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dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

systran posted:

I did not expect that. I loving hated the song too and still do.

Have you seen the literal version? It is loving hilarious.

Systran, that's a great story, congratulations. But... why doesn't the elixir work on Johan? I didn't understand that part.

Edit: Actually I like it even more on a close reading with the song playing. The clipped Germanic cadences of the story play wonderfully with the hilariously overwrought (but still great, come on what a song) ululations of Ms Tyler. And that dryness and directness gives you the room you need to drop in the song quotes that would otherwise be terribly arch.

That said I don't think you quite stuck the landing, which is a pity. Something simple and clear and beautiful (but not another song quote) would have sat there very well. 'Do it' doesn't really talk to the rest of the story - it's words that are at the end rather than an ending.

A good (if cliche) trick for endings is just a simple observation of something. The montage effect means that even quite mundane statements get assigned layers of meaning by the story that precedes them.

F'rex you had your deathless chick staring at the wall - why not just describe the wall? It's the last thing she sees. Instead of telling us that emotion and humanity had flooded back into her heart (ick) you could have shown it in a line of description, with a style that was distinct from the rest of the story.

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2013 around 01:02

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Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


sebmojo posted:

ULTRACRIT SUPASTAR

You rang?

<Jeza> Khris Kruel: BAD
<Jeza> Rather Watch Them: Dunno what I just read, almost not bad. almost.
<Jeza> pug wearing a hat: So like, is Hank gay? POMEGRANATE MARTINI?
<Jeza> Nikaer Drakin: Competent, if cliché and sappy.
<Jeza> SpaceGodzilla: DUMB
<Jeza> Kaishai: Middling. Blue Oyster cult ftw though.
<Jeza> Fumblemouse: WAHHH I DONT UNDERSTANDDDD
<Jeza> CantDecideOnAName: Kind of liked this. Crisp and clear.
<Jeza> CancerCakes: T'aint bad.
<Jeza> systran: Written well, lacks the real emotional weight potential. Gimmick premise.
<Jeza> Steriletom: Not even that bad, y'know.
<Jeza> black.lion: Dahl-esque. Decent-y.
<Jeza> Noah: Breadth of style. This is touching and doesn't pander like a retard. Some stylistic points need to be ironed out.
<Jeza> Chewie23: Kinda like eating a regular sandwich. Mildly satisfying but very mundane.
<Jeza> Chairchucker: Candyfloss. Seriously though, no word of a lie your dialogue is some of the best in TD and has been for a while. Too bad you never show off anything else.
<Jeza> Symptomless Coma: Sad Mostly on the right side of sappy.
<Jeza> Jagermonster: Passable, but dry.
<Jeza> Black Griffon: hummmmmmmm p. good I guess maybe. not feeling it though.
<Jeza> sebmojo: good as always, but lacks the eponymous 'mojo'. I really wasn't feeling your heart and soul behind this one.



I have been forced to post these for your perusal. I did change my opinions on a few of these pieces so don't piss your pants if you don't like my instant reaction notes. My proper crits will come and may be more helpful.

HaitianDivorce
Jul 29, 2012


Fanky Malloons posted:

That said HaitianDivorce, I didn't hate your story. I thought it was a cool interpretation of the prompt, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

Sounds right. I'll get my footing on one of these prompts eventually. Until then I just hope the end results aren't too excrable.

Oh, and he says time because they're on a generation ship no one bothered to rig with a day/night cycle

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Thunderdome!

Systran is a loser who has become a winner!

As is our custom, the badge of his shame must be expunged.

Who will step up, sanctified in their goonclaw?

And what will be the judgment of the dome - mocking reference to Bonnie Tyler? Sober approbation of the deed of a warrior? OR BOTH?

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2013 around 01:16

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

With sebmojo's benediction, I'm inflicting myself upon you fucks for another week. systran shall be the Goose to my Maverick.

sebmojo posted:

I spent 15 minutes picking through your work just now. A fourth read. I had notes and everything, but my dumb rear end lost them somehow. I'm taking it as a sign. It really reminded me of the scene from The Thomas Crown Affair, and that's a good thing. It was tight, it fit the music. All the issues I have with the piece are purely stylistic. It's not a story, it's an excerpt to some grander work, and you're an rear end in a top hat for withholding it.

Che Faro Senza

Helpless, I saw her reach the glove, bend down for it, pick it up, look at me with an expression I couldn't read. Then I saw him, sepulchral in black. He stretched out his arm to her. She looked at him for a long while, then took it.

