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  • Locked thread
sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

QUICK EVERYBODY DOGPILE SOMEBODY NEW



WHICH NAMES DON'T I RECOGNISE THIS WEEK


...




...











...

CTHONIC BELL I BET YOU HAVE A BUTT THAT SMELLS LIKE POOP. EVERYBODY loving GET HIM.

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ADBOT LOVES YOU

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Brawl me again, old man. I'm chasing a hat-trick.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Brawl me again, old man. I'm chasing a hat-trick.

Bite a dick, young fella. Give it a good hard chawin'

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Cache Cab posted:

If you guys think you're better then me then brawl me

who is brave enough to go up to bat for their friends?

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Brawl me again, old man. I'm chasing a hat-trick.

Mercedes posted:

Look at this motherfucker wanting a piece of the champ. Impatient little bird poo poo. sebmojo drop that phat prompt down. I'm going rub this scrub's nose in his failure.



Let's loving do this.
*sniff sniff* I SMELL BLOOD! SOMEBODY BRAWL ME, TOO!

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Benny the Snake posted:

*sniff sniff* I SMELL BLOOD! SOMEBODY BRAWL ME, TOO!

I am on a downward spiral into writers plot block and I will still kick your pathetic, whining arse with something I wrote while busy accomplishing unexpected levels of real world poo poo. Bring it, bitchcakes.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Sitting Here posted:

Cash-Bro Brawl

I want you to tell me, in 2000 words, due by November 21st at midnight PST, a story inspired by the concept of social capital. Cache Cab, you will have to use your imagination because you'll never know what it's like to have social capital.

Remember, this is a . If either of you fail to submit, your name will forever be stricken from the book of goon. At least until you cough up :tenbux:

Regardless of recent bullshit this brawl is still on. Broenheim, I will be really disappointed if you don't submit for this brawl anyway. You came out swingin', and if Cache Cab isn't a huge loving tittybaby he'll come back and finish what he started.

Everyone else, please post only good and useful posts from here on out, not bad and useless posts.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Fumblemouse posted:

I am on a downward spiral into writers plot block and I will still kick your pathetic, whining arse with something I wrote while busy accomplishing unexpected levels of real world poo poo. Bring it, bitchcakes.
Let's dance, motherfucker! *opens swithcblade*

Tyrannosaurus, oblige us!

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

flerp
Feb 25, 2014



Sitting Here posted:

Regardless of recent bullshit this brawl is still on. Broenheim, I will be really disappointed if you don't submit for this brawl anyway. You came out swingin', and if Cache Cab isn't a huge loving tittybaby he'll come back and finish what he started.

Everyone else, please post only good and useful posts from here on out, not bad and useless posts.

Don't worry, I'll come up with something.

Cache Cab, don't be a coward and face me in the Thunderdome. Only through blood and determination can you prove yourself.

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


64 new posts and no crits. Just drama.














I can deal.

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

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


Wow, so, umm...lots of drama going on while I was out. That Cache Cab fella really didn't want to learn, did he?

Thanks for the new crits, Sitting Here and blue squares. I've looked over them slightly, but hopefully I get some time to give them more consideration over the weekend. I have them on a word file on my computer now, so I don't have to dig through pages.

blue squares, I'll give you a crit like you asked, but since I haven't earned an HM yet, I'll send it in PM instead of on here, so I don't violate the 'Dome.

My only comment on my story is this: Don't fall too in love with your idea. That's what I did with this one, and I ended up getting this huge idea in my head, had all these great ideas to build characters, work on the drama of being lost and alone in space, then found out I was nearly a thousand words over my limit and not even close to touching everything. I had to rework it, so a lot of the details I worked on in my head (The broken comms gear, martian settlers, the colony ship) went into the final product with no basis to lean on. That hurt my story a lot, if I look at it now.

That doesn't make up for the other issues it had that everyone pointed out, though. So I have a lot to learn to build up from 'low middle'.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


Soiled Meat

J.A.B.C. posted:

Thanks for the new crits, Sitting Here and blue squares. I've looked over them slightly, but hopefully I get some time to give them more consideration over the weekend. I have them on a word file on my computer now, so I don't have to dig through pages.

blue squares, I'll give you a crit like you asked, but since I haven't earned an HM yet, I'll send it in PM instead of on here, so I don't violate the 'Dome.


I don't have PMs. I also don't have an HM, but I didn't know that rule and crits are awesome and I am good so who cares.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


what the gently caress is happening in here

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


You ever see a septic tank explode?

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


Post crits.

Do not respond to crits in this thread.

thehomemaster posted:

64 new posts and no crits. Just drama.
I can deal.

quote:

Flow (810 Words)

A cold wind blew against Lysa as she rested against the tree trunk. Against, against. If you absolutely must describe the weather in your opening line, try to give active, character-based details. It should not have been so cold. The girl shivered despite the furs. Summer was a long time coming these days. Honestly, you could probably cut this whole paragraph.

Around her tents stood blowing in the dawn wind, people moving amongst them eating, cleaning and generally trying to keep warm. They had not been prepared when they arrived and were frozen in place, helpless sheep without a shepherd. This makes me wonder what happened to their “shepherd” or leader. But Lysa knew what had to be one. Done?

With a final glance at the dry riverbed below her, a mere trickle running down the middle, she turned her back on the campsite and slipped away as morning came. Is the trickle frozen? Frozen around the edges? Or were you exaggerating the cold?

