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Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

I think, I *think* I may have recently run my mouth in IRC about how I fear no man and preemptively invited every judge of this week to give me a flash rule if they so please.

I *think*

Well anyway, you still have to read that poo poo, so Please inform me regarding your decision re: flash rules ASAP so I can get to work. Should I pick my decade now?

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Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014





Crits posted:

You suck, kill yourself.

I'm terribly sorry. It's like one of those fantastic ideas that you have while being not completely awake, and then cannot fathom why would you think that eggs and melon go together well. Alice in Wonderland references, a silly twist, no loving proof-reading before posting, it all added nothing good to an already nonsensical plot incoherent outside the context of a wikipedia article and dull characters who sit around doing nothing. I am ashamed and I should never touch prose ever again. Every piece of criticism was spot on and I thank you for that.

That said, I'm in with 1050s. Also, gently caress you.

Opposing Farce
Apr 1, 2010

Ever since our drop-off service, I never read a book.
There's always something else around, plus I owe the library nineteen bucks.

I said I would do Thunderdome and at some point I guess I really do gotta stop being a goddamn coward. In with the 2020s, because the rules don't say I can't and I fully intend to be the nail that sticks out and gets pounded down.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should!

td19


Entenzahn posted:

Should I pick my decade now?


Tyrannosaurus posted:

Make sure you include your choice of decade when you sign up.

No Longer Flaky
Nov 16, 2013

by Lowtax


I'm in 1990

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!


I read that, I was basically asking if someone wanted to flash-rule my choice of decade first. Signing in with the 1420s then.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

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

Erogenous Beef posted:


A point made often by our own SurreptitiousMuffin - you cannot hang a story on dialogue alone.

I can if I want! You're not my real dad, and Muffin isn't my real mum!

EDIT: Also in with, oh, I dunno, the 3140s.

Chairchucker fucked around with this message at Jan 28, 2014 around 13:13

ReptileChillock
Jan 7, 2014

by Lowtax


Entenzahn posted:

I read that, I was basically asking if someone wanted to flash-rule my choice of decade first. Signing in with the 1420s then.

FLASH RULE

Your story shall be written from the third person. The crux of the story shall occur at a time different than that at which the story is told. A flashback would be the most hamfisted way of doing this, if you need an example.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


The Saddest Rhino posted:

“Let me regale you the story of the Hantu Buntut,” Iqbal told Natalie.

“And then the hand becomes very long and snatches the boy by the butt, and pulls him into the toilet and he disappears forever.

This made me laugh, and when I was a kid I was afraid of something like this happening. More like a sewer rat or something, but it's the same fear of harm to your exposed, unseen, vulnerable nethers. Not bad.

Guiness13 posted:

Home (149 Words)

It was the summer of 1932, and Rose stepped up to the plate...

Is this broad's name Rose or Rosa? Consistency. Who's story is this? Are you a woman named Rose from the 1920s? This story is competently written but it's not very good. Why is her mom pissed that she's playing baseball? Is it because it's not what a proper young lady would do? You have very few words and you're not getting the point across, a more simple childhood story would be better.

Paladinus posted:

Babushkina Skazka.
(150 slov)


So she looked from above into every corner of lions’ domain and she found no bears.’

Is this about Russian immigrants assimilating into British culture? If so, drat. Good poo poo.

crabrock posted:

Consequences
150 words


“Oh, I’m terribly sorry. I thought maybe you were using drugs. What sort of tomfoolery is this?”

“I have not heard of this leisure-time activity.”

After school, Chester went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and murdered his parents.

This had me laughing because I got pretty much the same poo poo from my parents when I was a kid. I had to explain that nobody actually kills themselves when their PC dies when I started playing Shadowrun in college.

BTW the past tense of slay is slew or slain, not slayed.

Good poo poo.

crabrock posted:


Shortcuts
150 words


Ned was high on cocaine, getting sucked off by a model, and racing down the street in his brand new convertible when he struck Javier’s mother and killed her.

He got 150 hours of community service.

When a thick envelope from Ned arrived, Javier thought maybe it was the apology he’d been waiting for. It was a notice of foreclosure.

Shameful edit, but I'm gonna let it slide because it's loving perfect. I like that you went the other way from the first story, like a reverse cautionary tale.


J. Comrade posted:

Pop drove the mule cart down to Denver with all hundred fifty dollars. Plans to fix out a proper cabin for us all, doors windows and such. Buy two doors and window frames, in Denver. Making his way back from Denver (we suppose some cargo here), South of Laramie a wind caught the ash from his pipe. From here it goes: 'you knew Pop' (meaning that tattooed drunken savage drunk again as always) 'drove on hard as he could'. And the cart kindled into a blaze. No notice of danger he’d never let up on the mule (sure sounds like Pop). Finally a singe on his brim, he leaped clear of the wreck. The mule died in the blaze, cart and cargo of course lost. And so that is how Pop arrived safely back home with less-than nothing to show for all the money in the world.