This paragraph is what hosed everything up for me. Who is this guy? Why is he here? In a piece this short it pays to have simpler motives. If she was being stolen away from yakuza or mobsters or an abusive boyfriend, you'd have won. There's just this big, weird lack of development of this one crucial part that makes things fall apart.

black.lion posted:

Technically very good writing. I'm really at a lack. I'd love to tear it a new one but I don't know where to start. My biggest gripes: the lack of a narrative arc, the absence of characters. I don't really care when his daughter kills himself. I don't know the prot at all. He wears suits, he does something nebulously shady. End of story. A few more hints would send this story a lot further, and the death at the end seems like it's a grab for sympathy. It works, but it doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Gathering No Moss

A comfortable few nights had been afforded to Max by the woman he left in bed behind him. A bright spring morning in 1946, he slid out of the velvet sheets and gathered his scattered black articles of clothingjust say that he picked up his clothes, gently caress. No one thinks like this and it makes your narrator sound like a twat from around the room. Practiced movements silently reassembled his suit, and he allowed a glance back at what he was leaving: deep purple silk poured over pale curves. Clipping his silver cufflinks into place, he eased the heavyredundant oak door closed and settled into the seat of his black Lincoln. In the back rested a leather bag, the corner of a $50 bill caught in the zipper. Max pulled it free and slipped the bill into the pocket if his gold-patterned waist coat. He pushed his hair into place and headed home.

Max had last seen his family in the winter of 1940. His wife, Maddie, had suggested that he propose marriage after they graduated high school, so he did. Since being wed, she had allowed her husband the folly of being a tailor of middling skill, but their daughter Daisy was thirteen now and Maddie felt an improved financial situation would mean an improved social situation. As far as her mother was concerned, once Daisy was placed in a fiscally sound marriage Max could make as many bad suits as he pleased.

His shop closed, and Max arranged a meeting with a less-than-reputable “businessman.” While the man found him likeable, Max was not imposing enough to be suited to the less-than-legitimate work available. Jesus Christ just give us a hint He’d been granted some consolatoryno, bro attention by the young lady sitting at the bar, buying his drinks for a simple smile. He had few talents, but he'd always done well with women.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be gone” – he intended only a few months.

“Do I want to know what you’re doing?” Maddie asked curiously, not a trace of worry – “Whatever it is, you’re doing it for your family. We know that.”

Daisy clung to her mother’s yellow skirt, crying, refusing to look at her father. Now Max could scarcely remember his daughter’s face.

It took some months for Max to settle into his new craft.WHAT IS IT At first he was leaving in the night with a wallet or some jewelry, eventually realizing that women would often pay him willingly in exchange for a small deception and an exhaustive evening. is he a man-whore? He sent money back home, and the occasional letter. He never received a reply; he never waited for one. This is Midnight Cowboy, isn't it?


Fumblemouse posted:

Prompt: Clothes, Song: Rock Around the Clock, with a side order of Greek Tragedy
Word Count: 1152

B-Side


It’s good, but I don’t understand how it got to 1152 words. The dialogue at the beginning goes on for far, far too long. It’s needless exposition that doesn’t really do anything for the story. The crux of his issues - turning into a dweeb by virtue of becoming a dad – is revealed after your scene break. The second part of the story is much, much stronger (and thoroughly enjoyable). If you found a way to emphasize and explain his clothes in a way that doesn’t break the story, you’d have a really cool piece.
Word count might not even matter if the beginning wasn’t so dreadfully boring. You do a fine job of using a bunch of words to convey the action at the end, and the denouement is delightful. I think you’re aces for somehow giving me teddy boys and greek tragedy. NOW GET TO WORK


Kaishai posted:

Reaper's Dance
(840 words)

This was thoroughly enjoyable, as I've mentioned before. Spectacular use of the prompt. The issue is that there's no tension, no conflict. I mean, it's a story and it's good... but it's kind of a trope, too. You do a good job of modernizing everything and it's really tight. I'm not enjoying the critique at all

A Valentine's costume party wasn't the same thing as a masquerade ball, and it was unfair to hold a real event to the standards of creativity and effort she'd built up in daydreams--or so Kathleen reminded herself. Still, she'd hoped to see something more elaborate than the business suits at least half the men wore. Even the bed-sheet togas on a good quarter of the guests, men and women, heightened the atmosphere in comparison.

As she thought it, a man who'd invested in plastic laurel leaves and a swag of purple velvet caught her eye and saluted her with his glass. She smiled at him, then she moved on.

She'd come as Zeffirelli's Juliet. No act of man or make-up could make her look fourteen again, but wearing ribbons in her dark braid, the embroidered,extra comma!? cap, and the red velvet dress too large everywhere except the bosom, she felt that young. She shifted through the room, steering wide of the punch bowl and so free of most of the crowd; for now, sentence break here? she just wanted a good vantage point to see the more unusual costumes. A flash of light against metal paused her.

[...]

Some of the Greeks and tycoons nearby applauded them when the song ended. Kathleen grinned breathlessly and curtsied on wobbling legs. In her delight, she stopped judging their choice of costumes. They were here to have fun, weren't they, however they'd dressed? And wasn't she?

"Again?" she asked Death, even though she doubted her lungs were up to it so soon.

The grin of the skull didn't, couldn't alter, but it seemed friendly to her. "Another time, Juliet. Kathleen. I promise you."

He melted away, disappearing into the press of people faster than a man so tall or so distinctive should have been able to manage. The last she saw of him was one more flash off his scythe's edge, too bright for it to be dull at all; only after midnight, when the party was over, did she wonder how he'd known her name.

I don't even know what to suggest. You rolled the dice, and this time you lost. I really hope you keep playing.


