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Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


In with two four days to go, because I enjoy the pain of humiliation. First-time entrant to Thunderdome, I fully expect to be the loser.

Purple Prince fucked around with this message at Feb 14, 2013 around 16:17

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Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


In. Leo, for my sins.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


In.

I loving love magical realism. Prefer the Angela Carter stuff to the Gabriel Garcia Marquez stuff though.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


In true Thunderdome spirit, I finished this mere hours before the deadline, late at night, and have not edited it because I'm too tired.

Letting Go (1181 words)

“Mum... Mum, I’m sorry, but I need my space. I’m not a little boy any more. I have work to do. I mean, I love having you here, but if I don’t get this project finished on time...”

“That’s good. Carry on,” said Peter, relaxing into the leather armchair under the window.

“If I don’t get this project finished on time, my boss is gonna kill me. I’ve already taken off all my holidays, and all my sick days this year. I know you’re finding it hard to adjust, but I’ll still be there for you. I just... I need you to...”

“Need me to what?” replied Peter.

“I need you to hang around less. You always said how much freedom you’d have. You can go wherever you want! Why are you letting me hold you back? Don’t you want to see Tuscany, the Parthenon?”

Peter clapped slowly. Richard exhaled and fell back onto the sofa.

“That was decent enough,” said Peter, “Why don’t you just tell her that?”

“I dunno, man, it’s just every time I go to, something stops me.”

“Yeah, but you’ve gotta do it sooner or later, or you’ll be out of a job.”

“It just seems a bit, um, cruel,” said Richard.

“Nah, of course not. Like you said, she wants to see the world. And you can’t let her hang around for eternity. You’ve gotta have your own life.”

“I suppose so...”

“Glad that’s cleared up. Now are we gonna watch the game or not?”

The drive home from Peter’s was always hard. Peter lived in the middle of the countryside, which meant there were no streetlights anywhere. Small woodland animals, sick of their dull existences, dashed from the forest and hurled themselves under the car. Worse than that, the malevolent snickers of hobgoblins echoed from the darkness. None of this was any easier to cope with after four pints of Guinness.

When Richard got back to his apartment, the lights were all off - except the one in the living room. He could hear the sultry voice of David Attenborough explaining the mating habits of the African Dung Beetle.

“Mum,” he said, “I’m back.” There was no reply. He turned on the light in the hallway, took off his coat and shoes, and went into the living room. She was asleep on the sofa, her translucent and somewhat luminous arms dangling onto the floor. He reached out for her shoulder, but pulled away immediately. It was too cold for him to touch, and the feeling of dread that washed over him made him feel sick. Richard sighed. He’d forgotten that he couldn’t touch her any more. He got a blanket out the linen cupboard and put it over her, although he knew it wouldn’t do any good. She’d still be cold no matter what he did. Then he turned off the television and staggered off to bed.

As soon as Richard woke up the next day, he checked the clock. Ten in the morning. poo poo. In a flurry of action, he leaped out of bed and hurled himself into the shower. It wasn’t until he’d lathered lemon-scented soap all over himself that he realised it was Saturday.

He finished the rest of the shower at a more leisurely pace, groomed himself, and got dressed. As soon as he left his bedroom, the smell of fried bacon and eggs hit him. He went into the kitchen. His mother was there, wearing an apron and spreading butter on some toast. In the oven he could see a laden tray of hash browns. When she realised he was there, she turned around and smiled at him.

“I made some breakfast for you.”

Richard blinked. “Thanks, but why?”

“Because you’re so kind.” She giggled. He’d never heard his mother giggle before.

“Well. Thank you, but I don’t normally eat fried things.”

Her face dropped. Then she smiled at him again. “Oh, calm down, you.One little fry-up won’t kill you.”

Richard stared at her for a moment. There was a loud ping.

“Oh, the hash browns are done,” said his mother.

She served up and handed him the plate. He took it silently, looked at the mass of congealed fat in front of him, then went into the dining room and started eating. The greasy, stodgy texture of the food reminded him of the dinners he’d had to endure as a child. After a minute or two, she came in, sat down opposite him, and started talking about something or another. Richard feigned attention, but couldn’t concentrate on anything except his breakfast. Oil oozed from every bite, and he could swear the coagulated fat was headed straight for his heart. At last he managed to empty his plate.

