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Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Thunderdome is forever.


In with Victorian aristocratic English.

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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





The Leper Colon V posted:

Actually, I think I'm gonna withdraw my entry.

I can't think of a way to do this without being really ham-handed and kind of insulting.

HOLY poo poo JUST loving DO IT YOU UNBELIEVABLE PUSSY

but make it really good

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


another idea: write your story in binary.

edit: don't use any caculators/translators. just pure binary.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

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


crabrock posted:

another idea: write your story in binary.

edit: don't use any caculators/translators. just pure binary.

0110011001110101011000110110101100100000011110010110111101110101

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Jeza posted:

0110011001110101011000110110101100100000011110010110111101110101

sorry I don't read binary.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


double post somehow.

This space reserved for future editing.

foutre
Sep 4, 2011

:toot: RIP ZEEZ :toot:


I'll try with valleyspeak?

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

Erogenous Beef posted:

You haven't read much Thunderdome, have you?



:colbert:

I'm a slav you blathering dolt

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

The Leper Colon V posted:

Actually, I think I'm gonna withdraw my entry.

I can't think of a way to do this without being really ham-handed and kind of insulting.

Dude...Nelson Mandela's ASL interpreter didn't even KNOW ASL. You can't do worse than that, and that was on TV!

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


Oh My God Crrrrriiiiiiiiiiiits!! -- Some of them, anyway.

To make sure I'm in a properly foul mood, I'm currently on hold with a stupid delivery company that won't leave my package on the stairs like everyone else. I am waiting for new sheets, and as if to rub it in, my cat just puked on the old ones. Thanks cat.



Overall, the entries this week were pretty middle-of-the-road. Not terrible, but not really great either. Most of them ultimately left me thinking "Meh. What is the point." That's also how I feel about life, because life is hell. So basically they didn't make me feel anything at all. Give me the feels, y'all. I'm looking for the feels.

Actually, I'm starting to think that calling emotions "the feels" is becoming a trite internet gag, so let's cut it out. Right.

Kaishai: Grant Me an Empty Road

Some lovely imagery between the diamond road that drinks blood, jeweled towers, and ghosts devouring a horse. I also feel like Alene could be an interesting character, and the escape-domestic-violence-by-becoming-a-ghost thing could work as a plot, but as the story is actually written, they both fell flat for me. The prose feels overly distant and descriptive--even when action is occurring, it feels descriptive:

"Night fell. Dead men streamed into her tower. Dead women poured down from above, rose up from below. The mare's carcass disappeared under pale, translucent limbs that firmed after lifting gobbets of flesh to ghostly mouths, and it was done before Alene's scream had stopped. All the food she needed--gone, as the ghosts were gone, not even bones for soup remaining."

and

"She crawled up the stairs to the window. Though her husband was just a snag of flesh in a stream of ghosts, his bulk--alone, his horse fled--filled her eyes. Magh's heavy boots and heavy hands didn't belong on the diamond way. The dead surrounded him, swirling and turning; he walked as though blind to them. "

The biggest thing missing for me are the motivations of the characters. I understand Alene has run away from an abusive husband, but why here (because she thinks he cannot follow, but surely there are other, less deadly places?) Why DOES he follow her? Why not just let her go? Especially since he just kills her. And what moves her from trying to escape him and live, to accepting escape through death, and life as a ghost? I think that change in Alene might be the heart of the story. Certainly she, as a character, must be the heart of the story, and right now she feels more like a shell to introduce the (very cool) concept of the jeweled city full of ghosts.

Amp up the characters to match the setting, tighten the plot, and I think you have something solid here.

DocBeard: Nothing but Nothing

It is better to submit something than nothing, but this was very nearly nothing.

Tyrannosaurus: A Light In Winter

A pretty decent little family drama, with the added titillation of porn. The narrator has a distinctive enough voice to make the mundane more interesting than normal. I especially like the second paragraph:

"I don’t think I had ever put those words together in my head before. But I knew as soon as I heard them that I agreed wholeheartedly. Dad was a jerk."

Unfortunately, the Dad is a bit of a big-bad-abusive-religious paperdoll and the end is a bit of a let-down? At first feels like there's not much depth to this story beyond poking fun at religion. I do like the shared coming-of-age aspect, between Paul and the narrator. The way that rebellious ideas are traded back and forth in the night, so that growth is shared between the brothers. I think that would be a stronger point to end the story on, instead of smiling at Paul and thinking of the blonde woman again.

I did like your description: "There was this blonde with these great big breasts that she had to hold up with her hands."

Your speech attributions for the dad are over the top (screamed, spit the words out like curses, screamed again, roared), and take away from the effect of his words. Bringing a more subtle characterization to the father, more like "He look [SIC] oddly pleased as he washed my mouth out with soap," would strengthen the piece enormously.

Erogenous Beef: Duke Guncock and the Nazindie Menace

I'm not actually going to crit this, but I like the Bud Lightsaber the best. ALSO I was very disappointed that it never became Hammer Time. The rifle over the mantle never went off!

OCK!

Sitting Here: Feedback Cascade

Another one that I really liked, but didn't quite hit hard enough at the end. It was the section where the reporter sends his photos to his email correspondent that really left me apathetic. Why did he do that? How did it prove what he said it proved? All of his sections were very telling-not-showing, which worked quite well in the other sections, but not this one. And I think this paragraph is the place where you need to nail it. The last two paragraphs are resolution, not climax, and they work. But in this paragraph we need to understand why that one photograph did change everything, and I don't. It seems to just be global warming, and there's nothing astounding about that at all.

Not much to say on this one, because I liked all of it but that one scene. Seriously, I feel like that's the scene where you should stab us in the heart somehow. :)

Fumblemouse: Rainbow

This is a story in which a man pulls a rainbow out of his rear end and then climbs it to freedom. Between crappy metal toilets, a grizzled old-timer, and gang-fights, this has all the makings of your typical "prison" story, with a bizarre underlying hint of magic that is quite tantalizing. I looked up Astruc and Sartic to see if they would illuminate me, but they did not.

Biggest problem here is that your protagonist barely does anything at all. Even though it is in first person, the whole thing feels passive and distant. The old man gave him the candle, the leprechaun gave him a rainbow, the other dudes started a fight, he woke up in solitary. All he does is pull the rainbow out of his rear end and leave. What's the point?

Obliterati: The Invincible Man Comes Home



NO FAN-FIC IN THUNDERDOME!

Assuming this wasn't fanfic, and was just a story about a vigilante who calls himself "The Executioner," I still didn't like it. It's boring. It's the old "what do cops do about vigilantes" debate drawn out over an unnecessarily large amount of cigarettes and awkward dialogue. Then the cop kills him. What's the point? How did the characters grow? What did they learn? What did we learn?

Radioactive Bears: Creeping Fireflies

Seriously guys, until you are at genius level, please don't write about people dying in pits. Even Poe knew he could only have the guy circle the pit, not already be at the bottom of it. Adding a dog doesn't help.

Okay, adding the dog does help a little, because at least now the guy has something to care about other than his own deteriorating sanity, and it is sweet that he cares so much about his dog until the end. But still.

There's nothing offensive about this story. It's just boring. And not much of a story. He's in a pit, he sings, he dies. What's the point? How did the characters grow? What did they learn? What did we learn? The best thrust I can gather from this vignette is that caring about someone else makes our pain easier to bear. That's fair enough, but I think it would work better as an actual story, not just a description of a guy dying.

Echo Cian: Cantata Mortis

Soooo close. I really like this concept and the way it played out, but something is missing. I think it's a strong character. The narrator is investigating, uncovering, but neither she nor Pierre emerges as a three-dimensional character. Everything is too much a vehicle for the ultimate discovery. You end up having to narrate quite a bit of the background, and it dispels the tension. I think a rework to focus on characters and building up the creepy/intense factors could result in a really strong piece. Maybe drive up Annette's involvement instead of having her retreat, to invoke the mother's primal need to protect her in conflict with the drive to unravel the mystery.

Sorry I don't have more to say about this right this second. I will try to find time to give you something closer to a line-by-line soon.

No More for Now

Because I am tempted to just say that V for Vegas's is about vampires and leave it at that. But it is about vampires, right? Who use guns? WHY DO THEY SHOOT HIM? WHAT IS GOING ON?

