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Phobia
Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
MIAMI MUTILATOR
and the deranged degenerates who only want their
15 MINUTES OF FAME.


OCK.


(Thanks docbeard.)

Biggest Monster
912 words

Oni showed up at her contact's bar past one in the morning. The safe room was in the basement. The haze of neon and cigarette smoke up top did not belie the low-hanging lamps below, nor the shady hint to her middleman's grin. He slid the gym bag over to her, along with a manilla envelope.

She opened the envelope first. There was a cellphone and a picture, along with a note. The picture was of a father giving his daughter a piggyback ride. Both of them were laughing. Real candid moment.

"Cute little girl there." Her contact, Yoshi, said with a innocent litte smile.. He tapped the father's face. "That's him by the way. Hey, kid, listen. No offense? You need to be more careful with your clients."

Oni said nothing. She placed the picture down and started reading the note. The note detailed the man's intention to commit suicide. It also gave her the time, place and description of the target.

"Again, I mean no disrespect. Your guy today was an absolute wreck. All nerves, was practically crying up a storm when he made the drop off. Real liability."

Oni again said nothing. Her lips bunched as she reached for the phone. Phone was a brick, though the battery was fully charged. She flipped it open.

"He say what this is all about?" Oni asked.

"Yep." Yoshi lit a cigarette. "Said it was on the other side of the paper.”

“Thanks.”

She reached for the gymbag, noticing it was heavier than she expected. Oni unzipped the bag and the money spilled out. She took one of the bills and held it up.

"Five-hundred thousand." Yoshi took a drag from his cancer stick. "I checked already. It's all there, though I'd love it if you threw in a bonus, y'know?"

Oni pressed her fingers to her temples. She asked fifty, he gave her five hundred. Part of her tried to rationalize that he wasn't going to need the money after she finished the job. The note made that very clear. She could not help feeling the least bit guilty as she slipped Yoshi his stack of bills and left.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oni checked the phone. There were pictures. There was a video. All recorded on the phone.

She wish she had just cut that goddamn line.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oni's original plan was to hit the target in his hotel room at 8 PM. However, she did not anticipate him to head straight to the hotel bar and start hitting on every girl there. Oni watched him in that dark corner, eyes glancing at the ring around his finger. Two hours she spent, watching a man well into his fifties drinking his rear end off in the hopes of getting his dick wet. Oni's frown morphed into an ugly sneer just thinking about it. She was not getting paid enough for this.

But she was certain it was him. No doubt.

He eventually got to his feet, hobbling over to the bathrooms. Oni checked her watch. She adjusted the cap on her head and stood.

Oni blocked the door with a nearby mop. Her target was at a urinal. If this was going to happen, it had to happen now. She walked up behind him and pushed him on the shoulder.

"Whuh?" The man staggered, squinting. "Ain't… Ain't this the men's-"

The man shuddered to a halt when the knife tore through his chest. Oni withdrew, letting him tumble to the tile floor. Oni was on top of him in an instant. She brought the knife down, digging into the man's stomach while her mouth clasped over his mouth. Her whole body moved with the blade, striking more and more as droplets of red flew in all directions. Eventually the man stopped struggling but she did not stop, in fact the silence only served to make her stab even harder. Oni desecrated his corpse like a pickaxe to an ice block, again and again, only stopping when her arm grew too numb to continue.

Oni stood. She made a mess. The urinal alone was like some macabre work of art. She clenched her teeth. Her gloves were covered. Her pantlegs were bloodless. There was piss on her cuff though. Serves her right for not letting him finish. She zipped up her jacket. Then she pulled out the picture of a father and daughter and threw it at the man’s corpse.

"Sick gently caress."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oni lost it. She admitted it. She was mad. But she had done just as the father instructed her to. The target ended his daughter. Oni remembered the picture, the expression of giggles rising from her belly almost palpable. Her father could never revel in her childish laughter.

Assassins revel in anonymity but Oni honestly wanted to speak to her client. She wanted to talk, or at least talk him down from killing himself. Had it been any other night, without the phone and the photo, she wouldn't even bat an eyelash at the idea of contacting a client after the hit. Now? She wasn’t sure. She was mixed on a lot of things.

Until that phone call, Oni only killed for money. But now that she witnessed true evil, she could not help feeling… no, satisfied was not the word. Peaceful seemed more appropriate. And at least she didn't have to worry about money for awhile.

