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  • Locked thread
Schneider Heim
Oct 17, 2012


Week 86 Crits for Entenzahn, Masonity, RunningIntoWalls, God Over Djinn, docbeard, Tyrannosaurus, Starter Wiggin, ZorajitZorajit, Kaishai, A Tin of Beans

Entenzahn - The Maintainer
Talent: Fixing things
This was quite funny. I don't mind the craziness, because you set the tone early on with the chair-disassembling. The pacing is brisk and the story takes everything in stride--a lesser work would have stopped to gloat over the Hitler twist. However, it's only good for a few laughs.

Masonity - An ant in the sap
Talent: Insect-tracking and bride-stealing (Or so we are told by the author, which means it's true. Maybe.)
Next time, don't preempt your story. If you feel the need to do that then you don't trust your story enough to pull its own weight. That said, this was a poorly written mess. A character spouts exposition in the very first paragraph. Don't do that, your readers don't care about any of that poo poo yet. Make them care first. And even then, there are better ways to write exposition. Your characters exclaim a lot, too! If you do that, it'll kill the effect of exclamation marks! And it makes your characters sound like overexcited twats! The story also feels terribly crammed with stuff--there are five scenes and they dilute the overall plot. I think the limited wordcount kept you from writing the story you wanted to tell. You need to learn how to cut scenes and words.

RunningIntoWalls - Dollar Bill Lane
Talent: ?????
Incredibly boring. First, you never tried to endear your main character to the reader. So Tess collects money. Who loving cares. Look at your first paragraph. It's as dry as an encyclopedia entry. Give us something, anything to empathize with Tess. In this case, the second paragraph where she loses her stuff. That's something! Why not start with that? Then you could fill all the details from paragraph 1 as you go on, and only if they are relevant to the story. How do you know what to leave in? Put yourself in your reader's shoes. Would you be bored reading this? Prose can be dry and monotonous, but it should never be boring or irrelevant. This is barely a story, and that's why it lost.

God Over Djinn - The nearest exit may be behind you
Talent: Picking orders
I'm not sure what to feel about this story (I don't even get the title, which makes me feel dumb about it). The prose is good, but I don't really see the point of it all. What did Sean learn? The story seems to literally cut off in the middle. I'm reading, anticipating the catharsis to come, and then I reach the end and go, "that's it?" I like the dreary, detached tone though.

docbeard - Trading Songs
Talent: Remembering songs
I liked this enough to nominate it as HM. The setup was great, though it sort of falls off after the second half. Why did Emile appear just like that? Even for fairies, it's a little bit contrived. The ending saves it, though. I just wish there was a better excuse for them to meet so that Colleen could stick the knife in.

Tyrannosaurus - A Quick Drop and a Sudden Stop
Talent: Tossing rings
Good. The ending was a little weak, though. It really felt like Norah became a Coke bottle or something, and it's not like you ran out of words to write a better one. Coleman deserved better. I liked how you made the backstory unobtrusive.

Starter Wiggin - He's Not Heavy, He's My Brother
Talent: Hunting
Okay, so let me get this straight. Randy has a petty grudge on Bo and arranges to have him drugged up (like whoa), then feels bad about the whole thing and drops it altogether? That was a hell lot contrived. It's as if you were in the middle of writing a mean character and decided, "aww, this isn't right", and pulled your punches. Shame, that would have made for a better story. There aren't even consequences for Randy, either. So what was the loving point of all this?

ZorajitZorajit - Obsolete
Talent: ?????
I love giant robots but this bored me. Another pointless story. (sebmojo's crit tackles why) It reads like a cruel joke on someone nobody cares about. Or is that the point? You tease us with your setting, but that doesn't make for a story. Sounds like you wanted to tell an entirely different story but couldn't fit the prompt so you went with this instead. I'm sorry, but if you're writing a genre piece about someone in a side character role (in mecha, mechanics aren't exactly the stars of the show), you're working with a big handicap in making it interesting. This isn't interesting.

Kaishai - Cracks
Talent: Cracking crabs
Solid, grisly (guy deserved it though). Refreshing to read a story where a creep gets his comeuppance without some lecturing bullshit.