***

Water. It all came down to water. Six days march back to her villagecomma where the Reservoir was running dry. This wasn’t such a surprise, but the Flow Festival was meant to be taking place right now. This was Lysa’s first year of attendance at the sacred site, a source of celebration amongst her family, but no water had come down from the mountain. Lysa planned to find out why.

Summer meant water, and but no water meant no summer. It also meant hunger and thirst as crops would be ignored, and then the villagers. This lesson had been instilled in all children of the village from an early age. There were strict rules to follow, and a very definite order in how to handle impending water shortages. If Lysa could find the water and bring it down the river, she could save her family and friends, everyone in fact. She was sure of it. These two paragraphs repeat their point (there’s no water) a lot. We already got this point. Consider consolidating.

The girlLysa trudged through long grass sopped in dew. Her clothes were wet and cold on her skin. There was so much water around her, but no way to gather it. She bent over, took out her knife and cut away a tuft of grass. Bringing it to her lips she sucked the moisture from them. Mildly satisfied she tossed the blades into the sky where the wind caught them and carried them away. She watched them go, scattering as they went. Wind: as unpredictable as water is was sure. Until now, Lysa mused.
***
The grass eventually gave way to icy rocks and gravel. It was nearing night and Lysa could barely see as a heavy mist rolled in. Thoughts of the warm fires and company back at the camp tortured Lysa’s thoughts as she trudged onwards, but she knew that if she found the water, if she convinced it come down the river again, the happiness would be warmer still.

Her feet finally came to a stop. Passive. She needed warmth of her own. In the dwindling dusk Lysa pulled her robes around her, crawled deep into her sleeping pack and pushed herself under a shelf of rock. Silence surrounded her, the mist suffocating all.

***

Lysa woke to rumbling, the ground shaking up through her. I don’t understand what this means. She leapt up, smacking her head on the rock above. She yelped and fell to the ground. Opening her eyes she yelped again as the Sun pierced into her sleep-deprived mind. And the rumbling did not stop. This action isn’t doing anything for me. It doesn’t really move the story forward, unless her head injury is going to be significant later.

Rubbing her head Lysa got to her feet, a throb pounding in her head and vibrations coming up through her soles. She could see now.

She was a dugout part of land, the soil sandy and strewn with logs and other plant life. Rocks
littered the field. And either side of Lysa there was a cliff – or as she quickly realised, the banks of the river. The rumbling grew louder still, and Lysa looked north. Summer had come. Wait so...she camped in the river? How stupid is she?

A wall of water presented itself to Lysa, churning the mud before it. Without thinking the girl She looked for the nearest log. She spied one and leapt, precisely as the wave reached her. You want her to think. You want her to be active during the story.

Her hands grasped the wood and pulled it tight ’tight’ doesn’t really work here even as the air was knocked from her by the cascade. And then she was rolling, flailing, floating, sinking. She was pulled, pushed, dumped and thrown by the water. Still she held on to the wood. I like the last two sentences. Lysa would feel felt her face break free and she would breathed before plunging again.

Eventually the chaos subsided. Lysa hauled herself firmly on top of her life support and passed out. I’m not buying that she can stay on a log floating in a river while passed out.

***

She woke to a prodding. Slowly Lysa opened her eyes. There was a man in front of her. A man she knew. He saw he move and grinned.

“She’s alive! Pull us in!”

Then Lysa was tugged along with the man toward the shore. The water was calmer here, sedate even. That was why the Flow Festival was held here, she remembered. She looked up into the sky and felt the sun’s heat beating down on her. She could hear birds in the trees, the gurgling of the water on the banks. Summer had come at last. She would never forget this.

The biggest problem with this story is that, while lots of stuff happens, Lysa doesn’t make any of it happen. Neither does anyone else. There’s no tension, no character growth, just a list of events. You start out well: there’s something your character needs that she doesn’t have. You establish the stakes. But you never show why the water hasn’t come, and you never show why it does. Lysa doesn’t learn anything from the experience, except possibly not to camp in dry riverbeds when flash floods are expected? She doesn’t even learn to be patient and wait for spring.

You could use some work on comma placement and a bit more proofreading, but that’s not a big deal. You tend to use “the girl” to talk about your viewpoint character a lot, which pulls me out of her head. People don’t think of themselves that way, usually; her name or “she” works. If you feel like you’re using that too much, think about using a different sentence structure instead of “the girl.”

Focus on your details to provide active, vibrant details that are relevant to the story. Each description should either move the plot along, or tell us something important about the character doing the describing. Ideally, it should do both.

Also, because I was bored and Hammer Bro does all the crits ever:

Hammer Bro. posted:

Kelvin (921 words: "wherein somewhere He sleeps, His bones grow cold with the passing of time, and an empty hearth")

No one dreams in stasis. So when Starchild Flockmother tumbled out of her cryopod, she was nine years old and her parents were still alive. I’m confused already. Is she dreaming? Was she put in stasis as a nine year old?

She sprawled naked across the deck, sitting at the kitchen table in her Sunday best. Catie thought about last week when she snuck into the church to surprise Father. She marveled at the size of the empty cathedral as she meandered up to the confessionals. She meant to speak, but the noises coming from within them were scary so she ran back home. When she asked Father what happened at confession he said he was doing the Lord's work. For some reason that made Mother cry. I’m critting a lot of “adult stuff through child’s eyes” this week. I like the way you handle it, and while I’m not clear exactly what happened, it’s clear enough.