Yoshi told her to be more careful with her clients. There may be some truth to that.

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Phobia
Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
MIAMI MUTILATOR
and the deranged degenerates who only want their
15 MINUTES OF FAME.


OCK.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

INTERPROMPT

The Book of Life looks really good. Write a story about the afterlife of the party. 200 words.

IT'S ALL FUN AND GAMES UNTIL SOMEONE EATS YOUR EYE
199 words.

Louis's 8th 10th birthday was all fun and games until Jerald took Louis's eye.

Mr. Peacock quickly broke up the scuffle with a leering snarl. "What's all this ruckus?"

"He took my eye." Louis said, streaming tears and blood and vitreous humour.

"Your eye? Who took your eye?"

Louis sniffed and pointed at Jerald. The eye was still connected to the cord and Jerald seemed more interested in chewing that than the eye itself. Mr. Peacock scraped his bony fingers down Jerald's face.

"Jerald, give your brother back his eye." Mr. Peacock hissed.

Jerald growled, showing grimy teeth. He limped right over to Louis and forced the eye back in. The socket began to twist until the eye was facing the right direction.

"Fine." Jerald moaned. "I didn't even want Louis's stupid eye."

Mr. Peacock placed one, bones cracking with each twist.

"That's it. You aren't getting any of the birthday brain. Go to your room."

"Laaame. I hate you dad."

"You keep this up and I'll take away your intestines for a week."

Jerald stuck out his dried-up tongue. Mr. Peacock placed his hand into Jerald's chest and pulled out his guts. Such is life in Zombie City.

Phobia fucked around with this message at Aug 11, 2014 around 22:02

AaronMFK
Jul 21, 2013


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

INTERPROMPT

The Book of Life looks really good. Write a story about the afterlife of the party. 200 words.

(199 words)

As God is a loving God, when the rapture came, everyone was taken into His bosom, leaving the Earth to spin on into darkness.

The churches slept soundly, and townhouses and farmhouses and their friends found quiet spots in the wilderness to settle down into decaying neighborhood families. Grocery stores sat on the outskirts, counseling those who of their place out amongst the trees and the rocks.

The city streets were left to the carousing sprees of that lesser class of buildings. Liquor stores stumbled through buckling parking lots, spilling their goods and shambling into the bars and restaurants who only wanted to be left to their philosophical talking over coffee and beer. If it wasn’t the liquor stores slurring along, it was the factories, always wanting to give their two cents.

The huge jails were overjoyed at the raucous revelries—they heaved themselves up and formed gangs of bricks and bars and fences. They claimed to keep the piece, but all lived in fear of their frequent blitzes.

And in the shadows of it all, bounce houses and brothels had squeaky sex while department stores looked on lustfully, bemoaning the tasteless display but refusing to close their blinds.

Duke of the Bump
Mar 10, 2007

Herzog Null

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

INTERPROMPT

The Book of Life looks really good. Write a story about the afterlife of the party. 200 words.

The Host With the Host (174 words)

Mark had been waiting at the pearly gates for five hundred years, and quite a line had formed behind him. Saint Peter finally showed up, walking slowly and wearing dark sunglasses and a pained expression on his face. He opened his book, thumbed through it, studied one of the pages for a minute, then looked up at Mark. "Mark... uh... Davidson? Of Milwaukee, right?"

"Yeah, what took you so long?"

"Sorry, I was invited to this party last millennium, and it got a little out of hand."

Mark shook his head. "I'd have thought things would be a little more organized up here."

Saint Peter sighed. "Look man, God keeps telling you to have another beer, what are you gonna do, tell him no?"

A voice boomed all around them. "PETER. COME, AND DO THAT THING WITH THE LAMPSHADE AGAIN. ZEUS HASN'T SEEN IT YET."

Mark and the billions of people in line groaned, and Saint Peter shut the book again. "Sorry, y'all. No promises, but I'll try to bring you guys some bread, okay?"

Duke of the Bump fucked around with this message at Aug 11, 2014 around 23:47

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Reminder to people who have done crits in Google Docs:

Comments are now invisible on docs unless the doc is set to enable everyone to comment, not just view, so please update permissions on crit docs you've posted and keep this in mind for later.

And hope Google fixes this because seriously.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Thunderdome CV Results

I asked for stories that stood on their own and yet made me want more. Miraculously, that is largely what I got.

