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The News at 5
Dec 25, 2009

I'm Chance Everyman.


I am here to party. In.

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ADBOT LOVES YOU

Bushido Brown
Mar 30, 2011


Lipstick Apathy

In.

I'm also interested in doing a crit swap with someone. If anyone has interest, respond to this post and I'll crit you up.

Drunk Nerds
Jan 25, 2011

CAN I GET A PLUG IN??

Fun Shoe

In there like a lizard's penis at a casino bar. For both the Fear and Loathing and the Party stories.

Drunk Nerds fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2014 around 14:15

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Drunk Nerds posted:

In there like a lizard's penis at a casino bar. For both the Fear and Loathing and the Party stories.

Heads up: the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas prompt is for a brawl between Sitting Here and God Over Djinn, and it's exclusive to them.

Drunk Nerds
Jan 25, 2011

CAN I GET A PLUG IN??

Fun Shoe

Kaishai posted:

Heads up: the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas prompt is for a brawl between Sitting Here and God Over Djinn, and it's exclusive to them.

Thanks! My lack of reading comprehension dampers my chances. I am just in for the party story then.

Drunk Nerds fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2014 around 14:54

Casual Encountess
Dec 14, 2005

GUYS DO YOU KNOW HOW WOKE I AM? I AM LIKE SO WOKE! I AM JUST THE WOKEST! I AM ALL ABOUT BEING WOKE AND FIXING SOCIAL INJUSTICE!

ALSO WHY CAN'T LAZY AFRICANS JUST PULL THEMSELVES UP THEIR BOOTSTRAPS AND NOT GET CHOLERA AFTER ALL WE DO FOR THEM?


My first attempt didn't take so here's to round 2.

Some Guy TT
Aug 30, 2011


Final round of crits.

crabrock posted:

This guy alienates everyone by trying to plant a money tree. But the joke’s on them, money trees are real.

I really liked how you were able to set Tom up. The guy’s a loon, obviously, for trying to plant money trees in the first place, but when his ship comes in he’s smart enough to realize that everybody still thinks he’s crazy. They just want to be nice to him because he’s rich. He is, in fact, exactly the kind of person who would rant about liberals, making him another good example of someone even your reader will readily acknowledge as a fool even as he's obviously doing something right. Alex is not as well thought-out. He works as the kid who Tom likes enough to put in the will, but the story suffers from making him the perspective character at the end because we just don’t know the guy that well. I would have suggested keeping the prose more abstract after Tom dies, but aside from this flaw the writing’s fairly good.

That Old Ganon posted:

A woman fights a monster, or maybe it’s the other way around, because a fool told her to. I’m assuming because this is a video game, since there’s no other context.

Put your main character’s name in the first sentence. Don’t use a pronoun. Ugh, I can’t believe I actually had to specifically point that out. Your fundamentals are pretty awful too. The fool serves no purpose whatsoever that I can see- he tells Nuri to take the quest, a task that could have been accomplished by literally anyone. This story is just standard fantasy dreck with no redeeming qualities at all. I don’t understand what’s going on in the fight, I don’t understand what Nuri’s relationship is with the fool, and that’s all that’s here. Work on motivation. And write your stories in chronological order. I would have at least had a clue what was happening if you’d started out with the fool and then did the fight. Don’t expect your reader to care about a brawl between two characters who don’t even have names yet.

RunningIntoWalls posted:

A gang of…kids? Adults? Whatever, they’ve made some sort of sun cult in the modern day. Except they have a king, so I guess it’s more like a hardcore LARP than an actual religion.

Your prose is unnecessarily confusing here. I’m sure you were going for “oh it looks medieval but plot twist it’s the modern day!” but the execution just makes the concept look stilted and weird. How is the sun cult supposed to make life easier for any of these people? Where are they eat? And how does a guy end up becoming the leader of a modern day LARP cult? That sounds like an interesting story. Write that story instead of some boring stuff about friendship between characters we know nothing about. And again, if your character is introduced in the first paragraph, name them in the first paragraph! Why did I have to write that advice multiple times this week!

Jonked posted:

Some bartender hates bums, who are stinky and annoying. He makes a drink for an antlermonger in the hopes that the guy will go away, but plot twist, the bum uses his crazy foolishness to improve business for the bartender.

The concept is good here- you have a genuine modern day fool, in that bums are commonly looked down on and thought as stupid. Antler bum does snooker me in for a bit, at least long enough that I didn’t realize what he was doing right away. Your narrator is a bit of a dick, though. I can’t really get too excited about his business going on the up-and-up, since his only personality traits are that he dislikes bums and chain bars. Also, he doesn’t sound like an old guy at all, even though the text makes him seem semi-retired. Don’t use exposition to tell us the bar is in trouble. Use smaller stories within the bigger story to build up characterization. That’s stories, not random events, because whatever your payoff was supposed to be with the bum giving that one guy the antlers at the end, I didn’t see it.

leekster posted:

An old guy goes to a boat somewhere and lies down, because he wants to commit suicide or something. Maybe he got that idea later and just wanted to take a nap at first.

Have you ever watched an old person climb into a boat and then start sinking? I haven’t either but I’m guessing it’s about as entertaining as it sounds, and that’s all your story is. An old guy gets in a boat that sinks. There’s no context for any of this except that he’s old. If you want this kind of story to have any emotional resonance at all you need to at least toss a flashback in there or something, because right now I’m at a complete loss as to what your story is even supposed to be about. Yeah, he hates being old. So does everyone. What’s the difference between him and every other old bum that’s trying to take a nap in a boat?

docbeard posted:

It turns out that the serpent didn’t trick Adam and Even into eating the forbidden fruit because he was a dick. Satan was just really annoyed at the cherub who was always saying dumb stuff.

Oh wait, no, that was me. You somehow managed to make Satan the sympathetic character in the story of Adam and Eve without actually giving him any sympathetic character traits. This was accomplished through the cherub, who talks in a way that’s supposed to sound wise and foolish but just comes off as that annoying kid with a speech impediment from grade school who wants to be your friend but can’t shut up long enough for you to want to tolerate him. This might have worked except that the story is structured like we’re supposed to think the cherub sure got one in over the serpent. And maybe he did, but given that your ending states pretty explicitly that no one actually learning anything from what happened, it’s incredibly difficult to care.

Bushido Brown posted:

In the modern day, a cynical investigator is trying to find the source of the latest locust plague by investigating haruspexes. He thinks this bum is crazy like all the others but plot twist, this bum really is a divine prophet.

You can’t toss a word like haruspex into your story and expect that anyone will know what that means. Incidentally, some entrail-reading action would have been a vast improvement over what we get here. The bum is a divine prophet? Really? In the first place we could see that coming from a mile anyway. In the second place a reasonable scientific explanation is given right there in the story so there’s no reason for this plot twist to show up except for genre convention. An in the third place we know nothing about the narrator or the bum for the revelation to actually mean anything. You take an interesting idea in the most boring possible direction and don’t even back it up with halfway interesting prose. If you don’t have any decent ideas at least try to do it with style. Try to get a smile out of your judges and maybe they won’t savage you so much.

Kaishai posted:

A boy has lived his life in a lemon grove so everybody hates him. Also chicks really hate guys who spend all their time hanging out in lemon groves, and it’s apparently a princely duty to personally hunt down rogue lemon tree bandits.

You got the honorable mention on the strength of your prose. Try as I might I can think of no way to describe what happens in your story that doesn’t sound totally ridiculous. Why is it so important that Limonadé find a girlfriend? Why is the prince so offended by the theft of the tree? How old are these kids anyway? There’s a lot of background we don’t get here and I found that irritating. Still, the dreamlike sections where Limonadé hangs out with the trees are good, as are the subtle moments when the tree strikes out in a way that’s obviously fantastical without being overbearing. Style isn’t everything, but it means a lot in a week like this one, especially since I at least knew what was happening if your story even if I didn’t really get it.

Hocus Pocus posted:

Somebody finds a set of brothers at the ending site of the shipwreck, one of whom is a simpleton. S/he takes them home and doesn’t really know what to do.

Neither did I, really. Your story was another in this week’s strange trend of stories that thought it was a good idea to wait until several paragraphs in to explain who the characters are. I know what you people are trying to do- start the story in media res to build up interest. It doesn’t work unless you have very powerful attention grabbing prose so don’t do it unless you have an incredibly unique, novel, and obvious concept that doesn’t need explanation. This story absolutely needs explanation- I didn’t even see any evidence that your fool was wise and I had to reread the story several times just to write that flippant synopsis up there. Do something to describe your characters next time. This story was infuriatingly generic.

Starter Wiggin posted:

Guy likes explosions. Then he gets exploded.

On some level I admire how simple your story was to understand. That’s what this week has done to me, make me long for prose that was just clear and comprehensible. The trouble is that outside of the basic concept there’s not much point to your story. I take it you like Joey Comeau- try going into more detail on that quote and why the character identifies with it so much, get some backstory. Discuss his friends, since you went to such an extreme effort to establish that he has friends even though he’s a crazy person. There’s only so much you can do with explosions alone, and your prose just isn’t exciting enough for that to sustain interest here.

WeLandedOnTheMoon! posted:

The ball park is going to kill disco and the team mascot is sad. Also he’s being fired after twenty years which is also sad. Then he gets exploded.

Why twenty years? Andy seems to have a strong affinity for disco so it’d make a lot more sense if his career spanned ten years. That way by symbolically killing disco they’re also symbolically killing him. It’s weird that you go to such effort to establish antipathy toward Andy at the beginning of the story and then it just kind of fizzles out. You do a better job building up sympathy for vinyl disco records than you do for Andy, and that makes for a story that’s fairly difficult to process. Again, it’s more important that we know who your character is than that we know what the story is technically about.

kurona_bright posted:

A student at a boarding school/high school/college finishes his final exam, has jitters about it, and wonders why one silly student in class always insists on answering questions she doesn’t know the answer to. Then she tells him.

