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petrol blue
Feb 9, 2013

sugar and spice
and
ethanol slammers


Crits are what I'm here for.

What doesn't (quite) kill me, etc.

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JamieTheD
Nov 4, 2011

LPer, Reviewer, Mad Welshman

(Yes, that's a self portrait)

Yeah, definitely up for a crit. Many thanks for doin' this.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


I would truly appreciate a critique, good sir.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...3#post424452406

Don’t be too harsh, I'm fragile

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Rhino's crit is much appreciated, and I am interested in further thoughts.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Here, I got off too easy.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...=#post424335626

Barracuda Bang!
Oct 21, 2008

The first rule of No Avatar Club is: you do not talk about No Avatar Club. The second rule of No Avatar Club is: you DO NOT talk about No Avatar Club

Grimey Drawer

sebmojo posted:

If anyone wants a crit from me for their story from the last week's prompt, post a link to it in the next day or so (and no, it will not halve your word count).

If you don't already have too many requests, I'd be happy for some crits: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...9#post424374358

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

I'd love some feedback.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...3#post424306174

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

okay that's enough, I'll do those and see if I still have my will to live.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Sitting Here posted:

Spaceless Dementia
1000

Linne and Desera celebrated their two-thousandth anniversary silently, over a rare cup of coffee at the breakfast table. The window to Linne's left cycled through various soothing pastoral scenes.

After a time, Desera shoved away from the table and went to the small kitchen's ambience terminal; she waved a hand over the screen, and the idyllic meadow in the window dissolved. Beyond was dark, starless truth. There's an oddity with the viewpoint in this story; who is determining that it's truth? Nice line though. The no-space. The metacosmic Bermuda triangle.

Linne raised an eyebrow, but didn't comment. After so long, what use was it hashing out the same old argument? Viewpoint. They'd gone over its every permutation in the first five hundred years.

As if on cue, the ship's com system chimed. It was reedy and off-key after so many years, but like everything else aboard the Nomad, it had outlasted its intended lifespan by a millennium, would last a thousand thousands of years into the black and motionless future. Another nice phrase, but grammar is weird in this bit.

Desera made a sound. describe it plz. on second thoughts cut this lineLinne waited.


"They're still out there," Desera said. Her speech was halting, unsure.

They're all lunatics, Linne replied over their private thinkcom channel.

Desera shook her head. "No. Talk to me. Like this."

The ship's com chimed again.

Linne cleared her throat, made a few low, gurgling sounds. "Nothing changed," was all she could manage.

Desera seemed to understand her meaning none the less either explain what linne is talking about or cut this because it doesn't convey anything. "What if someone found a way back to time-space?"

"They didn't. Who could? Navs are dead. Science crew, dead." She frowned at Desera. Tell me you aren't losing it on me now, too.

"I said talk to me," Desera snapped.

Linne felt the subtle presence of their mind-to-mind channel evaporate, leaving her alone in her head for the first time in centuries. "It got to you," she said.

"Of course it did." Desera was breathing heavy, her eyes bright and feverish with something alien, something fatal.

Hope. nice

Linne recoiled from it. She should have known, should have felt this madness over their shared connection. But it was only then, totally severed from her once-lover's mind, that she realized madness had been festering for a long time, slowly insinuating itself into Desera's thoughts like fungal mycelia taking hold in the quiet dark beneath the forest floor. nice line

A vent pushed recycled air into the kitchen. It smelled of ozone and plastic. Linne was on her feet and walking out of the kitchen before she could think.

The scent of loam and bark and healthy rot hit her as soon as the conservatory doors slid open. They'd planned well, long ago when it became necessary to seal themselves into this corner of the ship. To escape madness. The decision to shut out the rest of the crew, who'd been cabin-fevered and increasingly violent after that first hundred years, had brought its own kind of guilty insanity, but she'd had Desera.

Mind to mind, heart to heart, they had kept each other sane through contradiction and intimacy, argument and play. But after centuries, they'd become so much one mind and one heart that the balance had given way. Linne had become complacent, Desera had found a disease called hope.

The com system was chiming at regular intervals by then. Someone was alive on another deck, wanted their attention.

The conservatory was a whole micro ecosystem unto itself. Ugly sentence, unnecessary, just let us have the image. Linne lay down on the bare dirt and looked up into the ancient canopy. The trees had grown to the absolute limit of the great domed room, and when there was no more sky to fill they turned in on each other, so that the ceiling was obscured by a twisted, web-like amalgam of wood. In another thousand years, the conservatory would be nigh horrible fantasyismun impassable.

The chiming stopped. Linne was flat on her back still, and in the abrupt silence the pounding of her heart filled her ears. Cliche, rephrase. Perhaps the caller had given up. Or...

Desera, she called. But without the thinkcom, it was just a name echoing in the solitude of her skull.

Linne could still do the unthinkable, if it came down to it. She could seal herself into a further corner of the ship, leave Desera to her hope and the madness beyond their barricades.

A klaxon went off outside the conservatory. Desera had deactivated the security fields. Even if their crewmates had found a way back to cosmic space, what was to keep them from tossing Linne and Desera out of the nearest airlock on principle? I'm a little lost in the plot here, tbh.

Linne wanted to grow roots and join the mindless dream of the trees, before fear or hope or guilt could grow roots in her mind. I would physicalise this thought, make it less abstract; she's lying on earth and leaves, remind us of her physical reality. She stayed on her back, willing Desera to come back on the thinkcom and make it all right, willing herself to get up and go to the barricades and face the unknown by Desera's side. But the moments passed and nothing changed in the conservatory, even as everything was changing beyond its doors.

Absolution came to Linne, found her still flat on her back. The doors swished open and there was Desera, along with five wild-haired, mostly naked women who had the lean, ropey look of people who'd lived outside all their lives. Linne closed her eyes against the hope and anger and fear and anticipation she saw on their faces.

They chattered to each other about the trees, too fast and too musical for Linne to parse, having gone so long without speech.

There was no way out, she realized. Some of the women had fallen to their knees and were raising their arms toward the knotted clot of branches high above. There was no one left to fly the ship, no one with the wherewithal to do anything but hope. She could sense that they thought her the diseased one, prone on the floor with the dead weight of truth pressing her into the ground.

She opened her eyes and looked up at Desera, who was haloed by the entangled canopy, and wondered when, if ever, hope and resignation had been anything more than different ways to lose the same game. Good aphorism. But on balance I don't think this works because you haven't got clear stakes for the protagonists. You have a nice set-up, and I like the speech/thought distinction with the two lovers, though.

Mr_Wolf posted:

Who Needs Gods 1194 words

“Smash it! Come on you idiot – even Sasha hits harder than that.”

The old Fiat put up more of a fight than Danny could ever match. This doesn't work grammatically. Danny was all bones - his skin barely clinging to his frame this is sort of nonsensical as an image. He was a fighter though and that's why Joe kept him around.

Joe sat on the edge of an old oil barrel, a smirk slowly spreading across his face as the bat bounced off the side of the car. The sweat poured from Danny and he hadn't stopped biting his bottom lip since Joe had decided to encourage him.

“Give someone else a go man. You're not even trying.” Joe said.

Sasha was smiling. Joe had to duck the stone she threw at him.

“Typical girl: can't throw for poo poo.”

Sasha threw an insult back but the desert wind caught it. and...? Joe threw what with? some water into his blistered hands and wiped his eyes. The sand was a permanent companion around here but sometimes Joe longed for loneliness. this doesn't make sense because he is hanging out with people. You are about 70% of the way there with all your similes and images. Parse them for sense and don't overegg the metaphorical pudding.

Danny was swinging the steel bat with everything he had got. Shame it wasn't much.

Joe jumped up and walked over to the car. He made sure to skip when he walked past Sasha, the dirt blew into her.

“Joe, just let...”

Joe grabbed the bat and ushered Danny back. Joe swiped his brown hair from his forehead and got to work; He dented the hood, his anger embedded into it forever this is super purple; the windows exploded, a piece of glass glanced off Joe's lip. He pinged the side-mirror off and it careered violently into the side of a wall. okay I'm starting to wonder why I'm reading this. you have 1000 words, give me a point early on; so far you haven't

Everyone watched Joe. what a dull sentence. The group had always looked toward him for advice or leadership, he was the oldest at 19-years-old. Age still mattered to some in this world - mostly to the people who needed it to. what a dull para, find another way to get this world building across.

Sasha gets up and walks off to the bunker shaking her head as she disappears through the door.
why do we care? Also, tense.

The sound of rhythmic pounding filled the silence as Tommy emerged from the dirt cloud blowing in from the North. When someone is making noise it is not silent in fact it is the opposite of silence

“Dead! Died...someone has dead, died.” I quite like this way of showing panting dialogue

“Slow down. Breathe.” Joe pulled the bent over Tommy up.

“Joe. Someone has died. Up in Birmingham. She was 45 and she died from a heart attack or something.”

Sasha watched from the bunker. She looked around the airfield and the kids were silent. Death hadn't been discussed in this world for a long time. Sasha brushed the dust from her faded red dress and walked towards Joe. sasha is the queen of irrelevant blocking

“Joe, is it true?” Sasha said.

“I don't know,” Joe looked off into the distance “I don't think so.” did the wind ruffle his hair I need to know

Sasha ran her fingers up her left arm; the dust fell away as she did. nice detail. “Yeah, typical bullshit probably. Some kid trying to scare people”

Joe looked off into the distance SOMEONE JUST DID THAT and he saw huge black clouds that emerged SOMEONE JUST DID THAT TOO from the Earth, like tumours that spread through the sky, everything left infected. WHOA COSMIC have these just happened or where they always there? A faint wind started to whip through Sasha's blonde hair.

“Looks like a bad one Joe, I’ll get the spare generator on.” Sasha walked away before Joe could respond. SERIOUS SHE HAS A REGALIA AND ALLKINDS OF QUEEN poo poo IDEK

“I'll get everyone in the bunker. You need anything?” Tommy asked.

“No. Make sure you bring some blankets in before you shut the store room.” yawn

Tommy was 16-years-old - although in this world your age didn't matter: it was what you could do that counted.

Joe met Tommy a few years back – or months, it's hard to keep time when it doesn't matter any more. Tommy was trying to fish out an old car motor from the lake behind the valley. Joe helped him, knowing the motor was useless. Tommy felt he owed Joe a favour – Joe did too.

The group had stumbled upon on old convenience store in the next town a few days after Tommy joined the group. By the time they had dragged the trailer to it, two men had began to move the stock onto their truck. ok so is the storm important? is someone dying important? how about the car? why did you tell us about it if not?

“Stop them.” Joe said.

Tommy ran to the first man and jabbed the blunt end of a pick-axe into the back of his head, falling to the floor the man began to convulse. Tommy was breathing slow, shallow breaths as he waited for the other man to exit the shop. The man opened the door
his eyes shielded from the midday sun with his arm - unfortunately for him Tommy too. The wooden shaft of the axe smashed into his mouth, knocking a few teeth down his throat. Tommy slowly walked around to stand over the man, the raised pick-axe shielding the sun from the man's eyes.

“Alright.” Joe walked over and took the axe from Tommy. “Good.”

Tommy liked the violence; he had scars all over his hands and he was covered in crude, tattoos he had done himself; Skulls, snakes – the usual. Tommy had used his key to his old home the first time he gave himself a tattoo; a lightning bolt on his right hand. The reason: Tommy's Father had decided to go across the water to find some work.

“Take care of yourself Tom. Don't forget me boy, y'hear?” He gently placed his hand on Tommy's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. Seeing his Father leave wasn't anything to Tommy, just another name to forget in time. ohhh, it was a retrospective exposition storm, I get it

The storm grew stronger as the group sat in the bunker, the rain started to hit the tin roof; like a million ball-bearings being fired from the sky, or like one of the kids said “like an army of small people skipping across the roof .“ This is like a cage match for terrible analogy of the year. Both contestants retire, defeated.

The group huddled up on the dusty benches in the bunker, the lights flickered as the two generators struggled with the unexpected extra work. Some of the kids were crying as thunder began to rumble overhead. Joe's insistence that the storm wouldn't hit being proven false. dude I thought he was infallible why u lie author guy

Tommy noticed Sasha holding her cross.

“You going to pray? For this to stop, hmm?” Tommy snarled.

“I pray everyday for you not to be such a prick Tom.”

“How many loving times have I told you not to call me..” Tommy was interrupted by Joe's hand grabbing his arm.

“Sit down.”

Joe agreed with Tommy though: he rejected religion years ago.

“Who needs Gods when we can outlive them? We're all Gods now; unbreakable, watching decades go past in the blink of an eye.” Joe had told Tommy once. Tommy tried to inscribe part of it onto his arm but the pain got the better of the inspiration. He only got up to “Who needs Gods.” He liked it that way.

Sasha broke the silence “What if it's true? About the woman up in Birmingham.”

“It's not.” Joe stood up and stretched. “It's not true now and it will never be true again.” See, I quite like this aspect of it but you surround it with so much irrelevant detail and fumbling filigree, that you have no space to do anything interesting with the premise.