Black Griffon posted:



Safer havens - 534 words

I was a fly's eyelash away from declaring this one winner. It's amazingly tight. It hits the prompt, it matches the music... It's not a story (should I be yelling?)... It's some part of a larger whole, some snapshot into whatever you're working on. You know what you're doing. You had at least 500 more words with which to draw us deeper. You chose not to use them. I don't want to say there's no narrative arc, because that's untrue. Your arc is underdeveloped, it falls short. I don't feel for the characters, I don't really know where they are or what theyre doing. I have full confidence that you could tell me these things. You chose not to. It had me on the edge of my seat, your smoke and mirrors is top-notch. An excerpt from a chapter is not the same thing as a story, though. Develop this and let me read it, please.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2013 around 02:00

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

sebmojo posted:

Have you seen the literal version? It is loving hilarious.

Systran, that's a great story, congratulations. But... why doesn't the elixir work on Johan? I didn't understand that part.


In a previous draft I had a (very convoluted) scene where the guy giving the job interview recognized her 1700's Middlesex accent and said he was like her. The dialogue implied that everyone's recipe was different, so Johann would have needed to dream his own recipe. That whole exchange felt like forced exposition and I didn't think the reason that it failed for Johann was too important to the plot. I ALMOST made the opening line "The recipe for my immortality came to me in a dream," so that you would ideally make that connection later on but I didn't want to risk over thinking everything.

I appreciate the advice on the ending and any further critiques. I would like to save this into my "Stuff worth reworking later" folder but am worried that it won't stand alone without the connection to the song.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

The Saddest Rhino posted:

Authors Crit:

Kaishai - It Is the Last


Thank you! You made my day. I loved working with this subject, and I'm glad some of the beauty of the Fabergé creations came across in the story. The eggs just fascinate me.

Nubile Hillock posted:


Most Enjoyable Kaishai! I really, really wanted to give you the win. The song and story together were the most enjoyable read this week. I'm a sucker for the underdog... and the story kind of left me wanting. It was a lovely vignette, but I've read this cliche over and over and over. It worked every time, though (and had me clapping my hands together like a toddler with downs). Expect a crit!


Thank you too! (Two positive crits? I should have bought a lottery ticket today, clearly.) I enjoyed writing it. Song prompts are my new favorite thing.

Congratulations, systran!

sebmojo posted:


And what will be the judgment of the dome - mocking reference to Bonnie Tyler? Sober approbation of the deed of a warrior? OR BOTH?

I move that whatever picture is chosen, the text should come from 'Holding Out For a Hero.'

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Nubile Hillock posted:

quote:

Helpless, I saw her reach the glove, bend down for it, pick it up, look at me with an expression I couldn't read. Then I saw him, sepulchral in black. He stretched out his arm to her. She looked at him for a long while, then took it.

This paragraph is what hosed everything up for me. Who is this guy? Why is he here?
I thought that was the baby daddy, being chosen over our taser wielding heroine, but it turned out to be Hades. That Hades, he's so madcap!

Anyhow. Just popping in to say thanks for the crits from everyone. I'm getting a nice mix of like and dislike which is just enough sugar to keep me trying to pull myself out of the poo poo.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Fumblemouse posted:



Anyhow. Just popping in to say thanks for the crits from everyone. I'm getting a nice mix of like and dislike which is just enough sugar to keep me trying to pull myself out of the poo poo.

You could have used this time to work on fixing your piece

I swear to God if you fuckers don't post your REWORKED pieces in the flash farm I'm going to lobotomize each and every one of you with a pick axe.

autism ZX spectrum fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2013 around 02:45

Khris Kruel
Nov 5, 2003

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

Thanks for the crit. Opened my eyes.

Anyone care to recommend a good battle scene that builds tension and is enjoyable to read? I'm actually writing a book and half of it is combat, and there's a problem if I can't write a gripping battle scene

Khris Kruel fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2013 around 04:04

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

Khris Kruel posted:

I'm actually writing a book and half of it is combat, and there's a problem if I can't write a gripping battle scene

How far in are you? It may be time to reconsider. Perhaps ask the fine people in the Book Barn to suggest some reading?

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.

Systran's story was really good; having said that, disqualify everyone who hates on Total Eclipse of the Heart IMO, that song owns.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


At this stage I am slightly surprised by not losing! Thanks for the crits as always, next time I will keep it tighter.
I tried to incorporate every line of the song into the story somehow (including guitar solo), but in the end that probably wasn't worth the effort.

As you say people on E don't riot, I nixed some exposition about amphetamines, and also played with the idea of it being a bad batch but it seemed a bit clunky. The voice isn't very raver-esque but I also drafted the idea of this as an ironic 2010s fluorescent race rather than a proper one, again cut, which is why these people don't act as you expect.

A lesson for me that when you leave a lot of stuff on the cutting room floor it is probably better to rework the entire story rather than have something full of holes.

Congratulations to systran, I hope to copy their example before I get my ultraloser status. Judging by the trend that will be within the month however.