A Tin of Beans - BIRD TALK
Talent: TALKING TO BIRDS
I don't know why the title is in all caps. I liked the light tone, it managed to be funny without going overboard (hi Chairchucker!). Resolution's a little weak, though. I don't know if it was intentional or you just ran out of words. For all the effort the annoying woman made in harassing Jane, I'd think she wouldn't be satisfied with a simple verbal statement. And wouldn't Jane lose out in the end? If I were the woman I'd make good on my threat in turning her siding to marble. Whatever, twit twit.

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Kalyco
Apr 4, 2013


First time and wanting IN!

That Old Ganon
Jan 2, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In, , and being a little flexible with the prompt

A Tin Of Beans
Nov 25, 2013



Starter Wiggin posted:

Yes please kind tin.

This story was such a letdown. The main character doesn't do anything. He's a Conscience, but he doesn't provide any moral guidance whatsoever because you gave him a soul too young to need it, already wasting your concept. The Soul's a non-character; dying in infancy is tragic, but it's also hard to care about a character who's done nothing and has no personality. Relying on "but a kid died!" feels like a cheap grab at sympathy that just didn't work out.

The only other character in the story ignores the narrator, apologizes, then fucks off for the rest of the story. For some reason, the narrator thinks she's really lively and exciting, and talks about her morals being a bit off-kilter but there ... and then we find out that Geneva is actually just a weirdo mute who sits around doing nothing and ignoring people who try to talk to her.

Okay? Why? What? This story reads more like a summary than an actual story. If there were more meat to it, maybe the reader would be able to care, but as is everything rings hollow.

I did like the concept and hints of worldbuilding you dropped in. Prose is competent, character voice is relatively engaging. No big grammatical mistakes that I noticed aside from a lone typo.

We could have had it all, Starter Wiggin. We coulda had it all.



Detailed crit here.

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone




A Tin Of Beans posted:

The biggest question I have about literally everything in your story is "why." World's angriest pizza delivery driver thinks about shooting a guy, freaks out and trembles upon realizing what a dark act he was considering, then straight up MURDERS ONE OF GOD'S ANGELS. Why the hell was he worried about shooting some dude if he's going to straight up murder an angel for cash? I assume it's cash. Is it cash in the bag? Was he especially hard up for money?

You could make this story work, but you need to think a little harder about character motivations. Show us more about why Chuck does what he does, give us a hint of what drove him to murder a drat angel. He seems surprised to have run into one, then murders it anyway, which was apparently planned out in advance. I'm so confused.

Also, you should get a DQ for erotica because Chuck sits around fingering his glock for a bit. Gross.

Detailed crit here.

Thanks for this. My characters are a lot more proactive now, but the "why" for their actions needs to be fleshed out. I'll make sure to work on that for the next story.

Also, comma usage.

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004

Drinking shows a real commitment to becoming a cooler person!


I hosed up last week and didn't pay attention to how busy my week was. Not this week; I'm in as gently caress and to make up for the fact that I failed to submit last week, I'll try to crit the first five or ten submissions that enter this week as well.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


in

Starter Wiggin
Feb 1, 2009

Screw the enemy's gate man, I've got a fucking TAIL!
Do you know how crazy the ladies go for those?


Thanks for the crit, Tin. Mucho appreciated!

If anyone would like a crit, I am once again bored at work and looking to use my mediocre talent to rip you a tiny little new one.
So you know, there's that.

A Tin Of Beans
Nov 25, 2013



Benny the Snake posted:

Hey Tin of Beans, am I too late to ask for an in-depth crit?

Can you read, Benny the Snake? Is that something they taught you in snake school? You're fourth out of three, bro.

Read this, motherfucker:

I challenge you to a brawl. If you win, I'll give you a detailed crit.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


A Tin Of Beans posted:

Can you read, Benny the Snake? Is that something they taught you in snake school? You're fourth out of three, bro.

Read this, motherfucker:

I challenge you to a brawl. If you win, I'll give you a detailed crit.

If he fronts, I will judge this.

