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  • Locked thread
anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

by R. Guyovich


Sitting Here posted:

I will give you a full crit of the entry of your choice if you link it in the thread.

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?week=106

since i don't believe i got any form of criticism on it at all. i didn't mean to come across as whiny, i didn't really mind, i just thought it was a funny coincidence that the three weeks i entered the crits were exceptionally weak from what i could gather. that, or the crits were not posted in a way that was obvious, i scoured twice over to be sure when they happened.

i appreciate it, btw, since i got a DM that week with zero explanation as to why (word limit? bad story? weaker prose and with my usual weaknesses? idk!) a full crit isnt necessary, just a quick one would be nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWJFfnHNOWI this song i received in place of a crit was nice SurreptitiousMuffin, i appreciate it dearly because i had it suck in my head for a week.

anime was right fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2014 around 06:32

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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?week=106

since i don't believe i got any form of criticism on it at all. i didn't mean to come across as whiny, i didn't really mind, i just thought it was a funny coincidence that the three weeks i entered the crits were exceptionally weak from what i could gather. that, or the crits were not posted in a way that was obvious, i scoured twice over to be sure when they happened.

i appreciate it, btw, since i got a DM that week with zero explanation as to why (word limit? bad story? weaker prose and with my usual weaknesses? idk!) a full crit isnt necessary, just a quick one would be nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWJFfnHNOWI this song i received in place of a crit was nice SurreptitiousMuffin, i appreciate it dearly because i had it suck in my head for a week.

It varies by judge and also by how jaded they're feeling; on balance you should get a crit for most of your stories, and if you don't then asking for one will not normally provoke rage.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


I've been meaning to write single para crits for that week and the last week but let me see if I can do something more detailed for yours. I've been slacking honestly.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWJFfnHNOWI this song i received in place of a crit was nice SurreptitiousMuffin, i appreciate it dearly because i had it suck in my head for a week.

Muffin did write crits for Week 106 that you may have missed due to the results and submissions rush later that day.

Seconding sebmojo: it's not whiny to ask for more feedback once you've given the judges some time to work. Crits keep Thunderdome running, and everyone is justified in wanting them.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


to further expand on that crit in a way that benefits everybody:

Take risks. Experiment. Be weird. It does increase your odds of crashing and burning horribly, BUT it tells us more about your weaknesses and also your strengths than just being beige middle-of-the-road mediocre. Think about Chairchucker: when the dude first showed up in the old Wild West days of Thunderdome I, we fell on him like we were coyotes and his balls were made out of tasty steak. But, he got some great crits out of that, and improved and improved and improved and now he's right up near the top of the list for Most Honourable Mentions. Dude really knows what he's doing these days.

Being profoundly different and weird is scarier, but it will make you a better writer. If I finished your story and then immediately forgot about it, it's worse than failing spectacularly in terms of future growth. I'm always at a loss of what to say in crits for those stories, because they're just MEH and I can never quite place where they fell apart. A bit more bombast and colour makes the flaws more obvious, but also gives you a greater chance to improve and shine. No steak without fire.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


STAY OUT OF THE MARSH CRITS, PART I: Kaishai, Oxxidation, Noah, SurreptitiousMuffin, crabrock, Erogenous Beef, Obliterati, Phobia, Guiness13, Fuschia tude, Club Sandwich

Tyrannosaurus touched on this already, but there was a lot of Kentucky-Fried Creepypasta this week, rather than stories that were truly in the Southern Gothic style. This played a significant part in my judging, as I was looking for stories that used the theme of Morality, namely how hard it is to be a good person in an immoral world. The stories that stuck with me the most were the ones that made me care about the characters because of how much they struggled with their own morality.

Let’s begin. Anyone who wants a line-by-line can ask for one.

Kaishai—Still Waters

One of the reasons, in my opinion, that you do so well in this arena is that your writing is so polished. And even more than that, you know what to polish, what specific details to highlight, like a white N or a wet shoe. Which is crucial when you’re dealing with a shorter word length. My first impression of this story was “why only use half your word count?”, but after reading it again, I’m convinced that it’s as long as it needs to be for what it is.

If I had criticisms of this piece, it’d be because I wanted the story to expand, because I wanted to know more about his other family members, his past, where he’s driving from. But again, it’s a matter of personal preference. Good work.

Oxxidation—The Vigil

In the end, I ended up pushing for Kai’s story, but yours was my initial pick to win. And I’m still not completely sure I was wrong about that. The language is gorgeous, and what really struck me about it was the careful release of detail at the beginning—the rusty bicycle, the lantern, the phrase “banish the shadows” that starts off innocuous and gains more meaning. It all felt like a slow, deliberate building of the story’s main concept, and it did wonders for the story’s atmosphere.