This isn't good at all. It's clumsy and poorly-written with no flow or cadence. And I'm not sure what the point of the story is either. I quoted the whole thing because everything stands out as bad.

THE WINNER

crabrock for both stories. They both win.

THE LOSER

J. Comrade.

Don't post some loving poo poo about "contrition" and whatever the gently caress in response to my crit.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In, requesting a flash rule and a decade from someone.

Jagermonster
May 7, 2005

Hey - NIZE HAT!


Noah posted:

In, requesting a flash rule and a decade from someone.

Decade: 1810
Flash rule: someone related to the protagonist must die


In, also requesting a decade.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Jagermonster posted:

In, also requesting a decade.

2050

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

Martello posted:

Shameful edit

I edited the second story in rather than double post so :P

also, in with the 1990s, because if Flaky is doing it, it's probably a good idea.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Because who's better suited to crit multiple-time TD winners than
<--- this guy


The Saddest Rhino
rear end in a top hat Ghost

This made me laugh. Then I read through it again and laughed some more. Iqbal is a rad storyteller. Awesome voice.

This story as cake: Malakofftorte (My favorite )


Guiness13
Home

This is cute and well written, but is it a children's story where you're from? Is it even a story? A girl scores at baseball. That's it?

This story as cake:
You brought delicious churros to the party. You insist they're cake.


Martello
Nu Mulu di Bertoldo

The whole story is set up like a joke you tell your buddies at the bar and then you get to the punchline and you go "By the way it was fake that's the joke" and it kinda peters out. This had all the makings of a star, and it's still good, but the last line is a wasted opportunity IMO.

This story as cake: You didn't crit my story. No cake for you.


Paladinus
Babushkina Skazka.

I kinda like this. You make clever use of your frame story. Gives me a wistful vibe. The negative: in comparison with the rest of your story, the final tale sounds hurried and the ending is a little abrupt. I'm also not sure if the Great Bear god entity fits the analogy, but maybe that's how the story was told to you, so whatever.

This story as cake: Chocolate cake. "Somebody" scraped off a chunk of icing with his finger.


crabrock
Consequences

You had me at "Leisure-time activity". This is silly and straight to the point and I love it.

This story as cake:
Vanilla ice cream cake w/ Smarties and whipped cream


crabrock
Shortcuts

I'm probably a big dumb illiterate baby but you jumped between Javier, Ned and Javier's mother so often I had to focus not to lose track. Other than that, very dark and to the point again. Based on a true story.

This story as cake: You already had cake.


J. Comrade
Pop

Uhhhhhh... I'm sorry, what? I blanked out. I wish I could tell you more but to be honest I look at the words and then at the order they're put in and something in me just shuts off.

This story as cake: Vegetable cake on your birthday.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


I'm also in, but I'd also like a flash-rule as well as a judge-selected decade (preferably somewhere in the twentieth century!).

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004

Drinking shows a real commitment to becoming a cooler person!


I haven't thunderdomed in a while and also haven't written anything I like in slightly less of a while; the two facts are probably connected.

I'm in, going for 1860s and gently caress it flash rule me someone

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should!

td19


Nikaer Drekin posted:

I'm also in, but I'd also like a flash-rule as well as a judge-selected decade (preferably somewhere in the twentieth century!).

Wish granted. 1970s.

FLASH RULE
Eddie Aikau went missing in '78. Tell me what happened to him.



Whalley posted:

I haven't thunderdomed in a while and also haven't written anything I like in slightly less of a while; the two facts are probably connected.

I'm in, going for 1860s and gently caress it flash rule me someone

FLASH RULE
Dinosaurs still walk the earth. They're fairly common, too, so don't make your story about discovering that they still exist.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Entenzahn posted:

This story as cake: You didn't crit my story. No cake for you.

Oh I didn't?

Entenzahn posted:

Questionable Content
150 words

“then a lunatic tailor runs in and cuts off the boy’s thumbs with giant scissors!”

The editor looks down at his notes, back up. “This is going to be a kid’s book, you say?”

“Okay, so there’s this little boy who slowly starves…”

This isn't terrible. I'm guessing these are the types of old-wives tales your mom or grandma told you, so you're making the parallel of someone trying to sell them as a children's book.

Then again, there are published kid's books as bad or worse than that. It's not bad, like I said, but I think you could have been better with a different tack. Maybe the grandma telling the kid, or do what crabs did and make the cautionary tale into the actual story. This comes off as you trying to be too clever (possibly by half) and not really pulling it off.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL




I'm in with the 2000s, and a .

And you know what?

Flashrule me.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly


I'd like to sign up for the year 2130, if that's okay.

