Register a SA Forums Account here!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Locked thread
blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

In for the second time ever and first time in six months or so. I've checked this thread in the past and skipped out when I felt the prompt was too restricting with genre, but I really like how open this one will be. Looking forward to reading a huge mix of stories.


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

My first submission in many months:

Mr. Electroworth's Shovel Summer Earth / 1,200 words

Just minutes before I whacked my billionaire boss in the head with his own treasured gold shovel, I was thinking about my shoes. I’d scuffed them earlier in the day and I couldn’t get over it. They cost me $400. I never used to spend money like that on shoes or even give the whole affair more than two seconds thought. It’s strange how much you can change when you get some cash in your pocket.

“The real problem is the trees,” he said, waving an arm across the vista. I’d driven him to an overlook of a pristine valley where he planned to build the next great addition to the Electroworth Group Resort Properties. His bald spot shone in the sun. If I held a pair of mirrors just right I could catch my own starting to form in the same spot. I squinted in the bright day, hot, in the height of summer, the sun beating down and sweat starting to drip down the backs of my legs. It felt like little bugs crawling around on me. I held Mr. Electroworth’s famous Golden Shovel in both hands like an armed sentry. The same one he used to break ground at his first property over fifty years ago. He later had it gilded, and we’d come out to plunge it into the earth here. Mr. Electroworth didn’t like big ceremonies. There was something spiritual about the way he’d break ground. Alone, with his own hands, as if assuring himself he still had dominion over the earth.

“The trees,” he said again. “Tough to uproot, and you get so many of those nuts climbing all over them and refusing to come down. They think they can stand in the way of progress. They never learn, my boy. They’re like a weed. You think you’ve crushed them and they pop back up.”
He turned to me. Despite the heat and my own drenched armpits, I couldn’t see a drop of sweat in his thin gray hair or bushy eyebrows. He looked quite cool, actually. Not even the sun could have its way with him. “Do you know how to truly kill a weed, son?”

I rested the shovel on my shoulder. “Rip up the roots?”

“You’ll never be sure you’ve gotten them all. No. You pave over them with concrete. Now get me some water, would you?”

I spun to comply, and the golden shovel spun with me. The thin edge took Mr. Electroworth in the temple and he dropped faster than my stomach.

I’d just killed one of the richest men in the world.

Both our lives ended in that split second. Mine was just going to take a while to catch up. I stood staring at his lifeless body and the murder weapon still in my hands.

No one was around. I moved before I even considered it and seized both of his arms and began to drag him away from the clearing where I’d parked. One of his cuff links popped off into the bushes, and I wasted five precious minutes retrieving the evidence.
No body, no conviction, right? That’s what I learned from TV. I didn’t have time to be ashamed. As I pulled the body along, I remembered my first days at the office.

Welcome back banners were strewn about and everyone wore at least three different party hats. Mr. Electroworth was returning that morning from a month in Sub-Saharan Africa, scouting potential sites and hunting elephants for the cost of only $17,000 per head (double for the little ones). I’d gotten an internship there after the receipt of my PhD in 18th century Scandinavian Literature and my subsequent failure to find 21st century American employment. Many of my friends had found positions at environmental firms. At first, working for Electroworth felt like a betrayal of some essential part of myself. I’d grown up despising such companies.

When I saw the plans for a new resort at Yosemite, right at the top of Half Dome complete with elevator to the bottom, I told one of my old friends. He pointed out several reasons why the project could never get past the regulatory agencies. Relieved, I brought this to the attention of my superiors. A week later, the appropriate parties had been paid off and the project was greenlit. That hadn’t been my intention at all. But I was rewarded with a $5,000 check, and I smiled and said thank you. The money felt good.

Pretty soon, my environmental friends caught on and quit hanging out with me. By then, though, I had new friends. Richer friends. I helped establish a resort at the bottom of the Grand Canyon that reached high over the rim and could be seen from anywhere in the park. A part of me still felt it was wrong. But that part got smaller and smaller. Now I’m not sure it exists any more. Now I’d call my old friends “tree-fuckers.”

I managed to get Mr. Electroworth’s body out of sight and didn’t have time then to register the irony of using his own prized shovel to kill and bury him. The earth was rich and moved easily under the shovel blade. I couldn’t stand to see his pale face, looking accusingly at me. So I started tossing the dirt at him, and that’s what finally woke him up.

He sputtered, spit out dirt, and jerked upright, dirt cascading off him like an old jack-in-the-box from the back of the attic suddenly springing to life.

“What in the hell’s going on here?” he asked. I froze. I’d been so sure he was dead, and now I couldn’t remember why. He looked from the half-finished hole to me. “Did you...?”

I couldn’t decide whether to apologize, lie, run, or hit him again. Mr. Electroworth clambered to his feet, surprisingly spry for a man his age, and plunged his hand into his pocket. I thought at first he was going to shoot me, but instead produced a more dangerous weapon: a cell phone, no doubt to call the police.

I opened my mouth to protest and he stuck up a finger. I was so surprised that I clamped my lips back together.

“Gregory,” he snapped into the phone. “You’re fired. I want you out before I’m back.” The phone vanished into his pocket again.

He turned to me and said: “Quick on your feet. Important. Self-preservation is man’s most powerful instinct. It’s what made me the man I am. I need more of that around me. You’re replacing that limp idiot. He was always weak. Now get in the car and drive me to a drat hospital, you son of a bitch.”

I followed him toward the car, stepping into the hole along the way and nearly knocking myself out with the shovel. As the shock wore off, I smiled. I could really be one of them. I had what it takes. I saw mountains in my future. Not snowy-peaked ones; those would have to go, make way for industry. No, I saw mountains of money, all mine, and the earth waiting to be subdued.

(Question: Can I comment on people's stories? Should I wait?)

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Kaishai posted:

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven. The time for submitting stories ends in thirty minutes.

goddamn there are a lot of stories this week. The judges practically have to read a long novella

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


blue squares fucked around with this message at 05:02 on Nov 10, 2014

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Does someone usually post a new prompt despite the lengthy review time? I need to get my hour minimum in tomorrow and if there's no prompt I'll have to work on my novel and for some reason that is terrifying.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Tyrannosaurus posted:

Word count: 200. Topic: that time they caught you slipping.


I thought I'd done everything right. I'd peed all over my own shirt and I'd smuggled in a thick rod of wood in my rear end in a top hat. But when I thought back to Shanghai Noon and tried to copy Jackie Chan's jail-cell bar-bending technique, I only made it wide enough to slip halfway through. Then they caught me.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Chairchucker posted:

Thunderdome Week CXIV: Oh! Calamity!

I got a compliment already for my story!
So In for this one.


Word count: 789, because why not.


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Chairchucker posted:

Prompt updated with correct number (thanks Kai) and flash rules and such including one for blue squares for being so impolite.

1. This is unfair and I'm going to cry.
2. What am I even supposed to do with that video
1b. That was more an explicative like when stubbing one's toe than a name-calling. Just for the Official Thunderdome Record.