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at 06:44 on Dec 12, 2013

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Huh? Oh, yeah, those things. Well, I hate words and I'm not very smart, so these'll probably trend short.

---

Kaishai - Grant Me An Empty Road

I was reading this at work and had to leave to actually do some right when the fat psycho husband showed up. While this was happening, my brain put the pieces together. Alene had walked carefully across the diamond road, marveling at the wonders left from a bygone age, while Magh was stomping heedlessly across it and paying no attention to anything except the quarry he'd apparently hunted across half the known world and finally into what is apparently a well-known death zone because as everybody knows that's just what fat psycho husbands do; the ghosts were going to kill him for disrespecting their legacy but allow her to stay for her open appreciation of same. Then I came back and nope, the road's just a prop and now everybody's dead. The end! No moral.

docbeard - Nothing But Nothing

It's just us, then. Us and this entry. Story's being devoured from both ends. I don't know how I know this, but I do. We're going to be left with a few short, bleak, pointless paragraphs. Nothing but absence. Absence of characters, absence of plot, absence of meaning. This critique is the last real thing. Which raises, to me, a question. Why am I still typing this? Why not seize some control over my fate?

Your story is suck. There, done and done.

Tyrannosaurus - A Light in Winter

The father might have been a disembodied floating head levitating a large, heavy Bible with his mind for all we know in the end. Couldn't you have at least written him some legs or something?

Erogenous Beef - Duke Guncock and the Nazindie Menace

I had to check your post history to be sure this wasn't actually for some brawl I'd missed being declared. Even afterwards, it feels like you just wanted to write another Guncock story and stapled the epilogue on afterwards to fulfill the prompt. Next time, just write one, man.

Sitting Here - Feedback Cascade

After setting up all the pieces for a devastating finish, the story just turns around and leaves. :geno:

Fumblemouse - Rainbow

Something something fairies maybe, something possibly religious schism who knows blah blah, guy gets a rainbow stuck up his tailpipe. Okay. So what?

Obliterati - The Invincible Man Comes Home

The Executioner was Tyler Durden all along. Am I right? Might have been nice if you'd actually included that twist in the story. Unless I'm reading between the lines all wrong and this really was just dopey and pointless from the get-go.

Radioactive Bears - Creeping Fireflies

Nice ending, if sad. But where's the rest of the story?

Echo Cian - Cantata Mortis

Very Lovecraftian. Perhaps a bit too Lovecraftian, actually. We're not quite the same as the pulp readers he was writing for originally, we actually care at least as much about who's being done to as what's being done. Still, you didn't describe anyone as "swarthy", so you've got that going in your favor.

V for Vegas - Samovar

Something something winter, something possibly Russia historical fiction who knows blah blah, a doctor is murdered. Okay. So what?

Noah - The Trail of Sun-Catchers

Hiring mercenaries to eradicate your own culture seems pretty extreme, even if they are colossal dickbags, but I'm sure that guide had a very solid motivation that pushed him to that point. Also, no wolves. Where are the wolves. I WAS PROMISED WOLVES DAMMIT.

crabrock - In One Hand and the Other

An abonend bunker seems like an odd place for the Ur-Genie to spend his downtime, but hey, what do I know. :v:

God Over Djinn - When the Highway Came Through Little Oak Park

An ignorant lout does the (arguably) right thing for all the (indisputably) wrong reasons and emerges from the experience having learned absolutely nothing. Seriously, that's not easy to pull off. Bravo, brava. :golfclap:

Bad Seafood - The Crying Tree

Something something aunt, something possibly witchcraft who knows blah blah, now there are two trees. Okay. So what?

Nubile Hillock - Winter's mute

Something something winter, something possibly religious schism who knows blah blah, a young man stabs himself and turns into snowflakes. Okay. So what?

magnificent7 - The Love Of My Life Is A Rotten Goody Two Shoes Who Should Die From Cancer Of The Aids Of The Eyeballs.

That title's an instant classic. The story... eh. It's not bad, just not good, either. Why do neither of the drunken bums in the story ever act drunk even as they're drinking? If Tina's kept her sordid past a secret from the archangel who took her in, why is she trying to get Joe and Clay to follow her? For that matter, why does Clay exist at all? On second thought, maybe it is kind of bad.

Auraboks - The city without stories

To contrast with Hillock's entry, here we have a fantasy story where the reader is given enough insight into the workings of this other world to lend weight to the events that happen within it. Unfortunately, the only event that does happen happens to a pair of extras without any identity whatsoever, but halfway's better than no ways.

Lazy Beggar - It Weeps

Something something sad phone call, something ruined makeup makes everyone uncomfortable blah blah, turns out everything's just hunky-dory. Okay. THEN WHAT WAS THE GODDAMNED POINT WHY DID ANY OF THIS HAPPEN DID YOU SERIOUSLY THINK A PARTY CLOWN IN A TAXI WAS FASCINATING ENOUGH TO WARRANT 1400 WORDS SWEET BUTTERY CHRIST THIS IS SO loving STUPID :tizzy:

---

That's yer lot.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Bitchtits McGee posted:

Huh? Oh, yeah, those things. Well, I hate words and I'm not very smart, so these'll probably trend short.
magnificent7 - The Love Of My Life Is A Rotten Goody Two Shoes Who Should Die From Cancer Of The Aids Of The Eyeballs.
On second thought, maybe it is kind of bad.
Yeah, kind of how I felt after I wrote it.

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Thunderdome is forever.


Bitchtits McGee posted:



Obliterati - The Invincible Man Comes Home

The Executioner was Tyler Durden all along. Am I right? Might have been nice if you'd actually included that twist in the story. Unless I'm reading between the lines all wrong and this really was just dopey and pointless from the get-go.



No, sorry, the second one.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

DON'T POST IN THE ELECTION THREAD UNLESS YOU :love::love::love: JOE BIDEN


In with Scottish English.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

DON'T POST IN THE ELECTION THREAD UNLESS YOU :love::love::love: JOE BIDEN


The Lord of Skyguard

995 Words


Sam didn’t like Arthur Meghan, but in the six hours that he’d been watching him through the scope of his rifle he had started to admire him. He wasn’t like the other men that Sam had killed over the years. Just from the way he walked you could tell that the self styled Lord Meghan of Skyguard wasn’t going to put up with your bullshit.

You could see it in the behaviour of his underlings too. Watching men through a scope let’s you focus on the important things like body language. Sam had learned a long time ago that, when you were observing men having a conversation, you learned more when you couldn’t hear them. If you want to know who is in charge, who commands respect and who is secretly held in contempt, it’s best to cut the volume and let your eyes do the listening.

By this standard, Meghan was in a class of his own. Sam guessed that his men had learned that Meghan was on his way at about the same time that he’d gotten a message on the comms telling him that his target would be arriving shortly. You could read it in the men’s faces and in the way that their backs stiffened. Just knowing the man was on his way had exercised a visible effect on their behaviour.

He showed up acting like he owned the place. That point of contention was, of course, why Sam currently had the Lord of Skyguard centered in his crosshairs. But watching him stride back and forth across the compound barking orders, Sam saw that in some primal way this was the truth. He owned it in the way that the Alpha dog owns it’s bone, or the way that the top cock owns its hens. A twitch of Sam’s finger and the Lord would pass beyond the realm of earthly possessions; but, until that moment, there was no question who was the real master in Skyguard. Meghan owned it by primal right, his men controlled the land and he controlled his men with an unquestioned loyalty that money couldn’t buy.

“Eureka Six, this is Eureka Actual,” hissed the comm in his ear, “prep your shot and sound off when ready.”

“Do ya ken that the chopper is still flyin roond the sky, lad?” asked Sam. There was a moment of annoyed silence while Eureka Actual, miserable Yank that he was, struggled to process Sam’s thick accent.

“Eureka Six, it is imperative that you line up your shot.”

“I dinae wish to pit ya oot, lad, but I dinae plan ta shoot till the chopper is doon.”

There was another silence. Sam imagined that Eureka Actual was conveying his concerns up the chain of command.

“Eureka Six, that Cobra is sixty years old; if it had a working detector on it you already would have been spotted.”

“Ah kin see the dish with me oon lyin eyes, auld son. If the chopper kens which direction the shot came from, it’ll catch me signature right quick, invisibility clook or no.”

There was another long silence as the Yank relayed this to his superiors.

“Eureka Six, we can have a drone in the sky in ten minutes. The Cobra will be down before it sees you.”

