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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Odiferous judgeburps, i will do longer crits for the first three that request them. Also, in.

J.A.B.C a new spring

hello good evening welcome to thunderdome. Now, cut everything before your first '–-------------'. Do you see how that is a much better story? Start at the interesting bit, don't give us endless paras of all systems nominal check roger over bibblebobble. Words at your story start are gold dust. As to the rest of your story, mmmyeahnah. 'Protag lands on planet, panet is fine' isn't interesting. Your sci if trappings are mostly competent so there is that. Low middle.

Hammer bro winter wine

Doing a story in all unattributed dialogue is whatchoo might call an advanced technique and you don't have the chops, or if you do they are not on display here. My first read made me shrug with an irritated sort of expression on my robo face; ideally you should be aiming for a response that is not this. Let us see how the second read goes: blah, blah, blah, don't care, wtf zombies, info dump, don't care, blah. Hmmm, that's not good. Dm/loss


Cacti summer air

Don't introduce your stories. If there is something you need to say put it in your story you adorable Ocker you with your ambos and your firies. Overall this is tolerable to decent, though very slight. Nothing actually happens or changes despite all the incident; I wanted to read it from Zav's pov, which suggests that is where you could have put some character movement in. Middle.

Chairchucker wings on fire

Kind of clever and sweet, poss hm though I may be giving you too much credit for telling an actual story this time, high middle

Jc dent an interlude

Basically a rpg splat book vignette, and competent enough in its words and ideas; I wouldn't mind reading an actual story with these guys middle

Four play through the flames

The change in your main character has potential but it's not convincingly presented, and so there is no emotional impact; he is a cartoon with a post it note on his forehead with CHARACTER GROWTH written on it in sharpie low middle poss dm

Quid nose MY MEMORY OF A SAD TIME BY SIMON JOHNSON AGE 8

Man what is it with houses burning down this week. 'Grown up stuff through kids eyes' is a classic riff, and you do it pretty well. I'm a little vague on whether frank frank was a person or a dog, but overall this lands and I particularly liked your last line high middle

Anathema device freedom garden

Aww, that's real nice. A good sized story, told well with good choice of detail; doesn't overcook the protags past or poss future, and marries the meat and the metaphor with a precise level of control. Hm/win

Benny the snake my first beer

'“I do not,” I mumbled while unintentionally twiddling my thumbs' is the first phrase that made me roll my eyes and that's a big step for you broseph because that's like 1/3 of the way through. In fact the story is probably your best so far; a few of your wiki style info dumps, but there is a fun bit of interplay with the dad and the son, some decent details, an ok joke or two and it is an actual story, though still too on the nose to quite rate a mention (THIS STORY IS CALLED MY FIRST BEER AND IT IS THE STORY OF HOW I HAD MY FIRST BEER). Very solid middle, or even high middle but that may be your old friend the soft bigotry of lowered expectations talking.

Thehomemaster flow

So this girl walks and muses and goes looking for water and finds the water and then she is back where she started? Cool, I guess? But not really. Next time use your competent words to have something happen.. Maybe even get your protagonist to be involved, crazy idea just spitballing low middle

Starr two halves of a whole

Man I hate the late fantasy reveal. It is like story whiplash and squanders the sweet slap of your first line. But that is a minor point, the real issue is that the end of the story and the start of the story are the same; nothing has happened, nothing has changed. Nice setup, if a bit derivative, but use that to punch us don't let it just flop down like that. Middle.


Entenzahn and grow anew

That is one purrrrple opening para ent, and you veer into the magenta more than I'd like in an ideal world but then we don't live in one of those do we, no. In the imperfect hollow eyed vale of tears which we are bound to trudge, this works pretty well, a decent if gloomy tale of grief and small acts with some good details and a nicely sketched rel'ship with the cliche taciturn dad. High middle.

Newtestleper overconfidence

What is it with the bland titles this week idek, thoug you basically sell it with the dual meanings. And a bland, if competently written sort of story to go with it. Well evoked sensation of skiing not quite well enough, so your technical chops aren't the issue, but the emotional backbone is MIA under a snowdrift. middle

Ironic twist hiding places

Hrrrrrrm. This feels like three very nicely written half-stories fighting it out. I really like what you do with your words but I'm left with a combination shrug/wtf, a strange expression cocktail you'd have escaped if you'd focused on telling a story rather than Doing Writing. High middle for good words tho so there's that.