Your first problem is failing to establish how old your characters are. They have GPAs, are scared of their parents taking away games, have enough free time to have dinner together, and work in the quarter system? I’m not sure how you managed to get all those contradictory details in there at once. The structure is also fairly odd- Chris notices Penny is weird, then she just straight up offers to tell him why. That’s a bit of an odd mystery, since all you ever write here is just exposition. No one actually does anything. Fortunately your story isn’t bad in any real explicit ways- you do keep using weird words instead of “said”. Don’t do that. It’s needlessly distracting. Beyond that this is passable enough writing. Just work better on concept and keeping the proceedings exciting and you should be able to make steady improvement.

Benny the Snake posted:

The King is bad at his job and is also a cuckold, so he brings the jester in to cheer him up. The jester makes a few jokes, the king laughs, and then the king gets assassinated.

There’s a name for the plot twist you use here- colloquially it’s called “the butler did it”. Basically, you’re not supposed to make a low class person the killer in an unprecedented plot twist because in a real life situation these would be the first people to come under heavy suspicion. The trope is somewhat famous for almost never actually being used, because early genre writers (in the much less egalitarian world of our forefathers) quickly realized that this was cheating. And you managed to use it in your story unironically. Luckily your prose is decent enough here, such that I was expecting a much better twist, but the astonishingly bad quality of your ending is such that it’s impossible to see it any other way. Consider yourself lucky that everyone else’s bad writing as much more well-rounded.

Sitting Here posted:

This guy was fated to be a vagabond, then his village is burned down so he becomes one. He gets hungry and finds the King’s orchard, leads a minor rebellion to get the food, then the King pardons him after losing a making GBS threads contest.

So, we got the grimdark tone of a whole village being murdered, then a populist turn as Tarok finds the fruit and starts eating it, then a fable as the King decides to have a making GBS threads contest to prove some sort of moral point. You can have one. I’d go for comedy (which you didn’t do) simply because the concept of a making GBS threads contest is an inherently absurd one that could have really been a good use of the prompt. Forget this boring crap about kings and rebellion and ethnic tension just give me a making GBS threads contest. You describe all this stuff happening but never take the time to savor it in your writing. Plot twist- you, yourself are the king who is making GBS threads out words without actually enjoying the creative process.

Grandmaster.flv posted:

A long story that ends with a dumb meme.

If you want to make it in on time next time, just chop off every other paragraph indiscriminately. Almost nothing you write has anything to do with the (stupid) point you’re trying to make. It’s all fluff. I’d give you more detail but you were late and your story was bad and long and I didn’t have to read it so gently caress you.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

Some Guy TT posted:

your story was bad and long and I didn’t have to read it so gently caress you.

change thread title

Cache Cab
Feb 21, 2014


in

Jeep
Feb 20, 2013


Wounds licked, semester finished, beers cracked. In.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Some Guy TT posted:

Final round of crits.

Plot twist- you, yourself are the king who is making GBS threads out words without actually enjoying the creative process.


Oh god it's true

Okay for my Thunderbrawl with Djinn:

Jeza posted:

I will crit whoever chooses one of my favourite lines of fiction. Either one, both, or I guess none. But you'd be missing out on a great line. (The best line)

Hunter Thompson posted:

Now they looked like somebody had just sprayed their table with poo poo-mist.

Since Djinn STOLE MY LINE I'm gonna take the Jeza challenge.

My unlikely emotion is heartache.

kurona_bright
Mar 21, 2013


I said I'd crit your work as thanks, and here it is! I hope what I wrote makes sense and isn't too nitpicky.

Kalyco posted:

Ace of Fools
934 words

“I don’t know what’s wrong, Jessica, but you need to deal with it. You’ll lose your scholarship if you don’t bring these numbers up.”

“And nobody cares but you.”

Jess glared at the fox in the corner. He laughed, bobbing his whiskers.

“I know, Dr. Vance, I’ve just had a rough week,” she said.

“Rough?” the fox said. “Try negotiating with Tower ogres, Vancey, that’s rough, and not in the fun way!” Who exactly is the fox talking to? It sounds like the fox's one-upping 'Vancey' (who I assume is Vance), but Jess is the one who had the 'rough week'

Her professor heard none of this. “You’ve had a rough semester. The one before that wasn’t smooth either.” He finger-combed his greying hair. “Maybe you should take some time off. If it’s personal issues, or… or a boy…”

The fox rolled over laughing, paws in the air. His tail was bushy and his coat bright as a blood orange. She didn’t know how many vixens he had on the line, but no number would surprise her. I'm not quite sure why this is important. It seems out of nowhere. She tried not to blush. “Come on Dr. Vance, it’s a small liberal arts college, there are hardly any boys here.”

“You just,” he said, looking away from her, “look like you didn’t make it home, last night.” Splitting up the sentence like this makes it sound weird to me.

“Seriously?” She looked down. Dirty jeans, faded black hoodie, converse shoes. “I need to do laundry, but-“

“You smell,” the fox said.

“Better a dirty human than a dirty mutt, Sixt” she muttered.

“Jess?” Dr. Vance looked a specific kind of concerned. "Specific kind of concerned?" Specific as to what? The type of concerned expression one would have talking to a misbehaving student, or when talking to a potentially crazy person?

“Nothing, Professor.”

“Just get it together, alright? Your father wouldn’t appreciate me terminating your scholarship, but I won’t have a choice if your grades don’t change soon. Academic probation is no joke, especially for under-funded departments like ours.” He gestured to the picture on the wall of himself and her father at one of their digs in Greece for emphasis. Nice way of introducing the connection between the two without making it seem unnatural

“I’ll do my best, I-”

“And you need to think about the bigger picture,” he said. “You won’t qualify to have your work-study reinstated if you’re on probation for longer than a semester, and I can’t fund you privately. Books, dorm rooms, fees, food, they all cost money, and-” Jess’s stomach rumbled on queue.

“I know, Morgan,” she said, calling him by his first name like she used to when she was a kid. “I just… have a lot on my plate right-”

There was a crash outside like a ton of bricks falling five stories.

Sixt jumped and Dr. Vance didn’t, so Jess figured it for a different kind of crash. The fox nodded at her, then jumped out a window. Jess fidgeted.

“I just need you to get your act together. Every time I defend you in front of the funding committee I’m sticking my neck out, and you’re not helping by performing at such a-“ "performing" like what?

“Right! So, I’ll go work on that paper right now, ok? You’ll have it before midnight!” She was halfway out of the office before she’d finished speaking. “Thanks!” she yelled back as the door closed.

She ran out of the library, rounded a brick wall to the left and saw all she needed: a dragon was lying on the ground next to a tree, which looked like it’d been hit by lightning. Sixt was sitting next to the dragon, nodding. The professor's office is in the library, rather than a separate building?

Jess came over. “The Nil may speak?” Sixt asked for her. Nice way of clarifying the relationship the fox & Jess have as more than just antagonistic.

“Yes. The Ace of fifth Priest asks arbitration.” The dragon did not move its mouth – no vocal chords. Meetings with them always made Jess’s ears ring in the silence, and they were so formal, names and ranks and so forth.

“The Nil asks, what happened?” she asked.

The next hour answered some long-standing questions about flight restrictions established between the dragons of the fifth and the eagles of the seventh. Apparently the arcana – the open meeting for all ranks of the spirit world’s houses and races – had been issued for tonight, and as arbitrator the Nil had to be present. Long-standing questions that Jess had about flight restrictions? Is she the type of person that thinks a lot about such specific things?

“There goes my promise,” Jess said, watching the dragon take off. Some students had come over to comment on the fate of the tree, but none had stayed. Probably just old and in need of cutting down, right? Humans – the Nil, of the Fool – were remarkably self-regulating. I don't understand what you said in that last sentence. So humans are 'the Nil'? But it seems like a individual title.

“What, to the Empress? Or Dr. Stuffy-Face?” Sixt asked.

“He was the last Nil’s best friend,” she said. She's talking about her father, here, right? Then why not refer to him as such? (Yeah, I know you need to insert the idea that her father was 'the Nil' before her, but unless they had a distant relationship, this line sounds odd.)

“Friend of a Fool, still a stuffy-face.” Sixt trotted off. Jess headed back to her dorm to do what she could until the moon rose and the arcana was called. Tonight would not leave much time for paper writing. Sounds like they went their separate ways, but then the next scene has them together.

--

“Don’t bother me, I’m busy,” she told him. Sixt was lying on top of her bookcase. Books were open across her desk, and she tried to remember what she’d been looking for.

He licked a paw. “Tell me to go, then.”

She didn’t answer, just turned a few pages.

“I just don’t want to disappoint Dr. Vance, dragons or not,” she said as the door opened.

“Did you say something Jess?” her roommate asked, walking in and taking her earbuds out.

Jess rubbed her face. “Nope, just talking to myself. Got a paper due.”

“Bummer. Got your mail,” she said, tossing an envelope onto Jess’s desk.

“Thanks. It’s for Dr. Vance. I’m just trying to straighten everything out, you know?”

“Wasn’t that paper due last week?” So does this scene take place around a week after the last scene? I thought the timeskip was just a couple of hours before I read this line, and now I'm not sure.

“Yeah, but… what was the topic again?”

Sixteen, a Fox of the Tower, fell off the bookcase laughing. “Poor Fool,” Sixt said. “Too bad you can’t eat paper!” Why did you wait this long to introduce Sixt's full name and what he is? It comes off weird to me.

“Too bad I can’t eat you, either.”

“Who are you talking to?” her roommate asked.

“Just me mumbling. Wait-” She had opened the envelope.

