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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Over two million words. Over 300 authors.

Thread v.1: First Blood
Thread v.2: Rentboy Boogaloo

@ThunderdomeSA on Twitter

:siren: CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT PROMPT :siren: (Please PM me if this is out of date ever)

The year is 2014, and two 18teen year old writers are entering an abonend bunker.

uh so what’s Thunderdome?

Thunderdome is more than just a weekly fiction contest.

Thunderdome is a crucible, the sides of which are coated with the remnants of the obliterated weak. Thunderdome is an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. Thunderdome is glorious doom made briefly manifest, it is the percussive thunder of corpses hitting the floor.

Thunderdome is weakness leaving your body.

In Thunderdome, you write. You get your writing ripped apart. Then you come back for more. You become a better person for it. Maybe you even become a better writer.

but so okay that sounds cool, how do i participate

Each week, the previous week’s winner delivers a prompt, along with a word count, a deadline for signups, and a deadline for submissions. Your job is to read the prompt, sign up for the prompt, and then give your very best shot at writing a real nice story within the word limit and in time for the deadline.

It’s harder than it sounds.

Once the submission deadline passes, the winner/Boss Judge and their two chosen co-judges convene and decide the glorious victor, the pathetic failure, and any honorable/dishonorable mentions for the week. Generally, the judges will also give feedback in the form of short critiques.

The loser also gets this sweet losertar:

Then the cycle repeats.

It’s important to note that once you’ve posted your story, the time for edits is over. Use the preview button, for god’s sake. Stories that have been edited will be disqualified.

so can i join whenever i want?

No. Check the most recent prompt post for the sign-up deadine, typically a Friday but FFS this is a writing thread, read the prompt post. It’ll be angry and have lots of :siren:s.

what if i only want two judges? or FOUR?????


Three shalt be the number of judges, and the number of judges shall be three.
Four shalt not judge, nor either shall those judging number two, excepting that thou then include a third.
Five is right out.

can i judge even if i’m an unweaned unblooded soggy-spined babby

Probably not, unless the judges are desperate.

Absolutely do not step up to judge a brawl if you haven’t at least entered a few times and either won or received honorable mention.

You are always free to give critiques, but you should participate in a few rounds before you judge stories. You’ll give better feedback and have a better critical eye when it comes your time to take up the robe and gavel.


If you really feel like you need to carry on about the critique you get, take it to the Fiction Advice Thread or post your story in the Fiction Farm. for more extensive feedback.

This thread is for

*Postin’ stories
*Judgin’ stories
*Crittin’ stories

Because there is nothing worse when you’re waiting for judgment and there’s a bunch of new posts and NOPE it’s just 16teen new posts of empty-calorie blather.

i was gonna post a story but then i got high and played skyrim instead is that ok

People who sign up and then don't post a story are the worst kind of people.


do it twice in a row and you don't even gotta worry about ever showing your face in the 'dome again.

i heard this thread sucks

Well. In the more-than-a-year that Thunderdome has been around, we’ve seen lots of people improve their writing drastically, finally get around to working on ~Their Novel~, and even--in a few cases--get published.

If you want to do a poo poo-ton of writing and get quick feedback, this is the place to be every week. We even occasionally run mandatory magazine submissions weeks, so who knows, your lowly internet forums post could show up in a real-life publication!

:siren: BRAWLS :siren:

what if someone was sassin’ and i want to give them what-for?

Thunderdome has a wonderful institution called the brawl. Brawls are like cage matches where a roaring crowd watches two glistening combatants face off and take half-hearted, kitten-like swings at each other.


So okay, you’ve proven your mettle in the dome and even worked up a healthy grudge against someone.

To initiate a brawl, you simply call your intended out in the thread. If they accept (which, all people who don’t suck accept), then one of our Brawl Arbitration and Liability Limitation (BALLs) specialists will assign you a prompt, word count, and due date.

They will also judge your story, give results, and in most cases, give critiques.


I said it before, but it bears repeating. This isn’t to be exclusive, it’s to ensure that the brawl judge(s) don’t flake out, issue an awful prompt, or drop the ball on judgment. Generally one person is sufficient to judge a brawl, but there can be more if the judge so desires.

:siren: so what’s some other poo poo thunderdome really hates :siren:

Oh I’m so glad you asked.

*Responding to crits. Don’t do it in Thunderdome. Go to the Fiction Advice Thread or the Fiction Farm. NO WHINING.

*Participating without having read the OP. Because holy poo poo.

*Talking poo poo without backing it up with writing.

*Related to the above, not understanding kayfabe:


kayfabe /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true," specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or pre-determined nature. Kayfabe has also evolved to become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the realm of the general public

*Skipping out on crits every single time you judge. People get busy, life happens, but this thread doesn’t work without the rear end in a top hat-disintegrating critiques. No one gets better, which means YOU have to keep reading lovely fiction.


*I reserve the right to add more to this section as you mouth-breathing satanists find creative ways to make me regret having been born.

Bossdad of Thunderdome

People who are good judges (this list is based on people who’ve judged the most times)
Bad Seafood
The Saddest Rhino
Erogenous Beef

Unlockable Bonus Characters
Nubile Hillock


Come talk poo poo with us. MAIN CHAT: SynIRC, #thunderdome

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 04:49 on Dec 31, 2014


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Now Open, the Thunderdome Archive!

Please use the link at the top left of the page to request an account.