Catie knew she shouldn't wrinkle her nice clothes, but she was so very sleepy. Surely a little nap wouldn't hurt. She nestled her head in her arms. For the first time in a thousand years, Starchild slept.

She awoke to a nightmare. I’m confused enough about whether she’s awake or not already. Failing to stand, she propped her back against the base of her cryopod and surveyed the cargo bay. You chose a very passive thing to focus on (leaning, looking) and not the active part (trying to stand.)The empty walkways radiated hostility under the feeble red auxiliary lighting. Her ragged breaths were an affront to the moldering silence.

Starchild crawled to the nearest maintenance post and tried to organize her thoughts. She had practiced for hundreds of emergency situations, for plagues and famines and deserters, but she barely knew the floor plan of The Covenant. There’s something a bit bland about this. The ship feels more alive and seems to have more will than the protagonist. An acolyte was supposed to anoint her, veil her in the ceremonial habit, and usher her to a glorious new life amongst her flock. Every time I read this my eyes just glaze over. I’m not invested in what was supposed to happen. Instead she felt like some forgotten heathen idol: blood made of molasses, organs wrought in stone.

She managed to stand, leaning heavily against the console. Hers was the only pod to glow green. The rest remained dark, either empty or deactivated. She deliberately slowed into a pattern of controlled breathing. Where was the crew?

Her pulse regulated, Starchild hobbled toward the galley. Her timid calls died on heartless steel. The interstitial darkness was immaculate, and twice she stumbled over invisible entanglements What’s an invisible entanglement? as she followed the railing. Once inside, she gravitated toward the nearest illuminated vending machine, pushed a dusty pile of rags aside with her foot, and punched up a strawberry ration bar. A dusty pile of rags. Was that a person, once?

Nothing happened.

She pressed the button harder. This time she could faintly hear a click and a whir as the machinery struggled to perform its intended function. Again it failed.

In an act of desperate indignity she smashed a chair through the faceplate and reached around the wreckage to claim her prize. This is the most active thing she’s done so far. The wrapper smelled faintly of bitter almonds, significance? but its contents were uniformly delicious.

Hunger was the one void in her life she knew how to fill, but the satisfaction was fleeting as loneliness and fear crept up her spine. She had to find someone who could explain what was going on.

Starchild checked the saloon. It was empty. The rec room was also deserted. She ran to the crew's quarters and forced several of the cabin doors open, but each one was barren. She was utterly alone. Abandoned.

Cat She was Catie, earlier. Is this later in her life? came home from school that night to find her lawn peppered with policemen. An apologetic woman in white told her that her parents had gone away and that she'd need to stay with a different family for a little while. It would be like going on vacation.

She shuffled from household to household as her legs got longer and her chest filled out. Surrounded by strangers she was forced to call "Mom" and "Dad", Cat felt isolated and alone.

After her third failed suicide attempt Cat discovered the Stewards of Now and Forever. They took her in, nourished her body and mended her soul. They gave her a new name and a new purpose in life. They rescued her from the emptiness. To be alone and adrift again was too much to bear. Starchild screamed. By this point it feels like you might have been pushing the wordcount. Your descriptions are getting less vivid and you’re just telling what happened.

Running through the dark corridors, suddenly ashamed of her nakedness, Starchild thought of all the lambs she would never see again. Sophia, Donny, Dedrick. Elanor, Rebecca, Ruth. This is the only time I’ve been able to empathize with Starchild (as opposed to Catie.)Briefly, she cares about all the dead people who left the ship empty. Without their shepherd, they were condemned to limbo, an eternity in exile from the promised land. She had failed them, and hundreds of others. Disgrace constricted her arteries and burned in her throat.

Starchild staggered onto the bridge, her face a ruin of water and mucus. The displays were blank; the comm channels were quiet. Only the auxiliary lighting still functioned. Starchild smashed her fists on a keyboard and slapped at random switches. She shook monitors, punched cushions, and spat on the center console. Then she saw a note, scrawled with zealous fervor: Because she hasn’t been developed as a character who’s in control of her emotions/actions, this loss of control doesn’t really have impact.

Only death will absolve us. The Lord is our shepherd.

Cat's doleful mother was looking somewhere just beyond her. "You're old enough to walk to school without me, and I have some business with Father mac Bóchra this morning. Be a good little girl. The Lord will be your shepherd." That was the last morning Cat believed it.

Starchild broke down and wept. She wept for her parents and she wept for her flock. Finally, she wept for herself. Torrential tears washed her sadness away and smothered the resentment she'd harbored since that day. She cried away her very identity, until the woman who remained was a stranger to her. This time there was no one to direct that stranger. Interesting.

Catherine mac Bóchra brushed the note aside and methodically began flipping switches. She never was good at operating electronics, but she had all the time in the world to learn.

Somewhere in the distance, a white light flickered. Okay, I like the ending.

I’m not sure the structure of this, with the flashbacks, is doing you any favors. You have an interesting character progression that seems to go (in chronological order): after a traumatic family event, Cat bounces between foster homes until she’s taken in by a religious group. She becomes the leader of a group of colonists headed for ??? but wakes up from stasis alone on a spaceship, where she emotionally reverts to the young child she was. Once she cries herself out, she takes action to save herself.