Tommy was staring at the floor. He looked up and said “Don't you wonder what it would be like Joe?”

Joe sat down, looked up to the ceiling and sighed “No. Not for a long time.”

“I suppose you stop questioning life when death isn't the answer any more.” this is what is known as a sledgehammer point because reading it is like getting hit in the face by a sledgehammer. Sasha said, letting go of her cross.

The storm rumbled on, with no let-up in sight. cliche The group huddled together and waited.

They just waited. Unf. This comes close to being tolerable. You have lots of nearly good lines and phrases in here, and lots of good complicated ideas and images that you're juggling, but you drop the chainsaw and cut off your toe and the chicken runs away squawking.

Quidnose posted:

Sting like a 01100010
1192 words

The nanocream pierced his skin in upwards of 10,000 places, but of course Ten didn’t feel a thing. Once on a tour he had felt a slight tickle when the salve was applied, but it had turned out the service unit was a knockoff made of a cheap aluminum alloy, to which he was allergic. The model currently treating him wasn’t top of the line, but it didn’t give him a rash. This is very beep boop science fictional but has so far given me nothing to care about.

“Knock knock, Champ.” Olly stood in the doorway, grinning. “How ya feeling?’”

“Stiff.” Ten clenched his fist, increasing the blood flow. Now he felt the microscopic pinpricks that came as the nanobots worked. The service unit finished attaching the monitoring diodes, then settled in the corner and switched from the low hum of high-grade lithium to an ancient recording of something called a Bing. Ten found it mildly pleasing. Yawn.

“I’m not surprised, considering.” Olly projected a screen from his watch into the air and flipped the digital sheets with a swipe of his hand. “You gave the twins hell. Number seven is on the decommission list.” Still dull.

The feeling had finished draining from the areas where the cream was spread, and the robot’s face switched from an unremarkable female avatar to a digital timer that began to tick down, legal information regarding restorative technology scrolling below it. Ten reached out and put his hand on the readout and the screen changed to an interview program. Even duller if possible.

“Let’s see, then.” Olly pulled up a calendar, scanning with his fingertips. “You have two days off and then you’re back in Hong Kong. Cheap scrap job there, they want him down in the first. But you know, make it look a little more convincing, maybe. Crowd wants to see a little danger, after all.” Ditto.

Ten laughed short. He had been fighting for six hundred years, but he was sure he would never understand that particular dichotomy. What

Olly tabbed forward. “Then you’re scheduled to have six months taken off, shouldn’t take more than five hours, in-patient. Just a light tune up. Oh, which reminds me.” He pulled up a comm-panel and opened a message in light purple stationery. “Your wife wants to know if you want her to go to twenty-five or twenty-one this time.” OMIGOD THIS IS DULL I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THESE PEOPLE PUTTING ON FUTURE OINTMENT AND ORGANISING THEIR FUTURE CALENDARS

“Twenty-five is fine.” Ten opened and closed his fist. The nerve endings were returning. A few more seconds of pinpricks and the aches would be gone. “Spend the extra money on a fruit basket for her. Organic.” gfgnfngfgfFGFGNFNGFNG

Olly whistled. “Big spender.” He pulled up a spreadsheet and scrolled, grinning wickedly. “Although I guess you can afford it, putting your life on the line every night.” ...

“Nobody’s life is on the line, Oliver.” The service unit beeped and the female avatar returned. It rolled over to Ten and switched to a medical readout, arms extending from secret compartments in its silver frame. “Not since the fix.”

“Everything’s a fix, innit? It’s the show, kid.” Olly put his index finger to his nose and winked. “Who knows? Maybe one day a ‘droid’ll win.”

“Yeah. Maybe.” Ten held out his arms. The robot began to disconnect the sensors, humming quietly. HOLY SHITBALLS what was the point of those words

---

He was just pulling the door to the diner open when three metallic fingers clamped around his wrist. He turned and looked into a poorly painted face. She was an older model, smoothing around the edges, her metal a far cry from the lustrous sheen it might have had, once. Ten was a bit surprised; there weren’t supposed to be any non-Humans in the dining sector. “Can I help you?” Ok this is actually better. Why not start with this?

“YOU ARE THE TEN.” She was older than he had initially thought; her speech software was foreign, tinny, far from the human lilt of recent upgrades. Ten hated dealing with outdated technology, but it was a dream come true for his PR Department whenever he did. It’s the show…

He smiled at her, hoping it masked his irritation. “That’s me all right.” He pulled a small digipad from his pocket and flipped it open while he fished for a stylus. “Who should I make it out to?”

“SERVICE UNIT 88-129-0. HE IS FIGHTSCRAP NOW. YOU HAVE SCRAPPED. INQUIRY.”

Ten looked up, confused. “Strange dedication.”

The robot rolled forward on bald tires, a little too close. Ten took a step back. “TWENTY CYCLES AGO WAS HE BESTOWED FOR SHELTER KEEP. CLEAN MAINTAIN AND SHELTER KEEP. CYCLES AND MEMORY BANKS FULL OF 88-129-0. NOW FIGHTSCRAP. INQUIRY.”

“Look, lady, I don’t choose who I fight.” He tried to move away, but she followed. “They should have sent you tickets to the next one. If they didn’t—“

“NO FIGHT. INQUIRY.” Her metal appendages opened and closed on Ten’s wrist, tightening with each spasm, a desperate, inhuman claw.

It was too much, even from a PR standpoint. He pushed her hard and she rolled, brakes clicking, into the side of the building. She lost her balance and toppled over sideways into the trash. Her wheels spun endlessly, finding only empty air and soda cans. Aw, ok, just like that we are friends again. I like this, the details are well chosen, there's emotional resonance, I like the robo dialogue.

He spat at her crumpled parts. “Crazy scrapping defect! What are you, beta? Jesus.” He gave her one last scowl before turning and heading into the diner.

Her speakers blared a monotone shriek, threating to burst from the sudden volume. “INQUIRY. INQUIRY. HE WAS THE ONLY. TO YOU HE WAS FIGHTSCRAP BUT TO ME HE WAS THE ONLY. INQU-”

The door closed behind him, and he was out of the cold.

Ten sat at the counter and picked up a menu. For an instant, he thought he felt a pang of guilt, then realized his mistake: he was just hungry.

---

The bell sounded and they advanced from their corners. The android lead with a quick, low jab, and Ten took the full weight of the machine. The blow hit him like a transporter, and he could almost hear the resonance of metal against skin in his eardrums. He felt his rib snap, shift, and instantly re-fuse tissue and bone. He covered his face with his hands as his opponent lay into him, hit after hit into a body like a boxing bag. Then the scripted opening, and it was his turn to lead the dance. Parry, duck, jab, a left sidestep, jab, duck, jab, a forward press, jab, jab, jab, jab, jab. UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT A B START The android was on the ground now, his face a mess of metal and silicone, circuitry showing between the wires where his eye hung, the pupil focusing and unfocusing like the lens of a camera, I like the details hereand still Ten’s fists pummeled him, his knuckles raw to dry bone and flecked with bits of titanium, drops of his sweat turning to steam where they met exposed mechanisms as the battery flow pumped, slowed, stopped. He roared, and then he was standing with the android’s head in his hand, the spinal column dangling and twitching like an alien bug. Then it was over. His victory theme blared from the speakers. It’s the show. It’s the show. It’s the show.

The crowd roared out, hungering for the blood that never came. The android’s eyes swirled in his head, taking in the entirety of the crowd. Oil leaked onto the matt in small, greasy droplets. Okay that entire first section was a waste of space and could have been compressed into a line. But I like the last two, so on balance YOU ROBO-PASS.

QuoProQuid posted:

(#28)

Death in Dorset - 723 words

When the Earl of Dorset entered the chamber, he was greeted by angry murmurs. A thousand men had come to complain. he is a fast counter!! The largest crowd yet. Mayors, barons, soldiers and priests huddled together and watched him with distrustful eyes. The young Earl positioned weak verb himself on his throne and motioned for the visitors to begin. The room erupted in shouts.

“My liege, this has got to end. You’ve disrupted the natural order!” said a heavy-set fisherman, this is terrible dialogue in case you were wondering who managed to make himself heard over the din by banging his spear against a pillar until the room quieted. you have the order wrong here. bang first, then speak. His flesh pulsed as he spoke and his face contorted in agony.

“My family can’t eat!” he hunched over in pain as his gut writhed. his gut writhed and he hunched over in pain is the right order.

A priest forced his way forward, shoving aside a cavalryman whose neck was held together by a single tendon. his neck was a single tendon. That's all that was left. The soldier’s head rolled across his chest and fell with a snap to the floor. Someone behind him fainted.

“I haven’t been able to get a moment of quiet in days. My entire congregation thinks the End Times are upon us and yesterday someone stole the tabernacle. They are passing the Eucharist out like sweets. It’s sacrilegious!”

“Uh yeah?” shouted someone from the back, “You try takin uh poo poo recently? Chamberpots ah literally overflowing. I can’t take so much as uh stroll down tha street without stepin in it. There’s filth everywhere.” your dialogue is pretty terrible I am afraid. as with speaking, if you can't do accents well don't do them

The complaints continued. Meat writhed and breathed even after being served. Pox victims walked the streets, dropping mounds of flesh behind them. Abbeys were overcrowded with the injured whose wounds would not heal. Stone slabs had to be dragged onto graves to prevent the dead from wiggling to freedom and there were rumors that the Pope was going to excommunicate the entire realm for offenses against God. This is actually a decent para, and you could have started with this and got on with the story.

The Earl raised a hand and a hush fell over the crowd. Somewhere in the distance, a building collapsed.

“And what would you all ask me to do about these atrocities?”

“Your Grace,” the fat man managed to settle the fish swimming in his stomach, “we intercede on behalf of your prisoner, Death.” I would have put this a bit further up in the story. Everyone in the story knows it, so you might as well tell the reader too.

The Earl frowned, “But how can I release a creature who stands accused of treason against myself and my family. It would not be just! You know how I found him, do you not?”

“Yes, my liege. The entire county-”

“I returned from the hunt early and found the beast skulking in my personal quarters, trying to break into my wife’s room, trying to intimidate the midwife into opening the door,” he was shouting now, “Is this the thing you want released? A fiend that preys on the weak? A monster that would deprive me and the entire realm of an heir? I am not about to let MY authority be undermined!”

“My liege,” said the priest, suddenly looking very old, “perhaps we can negotiate with Death? Agree upon a ransom? Please. I don’t think the county can survive anymore upheaval. Let him go under the condition that he spare your dynasty.”

The Earl combed a grey hair from his face and motioned for his guards to bring Death from its cell. I've always wondered how guards know to do exactly the right thing when Earls and what have you wave at them. are we talking some kind of ASL or what are we talking about?

The prisoner was brought into the chamber with thick manacles covering its arms and legs. Once more, a hush fell over the crowd and they parted to let the figure pass. Death smiled and bowed before the throne.

“Thank you for the audience, Edward. Your hospitality is uncommon.”

The Earl frowned at the creature before him, “Death, I have brought you here to negotiate the terms of your release. Surrender all claims over my dynasty and you shall be freed.”

“Edward,” said Death, tilting his head at an angle that gave the Earl a headache, “You are too hasty! What reason do I have to negotiate with you?”

“I could have you thrown into the oubliette for eternity. Do you think I can’t hold you? My cells are impenetrable.”

Death’s eyes, unmoving, watched everyone in the room at once. The rusted chains around his arms bent as they scraped together, “Ach, is death german coz that explains a lot but you are too hasty! My companion is here to rescue me. Your walls cannot stop him. Even now, he rallies at my defense.”

“And who,” said the Earl, brushing dust from his robe, “would befriend Death?”

“Time,” the creature said over the roar of crumbling bricks and decaying mortar. Lame twist ending. This suffers from terrible dialogue, a dumb (but rescuable) concept and nothing actually happening. On the plus side,

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

I will crit 1 person who seb isn't critting. This better not lose me 250 words.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

crabrock posted:

I will crit 1 person who seb isn't critting. This better not lose me 250 words.

Good lord man of course not we are not monsters

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

crabrock posted:

I will crit 1 person who seb isn't critting. This better not lose me 250 words.

I'd rather Seb critted it but I guess you'll have to do.

The Artist

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

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

crabrock posted:

I will crit 1 person who seb isn't critting. This better not lose me 250 words.

Yes please

First time I ever wrote a story, I'll take any feedback I get

edit: Ah gently caress.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Entenzahn posted:

Yes please

First time I ever wrote a story, I'll take any feedback I get

edit: Ah gently caress.

Whimsical judge ruling: crabrock has to crit this one too.

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

Entenzahn posted:

Yes please

First time I ever wrote a story, I'll take any feedback I get

edit: Ah gently caress.

I feel bad for jumping in so quickly so here, have my first Thunderdome crit.