Please take a moment to abase yourselves before crabrock and Kaishai, who took it upon themselves to put together something really cool for a bunch of ingrates on the internet.

We've got graphs!

We've got lists and rankings!

We've got madlibs!

(Please read The original Rural Rentboys for the background on the thread title)

And much, much more! Visit the Thunderdome Archive today!

(This space will be updated with more cool stuff as I get around to compiling it)

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 19:19 on Jul 8, 2014

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
I will help judge this shitparade if that's ok

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

The flowers were literal blue flowers ya nob. He was looking for flowers for his ladyfriend and then he saw them coming out the back of the lawnmower, so he reached under to find the hidden flower-source. He didn't notice them in the first place because he's kinda dumb like that.


what is this poo poo in my thread

you come back here muffin you are so getting your nose rubbed in it

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

yo wassup im comin for ya

I'll wait to see if there's anything left when Mojo gets done with ya before I waste my quality poo poo talk thanks

Also, Griffon :allears:

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

dear n3wbs, please do as your dad says and not as he does

Bigup DJ posted:

I don't have time to do this week's Thunderdome but I'm pre-emptively signing up for next week's!

I wouldn't rely on this post to mean much next week, you should come back and sign up then. I mean what if the prompt was "write about a character gruesomely murdering your least favorite ethnic minority" I'll bet you'd regret signing up blindly!!!! That's if next week's judge notices this post.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
FYI guys, I updated the post just beneath the OP with some cool archive stuff, and will add more later.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
idk what you're talking about all I see is a working link to the archive

way to spoil the surprise about the writerpron site though. SORRY EVERYONE.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Purple Prince posted:

This critique made me crack the hell up but it was good, thanks.

I think about half to two-thirds of the stuff in there was valid, but a lot of it was me not doing a good enough job of showing that the 'robot' is a Greek warrior with a bit of a technology hike and Dolon gives weird descriptions because he's a caveman who doesn't know what bronze is. The story was meant to be about how Hellenistic culture conquered the ancient world. The 'sci-fi' names are both from Greek mythology, Dolon is from the Iliad, Rhea is a goddess. τιμή means 'honour' in Ancient Greek and was a key value in Greek Myth. I put it in Ancient Greek to emphasise the alien-ness of the Greek. The black liquid is the blood of the earth. But I still failed at writing a good story even taking all that into account.

This Week's Thunderdome: Won't be completed. I have something good but it's half-complete and I'm tired and ill and have other work to do. Might submit it to the fiction farm.


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Here are some crits. Maybe the rest of the crits will be up later today, maybe they won't.

A few thoughts on 'in' jokes, since I've seen a couple complaints about them during judgment. There's like, two things happening here in TD. One of those things is that there's a bunch of people who want to get critiques on writing. The other thing is there are people who just want to post stories for fun or the amusement of other people on the internet.

I think it's pretty valid to say that a story doesn't have much in the way of broad literary merit if it's written with the intent of getting laughs from a specific audience. But we all need to remember that everyone is here for their own reasons, and the jester is as welcome on the killing fields as the knight or the ronin.

This isn't like an official stance of TD or a rule or anything, just something to keep in mind.

Anyway gently caress you all you unrelenting poo poo-eating dickwads here's some crits


Cool first line. N3wbs, pls pay attention to Crab’s first paragraph because it is a good one. This line of reasoning:


I figured what better way to prove I’ve got morals and sanity in spades than to acquire a six-shooter, barrel into a town and plug the grimiest miscreant I see

didn’t really make sense to me but ok. This is a guy who’s BFFs with his gun, so….

What I like about this story, other than the writing, is that it’s an interesting spin on the staunch-allies-turned-bitter-enemies thing. Yeah the gun is his “friend” but like this guy is nuts, and at the end of everything, he was both his own friend and his own worst enemy.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Click like


‘Mojo. As always, you’ve got these details that make me go “aha! I know exactly what you mean!” Little stuff, like using your foot to check your speed on a little kid’s bike. Also I would swear you were a little girl in a past life, ‘cause Sharon and Tracy’s childhood friendship is spot on.

I feel like maybe the names got mixed up at one point:


Sharon, Aaron and James turned to her. The conversation she’d[Sharon] heard through the door didn’t continue. Tracey smiled and said…

Overall I liked this. I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to relate to at the end, though. Which isn’t a bad thing, if that’s how you meant me to feel. Tracy isn’t really entitled, as Sharon accuses her of being, but she is pretty oblivious. It’s clear that in their childhood, Sharon had like an ingrained sense of entitlement, so her last line at the end is pure irony. The husbands appear to be a couple of regular ‘Zealand dudebros. I certainly got the sense that Sharon thought throwing her wine on Tracy was like, the culmination of all this bullshit, but the reader can see pretty clearly that Sharon is also holding onto the idea of being the “better” one.

Also, coquettishly is one of my favorite adverbs.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Read the resulting comment thread, formulate a paragraphs-long reply that I delete three times, click ‘like’, write another paragraphs-long reply, delete that one, settle for going through and ‘liking’ commenters who I agree with.


Can I just like right here right now put a moratorium on “this mostly consisted of…” or “Which consisted off…”-type statements in fiction. Don’t tell me what a thing “mostly consisted of” TELL ME ABOUT THING.

Also, this sentence:


His eyes landed on Stump’s scarred, smiling face

His body part did a thing to other character’s body part. This is something I see a lot here in the Thunderdome. Tip: Once you’ve established who the POV character is, you only need to give readers a very small amount of narrative guidance to remind us that, in this case, Gulper is sort of the eyes and ears of the story. So like, you can just tell us Stump was smiling. We don’t need to be told that Gulper’s body part was doing the perceiving of the smiling of Stump.