Khris Kruel
Nov 5, 2003

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

Nubile Hillock posted:

How far in are you? It may be time to reconsider. Perhaps ask the fine people in the Book Barn to suggest some reading?

I'm almost done. 100k words all ready. Time isn't a factor, I will keep reediting it until its perfect

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Khris Kruel posted:

I'm almost done. 100k words all ready. Time isn't a factor, I will keep reediting it until its perfect

Enough chitchat. We don't care, shut up.

Where's the next prompt AT.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Week 35: Pictures and Books

http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc...ivmysteries.htm

The link above has pictures with captions (click the picture for larger size and the caption). Your piece must relate to the picture of your choice and its caption. It is NOT draft pick. More than one person can choose the same picture. Obviously whatever you write should elaborate upon the picture and its quote. The picture can serve as a jumping off point, but I don't want to see, "There is a girl in the picture so I wrote about a girl."

"I have preferred to write notes upon imaginary books."

The above quote from Borges needs to inspire your work. You need to make up a book which is referenced and relates to your plot. Imagine if you were doing research for a period piece and could just make up any novel, historical/religious text, article, or essay that you wanted to suit your needs. Implying the existence of this book and using it as a source or inspiration for your work makes it almost real. The imaginary book you imply through your narrative should intrigue me. I want to wish that this book were real so that I could read it. Do not copy/paste the quote somewhere into your story.

Judges: Nubile Hillock, Kaishai, systran.

Signup Deadline: Friday at midnight EST even if I don't explicitly post "Signups are closed!"

Submission Deadline: Sunday at 8:00PM EST even if I don't explicitly post "Submissions are closed"

Any of the judges can add in a flash rule before the signup deadline.

Word Count: 900 words.

Participants
Chairchucker: Under the Rug
Black Griffon: The Seven Chairs
Nikaer Drekin: Under the Rug
Symptomless Coma: Missing in Venice
Steriletom: The House on Maple Street
Voliun: The House on Maple Street
Erogenous Beef: The Harp
Greatbacon: Seven Chairs
pug wearing a hat: The Third-Floor Bedroom
Cancercakes: Mr. Linden's Library
CantDecideOnAName: Just Desert
Noah: Another Place
SpaceGodzilla: The Third-Floor Bedroom
Chewie23: Another Place, Another Time
sebmojo: A Strange Day in July
V for Vegas: Captain Tory
Canadian Surf Club: Captain Tory
Fumblemouse: Archy Smith, Boy Wonder
STONE OF MADNESS: Uninvited Guests
Sitting Here: The Harp
Benagain: House on Maple Street
Kleptobot: Third-Floor Bedroom
Martello: Owning the prompt at sign up + Captain Tory
Jagermonster: Uninvited Guests
Dr. Kloctopussy: TBD
Bad Seafood: Mr. Linden's Library
Trimangle: The Harp
JuniperCake: Mr. Linden's Library
crabrock: Mr. Linden's Library

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2013 around 15:12

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.

http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc...es/underrug.htm :O

Claiming this picture so hard don't anyone even try to take it I will cut you.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time. I know who you are.

You are destiny.


http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc...sevenchairs.htm

Let's dance.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


Chairchucker posted:

http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc...es/underrug.htm :O

Claiming this picture so hard don't anyone even try to take it I will cut you.

Nope, goddamnit, I had a perfect idea for this one on the way to school. Unless it's against the rules, I'm doing this one too.

Looks like you and I are in for a duel of the bumps-under-the-rug, Chairchucker

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Just as I was about to thank you in the Farm (thank you), you go ahead and turn it into a bloody prompt! Brilliant stuff.

In, in, in, in.

http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc...ries/venice.htm

Question: do we need to quote the Borges line directly, or just bear it in mind?

p.s. in.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I'm editing the prompt to clear up ambiguity.

Steriletom
May 11, 2009

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


In.

Voliun
May 31, 2012


Still in.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Reiterating my inness, using The Harp as my image and caption.

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




Ahahahahah yes

Authors crit (FINAL ROUND - MANY TIMES DELAYED - RHINO IS AN rear end WHO CANNOT READ, ALWAYS REPEATING "UNCLEAR" AND "SUGGEST PARAGRAPH BREAKS")

1. Dr Kloctopussy
2. Fanky Malloons (Winner!)


Dr Kloctopussy Rosie's Bench for the Lonely
995 Words


The scale said 351.3. Again. The fourth day in a row. It wouldn't budge. Rosie got off it and back on. Please? she begged. But it was the same, the same, the same. Took me a quick reread to realise she’s on a weighing scale. This is probably my fault because the numbers are not familiar to me because we use the metric system here.

Suggest paragraph break It's a process, she told herself. I'm okay the way I am. She got back into bed and had to have a little cry, but that didn't really help either. She shook her head, shrugged her shoulders, and got up. No need to mention this. Just cut to the office scene – pointing out she shrugged etc just loses the lingering cloud of disappointment.

There was a little party at work. Congratulations to Grace, for being promoted to Senior Paralegal to the litigation section. She’d only been with Patterson & Patterson for three years, but she was a rising star, they said. Rosie smiled politely and stood as far away from the cake as possible. She could smell the sugar, see pink little icing bows untying themselves, and stretching into ribbons, weaving across the room, and into her nostrils, up into her brain. Eat us, eat us, the sweet fairy voices sang.