Chairchucker posted:


I will post a song. You will listen to the song. The song will in some vague way relate to your story.

Hey hey I'm new. Calm down motherfucker

blue squares fucked around with this message at 06:35 on Nov 11, 2014

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Benny the Snake posted:

I'm not feeling this prompt, so I'm offering one free crit. First come, first serve.

That'd be awesome thank you!

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

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

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

First two crits done. Man, that took a lot longer than I thought it would. Sledge and JABC, wouldn't mind a quick look at my own (you don't need to be as detailed)

Your Sledgehammer posted:

En Garde

[...] happened.
Stop ending your paragraphs with "it." Give the reader some hint. "It happening" isn't exciting, because it could be literally anything. At the very least, you could do something like "something happened that changed her life forever," which is still vague and not very good, but it at least conveys the importance of "it" and the direction that "it" is going in.

Hairs stood up on her neck and arms, and a shimmering warmth spread its fingers from her chest across every inch of her skin. A metallic smell tinged the air around her and a buzzing whine grew louder and louder in each ear until the sound merged with her vision and everything went black.The everything going black and opening eyes in the next sentence doesn't make sense.
Terrified, Sharon opened her eyes.

A bolt of pure white light crashed across her field of vision, threatening to strike her, only to be met by another line of white. The blades danced and whirled, parry after furious parry, and she was surprised to see that her hand – a man’s hand, no less – was in control of one of the blades. The tip of her blade skittered across her opponent’s white jacket, giving rise to an insistent beeping that merged into her vision and slowly dissolved the scene in front of her eyes.
I have no idea. I don't know how much time elapsed between you writing this and submitting it, but this is clear that you did not read it with the eye of the first time reader. It is difficult, but vital, to develop the skill of reading your own work as if it were someone else's. To the first time reader, this paragraph makes no sense. You need to give just enough details so that each individual sentence makes sense. I figure you want the reader to be confused, but that requires the reader to trust you. Here, your ethos isn't strong enough.
She stole a quick glance at the picture of him that her mother had made the centerpiece of a wall near the entryway as she made her way to the warm embrace of the TV.
I've noticed a few of these types of sentences. There are one too many ideas packed in. I am a lover of the long sentence; my favorite writers are Pyncon and Wallace. But it takes excellent control to do so. Here, you have two problems:
1) Subject-pronoun agreement. The "she" in "she made her way" refers to Sharon, but the last character mentioned is Rhonda. Grammatically, the "she" points to Rhonda.
2) "As she made her way" is seperated by an entirely different character and action, and as such, should be it's own sentence or moved to the beginning.
Recommended Fix: "As she made her way to the warm embrace(cliche) of the TV, she stole a glance(cliche) at the picture of her father that her mother had centered over the entryway."
Still long, but better.

Sharon could count daring bank heists and gun battles from the second World War as among her firsthand experiences. Don't get how this fits When Rhonda had gotten sick and required Sharon’s care, the first thing Sharon had bought upon returning to her oceanside childhood home had been a metal detector.Suddenly she is an adult? BAD transition. Create a sense of time and place.

[...] her breath came out in a painful whistle.Not realistic

One more spadeful of sand and there it Again, stop using expletives. An expletive is a pronoun (e.g., "it") that points ahead to a subject not yet named[...]

[...] Sharon was in a men’s locker room.Boring. I know there is a length constraint, but this is that classic "show/tell" distinction. "Telling" is "Sharon is in ____." Showing would be using details that let the reader realize for herself that Sharon is in a locker room.


She stepped closer to Jack, and a woman’s handdisembodied hand. Describe the woman reaching, not just "a hand" with a sparkling diamond ring on it reached up to grab him by the shoulder. Jack turned and his smile widened just a touch too littleToo little for what? Don't understand. Esp. with next sentence. How do you smile too wide at your wife after winning whatever he won? “I did it, babe!” Jack slurred as the woman hugged him. “The trip to the Games can be part of our honeymoon!” The voice reverberated in Sharon’s ears – the voice of her mother, softened by youth.

Jack’s smile melted away. He lead Rhonda away from the group as the fencers razzed him about needing some private time with his woman. When the two of them were finally alone,If they're alone, how is Sharon seeing this? Jack sighed. “You know, I never really saw this opportunity coming, especially when we were in college, and…” Jack grew quiet. “What is it, honey?” Rhonda prompted, her voice awash in worry. Need a paragraph break here. Seems like Rhonda is talking“I guess what I’m saying is that things have changed, and tonight just settles it for me.”

The scene melted away and was replaced by a familiar beach at night, blurred through tears. A hand hurled the ring skyward, and Sharon watched as it arced into a boiling ocean.[/i]

Sharon blinked, and it was morning again on the beach. She felt the blood slowly drain out of her face as she tried to remember to breathe. She took the ring off, and as the first bitter tears fell, she flung it out to sea, where she hoped it would stay.
The story just ended. There's no hint to what Jack is really saying, or why Sharon gets upset and throws the ring away.

J.A.B.C. posted:

A New Spring

“Come in, Williams,” the Captain’s voice sparked to life in my helmet Maybe picky, but "sparked to life in my helmet," isn't really a speech verb. Fix: The captain's voice sparked to life in my helmet. "Come in, Williams," he said.. “What’s your situation?”

I closed my eyes as the module shook free of the Zephyr, sending me plummeting down through the void.Whoa. What? Need more details. What void? What is a Zephyr or a module? The straps of my seat pulled tight against the bulky suit, keeping me pinned snugly against the side, my hair floating around my helmet as we cut free from the ship’s gravitational field.

[...]Pretty decent dialogue[...]
a chirp ending the banterUnnecessary and vague detail

Stay calm. Easy to say when you’re not riding in a patchwork entry vehicle designed to drop buildings onto a completely unknown planet.
For all intents and purposes, I shouldn’t have been on this shuttle. Looking at the shining bolts and fresh sealant around the seat’s moorings just pushed it back"Just pushed it back" isn't a great way to say "reminded." I had to re-read this sentence to know what you meant. Focus on clarity. into my mind that I shouldn’t have been here. Being surrounded by houses folded in on themselves, white, solid blocks with feet, hanging above me, beside me, around me, all reminded me that I was unwelcome.Why shouldn't he have been here?

It was a foolish move, pretty much suicidal. But it was all we had.This is great. I want to know why your character has to make a nearly suicidal move out of desperation. Unfortunately, the above is unclear, so I don't know exactly what that move it, but I like the idea that it is a last-ditch sort of thing, and that's a good way to say it.


“The shuttle can’t make it,”why is there a paragraph break here? Not only ungrammatical, but confusing

Marsh Daniels, the toweringand tanned Martian who served as our head engineer, stood before a round table with every eye of the Preparation Crew now fixatedfixed on him. We could see the sagging in his face, the sweat on his brow, telling of the sleepless nights he had spent down in the hangar, going over the damage.This is good description, but it does walk the line between the old show and tell. Show and tell is the oldest advice in the business. It's the easiest to spot in other people's writing and the hardest to see in your own (probably because you can envision the scene as it is intended). Here, I'd remove the "telling of the..." and instead let Marsh use dialogue to convey his long nights. That would also let you give him some characterization. If he tends toward grumpiness, he could bitch about the fact that he has been working such long hours.