Djeser The Aerial Ace and the Battle of Roswell

Haha yeah writing popcorn kids stories is fun as hell isn't it. Plus: Martian commies, nice one m8. However you don't do enough with Amelia Earhart to really sell that part of it, and the story verges on Xcom fanfic. Take a place in the soggy middle and be content.

Some guy TT Sakura riders

Whereas this is basically popcorny tinker bell fanfic and has NO COMMIES possibly a mistake, what do you think. It's also clunky as hell, is packed with dumb words and has a stupid ending. Dm.

Nethilia stormy weather

Ehhhhh so this has your usual slate of good details but fails fairly hard on telling a story worth reading. The storm rumbles away, but why are we supposed to care? Was that the best possible place to start and finish that story about those people? Low middle for disappointment because i like your stuff but i want you to grapple with the story, not just eye it nervously from the bleachers.

Blue squares mr electroworths shovel

Dont set up weirdass tense puzzles in your first para. You are musing about what you were thinking about a few moments before you did what you are just doing and o god make it stop. Overall this doesn't land because it doesn't know if it wants us to care; it's too slapstick to be serious but its not quite funny enough to be properly cartoonish. And your tenses are all over the goddam place. I do quite like your title though so there's that. Middle to low middle

Ceaselessfuture interference

Oookay so you're running a moderately clever metaphor with the interference and the waves and the two people ect ect. But you take a long time to get to the point and it's not super clear the point was worth getting to. First qn; why do we care? That is also last qn too, which makes it easier to remember. I did like your physics musings, next time bolt them to a story with higher stakes maybe? Middle.

Obliterati full of hot air

Close to a decent noir in space yarn but sprinkled with average dialogue, bad words and I don't get the sense the characters actually care; Albert is cardboard. Middle.

Paladinus and peace on earth

First para and your dreary wikipediaisms already make me want you to die FYI this is a bad thing.

Five paras of leaden backstory and then you start with the dreary speechifying followed by the nonsensical technobabble close out? You try me, motherfucker. Dm/loss

Fumble mouse outside her window

Your tea and cupcakes old folks routine is not my favourite register of yoursq but I lolled at the catsplosion so you are forgiven. This is a decent one joke knock off, middle.

Shaky premise against the cold


Holy poo poo sort your tenses out son. And your vocabulary, this is pompously over enunciated in the service of very little. Having a character walking through a white void towards a story always makes me think of writers block, so worth avoiding.

Wait, that's it? What was the point of that story. Dude was cold, got warm? dm

Crab rock a dirge for lost flowers


Lol at your opener, you are getting quite the knack for them. And for witty obtuse dialogue; but this only just manages to justify its own pretension. I know you set up his alienation as the Point, but it makes it hard to care without something more. Lots of good words though. Mayyyybe hm

Broenheim a perfect day.

A few tense and bad word issues, but this is some strong strange drink and it works because it doesn't try to explain anything. The bland title gets layers of complexity by the end, which Is a good and pleasing thing to me. Poss hm

Docbeard last dance

Good cohesive world building and a small but well formed story, but the central conflict is too easily resolved and not in an interesting way, plus I don't get the sense that your world and your story have much to say to each other. Making the end of the world shrug worthy is a risky endeavour and you don't quite pull it off still, flash rule implementation only soso. solid middle

Grizzled patriarch, the library of Alexandria

Haha okay that was rather dark and cool. A small idea but delivered with brio and panache. Hm?

Noah dead air

Head head head head head head feet is what my first reading of your opening para left me with. This is telling a classic story and doing it fairly we'll, but I think Julius needed more character for it to really land, and the central premise is faintly comic in the absence of explanation. Good slab of words though; high middle.

Surreptitious muffin whistling howling

Comfortably the best of the "walking through snow while musing" stories this week, but not much to say apart from "here are some good words" high middle

Kurona bright the long awaited exhale

I have yet to see swapping perspectives half way through a sub 2k word story work well, and you don't break the streak, but this isn't terrible, solid words, some good tension around the revelations. At its heart it's just people talking about stuff that happened rather than actually doing anything. And the ending is a bit too anachronistically cute. solid middle

Walmart the ancient fire

IT WAS SO QUIET THEY WERE DEAFENED BY THE NOISE I really hate that construction btw not giving me things to hate in your first line is a good route to follow imo. AND OH LOOK AT THAT the end is a dumb obvious twist do you know that is another thing I hate, there's an interesting story you could have told me that started when this one ended why didn't you tell me that story walamor WHY dm