ReptileChillock
Jan 7, 2014

by Lowtax


The Leper Colon V posted:

I'm in with the 2000s, and a .

And you know what?

Flashrule me.

FLASHRULE

I'm going to click the random link on wikipedia, and you will have to incorporate that into your story.

edit: what luck! Daryoush Ayyoubi must somehow be written into your story!

ReptileChillock fucked around with this message at Jan 29, 2014 around 00:05

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Ohmygod what will it be

ReptileChillock
Jan 7, 2014

by Lowtax


CHECK THE PREVIOUS POST

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

curlingiron posted:

Parting Shot
407 words


His hands shook as he developed the negatives. He couldn’t bear to let anyone else do it, to take away these last moments he would have with her. His private darkroom had always been his escape from the world; here, now, the smell of the developer and fixer, the feel of the black and white film he had always insisted on, all combined to form a safe space for him to grieve. I like what you do with this but not how you do it. Tell/show.

One by one, the pictures became clear. The camera he had given her as an anniversary gift had been her constant companion for the last year and a half. He loved that she had taken an interest in his work, and marveled that he had ever been so lucky as to be worthy of a woman like her. When we talk about tell vs show? This is exactly what we're talking about. Have a flashback, describe a scene, do anything but just tell us this kind of thing.

This roll of film was her last, found in her effects. 'Effects' is weak and cliché. You could have told us a lot by saying where it was found, particularly given that it's basically a suicide note.

The shots of the city skyline were expected, as were the shots of nature; she had always preferred still life over any other subject. The shots of the inside of their home were less characteristic, but with the move and the remodel, he thought he could see what she had been thinking. He even found a few shots of himself, sometimes smiling at the camera, usually looking away. This is a waste - you had a great opportunity for telling us all about the dead wife in an interesting elliptical way and you kind of muffed it.

The shots of the planned nursery were hard to take; he had kept the door closed for months, unable to deal with the reminder of his additional loss. Seeing them now, his vision blurred, cleared, blurred again as he blinked.

As he came to the last three shots, he felt his heart race. A wide shot of her, alone, at the kitchen table, facing the camera. Light streamed through the bay windows she loved so much, highlighting her hair, her face, the piece of paper she held up to the camera.

“I love you.”

It took him several minutes before he could find his composure, before he could begin to prime the next photo. My brother used to do B&W developing and it's a fascinating process and you clearly know about it, but I'm not getting a strong impression of the physicality of what your protagonist is doing. Given that's all that happens in this story, that's a significant failing.

The same shot, another page.

“I’m sorry.”

He felt a wrench in his chest. She hadn’t left a note, had never said the word ‘goodbye,’ but the shot stared back at him, oddly prescient. Why is it oddly prescient.

One more photo. He didn’t know if he could take it. He had craved resolution for so long, but he didn’t know if he could face it now that he might actually have it. why would he assume he'd get any resolution from this? you've given us no reason to expect that he would.

He owed it to her, though. To see it through.

The image appeared.

“It wasn’t yours.” Jeeeeeze what an awful person. This is clearly intended to have a big emotional impact but it doesn't, because we don't know her at all and we don't know him (though you come closer with that). I'm not a fan of trick endings, too, which this is. There're two possible things you could have done with this, 1. an interesting and metaphorical parallel between the elaborate process of manually developing film and the relationship between two people, 2. make us understand why placard chick topped herself. You failed 1 and mostly failed 2. Do better.

Mr_Wolf posted:

Tonight- 972 words.

I died a thousand times last night.

I woke up Though past tense is a good standard, I think this would all work quite a lot better in present tense to a blurred world. I ran my fingers across my belly, feeling the hundreds of scars deep on my body's landscape. Each one telling told a cruel story; a swipe with a poison-tipped knife, broken bottles tearing at my flesh and a hundred other vile full-stops to that current life, a punishment to for a deed I had long forgotten.

It once told me that it hurt when I was breathing. While this is a nice creepy idea, i think you're presuming too much by just dropping an 'it' at this end of the story and making us wait to work out what 'it' is My every breath was a dull ache in its stomach, my every blink was a crashing symbol CYMBAL FFFS inside its head. That's why it killed me. That's why it will always kill me. “It's not personal.”

I got up and stumbled into a damp wall. It felt smooth to the touch and was covered with a cloudy liquid that smelled like copper. I looked to where I had woken and noticed a dark stain marking my last end. I had to keep moving otherwise it'd find me again. I have been playing a lot of Demons Souls lately so this feels familiar

Every one of my deaths is carefully etched onto my memory, the pain sings a song I can't ignore. Sometimes I can remember things from my past life; the sun on my neck on a Summer's day, my baby's fingers wrapped round my index finger or biting the bottom of my boyfriend's ice-cream cone and laughing as the contents ran down his hand. I think this would work better if they were more random and weren't such Central Casting 'good memories'

I heard a patter of tiny feet scurry past behind me. DEMON BABIES!!! A cacophony of noise began to clatter in my head. ugh, this is a horrible sentence I held my head in my hands and began to scrunch bad word choice, 'scrunch' is cutesy my long hair as the noise increased. I needed to find it, I needed silence.

