB's suggestion for groups was more general, and not necessarily strictly related to TD critiques?

You assume correctly.

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


First of all sorry everyone for not responding after submissions or anything else brought up in this thread. The job that I was dealing with went from 8am 31 December to just about 8pm 1 January (4 hours ago approx). Long story short - conducting deal closure with UAE clients who want to escape new 2013 tax rules can require a lot of work.

--

RESULTS


WINNER

Judges are unanimous in one particular TD'er being on top of the game, and that person is Fanky Malloons for presenting a story oozing with humanity, which definitely addresses the request of the prompt. After all, it is our senses and feelings which make us human. You may take your place with Erik Shawn-Bohner and Hiddengecko as judges for the first Thunderdome of the Year of Our Lord 2013.


MOST IMPROVED

In a previous effort I claimed that dromer has given us a short story with false tension and a strawman villain. He responds with a spit in the face, by turning up with a Thunderdome entry with that needed tension and addressing Chairchucker's flash rule with fine gusto. The Rhino is shamed and acknowledges dromer's skills in the craft, and weeps.


BEST ENTRY WITH PRETTY GIRL AS SUBJECT

Fellow judge Peel pointed out that Thunderdome XXI's overdone theme is "A cute quirky girl has a cute quirky sense dysfunction". Like the worst of Warren Ellis's comics, the girl in those entries abusing this theme is a angry girl with piercings and tattoos who is obtuse as a Tumblr social justice warrior and hates the love interest because gently caress knows. However, one entry stands out as telling this convention to gently caress itself, being that crafted by Benagain with his nice large Suicide Girl sporting Ellis's beard. Crooked Little Vein has the most terrible Ellis girl.


LEAST WELL-WRITTEN

I would like to preface by stating that Thunderdome XXI has turned out to be really good, despite the holidays or (for my case at least) sudden increased workload at the end of the year. Happily this means that nothing stands out as terrible or below par, though unfortunately the rules of Thunderdome is that a loser must be chosen. And let me say this: judges are all divided on who wrote the least well. I actually don't think a losertar is even warranted for this session.

For that the sword falls unfortunately on Beezle Bug, whose entry has a fairly nice beginning but falls apart in the middle, as things got sappy for some reason with (as twinkle cave puts it) serial killer language.

Please do not use your friend's suggested lines again.


ADDRESSED FLASH RULE IN THE RUDEST WAY

sebmojo has said some very hurtful things about Mariah Carey and that made Chairchucker upset. I think you should be very ashamed of yourself, sebmojo. Naughty bear.

--

I will try to follow up with more detailed crits some time in the week. Fellow judges may come up with theirs as they please - we had some divisive views on the entries.

--

OTHER MATTERS

Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

Who here would donate their stories to a TD anthology in good ole print (with possible e-book edition--but why bother)? Either it'd be sold at cost or at low profit to support something like a literary magazine, remove marks of shame from losers that do well, donate to a charity, or some other poo poo.

And who would buy it?

This was brought up a long while back but I want to say I'm down with this if it's still happening.

Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

I'm breaking kayfabe for a while to see how we can improve TD. We're doing good now, but let's get better. Everyone chime in.

Very minor point - Noah's suggestion for a standardised time zone may be a good idea. The changes have definitely threw some people off their game especially with the 00:00 confusion which I have also contributed to.

I think pairing up critiques is a good idea, but people would inevitably drop out for a week and this may need to be addressed. I don't think setting a "150 minimum word critique" is that great an idea though because it may likely make people overcriticise stuff.

Not sure about the skype thing because my schedule can be weird as gently caress (as exemplified in the last week).

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Congrats to Fanky!

And Chairchucker, the truth, like a blade, can hurt. Mariah Carey is a stain on this green earth.

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Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


The Saddest Rhino posted:

WINNER

Judges are unanimous in one particular TD'er being on top of the game, and that person is Fanky Malloons

Hooray for me! I'm glad to see that breaking out of my usual storytelling box paid off. Writing a story about a woman in a bathroom where nothing (really) unusual happens was weird and scary

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