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  • Locked thread
Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Jagermonster posted:

Jacking in, suckas

nice

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PHIZ KALIFA
Dec 21, 2011
HOTDOG ORIGAMI


my cyberpunk blaxploitation story will be about a man with no neck defending his ironic racism on reddit.

our future is the dumbest future

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


PHIZ KALIFA posted:

my cyberpunk blaxploitation story will be about a man with no neck defending his ironic racism on reddit.

our future is the dumbest future

Where does he keep his beard?

So do I just post my THUNDERDUEL entry vs. Mercedes here like I would a normal story? Any special formatting?

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


PHIZ KALIFA posted:

my cyberpunk blaxploitation story will be about a man with no neck defending his ironic racism on reddit.

our future is the dumbest future

If anyone GBSes this up by mentioning reddit or any other arbitrary thing I declare too GBS, it's a disqualify.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

If anyone GBSes this up by mentioning reddit or any other arbitrary thing I declare too GBS, it's a disqualify.

same

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Noah posted:

Unless Sitting Here produces soon, you'll get this one by default. You'll still get a full crit as well.

Ugghhh I know I had an inordinately long amount of time to work on this, but please just bear with me a little bit, I barely physically have time to post due to the corn-fed tide of mouth breathing lunatics who lose their poo poo even harder as soon as they pay money to sleep some place.

I don't even see humans anymore. Everywhere is just ill-fitting wax masks and behind them the same singular gaping hungry mouth, always working and gnashing and sucking, always hungry.



Anyway IDK how I feel about the cut of this week's jib, we shall see.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Sitting Here posted:

Anyway IDK how I feel about the cut of this week's jib, we shall see.

well I guess we know who I'm not friends with anymore

PHIZ KALIFA
Dec 21, 2011
HOTDOG ORIGAMI


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

If anyone GBSes this up by mentioning reddit or any other arbitrary thing I declare too GBS, it's a disqualify.

Okay what about Slashdot.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

gently caress you all, in with a . Capntastic can flash rule me if he wants.

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Surprised to have jumped from dishonorable to honorable mention in the span of two stories, although it feels like I took the easy way out choosing a thread that played to my strengths. Much obliged for the crits, Erogenous Beef.

Need to research this week's topics to assess whether I have the right armaments for this fight.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Martello posted:

well I guess we know who I'm not friends with anymore

give me time

Barracuda Bang!
Oct 21, 2008

The first rule of No Avatar Club is: you do not talk about No Avatar Club. The second rule of No Avatar Club is: you DO NOT talk about No Avatar Club

Grimey Drawer

I'm in, first time

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Marty died on IRC so I am in to avenge his death.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


PHIZ KALIFA posted:

Okay what about Slashdot.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Submissions are due on Saturday night or whatever

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


captain platypus posted:

So do I just post my THUNDERDUEL entry vs. Mercedes here like I would a normal story? Any special formatting?

alright well I'm just gonna do that

THUNDERDUEL WEEK LI: MERCEDES VS. CAPTAIN PLATYPUS

Mercedes is coming to gently caress me in the butt.

- - -

Caroline, Texting Jupiter (~944)

Caroline was decidedly not in love, but unfortunately Jupiter did not reciprocate the sentiment.

“Christ,” Caroline muttered. “He texted me again.”

“Ooh, let me see.” Caroline’s roommate John, who had some kind of fetish for watching people unsuccessfully court others, snatched up her phone. “It is through the crayon scribbles that we recognize the greatness of the Sistine” or some equivalent drivel is how he had explained this interest to Caroline. “Good morning, beautiful, backwards smiley face,” John read aloud. He turned his gaze from the screen to Caroline, who was hunched at their kitchen island, her bed hair nearly falling into her bowl of cereal. “That’s not so bad.”

“Every morning,” Caroline sulked.

John handed her back the phone. As he walked from their common area into his room, he asked, “What did you do to deserve this one?”

“Well, I was dancing at the Buttercrunch a couple of weeks ago―”

John stuck his undressed frame back into the common room. “Without me?”

Caroline stared steadfastly at his chest unapologetically. “You were out that night.”

“Oh.” John retreated from the doorway. “Well, I shouldn't have been,” he called back.

Caroline continued. “And this guy’s kind of standing by the wall with his friend, right? He just stands there, holding his drink, looking around the club. His friend’s shouting something into his ear, encouragement I guess, so the guy starts slowly sidling up to women to dance with. Y’know that thing where when a woman is getting danced on by a creep, she may shove her friend in front of him?”

By this time, John had emerged from his room, his perfectly-sculpted torso painted over with a sky blue polo. His hair had also been haphazardly brushed during his absence from the room. He laughed―more like cackled―and said, “Yes. I do the same thing.”

“I was the friend.”

“Ouch.”

“So this kid―bless his heart, John, he’s trying―he starts talking to me, while trying some stupid alpha poo poo by brushing my arm. It’d be cute if it weren’t so, I don’t know, awful. His name is Jupiter and he’s new in town. Then he asks for my number.”