Running quickly between the narrow walls, my feet splashing through the shallow water, I didn't need to look where I was going: these walls felt like home.

It was shivering in the corner when I first saw it. It had a long robe on with a large hood covering its face. I felt like every time it breathed I could feel my blood begin to boil inside, my heart beginning to sizzle and burn.

I ripped its hood off and looked into its eyes. I felt as though I tumbled into them, spiralling into the dark. Then I saw the faces of a million people scream out of the darkness as I continued to fall. They all looked at me with despair, their eyes filled with tears and I remembered them all. I had killed them. I held their life in my hands and after ignoring their pathetic pleas I crushed them. you are pretty much writing a heavy metal album cover here

It pleaded with me to let it go, to let it scurry off into the dark again like a rat. Before I could respond I was digging into its back with my hands. I was tearing the flesh away from the bone, my nails began to scratch against its spine. I wrenched part of the lower spine out, the nerve endings flopped between my fingers, it felt like cold spaghetti. lol

The screams entered my head and I sang along with them. A song to score my beautiful act, a gift for a job well done.

“It's not personal” I said

I sat next to the corpse for a while and waited. My lower back began to burn, I tried to stand but my legs couldn't help me any more. A dull pain pulsated through them as the burning in my back intensified.

A light began to emit oh god no from the corpse's eyes. I looked into them and felt myself lifted away. I saw a blonde woman lying on a bed. She was sleeping and I sat next to her and smiled. I looked down and saw I was wearing dark bloody overalls. I was holding a large knife.

I was violently dragged backwards out of that place. A million memories began to flick through my head; in handcuffs on a warm Summer's day as screams rang out, holding my baby's hands before I dropped him in the bath and beating my girlfriend for making me spill ice-cream on myself. oh, ok, that's actually reasonably clever.

I was back sat on the cold floor, the pain in my back had spread up my back. I couldn't feel my legs, my arms began to tingle and I felt the dark trying to seduce me, trying to make me go into it, never to come back.

Lying there I felt someone's presence in the room. I heard them drag the man's corpse away, fearing I would be next I let out a noise I thought would be “Who's there?”

“Don't worry dear. This one is finished, he's going to pay his dues now.”

I tried to lift my head to see who this person was but that proved impossible: my whole body was limp.

“Lie still, another one will be along soon. You're not done just yet”


With that my body fell through the floor. GET BUILDING INSPECTRE IN HERE STAT I hurtled backwards through the air as I watch the ceiling disappear at a rapid pace. was its velocity also most considerable? Freezing cold air whipped through my bloody clothes as I continued to fall. dum de doo. you could cut these two sentences.

I wondered where I was going. I began to wonder if the scars weren't inflicted on me, maybe my body had to take some of their pain. The suffering I gave them had to be paid back to me, my body a canvass for a painting centuries old.

The dark took me into its arms and held me for a while. I woke up on a damp floor, I looked at the walls and they were covered in a cloudy liquid. I had to leave before it got me again.

I saw a shadow flit past to the side of me. A voice deep in me told me what had to be done.

“It's not personal” I repeated to myself. I suspect you think this works better than it actually does - it's a good element, but I'm not convinced you make the personal/impersonal distinction important enough for it to matter.

I died a thousand times last night and tonight i'll die a thousand more. ok this is about a pound of clever in a five pound bag of story - there's an ok 'Harlan Ellison on a bad day' horror vibe in your overall set up, but there's way too much wibbling about with lifting, and falling and dropping through poorly constructed flooring &c. Plus, present tense really would work better.

E: oh - wrong story. OH WELL.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jan 29, 2014 around 01:51

Peel
Dec 3, 2007



Let's get going on the Mystery crits.


Rainbow Unicorn: The Lisa Incident

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...4#post424558125

This is inventive, with a decently haunting punch. I’d normally criticise having all the action unfold out of sight of our narrator, but it works in this instance because bla bla modern society bla alienation blah. Good payload for a mystery.

What lets it down is the construction. The first section is a cutsey-quirky spat of the sort that’s very difficult to write successfully and is tonally dissonant with the rest of the story. The second section doesn’t have those problems, but it fails to develop anything compelling, which the story should be doing by now in its second section. It’s only in the third section that we get some real tension and so drive to uncover the truth, and by then the reader has almost lost interest.

You could probably have cut the first section entirely and rewritten the second to incorporate the needed information.