He coughed, pushing back the silence, and started again. “The impacts tore through everything in the hangar. We’ve been able to patch up the habitation module and the agricultural module, but our planet-bound shuttle took too many hits to its cockpit. The outboard cameras and terrain scanners are also shot, so we can’t fix it by plating down the windows, either.”

Whispers began to run around the table. Who else is there? The "Preparation Crew" but that means nothing to the reader Worries, concerns, doubts, fears, filling the room like a cloud.

The Captain slapped the table, and it unclear what "it" refers to at first. Another subject-pronoun disagreement (referring to the above crit). Here, "it" grammatically points to the table when you really mean the whispers. But that was two sentences ago. So, you need to write: "The whispers stopped it stopped. We Story goes from "I" to "We." I assume "We" is the preparation crew, but I still don't know what that means stared at his grey-streaked mop of hair, unkempt from days of neglect. We saw the bags under his piercing blues. We saw the way his shoulders slumped.

“You said that the habitat module is still mission ready?”

A silent nod.

“Then we have a one-seat ride down to the planet,” He said. “The atmosphere is chemically breathable, but we can’t detect local flora or fauna without a closer look. And if we put the entire ship down, she won’t be able to make it back up.”

I raised my hand.


“I’m going to spare everyone the drama and just nominate myself now, sir.”

His eyebrow perked up. “Interesting. Reasoning?”

“My comms gear was smashed by the impacts, as well. And since what was left went into repairing the jump gate drones and sending out our SOS beacon, that leaves me with no function that can’t be managed by another crew member.”Sounds like he is a robot here IMO. He speaks like comms gear is some irreplaceable thing, and the whole statement sounds coldly, robotically logical/

A few whispers here and there. The Captain nodded.

“Engineering, get the man a seat.”I like your captain's dialogue throughout. Though "The Captain" doesn't need capitalization. "Captain Phillips" would, but "the captain (of the vessel) doesn't


“Then we'll see you on the ground,” (lower case)he said,[...]

“Firing initial jets,” The voice said, What voice?

“Firing secondary jets,” the static relenting enough to hear, letting me brace for the sudden shock of the shuttle's re-fitted jets pushing me against my suit, my stomach turning end-over-end.[Too much going on in this sentence. Too many gerunds. The beginning could use a speech-verb, or :"'Firing secondary jets.' The static relented enough for me to hear..."

Only a little more. We were so close.



The Captain’s voice sparked to life in my helmetRepeating the exact same line as the intro. Don't like it.

“The winter is gone, sir,”

“Then we'll see you in the springtime,” He said back, the radio going quiet.
If winter is gone, isn't it springtime now? Not sure how if that's just banter or what
I left the helmet there, taking a seat at the end of the habitat ramp, and looked up into a unknown sky as the world, and our species, awoke to a new spring.
The whole thing has potential but is just too vague to make any real sense. I get the feeling that your characters are on some last ditch effort, but I don't know why. When they find a habitable world at the end, there isn't a strong enough reaction.

This is a story where the whole is less than the parts. You do have a few good moments here, but ultimately there are too many key details missing to bring the piece together. A firs time reader isn't going to be able to connect, because she doesn't know what is at stake for the characters, or how they really feel when it seems they have accomplished their mission.

Also, grammar note: way too many sentences that follow this pattern: I went to the store, vegetables lining the walls all around. The present-participle, "vegetables lining," doesn't fit the start of the sentence, "I went." They should be written like this: I went to the store. Vegetables lined the walls all around. I'm drinking wine and might be using present-participle incorrectly, so if you don't understand, ask.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

ceaselessfuture posted:


Good intro. Not sure what a wave projection machine is but I'll let it slide

The other students grumbled, but Bryce knew what the old man was like. HeSubject-pronoun confusion. He could refer to Bryce or the "old man." Be clear had taken Physics 11I think you mean II[/b] and failed, threatening his entry into the nearby community collegePretty hard to not get into a CC. He was never good at thinking too hard and sometimes his mind failed him; words and thoughts often blended together. The last time it happened was when Bryce's parents told him and his sister why they were separating, so he knew it got worse with stress. Luckily though, the college’s September semester was far enough away that he could still enroll if he passed this class now. Bryce had studied the material, more than anything he previously had in high school, but he was less than certain in himself.
This whole paragraph gets your point across, but is kind of clunky and fuzzy. Could be more concrete.

As Kolowski doled out the tests, each of the students in the class prepared for them like a prison sentence. Bryce had wriggled off his extra clothes and draped his hoodie over the back of his chair, but even in his thin T-shirt and board shorts he still sweat. He had even taken off his hat, resting it on the end of the white table he and Amy sat at. Too many "had"s. Try switching the verbs to the same tense as the rest of the sentence---he takes off his hoodie and hat but keeps sweating Amy had already bundled up her light coat next to him and set it down to her left, leaving a clear view between them.


Then, in the corner of his vision, Bryce noticed Amy's blonde hair swaying constantly. He glanced over, seeing her blue eyes staring directly down at his page.


He felt her rustle. She nudged his arm with hers then wrote PLEASE faintly on the table and underlined it. Bryce glanced back at her, seeing her wet eyes. Her page had nothing on it and she shivered visibly even in the cloying heat of the room. Although he had only known her for a few months, he never imagined seeing her like this. She needed him, Bryce was certain now. This is pretty good and I can picture the scene. A few more concrete, unique and standout details would strengthen this paragraph, especially since it seems to be where the story really begins


Bryce figured he had no choice. He leaned over and glanced at Amy's page. The girl had already started writing down her responses, quickly filling out the answers. He thought that they must have been similar, in a way — affected by stress, because right now she looked focused. Each line of hers he read focused his mind back into place. He finished with her help, but regretted that he needed it.
Okay, now I'm confused. That was a very random-feeling back and forth. I assume something else is going on, because the Amy doesn't make sense as a character right now.


Bryce and Amy shared a glance then followed the oldthink of some new adjectives here. You've already used "old." teacher out into the hall. The harsh fluorescent light made them blink[/b]cut this. It's school. All the lights are the same. Plus, they'd be used to them. Just stands out to me[/b]

Kolowski brought out their tests, one in each hand. "These are identical," he said. "I'm not going to bother asking what happened. Neither of you are passing this test."

"What?" Bryce said.

"No, wait, please Mr. Kolowski, I don't know what happened!" Amy said, tears returning.

"Sure you do," the man said, walking back towards the class.

Without thinking, Bryce reached out and grabbed his arm. "Wait, Mr. Kolowski, it was me, I did it."

The teacher spun around and stared at the boy. Amy stared too.