Your sledgehammer en garde

Contrived setup, lots of clunky unnecessary words, lame ploddy ending awwww yeah that's that fine dm smell

Phobia as the rain turns to ice I think of him still

This is a nice example of how to do minimal well, the words that need to be there are there, and the details are well chosen. I think I would have liked the ending to be of a similar nature to the rest though, show me a detail that brings it home rather than just telling me. Still, could scrape an hm

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flerp
Feb 25, 2014

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


sebmojo posted:

Odiferous judgeburps, i will do longer crits for the first three that request them. Also, in.

I'd like to take one

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?...e=A+Perfect+Day

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

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

sebmojo posted:

Odiferous judgeburps, i will do longer crits for the first three that request them. Also, in.

I'll take one as well.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


I'll take the third. I was really happy with that story and I want to figure out what went wrong.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


sebmojo, you can make a man blush! I just hope it's better than AT-44 writing!

Both this week and last week's writing draws on ideas I had for games. This week was XCOM Kitchen Sink - or The Droods, a Skirmish Level Miniature Wargame

However, I hope to improve next week. Less lore, more names, conflict without guns, etc.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

JcDent posted:

sebmojo, you can make a man blush! I just hope it's better than AT-44 writing!

Both this week and last week's writing draws on ideas I had for games. This week was XCOM Kitchen Sink - or The Droods, a Skirmish Level Miniature Wargame

However, I hope to improve next week. Less lore, more names, conflict without guns, etc.

You were lucky not to get the loss. Write better.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

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

Prompt updated with signups and songs for those who requested them.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

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

td19


I'm in.

Armack
Jan 27, 2006

Corde pulsum tangite


Count me in.

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

Don`t fall asleep, you gotta write for THUNDERDOME

In with a

Two DMs in a row is shameful and I know I can do better. Bring it fellow Domers, I'll walk over all of you punks.



E: Someone might want to issue a Silver Alert, Bossdad has been missing for weeks.

Your Sledgehammer fucked around with this message at Nov 11, 2014 around 13:51

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


In and 'd.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


Hammer Bro. posted:

In-Depth critique that points out my need to work on dialog and pacing.

sebmojo posted:

Shorter critique that focuses on setting, intro and competence.

Low middle! Honestly a lot better than what I was expecting for my first prompt. Thanks for the critiques.

Also, count me out for this week.

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


Is it cool to ask for clarification on a prompt, by the way?

Phobia
Apr 25, 2011

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


OCK.


Thanks for the crits everyone. Your input is very much appreciated.


lol Oh. Well. Thanks anyway.

I'm in for this round. Might as well go for the flash rule too. Music to set the mood is good.

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


Crit for Hammer Bro

quote:

Winter Wine (764 words: winter water)

"It's cold this morning." Really, really think about it before opening a story with a description of the weather.

"It's a little chilly, I suppose. Let me fetch you an extra blanket." This feels fake. Think about word choice. Where are the characters from? What social class are they? Give us clues with your word choice.

"Thanks. Will you tell Damon I won't be coming in today? I need to go back to bed. How late was I up last night?" Maybe break this up a bit? Throw some answers in there. It seems rushed.

"We gave your sister the chrysanthemums around eight, then we uncorked the 1993 Chateau Carras you'd been saving for her birthday. I think we popped the Limnio around eleven. I was in bed by one." This is too specific, like you’re talking for the audience instead of reminding someone who was there.

"Right, right, I remember. I hope Mel likes the flowers. I wonder if she can smell them." This is the first line I like. It gives us a clue that all might not be well with Mel.

"Are you sure you're going to be all right? You had me worried last night."

"Don't worry, honey. Everything will be right as rain in a couple of hours."

"You think so?"

"I know so." By this point I’m thoroughly intrigued and creeped out.

---

"Morning, Corey. Where's Persephone?"

"She's out sick today. Might be coming down with the flu."

"Nothing too serious, I hope? She's been in a real funk since the crash." Another subtle clue. I like it.

"No, nothing like that. I'm sure she'll feel better in a couple of days."

"I'll keep my fingers crossed. Did you catch the news this morning?"

"No. What's up?"

"Five more people killed by zombies, and not just the elderly. One guy was a bodybuilder."