Mr_Wolf: He knows what he likes

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...4#post424573404

Oh boy.

First off: Language. I’m wondering if you’re ESL, because there’s a lot of grammatical errors in this. A selection:

quote:

Professor Lindoff perched on the edge of his oak desk, he removed his glasses and placed them into their case.

This is two complete sentences, but you’ve joined them with a comma. It should be one sentence with no ‘he’, or two sentences. The ‘he’ just reintroduces a subject you were already talking about.

It was quite obviously too far away to have a normal conversation from but Lindoff had spent £11,000 on his marble floor and nobody was to move any furniture.

Watch your tenses. The story is already taking place in the past, you want to specify that the purchase is even further in the past.

The professor's forehead formed a thin layer of sweat across itself.

Second off: Content. I think this is supposed to be a comedy. The problem is, it isn’t funny. The three stooges are sniggering shitheads delivering a barrage of flat ‘banter’ and the professor is ‘wacky’ without any of the charisma needed to pull it off. Comedy needs charisma. Even cringe comedy needs characters with charisma enough to make us empathetic with their inability to deploy it.

Also, poo poo isn’t automatically funny. A lot of people needed to learn that this week.

Third off: Construction. I’ll focus on the end here. The big twist is that the dog did it. It’s an obvious twist, but you could have gotten away with it with good delivery. It needed to come with a punch, but instead it just appears nearly 200 words from the end, and the story keeps going for some reason with more boring banter and wacky professoring.


Conclusion: Tighten up your grammar, think harder about how to deliver important information in your story, and if you’re attempting comedy (a tough brief), be funnier.


SurreptitiousMuffin: The enigma of who keeps taking my drat lunch

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...5#post424586431

This is a good idea and animatedly written but isn’t doing it for me for some reason. It’s coming across as a little flat and forced compared to your usual. This may be because of the very abrupt, declarative sentences, which may be intentional but sound rushed and artifical to me.


Jagermonster: Rest for the Wicked

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...5#post424601281

There was some dislike for this among the judges but I didn’t personally have a big problem with it, besides it being the second poo poo mystery in four stories. The actual formal content of the mystery itself, the setup leading to the twist and the twist itself, I thought was well executed.

On the other hand, there’s a serious lack of structure. There’s no demarcation of scene shifts, just a continuous stream of paragraphs that makes the story hard to follow. Maybe try working from a plan and aiming for maximum clarity in your next story.


Baudolino: How Tommie died.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...5#post424609825

This almost lost. Let’s look at the first couple of paragraphs.

quote:

Inspector Isaac looked down the young man lying dead and stiff on the frozen parking space outside of “ Grootz`s Golfing shop”. Isaac waived the pathologist over to him” Good day Larson, give me the facts”.

You want ‘waved’ here, not ‘waived’, and you need a full stop at the end of the sentence before Isaac speaks.

” The victim`s head, neck, and forearms have been smothered with extreme force. It`s possible that he might have been dragged around post-mortem.

You don’t need both ‘possible’ and ‘might’. Either one establishes uncertainty.

Very little blood on the scene, so he probably did not die here. His clothes are partially covered in grey dust. We also found his keys and wallet, his driver`s license was inside.” Larson gave him the card” Tommie Mathieson” it said and included his address.

You want a full stop between ‘card’ and ‘“Tommie’. The same error as in the second sentence.

Isaac bade Larson give him the keys.

‘Bade’ isn’t in common usage in modern English.


It’s riddled with problems. I didn't even flag everything that struck me as wrong. Some of these I think are ESL problems, but not all of them, and either way you need to work on punctuation and word choice. Read a great deal and keep writing by whatever trick you need to do that, because only a lot of input and output will teach you the skills you need. But that’s just the language, and I’d look past a lot of it for a good story. That’s not this.

It’s just not a very interesting mystery in content or structure. The content is ordinary and straightforward, so you need something interesting in character or storytelling or just very good writing to make it stand out, and you don’t have any of that. To solve the mystery our detective walks through a series of clues to a pointless meeting with Daniel, then has a sudden revelation of the solution apropos of nothing. No brilliant deductions, no twists and turns, no nothing.

The story as a whole is empty and pointless. There’s a mystery, and it’s solved, but to what end?

Nika
Aug 9, 2013

like i was tanqueray

Going with 1890.

Danger408
Mar 18, 2009


I'd like to try my hand at this, and I'll go with the 1770s.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Kaishai posted:

Sitting Here vs. SurreptitiousMuffin Thunderbrawl: John William Waterhouse

Each of you can craft beautiful imagery; I want to see what you do with beautiful imagery as your starting point. John Waterhouse is one of my favorite artists, not least because he draws so often from literature, poetry, and myth. I don't want you to consider the source when you write about the women in these paintings, however. Come up with something entirely new.