A lot of stories this week, thirty entries and only three failures. Alas, poor Jick Magger, Crayonskies and Broenheim. And sadly, Phobia escaped the headsman's axe only to fall in the brawling pits. But let us not dwell upon the sorrows of the damned. A lot of the submissions were very good, some verging on excellent.

Surreptitious Muffin's story wins the day with universal acclaim from the judges. He painted a compelling picture of a world both unpleasant and compelling, a place I'd never want to visit but am dying to read more about, and wrote actual characters and an actual story and didn't make me hate myself all that was good and noble in the world on top of it.

HMs go to theblunderbuss, Thalamas, Meeple, and Djeser. And don't fret if you're not mentioned here, like I said, many of the stories this week were very good, and many more could get to very good with a little spit and polish.

But there were other stories, oh yes.

DMs to Obliterati, who appears to have given us some history homework by mistake, Jon Joe for a detailed and evocative description of quite a lot of miserable violence and an utter lack of attention given to anything else like, oh, characters and plot and why any of this is happening, lambeth for pretty much the same thing, really, and AaronMFK for what appears to have been an attempt at a sitcom without any actual humor involved.

Drunk Nerds is our loser. The only reason that Drunk Nerds is our loser is because there's not actually a worse category to put his story in. This was quite simply the most terrible, hateful thing it has been my displeasure to read in recent memory, and that includes Youtube comments, MMO chat logs, and samples of my own writing. Technical problems, cliche after cliche, and a climax that is both abhorrent and nonsensical. Write better than this. Please.

The floor is yours, Muffin. May God have mercy on your soul.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

docbeard posted:

Thunderdome CV Results


Surreptitious Muffin's story wins the day

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.



It's about loving time too. Jesus.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Mercedes posted:

It's about loving time too. Jesus.

Indeed.

Preemptively: in.

And: PROOOOOOOOOOOOOMPT

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Also preemptively in

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


I have classes to teach this morning. Prompt will be up after lunch (3 hours ish). In the meantime, get interprompting you dogs.



Rhino has agreed to be judge #2. My three choices for the third were sebmojo, SH and DocK, so DocK will you be my number three?

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.


Preemptively in

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


THUNDERDOME CVI

VH1 presents: Behind the Goon[sic]


fig 1: the goon writer strikes out in bold new directions

You know what sort of character we have too much of? Bruisers, brawlers, thugs, private detectives: general violent and unsavoury assholes who go around making the world a worse place. That ends here. This week, you're writing about musicians. I don't care how many there are, what they play or how good at it they are, but somebody in your story has got to have a song in their heart and it must be plot relevant.

In addition, everybody must use the same first and last lines.

Your first line is

The city lay before them. Strange how a single star can steal the eye, and change the shape of the night.

And your last line is:

The sun rose on a new day, just like any other. It was done. Not well, but close enough.

SIGNUPS: Friday night. CLOSED, NERDS. GET WRITING.
SUBMISSIONS: Monday morning. No, I will not elaborate on that. You want to try and wait to the last minute, it's your own drat problem. Get busy writing or get busy losing.

1027 words. Any genre, any setting or time period, bonus points if you do a dramatic reading of somebody else who posts this week. Bonus bonus points if you set it to music, except Sebmojo because that would be cheating. Go now, 'domers, and sing me a song I've never heard. Usual caveats apply: no fanfiction, no porn, make me give a gently caress.

JUDGES:

SupercilliousPuffin
TheMaddestWino
DoctorCockAndPussy

TROUBADORS:

Sebmojo - Choose two: protagonist is mute, blind or deaf. Civilised, Mile-Deep Darkness (IT'S MILE-DEEP, CIVILISED DARKNESS LOL WAY TO gently caress UP THE REFERENCE)
SittingHere Dead Star
Mercedes
Meinberg Protest Song
LOU BEGAS MOUSTACHE Pest Control
Thalamas Battle of the Band
Perpetulance Midnight Special
Club Sandwich The Astral Plane
Amused Frog A year to change the world.
Paladinus - the instrument is alive Double Act
docbeard Honor Her
Obliterari Aint No Devil Can Bring He Down
December Octopodes Untitled
Anathema Device - Somebody has lost a family heirloom, and they're desperate to get it back. Comet Song
Alpacalips Now The Golden Revelation
Ironic Twist Over and Over (Again and Again)
WeLandedOnTheMoon!
Grizzled Patriarch Notes in an Empty Room
the wildest turkey The Big Break
Hammer Bro. Regicide
Entenzahn Love Songs
Schneider Heim Busker's Jam

TARDY TO SIGN UP, AND SUBJECT TO WHIPPING WITH GUITAR STRINGS:

God Over Djinn - Your protagonist is a rapper. Their instrument is voice. Genre: fantasy.
Tyrannosaurus - The instrument is a Maori Nose Flute. Must not be set in New Zealand, no hipsters. Because Sometimes You’re Not Appreciative Because You Just Don’t Understand
Phobia - the song music genre is pop ye ye or dangdut, and the setting must be in either Malaysia or Indonesia.

