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Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007

The turtle moves.


Fun Shoe

Well, I gave it a go and got my poo poo thoroughly pushed in as foretold in the Dead Sea scrolls. Now to lurk and practice my awful, awful writing. Thanks for having me and reading my drivel!

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Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

by Nyc_Tattoo


Week 124 SledgeCrits

Overall, you folks acquitted yourselves quite well. I'd call this an above average week in the Dome. None of the stories, even the DMs and losers, stood out as irredeemably awful, so kudos.


ZeBourgeoisie – A Story from the Backroads

I was entertained, and it’s certainly a unique take on your story, but I ultimately found this one to be a little bit too goofy. The premise itself is so hard to swallow that I had trouble taking the story very seriously, and it wasn’t funny enough to get by on a comedy angle (I don’t think you intended it as comedy anyway). Like I said, though, it’s entertaining and I was never bored with it. The human characters were a little bit flat (didn’t feel much for Stan), but the spiders were fleshed out enough that the drama and emotion at the end was well-earned. Prose is pretty clean for the most part, but your metaphors and adjectives are occasionally a bit mixed and imprecise – describing the road as “claustrophobically straight” for instance, is sort of confusing to me, as there is nothing about a straight road that strikes me as inherently claustrophobia-inducing, unless there are trees looming on both sides or something. The descriptor of the noise that Paulie makes towards the end (“sounded like the full force of a tornado merging with an atomic explosion”) is clunky and seriously overwrought. I feel like the best prose of the piece is when you are describing the action and fighting at the end. Overall, not bad, but the premise was just a bit too hard to swallow.


Screaming Idiot – Into Frozen Jaws

I liked this better than the other judges. This one could have easily been cheesy, schlocky, or stupid considering the source material, but you elevated it, so kudos there. This was entertaining all the way through, the prose is tight, and there is some nice substance and weight to the story. Smilodon steals the show and you did a really good job with the “tragic villain” thing. There’s an interesting theme of authority, control, and free will, and I like how you even went so far as to buttress the theme by hinting that Omni’s relationship to Switch may be something less than mutual and friendly. The only real story weakness here is that I came away wanting a little bit more of an arc from Omni, he’s pretty much the same throughout and he was consequently a less interesting character compared to Smilodon. Prose is pretty effective but I noticed a couple of weak spots. For one, I occasionally had trouble following who was talking at the very beginning. There are a couple of lines of dialogue that you don’t attribute to anyone, and since this is the beginning of the story and it is a short conversation, there’s not quite enough context to easily deduce who is saying what when you don’t tell us. Also, the bit about the Ride Chaser thing (“Omni dismounted the Ride Chaser he'd scavenged; the terrain ahead was too unstable for it to cross, sections of ice collapsing into a vast gully.”) is unnecessary. I get that you are describing the terrain, but the Ride Chaser reference is not really connecting to anything else in the story, so you should probably jettison it. Overall, though, a well-told story.


Maugrim – The Story Thieves

I really liked this. You nailed the Grimms Fairy Tales aesthetic. It’s engaging all the way through and the twist that allows Dummling to escape the spell is pulled off with just the right amount of the audience being in on it. I like how the brothers sorta got a taste of their own medicine from the witch. The ending is also great, especially what you imply about the two oldest brothers. It was a nice touch that made me smile. Not really anything wrong with this one, and it’s also memorable. The prose is spot-on for the fairy tale syntax/language, although on one occasion, you put it on so thick that it was somewhat irritating (Beginning of the fourth paragraph, “by and by”…not sure what it is, but that phrase just verged a touch over the line for me on overwrought fairy tale prose). It’s a really minor quibble though, this one was really a home run that was more clever than it had any right to be. Well done.


Jitzu_the_Monk – At my house, everyone’s sad

First, the good. The prose is really tight, and I love the characterizations. The mom comes across as appropriately crazy and spiteful, especially at the end. The kid narrator is sympathetic and his eagerness and innocence really sells the tragedy. I knew what was coming at the end, but you still made it appropriately shocking with the brutal and twisted way it played out. Now, the bad. I honestly found this sort of irritating because it hews way too closely to the source material. You followed the story beats point for point and it robbed it of any insight or real drama. Your story can be entirely summed up as “Medea set in a rural American backwater” and that is its fatal flaw. You didn’t do anything truly interesting with the material. I had brief moments where I felt like you were about to surprise me (at one point, I even thought you might straight up invert the ending and have the mom stop being crazy), but nope, it’s a straight retelling and that really disappointed me.