Turtlicious
Sep 17, 2012

Cat Army
2nd Battalion
TANK


I've never done this before, but I have free time. I'm in.

God I hope it doesn't suck too bad

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


I kept on telling myself that I was going to do this, but commitment is hard. So screw it, I'm in.

nickmeister
Apr 7, 2009

Patron of the Pants


In.

Bushido Brown
Mar 30, 2011


Lipstick Apathy

In.

Hocus Pocus
Sep 7, 2011



I have never entered the Dome before. Death or glory. In.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


A Tin Of Beans posted:

Can you read, Benny the Snake? Is that something they taught you in snake school? You're fourth out of three, bro.

Read this, motherfucker:

I challenge you to a brawl. If you win, I'll give you a detailed crit.
I know I'm not a good enough writer right now to get into any brawl. I decline.

perpetulance
Mar 24, 2013

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In so in.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


Benny the Snake posted:

I know I'm not a good enough writer right now to get into any brawl. I decline.

lol

The News at 5
Dec 25, 2009

I'm Chance Everyman.


My story for Sebmojo.

Hail Mary
504 words

It was the start of the second half and the Panthers were down 116-0. Coach Logsdon wiped the sweat off his forehead. The opposing team, the Sylvania Impalers, were already were already on the field, ready to continue the slaughter.

“All right boys, head on out,” he said. The team trotted out to their positions, sweat dripping down their faces and, in the case of Bobby Bosco, tears. Panther’s ball to start. Logsdon’s knuckles went white as he gripped his clipboard. The ball was hiked, the quarterback stepped back, and the Impalers tossed the Panther’s front line into the air before taking out the quarterback, knocking him straight back twenty yards. The Impalers hovered back to their position. Logsdon could see the state champion rings disappearing in front of him. He whistled for a time out and turned to Assistant Coach Don.

“Sure wish this had been a day game,” Logsdon said. Don just shook his head.

“Better call it, Coach,” he said. “I’m worried one of those Sylvania kids’ll draw blood and then we’ll really have problems.” Logsdon patted him lightly on the back, then turned towards the referee.

“Coach?” said a voice behind him. He turned to catch the eyes of Jordan Weller, sitting in his well-worn groove on the bench. “Put me in.”

“It’s pretty rough out there tonight, Jordan. I think you’d be in over your head,” Logsdon said. Jordan looked at the ground, took a deep breath, and stood up.

“Please, Coach. This is my chance. I know I can turn this around.” Logsdon looked up at the scoreboard and sighed.

“Okay,” he said. “Why not?”

“Thanks, Coach. I appreciate the chance,” Jordan said, holding out his hand. Logsdon shook it, his brow furrowing and his mouth opening, as if to say something. Jordan didn’t give him a chance before trotting out on the field and getting into position. Logsdon almost broke his clipboard in half waiting for the play to start.

“Two! Thirty-Two!” Jordan said. “Hut! Hut! Hike!” The ball snapped back to Jordan and he ran forward, straight at the defensive line. Logsdon wanted to turn away but he couldn’t. The Impalers defense reached for Jordan’s throat.

Their hands were almost on him when they suddenly backed away, hissing and shielding their faces. Jordan raced through them like the wind through a pile of frightened leaves and made it to the endzone. The Impalers stood, frozen on the field, before turning into bats and flying away. The team lifted Jordan onto their shoulders and carried him off the field. Logsdon stood stunned, his hand on his face. Don and the other assistant coaches were shouting and holding each other.

Jordan was dropped right in front of the coach, who managed to get out a very quiet “how?” before Jordan pulled out the small, golden cross necklace he’d hidden under his jersey. Logsdon hugged him as the state champion rings were brought to their side of the field.

That’ll be one to remember for next year, Logsdon thought.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


In it to win it, or at least not flak out like a bloody loser.

Fuck da Mods
Jun 27, 2013

fina get poz'd?


Benny the Snake posted:

I know I'm not a good enough writer right now to get into any brawl. I decline.

If you decline, you die.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


gently caress da Mods posted:

If you decline, you die.

If you post, you enter the round. If you want to poke Benny there's another thread for that.