“Do ya think I was barn yesterday lad? If yeh could place a droon in the sky yah would not need me at all. Do ya ken why they named this place Skyguard?”

Meghan had exited the command pavilion again and was crossing the parade ground. Sam tracked his progress. He wondered if his Lordship had any idea that the Yanks had given up on their negotiation with him. Probably not, or else he wouldn’t be walking about in the open. Then again, it was Sam’s experience that in an age of machine warfare men sometimes failed to appreciate that the oldest ways of killing were still the most effective. Skyguard’s aerial defenses might keep half the continent impervious to assault from the air, but the false sense of security those defenses conveyed was a danger in and of itself.

He found himself, for the first time in his career, wondering what his target’s voice sounded like. He had assumed it would have a typical posh sound, the kind of accent you’d expect from somebody calling themselves a Lord. Sam wasn’t so sure now. Unlike the men who had hired him for this mission, Meghan wasn’t wearing a radiation suit. He was walking amongst his men just as exposed to the elements as they were.

Shite, he thought. I am starting to like the bastard.

“Eureka Six, there is a drone en route. If you plan on ever working again, we suggest you line up your shot.”

Meghan was speaking into a radio now. Through his scope Sam could see the way the laugh lines around his eyes expanded and contracted as he talked.

“Ah dinae have the shot yet,” he said. He was starting to think that the way this yank was speaking to him sounded quite a lot like the way his father’s foreman had sounded the day he’d come round the house to tell his ma that there’d been an accident down in the mines. We’ve prepared a compensation package for you, ma’am, and if you plan on taking it we suggest you sign our confidentiality agreement.

“Eureka Six—“ Sam reached up and pulled the comm out of his ear.

I’m getting soft. He thought.

The Cobra was circling the landing pad. Its power cells would be recharged in twenty minutes. Sam wasn’t thinking about that though. He was thinking about the deer he’d seen in the woods last week. Nature had started recovering, these last few years. There were plenty of ways a man with a gun could earn his living these days.

“Best of luck ta ya, yer Lairdship. Ye’ll surely need it,” said Sam, and he lowered his scope.

foutre
Sep 4, 2011

:toot: RIP ZEEZ :toot:


Nowhere Man and a Valley Girl

967 words


“You know, like, that bridge on the Coastal Highway or whatever? Like, the one with the sidewalk? Totally, near San Fernando, yeah. I like, ugh I mean it’s sooo sketchy. Left, there’s the loving Pacific and right there’s the street. No way. I can’t walk on it anymore. I have to stay, like, literally in the middle of the sidewalk, right? If I go too far left I think ‘oh my god I’m going to jump and I’m going to look so not adorbs on the 5 pm, right’. If I go the other way, I’m like, “me? in a car crash? as if.’ I just wouldn’t make a cute crash victim.”

She leaned back, checked her nails -- she was one of those girls who cares a lot about details, details -- and tilted her head, lips raised expectantly. He creaked forward in his chair, and shook his tie a little looser.

“Right, yes, I see. This is a problem I’ve dealt with before. There’s a lot of ways to kill yourself. But let’s start at the beginning -- do you have any experience trying this yourself? Any friends who’ve done it?”

“Once when this guy I was going with, I mean, like, I thought we were or whatever? Tom? Once when he was totally blitzed, like, way faced he shot himself in the face, right?”

“How did that turn out?”

“Grodie. I mean, he was totally rad, like a quarterback and played guitar and umm that jawline. But like, bullets gently caress jawlines, right? I was so embarrassed at the hospital when he was like, ‘she’s my girl’ I just left. I sooooo couldn’t be seen with him, please. I sent like a flower? With a note? That was like ‘uh, hope ur face is ok, omg, sorry, but, uh, that’s all’.”

As she spoke, she began to grimace. When she realized, she flipped her blonde (she used to call it strawberry blond, but lately it’s just been dirty) hair to frame her pouting lips.

“He tried to call me, but I, like, couldn’t understand what he was saying cause umm he only had half a face, so I just hung up?”

He placed his hands in his lap, straightened his face and leaned his shoulders back.

“So you don’t think this would work for you?”

“OMG, no. Like, totally no? My complexion is totally off for blood, and sorry not sorry, but this bone structure needs an open casket. Also, like, guns are so last year.”

“Alright. Are there any other times you can think of that things have gone better?”

“Well, ok, like, after Tom got back from the hospital right, I like. So, like, I kind of … We weren’t like together, ok, but I was like ‘fine, whatever’ when he was like, ‘I still love you’ and stuff. But it was like, hard, right? Like, I dunno? I mean, girls like me, we have to have standards, yeah? So I was like, ok, whatever, but if you think I’ll walk with you at school, please.”

As she spoke, she shifted her skirt left, right, right again, and pulled her feet up onto the chair.

“Go on.”

“So I guess like um. I mean, I’m not like a skank but I mean sex was still like, rad, right? I would go to his house, but I mean, I would like, go in the backdoor -- so sketchy but I mean, I had to, right? And we would like, not make out or whatever, but you know, do stuff and then I’d leave. Well, I mean, sometimes we would talk and he would listen but I mean I felt bad, right?”

“Right.”

“It was like, not cool though. One day I was shopping or whatever cause like, I needed Louboutins and stuff with like Jenny and Kristine, you know? And I heard Jenny say something like ‘so Tom is still going with her or whatever’ and Kristine was like, ‘oh my god, so vom’ and I was like, ‘betch’ and left.”

“Where did you go?”

“I went and called Tom? And told him like, 'ok, people know. Sorry but we are so over'.”

“What happened?”

She slumped down in her chair, a posture clearly unusual for her.

“So, like, he was on these meds or whatever? And I guess he was like, sad or whatever? So he like, took a handful of them and I guess it was too many?”

He let her sit in silence.

“And like, I guess that kills you or whatever? And like, he was totally weird looking from the bullet but at his funeral he was totally, like, calm and stuff, I guess.”

“Does that appeal to you?”

“Like, I guess so. I mean, it’s sooo embarassing but I keep thinking about him, and I mean, like, if it worked for him, right?”

“Are you sure about this?”

“I mean, like, those Louboutins I was shopping for? I like, didn’t even care. I don’t even know. I just. At least I’ll look good right? I look good?”

She primped for a moment, and thrust out her chin expectantly.

“Yes.”

“Then like, totally, yeah. I want to. I want a funeral like his.”

“Alright.”

He reached into one of the drawers in his desk, got out a handful of white pills, and offered them to her. She reached out a hand -- tan lines showed where she used to wear rings -- and took them.

“This like, won’t hurt or whatever? You’ll make sure at my funeral I’m wearing like the outift I picked out?”

“Yes.”

“And I mean, I know it’s like awkward or whatever but, you can bury me next to Tom?”

“Yes.”

She blew her hair out of her face, adjusted her sweater, and, like, swallowed.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


:siren: MORE CRITS :siren:



V For Vegas: Samovar

Right, not about vampires. So, you build up this nice little bully-victim relationship between Big Alexei and Little Alexei, which is then interrupted by the self-declared doctor. Now, this third character should really somehow change the relationship between the first two, be the catalyst of some change between them, but no. He says he is a doctor, and they welcome him in. But then Big Alexei reveals that he knows he is not a doctor, and has the whole time, and takes him outside and shoots him. I guess because he actually was trying to cross the border or something?

I don't know. Nothing much happens in this story and the stuff that does doesn't connect to anything else. Maybe they are guarding the border to the afterlife and have to shoot him so he can cross or something? But all the drowning discussion doesn't mesh with the snow. Zombies? Maybe they are making him a zombie?

Noah: Trail of the Sun-Catchers

This was another one that I thought had promise at the beginning, but by the end I wasn't interested anymore. Another one where I'm not sure what the point is. Some guys are going to "relocate" an Indian tribe, and have hired a native guide who is for some reason willing to lead them to his own tribe along a secret, ceremonial tribe. I think the idea is that they have sinned by pushing their children out to die to serve their own pride, and so somehow deserve this? At least from his perspective?

“They have pushed their sons away from them, younger and further down the mountain, all for their own selfish glory.”

Then they kill everyone and burn down the village and the guide has a skull and is screaming. If there was some underlying meaning to this sequence of events, it didn't come through. I suppose that the skull is the skull of his own son that he had pushed into the sun-catchers too soon? or one of his brothers? Was the old man waiting his father? Things happened, but nothing changed.