“So you gave it to him.”

“So I gave it to him.”

John leaned over the kitchen island, placing his elbows on the marble across from Caroline, who was frosting the tips of her hair with her chocolate puffs. “Then what?”

“Like clockwork, dude waits three days to text me. Then he goes, hey there, sweetheart, lets go out for a movie today, backwards smiley face. Like, what the hell?”

“A movie?”

“A movie. Here's textbook pick-up artist approach: Instead of asking me out, he told me we were going out.”

“So you told him no.”

“Well...”

Caroline.

“He’s new in town, John!”

Caroline.

“John.”

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him I was busy. Maybe later.”

Caro―”

“Shh.” At this point, Caroline noticed that her hair was dripping with milk. She got up from the kitchen island, took a towel to her hair, and pushed it up.

“That still doesn’t explain how we got from him asking you out to him texting you good morning, beautiful every day.” John turned around to face her as she washed her bowl in the sink.

“Well, last week, he just started texting me out of the blue. And wanting to be nice, I would talk back. We had pretty good conversations when he wasn’t trying to pick me up.”

“And now he thinks that the two of you are dating.”

Caroline grimaced. “Something like that. I’ve made excuses every time he’s asked me out.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

Caroline, on her way to the bathroom, stopped in the hallway. “Uh...wait for him to die?”

* * *

Caroline looked guiltily at the hole in the ground as the undertaker filled it with soil. “I didn’t actually want this to happen,” she felt compelled to say.

“Sure you did,” said John.

Caroline punched him in the arm. The two of them were approached by an older woman, made apparently older by the grief striking her face. Her voice cracked as she spoke. “You must be Caroline.”

“Well, um, yes,” Caroline stammered.

“I’m Jupiter’s mother. I just wanted to say thank you for being there for him. He talked about you all the time. I’m so sorry,” she said, referring, Caroline knew, to the relationship that wasn’t that now wouldn’t be. Caroline wondered for a short moment if she should come clean to this grieving mother and explain that her son was mistaken, or perpetuate the lie one last time for Jupiter’s mother’s sake.

It was a pretty easy choice. “I am too,” Caroline said softly, hugging the woman.

John drove the two of them back to the apartment from the funeral. It had been about a month since Caroline and Jupiter had met, and accidentally true to her word, Caroline had kept up their correspondence until Jupiter’s death. He would text her, they would have a decent conversation, and she wouldn’t tell him about the blind dates John set her up whenever he accidentally met a straight guy. (Both had gone poorly.)

“Y’know,” John said finally, eyes still on the road, “this was all really decent of you.”

“Yeah?” Caroline asked. That absolutely none of this was actually her fault didn't make her feel any better about it.

“Yeah.”

Caroline awoke the next morning to an empty inbox. She walked into the common area to find John in a tank top, eating cereal on their couch. “Good morning, beautiful,” he said without missing a beat.

Caroline called him an rear end in a top hat and poured herself some chocolate puffs.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

gently caress you all, in with a . Capntastic can flash rule me if he wants.

My pants are getting tight already.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


gently caress my thesis i'm in.

Accretionist
Nov 7, 2012



In.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

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

Fallen Rib

I am in.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Sitting Here posted:

Ugghhh I know I had an inordinately long amount of time to work on this, but please just bear with me a little bit, I barely physically have time to post due to the corn-fed tide of mouth breathing lunatics who lose their poo poo even harder as soon as they pay money to sleep some place.

I don't even see humans anymore. Everywhere is just ill-fitting wax masks and behind them the same singular gaping hungry mouth, always working and gnashing and sucking, always hungry.

I'm willing to grant Sitting Here an extension for another day or two. The taste of her own keister will be just that much sweeter for the delay.

Edit: Also, winning by default is lame. I demand legitimacy.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Random crit.

This has the bones of an ok story, but drat if you don't fog it up with unnecessary bullshit. Too much blocking, too much effort avoiding 'said'. Just use 'said', it's one of the few invisible words in English.

STill I like the dialogue and it's a good idea, if slight. You put the characters across well enough that you can afford to trust the reader more, which is what most of my edits are aimed at.

captain platypus posted:

alright well I'm just gonna do that

THUNDERDUEL WEEK LI: MERCEDES VS. CAPTAIN PLATYPUS

Mercedes is coming to gently caress me in the butt.

- - -

Caroline, Texting Jupiter (~944)

Caroline was decidedly not in love, but unfortunately Jupiter did not reciprocate the sentiment.

“Christ,” Caroline muttered. “He texted me again.”

“Ooh, let me see.” Caroline’s roommate John, who had some kind of fetish for watching people unsuccessfully court others, snatched up her phone. “It is through the crayon scribbles that we recognize the greatness of the Sistine” or some equivalent drivel is how he had explained this interest to Caroline.Good morning, beautiful, backwards smiley face,” John read aloud. He turned his gaze from the screen to looked over at Caroline, who was hunched at their kitchen island, her bed hair nearly falling into her bowl of cereal. “That’s not so bad.”

