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crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

THUNDERDOME 62 RESULTS POST

Gather up 'round the campfire children, and let me tell you a story. Bobby, get your marshmallow out of Suzy's hair.

A long time ago, in a thread far, far away, Dirty Communist found himself alone in the woods, stalked by a incomprehensible story. And sadly, his foot was caught in a root, and the story consumed him, until there was nothing left except his loser skeleton.

The story then turned and chased the other nearby campers, biting off pieces of dmboogie and Baggy_Brad, leaving them disfigured and dishonored, but alive. Barely.

Growing more confident in it's ability to devour writer, the story lunged at Jagermonster, who strangeled it with a leash until it retreated. It next went after Symptomless Coma, who was busy talking to him and didn't see the story coming, but he bit it and sent it scampering away.

With its last bit of energy, it stalked Fumblemouse inside a warm, wet cave. Fumblemouse was prepared, and he slayed the story. Fumblemouse, arise, Sir Fumblemouse, slayer of lovely stories. From outside the cave he could hear the faint chants of "where's the loving prompt?"

---

For the dense/lazy:

Winner: Fumblemouse
HM: Jagermonster
HM: Symptomless Coma

Loser: Dirty Communist
DM: dmboogie
DM: Baggy_Brad

crabrock fucked around with this message at Oct 14, 2013 around 21:56

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Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

ThunderDome Round 63
Who finds short shorts unbearably depressing?

I'm a busy mouse, and I don't have time to come up with some fantastic stunt prompt to satisfy your cravings for gimmickry. So we're taking it back to the bridge, and then we're jumping off.

You have 1000 words to make me cry with the saddest story you can conceive. Any genre, any style, so long as it has a heart ... and breaks it to leave it weeping and alone on the cold, cold pavement.

Avoiding mawkish sentiment and puppy-death cliché is the order of the day. This is a hard path to follow, so I fully expect most of you to run home to Mother and not sign-up. So be it - but for those with the courage to face the deepest of sadnesses, victory is only a tear drop away.


Sign-ups Close: Friday midnight EST
Submissions Close: Sunday midnight EST
Judges: Fumblemouse, Sebmojo, Mercedes

Warriors of Eternal Sorrow:

Helsing
Sitting Here
dmboogie
Kaishai
bald gnome error
Chairchucker
Fraction
asap-salafi
justcola
Noumena : story must include a MacGuffin.
Nika
Jeza
Accretionist : primarily set in a 1950's diner. All speaking characters are female.
big business sloth
inthesto
docbeard
Mirthless : must have an immortal character who does not talk during the story.
Tyrannosaurus
J Hume
Pantology
Noah
TenaCrane
Wabznasm
Nikaer Drekin
Crabrock

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at Oct 19, 2013 around 04:13

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

I'M ESCAPING TO THE ONE PLACE THAT HASN'T BEEN CORRUPTED BY CAPITALISM...

SPACE!


I'm in.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Fumblemouse posted:

ThunderDome Round 63
Who finds short shorts unbearably depressing?

I'm a busy mouse, and I don't have time to come with some fantastic stunt prompt to satisfy your cravings for gimmickry. So we're taking it back to the bridge, and then we're jumping off.

You have 1000 words to make me cry with the saddest story you can conceive. Any genre, any style, so long as it has a heart ... and breaks it to leave it weeping and alone on the cold, cold pavement.

Avoiding mawkish sentiment and puppy-death cliché is the order of the day. This is a hard path to follow, so I fully expect most of you to run home to Mother and not sign-up. So be it - but for those with the courage to face the deepest of sadnesses, victory is only a tear drop away.


Entries Close: Friday midnight EST
Submissions Close: Sunday midnight EST
Judges: Fumblemouse and [To be announced - any volunteers?]

Yeah, I'll be your lachrymose judge buddy.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

I need reasons to procrastinate on the stuff that I am using to procrastinate on still more stuff.

So basically, in. Read em and weep.

dmboogie
Oct 4, 2013



I must redeem my family name after my sorry showing last session.

In.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

I'm in.

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'll judge with you, if you'll have me.

Mercedes fucked around with this message at Oct 15, 2013 around 02:28

bald gnome error
Feb 9, 2011


I'm trying to make myself write a god-drat thing ever again, and crushing misery used to be my specialty, so ugh gently caress it whatever. I'm in.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

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

I will make you weep gushing waterfalls down your mouse cheeks.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Mercedes posted:

I'll judge with you, if you'll have me.



An icon with an axe is always welcome at the judging table. Court is now in session.

Fraction
Mar 27, 2010

CATS RULE DOGS DROOL

FERRETS ARE ALSO PRETTY MEH, HONESTLY




Can newcomers join in anytime?

If so, I'm in.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Fraction posted:

Can newcomers join in anytime?

If so, I'm in.

Literally anyone can join up until Friday night or whenever the prompt post says (IDK I don't read prompts).

Fresh blood is good.