Entenzahn posted:

#24

Sport of Kings
747 words

Twenty seconds to go and they were still five points behind. Johnny Botambo was in the pitch with the other 24 players of the Ghana Panzerfausts, all huddled around their coach. "Right guys, we've got the entire field before of us and not much time. So here's the plan.." [Guessing this should be a full ellipsis. You need to make sure mistakes like this aren’t appearing, especially this early on] , the coach waited for a few seconds and the whole team erupted in laughter. There was no plan in goreball. "Okay, but seriously, go out there and score. You're embarrassing me." [I actually like the subversion here and you’ve now set a tone to expect.]

The Panzerfausts gave a shout and wandered [That’s a very casual way for them to travel. You don’t think they could have been more active than “wandering”? Did they forget about what they were doing and managed to end up back in the game by chance?] back onto the field. Their opponents, the U.S-Kickers, brandished shiny swords and modern guns and in the case of Drony McBot, robo-mascot and star scorer of the team, machine guns and a remote signaler for anti-personnel rockets. Ghana relied mostly on outdated World War 3 technology [Yeah, I don’t know what World War 3 tech looks like. I can imagine the US team because you’ve given descriptions and information, but Ghana? Who knows?]. Johnny lined up behind Noah "Crusher" Mambase, their kingwhacker. It was his giant hands that held the ball at the start of the drive, and it was his hands that had to carry or pass it into the deadzone. This was basically the only rule of goreball so people took it very seriously.

All around Crusher[Stick a comma here so you don’t get people reading about Crusher Ghana’s tanks like I just did] Ghana's tanks, giants encased in Kevlar and heavy metal, brandished rusty cleavers and bulletproof shields with which they hoped to keep their kingwhacker safe [Okay, you’re talking about all this military technology and then suddenly use “tanks” in a gamey way, like the big armoured guy who can take a hit. When I read this in context I started thinking about actual, honest-to-God tanks and then they were holding cleavers and had bulletproof shields and I was all “what shouldn’t a tank be bulletproof anyway why does it have a shield” and then I read it back and I was all “ooooh” but I don’t want to do that so make it clear and be sure you’re using words that give the correct impression in context]. Johnny on the other hand was long and frail, the leaper of the team, and armor would only weigh him down. He tried to blend in with the gunners and flankers and kamikazes around him [I know what Johnny looks like now but not what the gunners and flankers and kamikazes look like and all the descriptions I’ve had of Ghana’s team so far are big guys wearing armour and now this nerd is trying to blend in with them and I can only see it as comically ineffectual. This comes back to the need to the need for some description of the “outdated World War 3 technology”] and nervously played with the grenades on his belt.

Cheerleaders unloaded their assault rifles into the roaring crowd. The red cloud of blood was their signal to start. [I guess this seemed like a good idea to highlight the deathlessness in your head but really? Do people not feel pain either (if they don’t then you need to establish this before you do something like this)? This seems more like a terrorist attack.] Guns and swords and shields and rocket launchers were raised and somewhere a drone beep-booped and bullets started flying. Their offensive line was strong and numerous and pushed the enemy halfway across the field until their right flank was hit by an exploding kamikaze that catapulted three Ghanaian players out of the stadium.

Enemy tanks quickly rushed the weak spot and as Ghana's players shifted to meet them they were caught off-guard by another kamikaze on the other side. The line imploded. Crusher turned around and hurled the ball towards Johnny moments before his head was cut off by an oversized steak knife that read 'Everything is bigger in Texas'[I like the description of the battle so far and snorted appreciatively at the steak knife. A good snort] . "Leap [Comma. Go and learn about commas or proofread your work more if you already know about them] Johnny", roared Crusher's head, "leap like you've never lept [I thought you’d typo-ed “leapt” but then I remembered your spelling is American anyway so I googled it and “lept” is apparently an archaic form. Anyway, use “leaped” because this doesn’t fit in with the rest of your words] before". Tanks were sprinting [I was about to be all “tanks can’t sprint what’s going on?” but then I remembered that tanks aren’t tanks, they’re tanks. Do you see what you’ve done to me?] towards him. Eyes wide in terror, Johnny took a grenade off his belt, counted to three and threw it to his feet.

He barely managed to hold on to the ball as his broken body whirled through the air. Across the field [comma]another explosion occurred and the American leaper surged past him, screaming "The Pain" [Is this the title of a song or should that be ”the pain!” there?] over and over again. Proper leaping was all about the correct technique, thought Johnny.

The clock expired just as he landed a few inches short of the deadzone. His bones and intestines were broken [Broken intestines doesn’t sit right. Couldn’t his bones be broken and his intestines be something else? Like strewn around him or spread across the dirt?] but most of the other players had forgotten about the match and were facing to bloodshed [Facing to bloodshed? What does this even mean? Facing the bloodshed? So after the cheerleaders unload assault rifles into the crowd to signal the beginning of the match, suddenly everybody is like “shed a tear for those lost…”] in the middle of the field. Johnny clenched his teeth and wobbled pathetically towards the deadzone, inching ever closer. He lifted the ball with his good arm. Slowly edged it closer. Just as the ball touched down Johnny heard a beep-boop and the roar of machineguns and it exploded in his face.

One referee gave the score. One called it short. The third one had joined the brawl in the middle of the field. [That’s funny. I like it.] Boos and cheers echoed from the ranks equally. The referees shrugged and waved the audience towards them. They didn't have to ask twice. Waves of people washed over the stands and clashed on the field to settle the dispute, mingling with the few goreball players that where still standing. Specks of flesh and blood polluted the air as the cheerleaders opened fire to support their teams. Tanks [Every time I read this now I’m getting annoyed] broke bones and spines while kamikazes strangled people with their own intestines. Drony McBot ordered a precision-strike that destroyed part of the western stadium wall and hurt a few innocent bystanders.

The dust settled after an hour of carnage and a handful of Ghanaian fans and players were the only ones still conscious and standing.

"Score for Ghana", croaked a referee, wriggling on the ground as if that would unbreak his spine any sooner. "Match ends with a 5-1 victory for the U.S-Kickers." The Panzerfausts cheered. Johnny beamed as they lifted his smoking, broken body and carried him off to celebrate. [There are only “a handful of Ghanaian fans and players” left. This cheering and carrying malarkey seems beyond them but you could probably make a joke about that fact.]

Pros:

You kept the jokey tone throughout except for one possible "faced the bloodshed" thing.
I laughed a bit.

Cons:

I've already highlighted the bits I thought went too far above (the cheerleaders) and this has been mentioned in your original crit but you took the prompt:

quote:

I want you to give me a glimpse into a world where no one ever need fear death, and how this would redefine what it means to be human.

and wrote an (admittedly humourous) story about a disgustingly brutal type of American football. On top of that you had some clear typos that you should have spotted with a thorough readthrough. Also, those loving tanks.

If this was the first story you've written then goodish job with your prose but next time actually write something that meets the prompt. "Redefine what it means to be human" does not mean "create the Thunderdome from Mad Max" (not sure what inspired you to do that in the first place). Your story can be as good as you like but if you're not writing what people are asking for then they're not going to publish it/give it the awards/pay you for it. You can write whatever you want whenever you want but this is not the place for you to then stick it.

If this was a death it would be... that guy in a group of soldiers who keeps making wise-cracks and breaking the tone in a gritty war film, then everybody is secretly relieved when he steps on a landmine.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

Amused Frog posted:

I'd rather Seb critted it but I guess you'll have to do.

The Artist

Well if you're gonna be a jerk about it then I'm not going to hold anything back.

Amused Frog posted:

#23

The Artist zzzzz. sounds like some sort of dumb foreign film.

Nights are the best for viewing him. During the day, punter after punter comes through and gawks or takes photos, which is pointless because there are far better images available in the gallery shop, and he just lies there. Meh. Not technically horrible, but why tell me about it then? That doesn't really tell me much about anything other than the "punters" (which i just looked up, means customer in british?), who I am assuming are not the focus of this story. You should rephrase it so that people still feel the need look at him even though there are better pictures. right now it just sounds like the customers are stupid. In the nights though, he's more active. I don't know why and I can't talk to him to ask him, but he paces the box, exercises, speaks to himself I think, but the box is soundproof. awkward. rephrase

your main thing here is that you have an unsure narrator. Which isn't really that fun to read, because I have no way to gauge how wrong this guy is or whatever. he's just sewing doubt in my mind about your protag. there are better ways to do this that to add a bunch of "i thinks."

It didn't used to be this way. telling, also confusing. which way? he didn't used to lay around all day or he didn't used to be active at night? both? I've watched him become more inanimate since I began. He'd pace around all day or do press-ups when I first started. Now, he spends the days lying on his back. You just showed me all the things you just told me in your first paragraph. We're not learning anything new, you're just repeating yourself. You could basically cut out most of your words at this point and left those 3 sentences and I'd have the same knowledge Some people who are these mysterious people? give them some depth. are they people who have paid to come see him? people who read about him on the internet and form an opinion? kids who are told bed time stories about him? WHO? have even claimed he's not really in there and it's a dummy or manikin did you mean mannequin? manikin is something other than what it sounds like you're describing; you just called him small and deformed. or something. I'm here all day and all night though, and it's still him.

A short story title should be immediately relevant to your story. Right now I'm still wondering how this guy is an artist or whatever, because you haven't given me any clues. You should do that thing. Right now this story is reading like it should be titled The Prisoner

As for the punters, I see the same look of admiration You need to explain the sources of this admiration a little bit. Right now he sounds like a freak from the way you've described him, and not like somebody people would admire. day-after-day, and I can feel it creep across my face late at night still. It isn't the exhibition that they're impressed by, it's the artist's dedication. We're only in the seventy-ninth year of his encasement, but people have been turning up in droves since the third or fourth from what management told me when I began. Ugh. This is so telly. Just telling me everything. This isn't a story, it's a description. And it's a little boring. It's also a little interesting, because I want to know why the gently caress this dude is in a box (other than he's david blaine or something?), so I'll keep reading, but I wish you'd handle it more deftly.[/b]

We didn't used to keep precise visitor numbers, but I asked if we could when I noticed the crowds getting larger year-on-year. oh boy, thanks for this history lesson. Management said we could and it turns out we've had more visitors every year since recording began. The fiftieth was an exception; numbers almost doubled from the year before as people came to see the halfway mark, but the fifty-first's numbers were still up from the forty-ninth's. These are all dry facts, like out of an encyclopedia or government report. You could have handled this with "And there were more visitors every year." and conveyed the same information. Or, since even that is boring, you could spice it up with some literary poo poo. "The number of visitors each year rose like my blood pressure upon seeing my exwife." bla bla bla. Just don't tell me things. WRITE about them.

Nobody else looks at the figures, and the only reason they started keeping them was fear of losing me, I think. holy poo poo, I really don't care about how many people come see this bastard. SHOW ME HIS STORY. Most attendants leave after a few years, but I've stuck around for decades now. telling I started in the thirteenth year of the exhibit and kept requesting to be put on duty for it. WHY? you don't really give any rationale or motivation for all this poo poo, you just tell me. if the motivation and what not is coming later, then cut all this boring crap out. I got my way because nobody else wanted to be in charge of what was easily our most popular work why? this seems to be counter-intuitive, and it requires working nights too every night? some nights? all night? 24 hours?. I've been here nearly as long as him, but people aren't impressed if you're just standing around on the ground rather than suspended in a glass box. you're nearer the end when you finally tell me what is up with this guy. bad. don't hide poo poo from your readers that your narrator knows. that's just rude. There's nothing flashy or showy about standing on the ground. trust your reader to understand that. no need to tell us, plus you already did with "people aren't impressed" just a line back.

Something about more vagueness. I think that it's because you don't know what it is, not because the narrator doesn't. This is the worst writing sin. the artist's dedication keeps people fascinated. <- This sentence is BS filler People can't believe somebody has actually done something like this. telling. show the amazement and reaction of the crowds. You get critics, of course, saying "he's just lying in a box. I could do something like that." But they don't. Nobody does. Everybody puts things off. Um. when did this turn into a story about procrastination? If this is the theme of the story you should have introduced it a lot earlier. it comes out of nowhere, when the theme so far has either been "patience" or "wonder" (you haven't really been clear on the story you're trying to tell here. "There's no rush," they figure, "I'll do it next month, or next year, or next century," and then they just drag on, doing the same thing year after year forever.

I'm no better than them. I've done nothing with my life. The biggest commitment I've made is staying with this job for thirteen years. It's the same admiration for the artist that's kept me here though. You're jumping all over the place. procrastination, admiration, self-loathing. Pick a theme/narrative and stick with it.

There's just under twenty-one years left of the exhibition now. boring fact. is it significant? if not, find a better way to state it. just don't make crap up to make it seem more "real" I don't know what I'll do when it ends. I've felt like I've had purpose this entire time. I don't want to go back to the day-to-day, empty existence of everybody else. ugh shut up. I want to know more about this guy and his story and why is he doing this, and you're whining about your quarter-life crisis. I don't want to spend the day waking and seeing the same faces, spend the weekends seeing my parents, grand-parents, great-grandparents, scores of ancestors, who knows how many cousinsfamily?this sentence is not a question, even with your original text The exhibition has given me something to grab hold of, and I dread the day it ends. ...