From the Office of the Dean – We regret to inform you that, effective immediately…

I like all the little touches reinforcing that what Jess sees, hears, and feels are entirely unnoticed by those around her. I also feel like you've managed to convey the 'other world' that Jess is connected to pretty well - it feels complex and much bigger than just the bits mentioned in the text to me.

The length of the timeskip is important, though. I thought it was a couple of hours on my first read, and so the ending didn't really make sense. But if the timeskip was a week, and she flaked out on the paper, then the ending makes a lot more sense. Maybe I'm just a really inattentive reader, but I think you could make these cues a little more obvious.

I guess the comment Some Guy made about Jess having no personality is true. I could relate, a little, but I'm in college at the moment so whatever.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


As penance I'll do crits for the next two people to ask for one.

nickmeister
Apr 7, 2009

Patron of the Pants


In.

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004

neato devito


Like the immortal Andrew WK, or the drag queen Adore Delano would say, "party."

I'm in.

Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

I'm in.

Gau
Nov 18, 2003

I don't think you understand, Gau.


Since I hosed off last week, I'm in with a for this week.

As a penance, I will crit the first two takers.

The News at 5
Dec 25, 2009

I'm Chance Everyman.


Gau posted:

As a penance, I will crit the first two takers.

I'll take a crit.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

No static at all...

I'm not in this week. I'll provide three line-by-lines to any takers.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


I'll take a crit from whoever wants to do one. I'm seeing loads of people have offered so just whoever happens to do it first; I'll do one for you in return.

Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

ZorajitZorajit posted:

I'm not in this week. I'll provide three line-by-lines to any takers.
Yes, please.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


God Over Djinn posted:

I'll take a crit from whoever wants to do one. I'm seeing loads of people have offered so just whoever happens to do it first; I'll do one for you in return.

I'll crit you. Give me to the end of the day.

Edit: Don't worry about giving me a crit. This story was a non sequitur mess and it isn't worth the effort to try and fix.

leekster fucked around with this message at Apr 16, 2014 around 08:51

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


leekster posted:

I'll crit you. Give me to the end of the day.

Edit: Don't worry about giving me a crit. This story was a non sequitur mess and it isn't worth the effort to try and fix.

The gently caress is this? Don't edit out your story.

Let me break it down for you:

1) You edited it out because you were embarrassed about the quality because you think you can do better.

Doing so is a loving dick move on those who put forth and is a blatant attempt to avoid "losing".

or;

2) You edited it out because you think the story is bad and you aren't good enough.

Believe me TD has seen worse. And you'll never improve by being afraid of judgement. Everybody starts somewhere unless they don't start.



Neither look good to me. Put the story back in - if you edit it from the original submission you can still submit but you will be disqualified.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


Jeza posted:

Meaningful words
I meant the prior week's story. I didn't edit anything out. That was an addition to my post. Sorry for the confusion. Thank you though for the advice.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


leekster posted:

I meant the prior week's story. I didn't edit anything out. That was an addition to my post. Sorry for the confusion. Thank you though for the advice.

I regret nothing.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


Deal's a deal. I did your grammar almost exclusively because you make some really interesting mistakes here; I'm sure mojo or Fumblemouse will have A Thing To Say about your plot problems too.

quote:

crit for Against the Tide by leekster

The water was churning, big breakers folding in on themselves, dark eddies tormenting the pier, opening up to swallow whatever foolish mariner who was tempting the fates that day.

it's either the mariner who was tempting or whatever mariner was tempting, not this bastard combo of both.


A dark gray tempest had consumed the sky, scaring away all with any sort of pride.

nah too much. I'm not seeing what pride has to do with not being afraid of storms.


The man bent heavy on his cane, his broken mind no longer being able to understand gravity.

bent over maybe? As for the second part, no need for "being": 'My broken mind no longer comprehending the story, I sank to my knees and wept'.


With a heavy sigh he hobbled over to the dock, feet dragging lackadaisically, his cane threatening to punch it's way through the rotted wood.

its is what you want here (possessive). it's always means 'it is' and nothing else. Also, lackadaisical is too 'light' of a word to use here - I think of it more as a synonym for 'half-assed', not 'desperately ancient and decrepit'


Struggling, he made it to the boat, never calling it his own.

I think you want something like 'which he had never called his own'. The gerund is making it sound like 'calling it his own' is something that he only avoids doing while he's walking over to the boat.


He wasn't foolish enough to think he could own anything, not after all was taken from him.

nitpick, but 'everything' would be better than 'all' here, because 'after all' is an idiom and it's a good rule of thumb to avoid using idiomatic phrases when you aren't actually trying to use the idiom itself.


The man gazed at the boat, in awe of it's pitted hull, the cracked gunwales that held the water away: but just barely so, the old chipped blades of the oars, the only instrument of power he had left.

it's again. Also, no fuckin way on that colon. You use a colon to indicate that you're describing something in general, and then listing specific instances or examples, like this:

The boat was unfathomably ancient, much like the man himself: its gunwales were cracked and barely held the water away; its oars were chipped, no longer powerful as once they were.

(see what i did there? huh? huh?)

For what you actually wrote here, you'd want something more like 'the cracked gunwales that just barely held the water away...'



The man felt a tear well up, his broken body tensing, wanting to fall. He gathered himself and climbed into the boat.

Weightless n the water, suspended from his fears: he found himself.

same colon problem


His prison glared at him, that world grounded in gravity, where man could fall time and time again.

A smile crept upon his lips.

ahahahaha sorry. Crept 'onto', not 'upon' - this makes it sound like the smile is creeping around on his face like a caterpillar.


With the power that only a man freed knows he took his first stroke. Shoosh.

'free man' is better than 'man freed'. Avoid exotic structures unless you got a good reason for em.


The roll of the wheels in the track, the sound of his anger dissipating.

this is not a sentence.


Stroke, chuh. The click of the oarlock as it prepares for his power, a power that's limited by the chains of physics.

You're having tense issues right here. 'prepares' should be 'prepared'. that's = 'that is', not 'that was', so if you're staying in the past tense, you have to write it out.


Stroke, frush. The sound of the blade slicing through the water, a dark torpedo propelling him forward, releasing him from his prison. Stroke, hah. The sound the man makes as he laughs at his oppressor, a damning laugh that haunts Newton and all his followers.

Also not sentences, for the most part.


He felt the rise of that old familiar feeling... He hated it... He welcomed it...

These ellipses add nothing.


There was a mission now, to chase down the missing parts of him; the ethereal being of his memories, the kindness that used to fill his heart and his dead, blue eyes, but more important than all of those: his need for love to conquer his soul that was black and bitter from the hate.

Now this is a marginally correct use of a colon! The sentence is a fuckin mess, though. Let me try to untangle it:

(there was a mission now, to chase down the missing parts of him) = sentence
; = okay, you use semicolons between complete sentences, generally, so I'm expecting another sentence
(the ethereal being of his memories) = noun phrase, not a sentence, uh-oh
(the kindness...) = another noun phrase, really needing a verb here
(but more important than all of those) = wait, what? Now I'm starting to feel like you're listing 'missing parts of him', in which case you should've had a colon up there at the top instead of the semicolon
(conquer his soul that was black and bitter from the hate) = this complement clause (the bit that starts with 'that' is just way too much to tag on to the end of a sentence. If you've got this degree of syntactic fireworks in a sentence then consider splitting it up into several.)


A hate that burnt through him like a wildfire, leaving all his joy and happiness burnt, tormented into wicked creatures that plagued him.

also not a sentence


Stroke. He pulled himself closer to his prize, driven by a reckless need to find himself.

Stroke. The boat jumped forward, powered by a primordial desire burning deep in his chest.

Aching, he pushed on. Stroke.

A tendril of memory can be felt, a fuzzy memory of a boy with ice blue eyes flooded his mind.

tense problems again - for 'can' read 'could'


He stopped.

Sitting there, he feels the gravity, it crushing him, stopping him from being able to breathe.

'felt', not 'feels'. You don't need the pronoun 'it' here - "he felt the gravity crushing him, keeping him from breathing."


A sinister wave comes and crashes over him, throwing him into the sea.

no need for 'comes and' - if it crashes over him, it must have come to him at some point. Also, still in the wrong tense.


Like an apple falling onto a man's head. Weighted, he starts to sink. He knows his broken mind could never overcome gravity. A searing light consumes his eyes. He screams and tries to push away from his dark angel, his past. It fills him, lifts him. He was there. Eyes like glaciers pleading with him, No they said.

largely okay except for being in the wrong loving tense.


Hair like a horse, brown and fine, clumped at its points.

ahahahaha. Hair like a HORSE'S HAIR, or hair like a HORSE'S, not hair like a HORSE. 'clumped at its points' is a v. muddled image.


Lips furrowed in a slight frown, impatient with the world and its stagnant pace. Lips that told a story, a sad story nonetheless. He remembered. The gravity overtook him, lifting him.

He fought endlessly wanting to go down to his grave.

grammatically incorrect no matter what you're trying to mean - if he DOES want to go down to his grave, then you need a comma between 'endlessly' and 'wanting'; if he DOESN'T, you need to totally restructure the sentence, because fight doesn't really take a gerund like that (i.e. you can say 'he fought sleep' but not really 'he fought sleeping'.)


He saw his boat. Broken and splintered by the waves, pieces of it starting to sag in the water. Wanting to be consumed. Out of the water he rose, forever endlessly towards the inky abyss above.

forever = endlessly


The great light pulsating, filling the sky with a midnight twinkle.

now you're in yet a third tense, the present progressive; gently caress.


Shining on forever

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

crittin' time

Benny the Snake posted:

May I have one? Thanks!

Benny the Snake posted:

Long Live the King
604 words

A. Your title is a cliche, and unless ironic/ambiguous, you should take a little time considering a title, as it's my first introduction to your work. right now i'm like "oh great, a boring medieval piece and/or fantasy." i'll come back to this after i've read your story. came back: title is still cliche. tons of people have said "long live the king" after murdering the king. try again next time.