The way it’s structured now, it feels like there’s too much emphasis on the character’s weakness and not enough on her strength. I think seeing more of her development from Cat into Starchild might lend more power to her reversion back to Cat. I think this story is confused rather than strengthened by being out of chronological order.

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Anathema Device posted:

Mighty fine specific advice, and one bit of general advice that I'm blatantly ignoring.

Thanks muchly. As you point out, I focused too much on the clues explaining the situation (you got 'em) and not enough on why we should care that she's in that situation. You're up next on that list of crits-I-said-I'd-crit.

Djeser - I was giving away crits for some reason, and your name made the list. Is there any story currently visible (doesn't have to be recent or yours) you want detailed? Otherwise I'm going with last week's entry when I get around to it.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Hammer Bro. posted:

Djeser - I was giving away crits for some reason, and your name made the list. Is there any story currently visible (doesn't have to be recent or yours) you want detailed? Otherwise I'm going with last week's entry when I get around to it.

Djeser posted:

It’s About Them

If you would please.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

J.A.B.C. posted:


blue squares, I'll give you a crit like you asked, but since I haven't earned an HM yet, I'll send it in PM instead of on here, so I don't violate the 'Dome.



blue squares posted:

I don't have PMs. I also don't have an HM, but I didn't know that rule and crits are awesome and I am good so who cares.

I have great news for both of you, it's not a rule and has never been! Crit away! Go hog wild!

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

the only limitations for TD are

an HM to JUDGE a brawl
at least 1 regular entry to JOIN a brawl

that was to cut down on idiots who weren't even TDing coming in and starting poo poo.

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.

At some point there was a toxx for all brawls rule, wasn't there?

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

depends on how much you respect muffin i guess :P

but the OP only has those 2

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


Time to Fly - 650 words

It had been a week since the news had officially announced the end of the world. One week of terror and rioting and religious outpouring. But the death of the human race was inevitable. It was almost all over.
Chris had been driving since he’d heard the news, listening to the radio as he crossed each state line. Almost daily someone new was telling him of the apocalypse. Every morning he bought a newspaper just to read the headlines.

Fires raging across Europe as EU fights the blight.
Are the plants hitting back?
Weed killer: Your new best friend.

What else did he have to know besides headlines? He chuckled at the use of fire. Fear was a terrible defence mechanism because it blinded logic. When you’re running out of oxygen at the rate of 7 billion people a day – and then some – why would you willingly burn more? He hadn’t stopped shaking his head to himself that day. We deserve this, he had thought. Not for our evil actions, but our ignorant ones.

The concerns of the world didn’t worry him though. All that mattered was this drive. The world may be ending but that was just the impetus he needed. It was disappointing that this is what it took, but better late than never had always been his motto. Almost a week after he’d made the decision, he pulled into the driveway of his destination.

***

‘I love you.’

Chris sat opposite Dave, his best friend in school and college, on the latter man’s leather couch. The words had come out of him quickly. Chris had decided from the beginning that he would not waste time.
Dave looked back, his finger spinning his wedding ring round and round.

‘You can’t love me.’

‘Of course I can, and I’ve been able to since high school.’ Chris smiled at Dave, hoping he would relax. Dave’s wife was puttering around upstairs. The car in the garage had its doors open, every space crammed with stuff.

‘It’s not fair, you can’t disappear for years then, just because the world is ending, suddenly proclaim some deep love. Why didn’t you do this before when we could sort through it?’

He meant ignore it as quickly as possible, sweep it under the rug. Dave was married, successful. And definitely not gay.

‘Look, I just had to let you know, for my sake. It doesn’t matter now anyway; we’re all going to die soon.’

‘Don’t say that, Chris, they’ll figure something out.’

Chris stood.

‘Who the gently caress is “they”? There is no “they” or “them”. This world is literally crumbling, Mother Nature is literally putting us to sleep. Now, I’ve given you my piece and I never expected you to be positive about it, but at least you know. Goodbye, Dave, and good luck with ending it. I might recommend not suffocating.’

With that Chris walked out the front door.

***

Chris hit the road again to his next destination. He passed queues one way, got stuck in traffic the other. No one knew where they were going, because there was nowhere to go. He just hoped the people he passed were at peace.

Peace. There could be no peace until humanity left, and the plants knew that. Christ, imagine eating, planting, cultivating and smelling creatures that could turn off your life support at will. Nothing in the headlines or on the radio told of why this had happened, how it could be reversed, just how best to kill the creeping vines and malevolent trees. We don’t negotiate with shrubberies, thought Chris.

It wouldn’t matter soon, not to Chris. First a visit to his parents, who he knew would still be at their family home, who he knew would die holding each other’s hand. And then his final stop, the Grand Canyon. If he was going to go he might as well try to fly.

Baby Babbeh
Aug 2, 2005

It's hard to soar with the eagles when you work with Turkeys!!





In with a

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

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


Sitting Here posted:

I have great news for both of you, it's not a rule and has never been! Crit away! Go hog wild!

Woop woop!

blue squares - Mr. Electroworth's Shovel

The story feels disjointed, like it has a lot of starts and stops, and a lot of extraneous details that don't really add anything to the situation. Also, by combining some of the expressions you have, you can shorten your sentences and allow the ideas to flow more naturally.