“Every morning,” Caroline sulkedsaid.

John handed her back the phone. I don't care what happens to the phone. As he John walked from their common area into his room, he asked,“What did you do to deserve this one?” BLOCKING. It gets painful to read characters being moved around like game pieces, try and minimise it where possible.

“Well, I was dancing at the Buttercrunch a couple of weeks ago―”

John stuck his undressed frame back into the common room. John poked his head back in. He was shirtless.(this gets the image across in a tidier way) “Without me?”

Caroline stared steadfastly at his chest unapologetically. “You were out that night.”

“Oh.” John retreated from the doorway. “Well, I shouldn't have been,” he called back.

Caroline continued. “And this guy’s kind of standing by the wall with his friend, right? He just stands there, holding his drink, looking around the club. His friend’s shouting something into his ear, encouragement I guess, so the guy starts slowly sidling up to women to dance with. Y’know that thing where when a woman is getting danced on by a creep, she may shove her friend in front of him?”

By this time, John had emerged from his room, his perfectly-sculpted torso painted over with a sky blue polo. His hair had also been haphazardly brushed during his absence from the room. He laughed―more like cackled―and said, “Yes. I do the same thing.” You don't need to obsessively justify everything - obviously he brushed his hair while he was in his bedroom.

“I was the friend.”

“Ouch.”

“So this kid―bless his heart, John, he’s trying―he starts talking to me, while trying some stupid alpha poo poo by brushing my arm. It’d be cute if it weren’t so, I don’t know, awful. His name is Jupiter and he’s new in town. Then he asks for my number.”

“So you gave it to him.”

“So I gave it to him.”

John leaned over the kitchen island, placing his elbows on the marble across from Caroline, who was frosting the tips of her hair with her chocolate puffs. “Then what?”

“Like clockwork, dude waits three days to text me. Then he goes, hey there, sweetheart, lets go out for a movie today, backwards smiley face. Like, what the hell?”

“A movie?”

“A movie. Here's textbook pick-up artist approach: Instead of asking me out, he told me we were going out.”

“So you told him no.”

“Well...”

Caroline.

“He’s new in town, John!”

Caroline.

“John.”

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him I was busy. Maybe later.”

Caro―”

“Shh.” Good dialogue, and not having any markers like 'said' works well here. At this point, Caroline's noticed that her hair was dripping with milk. She got up from the kitchen island, took a towel to her hair, and pushed it up.

IS THIS ACTUALLY A THING THAT PEOPLE DO if it is, then she has to notice she's doing it earlier or she looks retarded


“That still doesn’t explain how we got from him asking you out to him texting you good morning, beautiful every day.” John turned around to face her leaned on the kitchen counter as she washed her bowl in the sink.

“Well, last week, he just started texting me out of the blue. And wanting to be nice, I would talk back. We had pretty good conversations when he wasn’t trying to pick me up.”

“And now he thinks that the two of you are dating.”

Caroline grimaced. “Something like that. I’ve made excuses every time he’s asked me out.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

Caroline, on her way to the bathroom, stopped in the hallway. “Uh...wait for him to die?”

* * *

Caroline looked guiltily this adverb is justified, barely at the hole in the ground as the undertaker filled it with soil. “I didn’t actually want this to happen,” she felt compelled to say said.

“Sure you did,” said John.

Caroline punched him in the arm. The two of them were approached by An older woman, made apparently older by the her grief striking her face.DESCRIBE HER WITH A TELLING DETAIL OF DRESS OR FACE, OLDER IS BAD Her voice cracked as she spoke. “You must be Caroline.”

“Well, um, yes,” Caroline stammered said.

“I’m Jupiter’s mother. I just wanted to say thank you for being there for him. I deleted this as horrible cliche, but I guess it's the sort of horrible cliche people do say at funerals, so ok. He talked about you all the time. I’m so sorry,” she said, referring, Caroline knew, to the relationship that wasn’t that now wouldn’t be. Caroline wondered for a short moment if she should come clean to this grieving mother and explain that her son was mistaken, or perpetuate the lie one last time for Jupiter’s mother’s sake.

It was a pretty easy choice.
You don't need any of this.

“I am too,” Caroline said softly, hugging the woman.

John drove the two of them back to the apartment from the funeral. It had been about a month since Caroline and Jupiter had met, and accidentally true to her word, Caroline had kept up their correspondence until Jupiter’s death. He would text her, they would have a decent conversation, and she wouldn’t tell him about the blind dates John set her up with whenever he accidentally met a straight guy. (Both had gone poorly.) Ditto - just bring it home.

“Y’know,” John said finally, eyes still on the road, “this was all really decent of you.”

“Yeah?” Caroline asked. That absolutely none of this was actually her fault didn't make her feel any better about it. Again.

“Yeah.”

Caroline awoke the next morning to an empty inbox. She walked into the common area to find John in a tank top, eating cereal on their couch. “Good morning, beautiful,” he said without missing a beat. Ugh.