Slap him down, Fumblemouse.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Apr 10, 2014 around 21:46

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

sebmojo posted:

If you post, you enter the round. If you want to poke Benny there's another thread for that.

Slap him down, Fumblemouse.

The clouds part and the scintillating ThunderThrone rumbles into view. Its light is blinding, and atop the glow are what appears to be mouse ears, but whether they are real or plastic you cannot tell.

WHO DARES AWAKEN THE JUDGES FROM THEIR COMFY TORPOR BEFORE SUBS ARE EVEN CLOSED?

Oh, 'Mojo. Very well - here is the judgement.

Benny the snake: Brawl or brawl not - only you will know if you are ready. Any decline, death, or existential angst arising from that decision is the fault of the Universe at large and The Judges accept no liability.

gently caress da Mods: You're hard enough to poke fun at people on the internet, but not hard enough to enter the ThunderDome? Weenie. Put up, enter properly and live forever in glory - or go back to E/N and continue to ween.

Sebmojo: For attempting to know the Mind of the Judges, you gain one WIS (the wisdom to never do that again) and lose 30 SAN. Your next entry is flashruled: Must be written from the POV of an insane person.

The ThunderThrone trundles away and the clouds roll back in like grey, woolly dice on a table for playing some game involving dice.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at Apr 10, 2014 around 23:22

Schneider Heim
Oct 17, 2012


I'm in.

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012


Sebstory

Vampire Bats
574 Words

The best bats are made from vampire bone. Vampire bats are slender, yet sturdy. Both durable and light. Unlike aluminum and wood, which require a strong grip, vampire bats cling to the skin and allow you to use all your strength in a swing. Athletes endorsed them on billboards and palace terraces. It was a sign of importance, of status. I had wanted one since my school established its own Little League team, but my parents, being poor peasants, couldn’t afford one in a million years. To join the team, extreme measures would need to be taken.

“Michael, you’re crazy.” Said Jessica, watching as I filled my book bag with silverware and garlic cloves. Our dog, a little shih tzu, clawed at my legs, excited to get out of the house. “You’re going to get yourself killed.”

Even though Jessica was three years older than me, we had become close friends through exposure. Our parents worked at the same farm and often shuffled us off together to avoid babysitter fees.

“Nuh-uh,” I said, “my dad and I watch Vampire Hunters all the time and slaying them is easy. They pretty much do nothing but sleep and make a stink. Isn’t that right, Bentley?”

Bentley yipped in approval.

“But the guys on the show have a bloodhound, Mikey. A bloodhound.”

“Same difference.” I strapped on a neck brace, protection against bites.

“Even if you do manage to find and kill one of those things, how do you plan on crafting the bat? That material is tough and doesn’t exactly come pre-packaged. You would need to-.”

“Already got it covered. My uncle works at the armory and makes stuff all the time. I’m sure that if we brought something to him he would help us.” I turned from my preparation and stared at her. “Come on, Jessie. I need help doing this. I don’t have any other choice.”
She rolled her eyes and left the room, returning a few minutes later with a knife. She pointed the knife at him and said, “Just so I don’t get blamed for your death.”

----

Despite Bentley’s cheerful ignorance as he went from grave to grave, sniffing the headstones, the mood was tense. I hid my hands in my shaking hands in my pockets and listened to Jessica’s ragged breathing. Most of the cemetery plots had been dug up by black market bat dealers, searching for something to put on the market, regardless of quality. This was how human bones ended up around the village, to the horror and disgust of their owners.

“This was a bad idea, Mikey. He’s not going to find anything,” Jessica whispered, but Bentley had already stopped in front of a small plot, its headstone faded. Claw marks across its face. The dog looked back at us, tongue wagging. I looked at Jessica and shrugged, removing two small shovels from my bag. We dug, ignoring the unnatural silence across the cemetery.

Jessica looked at me after the casket had been unburied. “So now what?”

Not having expected to get this far, I paused. “I guess we take the silverware and cut out its heart. That’s pretty much what they do on TV. Then we just cut out the bones, surgically.”