Nubile Hillock – Fastwipe

I was intrigued and into this all the way through, but when I got to the end, it was just like “Hmmm….ok.” This one felt like an appetizer, a tasty but ultimately insubstantial little morsel. You paint a really vivid picture and the narrator is a strong character. The prose is exceptional, though it occasionally verged into overwrought (“They wouldn’t stay solid at the edges, instead they branched out like solar flares before dissipating” probably stands as the most egregious example, although none of it is really that bad). I liked what it was and I was intrigued to read more, but by the time I got all the way through, I felt like it didn’t quite set up right. There’s something missing thematically or ending-wise, like the narrative equivalent of an open parenthesis. This one left me wanting more, but not necessarily in a good way. Whittle this one down into a sharper point and round it off at the end, and it’d go from great to exceptional. The writing is very strong.


crabrock – We Are What We Are

This was great. It can be tough to keep the reader’s interest with a story that is mostly dialogue, but you pulled it off with panache. Well done. I quite liked the characterizations. Orr is perhaps a bit flat, but he’s more or less the thoughts of the reader or the straight man in a Socratic dialogue, so it works well enough. The wit and philosophical musings shine through at every step. Some of the bantering is occasionally a little overcooked or too cute (“Tried it, but with nowhere to be there’s nowhere to go…and it’s impossible—improbable—to get from somewhere to nowhere without being late” and “We should slow our pace to get there more quickly” probably stand as the clearest examples), but overall, you maintain the right sort of balance. Precious little happens in the story but it entertained me anyway; I mean that as a high compliment and as a nod to your ability to write good dialogue. Some strong stuff here, crabrock.


blue squares – Dawn of the Beginning of the Night of the Living Dummy: the novelization: the story

This put a smile on my face when I started. By the time I got to the middle, I was twiddling my thumbs a bit, but it ended strong. Pretty good overall. There are some decent jokes and the main character is fairly compelling. However, I came away from it feeling that it was something of a one-trick pony. “The dummy from the RL Stine books was invented by a focus group in Hell” is a pretty strong premise, but the “Hell as corporation/Satan in a business suit” thing has been done to death and this didn’t bring much new to the table. The most original part is the beginning, with the focus group. After that, the story gets pretty predictable. I think this one would have been better if you stuck with the focus group stuff and tried to wait to reveal what they are talking about. Considering your prompt and the title of the story, it would have been tough to keep the audience from figuring out it is the dummy, but a little misdirection would have solved that. The focus group scene stretched out to the whole story would have been more interesting, but as it is, you quickly pivot from something fresh and exciting to a well-trod path, and the story suffers for it. Prose is pretty strong, though I noticed a couple of grammatical issues (You’ve got a quotation mark that never gets opened halfway through the focus group scene). Overall, this was funny but forgettable.


Nethilia – Reptilia

Some excellent writing on display here, the prose is so well-measured and punchy. I love how you inverted the source material; it made for far more drama and kept me intrigued all the way through the end. The friendship between Heidi and Ramona is what especially sells it; that scene is pretty short but you leave a really strong impression in just a few sentences. That followed by the flashbacks of the friendship falling apart is probably the strongest part of the story. My only beef is with the ending, it honestly felt somewhat weak and I think there are some interesting thematic things going on that got ignored. Ramona stands up for herself and overcomes the bullies, but at what cost? The last vestiges of her friendship with Heidi are severed, and she seems to have set herself up for even more loneliness and alienation, but we’d never know it by the way you’ve written it. It’s a Pyrrhic victory that you’ve written as a triumphant exclamation point. The other thing that sort of bothered me is that the victory over the bullies seems as much a result of fate as it does Ramona’s actions. I see that the anger is what produced the venomous snakes, but it still feels like it didn’t come from Ramona, you know? It’s sort of unclear how much agency she had in producing that outcome, and it blunts the moment a bit. The writing is fantastic and I never stopped being entertained, but the ending could stand to be sharper.


docbeard – The Truest Power

A whole lot going on thematically here and you pull it off well. I love the massive scale of this thing; it pivots from the cosmic to the deeply personal not only without a hitch, but while tying it all together, which can be hard to do. Your descriptions really shine, especially the way you described the monster. You managed to make it menacing even in its weakened state. I also like how the source material influenced the characters of Melanie and Ben. Ben being the one who can see and sniff out the supernatural with Melanie being the main one who understands and interacts with it is a nice contrast and helps underscore their connection as siblings. The writing is strong, although there were a couple of trouble spots. You’re missing a period in the fifth paragraph, and the dialogue from the monster is occasionally a bit weak (“Suffering, death. Inevitable. Join me in it” particularly strikes me as a bit too brusque and clipped). Relatively minor quibbles, those. This was very strong overall, and the only overall criticism I can come up with is that the character of the monster could have been a touch more rounded and interesting, perhaps by exploring his desire to be different a little bit more, as that is where most of his depth comes from. Like I said, though, this is great work and you produced some strong themes that probably would have overwhelmed a lesser writer.


