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  • Locked thread
sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Nubile Hillock posted:

hey, I was the first to submit you jerk!

RIGHT HERE

It's okay if you missed it, you're old as heck and your eyes are probs starting to go.

NUBILE HILLOCK

SEE ME

AFTER CLASS

WHICH IS NOW

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Nubile Hillock posted:

hey, I was the first to submit you jerk!


Whatever, keener. As a supply teacher, I believe I am totally allowed to kick your rear end behind the bike sheds at recess

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Update from the teacher's lounge: Sebmojo went to get more vodka, and Fanky is dead-lifting a couch and I don't want to tell her to stop because by the look on her face I think she's in some sort of prose-induced adrenaline fugue.

Basically we're grading as fast as we can

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe



y'all jealous cos I'm clever

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


This is my very favourite poem. Read it a few times and watch it unfold like a loving lotus. Incidentally, Ted Berrigan is the man in my avatar and this is the poem that the quote references.
code:
RED SHIFT
by Ted Berrigan

Here I am at 8:08 p.m. indefinable ample rhythmic frame
The air is biting, February, fierce arabesques 
        on the way to tree in winter streetscape
I drink some American poison liquid air which bubbles
        and smoke to have character and to lean
In. The streets look for Allen, Frank, or me, Allen
        is a movie, Frank disappearing in the air, it's
Heavy with that lightness, heavy on me, I heave 
        through it, them, as
The Calvados is being sipped on Long island now
        twenty years almost ago, and the man smoking
Is looking at the smilingly attentive woman, & telling.
Who would have thought that I'd be here, nothing 
        wrapped up, nothing buried, everything
Love, children, hundreds of them, money, marriage-
        ethics, a politics of grace,
Up in the air, swirling, burning even or still, now
        more than ever before?
Not that practically a boy, serious in corduroy car coat
        eyes penetrating the winter twilight at 6th
& Bowery in 1961. Not that pretty girl, nineteen, who was
        going to have to go, careening into middle-age so,
To burn, & to burn more fiercely than even she could imagine
        so to go. Not that painter who from very first meeting
I would never & never will leave alone until we both vanish
        into the thin air we signed up for & so demanded
To breathe & who will never leave me, not for sex, nor politics
        nor even for stupid permanent estrangement which is
Only our human lot & means nothing. No, not him.
There's a song, "California Dreaming", but no, I won't do that
I am 43. When will I die? I will never die, I will live
To be 110, & I will never go away, & you will never escape from me
        who am always & only a ghost, despite this frame, Spirit
Who lives only to nag.
I'm only pronouns, & I am all of them, & I didn't ask for this
        You did
I came into your life to change it & it did so & now nothing 
        will ever change
That, and that's that.
Alone & crowded, unhappy fate, nevertheless 
        I slip softly into the air
The world's furious song flows through my costume.
Gotta do something while the judges blow each other.

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at Jul 9, 2013 around 18:42

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Uggghhh Sorry this took so long, this was a hard week to nail down. And my rear end was literally handed to me at work today, seriously it's sitting on ice waiting for reattachment.

Alright class. Time to end this Battle Royal-like exploitation of children, and name this year's Valedictorian

All the way back from 2nd grade, V for Vegas will by the principal's special executive decree walk with this year's graduating 6th grade class. I'm only regretful that it's such sorry company. Miss Kaishai, grade three, you were only a fraction of a GPA point behind, but being the precocious little nugget that you are, you've now set the bar exceedingly high for yourself. More on this decision in my crits.

Other students that will be passing with something akin to honors are: Smuffin, and E Beef and Chairchucker, who I lump together as this week's successful comedies, and Fumblemouse, with the caveat that I work at a hotel and oh my god would we never check that guy in. Gotta think of the immersion, we hospitality folk are easily roused to hotel spergyness.

The loser really depends on how you define "lose." A lot of people picked the higher grade level, saw the "adult" requirement and just threw in lots of swears and random people dying at the end. Some people didn't really write a story for grownups, some people didn't really write much of a story at all.

Bachelard rear end, go to the detention room. Yes I know it looks like a cage behind the boilers, don't argue you're like 11, in loco parentis, deal w/ it. If you're going to name-drop Tom Cruise, he's gotta be Tom Cruise, man. You mention that on one of his lists is "pray". Tom Cruise is like a top level Scientologist. Unless by "pray" you mean "leave obscene amounts of money before an effigy of L. Ron Hubbard." Scientology, that's already genre fiction right there.

Manouverable and Mercedes, see me after class. Crabrock, you narrowly escaped detention by virtue of Sebmojo not disliking your story, and the fact that I liked the IDEAS there, but the story itself not as much.

The rest of you...well, the people who did the best were the ones who took the broader interpretation of their prompt. I was especially impressed with V and Kai because they took prompts that were literally meant for small children and told tight, meaningful stories out of multi-colored toy blocks, you know the sort with the letters on them.

V for Vendetta, you're up. I offer my judging services because I need to work on some other things for a while, unless you have other people in mind.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Gotta do something while the judges blow each other.