Okay so plot. Actually, the structure of the plot works. Fish are as friendly with each other as fish can be, one fish’s attempt at neighborliness is thwarted by the other fish’s ignorance of how to eat floating meat, I guess; frustration causes tension, tension causes a fight, Gulper comes out triumphant but gets his comeuppance for being kind of a dick. I pictured this whole story in old Warner Brothers style animation so that’s cool.

I think it falls slightly short of the prompt, since these fish were explicitly not BFFs or anything. But as its own thing, the plot more or less works, in a very general sense of the word. The writing is wobbly, can’t do a line by line but keep an eye out for stuff like what I mentioned above.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Scroll past it at first but maybe go back for a second look later. Would consider ‘liking’ it, but ultimately would alt+tab to GBS 2.1

Erogenous Beef

ugh I hate critting your stories. Which isn’t to say that I dislike reading them. They’re good, that’s what sucks.

In this case, what didn’t hit the spot for me was the ending. We’re left to assume that Elba decided not to present her new formula? But I’m not sure why, exactly. I can’t project what the consequences of her saying that the Americans have nothing to add to the discussion are. She won’t get her green card, but she was already in the position of not having a green card. Was her plan to get stuck in Geneva and then leave with her brother? Sell the formula to the Russians?

I may be dense. So yeah, this worked super well for me, up until that very last bit.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Repost it to look smart without knowing what I was talking about.




I push the gun into her head. I feel her push back so I kick her hard in the bottom of her spine. The base of her neck was glistening with sweat, her ponytail was matted with blood…

Right off the bat we got a motherfuckin tense shift. Don’t do a tense shifts, bro.

This story is like a big wad of random details about a gritty dystopia with a bit of plot about some dudes trying to get money from scummy people and loving up because the narrator is a softy, I guess.

I didn’t really get the point of the scene where he’s like, supporting the kid by having her essentially straddle him as she’s dying? Like, it seemed like a weird and unnecessary detail, especially given that the narrator is going to be dead in a matter of seconds.

If this was posted on Facebook I would
: Double check how we knew each other


I’m always a fan of stories where myth parallels the mundane. I liked the way you created parallel personalities, dragon and taniwha, in Chris and Tipene. I felt like the dragon analogy was weakened by making Tipene see the judge as a dragon (or something dragon-like, you never use the word dragon w/ regards to her), since the metaphor was so vividly done with Chris’s drug addiction, never being satisfied, always looking for the next thing, etc.

I wanted the ending line to be more germane to the themes you built up in the story. The stench of betrayal or whatever is just a little bit cliche. It’s not something that leaves you with an impactful sense of how wide the rift between these two characters is.

Otherwise I liked it quite a bit.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Click ‘like’ and then stalk ur profile


So the very, very end of your story? Yeah. That’s when anything interesting at all happens. This guy pacing around the room, leaning on the table, sitting, standing, this VERB man...I don’t care about him. He doesn’t even have a name.

I’m not going to lie, a lot of the details in this piece were lost on me. It felt like reading a biography about nameless strangers. The detail about their family being hacked to death? It barely registered with me.

So there was this show/tell argument happening in the fiction advice thread. I would call this an example of too much telling. Start closer to the meeting at the end. Show the strain that death and ambition has had on this father and son’s relationship. With regards to the prompt, had I not known what the prompt was, I would’ve had no idea where the story was going until the very end.

In this case, I feel like the sort of omniscient narrator was a bad choice, just because this prompt sort of begged for an immediate, emotionally-attuned point of view.

The writing itself was waaaay flowery and there were some weirdly constructed sentences.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: see that it was a rambling, overwrought note about the tragic state of some acquaintance’s life and keep scrolling.

Nubile Hillock

This kind of missed the mark on the prompt, I think. Like these characters were forced into being enemies, sort of, but I didn’t really get the “staunchest of allies” vibe. The writing itself isn’t bad (other than a couple comma issues but I have too many of these to do a line-by-line), in that the action is all clear and I had a pretty good idea of the space your characters were in.

One thing I didn’t like was that you kept saying “they”, when the narrator seemed to easily deduce that it was Cassy.

So but yeah, the focus in this story was primarily the action and environment, which were pretty good! But the characterization suffered for it, and characterization is key for this prompt IMO.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Click on a “best Vines of 2013” video, curse myself a half an hour later for wasting 30 minutes watching a bunch of people doing 15 seconds of random poo poo

No Longer Flakey

That first sentence is a bitch to parse. When I gotta stop and make sure I am reading your first sentence correctly, I’m already working harder than I want to for a story you haven’t given me much of a reason to care about yet.

It took me a good couple paragraphs to sort out that this story was literally about a self aware boat. This boat, among other things, paints itself black. It also uses the eff word.

So the ocean is a dick for taking out it’s anger at humans on the boat. The boat is a dick for being like, raaawr I’m going to steal all ur fish”. In the end, they fight and the boat dies.

This story leaves me with so many questions. So like, if the ocean can just destroy boats at will, why doesn’t it just gently caress up humanity’s day? How does a boat paint itself? Does anyone steer the boat?

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Wonder why I knew someone who wrote Thomas the Tank Engine fanfic

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Also lol f u judges I'm in

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

magnificent7 posted:

The toy's robotic arm.
It's robotic arm.