Fanky Malloons – Twilight in Alpha Seven

This one was very well written but uneven. I know you were going for a sense of urgency, but the stuff that takes place in the present felt weak and watered down to me. The water is slowly rising and Sarika has to get past A-Crew to get the situation resolved, but we don’t even know why that is going to be problematic until about halfway through. Very little happens in the present and you ended it before the good part (what I’d assume to be a tense climb out past A-Crew), which was disappointing. You even hint at a little showdown between Darla and Sarika, but just as quickly pivot away when Darla moves away from the door. It makes sense as a way to introduce a flashback, but after having learned the threat Darla posed, thinking back on the near miss just frustrates me, because it was a missed opportunity for drama and conflict. The flashbacks are the best part by far and are full of juicy tension and very real dread, but they should have come much earlier in the story rather than here and there in the last half. The story almost feels reversed, if that makes sense. We’re presented with a situation at the beginning that we don’t understand the full gravity of, and only as the story winds toward an anticlimax do we find out the depth of the problems. If you put the flashbacks towards the front and ended it with a confrontation between Sarika and Darla, this one would probably be a top contender, but in its current form, it’s a missed opportunity.


Sitting Here – Non Se-Q-tur

The prose is very tight as usual, but you’ve got a bunch of interesting bits that don’t work well together and the whole thing becomes weird and lumpy, the narrative version of a Christmas fruitcake. The strongest bit by far is the holodeck scene. You present us with a real conundrum only to have it instantly evaporated by the random arrival of a Q on the scene. A cute nod to your title, sure, but that’s all it ends up being, and that makes the ending really disappointing. The relationship between Wesla and Ken is one-note and does no favors to either character, although Wesla is well-written and interesting largely due to the contrast between her exasperated defiance of Ken and her genuine concern for the perv on the holodeck. That scene is almost strong enough to save the piece, but it turns into something cutesy and ridiculous with a snap of the Q’s finger. I almost thought you were going to go with Ken being a Q, which would have been fascinating and could have set up an interesting conflict, but my hopes were dashed. This one is tightly written and manages a lot of earned humor in places, but in the end, a cheeky wink at the readers is not at all a good substitute for a solid ending.


Benny the Snake – All Soul’s Day

This one is an entertaining mess, and I considered arguing against the DM/loss but the prose is too sloppy. I’ll stress the entertaining though, as your narrator’s voice shines through and the action is pretty great. The chunks of sarcasm and sardonic tone of the narrator strongly channel Butcher, kudos there. The action is also strong, especially the little duel between Rosa and the bad guy. You use the fantastical elements to great effect, and though the ending is a little bit deus ex machina, the magic and description of rituals sells it, and I didn’t feel at all let down by it. On top of that, things wouldn’t have happened that way without Rosa providing a distraction, so there’s that, too. Where the mess comes in is your prose, it almost shines in places only to be followed by something sloppy or inartfully written. My main advice is to cut down on unnecessary words and make every effort to show rather than tell. For example, “he pointed his cane at me and fired an arcane blast at me.” The first “at me” is completely unnecessary, and its inclusion makes this sentence really clunky. The description of Katie’s abduction at the beginning also stands out as pretty rough. It’s very tell-y and not nearly enough show-y. This one is not bad, Benny, but you need to work on the prose.


newtestleper – The Hawke Brothers #29 – Peril in the Old Museum

That ending – so, so great. Sells the whole thing and overshadows some of the issues I had with the rest. It’s a really nice reversal of fortune compared to the typical Hardy Boys ending. The twist is also nice and pulpy. The lead-up is just a touch uneven, though. I like that you started with action, but then you immediately flashback to earlier in the evening, and it all but puts the brakes on the story, which is not good. It’s a too slow until we get to Archie’s abduction, and the action at the start just makes it feel slower. The brothers feel like near carbon copies save Kurt’s impetuousness, but I guess that fits with the source material. I really like the old school feel of this and the nods to the Hardy Boys. The writing is pretty solid but I noticed a few grammatical issues here and there, lack of capitalization, missing quotation marks and the like. Be careful and make sure you are proofreading, because that stuff will be easy to catch and correct. Overall, this is a solid effort and the ending is a satisfying home run.


