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Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


It breaks my heart to see you all thinking we're planning something extra evil behind closed doors. We only have your best interests at heart. Black Griffon, Fanky Malloons, please step into the next room for brain-worm conversion to collect your extra special bonus prize.

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Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Martello posted:

No, Erik Shawn-Bohner is just a lazy drunk redneck and …

Still waiting for him to get is rear end in gear, and Nyarai has gone awol. If I don't hear poo poo-all by this evening, I'm declaring my rule law and setting up a puppet government to do my bidding while I hunt down Mad Max across the golden desert in a jeep full of leather punks.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


I'm declaring three winners this week to take over judging while I'm away hunting down derelict judges and making them pay.

:siren: WEEK VI THUNDERDOME JUDGEMENT :siren:

The first winner is SurreptitiousMuffin. You are judge prime and hold the sceptre. It's your job to keep these two rabid bulldogs in line, your fellow judges:

Bad Seafood & Fanky Malloons

Make this one good. I'll be keeping an eye on you.

One note about prompts, for all future judges: open prompts are better. The whole point is to inspire writers to write something fresh rather than making them adhere to arbitrary bullshit. "Your character must be named this" sucks because who the hell wants to read the same name over and over across 25 entrants. "You must include this line" makes whatever goddamned stupid line you come up with stick out like a sore thumb in everyone's stories. Coming up with something too specific is a premise, not a prompt. Sure, "Write a story about a homophobic man who falls off the Golden Gate bridge and gets rescued by a gay merman." might sound really loving funny at first, but it's going to suck the minute you have to sit down and read 25000 words of the same thing over and over.

And now for my arbitrary bullshit. Remember this? I haven't forgotten:

Stuporstar posted:

Executive Order: Next week your main character must wear a silly hat, toupee, or full wig, regardless of context or what the judges come up with for a prompt. I won't be judging because I'll be on vacation, but that doesn't matter. I want to see ridiculous headgear. NO FEDORAS.

Now onto the LOSER:

Baudolino, you not only screwed up your first entry, you submitted it again, and showed not one bit of improvement. You earned that losertar harder than anyone by proving you can't proofread worth a drat. Also, your story was dull and plodding.

Edit: hosed up the week's number, goddamn.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Now for crits:

As Nero Danced - Devil’s Bagman
Standard deal with the devil story with a fairly standard twist. Not badly written. Not spectacular though.

kangaroojunk - Fishing for Pineapple Salad
Short and sweet ghost story. Could use fleshing out with a few action beats, like some subtle character reactions on the wife’s part during the conversation.

Jimson - Aston
Needs proofreading. Found comma splices, and missing commas and apostrophes. Also why would the vampire turn a guy who just tried to kill him? It’s lacking subtle character cues to give the antagonist believable motivation. Rushed is what this is.

Wrageowrapper - Narapatta
Love the cultural flavor in this one. The dialogue is funny and the ending is damned funny.

Canadian Surf Club - Osiris
This feels unfinished to me, like there’s something missing, a key detail that’ll make the story fall into place.

Groghammer - Rouge Vif Enters the Ring
Vampire melons, gently caress ya. Not sure whether or not you should go unpunished for not using the word “yampire” though.

The Saddest Rhino - Longing & That, Which Lives Forever
Bonus points for writing two stories. The first one is a neat idea, but I think the second is stronger. The emphasis line breaks are a bit twee and prosey. For your next TD entry, strip the visual flourishes because they’re hand-waving around your words.

Baudolino - Renegotiation
Your proofreading skills suck, because you couldn’t even get it right in the second draft. If you’re British, a period outside quotation marks is acceptable, but yours aren’t consistent and don’t follow UK rules, so I’m guessing you just screwed up. Also, why are you making so many mistakes in spacing your punctuation? Goddammit, look at what you’ve typed. Also, this is more fantasy than supernatural because that big open hell portal comes straight out of World of Warcraft rather than cultural mythology.