Suggest paragraph break She congratulated Grace one more time once more and went back to her office. She had lots of emails to answer to.

“Knock, Knock!” Grace said brightly pushing the pushed her office door open without knocking. “I brought you some cake!” She set an oversized piece of cake on top of the file Rosie was working on, and beamed.

“Thanks Grace, but I really can’t have any—wedding diet, you know?” she picked up the plate and held it out to Grace. Grace didn’t take it.

“Aw, one little piece can’t hurt,” she said and winked. “Anyway, I was hoping you could help me out on the Castleionni binders. I’m kind of swamped at the moment.” She smiled expectantly.

Rosie wasn’t surprised by the request, Grace had been kind of swamped suggesting “kind of” here to repeat Grace’s dialogue here for character a lot in her three years as a rising star at Patterson & Patterson and Rosie had always been willing to help her out.

“I’m sorry, Grace, but I can’t. I’m really busy. Maybe someone in the litigation section can help you out.”

“They’re all really busy, too. You know how much we value team players here at Patterson & Patterson,” Grace’s smile was growing nastier, but Rosie was tired of giving in. She wished dearly to point out how much of a team player Grace had been when she’d had to take time off for her father’s funeral. Play nice, she told herself. Spitefulness won’t get you anywhere. She set down the cake, since Grace still hadn’t taken it back.

“I’m going dress shopping,” Rosie blurted out. Grace’s smile changed again but it was still nasty.

“Oh how fun!” she practically squealed, “you’ll have to tell me all about it!” She wafted out the door as though buffeted by a gentle wind, leaving the cake on Rosie’s desk.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Of course she’d have to tell her all about it. And of course she couldn’t. She wasn’t going dress shopping today. She’d already been dress shopping with her Mother last weekend. And oh, the pitiful looks of the shop girls. And oh, the withering looks of all the skinny brides, in their orgasmic NOT YOU TOO confections of white tulle and ribbons, gazing rapturously at their reflections, everyone kneeling around them in adoration. And the normal-fat brides, smiling at her with open relief that at least they weren’t the fattest. Five stores and not one had a dress that she could squeeze into. And the little shop girls would discretely write down an estimate for a custom dress, higher than the budget for the entire wedding. Rosie threw away the cake.

John did met came for their walk in the park at lunch. He gave her a peck on the cheek and held her hand until it got too sweaty. They stopped for her to catch her breath on a bench overlooking a meadow where children were playing soccer. A ball bounced up to them and John caught it easily under his foot, holding it for the approaching kid. The kid looked at Rosie with open-mouthed disgust. John glared at him and kicked him the ball to him.

“Grosssss!” he yelled, running away. “There’s a huge fat lady up there!” He pointed as he passed the ball to a friend. They both looked back at her and ran off laughing.

“What the hell is wrong with kids these days?” John said. Rosie just shrugged. I’m too tired for this, she thought. She was surprised to find that she didn’t even feel like crying herself not wanting to cry.

“I need to get back to the office, you ready?” John finally asked.

“No, I just want to sit here for a minute. It’s nice here,” she said. “You go, though.” He gave her another peck on the cheek and went.

Rosie sat on the bench and closed her eyes. She felt the sun on her face; she felt peaceful doesn’t work well with the repetition of “felt”. Just say that the sun made her at peace etc. She drifted into half-a-dream where the sun shone through her and into her. She felt her toes dug into the soft, cool dirt, twisting deeper and deeper. Her fingers grew longer, reaching out for air.

Suggest paragraph break She woke up and looked down. Her ankles were gnarled and woody too literal as she is becoming a tree, her toes, roots groping across and down into the ground. The twisting growth paused as she noticed it, questioning, hovering between flesh and wood. Rosie smiled and nodded to herself. She reached her arms high above her head and gave a great yawn. Her arms soared into strong branches and green leaves sprang open, singing to the light. She soaked it in and grew and grew. She grew tall and thick and strong. She grew over half the bench, but was careful to leave room for one person to sit next to her.

John came, a few times, and begged her to come back down, but she shook her leaves gently at him until he left. Many others came and sat next to her, and she let them rest in the shade, and did what she could to make them feel a little less lonely, a little less tired, a little more okay the way they were.

I enjoyed this and was genuinely surprised when she somehow became a tree. Not entirely sure if there is meant to be something symbolic to her transformation, since the last bit about her wanting to “make others less lonely/tired/body image-conscious” doesn’t seem to jive that much with the rest of the story. I think if you had more inner monologue prior to the transformation, it would help explain her character better and make the resolution more, well, resolved.


---


Fanky Malloons Flightless Bird 872 words
The heat of the late afternoon sun beat down on Gete’s head as she walked, throbbing in time with the headache that pulsed behind her eyes. She was grateful, in a distant sort of way, for the clouds of dust kicked up by the feet of the column as it ebbed slowly across the baking sand. Is it the clouds of dust ebbing across the sand? “It” is incorrect if so. The particulates that hung in the dead air settled in her eyelashes and, if she kept her eyes slightly closed, tempered the painful brightness of the day. Great opening here setting up the scene, without even having to mention it’s a desert.