Ms Here and Ms Fanky assure me they were just checking the supplies in the stationery cupboard and I intend to take them at their word.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


Grats Vegas



Yes I know my story was crap GET OFF MY BACK

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Right, here's my first few crits. Now, I had a reason in having everyone post their grade level. I didn't tell anyone including my fellow judges, but the vague idea was that people who picked prompts meant for older kids would have less leeway for literal interpretation, and those who picked K-3rd prompts would have more.

Interestingly, it worked out that people did the opposite and quite a few of you older kids went for, if I might say, very elementary interpretations of your plot. The stories I liked best were the people who took their prompts the least literally, or like Kaishai took the literal interpretation and found a way to fit it into a believable world.

Nubile Hillock

Genre: Scrambler
Grade: K-1st
Prompt: Write a two line poem about a cold apple who lives on a cloud
Untitled Poem


You rascal. I don't know how poetry, so you've got me there. Visually, I feel like I would have liked it broken up into more lines so that each bit stuck out more. But that might just be me. I like the last line, I think the first line could have been stronger though. Mainly "or left to wither in the sun," things are always "withering" in the sun in writing, prose or poetry, so I'd have liked that image to be stronger.

"A noctilucent cloud with an apple inside" is pretty, that line is pretty much what stayed my hand from lambastification based only on your choice of prompt.

Also taken into consideration was your grade level. You won't be skipping ahead to second grade any time soon, but I am please to inform you that you are performing adequately for your grade level and don't need to take remedial summer courses. So you can get up to whatever you K-1st types do, climbing trees or ripping on bongs or whatever.

Grade: B


Crabrock

Grade 2
List five good things about a nervous cowboy who never ever smiles
No reason To


Bah. I don't know how I feel about this one. I like the five good things; having a list as your prompt gives you a pass to "tell" us things about the character, and you picked pretty entertaining ones. Your descriptions get a little muddy and disjointed though. Like, in the first sentence, you describe him as a "surly anachronism" which I think is a pretty weak descriptor given that it's the first thing the reader learns about this guy. The cowhide boots crushing discarded prepay phones isn't necessarily anachronistic unless the reader already knows that it's some sort of disease-riddled dystopia.

"Dirty Wranglers coughed dust" is another one. I know what you mean, but when I think "coughing" dust, my mind goes to the seat cushion instead of the jeans, cause I've seen seat cushions belt out a pretty impressive cloud of dust but denim not as much.

I'm also curious, how often to bolo ties get caught in escalators? Sliding doors I can understand a little bit, but surely this guy is accustomed enough to such automatic wonders as moving stairs, him being an anachronistic cowboy in the future and all. Actually, looking at it now, I feel like you could've started at "Tom was good at appearing calm while he panicked." Worrying about your tie getting caught in an escalator is absurd, and there's nothing said in the first paragraph that couldn't be worked in elsewhere.

Starting at "Tom was good..." would work because it gets us right into things, and actually tell us two things about Tom: the first is what the sentence is explicitly saying, and the second is that we learn that Tom is probably IN a state of panic at the start of the story. Then we wonder why.

So after that, FINALLY (this IS only a 634 word story), you drop mention of some vengeful posse. But then we're off wandering around in his fears of never getting laid and...yeah. I guess I like the list that is at the heart of this story, but the prose in between is so vague and meandering; you say stuff like "the common mingled with the psychotic" and describe him watching the chaos outside the bar....but what which bar? I guess the Four Seasons is a hotel and hotels often have bars, but you're leaving a lot for the reader to fill in. And we don't really know who is being chaotic, or how, or why, just that there is some garden variety chaos outside involving things that are both common and psychotic. I can guess you mean people, and that it has something to do with the snow-like covering of tracphones and rampant neurosyphillis, but you make me work harder than I want to to suss all that out.

Anyway. I like your list, but the prose itself is vague and wobbly. And then the ending, this gun fight out of nowhere....I dunno man, read that second-to-last paragraph. Why did this guy become Tom's nemesis after contracting the vague and inscrutable condition of "crazy"? Is his supposed to be like an epic showdown with a long time villain, or does Tom routinely dispatch nemeses and then they just crop up like weeds because crazy?

You'll scrape by though. This year's second grade class was small, and you had V for Vegas to contend with. Maybe cheat off his paper a bit next time? In any case, summer school for you. The curriculum consists entirely of you writing "I will not try to describe a setting with only adjectives" for seven hours each day.

Grade: C


CHAIRCHUCKER

Adventure
Grade: 3
Prompt: Describe a fun vacation with a disagreeable lemon who must walk across a rickety rope bridge.
Hufflepuffs are Particularly Good Finders


Oh yay my favorite part of any week, a Chairchucker entry. Things I didn't like: While the narrator's inner monolog is funny and occasionally even kind of insightful, the dialog between him and Cindy is kind of unnatural and not as great in places. I instantly picture everything in your stories as roughly 30% more cartoonish than other stories, but Cindy as a caricature of a westerner seeking "enlightenment" in big fat quotes is a little distracting from what is actually funny about this story, which was otherwise most of it.

Now when I said insightful up there, I was mainly referring to this bit:

quote:

Except it turns out there isn't actually a Nepalese Disneyland. Apparently she was 'joking', which really means she lied. To my face. So I was angry for a bit, but then, as previously mentioned it turned out that Nepal was rad, so I was less angry, but didn't tell her that I wasn't angry because she had to feel my resentment for a little bit longer until she agreed that next time, we'd totally go to Disneyland.