It’s a bit of a stretch to call this a Southern Gothic story, but I can see the weirdness and the struggle with morality in the story. I felt like it had more of an emotional resonance, namely due to the desolation you can feel in the characters.

The one issue I had was with the last paragraph. To me it felt unnecessary, like it was bordering on indulgent. We already know what’s going to happen, cutting it off at “He struck until he saw light” would have been more of an appropriate punch. Otherwise, good work. You succeeded in a lot of the same ways Kaishai did—in regards to details and atmosphere—which was why I thought your story worked so well.

Noah—What Comes Next

I liked this one the more I came back to it, but there are still things that bother me about it. I thought the main character, while interesting, could have been more well-rounded. He’s manic at the beginning of the story and manic at the end, and that’s mostly all we know about him. I would have liked to see more of a progression—at least an implied one—from his normal mental state to his current one. Just having him start the story at 90 mph kept me from connecting with him as a character.

In addition, I was much more intrigued by the story that you didn’t write, the one about Adrian coming down from his high and having to sort all of this poo poo out, which would have given me an insight into his friends’ personality as well. But the story you did write was certainly entertaining and engaging, and it didn’t turn into Generic Chicken-Fried Horror Movie Part Six, so thanks very much for that. You might want to come back to this one.

SurreptitiousMuffin—Mataku, everything you love will die

This story was a grand marble spiral staircase with a river of diseased blood flowing down the steps.

Everything was so exquisitely and horrifically detailed, but there was no real arc to it, everything just went down, down, down. Guy is established as a horrible human being, then has horrific poo poo happen to him with no hope for agency. Also, I felt like this story stretched the whole Southern Gothic thing, and not because of where it was located. Morality was certainly a part of this story, but the main character never tried to do the right thing, he just got punished for his past wrongs. It was more like an allegory than anything else. You know what you’re getting into when you read the title.

Also it gets a bit excessive at the end. “His dog ran away. His plants wilted. He tried to flex his arm in the mirror and the bicep sank down like a wet noodle.” Again, this is the lack of agency problem, where there’s nothing for the character to do but fail over and over again. Still, this was a beautifully written story and it certainly stuck with me. You earned your HM.

crabrock—A Castle if She’s Willing

When it came down to you and Kaishai, I voted in favor of Kaishai because while both stories were striking in their use of detail, and both did a decent job of hitting the Southern Gothic part of the prompt, Kaishai’s story just made me feel more invested—simply because her main character was trying to avoid his fate. Your main character seems mired in his personal marsh from the very beginning of his story, and the water’s fine in his eyes.

I do like a lot of things about this story, the more I read it. It’s just line-after-line of vivid decrepit imagery, from the weeping trees to the glass bottles to the Hell peanuts. But it didn’t really fit my idea of a story, because nothing changed for the main character. To me, the real story happens in a few months when he’s down to his last can of beans and nothing has grown yet.

Erogenous Beef—Scattered, Smothered

I think you did a reasonable job of hitting the Southern Gothic theme, in terms of the usage of tenuous morality and weird personalities. The thing I really take away from this story is that it seems like two solid concepts smashed together to make three-quarters of a story. The beginning is very interesting and well-crafted, and I genuinely felt the tension between Earl and Jake as they were stuck together in the cab of the truck. But then you ditch a solid plot thread—sworn enemies chasing after a perp together—in favor of the Devil’s Waffle House. And to be fair, the latter half of the story was interesting as well, but the seam where the two concepts are attached is visible and not very flattering. You would have been better served following one story or the other, not just using the evocative beginning as a stepping stone to get to the conversation with the Devil.

Some other things: Dialogue is strong and doesn’t take me out of the story, the Devil is believable but his introduction isn’t, and I didn’t mind snow in a Southern Gothic story. I wanted to HM this but the execution just wasn’t there.

Obliterati—The Rivers Still Run

No joke, this was one I was fairly impressed with, just because of how much I felt you got the atmosphere and voice right. I was genuinely excited to see where the story went and what you did with it. And then—you must have run out of time, or words, something, I don’t know which. Because the ending just felt like a gigantic “Oh, Okay” moment. The story’s just getting started when the kid gets stolen by the kelpies, like the opening scene of IT if it were excerpted as its own complete work.

There’s a lot to build on here, though. I like the entire scene at the church and I wonder if you couldn’t have just started the story there. It does feel a bit cliche at moments, but it was believable enough. If you ever develop this story, everyone could use a bit more character depth, especially the kid—if you aren’t planning to kill him off so quickly.

People talk about too much dialogue destroying a story, but I don’t necessarily think that happened here. I think you just could’ve used more room for it.

Phobia—Swines

Speaking of “Oh, Okay” moments, the bit at the end where the pig convinces her to kill her parents was a giant one. I get that you wanted to conclude the story, but this wasn’t a neatly-tied bow, this was a noose.