She took my backpack. “On the count of three then. One… two…”

I flipped open the casket and thrust my knife into the monster’s chest. This year I’d be joining the Little League team.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Fumblemouse posted:

Sebmojo: For attempting to know the Mind of the Judges, you gain one WIS (the wisdom to never do that again) and lose 30 SAN. Your next entry is flashruled: Must be written from the POV of an insane person.

YeS I Seee the light is shaped like a cauliflowering spore bidies bodies gouda cheesy flavour judging judgmental spud, mental

yes I will judge with you

yes

judge

hhhhheeehehehe

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Accepting judging duties is sufficiently insane. Sebmojo is the third judge. You fighters better bring your A game.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at Apr 11, 2014 around 10:10

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

YeS I Seee the light is shaped like a cauliflowering spore bidies bodies gouda cheesy flavour judging judgmental spud, mental

This, but as a gender identity

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Martello posted:

This, but as a gender identity

That Old Ganon
Jan 2, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Is it common for anyone else to ever write a story for this which then morphs into another story after doing and redoing it?

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


That Old Ganon posted:

Is it common for anyone else to ever write a story for this which then morphs into another story after doing and redoing it?

A. Yes
B. Write it if it's turned into a much stronger story
C. Keep your original idea if you love it and maybe you can improve it to be a better story

Turtlicious
Sep 17, 2012

Cat Army
2nd Battalion
TANK


Here is my lovely pandering entry.

"Hambeast: The Novella" - 931 words

A talentless hack sat on a stained mattress that stank of spilled Mountain Dew and cat piss. His keyboard quietly clacked under his massive fingers joining the din in the 10 foot square room as the loud ringing of his three fans blew, the curtains rustling around every few seconds as fabric folded over itself. His cat sat in the corner as it's breakfast of hotdogs spoiled.

"Well, farmgirl7," He typed, licking his upper lip as sweat started to bead. "In my opinion it seems like you don't really take care of yourself. I understand your parents can be cruel, but they won't respect you until you respect yourself. Maybe clean your room a bit, go for a walk, lose some weight, make yourself something better." He tried to take a swig of his soda, but it's empty. He discarded the trash in an ever increasing pile of mountain dew cans, and empty dorito bags. The hambeast reached for another one in the box next to his mattress. "You also might have depression, and you would benefit from seeing a psychologist. You say you're in Indianapolis, so here are some local mental health resources. I wish you all of the best." The hack scratched under one of his gargantuan tits, sloshing some of the sweat out. "And please take care of yourself, no-one deserves to live like that."

And with his usual tagline "-Sincerely, A Talentless Hack." his blog post was sent off into the ether. It had been a few weeks since he tried this whole "Internet Help Advice" thing, and he was loving it. No one knew who he was. No one judged him, told him to shower, made him comb his long greasy hair. On top of that, he got to help people. A lot of the time his advice was ignored, but ultimately he knew what he was saying was right.

The Hack left his room with his laptop, barely able to open the door amongst the piles of clothes, cans of soda, and general filth. He waddled down the hall, his slow plodding steps shaking the walls as he moved at an elephant like pace, and finally found his way to the kitchen. He openned up his "Golden Cupboard" as he called it, and reached for one of his yellow delights. He openned his laptop and clicked a new entry as he started to pour the macaroni shells into a pot filled with boiling water.

"Dear ATH,

I wanted to just thank you for this last year, and the help you've provided, but I'm done. I'm done with living. I'm done with everything. If my parents ever read this I want them to know it's not their fault, just like it wasn't mine I was born the way I was. Hopefully they'll believe that. I'm going to paypal the rest of my money to you, and I've given everything I own to charity. After sending this, I'm going to steal some of my Dad's Vicodin, and finally go to sleep.

Thank you ATH,

and goodbye,

--farmgirl7"

"... Shiiiiiiit." ATH groaned to himself, gently caress fuckity gently caress. He panicked, his mind racing, all the warning signs were there. Stupid, so very stupid, gently caress! Where was the time stamp? When did she send this? Five minutes ago? Maybe there was still time. He sent a quick message back to farmgirl7, "Don't do anything stupid, call me if you need help or someone to talk to." and threw in his personal line. He groaned silently as he put his phone next to the stove and continued making his lunch. You should do more, he thought to himself, you can help. She reached out to you.