"I did it, she didn't have anything to do with it."

"Amy," Kolowski said, gesturing back to class. "Back inside."

Amy nodded and mouthed a "thank you" behind the teacher's back. Bryce decided she looked a bit like his sister.

"Guess I'll see you next semester, Bryce." Kolowski said as he ripped up Bryce's test.

Bryce didn't understand why, but he felt fine. "Yeah, I guess so."

This was a really disappointing read, because at ties it showed real promise, but nothing happened. You have an interesting situation: The star-pupil breaks down out of nowhere and needs help. Then she is fine. Bryce takes the blame and Amy just lets him? Why does he do it? I don't know what else to say other than that it felt like you wrote this in one go without thinking of the characters at all, finished it, and never looked at it again. Do you understand your characters' motivations? Because I sure as hell don't.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Thanks Benny!

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

What, Cache Cab wasn't just joking? He's being fully serious right now?

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Broenheim posted:

Your first sentence is a run-on sentence

Maybe he is trying to goad people into giving him detailed crits. Because I found a comma that shouldn't be there. But I'm not telling him which one.



"Get up, you stupid child," I communicated to him with my voice

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Your Sledgehammer posted:

Crit for blue squares

You've got an interesting piece here that is full of some solid characterization and good prose. The two biggest points that hurt it story-wise are the secondary characters in the story, the protag's friends and Gregory. They could definitely use some fleshing out, which would have been hard to do while staying within the word count at the same time.

I'd say just eliminate the protag's friends. You are using them as a proxy for the protag's own beliefs, and it doesn't really work. The friends don't stand on their own, and you are obscuring what the main character believes. You don't spend enough time telling me about his actual beliefs, or giving me some reason why the main character has them. It feels sort of tacked on, which in turn has a negative impact on the ending.

Mr. Electroworth comes close to saving the ending. I was genuinely surprised when he woke up and I love his reaction. Gregory, though, comes out of nowhere. I see what you are getting at (Gregory is some sort of executive assistant or something, yes?) but I have to do too much thinking to get there and his appearance/firing is jarring and has no real impact other than to make way for the protagonist, which ends up feeling sort of forced itself, for a couple of reasons. For one, I don't have any real sense why the main character used to have pro-environment beliefs, as I said above (although you make it abundantly clear why he abandons them). Secondly, I really would have liked a moment where he reflects on his past beliefs before making the full 180. By having him immediately be on board with the promotion, you rob the ending of potential drama. You've got something really interesting here (Mr. Electroworth in particular is spot-on), and it was enjoyable and easy to read, but it needs a little polishing.

Dude, thank you. Really awesome comments. You made me proud and gave me things I need to think about (like throwing in sudden details that I understand but a fresh reader might).

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Which book should I start with?

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

J.A.B.C. posted:

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

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

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

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

J.A.B.C. posted:

Woop woop!

blue squares - Mr. Electroworth's Shovel

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

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

crabrock posted:

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

it didn't work.

this happened to me except with pants

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Sitting Here posted:

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

I care.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

musical flash rule:
relevant lyrics:
Ocean bursts its banks and all the waters goin my way
Even though you're poison babe I wouldn't even hesitate
This lie inside your head inside your little heart now
Lightin up the fire and the citys painted blood red

Too Late 752 words
Jill saw in the hotel window the aching reflection of Mark’s face, half aglow in the yellow lamplight. The half he always self-consciously joked was his bad side. Beyond his reflection, high-rise condos across the street burned. It looked as if he were on fire himself. She began to smell the stink of the blaze above their own heads.

“We have to try.” Jill’s breath fogged the window. Mark’s second face disappeared into the cloud of her breath like a ghost.

“It’s too late,” Mark whispered into her ear in a shuddering voice. His hot breath like fire. “I’m sorry. I could have gotten us out sooner. But I didn’t. I’m so sorry.”

Jill turned and kissed him. Their tears ran together. “Let’s go down. I don’t know. We could swim out. Come on. Don’t give up.”

“The water’s freezing. And too fast. And full of jagged metal, cars, who knows what. Where would we go? Everything’s on fire or drowned. Everything. Just look at it.”

“There could be rescue,” Jill’s pitch getting higher.

“They left a long time ago.” He held out a shaking hand. Two glittering yellow capsules. The power went out and the lamp with it. The hotel room glowed orange from the light of the fires outside. It looked to Jill like the light of a hundred candles. Like the day Mark proposed to her in this very room years ago.

“I don’t want to see you in any pain,” Mark said. “We can go to sleep together. I’m sorry.”

Jill considered the pills. The easy way out. “I’m scared. I can’t do it.”

She put her arms around his neck as if to dance but wept into his chest. Mark held her tight.

“I’m scared, too. I wish there was something I could do. I let you down.”

“No you didn’t,” Jill’s words muffled and insincere.

The floor shook. If the fire didn’t reach them first, the flood below would bring the hotel down. They’d already seen fiery towers in the distance slip away into the water like torpedoed ships.

“Don’t make me do it alone, Jill. I’m not going to drown or burn. I can’t go out like that. I can’t think of you going out like that. Please.”

Jill pushed away from him and wiped tears from her face, though more followed. “Stop it! I don’t want to go out any way! I want to live. Please help me live. I need you to tell me what to do, Mark. I’m so scared. Help me.” She paused. “Don’t make me die.”

Mark pulled her back against him. “Jill, I love you. This is the only way I know how to help you. We’ll be together again.”

“Do you really believe that?”
“I do.”

“Okay,” after a long time. “Okay. I’ll do it.”

She opened her mouth and let Mark put the pill there as if he were a pediatrician and she a little girl. He guided a glass of water to her lips. The water rushed down her throat with the pills.

Jill collapsed to her knees and sobbed. She pulled down Mark with her. The rest of the water spilled and his pill bounced away on the carpet.
“I’m dead,” Jill wailed. “I’m dead and I just killed myself. Oh my god.” She lay on her side curled in a ball.

“I’m coming, honey!” Mark shouted as he scrambled around, feeling in the dim light for the lost pill. “It’s okay! Wait for me. I’m here! We’re still together!”

The door splintered open at the end of a bright red battering ram. Ringing alarms blared through the opening. Firefighters with red helmets and axes clambered over the pieces of the door.

“Sir! Ma’am!” their heavy shouts came. “We’re here to get you out. We have to go now.” The emergency lights in the hall shone in and turned the room red.

Mark and Jill froze. “Oh!” Jill exclaimed. “No! I didn’t want to. Oh god. Help me.” She tried to push her fingers into her throat to vomit, but already her limbs were too weak. She flopped onto her back and began to shake.

“You killed me,” she managed to say.

“Jill! No, please, please don’t go. I’m sorry!”

“I didn’t want to do it,” she whispered and was gone.