King George was beside himself. boring opening. also telling His people were a hair away i think maybe you were looking for this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair's_breadth from open revolt. telling, again. also, this tells me nothing of what is ACTUALLY happening His wife was carrying on with an affair with his best knight. telling, again To cope, "to cope" is telling me what you're about to show me. He indulged himself in his creature comforts a weird term to use here.--his liquor mixed in with fresh squeezed orange juice and entertainment what kind of entertainment? from his new court jester, Marvin the Moron.

This first paragraph is all telling. In the same space you could have painted a much richer picture by giving me EXAMPLES of the things you talk about. This is what is meant by "show, don't tell." If you're just TELLING me something, i gain the knowledge. If you SHOW me something, I gain the knowledge AND get a story. This is imperative for you learn. For example, using your exact same structure, but putting DETAILS instead of FACTS: King George slumped on his throne and kicked away an empty goblet. His subjects gave him hateful glances and whispered to each other as he walked by, and arrests for conspiracy were up five-fold. Normally he'd feel safe in the presence of his best knight, but the scamp was off a lady... and the queen was missing too. The King drowned his worries in liquor and freshly squeezed orange juice and the klutzy antics of his new court jester, Marvin the Moron.

“Summon the royal jester!”

Martin bounded in, doing forward flips before tumbling and standing straight up with his arms outstretched. This is a little hard to picture. you say he tumbles, but then he's standing up straight. You should have a better segue in there so i know he recovered or whatever. "He tumbled but recovered, and finished standing straight...

“Leave us,” King George instructed his guardsmen as they no, he didn't say "leave us" AS they left. he did it before. don't mess this up. always ask yourself if saying "as" is actually right? Very rarely do two events happen simultaneously in stories. left the hall. “Marvin, do you remember what happened to my last jester, Sebastian the Snarky?” so far all your dialogue has been story-serving, and hasn't helped develop your characters at all.

Marvin gave a nervous smile. “He always looked so much better from the neck up.”

“Indeed he did,” King George said and chuckled. “Now amuse me, or your head will end up on a pike as well!” a little melodramatic, cliche, and contradictory (you said earlier that this jester was a main part of his coping strategy, now he's willing to kill him on a whim? what are his motivations?

“If I may m'lord,” Marvin said uneasily, “I've noticed that you're pouring quite a bit of liquor in your orange juice.”

“”<- a basic proof-reading pass should have caught your error hereWhy do you notice?” He asked testily i'm starting to get angry at your "he said adverbly." if you find yourself needing to say this to make the dialogue clear, then you're writing boring dialogue. and took another sip.

“Why m'lord, for liquor is the great equalizer!” first interesting thing you've said so far.

“How so?” The King asked as he raised his eyebrow.

“For it is liquor that turns us all into fools!”

The King laughed jovially. “How very, very true! Now tell me, Marvin,” the King said and took a deep drink out of his glass, “What are your thoughts on what is happening in my kingdom?” OMG STOP JUST ASKING QUESTIONS. THIS IS BORING.

Marvin was perplexed. “M'lord, it is often unwise for someone of your position to seek the counsel of a fool like myself.” wasn't the fool usually the one who spoke the most frankly to the king?

Oh, you're still doing a lot of interjections before your dialogue. i already told you to stop doing this once. from now on I will just cross them out, and if you read your dialogue without them, you'll see it doesn't actually change the meaning at all, but makes them seem more confident/secure/interesting. I'm not seeking counsel,” he said. “I figure I can get a laugh out of it if I can get drunk enough.”

Well, if you insist-” Marvin said uneasily.

“And I do,” the King said as he took another drink.

Well,” Marvin began, “I would presume that you fear for your life.”

“A king always fears for his life,” King George said. “What makes now any different?” THE QUESTIONING KING. ONLY SPEAKS IN QUESTIONS.

“Because now, I'd be wary of assassination.”

“Really? Tell me then,” he said and leaned in. “Who would be most likely to try to assassinate me?” THE QUESTION KING HAS QUESTIONS FOR ALL

“First rule of theater, m'lord--it's always the last person you'd expect.” if it ends up being the jester i'm going to roll my eyes, just fyi

“And who would that be?” SEE THE QUESTION KING RULE HIS LAND THROUGH ASKING LOTS OF QUESTIONS!

“Why me, your humble court jester, of course!”

King George laughed so hard that he spilled his glass and almost fell out of his seat. “You? A simple jester? Assassinate me, your King?!” THE QUESTIONING KING HAS QUESTIONS FOR ALL

“Indeed, m'lord,” Marvin said and smiled. “In fact, I switched your liquor with poison!”

King George was doubled-over in hysterics. He laughed so hard, he dropped his glass on the ground as it shattered in a million pieces. hyperbole His laugh was so loud that it echoed throughout the hall before he choked, hyperventilated, and fell on the ground. lol. how do you choke AND hyperventilate. Are you a loving human? do you understand human anatomy? Like you can't block off the airway and overuse it at the same time. THINK about what you're writing, stop just putting in stuff that feels good

“They never listen,” Marvin said and tsked. is tsk a verb? He heard someone pounding at the door. how boring, a sensing verb for no reason! You could make this much more interesting with DETAILS like "A booming knock on the thick wooden door to the king's chambers startled Marvin." Working fast, Marvin sliced off the King's ring finger with the ring still attached, put it in his pocket, and rushed towards the window behind the throne as the guardsmen burst in. With a snappy salute, he leapt out the window and landed in a cart full of hay below. WEEEE. ASSASSIN'S CREED FANFIC

“So did you do it?” The driver asked. THE QUESTIONING KING RULED A LAND OF QUESTIONERS Marvin answered by showing him the severed finger and ring.

You know, it never ceases to amaze me how they never suspect the jester,” the driver said as he started driving the wagon. driving the wagon? sounds odd. Also you call him a driver, which means he's already driving, to me. otherwise he's just a dude sitting there. adding in that he started driving is absolutely unnecessary filler.

“You can tell someone just about anything as long as it's a joke,” Marvin said and gave him a sly wink.

and... the end. Ok, first things first: where was the motivation in this? Your character's didn't seem to have any goals/thoughts outside of the very narrow window we see them in. Why did the jester want to murder the king? for his own profit? as part of the revolt? that seems like a big risk, and now they've SEEN him murder the king, and he's not worried at all? Why did the people want to revolt? what was the king doing that pissed them off so much? you can't rely on the reader to just fill that stuff in for themselves.

So take a step back and think about this story. It's a king that for some reason is losing everything. But we don't know why, and you don't give us enough to CARE about him losing everything. Like he died, so what? What do i care? you didn't make him likable or sympathetic or even make me hate him. i just don't care if he lives or dies at this point, which means you've already lost half the battle.

then your other character, the jester... i don't know anything about him. your POV starts with the king and ends with the jester. why not just make it from the jester the whole time? this is where you lost the second half of your battle.

in the end you have a cliche story (that's been done before, so nothing new) with two characters that I don't understand nor care about.

the good things are that you legit wrote a few interesting lines (but failed to capitalize on them), and that your grammar wasn't atrocious. you still use a few weird words/concepts/phrases, and you still seem like you're just writing the first idea that pops into your head rather than writing PURPOSEFULLY. Like the "choked and hyperventilated" line. Did you seriously sit there for a few minutes and think "this is the best possible way I can frame his death."? Every line in your story should be there FOR A REASON, which means you need to think about EVERY SINGLE LINE and think if there's a better way to say it. Think: Can i show a detail here and say the same thing? Can I turn this question into a statement ("TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW" rather than "WHAT DO YOU THINK?"). When I read this line out loud, does it sound good or clunky/awkward? If I take this line out of my story, does the story still say the same thing? Can I cut this line to make my piece tighter?

EVERY.SINGLE.LINE.

EVERY.SINGLE.WORD.

You are the author, YOU control your story. Every sentence, every word works for YOU. Don't trust your unconscious to come up with phrases, make the writer part of your brain defend those choices. Don't just include a phrase you heard a few times and think sounds good (a hair away? did you stop and consider how silly that sounds?). Understand what you're putting down. Most of the time you want to AVOID saying things how others have said them, so you want to go through your story looking for those cliches and idioms that are a part of our lexicon, but shouldn't be in your story.

Anyway, keep trying.

crabrock fucked around with this message at Apr 16, 2014 around 19:19

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Whose kitty litter did I shit in?


Thanks for the brutally honest criticism. I appreciate it.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

[almost] any time.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Benny the Snake posted:

Thanks for the brutally honest criticism. I appreciate it.



if your next story shows signs that you haven't read and applied those crits, expect this

PootieTang
Aug 2, 2011

by XyloJW


Count me in for real this time.

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


crabock Crit:

crabrock posted:

Get What’s Coming
928 words


Tom’s wife and kids had laughed at him when he buried his money in the yard. (First line and I'm interested. That's a good thing. I can and have dumped an entire story on the first few lines/paragraphs/chapters.) She left, took the kids and changed their last names back to hers. His kids sneered at him on Skype and questioned his manliness. The whole world laughed with them—until the trees started growing.

His wife piled the kids into the car and they (maybe cut down to "The family?" feels a little repetitive) showed up on his front porch with their alligator-skin bags overflowing with clothes and electronics. He didn’t let them inside. No, Tom thought, I don’t think I’ll ever talk to them again.

Instead he passed his days under his trees. Their bark shimmered like gold, giving way to twisting branches that reached out and drooped toward the ground. Buds glimmered on the tips of the branches, and dappled amongst the gold were green bills that unrolled in the early morning, wet with dew.

Tom took his usual early-morning stroll and plucked 10s, 20s, and 100s (Picky me, but I hate seeing numbers under 100 not spelled out/with 's) that hung low enough for him to reach. He trod over the withered bills on the ground: torn and ripped, serial numbers smudged, faces of the founding fathers contorted into unrecognizable horrors. (Loving this sentence) It was a race to gather as many bills as he could before the desert sun baked the bills worthless.