In fact if you for some weird reason lurk this thread, you should sign up RIGHT NOW DO IT please we even made a banner ad

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012

I wasn't driving down the wrong side of the street, smoking marijuana, waving my gun out the window.


I am in

justcola
May 22, 2004

La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo

I'll have a pop.

Noumena
Mar 18, 2008



Add me to the list.

Nika
Aug 9, 2013

like i was tanqueray

Sitting Here posted:

please we even made a banner ad

Um, hi. poo poo.

I'm in.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


gonna make you so sad

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Who wants a flash rule?

Accretionist
Nov 7, 2012



In.

sebmojo posted:

Who wants a flash rule?
I'll take one!

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Accretionist posted:

I'll take one!

Flash Rule

Your story will be primarily set in a 1950's diner. All speaking characters are female.

Noumena
Mar 18, 2008



sebmojo posted:

Who wants a flash rule?

Me too, please.

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.


Noumena posted:

Me too, please.

Flash Rule

Your story must include a MacGuffin.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


sebmojo posted:

I will judge the brawl. 333 words on conflict in a violence-free society. Due Thurs next, 17th Oct, 11.59 pm PST.

R/C
Words: 333
In the shadow of a radio tower, Wilbur idled behind the man who ruined his life. He recognized the sedan as they waited at a train-crossing. The car burned into his memory when the driver and Wilbur’s wife rode away; Wilbur stammering in the doorway. It belonged to a man named Hugh, the man who made him a cuckold. Wilbur had learned that much, at least, from his stoic wife; after all, he needed to fill out the Grievance Resolution Office paperwork in proper detail. What else could be done?

The train-crossing lights flashed, and the guard was down. Just Wilbur and Hugh. No one to see what might happen next. But his attention lapsed, suddenly as a television changing channels. He looked away. Wilbur didn’t remember the radio towers always being there, at least not as brazen. Normally they were disguised, albeit poorly, like pine trees.

He heard the train. Closer. Coming. Just tap the gas, a little tap, and then another. His hands sweated, and they slipped down the steering wheel to eight and four. His eyes throbbed, pulsing, blurring his vision. The whistle shouted at him, ‘do it Wilbur, do it you weakling, do it.’ Sharp, ringing pain struck a deep cerebral chord, and he averted his eyes, back to the garish tower. He lingered, staring at the looming, skeletal structure. When he looked back, the train had passed. Again, Hugh drove away.

Once more, Wilbur's inaction had cost him. Once more in long life of missed chances. Maybe that's why his wife, his boss, his coworkers, his family, all, hated him. As Wilbur sat, tears of fruitless, seething rage, streamed down his cheeks. He was a craven. A true coward. He knew he deserved their scorn.

In forced quietus, he realized suicide was also out of reach, a child’s balloon borne by the wind, destined to float away. A car behind him honked and Wilbur finally drove away, out from the shadow of the radio tower.

Zesty Mordant
Jun 7, 2007

hella greenbacks

Sitting Here posted:

Literally anyone can join up until Friday night or whenever the prompt post says (IDK I don't read prompts).

Fresh blood is good.

In fact if you for some weird reason lurk this thread, you should sign up RIGHT NOW DO IT please we even made a banner ad



Okay, fellas. I'll try this. I need to give myself something to do.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Here are like half of last week crits, because I'm a disorganized inebriophile and I hate you.


S.Muffin

I liked 'Crygenics'. I liked the obtuseness of the narrator. I liked gradually realizing that there was something going on and that it probably wasn't going to result in the narrator getting what she wanted. I liked that she had completely rationalized being deceptive and exploiting a loophole, much like the doctor I'm sure would have rationalized making people cry for SCIENCE. I liked that no one in the story is purely sympathetic and well-intentioned; they read like people, accent issues aside. I liked that you didn't go for the "person relating through dialog a story to another person" approach. I liked how you incorporated the bird thing.

I didn't like that, by the end of the story, I'm not precisely sure about your narrator's future or how the events in this story effect her life. I thought the "story in a story" element skirted the edge of being too subtle. Like, it's obvious by the end that the whole situation is a fabrication to make her cry, but it's not clear if her family and coworkers are in on it and playing along, whether they brought her to the lab to divorce/fire her and leave her emotions to science.

Reading just a bit more into the story than is actually there in writing allllmost made me favor this one, but I am capricious, and you seized extra words, and while I approve of your gumption, I felt like I should have had a few less questions at the end given your word count.

justcola

I have a feeling a lot of the crits this week are going to be the same across the board. This is just straightup "this is what happened" dialog with no real story structure to make me care about these people living in this robot sex world. Okay right at the end we learn that they have a stake in it because they're clearly refugee humans surviving on the fringe of a robot dystopia. But it's kind of weird that a kid growing up in the apocalypse would be asking about the inverse birds and bees. Humanity-extinguishing events are the sort of things that work their way into the collective psyche so that even young people have some idea of what's going on. Which, incidentally, how old is the son in this? It reads like HE'S a kid, which means there's one more than 0 children in the world.