Caroline called him an rear end in a top hat and poured herself some chocolate puffs.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jul 30, 2013 around 22:43

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


As is the custom of our people, here's this week's themesong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvDt57Dr_WY

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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


THUNDERDUEL WEEK LI: MERCEDES VS. CAPTAIN PLATYPUS

You drat right I'm coming!

...

For your rear end!

Word Count: 960

Winter is Sweet Without Struggle

Silvia's screams were incoherent. She was on her knees as she clawed at the coffin, caring nothing for her self image. Her husband was dead and everyone needed to know how it affected her. How much it pained her. Her friends did their best to console her, but their words were not having any affect.

“Paolo!” She wailed. “Oh God!”

~

Silvia recoiled as a bag of ice was applied to her face.

“Sit still, will you?” her mother said with eyes narrowed into angry slits. “This is your fault, you know. If you would only listen to what Paolo tells you, this wouldn't have happened.”

“She's bringing shame to your family, Martha. I bet it's because she can't get pregnant.” An older woman adorned in gaudy jewelry sat at the kitchen table with a cigarette between her fingers. “Been married almost four months and she's still not pregnant. I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner.”

Silvia closed her eyes. Of all the people she hated, Zera had a special place on her list. She's a gossip, an instigator and in everyone's business. There's never a time where she made things better. She just wished Zera would go away.

The ice pack jarred Silvia back into the present.

“She's right you know.” Martha said. “If you don't get pregnant soon, people are going to start thinking you're barren. Will you look at me when I'm speaking to you?”

She opened her eyes and affixed them on her mother. Silvia wished so hard that she could make her mother understand how much she never wanted to be married off.

“Paolo expects that you give him a son. If you can't do that, I don't know what's going to happen to you.” her mother said.

“You've warned her a million times already. She's not going to understand until his family forces her to commit suicide.” Zera said.

Silvia looked at her, shocked.

Her eyebrows bounced as a smirk pulled on the corner of her lips.

~

“No!” Silvia shouted as her family pulled her away from the coffin. “No! I want to stay with him! Let me go!”

She struggled against their grasp. Her foot struck the coffin and her demeanor changed instantly. She slumped in their arms and whimpered. Tears stung her eyes, and when she squeezed them shut to will the pain away, the tears finally rolled down her face.

~

“That's an odd smelling tea you're making there, Silvia.” Zera made her way into the kitchen in a garment of obnoxious colors that assaulted the senses. Smoke billowed out of her nose in twin streams as she took a seat by the kitchen table.

Silvia paused imperceptibly. She kept her surprise and annoyance buried deep. The way that woman goes wherever she wants uninvited bristled the anger inside. “Hello ma'am.” she said with a stiff curtsy. “What brings you to my home?”

Zera rolled her cigarette as she stared at her fingernails. “Are you not going to offer your guest a drink?”

“I only made enough for one cup. May I bring you some water while I prepare-”

“I would really like to at least try some of that, if possible.”

“The tea is for Paolo.” Silvia said, the lie coming out bit harsher than she wanted to. “He's a little under the weather, so I made this for him as a pick me up.” She forced a smile.

The old woman paused and drew from her cigarette. Her lips curled into a cruel grin. “The tea is for Paolo. I apologize.” Smoke swirled around her head as she spoke. “Still not pregnant I see.”

The smile held as she kept her silence with a shrug that said, "I don't know what to tell you."

Zera studied her with shrewd eyes. “Perhaps next time, you'll definitely have to let me try some of your special brew.”

“Yes. Of course.”

Silvia's smile disappeared the moment Zera left.

~

Silvia stood outside in the snow with a newly lit cigarette between her fingers.

“You think you're so clever.” The familiar voice called out in a harsh whisper. “You may have fooled everyone in there, but I know better.”

“Zera,” she sighed heavily, “again, I don't know what you're talking about.”

“Don't play stupid with me.” she said with her voice low and even. “Everyone's going to know what you are. I'll personally see to that.”

“Can we just-” Silvia paused, then offered her a cigarette. “I'm so tired. I don't want to argue with you right now.”

Zera took the cigarette and pulled deep from it. “I knew something was off about you.” She blew the rest of the smoke out the side of her mouth. “I won't stop until I expose you.”

“Okay, whatever you say, Zera.” she shrugged.

~

“Is there anything we can do to help, Silvia?”

“Nothing.” she dismissed the concern with a shake of her head. “The doctor doesn't know why Paolo's health is declining. He just said to try to keep him comfortable; he might pull through on his own.”

“You don't seem too broken up about it, Silvia.” Zera said.

“I'm no good to Paolo if I'm a crying mess.” she said with a practiced smile. “I have to be strong for him.

"And you say we can't see him?"

"He needs his rest, Zera. Doctor's orders."

Martha reached in and hugged her daughter. “I'm so proud of you. You've really grown this past year.”