For example: I squinted in the bright day, hot, in the height of summer, the sun beating down and sweat starting to drip down the backs of my legs. It felt like little bugs crawling around on me. This could be shortened to: I squinted in the summer sun, sweat rolling down the backs of my legs, crawling like bugs across my skin. You have the same details, the same sensations, but it's more concise and reads smoothly. There are a lot of times you could do this to help pare down your work and give you more 'space' to work with.

As for the idea, I liked it, but it felt like you didn't do enough with it. Describing how he went from environmental sciences to defacing the grand canyon was a good way to chronicle how he'd changed, but it felt like it was tacked on to describe him. Try to add smaller examples leading up to that final push towards complete bastardry.

All in all, a good premise, with some work needed on flow and idea structure.

--------

Also, I'm more used to editing than critique, so this is another thing I have to get used to.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


Soiled Meat

J.A.B.C. posted:

Woop woop!

blue squares - Mr. Electroworth's Shovel

Thanks, Just a Bitch stinkyhole (JABC... pretty sure thats right)

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Who wants another Bennycrit? Please limit to any previous entry.

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.

I'm about to head off to softball. Entries close once I return.

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

FUMBLENNY FUNTIME BRAWL

Benny the Snake. Fumblemouse.

I want a story about a catastrophe at either an amusement park or at a carnival. No one is allowed to die. No rides are allowed to break.

1400 words. Due November 25th at noon est.


EDIT
No outside help. Starting right now if you ask someone for help you will automatically lose. So help me god...

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at Nov 15, 2014 around 00:53

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

Don`t fall asleep, you gotta write for THUNDERDOME

I'll take a Bennycrit of this story if you don't mind. Thanks so much! I'll gladly trade a crit in return, just pick one of your stories.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

Tyrannosaurus posted:

FUMBLENNY FUNTIME BRAWL

Benny the Snake. Fumblemouse.

I want a story about a catastrophe at either an amusement park or at a carnival. No one is allowed to die. No rides are allowed to break.

1400 words. Due November 25th at noon est.

if you need inspiration once I got stuck on the zipper two times in a row and when i got off i tried to catch my barf in my sleeves.

it didn't work.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


Soiled Meat

crabrock posted:

if you need inspiration once I got stuck on the zipper two times in a row and when i got off i tried to catch my barf in my sleeves.

it didn't work.

this happened to me except with pants

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

So, not that most people care, but I ed myself to finish crits by the time signups close. Due to fuckyness, it'll be more like 1 AM my time that I get them in. Chairchucker's time zone is just too cool for me.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


Soiled Meat

Sitting Here posted:

So, not that most people care, but I ed myself to finish crits by the time signups close. Due to fuckyness, it'll be more like 1 AM my time that I get them in. Chairchucker's time zone is just too cool for me.

I care.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry


Well, lets put it a different way. If I get banned, you won't ever get a crit!

I'm typing up your crits right now, and I'm very excited to post them. Pls don't ruin Critsmas for everyone, Blue Squares.

Quidthulhu
Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!


Tell your double standard rantings to Cache Cab, SH.

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


In with a toxx.

Lord Humongus
Apr 10, 2009

ice ice baby

I'm in and will try with a flash rule if that's ok

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

In.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



In.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Week 118 crits part 2/3 and 3/3


thehomemaster


Bear with me, I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to say what I’m about to say. I felt like the way you interspersed details throughout your paragraphs was off. Like, there was this weird mix of setting description and background/worldbuilding information, but they were kind of smattered throughout the piece with no rhyme or reason.

The other problem with this piece is that the narrator doesn’t really do anything. The water would’ve come whether she’d gone searching for the problem or not. You spend all these words describing the main character trudging along. Then she bonks her head and gets washed down a hill, and everything is fine.


Starr

I think this is one of your better offerings. We’ll squeeze some enjoyable stories out of you yet.

That said, this was weak for me in two places: The first was the supposedly magical silver knife. It ruined the surreal vibe you had in the first bit of the story. And I felt like it was introduced just to be ineffectual, which only reinforces the obvious “death is inevitable” theme of this story. At first, I thought you were going to take the angle that death isn’t evil. The shopkeeper specifically said the knife would protect against evil, so I was hoping maybe the knife wouldn’t have any effect on death. And maybe that was what you were going for.

Which brings me to the second weak bit, which is the ending. It didn’t feel very resolved. I guess maybe she died? But we don’t actually see that. Just, oooo death was close. I mean, I’m sure you meant for the ending to mean that she died. But it fell flat for me.


Entenzahn

Oof, that first line. So purple. Go look at something really purple, and think to yourself, “this is how purple the first line of my story is.”

Otherwise, this flows really well, and was a quick read even though, content-wise, you fit a lot in there for less than 1100 words. I felt for your main character. The relationship with his dad was nice. I guess this didn’t win because it was pretty thematically similar to a bunch of other pieces this week. Which isn’t really a shortcoming on your part; it’s more that when we judge, we’re looking for the thing that sticks out. I don’t think it’s that different from the selection process that publishers and agents go through. Anyway, I thought this was really good and vivid, but I wish you had twiddled the knobs on the plot a little bit more. Basically, this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LC0JjvAJt8



newtestleper


TBH this needs a line-by-line because you have some awkward phrasing in here, but I got a bunch more crits to do and also I have the attention span of a goldfish. Your first line is a great example, though.

“Now that he was out of his depth John was regretting bragging about his skiing prowess on the coach up the mountain.”