Grizzled Patriarch – The Soul is Like a Cellar

This one had me enthralled. Way more than the sum of its parts. It’s almost a vignette but you’ve managed to infuse it with some real thematic weight, a nice little undertow. The prose is sharp and the narrative is somewhat spare; you leave room for the reader to ponder the meaning of what is unfolding. It left me wanting more in the best kind of way. You do a whole lot with a little. The characters shine through and are fleshed out, and the sin-eater himself is appropriately alien and mysterious. The descriptions are full and almost lyrical. There’s really nothing I don’t like about this. The mysterious pronouncement from the sin-eater at the end of the intermission seems to come out of nowhere, but that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? It’s probably my favorite line in the whole thing. There’s something almost religious about the line; it’s a very heavy statement but it’s open to interpretation, and it immediately gets you thinking. A poetic and enigmatic piece, and a walk-off home run if I ever saw one. Good job.


kurona_bright – Errantry

A pretty strong start to this one. I was with you all the way up to the part where Ali spots Ryan, and then this one starts to unravel. The actions of the characters don’t feel authentic. Ryan is incredibly trusting and slow on the uptake, and I felt like I was a step ahead of him. I thought to myself, “Why is he just going along with this?” and then two lines later he thinks the same thing. He seems weirdly unimpressed by what is going on, and Ali doesn’t seem to understand how disorienting it would be to Ryan. Bill is so insubstantial that the story would be stronger if he was only mentioned and never actually appeared in the story. In what seems to be a theme this week, this one also ended right before something that could have been really interesting. There’s not really anything wrong with the prose, but the narrative is pretty flat and there are times where I feel like you didn’t consider whether the reader had enough information or not. For example, why are Ali and Ryan both reading from mobile devices right before they end up in space? It’s clearly something important and the most critical part of the spell, yet as I reader, I have little idea what is going on except what I can infer, and that’s just not good enough. You’ve got a skeleton of something interesting here, but the last half needs work.


sebmojo – Iron and Glass

Entertaining while I read it but also instantly forgettable. Very little thematic weight to this one, and there just isn’t enough action to float it by on entertainment value alone. The skirmish at the end is the highlight by a country mile, but it’s a case of too little, too late. The prose is solid but a little overwrought and wordy in places, to the point that it doesn’t flow the way it should sometimes. A few grammatical issues (some missing commas and also missing capitalization at one point), but nothing too bad, though the lack of commas made the wordy sentences harder to read. There are hints at a deep world with a deep history, which was a nice touch. I especially like what you did with Boris, and the little details like the incongruously feminine necklace gave the character some nice layers. Miguel is pretty flat, though, and I found myself wishing the story were primarily about Boris or Mukagee. I’d also have preferred starting with the skirmish and having the rest of the story be about the fallout and flight to Fort Rusty. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with this one, but it’s too insubstantial to be truly interesting.


Entenzahn – A Writer’s Revenge

I was pretty drat annoyed within the first few paragraphs. The letter switching on the names was irritating (and remained so throughout). It felt like it was going to weird, stupid places. But then it kept getting more ridiculous, and you kept piling on the well-timed jokes. I found myself smiling in spite of myself and you just kept upping the ante, until the ending, which somehow felt both completely ridiculous and well-earned. Goofy as all hell, but in an amusing way. This was clearly a story written for Domers, and the Dome is the only place it could work, but it does indeed work. The ending could have come across as a dumb little thumbing of the nose, but it’s actually pretty funny, and I like that you slowly revealed the meta-ness of it all. This could have very easily plunged into irredeemable stupidity, and that was where I felt it was headed at the beginning, but you threaded the needle. Not the best this week had to offer, but not the worst, either.

Your Sledgehammer fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2014 around 04:12

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Jitzu_the_Monk posted:

I'm against battling to avoid the losertar. I concede to Benny. Hit me with it.
You sure?

Armack
Jan 27, 2006

Corde pulsum tangite



Positive.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Screaming Idiot posted:

Well, I gave it a go and got my poo poo thoroughly pushed in as foretold in the Dead Sea scrolls. Now to lurk and practice my awful, awful writing. Thanks for having me and reading my drivel!

Bullshit. Keep wriiting and keep getting better. Sign up for next week and I'll do you a crit for this week.


I'm not, and if this sort of thing keeps going on I'll start asking Humboldt Squid for double losertars. If you're given the chance to fight for your av, you goddam take it and make the other bastard pay.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Jitzu, I owe you one.

Oh and T-Rex: you literally chose me as the loser just because I so much as named my protagonist "Rosa Flores?" gently caress you and the horse you rode on, you petty, petulant little poo poo.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

lol

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

by Nyc_Tattoo


No, he also chose you as loser because your writing is a mess. Take your loss, learn from it, make your writing better.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





I feel like critting some stories this week. Three of 'em, first come, first served.

I may or may not judge you on the names you have given your characters. It will be an adventure finding out together.

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.


Hi.

The Taste of Sugar
1200 Words
Battle Royale

DECEMBER 21, 2024: UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, "THE PLANTATION": BEFORE DAWN

The sugar rushed through Kelly's veins as she tied her red bandanna around her neck. She let it settle over her metal collar so that it covered the red beeping light. She smiled. It felt good, not the collar but the taste of sugar. She wished she had more food. She wanted to eat as much as she could before she left.

She placed the glass shard down and reached for something in her pocket for the last Slim Jim. What she found, instead, was the condom. The condom that the producers included.