I enjoyed this because it is one of those things that I think anyone who's been in a relationship of any kind has done, but it's the sort of little behavioral tic that doesn't get pointed out in fiction very often. Cindy DOES get a little more interesting here:

quote:

"Thank you for being honest with me," said Cindy. "If, in finding myself, I discover that I am a lemon, or even a kumquat or some kind of melon, I will totally understand if you no longer desire me. Personally, I find myself also hoping I am none of those things."

and I find myself liking everyone in the story, so yay. I don't know if I would read a book narrated by such a Bro McBrosephson, but as a short story I was amused. A couple of times the narrator verged on over-explaining himself, like when he's talking about therapy and tells us that he's not good at a learning a whole lot of concepts, which makes him seem weirdly dumb in a way that doesn't jive with the rest of his characterization. I do like that he glommed onto honesty though, he is all and all a likeable narrator.

Kaishai unfortunately beats you out for head of the grade 3 class, but you won't be repeating the year any time soon. You also escape summer school, but consider visiting a library between YOLOs or whatever you 3rd grade ingrates do with your undeserved free time.

Grade: B


S. Muffin-

Genre: Fantasy
Grade: 4-6th
Prompt: Write a futuristic story about an obnoxious shaman who is looking for an invisible door.
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide


So. I liked this. Like a true upper classman, you eschewed the literal interpretation of your prompt, and replaced it with a rather large nod to the whole Huxley/Mckenna scene, which in and of itself is well-trodden ground but here it works, because it's solid, and the story is solid. I like the autonomous lunar exploration suit and its job tending a pet store. I like that it spat out punch cards which was, and Crabrock take note, a detail that I thought was nicely anachronistic given that it's a spontaneously sentient AI. I felt like Jonah's mannerisms toward the robot were a little heavy-handed, though.

That was my main complaint, the punching and the face-shoving. Everything else Jonah does and says paints him nicely as a douche, not the kind of guy you'd expect to be a shaman. It's just weirdly physical and I don't know why he's shoving this robot around so much. Also:

quote:

ďTwo eyes, 'moon! It's got two eyes! I said three,Ē he screamed, ďfor a mathematical construct, you can't count for poo poo!Ē

I don't like that you tagged the dialog with "screamed" here, the exclamation points and tone convey that well enough.

That aside, this is the sort of thing we've come to expect from our prize 6th graders here at Thunderdome Elementary School, and we'll be sorry to lose you to the hellish wasteland of junior high.

Grade: A


Whalley

Prompt: Describe a day in the life of an old dentist who is always getting into trouble with her parents.
Scramble
4-6th grade
Dental Plan


Well, this could use a line-by-line but the writing is mostly sound. My issues with this are mostly conceptual. The ending feels tacked on; Simone surely has reasons to resent her parents, but there isn't much about the story that suggests murderous(?) intent on her part. There's nothing really vindicating about her up and drugging? Murdering? her parents, either; they're old and senile, and the very stereotype of overbearing Italian parents. The fact that they are typecast that way with little dimension renders the final scene hollow, especially since it's lacking a good lead-in.

And again, at the ending, you smash the fact that Simone drugged them right over our heads when you say ""Nothing," Simone lied." 'Said' would have worked better there. We can tell she lied.

This is solid 5th grade work for sure, given that you chose to tackle the subject of parental pressure and disapproval, and balancing the pressure of a professional life with divorce and burdensome older parents. You could've gone for a more goofy approach like some of the other stories, but I will give that you were sufficiently "adult" per the prompt.

No summer school for you, but consider talking to a certain 6th grader about getting some psychoactive chemicals over break, you need to take it to the next level if you're gonna survive in 6th grade next year.

Grade: C+



Bachelard rear end

Genre: Scarmbler
Grade: 4-6
Write a to-do list for a depressed movie star who ages 20 years in one day.
Perfect Day


I dunno man. Any time a story starts out by name dropping an actual celebrity, I wince. And even if you were going with Tom Cruise, you missed a ripe opportunity with the scientology angle. I mean I wouldn't have advised writing a story about Tom Cruise in the first place, but as it is pretty much all the characterization in this story relies on him being named Tom Cruise, and us taking for granted that it's THE Tom Cruise.

I am confused as to how he aged in "one day," per your prompt. I mean, you tell us that it's 2021. I feel like Tom Cruise will probably have aged significantly by 2021. So did he age normally for a decade and then get really old one day? Why skip to the future when you could've done this plot without that detail, and probably had more words to put toward telling a more cohesive story?

You did include his abusive dad, but based on the brief wikipedia reading I could stand doing, I think his dad died much later in Tom's life, and in your story you imply that it was when Tom Cruise was like 13. IMMERSION DESTROYED.

And the ending...next time I make a prompt no one is allowed to kick the bucket at the end of everyone's stories because you ran out of words. I notice this ALL THE TIME and it's lazy and almost never is satisfying.

B.A. You could stand to learn something from some of TDE's 3rd graders....BACK WITH YE (but on the bright side, their recess is earlier in the day).

