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toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator


I'm in. Probably with some Owl City songs.

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Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Nubile Hillock posted:

WEEK 34: Thunderdome: The Musical

Yup, this is good and a thing that I'll do.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Dome me up.

Rather Watch Them
Mar 28, 2012

Don't worry loves! NEED A CAVALRY HERE!


Stupid question: (e: stupid answered)

I'm in like Gershwin.

Rather Watch Them fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2013 around 18:32

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Lacking sufficient evisceration from the last round, I'm in.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

I like songs and am in.

Rather Watch Them posted:

Stupid question: Am I allowed to come in

Yes, regardless of all other factors.

Chairchucker fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2013 around 10:44

pug wearing a hat
May 29, 2012

please allow me to introduce myself i'm a man of wealth and taste


I am in. Disappointed I can't use this as an excuse to workshop my Ke$ha rock opera, but I'm in.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I hate this prompt but I'm in.

pug wearing a hat
May 29, 2012

please allow me to introduce myself i'm a man of wealth and taste


How are you defining Top 40? Can I still do a pop song?

(This prompt owns btw)

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

TOP 40 WITH RYAN SEACREST

CANADA TOP 40

If the artist is on these lists, you are probably going to lose. The definition is kind of arbitrary. Use your best judgement.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2013 around 13:07

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


*A newcomer rides up to THE THUNDERDOME. He rides a motorcycle, or some other comparably badass method of transport. He enters the Dome, steps off his hog or whatever and stands tall. This is NIKAER DREKIN.*

I'm in for this one, the prompt is awesome and I already have a pretty solid idea for it. I'm proud to clash literary swords with you fine goons.

SpaceGodzilla
Sep 24, 2012

I sure hope Godzilla-senpai notices me~


Yeah ok, let's see if I can dodge a bullet twice in a row (the answer is probably no). In.

black.lion
Apr 1, 2004




For if he like a madman lived,
At least he like a wise one died.

I'm new, unskilled, and overflowing with self esteem. I hope to remedy at least one of these by participating here.

I'm in. (if that was unclear)

black.lion fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2013 around 18:20

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Flash Rule on myself:

The first person to quote this needs to post the name of a song. That song is what I have to use for my submission.

The song must not fall under Nubile Hillock's definition of Top 40 that would make me automatically lose.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


systran posted:

Flash Rule on myself:

The first person to quote this needs to post the name of a song. That song is what I have to use for my submission.

The song must not fall under Nubile Hillock's definition of Top 40 that would make me automatically lose.

Total Eclipse of the Heart.



Also, I don't have time to write this week. But I will have time to judge, so I can do that if still needed.

Jimmy4400nav
Apr 1, 2011

Ambassador to Moonlandia


Well, I've been looking for an excuse to try some creative writing and this promp looks interesting. Sign me up please

Time to break out the Ramstein!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Have some crits, now featuring an arbitrary 1-10 scale.

Noah-A Fine Day

I'm going to disagree with my esteemed co-judge and say I wasn't a fan of the little kid voice. "The marching men", "the shouting men", "the man with no hair", and so on, got a little repetitive. I think people's first instinct when writing kids is to not let your character have the slightest idea of what's going on. I feel like if an invading army (?) is marching victoriously(?) through the streets, a child would at least know that they are soldiers. But it's also pretty vague as to what's going on, which dampens the reader's stake in the conflict.

I did enjoy the trying-to-shoot-fire bit, cause what kid hasn't tried that? And you did convey some sense of rising tension. But it's just sort of floating there. 375 words is a pretty tight space to do much in, so there's that. I feel like just a little bit more information would have made it more solid, but as it is I gave it a 6/10.


SpaceGodzilla-The Living

I wanted to like this one more than I did. I thought the subject matter was a good way to come at the prompt, but then you kind of just told us how he feels. Everything that led up to this point in the story is vague exposition. You tell us straight up that this is "Ichiro's march toward death".