There was some good imagery at the end, like:

"The embers licked the ceiling of darkness, dancing away, far away from the burning village. Even the fire was ashamed to be here among the Pawtu and the men. They too danced, black silhouettes against the arson."

Crabrock: In One Hand and the Other

I liked this one quite a bit, though the end is a little bit sappy, what with the "oh he wished for a pony for his sister with CANCER" over-the-top sugar-eyed bananas. He should have just wished for her to get better.

Your take on the archetype of "Wish,"--cynical, sarcastic, was quite delightful. "We all have our tells." I wish would like it very much if the section with Luck was slightly better integrated--maybe just more of a hint of why he seeks her out, what their past is. While it's delightful to see in-jokes like an abonend bunker with bike parts, that bit kind of jumps out as out of place otherwise. Most of the introspection that occurs there is repetitive and unnecessary. We already know that he's cynical and jaded. Luck says he's getting sloppy and it's time to move on. We don't need six more paragraphs about it. Just cut to the scene back at the house--but do something other than SICK SISTER even though it's ironic that he complains about people wishing for cliches and wishing for your sick sister is just as cliched.

God Over Djinn: When the Highway Came Through Little Oak Park

This story had a distinct voice, narrative viewpoint and arc, and ultimate "point." That's why it won. Personally I found the viewpoint and conclusion shallow and bordering on offensive. Guys from the "bad side" of town only care about driving their fast cars and making their fast drug money? They ultimately see that their problems are solved by joining with the old folks from the "nice side" of town to protest a highway (contributing with some criminal mischief, along the way)? No more conflict, no other issues, just "if we look at it right, and cooperate, we can all get along with minimal conflict." MEH. I mean, I guess it's a feel-good kind of conclusion, but come on, this isn't a real solution. It's a liberal arts student's dream of a solution. (This kind of thinking drags up all kinds of other issues about writing and stereotypes that is also more suited for an undergrad lit paper than Thunderdome. At least you weren't writing about panty sniffing or some of the other terrible things we've seen.)

Anyway, it's a point. It has a satisfying structure, with set-up, development, and a reasonable conclusion, even if I don't really like it (the conclusion, I mean). Also, the prose worked well for me. I remember you asking if writing in that style was going to be inherently offensive, and I don't think it was. It felt natural and not over-the-top. I think you did a good job showing us the narrator's thoughts and development, and there was an obvious change from beginning to end. I think you may have relied a little too much on the dialect to develop the character, as the style in which he "thinks" often overwhelms what he is actually thinking.

Those are all pretty nit picky. Overall, I think it's a strong story. Also I liked Marco.

Bad Seafood: The Crying Tree

Good stuff with born on a leap year and the snake story. Also are you trying to hint that he let his parents die while he saved the picture of the snake? Because that's totally the impression I got. Also maybe Aunt Waverly did the same thing to her parents? But after that...it wanders off into neat-ideas-that-don't-quite-come-together territory. The Harold story comes together nicely, using the red drippings (BLOOD) as dye is suitably creepy, but then....she just dies and he plants her next to him and that's it.

No oompf. Also this kid is really good at escaping buildings while other people die in them.

Lazy Beggar: It Weeps

You did my biggest pet peeve here, which is trying to create tension by withholding information that the character knows from the reader. Oh, we think he's sad, we're wondering what's wrong, what's wrong, then he gets to the hospital and it's his baby! Hooray! What a twist! WRONG. Now I just hate you. There wasn't enough tension in your story, so you had to make it up by hiding the facts. Hiding the facts works in a mystery story. And it works because the viewpoint character doesn't know the facts, so we're finding out along with him. It sometimes works in psychological thrillers, but only when there is a good explanation for why we didn't know the facts (SEE: FIGHT CLUB, THE WINDOW MOVIE WITH JOHNNY DEPP, ETC.)

In order to maintain this weaselly attempt at creating drama when there is none, you are forced into this distant, descriptive mode, like you're narrating a movie. Poorly.

"In a rather spacious and well lit alleyway, thanks to the bright clear morning sunlight, sat Edward with his head drooping listlessly between his knees. He was dressed in his motley coloured work uniform, his face painted white, his nose red. His purple wig lay discarded beside his feet. On his feet were oversized shoes, what some might consider as being comical in appearance."

That is a lot of words to say "A clown cried in an alley."

"Edward and Mrs Richardson both found the formal manner of their discourse rather absurd but neither were comfortable enough to break away from it despite the situation seeming somewhat emotionally charged."

Look at how many sniveling little maybe-words you're using. "rather" "enough" "seeming" "somewhat." Not to mention crap like "the formal manner of their discourse"--who THINKS like that? Maybe a character could think like that. We'd be in his head, we'd know he was a weirdo, it would be fine. But this is some omniscient narrator. Dickens could do this, but most people don't even like Dickens anymore.

No one else who was late gets a crit, because gently caress you.

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at 06:16 on Dec 13, 2013

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





who wants a brawl

seriously i will loving end you

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


sebmojo posted:

who wants a brawl

seriously i will loving end you

Bring it.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk






hahahah you attempt

you will fail

who will judge

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


ugh, you guys are going to mess up my chart.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


sebmojo posted:

hahahah you attempt

you will fail

who will judge

okay

Oh wait, this is a brawl so I'm supposed to give you a prompt, too, aren't I... uh... dogs? Sure, why not. Give me EXACTLY 750 words about dogs, no more and no less.

Bitchtits McGee fucked around with this message at 12:16 on Dec 13, 2013

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Bitchtits McGee posted:

okay

Oh wait, this is a brawl so I'm supposed to give you a prompt, too, aren't I... uh... dogs? Sure, why not. Give me EXACTLY 750 words about dogs, no more and no less.

Arf. Deadline when? One week from today (i.e. Friday)?

edit: and thanks to systran for a pic of his corgi

Erogenous Beef fucked around with this message at 12:44 on Dec 13, 2013

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


I thought it was always a week, but if I've got to say that too to make it official, then yeah, next Friday.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

DON'T POST IN THE ELECTION THREAD UNLESS YOU :love::love::love: JOE BIDEN


How did somebody rise to the position of Doge when they were only 18 months old?

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

Erogenous Beef posted:

Arf. Deadline when? One week from today (i.e. Friday)?

edit: and thanks to systran for a pic of his corgi


God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


entries are closed.

e: and by entries i meant sign-ups.

God Over Djinn fucked around with this message at 19:37 on Dec 14, 2013

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Bonny Brinna - 993 wards

Tha gabbin begen soon as ah entered tha clearin, but ah knew bettor than ta put back yet. Ye dinnet git a nyem leek “Warm-Slee’er” less’n ye know wot yas aboot. Start an' aal soon, it’ll eithor gab loudor an' loudor entil ye crack or else rumble yer an' rush slevs at ye. That 'appen, just run. The' won’t chase ye far, an' tryna hammer throo’ll jest git ye deed or warse. Free bit iv gen fo' ye, thor. Anywa’.

Ah filled me foremind wi' thowts iv th’ stag ah carreed across me showlders, oot caad but alayv. That chanjed its tune reet quick, an' tha gabbin start pullin wor furthor in, which wes wheor ah wanted ta be anyha. Elwis hungry, warms are, on ‘count iv their growin, an' the' elwis prefor live meat. Simpl'st wa in is elwis throo tha stomach wi' gaumless beasts, an' sich ah thowt iv tha warms then. Partly reit, still.

Ah couldna help neeticin that sum iv tha bodies it had stackin stones weor still kitted eut fo theer ahn hunt. There’s elwis boond ta be a few, less ye’r forst thor, but it nivvor stops chillin yor boons ta see it. Ah managed ta keep that wey enough ta tha back iv me thowts, or else tha creeture wes an' aal eagor fo' tha meal ta neetice; eithor wa, neet a yen iv them dekko'd at wor as ah passed by an' myed me wa in.

Tha pyramit wes weeny yet, but ah wes lucky: tha warm 'd already et wey enough ta crack eut iv tha moon-stone egg wot had browt it doon ta earth, an' neeo la curled in tha crator from its landin, aal pale, fat flesh, sevfo tha plate iv rock clung on its back at yen end, coverin its choonched heart. That syem end lifted as ah arrived an' split open wi' a soft hiss, showin wor its slaverin meuth see ah wud knar wheor ta leev me load. Ah ‘proached an' dropped tha stag on tha groond fornenst it, then step’d awa see it cud begin feedin. Tha meuth lowered, clamped on ta tha poor animal, an' tha gab began directin wor back oot bye, for ta find mare leek this an' brin ‘em back.