Is that wrong?


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Martello posted:

Nobody ever does. :smith:

I like to think that the genre itself has magical realism qualities. Which is why no one can define it.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
this thread right now

this motherfucking thread

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
also my attorney has advised me to inform you that SHUT UP AND WRITE*


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


I am legit happy about this development.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

The Saddest Rhino posted:

:siren: FLASH RULE :siren:


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Addendum: Crits are ok too.

Here is a handful more for last week. Sorry I'm behind on these, life poo poo and etc.

Petrol Blue

So if I’m reading right, an estranged couple finds subtle ways to take out their bitterness on each other but won’t separate because they’re waiting for some inheritance money to come through. My complaint on a first read through was that we never see them being a happy couple, just the hate, so it missed the staunch allies to worst enemies thing. But then when I got to the end, I thought maybe you’d decided to take the prompt in reverse. The couple gets the money and then chooses to do nothing with it, trading luxury for quality time.

So the writing wasn’t bad, but I was left scratching my head.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Read an entire comment thread about some acquaintance’s relationship drama, not really understand what it’s about but feel vaguely superior for the experience.


Okay so well, I know you’re just scrolling past this to get to my silly witty Facebook analogy BUT. I am not really a fan of the whole THANEFJORD McHUSKARL thing in short stories(novels are a different matter, and because this is a short fiction contest I am reading it as a stand alone piece). Like, in flash fiction, a bunch of words that I have to stop and parse is like the equivalent of putting a chain link fence in front of your story: Yes I can still see what’s going on on the other side, but I feel like there’s a barrier that visually muddles up my reading.

I am alllll about worldbuilding but in this case I feel like it served mostly to frame a scene we’ve all seen before: The mad king, the loyal kinsman, the inevitable betrayal for the good of the realm. I appreciated you showing glimpses of the king being a cool dude, at least, even if we know he's doomed from the get-go. I was going to complain that we don't see enough of the "good" times, but then I felt like you did a good job
switching "personalities" with the king.

More words could have gone toward plot stuff though. Like, all of this:


Dorn and Rodic leaned against the council chamber wall, awaiting the king’s arrival. Ivarr, a Varig member of the King’s Huskarls, stood nearby smoking a pipe. Andubren, thane of the city, exchanged vulgar jokes with Alred Skellan, the king’s nephew and heir…

is cool BUT in a flash fiction story, the main characters are basically losing screen time so we can get the names of some dudes that don’t matter much at this very moment. Dorn carries most of the story by being sympathetic, but I could have done with a lower saturation of bannermen with cool names. Like it reminds me a bit of R Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing books. Which are almost biblical in the density of names and places and have a pretty high learning curve with regards to the worldbuilding.

That said, this was obvs a solid piece this week, so. I would probably look at this scene a lot differently if I were critiquing a novel. IDK just my feels bro, peace god bless.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Stop on a picture of an old high school friend with their military buddies, go back and compare it to high school yearbook photos, shut my computer and go think about like time and change and relationships and other deep poo poo.Then i’d smoke some weed and go back to scrolling past people’s hashtagged latte art.


Some weird descriptions here and there, odd blocking (describing characters in space, usually as dialog is happening). Like, you talk about grimy pre-pubescent hands being “slapped” against foreheads, which like, when I think of a slap I think of a sudden motion. I get what you meant, but it’s a weird way to put it when there are plenty less verby ways to say that they were kids and also saluting. Watch out for issues like that throughout your writing.

That said, I felt like the dialog itself was a little older than the kids were supposed to me.

Prompt-wise, I thought you took extra care to adhere to it. We see them be best friends, we see the schism, we see the fallout. This was one that was strongly middle of the pack for me, didn’t hate it, but the writing itself needs work before it goes from “readable” to “enjoyable to read”. I thought Reggie kicking the box out from under Stuart was a little much but eh.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Scoff at someone who posts their elementary school yearbook photo as their profile picture. THAT’S NOT EVEN WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE ANYMORE.

Black Griffon

In the future, glorious katana is king. No but really, future swords are confusing and TRUST me, as a nerd, I really want the future to be full of swords and capes and robes and cowels and etc, but it turns out the future has like lasers and cold fusion and lots of snaggy moving parts. So but ok fine he has a sword.

I liked the background of the characters, kind of, but the story felt very. Like. Lets see. The allusion to “your political campaigns” and etc….it would have been simpler if these were just two soldiers on opposite sides of a war. But all of the far-reaching implications just kind of made me wonder if I missed something on my first readthrough. I don’t know, like I wanted this to be more, but it was mostly these two characters rehashing a life we never see, so I’m just taking their word for it that they were super close and only separated by environmental preference and idealism.

The writing itself is clear and competent though, and this more or less followed the prompt, albeit there were problems with that, as I mentioned above.

The ending….eh. I get that you built up all the stuff about how he was all about zero gravity, but it felt a little slapstick to have him try to attack her and basically trip and fall.

If this was posted on Facebook I would: Ironically ‘like’ a picture of a dude posing with his glorious hanzo steel.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
eh idk how many words we're at now, hopefully not less than 1000

Spaceless Dementia

Linne and Desera celebrated their two-thousandth anniversary silently, over a rare cup of coffee at the breakfast table. The window to Linne's left cycled through various soothing pastoral scenes.