Um. Your story isn't one. This man stuck in glass is a prop for your narrator to talk to me about numbers of visitors (why?), their future job prospects (why?) and to whine about life in general. It has absolutely no relevance to this other than for the segue of "the critics say..." but you could have done that for almost anything. People think a lot of performance artists are wasting their life. But instead of contrasting that with your narrator's life in a productive way by showing me the similarities or discordance, you just flat out have him go "oh, i guess me too."

What exactly does this attendant do besides keep numbers? Does he collect tickets? Money? I have no idea. He's literally just a dude sitting watching another dude and thinking. This does not make for a good story. If you were sitting around a campfire, and somebody said "hey man, I want to tell you some of the things I thought when I was watching this other dude sit and do nothing," you'd probably want to kill yourself. "Oh, by the way, the dude was in glass for 79 years. but that's not important, i wonder what my next job will be?"

I also feel very detached from the story, because it's something being told to me, rather than shown to me. That's a whole degree of separation, and furthermore, I don't even feel like this guy is really telling me the truth. He has too many qualifiers that makes me think he doesn't even know wtf is going on in his own life. Stick with third person past tense for most cases, not this first person "let me tell you about a time in my life" crap. People want to be in the story, experience it for themselves. Not be told about something. If you're going to do first person you should be a relay for the reader to experience the world through your eyes, not to tell them a story about somebody else while you think shallow, mundane thoughts.

This will lead to your narrator sounding more sure about the story he's telling too. "His dedication to his craft, despite all the pain that was going on outside his box, fascinated all who came to his exhibit." is 10000 times better than "Something about the artist's dedication keeps people fascinated." An unreliable narrator is fun because it's somebody who's super sure about what they're telling you, but they're not telling you the whole truth, and it's up to you to tease apart what is true and what isn't. This "unsure" narrator is frustrating to read, because there's no benefit for me for NOT knowing something or being able to trust you. If you don't know something, don't mention it. Or make an arrogant guess. Pretend you know. The reader will pick up on whether or not the character is full of BS, but to have it be so wishy-washy is just annoying.

Formatting: holy wall of words. Man, break up your paragraphs some. You have 8 paragraphs and they progressively get longer and more boring. This means that your story is too heavy on exposition and not enough of exciting action/dialogue. If you find yourself having long paragraphs after each other, go back in and insert some one sentence zingers to really spice poo poo up.

Lastly, your economy of words. You could tell this "story" in 500 words easily. I crossed out SOME of these useless qualifiers and what not, but not nearly all of them. Just the really obvious ones. A few editing passes with an eye for cutting will fix these right up. You add a bunch of superfluous stuff that doesn't help your story. What the hell was all that stuff about counting visitors and what not? Why do I care that this is becoming more popular? You didn't take that anywhere. Don't stick stuff in your story just because. If that was supposed to have some point, you failed to land it.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

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




Yeah, I got nothing. I'm a cowardly rear end in a top hat, withdrawing from this week's.

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.


The Leper Colon V posted:

Yeah, I got nothing. I'm a cowardly rear end in a top hat, withdrawing from this week's.

Princess, if you keep pulling out, you'll never make it to the ball to dance with me. No Longer Flaky is more man than you and I'm not even sure if that person is a man. Next time you wanna join a prompt, you should toxx yourself. It's getting embarrassing how many times you've dropped out.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


crabrock posted:

It’s holding her and she jumps away? Into her fate to slay the beast? Sweet fate I guess. It doesn’t seem like it’s really hard to face your fate when it’s good. Why bother making acid blood if it doesn’t faze her?


Where is the conflict in this? Nothing can stop the powerful man, so it’s not interesting. Was he saving something or just being a jerk? Your story ends with the whole world breaking, which I’m guessing means the end of the human race. Thanks a lot jerk.


both hands on both boobs or one hand for each? details man. also, this is “internet epic” not “odyssey epic”


first god killing story. where is the conflict in this? a man gets to heaven and tries to kill a god. what is stopping him? the whole story is describing how pretty a place it is. boring.


demons and angels aren’t the same thing, but you seem to use them interchangeably. Why can this guy withstand a nuke? why does a demon have so much potential energy? Why is he killing one with a guitar? why does it matter that it’s a bass guitar, is the guy super boring?


oh cool, adjectives. there is a lot of talk of bellies in this one. it made me hungry. also i hate this.


conflict: none. resolution: none. interest: none. this is really boring.


66 words. holy poo poo your first sentence is overwrought bullshit. It does absolutely nothing for your story. STOP WRITING LIKE THIS. write a simple sentence. Is this basically: “somebody looks up. somebody watches something move. he gets a boner. he is embarrassed, and then he cums his pant. really? you thought that was a good idea because you made it vague and dressed it up in thesaurus words? imma get a newspaper and hit you on the nose


you spend your first half talking about some vague guy who kills a lot. the only thing your character does is try to fight him because…. revenge? duty? he’s stupid? I dunno. but he sucks and gets beat up. great story.


the middle conflict doesn’t seem real or dangerous enough. never does she seem worried, so I never fear for her. was the world-eater really going to eat the world? why can’t it eat one girl? surely there are sharp things in the world. how big is this thing? why does it hate the world?


sweet. this is a good story.


no conflict in this one. a guy does what he sets out to do. you could at least have his feet slip or something.


again, no setback. everything just happens as it seems like it should.


how are there people if the sky and earth broke? who are these people? who is the beast. this was called 100 word epic, not 100 word vagueries.


thanks for the hard and deep fanfic. but where exactly is the conflict? a dude rides into town and is winning and then is killed by god. real epic. EPIC FAIL LOLALSDK;J


Ok. a man did some stuff. so?


a man imagines a roar and plays some music and that makes it rain? was he ever in danger? it just seems like these two things are happening far away from each other and are only connected because you say they are.


why is it inevitable? and that makes them kill slaves? and then a guy commits suicide?and liked it? this is not epic, it’s just a series of stupid events.


i’m not really sure why this char killed a god. gotta have motivation for your characters. also things happened how she wanted. no setback.


why are they fighting? i have no idea what’s going on. What are the stakes if they’re already dead? why does everybody hate god?


why is this man so angry? what is he fighting for? where is the setback? it’s just mostly description of a REALLY TOUGH DUDE.


BONER ATTACK. no setback though. they just set out to die and seems they will.


oh hey. this has a setup, a conflict, a setback, and a resolution. good job.


so i’m assuming he died? or did he realize he’d been pranked? you have a lot of setbacks here, i’m guessing that’s where everybody else’s went, right here. but you don’t have a good set up. where is this bomb and why does it matter? who is this guy and what is his motivation for defusing the bomb. he fails, now what?


this isn’t even really a thing. it’s just a poop joke. that’s cool though.


uh. some stuff happens. the main character strokes his spear. post your masturbatory allegories somewhere else.


set up, conflict, set back, and resolution. the resolution sucked, but meh.


no character motivations, no reason for this stuff to happen. don’t really care at the end.


setup, ….no motivation, why did he have to kill the bear? but you do have a setback and resolution, so kudos.


this is the best one here. congrats. you can sleep with my wife.


why does this guy gotta… kill something? I dunno. also, no setback. Ur mom.


why do you switch from 3rd person to 1st person? there is no motivation here. there is just bad stuff happening to some people. boring.


you provided some setup and motivation, but then just went off the rails. I don’t really understand what happened.


motivation, set up, no real setback, lovely resolution. first half is good, second half sucks.


lets be best friends.


motivation, set up, a set back… no real resolution. you’re 3/4ths there.


setup, motivation, i think you kind of have a setback? but not really. he likes to kill but then he’s a drone pilot or something? but he still likes it? I dunno man.


setup… no motivation, no setback, no resolution. this is basically just window dressing. it’s ok, but not 100 word epic


this is all just dry fantasy porn. no lube. no motivation or setbacks, just some dudes fighting. BORING.


set up, motivation, not really a setback, just a realization, and then a resolution. it’s kinda funny, but you posted way too late.

My Winner: Kaishai. 2nd: Sitting Here.

Last place: everybody else

FYI you suck, let me elaborate

Anyone who DIDN'T write a story about huge muscular dudes or dudettes with swords/axes/loincloths/armor/beards/horned helmets/giant penises slaying each other on a sick medieval battlefield FAILED MISERABLY

Muffin said it had to be something Frazetta would draw or Iron Maiden would sing about. Not sure where setbacks and motivation and whatever other poo poo you said comes into that.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


tbf I really wish someone had written a story with giant muscular dudettes with huge penises slaying each other on a sick medieval battlefield

it's just a commentary on our gender-normative society that it didn't happen

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

Guiness13 posted:

Forever (563 words)

Death may be gone from the world, but I still wound up in hell. decent enough opening line. piques the curiosity. I've seen nothing but a slide-show of faces against a drop-tile ceiling for centuries; the faces as interchangeable as the tiles. ok now you lost me. what the heck is this? a metaphor? A literal slide show? it's a little too vague and over-written to be useful.

The world rejoiced when death stopped, but never considered the implications. telling Death was gone, but pain is as eternal as life. I feel like one of the things all new writers do is say to themselves "I need to drop some 'deep' truth bombs, and like, really impress with my succinct, wise statements." Only it feels forced and awkward, and a bit preachy. Just focus on telling me a story, man.

I’d left to pick up a gallon of milk. ok? is this relevant or just filler? why milk? why not juice? or a porno? or anything? I never saw the car that hit me. One minute I was starting through Green and Allen Drive do these street names matter?, the next the world spun and there were shards of glass flying everywhere. tell and show Pain roared through my body and fell silent. cliche, boring, telling. Here, I rewrote this for you: We were low on beer. I volunteered to make the run, being mostly sober. The light turned green, and then the world turned to shattered glass and the bleating of a car horn. I gasped for air through my crushed and glass-filled lungs until there was only silence.

When I woke, my daughter’s face hovered over mine. A drop-tile ceiling framed her head. oh ok, now your poo poo makes a little bit more sense. She was six then. Her eyes were red and wet, and her golden hair hung over me like a canopy. this is better

“Daddy? Daddy, are you awake?” I tried to form the word, Yes, but my mouth refused to cooperate. My chest clamped tight around my heart. Her eyes were wide and a slight smile born of hope was forming on her mouth. All I had to do was move, acknowledge her in some way, and that smile would blossom. I threw my mind into the fight of moving, straining until my brain throbbed. a little confused, because didn't he just wake up and look at her? clearly his eyes are moving.

Her smile faded, and her mother came and collected her. so wait, this little girl was just left alone with a comatose patient and is crawling all over him, he wakes up, and then she just goes home? you need a little bit more here, because it's killing my immersion.

For countless days weak this experience would repeat itself passive. Her face hovering over mine against the drop-tile backing. I don't like this switch to present tense. just keep it in the past. The hope burning in her eyes diminishing slightly each time. The throb of my head and the stabbing pain in my chest these are pretty much cliches as I failed to move awkward dead hands and a silent jaw appendages. Her tears falling as her mother pulled her away. so much telling. you should show this scene. Show this little girl begging her daddy to move or do something while the cold heartless mom just sits in the corner smirking.

One day I woke to nothing. so she was there EVERY time he woke before this? unbelievable.

As years stretched on my only companions were my thoughts and the parade of faces that marched across the ceiling ok it makes more sense, but it's a little weird, visually. you haven't totally sold me on it yet. Nurses and doctors, they would pass in and out of my vision and life. Yeah, I got that. You're just telling me what you just showed me. No face repeated for long.

This whole paragraph is repetative. You should cut out the first paragraph mention of the slide show and put it here instead. It's not strong enough to stand on its own, and you just end up repeating it here. The slide show metaphor is better than the "no face repeated for long" telling you end up doing.

I lingered through centuries. how? is this normal? is he some sort of medical oddity? or does it happen all the time in this world? do they not have any insurance policies for killing people like this? or is there no death? you leave too much unanswered here. The faces flashed like strobes. repetitive again I wanted to scream, to force some sound from my body. I struggled against the restraints in my mind. I could almost feel my arms moving as they lay limp and useless beside me.

I woke one morning he wakes up a lot to find the face of a nurse hovering over mine. the way you describe faces and hovering is very repetitive. consider punching it up a bit, finding some new way to talk about this. if you can't, then keep the best one and remove the other instances because they aren't important--if there's only one way to say something then it only needs to be said once. A faint smile touched her lips weak, but she had the blank gaze of a widow remembering her lost love. don't really know what these means, and how you interpret a blank gaze as that. why a lost love? why not a son, or a fond memory? what exactly makes you know it's a lost love? A strand of blond hair curled down from under her cap. Her face stirred lost memories. wait. you just start giving me a handjob and then walk away? you gotta finish man. what lost memories? i'm so close

She stayed with me for most of that morning. why? shouldn't she be working? is this some dumb thing like she's an angel? Finally, she stood up and started toward the door. Her footsteps echoed in my soul. haha. lame. don't do that. They stopped. I felt the passing of each second. telling Slow footsteps approached my bed and the nurse’s face reappeared. Her eyes were aflame and her gaze seared into me. oh it's the daughter. decent enough reveal.

“Please,” she said. “Give me some sign you’re still in there.”