The concept of some sort of demon-child being born into a highly religious family is intriguing, but you don’t really explore it. There’s a bit of it in the parents’ interaction, but I felt like we could have seen more of it through the narrator’s point of view. We could have received more of a grim picture of how devilish she was. Maybe if she had already known the hog for a while, like a familiar of some sort. Or some sort of origin story. I’m trying to say that this concept has more promise than you were able to give it and it’s worth revisiting.

Polish issues, but I suspect you already know that. Dialogue also seems too telling and informative for its own good.

Guiness13—The Hunt

Okay, no one yet has given you a definitive reason why you lost, so I will.

A lot of people failed at the Southern Gothic part of the prompt this week, but you didn’t even seem to take a whack at it. You gave us a sub-standard attempt at a werewolf slasher. As other people have stated, being cliche and forgettable is a bigger sin than going for something outrageous and ambitious and failing miserably. From the beginning scene where he’s warned to stay out of them thar part of the woods, to the howls in the night, to him going after his brother and getting eaten by the monster, there’s not a single part of your story that surprised me or caught me off guard. Which wouldn’t have been an issue if you had given the characters more depth and had me care about what happened to them, but you didn’t do that either. There’s barely even a reason for the brothers to be out there, other than to be monster-fodder.

Your technical skills are decent, but it seemed like you were being dragged forward by the plot you set for yourself. Try languishing in a scene for your next effort; go for depth over distance.


Fuchsia tude—The Devil You Don’t

There was a modicum of creativity here, and enough character depth to get your toes wet, which saved it from the loss. But it still has a lot of problems.

First of all, this is an instance of a story getting killed by too much dialogue, simply because the dialogue didn’t sound natural at all—it just seemed like a way to spoon-feed information and move the story forward. Read more short-stories, listen to the way people talk and pay attention to how information is conveyed.

As for the actual story, it was a hair’s-breadth away from being a cliche monster movie, and to make matters worse, the ending didn’t do anything to resolve the story. You had at least two hundred extra words and a lot of dead weight you could have cut, so I’m guessing you didn’t give yourself enough time to flesh out the rest of the story. Next time, expend more of an effort shaping the story before you write it.

Club Sandwich—Creek Run

My first impression of this story was that it read like an RPG dossier. You are literally giving us this character’s life story in a bunch of densely-packed paragraphs, rather than just showing us what he’s doing with any sort of immediacy. “Burning down the Sunoco had never been Joe’s plan.” is a firecracker of a first line, and instead you bury it under a lot of backstory that doesn’t mean anything to the reader yet.

You do some good things with language in between all of the unnecessary tense-shifts and run-on sentences. Again, just read more stories and get a sense of how people tell them. Maybe you should try doing a frame story for another effort, like someone recounting a tale, just to see if it has an effect on how you write it.

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2014 around 13:00

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

by R. Guyovich


cool, thanks. just a quick question then: how did you feel about the characterization? because i took a risk of sacrificing prose for it this time around (which was generally what i was praised for, good prose, bad content). the conflict and resolution were still weak, which is consistent now, and something i struggle with in 1000ish words.

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

YOU JUST DIDN’T ‘GET’ MY crabrock's STORY

Tyrannosaurus posted:

crabrock - A Castle if She’s Willing
Yo, you made it rain with excellent sentences. Just across the board there are really neat little things tucked in every which way. That was awesome. That got you the HM despite the fact that I felt like there was very little substance to the piece. Lot of good words. Kind of weak plot. The curse thing seems a little tacked on. I would have liked more psychological motivation as to why your MC has to work the fields. Has to work the land. Has to make things right. Right now its just… he’s got to *becuz*. I just wish there was more to it.

I think you're doing yourself a disservice by being hasty. That was a poignant story about redemption or penance which explains the character's psychological motivations implicitly but powerfully. And there was nothing magical about that curse.

(I also wished there was more to it. Then I reread it, and I found the more. Those are exactly the kind of stories I like to read.)

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Aww, what? I just thought to take some notes while I read and now everybody's flingin' crits left and right? Well, deal with it.

Morning Bell - I'm with you pretty good until "This is what he saw:". That completely broke my immersion, turned what should've been fantasy images in my head to an itemized list. Cute enough challenges, but then the line "A single tear, falling upon the flowers, will turn them into dust." tells me way too abruptly that that's what's going to happen. And when it does happen (surprise, father not mentioned yet going to be abusive so Grig sheds a single tear like the last Mohican) I don't buy it, emotionally. Then her introduction feels way too forced and, wait a minute, they've never spoken before, but he knows her love of flowers and favorite color? Is he a creeper?

Pseudoscorpion - 9-3 may've known what it meant, but I got tripped up trying to decipher the first sentence. Then you swap tenses briefly; off to an awkward start. Your rapid scene changes and punctuation in a few places are still keeping me off-balance. Couldn't really settle into it. Hard stop less, proofread more.