Noah - The Photograph
If your instincts are telling you to write a longer story, I think they’re correct. This should be a proper short story rather than flash fiction. It’s a neat concept. Keep going from where you left off and see where it ends.

Chairchucker - More Small Than Medium
DQed for formatting. Every paragraph should be double-spaced. Every one. The woman who talks to ghosts is an awesome character though.

SurreptitiousMuffin - Rota Fortunae
This has a real mythical feel to it, mixed with stuff like this: “Avast dog, you’ve pissed on my leg. Bought the bumper sticker, rode the water slide.” Goddammit, man, keep writing these stories. I want to crack your head open and eat your brains to gain your essence. What’s up the parenthesis though?

Jonked - Lasting More Than Four Hours
Offensive? No, summoning Priapus is hilarious, and you drew the curtain at just the right point where it might become truly distasteful.

Y Kant Ozma Post - Quartz Palace
The Payday bar ghost story made me smile. The tall-tale style coming from an average kinda Joe is spot on.

Sleekly - Prisoner Swap
Is this supposed to be about a certain prophet? Because only then do I get why you were so coy about not naming names.

Sitting Here - An Indecent Swindler
An elf discovering drugs is legit funny. Though I had a problem with the voice. His phrasing is so straight and contemporary, I didn’t feel like I was in mythical creature’s head at all.

MadRhetoric - The Last Love Song On This Little Planet
Style over substance indeed, but you cribbed “Killing me Softly,” and that totally broke the illusion for me, man.

Brock Broner - Leprechauns Are Bad For Business
Your title telegraphs the story too hard, but at least it delivers on its promise. The vampire reveal is well done though. A serviceable first effort in TD.

Bad Seafood - Jagd
Ok, I straight up love this one without a single reservation. I love how Kurt’s narrow world-view plows through the mythic atmosphere with bullheaded determination, and I laughed out loud when the riders actually produced papers. Your description of the riders is also amazing, and them speaking in bolded all-caps in an archaic style makes their exchange with Kurt even funnier.

Dr. Kloctopussy - Lonely as the Million-Pointed Sky
Interesting concept with the woman who hears ghosts in phones. She needs more development herself though, as in, why does she have a particular thing for eavesdropping on dead people?

Benagain - To Market
This is a solid little story. Rick could use more fleshing out at the kind of obsessive who’d sacrifice two souls for a perfect souffle though. Points deducted for spelling souffle wrong.

sebmojo - Sublimation
It’s got all the hallmarks of a creepy ghost story, but shoots too straight to be legit creepy. When you telegraph, “Oh, he’s a ghost” too early, it kinda diffuses the tension.

Capntastic - High Profile Clients
I’m all for character development, but you spend too much time establishing this guy’s OCPD, and none establishing what a still living/undead/afterlife Walt Disney has to do with Egyptian gods.

Fanky Malloons - The League of Lesser Gods
gently caress yes. God wrestling is awesome. The action is well done. This one’s in my top three.

Black Griffon - The Changing of The Guard
I dunno, man. The changeover from pantheons (Roman, Norse, etc.) to Christian monotheism in the latter years of the Roman Empire had far more conflict involved. That’s the problem I guess: your story is lacking conflict.

bigmcgaffney - A View of Mt. Fuji from Beneath the Wave
Though well written, I’m docking points for it not really playing into the mythology. This reads more like magical realism, which is not a bad thing—it just doesn’t fit the current criteria.

Radioactive Bears - Pluto’s Jazz House
Decent story, but the verbiage is distracting the hell out of me. It’s all the wishy-washy words like, “even,” “barely,” “just,” “few,” and so on. Too much of that destroys their emphasis and gets annoying.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Black Griffon posted:

I think this is because of me being dumb about the "No brooding/passive aggressive characters" rule. It's obvious that I could have added a little more zing, but I was too worried that any aggression would come off as rulebreaking, because I never wanted to turn it into Thundergoddome.