IDK, when I look through this story for all the usual stuff (defined beginning, middle, and end, inciting incident, tension), it's not there, or is in weird places. I guess the inciting incident would be the 90's? Which, I could buy that the apocalypse has its origins in the 90's. But beyond that, this is nearly the most literally you could've interpreted the various prompt elements, which doesn't do you any favors.

All that said, "Beneath the Electric Moon" should be a Phillip K. Dick novel.

Saddest Rhino

This one was in my top 3. I was worried for a second when I saw the cheesy lyrics, but then I realized they were supposed to be cheesy and relaxed. I like the concept. I like that the last word in the story was RuPaul. I like that chiptunes are basically bitcoins. I also like that the unnamed Ron Paul's quote is apparently derived from a Reddit AMA quote. I would've condensed the bit with the techno-wisdom wizard because, much as the ending made me chuckle, it did feel a little hemmed in by word count.

I feel like this piece suffers from something that a lot of flash fiction in this thread suffers from, structurally. The whole piece reads like an inciting incident. You have the setup, a conflict, and somewhat of a resolution, but the ending opens up a larger conflict rather than strictly tying up the coffee shop incident.

I also enjoyed "Rhymes transacted cannot be returned."

Dirty Communist

Oof, laddy. This was a clunker. You've got all these random people talking, only the vaguest nod to setting, and I'm still not entirely sure what's going on. Best I can get is that Lester hosed with his boss and now has to stand around blaring Limp Bizkit and wearing a shirt with (I assume?) David Carradine's autopsy photo?

As an aside, much like bro fiction, hipster-mocking fiction is starting to become a real Thing here around the 'dome. But the thing about satire is that it has to be universal; it has to lampoon a specific thing in a general enough way that it's accessible to people who aren't necessarily within/proximate to the group/thing you're satiring.

There were some wonky lines:

quote:

Lester tried to glare and his brows pleaded instead

People can plead, eyebrows can't.

quote:

Lester took a step back from the approaching skinhead. They looked into each other. Those deep, human eyes and soft skin calmed Lester.

[no suggestions]

quote:

Beside him, the nightclub’s obnoxious pinks and oranges swept the footpath and imitated the sunset

Ok so what I think you're saying is that the light from the nightclub was illuminating the footpath with the colors of a sunset. It sounds really garbled and passive the way your worded it.

The dialog is what one might call slapdash. Like, "Interesting story. I feel for you." does this sound like a thing people say when they've heard an interesting story that they feel for?

Clean your writing up. Take more time to think about what each sentence is actually saying, and ask yourself what you would think of it if you read it in a book.

Robot Hobo

Why. Why always with the beginning of stories with the "now tell me all that once more." Why can't stories ever start with character telling each other things the FIRST time? Especially because the inmate's dialog doesn't read one bit like a guy who's been reciting the same story over and over.

Having critiqued a fair number of stories now, I've noticed yet another trend, which is to build the whole story around a reveal or punch line at the end. In this case, it's The Devil. Structuring a story in this way doesn't generally lend itself to a real arc or closure at the end. We're left with no payoff. It's just, people talking about a thing. And then they tell us what that thing is. The end.

Symptomless Coma

I like this. I want to like it better. It was another one in my top 3. It's one of those stories that makes me hear early 90's Stephen Frye in my head, which on the surface is pleasant but just below the surface is deceptive because then I don't know if I love you or Stephen Frye and I have to lie down in a chilled club soda bath to calm myself.

IDK, I like this sort of thing better when it's framed as dialog that we're only getting one side of, rather than a strict monologue. You do it a bit at one point:

quote:

His gloves, the white ones? They’re different.

Where it's implied that the narrator's counterpart interjects. Having him respond more directly to her will make readers feel a little less removed from the scene. Also it kinda skirts story-in-a-story part of the prompt, or rather is too subtle about it, maybe.

The voice was good. A lot of TD entries read as almost monotone in my head, but this guy had lots of color. All together it's a bit too cheeky for me, but if it were interspersed throughout a story and mixed in with other characters of equal standoutness, it could be good.

As another general aside, I think the lower word counts make people afraid to go for a more typical story format. Luckily this one didn't follow the build-and-reveal non-arc that a lot of stories went for this past week.

Tyrannosaurus

So for one, if you have a character who's job is basically to go "uh huh? And then? Oh wow, and then what happened" while another character talks, you can probably just quietly block their airways while they're sleeping and save yourself the words.

I appreciate that you tried to give Dan somewhat of a stake in the story he's telling considering that he's gotta can one of his assistants. It's a good reason for him to care about the story he's telling, but it doesn't necessarily make it interesting to us that he is telling steve about this, if that makes sense. The presentation of two talking dudebro heads kind of puts a smudgey vaseline film over your story's lens.