Chairchucker - While I like the silly tone, it doesn't work for the robber's That's Gross. Perhaps 'cause he should be playing the straight man? Good presentation of the ironic twist.

Amused Frog - Just a personal distraction, but why the stylized single quotes as opposed to the dumb double quotes? I was scientifically interested, in a detached fashion, up until you mentioned that Earth was dead. Then I was more emotionally invested (but not really until then). Hook me sooner, and I would've enjoyed the overall more.

HopperUK - Nice first half a sentence, would've been stronger as its own sentence. I don't know how old Bess is, but I find the words "troubles" and "Daddy" to imply different levels of sophistication (probably just a personal impression). The implied setting is nice and the tone is mostly cute, but too emotionally inconsistent at times, with certain character-reactions feeling discrepant.

Nethilia - The first part does a good job of establishing a child who feels like a child and why I should root for them. The mother's objection to flowers makes sense. Daniel's doesn't. Cute revisitation of the childhood activity. The ending isn't terribly impactful, perhaps because the character's ambition is too broad. I approve of the naming convention.

Mons Hubris - Don't tell me your story sucks before I read it; now it's going to suck. The use of Great-Grandmother as a proper noun is odd, and I thought Hatsuo was a boy's name. Ack, you use mostly stylized apostrophes, which is okay (I suppose), so when you use a single ASCII apostrophe (as God intended) it jumps out. The grandmother directly says it's fine even if the girl doesn't catch anything, then the girl's in tears because the grandmother will be so upset that she didn't catch much? Odd number of quotes you've got there. That could've been mediocre if you hadn't warned me that it sucked.

Entenzahn - An anti-gravitas orb? That's the silliest thing I've ever heard! The protagonist's A-Dog-Blah-Blahs were as unwelcome when forced on me as they were to the other fictional characters. The prose felt surprisingly juvenile for the most part, and didn't develop tension nor engender sympathy.

Meeple - Hah! First line, I have been there, far too many times. I'm amused by the senile witch, but she says Oh too much. A light chuckle for the ending, and a vague smile throughout. Endearing.

Sitting Here - I'm with you so far, no complaints about the perspective nor tense. But it's a little jarring when you write two things about how she has no sense of time then another thing that begins "One day", implying a sense of time. For the most part I enjoyed it, but it felt a bit meandering, unfocused, or incomplete.

Gau - All right, I'm imagining. I imagine this, I imagine that. Hey, when did you start doing things? That wasn't in my imagination! I can't envision tsunami waves moving as slowly as you're indicating. (Heh, her vision swam.) Just going from conventional religious characters, Asim isn't going to like having the glory of god forced upon him, which doesn't lead to a particularly happy ending.

Dirtbag Diva - She was planning. Rajeev was planning. She and Rajeev were planning. The next sentence could use some work, too. I initially thought you meant that the phone alarm was all she could do to keep her shopping in check. I hate the way people talk on the internet, even if I believe they do it. But I still hate it. Really stumbled on her 4:30 resignation. First I reread the story to that point, nope, didn't make sense. Then I read the next bit and the act made some sense, but not the timing. If she's walking everywhere, how did she get from work to those people, have that consultation, then get back to work and resign?

PoshAlligator - Ooh, murderous solar flare, now I'm interested (halfway into the story). In fact, I'm not sure what most of the words to that point add to the story. (Her's!) Oh, okay, she was probably being deliberately deceitful early on. But the trick (and I need to figure out how to do this too) is how to make the subtext hide under interesting regular text.

bromplicated - "reading a young-reader" reads poorly. Generally cute, and I appreciate the sentiment. However. I have trouble going more than 32 hours without a shower. Or food. A few minor logistical issues make the premise unbelievable. And her reactions around the fuse box conversation didn't quite hit me right. But I appreciated the atmosphere, the general setup, and the intent.

Skwid - I like alliteration too, but let's keep it confined to the eccentric's speeches let it become distracting. You could probably make up a name for "his favorite video sharing website" if you don't want to use a real one. I almost started to feel for James, but very little happened then an ending was tacked on.

Grizzled Patriarch - Haunting and touching, very well worded. The telling of the enormous love maybe could've been handled more impactfully.

docbeard - I'm a sucker for space archeology. I liked the setup, but the emotions felt off. I didn't feel enough passion from Kellen to swallow her throwing her life away speech, and Jac's response, while pleasant, felt like an incongruous surprise at best.

Fumblemouse - A scarlet letter, hmm? Continue. Interesting setup and flowery, but potentially good, prose. My brain's weary, so I couldn't focus well this pass. There's an unfair disadvantage to posting late -- I've read a lot of other stories.