Also: Do we say if we're in or not for next week, or do we wait for the runaway judges?

Up to you. If you're eager to join before even knowing the prompt, go right ahead. They still need to decide theme/prompt/wordcount and also come up with appropriate deadlines.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


sebmojo posted:

Stuporstar did you just... disqualify the judges? Metal as gently caress.

In any case. I'm in.

That's right. No more slacking off for the judges. The bread and circuses must continue to sate the unruly rabble.

Chairchucker posted:

The first to enter the Thunderdome this week! The first to take a bold step! The first to throw down the gauntlet!

The first to die!

His Papal Majesty

The pope sat, regal, in his Popemobile,
He clutched his Popestaff, pulled his Popehat on.
His Popechauffeur began to pull away,
They drove out now to join the Popeparade.
The pope’s employees knew their time was now;
They must work hard, such was the pope’s decree.
They scurried forth between the Popetrees tall,
The Popewall gave them shade as they all toiled.
Out through the gate now came the Popemobile,
Down from Pope Road, turning onto Pope Lane.
Pope Avenue was next, ‘round the Popepond,
To where all the pope’s people stood and waved.
They slowed down as they passed through the Popecrowd,
His Popehand strong, he gave them a Popewave.
A Popecheer went up as they went on through,
Pope pope hurray, and long may he Popereign.
Too soon the Popeparade drew to a close,
The Popemobile rolled back from whence it came.
The Pope climbed from his Popeseat, all Poped out,
Into Popebed, where Popesleep would await.

:neckbeard: YAY! I like where this is going already.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Between kayaking on the ocean and reading the unabridged The Count of Montecristo, which has been on my to-read pile for ages, I haven't had time to peek in the Dome, but it looks like you've made a royal hash of it. All part of my nefarious plan. When I return you shall all love me the greater. Mwahaha!

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Chairchucker posted:

Wow, things must've changed in the Thunderdome recently. If the loser of the previous challenge got to give orders, I'd be running this place by now.

This is not about Black Griffon. This is about chickencheese. It is bigger than all of us. Black Griffon is the chickencheese prophet. You will obey the chickencheese prophet.

Also, things are coming up awesome all round in the 'dome. Congrats all who got their stuff published ... so far. You should all be submitting your poo poo to mags and rags every week. Get to it.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


I will drink your blood
Only because I hunger
It's not personal

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


But seriously
I do really love you guys
This thread is the best

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


^^ He's been convening with evil spirits (aka contract work) for the last couple months. Also, he hates you all.

Noah posted:

There will also be the issue of intent of the publication.

Is it going to be distributed for free or pay and if so how much?

Is it going to be a nice, crisp, colorful .pdf, or will it be formatted for an e-reader?

Who is publishing it (the entity, existing or a new one to be created)?

Of this publication, someone needs to have propriety over it.

For the authors of the short stories, you are foregoing submitting these same stories to other publications. I would suggest for multiple time winners, you might want to diversify. Choose the one you want to feature, and then shop the others around. Or save it for another compilation.

I don't want to step on anyone's toes or cross any boundaries, since this thread bloomed from Martello, ESB and Stuporstar's infected phalli. They have first dibs on essentially being Editor-in-Chief of such a publication.

Why not use Goonreads? Combining efforts between these two CC-born projects would bolster both. A Thunderdome omnibus would probably work best monthly. That would make 4 prompts per collection—a good number to mine, seeing how so many great stories come out of every week. Winners and runners up would benefit—if they choose to volunteer their stories.

I'm in on this. I'll chat with the other TD founders as well. Doing a behind the scenes editorial will be fun, and guaranteed to be full of amusing bullshit—you know, to keep the kayfabe fresh. ;)

Also, I have a good handle on epub conversion through Scrivener.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Etherwind posted:

I'm going to hang around and keep participating, but I'm not really interested in the faux-machismo.