“We have to go now, sir!” The firefighters grabbed Mark and pulled him to the door.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” he called to her endlessly as he was taken to safety, alone.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Submissions close in 5 minutes, eh? I've got about 12 crits ready to post as soon as I'm allowed to.

edit: hot drat I bought platinum! Someone send me my first ever PM please!! Been on this site since 2005.

blue squares fucked around with this message at 05:55 on Nov 17, 2014

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Schneider Heim posted:

Bystander Effect
775 words

Too late, homie! But I'll still read your story. :)

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Hi, I'm obnoxious.

Cacto posted:

The perfect life (721 words) (Drive You Home by Garbage)

Love your first line. Hilarious. Unfortunately the rest of your story didn't have the same tone. It also didn't have a plot. I kept waiting for some kind of twist that would reveal a dark reality, but it seems like there wasn't one. Getting "fired" really does seem to be a good thing. So what's the problem?

Entenzahn posted:

765 words

Your opening line would be much stronger if you put a period instead of the comma. The brevity of it would emphasis the strangeness of clams falling from the sky.
As for everything else, I really liked it. One of my favorite stories I've read in the Thunderdome, though I've only read about ten, so I don't know how much that counts. Still, I had a grin on my face almost the whole time.
I didnt understand the stuff in italics. Needed a few more clues as to what that was about.
Good job!

I read your story and decided it need more than a summary of my thougts

Jitzu_the_Monk posted:

788 Words

ItDon't start a sentence, especially with the opening, with "it." "it" is a pronoun and there is nothing yet for "it" to refer to. wasn’t enough that priests were burning alive. Police deployed LRADs to deafen them. Other protestors rushed to extinguish the incendiaries, but the sound cannons had made coordination impossible.

“Needless,” said Min, watching from her condo This is your first of far too many present participle phrases. I'll mark the rest in bold.. Even twenty floors up, she caught a slight aroma of tear gas. She tasted its sourness,no comma is needed here because the second part of the sentence is a dependent clause (there is no subject, just a verb, so it can't stand alone as its own sentence) but lit a cigarette anyway.

An agnostic,Not a good way to start a sentence. Try to start sentences with subjects and verbs. Min had too many hads mocked the religious protestors as “extremist.” That included her sister, Shuang. “What’s so tyrannical about national licensure for clergy members?” Min had chided. Shuang hadn’t spoken to her since.

She took a long drag, picturing Shuang leading a band of protestors to their doom. “She should’ve listened to me. If the clergy had followed the law, there wouldn’t be violence." Who is she speaking to? This seems more like a thought

Min reached for her cellphone and this is better. Instead of a comma and an ing verb, use and. dialed Shuang. No answer. “Maybe she’s not out there tonight. She might be working late at the divinity school.”Again, thoughts? Is she talking aloud? Min felt a pit in her stomach.

Biting her lip, Min walked to her desktop. She checked the traffic on her image board. Visitors down. Ad revenue down. Picking up a pen, she began to scrawlscrawled ideas onto an index card: Ssocial media blitz; Ssite redesign; Ppartnership with other sites.

Min thought to call Gerald for advice. Though they’d just recently begun dating, Min considered her police academy boyfriend to be among the most practical people she knew. But when Min looked at her phone, she saw the “No Service” display. Looking up, she also noticed her modem lights had gone out.

Just then, Min heard a knock. She rose from her desk and proceeded to the door. Looking out the peephole, Min gasped. It was Shuang, forming her hands into the shape of a heart.

They embraced as soon as Min swung open the door.

“Since our last fight, I wasn’t sure you’d ever want to see me again. How’d you get in?" a dialogue tag would be good here

“One of your neighbors swiped into the building and held the door for me,” Shuang responded. “Have you heard the radio? Do you know about the kill switch?”

Min raised an eyebrow. “The kill switch?”

“Yeah,” said ShuangShuang said, “the government just shut down all internet and satellite communications. They’re trying to prevent protest coordination.”

“For how long? I’ve got a business to run!”

Shuang frowned. “There are protests going on and you’re worried about your finances?”

“These protests are ridiculous.”

Shuang took her sister’s hand. “I still want your support. Meet me in the square tomorrow at ten.”

“If you think I’m going out there, you’re crazy!”

“The daytime assemblies have been peaceful. We need to assert our rights, demand that they restore communications. The sooner they back down, the sooner you’ll have your business up and running again. Just think about it.”


The next day, Min wandered the square. As she looked for Shuang, she passed countless nuns, rabbis, and imams. She was moving through the crowd when she spotted a white van parked in an alley. Its backdoors slid open and a bald man in a monk’s robe stepped out.

“Gerald!” Min called. Who's Gerald? How does Min know him?

The man’s Gerald'seyebrows raised. He marched over. “Shhh,” said Geraldhe said. “What are you doing here?”

“Well, I don’t care about the religious stuff, but I do want to protest the internet shutdown Bad dialogue. Why are you here? And what’s with the monk’s outfit?”

“You need to leave. Now.”

“Tell me what’s going on!”

“Shh! You’ll blow my cover. Just get out before things get bad.” Gerald turned and dissolved into the crowd.

Min hurried to the front of the march, looking for Shuang. At the front lines, protestors formed a wall facing the police. Given the violence of the previous night, Min wasn’t surprised that the cops were in riot gear. But she was surprised that atop their tanks, they were pointing rifles at the as-of-yet peaceful crowd.

“This is an illegal assembly,” an officer said through a megaphone. “You must peacefully disperse. Return to your homes.”

Min scanned the crowd. At last, she spotted Shuang. Min advanced, but on the way something caught her eye. It was Gerald, standing close to Shuang. He bent down, picked up a rock and threw it toward the police. It clanged against the side of a tank. Then other men dressed in similar robes hurled rocks of their own. None of them came close to hitting an officer.

“My God!” gasped MinMin gasped. “They’re giving the cops a pretext to—”

Bang. Shots rang out while white vans encircled the fleeing protestors. Min pushed toward Shuang.

“Min! You came!”

Min rushed forward but was yanked back by her hair. Two men grabbed Shuang and began to drag her away. The last thing Min saw before the white doors closed was Shuang, forming a heart with her hands.
I didn't buy Min going to the protest. Less details earlier and more convincing from Shuang would have made it a lot more realistic.

Beef Steakwell posted:

The Morning After
Word Count 727

had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had
That's just the start of the grammar problems. Google "comma splices" and quit using words like "interjected."
Also your story makes no sense. Who is this kid? You never tell the reader what the deal is.

Tyrannosaurus posted:

789 words + 44 from Week 100
Wow. Great story. I'd cut the first line, though. You use "it" without a clear subject, and the next sentence says the same thing in a better way. Excellent characterization, dialogue, description, etc. Really nice job. I rolled my eyes when it got to the whole RPG thing, but you made it work. Loved the ending, too, though I think it ended one sentence too early, like it needed something to wrap it up with a bow on top. Still, you got me grinning. If you don't get an HM at least I'll be shocked.
You did play very loose with the calamity thing, though. The calamity is that he rolled a 1? Pretty weak, if you ask me. It feels like a story you wrote before this week and just put it in anyway.