Those things said, I didn't think this was terrible or anything. It was cute and kept my attention. The question raised by the end about what effect exactly did this Johanson kid have on the rats is the GOOD sort of question to be left with at the end of the piece. The dialog varies from a little to way contrite in some places, but it flows alright enough. You really didn't need to have Dan add "I think it

has something to do with Johanson" at the end though, since that is basically the conclusion that the story fully intended us to draw.

Systran

Grumble grumble this is one of those that is hard to critique much. I liked it. It follows in a pretty well-worn tradition of storytelling, but it does it well, and it's a good take on the age-old question of what makes us happy or content.

Minor nitpicks, I feel like, while you've got the voice of the parable down, it gets a little wordy sometimes. Like:

quote:

...for his body, glimmering like bronze in the sun, sat serene...

"His body sat serene" is what jumps out at my eyes. Reminds me of when people write stuff like "his skin felt the cold air." Basically I would have worded it a tiny bit differently. But another person might read it and see nothing wrong with it.

Grumble grumble. I think the only reason this one didn't like leap out at me with teeth and claws is because parables about the virtue of poverty and the transience of pleasure are so universal that you already know how the story is going to go.

Noah

I actually quite liked this, just not enough considering how many extra words you have. I would've preferred you start with Mr. Finnster talking to David's parents. I feel like the most important thing about the exchange between Finny and the principle is the implication that Mr. Finnster is maybe not too competent, having 'lost' students before. This I feel like could be worked into the conversation with the parents.

I like the use of tense, mainly when the present tense dialog butts into the past tense narration. Had you cut the bit with the principle, you could've invested more of the story in maybe like expounding on the whole rage boner thing. There. You made me type it. Expounding on rage boners.

I like absurd juvenile non sequitur stories. But this one just left me feeling a little unfulfilled, like I missed a joke. It was prompt-germane and attempted to do something with the story-in-a-story format that wasn't just monologing. Which was an accomplishment this week.

Helsing

Ok so you had tough cards. I am going to be honest, I have no idea how I would have tackled this one. Maybe have Putin moonlight as some sort of bizarro incubus or something. Anyway. This is

rough. It's like, the ideas are there, but they haven't been prettied up. It reads like a house where all the wires and plumbing haven't been dry walled out of sight.

I get that she had to be traumatized or whatever for this psychic change to happen, but simply setting the story with someone imprisoned by Putin is already pretty implicitly traumatizing. No need for the surprise sex/shooting stuff, and that her father was murdered could've been worked into the present narrative.

Sometimes while reading this I feel like people are still attuned to the "hero's journey" structure of storytelling, which is why so many of these read like the beginning of a fantasy novel. This reads like it should be followed by some sort of escape or tension-escalating scene, but instead it's just an orphaned little embryo of flash fiction, like a bit of filament drifting in a black, uncaring abyss.

Baggy_Brad

Comma splicing is a cool and fun way of changing up your sentence structure. Unfortunately, when it's done wrong, you just have two ideas standing around awkwardly in a small sentence together. Your first sentence is an example.

quote:

Bodies were down by the wrecked Hewey, the warm air stank of poo poo.

is another. Why not a period there?

You manage to come close to something sort of touching though, even given your cards. I would've had the whole "wiping her butt, that's how I want to die" be an unspoken thing. Like have Prince say one thing and the narrative tell us that what's really up is that he wishes he could've died wiping his lady's rear end, which is a sweet sentiment if you think about it.

-----

More when I'm not doing three other things.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


Will post tomorrow Noah, promise I'm not standing you up

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Posting my first round of crits. I got a migraine toward the end of reading these, so I need to go back and reread them before I comment on them.

SurreptitiousMuffin
(Daddy, why is mommy crying? [Science].
Feasibility of personal integration in the authentic settings. V. Karlev et al, 2019. Warsaw University Press; Warsaw.

“The doctor looked up from his from dials” tsk tsk. you rushed to post first and then had a typo in your first paragraph. Your story makes me have mixed emotions. I feel like you came up with this incredibly awesome premise (getting frozen to cheat the system and get rich) and then ruined it for a mediocre joke. As it is, you have two tones in this story, and I like one of them much better than the other. I kept thinking “oh man, what is going to make her cry? it’s going to be tense and tragic,” and instead get this semi-cheesy HA! gotcha! Your “person telling somebody a story” didn’t seem to really happen. I thought maybe it was the husband telling the scientist the story of their plan, but it seems like even that was an invention, since that was all a ruse anyway.

Ranking: sub-semi-mediocre

justcola
What will always get you laid? [Teaching a robot to love]
The Birds And The Beads

You need to tighten up your writing. Too many ellipses and interjections. Is this: “mid noughties” a thing where you’re from? Move. But man you sure did skewer those nerds something amazing! Way to really take them down a peg or two! Is that what you were hoping to get as a reaction? Because I don’t really get the point of your story. There was one tiny glimmer of hope (the cyborgs line). That would have been an amazing story, instead it’s just a fantasy wikipedia article that sounds like what my grandpa actually believes.