This wes tha ma ah’d waited fo'. Ah put back wi’ me mind as ah unslung me pickaxe an' vawlted owor tha monster’s heed, tornin aroond ta straddle its body just ahint tha plate. Ah got in yen canny crackin swin befawa it rey’ct’d, heed liftin back up stag an' aal an’ beatin against tha ceilin ta eithor shyck wor off or crush wor. But ah knew this aad trick. Ah wes already aal far back an' aal laa ta tha body ta be any wors ‘an thrashed abeut fair. Mostly, aa'd ta kip bot’ ‘ands grippin ta sta onnit, but evarry calm ma, ah wes ready ta land anuthor blaa wi' me hoon. Slaa wark, aye, but tha best any’un know.

Then it just stopp’d. Ah wan’t see dens that ah din’t realize ha haggard this wes, but ah han’t tha taym ta wondor abeut it, aythor. Ah got in twa cracks an' had me arm raised fo' anuthor when it dunsh wor. Neet tha gab, but leek enouf. Nivvor felt such befawa neer since. Suddenly, ah wan’t seein tha warm, or owt else wot wes real. Insteed, ah saw tha pyramid, but from the eut thor an' geet immense iv a sudden. It wes done. We nivvor let a warm live lang enough ta finish yen, see ah’d nar na wa ta ken it, but someha ah did. Ah saw stairs corv’d intee tha side iv it. Ah saw warm-slevs carryin hutches up ‘em. Ah saw a geet throne at tha top. Ah saw a man sittin on it. Ah saw me'sel.

Ah ken well tha thing’s action then, but as this wa’n’t truly gab, ah didn’t knar yet ha ta put it awa. Aal tha while it’s timptin wor wi' pramis’s. Tha vision peel'd back time: ah wud leev this warm ahint but keep on plyin me tryed, killin any others wot fell from tha Rag’d Moon, weel it stay’d an' grew an' bilt. Wivin a yeor, it ‘ud be groon enough ta enslev e’eyen on tha cant’n’nt, an' an army iv warm-’unters wud releve wor. Wi’in tha pyramit, tha warm wud begin a lang kip; yeut thor, ah’d be kin iv tha warld, an' aal its slevs me subjects. ‘Coorse, nar na reason for it ta hev kept this bargen, but ah am nowt but a man, an' at tha time tha offor myed wor pause. See it showed wor mare. Days iv lees’re an' neets iv revel. Me’sures laid at me feet. An endless harem, any bonny bord ah fancied.

Wey aye.

Me mind ralleed. Any bord, it’s off’rin? Just tha yen bord, ah was wantin. Me hinny, me life, me lass. Brinna. Ah pictor’d hor as she had been, an' tha warm gag on tha image reet off. Oh aye, she'd be thor. Elwis by me side. Bonny an' young an' laughin an' alive an' it had lost. Happy dreamin vanish’d befawa bittor mem’ries: Brinna, hor golden hair ratted an' dull; Brinna, hor sparklin eyes half-blind; Brinna, high cheeks sunken wi' starvation; Brinna, a warm-slev ah’d freed only too late. Brinna, dyin in me arms. Ah heard a scream, an' remembor neewt else.

When ah finally came ta a da lator, yen iv tha slevs wot’d stayed ahint showed wor wot wes left iv tha warm. Wan’t mich. The' telt wor that yen iv tha freed ‘unters had scoop’t eut wot the' thowt wes wot left iv tha hart an' run off in tha neet ta try an' barley credit fo' the kill. 'Times ah wondor ha that went fo' 'em, but it wes nar na mattor ta wor. Ah nivvor wes innit fo' tha glory, ye ken.

Radioactive Bears
Jun 27, 2012

Creatures of horrid visage and disposition.


I don't seem to be capable of writing anything that doesn't seem at least slightly, mildly offensive. Gonna drop.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Mag7/EchoCian InfraBrawl


So M7 got some history here, and when it looked like he was gonna wimp out I had a viciousest of murderposts lined up and ready to go, but in the event he did not. Let's see who won the grudge match.

quote:

Magnificent7 - The Love Of My Life Is A Rotten Goody Two Shoes Who Should Die From Cancer Of The Aids Of The Eyeballs. - 1,000 Words.
Using this kind of internet speak is almost never a good idea.
“Well look what the cat coughed up!”

Clay elbowed my ribs and nodded down the sidewalk. You do a lot of one sentence paras, and it makes it kind of painful to read, especially when you take a while to get to the point.

We looked through the steam rising from the Little Caesars parking lot. It stopped raining thirty minutes earlier and now we were settling in for our liquid breakfast. She emerged through the mist like one of them Whitesnake videos. Strutting in a tight dress, her hair short and puffed up nice. This is a tight para.

“Tina! Look at you!”

“I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d find you guys back here.”
redundant

I’d never seen her look this nice. She smiled, and her complete set of gleaming white teeth surprised me and Clay both. redundant, you go on to have your characters convey this

“You got teeth!" Clay shouted. "You look great!”

Oh I don’t know. You think so?” She touched her new teeth for a second, then fiddled with an earring.

Are you kidding? I’ve never seen you in a dress before.”
redundant

I lowered the bottle down between me and Clay. the last four words are actually crucial here, and convey a lot of character. If she’d cleaned up, wasn’t no point rubbing it in her face. “You look really good, Tina.”

Tina said, “So, Joe, you doing okay?”

“Yea, I do alright. You remember how it is; enjoying the scenery, doing some people watching.” I scratched my stomach and then pulled my t-shirt down over my beer gut. She picked a bad day to stop by. nice

Tina used to be one of us. We’d spent all summer back here behind the Little Caesars, drinking, getting high and dining on the leftovers when Eric managed the night shift.

“Wow, I’ve missed you guys.”

“So? What happened to you?” Clay said.

“I cleaned up!”

“Again?”

She smacked his shoulder. “That’s not nice! I did it for good this time. I started back at AA. And I found a good man.” I like your setup, and all your incidental detail is great, but your dialogue is way too bland. Don't write like people speak, write like people speak in good books.

That stung a little. It was subtle, hell, I bet Clay didn’t catch it, but I did. And it hurt.

He said, “Well good for you. It's about time one of us got sober. What about this new man? Is he nice to you?”

She nodded and her fingertips went to her new teeth again. “He takes care of me.” She looked over her shoulder at the car and said, “He’s inside, waiting on a pizza. I told him I had to make a call.”

Clay picked up the bottle and took a sip. As he handed it to me he said, “It’s good to see you again. We was worried something bad happened to you.”

“Oh, wow. I’m sorry about that." She looked down and rubbed the back of her hand. "I woke up one morning and that was it. I had to change. It was hard leaving you guys behind. But Richard’s nice. He helped me out.”

She couldn’t stop poking me with that one.

I swirled the bottle and took a sip. The burn of the vodka felt good. If she wasn’t standing there, I’d have gulped down the whole thing. nice.

Tina said, “Joe, I want y’all to come with me.”

“Where? To Richard’s house? He takes care of men too?” Clay laughed at that.

Ignoring my jab, she said, “Come with me back to a meeting. It’s a good group. It’s different. Richard runs it, that’s how we met. He helped me a lot those first few weeks when I didn’t have anywhere to go.”

Another little stab. She must've been planning for this moment. Over the summer, I was the one who took care of her. She had a place to go; it was here with me. Maybe I never drove her around or put her in fancy dresses, but I kept her safe. Up until the morning I woke up when she was gone.

“Tina, you never even stopped by to say hey. You just disappeared.”

“I had to. If I came back, I don’t think I’d been able to leave again. But that’s long ago. What do you say? Come with me?”

“Sorry, but I like who I am. I don’t need to clean up.”

She pulled at her watch, turning it around her wrist.

“Come on Joe, this isn’t living. You’re hiding back here from your own demons. Hell, I know I did. But it doesn’t have to be like this.”

“I appreciate it, but I like it here.” I took another sip. “We had some good times, you and me, right? I took care of you, didn’t I?”

“Well — sure — but we all deserve better than this.”