He filled his bucket with the harvest until he could fit no more. (Filling a bucket assumes that it can't hold no more.) With a few more people he could substantially raise his profits, but after they (his family? The world? Mysterious They) laughed at him he’d never entertained the idea for longer than it took him to soak one bill in lemon water. In the middle of his money grove was a lone lemon tree. (how did it get there) The citric acid stopped the aging process on the plucked bills, much like it stops the oxidation and browning of sliced apples.

The only person Tom let into his orchard was Alex, the little boy from across the street, whose mother was too busy getting high to pay either of them much attention.

“I like you, kid,” said Tom. “You’re not some money-grubbing sycophant like everybody else.”

Alex looked up at him with confused eyes.

Tom laid every soaked bill out on a wire rack to dry. “When I die, I’m leaving everything to you.” The boy shrugged and helped Tom flatten the dry bills with heavy objects. Tom fixed them PB&Js for lunch and told his stories from the war, reminisced about the good ol’ days, and ranted about the liberal scourge that was ruining America.

Alex nibbled on his sandwich and listened attentively. (by itself because?)

They watched cartoons until the boy’s mom came home.

Alex visited most days, and Tom, not needing to work anymore, welcomed somebody to talk with. The boy grew up and Tom paid for him to attend the best botany program, and bought him a house with its own small orchard. (this sentence has too much "and" for me) Tom insisted on giving Alex a money tree for himself, but Alex refused. Alex enjoyed flying back on weekends to help Tom flatten bills, even though the old man had more money piled in his basement than he knew what to do with.

“You should at least take a suitcase-full with you.” (I know this is Tom talking, but that's because I'm quick; might wanna specify for at least a few lines.)

“No, you’ve already give me more than enough.”

“I’d rather you have it, in the end.”

“Don’t talk like that.”

“Well, they’re sure as hell not getting it.”

The two men stacked the bills, ate sandwiches and debated politics.

Shortly after Alex returned to school, (Which time? He's flying back every weekend, so is this after a semester or a weekend or what?) he received word that the old man had died. They (The mysterious They!) said he’d fallen asleep with a lit cigarette and burned the whole house to the ground.

Alex knew the old man never smoked, and smiled.

Everybody but Alex brought lawyers to the reading of the will. He winced under the glares shot at him when everything was left to him. There was screaming, and crying, and promises of drawn-out legal cases.

“There is precedence of overturning a will where the deceased had been conned.” (who's saying this all calm)

“Family comes first.” (mystery talking people are talking in oddly calm voices after hearing about some random kid getting all Daddy's stuff)

“I don’t want your father’s possessions,” Alex said, quieting the room. “I am thankful for the time I spent with him, and for the gifts he has already given me. The money in my investments already make me more than I can ever spend.”

The shouts of anger resumed, but Alex held up his hand and they quieted.

“I only want one thing. item of your father’s, and that is his His old lemon tree.” Alex paused, but the shouting did not resume. None of them had ever been present to watch Tom process the bills.

“Whatever, let the bastard have the stupid tree,” said Tom’s eldest son. The rest of the siblings laughed and sneered at Alex.

“What an idiot to give up a fortune.” (the mystery talkers are back)

“Why settle for some measly investments when you could grow billions?” (they chatter on)

“Figures that dad Dad would take in a stray just as stupid as he was.” (folks be jabbering, don't know who)

Alex took a taxi straight to the charred remains of Tom’s house. (no taping off of the scene, burnt house just there for the looting. Also, the orchard didn't burn? Lucky.) He retrieved a shovel from the tool shed that still clung to life, (not sure if it's the shed or the shovel but it's allllive~) and dug the small lemon tree out of the grove. The tree was short compared to the giant, golden trunks that surrounded it. It’s Its growth had been stunted by the copper and nickel in the soil, which imbued the tree’s unique fruits with special preservative properties.

Tom’s children arrived by limo and rushed into the orchard, shoving their pockets full of wilted bills and drunkenly congratulating each other. They threw the keys to Tom’s old pickup at Alex. (what does the truck have to do with anything) “Take that piece of garbage with you, idiot.” (mystery talkers are talking)

Alex nodded and loaded the lemon tree into the back of the pickup, gave the taxi driver a sizable tip, and drove back home.

Weakest Link: All these people are talking and while I know they're Tom's family after he kicked it, they could use some tags on who's chattering over who. If you were going for chatter/faceless family mass/cacophony, it didn't come through and more came off like confusing. There is a lot of mystery "they" doing stuff. The last lines are also sort of "...and that's it?" He drove back home. ....and? And what after that? The last line sort of meanders towards nothing.

Strongest Chain: Love the descriptions of the tree especially the wrecked bills. Loving the part where Alex knew more about how Tom wouldn't have died from leaving a smoked cigarette to burn, though the "and smiled" wasn't needed. Definitely conveys that Alex knows more about Tom than anyone in his family.

Picky Bitch poo poo: My eye gets twitchy when numbers under one hundred aren't typed out. Same with things being explained out that aren't needed for a short story. We've only got so many words; there's ways to tighten up explanations of sliced apples and why the lemon tree is short. Use contractions: for example, "I am thankful for the time I spent with him, and for the gifts he has already given me." reads really stiff and formal. Alex comes in a touch late for the story shifting to him as the focus character. I would've rather seen it all from Alex's side and maybe have Tom's part of how the tree grew and all that told while they processed the money. Speaking of the money, does it grow any other denominations of money?

Overall: There have been many a story about growing money from trees, but I liked this one more than most I've read--I was grabbed from the first line even though I could see that the money was going to grow into trees. Solid, but could use some precision in spots and really be tighter in others. I think a better ending line would be moving the part about processing the bills ("None of them had ever been present to watch Tom process the bills.") to be the last line. That would more convey that Alex knew that the growing money would be worthless to anyone without knowing what to do to it, and add a punch.

leekster
Jun 20, 2013


God Over Djinn posted:

crit for
An Orange Like a Tiny Sun, a Million Lies Like Falling Stars (934 words)

It is forbidden to curse the King while standing on one’s head, reads the notice pasted to the door of the Youth Palace. Every day the blind madwoman stands on her head at the gates and curses the King. Today she is gone.

This is okay. Intrigues me but isn't too much.

My students saw a meteor last night. They want to know why the star was flying. “It flew because the King willed that it be so,” I say. “May praise be upon his head.” “Amen,” they say. The tile in the classroom is the color of the baking soda I brushed with this morning. We no longer have toothpaste.

A little jarring to go straight to this. Maybe a sentence or two of transition.

My mother said it was a sin to lie to children. I tell myself that lies are only words. Yet when I die they will cut me open and find only ashes.

Ashes and oranges are the big symbols here. I'm missing what they mean and why they're important.

On days when I have oranges I sneak one to the madwoman.

“Say something,” I whisper. Her hair is matted with ash.

She blinks milky eyes and says, “The King is a fool.”

On my way home I will see the orange peel in the gutter and remember how it once was to curse the King.

A nice subtle way to give some info on the character.

When one speaks to women they nod and look at the ground. The only women who do not are the madwoman and my mother. Where my mother is now it is cold all year. Where the madwoman is, I do not know. Her empty place at the gate is a hole in my throat.

The cold all year seems a bit melodramatic.

When the sun shines I hold my mother’s letters up to the window, hoping to see through the censor bars. Because she said that it was cold I sent her coat to her. It came back to me unworn.

The madwoman was taken away because my students started standing on their heads in the playground and cursing the King. The guards saw this and took her away. I have given oranges to the madwoman since summer. I am guilty.

His crimes have no significance if I don't know what laws he's broken.

The children want to know where she has gone. “Perhaps she has been taken somewhere warmer,” I say, “by the grace of the King.”

“Amen.”

As grey snow begins to fall I spin, immured in my room, frantic. My mother’s coat hangs behind the door.

I will go to the Office of Grievances. I will hide the madwoman in my garret. I will hide her in the circle of my arms. We must protect those who tell the truth. My mother once spoke the truth. I have not written to my mother for years.

These past two paragraphs seem rushed. Another transition would help.

Yet I do none of these things, but sit alone, eating an orange as the grey snow falls. My heart is a clenched fist. In the morning I bundle the rest of the oranges into my mother’s coat. This at least I can do.

You keep going on about the oranges but they still have no meaning.

At the Youth Palace the madwoman sits upright outside the gates.

Her face is unswollen, pristine. There is a smear of ash across the bridge of her nose. I do not know if they have beaten her. Around us the buildings stand like crooked fingers.

These past two are good. They have rhythm. Not too quick or too slow.

“It’s me,” I whisper. “The teacher. Speak to me.”

I place an orange in the palm of her hand and wrap the coat around her shoulders. She is smaller than my mother. Her curse will be a valve to let the pressure out. We will continue our small and private dissent, she and I.

Again with the oranges. Also don't placate the reader by giving them the message. They can do some work too.

“Blessings be upon the King,” the madwoman says, “for willing that these oranges grow.”

I stare. She peels the orange with her thumbnail.

Again with the oranges

“What have they done to you?” I say. The guards are already marching in the playground.

“They have done nothing,” she says.

“Please,” I say. “Have they not beaten you? Why do you speak this way?”

“They have not beaten me. Blessings be upon the head of the King,” she says, “for willing that this kind man come and give me oranges.”

Good dialogue between the two here. It's curt and isn't rushed.

I want to tear my mother’s coat from the madwoman’s back. My heart is a locked room. I snatch the orange from her hand and throw it into the gutter. It sits in the dirt like a tiny sun.

“You speak as wildly as the wind,” I say through clenched teeth. “First you cursed the King and now you bless him.”