Everyone received the same dark gray backpack, filled with everything they needed. Of these contents, a single piece of paper listing every last item inside. Apart from their assigned weapon, each backpack held the same contents. They received the same survival gear; Map and Compass; Flashlight; First-Aid Kit. They received the same rations; five Slim Jims; one Footlong Cold Cut Subway sandwich (vacuum-sealed); two packages of saltines; four one-liter bottles of Aquafina mineral water; two 500g package of Skittles; one 2 oz. package of Nabisco Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (30 pk); and two bottles of Powerade, colored red, her team's color. (Most of these, save for the water, Kelly blew through in one starved go.) Lastly, and most oddly, everyone received the same Trojan Warm Sensations. Just the one.

Kelly understood that the rations were for ad revenue. Kelly also understood that the 'Gear' was to keep the longevity of the 'players' going, so that the 'show' could keep running for as long as possible. However, Kelly did not understand why the condom was there. It made little sense to her. Of course the obvious answer blared in the back of her head, pounding on the door, begging to be let it, but...

On the first day she blushed and shoved it into her pocket. Now, she just flipped it over in her fingers and wondered if Corin from the art club was still alive. He always had a thing for her, after all. He was no Mark Parks, sure, but Sarah McCrae had that boy under lock and key. Kelly had no chance, being the 'ginger troll' that she was...

...Besides. She was going to hell anyway.

Kelly glanced at the camera in the far corner. It glanced back. Kelly could hear the whirl of the lens as it zoomed in on her. Then she flicked the wrapper away between thumb and forefinger, like one of those paper footballs.

Stop being silly, she told herself. Save herself for marriage. Besides, Corin wouldn't want anything to do with her anymore. Probably. Kelly did not know that for sure. Corin could be dead for all she knew. He was a good boy, he wasn't made for this game. But she would not blame him if he shot her on sight, being honest.

As she heard the wrapper slide across the floor, she noticed the bandage around her wrist. She also noted the faint signs of blood that was not hers.

So stupid. So very stupid.

Kelly did not hate Sarah McCrae. Not really. Sarah just snapped, she reminded herself. It could have happened to anyone, she told herself. Kelly felt no animosity towards Sarah, not after Kelly let out all of her anger back at the abandoned food court. Kicking over plastic tables and benches, throwing rocks at windows, tantrum until she cut her wrist on a shard of glass. All the toxin in her veins left after that. She remembered that Sarah was her friend. She loved Sarah, loved her like any best friend should. That might have been the reason why she stuck with Sarah for so long, despite her better judgement.

But she also understood that they, Sarah and Kelly, could not be friends anymore. Not after what happened. Not after Sarah forced Kelly's hand.

Somebody's son died last night. No, what was she saying, it was only several hours before. And while Sarah might have loaded that gun, it was Kelly who pulled that trigger.

No. Happy thoughts. She was doing really good. She couldn't let anything get to her, not now. Later. Not now.

Kelly stood up from her seat. Bottles and wrappers laid strewn across the floor of the cafe. The map labeled the building as the "Ice Castle", an ice rink made to look like a Lapland style winter village. The cafe itself was modeled to look like an igloo, but in what little Kelly could see it appeared more as a gaping maw, a chasm straight out of Mountains of Madness.

The light from her flashlight bounced off of the ice. Apart from that, darkness. Kelly did not care; she'd hear someone come in anyway so it did not matter. Kelly dropped the last Slim Jim wrapper and chewed. She didn't even like Slim Jims and she went through all of them in one go. They tasted amazing. She picked up the flashlight and the shank and went back to work.

There was a replica of a snow-covered tree. Kelly dug into it with the glass shard, slowly and carefully so as to not cut herself again. It wasn't a real tree, of course, but she could still mark it up. She slowly carved out a crude outline of a heart, then she started writing inside the heart. Once she was finished, she stepped back.

MARK
+
KELLY

Kelly put another saltine in her mouth and chewed. She always wanted to carve a heart into a tree. It sounded so romantic. Now, though, it was very melancholy. Was this sad? Doing it by yourself? She always figured people did that sort of thing together.

Crap, that sounded bad. If Sarah could hear her she'd be snickering to herself. She always had a sick sense of humor...

... Kelly frowned.

"Please be okay."

No.

Sarah made her bed. Kelly was done worrying about her. Happy thoughts. A huge weight was off her shoulders and she was content. Worried, too, but she was trying to fix that. For the first time in ages, everything made sense.

Kelly had a plan. It was not a complicated one, admittedly, but that meant it was harder to screw up. Find her remaining teammate - that meant Mark. He last saw him at the food court when... poo poo happened. Whatever, focus, find Mark, stay with him. From the midnight announcements, he was still alive. And not actively killing. The gimmick this season were the teams; twenty teams, five people. If more than one teammate survived until the end, they'd let them all go home.