Course incomplete, no grade.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Week 49 - You Have Chosen... Poorly

Alright, enough of all this characterisation BS. This week we are doing Choose Your Own Adventures.



I loved these as a kid, my favourite part was always the decision trees. Continue down the tunnel, turn to page 35. Climb up the cliff, turn to page 76.

The Rules

Write a CYOA story, but only include the intro in your post. At the end of your post, there should be two options to continue.

Then go back to two older posts of yours on Something Awful and edit them to be the next parts of the story. Include a link to those posts (it's the # mark on the bottom left) in your intro.

For each of those two posts, there should be two more links. So that's 1 intro and 6 linked posts in all. You don't have to go further than that, but you can if you want to.

Something like this:

code:

                   Intro
                    / \
                   1   2
                  / \ / \
                 3  4 5  6 
The Criteria

I want 'decisions'. I want to be torn between the choices presented. Set up some good cliffhangers. CYOA are classified as young adult, but you can write any genre you want.

The Theme

Choose a title from this list of CYOA stories and include in your sign up.


Wordcount: N/A. There just have to be at least 6 linked posts.
Sign-ups: Friday the 12th at 11:59 PM, PST
Submissions: Sunday the 14th at 11:59 PM, PST


Judges: Myself, Sitting Here, and a ~mystery judge~ systran!


Hope you like reading stories by:

Sebmojo - THE LOST NINJA
Nubile Hillock - Escape From The Haunted Warehouse
Mercedes - You Are a Shark
Nikaer Drekin - Space Vampire
Whalley - Tattoo of Death!
Cancercakes - You are a Monster
Jeza - Escape Revenge of the Russian Ghost
Phiz Kalifa - THE ROARING TWENTIES
Kaishai - The Great Zopper Toothpaste Treasure.
Fumblemouse - Return to the Cave of Time.

V for Vegas fucked around with this message at Jul 12, 2013 around 23:37

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

In with THE LOST NINJA (turn to page 42)

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2013 around 01:39

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

In with Escape From The Haunted Warehouse

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2013 around 03:27

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.


Sitting Here posted:

Mercedes, see me after class.

poo poo!

This is humbling as gently caress.

Um. I'm in again for this week's project. You Are a Shark

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

More about CYOA than you ever wanted to know.

http://samizdat.cc/cyoa/

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Thanks for the in-depth crit on what was essentially a stream of conscious piece. I didn't have any time to reread or edit it, but i don't like the idea of signing up and then not posting something because it's not polished. I probably should have stuck with my original intention of not participating due to being busy as gently caress. Thanks again!

One point: the Boston Common is a place, not an adjective.

crabrock fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2013 around 02:45

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


Uh, I don't think I posted enough in this thread to participate, and I should REALLY edit my last two stories into something coherent first. I'm looking forward to everybody else's ideas though!

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


In, for sure. I think I'll have to go with Space Vampire because really how can you beat that?

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

crabrock posted:

Thanks for the in-depth crit on what was essentially a stream of conscious piece. I didn't have any time to reread or edit it, but i don't like the idea of signing up and then not posting something because it's not polished. I probably should have stuck with my original intention of not participating due to being busy as gently caress. Thanks again!

One point: the Boston Common is a place, not an adjective.

Ha, I withdraw that particular gripe. I somehow neglected to see the upper case C, which is why it was confusing. My point still stands about how merely describing the scene as psychotic and chaotic in some vague sense isn't enough to paint the picture. I'd have rather seen those things for myself.

I posted literally half a story a couple of weeks ago, for the same reason. I think it's still potentially useful to get feedback on the raw material!

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Jonked posted:

Uh, I don't think I posted enough in this thread to participate, and I should REALLY edit my last two stories into something coherent first. I'm looking forward to everybody else's ideas though!



Jonked's Profile posted:

There have been 9161 posts made by Jonked, an average of 2.99 posts per day, since registering on Feb 15, 2005.

Jonked, I am sure every one of your 9161 posts are perfectly formed bon mots, and it would be a crime against humanity to deprive the internet of their scintillating wit and brilliance, but we all have to make sacrifices.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


If I get runner-up like, twenty times in a row, can I take over one week? I got a wicked sick prompt lined up yo.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


V for Vegas posted:

Jonked, I am sure every one of your 9161 posts are perfectly formed bon mots, and it would be a crime against humanity to deprive the internet of their scintillating wit and brilliance, but we all have to make sacrifices.
OH! We can modify posts in other threads and still link them? I honestly don't know how it works.

poo poo, I guess I'm just lazy.

(It would be funny to edit my posts in TG so that the PbPs have a random dragon fight in them, though...)

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


For the first time ever, I had all of my critiques completed before Judging was rendered Here they are, and because I am feeling exceedingly generous today (and also I feel bad for the people I critiqued last, because I was getting really lazy), if anyone wants a more in depth critique than the one I've given here, PM me, or otherwise alert me to your desires, and I'll see what I can do.

S. Muffin: A-
Prompt:
Write a futuristic story about an obnoxious shaman who is looking for an invisible door.
Tightly written, very nice. The only real comment I have is that youíre generally so good at descriptive language that when you miss the mark itís really obvious. There are two spots where it stood out to me in particular Ė the ďsad tinkle of bellsĒ in the first line, and the line about how the lizard holds itself. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this, especially the dialogue between Jonah and Moon Unit.