“Mum,” he began, interrupting her lecture about immigration between the constituent states of the European Union and its economic impact on the working class.

“Yes?” She looked at him and smiled.

“Um. I don’t- Never mind. I’m going out in a bit. To see Joan.”

“Who’s Joan?”

“My fiancé, mum. I introduced her to you just before your funeral, remember?”

“Oh. Her. Did you like your breakfast?”

“It was great. Thanks, mum. It was just what I needed.”

When Richard turned up at Joan’s apartment, on the opposite side of town, she was wearing nothing but a flower on each nipple. After sex and dinner, they cuddled together on the sofa, watching a show called Ultimate Home Videos, a fascinating found-footage documentary about unlikely but painful accidents. Joan nipped at his neck, then asked him: “What’s up with you and your mum?”

“Nothing. Everything’s fine.”

“Most people go travelling.”

“I know.”

“Then why-”

“I don’t know.”

They watched the rest of the program in silence. As the credits rolled, Joan asked him if he wanted to stay the night.

“I can’t. I’ve got to make sure mum’s alright.”

“For God’s sake!”

“What?”

“Nothing. Sorry. I’ll let you get back to her now.” And with that, she threw him out.

When Richard reached his apartment, it was dark. He could hear a newscaster’s voice. He went into the living room, turned off the television, and turned to look at the sofa. His mother wasn’t there.

He scanned the room frantically. No sign of her. Not the faintest hint of glowing, not a smatter of ectoplasm. Then he heard the sobbing. It was coming from his room.

She was curled up into a ball on the bedsheets and rocked back and forth, gasping, sobbing, choking for air.

“Mum,” he said. She didn’t respond.

“Mum!” The sobbing stopped, and was replaced by a faint moaning.

He sat down on the edge of the bed and watched her.

“Mum, are you all right?”

“Of course not!” she shouted. “Leave me alone.”

“What’s the matter?”

“What’s the matter what’s the matter what’s the matter? Why are you trying to get rid of me?”

“What?”

“Why are you trying to get rid of me?”

“Oh, Christ... I’m sorry.” He leaned towards her, but by the time he reached her, there was nothing left but thin air.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

[Firm, fair, and hilarious criticism.]

I love you. And I need to practice writing endings and keeping my plot tight. Thank you.

Next prompt: I'm in. 'Future memories' just makes me think of Proust. No way am I trying to emulate Proust.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


In. Hopefully I can stop missing deadlines.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Totally in. Love myths and religious stuff.

edit: Requesting verses from Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, etc. Anything involving Solomon is neat.

Purple Prince fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2013 around 15:15

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Thunderdome '13: Seize the Wagon

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Wrote 500 words of this in plenty of time, the rest remains unwritten and the whole remains unedited. Working for my exams and some other real life things got in the way of me finishing it. So I throw my hands in the air: mea culpa. I lose by default.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


In with I heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin'.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Going through nicotine withdrawal, but will soldier on. I have a plan; as soon as I can put the broken pieces of my mind back together I can actually write the drat thing.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


I cave. The combined force of LAN DOTA and nicotine withdrawal crippled my writing ability.

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.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Mercedes posted:

What I'm reading is that you think you can do this better than me. Why don't you put your prissy gloves away and brawl me like a [wo]man?

I always love a good fight.

I doubt I can do it better than you, but okay. Thunderbrawl time.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Yeah, I'm in.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Appropriately enough I've been watching the clock pretty hard. While this isn't as good or as edited as I'd want it to be, the act of creating it and forcing myself to write was more impressive than the end result: it's the first time I've done proper creative writing in ages, and the discovery I'm capable of making myself sit down and write is great, because I always thought I was a weak-willed pansy.

Started at 7 and I'm submitting at 11:45, so it's the work of just under 5 hours of intense labour. If that sounds like a tall tale all the better. It's totally ridiculous and has a lot of problems but hopefully I won't lose. I was trying to gently caress around with the speed of time through varying my writing style but probably failed.