"I wonder what the prophets say about that. Was he asleep or something?"

"Doesn't look like it. He just lost the struggle. Nobody knows what makes zombies turn so savage right before they die. The zealots say it's because the soul enters heaven prematurely. I think they just freak out when they can no longer run from reality. That's how they got there in the first place, after all. Still, it's a terrible way to go." Once again, you’re writing for the audience instead of what the characters would really say. You can be more subtle here.

"It sounds horrifying."

---

"Good evening, sweetness; sorry I'm so late. Damon sends his regards. How are you feeling?"

"Euphoric. But I think the heater's broken." Something is definitely wrong with her, and by this point I’ve made the connection with the news report. I’m not sold that she would actually say “Euphoric” though.

"Mm. You left the front door unlocked."

"Did I? I was so excited to see Mel, I must've forgot to lock it when she left."

"Melinoe? We haven't seen her since before, well..."

"She's a full-fledged doctor now! Isn't that nice? She looked me over and said I shouldn't worry; I'd be better soon. And then we can spend so much time together." By here I’ve figured out that Mel is dead, and that Persephone will be following soon. I know that she’s likely to become violent towards the end.

"That's... encouraging. Do you think you'll be all right for the rest of tonight? I would very much like to cuddle you."

"What do you mean? Of course I'll be all right."

"Good, good. Not tonight, but tomorrow I have some serious thinking to do." I like how he’s putting off thinking about it, but I think you can go more subtle here.

"Will I see you at all?"

"I wasn't sure that you wanted to."

---

"Morning, Corey. poo poo, man! You look as glum as an oyster. Everything all right with Persephone?"

"She'll be over it by tomorrow. Any more incidents in the news?"

"Some cop busted a suicide ring down in Asphodel. Caught them just in time; confiscated three bottles of the stuff." The actual mechanism doesn’t come up until here, and I feel like it should be worked in sooner, even if in a subtle way.

"Do you think it actually works?"

"Seriously? You gettin' all spiritual on me?"

"No, it's just... Three months ago nobody had ever heard of Winter Wine. Now there are evangelists on the street corners, preaching the 'gateway to the great beyond'. They never mention the nasty bits, though." This is smoother than your other expositional bits.

"The dead stay dead, man. Nothing can change that. Get your head out of the gutter; focus on the good things in life." I don’t get what Winter Wine is supposed to do. Make you see dead people?

"You're right. Think you can cover for me for the rest of the day? I've got somewhere to be."

---

"Sephy? Are you home? Sephy?"

"Corey! You came back! I hope you're not mad, but I knocked over the television."

"That's all right. It can be replaced."

"And we're out of wine."

"As long as you enjoyed it."

"I -- I saw Mother today. And Father. I haven't talked to them in years."

"I'm glad."

"Ah! This wasn't supposed to hurt. You understand, don't you?"

"You don't have to explain yourself."

"Seeing all my relatives was supposed to make me tranquil and serene; prepared. But I'm still so lonely. Won't you hold me?"

"Of course, my dear."

"I'm sorry. I really am. You know that, right?"

"I know. And I'm here for you."

"Oh, Corey! Forgive me!"

"Don't talk like that. I love you, and that's the only thing that matters."

"I love you too. But aren't you scared?"

"Terrified. You haven't been watching the news lately. But that's not important right now."

"Oh! This isn't how I thought it would be. I can't stop crying. I think I made a mistake."

"You did what you thought was best. No one can blame you for that. And I'm honored you would have me with you. Give my regards to Melinoe." This whole section is the first time I really feel like people are talking.

I really liked this, and I don’t think it deserved a loss. It has a story arc, two reasonably well developed characters, and it’s competently written. I could mostly understand what was going on. It definitely needs some edits, and a better understanding of the character’s voices, backgrounds, and word choices. But it’s solid and it was an enjoyable read. My first time through I didn’t even notice it was all in dialog; I was busy enjoying the story.

Anathema Device fucked around with this message at Nov 11, 2014 around 17:55

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Anathema Device posted:

Comments about style and insight into your thought process as you read it.

Thanks enormously for the line-by-line. I agree with you on 96.7% of those points. Didn't even notice how badly I was talking to the audience, and the only voice I was happy with was Damon's. I'm still on the fence about the timing of the mechanism reveal: I very much enjoy rereading a story in a different light after making a realization, although in this case it's more like rereading the story in any light after being told a thing, which is a painful distinction.