Our faux-machismo is 100% bullshit, and we all know it. Come on, get into the spirit of things.

Also, I'm in. :black101:

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

The hell are you talking about? Mine is for real.

Edit: Oh, I get it. A classic case of penis envy, thus no real machismo.

You're just overcompensating for your tiny dick. :dukedog:

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Bonus video entry: Lost

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Apartment 803 (825 words)

Jerome lived alone, but the lights were on in his apartment when he got home. A long day trapped in a cubicle numbed him to surprises. Turning them off in the morning had become so automatic, he wouldn't notice if his finger failed to hit the switch hard enough to trip it. He shrugged, tossed his coat on the couch, and stuffed his keys in his pants pocket. Only when they stopped jangling did he hear someone in the kitchen.

"Hello?" he said. He clenched both fists and held them tight against his body.

A woman peered out the kitchen door. "Who—" Her eyes widened. She backed against the wall and held a chef's knife, coated in green flecks, close to her chest. "Get the hell out of my apartment."

"Your apartment?" Blood rushed to his head. He took one step forward. "This is my apartment. What the hell are you—" His mouth dried up as yellow walls pierced his consciousness. His walls were green. He backed against the front door.

"Are you drunk?" She kept the knife trained on him as she sidled around the floral couch, definitely not his couch, to reach a wooden coffee table he didn't recognize. "I don't know who you are, or where you think you are, but if you don't leave right now I'm calling the cops." Her words came out in such a torrent, he could barely follow. Once she wrapped her hands around her phone, she panted and looked him straight in the eyes. "You have five seconds before I call the police. You understand me?"

He nodded dumbly and tried to work his tongue back into action. "Look, I'm sorry. Must've got off on the wrong floor. Wasn't paying attention." He held up both hands. "I'm going—won't bother you anymore."

"Ok." Her chest heaved. She kept her eyes trained on him, but dropped the knife to her side. "You scared the hell out of me, dumbass, blundering in here. I could've sworn I locked that door."

And he could have sworn he unlocked it, but that couldn't be right. He put the idea out of his mind. "I'm sorry. Didn't mean to. Name's Jerome." He chuckled and extended a hand. "Guess I'm your neighbor."

She didn't take it, just smirked and sat down on her coffee table. "Nice to meet you, Jerome." She laid the knife on her lap and put down the phone. "Now, if you don't mind."

"Live in 803." He jerked his thumb backward and fumbled for the doorknob. "You know, if you would ever like to—"

Her smile fell into a frown. "If this is some kind of joke, it's not funny. I don't know what game you're playing, but—"

"Ok, I crossed a line there. I'm not—I didn't mean anything," he babbled as he jerked the door open.

She got up and stepped forward. Her grip on the knife turned her knuckles white. "This is 803—my apartment. Don't tell me you live in my apartment. Are you crazy, or some kind of creep?" Her voice grew louder with every step, and she waved the knife as though she didn't know what she might do with it, but it might be something he'd regret. Tears threatened to burst from her eyes. "I said out. Get out now. If I ever see you skulking around here again—"

He slammed the door behind him, stamped his foot, and mouthed, "gently caress." He leaned against the wall, and took a deep breath. As his vision stopped rippling, he gazed down the familiar hallway. He was on the right floor, every door eight-oh-something. His key had worked, clicked when he unlocked it minutes ago. This was his door. It had the long gouge he kicked himself for, from the day he bought a new oven. He ran his finger along the smooth brass number—803. This was his apartment. It had to be.

He smacked his forehead and drew the hand down his sweaty face. He'd forgotten his coat. Shaken as he was, he couldn't leave it behind. She had to give it to him, and he was determined to get another peek inside the mystery apartment squatting in his apartment's place. He knocked.

"Um, excuse me, miss?" He got no answer. "You still have my coat, if you don't mind." He cracked the door open an inch. It was dark inside. With shaky knees, he ventured in. "Miss? I'm just coming in to get my coat. Please, don't freak out." He flipped the switch, where it always had been—that came as no surprise. They built all these boxes the same.