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at Aug 18, 2014 around 04:53

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


In

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


in yo

Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

I'm in.

perpetulance
Mar 24, 2013

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

Club Sandwich
May 25, 2012


IN

Amused Frog
Sep 8, 2006
Waah no fair my thread!

In.

Does this end the interprompt?

Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014



In with . Wouldn't mind a flash rule.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





In.

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Ask me about being the most Magnificent Bastard in EU4 Multiplayer.

In.

December Octopodes
Dec 25, 2008

Christmas is coming
the squid is getting fat!


Screw it now or never. I'm in.

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


In

Alpacalips Now
Oct 4, 2013


In!

Lead out in cuffs
Sep 18, 2012

Look at my horse; my horse is amazing.

Amused Frog posted:

In.

Does this end the interprompt?

Yes, as the name suggests, the prompt ends the interprompt.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



In.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly


Sign up post.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.




In.

hot salad
Jun 25, 2005

Did you just say
the word 'scoff'?


Been lurking this thread/reading all your lovely stories for too long instead of writing my own lovely stories


IN.

Number 36
Jul 5, 2007

Keep it up, kid! Gimmie a smoochie smooch!

the wildest turkey posted:

your lovely stories

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



If I HMed with what I wrote last week, you guys need all the help you can get.

Our noble* judges are hard** at work*** with their feedback, but in the meantime, I've got three crits to hand out for last week.

Include an area you'd like me to focus on when you ask for one. It can be as specific or as general as you like, but give me some sort of topic, even if it is just 'conflict' or something.

*lol
**lol again
***they probably are browsing TD at work

AaronMFK
Jul 21, 2013


Djeser posted:

Include an area you'd like me to focus on when you ask for one. It can be as specific or as general as you like, but give me some sort of topic, even if it is just 'conflict' or something.

I wrote what I wrote because I want to get better at/progress from zero at humor and plot. I'd love any pointers. Thanks!

Lead out in cuffs
Sep 18, 2012

Look at my horse; my horse is amazing.

Djeser posted:

If I HMed with what I wrote last week, you guys need all the help you can get.

Our noble* judges are hard** at work*** with their feedback, but in the meantime, I've got three crits to hand out for last week.

Include an area you'd like me to focus on when you ask for one. It can be as specific or as general as you like, but give me some sort of topic, even if it is just 'conflict' or something.

*lol
**lol again
***they probably are browsing TD at work


I would happily take a crit for my probably not very good story.

"Do you give a poo poo?" would be a good topic to focus on, since I completely screwed that up last time.

Otherwise, I'm aware of a few things that are likely wrong with it: the villain might be too much of a caricature, there could be too much going on (four characters + a lot of events) for 1,100 words, and there's a sudden change of pace. I wouldn't mind some commentary on those, but what would be even more helpful would be if you could tell me what else is wrong with the story that I haven't even noticed but should.

E: If you please, and thank-you, I appreciate you taking the time.

Lead out in cuffs fucked around with this message at Aug 13, 2014 around 23:50

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


Djeser posted:

If I HMed with what I wrote last week, you guys need all the help you can get.

Our noble* judges are hard** at work*** with their feedback, but in the meantime, I've got three crits to hand out for last week.

Include an area you'd like me to focus on when you ask for one. It can be as specific or as general as you like, but give me some sort of topic, even if it is just 'conflict' or something.

*lol
**lol again
***they probably are browsing TD at work


Could I please get a crit? I want to know if the interactions between the characters made sense.

hot salad
Jun 25, 2005

Did you just say
the word 'scoff'?



You guys have gotten soft so I gotta assert my TD dominance.