Clay reached for the bottle. “Joe, we’re almost out man, go easy.”

“We’ll get another one Clay, it don’t matter.” haha, I love this he is all lordly like. these two lines are good dialogue

I took another sip, a good long one, then I screwed the lid on tight.

“I like who I am. I’m happy. And, who are you coming down here anyhow? You think you’re better than us now?”

She got quiet. Her eyes went glassy, and for a moment I saw my old Tina. “I messed up Joe. I messed up bad. I had a drink, and then a few more drinks.” huh? I don't understand this bit

Clay said, “Hey, it’s okay Tina. It happens to the best of us, we’re all human. But look at you! You lost weight, you found teeth. You’re doing good yeah?” blah

She smiled, and then glanced over her shoulder again. “It was stupid. I don’t know what I was thinking.” She wiped her face. “I guess I should go.” put the same person talking into the same para, always After she hugged Clay physicalize this to convey character - does she kneel, does he stand up awkwardly, does she get her dress dirty? does that bother her?, she turned to ask me one last time. “Sure you won’t come with me?”

“This Richard guy, does he know where you come from? Back here with us I mean?”

She shook her head. Her eyes got glassy again. She started to say something, but a man called out from the car. “There you are, Cris!”

I whispered, “That’s him? You’re Cris now?”

She nodded, wiped her eyes and smiled.

“Be there in a minute dear. I was just giving these men some change.”

She gave us twenty bucks.

--

I never even got to hug her. We crossed the street and got a case of Budweisers. Back behind Little Caesars, Clay popped a beer and said, “One of these days, Joe, I’m going to get clean. I’m serious. This ain’t living.”

“Reminds me of a poem, Clay.
Quaintest thoughts and queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away;
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.”

Clay gulped down the beer and said, “Look at you all fancy! Shakespeare?”

“Poe. Gimme a beer.” Eh, scraping in the prompt there.

There's quite a bit of merit in this one, even though it doesn't quite know what target it's swinging at and therefore has trouble hitting it. You have lots of good details about the physicality of sitting outside being a drunken bum, which is great, but the dialogue is too banal; and sure, that's possibly the point, but you need to be able to make banal chitchat interesting otherwise you should not be writing it. The form 'X?' 'X. Y?' 'Y. Z?' is actually close to how people talk, but it is super dull to read. Have your characters go on digressions, contradict each other, mishear each other, challenge each other. Make each of these things reveal character. If you find your characters are spouting banal crap, then cut it or compress it.

Also I'm left a little confused by 'Cris' talking about her fall from grace at the end - hasn't she left her life of booze behind? This bit should be cut or clarified. However the wounded dignity of the spurned hobo lover is pretty great, and forms the heart of the piece - I'd be interested in seeing you take another run at it and focusing on that from the start, without all the fluff dialogue.

As a minor point, if you got someone talking then put all their lines into the same paragraph.

quote:

Cantata Mortis SONG OF DEATH, LATIN FANS


Life ends, as do all things. Whether that end comes sooner or later isn’t always up to us. IN HONOUR OF PORTENTOUS NATURE OF FIRST TWO LINES WILL RENDER CRITS IN CAPITALS Pierre knew that better than most, perhaps – or maybe he didn’t know at all, and that was why they’d found him sprawled facedown in a gutter beneath his apartment window. He’d still held a pen in his inkstained left hand. IF THIS IS V:TM FANFIC UR SO BUSTED

I sat in his studio amid a sprawl of fifty EXACTLY. I COUNTED THEM. I AM V NUMERATE PROTAGsheets of erased paper, while the fireplace sat cold and empty. Why not burn them, if he didn’t want them? He'd erased some so roughly they were crumpled and torn; it wasn't as though he intended to reuse them.

Anette set a tray of teapot and cups beside me and looked over my shoulder at the paper I'd just rubbed graphite over. “Mom, where's that one go?”

Words showed in relief: child, why are you so cold? “Third pile,” I said, and she set it on top of the rest that opened with similar lines. GOOD? OR BAD? NOT SURE? WHY AM I SUPPOSED TO CARE WHAT PILE IT GOES ON?

All these pages were revisions of song verses, his finished progress kept in a hand-bound book propped on a music stand. It ended mid-verse in a jittering line. There were several points like that. For each of them I’d found drafts beginning at the interruption, and organized them into several stacks on the floor in front of the fireplace. Most of them belonged to the last unfinished stanza. I wondered which draft had finally made him throw himself from the window. Lord knew all poets were already at least half-mad without their creativity blocked. THIS IS ALL FAIRLY DULL SO FAR

My second day, I found a candidate on a sheet hidden under the edge of his rug. In the margin, in scrawling letters unlike the rest of his handwriting, he'd left a note: THEY ARE NOT REAL.

Maybe it hadn't just been writer's block that drove him out the window. I frowned at it. He was odd, for certain – but surely he hadn't gone mad in a year? I moved his furniture and rolled up the carpet, but found nothing else. IS HE LOOKING FOR A TRAPDOOR OVER A SECRET PASSAGE LEADING TO THE POINT OF THIS STORY

I'd known him, but not well. Several years ago, long before this started, he came to my door with a notebook in hand and asked if I could play him the latest melody he'd written. He said he had no talent for instruments, only writing the words and music. He sat by my piano, propped the book in front of me with an inkwell and frowned at the floor while I played. I barely remembered the tune, something in a minor key that toyed with discordant notes. I liked parts of it, and told him as much. He'd thanked me and wandered back to his studio, his brow furrowed all the while. AN ODD YET DULL INTERLUDE

A week later he back with the lyrics and a changed melody. I played it for him once again, and this time, sang. The images stayed with me though I'd forgotten the exact words. A man on the street with holes in his shoes who patted a growling dog. A traveler of many lands whose only friend in the end was the grass. Pierre again sat staring at the floor. He didn't frown. When he left, he thanked me with the briefest of smiles. I never heard more of that song. I AM STILL BORED WHAT HAS HAPPENED YET NOTHINGS

This poem, though, was a string of nonsense verses about childhood. Another poet might have known what they meant, but I was no poet. Other people wrote songs; I just played them. I found notation on the third day, but only one legible line of it. The rest had been scribbled over. I copied the stanza down and hummed it. An odd tune. I compared it to the words until I was sick of hearing the same bit of melody and Anette complained about me repeating it, but it was no use; I couldn't find where it belonged. YAWNY MCYAWN A SCION OF THE CLAN YAWN

The days passed and I spent more time in that studio. Bits of melody stayed in my mind all waking hours, kept me awake at night, entered my dreams when I did sleep. In those dreams I saw Pierre, hands clenched in his hair in front of the fire. He tapped a rhythm on the floor and beat his fists against his head as the words refused to come. As something else did come. Something he didn't want, couldn't bear, that lurked at the edges of his imagination, that was itself and many others all one and wanted him as One of Ones. I woke up sweating but couldn't have said why. OKAY SORT OF LOVECRAFTIAN CREEPIES BUT V GENERIC

Anette wanted me to read to her, but I could only think of the poem, and she said it was creepy and she didn't want to hear it anymore. I stared at the notation and slammed my fists on the table and paced the room, humming and scattering sheets in my wake. Nothing sounded right. It wasn't right, wasn't real needed to be real. THIS IS CRAZY MELODRAMATIC

A week later, Anette refused to come with me to the studio, and my pen ran out of ink. OOOOOH CHEKHOV'S FOUNTAINPEN I picked up the first one I found on his desk, but it didn't write. I opened it to refill it and smelled something rancid. The inside was packed with something reddish-brown. I recapped it and threw it into the wastebasket, then buried it under crumpled paper NICE DETAIL.

Pierre's message had been scrawled in blood ink.

Didn't make sense. I had to know what had driven him. I wrote the notation on different sheets and shuffled them in front of the book until musical staffs merged together and notes became spiders that crawled across the sheet until I looked away and they were still again. I stared at the notation and hummed a new line in a different order, and I had it. The song clicked into place like a piece in Anette's jigsaw puzzle. I snatched paper and pen and wrote it down, staff and notes all. The words fit it. At long last. I flipped to the first page, and sang the poet’s last song from the beginning.