I think you’re missing a comma after the word “depth.” You start with a present tense word, “now.” Then you switch into past tense, which would be fine, but a few words later and you’re telling us about events that took place in an implied past perfect tense. Like, if you split the two main ideas in that sentence up, you’d get: “John was out of his depth. He had bragged about his skiing prowess.” You do all this in one sentence, your very first sentence*. I think it would have been better to establish that John was skiing down the mountain, then throw in the detail about his hubris.

Otherwise, this was fairly middle of the road. I guess I was interested in seeing whether John made it down the mountain safely, but the ending left me lukewarm. The girl he wanted to impress is presumably dead. He has a long, bleak walk to anyone who can help. I don’t really know much about these two people except that they have poor judgment, so I didn’t feel much when the story ended and everything was bad.

*I’m sure someone will come along and shout that I’m explaining this wrong



Ironic Twist


What I’m going to say is probably the same as what I said in IRC, but here it is for posterity. The language itself is great. You have some really pleasant turns of phrase. That said, you went from poetic-but-realistic to full-on magical really abruptly. If I had to pinpoint where you lost me, it would be:

“These are the places that are unknowable on a first glance, or a second, or a third, the places that open and close like hungry mouths, blinking in and out of existence every time human eyes fall away. So many hiding places. So many empty niches waiting to harbor things that are lost, carried off by the wind.”

The last paragraph confused the hell out of me too, but after talking to you, it made a bit more sense. I think you needed to make it more clear that Crane was literally taking the shape of his desire to hide and shelter.

But, I mean, I have to reiterate that I really liked this piece. I just wish you’d turned down the opacity on the ending a little.


Djeser

While this was fun, I had to suspend more disbelief than you intended. You know how you felt at the end of the movie Independence Day, where they somehow make a computer virus that can somehow infect an alien computer? And we somehow blew up the alien ships with our puny earth weapons? That’s how I felt at the end of this story. It was fun, but it made me go, c’mooooon.

I wish Amelia’d had rockets instead of bullets, too. I really can’t imagine what use bullets would be against alien spaceships. Also, the scene where she’s running around inside the alien ship was just...but you know what, as I’m writing this, I think you knew what you were doing. And I think you did an okay job at it. I mean, we all know Amelia Earheart wouldn’t be able to take down an alien mothership with a revolver and one stick of dynamite. We know she certainly wouldn’t survive the explosion or the subsequent fall. But she’s an American Hero, dammit, and that’s what American Heros do.

I guess I’m just the wrong audience for this sort of story. It seems like it’s more fun to write than read, if that makes sense.



Some Guy TT

I think this was pretty well done, definitely among the better stories you’ve written. You’ve got some good action, and I thought the idea was nice. I liked the one upmanship between Maehwa and Gongju. You could’ve gotten too cutesy with it, but you stayed just shy of that. All in all, this was very Pixar. I saw this all in CG animation while I was reading it. The pixie dust mechanic was something I would expect in some petal-racing video game...that’s not a bad thing, but it was a strong impression I got.

All in all, this was active and tactile. The only thing I reeeally didn’t like was the very last bit. I think you overdid it with the whole OMGrunningwordstogetherattheendtoindicateexcitement!! At first I thought you were doing that to save words, but it seems not? I dunno. It’s like, Maehwa won, and then you weren’t sure what to do. I thought it was kinda nice that, in the end, it wasn’t about the victory, but how much fun they had. You just could’ve done it without mashing a bunch of words together!



Nethilia


This really belongs in a longer story. I have very little in the way of critique, except to say that I feel like we’re seeing one moment in the life of a character who ought to have her full story told. You do a good job of saying a lot without saying too much. I particularly liked: ““I haven’t told her anything. If she’s going to hear about a new baby brother or sister, she’s going to hear it from her dad.”” You cut right to the meat of things. Much like your protag wasn’t sure what the future was going to bring, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to feel at the end of this. It seems obvious to me that there’s no reason for the narrator and Oliver to get back together, but the last line is her wondering about it, which made me wonder, and that left me feeling lukewarm.



Blue Squares

I’m not a big fan of this type of opening line in a story. It reeks too much of the author trying to be clever, when you introduce a key plot point or some extraordinary plot element, but then immediately show us how the narrator is concerned with something small. Maybe there’s a word for this. A lot of ‘domers do it. A lot of comedy books and stories do it. I’ve never liked it, not even a little.

But okay, it’s a minor caveat. And the lines after it give a little more context: here’s someone who suddenly has the wealth to buy fancy shoes, who is finding himself concerned with stuff he previously would’ve thought of as frivolous. I think you did a pretty good job of showing a somewhat sympathetic person turning to the “dark side”, for lack of a better word.

The ending did force me to suspend disbelief, though. No, a rich, powerful man would not promote a dude who just tried to kill him. It sounds nice, and it even is a decent “twist” to the end of the story, but I didn’t buy it. That, and Mr. Electroworth was too much the typical corporate fat cat, though I think you made him caricature to offset your more relatable protagonist.

Other than that, I was entertained! Good job.


Ceaselessfuture

I liked what you tried to do here, with the wave interference being a metaphor for the distractions in your story.

Unfortunately, “two students cheat off each other’s tests” isn’t really trailblazing fictional territory. It comes down to “will they get away with it, yes/no”. I was pretty frustrated with your protag by the end of the story. I kind of wanted him to not go the predictable route and let the girl get away with cheating...because she’s a girl, I guess? And now, for basically no reason, he has to retake some high school class, even though he knew she had way less to lose than him.