"FINE!" he yelled to no one in particular. "Ugh... just fine..." His cat had left his room and was curled around his foot as he sat down grimacing with his lunch. He popped open another can of Mountain Dew, and got to work. He already knew farmgirl7 lived in Indiannapolis, and he had her e-mail so the first part was easy. Without much effort he found her facebook. Luckily the profile was set to public. That's how he got her address. "You know, Sebastian," he said to his cat, "if I weren't doing something so noble, this would be extremely creepy."

One ring

Two rings

Three rings

Finally, "Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, where is your emergency?" the lady asked.

"Hi, my name is A Talen-" he coughed, realizing how dumb his pseudonym would sound, " Jeremy Carmicky." He hated his name. "I'm from the inter- I'm-" He stuttered over his words trying to think about what he would say. Why did it have to be a girl of all the dumb things, don't men work at police stations? He was definitely going to write about this later.

"Look, I got a suicide note from a penpal local to you. I think she's going to kill herself."

"What's the name and address, sir?"

"Kyle Johnson, he lives at 6413 Amarillo Way"

"I thought you said he was a she?"

ATH nearly exploded, "I didn't mean a she, I meant a he, and he said he's going to OD besides does it matter!?"

ATH fumed slightly as he answered the rest of her questions. He wouldn't find out for another week when Kyle updated her facebook status with what happened. The police arrived at her house after she had taken the pills and rushed her to the hospital. Now she was in therapy.

A Talentless Hack was able to rest easy that day knowing he had saved a life.

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


In.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


In

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

I'm in.

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012


Don't know if I will be around in half an hour so I am posting my critiques now.

Critiques for NewsatFive and my Vampire stories.

I think News wins the contest by a mile.

QuoProQuid fucked around with this message at Apr 12, 2014 around 03:29

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

You step back from the counter. “Oh no, I was just looking. I don’t think I’m hungry after all,” you say.

You turn and head toward the door. “I’ll see you at school,” you tell Gus, who is holding his hands up in a “What the heck?” gesture.

You can’t get out of the donut shop fast enough. You fumble with your bike lock and finally get it. You race to school as fast as you can, getting there way too early. You’re the first person in the classroom, and don’t even care that the hamster cage stink is making your empty stomach queasy.

You put your head down on your desk and ignore the other students coming in. Maybe Molly will be absent today, and you won’t have to feel like a failure yet again when you can’t work up the nerve to ask her to the dance. When the class starts and you finally look up, you see she didn’t have the heart to spare you your dignity, and is sitting there totally unaware that you even exist.

You put your head back down and hope for some sort of catastrophic disaster to force a school closure. A tornado, earthquake, hurricane. Whatever. Maybe you could pull the fire alarm? No, you’re too afraid of getting caught. A friend said that they put ink in those so if you pull them they spray your hand and turn it purple. How would you explain purple hands?

The lunch bell rings and you reluctantly go outside. You get your school lunch, but don’t have much of an appetite, and toss it in the trash. You watch Molly from afar, and scream at yourself internally for how much of a coward you are. “Just do it, coward. Coward. COWARD.” You make your way over to her, but when she looks up at you you pretend to look somewhere else.

“Can I help you?” she asks.

“Oh, I was just looking for something.”

“Um. Ok. You’re Jake, right?”

You scan the field for somebody you know. Anybody to have an excuse to go talk to. Meanwhile you chide yourself for being stupid enough to walk up to her. Of course she’d never say yes. What were you thinking? You’re a nobody. You are invisible.

You hear somebody yell “heads” and you turn to see Gus running at you, watching a football over his shoulder. He hits you with the force of a schoolbus and you fall to the ground. You can’t breathe. You panic, gasping for air.

“Oh, sorry man. I didn’t see you,” says Gus. “Are you ok?”

He bends down and sets you up. You manage to take a few small breaths. Molly looks worried and sad, and Gus is patting you on the back. “It’ll be ok. Just relax.”