The whole ending, where he arrives at the place of his suicide, is sterile and the language is overly wordy in places. "The path terminated at a depression replete with boulders and fallen trees", for example. Pretty much everything up to the last two sentences is remote and clinical. Then you said

quote:

Ichiro’s despair swelled as he recognized himself in the scene before him. He saw himself not in the skull’s smiling visage, but in the moss.

and I was like drat Godzilla, I wish you'd said more poo poo like this earlier. So I give it a resentful 6/10 because you almost had something here.


Erik Shawn-Bohner-This Land is Your Land

Man I liked this, and if you had ended Cavanaugh's dialog at "We'll never get out" it might have clinched it for me. You had kind of a cool No Country For Old Men atmosphere going on, and the flashback as it is took me out of it. Kaishai already pointed out the weak spots I saw, ie the snake building and "Reggie shook the can at the attendant. Waves of putrid gasoline splashed the counter and onto the attendant."

8/10


HaitianDivorce-Starstuff

Another story about a guy calmly walking to his pragmatically arranged suicide. Lets start at the beginning.

There's some stars. Then a bunch of stuff about this guy's mom, before we even know where he is or why he's there. Eventually we ascertain that he and some others are on a ship that fled earth. There's this thing called the ethernet. There'r bits of sporadic exposition; we learn through his terse inner monologue that they essentially are living Logan's Run/Soylent Green in space. Then he walks to his demise, with so little fanfare that I was actually kind of surprised at the sudden revelation that he was about to die or whatever.

I don't know what a nye is, but I'm assuming it has something to do with this ethernet thing, because you start talking about old family photos. Which he doesn't seem particularly attached to. So have a character meandering to their death, but since he doesn't care much for the people or the ship, there's no real tension. We're reading about the universes most bored guy absently shuffling off the mortal coil.

5/10

Fumblemouse-Hard computation

I'm gonna say, 500 words is a rough limit to try to do what you're doing here. There's some world-building stuff happening, but like some of the other pieces this week, it's not the right information to make the reader care or to drive the conflict.

You've got two loooong paragraphs of exposition and basically two sentences where anything happens, when you say:

quote:

It watched as the final human opened its eyes to see the stars in the night sky. It heard the screaming begin.

And then you randomly switch to present tense, where the Machine goes back to its opaque tasks and everything goes back to how it was at the beginning of the story.

All in all, there's little concrete imagery to grab onto, and much of the why and how of the story is unclear. Good effort, but focus on trying to tell a good human story before you branch out into weird abstract machine consciousness. 5/10


Nubile Hillock-Tallgrass

There were a few problems with this. But in 300 words you also conveyed conflict, rising action, and then a resolution, of sorts. You pushed it, but I think you basically succeeded in fitting your concept within a really short space. That's why I ultimately agreed that you were the winner.

That said, I could have done without a million proper nouns. And calling the scent/pheromone signals of the ants the Everbreath was a little bit of unnecessary garnish that stuck out to me. I would have enjoyed this more with simpler, more direct language rather than trying to come up with vague-sounding names for the things an ant might encounter. I won't try to repeat stuff Kashai already pointed out, but there were a few patches where the writing was unclear, like in the beginning when it's not entirely clear that the worker ant is the protagonist.

That said, once she got going I found her a weirdly endearing character. Especially when she tries to bring the sweet back to her doomed colony.

I thought it was an interesting way to interpret the prompt. 8/10 for concept, 7/10 for the writing.


pug wearing a hat-Private Browsing

This is hard to critique because I get what you're trying to do, but it didn't quite hit it. I'm left with too many questions about what's going on.

I didn't pick this as my loser because it was an interesting attempt, but I wish the actual story had come through a bit better. On the bright side, I'm inspired to have some sort of unconventional fiction prompt one of these weeks. 4/10


Steriletom-The Sixth Republic

The writing in this is decent enough, but nothing really happens. We don't even wonder for very long if this Entrepreneur is going to give anyone money, because the narrator straight up tells us he isn't going to.

I like wallowing in the possible socio-economic dystopias in our future, too, but you sort of just riff on the idea rather than really showing us anything. Also:

quote:

He’s wearing a top hat perched above a bespoke morning suit with waistcoat and nervously fingers a cane top set with a heavy weight

there needs to be a comma in there, but moreover describing a top hat perched over a suit is a clumsy way to say it. And bespoke? Why not just tailored? This sentence stuck out as wordy and awkward to me.