My body lay still, but I thrashed under those eyes. I was certain she would stay if I could move. My mind flailed, imploring my eyes, my fingers, my toes, something the just move. The moment stretched, growing thinner as each second slipped through my dead fingers.

She stood up, the blaze in her eyes extinguished. She nodded to herself and wiped at her eye. She turned and walked out of the room. Her footsteps never faltered. I howled inside.

Your story has three main problems: verisimilitude, overwriting, and pacing.

There are a lot of things in your story that are unexplained and hard to swallow. Since I know that this is a "undying" week, I assume that he has to live like that forever? Only these story seems to take place over the course of about 15ish years? There's no rationale for why this guy is kept alive. If he was awake and conscious, he'd be able to move his eyes, and some system of communication would have been established. It's really hard to get into a story when you feel like there are other options the characters aren't exploring. You need to fix this with your writery powers. Stick him in some shithole country where no doctors understand his condition. Make him poor and unable to afford that level of care. Mention his living will. anything to convince me that this guy has no other recourse other than to lay there trapped.

You have a daughter that's there every time he wakes up, and then one day not. This is not believable because there would be times before were he woke up alone. Use your writery powers to fix this too. Likewise, a "nurse" that just sits there all day.

Your second problem is you just plain overwrite this piece. You try to be deep and wordy and it comes off as laughable. You're not a literary master yet. Stick to simple stories and you'll be able to add that stuff back in later when you know how to do it better. Right now it comes off as a bit pretentious and assumptive. I don't need to hear your philosophical views on death. Similarly, "echoed in my soul" doesn't really mean anything or add anything to the story that couldn't be described in a better way.

some of your descriptions are good, and some are bad. Learn to cut out the bad ones. I could tell you were really enamored with your "slideshow of drop-ceiling tiles" idea, but I don't think it strengthened this piece.

quote:

Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.

Third, your pacing is a little off. This is mostly the story of a guy laying in bed, and trapped. That's cool, and i was hoping somebody would take this route when I saw the prompt. You give a bit of a setup/backstory, and then give him a goal/have a conflict. But there's no real progress toward that goal, and only constant inability to do anything. This isn't exciting. The story then ends with him in the exact same state, without him having changed one bit from the moment he woke up. Do you see why that is frustrating to a writer? Even if he doesn't physically change, you need to have him change emotionally. Have HIM gain hope (progress), convinced he's going to wake up, have tiny setbacks, and then a climax. Even if the climax is his total ruin emotionally and giving up, it'll still be a better story for watching him go through the process.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Martello posted:

FYI you suck, let me elaborate

Anyone who DIDN'T write a story about huge muscular dudes or dudettes with swords/axes/loincloths/armor/beards/horned helmets/giant penises slaying each other on a sick medieval battlefield FAILED MISERABLY

Muffin said it had to be something Frazetta would draw or Iron Maiden would sing about. Not sure where setbacks and motivation and whatever other poo poo you said comes into that.

ur a butt

edit since people will see this and start writing shitposts unless I put content here: Most of us need all the practice we can get at writing interesting setbacks and believable character motivations. I don't see why huge sword fighting penisladies can't also have setbacks and motivations

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at Jan 16, 2014 around 22:21

Baudolino
Apr 1, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

petrol blue posted:



Business - 994 words Boring title. The best titles mean one thing when you start and something subtly different when you finish reading the story. This is just bland.

My spine itched. Of course it itched, this job just wouldn't have been quite perfect without that as well - only the best for me and Jones, as always. These two sentences are an even mix of pointless detail and dull who-gives-a-crap. The spine is never mentioned again, the clunky phrasing of 'this job just wouldn't etc', Jones (his partner?) never gets mentioned again. Plus it's never entertaining listening to people grumbling about their work. Words at the front of your story are gold dust - use them accordingly.Still, better to have it than to get dumped at sea by some rear end in a top hat with two brain cells to rub together. They never said how many had been stashed with Davey Jones before they put the system in place, and I was probably happier not knowing. See last comment, though I guess it's okay worldbuilding.

“Homicide?” That same tone of voice everyone used when they saw the badge, somewhere between surprise and amusement. Wait for it...

“Can't imagine you get much work these days?”

I muttered my way through the usual banter, shut her down when the questions cut too close to the bone. No need to let on that we just as big a joke to Them Upstairs. Maybe I pissed the lady off, or maybe Toombs was just that big of a prick, but it was near half an hour before I got to see the big man. I passed the time using a glossy pamphlet to pick dog poo poo out of my shoe. While i like the dogshit detail, why the gently caress do you have this nameless lady and their meaningless conversation? What do these paragraphs add? I know you're going for a gritty Homicide Life on the Streets vibe, but you can do that and convey a lot more than you are.

Toombs' 'office' turned out to be the whole top floor, a hell of a long way up, and it was fitted out just as nicely as you'd expect, though possibly with a bit less elegance. What is this vague bullshit. Give me details. The man himself was taller than he looked on TV, thinner, and the suit just made him look like a crow. yes to the crow observation though it's a little cliche.Old, but who isn't? Once people hit their late 80s it was hard to tell. He didn't get up from his seat. And yes. This last bit is an example of the sort of action conveying character that you should have started doing a lot earlier.

“Officer. What can I do for you today? Interested in dying, perhaps?”

“Sure. Who isn't?” He caught the sarcasm, seemed to take it as criticism of his work.

“Well, true, it's not death per se, but it's the finest substitute human minds can create, and improving by the year. I should know, I spend most of my time dead. I... Well, I was dead until your appointment, but Sharon thought I'd want to talk to a colleague in person. Both in the death business, you see?”

It was the same logic that'd got me put on the investigation. Didn't see it myself, but I let him prattle on. Never know when something important might slip into his sales pitch, and it gave me a chance to check the place out in more detail. Seems people would pay pretty well to not exist, and Toombs (“It's actually from the Aramaic for 'twin'”) just happened to have the right death wish and the cash to make it happen. Years of scientific research, near-total suppression of brain activity, yada yada.

“So, does it work?” I hadn't really meant to interrupt him, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious.

“Or your money back.” He grinned at that one. Practised, I could tell. “We offer the option of coming back after a set time, so you can decide whether to continue. You'd be surprised how few people take that option.”

No, I wouldn't. I'd done my homework, spent far too long digging through excruciatingly tasteful black-bordered leaflets looking for hard facts. It had surprised me the first time, though. He carries on with his spiel, and eventually offers to show me around. More like it.

As the elevatore spelling doors peel open, first thing I notice is the cold - nothing too bad, but enough to be noticable. spelling It's from the cryogenics, he says, shows me the long row of heavy doors like you see on meat fridges. I yank one open, mostly because he wasn't going to, and there's a slight pull to the action, like on your freezer.

Inside, it's the size of a shipping container. Three rows of 'corpses' about twenty deep each, hung like suits on a rack. Tubes and wires stick out of them, nothing I can make much sense of beyond 'medical'. It's real cold in here, somewhere about freezing. Toombs confirms it, reeling off figures about how cold slows the regeneration, nothing that'd be news to a school-kid. I poke at a few tubes, but my heart's not in it: I wouldn't be able to spot anything unusual here, and the cold was getting into my old bones. Still, it confirms one thing – pricey. But the cost of dying... Well, I could afford it. I question him on it. Honestly: who cares? You haven't given me anything to give a stuff about yet.

“Economies of scale”, he claims, and goes off into science again. Smart move if he's hiding something, I'm too out of my depth to tell if he's bullshitting me. We go back to his planned tour, but he's too smooth to let anything slip. It's an hour after I arrived before we go back to his office. I pretend to be satisfied, and see myself out.

Well, that's I tell him. I don't buy any of this poo poo, and I'm prickled by the way he treated me more like a potential customer than the law. I kill the elevator somewhere in the mid-teens, step into another corridor full of heavy doors.

Huh. Could be this floor's not in use, but it's more than just 'not cold', it's actively hot in here. I pull open one of the doors, and the temperature hits me like a blast furnace. Not just that, the smell too.

Meat.

They don't hear me over the sound of their powertools, so I get a good long look at the real 'death' Toombs is selling. The rows of bodies are the same, hanging from rails, but there's bags over their heads. The rest of them, it's fresh raw meat, being stripped off the bones by the workers. I do quite like this image, it's properly gross and vivid. Doesn't make any sense, mind, why wouldn't they just burn them or w/e?

I stumble retching back into the corridor, throw up on Toombs' shoes. Two goons grab me, hold me as he brags how easy I've made this for him.

Later, as the needles go in, he plays me the footage:

“Interested in dying, perhaps?”

“Sure. Who isn't?” Weak, weak ending. So people are being put to 'death', but they're actually being put to death to save money? who knows. Cliche investigator investigates, get put to allegedly reversible death, but actually real death. This is mostly competent in prose, but next time work on telling an actual story.

JamieTheD posted:

Eh, this is a try.

Fascinating (1033 words)

Today was the 109,589th day of Lyell-43's life, and it began, much like any other day, with maintenance. It was a dull procedure to Lyell, involving scans, poking and prodding, and the automated daily self-test of his memcording unit (working just fine, as usual), but it was important, although Lyell had forgotten why some time ago. After all, if it never went seriously wrong, and the procedure was important, why waste space on something as trivial as why these things kept him safe? Still, wasn't 300 years of life worth a little boredom each day? Don't talk about things being incredibly dull in the first para of your 1000 word story. You are a fisherman, standing on the shore, casting your line. Do not bait it with soggy newspaper.

And today, not even maintenance could dull his enthusiasm. A ship was coming to Earth, the first in some time. It had a berth free, and Lyell was first on the recruitment list.

“Lucky, really,” Lyell chuckled to himself “It's not often a spacer gets bored and leaves their ship.” A: still dull B: pointless C: no one talks to themselves like this

Having finished his maintennance, he took one last look around his home. The mementoes of his own life jostled for room with those of previous tenants, and the gardens... Well, Lyell had never been very interested in gardens. Rocks, mechanisms, astronomy... But never really gardens, or gardening. He hoisted up a carrysack with some small trinkets, jokingly saluted his place of residence, and left it.

The air was clean, and the wind was bracing. It was no more than an hour's walk to the spaceport, and the ship that would take him to the stars he'd so enjoyed this past 50 years or so. What was its name again? Lyell struggled to remember, as he'd never saved it in the memcording device (why waste space?), and as he did so, he felt a weak shove against his ankle. OMG SOMETHING HAPPENED STOP THE loving PRESS

Curiously, he looked down. It was... Some sort of animal? He'd seen animals, but never really looked at them closely. This one was breathing shallowly, barely moving, and furred. Its long tongue lolled from its mouth, and its eyes looked strangely calm for an animal. Perhaps it was tame.

In any case, it didn't really matter, because very shortly after Lyell noted this, the animal took one last breath, slumped down, and stopped moving. ok start the press again, it wasn't very interesting

Lyell-43 was fascinated. He knelt down, and examined the animal a little further. Its teeth were sharp, but its fur was greying in places. It wasn't breathing, it wasn't moving. Lyell rubbed his forehead, and scratched at his chin in confusion. No buzzing, so it didn't have a memcorder, like most tame animals on Earth. No movement, either, which was the puzzling part.

Shrugging, he picked the animal up, slung it over his shoulder, and continued walking toward the spaceport. It was the nearest building, after all, and he could ask the captain all about it. i cant wait

* * *

Marek-21, captain of the Iron Lady, stared at the person his manifest stated was a new crew member. More specifically, he stared at his left shoulder, where an animal was hanging, dead. Do you see how you could have started your story here and it would be better in every way? You've got characters, weird situations that the reader wants explained, conflict?

“Lyell-43, correct? You mind telling me why you've got a dead dog over your shoulder?”

Lyell looked blankly at the captain for a moment.

Marek sighed. “The animal. Over your shoulder. It's dead.”

“So it's a dog, is it? I've never really seen one before. But, terribly sorry, you used a word I've not really heard before. Er... Dead?” Boring dialogue. We know all this.

Marek scratched his chin. He looked Lyell up and down, mild distaste on his face. “Dead.” he grumped “As in, it is no longer living. Must have been someone's pet, us oldsters tend to keep pets without memcorders, breed them and the like. I didn't really look at your file too hard beyond your skills, so-” he paused, as if the subject was odd “-You're one of the younger ones? The ones who don't remember death?”

Lyell set down the animal carefullly, and shrugged. “Honestly, I've never even heard the word. And how can something... Well, not live?”

Marek grunted. “Let me put it like this: Have you ever done cliffdiving, or anything else the training manuals mark as dangerous?”

“Certainly, I used to spelunk a lot!”

Another grunt. “And do you ever remember having an accident?”

Lyell simply looked blank. Marek sighed “It's the 'ah' word, isn't it?”

Lyell nodded. Marek shook his head. “Different tack. Do you have any gaps in your memcording?”

Immediately, Lyell's face brightened up “Why yes, I do! I was always taught these weren't worth bothering myself about. After all, I'm always safe, and with the memcorder, I always get more experiences!”

Marek chuckled. “Well, it's going to be an interesting trip then. You say you're a geologist? And have some knowledge of astronomy?” Lyell nodded.