After a time, Desera shoved away from the table and went to the small kitchen's ambience terminal; she waved a hand over the screen, and the idyllic meadow in the window dissolved. Beyond was dark, starless truth. The no-space. The metacosmic Bermuda triangle.

Linne raised an eyebrow, but didn't comment. After so long, what use was it hashing out the same old argument? They'd gone over its every permutation in the first five hundred years.

As if on cue, the ship's com system chimed. It was reedy and off-key after so many years, but like everything else aboard the Nomad, it had outlasted its intended lifespan by a millennium, would last a thousand thousands of years into the black and motionless future.

Desera made a sound. Linne waited.

"They're still out there," Desera said. Her speech was halting, unsure.

They're all lunatics, Linne replied over their private thinkcom channel.

Desera shook her head. "No. Talk to me. Like this."

The ship's com chimed again.

Linne cleared her throat, made a few low, gurgling sounds. "Nothing changed," was all she could manage.

Desera seemed to understand her meaning none the less. "What if someone found a way back to time-space?"

"They didn't. Who could? Navs are dead. Science crew, dead." She frowned at Desera. Tell me you aren't losing it on me now, too.

"I said talk to me," Desera snapped.

Linne felt the subtle presence of their mind-to-mind channel evaporate, leaving her alone in her head for the first time in centuries. "It got to you," she said.

"Of course it did." Desera was breathing heavy, her eyes bright and feverish with something alien, something fatal.


Linne recoiled from it. She should have known, should have felt this madness over their shared connection. But it was only then, totally severed from her once-lover's mind, that she realized madness had been festering for a long time, slowly insinuating itself into Desera's thoughts like fungal mycelia taking hold in the quiet dark beneath the forest floor.

A vent pushed recycled air into the kitchen. It smelled of ozone and plastic. Linne was on her feet and walking out of the kitchen before she could think.

The scent of loam and bark and healthy rot hit her as soon as the conservatory doors slid open. They'd planned well, long ago when it became necessary to seal themselves into this corner of the ship. To escape madness. The decision to shut out the rest of the crew, who'd been cabin-fevered and increasingly violent after that first hundred years, had brought its own kind of guilty insanity, but she'd had Desera.

Mind to mind, heart to heart, they had kept each other sane through contradiction and intimacy, argument and play. But after centuries, they'd become so much one mind and one heart that the balance had given way. Linne had become complacent, Desera had found a disease called hope.

The com system was chiming at regular intervals by then. Someone was alive on another deck, wanted their attention.

The conservatory was a whole micro ecosystem unto itself. Linne lay down on the bare dirt and looked up into the ancient canopy. The trees had grown to the absolute limit of the great domed room, and when there was no more sky to fill they turned in on each other, so that the ceiling was obscured by a twisted, web-like amalgam of wood. In another thousand years, the conservatory would be nigh unpassable.

The chiming stopped. Linne was flat on her back still, and in the abrupt silence the pounding of her heart filled her ears. Perhaps the caller had given up. Or...

Desera, she called. But without the thinkcom, it was just a name echoing in the solitude of her skull.

Linne could still do the unthinkable, if it came down to it. She could seal herself into a further corner of the ship, leave Desera to her hope and the madness beyond their barricades.

A klaxon went off outside the conservatory. Desera had deactivated the security fields. Even if their crewmates had found a way back to cosmic space, what was to keep them from tossing Linne and Desera out of the nearest airlock on principle?

Linne wanted to grow roots and join the mindless dream of the trees, before fear or hope or guilt could grow roots in her mind. She stayed on her back, willing Desera to come back on the thinkcom and make it all right, willing herself to get up and go to the barricades and face the unknown by Desera's side. But the moments passed and nothing changed in the conservatory, even as everything was changing beyond its doors.

Absolution came to Linne, found her still flat on her back. The doors swished open and there was Desera, along with five wild-haired, mostly naked women who had the lean, ropey look of people who'd lived outside all their lives. Linne closed her eyes against the hope and anger and fear and anticipation she saw on their faces.

They chattered to each other about the trees, too fast and too musical for Linne to parse, having gone so long without speech.

There was no way out, she realized. Some of the women had fallen to their knees and were raising their arms toward the knotted clot of branches high above. There was no one left to fly the ship, no one with the wherewithal to do anything but hope. She could sense that they thought her the diseased one, prone on the floor with the dead weight of truth pressing her into the ground.

She opened her eyes and looked up at Desera, who was haloed by the entangled canopy, and wondered when, if ever, hope and resignation had been anything more than different ways to lose the same game.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
please no

please stop this terrible posting


Oh right, you're all fuckwit shitcocking globules of crusted penile effluent who wouldn't know good posting if it had a scary red avatar and was yelling at you to shut the hell up.

Which reminds me.




I need to beat on something that can fight back i am so mad right now

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 19:49 on Jan 13, 2014

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Echo Cian posted:

All these posts to scroll through and they're not even funny or worth brawling ove-


hey you

You think only Muffin's good enough for you?

He's too busy fooling around with your nemesis.

Bring it.

I am honored and invigorated by your challenge.

I accept; I beg only a fair and competent arbiter.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Kaishai posted:

:siren: Sitting Here vs. SurreptitiousMuffin Thunderbrawl: John William Waterhouse :siren:

Each of you can craft beautiful imagery; I want to see what you do with beautiful imagery as your starting point. John Waterhouse is one of my favorite artists, not least because he draws so often from literature, poetry, and myth. I don't want you to consider the source when you write about the women in these paintings, however. Come up with something entirely new.