Gete looked down at the listless baby in her arms. She touched his forehead with the backs of her fingers and he moaned, turning his face away from her touch. The pale dust lent his dark skin a ghostly cast, lining the hollows that had developed in his face since her milk had finally dried up. It was all she could do now to make sure that Mehret had enough food and water to live on. A sob rose up from Gete’s chest and she swallowed it labouriously, dry tongue rasping against her dry mouth. It hung in her throat like a stone and she wondered if it would eventually mummify along with the rest of her. Some slight confusion as Mehret is later established as a toddler and not the baby in her arms. Otherwise, I really like the later bit on Gete wondering if her sob would mummify, a great bit jarred (somewhat nitpicking here on my part) by a lack in motivation for her suddenly sobbing.

“Mama, I’m thirsty,” said Mehret, clutching a fistful of her skirt as he trudged along beside her.

“I know,” Gete replied, her voice barely above a whisper, “we’ll be at the well soon.”

“Will there be enough water this time? Lots of water?”

Gete studied Mehret’s face, despairing at the shadows in his thin cheeks and the trust in his eyes as she lied to him, “Yes.”

That evening as they camped beneath a small stand of acacia trees, the grandfathers killed a goat for them to eat. Their milk had dried up too, so there was nothing for the baby. Gete made sure Mehret was well fed, at least, but nevertheless, she felt the grandmothers eyeing her with pity as the baby turned his face away from the goat’s blood she offered on a fingertip, too weak now to even cry. Sighing, Gete cradled him against her breast and sang softly until he fell asleep. She swaddled him tightly and bundled herself, Mehret and the baby up in her blanket to sleep, not wanting the baby to feel cold or alone. Good bit about the goat’s blood. The last line can be a bit shorter by having her swaddling/bundling “her family” and I think you don’t need to mention her not wanting the baby to be cold/alone. That should probably be obvious.

Later, Gete found herself standing on the shore of a crystalline lake, its surface as smooth and clear as glass, the baby sleeping, swaddled in her arms. She waded out into it, taking care to keep the baby pressed to her chest Suggest line break as she squatted and used her free hand to scoop up the cool, blue water. Gete drank and drank. The cold sweetness of the water made her skin tingle as it flowed through her body, down to her fingertips and toes, up into her scalp. She looked down and let water drip from her fingers on to the baby’s lips.

“Wake up, Bebe,” she coaxed, “drink,” but he remained resolutely asleep. Is “Bebe” here a catch-all name for children? Suggest not using it as you want to point out it’s too young to even have a name later.

A movement beside Gete caught her eye, and she looked back at the water to see a flamingo standing beside her, bill in the water, looking up at her with a knowing eye and its strange upside-down grin. Standing upright Gete saw that the whole lake had become an ocean of jewel-bright pink. Flamingos covered the water’s surface as far as the eye could see, clucking softly amongst themselves as they raised and lowered their bills, feeding in the water.

The flamingo next to her raised its head, and Gete stared at it, open-mouthed with wonder. It looked back at her for a moment before turning away and opening its wings to take flight. Its movements seemed to trigger a chain reaction in the others, and Suggest shortening the sentence to give more impact here without warning, the thousands of flamingos around Gete took flight at once. She gasped as her entire body was surrounded by the rushing of wings, soft feathers brushing days of dirt and dust from her skin as they passed by. Her vision filled entirely with bright, endless pink for a moment, and she wanted to drink it in with her skin, to paint it on the backs of her eyelids so that she would never lose that perfect, beautiful colour. BEAUTIFUL MOMENT SPOTTED

The bundled baby stirred suddenly in her arms and. Gete looked down, in surprised to see a small flamingo struggling against the swaddling.

“Oh!” Gete gasped, “I’m sorry!” She hurriedly unwrapped the baby blankets, dropping them in the water, “Wait!” she called to the others, “don’t leave him behind!” I’m sure this is just me, but when I saw “dropping them in the water” I thought the baby bird was being dropped into the water. Perhaps “letting them fall into the water”?

Holding the little bird with both hands, she heaved it upwards into the cloud of flamingos passing over her head. ”into” here seems to suggest the flamingos are just above her head – is this the case? She smiled as she saw it spread its wings and catch the air, disappearing into the flock. Gete pressed her hands together as she and watched them disappear. She could still feel the little one’s heartbeat in her palms.

In the morning, they buried the small, sad bundle at the foot of one of the acacias. He wasn’t old enough for a name, so Gete had one of the grandfathers carve a bird into the trunk of the tree. They rounded up the goats and kept walking, heading towards the next well, Gete holding Mehret’s hand so that her own felt less empty.

Overall, I loved this story, especially the description of the bleak desert in the beginning and how dreamlike the flamingo scene is. Easily got the unanimous vote for best piece of Thunderdome in the week… was it three or four weeks ago oh my god why am I so slow. About the only issue is the dialogue, which I think you can make a bit more wispy/magical by perhaps removing the punctuations and rewording a little.