The walls were forest green, just as they should be. His black leather couch faced his 42 inch widescreen. His glass coffee table propped up the remains of chinese takeout he had the night before. There was no one else inside, and his coat was gone.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


What, no crit for my bonus video entry? :colbert:

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


In celebration of the first round, I'm getting drunk for alla you. Don't forget to wake aunty up when the next round's over.

Also:

:gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz::gizz:

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Sitting Here posted:

Also I'll be in next week. Ever since the OGs took back over it's been too drat intriguing. I will taunt the judges and say I will own this poo poo with one hand behind my back. Do with that what you will.

Ya'll were getting too damned comfortable, so ESB returned to take all your chairs away.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


LordVonEarlDuke posted:

Except maybe ESB. I haven't figured that guy out yet but he'll probably molest you after he kills you and that's courtesy, of a sort.

I happen to know for a fact he's just as evil irl. :ssh:

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Meis posted:

Yeah, this is basically why I want to get in on this. I've seen other communities out there, but their feedback is pretty poo poo. As such, I have not felt I've improved much / at all since my teens. Hopefully CC will change that!

Yeah, often the best criticism is the stuff that makes you feel like you've been punched in the gut, makes you realize, "Holy poo poo, what I wrote sucked." and tells you exactly why.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Sitting Here posted:

Congratulations Sebmojo! The bridesmaid is finally the bride!

I'm in, I love love stories and music that goes along with love stories.

As I will be your third judge, I'm imposing a flash rule on everyone.

:siren: FLASH RULE :siren:

IT MUST BE BOLLYWOOD

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


However you wish to interpret the prompt. There will be no further clarifications other than entertain me. :colbert:

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Meis posted:

Is that a complaint? That just means you have more potential material to work with. It's a good thing.


So much for this I guess. Now to see the forum get clogged up with TD entries...

Fiction Farm should be fine for the purpose. As Martello said, it needs more traffic anyways. ESB, maybe you should edit the OP in that one to allow work up to 1000 words, since that's the general limit for flash fiction just about anywhere.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Chairchucker gets bonus points for being the first to post, making the rest of you all look like pansies.

:siren: Flash Rule :siren:

If the next story is depressing, I'm gonna throw a shoe at your head.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


swaziloo posted:

Feedback is very much appreciated. I can see that my attempt to convey the perceptions of a mind severely altered for the first time (by something not unlike MDMA) was lost on, apparently, everyone.

The theme I see in my Thunderdome reviews: I need to be less subtle for this audience.

If that was what you were going for, and not some science fiction thing that made no sense, then read pretty much any one of surreptitiousmuffin's entries for the dome and take a lesson. I wouldn't call your story subtle, just disjointed in a fumbling, clumsy, uncompelling way.

Also, Saddest Rhino, your story made me smile the most this round. Getting something actually funny this round was a christmas miracle.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Peel posted:

Also, and this is a limitation of format rather than 'pure literature' (whatever that is), when there's 20+ stories a week and a tight time restriction, the judges simply don't have time to do a close reading of every story.

Pretty much what you're up against when submitting anywhere, especially magazines that are popular enough to be flooded with subs every month.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


I just watched a car explode beneath my apartment window.

:stare:

Carry on.

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. :smug:

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Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Just wanted to pop in and share an almost-success story from the Thunderdome. Just got a rejection from Stupefying Stories for "The Leatherettes."

Bruce Bethke posted:

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to consider this one. After reading and discussing it, we've decided it's not right for us at this time. Good luck placing it elsewhere.

This one is hilarious, but simply not right for us at this time. If you haven't placed it elsewhere by April, consider resubmitting it to us then.

In the meantime: not this one, but maybe your next one. Send us another story, please.

I doubt I can place that story anywhere else, so I guess I'll try again in April, since I've been invited to re-sub.