Clandestine! posted:

had had had she'd had had She'd had she'd had he'd had She'd had had ha had
Jesus, three stories out of the last four begin with "It." Stop doing that, people! And especially don't write the same sentence twice in a row.
"“Where is he?” to his mother" Who is the "he" in "his"? You tell the reader later, but it's confusing here.
"The driver was sitting on the hood" Try to avoid stuff like this. "Was" should be used as sparingly as possible. "The driver sat on the hood" is just as clear and is more tightly written.
"cartoonishly evil" I don't like this.

You didn't explain why she was marrying him in the first place. She seems to dislike him a lot and doesn't seem surprised at all by his betrayal. I would have preferred more emotion from Iris.
The ending twist was too abrubt and not clearly presented. This needed a read-through from a fresh perspective and more concrete details to let the reader envision what was happening. But that is a minor complaint compared to the lack of emotion in the story.
You forgot to write a story. In the beginning, a spaceship has crashed into a bar. Then you spend 700 words giving exposition. At the end, nothing has changed. Boring.

Fumblemouse posted:


Willful Indescretion

I really like your concept. I just wish you had done something with it. You have excellent little bits, but what you don't have is a story. I was really hoping that there would be some clues to a murder, or something like that. As it is, it's a little art piece and not a story at all. It also doesn't much fit the prompt, in my opinion. Good actual writing, though, for what it's worth, but not the right choice made for the Thunderdome.

Sitting Here posted:

Uneasy Lies the Head That Wears a Party Hat
787 words

I was actually really excited to read this story, Sitting Here. I've never read a word of fiction by you, despite knowing who you are from this thread and the fiction discussion thread for over a year. So, it was no surpise when you wrote a story that was, on a technical level, written excellently. Still, it didn't draw me in, but I'll chalk that up to purely preferential reasons, because I can't find anything articulatable wrong with your story. My only complaint is that you didn't quite get me to care about what was happening. Not enough emotion in the characters. If this is truly a calamity for Riley (her losing her pass), I didn't feel it. Almost all of the description of the loss is done by other characterers. It's Riley who's lost the pass, but the events are presented from other characters' POVs and dialogue. A rewrite with a stronger focus on Riley's POV would have brought the emotional impact that a story like this needs to truly be successful.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

in two minds about everything

Huh. Not sure what to say about this. I read it and I was entertained, but I was confused by the ending. You did a great job setting up the situation without talk-to-the-reader-exposition, but you lost me along the way. I had a hard time keeping track of Jan and Ander, and who was real and who wasn't.

Your Sledgehammer posted:

Whenever This World is Cruel to Me
713 words

Decent idea, abysmal execution. I'm sorry, but this was awful and the ending just a little creepy. The biggest problem is that the main character figures everything out way too quickly. Just a few lines of dialogue with Terry/Terri and Jake knows what is going on. He has very little reaction, and he gets over it quickly. Then the end, with the sudden attraction Jake feels toward Terri, reeks of some kind of fan-fiction/wish fulfillment.

ceaselessfuture posted:

Under the Ice
780 Words
"So it fell on him and no one knew what to do." Standing alone, this sentence means absolutely nothing. Again, we have a Thunderdome story starting with "it" were the subject that "it" refers to has not been identified. "it" could be the moon or it could the pungent uterus of a sperm whale that washed ashore and exploded. Use concrete nouns and verbs before you use pronouns.
"the largest she'd" There you go again, pronouns before the subject. Stop it.
"you fat gently caress!"" Whoa. That really came out of nowhere.

Uh... did you forget to write an ending? The POV has issues; you start in a more omniscient POV and then finish closer on Dory. And then it just seems to finish, as if you ran out of words. You need at least another paragraph to truly explain why Dory might not call for help.

blue squares fucked around with this message at 13:29 on Nov 17, 2014

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Also, Gau, sure. I thought your story this week was downright awful, but didn't think putting that in my crit post would do much good. I can take some time out of my week to end your streak.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Anathema Device posted:


I will also do three in-depth crits for stories this week, just link your story.

Would love mine done. I wasn't happy with it for reasons I can't articulate to myself.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Broenheim posted:

The "Hey, I Should Probably Write A Story An Hour Before It's Due" Brawl Entry vs. Cache Cab (Seriously Cache Cab if you submit, you will probably win)

Words: 1148

The worst story to ever win a brawl

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Broenheim posted:

Next week I'm actually going to have time to write, so I'll have enough time to whoop your rear end kid.

Brawl me, for realz.

(Also, I'd rather have some of my brawl wins not be wins by default).

I was just kidding. Maybe I'll take you on sometime. I got assigned a goddamn 2500 word horror story for my current brawl.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Prompt: Some people can't see a priest on a mountain of sugar (can't see the obvious)
The Producer's Wife
Word Count: 1499

Like a hermit crab sensing danger, George’s hardon disappeared. Next to him, Michelle clutched her fuzzy red pillow as if it were the adequate lover George kept trying to be. She lay facing away and a silence filled the room like the opposite of laughing gas. George wondered why he still bothered to try, or what had gone so wrong. Even today, they’d had a blast hiking up to the Hollywood sign and watching the day’s high-speed police chase from above. When the suspect’s car exploded, they clapped together and took a picture with the smoke in the background. It had been a perfect Valentine’s Day. But later, in the bedroom, Michelle shied away from his touch again, as she had for a long time. He didn’t know what was the problem was.

Michelle’s hand reached out into the space near his crotch. He became excited again for a moment. Her hand closed on the hard rod she sought and she used it to turn on the television, not him. George closed his eyes and resigned himself to imagining what it might be like to sink into quicksand. Somewhat soothing, he suspected. He ignored the noise from the television as Michelle flipped through the channels.
Later, Michelle nudged him on the shoulder. George opened one eye then quickly closed it.

“Honey, I don’t want to watch this. I’m there all day.” As a producer on Sesame Street, George preferred to think as little as possible about the Street’s residents when off the clock.

“But it’s so good,” she said in a breathless whisper. George looked at her. Her cheeks were flushed and she sat up with her legs crossed. “Do you realize I’ve never seen the show that you work on? At least not since I was a little girl. I really like it!”

“You do?”

“Yes!” Michelle cried, then put her hands over her mouth, her eyes wide, as if she’d just cursed in church. She burst into laughter and flopped onto her back, bouncing in the bed and pushing herself up against George. “It’s great.”

George was puzzled by her strong reaction, but he wasn’t going to complain. This was the most animated he’d seen her in the bedroom for some time. She lay her head on his chest, one leg flung over his, watching the show.

“My sexy producer,” she said, causing an immediate reaction below his waist. She trailed a finger in descending circles on his stomach as The Count counted. Her hand slipped into his boxers. Her head soon followed, to George’s amazement. Had he known that his job would be such a turn on for her, he would have used it long ago.

At the time, George thought nothing of it when she insisted on facing the television while he took her from behind, relieved as he was just to be getting anything. Elmo laughed on the screen and Michelle increased the pace. She grabbed her fuzzy pillow and thrust it between her legs as they climaxed together.