Loser-tar here I come

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Paladinus posted:

In with . Wouldn't mind a flash rule.
The instrument is alive.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



AaronMFK posted:

Southmost Zoological Gardens: Week One
(1,109 words)

Plot:
When you're writing very short-form fiction like Thunderdome, pacing gets even more important. Here, it takes 100 words to get to something 'wrong', and almost a third of the way through before the conflict and stakes are established: Animals are being stolen, and if too many of them go missing, they'll lose their jobs.

The middle meanders. What's the point of the condor show? It doesn't tie into their pursuit of the thief, and it doesn't reveal a whole lot about the characters. We're introduced to sketchbook girl, which I understand as part of a setup for further things as per the prompt, but all it does is really show us that the zoo is crummy and he's kind of a bad bird trainer. The girl with sketchbook could be established another way that wouldn't take so much momentum out of the main conflict.

And the conclusion feels almost a little rushed, between how quickly the conflict is resolved and how almost abruptly it ends. You don't need to have people going through a deep personal transformation, but the central conflict you have going on doesn't reveal anything more about the characters, so it might as well have not happened for all it changed. We don't get to learn a whole lot about why the animals were being stolen either--just some generic guy was swiping them. What was the point? Even the 'I'm gay' (joke? reveal?) is unrelated to the capture of the thief. It just happens, everything resolved, and then they talk about a girl. Again, this has to do with space constraints--if you had a tighter beginning and more relevant middle, you'd have more space for a satisfying ending. (Note: satisfying in a plot sense doesn't have to mean 'happy', just that it fulfills the desire to see a story completed.)

You've got the basic idea of a conflict, which is good--some people have trouble making things happen, and things happened here just fine. My main advice would be to focus--hone in on the main conflict and the main character, and don't get distracted, especially in ~1000 words.

Humor:
Humor is hard. I love humor, but it's tough to write. I'll give you my thoughts on it, but I can't say I'm great at humor writing.

Most of the 'humor' stuff in here was one-off clever thoughts, and the problem with those is that it's like constant teasing without any payoff. The point of a joke is to play with expectations, but just having a silly name for an animal (like Condorlezza) isn't really a joke. (Off the top of my head, you could turn that name into a lame joke with a 'right-wing' pun, but anyway.) Ditto for making lists, and now that I think about it, I'm not sure whether the were-chimp thing was a 'joke' or whether it was a supernatural zoo. I definitely thought it was a supernatural zoo at first.

I don't know a whole lot about the abstract construction of humor beyond that, so I'm going to link you to two things. First, this is from a tumblr about learning from the errors of webcomics, but the humor aspects are still applicable in fiction in general. Second, something that I think has generally good humor, Welcome To Night Vale, which is a podcast styled like X-Files community radio.

Djeser fucked around with this message at Aug 14, 2014 around 00:52

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

I will do crits for two newbies from last week.

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Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Lead out in cuffs posted:

Satanic Grad School: My Advisor Killed My Dog and Is loving My Girlfriend (1,111 words)

Do I give a poo poo:
Not as much as I should. The emotional impact that should be there just ends up flat, because Sarah doesn't react like a real person. It's part of the plot, I guess, that she's got no empathy any more, but it's not even commented on when it comes up. The first we know about her now being more of a dick than she used to be is when the whole satanic reveal comes. The emotional impact of his dog dying seems flat, too--the 'but my dog' stuff seems almost like he got into a fender bender and he's complaining about his tail lights. I know it's supposed to be goofy, so you don't want to dwell on that too much, but if you don't want to dwell on it, then just start with burying his dog.

And because the ending is so abrupt, I don't really find myself able to give a poo poo about that, either, because it feels like it was pulled out in five minutes to wrap things up while keeping everything under the word count.

Misc:
You start with a generic park scene, and it takes a while to establish just what the problem is (that Satan is sucking out his girlfriend's feelings). Then, once the problem is established, it's solved in two paragraphs, no consequences. It's basically exposition about the state of things up to that point where everything is solved, and the hilarious thing is that with the title you have, you could totally skip over so much of that because the title tells you what's up way more succinctly.

So, some serious work on the pacing with an eye for the conflict and resolution. Don't solve the problem presented to your character by saying "and then he computer, and it solve everything".

I don't know if I'd call this story funny (note that earlier I called it 'goofy'), but there were some full jokes in there, so that's something, at least. I think overall the tone was a little too ironic/sarcastic, because there's points where the writing feels just self aware enough to disbelieve itself, but not strong enough to power on despite that disbelief.

Djeser fucked around with this message at Aug 14, 2014 around 02:58

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