“Thank you Momma.” she said into her mother's shoulder as she challenged Zera with her eyes.

~

The screams for help that came from inside the church was all that Silvia needed to hear. She pulled a hand sanitizing gel from her purse and cleaned her fingers. As she made her way back, she smeared a dab of the gel under her eyes. Immediately, she felt the tears come.

Mercedes fucked around with this message at Jul 30, 2013 around 22:49

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


sebmojo posted:

Random crit.

Thanks! I agree with the part about blocking and about moving my characters around like game pieces. It was very dialogue-heavy and I was trying to break that up.

However, there are places where you just edited out flavor: John's comment about watching bad courtship, Caroline staring at her roommate's chest. How would you build in character details while still moving along the plot?

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Martello posted:

your dumb and stupid and canadian and a bunch of other stupid poo poo

stupid gayass applepie shitforbrains ameriCANT why dont u got shoot some turban dudes okay????

Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

If anyone GBSes this up by mentioning reddit or any other arbitrary thing I declare too GBS, it's a disqualify.

abloobloobloo

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

In, or 'Paying rent in New Jack City with bitCoins' as the kids fail to say.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Nubile Hillock posted:

abloobloobloo

Go fix your truck then come abloobloo me turdwrestler

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

NO I WILL NOT MAKE OUT WITH YOU.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

captain platypus posted:

Thanks! I agree with the part about blocking and about moving my characters around like game pieces. It was very dialogue-heavy and I was trying to break that up.

However, there are places where you just edited out flavor: John's comment about watching bad courtship, Caroline staring at her roommate's chest. How would you build in character details while still moving along the plot?

This isn't the place for a back and forth, but the first bit slowed the piece right down at the beginning and was obvious from context, the second piece could have stayed in with a rephrase but also wasn't really necessary - you get the point across through dialogue. Trust your reader.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

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


Platypus, how creepy is it that both of our stories have a funeral in it?


Fuckin stalker.


I've been playing a poo poo ton of Shadowrun Returns this past week. I'll be stupid if I don't jump IN on this!

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Mercedes posted:

Fuckin stalker.

And we both had about five hundred words to spare

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Mercedes and captain platypus

The prompt asked you to do ONE THING. Aside from this one thing, you could do anything else. I was waiting for some strong female protagonists who didn't define themselves based on being in love with men. You both gave me stories about women who defined themselves by not being in love with men. Technically you followed the prompt, but as far as the spirit of the 'Dome, you hosed this poo poo up.

I was going to just declare a "not loser" instead of a winner. But there will be a winner. The stakes have been raised.

Badseafood has entered the ring!

Badseafood said, "I could do better." He said this five minutes ago. He has 25 minutes left to submit something and then all three of you will be judged together and a winner will be declared. If he has not posted by 8:01pm EST he will be declared loser.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


From The Top (383 words)

Lisa found Henrietta pretty much as she had predicted; sleeves rolled back, her wrists and fingers speckled with paint. The tenement owner had denied her roof access, but that didn't seem to trouble her as she sat at her easel, alone with God beneath the roof of the world.

"You're here."

"Of course I'm here."

"You're not supposed to be, you know."

"Hmm, believe me. I know."

There was a subtle strength in the breeze as it caught Lisa's hair. Even Henrietta, who kept hers short, couldn't escape the caress of the sky. It only then struck Lisa how clear today was. From the east to the west not a cloud in the sky.

"So, what is it this time?"

"Oh, the usual."

Lisa's eyes narrowed. The usual could mean anything. Henrietta continued, unaware of her impatience. Finally she sighed and approached her sister.

The view from the tenements was extraordinary. In every direction lay something to see. But it was not on the horizon Henrietta had fixed her attention, but below, down below, where the people walked the streets. "They looked like ants from up here," was the sort of thing you might expect someone to say. But not Henrietta. Even from here she saw them for who they were, and painted them in kind. They were not dots but people, exaggerated in size. It was the buildings around them that Henrietta drew small.

Lisa didn't begin to understand.

"You know if you're caught up here, they'll throw us out."

"No they won't."

"They've threatened to already!"

"They always threaten."

"I'm pretty sure this time they'll do it."

"Maybe."

"And that doesn't concern you?"

"It's not like it would be the end of the world."

Lisa wracked her brain trying to think of excuses. Some golden tipped reason to convince Henrietta down.

"Mom's sent a package."

"You're a terrible liar."

"She did!"

"Not improving."

Lisa put her hands on her sister's shoulders, turning her away from her work. Their hazel eyes met, Lisa's dead serious. Henrietta looked on as though trapped in a daze.

"Look. I just want...to live somewhere for more than a month for once. Alright? Is that too much to ask?"

Henrietta blinked, and put down her brush.

"No, it isn't."

And she collected her things.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME crabrock? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Grimey Drawer

Oh no.

Edit yay he made it

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Winner - captain platypus

Loser - Mercedes

Crits will follow later tonight or tomorrow.