Ranking: top-tier-opposite-good

The Saddest Rhino
In 1,000 years, when paper money is a distant memory, how will we pay for goods and services? [Funky fresh rhymes].
“These Rhythms are Money, Man!”

I feel like yours is… I don’t know. It seems like you didn’t spend very much time on it altogether. Your played your cards pretty literal, which is fine, but I don’t think it was enough to carry an entire story. In your world are RuPaul and Ron Paul the same person? You were mugging for the camera here, thinking the prompt was silly and irreverent, your story should be too. Unfortunately it didn’t work for me.

Ranking: lower-quadrant-of-bottom-half-inverted-and-shaken

Dirty Communist
What’s there a ton of in heaven? Taking off your shirt.
'90s Kids

what the gently caress? another story that just rags on classifications of people. Is this stuff you enjoy reading? Is this a symptom of message boards or CNN comments or something? You know there are narratives that aren’t so anti-somebody and don’t need to try to rip on a group of people. Furthermore, don’t do it unless you have something new or interesting to say. You just used a bunch of cliches and stereotypes and then made fun of it in a confusing and pointless story. Who cares?

Ranking: absolute-zero-cubed

Robot Hobo
In L.A. County Jail, word is you can trade 200 cigarettes for [being on fire.]
Bring the Light

You have some ok ideas here, and your writing is decent, and at times good. But did you just CSI miami me with that last line? I was really with you until the dude started growing. A few times you could have given me less description and done better (e.g. his accent). What you do is set up a mystery, and then smash it on the rocks and ruin it for me. Stop. I thought the ending was going to be the cop asking him to repeat the story again, which would have made me laugh. Instead I just rolled my eyes. You nailed the prompt though, so that’s a plus.

Ranking: tier-three-out-of-n

Symptomless Coma
A romantic, candlelit dinner would be incomplete without [autocannibalism].
Your Habit

I like your story. I like the tone, and how you did it. You did what I tried to do a few weeks ago (only dialogue from one source), and you did it much better than I did. Unfortunately, towards the end it starts falling flat. When the guy is more caring and gentle, the story is better. When he starts getting angry and starts cussing, you lose me. I understand that he’s frustrated and what not, but I liked when I imagined them to be having just a romantic date and making some light conversation, not him having an intervention for her in the middle of the restaurant. Then when he started bringing in his business and getting self-important I wasn’t interested anymore. There are also a few times where you transition between too many topics without segues, and it’s hard to understand. There are other times where you do this and it works great (the first few times with the wine). You also didn’t do that well with the story-telling bit.

Ranking: supra-poo poo

Tyrannosaurus
Studies show that lab rats navigate mazes 50% faster after being exposed to [cuddling].
Johansen

need to get that quote from muffin about not hanging a story entirely on dialogue and put it in an image. Pretend I did that already.

image-muffinquote.png

While your story in itself isn’t loving atrocious, it is boring. Why? Because you already told me the end of the story before you started telling it. You told me that he was getting with the rats in a non-sexual manner, and then draw it out. You would have been better served letting people think it WAS sexual, and then dispelling the myth, or better yet, just saying “man, had to let this guy go, but here’s the story from the beginning.” Trust your reader to stick with it and figure out some stuff. Tease them with promises of an interesting story, rather than lay it all on the line in the beginning. Also learn2control group. If a control group was running the maze just as fast as the experiment group, there’d be no difference and nobody would know. They’d have to be compared to a different group, and would no longer be a control group, but an experimental group. You should run this test as an ANOVA with three group comparison (control group, treatment A (old control group), treatment B (old experimental group). Don’t forget to report effect sizes.

Ranking: narratively-and-statistically-insignificant

systran
During sex, I like to think about [poor people].
Moksha

Your prose gets a little bit too purpley at times, just slightly, but I’m willing to forgive it because it’s some rich rear end in a top hat talking to some other rich rear end in a top hat. I like the setup and premise of your story. What’s there is all good. But something is missing from it, and I’m not sure what. Maybe it’s that I want to know more about this guy. A riches-to-rags story is pretty neat. Why did the guy feel nothing before boning poor people? What was it that he wasn’t happy with? It just feels a little incomplete somehow (and I know the word count is limiting). But overall, good show.

Ranking: inter-genital-gap

Noah
The class field trip was completely ruined by [getting so angry that you pop a boner].
No Bones About It

So uh, this is like a zombie story, but with boner dinosaurs? Haha. I’m a little confused. I am thrilled that you stole all those words to do it with though. The present tense caught me a little off guard a few times. I guess if this teacher guy is going irreversible boner monster, then it makes sense though. I thought a few of your sentences were a little stilted, and thought that some things the guy said in his story were too wordy for telling parents a story about their son. I agree with the father that the teacher is the worst. I thought it was going to end with the dad getting so angry that HE popped a boner, like father like son, but then the teacher did. I am assuming the misdirection is on purpose? Eh, I don’t really know what else to say, but it’s funny, and good. On the downside, my wife read the stories over my shoulder, now she chases me around the house with objects between her legs like a fake dick, yelling “ock ock ock,” so thanks for that.