But on the other hand, i thought you were setting up for the protagonist to have a crush on her. Then he makes some offhand comment that she reminds him of his sister. So maybe I was misreading their interactions the whole time?

But, again, nice job on incorporating a theme. Unfortunately, the waves this story makes cancel each other out.



Obliterati


So, do police (or, the Authority, I guess) work on commission on this colony? And if they fail, they have to work in mines? If not, why is this old miner playing cop? Why would terrorists leave a vital clue to their intentions on an explosive device? Why on earth would you want a police force who are possibly undertrained and at odds with each other? What’s the point of rigging up a dead man’s switch unless you want negotiating power over your pursuers? She kind of starts to tell us, but then you kill her. I’m not really sure what ANYONE’s motivations are, other than “there is a case, and so the protagonist must solve it.”

Also, the “secret atmosphere” thing confused the hell out of me at the end. I guess there must still be an atmosphere around the colony because your characters aren’t dead, but HOW? and WHY? are questions that jumped to mind.

I was sad Albert lived. He was a jerk. All in all, I think you were trying to hint at some worldbuilding-type stuff, but you tried to put too much into a short story, and it got confusing.


Paladinus

Your first line contains a bunch of sentence-weakening words. Almost, maybe, and probably. Does the Earth look different or not? The very first sentence is not the time to be waffling around with maybes.

Plot-wise...uh….plot-wise….well. A bunch of people get sent out on a mission that no one cares about. Your protagonist, insofar as she’s a protagonist, doesn’t really care about what she’s doing. Then she gives an inspiring speech, which garners the same reaction from the crowd as it did from me. Then they do...a….a…..a thing? And the story is over.

I usually try to figure out what the writer is going for, and tell them how they might be able to do it better. But in this case, you don’t really have much of a story here. There is nothing that makes your protagonist’s new-found resolve to preserve Earth satisfying or believable. There’s no meat to this. And that’s why you DMed


Fumblemouse

FUMBLEMOOOUUUUUSSSSE!! You already know what you did. You gave us a cutesy, well-written little vignette that does nothing and goes nowhere. You were spared from the DM purely by your writing mechanics. This is a sketch. A clip. I wanted to like it, but it doesn’t do anything, except explode a cat. There might be some limp commentary on, I don’t know, technology or consumer culture or “this is what old people will be like in the future”. But if that’s what you were going for, you played your hand a little too close to the chest.

When an exploding cat is the high point of a story, that’s probably a bad thing, is what I’m saying.

Do a plot next time, will you?


Crabrock

CRABROOOOOOOCK!! Go stand in the corner next to Fumblemouse. Well okay, you had a little more going on here. But I can’t tell how much of it is plot and how much of it is strangeness for strangeness’s sake. You have these two weird, tragic-in-a-suburban-way characters talking past each other. One can’t befriend people because of her skunk. The other is fantasizing about who is in a distant passing airplane. Just when the skunk-haver seems about to make some overture of friendship, it’s time to go inside.

I really really feel like there is a theme here, struggling desperately to get out. Maybe if I had more time, and patience, and a fine-toothed comb, i could find it. But unfortunately, the absurdity and the suburban pathos didn’t quite hit it.


Broenheim

A couple goes on their traditional anniversary outing. The husband realizes that he’s bored and ends it. I think? Then he has a flashback to proposing to his wife. Then his wife is old again, and asks him to stay with her just a little while, even though they’re apparently busy splitting up. I can’t tell if they’re actually separated by the end of the story, to be honest with you. And the breakup dialog is the most cliche “it’s not you, it’s me” dialog that I’ve ever read in the ‘dome.

You use way too many words near the beginning describing how great this outing is, and then the narrator abruptly is like, “nope, can’t stand it.” I would’ve liked to see more of a transition: Why is he suddenly so bored? He even says he’s glad he’s trapped with Charlene.

All in all, this was confusing at best and cliche at worst. Some of the descriptions of their surroundings were nice, but the interplay between the two characters was hollow.



Docbeard

So, some people and some faeries are celebrating the end of the world or something (which everyone is pretty chill about, I guess?). Janell dances with a faerie. Then she excuses herself to go ask the faerie queen if she knows her dad. She ends up making s’mores with the queen, and decides she doesn’t care about finding her dad much, because Eat, Drink and Be Merry, for Tomorrow We Die! or something. All we are is dust in the wind.

So the whole dad thing is a sort of red herring that never goes anywhere. Then she goes back to her dance partner and learns to stop worrying and love the faerie bishonen before the end of the world.

IDK, this isn’t your best piece, Mr. Beard. I think you needed to completely remove the dad plot and put something else there. Also, I say this way too much, but I think you were trying to cram in a bit too much worldbuilding into this piece. I’m thinking especially of the implication that the faerie queen has a human identity, or whatever.

This felt like a bunch of separate and possibly cool ideas mashed together in such a way that none of it really worked.



Grizzled Patriarch


This was a fairly quick read. And it was weird. But the weird didn’t have much of a payoff, I’m sorry to say. I’m not really sure what point you’re trying to make, but this story feels like it needs a point. Maybe your point is how kids should do summer school because they forget too much over the summer. Maybe your point is that schools waste a lot of paper updating textbooks. I dunno.