As for prompt relevance, you certainly tell us about a nightmarish world brought about by the previous generation's short-sightedness. I just would have liked to have seen more of it. 6/10


Baggy_Brad-Aware

I mostly liked this, though I thought it was unnecessary to tell us that your narrator was nervous multiple times. That seems kind of redundant because your character's actions already tell us that they're nervous.

And this bit:

quote:

He thinks only of his now hunger. I realise. How can I know what he feels? This empathy makes me very nervous. I grab my pods from the hollow and run, clambering over rocks until I leave the cave. I look back, I don't see him.

It feels weird for the character to describe their own experience as empathy when they don't even have a word for it yet. I understood what you were going for without being told, this kind of takes me out of the mindset of a primitive human.

Also don't start so many sentences with I, it makes it feel like a laundry list of actions. 7/10


livethepostmetal-The Procession

Meh Kaishai already ripped you a pretty good new one. I've never been a big fan of "while at a funeral, a character thinks back" stories so it's hard for me to give any other advice beyond advising that next time you should try to focus on showing us the story rather than telling it in flashback form.

Beyond that, the father is so pointlessly awful that I'm having trouble even caring that he's dead. This daughter's final tear is cheesy and kind of odd, and at the end I had trouble figuring out if it was Gabriela or Maria crying. Either way, seems weird given that he was massively abusive toward both of them. But I'm not a psychologist.

Anyway. Good try. 5/10


Cancer Cakes-Agnatic-Cerebratic Succession

Oh Cancer Cakes. I'll just highlight my favorite bits:

quote:

“I always enjoy spending time with you, Grandma, the food is so good!”

I'm with the queen in narrowing my eyes at this line. If you're going to challenge yourself to write dialog, try to put it to good use. This just sits there being cheesy.

quote:

Everyone knew he would rather be at a trendy restaurant with his friends, or killing Afghans with his army helicopter, than here with his family.

So you're writing this caricature of the royal family, I get it, but at a point it just starts to feel cartoonish.

quote:

“Harry, my boy, I would like to pick your brain:..."


FORESHADOWING

which is good because so far the story has been mostly weak dinner conversation and soup-evisceration.

Still, I laughed out loud when I got to

quote:

“The secret, is, of course -”

The footman removed the sheet covering the centrepiece with a flourish.

“-brains.”

But yeah, the dialog doesn't do much for me and the big reveal sort of just seems like a wacky non sequitur. Still, it was an amusing losing entry, which is better than some of the poo poo we've condemned to be branded by the losertar. 4/10


Erogenous Beef-Xlendi

Writing was ok, but a few things bugged me.

quote:

Maybe it was too much cheap Victoria wine at my bachelor party, the wedding gifts towering over me in the foyer, or the centuries-old fish stench seeping from the floorboards, but I packed my bag by moonlight the second I got home

I don't really get why those things equal him packing his bags, necessarily. We learn that his father is/was strict and that the narrator is unhappy with a fisherman's lot, but we don't really see what he's escaping except an imminent wedding to a woman we never learn anything about.

This bit here:

quote:

Father’s boat bobbed in the marsa alongside many multicolored cousins, a row of drunk old men teetering on the moonlit water. Rusty outboard motors clung to their keels, mere infants to the grandfather wood of their hulls.

There is way too much personification of these boats going on here. For a second I thought there were literally old men teetering over the water. But then I was like wait, old men don't have keels. Also "clung" is a weird way to describe a motor that is attached to a boat.

Then the father ends up being a pretty cool dude after all, and boats his son over to the airport to go be a rock star or whatever. As it's written, it's not bad, but it misses the prompt.

I would have cut the wedding out all together and focused on the relationship between father and son. Write the dad as someone who's resigned to his role because that's The Way It Is, and pressures his son to do the same because that's what his dad did. Then the moment where the narrator realizes his dad wasn't happy with his lot either would mean more, and it would have fit the prompt better.