Ranking: Bonersaurus-with-a-cherry-on-top

Helsing
Rumor has it that Vladimir Putin's favorite delicacy is [a lifetime of sadness] stuffed with [menstrual rage].
Svetlana Vershinin

So uh, yeah. I don’t really understand Putin’s role in this, or what the joke is. I also don’t see where one character tells another character a story. You could have had all that stuff in the past be told by one of the guards of this place or whatever. I know what you had “menstrual rage” in your cards, but you spend too much time on it. You could have just said that “after puberty with sufficient trauma, the powers turn on.” but you focus too much on the menstruation. Also your character seems pretty loving cold to be busy hiding the linens while her sisters are being raped (I know it’s a typo, but that poo poo can ruin stories.)

Ranking: don’t-care-down-there

Baggy_Brad
[Wiping her butt.] That's how I want to die.
The Ultimate Intimacy

I know I didn’t give you a lot to work with here, and for that I’m sorry. But you pretty much handled this in the worst way possible. Instead of a metaphor or taking some artistic license, you straight up quote your cards verbatim. You tried to making wiping somebody’s rear end this deep, meaningful thing, but you failed. The idea behind your story is actually rather good: A man at war, probably about to die, looks back on his life, and suddenly something that seemed horrible before doesn’t seem so bad. But you ruined it. YOU RUINED IT. This was the worst writing of the week, but luckily for you, I was able to understand it, so that’s how you narrowly avoided the loss. Also the guy left his dying girlfriend/wife to die alone? what a loving jerk.

Ranking: square-root-of-negative-infinity

Jagermonster
Coming to Broadway this season, [Children on leashes]: The Musical
Children on Leashes

Haha, This story is good. Furthermore it addresses some poo poo about blame and conscience and all that jazz, without being too over the top. In other words, you wrote a story ABOUT something rather than just giving me a story with your cards as the driving force. For that reason it was my favorite of the week. I feel like you shoved a lot of poo poo into not very many words. Still, that doesn’t mean it was perfect. It almost feels like you wrote this in two sessions. The first half is sort of silly and not very serious, and then the real meat of the story kicks in, and it’s suddenly much better. You could have benefited from deleting a good part of your first stuff. It was your founding idea, and that’s fine, but you deviated from that, and you should have had the courage to abandon it.

Ranking: the-integral-of-anything (it looks like a leash)


Nikaer Drekin
[Overcompensation] is a slippery slope that leads to [catapults].
The Legend of the Codpiece

The first half of this is funny and good. Then it… just kind of gets heartless. Instead of overcompensation, I felt like we started dealing with a sociopath. I also wasn’t able to suspend my disbelief anymore when the guy laughed so much that he didn’t realize he was being captured. I think that was the moment where I started to roll my eyes, and remember that I was judging a story rather than just reading and enjoying it. So overall, just middle of the pack bleh.

Ranking: bulging-quadratic

Auraboks
White people like [a super soaker full of cat pee].
Not judgin'
Your story is really boring. I don’t like it. But I don’t need to yell at you about anything in particular, so yay.

Ranking: copy-of-a-copy

Jeza
Lifetime presents [Sunshine and rainbows], the story of [racism].
Lifetime presents sunshine and rainbows, the story of racism
I didn’t like your story, and I think the reason is I hate lifetime. I also hate feel-goodery. I forgot that your cards had “lifetime presents” and so I was really hating all the over the top shoving your view down my throat. While you really nailed the words of the cards, that doesn’t mean it was a good story on its own. I think you could have done the same story in a much more subtle way and pulled off what you were going for. But I didn’t feel like these characters were anything other than stereotypes I’ve seen before in a stock setting.

Ranking: i-can’t-fight-these-feelings-anymore

docbeard
I like your story. It’s simple, and has some problems, but I enjoyed reading it. It’s solidly middle-of-the-pack. It’s a slice of life story in a weird life, but it doesn’t offer much more than a quick peek into this weird world. Possibly with more story around it it could be an interesting story, but I also feel like monkey personhood isn’t really a fresh take on anything.

Ranking: monkey-smoking-a-cigar

dmboogie

you didn’t say anything here, so i’m not going to bother saying anything back. don’t write just for writings’ sake. Have something to say.

Ranking: blank

Walamor

You lawyered up the cards a little bit, but I can appreciate that. Caught me a little off guard, but no points lost. That said, if you’re going to deviate, make it worthwhile. This is a funny little piece, and there are several things that I like about it, especially after the last few stories. It’s not cliche. Things that happen here are fairly unique, and the parents handle this like actual human beings, and not “what parents should do according to really boring story tellers.” I liked the interaction with the son and the dad, and could have used more of that. You’re becoming a solid writer, even though this is just so-so, it’s better than a lot of the stuff here, and it’s way better than the stuff you were writing at the beginning. I wouldn’t be surprised if you take the cake in a few more weeks.