George awoke feeling like he could write the sequel to the Kama Sutra. He’d never had such good sex. Unfortunately, Michelle’s mood hadn’t lasted. When he woke her up by kissing her neck, she squirmed from bed like she’d just had a regrettable one-night-stand.

“I have too much work to do,” she said.

“What work? You don’t work.”

“I work. Don’t say I don’t do work. Do you like having a clean house? Food in the pantry?”

“I’m sorry,” he said. “You know, you don’t have to do those things. We can hire a maid, a chef. I’m a producer, after all.”

“I have to get in the shower.” George heard the shower squeak on, and she stayed in there until steam began to come out from under the door. George wanted to capitalize on his realization that Michelle had some sort of power fetish regarding his job, but he didn’t know how. The next Sesame Street episode wasn’t due to air until Monday morning, by which time he’d be in the office.

So, when he she came out of the shower, he said: “Clear your schedule for tomorrow.”

“I have my cooking class. I can’t miss that.”

“Just this once. I have a surprise for you. You’re really going to like it.”

“What kind of surprise?”

“Trust me.”

The next day, he brought her along to the studio. As soon as Michelle realized where they were headed, she grew giddy. George could feel her excitement and arousal.

“This is so cool,” she said as they drove through the gate. Her eagerness was contagious, and George couldn’t stop grinning, even though he thought he probably looked like an idiot. Her words from the other day (”my sexy producer”) rang through his head.

The minute they stepped inside, they were greeted by the young receptionist. George almost fired him on the spot, just to show off for Michelle, but restrained himself and settled for a scolding of the boy’s tie length. The receptionist stammered apologies. George looked at Michelle, but she wasn’t even watching. Her eyes were drawn the photos on the wall of famous guest stars posing with the Muppets.

George pointed to Brad Pitt. “I got him to agree to be on the show.”

“Mhmm,” Michelle murmured, not listening.

George cleared his throat then took her arm and led her into the studio halls. They passed offices and visited sets. Michelle’s head whipped left and right to take it all in. When they passed a rack of Muppets ready for shooting, Michelle pressed herself against George as if he were a sponge that could soak her up. She brushed their fuzzy faces and tittered, burying her face into his chest to surpress her girlish giggles. George couldn’t wait any longer. He routed her toward an unused dressing room popular for just what he had in mind. He opened the door and ushered her inside, but a frazzled PA appeared and seized his arm.

“Mr. Houghleton, Daisy Connor’s having a meltdown. They sent me to get you right away.” The PA received some command in her headset and bounded away again.

George theatrically sighed. “Actors,” he said, though was secretly glad to be given another chance to show off his importance. He knew that it would turn Michelle on even more. “The show would fall apart without me. You wait right here.”

“But I’m so horny,” Michelle whispered in his ear, her hand resting on his belt. “This place gets me going. I don’t know what it is.”

“Oh, I know what it is.”

“I want you right now.”

“Duty calls. You just think about me while I’m saving the day.” He grabbed her rear end as she scurried away into the dressing room, the kind of public gesture Michelle forbade years ago.

George left to deal with the collapsing-guest-star of the day, walking with the awkward gait of a man with a hardon that won’t quit. He was amazed by the turn things had taken, by the unbelievable arousal his job incited in his wife. He felt twenty years old again.


The static shock George felt when he touched the dressing room door knob nearly made him come, his anticipation so great. The shock he received when the door opened nearly stopped his heart.

Michelle sat naked on the couch, surrounded by the characters George had been supervising for years: held by masturbating puppeteers, Bert and Ernie shared her tits, Cookie Monster munched on a new dessert between her legs, Bird Bird’s orange feet stuck out from whatever was happening underneath her, and Elmo was getting his crotch tickled by Michelle’s tongue.

Her moans felt loud enough to shake the room——but George quickly realized that was the thudding in his own chest. The puppeteers saw him and pulled their hands out of their pants. Michelle froze, though she couldn’t quite stop twitching in ecstasy. The puppeteers fled as one, giving George a wide berth. One dropped Elmo on the floor as he scampered past, hesitated, saw George’s face, and left without the doll.

“I...” Michelle said. She crossed her legs and covered her chest with her hands.

George face burned and his head felt like it was under intense pressure. He closed the door behind him and his breathing started again. He bent and picked up the abandoned Elmo.

“This? This is what... does it for you? This is why you...?”

“I... I guess so?”

“I thought it was me. My job.”

“Honey, I’m so sorry. I love you. I didn’t even really know, not until just now.”

“Okay. Okay.” He took a deep breath and tried to say something other than “okay,” but failed.

George walked slowly toward her, breathing heavily. Michelle looked up at him, unsure. He raised the Elmo doll in the air until it was in front of his face.

He spoke in a falsetto: “Elmo going to gently caress you now.”

Michelle moaned in delight.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

But where was the golden bean worth no more or less than one million US dollars? :confused:

What are you talking about?

edit: VVV Check the OP. No Docs.

blue squares fucked around with this message at 02:03 on Nov 24, 2014

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

TD has a standing 'no erotica' rule. The only guy to previously break it wrote a series about loving his dad, and finding a very valuable golden bean somewhere in the vicinity of his dad's penis.

Oh also there was an autobiographical story about a PUA loving himself with a dildo that could be a dictionary definition for TMI.

Any reference to golden beans means "lol terrible erotica".

Its not erotica dummy. Sex & fetishes != erotica. Grow up. Done with this convo to avoid angering the (mercedes) gods.

blue squares fucked around with this message at 02:29 on Nov 24, 2014

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Ok well thats not the point and I am not into "puppet loving" and I am a good writer so deal with it

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

The Saddest Rhino posted:

lol a good writer wouldn't mistype Big Bird as Bird Bird


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:


I never said you were into "puppet loving". Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

You broke one of our longest-standing rules then immediately chastised somebody for breaking a rule that doesn't actually exist outside your head. That is the point. That's why we're laughing at you. But whatever dude, I'm done.

Yeah my bad for the "no google docs" thing. I thought I remembered reading that somewhere and was honestly trying to be helpful, not snarky at all. I only said anything because I'd already made a post and could edit it in. I wouldn't have made a post by itself just to say that.
But yeah, I hope I'm not coming across defensive or anything. Sorry to everyone for the derail. I feel like my story is good as a look into repressed sexual stuff. I drew on David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men as a minor inspiration. I'll leave it at this.
Thunderdome is awesome I didn't mean to cause any issues.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

J.A.B.C. posted:

Sorry for this, everyone. Not my best work.

Corporate Losses
He said back.

I said again.

He said again.

Also stop capitalizing non-proper nouns after dialogue. There are a lot of typos in this, so I'm guessing it's a first draft.
There should have been more focus on Derek to make the betrayal more effective.
You made your protagonist a passive idiot that everything just happens to. The main character should have been the one to discover the theft. Especially with the police bearing down on him. This would create tension and give the character agency. You could even have a twist where by discovering the theft he actually implicates himself further, playing into Derek's hands.