The lines about which clues worked and what you suspected was going on as you read the story are exceptionally helpful. Usually I write too batshit esoteric obtuse; this time I was a bit hamfisted. Eventually I'll find the balance.

In other news, I've not the creative energy for proper writing this week. But Anathema Device, starr, Djeser, docbeard, and Benny the Snake, your stories tickled my fancy. Each of you may pick a story, not necessarily your own and not necessarily recent, and I'll be givin' that story a detailed crit as my schedule allows for it.

FouRPlaY
May 5, 2010


In.

ceaselessfuture
Apr 9, 2005

"I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor."


In.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry




But with a that I'll get all my crits done before signups close.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Sitting Here posted:




But with a that I'll get all my crits done before signups close.

I too am ic this week.

starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


Hammer Bro. posted:

In other news, I've not the creative energy for proper writing this week. But Anathema Device, starr, Djeser, docbeard, and Benny the Snake, your stories tickled my fancy. Each of you may pick a story, not necessarily your own and not necessarily recent, and I'll be givin' that story a detailed crit as my schedule allows for it.

I'd love a crit on my story from last week. Thanks so much!

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Hammer Bro. posted:

Thanks enormously for the line-by-line. I agree with you on 96.7% of those points. Didn't even notice how badly I was talking to the audience, and the only voice I was happy with was Damon's. I'm still on the fence about the timing of the mechanism reveal: I very much enjoy rereading a story in a different light after making a realization, although in this case it's more like rereading the story in any light after being told a thing, which is a painful distinction.

The lines about which clues worked and what you suspected was going on as you read the story are exceptionally helpful. Usually I write too batshit esoteric obtuse; this time I was a bit hamfisted. Eventually I'll find the balance.

In other news, I've not the creative energy for proper writing this week. But Anathema Device, starr, Djeser, docbeard, and Benny the Snake, your stories tickled my fancy. Each of you may pick a story, not necessarily your own and not necessarily recent, and I'll be givin' that story a detailed crit as my schedule allows for it.
I'm really curious why my story this week tickled your fancy. Mind doing one for that? Thanks!

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


Hammer Bro. posted:

Thanks enormously for the line-by-line. I agree with you on 96.7% of those points. Didn't even notice how badly I was talking to the audience, and the only voice I was happy with was Damon's. I'm still on the fence about the timing of the mechanism reveal: I very much enjoy rereading a story in a different light after making a realization, although in this case it's more like rereading the story in any light after being told a thing, which is a painful distinction.

The lines about which clues worked and what you suspected was going on as you read the story are exceptionally helpful. Usually I write too batshit esoteric obtuse; this time I was a bit hamfisted. Eventually I'll find the balance.

In other news, I've not the creative energy for proper writing this week. But Anathema Device, starr, Djeser, docbeard, and Benny the Snake, your stories tickled my fancy. Each of you may pick a story, not necessarily your own and not necessarily recent, and I'll be givin' that story a detailed crit as my schedule allows for it.

I, too, would like a detailed crit of my story this week. Specifically I am looking to expand it into a longer story, and I'm wondering what readers would like to see more of.

I will also crit the next three people who link their stories. They do not have to be recent stories.

Quidthulhu
Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!


Crit me crit me~

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Can you crit this story please?

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?...e=Grace+is+Gone

Thanks!

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


Crit Hiding Places please.

Cache Cab
Feb 21, 2014


I'm already up to 30k words on my NaNoWriMo project, so I will take a break to try the Thunderdome again. I feel like I have been improving as I write my novel, so perhaps I will do well this wekk.

Gau
Nov 18, 2003

I don't think you understand, Gau.


Cache Cab posted:

perhaps I will do well this wekk.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Cache Cab posted:

I'm already up to 30k words on my NaNoWriMo project, so I will take a break to try the Thunderdome again. I feel like I have been improving as I write my novel, so perhaps I will do well this wekk.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

sebmojo posted:

I too am ic this week.

don't u know that ur toxiiic

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Hammer Bro. posted:

In other news, I've not the creative energy for proper writing this week. But Anathema Device, starr, Djeser, docbeard, and Benny the Snake, your stories tickled my fancy. Each of you may pick a story, not necessarily your own and not necessarily recent, and I'll be givin' that story a detailed crit as my schedule allows for it.