I liked reading your story, platypus, even though it was kind of iffy at times. The ending was genuinely funny and the dialogue had some real life to it. Also, gently caress you for skirting the prompt. Sexist pun intended.

Badseafood ALMOST won for something he shot out in 30 minutes without any initial planning. He gave himself thirty minutes two or three minutes after he learned what the prompt was. He followed the prompt better than everyone in this brawl, but his vignette didn't have as much weight to it as platypus' story.

Mercedes Sorry, bro. Why can't you just write something that is in third-person past tense that follows a chronological narrative? Your lawyer thing in CYOA was the closest you had to that and it was the best thing I've seen from you in TD. Why the hell did you decide to split this up into like five scenes all out of order?

The Swinemaster
Dec 28, 2005



I'm in for this thing.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Mercedes posted:

I've been playing a poo poo ton of Shadowrun Returns this past week. I'll be stupid if I don't jump IN on this!

I'd say my own playing of SRR is what inspired the prompt but we all know that cyberpunk is all I ever think about.

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


Crits. If anyone wants a more detailed crit or wants to discuss their crits more or whatever, email me at anathemadevice.sa@gmail.com

Your prompt was: Write a story where the ending is the natural progression of the story. Don't include a twist. Focus on characters, plot, and setting so that your ending is the inevitable outcome of the situation.

Nubile Hillock: The Grapes of Math

Beginning: Kid waves a Katana around while thinking about how awesome the internet is. Ending: Kid kills his brother in order to steal his bitcoins and girlfriend.

Unfortunately, your characterizations didn't support your drastic and sudden shift towards violence. The Katana shows up a few times, but no suggestion is made that your narrator views it as a weapon rather than a fashion accessory until the end. Also, comma splices, lack of scene breaks, and continuity issues.

Besesoth Voyagers

Begining: A paleontologist answers her phone. Ending: Fourteen years later she digs up a fossilized human scull.

The dialogue between the friends was really good. You definitely used the thread title (My Friends Are All Dead) as inspiration. Unfortunately, you didn't have enough space to handle time travel, emotions, and fossilization in one story. Pick a smaller focus for flash fiction. Personally, I would have either ended the story when her friends left to see the dinosaurs without her, or started the story at the second dig site. I really like the line, “It's the discovery that's important, not who's there for it.” That really shows your main character as a true scientist with a generous heart.

Nikaer Drekin: Garry Malloy Stands His Ground

Beginning: A couple fights about posting private info on facebook. Ending: A dramatic guy doesn't shoot anyone.

You had a caricature of a conservative as a narrator. I'm willing to believe this was referencing the thread you drew inspiration from. A more fleshed-out and believable wife would have made this seem more deliberate. The bizarre dream sequence could have been avoided, giving you more words for other things. Your ending was very realistic but surprising me with a realistic ending to a cartoonish story is still surprising me.

M. Propagandalf: Small Game

Beginning: A child shoots small animals with a Super-Soaker. Ending: A small animal gets hurt and the child feels bad.

You followed the prompt very well. The ending was predictable but the character's emotional involvement kept things interesting. The scope of your story fit well in a flash fiction format. This was one of my favorites because it did exactly what the prompt asked for, and you chose your thread very well. Think about the things you did right here going forward: you took a simple story and told the emotional details in a way that made me care.

Whalley: Ramonacoaster

Beginning: Someone is very excited about rollercoasters. Ending: They are involved in a rollercoaster accident.

This is the opposite of Nikaer Drekin's story. You point out the improbability of there being an accident several times, but in a fictional world it is the natural conclusion. I really like the tone of your writing and the descriptions you included. It read like a nervous woman trying to distract herself with all the things she knew. Having “Ironic” playing when they boarded was foreshadowing overkill. Many things were. Think about this story from the point of view of the nephews; I bet there would be more emotions and that we'd care about the ending more.

crabrock: Two Enormous Fat Men gently caress Me

Beginning: Someone was bullied in highschool and people avoid looking at them now. They are disabled. Ending: They receive money for sex.

This was actually very well written and an interesting character study. You didn't go for humor or porn, both of which I was dreading when you signed up. This was either a story about a disabled woman who has internalized a lot of abuse throughout her life, or a story that is very, very prejudiced against people with disabilities. I wish it was clearer which. There was a bit of jumping around in time and a lot of self-pity. I'm very creeped out by the dad who thought this was a good thing to do for his son's birthday.

Umbilical Lotus: Know Better

Beginning: An earnest nurse wheels an old lady outside to see her friends. Ending: Someone (not sure who) is arrested for using weed.

I loved this story. I wish it followed the prompt better. I also wish the narration was more chronologically clear. It deals with the difficulty of taking care of aging people. It deals with the morality of medical marijuana. The characters are beautiful. I'd love to read an edited and expanded version of this, because it's a great piece of writing. I am, however, confused. I'm unclear whether the narrator called the cops himself, or whether he got in trouble for what was happening there, or whether he just feels guilty because he didn't stop it before they got in trouble.