Cacto posted:

Prompt: May night continue to fall on the orchestra

No talent squandered (480 words)

Blue Squares Patented 4 Step Program to FIX! YOUR! STORY! (TM)

Step 1: Add 1,000 words
Step 2: Mix in some emotion
Step 3: Vary sentence construction
Step 4: Stir and enjoy!

Fumblemouse posted:

Prompt: Some whinging aussie talking about cannibals

The Fishing Expedition

The introduction of the gang was confusing. I finished the story without a reason to care what happened to Adam or Tim. This story needs more characterization and a character to give a poo poo about.

Entenzahn posted:

753 words

Interesting first paragraph. I'm a sucker for ecological-disaster type stuff, and you present it in a great way; not exposition, but a character reacting to a simple thing. Take note, Thunderdomers; this is how you introduce a setting.
You had me throughout the story. My eyes even widened when he stabbed the kitchen guy. Then you lost me. What? The ending made no sense to me. I read it several times and I still have no idea what the hell. But seeing as you are my Brawl Judge, let me just say that I LOVED IT.

Jitzu_the_Monk posted:

Prompt: Time isn't wasted when you're getting wasted

(657 Words)

This is nonsense to me. Did you consider that people might read this that aren't you? When you write a story, you should always keep your audience in mind. This reads like the product of an acid trip. CLARITY IS KEY. Not surprised if this ends up a loser for the week for sheer incomprehensibility.
edit: I cannot write clearly either

Hammer Bro. posted:

Maculatus (756 words: any port in a storm.)

Not a story. There's no clear goal or conflict. You withold too much information for the reader, a very common issue in the Thunderdome weeks I've participated in. By the end, the reader has no idea why Mary is doing the thing she is doing or who she answers to. There's no character growth or acheivement. There's a question you should always ask yourself, whenever you write a story: Why should a reader care? Here, you don't provide a reason.

Clandestine! posted:

Teeth are just bones Death is everywhere, your own mortality can't be escaped

word count: 1440

had she'd She'd had had he'd hadn't he'd had had she'd had hadn't had had They'd she'd she'd had she'd had had he'd She'd he'd had had he'd had had hadn't had he'd had he'd They'd hadn't had he'd had They'd had had she'd had they'd had she'd had had he'd He'd had they'd they'd had She'd had barely hadn't had Erika'd he'd he'd they'd had hadn't he'd had they'd had had had hadn't had He'd had had had had they'd she'd hadn't hadn't had he'd

Look at that. That is every "had" verb in your entire story. Eighty-five in 1500 words. Get control of your tenses. All you have to do is use one single sentence to establish that a part of the story is in a further past-tense than the rest of the story, then you can operate with normal grammar.

Benny the Snake posted:

New Arcadia

1042 words

Prompt: You can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs.

New Arcadia

One of the first things built on the western farming settlement of New Arcadia was a gallows. While seldom used, it became a constant reminder upon its citizenry that the rule of law was constant and violators would be punished with extreme prejudice. Today's execution was a demonstration of that constant. Cut this opening and work the information in without blatant exposition.
Next to the executioner wasstood Sheriff Ferguson, New Arcadia's lawman.
Sherriff Ferguson sat in his office, not a proud, assured arbiter of justice.Bad sentence. Don't say what he isn't, say what he is.

Shutting the door behind him, the deputy sat down in front of his superior.Classic present-participle phrase mistake. You just wrote that he shut the door behind him and sat down in the chair at the exact same time. Fix: He shut the door behind him and sat down in front of his superior

But now, the fields were Jesus christ, proofread your story. While I'm at it, learn to spell sheriff.yes, I hosed up "Big Bird" in my own, and for that I pay mine own penance That night, Mary and her eldest son Johnny were arguingThis is "showing." Don't write that they "were arguing;" show them arguing.

Waiting for him at the stables was his younger brother Fred.grammar

Fred shook his head. "Well, way back, filthy Yankees marched down " Johnny recited to his little brother.If Fred shakes his head, then Johnny speaks, it needs to be a new paragraph
This feels more like the opening to a story, not a story itself. There's no ending.

Sitting Here posted:

Inspired by: There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly

1500 words

Easy winner so far. And creepy as hell, though I'm not entirely sure you meant it to be. But drat, it was. My take is that Celia didn't realize what was happening to her until it was too late---that the mushrooms or whatever were taking her over, like rabies. Some great imagery and metaphors. I read this twice trying to find something I could comment on that would be more than nitpicky, just to try to be helpful. I got nothing. Send me a PM with what triggered the idea for this, and if I was right in my interpretation. Great job.

Pete Zah posted:

Please send help.

Head Space
All children are artists.

Not bad. A little uneven with the pacing, but just as I was getting bored, you sprung the trip to the reservoir on me. I was worried that the whole thing was going to be Aurthur moping, but I like the final scene. Could be a couple hundred words shorter and work much better, imo.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Training Wheels
[556 words]

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
Good writing and imagery. I wish you had taken advantage of the word count to write something a little meatier, a little less cliche.

Ironic Twist posted:

On A String
1430 words
drat. That was fantastic. Perfect. Publish this.

Nethilia posted:

A drowning man will clutch at a straw

This is okay. It's well-written, but it's more of a premise than a story. A story should include some kind of change in a character; this doesn't have one. It's just business as usual for the mother.

Obliterati posted:

Future Perfect
1290 words

There is hope as long as your fishing line is in the water

We'd only been living together for two months when the time traveller first broke into our house.

Great opening line. Unfortunately the rest of the story didn't deliver. It just meandered around and then she leaves. I was disappointed that Rose didn't succeed. Also, good pun at the end w/r/t future perfect.

Your Sledgehammer posted:

699 words
Experience is a comb nature gives us when we are bald

Sometimes I could almost make out a face on its surface, a sort of cocky death rictus.

Don't open a story with an "it" and no noun. Because I have no idea what you're writing about, the sentence has no power. You don't hold the information back for any reason (it's given in the second paragraph), so this is a mistake. If you substituted "the meteor's" for "it," the sentence would be much stronger and attention-grabbing.
Also, your story itself is boring. Nothing happens. The snarky remark at the end isn't accurate either; dust would make global warming worse.

blue squares fucked around with this message at 03:14 on Nov 25, 2014

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Your Sledgehammer posted:

Critical. It's a major faux pas to be a handful of words over, much less hundreds. Being over the word count gives you an advantage over other participants and you'll be disqualified.


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

God Of Paradise posted:


Don't feel like writing something else. Also as a person who writes professionally for a living, the possible publishing issues bother me.

Let me guess you're a technical writer


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

God Of Paradise posted:

Fair enough.

I'll post the longer piece and get disqualified. Criticism's not a bad thing.

If you can't be bothered to follow the rules no one is going to waste their time reading your story. That's just insulting to the TD.

  • Locked thread