Blade_of_tyshalle - (Ooh, a shouldn't've.) I feel like this is the direction soap operas will be headed in about twenty years. I didn't care much about their line of work, their history, or their augments. The guy giving the dog to the girl was kind of cute, but could've been accomplished in way fewer words.

Schneider Heim - Your writing reads pretty easily and I found myself liking the characters, but I really didn't buy that a director would let a nobody improvise. The excuse of someone who stands to benefit is already devalued, but it's not even a good excuse (he's done some scripted line-acting, therefore we can improvise). That being said, I really like how the characters reacted to the trip. That was well written -- I felt the tension and emotion between them. The ending sort of petered out.

Ironic Twist - Your narrator is oddly passive-aggressive toward your reader. Then the fable is fine, I suppose, and like with fables, this thing happens, then this thing happens, then this thing happens, and there isn't a lot of emotional oomf behind it. Then the last paragraph is good and interesting. But Bambi the Ugly Duckling is a couple-page picture book, not some thousand-odd words.

Fuschia tude - Maybe say photo albums. I initially thought (and liked better) that birds were disappearing off the covers of record albums, but leaving the rest of the art untouched. Oh, good, spoke a little too soon with regard to how things disappeared. Heh, I like the sarcastic parrot remark. Hard to do within the word count, but you had a real interesting premise, followed by a deflatingly mundane birds-wanted-permission explanation. I also didn't feel much for the protagonist, even though I was interested in (the first half of) the story.

Phobia - Fair few clunky bits that could use some proofreading. You said Fate way too much, although kinda I suppose justified it at the end but it still grated. Both characters acted like wooden puppets being pushed along by the narratorial force. The this-isn't-the-big-story setup was decent, but the execution was poor.

crabrock - You tell me the child can do nothing right, but I still don't buy that a parent (whom I have to assume is average, for lack of further information) wouldn't put even the bad pictures on the fridge, or would act the way he does. The initial witch interactions have a good sense of tension. But then the doing it all wrong feels off, again (wouldn't she just stop him if it were important?). I also can't reconcile that he's drawing regular things (which are regular looking) and yet they're also ugly and horrible (but they're regular looking). Gah, backward? The twist doesn't work for me.

JuniperCake - I've read a lot of stories already, and I don't feel like reading more. So kudos for posting it even though it was well past the deadline -- that was still the right thing to do. But I'm too word-weary to read it.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

Hammer Bro. posted:

YOU JUST DIDN’T ‘GET’ MY crabrock's STORY


I think you're doing yourself a disservice by being hasty. That was a poignant story about redemption or penance which explains the character's psychological motivations implicitly but powerfully. And there was nothing magical about that curse.

(I also wished there was more to it. Then I reread it, and I found the more. Those are exactly the kind of stories I like to read.)

lol, thanks for your defense, I guess

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.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_VnwuDgi8w

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer


FERG-FACE

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


I concede defeat against Sebmojo. Good work, man. I did wager a new a new avatar, so PM me when you're ready.

Mercedes, I appreciate the time you took to judge and crit. I knew I could count on you.

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.


Benny the Snake posted:

Mercedes, I appreciate the time you took to judge and crit. I knew I could count on you.

Hey, I meant what I said. The quality of your writing is getting much better. I recommend reading your first TD submission and then reading this one right afterward so you can see what I mean.

edit: I agree, time for a new avatar. Arise like a shake shedding its skin!
vvvvvv

Mercedes fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2014 around 20:43

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Benny the Snake posted:

I concede defeat against Sebmojo. Good work, man. I did wager a new a new avatar, so PM me when you're ready.

Mercedes, I appreciate the time you took to judge and crit. I knew I could count on you.

Good fight Benny. I don't need a new avatar, so buy yourself one: you've earnt it.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


sebmojo posted:

Good fight Benny. I don't need a new avatar, so buy yourself one: you've earnt it.

Mercedes posted:

edit: I agree, time for a new avatar. Arise like a shake shedding its skin!
vvvvvv
My avatar won't change untill I win, brawl or prompt. And you know what? I had fun! I gotta be careful now. It's only been my first brawl, and I allready smell blood in the water

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


nah

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Oxxidation posted:

You wouldn't know proper scene-setting if it ripped your balls off. Brawl me.

sebmojo posted:

Ohhh lordy I will judge the hell out of this. Trex: you in?


Awright well I guess you'll have to settle for me, then. Bring it, reaction man. Djinn to judge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N31oFeinFY

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007

a negative influence


sebmojo posted:

Awright well I guess you'll have to settle for me, then. Bring it, reaction man. Djinn to judge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N31oFeinFY

Oh boy, I was expecting to stomp some quaint tapioca-flavored vignette into the treads of my shoe and instead I get someone with imagination. Well, needs must.