I wanted to be horrified or weirded out by the ending, but it just didn’t do anything for me. They’re all happily burning books. Then words appear in the air. Then Martin touches the words, and the go on/in his body! Then his classmates pick him up and throw him on the fire, because he was a textbook, you see.

Did he know too much? I feel like you’re trying to say something about knowledge or learning. Maybe you were just being weird. The bad thing is, I couldn’t tell!



Noah

Hi Noah! Your first sentence made me laugh, but maybe not in a good way. I thought “...that was all Julius, the criminal, needed” was pretty funny. Mainly how you specify that he’s a criminal right there, in plain words, in the first sentence. I dunno if you were being deliberate, but for some reason, I chuckled.

So the gist of this is that criminals in your zombie future basically serve their sentences by killing zombies and returning the heads as proof. Your protagonist is paired up with someone who’s on his last head. Things go bad, and your protag starts to worry that Julius is going to betray him and try to pass of his head as the needed zombie head. Your protag ultimately kills Julius, takes his identity, and goes free. I felt bad for Julius, but also understood where Dan was coming from. So good job on that.

Watch out for using he/his too many times in a row without reminding your reader who you’re talking about. Otherwise, I feel like this reads a lot smoother than the last piece of yours I critiqued (which I think was Black Briefcase week). I found my eye scanning past some of the longer paragraphs, and I found myself wanting a better idea of the guys’ location, but I think where you really nailed it this week was character motivation. Julius and Dan both felt like real people with actual motivations, which wasn’t something I expected. And Dan got away with what he did, but it’s clear that he suffered for it.

Mostly positive feelings about this one.


Muffin

You know you’re beautiful. And this story shows it. I mean, some of those lines are gooooooorgeous. Stunning. I would rub their feet at the end of a long day. I would bring them chicken soup if they were sick in bed with the sniffles.

You had me up until, oh, 3 paragraphs from the end. It’s still well written and beautiful, but I needed something more cathartic than “goodbye.” I need something more powerful than “she went home,” when you’ve only just introduced us to the idea that she has no real “home” without her husband. I hate when protags die at the end, but I would’ve even preferred that over her just...going home. Unless she DID die at the end? Maybe the warmth staying with her was supposed to imply that she’d simply let herself die out in the cold, surrounded by the essence of her lost love.

If that was the case, I think it needed to be a bit more clear from the writing.


Kurona_Bright

That first line is so boring and wonky. Don’t ever tell me, the reader, how surprising something is right there in the first line. Especially if it’s something really mundane, like whether a fire sparks or not. Really?

The rest of this story is mostly backstory. Morgan left home because she’s magical, and magical people are burned and persecuted. Her brother tracked her down to make her come back. They talk for a while, which is where we learn Morgan’s backstory. They mention something about someone named Walker, who is ill? I don’t know.

Then you switch to Seth’s perspective. We learn that Morgan did...something? To make him forget something. Not sure what the significance of most of the background info is, to be honest. In the end, Morgan doesn’t go home, but her and Seth reach ~an understanding~ and make up. Oh also Seth is gay, lol. Just in case it wasn’t obvious enough that the story was about persecution.

Way too dialog heavy. Have your characters DO something next time, not just talk about things that happened.



Walamor

Wa-la-la-la-lolamor. Hello. I think I liked this piece better than my co-judges last week, but I still was left feeling like this belonged at the beginning of a longer piece. That, or you needed to spend less time paying lipservice to the idea that this is a primitive, magical world (rather than the post apocalyptic world it actually is). The big “reveal” at the very end was too big and too much of a reveal. I hate it when a story leads up to the Big Plot Twist and then kinda just ends there.

A lot of the beginning was too much exposition through dialog. I think I would’ve rather this been an exploration story, with the characters putting together that “Victoria’s Fire” is actually a gas reserve.

I thought the implications of the ending were pretty sad and bleak, but I didn’t like the last line of the story. Then again, you were flirting with the word limit, it seems, so I can see why you had to clip things off.

All in all, I thought this was fairly solid, if only you hadn’t spent so much time being talky early on.


Your Sledgehammer

First of all, dialog should usually start its own paragraph. Especially if two different people are speaking. You have paragraphs with two different characters’ dialog interspersed with action and description.

Second, you wait until the story is almost over to start the plot. Like, I thought it was going to be about a magic fencing saber, but it’s actually about Sharon using her psychic metal powers to learn the real story behind her dad being gone, I guess? The asthma detail didn’t really add much. I found it very incredible (as in, lacking credibility) that Sharon would find the ring.

I think it would’ve been cooler if, like, you’d gradually built up Sharon’s metal empathy, or whatever you want to call it. Have her get glimpses of something that she thinks MIGHT be her dad’s life, and work your way up to the big reveal about Jack and Sharon’s mom.

Basically, the pacing was all off. And yeesh, remember what I said about starting a new paragraph for dialog. I found myself scanning the text rather than reading it.


Phobia

Okay, we all joke, like, “man I don’t start writing until like five minutes before the deadline!” but like, you clearly rushed the hell out of this. So I’m rushing the hell out of this crit. Please give yourself more time next time!

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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.

Softball took longer because I ended up having to ref, but it's totes over now and entries are closed. Now updating prompt post.

Done. If you asked for a flash rule song and don't have one listed in the prompt yet, I've goofed. Let me know.

Chairchucker fucked around with this message at Nov 15, 2014 around 05:58

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