Sitting Here: The Shrine

SurreptitiousMuffin: Boreas

Turn the picture you've been given into a story of no more than 1,000 words by Saturday, January 25, 11:59pm US Eastern.

It is good.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
(100 words)

The world-eater waits at the end of its great marble hall. My blessed claymore sings as I drag her tip on the ground.

The time has come.

The world-eater's maw requires no teeth to devour; I am pulled in as soon as I approach the gaping hole, sucked down into womb-like tightness and moisture, then launched out into the abyssal black of its stomach.

The arc of the claymore describes a silver crescent that resonates in the key of excision. I gut the beast from the inside, and spill back into the world among the fragments of my silenced sword.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Kaishai posted:

(98 words)

I hate you

P metal

But this line:

Years of preparation for this moment, to put his life in the hands of the gods.

is not a complete sentence, you corner-cutter.

edit: Unfortunately, you reminded me of late era Gilmore-only Pink Floyd :smith:

systran posted:

Dance of Fairies - 100 Words

This is about as metal as a dollhouse tea party. Which are p metal if you were me as a kid and decapitated your barbies and cut up their clothes and then taped the dolls back together as grotesque 3 headed monsters.

However, too many words wasted on what I consider to be backstory and description, not enough words about corgi jousting. I really wanted to see more corgi jousting.

Meinberg posted:


(88 words)

The star fell and shattered the sky and the earth and the sea. <- Already kind of repetitive for a super short story

The blade-of-stolen-starmetal pulses in her hands. The underbrush bursts outward the beast falls upon herYou missed a word there. Her sword carves up through the beast’s torso and it twitches as its blood bursts out in a spray.This is the action bit; you cut word count corners here, apparently so you had room to be poetic in the first line and add unnecessary intrigue in the last line

She limps back to the town-hidden-by-mountains, her home. Flames consume the buildings, and the scent of offal floods the air. An old man, eyeless and bloodcaked, reaches up towards her. “The star things are awake!” He says as he no nonono, this is supposed to be neat and tidy and closed up! You're not writing the intro to a scifi show here.

Should've just stuck with: A star falls, there is a monster cause star, EPIC BATTLE. You even had extra words to work with to make it all cool and :black101: :(

I haven't looked over all of these, but in general flash fiction in TD suffers from people writing like it's the intro to a book. Tie up ur loose ends, bitchz

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 18:54 on Jan 14, 2014

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
my irl epic
100 wrods

She raised her head from the pillow. The pile of laundry in the bathroom had become an edifice of laundry. She let her head fall back down.

Two hours later, it was eleven o'clock in the morning. She raised her head from the pillow again. The tower of laundry leaned dangerously to one side, as if it were a still photo of a toppling building.

Her phone buzzed. Life beckoned. She was out of clean underwear.

Slowly but with gathering speed, she pushed herself from the bed and began the long trek toward linoleum horizons; it was motherfucking laundry day.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

The Leper Colon V posted:

Not with a tone like that you won't.


none may touch this creature until it has been thrice more through the cleansing hell fire of the thunderous dome

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

sebmojo posted:

If anyone wants a crit from me for their story from the last week's prompt, post a link to it in the next day or so (and no, it will not halve your word count).

I'm off my game, do ur werst

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Martello posted:

FYI you suck, let me elaborate

Anyone who DIDN'T write a story about huge muscular dudes or dudettes with swords/axes/loincloths/armor/beards/horned helmets/giant penises slaying each other on a sick medieval battlefield FAILED MISERABLY

Muffin said it had to be something Frazetta would draw or Iron Maiden would sing about. Not sure where setbacks and motivation and whatever other poo poo you said comes into that.

ur a butt

edit since people will see this and start writing shitposts unless I put content here: Most of us need all the practice we can get at writing interesting setbacks and believable character motivations. I don't see why huge sword fighting penisladies can't also have setbacks and motivations :(

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 23:21 on Jan 16, 2014

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Re: Brawls. I don't like to get too E/N in thread, but basically it's been really hard to write while worrying about IRL things. So sorry Echo/Martello, I'll have something for you guys this weekend, but stuff keeps coming up and it's been REALLY loving HARD to produce shitmagicianry aka writing.

Anyway here is something terrible for my :siren: muffin brawl. :siren:

Of Roses
917 words

The chemist's son was fat-cheeked, pointy-chinned, and baleful-eyed. He waited until his father had gone into the drugstore's storeroom, then pressed his groin into the girl's backside as she leaned against the counter.

He did not know she was of the roses.

He yelped and jumped back, clutching at himself. When the girl turned to look at him, her eyes were full of thorns.

The chemist's son held up a small knife; the light of the shop danced on the blade as it trembled. "If you'll not have me, you'll not have anyone," he said.

"There is no one," the girl said quietly. The quivering knife lowered a few inches.

"What do you mean?"

"I belong to the roses." And the girl told the chemist's son of her father, how Mother said he'd been found outside of a gambling den, face down in a pile of red, of cheap crushed velvet and blood. But the girl knew the truth; she'd seen the euphoric look on his face that day, had smelled the perfume of their far-off, secret home around him, as though he were half gone already.

By the time the chemist returned with a tincture for the girl's mother, his son was entranced by something different than lust. Something worshipful. The chemist saw the look on his son's face, bagged the tincture and thrust it into the girl's hands.

"Go," said the chemist. "And tell your mother I won't sell to you anymore. She'll have to send someone else."

The girl smiled at the chemist's son as she left the shop.