EDIT FOR MERCEDES: You aint won yet bruv. Imma lay down poo poo like you wouldn't believe cuz I is a badman. I'll submit by 5pm tomorrow, GMT, which I think is noon EST? I might be confused though.

Kronos

There’s no one left now except me and Hep.

The Olympus started emptying out almost an hour ago, and now even the old pissheads have quit, downed their dregs and burned their fag ends. The teenage barman glares at us, but I still have half a pint left and the kid must be half my weight. I stare into his acne-pocked face and take a long, thoughtful sip of ale.

“Jove,” whines Hep, “Let’s get out of here. I have drinks back at my place.”

I glare at him. Hep’s a born whiner, an ugly little cripple with a stunted leg. But the guy can drink anyone under the table, and makes anyone look good by contrast. He continues to whine about how we should leave.

He’s right.

“Alright,” I say. I down my drink in one gulp. “But we’re going clubbing. Know anywhere around here?”

“Yeah,” says Hep. He picks up the glasses, limps over to the bar and plonks them down. “I’ll show you.”

Quarter of an hour later and we’re stood outside a nightclub. This place is huge: it easily takes up four or five lots. Bass-heavy techno blares from the front entrance and through the open door I see silhouettes lit by laser lights and drenched in dry ice. Above the door hangs a giant green-and-violet neon sign: ‘Kronos’.

When we get inside I notice the change immediately. Everything moves in time to the rhythm, with the throbbing, pulsing, sexual beat. But the tracks are pretty crappy, chart stuff. I notice a poster on the opposite wall:
“TIME WARP, Fridays. Back room: heavy house. Lounge: chilled trance.”
Hep says he’s going to the lounge; I head for the back room.

Smoke and red light pulse like the rhythm of a heart and my pulse coordinates itself into the same beat as the black arch of the doorway looms over me and I pass into the back room. First thing I see is a pair of giant tits wrapped tight in glistening ocean blue velvet, top of lacy black lingerie peeping out. I stalk across to the woman and smile at her - perfect face and perfect teeth when she smiles back. Grab a pair of Jagerbombs from the barman throw money at the bar and pass her one, down the Jager in one extended chug then pull her onto the dancefloor.

Bodies grind and throb together to the rhythm of intercourse and I know she’s mine. Lean in for kiss and then-
-what feels like a train hits my jaw and I’m floored before I know what’s happened, crowd gasps around me and I look up. Blurred vision as I gaze at the biggest bloke I ever saw and he grins, flexes, kicks me in the gut, and pain explodes.

And he laughs: “No one dances with my girl.”

I leap at his legs and pull him down and slam his face into the floor; blood gushes out and he snarls and tries to throw me off but I spring back into the crowd and retreat, back off into the main room.

And the pulse returns to normal. As I weave my way across the room my head starts to throb: I can’t tell if it’s the bruise or the booze or the beat. When I glance behind me I see the monster shoving his way through the crowd after me. I hurry on and rush through into the dim blue light of the chillout lounge.

Where I see Hep lounging langorously across a sofa, a beautiful stoned bitch on each arm, his hands drawing patterns on their backs: his eyes flick to me and he slowly yawns, turning, and smiling, and moving the women aside as he rises. Behind me, like a smog descending, I can feel the beast bearing down on me, taste the blood in my mouth, hear the ringing in my ears; I don’t know if I can take him, but I don’t want to find out. I signal to Hep to take the girls and leave. He stands up just as the beast hauls itself through the doorway, its piggy eyes focus on me, and I turn, raising my hands to defend my face as his fist crawls through the too-thick air. I dodge out the way and punch his face, and for a moment he looks surprised, then drives one fist into my stomach, but hits only a hard surface as I tense my abs, then bull-charge him out through the doorway.

I force him back through the crowd with each strike and dodge. He swings at me but I duck, then smash him in the jaw. A pair of bouncers lunge at us, but we shrug them off easily. By now the crowd has stopped dancing and just watches us. On the edge stands the girl, unfazed, who caused all this. I look at her for a moment too long and feel a sharp pain on the side of my head. As I fall to the ground, I see her grin. The beast looms over me and raises his foot.