Jagermonster: The Finish Line

Beginning: Guy gets overconfident during his first triathlon. Ending: Guy gets hurt, has adrenaline/pain/frustration induced ragequit moment.

I like this. It's straightforward. It definitely uses the source material and it definitely follows the prompt. It uses the protagonist vs. himself model of story conflict with reasonable effectiveness. The writing is straightforward and clear. The protagonist faces a lot of difficulty but doesn't seem to overcome much of it. His self-defeating thoughts at the end make me hurt for him and also want to slap him, simultaneously. I wish there was a bit more conflict in the story. Not bad stuff happening, there's plenty of that, but a bit more fighting back against it or overcoming it or accepting it or...something.

Auraboks: It's persecution, that's what it is.

Beginning: A miserable security guard hates his job but needs the money. Ending: He kicks a mermaid out of a pool for bullshit reasons.

Your story follows your source material. However, as a complete story without knowledge of the thread you chose, the ending doesn't flow from the beginning. There's a lot of whiny security guard before there's any mermaid. I'm pretty sure the uniform is the antagonist and the mermaid, the guard, and the reader are all victims of it.

Kaishia: Sounds and Silences

Beginning: A boy spends years and lots of effort building a boat. Ending: He sinks it and kisses a water-woman.

This is an interesting premise, well written. Given the prompt, I'd have liked to see an ending where the guy has a boat and is satisfied or unsatisfied (following through on the beginning) or a beginning that introduced the water-woman. Adding a supernatural element partway through definitely counts as a plot twist. More time spent discussing why this guy built a boat, and why he was willing to sink it, would have added something to the story.

Capntastic: The New Stuff

Beginning: A guy types about architecture. Later we find out it's in a TV show. Ending: A different guy suggests a different show.

This was a story about two dudes arguing over what to watch on TV. It's possible that someone could make that interesting if they were really, really good and the characters were really compelling. Instead most of the action is a blow-by-blow of physical acts of typing and linking things, and the main emotional involvement is a guy planning his argument. You were handed a tough thread, but someone wrote a better story about two fat men loving an amputee. Go away and come back with a story about the harmful effects of awful costuming, or the show playing in the background while someone commits suicide from boredom or....anything, really.

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Chillmatic
Jul 25, 2003

always seeking to survive and flourish

Got a couple messages asking for crits, which I'm happy to do when available. I'll start with sebmojo. But to the other person who messaged me: I'm afraid that, like an idiot, I deleted your PM in a crazed attempt to clean up my inbox. Send it again and I'll get to it.

Seb, dialogue is an area of particular interest to me; since your piece has a lot, I'm going to dig into it and see what I might be able to help with.



sebmojo posted:

Hothouse
892 words

Jack was rolling a cigarette in the vivarium when the telephone rang. I feel kind of stupid but i had to look up what a vivarium was. He tucked the durrie behind his ear and elbowed the screen door open. A Morpho Peleides was clinging to the inside of the mesh just below the thermometer, which he checked by reflex as he closed the door: 27 degrees, good. I didn't know what some of the words in this paragraph were. maybe i'm dumb but it's something to think about!

The phone was an old red touchtone, hanging on the kitchen wall. Jack picked it off the cradle and rested it on his shoulder as he patted his pockets for his lighter.

"Yeah, gidday, Ronson," he said.

"Dad. It's me."

Jack found the lighter and flicked the wheel. The cigarette caught and he took a draw before replying.

"You got the message then," he said. already i'm concerned about this dialogue. this line in particular is empty. you could eliminate it by having the previous line say 'dad, it's me. I got your message.' or something similar.

"Are you at the same place?" 'place' is an empty descriptor. if he means the vivarium, have him say so--or better yet, have him use another description that involves strong adjectives and vivid images.

"Same place as ever," said Jack. same complaint as above re: 'place' There was a click at the other end of the line.

It was a cold day outside. or 'it was cold outside' Watery sunlight I liked the idea of watery sunlight but i had a hard time seeing the image lapped at a peeling sign that used to say RONSON BUTTERFLY HOUSE. good detail here Jack sat on the step, smoking. A white car rounded the corner, pulled up where? into the driveway? the front yard? Jack's son Sam got out. you didn't need to say 'jack's son' because in the very next line you have him saying 'hi dad' He was wearing a heavy coat what kind of coat? what color? and had put on weight.

"Hi Dad." said Sam. Jack nodded, flicked his cigarette on to the road. I really dislike greetings and formalities in fictional dialogue. Rather than saying "hi dad" (an empty phrase that serves to drive neither characterization nor plot) why not have him say "Been awhile, dad" or "Sorry I haven't called" or something like that. Use dialogue to reveal interesting things about these characters and their situation.

"Come on in."

Sam took off his coat when they were inside, standing shoulder to shoulder in the cluttered hallwaycluttered with what?. He had a fine sheen of sweat on his forehead.