Marek's grin was somehow mocking, which confused Lyell. “Oh, don't worry, young one. You're definitely joining the crew, and our library's sure to be instructive!”

Lyell had a feeling this was a joke. Shame he didn't understand it. But you squander it with soggy newsprint dialogue. Don't write like people talk, write like people talk in good books.

* * *

The journey had been long to Alpha Centauri, and, as Captain Marek had stated, the library had been most instructive. Furthermore, it had given Lyell a whole new subject to research. How had he missed such a fascinating field of history, and biology, and other fresh material to experience?

A light tap on his shoulder made him jump in surprise. Turning, Lyell came face to face with Captain Marek. His grin was open, obviously delighted at the atavistic reaction of Lyell's.

Lyell grinned right back. “Ready?”

Marek stopped grinning, and stared Lyell hard in the eyes. “Ready. Your memcorder's been upgraded, everything else checks out... But I have to ask, are you ready for this?”

Lyell's face flushed. His breathing changed, and his throat felt tight. Seeing this, Marek simply nodded. Somehow, Lyell managed to nod back.

“No fear, then, Lyell-43?”
“No fear, captain Marek. Why should I fear something that will only hurt temporarily, and teach me something new?”

Marek smiled, stepped back, and levelled his boarding shotgun at Lyell's head. “I'll ask one more time before you become an oldster like me... Are you afraid, or in any way unsure?”

Lyell's smile was radiant. “It's a new experience, captain, and new experiences are valuable to those who never die. I'm sure it will be... Fascinating.” Unf. We harp on tell and show in here, and it's for a reason. You had the potential for a good story and a good change from start to finish, but you pretty much squander it on GUY IS BORED AND DUMB, GUY READS BOOKS. Why not have an actual conflict on (say) alpha centauri? challenge your protagonist, make their life difficult. Show us how he changes don't just tell us about it.

Kaishai posted:

Endless Night
(822 words)

Marian planted the morning glories around her brother's body herself. She arranged their tendrils to drape across his chest, cloaking the sunken cavity there. She twined thin vines around his shattered fingers. And as his eyes opened, pinprick pupils asking her all the unanswerable questions, she laid a band of green across his brow. Okay this is how you do an opening para. Observe how much subtle showing and suggestion about the world and the characters is going on in this one, and how many interesting questions are being raised.

A tap sounded against a tree behind her.

Marian turned; Suriya stood on the edge of the clearing where Niall would possibly, improbably recover. The short, narrow woman interesting description met Marian's eyes and bent her neck to precisely the proper degree. good use of adverb; the sentence would mean something different without it. Marian mirrored the nod automatically. ditto "Come see him if you wish," she said, rising.

Suriya walked forward three steps. She stopped ten feet from Marian and Niall, the respectful distance. Surely she couldn't see him well from there. Marian nearly said it aloud. But she settled for inviting Suriya closer with a gesture that was, perhaps, more curt than politeness demanded.

"I mean no offense," Suriya said.

"No. I know you don't."

Niall's mouth twitched under their joined regards. Marian looked away, to Suriya, and considered the scars twisting her friend's visage: the thin, pale worm of tissue on her jaw, the cleft in her nostril that never had healed. Under her jacket would be worse. How many pins kept her arms together now? How many rods did she have in place of bone?

Meanwhile Suriya studied her too. Neither of them could bear to watch Niall breathe, it seemed. The other woman reached out, almost touching; Marian gave a tiny nod, and Suriya gripped her shoulder. Suriya said, "It could end here. Paul doesn't have a grudge against you--no one does."

Marian ran a hand down her face, forehead to chin, all of it as smooth as on the day of her birth. She kept her answer to herself. Suriya could guess it anyway.

What had happened to her brother was no proper ending.

#

Paul greeted her appearance at his door with claims of pleasure. He led her to an outside table, where they drank chilled cider without speaking until their cups were empty. "I don't want bad blood between us," Paul said then. "My conflict with Niall doesn't need to go any further."

"That's why I thought we should talk," Marian said.

"You're the most reasonable person I know."

At least he wasn't smiling. She breathed in the humid summer air and listened to the wind. "Why did you do that to him?"

Paul clasped his hands tightly enough to pale his knuckles, so the healing cuts across them stood out in lurid red; stitches tracked a black line along the one thumb he had left; his left arm was shorter than its partner by several inches. I am loving all the precise description of healed wounds, and the implication that each one leaves a memory"Liss. Mostly Liss."

Marian remembered Paul's former lover, remembered the lesser fights over her; but Niall's relationship with Liss had ended two hundred years before.

"I've hated him since she left me for him. Year after year since, centuries of hearing him hum to himself when he's happy and seeing his smug loving smile when he looks at me. Protocol didn't help. I went too far." Paul poured himself more cider and took a long drink. "It happens. But I'm sorry I hurt you. What do you want from me to make things even?"

Marian settled for a lesser truth. "I could use help with his healing."

"Healing."

"His heart could beat again, someday," she said. "Maybe. He could be in less pain. Will you pay for that? I would bear you no ill will." She'd try to forget. She would try very hard.

She thought Paul might consent. He spread out his mangled hands and turned them over to look at whatever damage his angers had done to the palms. He looked at her, and his eyes were old.

But they narrowed. His lips thinned. Only for a moment; a moment was enough. "No ill will," he agreed, and she heard a polite lie.

Marian stood and seized her chair and smashed it into his head.

Paul thudded onto the grass. She brought the chair down again with the strength in her still-whole body, and the arm he raised to ward it off gave way. She bashed his hip, his ribs. All fragile. All mended too many times after fights. The chair broke eventually and drove splinters deep into her skin.

When he had paid in true kind for her brother, she stopped.

Suriya came to help her get Paul's body to the clearing, where they made a bed for him ten feet away from Niall--a respectful distance. Marian pulled the fragments of wood from her hands before she gathered new morning glories. Dots of her blood stained a few of the stems. There would, she supposed, be scars.

"He has family of his own," Suriya told her. "This won't be the end either."

Marian framed Paul's wild eyes with flowers. "Nothing ever is." Awwwwww poo poo, nice end punch. So it's basically an ultra civilised Sartrean hellscape. So good. This is a great example of how important well deployed details are. The title is clever in that it evokes vampires but then at the end you realise that it's a spiritual night they are living in.

Djeser posted:

Assuming Erogenous Beef is correct, I'm still #19. But I stuck with 750 anyway.

Man After Man (749 words)
Grug was different after his head grew back. Things always came back shaped a bit different. That was how Ax had three arms even if two of them swung loose more often than not. That was why Jur had those four legs that opened and shut and made Grug dizzy and grabby from looking at her. Haha, good opening para. Wacky cavemen are basically the best.

The first problem was the botched hunt. Not that they needed food beyond the craving for something warm and fleshy in their mouths. Grug had been chasing the cow (an antler-cow, a harder kind to hunt) when a feeling came over him. He had been here, in these woods, for as long as he could remember. He'd filled every space between the roots with private moments and the smell of his own body.
He wanted right then to be somewhere else.

In that moment, he'd fallen out of the group. The antler-cow dashed through the opening and gave Ax a good chest-gore on the way. They still sung and danced around the trees and chewed mushrooms until their heads grew fuzzy, and Ax didn't even get upset. Everything was forgotten as the next day came, same as millions of forgotten yesterdays before.

The new man in Grug's head didn't forgive him, though. He twisted a knot in Grug's stomach so tight he lay on his bed of furs, burying his nose in the smell of his own drool until afternoon.

The man thought just like Grug, but unlike Grug's thoughts, which were always about the things he saw and heard and smelled, the man's thoughts were about Grug.

For a while, the voice grew dim and didn't say much if his thoughts were loud. He threw himself into every kind of fun there was. He went on hunts and threw himself in front of cows so he'd get tossed. He ate mushrooms enough to kill a cow, and rode the waves of toxicity i was going to say this broke style, but I'm wondering if you're going from clumsy > elaborate language deliberately, in which case it's ok with a grin. All the feasts and races and all the eating and mating couldn't quiet the man in his head forever.

A chill set around Grug as he left one morning. No more fun. Why weren't things fun? Because the man in his head kept thinking, worrying, reflecting.

Overlapping memories slid away from Grug the further he walked. Millenia of life in the valley had ingrained the shapes of everything in his mind deep down to the soles of his feet. For the first time he knew, he stood on new ground. Yeah, you're totally doing that. Smooth.

The trees thinned. The ground didn't shift beneath his feet. The softness of earth had given over to a light smoothness that felt unreal, but the man in his head wanted more. Broken shapes clouded with moss and dirt surrounded him. This was a place where earth and stone had died, and that frightened Grug, but the lines intrigued him--lines in the broken stone, reaching further out of the forests, calling to something he couldn't remember.

He left the trees where the lines gathered. They met along the ground, then rose into the sky, shadow-black against a granite facade. Some of the stone panels had broken over the ages, exposing the skeletal abyss inside. Grug had to raise his eyes to follow the lines of the pyramid, dwarfing every thought he had, larger than the world in his eyes, to the apex where the sun gleamed like cool water.

Between his mind and the man in his head, from a point equidistant from both, images spun themselves out of impossibly thin thoughts. Grug panicked. He'd never thought of something he couldn't see. He grasped at the ground. A sliver of stone fit his palm. He knelt and took his stone stylus to the granite ground.

He drew the pyramid first. Its straight lines were a shape of intention, of higher thought than he could consider. A faceless figure beside the pyramid. In these lines he made he could see the divine order passed down.

Grug couldn't see the fang-cow sneaking up on him.

The next moment, he was flung, his neck torn, his body thrown against the hard ground. Everything whirled into darkness.

Grug's skull burbled back together with a couple more lumps and a vestigial third eye on the right. He sat, then stood, whole again. Grug looked between the etching on the ground and the pyramid behind him. The man in his head was gone. The etching was just shapes. He retraced his steps back into the wild, back to what was left of humanity. Huh. That was very cool. This is a rare example of a very high concept idea done well; you evoke a lot of abstract strangeness, but because it is grounded in your party-hard regenerating cavebros it works a lot better than it otherwise would, and leaves a lingering anticipation about what might have been. Nice work.

Barracuda Bang! posted:

Felicia Goes South
901 Words


"Hi, welcome to Hell!"

Felicia woke up, and opened her eyes, but everything was blurry and all she knew was that, wherever she was, it was a very sanitary bright. She felt an aching in her arms, near her wrists, but felt nothing unusual when she reached for them. She was lying on her back on something hard and cold, like a sidewalk. "I woke up and didn't know where I was" is a classic bad opening. You're going to tell us where she is, so get on with it.

The voice repeated, "Welcome to Hell!"

As Felicia blinked, the scene slowly came into focus and in front of her she could make out a store, Hel-Mart, LOL and a frail, small-framed redundant elderly woman in a firetruck red vest. She turned and looked to her rear. Nothing. Not void or emptiness. Nothing.

"Where am I?" Felicia asked, looking away as she realized she just asked the only question she had already been told the answer to.

Not seeming to mind, the woman said, "You're in Hell, MORE LIKE IN TELL, AMIRITE seriously, this is dead words. if you find yourself having characters repeat themselves that is a secret sign from you to you that you didn't write it properly the first time. sweetie. I don’t know what you did - they never tell me. I just know that what you’re looking for is in Aisle 10, in housewares.”

“What? Why am I in Hell? I don’t even remember what I-”

“No one does. But you’re going to pay for it all the same. Now, come inside and get started. Might as well not put it off any longer.”

“Get started on what?” Felicia asked, feeling surprised at how little she was curious about how she would spend what was presumably to be the rest of eternity.

The old woman stared for a moment. “You’ll know what to do.” BLAH BLAH BLAH

With a shrug that came not entirely of her own volition, Felicia made her way through the store. She passed the grocery section, where gluttons were endlessly gorging themselves on still-frozen corndogs and cake frosting, pouring maple syrup directly into their overextended maws. She continued toward her destination, housewares, where she saw the vain standing in front of mirrors, posing their flawless bodies but seeing only wasted, decrepit versions of themselves, often with super saggy tits and beanbags.

Felicia found herself in Aisle 10, which housed garden tools. She found herself drawn towards a water hose, and struck with the immediate realization of just how long eternity would be if she were stuck in this infernal big-box store for its duration, and began mindlessly tying a looped knot at the end. The other end she weighted with a trowel and threw over a rafter, over which it was held, once she had adjusted the height and and tied the end. Satisfied, she climbed the shelf, put her head in the loop and jumped.

And landed on the ground, no worse for the wear. Her neck was fine, as was the hose noose, dangling undamaged above her head.

Frustrated by her failure, Felicia scoured the area, trying to find a way to end her shopping experience, to no longer be stuck in Hel-Mart, to no longer be mysteriously compelled by the store manager to take her own life. And lo! Like a lighthouse guiding drunk Portuguese fisherman safely back to shore, she saw the beacon of her salvation. In the lighting section, its colors swirled with a majestic beauty that could only be described as, “groovy.” OH, FFS.