Sitting Here: The Shrine

SurreptitiousMuffin: Boreas

Turn the picture you've been given into a story of no more than 1,000 words by Saturday, January 25, 11:59pm US Eastern.
Ugh, this was harder than it looks. Props to Crabrock and Sebmojo for helping me make it something actually readable.




The Vigilant

Orpheus lacked backbone. He turned back and in doing so, committed the great sin: doubt. He was the original sucker, from whom every lost love is descended. The ur-loser, whose statue in the hall of heroes is made of cardboard and gaffer tape. Eurydice was behind him the whole time, but he doubted her and he paid for it. You told me his story while we lay naked in a field where yellow flowers grew in ragged rows. They pierced the evening mist with their colour alone: little lamps to light the way home.

We were very drunk and very happy. The farmer was neither when he found us, and we learnt new ways to run. I almost twisted my ankle in a rabbit hole when I turned to check on you. Judging from the farmer's shouts, he got about five seconds away from giving me both barrels. I doubted you, and the hammer of god tried to knock a shotgun shell full of rocksalt right up my rear end in a top hat. You grabbed my arm on the way past and dragged me with you, always surging forward.

We laughed about it later. I took one thing away from that day:

Never turn back, never give up: doubt is for suckers

It came and went so fast: the cancer, among other things. You wanted to be fired out of a cannon but we couldn't afford it. I couldn’t abandon the principle of the thing, so I had you cremated, stuck the ashes into a firework, then snuck back out to the field-where-we-lay and lit the fuse. Yellow sparks, of course. They stole the sky for you, and lit the way home. Your ash rained down over the field, nourishing the flowers.

I came back a year later and they had grown huge, so I took one home. Planted it in a little plastic pot and left it outside the bedroom window to catch the sun. Not that it needed it: it was a little light of its own.

When that flower died I went back to the field and took two more, and planted them together in the yard. I figured something in the plastic killed the first, and a more natural solution might help. I watered the new flowers every day, but they died too. I took five more, and planted them at different spots around the house to see where the problem lay. They wilted; their lights went out.

That hasn't stopped me. I doubted you once and nearly got my rear end shot off for my sins. If there is anybody with the will who can give Death Itself the middle finger, it’s you. You’ve always been right behind me. You are my Eurydice, and I will not turn back.

I open the door every morning to get the paper, and you are not standing there waiting for me. It won't stop me trying. I will not turn back. I have love, backbone, trowels and fertilizer. With filthy hands and sore eyes, I will leave you a trail of flowers to light the way home.





[522 words]

Lake Jucas
Feb 20, 2011


For his first time in the Thunderdome, The Lake is read to bring the literary deluge.

In. 1470s.

J. Comrade
May 2, 2008


Thanks for the crit. I do realize I'm not that good at flash fiction or posting. I'll get better. Taking off a couple weeks I'll try again when I get back.

J. Comrade fucked around with this message at Jan 29, 2014 around 23:43

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

J. Comrade posted:

Pop drove the mule cart down to Denver with all hundred fifty dollars. I like the narrative voice you establish here, and 'mule cart' and 'all hundred fifty dollars' (implicitly a lot of money) economically places us in period.Planned tense to fix out a proper cabin for us all, doors, windows and such. Bought two doors and window frames, in Denver. Making his way back from Denver (we suppose some cargo here), South of Laramie a wind caught the ash from his pipe. From here it goes: You're already in reported narrative, you don't need to go the extra step of reporting your reportage. 'you know Pop (that tattooed drunken savage drunk again as always) He drove on hard as he could'. And as the cart kindled into a blaze. No notice of danger; he’d never let up on the mule (sure sounds like Pop). Finally a-singe on his brim, he leaped clear of the wreck. The mule died in the blaze, cart and cargo of course lost. And so that is how Pop arrived safely back home with less-than nothing to show for all the money in the world.

This got slammed, for good reason, but I like the laconic 'settin' on the stoop chaw'n on tabacky' quality of it. Messy as hell though; you really can't afford to be so sloppy in 100 words.

Do not respond to this crit.

monkeyboydc
Dec 2, 2007

Unfortunately, we had to kut the English budget at the Ivalice Magick Ackcademy.

In with the 2090's.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should!

td19


Entenzahn posted:

I think, I *think* I may have recently run my mouth in IRC about how I fear no man and preemptively invited every judge of this week to give me a flash rule if they so please.

I *think*

Well anyway, you still have to read that poo poo, so Please inform me regarding your decision re: flash rules ASAP so I can get to work. Should I pick my decade now?

Fine.

FLASH RULE

Your story is an allegory for the War on Drugs

elfdude
Jan 23, 2014

Mad Scientist

In.

1910's.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL




Signing up for this was a terrible idea.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


The Leper Colon V posted:

Signing up for this was a terrible idea.

too bad baby bitch

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

I's got poo poo to do this week, so I'm pasting in my story early.