This got a 7/10

-------

I'll have the rest of he crits along shortly.

edit: While you're waiting, you should look at these links someone helpfully posted in the fiction discussion thread:

Crisco Kid posted:

Links about plot and conflict:

Hugh Howey: Got a cool idea for a story? Now break it.

Caro Clarke: What is conflict?

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2013 around 17:25

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!


I've never participated in this - can I jump in for the song prompt?

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

I'm so in on this one.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Nubile I am in for this prompt.

Now have the rest of my crits, featuring a little bit of Thunderdome theater:

Will Styles-Metamorphosis

: You think you’re too good for mining coal? No-one gets out of Weaver, let alone some singing fairy like you.

: I'm gonna make it big someday, you'll see!

:

: I'll...show them. I AM gonna gently caress off, I'm gonna gently caress off to New York! Oh, Tony award, here I come!

Soon...

(dad): Boy where in the durn hell do you think your goin

: I'm gonna catch this bus to New York dad. You can't stop me. THIS IS MY LIFE.

: corndammit son I already said you can't be Hannah Montana.

:Her name is Miley Cyrus dad, and I know that now. I just...I just want to be me. The real me.

: Now get on in the truck, there's food needs puttin' on the table.

: gently caress YOU DAD I'M NOT LIKE YOU i don't care about putting food on the table. When I think about doing the work you've done to support me all my life it makes me want to DIE.

:

:

: Well uh, you run along, then

: Thanks dad, you won't regret this. I AM gonna be a star! *Breaks into the song Tomorrow from the musical Annie, whirls away to the bus*

~fin


Yeah, nothing terribly new or exciting here, unfortunately. Your plot flirts with the prompt, but the delivery is cliche. While I wouldn't consider this something to submit anywhere(unless you reworked it a whole lot), I think it would be a good piece to let someone tear apart in the Fiction Farm thread.

4/10


systran-Ex Cathedra

Hmmm. I am intrigued by your progress. Definitely getting there. I thought that the transition from confronting the pope to "decades later" was abrupt. Why not just cut to the pope's execution and deliver his final words that way? Cutting way into the future so you can tell us about something that happened before that is weird. I don't have much else to say about this piece, but good job. 7/10


HiddenGecko-The Brine Vats

I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, I love anything gooey and fleshy, and you certainly conveyed something nightmarish. It's like some acid daydream or something. It's gross, and things happen, but it doesn't go anywhere because all we see is the nightmare out of context.

I've said it a bunch of times now, but 500 words is a difficult word count for genre fiction, unless it's so abundantly clear what's going on that you need to do nil exposition. I feel like I would have dug the hell out of this as a longer piece.

Also watch your present tense. It slipped here and there.

8/10


Sebmojo-Birdsong

And here comes this guy, sliding in easy under 300 words. This is very zen. Probably the most subtly done take on the prompt this week. The emotions are sincere and the dialog is good. For some reason the moral-of-the-story feel of this line:

quote:

"But love... That is the thing that survives us. At least for a while. That is no small thing."

Doesn't do it for me. I would have preferred something a little more profound than all you need is love. Ok that's not exactly what he said but w/e. Just my preference, though.

anyway, 8/10 for the story but 2/10 for being my secret nemesis.


Jeza-Conscience Round

quote:

A horrible thing is often just a composition of many simple things. The crack of a gavel, a short straw, a blindfold. Who said you had to run in any particular direction? Why does it mean anything when the judge brings the hammer down or you pull the shortest straw in the bunch?

What's all this then? Who is speaking/thinking? Why are they addressing me in the second person? I assume these are thoughts that we're to attribute to Thomas in the next paragraph, but it reads like a weird introduction.

Otherwise I like this piece. It moves along nicely, and I liked the descriptions of the colonel.

It took me a minute to realize that they were executing someone rather than blaming Thomas for someone's death, but that might be my own reading comprehension. Anyway, not your best, not your worst, 7/10

SpaceGodzilla
Sep 24, 2012

I sure hope Godzilla-senpai notices me~


Sitting Here posted:

SpaceGodzilla-The Living

I wanted to like this one more than I did. I thought the subject matter was a good way to come at the prompt, but then you kind of just told us how he feels. Everything that led up to this point in the story is vague exposition. You tell us straight up that this is "Ichiro's march toward death".