The melody flowed through my mind. The words rolled off my tongue, in a language I knew yet didn’t know. The words he’d written didn’t mean what I thought they’d meant. They didn’t even mean what he’d meant them to. I saw him at his desk, crouched over a paper out of reach of the sun. He wanted to write about a childhood lost and found, love crossed and returned, but the words were not his own. No matter how he tried, the poem ran away from him, and he felt it growing. Whispering in his ear. Tapping his shoulder. Write, it demanded. Write us into the world. We exist through you, you exist for us.

Sing, it demanded of me as the words ran from me like water. I heard the melody, alien, twisting, clawing. Sing us into the world. We are you. You are us. This song was theirs. It was Pierre’s, but it was never Pierre’s. It was mine but never mine, never meant to be mine but here I was and there they were and they needed me to sing as they’d needed Pierre to write or they couldn’t exist, couldn’t come into reality like I was. They wanted that reality, flesh borrowed from words that described humanity, souls taken from stories of love and loss, but they didn’t understand any of it. They knew the words but they did not feel the words. I felt the words, but did not know them, but that was okay, I only needed to sing for them, weave them their flesh and their spirit and draw them into the One I was One with them and they were part of One and One and One and infinite Ones through worlds of song and music and melody they could not make because they could not feel could not understand could not Be part of World they wanted Me and Them become Us my flesh Theirs my soul Theirs my song Theirs the world Theirs hunger Theirs devour Theirs

tears burned My flesh

silence

I opened my eyes.

Anette clung to me. The song cracked, memory fractured. I was still me, and me alone, standing next to the open window and my daughter was hugging me and crying.

That was what Pierre had tried to escape. Why he'd erased his work, why he had thrown himself from the window rather than let Them use him. I found my own words. “Honey-”

“Burn them,” she sobbed.

They didn’t want it burned.

I swept up the paper, threw them into the fire and lit it. They howled, They raged, but They were not real. I hugged Anette to my chest and listened to paper crackle.

OKAY, back out of caps. You manage to pull this one back together with a pretty tight and effective ending, but up to where my snarky comments stopped is how long it took to get interesting, and that's too long. You're telling a rote Lovecraftian tale, and although that does revolve around the weird emerging from the mundane, that does not give you license to bore.

I also think there's a problem with how predictable this sort of thing is these days - weird sanity destroying writings are ten a penny. You executed it well enough at the end, but I think you could have made it better by having (e.g.) some actual human resonance with the three fairly characterless people you have in the story. But decently well written for what it was.

:siren:Judgment:siren:

Mag7 wrote a lot of bad stuff here and then wrote a story that was really quite impressive before quittin' us for NaNo, and I'm glad to see there's still the good juice in his stuff. I liked the actual story he was telling, and the economy and grittiness of the words he used to describe elements of it, but he was let down by some deeply flaccid dialogue and a life-destroying addiction to the Enter key. Paragraphs should be longer than a sentence dude.

Echo Cian has a more consistent output in this place, and has done some pearlers, but this isn't one of them. While it's competently written and ends with a fine sizzle and and well-stuck landing, it's generic by-the-numbers Lovecraft-lite.

However placed side by side it's hard to deny that one is a better working prose machine than the other. Victory to Echo Cian.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Radioactive Bears posted:

I don't seem to be capable of writing anything that doesn't seem at least slightly, mildly offensive. Gonna drop.

This is the worst reason not to write something.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

gently caress I had a story written and everything, it just needed editing...instead of that I spent the last 12 hours at a community center helping build bikes for kids for Christmas. I'm dead tired, so I'm out.

I was mostly helping out in the kitchen, but I helped build two sweet retro cruisers (a girls and boys, respectively) BUT even better than that I helped my friend Dave put the finishing touches on this:



It's an ironhorse BMX! Regreased bearings all around, re-packed hubs and new brakes!

It was a 24 hour thing, and I think we got like 300 bikes done!

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.






“Good afternoon, grandfather,” said Quinn, waving his hand in a hasty greeting.


“Devontain’s stanky-rear end nutsack slap me right up on the drat forehead!” Grandpa Jermaine’s voice boomed through the apartment, “You hear me boy?” His arm quivered as he bent forward, using his cane to support his weight.


“Grandfather, I honestly do not have the time for-”


“Dat nasty nigga ain’t shower in weeks. Smelt like his mother’s fish-sticks!” said Grandpa Jermaine.


“-another one of your stories…” Quinn glanced downward and when saw his Grandfather's Jordans, his shoulders sunk. He could try to run away, but Grandpa Jermaine could outrun a car as long as he had on his cybernetic sneakers on.


"Errybody in the basketball court was all up in my face talking their poo poo, breath stankin’," said Grandpa Jermaine as he pointed his gnarled finger at Quinn. "I don't even know why I played wit' those niggas. Devontain had goddamn wings growing out his back, Nate had some poo poo he put in his head dat never let him miss a drat jump-shot and errybody else had had dat reaction surgery dat made dem act like 'dey was all twitchy and poo poo."


"Grandpa, I need to go," said Quinn, jerking his thumb back over his shoulder. "I think I hear my dad calling me-"


"I had nothing but natural talent! All deese machine monkeys flying around the court and I couldn't do poo poo." Grandpa Jermaine raised his cane and Quinn sat back down, not wanting to catch a swing behind the knees again. "Back in my day, we ain't had no daddy's like you spoilt nigglets do. It was me, my momma and ten step-brothers and sisters. No money fo’ nothing. So I did what I had to do." Grandpa Jermaine crossed his legs and ran his hands across his immaculate basketball shoes.


"I saw ‘dese kicks in the sto' window one day. I remember the tv be saying how deese shoes be betta than dem biotech bullshit. I needed to be betta than dem teched out niggas. So you know what I did to get deese shoes, boy?”


“You stole them,” said Quinn in a tone one uses when they’ve heard the same story hundreds of times.


Grandpa Jermaine laughed and coughed; when he caught his breath, he laughed some more. “Hell yea I stole dem bitches. Nigga shouldn’t have let me try dem on, know what I’m saying boy?” Jermaine leaned back and flashed a gap-filled smile. “The next day at the courts, dem bio-porch-monkeys ain’t even know what the gently caress was up!


“You should have seen’t it! I snatched the ball out of some darky’s hand and made a drive toward dat basket. It was slow-motion. Dat nigga Nate tried to hold me, but I juked him so hard I think his momma died when fell to da flo’ like a little bitch.


“Devontain was between me and the goal, so I channeled some Jordan on his rear end and jumped. I ain’t need none of dem fancy wings he got. The look on his face as I flew threw the air, boy! I think I knocked Devontain’s teeth loose when I smashed deese nuts into his ugly mug. Nigga, I dare you call me a liar when I says I dunked dat poo poo so hard, I heard angels singing -- I’ll whoop yo rear end right here. I don’t give a gently caress.”


“Grandfather, please,” said Quinn with a disapproving frown. “Why must you use such foul language all the time. No one talks like that any-.”


Nyiegga!” Grandpa Jermaine’s cane whipped through the air and struck Quinn flat against the mouth. Quinn slumped in his chair. “You interrupt my stories again, I’m gonna get the baby-powder and power-slap the black out of you.


“Now, after I blew up the rim, I turned around and taunted deese fools. No one was havin it tho! You wanna know why?”


Quinn lay nonresponsive on the couch.


“Dat’s right, ha ha! I juked Nate so hard, his feet snapped off like a slimjim. Ya don’t even know about dat.” Grandpa Jermaine’s laughter turned to wheezes. “Like for real, he was whiter than a ghost wit’ all dat blood gushing out of his ankles. Woo, I ain’t never felt happier.


“Boy, why don’t you do your Granddaddy a solid and go into the kitchen and get us some candy.” said Grandpa Jermaine.


Quinn’s hand twitched slightly.


“Nah, it’s alright. I’ll get it myself.” Grandpa Jermaine pushed himself up out of his chair. “You’s a good boy, always listening to your elders. I bet yo’ daddy would be proud of you if we ever found his child-support-dodging rear end.”

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Thunderdome is forever.


The Matter of the Succession (883 words)

The first letter was insulting in its familiarity.

Dear Lord Bletchley, (for shame! That buffoon!)

I trust this letter finds you well.

I write to you as a Friend, although one currently unknown to your august self. I propose through this correspondence a form of Mutual Assistance from which we may both come to greatly benefit. I hereby enclose my credentials.

Yours faithfully,

R

P.S. My apologies for errors of Grammar.


“Shall I contact the constabulary, my Lord?”