She grasped the bottle, burning her hands, and smashed the narrow top against a shelf. She drank, the searing liquid burned Felicia’s throat on its way to her stomach. Once at its destination, she fared no better and began writhing in terrible agony, moaning and burping up gross little bits of orange goo or whatever. chairchucker and Mercedes mostly get away with this kind of stuff because they are funny, and they don't waste our time. If you want to get away with this: don't waste our time with dead words and bullshit dialogue.

And then, it passed. Still standing, she looked down to see that she had a rather dark spot on her pants, and was now standing in a puddle of yellow and orange liquid. Daunted, she put face in her hands and wept. She wept. She wept and she wept and she wept. then she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept and she wept. She wept because she knew that this was only the beginning. Felicia knew that there would be no end to her compulsion, nor of her failures. All she wanted to do was to be free of this burdensome afterlife, and yet it was denied her. And also she slipped, like an idiot. this is not even a sledgehammer point it is the Creusot Steam Hammer of points, built in 1877 and able to deliver a painfully obvious point with a force of more than 125 tons. We know it's going to be like this forever because she is in hell. you have told us that about a dozen times already.

She clambered her way to a display of brightly colored dorm mini-couches (somehow she knew it was August) and sat. Curled up in a ball, wrapped tightly in an unicorn blanket, she tried to think of a solution. So far, at least, she had been unable to kill herself because her body couldn’t be damaged. Wait, that wasn’t right. It could be damaged. It was just able to let things pass through if they were quick enough, like with the hose, or the lava lamp. What she needed was slow, and complete.

With a huff, she was on her feet, galloping back to to the grocery section. Felicia looked in the farthest corner and found it - the butcher shop. Pushing past the gluttons, she entered the back room and looked for the switch to turn on the meat grinder. Once it was on, she took a moment to steel herself. This was it. She would finally be free.

She took a step onto a nearby table. Looking at the intake she saw that it would fit her almost entirely. This would be over quickly, of that she was glad. She closed her eyes and, for no good reason, pinched her nose this is a good detail, btw and jumped.

Agony. Numb. Black. Nothing.


“Hi, welcome to Double Hell!” okay that is a quarterteaspoon worth of clever which I will add to the sprinkle of nice details and the gallon of faux breezy bibble bobble bullshit to make a revolting hobo stew that would be rejected by 80% of self-respecting bums. Still, 20% is something to work on.

Martello posted:



XXX ORGY OF THE DEAD XXX

Somewhere in Romania...

Vlad Blackdickula held Suzy McHugetits' hand tightly, passionately. Sweatily.

"You're really going to enjoy this party, I think, my dear," he intoned, looking deeply and passionately and sexily into her big beautiful, voluptuous, sexy, round, eyes. Then he stared down at her generous, pillowy cleavage.

"I certainly hope so!" Suzy McFunbags tittered. "I do so love parties." She opened her full, red lips in a pant of passionate anticipation. Sexy anticipation.

Vlad leaned in for a kiss. His thin, manly lips met her full, red, pillowy womanly lips. They kissed passionately, like two people in deep lust. Sexy, passionate lust.

The limousine came to a stop outside a magnificent, incredible castle. The kind of castle where they make movies about muscular, brooding knights and beautiful, lusty ladies. And vampires.

"Is this all yours?" Suzy McLargebreasts shrieked. "It's so magnificent! It's incredible!"

"It certainly is," Vlad returned. "All mine. Please, my dear, come inside, and see the wonderful party we have waiting for you." He held out a long-fingered hand. Suzy took it and they climbed out of the long, black, long limousine together. They walked along a path paved with old, stately, impressive stones. Huge, oaken, iron-bound gates opened for their entry. Inside was a party like Suzy McBigjuggs had never seen! Men and women in amazing, fantastic, horror-movie costumes made love on every couch, chair, table, and even the hard, cold, stone floors! Suzy McBusty's hands flew to her face.

"It's a costume party!" she wondered. "Why didn't you tell me? All I have is this skimpy little sexy red dress and sexy red heels," she burst out.

It was true. She saw on a couch in front of her, a very large, muscular man wrapped completely in mummy bandages. He was thrusting his very large, muscular penis between the enormous breasts of a woman painted up like the Bride of Frankenstein, from the movie Bride of Frankenstein. On the floor to her left, another very large, even more muscular black (very black) man dressed up as a Haitian voodoo zombie was double-teaming another woman (with enormous breasts) dressed up as one of the Brides of Dracula (from the Bride of Dracula movie) along with a large, muscular man wearing the best ghost costume she had ever seen! It looked like he really was transparent, see-through. They also both had very large penises.

"Why," Vlad ejaculated. "Those aren't costumes, my dear."

"What do you mean?" Suzy McJumboknockers gasped.

Vlad threw back his head and laughed, a long, loud, deep, rich laugh. Suzy O'Balloonboobs suddenly noticed, for the first time, how long, sharp, and scary his teeth were. "My dear," he chuckled, "I mean that this party is an orgy...of the DEAD! MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!" lol

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Dec 24, 2014 around 12:41

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.


I'm feeling frisky and I want to try a different way to crit a story. Preferably if someone new to the TD would step forward, but anyone would do. I want to focus on dialogue. Post a link of your story for the past prompt and I'll grab the first one. Again, we won't dock you words for doing this.

edit: Thank you kind sir. I will get working on it.

Mercedes fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2014 around 00:41

DreadNite
Nov 12, 2013


This was my first TD submission. I was told it was pretty horrid

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...8#post424324372

I agree the Booms got annoying. Bad decision on my part! Thanks.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

crabrock posted:

I will crit 1 person who seb isn't critting. This better not lose me 250 words.

Hot sexy crits equal words in the bank as any fule kno so in fact you may have 500 words back on your total, minus 13 for being crabrock.

New word limit for crabrock: 987

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.


Click here to listen to your critique.

quote:

The Genesis

...Runan playfully nudges me on the shoulder.


1. “What’s your seat number big brother?” I look down at my selection packet and find my ID: BTB, 25210, 2040.

“I guess 25210. And we’re near the front. There must be thousands more behind us.” I look back to find an endless sea of colonists making their way up the ramp behind me.

“Looks like I’m gonna beat you to Xerus big bro! I’m number 8!” Yeah, maybe by about one minute I think to myself, smiling.


I’m met by a beautiful woman who greets me excitedly and asks me to lift my shirtsleeve. I oblige, and she swabs my upper arm with alcohol before being passed a syringe by her equally beautiful partner.

2. “To make the three year voyage feel like a good night’s rest!” She comments to me animatedly as she flicks the syringe. Somehow, I’m not convinced. Medications never seem to work right for me.

“This won’t hurt a bit, don’t worry!”
….

Hopefully hearing someone else saying the words you wrote is beneficial to you.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


More crits from Betrayal week, if any of you still even care at this point:

Schneider Heim:
This was okay, I guess. It felt very wooden though, as if you were trying to imitate a style that you’re not familiar with, which kind of makes the narrative voice sound like George R. R. Martin overdosing on Benadryl. There’s way too much expository dialogue, which is boring and unnatural – people don’t drop huge info bombs every time they open their mouths, and it doesn’t count as showing not telling just because you’re making a character do it instead of including it in the narration.

Nubile Hillock:ReptileChillock
We already talked about this in IRC, also you’re a butthole, so I’m skipping you lol

Jagermonster:
This was a pretty tightly written piece, and I think it was ranked pretty highly by all 3 judges. The dialogue, characterization, and pacing were all well done, however it’s never made clear what exactly these two are arguing about, which makes it hard to feel invested in the story. Yes, it’s a great depiction of the exact moment of a betrayal, but that’s all it is – there’s no context for either man’s actions/emotions, which makes it feel like some sort of preachy lesson about partisan politics rather than a story about politicians as human beings, doing human things.

Mercedes:
I had high hopes for this at the beginning, because the second paragraph reminded me of this, but then you did not follow through and I was sorely disappointed in every possible way. Whether this was a seriouspost or not, I think you tried to do way too many things at once which resulted in none of them being done well. I’m all for silliness and humour, since many people in the Dome (myself included) tend towards the serious and/or grim, but my problem with this was that I’m pretty sure you could have made this hilarious and way better than it is, and you didn’t. You jerk

JuniperCake:
I’ve been watching too much Adventure Time lately, because all I could picture when I was reading this was Tree Trunks (which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing). This was a pretty solid story, although I think you either got stuck, or fell victim to the word count since it ends pretty abruptly and unsatisfyingly. I enjoyed how you wrote it so that the reader can easily interpret it as a little kid just being imaginative with her toys and gradually growing out of it right up until the part where Susie gets big, so then it was kind of a let-down to have her immediately disappear. I was totally waiting for Maggie to get gruesomely murdered by her childhood stuffed toy-who-is-now-a-real-elephant and you DID NOT DELIVER

petrol blue:
I went back and forth on this one a lot. On the one hand, I love the way you portrayed the petty glee that the two characters get from torturing one another, but on the other hand it’s not actually much of a story, and the ending is really weak. There’s not enough story contained within the first two sections, and the ending makes no sense at all as it only vaguely seems to be related to what comes before. You imply that they have no friends, and no money, and a crap couch, and then all of a sudden they seem to have bought a new house AND a new couch, and their friends (that they don’t have?) come over every night, and for some reason they’re refusing to ever spend money (that they don’t have? Even though they bought a house?). I don’t think you thought this through very well, but I think you should take Mavis and put her in a different story because she seems so irredeemably awful, and I love it.

ThirdEmporer:
So, this was pretty boring. Guy gets drunk at a funeral and doesn’t understand why everyone’s being so nice about the dead guy, even though that is standard funerary protocol. This would have been much more interesting if, instead of having the dude try and think up nice, standard (boring) things to say about his dead friend, you had him thinking about all of the shittiest, most awful things he ever did. Because even though you probably thought it was super interesting and mysterious to hint about Terry being a bad egg, and Elise and John having some kind of secret, it’s actually really tedious because those things are obviously the real heart of the story and you’re not telling us what they are. This whole thing is basically 700 words of you saying “Hey, so I have this great story about this guy and how much of an rear end in a top hat he is, but nobody knows until he dies….buuuut yeah, I’m not going to tell you about it. THE END.”

Schneider Heim
Oct 17, 2012


Thanks Fanky and Rhino.

Oh, and I'm in for this week.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Sentientcarbon is theoretically going to do crits for the last round, but in any case i think my orgone levels have built up to the point i can do another six more - pipe up if you want one.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2014 around 11:18

Music Theory
Aug 7, 2013

Avatar by Garden Walker


Suddenly I've become really busy, so I don't have time to write anything that could hope to be considered good, so I'm out for this week.

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




Judgment of Anime Magic Realism Brawl (Mercedes X Mag7 X Meinsberg X Sebmojo):
Motherfuckers can’t even differentiate between a sugoi and a sempai



Mercedes: BRAWL ENTRY MOTHERFUCKERS! MAKE WAY!!!!!
Tenten Has a Mean Serve


I think based on my limited knowledge on anime, this reads really like that since she has amazing pancake-sized eyes, and then Mikel’s body exploded like a video game character from No More Heroes. It’s fun enough, although the anthropomorphic quality of the tennis racquet didn’t seem quite that magic realist, but I appreciated TenTen and Kana having a huge high five that blew everything up. Honestly though I think Kana should forget that little poo poo Jacques and be all 유♥웃 ℒℴνℯ ヾ(✿❛◡❛)ノ with Tenten so they can go ┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐ on Kana and Jacques.

I think this is better than your beard entry in last week’s, btw.



Meinsberg: An End to Childish Things

You are the second closest to magic realism, with the speaking wind and the complaining fire, and his hair turning white, etc. It seems like it needs to resonate more with the character’s feelings (see sebmojo’s) to be a bit more.

These are really pretty words you are using, but it seems like the mood and tone doesn’t quite befit the purpose which is just what looks like a dude going (ノಥ益ಥ)ノ and burning his anime DVDs and t-shirts. Like, the scenario evokes hilarity (*☉౪ ⊙。)ノ but somehow you write really (๏̯๏) serious (๏̯๏) words like “the cold began to seep into his bones”.



Sebmojo: Magical Heroine Miyuki

So when we were on IRC you told us the only anime thing you have ever watched was Spirited Away, and I was a little worried because when goons stereotypically would just categorise anime as “lol japan tentacles porno”. I’m glad it did not turn out that way. It’s pretty challenging to make something as banal as what looks like a goofball anime (bombs, ninjas) have a magic realist theme. So although you went down to the typical high school anime thing* (“I can’t tell this cute boy my feelings! (︶ε︶メ)), you still manage to pull out something magical realist by having Jun turn up everytime all the crazy encounters occur, as if a mirror of Miyuki’s own conflicted (´•_•`) feelings about him. So, good job on that.

* I think it’s typical, right? I mean, even Archie does that.



Magnificient7: JJ 20140113_05234.txt

Well I know you did this piece as a snarky one-off. But I want to tell you it was good of you to step up to the challenge especially after I wrote the most mean-spirited post of 2014’s TD thread so far. To which I apologise.