Ranking: runner-up-divided-by-three

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


gently caress it, time to get my poo poo ruined.

I'm in.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Making you cry with bad writing counts, right?

In.

Mirthless
Mar 27, 2011


I'll bite the bullet and give this a shot. I'll take a flash rule, too, why not.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

I'm in.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Mirthless posted:

I'll bite the bullet and give this a shot. I'll take a flash rule, too, why not.

flash rule

You must have an immortal character who does not talk during the story.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


Brawl Like 334 words minus numbers and divider hyphens. I DON'T EVEN CARE.

1-4, 3, 70%

Seventh infantry’s [morale breaks] in the face of a [cavalry charge]. The ranks are broken and they retreat in a [disorganised] fashion. They suffer [heavy] losses.



“Preposterous” he mumbled through his moustache.“Another recess?”

The Swiss umpire was terse: “You have already used your two recesses, Monsieur Alain. Further recesses are at the discretion of your opponent.”

“I’ll allow it. My esteemed opponent has earned it.” Baron Wiefenstahl said, fondling his lucky dice.

-

In the bathroom of the Palais des Jeux, General Alain gripped the corners of the sink. His adjutant, Bernot, stood at attention by his side.

“It’s hopeless. There is no way back from here,” he shook his head dejectedly. “Curse the Zurich Treaty. The Devil rot those bureaucrats.”

Bernot patted his superior’s shoulder sympathetically.

“At this rate, I’ll have lost half of Lorraine, let alone Alsace. They’ll hang me for treachery.”

“Sir…” Bernot ventured.

Bernot opened his jacket. Within was a secret weapon that could save the General’s reputation, and the war.

“After the setbacks yesterday, sir, I thought it wise…”

“Where did you…? No, I’d rather not know. Thank you Bernot. You’ve always been such a help to me.”

-

Bernot re-entered the War Room. All eyes fell expectantly upon him.

“Monsieur Alain has decided upon a conditional surrender,” he stated.

“A surrender? That depends upon Baron Wiefenstahl and whether he accepts the terms,” replied the the umpire. “What are the terms, and where is-”

The pistol shot rang out from the garden. Spectators rushed to the windows, in time to see a figure crumple on the pristine lawn.

A slow round of applause started, and appreciative murmurs:

“Aha! A fine play.”

“He was a fine tactician, I always said so.”

The umpire coughed once for attention.

“Ah, well. In the event that one of the competitors should become incapacitated for any reason, the state of play is frozen and a truce is declared in the interests of fairness. Good war, gentlemen.”

Jeza fucked around with this message at Oct 18, 2013 around 00:02

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Thunderbrawl Judgment

Prompt: Conflict without violence

Noah: R/C

In the shadow of a radio tower, Wilbur idled behind the man who ruined his life. This is a cracker of an opening line. Great rhythm, sinister, sets up the action of the story, good word choices. He'd recognized the sedan as they waited at a train-crossing. The car had been burned into his memory when the driver and Wilbur’s wife rode away; Wilbur stammering in the doorway. It belonged to a man named Hugh, the man who made him a cuckold. Wilbur had learned that much, at least, from his stoic wife; after all, he needed to fill out the Grievance Resolution Office paperwork in proper detail. What else could be done?

The train-crossing lights flashed, and the guard was down. Just Wilbur and Hugh. No one to see what might happen next. But his attention lapsed, suddenly as a television changing channels. He looked away. Wilbur didn’t remember the radio towers always being there, at least not as brazen. Normally they were disguised, albeit poorly, like pine trees.

He heard the train. Closer. Coming. Just tap the gas, a little tap, and then another. His hands sweated, and they slipped down the steering wheel to eight and four. His eyes throbbed, pulsing, blurring his vision. The whistle shouted at him, ‘do it Wilbur, do it you weakling, do it.’ Sharp, ringing pain struck a deep cerebral chord,I like the building tension, but this is a terrible sentence - it's the climax of your story so it needs to be pinpoint. and he averted his eyes, back to the garish tower. He lingered, staring at the looming, skeletal structure. When he looked back, the train had passed. Again, Hugh drove away. Nice call back.

Once more, Wilbur's inaction had cost him. Once more in long life of missed chances. Maybe that's why his wife, his boss, his coworkers, his family, all, hated him. As Wilbur sat, tears of fruitless, seething rage, streamed down his cheeks. He was a craven. A true coward. He knew he deserved their scorn.

In forced quietus, he realized suicide was also out of reach, a child’s balloon borne by the wind, destined to float away. A car behind him honked and Wilbur finally drove away, out from the shadow of the radio tower. And great ending too. I really liked the subtle fascism of the conflict-deadening radio towers. I do wonder if you could have skipped the sci fi element altogheter and just had him agonising behind the guy in his car, but you still made good use of the idea and gave us a beginning, middle and end that slotted home a tangled emotional tale with impressive precision.