Two survivors; Mark and Kelly.

There was one hole that needed to be filled up. 'Not actively killing', she remembered...

Her frown grew.

She didn't want to consider it. But if Mark wasn't going to do it...

... Besides. Kelly was going to hell anyway.

She sighed. She stared at the heart she made for a very long time. She thought about happier times. She drank it in for as long as she could. She thrived on it, needed it. Because if Kelly wanted to ever see her family again, she would have to forget the taste of sugar.

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


docbeard posted:

I feel like critting some stories this week. Three of 'em, first come, first served.

I may or may not judge you on the names you have given your characters. It will be an adventure finding out together.

Wanna do my story from this last week? http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?...m+the+Backroads

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Your Sledgehammer posted:

No, he also chose you as loser because your writing is a mess. Take your loss, learn from it, make your writing better.
I will then. I won't be using you-know-who for a long time, anyway. Thanks for the crit, Sledgehammer.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Your Sledgehammer posted:

Take your loss, learn from it, make your writing better.

Fifth time's the charm?

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

Benny the Snake posted:

I will then. I won't be using you-know-who for a long time, anyway. Thanks for the crit, Sledgehammer.

Oh you mean Rosa Flores?

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007

The turtle moves.


Fun Shoe

sebmojo posted:

Bullshit. Keep writing and keep getting better. Sign up for next week and I'll do you a crit for this week.

D'aww, all right. Not gonna lie, even the worst of the other stories was miles above mine, so the fact anybody read it -- and the fact Your Sledgehammer had so many really positive, helpful things to say! -- was both surprising and really, really humbling. If people don't mind my literary stumbling I'll keep writing and trying out. I don't expect to win any time soon -- at least, not until somebody burns the painting Grizzled Patriarch keeps hidden in his closet -- but I do want to get better.

EDIT: Hey, losertars don't cost anyone here money, do they?

Screaming Idiot fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2014 around 04:43

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.


Also.

Thunderdome 2015: Like a Cantaloupe, Tinged with Bile

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


docbeard posted:

I feel like critting some stories this week. Three of 'em, first come, first served.

I may or may not judge you on the names you have given your characters. It will be an adventure finding out together.

I'll take you up on that offer! Sledgehammer's crit was really helpful (thanks, by the way!) but more opinions are better, right?

kurona_bright fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2014 around 04:33

Liam Emsa
Aug 21, 2014

Oh, god. I think I'm falling.

Rosa Flores, leader of the Las Roofers cartel, stormed into the Sears Floor. A bullet whizzed through a loser's fro. She held the 9mm baretta up to his head. "Fear, or loss?" she muttered.

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

by Nyc_Tattoo


Not fighting for your own honor against the double loss means it's brawl time for you, Jitzu. This is the Dome and you fight with your dying breath. Saddle up, bud, we've got a duel at high noon.

Armack
Jan 27, 2006

Corde pulsum tangite


Your Sledgehammer posted:

Not fighting for your own honor against the double loss means it's brawl time for you, Jitzu. This is the Dome and you fight with your dying breath. Saddle up, bud, we've got a duel at high noon.

Jitzu removes his white glove. He dangles it in Your Sledgehammer's face. "Sir, you cast aspersions on my honor. I DEMAND SATISFACTION." He swings the glove; it's white lace grazes Your Sledgehammer's cheek. "Settle your affairs and draw your will. It shall be pistols at high noon."

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.


Jitzu_the_Monk posted:

Jitzu removes his white glove. He dangles it in Your Sledgehammer's face. "Sir, you cast aspersions on my honor. I DEMAND SATISFACTION." He swings the glove; its white lace grazes Your Sledgehammer's cheek. "Settle your affairs and draw your will. It shall be pistols at high noon."
Okay. I'll be the guy who mops up all the viscera. I mean I don't have anything better to do. So...

JITZU. SLEDGEHAMMER. BRAWL. "Luckily, no one was hurt."



(Or: this is what happens when you hand the keys over to a losertar.)

I was helping my old man with the Christmas decorations yesterday when I found this big wooden crate with all of Thomas the Tank Engine memorabilia. Man, when I was a wee little Fear, I went crazy for Thomas. I used to collect the books and the VCR tapes like a crazy cat lady collecting... cats. Finding that stash, flipping through those dust-covered pages, it really fills you with this stupid amount of nostalgia for the adventures of a bunch of creepy trains in their made-up version Isle of Man. (Preferably narrated by George Carlin.)

"But Phobia," I hear you say, "who cares?"

I don't have an answer for that. Instead I will be living vicariously through this prompt. And in order to do that I will be giving you a baby prompt for babies.