I'd be interested in your extended thoughts on my latest, and would be happy to return the favor for the story of your choice.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Also, in.

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

starr - Just making sure we're not counting weeks from Mondays; do you mean the story you posted prior to Two halves of a Whole, or was 2/2 the story you wanted?

Benny the Snake ~ It wasn't the best story, but it was a huge step up from the other stuff of yours I'd read. And when I was having that thought, I realized that I both partially recalled the story and did so with some fondness. I'll have to probe my own psyche to find out why.

docbeard - I think I'll hop on the selfish bandwagon and ask you to look over Kelvin. I'd like to think the whats and whys of that story are sufficiently self-contained, but mostly all I got were huh?s. Appreciate the reciprocity.

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


newtestleper posted:

Grace is Gone
1199 words

I have’t seen the movie, so this will have to stand (or not) on it’s own.

We were both over at Dad’s for a roast when Dean just spat it out.
“I’m getting married.” The length of the sentence was pretty standard for my older brother, for guys round these parts in general, really. It was the content that shut us up.This is taking away from the impact of your opening. He’d barely left town for months and there were exactly three single girls within fifty k, two of which were under sixteen and a third who hadn’t been right since a four wheeler accident.
“To Jan? Do they even let handicaps get married?” Who’s talking?Maybe he’d got her knocked up, the filthy bastard.
“gently caress off, not Jan. Grace, she’s Filipino.”
There’s this internet service that set lonely blokes like Deano up with Asian girls, so you do see the odd one around. It must look drat nice to them out here in the wops.


The surprising thing about Grace was what a crack up she was. Back when Dean would take her down the pub she’d always have this group of chicks around her. The first time she showed up there after the wedding I think they wanted to take her down a notch or two,. Sshe’d made the rest of them look drab. But when they laughed at the way she spoke she’d just laugh along with them, and taking the piss out of yourself goes a long way around here. In a couple of weeks she was a fixture, chatting away with her mates while Dean sat in the corner with his jug of DB, exactly where he always did. Back in the day he’d play a little darts as well, but he didn’t get much joy from winning and when he lost he’d go into a rage.

I like that you’re setting up Dean’s temper problems here.

Grace charmed me, too. The way she took to that horse, pretty soon I was the only one who could keep up with her. She was so tiny I had to stick a childrens saddle on it, though the way she rode it seemed like she barely touched the seat. Generally speaking, isn’t touching the seat a good thing when you’re riding? I remember one day we’d left the others behind and rode hard along the beach until we pulled up by the old jetty piles, panting from the effort.
“It’s magic” she said, watching the waves struggle to reach the driftwood and drying seaweed that marked the high tide.
“She’s a beaut, alright”
“I wish I could ride forever” Despite the low sun shining through her black hair into my eyes I could make out her face just well enough to see that she was crying. She looked at her watch, then dug in her heels. “We’d better go”.
I like the developing friendship between Grace and the narrator. Generally, you want punctuation inside your quotation marks.

First Dean stopped taking her to the pub, and not long after that she was missing Sunday dinner, too. I’d slaughtered a sheep to roast, and the rich lanolin smell of the mutton fat was as thick in the air as the silence.
“Where’s Grace?” Dad spoke first. He’d grown to enjoy Grace’s company, and had missed her help round the house.
“At home”
“I mean why didn’t she come? We like to see her.”
“She doesn’t want to come here anymore. She says it smells of old man.”
Dad’s face tightened and his breaths came fast and shallow, but he looked back down at his dinner. Dean watched him, deliberate and unblinking, while he reached for the mint sauce.

I like that Dad speaks up here. I get the sense Dad is the quiet type, so it’s significant that he asks about Grace.

It didn’t take us long to get why he was keeping her home. I think this is implied. I was exercising her horse, and kept thinking of her long brown throat and his big callused hands. I rode around to Dean’s place, and saw her briefly at the kitchen window. The corner of her mouth was turned up a touch, period here I’d seen Dad smile the same way when he looked at the old picture of Mum in the hall. I motioned for her to come out but she just stood there with her face half hidden by the curtain. That’s when I was certain. I wondered how messed up the other side of her face was.

The morning air was getting cold, but it was still too early in the season for the families on day licenses to scare away the ducks. I figured that I’d head out to one of the farther lakes with Dean while Dad got to work on the plan. I’d tell Dean what we’d done on the way back. Better he lose his rag with me than with the old man.