I can tell you are all (´ᗣ`) and (╥﹏╥) and then v(ಥ ̯ ಥ)v about the whole anime thing, which honestly I don’t blame you because I don’t know much about it either. But I want to address the parts where you say stuff like this:

quote:

“my lovely loving writing”
“Probably because I don't ever loving write.”

Well gently caress you, dude. You have written a nano book, you are reading up techniques to write, you are writing stuff, and you argue with online Internet assholes on writing. So can that totally unkawaii attitude, stop having to make people taunt you or PM to persuade you to keep writing, you ought to (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡 and do what you want to do and try to improve.

So ok please be less tsunderay and more ヽ(〃^▽^〃)ノ.

Jesus.



VERDICT

Most Anime: Mercedes
Most Magic Realist: Sebmojo
Most Consumerist Culture: Meinsberg
Most Massive Baby: Magnificent7

Ultimate Winner: Sebmojo

The Saddest Rhino fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2014 around 17:03

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.


I'll take one

Rainbow Unicorn
Aug 4, 2004



Rhino, Mercedes, thank you for the crits. I have tried to make my entry this week less loving boring.

Peel posted:

THUNDERDOME WEEK LXXVI: The Mysteries of the Finite

The Lisa Incident
(984 words)

Dan and Lydia Vargas stood together in their driveway, trying their best to argue quietly so as not to wake the neighbors. Again.

“Jesus loving Christ, Dan,” Lydia hissed, squinting in the glare of the automatic garage light. “What happened?”

“Just let me explain before you freak the gently caress out.”

She clenched her teeth. She hadn’t freaked the gently caress out since the night of the Miranda Incident, thank you, and that had been justified.

“I’m not freaking the gently caress out. I’m asking you,” she took a deep breath, “What the gently caress happened to our car?”

“Just listen. I was at the airport, right, I merged into the lane and this loving lady…”

What followed was a rambling account of how some skinny bitch had left a foot-long curved black welt on their driver’s side door -- something about her being blonde and having no business driving a truck like that, besides.

“It’ll buff out,” he concluded.

“It’d better,” she said, and they left it that.

She didn’t bother to ask how his trip had gone.

*

An incessant buzzing woke her from a dead sleep.

“loving hell,” she managed, words slurred but spoken with feeling. She flung an arm out to wake Dan, but he wasn't there. She groaned, sat up, and squinted at his phone vibrating on the bedstand. She chuckled. He was going to be pissed -- hopefully he'd notice before he got on the freeway.

She silenced the phone and rolled back over, only to hear the drat thing start up again, rattling obnoxiously on the table. “Goddamn it,” she muttered.

The caller ID read LISA EVANS. Who the gently caress was Lisa Evans?

A memory jumped unbidden to her mind -- the Miranda Incident. Walking in on her husband and some tramp she barely knew, pants off, ten seconds away from loving like drunk teenagers at a house party. Oh yeah, she’d freaked the gently caress out. And she could do it again.

“Hello?” she answered Dan’s phone. “Who is this?”

A woman was sobbing on the line. Startled, Lydia nearly dropped the phone.

“D-Dan?”

“No. Who the gently caress is this?”

Click.

Lydia stared at the black screen. It didn’t go off again.

*

The day after the Lisa Incident, the home phone rang. Lydia looked up from her laptop, where she’d been searching for divorce lawyers online. Dan had denied everything. She’d heard it all before: she always expected the worst of him, she was the one who’d said she could forgive him, Jesus Christ, Lyd, it’s been almost a year.

She shut the laptop and answered the phone.

“Hello?”

“Put Dan Vargas on.” It was a man, but not a voice she recognized, and Lydia didn't like his tone.

“Who is this?"

“I’m looking for Dan-loving-Vargas. You another of his sluts?”

“I’m his wife, rear end in a top hat.”

“His wife! Didn’t know he had a wife. Can’t say I’m surprised. What’s your name, slut?”

"gently caress off, creep." She slammed the phone back on the receiver.

She ignored the next call, letting it go to the answering machine. He was already talking at the beep.

“--know what he’s doing with my girl? Tell you what, Mrs. Vargas, how about I come over, slit your loving throat, and leave you there for him to find when he --”

She silenced the message.

Her hands shook as she called the police.

*

Dan got home early, for once. Lydia hadn’t told him, but maybe the police had. She met him in the living room.

“Hey, Lyd…” he stammered as he walked in. “Did you get any weird phone calls, today?”

“Did you? What the gently caress is going on, Dan?”

“poo poo,” he said. “I got them, too. Look --”

“You want to hear it? Listen to this,” She hit play on the answering machine. Dan listened in silence.

“I think I know who Lisa Evans is,” he said when it was done. His face had gone pale.

“You think? No poo poo! I called the police, gave them her name. They’ve been watching the house all day.”

“Do you remember that blonde I told you about? From the accident?”

Speechless, she could only glare.

“Listen, Lyd. This is the truth, I swear. I was just going to drive off -- I bumped her tire, for God’s sake, it was barely worth stopping. But this girl was a mess, crying, saying her fiance would kill her if she scratched his truck. So I felt bad, all right? Wrote down my name and number on the back of a receipt, told her if her boyfriend had a problem to call me and I’d work it out.”

Lydia recalled that sobbing with a chill. It was a convenient story, but God, she wanted to believe it.

“Think her boyfriend found the number.” Dan went on. “Got the wrong idea. But I won’t let him hurt you, all right? He’s probably full of poo poo, but if he comes here --”

“You need to tell the police all of this,” Lydia cut him off, stomach churning.

“I will. Lydia, please.” He swallowed. “Tell me you believe me.”

“I don’t know, Dan,” she said, ignoring the way he flinched. “Come on. Let’s just go.”

*

The police took their report. An officer gave them a number to call if any strangers showed up. Dan took time off work, and two tense weeks passed without incident. Still, the memory of that sobbing on the line haunted her.

One night, looking up marriage counselors on her laptop, she ran a search on impulse. Lisa Evans. A damned common name. Dozens of social media profiles, articles, pictures -- but then, two weeks ago, in the local news:

“ESCONDIDO COUPLE FOUND DEAD IN APPARENT MURDER-SUICIDE,” the screen read. “Christopher Parker, 26, and his fiancee, Lisa Evans, 24, were found dead in their apartment after neighbors reported hearing shots --”

She slammed the laptop shut.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


The Saddest Rhino posted:

Magnificient7: JJ 20140113_05234.txt

Well I know you did this piece as a snarky one-off. But I want to tell you it was good of you to step up to the challenge especially after I wrote the most mean-spirited post of 2014’s TD thread so far. To which I apologise.

I can tell you are all (´ᗣ`) and (╥﹏╥) and then v(ಥ ̯ ಥ)v about the whole anime thing, which honestly I don’t blame you because I don’t know much about it either. But I want to address the parts where you say stuff like this:


Well gently caress you, dude. You have written a nano book, you are reading up techniques to write, you are writing stuff, and you argue with online Internet assholes on writing. So can that totally unkawaii attitude, stop having to make people taunt you or PM to persuade you to keep writing, you ought to (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡 and do what you want to do and try to improve.

So ok please be less tsunderay and more ヽ(〃^▽^〃)ノ.

Jesus.

VERDICT

Most Massive Baby: Magnificent7
Totally agree. I'm whining less and writing more. Not in this week's TD because I'm working on my Brawl, 500 words, story that doesn't start at the beginning, doesn't finish at the end.

Mr_Wolf
Jun 18, 2013


He knows what he likes - 995 words

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

“You three again. We are trying to mould young men here at Farmsbridge but you three are continually trying to pull everybody down.”

Alex, Phil and Steven sat on an old bench against the back wall of Professor Lindoff's office. It was quite obviously too far away to have a normal conversation from but Lindoff spent £11,000 on his marble floor and nobody was to move any furniture.

The three sat there trying not to laugh. A loose cork, trying to hold a bulging dam's water in.

“You know why I have called you here. We had an incident yesterday and I won't leave until I get to the bottom of it.”

Phil let out a tiny squeak.

The professor's forehead formed a thin layer of sweat across it. He sat down behind his desk. “There was...there was faecal matter left in...”

Alex let out a small raspy giggle.

“I will not stand for this!” The professor jumped up, his chair rocked back and he immediately dropped to his knees to inspect the floor. The three watched as his hand appeared above the desk and pointed to a handkerchief covering something on the floor underneath a huge portrait of Lindoff.

“Over there. I found some... faecal matter underneath my painting.”

“Faecal matter Sir?” Phil asked.

“poo poo!,” Lindoff sprang to his feet “Somebody had a poo poo in here! Somebody had a poo poo underneath my painting and I want to know who did it.”

“How big? Because if it's huge then i'd imagine Phil is the culprit.” Alex said.

“OK, this is not fair. I have normal sized shits, stop trying to make this a thing Alex. Ste?” Phil looked to Steven.

“I reckon you could build a row of huts in Africa going by the size of your last one.”

Lindoff had slowly been massaging his temple while his left foot tapped in time to his increased heart rate.

“Listen, I know you think you're all very clever but let me tell you that I have evidence that you all left your dorms yesterday evening.”

Alex replied “I was studying at a friend's house. Ask the dorm guards.”

“I went for a few drinks with my Dad, check the guest book.” Steven said.

“Well...”

“What Phil? 'Well' what?” Lindoff had started to click his Parker pen in and out.

“Aren't we supposed to have our student president here as a witness?” Phil rubbed his neck, he noticed Alex lean forward.

“I've notified your teachers, this can take all day.” Lindoff stopped clicking his pen.

Alex was trying to catch Phil's gaze “Where did you go Phil?”

Steven started to whistle, Alex was still leaning forward looking at Phil.

“This is bullshit.”

Steven's whistling stopped.

Alex stood up “You went to see her again didn't you? You prick.”

“Language gentlemen.” Lindoff had a thing about other people using “bad” language. He was perfectly fine using it himself though. He once suspended someone for saying vulva.

“No...I”

“You came here didn't you Phil? You got my keys, you walked in and you did a huge abnormal poo poo in my office.” Lindoff's foot started tapping again. “Just admit it, your admittance will help lower the severity of the punishment I promise.”

“I didn't do it” Phil said

“I have a print! I found a print in the hall outside and i'm willing to guess that it was the culprit who...who made that mess over there.” Lindoff put his glasses back on and walked over to them. “ I had the lab make this plastic mould of the print this morning. Hold up your foot”

“OK Sherlock” Alex lifted his foot up. It was too small.

“You, lift” Lindoff looked at Phil. Lindoff went to lift Phil's foot but Phil put pressure down causing Lindoff to fall slightly into Phil's shin, knocking his glasses. Lindoff looked up to Phil – his glasses sitting wonkily on his face.

“Oh you bloody poo poo. I've had enough of you Philip Thatcher. First it was the fire in the locker rooms, then it was replacing all birth control pills in the nurse's office with Tic-Tacs...”

“Abortions left, right and centre but at least everyone's breath was fresh” Alex said.

Lindoff stood up and threw the mould away “I will make sure the three of you will never be in the same class again. I will keep you in separate dorms. Do you hear me? You want to poo poo in my office? On my floor?”

Lindoff's dog bounced in. His muddy paws made Lindoff's eyes bulge and beads of sweat join together, forming long salty streaks down his face. The dog looked at the painting, shuffled over the handkerchief and without breaking his gaze from the painting he slowly squeezed out a fresh one.

Four men sat in silence and watched the dog leave as casually as he had entered.

“ELAINE”

Lindoff's secretary stumbled in with the dog in her arms.

“He keeps getting off the leash Robert, i'm so sorry” She backed out into the hallway bowing apologetically as she left.

Alex turned to Phil “Can you smell faecal matter Phillip?”

Lindoff's head slipped through his hands and his sweaty forehead rested on his desk “Get out.”

Phil said “Yes, I think that is a slight whiff of faecal matter I detect in the air.”

“Get out”

Steven walked to Lindoff's desk “An apology?”

“Get out”

The Professor slid down off his chair, and lay on his floor. The marble felt fantastic on his burning forehead. He tilted his head and watched the boys congratulate his dog from under the desk.

Lindoff felt like he was melting into the floor, he spread his body out and let the cold floor take hold of him. He ignored the smell of fresh poo poo that attempted to enter his nostrils.

“I love this loving floor”

J. Comrade
May 2, 2008


Hello. In for the mystery, if you'll have me. Also I did an epic bit, I guess it’s late but I hope you‘ll tell me something about it:

Leave everything as it is and join me at once 92 words

Wallenstein’s order arrives breathless, exhausted.

It reads: “Leave everything as it is and join me at once”.

Pappenheim pockets it next to his heart and puts the Regiment right back on the march, back along the route. Smart and well regulated they pass by the ashes of yesterday’s work, aloof to the cold sour stink there remains. Back, back down the way smart and swift through the night.

The day arrives breathless, exhausted. And just in sweet time: a sweltering fog is strangling Wallenstein’s field ahead. A ball meets Pappenheim on arrival.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Thanks for the critiques, Rhino, crabrock, and sebmojo. Everyone else who crit something this week: you're awesome too.

In.

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Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012


In for the mystery prompt, because who can pass up a mystery prompt?

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