EgoEgress: B+
Prompt:
Describe the secret wish of a sneaky lawyer who wins the lottery
First of all, you lose a grade for ignoring my request for your prompt

Fanky Malloons posted:

Also:

EgoEgress posted:

Describe the secret house of a sneaky lawyer who invents a spaceship to go to Pluto.

This was a nice little story though, in the end. There were a couple of small syntax errors, but nothing egregious. Otherwise, it was a good interpretation of the prompt that worked pretty well. I want to say itís a shame that he only wins $50,000, but really that just adds to the realism of the story so well done for that as well I GUESS.

Bachelard rear end: C+
Prompt:
Write a to-do list for a depressed movie star who ages 20 years in one day
While I enjoyed your interpretation of your prompt, I think things like this tend to work better when you donít use real people as characters. Sure, everyone loves to mock Tom Cruise, but it also kind of throws off the reader because then we have to expend all this extra brain power reconciling the image of Cruise that we already have in our minds to the one youíre presenting here. Basically, itís a bunch of extra mental effort that I donít want to have to expend on a 1300 word story. I did enjoy the Alan Arkin cameo though.

Jonked: B
Prompt:
Describe the secret wish of a million-year-old game show host who discovers a secret city
This was actually an interesting effort, but I feel like you were trying to cram a really big idea into a too-small word count. It seems fairly tight and well thought-out, but then it just ends at a spot that probably isnít actually the end of the story. You should probably work on this some more and throw it in the Fiction Farm.

Jeza: B-
Prompt:
Write a folk tale about a depressed snow leopard who solves crimes.
This prompt is the reason I offered to judge, because it sounded like it could be an awesome entry. It was alright, I guess. I liked the noir-ish feel, and the absurd little details, like the fact that he wears a hat, and the hat has slits in it for his ears. However, in the end it was kind of disappointing because, while it was decent overall I feel like you didnít take the absurdity far enough, so it just kind of falls flat. Also, there was some tense-switching, which Iím guessing was intentional but which you should have taken more care with because it veers dangerously close to looking like sloppy writing at times.

Mercedes: D
Prompt:
Make up a conversation you might have with a scatterbrained artist who finds a strange package by the door
Ooh, second person, generally a poor life choice. Especially in this case, since itís not necessary at all. In fact, once you get to the end and see that the story is being told to someone else after the fact, it makes even less sense, because if you were telling a story about your day to someone else, you would most definitely use ďIĒ Also, please donít submit your porn fantasies in the future kthx.

Noah: B+
Prompt:
Describe the secret wish of a brainy carnival clown who rides comets
Okay, so I donít really see the point of the penis needling, since it doesnít actually seem to lead to anything because his secret wish turns out to be that he wants to die? Is this all just a penetration metaphor that Iím only partially grasping? Penis needling aside, it is actually a pretty solid story and I donít really have any complaints/critiques to offer at this time.

Erogenous Beef: A
Prompt:
Write a funny story about an Arctic private eye who finds an undiscovered island.
Haha, this was great. Your story was a really entertaining interpretation of the prompt, and was actually funny, good job. I might be biased though because I love luchadors, old Gods, and bros as a concept. I think broconut and brorillas were pushing it though, you dirty brown noser.

Whalley: B-
Prompt:
Describe a day in the life of an old dentist who is always getting into trouble with her parents.
This was actually decently well done, you managed to work in a bunch of little details about Simoneís life without going into EXPOSITION INFO DUMP MODE, so bravo for that. You had a pretty tame prompt, so there wasnít much room for absurdity like with some of the others. I thought the realism of your story was executed really well, but unfortunately that also made it kind of boring. I guess dentistry isnít super entertaining? Like crabrock I think you started your story too early - I would have liked to see the level of trouble Simone got into for drugging her mother, and the consequences of that.

Systran: C
Prompt:
Write a story about a jittery vampire who lands on a faraway planet
This was decent, but some of the plot points were confusing. WTF is the Mom Voice? Whatís with the comment about test-tube babies? Why does Ratan decide he needs to feed on one person per month, then decide to go sleep for 100 years instead? Donít answer these questions, because I donít actually want to know, Iím just trying to point out where I felt the most egregious logic problems were. It wasnít actually a terrible execution of the prompt you chose, and the general sci-fi vibe is good, but I think you ended up trying to do too much with too few words.

Fumblemouse: A
Prompt:
An amazing story about a bitter maid who is leader of the fairies.
This was great, I really enjoyed it. The only real suggestion I have for improvement is that I wouldnít use the ďwhat year is itĒ line, because it feels a bit clichť. There are plenty of other, more interesting ways for you to show that the dude in the coat doesnít know where he is (in any sense of the word), nor what the date is.

CHAIRCHUCKER: C+
Prompt:
Describe a fun vacation with a disagreeable lemon who must walk across a rickety rope bridge.
This was a pretty decent story, I guess, though I donít feel that you went far enough with the prompt. The lemon wasnít particularly disagreeable, and the bridge didnít seem like a major plot point, nor did you convey itís rickety, ropey status. Also, you donít even say what is rad/fun about Nepal and their vacation, it just is. Thereís not actually anything identifiably wrong with this piece in a technical sense, it just seems very low effort. I did enjoy the lemon as a character though.