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012

conquistador wuz heer



Oh man, this looks like an awesome prompt.

I'm in for the Seven Chairs

pug wearing a hat
May 29, 2012

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


I'm in.

I'm gonna use The Third-Floor Window

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

WORST WIZARD, THUNDERDOME
LOSER


In, picture and quote tbc.

EDIT

http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc...ies/library.htm

MR. LINDEN'S LIBRARY

___________________

He had warned her about the book.

Now it was too late.

CancerCakes fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2013 around 17:20

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

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


Tally-ho! What a show. Let's do that again. I'm in.
Just Desert

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


CRITS CRITS GET YER CRITS - PART ONE OF ???

Since Pillock already gave you beggars pretty thorough once overs, I'll be doing it a little differently and just scream small soundbites that you might possibly remember.

Khris Kruel

The Good

You put the prompt in.
You tried.

The Bad

You tried too hard with the prompt. Clothing is rammed down throat very unceremoniously.
Homogeneous sentence structure. Just read the first four paragraphs. Not one single comma. Short-sharp-staccato sentences. There is literally no flow to be found.
Cliché Melodrama (She felt no pain, There was only light, coughing up blood, leaning in and getting stabbed etc)
Misguided attempt to cram a whole backstory and universe in a flash fiction piece.
Dialogue stilted and disconnected from the emotions I am being _told_ and not _shown_ within the piece.
Some very questionable turns of phrase (Bloody stump of a head? 'Peturbed' sword? Pedaled as a synonym for run etc)


There is more to be said here, but really you have enough to work on here.

The Ugly Verdict

Like being trapped in your house and having no food left and being forced to eat a can of dog food and you know it's gonna be bad but then it is just so much worse than that but you have to keep eating 'cos otherwise you'll starve and it is just horrible.

Rather Watch Them

The Good

Effective characterisation.
Basic grammar: check
Set-up, Build-up, Conclusion: check
Kinda nice first line.

The Bad

The superimposition of his thoughts onto reality was very unclear. I just read Pillock's line-edit and I don't think he spotted it. I sure didn't on my first reading.
Unengaging, detached tone throughout.
Poor pacing.
Some truly incredibly overdone sentences about really boring things. 'She sustains her patience, eyes on the ground to count red bricks and make sure not to step on his feet or the end of her purple dress. There are more.
You clearly haven't read through this properly, I can spot multiple missing words/grammar even at a glance.

The Ugly Verdict

Like going on a moonlit dinner with a cute girl to some Italian joint but it's cold outside and it turns out she's a robot in human guise or something and you really want to enjoy your cannelloni but everything is starting to taste like wallpaper paste and you wish you had brought a coat and in fact you really just want to leave.

pug wearing a hat

The Good

Glimmers of realistic dialogue. Glimmers, mind.
At least I fully understood all the way through what was happening at all times.

The Bad

(haha quirky use of parentheses)(who even does that anymore)(gently caress you)
Chat up line, kill me.
Röyksopp are amazing.
That ending line, holy poo poo that ending line.
I cringed so bad at the knight in armour thing. TRUE LOVE, OH EMBRACE ME MANLY ARMS. I AM BUT A WEAK WOMAN, A FEATHER BEFORE YOUR GIGANTIC BICEPS. Really?

The Ugly Verdict

Like being in a bar and enjoying whatever the bartender makes you which is secretly pomegranate martinis but then people in bar question your sexuality and then the bartender tells you he's been using cat piss instead of vermouth and you still liked it so you laugh and think he is joking but on the way home loads of cats come and piss on your shoes to mark their territory and you know it was all true, every word.

Nikaer Drakin

The Good

Hark! Do mine eyes deceive me? Do I detect appropriate use of imagery and contextual language?
All the basics are more than satisfactory.
Adept pacing.

The Bad

Overzealous, overwrought. This story is where adjectives go to die. Look how many times you have 'adjective, adjective'. Down at the docks we call 'dese pleonastic tautologies mister.
Cliché - girl at masked ball disappearing into crowd.
Belief in destiny does not a coward make, just an idiot.
The dry humour of the protagonist begins to flake away towards the middle and end.

The Ugly Verdict

Like being at a sumptuous seven-course banquet where the food is great but by the sixth course you are stuffed but you really have to keep eating because you are paying for this and then instead of the iced water you ordered the waiter keeps bringing more Bordeaux and you have to drink it because jesus christ this is good wine but your stomach can't take it and by the end of the meal you are really regretting it and you feel kind of like an idiot.

SpaceGodzilla

The Good

I can see you know some words, and possibly how to deploy them in an interesting manner.
The premise is genuinely kind of quirky and fresh.

The Bad

The pacing is really quite bad.
The amount of pointless sentences is mind-boggling.
The ending is the dumbest thing in the English language.
Motherfucking TUNNELLLL HORRSSEEES?!? THAT CAN TALK AND ARE TOTALLY IRRELEVANT BUT YEEEEEEEE HAWWW
Dialogue 'needs work' in the same way that a bridge without supports 'needs work'.