Your job is to write a children's story featuring an anthropomorphic vehicle. It doesn't have to be detailed or complicated, this is a story aimed at children after all. Your main character is as human as a talking, space-traveling tugboat has any right to be. They, like the rest of the characters, have a simple personality. Their goals and motivations can range from "noble boy scout" to "selfish brat". They have to be lovable though, so much so that the reader will want to see them succeed. And, most importantly, your character needs to succeed, and they must develop in order to 'earn' that success. You can skip the morals in your stories because I hate it when writers get preachy. Basically your story must require no interpretation. It should be as easy to digest as Flinstones Multivitamins.

There's a catch though: no one in your story gets hurt. No death, no broken bones, not even scrapped knees. This is a purely preventative measure and is not at all inspired by Jitzu running away from his brawl with benny with his tail between his legs. Feel free to have as many trainwrecks as you like but no people or animals or vehicles will be harmed in the making of your stories. Also, while we're at it, no kids. Your space-traveling tugboat can have the mentality of a seven-year-old, but I don't want to see any little shits in your story because A) I hate kids and B) I don't want using "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" as a crutch.

Here are a few notes.
* Any genre (if you want to write a Pre-K Cyberpunk story, well, I won't stop you).
* Try to make your stories have meat though; don't rewrite "The Little Engine That Could."
* There's no word limit. Write as much as you like, Merry Christmas, whatever.
* Please remember that your stories should be aimed at kids. If modern entertainment is to be believed, their attention spans are not terrific. Putting it simply - DO NOT WASTE THE READER'S TIME.
* You can give little winks at adult humor or hint at dark themes. I don't have a life preserver though, so if you go overboard then I'm sorry but you'll just have to drown. (I'm not sorry.)
* If you write erotica or fanfiction, I will break into your house in the dead of night and knock your pony figurines off your loving shelf.

Word Count: At least 300.
Submission Deadline: December 31th, 12:00 PM EST.

(Please don't gently caress this up.)

Phobia fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2014 around 07:17

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Thunderdome 2015teen: Where Words Come to Die
alternatively, Where Ideas Come to Die

Thunderdome 2015teen: Read More, Write Better

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2014 around 07:43

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


Thunderdome 2015: Clashing Flash Fiction; Diction Addiction Slash Word Constriction

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE posted:

Thunderdome 2015: Clashing Flash Fiction; Diction Addiction Slash Word Constriction

Love it

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Thunderdome 2015: Human Writes Violations

Thunderdome 2015: The Novel is Dead, Let's Finish Off the Short Story

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2014 around 08:43

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Jitzu_the_Monk posted:

Jitzu removes his white glove. He dangles it in Your Sledgehammer's face. "Sir, you cast aspersions on my honor. I DEMAND SATISFACTION." He swings the glove; it's white lace grazes Your Sledgehammer's cheek. "Settle your affairs and draw your will. It shall be pistols at high noon."
Kick his rear end, Jitzu.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Hey remember that brawl I forgot about?

This brawl was originally between Broenheim and Cache Cab (rip), but Entenzahn bravely stepped in when Cache Cab was tragically killed in an autobanning accident. Where is he how? Probably off owning all of us at writing while raking in riches and jewels.

Anyway, onto the EntBro brawl results. Why is this so late? B/c I'm an rear end in a top hat, that's why.


Broenheim

Okay first of all:

quote:

I reached into my jeans and felt the cold steel of my pistol. I hadn’t fired it since last week, so it was full.

Logically I know you're not talking about this dude's schlong, but I just can't make myself believe it. There's something so euphemistic about that line and I literally can't tell if it was intentional or not.

Other than that, the first thing I noticed was your characters conveniently describing the situation to each other. The robbery scene was competently done, I guess, but there was nothing to set it apart from every other robbery scene ever. On the plus side, I know what these guys want: money. The bit with the candy was a slightly endearing detail, so I'll give you that. But I have no idea WHY these guys are doing this. It reads very much like the beginning of a TV crime drama. And that would be fine if the rest of the story provided a meaningful context for any of this, something to make this scene worth it, but all we get by way of explanation is "guys need 1000 bucks to get away from the yakuza."

So after the robbery the guys go down to New Orleans to get some money from a guy. Again, the writing through all of this is perfectly clear. The dialog is serviceable enough. But WHY is all this happening? These two guys are pretty much just garden variety Dudes Trying to Get Some Money. So the narrator meets up with Christian.

quote:

Christian stood there, his blonde hair somehow longer than it was the last time I saw him.

In a weird way, this one line highlights a fundamental problem I've noticed in your writing. First of all, the guy's hair is the most mundane detail you could've given in this situation. Secondly, of course his hair is "somehow" longer than the last time the narrator saw him, that's what hair does. It gets longer over time. It's just all these words that convey a clear image that means nothing. It's frustrating because the clarity of your writing makes me think you could write more compelling stories, if only you were writing fewer TV crime drama scenes.