Kaishai: A
Prompt:
Write a fantasy story about a brainy octopus who lives in a museum
Wow, that got really dark, but it was a beautifully written interpretation of your prompt. I know itís supposed to be fantasy, and you didnít have a lot of words to work with, but I would have liked to have seen a little bit more detail about the diver and what sheís doing/what her deal is other than ďit is because she is magic.Ē

Schneider Heim: C-
Prompt:
Invite to your school a red metal spider who writes science fiction
This whole piece came off as kind of clumsy. You have a number of sentences with missing words, or where you used the wrong word, and a lot of the writing/dialogue was just very stilted. You fell into the EXPOSITION INFO DUMP trap with the line about the spiderís books being shortlisted for awards Ė who actually talks like that in real life? (Hint: nobody). Also I donít really understand why the spiderís agent a) happens to be wandering around a high school, and b) chases them around like some kind of crazy person. Thereís no real reason given for her to do any of those things, and so it doesnít really work when she does them with no explanation.

Nikaer Drekin: A-
Prompt:
Write a short legend about a famous stallion whose mirror can see into the future
Man, Sir Chauncey the horse is kind of a dick. I actually enjoyed this story quite a bit, the idea of a foul-mouthed, beknighted, talking horse is quite entertaining and you did the character justice. Also, props for the rhyming curse. However, like a number of this weekís stories the ending was a bit weak. Maybe it has something to do with the fantastical/absurd nature of the prompts?

Baggy_Brad: C+
Prompt:
A day in the life of a sunburned police officer who rides comets
So, this was pretty decent, up until the end where it got really dark for no real reason. I see what you were trying to do, but youíve got to foreshadow that poo poo, son. Otherwise youíre just throwing in a random flashback for no reason other than to fill space and/or shock the reader. What does the flashback add to the story? The character? In this instance, not a whole lot. Also, you have some issues with commas. Otherwise though, the dialogue and scene-setting etc. was good. Who wouldnít etch a giant cock into an asteroid, given the chance?

V for Vegas: B
Prompt:
A fantasy story about a pickled princess who lives on a mountain
I really liked your interpretation and execution of this prompt...right up until you blatantly cribbed from Our Lord George R.R. Martin in the penultimate paragraph there, which just ruined everything. I am the teacher who advocated making you repeat the grade. IíM NOT ANGRY, JUST DISAPPOINTED.

Crabrock: C-
Prompt:
List five good things about a nervous cowboy who never, ever smiles.
Well, you definitely listed a list of things in your story, so thereís that. The list even made Cowboy Tom seem like a fairly interesting character. However the execution was pretty clumsy, as the meat of the story was obviously just a vehicle for you to get to the next point down the list, which made all of the details you were giving either uninteresting, or kind of pointless. That said, some of your descriptive lines are pretty solid, but you really need to watch yourself because you have a tendency to overdescribe unimportant things.
Related to the previous point, somehow, you manage to simultaneously give too much detail and not enough. I donít give a poo poo that Cowboy Tom is apparently a virgin who cries at the mere thought of women (wtf), but I do want to know why everyone is psychotic, why the bar is empty (yet apparently fully stocked with liquor), and what an epidemic of incurable neurosyphillis looks like.
Finally, to me, the story really starts about halfway through the 3rd-to-last paragraph Ė the introduction of another character is the only really interesting thing that happens, and the only instance where including the list-item as a separate line/paragraph really works.

Bad Seafood: D+
Prompt:
Write a horror story about a million-year-old vulture who is shipwrecked on a desert island.
Well. That sure escalated quickly. I guess you filled the parameters of your prompt, but I find it difficult to judge a piece so short relative to the rest of the entries, which are much longer. For what it is, I enjoyed it, although Iím slightly confused as to whether the narrator is supposed to be a metaphorical vulture or an actual vulture. Go and sit in the corner with Nubile Hillock.

Symptomless Coma: B-
Prompt:
a sweating shapeshifter who builds the smartest computer in the universe
This was a bit strange and sort of hard to follow but it came together at the end, allowing me to figure out what the hell was going on. You definitely took the prompt in an unexpected direction, but it mostly worked. I am still a bit unclear though, on whether the developers are meant to be alien or human (or even if the distinction even really matters). Plus, although you alluded to shapeshifting, there was a distinct lack of sweat.

Manoueverable: C-
Prompt:
A funny story about a game show host trapped on an alien planet
drat, this wasnít funny at all. Iím not seeing where Iím supposed to find the humour? Also, I think it would have been a little better if you had ended it with the photograph captioned ďchief engineerĒ, because everything after that is pointless over-explaining. Actually, you do a lot of pointless over explaining, which is quite detrimental as it makes what could otherwise be an interesting story rather boring. Less is more.

Nubile Hillock: F-
Prompt: Write a two line poem about a cold apple who lives on a cloud
I know there was no minimum word count, but when the limit is 1300 you might at least try and get halfway there, you slacker.

Fanky Malloons fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2013 around 03:48

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


Fanky Malloons posted:

if anyone wants a more in depth critique than the one I've given here, PM me, or otherwise alert me to your desires, and I'll see what I can do.