Triumphant story from the 1990s

I am the Phoenix
572 words


http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=1577

crabrock fucked around with this message at Feb 19, 2014 around 18:34

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Re: Brawls. I don't like to get too E/N in thread, but basically it's been really hard to write while worrying about IRL things. So sorry Echo/Martello, I'll have something for you guys this weekend, but stuff keeps coming up and it's been REALLY loving HARD to produce shitmagicianry aka writing.

Anyway here is something terrible for my muffin brawl.



Of Roses
917 words

The chemist's son was fat-cheeked, pointy-chinned, and baleful-eyed. He waited until his father had gone into the drugstore's storeroom, then pressed his groin into the girl's backside as she leaned against the counter.

He did not know she was of the roses.

He yelped and jumped back, clutching at himself. When the girl turned to look at him, her eyes were full of thorns.

The chemist's son held up a small knife; the light of the shop danced on the blade as it trembled. "If you'll not have me, you'll not have anyone," he said.

"There is no one," the girl said quietly. The quivering knife lowered a few inches.

"What do you mean?"

"I belong to the roses." And the girl told the chemist's son of her father, how Mother said he'd been found outside of a gambling den, face down in a pile of red, of cheap crushed velvet and blood. But the girl knew the truth; she'd seen the euphoric look on his face that day, had smelled the perfume of their far-off, secret home around him, as though he were half gone already.

By the time the chemist returned with a tincture for the girl's mother, his son was entranced by something different than lust. Something worshipful. The chemist saw the look on his son's face, bagged the tincture and thrust it into the girl's hands.

"Go," said the chemist. "And tell your mother I won't sell to you anymore. She'll have to send someone else."

The girl smiled at the chemist's son as she left the shop.

--

She gathered the layers of her skirts and padded down the stairs onto the forgotten terrace, where once her father gave her roses. Today, today, today, today, her heart sang. She'd seen the circle of toadstools. She knew today was the day she would go home.

The terrace was mossy and wild, the stone stairs smooth from the erosion. They had a downward cant and were wet from last night's rain, and she had to be mindful not to fall and risk breaking the vial that hung on a string around her neck. Roses grew wild between cracks in the flagstones.

Roses were thought to be a delicate flower, just as she was thought to be a delicate girl of only seventeen years. Mother's husband believed that, like roses, delicate girls must be pruned and plucked at if they want their bloom to fetch a wealthy buyer.

Mother's husband had never been to the forgotten terrace, had forbade the girl from visiting it.

He had never seen the roses.

The masonry of the terrace walls was slumped in on itself; sconces that once bore friendly torchlight over laughing, red-cheeked garden parties are empty and rusted. The first chill of the year was on the tip of the wind's tongue, a whisper of the big sleep to come. The wintery death of roses.

The girl could not bear another season without roses.

She’d met with the chemist’s son once more, in secret. Just in case, he had whispered when he pressed into her hand the vial containing a tincture of deadly nightshade. In case the toadstools were wrong. In case her forgotten terrace and her roses didn’t deliver her away from the manor and her family and Mother's new husband, who she refused to call father.

Near the bottom of the wilted stairs was a shelf set into the aged and slouching wall. Her father might've put a prized bouquet there on a summer's eve, but the girl had only been able to steal two small, plain black vases from the parlor in the manor. They were surrounded by petals, from the roses she'd arranged there the week before. The girl took it as a good sign that the wind hadn't swept the petals from her altar.

She leaned down and breathed in deep the scent of her small bouquets. She understood. Just as her father understood on that last day. The aroma of roses was heady and warm, even in the early autumn chill. She could see in her mind's eye fields upon fields of roses, singing motes of light drifting above them in currents of perfume. Home.

She held up the vial of nightshade. Just in case. But the chemist’s son had handed her the key, not insurance.

The girl kneeled before her little altar of flowers, staining the white of her skirts. She raised the vial to her lips. She swallowed.

-

Mother's husband couldn’t ignore it any longer. It’d been two days since they'd seen the girl, and the overpowering smell of roses from the old overgrown terrace on the corner of the estate was conspicuous.

"What's she been up to, eh?" he grumbled to Mother as he pulled on his boots. Mother kept to her needlework.

Mother's husband trudged out across the grounds, slipping in mud, to the forgotten terrace. He reached the top of the wilted staircase and stopped.

Roses, hundreds of them, twisted around each other as though fighting for access to open sky. They were new bushes with velvety petals and taut green foliage. All of them stemmed from a single mound.

It took only the barest glimpse of a lacy cuff, a bit of pale skin, to send mother's husband walking stiffly and quickly back to the house.