“If it is not permitted to curse the King while standing on one’s head,” she says, “I will bless him while sitting upright. The words of a fool, after all, signify nothing.”

Be careful with being too obvious.

I leave her sitting in the snow in my mother’s coat.

My students are waiting for me in the foyer. Their shirts are antiseptic white. Last night they saw a woman raped and beaten in the streets by the guards. They want to know why she did not call out for help.

Antiseptic seems like an anachronism for your time period.

Which is not to say that they asked.

My mother told me that the Lord looks after fools.

“It happened because the King willed that it be so,” I say. “As with my mother. As with your own mothers. As with you. All because the King willed that it be so. May blessings be upon his head.”

The guards are looking at me. I am speaking more loudly than I should.

When I stop, nobody says “Amen.” Yet seeing eyes meet mine.

My mother told me that it was a sin to lie to children. My mother told me that the Lord looks after fools. If I am a fool, may I live to be a hundred. If I am sane they will drag me from my bed tonight. Yet when they cut me open they will find an orange where my heart belongs.

Overall it was a decent story. The setting was developed well, I could imagine a lot of it and you hardly spoke about it. The character was alright, a little two dimensional. The biggest issues were your pushing of the oranges as important but you never show why and placating your audience.

Thank you very much for the crit.

Edit: I was on mobile and my thumbs hurt by the end so I'll bold my words next time. I just wanted to finish your crit today like I said I would.

leekster fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2014 around 04:20

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Nobody should crit crabrock until he goes back to crit me and Mojo's brawl.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

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


Also he gets back to writing his novel about a giant happy tortoise and some magic poo poo also.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Also he gets back to writing his novel about a giant happy tortoise and some magic poo poo also.

Empty quoting this

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


crabrock posted:

It’s growth

crabby nooooo

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Awright crits so me an fumblmouse are going to work from opposite ends so sorry people in the middle you shouldn't have been that way

Grandmaster.flv posted:

fuckin' lol next time I'm not writing scifi because I spent too loving long worldbuilding. Also this is my first entry ever and I am garbage at writing dialogue but no excuses.
shut up, he suggested, cyberpunkly

Oh, HENRY
1,468 words


From this high up the skyline of the city seemed almost pretty. poo poo, it almost looked tranquil from this distance. The neon glow faded into this beautiful sea of lights, and unlike at street level, she didn't feel oppressed by the advertisements and billboards everywhere, shilling their wares. this makes it sound like they're cheeky cockney chappies, but maybe they are? The skyscrapers seemed much less ominous from a mile above, and she could actually see the drat moon and stars for once. either cut this or the rest of the para, not fussed

And its not like she didn't have plenty of time to enjoy the view, since the drat chopper was on autopilot. She missed the feel of the joystick, and quite frankly would've just jumped in herself but "mission parameters" dictated that she run the digital side of the infiltration and let the chopper run itself. DON'T CARE SHUT UP

The fact that last time she was out she crashed both the company car AND the motorcycle Chairman Lito had so graciously loaned her didn't really help much but given the uh, WHO IS SHE TALKING TO blatantly illegal nature of her missions, something about how she was never actually caught on any of these jobs ingratiated her to the executive board.

Tonight's mission was fairly run of the mill. todays story was fairly boring, never tell us things were dull Take down perimeter security, set down on the roof, bust into the datacenters, and snatch and grab and get out. Silently. Chairman Lito had been very VERY specific about exactly how quiet it had to be. so is it run of the mill or not

Her partner for tonight was this no stoic type by the name of K-Roll. Young enough to not remember the old days. oh god more exposition is coming i feel it in my cyber-waters Before the self-contained company "campuses", before those companies merged, and merged, and merged again, annexing entire towns. poo poo, the kid was probably born after the fall of the US government, probably was born into one of those megaplexes that sprang up once everything went private and the US became a series of privately owned nation-states. uuunnnnnhhhhfffffff

He didn't really say much. don't tell us this stuff, i do not care They had been running recon ops for the past week, and after their initial meeting, he was strictly business. She couldn't tell if he was a pro, or just really fuckin' shy, but either way it suited her just fine. Dude was either at his terminal or in his "cage" lifting weights or some other caveman poo poo. hunting mammoth with sharpened saplings, hardened in the fire? She was decked out in all kinds of augmentations. oh the vague sort of augmentations yeah their p cool i can picture them in my minds eye you word sorceror He seemed to be a lot more old-school about his approach to things. just loving just STOP SAYING VAGUE poo poo

They had been canvassing one of the habs, wait are you about to get to the point when you could be vague and exposit some more trying to find an in with an engineer or somebody he's cool i like that guy who had access to the internal datanets, posing as Arbiters. It was one of her favorite covers because, to most people Arbiters were below rent-a-cop status and only existed to add more bureaucratic horseshit to the process of keeping the infrastructure going.

poo poo, her Arbiter uniform even had her loving proper name on the badge. "Sossa Grey, Deputy, BoostrapCorp" in nice bold black letters. K-Roll was a little harder to make convincing, but he was muscular and imposing enough that people didn't really ask many questions.

After hours of inquiries, turning up jack poo poo, one of the housewives seemed to take a liking to K-Roll, the neanderthal looking motherfucker, and pointed us in the direction of one of the penthouse residents, one of the higher ups in accounting for Bootstrap by the name of Ellis. We stepped into the elevator, and getting out of the penthouse, it was clear that the top of this hab lived a very different life than those below. There were actual real, live plants in the landing, and not a single advertisement on any of the vidscreens.

I rang the doorbell, not really looking forward to talking to yet another useless suit. I looked back at K-Roll, who had the same deadpan expression on his face. I swear to god the kid might be retarded, but the Chairman's personnel brief had nothing but glowing commendations on his hacking work, let alone his more uh, physical abilities.

The door swung open, and I was surprised to see the man behind it. A fairly slim man, almost handsome if it weren't for his drat beard, dressed about as well as any of these penthouse HENRYs were greeted us.
"Evening, arbiters. What can I do for you tonight?"
"Sir, I'm from Enterprise Division. We've had multiple latency complaints from penthouse residents and we wanted to take a look at your hub"
"Oh but of course, come right in! I've been having some bandwith problems tonight and I'm glad Enterprise is so on top of things!"

It wasn't necessarily a lie. The particular hubs Boostrap used had a nasty tendency to poo poo themselves if you prodded them a certain way, and weirdly enough K-Roll had dropped a bug on the hab's intranet to let us play with them at will. Including this dumb bastard's.

Ellis's apartment was pretty drab, even by HENRY standards. He could afford real fruit, and some of his furniture was even real wood. Something twigged me out though. A lot of these things were a little TOO nice for what was collectively a shithole.

He caught me staring a little too intently at his fruit bowl. I almost got the feeling he was sizing me up almost as much as I was sizing him up.
"Those oranges are organic you know" he said, slightly haughty "I prefer most things in my life to be organic. Even in this day and age of technology, there's something to be said for the old ways. Would you like one?"

I shot K-Roll a look as if to say "its not like I can afford this poo poo on my salary" and I went right in as he fiddled with the hub. Ellis was completely oblivious, prattling on about the history of that orange, how it was grown in some grove far to the south in another complex and how the taste reminded him of his old house, and how the plex was filling up with tourists and other unseemly types.

While he was gushing about his orange, K-Roll was working on the hub, dropping in backdoor that would let us commandeer all of Ellis's traffic, so we could shape his traffic and do all the intranet stuff we needed to break in. Once he nodded at me I broke in politely "Sir, it seems like my partner has finished up with your hub. Let us know if you have any further trouble"

He smiled, and as we were walking out, he followed us, carrying a scooter. Fuckin' HENRYs were intent on showcasing their wealth, and the latest trend was these stainless steel monstrosities. "I'm going out for a drink, would either of you care to join me?" he said as we got into the elevator
"Sorry sir, we're still on shift. Another time, perhaps" I said, coldly. "Oh of course, of course" he smiled as he unfolded his scooter and rolled off into the night. K-Roll bursted out laughing as soon as he was out of earshot. "That dude gives me a bad vibe, yo. Creep status" why the poo poo are u tellin me bout this dude

That was the last full sentence he haid said to her, in the week following, and even on the chopper right now. next time you want to put a flashback Speaking of which, the landing chime sounded, so she got ready to move. The Chairman was right, K-Roll had done his homework because she got all the way to the datacenter without so much as a peep.

He stood guard outside as she darted in and hopped on a console. She couldn't help but glance at the data she was jacking. Highly unusual, but then again this job tended to be exactly that. this is a horrible sentence. meditate upon it. This time, however she was seeing some VERY questionable financial transactions. Almost as if somebody at Bootstrap was intentionally trying to sink the ship to leverage a buyout from my company. Not her question to ask. That being said, she couldn't help but notice a massive acquisition order for some fruit flash by. Right as the transfer finished, the console went apeshit and alarms started ringing out.

K-Roll charged in. "Let me deal with security you get your rear end to the chopper and we'll deal with exfil when we get to it. GO GO GO".

I beat feet to the stairs. No way I could make it up in the elevator in time. I heard K-Roll cursing wait so you're not using swearwords now? over comms as security poured into the datacenter but I was too busy sprinting up the stairs to care. I burst through the doors to the roof, only to find the fuckin' chopper was all the way on the other side.

As I ran to the chopper I heard the elevator chime, and the sound of wheels, and a foot rhythmically hitting the concrete. By the sound of it there was no way I could make it to the chopper before the scooter caught up with me.

I sighed as I drew my katana. oh gently caress youuuuuuuu and this bullshit memey ending

This has a sprinkle of worth in the intricate world it lays out but serious we are talking a saltshaker over mt everest when that is compared to its horrible convoluted structure, characterless tedium and overall pointlesness. do fuckin better.


quote:

Sitting Here

Made Vagabond


Tarok's mother and father took him to the town seer on the day of his birth, where it was revealed that Tarok was fated to be a vagabond. Back in their meager cottage, his parents swore it would never be so. So lets talk about trust. Because ive read your stuff before i trust that this is vague because its a fairy tale sort of thing and that the fated stuff is the core of the story and will be satisfyingly resolved. Let us see if this trust is justified.