I know I spent 15 minutes conceiving and writing mine but not marking my paper is very rude, I am bringing this up as a matter for contention in the next parent teacher association meeting.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


The Saddest Rhino posted:

I know I spent 15 minutes conceiving and writing mine but not marking my paper is very rude, I am bringing this up as a matter for contention in the next parent teacher association meeting.

Quiet you. You didn't even officially enter so I didn't know if it was legit or not! Also I kind of forgot.

I'll grade it if you want me to though.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

If I get runner-up like, twenty times in a row, can I take over one week? I got a wicked sick prompt lined up yo.

I had you as winner in my head but then I read your story HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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


Fanky Malloons posted:

Quiet you. You didn't even officially enter so I didn't know if it was legit or not! Also I kind of forgot.

I'll grade it if you want me to though.

Grade it before I get my daddy to write a stern complaint letter to the White House, then you will see how small your role in society as an educator in elementary school is!!!!!!!!!

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004

neato devito


I'm amazed I didn't get a WORST IN SHOW ribbon; maybe I should start submitting writing to people/places more in life and stop being such a mincy baby.


I'm loving in for Choose Your Own Adventure, this sounds difficult and hilariously awesome as hell. By Sunday, you'll all be reading Tattoo of Death!

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.


I'm sorry Fanky Malloons. It won't happen again! Please don't punish me anymore...

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.

Fanky Malloons posted:


CHAIRCHUCKER: C+
Prompt:
Describe a fun vacation with a disagreeable lemon who must walk across a rickety rope bridge.
This was a pretty decent story, I guess, though I donít feel that you went far enough with the prompt. The lemon wasnít particularly disagreeable, and the bridge didnít seem like a major plot point, nor did you convey itís rickety, ropey status. Also, you donít even say what is rad/fun about Nepal and their vacation, it just is. Thereís not actually anything identifiably wrong with this piece in a technical sense, it just seems very low effort. I did enjoy the lemon as a character though.


YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND ME MAN!

Fanky Malloons posted:


just seems very low effort


Oh wait, I stand corrected.

Manoueverable
Oct 23, 2010

Dubs Loves Wubs


My story turned out to be a lot more serious than I planned, plus I'm really terrible at being funny. Thanks, judges, for rightfully smacking that piece of poo poo down.

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Fanky Malloons posted:


Symptomless Coma: B-
Prompt:
a sweating shapeshifter who builds the smartest computer in the universe
This was a bit strange and sort of hard to follow but it came together at the end, allowing me to figure out what the hell was going on. You definitely took the prompt in an unexpected direction, but it mostly worked. I am still a bit unclear though, on whether the developers are meant to be alien or human (or even if the distinction even really matters). Plus, although you alluded to shapeshifting, there was a distinct lack of sweat.

I'd like to take you up on you extra (read: "remedial") grading. What would have been an acceptable level of wtf? Did it matter that you didn't know if they were human or alien (in my mind, they didn't know any more). Was planetary sex not sweaty?

(I'm not disagreeing with anything you've said, but if there's a gap between what I intended and what came out, I wanna know why and fix it...)

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


You Are a Monster

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


In with Escape.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Fanky Malloons posted:

all sortsa words'n poo poo

The square root of 1300 is almost 37, so, uh.... yeah.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Jeza posted:

In with Escape.

No, sorry Jeza. When you have a list of titles to choose from such as 'Surf Monkeys' and 'Shadow of the Swastika' you do not get to choose a boring title like 'Escape'.

FLASH RULE

The title of your story is: Revenge of the Russian Ghost

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004

neato devito


For anyone who wants a kind of easier time putting their story together, there's a free web tool called Inklewriter that basically creates CYOA stories for you; all that'd be left is copying paragraphs out of that and replacing old posts that desperately argue facts about japanese role playing games.

Schneider Heim
Oct 17, 2012


Fanky Malloons posted:

Schneider Heim: C-
Prompt:
Invite to your school a red metal spider who writes science fiction
This whole piece came off as kind of clumsy. You have a number of sentences with missing words, or where you used the wrong word, and a lot of the writing/dialogue was just very stilted. You fell into the EXPOSITION INFO DUMP trap with the line about the spiderís books being shortlisted for awards Ė who actually talks like that in real life? (Hint: nobody). Also I donít really understand why the spiderís agent a) happens to be wandering around a high school, and b) chases them around like some kind of crazy person. Thereís no real reason given for her to do any of those things, and so it doesnít really work when she does them with no explanation.

I have an even more terrible draft where I let the spider talk to a class about his life and regurgitate writing advice. Threw that out and winged it with this one with a day or two to go. I'll do better next time.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Symptomless Coma posted:

I'd like to take you up on you extra (read: "remedial") grading. What would have been an acceptable level of wtf? Did it matter that you didn't know if they were human or alien (in my mind, they didn't know any more). Was planetary sex not sweaty?

(I'm not disagreeing with anything you've said, but if there's a gap between what I intended and what came out, I wanna know why and fix it...)