McStephenson
Jun 16, 2008

reading The Internet

Oh dear God. I'll try thunderdome CIX.

Jumpin' in with both feet: Ray Bradbury.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


McStephenson posted:

Oh dear God. I'll try thunderdome CIX.

Jumpin' in with both feet: Ray Bradbury.
FRESH MEAT!

I'm in with Jim Butcher

Edit:

Benny the Snake fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2014 around 23:52

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


In with my avatar.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

In with my avatar.
I don't recognize the pic. Who is it?

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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




Benny the Snake posted:

I don't recognize the pic. Who is it?

Ted Berrigan, and since he is a poet (though maybe he's written some prose too?) this is going to be quite interesting!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Clapping Larry

Crit for LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE

LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

Pest Control (1035 words).

The city lay before them. Strange how a single star can steal the eye, and change the shape of the night. Okay, having gone through this whole story now...you didn't really make an effort to connect the first line to your plot in any way.

Lyn squinted, the soot of the windshield blurred orange sky It should be windshield-blurred. But also this is a sentence fragment.. The sun lowered like Hamel’s brows. Since I don't know the specific qualities of Hamel's eyebrows, I have no idea what this means, other than the sun was going down.

“376 Winston Boulevard, right bro?” Lyn turned her head to the passenger seat. The address and the fact that Lyn looked at Hamel are like, the two least interesting things you could've used these words for.

Hamel was already out of the van. The door slammed. See, these two sentences are ok. It shows Hamel's impatience without saying it.

Lyn stepped out, her eyes rose Unless her eyeballs have literally left her head and are floating up along the side of the building, don't do this. along brown bricks to the peak of the small building. A decapitated gargoyle perched high above them, another stared across the river. A breeze kissed Lyn’s hair, tips tickled her chin <-This is all mood-setting description. Or it would be, if it fit the mood of the rest of the piece. . She stepped around towards the back of the van, beyond the No Pests Till Brooklyn logo on the side; it was funny until they had to take jobs in Park Slope.

Hamel’s fingertips pressed firm against his forehead, eyes tight as he explained for the seventh time this week into the phone. “Yes, this will get rid of the rats. Yes, we’re serious, we don’t use poisons, they’ll be gone in thirty minutes or it’s free.” If the first line hadn't been dictated by the prompt, I would say you should've started here.

Lyn took out the giant trap from the rear, a long box with weight towards the back The way you've worded this makes it sound like "the rear" is a long box with a weight towards the back.. Her knees buckled to carry it. Dents decorated the back of the contraption from when she swung it against hallway corners and furniture. She carried it with her like a pendulum.

“You got my guitar?” Lyn looked up to IMO this should be atHamel,<-This comma should be a period it was already over his shoulder.

***

The smell of salts from many sources made Lyn’s nostrils itch what. A laptop on the table played reruns of a sitcom she’d never watched. The laugh track chimed in at inappropriate times. huh

“So the infestation is in the basement?” Hamel groaned. wait, these are exterminators. why would a basement be anything new to him?

“Yup, rats. There’s a family nestled somewhere around here. Not too many, but the store bought traps aren’t working. Called you because you’re…” Terry scratched his stubble with long, thin fingers.

“The cheapest, because our methods are unorthodox,” Hamel looked around. “The junk food, you should probably-”

“It’s my roommate’s. He’ll uh, get rid of it.”

Lyn peeked down the hall into the lone bedroom, a single bed.

“Alright Lyn, just drop it and we’ll be out in thirty,” Hamel handed her the guitar from its case.

Lyn leaned in to whisper to her brother. “Bet if we do this in under ten, you treat me to falafel when we’re done.”

Hamel glared back as if she were a client, then gave a thumbs up as he rolled his eyes.

Lyn placed the heavy trap on the floor. The front opened like a pet cage, the last quarter of the box walled off. She plugged the rear of the trap into the wall before Hamel handed her the guitar. Lyn plugged the guitar and the mic into the amp at the rear of the trap. A few diddles of the strings. She played a quick tune that echoed out the hollow front of the trap and through the floorboards. “We’re set.”

From the front of the cage, a sweet folk tune rolled through the floors. It rose high and low, loud enough to sound through the building entirely. Hamel tapped his mic thrice.

Oh rodent oh rat,
oh rancid young beast.
Come home come home,
we have such a feast.
A bounty so grand,
raise nose and follow.
Come sing with us,
let’s leave before morrow.


Terry’s eyes were tight what, his finger pointed in fury towards Hamel. Hamel sighed, he lowered his mic and raised his hand. You keep attempting sentence splices and it keeps not working

“Just hold on a minute,” Hamel explained. nooooooooooooooooooooo just say 'said'

They played the song again.

Terry’s patience lasted up to the word home this time. He stepped toward Hamel and smacked the microphone downward, Hamel backed off in response.