This is it. With a sudden surge of strength I spring at him and slam him through the door of the back room, down to the floor. Splinters shower down around us. I grin. Punch after punch falls on his ugly face until I’m punching no more than a bloody skull and the skin on my knuckles is gone.

The music stops and I look up.

“You’re a nutter, mate,” says one of the bouncers. I stand up, wipe my bloody hands off on my trousers and look him in the eye: he flinches. The girl presses herself against me, kisses me hard and deep. I can feel her firm and lithe body against me.

“Jove,” I say when we separate, “What’s your name?”

“Eris,” she replies, “and you just hosed up Kronos.”

Purple Prince fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2013 around 00:10

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


MERCEDES THUNDERBRAWL

I have written the first draft but I know I won't win with it. I won't be able to submit before 12EST because of stupid christmas-related poo poo getting in the way of my editing. Can I get a 12-hour extension? It's not fair on you but hey. Otherwise you win by default since I'm not submitting the first draft in lieu of a real piece.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


Bitchtits McGee posted:

look how about after this brawl is finished I help you find your way back to tumblr, would that make you a happy little artistformerlyknownas again buddy

After I win this brawl I'll be all too happy to help you find your way out of your sphincter. Deferred Thunderbrawl challenge.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


I still have a few hours left to submit (on my weakass extension) but my house is having blackouts. This still isn't as I'd want it but I'm posting now in case electric and broadband die again.

PS: Wingers are pretty cool. I've always admired writers like Stephen King who can wing it and produce good material. Good thing I'm not a whinger though those guys are full of poo poo and bitch for ages when someone criticises something in a non-formalist way.

THUNDERBRAWL VS MERCEDES (731 words)

The low murmur of the Christmas crowd replaced London’s background roar as the two men entered the shopping centre. Outside the bodies had been sparse enough that they could walk side by side; now they were forced to break apart. They shoved through the scab of people around the entrance until they had room to walk together again.

Sharkie - tall and overmuscled, with nothing but stubble on his head - produced a cigarette from his coat and took a drag.

“The gently caress you doing?” asked Jo. He was pale and emaciated; his skin was polluted with lovely tattoos and needle marks.

“Relax mate. I’m vaping.”

That shut the skinny stinkyhole right up.

Sharkie strolled through the mall and watched the crowds; Jo trailed behind him, blabbering on about meaningless poo poo like his wife and kids. After they’d walked the length of the mall a couple of times, they found a bench in a quiet area and sat down.

“Where the gently caress is he?” said Jo, “The stinkyhole should’ve been here twenty minutes ago. He owes us big for that loving bollocks at the computer shop.”

Sharkie ignored him and focused on their surroundings. They were sitting opposite a ragged canopy of green-and-red sheets, under which a fat bloke in a Santa outfit sat, his feet propped up on a small pile of gift-wrapped boxes. On a makeshift sign beside the canopy was a notice:
“SANTAS GROTO. Big presents £20. Small presents £5.”

As he watched, a woman and her son went into the grotto. The mother was obese and had bags under her eyes; the kid wore worn-out sweatpants and a plain t-poo poo. The woman passed Santa a twenty, and the boy hopped onto Santa’s lap. The kid whispered something in Santa’s ear, and the fat man laughed a deep belly laugh that echoed round the mall, before shoving a present into the kid’s hands. Sharkie stood up and watched the boy as he shredded the wrappings. From a distance he could just make out the photo on an iPhone box.

“Lucky bastard.”

“What?” said Jo.

The kid and his mother vanished into the crowd. Sharkie took a hit from his e-cig and sat back down.

“Nothin- wait. And shut up.”

He saw the faces of a young couple in the crowd staring at them, and pretended to ignore it. The couple vanished. They were back a minute later. Other people milling around looked familiar too - they’d walk past and come back a couple of minutes later without any new bags.

“loving hell,” he said.

“What?”

“Get the gently caress up and follow me.”

They shoved their way through the crowd towards the lifts. Sharkie glanced around every few seconds but nobody was following them.