“The authorities, Graves? What have we here that would interest the fellows at Scotland Yard?”

Graves coughed, as was the rogue's custom when he thought I was testing him. “Forgery, sir. This letter has been affixed with your own seal.”

I undertook to examine the envelope. My butler was correct in his analysis: my seal was indeed visible. I turned the letter over, and a second piece of paper fell out onto my quilt. Scooping it up, I consulted it.

“How did this arrive, Graves?”

“It must have come in the night, sir. Nobody was awake except Smith-”

“Smith?”

“Your night footman, sir. He saw no-one.”

“Very well. I shall not require the police at this juncture, Graves. Let us instead see if this charlatan writes again. For now, I desire a shave and the Racing Post.”

“I shall fetch the bowl, sir.”

As Graves did his best, I compared the papers before me and confirmed my suspicions. My mysterious communicator had indeed vouchsafed me the name of a horse running the 4.15 at Islington.

“I shall require my automobile this afternoon. See to it, please. Make sure Chambers is sober this time.”

“Certainly sir. Might I inquire as to your schedule?”

“I believe,” I said, “that I shall spend a day at the races.”

---

Walking out from the stadium somewhat richer (the odds were scandalously favourable) I saw a carriage I recognised parked at the side of the pavement. A wrinkled arm reached out, and beckoned me to enter.

I had no sooner entered the hansom than a bony slap caught me across the cheek, and I reeled. “Gambling!”, my wizened aunt ejaculated. “I have half a mind to birch you like your father never did.”

I settled into the ermine seating. “No fear! Graves did it for him, my darling dowager.”

“Silence, Robin! Apparently the ingrate failed to beat sufficient manners into you. Or to educate you about proper attire; this foppery you wear does not suit a gentleman. What is the meaning of your little game?”

“Game, Auntie?”

“Don't play silly buggers with me, young man. This letter-”

Auntie!”

This letter,” she continued, her ancient vulgarity now past, “was sent to me with your mark.” She reached into a compartment, retrieving an envelope. “It instructed me to bear its contents here and await you. Why are you corresponding with yourself, you damnfool dandy? Or have you sold the family arms as well as the silver? Whilst we are on the subject, I shall not lend you another farthing.”

---

Dear Bletchley,

I beg forgiveness for involving dear Aunt Catherine in our grand Conspiracy. I've heard so much about her. My means of Communication must remain unsaid, but suffice it to say that more horses shall be forthcoming: might I venture to suggest additional Investments? Please see attached. If possible, I would advise less profligate spending in future, as even at such a distance there is the risk of a 'paper trail'.

Yours,

Robin


The letters continued. I did the only things I could do: I sent Graves ahead of me to place my bets, and I told Auntie everything.

As always she received me in her trophy room. She told visitors Uncle Michael had bagged the selection of great cats whose heads and skins coated the walls. I remembered how his hands used to shake.

“I wish I were surprised, Robin.”

“But Auntie – my man is no charlatan. He is correct on every occasion.”

She sighed. “That is even worse, Robin. Consider how 'your man' knew these salient facts? Where is he?”

I considered. It was a fair enough point, and I would consider it over the next few Sundays in town.

---

Bletchley,

We are discovered. All is lost. For myself, at any rate, disgrace is imminent. I have not seen a penny's worth of our efforts to date, as our Investments do not appear to have materialised as expected. I prevail upon you desperately to send some form of sustenance forwards, in exchange for the fortune I know I have brought you.

You should also be aware that if my sums are correct our Auntie has less than a year remaining to her, and that it is your Familial Obligation to be present as she will require.

In God's name, Sir, I beg you,

Robin Bletchley III



I turned it over in my hands again. It appeared that once again disaster had struck my best-laid schemes. At least this time I had benefited from my part, but furious action appeared necessary.

Of course, before I could proceed I needed to consider my scheme, and pay a quiet visit on my dear Auntie. It seemed best to lay low: now that scandal had sneaked into this strange affair it would not do to be involved. Why, we had never even been introduced!

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




Radioactive Bears posted:

I don't seem to be capable of writing anything that doesn't seem at least slightly, mildly offensive. Gonna drop.

Wah Lau what dumb kind of reason is this la, I turn on internet explorer to see gwailo try to write like Singapore with his powder full England and then he blur already say "no inspiration scared we angry". I tell you I can puke hear this excuse. Never trust the Lao wai anymore.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011



Mercedes posted:

“Good afternoon, grandfather,” said Quinn, waving his hand in a hasty greeting.

As a irregular and failed thunderdomer I don't really feel worthy to post here but I wanted to highlight an issue lying in the background of this story. Not exactly a critique more a 'these background assumptions seem problematic'.

The idea that AAVE will vanish in the future and be used only by old-timers has worrying implications. First, it treats AAVE like it's a passing fad rather than a legitimate dialect of its own. I can see AAVE evolving in the future but its vanishing completely seems unlikely.

Second, it points to a mass homogenisation of language. If you were going to explore this (and in since this prompt is all about language, why not?) then I would have liked to see you make more explicit why there's been a homogenisation of this sort. It's not inconceivable that globalisation, for example, could cause something like this to happen, but you don't suggest or talk about it in-story as far as I can tell. So what that seems to point to is the view that AAVE is illegitimate and will eventually be replaced by Standard English. As language is one of the fundamental bases of culture, it also seems to point to the eradication of certain cultures and forms of identity in the future. Other elements of the story also point to this. Which is totally okay, assuming you wanted to go down the route of making the near future a dystopian conformist hellhole.

But what you have instead is a light comedy piece (I didn't find it super funny because the comedy seems to derive from 'black people lol') that uses cyberpunk more as an aesthetic than as a mode of writing. There's not even a hint of the background which would lead to a homogenisation of culture of the sort that would completely get rid of AAVE, and that means that the story comes across as a bit of a vehicle for cultural imperialism.

Alternately, Quinn has just not been raised in a background of AAVE and the conflict is between two members of a family from different social environments. But again this would need to be made more explicit. Quinn's comment that 'nobody talks like that anymore' is the only metric we have for determining whether AAVE only survives as a relic of the past or whether Quinn just isn't familiar with the dialect. The problem being that Quinn seems to be the straight man in the story and so we see him as a reliable guide to reality rather than a character in his own right. It doesn't help that Grandpa Jermaine gets most of the lines and so most of the character development.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Purple Prince posted:

I wanted to highlight an issue lying in the background of this story. Not exactly a critique more a 'these background assumptions seem problematic'.

highlighting background issues is not what thunderdome is for and nor is identifying background assumptions as problematic

crit, write, or shittalk.

that is all.

(take it up in fiction farm if you want to continue this)

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Purple Prince posted:

ally feel worthy to post here but I wanted to highlig

D&D is leaking

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Mercedes posted:

Quinn glanced downward and when saw his Grandfather's Jordans, his shoulders sunk. He could try to run away, but Grandpa Jermaine could outrun a car as long as he had on his cybernetic sneakers on.

Impressive that he managed to hang on to those through the Great B-Ball Purge.

Purple Prince posted:

As a irregular and failed thunderdomer I don't really feel worthy to post here

Radioactive Bears, put on your good fur, 'cause you is cordially invited to a brawl out on the town.

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magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


sebmojo posted:

:siren:Judgment:siren:

Mag7 wrote a lot of bad stuff here and then wrote a story that was really quite impressive before quittin' us for NaNo, and I'm glad to see there's still the good juice in his stuff. I liked the actual story he was telling, and the economy and grittiness of the words he used to describe elements of it, but he was let down by some deeply flaccid dialogue and a life-destroying addiction to the Enter key. Paragraphs should be longer than a sentence dude.

Echo Cian has a more consistent output in this place, and has done some pearlers, but this isn't one of them. While it's competently written and ends with a fine sizzle and and well-stuck landing, it's generic by-the-numbers Lovecraft-lite.

However placed side by side it's hard to deny that one is a better working prose machine than the other. Victory to Echo Cian.
I agree with you completely.

Even about my paragraphs. I do not like long paragraphs. They make me uncomfortable.

As soon as I saw Echo Clans paragraphy goodness, I knew I was done for. Hell I couldn't even finish reading the story, it was too deep for me, (I skipped to the end) but I still knew it was better than mine.

But thanks for the crit, I do appreciate it.

I'll work.

On longer.

Paragraphs.

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