The ending wasn't very satisfying. They go to get some money. They get the money. The end. I appreciated that you kind of built up the narrator as a sympathetic guy, who in the end was perceptive enough to use Christian's vulnerability (by observing the locket) instead of threatening/killing him. I didn't like how abruptly it happened. I also didn't like that we never really learned much more about the focal characters. Nothing really felt like an actual obstacle.


Entenzahn

So you definitely did better with setting and description. Plot-wise, you guys were about on par.

Your first paragraph is p clumsy:

quote:

The acid rain doesn’t kill people, not anymore. But when Hannah drunkenly ran outside on a stormy evening filled with beer and card games, slurring the lyrics from Jimmy Webb’s McArthur Park (“Someone left the cake out in the rain”), I was getting just a bit worried.

I think it's the second sentence...especially the last bit. "When person did I thing, I was progressive verb tensing."

The two guy friends aren't very likable given that Hannah evidently lost a boyfriend/loved one recently (I think? It's not too clear if it's a breakup or a death). Their remarks when she runs back outside aren't too sympathetic. It makes the ending seem disingenuous because there's no real reason they should suddenly become so empathetic toward Hannah. It's not like they didn't know she'd lost someone at the beginning of the story. Certainly, there's no hint as to why they would decide to possibly die in the acid rain. Why even use the whole acid rain thing? Why not just make it a regular old storm? The life-or-death aspect never really comes into it, so it would have been equally dramatic if it'd just been a thunder storm coming at them.

quote:

It was Ron who found her, grunting something and pointing at the dead maple tree up the hill.

The way you phrased this makes it sound like Hannah is the one grunting and pointing.

It seems weird that Ron would know to go back to the house and get beer and cards. I barely noticed he left, so when he showed up again, poignantly carrying beers and cards, it seemed kind of forced. Like how would he know they'd need those things for this emotional moment just before the acid rain comes.


The Verdict

I mean, these were both hastily written stories with about the same amount of problems. Neither of them would stand out in a week of regular thunderdome. Also it took me a longass time to get around to this so you probably don't even care anymore.

Broenheim, your prose was clear but your characterization and plotting was week.

Ent, you were more descriptive, and there was definitely more of an emotional component to yours, but the more I thought about it, the less it really made sense.

eeehhh

Broenheim, you win by half a hair because your story made a tiny bit more sense to me, if only because it was pretty one dimensional. grats.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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




Thunderdome Week 125: Christmas Special - Thunderdome is Coming to Town



Alright, ladies and gents. I'm still reeling from a night of drunken yuletide jazz club hopping, so we're keeping things simple this holiday season.

Mark Twain once said, "Write what you know." And if I've learned anything from my time in the dome, it's that you guys know hunky merman Christmas ornaments.

So this week, you are going to pick me any one of these tasteful merman ornaments which catches your fancy. Then you are going to write me a story inspired by that merman. Your interpretation can be as strict or as loose as you'd like, so long as I can tell that at least one element of your chosen ornament finds its way into your story.

As a special holiday bonus, this week's winner will be awarded 250 extra words, redeemable during any future week.

Wordcount: 1500
Sign-ups Close: Midnight EST on Friday, December 26
Submissions Close: Midnight EST on Sunday, December 28
Rules: No erotica, no fanfiction

Judges
Grizzled Patriarch
SurreptitiousMuffin
Ironic Twist

Mermen

Kaishai
ZeBourgeoisie
chthonic bell
Entenzahn
Nubile Hillock
Nethilia
Liam Emsa
Clandestine!
Sitting Here
Phobia
Jonked
Screaming Idiot
Chairchucker
docbeard
kurona_bright
crabrock
blue squares

Grizzled Patriarch fucked around with this message at Dec 27, 2014 around 03:54

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

I could not be more in for this if I tried.

My mermen of choice, because who can stop at one:

Kaishai fucked around with this message at Dec 24, 2014 around 05:07

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Tis the season, I guess.



In with these cheerful fellows.

ZeBourgeoisie fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2014 around 12:25

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


In, with this guy:

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why didn't you invest in
Thunderdome?


In

Maugrim
Feb 16, 2011

I eat your face



docbeard posted:

I feel like critting some stories this week. Three of 'em, first come, first served.

I may or may not judge you on the names you have given your characters. It will be an adventure finding out together.

I'd be much obliged for an extra crit on The Story Thieves. Sledgehammer's was mostly positive, which is great for my ego (thanks Sledge!) but maybe not so great for improving my writing.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Thunderdome 2015teen: arrested for flash fiction in public

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007



Fun Shoe

IN with

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


I will assist in judging this.

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


IN

Liam Emsa
Aug 21, 2014

Oh, god. I think I'm falling.

In with Damien Merman

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ADBOT LOVES YOU

Clandestine!
Jul 17, 2010


In with Bro Merman

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