She gathered the layers of her skirts and padded down the stairs onto the forgotten terrace, where once her father gave her roses. Today, today, today, today, her heart sang. She'd seen the circle of toadstools. She knew today was the day she would go home.

The terrace was mossy and wild, the stone stairs smooth from the erosion. They had a downward cant and were wet from last night's rain, and she had to be mindful not to fall and risk breaking the vial that hung on a string around her neck. Roses grew wild between cracks in the flagstones.

Roses were thought to be a delicate flower, just as she was thought to be a delicate girl of only seventeen years. Mother's husband believed that, like roses, delicate girls must be pruned and plucked at if they want their bloom to fetch a wealthy buyer.

Mother's husband had never been to the forgotten terrace, had forbade the girl from visiting it.

He had never seen the roses.

The masonry of the terrace walls was slumped in on itself; sconces that once bore friendly torchlight over laughing, red-cheeked garden parties are empty and rusted. The first chill of the year was on the tip of the wind's tongue, a whisper of the big sleep to come. The wintery death of roses.

The girl could not bear another season without roses.

She’d met with the chemist’s son once more, in secret. Just in case, he had whispered when he pressed into her hand the vial containing a tincture of deadly nightshade. In case the toadstools were wrong. In case her forgotten terrace and her roses didn’t deliver her away from the manor and her family and Mother's new husband, who she refused to call father.

Near the bottom of the wilted stairs was a shelf set into the aged and slouching wall. Her father might've put a prized bouquet there on a summer's eve, but the girl had only been able to steal two small, plain black vases from the parlor in the manor. They were surrounded by petals, from the roses she'd arranged there the week before. The girl took it as a good sign that the wind hadn't swept the petals from her altar.

She leaned down and breathed in deep the scent of her small bouquets. She understood. Just as her father understood on that last day. The aroma of roses was heady and warm, even in the early autumn chill. She could see in her mind's eye fields upon fields of roses, singing motes of light drifting above them in currents of perfume. Home.

She held up the vial of nightshade. Just in case. But the chemist’s son had handed her the key, not insurance.

The girl kneeled before her little altar of flowers, staining the white of her skirts. She raised the vial to her lips. She swallowed.


Mother's husband couldn’t ignore it any longer. It’d been two days since they'd seen the girl, and the overpowering smell of roses from the old overgrown terrace on the corner of the estate was conspicuous.

"What's she been up to, eh?" he grumbled to Mother as he pulled on his boots. Mother kept to her needlework.

Mother's husband trudged out across the grounds, slipping in mud, to the forgotten terrace. He reached the top of the wilted staircase and stopped.

Roses, hundreds of them, twisted around each other as though fighting for access to open sky. They were new bushes with velvety petals and taut green foliage. All of them stemmed from a single mound.

It took only the barest glimpse of a lacy cuff, a bit of pale skin, to send mother's husband walking stiffly and quickly back to the house.

Mother didn’t look up when he came in, but her needle slipped anyway, leaving a tiny red blossom where it pricked her

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Quidnose posted:

In! Assign me an element, and a flash rule.

Yttrium is rather rare and unnatural. Your story must revolve around taking that which is out of place, and making it commonplace.

Interpret that as you will.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

DreamingofRoses posted:

I'll take a flash rule too.

(I keep forgetting those are things.)

I think you picked carbon, which is common and boring but also important. Your story must revolve around someone who isn't comfortable in their own skin. Is it because they're made of carbon? I don't know.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
:siren: Sitting Here v. Echo Cyberbrawl :siren:

Um hi. I don't know if anyone still cares about this, so I'll just leave my brawl entry for Echo right here and Marty you can do whatever.

Park Life
2000 words

Rachel left the cramped trailer to get away from Mom and her stale smell. The whole park was like that, ever since they'd got the first shipment of Vijo-Ryu Goggles with built-in 6TB of Cloud access. Stale and silent.

Beyond the dusty hexylated glass dome, train tracks described the distance to the horizon in one long run-on sentence of receding railroad ties. That sentence, Rachel knew, was punctuated by Reno.

She'd given up on wondering what it was like there.

It took her a while to notice someone, not a train, was coming down the tracks toward the dome. Slowly.

The station was the only building that extended beyond the glass, though no one could recall ever seeing a passenger train pull in, just the freighters that showed up in the relative cool of the night to restock the dome's retailers.

Someone from one of the other domes?

Whoever was out there, they were going to have a hell of a time getting inside on foot without a freight train to trigger the hydraulic doors. Rachel rubbed the yellowed glass with the hem of her shirt, squinted out into the desert around the tracks. It was a girl! She wore a big floppy hat and a white poncho and seemed to be in no hurry.

Eventually the stranger passed out of view behind the outside half of the train station. Rachel went to the passenger entrance and slipped inside, past the dusty touchscreen ticket kiosk, through heavy double doors into the dark loading bay.

There was a small window set to the side of the huge bay doors. Rachel trotted over, peered outside to see if the stranger was still there. She was.

Rachel looked around the murk of the room. There were plenty of panels, but which one controlled the outer doors? Did she even want to let someone crazy enough to walk across the exposed desert in?

Her worries were made moot by the sound of a keycard sliding in and out of an exterior lock. A white-hot rectangle of light appeared in one wall, and Rachel gasped at the heat. It was like having a hair dryer pointed straight into her face.

The strange girl slipped inside and closed the door behind her. Rachel held her breath.