Lyn’s notes went upward, the tempo increased. There was always a problem. Like tuning a guitar, one had to tune a song to a rodent’s tastes. Always adjustments to be made, they never came on the first calling. This is always when the client would get angry. Hamel’s face looked the same every time.

The humid scent led Lyn’s nose around, she looked down, a pack of Star Chips laid on the table, along with rolled up papers too much of this story has been dedicated to how much of a goony goon Terry is. She tapped Hamel’s shoulder and pointed to the mess. Hamel’s attention was short lived.

“Is this a prank? Is there a camera watching us? Are you trying to rip me off?” Terry kicked the trap.

Hamel stepped between Terry and the box with open arms. “Just give us the thirty we asked. We wouldn’t still be in damned business if this didn’t work. It’s weird, trust me, but it gets the job done. Rats aren’t as dumb as you think, they don’t just follow the same drat tune. Unlike you, they have taste.”

Terry opened his mouth as if to take a bite into a very tall sandwich, and then snapped it shut is he a cartoon?. His arms crossed as he crinkled a wrapper beneath his rear end on the couch. GOOOOOOOON

Hamel started to sing again, Lyn kept playing the tune. She spotted a poster on the far off bedroom wall. Pink Floyd. Inspiration took over, her chords became more intense and erratic stop iiit. She started to play progressive rock. Soon, the squeak and patter of rodents marching created a beat to the song. we don't need no education

Hamel sung the same lyrics as before, now spaced out, imitating the style of his sister. The two played a song that lured the pests towards the back of the trap. The rats chirped inside, and the concert ended when Hamel snapped the front of the trap shut.

Terry’s face was flushed red as his now twice blinked eyes. twice blinked eyes? Read that sentence out loud to yourself. Does it taste bad? That is because it's a bad sentence.

Hamel had the crooked grin Lyn had seen so many times after a job well done.

***

The post bar rush was tight, but the falafel was delicious.

“I think the problem isn’t the method, it’s that you keep acting like an rear end. No one’s gonna spread the word if you’re not nice to clients,” Lyn chewed into a bite heavy on sauce. the way you have this punctuated, it reads like you are using 'Lyn chewed into a bite heavy on sauce' in place of 'said'. It's weird.

“It’s just frustrating, you know? No one understands our art did I mention the dialog is very cliche and dry?,” Hamel sighed. JUST SAY 'SAID'

“Yeah.” Lyn smiled. “I know.”

They were in and out before the sky was blue. The sun rose on a new day, just like any other. It was done. Not well, but close enough.


Okay. Two modern pied pipers use folk and prog music to lure rats out of their nests. That's kind of interesting, in theory. But you spend way too many words on stiff, lifeless dialog and pointless information that the whole story feels kind of sparse and flat. You do try to build some mood near the beginning, as I pointed out, but it doesn't carry through the rest of the piece at all.

Your basic conventions are a little wonky. Namely, you like comma splices, and avoiding the word "said". Read up on comma usage and said-bookisms.

All in all, these characters weren't people I really cared about. This isn't a world I care about. Things happen in a logical order and there's a beginning, middle, and end. The ending is vaguely satisfying in that the protagonists achieve what they set out to achieve. But there's nothing too special about it.

I would work on description, and making it do double duty to establish mood AND setting and stuff. Also, characterization. Don't waste dialog on mundane exchanges unless you've built sufficient context around them for there to be interesting subtext. Fiction is not real life, where boring conversations happen all the time.

This isn't the worst piece I've read in TD or anything, it's just kind of blah.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


Oxxidation vs sebmojo

Write me something sad.

Catharsis. Purgation. Make me cry, if you can. And no cheap shots or namby-pamby garbage. Go for raw.

Inspiration for Oxxi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/52-hertz_whale
Inspiration for mojo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omayra_S%C3%A1nchez

Use these however you like.

Deadline: 4PM PST, Sunday, 9/14 (10 days)
Word count: between 1500 and 2500, inclusive.

[09:16] <djinn> although the prompt will just be 'make me cry'
[09:16] <sittinghere> oxxi shows up at your house and steps on your foot really hard

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007

a negative influence


God Over Djinn posted:

[09:16] <djinn> although the prompt will just be 'make me cry'
[09:16] <sittinghere> oxxi shows up at your house and steps on your foot really hard


Close, but not enough arson.

Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

I'm in.

Neil Gaiman.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

In. J.P. Martin

McStephenson
Jun 16, 2008

reading The Internet


^ books I absolutely want to have for my children when I have them, despite having never read them myself ^

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I'm doing Jack Vance and Brent Weeks. Because more stealing is more better.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

List of authors not claimed yet:

Stephanie Meyers
Dr. Suess
Dan Brown
Dave Barry (chairchucker?)
Malcolm Gladwell
Bill O'Reilly
God


How this helps done undecideds!