The whole ending, where he arrives at the place of his suicide, is sterile and the language is overly wordy in places. "The path terminated at a depression replete with boulders and fallen trees", for example. Pretty much everything up to the last two sentences is remote and clinical. Then you said


and I was like drat Godzilla, I wish you'd said more poo poo like this earlier. So I give it a resentful 6/10 because you almost had something here.
Big thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you pointed out that you liked that last line more than the rest, because I'm still trying to get the hang of what's too little and what's going overboard. I was kind of afraid of being mocked so I played it really safe until that last line, but clearly that didn't work out. I'll try to be more adventurous next time, whether it brings ruin or glory!

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Thanks Kaishai/Sitting Here, I was going for a minority group of people being forced to watch a hate group march in the streets legally (like a neo nazi parade) and just not being able to stomach having to be unable to do anything. I definitely understand why it was too vague to work out like that, and I blame Fanky for everything wrong in life.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Jeza posted:


Also, I don't have time to write this week. But I will have time to judge, so I can do that if still needed.

WELCOME, JUDGE!

Still need one more, anyone up to the task? If I don't get another judge I'm assigning JUDGE NULL to take a third of the crits (he is a paper shredder and you will lose, automatically).

Big thanks to Sitting Here for the crits and the lovely bit of theatre.

Nikaer Drekin posted:

*A newcomer rides up to THE THUNDERDOME. He rides a motorcycle, or some other comparably badass method of transport. He enters the Dome, steps off his hog or whatever and stands tall. This is NIKAER DREKIN.*




CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


I lost so can't judge, otherwise I would. It was a lot of fun last time and I learnt a lot, obviously not enough, but I will get there eventually.

Also I'm in for this week, and it's a great prompt. I drafted about five stories with different songs out in my head on the way home.

Nyarai
Jul 19, 2012

Jenn here.


I can judge if you need it. I won back in September 2012, and I was gonna get in this week, but I'd love to help out on the judge front.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Nyarai posted:

I can judge if you need it. I won back in September 2012, and I was gonna get in this week, but I'd love to help out on the judge front.

Step up to the Judging Platform! Don't mind the rusty nails.

I really wish I could take credit for this prompt. Direct your thanks at Echo, Kai, Fanky and the fine people at Half Pints brewery. Also maybe nod at ESB in a knowing way.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012



Okay, CREEPER, I'm retracting my entry unless you tell me how you got that camera there

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Noah posted:

I blame Fanky for everything wrong in life.

I wanted to make a snarky comeback, but this is probably quite true. I am literally the worst. Deal with it.

Nyarai
Jul 19, 2012

Jenn here.


Nubile Hillock posted:

Step up to the Judging Platform! Don't mind the rusty nails.

Sweet, and don't worry. My tetanus booster is still good.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



In seeing as I kind of inspired this prompt.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Nikaer Drekin posted:

Okay, CREEPER, I'm retracting my entry unless you tell me how you got that camera there

Thunderdome knows all. No retractions.


Signups end on friday, whenever I wake up and log on.

Chewie23
Mar 17, 2013

Damn. It feels good to be a gangster


I am digging this thread so far and would like to give it a shot. Count me in

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


Unless something frees up my schedule further crits for the BEAUTIFUL MOMENT submissions will need to wait till next week as I just got hit with another matter at work. Farewell, weekends.

SpaceGodzilla
Sep 24, 2012

I sure hope Godzilla-senpai notices me~


I'm flash-ruling my song to be Underground by Tom Waits before I can change my mind again.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

My inability to write has angered the ghost of Thunderdome! Beware my example, lest you be haunted.


In.

Khris Kruel
Nov 5, 2003

Sometimes I just want to eat the world. Ask me about my wonderful posting!

In for thunderdome

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

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


Life sucks and then you die. Might as well try. In for thunderdome.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Thunderdome is a bad thread and for sissies. I'll show ya'll how it's done.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Is there a signup deadline? Or is that open until the posting deadline?

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Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Noah posted:

Is there a signup deadline? Or is that open until the posting deadline?

Until he says it's done.

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