When they reached the second floor, he looked down over the edge of the balcony at the Grotto. Santa had another kid on his lap, and was looking down at the stack of presents. The couples were gathering around the Grotto, and just as Santa handed the kid its gift they started to move in. Sharkie saw it before the fat man did, but a moment later, Santa had shunted the kid out the way and was sprinting as fast as his chubby legs would carry him toward the doors. Wads of notes spilled out of the red robes and his beard flapped loosely from his face. His trousers began to slip down over his vast posterior, and revealed a pair of neon pink boxers.

A couple tried to jump him, but Santa shoulder-barged them, like a rugby player, sending the two of them sprawling. Just as he was about to reach the doors, the trousers finally betrayed him, and he tripped face-first onto the floor with a mighty splat. The undercover cops pounced on him, and a mound of bodies rose at the exit to the mall.

They took the service stairs and ran through the mall to the entrance. Santa was cuffed on the floor, and a small crowd had gathered around the scene. Most of them were kids and their mothers, and all but one whined like a bruised bitch. The boy from earlier had a giant poo poo-eating grin plastered across his face.

A small round detective peeled the beard off Santa’s face. The kids and Jo gasped; Sharkie’d seen it coming.

“He was there all the loving time?” said Jo.

“Yeah.”

Purple Prince fucked around with this message at Dec 24, 2013 around 01:31

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011



What I'm getting from this is "foreground the story more". Also "pay more attention to description". I thought I'd dropped enough hints for someone to figure out what was going on; clearly I was wrong.

No Longer Flaky posted:

Hey man, I might be a lovely writer, but the only way I am gonna get better is challenging people who are better than me and then following through with those challenges. I want to thank all y'all for being gracious enough to allow me to post my lovely work on here and giving criticisms.

Also this. I'm a fighter not a lover so the thunderdome is ideal for motivating me to write.

Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


In.

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Purple Prince
Aug 20, 2011


I think this is probably garbage.

Timê (466 words)

The sun was gone. A dead light filtered from beyond the crest of the hill, and Dolon saw glimmers of rising embers. Around him the grass was thick and lush, and the hums of bees and songs of birds clashed with the rumbles and cracks from over the ridge. He gripped his spear tighter.

It shouldn't have been like this. That was why they'd sent him. The Priestess of Rhea had fallen ill a week ago, and would only wake up to scream and shudder. She'd been lucid just long enough to describe the desolation.

He scrabbled up a steep slope and was panting when he reached the crest of the hill. The wastes extended to the horizon. Where once had stood a brave forest, there were now only blackened stumps. In the remains of a glade stood the altar of Rhea, blackened by the fires that had razed the woods. The ground was grey with sandy ash, which drifted through the cool air like dead smoke. A gentle breeze threw a handful of ash into his face. He choked on it and blinked back the tears.

For a moment Dolon was paralysed. Then he scrambled down toward the altar. As he entered the ring of trees, he heard a crunch like someone treading on a twig. He turned toward the sound, but there was nothing there.

The altar was split. A long scar ran across it and extended down deep into the earth. The stench of decay mingled with the smell of burnt embers. He gazed at the crack and tried to blink back the tears. Then he saw it. From underneath the altar oozed a black substance. It gleamed, and seemed to crawl away from his stare. He bent down and dipped one finger in it.

The pain was unbearable. It was everywhere, burning in his flesh, paining his spirit. For a moment he understood how the Priestess felt. He fell, gasping, onto the ashen earth – just as he heard another crunch. This time he couldn't move.

He was hoisted into the air. A strong arm yanked him around, and he stared into a face that was not a face. Its flesh glinted like polished stone. Two great wings protruded on either side of its bearded jaw and left only narrow slits for its eyes, which glowed with pale blue fire.

He slammed his foot against its chest and grunted with pain as a loud clang rang out. The creature laughed; it almost sounded like a man.

τιμή,” it said, then lifted him above its head with one arm.

τιμή,” it repeated, as it raised its other arm. A bulge protruded from its wrist, and inside a small cavity glowed that same blue light.

Then the fire came and Dolon thought no more.

Purple Prince fucked around with this message at Dec 30, 2013 around 01:14

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