"Give me that," said Jack. "Better keep your fancy coat clean." He laid it on a stack of magazines. what kind of magazines? porno? national geographic? popular mechanic? just think of all the opportunities you missed to tell me something about jack "Drink?"

Sam hesitated for a moment then nodded. "Yeah, alright." redundant due to the action

They sat on either side of the cigarette scarred melamine table. good detail Jack poured whiskey into two tumblers and set them down. They sipped. The house was quiet apart from the wavering hum of the fan heaters. i'm starting to get some idea of their environment, but a few more solid, strong details would really fill the setting out for me.

"So, is your mum --" Jack began. no spaces around em dashes

"She's not coming back," said Sam.

Jack inclined his head. "Is she well. Is what I was asking." i liked the voice here. i could really hear this line in my head

"She's..." Sam hesitated. "She's fine. Her leg's been playing up. She's on the list for an op."

"That's good." blah. more formalities and niceties here. give me some richer information. tell me something interesting!

There was another silence. Sam cleared his throat.

"How's business with the," Sam pointed further into the house. "The butterflies? Many people coming by?"

Jack shrugged. "Nope. Had a nice fella a few days back, he stayed for an hour. But since the plant closed people don't come by. Ghost town, they call it."

Sam smiled. "I saw that headline."

Sam took another sip of the whiskey, shuddered as it went down. "I was thinking about your message. I don't want to take this over." there are so many better lines than 'i don't want to take this over.' what about 'butterflies aren't my thing' or 'a ghost town doesn't seem too appealing to me' or anything other than what you've got there.

"Huh," said Jack. He flipped open his tobacco, pulled out a paper, began filling it with tobacco. no emotional reaction at all? some inner monologue to help me figure out how he feels? does he care at all? i'm what i would call 'emotionally lost' at this point. "How about the other thing then?"

"The money?"

"Bigshot lawyer like you, must have a few bucks lying around for your old dad. Keep him quiet, sort of thing. In his twilight years," said Jack.

"Dad."

"I won't beg. It's a transaction. You get a chunk of the house, I do the work to fix it up. The roof needs some--"

"The answer's no, Dad. We think you should sell up," said Sam. He drained his glass, a quick slug to the back of his throat.

"We?"

"Me and Julie. who's julie? Mum. It's over, Dad."

Jack rolled the tobacco into a tube and licked it, sealed it. He looked at the cigarette for a moment, weighed it in his hand, then laid it on the table. is this detail really important? you're describing it well enough, but i feel like if you're going to draw attention to it, there should be some sort of payoff for the reader.

"I've got a lot more since last time you were here. rather than 'the last time' say 'i've got a lot more in the last two years' or something that gives me an idea of just how long it's been since they've seen each other. the way it's written now it could have been two weeks or two decades. Even found that one you used to like, in the book," Jack said.

"The Peleides?"

"Yeah. Surprised you remember."

Sam's face relaxed. "They were the most beautiful blue. Periwinkle blue. I used to read the book while you were working in there." the tone changes abruptly here, which i'm sure you intended, but i felt like the voice was a bit inconsistent.

"It was a long time past. You were younger. And thinner." Jack poured some more into their glasses.

"You were ... less annoying. Cheers."

They drank. Jack put down his empty glass beside the cigarette.

"Maybe you're right. I'll give that fella who? a ring, maybe he'll take this place off me," said Jack.

Sam blinked. "Take... Really? You'd sell up?"

"Why not? Got to keep my family happy, hey?"

"I thought you'd laugh at me," said Sam. "Actually."

Jack chuckled. "Finish your drink and come with me. Something to show you."

Jack led Sam to the back of the house. He opened the labelled door, pushed through the chain curtain. "Roll up your sleeves, it's warm." he said.

"I remember. I used to love it in winter." Sam was unbuttoning his cuffs as he stepped through the door behind Jack.

The vivarium was bathed in luminous gold and purple from the intricately-painted skylights high how high? above, liana and wide-brimmed tropical plants hanging and sprouting and blossoming from every surface. i was going to gripe at you for too many -ing verbs, but the rhythm and feel of 'hanging and sprouting and blossoming' is too good to change.

And everywhere Sam looked there were butterflies, perching, gliding, fluttering, swirling around him in a vortex of delicate life and every one was the same colour, the same iridescent, perfect, endless, periwinkle blue.

E: periwinkle, wings, loved thing escaping control


I feel that you missed some opportunities to play around with a theme of color fading, like the relationship between a father and son. The last description of the vivarium and the blue was really great, and it would have been a nice emotional payoff if you'd described the setting while they were drinking as drab and grey and blah, only to have it end with that beautiful color as he and his father reconnect amongst the butterflies. I also felt that there was so much attention paid to the act of rolling cigarettes, smoking, and cigarettes themselves that there would have been some kind of connection there, and there really wasn't.

The dialogue was voiced well-enough, but fell far short of being engaging--mostly because neither character really says anything of much consequence. Surely there would be more there between father and son that you could show and engage the reader with. Use specific, character-revealing dialogue that actually tells me something.

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