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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




Sign-ups close in 8 hours for all you last-minute folks out there.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Grizzled Patriarch posted:

Sign-ups close in 8 hours for all you last-minute folks out there.

If someone can come up with some kind of way to measure entrants with how late they leave both signing up and submitting their stories against their wins/losses/DMs/HMs that would be interesting, I think.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

In with Agatha Christie.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Benny the Snake posted:

My avatar won't change untill I win, brawl or prompt. And you know what? I had fun! I gotta be careful now. It's only been my first brawl, and I allready smell blood in the water
*sniff sniff* I SMELL BLOOD!

SITTING HERE! BLOOD-QUEEN OF THUNDREDOME! I CHALLENGE YOU FOR RIGHT OF THE BLOOD THRONE! AND I SUMMON MARTELLO AS JUDGE!

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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




All right, that's a wrap on sign-ups. I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



J. G. Ballard; apocalypse

Armageddon While The Geddin's Good
(800 words)

Djeser fucked around with this message at Dec 31, 2014 around 20:04

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Clapping Larry

Benny the Snake posted:

*sniff sniff* I SMELL BLOOD!

SITTING HERE! BLOOD-QUEEN OF THUNDREDOME! I CHALLENGE YOU FOR RIGHT OF THE BLOOD THRONE! AND I SUMMON MARTELLO AS JUDGE!









ok

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newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


I've been lurking for a while, and am even more impressed now that I see how difficult a (less than) one week turnaround is.


Donald Barthelme

Daddy Issues
(733 Words)


Seventeen million dollars worth of lightly mildewed Barnett Newman studies. The little bastard was only alone for five minutes. Twelve expensive full colour periodicals, a Van Doesburg stool (original), a gleaming stainless steel wastepaper basket, a lumbar support cushion: a pile of objects that had remained a staircase just long enough for my son to climb up to my work bench.

He’s cut them up horizontally, so that each strip is two colors, separated halfway by a thin band of a third. I can imagine a hiss and a thin stream of vapour as he made the first cut, the integrity of the work compromised by the slightest nick. They say the old masters are the toughest to restore, but the thing about Newman and his ilk is the purity of their artistic vision. It’s not enough just to get the brush-strokes right. You need to understand the intention, or else it won’t work, you’ll be able to feel the seams between the work and the restoration.

That’s the service I provided until today, a day that appears to be the last day of my career. I’ve always taken a lot of care, that’s the whole point, but I’ve never stopped to think what would happen if one got destroyed. I do some quick arithmetic. My net worth is less than four percent of the value of a single one of these pieces. What do you do when the son of the person you were paying to carefully attend to your priceless cultural artefacts cuts them to ribbons? What do you do if you’re the owner of the company that person works for? What other work is available to someone who has dedicated his life to so specific a field? I wish these questions were rhetorical.

I have to admire his work with the scissors, despite myself. Good co-ordination for a six year old. Tightly wound spirals litter the floor, made by drawing the paper hard across the open blade. He must have learnt that at school. There’s a few stuck in his hair as well, tangled shocks of colour in his pale locks. He’s tucked most of the strips into the band of his pants, where they hang like a hula skirt in Newman’s sombre but vivid colours.

He’s been into the paint, too. A discarded pot of mahogany has tipped over on the floor, creating the kind of thickening and slowly growing pool that the police find when they arrive just too late. I’d never noticed that the treads of his shoes were patterned with smiley faces, which now form a haphazard track in the same bloody colour around the hardwood floors of the office. He’s giggling now, and looking up at me proudly with his big gray eyes.

I can see his Mom in those eyes. If she were here she would take his hands and swing him around and up and catch him over her shoulder like a sack of coal, and they’d laugh and laugh. I remember when we were at art school and they let us set up our easels in the art gallery to copy. We’d sit right next to each other, and get used to the tourists and school groups and old people so that they became like furniture, until it was just her and me and the paintings. We would paint and talk about painting, then earnestly gently caress in the top floor bathroom while we waited for our work to dry.

But he taught her to laugh, and together they filled their world with other things. Building blocks, action figures, hedgehog shaped birthday cakes, his friends and their mothers, while I work alone in a back room of the building where he was conceived. He brought some of those figures today, an Aztec warrior, an Indian brave and a King Arthur who brandishes a stolen M16. They too are touched by the chaos, their cheap plastic bodies dissolved slightly in the cup of thinner on my desk.

And now he’s spinning around, dancing though the shreds. As he spins the hula skirt flies gaily out, and the paper and pigment that seem weightless, all their grandeur gone. He’s laughing as he spins, and tracking great crazy spirographs of paint with his feet. He’s beautiful and terrifying, as he laughs and spins and dances and laughs and spins and dances.

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