I'm not really sure that there's an acceptable level of WTF that you should aim for, it's more that if WTF is what you're going for there needs to be an acceptable level of comprehension so that the reader doesn't lose interest. It's fine to keep the reader off-balance, keep them thinking, maybe confuse them a little bit, but if you go too far with that then it ends up being a turn-off, because why should I expend time and effort reading your story if it turns out you don't actually want me to understand what's happening anyway? That's unsatisfying, and a waste of time for both of us. For example, I couldn't read A Clockwork Orange because I found it to be way too much effort to try and parse the weird, made up language the author used and understand what was actually going on in the story because he replaced like, every other word, which I found really annoying.

I got that you meant it to be ambiguous as to whether the characters were human or alien, or some other kind of other, but I actually think you need to make that ambiguity clearer, if that makes sense? Right now, we have two grasshoppers inside a computer, which is a very human invention, having a very human conversation, which is occasionally interrupted by a human-shaped bit of software. So then despite the hints at otherness, they still seem very human and it ends up being confusing in a clumsy sort of way, rather than deliberately ambiguous. Plus, there's also a vague implication of God-like consciousness, with the grasshoppers seemingly being able to control the movement of planets, which is again a very human concept, but also adds to the confusion. Are they human, alien, or God? The man in the background naming things seems like a pretty clear reference to the Garden of Eden, which adds to the confusion again because you don't really seem to actually be going anywhere with the biblical allusion, it just sort of happens in the background and so it's not really clear why he's there.

I was mostly kidding about the sweat thing, but if there was implied sex in there somewhere, I absolutely did not catch it.

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

More crits. I prewrote a lot of them and am now regretting I didn't do that to ALL of them. If I don't get to you and you care to hear my thoughts, PM me. Hopefully I'll be able to finish crits for once, though.


systran

Scrambler
Grade: 4-6
Prompt: Write a story about a jittery vampire who lands on a faraway planet
Ratan the Night God



So, if I got this right, we have the story of a vampire who seems to be in charge of maintaining the population of a distant human colony. Since vampires can apparently survive the 100 year journey and humans can't, he makes an ideal candidate for interstellar social work. The downside is, of course, that he's a blood sucking night creature, so as he's sewing test tube babies and fixing the mom-voice, which is evidently some kind of super computer.

Couple things.

Screaming "I am the night god" after wrecking the first dude's poo poo was pretty cheesy, and I have to consider that you went over the word count, so I'm not sure if you'd have been able to tell it as well if you'd stayed under the 1300 word limit. As is, the passage of time in your story is glossed over, as is most of what Ratan actually DOES on the planet.

I have no massive complaints about this. I'm not one of the grammar and writing conventions dudes, so for my part I thought that this one stood out among some of the others for having a cohesive plot that resolves fairly satisfactorily. I don't think you have anyone's vote for winning due to word count and the aforementioned issues, but this was fairly middle-top of the 4-6th grade group.

Grade: B


Erogenous Beef

Scrambler
Grade: 4-6
Prompt: Write a funny story about an Arctic private eye who finds an undiscovered island.
Beer for the Beer gods



I'm pretty sure this is the second slapstick piece of brose about bros that I've judged. In fact I'm certain, I think it was Hillock who brought us the Bromicide investigator, or whatever. Your story didn't have cossack fighting pants though.

I keep going back and forth on this. The sort of visual (well not really but you know what I mean) puns, ie "let him chill" were fun, but I feel like I have to work a little too hard to find the prompt beneath the sound of the story chuckling at itself. The writing is sound enough.

Some of the...physicality? Of it is weird, like the bro's pool cue ripping the wrestler's mask off with just a poke. It's a minor point, but there's lots of moments like that where you gloss over the I guess action just to sort of keep things moving.

Also I get skittish any time anything close to Thunderdome appears in a story. Thunderbrome is pretty drat close. IDK, when I critique these I am hoping for stories that at least attempt to read like something you'd find in a publication. It's hard to judge some of these gimmicky stories against more "serious" pieces because this reads like it was written for people on THIS forum and as a user of this forum I'm gonna obviously lol at bros. Kinda niche-y.

We'd try to send you to summer school but you'd just sass the teacher and skip the homework and get by on being the loveable class clown who's obviously too smart to be there.

Grade: B- (the B is for bro, and the minus is because I wish you'd subtracted all the bros from your story [semi-serious grade])


V for Vegas

Scrambler
Grade: 2
Prompt: A fantasy story about a pickled princess who lives on a mountain
Gwendolin


This was an instant favorite of mine. I just kinda like everything about it. The more contemporary voice of the narrator works, though at times it verges on a bit much; I cocked an eyebrow and whateverthefuckistan, as this appears to be some sort of fairytale world so IDK how that translates.

But it was a nice story-in-a-story and I'm always a sucker for the realistic take on "happily ever after" type stories. The ending in particular I liked, both Gwendolin's accidental survival of the coup and the closing lines of the story.

The reason it beat out Kaishai's lovely tale was in large part due to the arbitrary standards I set for each grade level. This was a simple prompt meant for simple minds, and the choice to interpret pickled as "alcoholic" wasn't totally unobvious, but it was more nuanced than some of the other interpretations. Plus, you told your story and got out of dodge, no fluff.

You were one of our small grade 2 class, but school administration has made a special request that you do some remedial tutoring for a few struggling 4-6th graders.

Grade: A

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