Mother didn’t look up when he came in, but her needle slipped anyway, leaving a tiny red blossom where it pricked her

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Nikaer Drekin posted:

too bad baby bitch

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Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Fanky Malloons posted:

Based on sage advice from my esteemed fellow goons in IRC, I restarted my submission completely at 9:08.

The Hum 757 words

Oscar stood in the middle of the stone circle with his eyes closed, his backpack at his feet. The hum filled his whole body. He could feel it in his stomach, like the bass thrum when he listened to music with Talise. The hum also filled his head, although he had given up trying to determine if it made a sound, and if he was hearing it, or if it was just a vribration What are these "vribrations" you speak of?, or if it was something else entirely. It was difficult for Oscar to tell. He had no baseline for comparison when it came to what sounds sounded like this is a little awkward. I know what you're saying but you might want to come up with something that doesn't repeat "sound" twice. because he had been deaf since he was born. Good.

Talise had explained the hum to him though. She said that lots of people heard it, but that more people didn't, and that was why no-one believed it was real. Talise said that she heard it too. Sometimes it was so quiet that she wasn't sure if she could hear it at all or if she was just imagining it, and other times it was so loud that she didn't understand how the whole town couldn't hear. Oscar hoped that Talise wouldn't be mad at him for running away without her, but the feeling that he had to come and find the source of the hum by himself was too strong ignore. She would probably understand. She had helped him learn sign language since he was a baby, and even when she didn't babysit him any more, she still let him hang out with her after school, in the book store where she worked. She always let him sit up by the counter, so that he could watch her and the customers talk with their mouths. She would probably definitely understand. Good telling paragraph. In a short like this, as some of us know, you sometimes have to tell a little.

He opened his eyes. The dusky gray of the deepening twilight had been replaced by the flat glow of the moon. The hum in Oscar's head got louder, pressing against the inside of his skull. This is good but I want something more evocative. A more unique simile or metaphor. I know you can come up with something, I've seen you do it. He wondered if this was it felt like to hear all the time. I have no frame of reference for the way deaf people think of sound, but this feels right. He wasn't sure he liked it. This is also good because it raises a question - if you've had a certain disability since birth, is it possible you might not want to change? Maybe you're comfortable with it and the idea of gaining that ability is frightening. He unzipped the backpack and took out a trowel. He hadn't been able to make the shovel fit, and he didn't want anyone to see him carrying it and ask him what he was doing. This is too on-the-nose, make it shorter and less explicit. Also, you have four sentences in a row starting with "he." Might want to change it up. Most people in the neighbourhood couldn't read his signs, but he wasn't sure he would have been able to explain even if he could talk normally. I feel like Oscar wouldn't think of it as "normal." He might say "talk out loud" or "talk with sound." He knelt between two of the largest stones in the circle and began to dig.

It took a long time to make the hole as big as he wanted it, Shameful comma splice working with the trowel was difficult. The moon sat high in the sky by the time Oscar stood and stretched the kinks out of his back. The hum was almost unbearable now. He felt like his bones might splinter and fall apart Redundant - and again I think you can come up with something more lyrical., it was all he could do to stay upright. He looked down at the lake and briefly CUT wondered what would happen if he let himself fall and roll down the hill towards it. He had heard that there were mermaids in the lake that came out during the full moon, and that they liked the taste of human flesh. Part of him wondered if that might be better that what he was about to do.

Slowly, Oscar removed his socks and shoes, stuffing them in his back pack and zipping it back up. Then, CUT he climbed into the hole he had dug CUT - what other hole is there? and reached out to touch the stones on either side of him CUT. The hum reached a crescendo End sentence here. Then something like "His skull was splitting down the center." I think most readers would know it was metaphor. that made him feel as if his skull was splitting down the center. He screamed silently as he realized that he couldn't see.

And then he could hear. He could hear. He could hear the sound of waves on the lake down below, the wind in the trees, and the rocks. The rocks had voices. They whispered and crooned and Oscar let the sound wash over him like rain. He tried to look down to find that he still couldn't see. His movements were slow. He tried to wiggle his toes, shift his feet in the little hole that he had dug You're really insecure about the reader thinking it might be another hole, huh., but he couldn't feel them anymore. Shhhh, said the stones, sing with us. The ground around his ankles closed as Oscar's skin slowly petrified, the gray and white patina of the other stones creeping up his arms and legs and down his forehead over his eyes. Sing with us whispered the stones. And Oscar began to hum. Great ending. Nice

The Hum

EDIT: Fixed the line breaks so that SaddestRhino doesn't cry about it. Deal with it.

Overall I like this story a lot. You need to polish it quite a bit, but I'm sure you already know that. I kept asking you for more evocative and lyrical writing. For a story like this, you need that. It's strange and beautiful and it needs strange and beautiful prose. I know you're capable of it. When you have a better draft done and want some feedback, share it on Drive with me or whatever.

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