The mai-mai was a good one, with a little bench and a great view of the lake. I’d bagged a brace of paradise ducks, but Dean hadn’t got anything despite some real good chances. His dog lay bored beside him, vapour rising from it’s soggy coat. He was cruel with it, but it made for a drat good duck dog. I was rummaging in my rucksack for my thermos and just as I touched it I felt the twin barrels of his shotgun in my back.
“You smug little poo poo. Think you two can get away with it do you?” I froze. Had dad said something to him?
“What the gently caress?” I decided to play dumb.
“You and Grace. I’ve seen how you look at each other. You’re jealous. You’re turning her against me.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Put the gun down. Just put it down” I could hear the dog growling.
“You better remember this. Keep away from her.”
“Of course, mate, of course. I’ll keep away from her. I’ll sell her horse. Whatever you want.” I felt the pressure in my back relax then subside. I turned back so I could see him, keeping my hand in my bag and tightening my grip on the thermos.
I knew I had to tell him now, despite the presence of the guns. Why? Seems like a bad decision to go on a hunting trip to tell your brother you’ve sent his wife away. His was still within easy reach, but hard to handle in the cramped hut. I gave myself 30 thirty seconds to settle my nerves.
“Dad took her to Dunedin while we’ve been out here. The flights are all sorted. She’s going home, Dean. She’s on the plane to Auckland right now. Grace is gone.” I thought he’d take it like a man, but he immediately went for the gun. I brought my arm out of the bag in a wide arc and caught him across the chin with the thermos. The cap broke off, spilling hot tea that splashed against the dog’s face. It yelped and sprang on Dean, clamping onto his arm like it had been begging for an excuse. I pushed past the struggling pair to reach the shotgun, and they fell through the side of the mai-mai onto the damp dirt.

I took aim at the dog, but my first shot missed, putting a few pellets in Dean’s leg. If he noticed he didn’t show it. The second was better, hitting the dog square in the side and knocking it back half a metre where it lay still, a decent chunk of arm flesh still lodged in it’s teeth. I sized up Dean’s wounds, not too bad, then grabbed my gear and both guns and set off on foot back to get the ute. A couple of hours cooling off in the dirt should do him some good.

So there’s this dog. And it’s not significant at all until the end, when it complicates the action scene and gets shot. Why have the dog at all?

This isn’t a bad story, despite the briefly confusing and then terribly sad introduction of the dog. My biggest complaint is that Grace doesn’t take any action to save herself. This story is the story of men interacting about a girl. She only has one line, and it’s just her going back to her miserable life. I’d like to see more of Grace, and even see Grace take some action on her own behalf. I don’t like it when women become plot points in stories and stop being their own people.

I like the quiet stoicism of the Dad and the narrator, and you do a very good job staying in-tone for this first person view of someone who isn’t a literary genius. You manage to pull that off while keeping the story both realistic and enjoyable to read.


You did an amazing job sticking with the kid-voice all the way through. It was a very difficult read, in part because it was too realistic. There’s a reason I don’t read fiction written by eight year olds.

I felt like I had to spend more time working out what was going on than I really wanted. An eight year old might not be able to write very clearly, but they can understand a lot. I didn’t get a sense of understanding from this kid. In fact, I didn’t really like this kid much.

All in all a very well executed example of a really annoying gimmick.

Somebody fucked around with this message at Jan 1, 2015 around 07:18

starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


Hammer Bro. posted:

starr - Just making sure we're not counting weeks from Mondays; do you mean the story you posted prior to Two halves of a Whole, or was 2/2 the story you wanted?

Sorry for the confusion, I was interested in a crit for the Two Halves of a Whole story.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003



Thank you for the crit!

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


Soiled Meat

I'll be drinking wine and critting until I fall asleep. Post here if you want me to to do yours, otherwise I'm going chronologically. Most recent week only.

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

Don`t fall asleep, you gotta write for THUNDERDOME

I'll take a crit. Thanks

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.


blue squares posted:

I'll be drinking wine and critting until I fall asleep. Post here if you want me to to do yours, otherwise I'm going chronologically. Most recent week only.

The more crits I get, the better I can be. Please and thank you.

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ceaselessfuture
Apr 9, 2005

"I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor."


J.A.B.C. posted:

The more crits I get, the better I can be. Please and thank you.

Definitely echo these sentiments, so I'd love one myself!

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