As Tarok grew, so did rumors of famine from the south. Soon, refugees slouched into the town square in hollow-eyed throngs, and made a sad little encampment around the well.

Tarok was curious. His mother saw him watching the refugees, dragged him into the house, and cut up one of her old dresses to make crude window covers. She forbade him to go outside. Because she is afraid? Because she worried he is gonna get the Vagabug?

The rough encampment had been in town some days when a knock sounded at the cottage door. Father went outside. Tarok heard low, angry tones through the thin walls.

That night, Father took Grandfather’s sword, never before unsheathed in Tarok’s life, and went to the town square with the other men. Though Tarok was some thirteen years old, nearly a man by all accounts, his mother held him to her bosom like a babe as shouts and then screams filled the night. Pov is weird here?

After a time, father returned. The town square was empty. No, your flat presentation is starting to wear on me; there is a place for clipped prose, this isn't it. Make me feel the world.

Tarok was permitted outside, so long as he didn’t follow the stampede trail of the refugees’ exodus. No one spoke of the men’s dark deed.

The refugees returned by night bearing torches. Pov, you switch in and out in a muddled way Tarok woke to smoke and screams, Father already gone with the old sword, Mother crying and dragging Tarok from his mat. He stumbled out of sleep and into a nightmare; the town was burning, neighbors attacking neighbors in the suffocating confusion of smoldering thatch and straw.

Mother pulled him around back of the cottage, whose roof was already catching flame, and shoved him into the darkness beyond the conflagration.

Tarok had never known fear, never known pain, pain? never known anything like the raw, animal panic that compelled him to run blindly into the forest OUCH beyond the town.

When next he returned, there were only ashes and blood, and Mother and Father were nowhere to be found.

After a night and a day, Tarok turned south, and followed the path of the refugees. Man what was the point of all that?

Days passed, then weeks. Tarok slept in hay, drank warm milk straight from the udder when he came across cows, stole vegetables from what few intact farms he found in the refugees’ wake. The further south he went, the more the air warmed, and the plants and animals became strange and colorful. Specificity is more than a great use of too many c's and i's in scrabble

How could there ever be famine in such a place? Tarok wondered. Perhaps the refugees had simply grown greedy, or disinterested in the abundance all around them. Perhaps he could find them and explain that they need not have overrun his village, for plenty was theirs for the taking.

Then he came across the armored men on the roads, men who jabbed with spears any time Tarok drew close to a particularly verdant patch of land. He could see tall trees behind them, heavy with colorful fruits. The ground was carpeted with sweet-smelling rot, but Tarok was sent away and told that all fruit belonged to His Majesty.

Tarok had never met a Majesty, but he found it hard to imagine one man, majestic or not, could eat all of the fruit.

It was a problem of words: His Majesty was of a group called the Hesec, while the refugees were of the Damatis. This is too late to introduce this dude Both words were just sounds to Tarok, and most folk on the road shied away from him when he told them as much. But a few began to follow him.

“I am Tarok,” he would say to them. “Is Tarok a lesser thing than His Majesty? When his Majesty eats his fruit, does he not squeeze his mud out into the latrine afterward, as Tarok does? Do the Hesec not stink and sweat as the Damatis do?”

The braver folk laughed and nodded, raised their fists, shouted their assent.

But soon Tarok’s following became too many, and he found himself in manacles before His Majesty.

“Northerner,” boomed the king from his throne. “You tell my people that I poo poo and sweat like a commoner, and thus I have no divine right to the yield of my kingdom. For this, you must be hanged.”

“Does His Majesty deny that he squeezes stink from his bowels?” Tarok asked, emboldened by his time wandering. “Perhaps he must needs prove his divinity.”

“Silence!” His Majesty roared, but he gestured for his guards to stay their weapons. “My court grows foppish and hackneyed. Suppose I were to indulge your accusation with a small contest?” Random kind of king dont u think

Tarok agreed, and a table was brought into the great hall, laden with more fruit than he had ever seen in one place.

His Majesty sat on one side of the mound sweet-smelling mound, I hear this to the tune of mud glorious mud Tarok on the other. The terms were set: If Tarok could eat more fruit than the king without needing to move his bowels, the fruit trees would be the domain of Hesec and Damatis alike. If he failed, he would be hanged.

The rind the one single rind that encoiled every fruity morsel like a citric Ouobouros? was tough, and Tarok struggled to unpeel even one of the fruits. oh. His fingers were sticky with juice by the time he succeeded.

The first bite stung, sweet and sour wrapped up in one sensation. Tarok savored, then took another.

“Dallying will get you nowhere except the gallows,” said the king through a mouthful of fruit. There was a growing mound of rinds before him.

“Ah, Majesty,” Tarok said, licking his fingers. “What I’ve tasted just now, you will never have. Send me to the gallows if you will, but know that I go with your finest treasure on my tongue.”

The king looked down at his pile of peels, realized that he hadn’t tasted a single bite. Tarok was pardoned there in the courtroom, the fruit trees declared free for all to savor. So wait that whole vagabond dead parents thing was basically irrelevant? And a mountain of pithed out eh for that flaccid belch of an ending. This could possibly have got a dm if i hadn't been distacted by how dreadul the others were. Tsk fuckin tsk.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2014 around 12:36

tenniseveryone
Feb 8, 2014


Pile on Grandmaster.flv time, I guess. Now with added Turtlicious!

Grandmaster.flv posted:

fuckin' lol next time I'm not writing scifi because I spent too loving long worldbuilding. Also this is my first entry ever and I am garbage at writing dialogue but no excuses. They sound a lot like excuses to me. No excuses. Just stories.


Oh, HENRY
1,468 words


From this high up the skyline of the city seemed almost pretty. poo poo, it almost looked tranquil from this distance. Too many "almosts" spoil the broth. Also opening a story with a description of the setting usually spoils the broth. Don't do it unless you're gonna do something special. As you say you spent a lot of time on worldbuilding, and you don't really have much time for that in Thunderdome. The neon glow faded into this beautiful sea of lights, and unlike at street level, she didn't feel oppressed by the advertisements and billboards everywhere, shilling their waresOkay so we're near the end of the third paragraph and just finding out who our protagonist is, and that she's not narrating the story. Everything before this is extraneous. The skyscrapers seemed much less ominous from a mile above, and she could actually see the drat moon and stars for once.

And its not like she didn't have plenty of time to enjoy the view, since the drat chopper was on autopilot. She missed the feel of the joystick, and quite frankly would've just jumped in herself but "mission parameters" dictated that she run the digital side of the infiltration and let the chopper run itself This could've just been the opening paragraph, if you changed it up a little. You get character, setting, and plot all off running. Boom.

The fact that last time she was out she crashed both the company car AND the motorcycle Chairman Lito had so graciously loaned her didn't really help much but given the uh, blatantly illegal nature of her missions, something about how she was never actually caught on any of these jobs ingratiated her to the executive board EXPOSITION OVERLOAD and totally unnecessary. Also the "uh" doesn't really work with a third-person omniscient narration. If it was from her perspective, fine, otherwise it's a bit clumsy..

Tonight's mission was fairly run of the mill Nope, I do this too: don't tell the reader something thoroughly average/dull is happening, because their response will be "so why should I read about it?" It's also clearly just to set up that something out of the ordinary is gonna happen later on, like Chekov's gun, only not as exciting. Take down perimeter security, set down on the roof, bust into the datacenters, and snatch and grab and get out snatch, grab, and get out. Silently. Chairman Lito had been very VERY Nope specific about exactly how quiet it had to be Why does she keep getting hired for these highly sensitive tasks if she's so bad at it? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Her partner for tonight was this stoic type by the name of K-Roll Again: this should've come up wayyyyy earlier. The first paragraph should've been: in a helicopter, with this guy, gonna do a job, this is the job, STORY BEGINS NOW instead of STORY IS STILL BEGINNING HALFWAY THROUGH Young enough to not remember the old days. Before the self-contained company "campuses", before those companies merged, and merged, and merged again, annexing entire towns. poo poo, the kid was probably born after the fall of the US government, probably was born into one of those megaplexes that sprang up once everything went private and the US became a series of privately owned nation-states There's already been enough contextual clues that this is a cyberpunk story. It's a genre with so many well-known tropes that you don't need to run through your variations on them. You've set up that we're in Gibson territory, and that our hero's involved in industrial espionage, so mega corporations running the country is a given. No need for more world-building.

He didn't really say much I know, you already said he was stoic. That is what stoic means. They had been running recon ops for the past week, and after their initial meeting, he was strictly business. She couldn't tell if he was a pro, or just really fuckin' Again, doesn't really work shy, but either way it suited her just fine. Dude was either at his terminal or in his "cage" lifting weights or some other caveman poo poo. She was decked out in all kinds of augmentations. He seemed to be a lot more old-school about his approach to things I got the comparison between them without you having to spell it out. Also: still too much character building, not enough character doing.

They had been canvassing one of the habs, trying to find an in with an engineer or somebody who had access to the internal datanets, posing as Arbiters. It was one of her favorite covers because, to most people Arbiters were below rent-a-cop status and only existed to add more bureaucratic horseshit to the process of keeping the infrastructure going Seriously most of these paragraphs could've been boiled down to a sentence and been part of an opening paragraph, opening two, tops. Take a look at some examples of short story structures online and when you're editing, try and find the shortest way of expressing something, since Thunderdomes usually have pretty short word limits. You don't have a lot of time to tell a story and you've been wasting most of it so far. This part, for example, could just be that they have an in.

poo poo, her Arbiter uniform even had her loving proper name on the badge. "Sossa Grey, Deputy, BoostrapCorp" in nice bold black letters. K-Roll was a little harder to make convincing, but he was muscular and imposing enough that people didn't really ask many questions Wait so is this a flashback? Is this before the helicopter? Is this necessary?.