You finally take a big, deep breath, and give your muscles the energy they need. You jump to your feet. “Sorry, wrong number,” you say, and bolt away.

You head back to the picnic tables and sit down. Molly’s friend Shannon runs over to Gus and Molly, and the three sit on the grass talking. They look over at you from time to time, and you want to crawl into a hole and die.

You go hide in the bathroom, and spend the rest of the day locked in a stall, hoping nobody can hear you crying into a wad of toilet paper. You coward.

The End

crabrock fucked around with this message at Aug 4, 2014 around 18:31

The News at 5
Dec 25, 2009

I'm Chance Everyman.


In the interest of posting my crit as close to Quid's as I can, here's mine.

QuidProQuo- Vampire Bats

In terms of mechanics, your biggest problem is that things tend to slide a little towards “tell” and not “show”, especially in lines like “the mood was tense.” You don’t need to tell us this if you can establish it with setting and action. Show us how the tension is affecting Mike. Your first paragraph also dumps a lot of exposition on us, with the short sentences making it feel like an even bigger dump.

The biggest issue with your story, though, is the lack of conflict. We don’t see your character overcome anything, so there’s no real tension. He sets out to get a bone, and he does so with no difficulty. Even when the story tries to set up a problem, when Jessica asks how he plans on making the equipment, is immediately dismissed with an easy answer. Since there wasn’t really anything at stake here, there wasn’t anything to really keep me interested.

Between the two stories your was definitely the most original. Your base idea is actually pretty clever, and I would have loved to seen more out of it. Really, what you given us here is a good opening to a story. I can see Mikey taking the bone home, only to have his perfect season threatened by a vengeful Nosferatu, or something. I would expand on this, because I think you have something.

The News at 5- Hail Mary

In terms of mechanics, yours are kind of sloppy. This definitely needed another pass, as there’s a few too many additional words, phrases, or characters (like the assistant coach) that just don’t need to be there. Do you have other people read your work? Please start. There is also a continuity problem: you start the story by saying it’s the start of the second half, but as soon as Jordan makes the touchdown everyone acts like the game is over. The Impalers disappear so I guess it’s a forfeit (?) but you really need to make this clearer. Otherwise it just reads like you forgot where you were halfway through. Seriously, other people have eyes and brains. Utilize them.

Of the two stories, yours is the least original. Sebmojo told you to write a story that was unlike any other vampire fiction you’ve read/heard of, and I don’t think you accomplished that here. Vampires playing sports is an arena that has been explored before. QuidProQuo’s story definitely had a unique take on the idea, and it would have been worth it to think a little harder about this.

That being said, your story is written competently enough, and I like the solution with the cross necklace. At the least, your story is at least a complete story, with a conflict that needs to be resolved, and a creative way that it is resolved. Your characters are also fairly-well defined for such a short story, though they definitely fall into stereotypes. I like your opening sentence, as it really sets up the situation and gives us good information up front.

Comparing the two, I would say it comes down to The News at 5’s lack of originality versus QuidProQuo’s lack of conflict. For me, the bigger problem is the lack of conflict. The News at 5, your story may not be the most unique thing I’ve ever read, but it has a setup, climax and resolution. Quid, if you’d given us a good rise and fall you would have won this hands down. I really want to see you expand this story and take it places.

Note for both of you: I like both of your titles. They both work to summarize the story and act as puns. Good work.

P.S. Sebmojo also specified “small town”. I don’t think either one of you did anything with that.

Ninja Edit: Goddam it I just realized it was QuoProQuid. Stupid self-correcting brain. Sorry, dude.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


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Grimey Drawer

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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


QuoPro News Day Inaugural Arena Brawl

Neither of these stories were good. News at 5's was essentially blood bowl with an obvious twist but no satisfying resolution. QuoPro's was a cheery gravedigging yarn that lacked interest or a point. The crits were excellent, however, and neither succumbed to the seduction of self flagellation or the opposite vice of soft-pedalling their authors' failings.

Accordingly I put my flensing knives back in their man-skin case, unbloodied, and confirm News at 5 as the winner.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Apr 12, 2014 around 09:45

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