Jeza: Brawl Tsh where is your title pshaw

1-4, 3, 70% Nope.

Seventh infantry’s [morale breaks] in the face of a [cavalry charge]. The ranks are broken and they retreat in a [disorganised] fashion. They suffer [heavy] losses.

“Preposterous” he mumbled through his moustache.“Another recess?”

The Swiss umpire was terse: “You have already used your two recesses, Monsieur Alain. Further recesses are at the discretion of your opponent.”

“I’ll allow it. My esteemed opponent has earned it.” Baron Wiefenstahl said, fondling his lucky dice. Blah blah, don't really care about CAN I HAVE RECESS NO YOU CANNOT OH WAIT OK YOU CAN. 333 words, man.

-

In the bathroom of the Palais des Jeux, General Alain gripped the corners of the sink. His adjutant, Bernot, stood at attention by his side.

“It’s hopeless. There is no way back from here,” he shook his head dejectedly. “Curse the Zurich Treaty. The Devil rot those bureaucrats.”

Bernot patted his superior’s shoulder sympathetically. This reads as incongruous for some reason - he's at attention then he's all shoulder patty.

“At this rate, I’ll have lost half of Lorraine, let alone Alsace. They’ll hang me for treachery.”

“Sir…” Bernot ventured.

Bernot opened his jacket. Within was a secret weapon that could save the General’s reputation, and the war. Viewpoint shift.

“After the setbacks yesterday, sir, I thought it wise…”

“Where did you…? No, I’d rather not know. Thank you Bernot. You’ve always been such a help to me.” Don't care about these two lines either.

-

Bernot re-entered the War Room. All eyes fell expectantly upon him. SHE GOT EXPEEEEEECTANT EYES

“Monsieur Alain has decided upon a conditional surrender,” he stated.

“A surrender? That depends upon Baron Wiefenstahl and whether he accepts the terms,” replied the the umpire. “What are the terms, and where is-”

The pistol shot rang out from the garden. Spectators rushed to the windows, in time to see a figure crumple on the pristine lawn.

A slow round of applause started, and appreciative murmurs:

“Aha! A fine play.”

“He was a fine tactician, I always said so.” This is clever, if predictable

The umpire coughed once for attention.

“Ah, well. In the event that one of the competitors should become incapacitated for any reason, the state of play is frozen and a truce is declared in the interests of fairness. Good war, gentlemen.” This is a modestly clever reading of the prompt, that just doesn't use its words well enough. For instance I think you had plenty of room to characterise Wiefenstahl more and give him some reaction to the loss, and to give the decision for him to kill himself a little weight.


Judgment

333 words is a ridiculously tight amount for a story of course, but it is still possible to tell a story that has recognisable humans, thematic richness and well-chosen words. Noah demonstrated that, and is the winner.

In accordance with the weirdass terms of this brawl, Noah may take 333 words from Jeza at his discretion.

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at Oct 18, 2013 around 02:34

Dirty Communist
Apr 29, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER

quote:

Oof, laddy. This was a clunker. You've got all these random people talking, only the vaguest nod to setting, and I'm still not entirely sure what's going on. Best I can get is that Lester hosed with his boss and now has to stand around blaring Limp Bizkit and wearing a shirt with (I assume?) David Carradine's autopsy photo?

As an aside, much like bro fiction, hipster-mocking fiction is starting to become a real Thing here around the 'dome. But the thing about satire is that it has to be universal; it has to lampoon a specific thing in a general enough way that it's accessible to people who aren't necessarily within/proximate to the group/thing you're satiring.

Wow, you guys have helped the hell out of me. Thing is, I've been working in the media for years, so the only feedback I get is either "Wow this amazing, I agree with you" or "I disagree with you, please drink some petrol." I don't get anything technical. Any solid advice is a treasure. Also, we're meant to use tiny sentences designed for three-second attention spans, which don't translate so well into fiction.

Another thing I feel was that I tried to fit too much into a small space, which gave the clarity another blow. Again, perk of journalism.

I'm going to toss myself into the match after the current one, find all the differences between what previous winners and I do, then learn from you all. Until I give you something really decent, I mean to keep the fancy new title I'm guessing I receive.
Is it too early to sign up for next week?

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Dirty Communist posted:

Is it too early to sign up for next week?

Judges are fickle creatures with short memories, better to come in next week and enter then.

Losertar is coming; if you win a round I'll buy you a new av.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


I had already read Noah's entry so I knew I was going to lose, but I wanted to write my silly story anyway. And continue my stellar brawl record.

Maybe we should start recording brawls on the website too at some point?

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Jeza posted:


Maybe we should start recording brawls on the website too at some point?



*cough*

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/brawls.php

Kaishai has been busy

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J Hume
Apr 23, 2013

What is the best number?


I'm in for my first Thunderdome! Can't wait to win my avatar of shame.

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