After hours of inquiries, turning up jack poo poo, one of the housewives seemed to take a liking to K-Roll, the neanderthal looking motherfucker I GET IT, HE'S BIG, and pointed us Wait what in the direction of one of the penthouse residents, one of the higher ups in accounting for Bootstrap by the name of Ellis Long, complicated sentence. Cut cut cut. We stepped into the elevator, and getting out of the penthouse, it was clear that the top of this hab lived a very different life than those below. There were actual real, live plants in the landing, and not a single advertisement on any of the vidscreens See these bits are good. These give us a feel of what the world's like without you having to do all that over worldbuilding or exposition (including tell us a sentence prior that he lived differently to most of the population)

I rang the doorbell, not really looking forward to talking to yet another useless suit. I looked back at K-Roll, who had the same deadpan expression on his face. I swear to god the kid might be retarded, but the Chairman's personnel brief had nothing but glowing commendations on his hacking work, let alone his more uh, physical abilities Wait so have we shifted from the "her" in the earlier paragraphs to "I"? Is this the same person and you just forgot which person you were writing it? Or is this a totally different person from K-Roll and "her"? I have no idea what's going on.

The door swung open, and I was surprised to see the man behind it. A fairly slim man, almost handsome if it weren't for his drat beard, dressed about as well as any of these penthouse HENRYs were greeted us.
"Evening, arbiters. What can I do for you tonight?"
"Sir, I'm from Enterprise Division. We've had multiple latency complaints from penthouse residents and we wanted to take a look at your hub"
"Oh but of course, come right in! I've been having some bandwith problems tonight and I'm glad Enterprise is so on top of things!" Your dialogue's pretty good, so maybe don't wait until the very end of the story to include some? The way I see it we're near the end and all that's happened is "Two (three?) people got given a job. They did the job." But you've stretched that out sooooooooo long.

It wasn't necessarily a lie. The particular hubs Boostrap used had a nasty tendency to poo poo themselves if you prodded them a certain way, and weirdly enough K-Roll had dropped a bug on the hab's intranet to let us play with them at will. Including this dumb bastard's Not necessary, we know it's believable cos of Ellis's reaction to the lie.

Ellis's apartment was pretty drab, even by HENRY standards. He could afford real fruit, and some of his furniture was even real wood. Something twigged me out though. A lot of these things were a little TOO Italics, not capitals nice for what was collectively a shithole Wait I thought he was a fancy guy.

He caught me staring a little too You're using this phrase a little TOO much intently at his fruit bowl. I almost got the feeling he was sizing me up almost Almost as much as you're using almost TOO much as much as I was sizing him up.
"Those oranges are organic you know" he said, slightly haughty "I prefer most things in my life to be organic. Even in this day and age of technology, there's something to be said for the old ways. Would you like one?" Okay well you've already told us the fruit is real, so either we don't need it repeated here or you shouldn't have said it earlier. Condense this poo poo.

I shot K-Roll a look as if to say "its not like I can afford this poo poo on my salary" Yeah we probably could have guessed the look and I went right in as he fiddled with the hub. Ellis was completely oblivious, prattling on about the history of that orange, how it was grown in some grove far to the south in another complex and how the taste reminded him of his old house, and how the plex was filling up with tourists and other unseemly types.

While he was gushing about his orange, K-Roll was working on the hub, dropping in backdoor that would let us commandeer all of Ellis's traffic, so we could shape his traffic and do all the intranet stuff we needed to break in. Once he nodded at me I broke in politely "Sir, it seems like my partner has finished up with your hub. Let us know if you have any further trouble"

He smiled, and as we were walking out, he followed us, carrying a scooter. Fuckin' HENRYs were intent on showcasing their wealth, and the latest trend was these stainless steel monstrosities. "I'm going out for a drink, would either of you care to join me?" he said as we got into the elevator
"Sorry sir, we're still on shift. Another time, perhaps" I said, coldly. "Oh of course, of course" he smiled as he unfolded his scooter and rolled off into the night. K-Roll burstsed "Burst" is the past participle of "burst" out laughing as soon as he was out of earshot. "That dude gives me a bad vibe, yo. Creep status"

That was the last full sentence he haid had said to her Wait so it's back to third person, after a first person flashback? NONONONONO, in the week following, and even on the chopper right now. Speaking of which, the landing chime sounded, so she got ready to move. The Chairman was right, K-Roll had done his homework because she got all the way to the datacenter without so much as a peep So the bulk of your story is a set up to what will probably be a way more interesting story. That entire flashback was totally ancillary to the action you spent the first half setting up. GAH.

He stood guard outside as she darted in and hopped on a console. She couldn't help but glance at the data she was jacking. Highly unusual, but then again this job tended to be exactly that. This time, however she was seeing some VERY stop questionable financial transactions. Almost as if somebody at Bootstrap was intentionally trying to sink the ship to leverage a buyout from my company. Not her question to ask. That being said, she couldn't help but notice a massive acquisition order for some fruit flash by. Right as the transfer finished, the console went apeshit and alarms started ringing out.

K-Roll charged in. "Let me deal with security you get your rear end to the chopper and we'll deal with exfil when we get to it. GO GO GO" Okay I take back the compliment about your dialogue. This is bad and you should feel bad.

I beat feet to the stairs BUT THEN THIS PHRASE IS NICE I don't understand you. No way I could make it up in the elevator in time. I heard K-Roll cursing over comms as security poured into the datacenter but I was too busy sprinting up the stairs to care. I burst through the doors to the roof, only to find the fuckin' chopper was all the way on the other side.

As I ran to the chopper I heard the elevator chime, and the sound of wheels, and a foot rhythmically hitting the concrete. By the sound of it there was no way I could make it to the chopper before the scooter caught up with me.

I sighed as I drew my katana Oh cool it's Hiro Protagonist.

It's an evocative - if familiar - world, but oh my lord is this not a story. Some people get hired to do a job, you flashback to tell us everything about the set up of the job, and then finally we get back to the job and don't even get a proper ending. That's not a story, that's some crap that happened. Plus you shift between first and third person for no discernable reason and have some really horrendously cliched dialogue amidst some bits that are actually quite inspired. You've got potential, kid, you just need to wrestle it down and make it accord to some sort of structure and to be a bit more original and not do run-on sentences like this from time to time. Cut it down as much as you can, read your dialogue out loud to see if it sounds hammy, cut some more, make sure you're telling a complete story, cut cut cut.

Turtlicious posted:

Here is my lovely pandering entry.

"Hambeast: The Novella" - 931 words

Oh I get it. Like the internet!

A talentless hack What a great character name sat on a stained mattress that stank of spilled Mountain Dew and cat piss. His keyboard quietly clacked His fingers clack, not the keyboard under his massive fingers joining the din in the 10 foot square room as the loud ringing of his three fans blew Do fans ring? Also Jesus what a run-on sentence, the curtains rustling around every few seconds as fabric folded over itself. His cat sat in the corner as it's its breakfast of hotdogs spoiled Yeah that wouldn't happen.

"Well, farmgirl7," He he typed, licking his upper lip as sweat started to bead Make this two sentences thanks. "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." Okay yeah that is pretty e/n accurate He tried to take a swig of his soda, but it's empty Past tense into present tense in the space of one sentence, excellent work. He discarded the trash in an ever increasing ever-increasing pile of mountain dew cans, and empty dorito bags That should be Mountain Dew and Doritos, since they're names of products, and you did that earlier. 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 Wait why is he a hack, like, I've found nothing to back up that so far 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 Right so are you sympathetic to this guy or not? Because this passage is sorta written from his point of view, and makes him out to be an okay guy, and the first few paragraphs have been mocking this ridiculous caricature. Consistency pls. Also YAY EXPOSITION! We already know he likes doing it or else he wouldn't be doing it, and the lack of mockery is implicit in the comparison between his existence and his internet persona. Basically this paragraph is unnecessary.

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 If you can't be bothered explaining it, I can't be bothered imagining it. And you've already described enough filth without having to tell us there's more filth. We get it. He waddled down the hall, his slow plodding steps shaking the walls as he moved at an elephant like elephant-like pace, and finally found his way to the kitchen. He openned opened up his "Golden Cupboard" as he called it Well obviously he calls it that, I didn't think his cat named it, and reached for one of his yellow delights. He openned OPENED 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" Wait you said he started doing this a few weeks ago.

"... 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 Yeah that's not a thing 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 Indianapolis, and he had her e-mail so the first part was easy We know this from what happens next. Without much effort he found her facebook Facebook. Luckily the profile was set to public Unnecessary. 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 This is not a good ending. It's way too tidy and quick. Just have him hang up and then get that final line in.

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

Yeah this is...okay? The difference between ATH's online persona and his terrible home life is pretty good, and it's "heartwarming" in the way that e/n threads rarely are. There's a few things that are awkward, from the use of internet handle throughout (and the acronym) to the way that you have sympathy for the character at times when at others he's a gross stereotype that you're pointing at and laughing. This started out feeling like it was gonna be a ham-fisted hambeast parody thing and took a very different turn, and there's nothing wrong with pulling the rug out from people, but I think if you had a little more nuance and a little less caricature at the start it wouldn't put people off like it might do now. A happy ending in Thunderdome, who would've thunk it?

tenniseveryone fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2014 around 14:19

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crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Nobody should crit crabrock until he goes back to crit me and Mojo's brawl.

Sitting Here posted:

Empty quoting this

SHUT UP MOM AND DAD, I HATE YOU

Martello posted:

crabby nooooo

...and you too, weird uncle

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