The Ugly Verdict

Like going to the seediest dive bar you can find and while slowly getting enticed by the grimy atmosphere you notice they have 3 Michelin stars for some reason and serve the finest quality food so you make your order and are waiting expectantly but it doesn't arrive so you run to the kitchen and can see all the chefs are trapped behind some giant perspex wall trying to get out and you run to exit but find an invisible perspex wall blocks your escape too and you panic and begin to get scared and then a loving stampede of horses breaks in one of the rotting smoke-stained walls and tramples you and your friends to death and your last thought is that drat woulda been nice to have that lobster, you didn't even think about your family or poo poo.

Kaishai

The Good

Believable? In my TD?
Nice turns of phrase and narrative voice.
One of the better combos of song/prompt interpretation.
Really, there is nothing grievously wrong with it.

The Bad

He or she - SEVEN FEET TALL - probably a he. Probably some freak of nature more like.
The dialogue is nicht so gut. "I beg your pardon. The scythe properly belongs to Death." He tapped the butt of its handle against the floor. "This particular scythe properly belonged to a farmer who let me hunt for props in his barn before he knocked it down. Shame on you, making assumptions." Look at this, LOOK AT IT KAISHAI. You aren't writing as a door-to-door salesperson.
I'm not convinced of the import of the scythe in this story at all.
The tempo never goes above allegretto, which is why my initial reaction was simply: Middling. The intrigue, mystery, suspense never reaches any kind of satisfying crescendo.

The Ugly Verdict

A first date with a charming young man who fixes you up a rather nice candlelit dinner and you have a pretty good time and are looking forward to a second date but he never replies to your texts and none of your friends know him and nothing ever comes of it after all which leaves you feeling slightly miffed and off-key for about a week.

Fumblemouse

The Good

I learnt a new word (ropable).
Scene-setting is actually pretty good. Sadly I am incredibly ignorant of the Teddy Boy culture and all that entails, so I was unable to get a full grasp of this without Google - hence my initial reaction. I did know all about Vicuña though.
Passable dialogue.
I liked the lyrical insertions. Felt vaguely Tarantino.

The Bad

Pacing is shot, in that it is too fast.
You use lots of words, but in the end only the second half really gets going at all. The whole stuff about clothing is told in an unconvincing, exposition-laden manner.
Something about the ending of 'gentle swearing' makes me laugh inappropriately. Like someone leaning forward seductively and whispering shitfuckfuckprick in my ear.
As was something notable about systran's entry, you use asterisks to deploy changes of scene and time. Consider carefully how often you want these, if at all, in a flash fiction piece. If you find you are using them more than once, chances are you are squeezing in too much in too little space.
It is not worth having Terry and Sally as named characters. It muddies the waters, they become totally pointless. They have more presence in the end than the relationship we are meant to care about, which is Hannah and Martin.

The Ugly Verdict

A friend invites you to a pretty swell new diner and you get a giant milkshake which is tasty and you are feeling pretty good about yourself but then your wife phones saying something has come up so you have to suck it down super fast which is lame so you drive back home and it turns out it wasn't even anything worth rushing back for.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time. I know who you are.

You are destiny.


Nubile Hillock posted:

Safer havens - 534 words

I was a fly's eyelash away from declaring this one winner. It's amazingly tight. It hits the prompt, it matches the music... It's not a story (should I be yelling?)... It's some part of a larger whole, some snapshot into whatever you're working on. You know what you're doing. You had at least 500 more words with which to draw us deeper. You chose not to use them. I don't want to say there's no narrative arc, because that's untrue. Your arc is underdeveloped, it falls short. I don't feel for the characters, I don't really know where they are or what theyre doing. I have full confidence that you could tell me these things. You chose not to. It had me on the edge of my seat, your smoke and mirrors is top-notch. An excerpt from a chapter is not the same thing as a story, though. Develop this and let me read it, please.

Good stuff! I worried that I was far too rusty since I took a break from the last TD thread, so good to know I still have the moves. I'll work on what you mentioned and make it into something real.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In. Another Place. http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc...k/placetime.htm

Voliun
May 31, 2012


Using the house on maple street.

SpaceGodzilla
Sep 24, 2012

I sure hope Godzilla-senpai notices me~


I'm in, with a TBD image/caption.

The quote doesn't actually have to be in the story though, right? Also, is Friday the deadline deadline or just the signup deadline?

VVVV: Thanks.

SpaceGodzilla fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2013 around 19:00

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I updated the prompt again to make it extremely clear that you should not copy and paste the quote into your piece. "Incorporate" meant that you should break up the essence of that quote so that it flows back into your work in wonderful ways.

Friday is the signup deadline. Entry deadline will be Sunday at 8:00pm EST.

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at Apr 2, 2013 around 18:47

Chewie23
Mar 17, 2013

Damn. It feels good to be a gangster


I'm in. With Another Place, Another Time image and quote.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

In with "A Strange Day In July"

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Captain Tory

http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc...captaintory.htm

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008

Word.


In with Captain Tory

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Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

In with Archie Smith, Boy Wonder.

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