There was a sound from out in the station's lobby. Two people burst into the loading bay, giggling. The strange girl sucked in air through her teeth and darted straight for Rachel's concealing patch of shadow.

"Shh, I heard something," said a voice that Rachel recognized as Jamee Bookings's. Which meant that the other giggler could only be Grant Burger, who would know all about the station's controls from his work on the overnight freight intake.

"Fuckin' kids, probably. Here, let there be light," he said, and a moment later banks of white LEDs flickered on.

Leaving Rachel totally exposed.

"The hell, Rachel. You don't got permission to be in here," said Grant. The strange girl had ducked behind a stack of empty pallets, perfectly visible from where Rachel was standing but invisible to Grant and Jamee.

"You know, I lived here my whole life and I've never seen this room," said Rachel. The other girl was looking at her with a mix of amusement and anxiety. "I guess now I have." She started toward the door. But then, she couldn't just leave the stranger trapped in there with Grant and Jamee, could she? Jamee's blouse was already a quarter undone, and she had a blanket under one arm. No one deserved to be forced to watch that.

Rachel hesitated like she had something else to say, opened her mouth, then closed it again. The gesture wasn't lost on Grant.

"What is it?"

"Thought I saw roaches, is all."

She left before they could ask for proof, but the mood was sufficiently ruined and it wasn't long until the couple took their tryst elsewhere.

When they were gone, Rachel crept back inside. Peering into the loading bay, she saw the other girl shed her hat and poncho. Rachel leaned against the door too hard and it squeaked; she and the stranger locked eyes.

"Thanks for that," the other girl said.

Rachel eased her way back into the loading bay. "I just want to know what you're doing all the way out at the domes, before it gets around there's a stranger here," she said.

The girl laughed. "This is already so great," she said. "You have no idea. Everything I've seen and heard so far--it's so different. Real."

Rachel had no idea what the girl meant. "So what's your name?" she asked, wondering whether she shouldn't just go report a breach to security. But they were lazy at best, and would probably just lock her up and then go back to zoning out on their Goggles.

"Like my meatsphere name? My mom named me Delta--yeah, after the airline. I know. Old fashioned--but I go by Flash in most parts of the Cloud. No X's or numbers, just Flash." She looked at Rachel like that information was supposed to garner a reaction.

"Well, so do you go by Flash or Delta? I think Delta is prettier, personally. Also, I'm Rachel."

"You don't go on the Cloud, do you? Does anyone here?"

Rachel shrugged. "It takes a long time for new stuff to get to the domes. It was only a month ago that we got the right gadgets to port in to the Cloud."

Delta clapped her hands and laughed. "This is going to be great. I mean, I couldn't have come up with this poo poo. I feel like I'm on a wildlife preserve or a reservation."

"So, did you come all the way out here to treat this like some kinda zoo?"

Delta looked taken aback. "Do you really not know what it's like in the cities? This whole dome system is like a historical relic. It's like visiting people who've been left to live in bomb shelters for generations."

"The freight workers told me that the train drivers say that we got it mad good out here," Rachel said.

"That's what I'm here to find out, Rachel. If you guys are happy, you should be left alone. But there are people who think that the government is doing a bad thing by continuing to supply these refuges and not reintegrating y'all back into society."

"Did the government send you?"

Delta made a wry half-smile. "Not exactly. But now the military is muttering about needing some sort of testing space, and they got their eyes on dome country. Someone's gotta come out and see things with their own two eyes."

They left the station together. Rachel suddenly felt acutely aware of the rows of trailers connected by worn-down footpaths, the garbage that swirled around them in the breeze from the air scrubbers, the big-bellied old men who worked shirtless in the sun on what little garden space there was.

Delta was beside herself at the first glance. "This is amazing," she kept saying as they walked through the outskirts of the dome's small retail quarter. Already, they were garnering looks.

Little Junie Shipping spotted them first and was off in a flash of fluttering bows to alert the grapevine. It came to Rachel that if she lived like Delta, in the city, gossip would spread via the Cloud, without need of a precocious nine year old or the park’s brown-nosers. She didn't know if that was a good or bad thing.

They developed a following as they made their way through what served as the trailer park's downtown. By the time they got to the little grocery outlet, almost the entire park had turned out to gawk at the stranger, momentarily eschewing their Goggles for spectacle.

Delta would press her finger against her temple and wink, and Rachel wondered if she was activating some sort of implant, sending images of the trailer park back to the Cloud.

"I'd like to ask y'all some questions, if you don't mind. I'm from Reno," Delta said to the crowd. She added the last part as though it were some sort of credential. It was enough for the domers.

Delta spent the rest of the day set up in the dome's one restaurant, asking the same set of questions to anyone who would sit down with her.

Why were the domes created? Everyone knew the answer to that; there had been an epidemic of epidemics that'd threatened to halve the Earth's population. Domes got people out of the cities and into smaller, more easily quarantined communities.

Were you or your household made aware when the crisis was over? Of course, everyone had been notified. There'd even been a free train ride back to Reno for anyone who wanted it, but no one wanted to leave unless everyone left. The ties in the park were too close.

Are you happy here? No one knew any different, was the consensus. Was there any reason to be unhappy?

Rachel watched every interview. Something frantic churned at her guts. Finally, Delta winked one last command to her implant and stood to leave the restaurant. It was after dark by then, and in the distance the first freighters whistled across the desert night.

"Thanks for everything," she said to Rachel. "I'm glad the first person I ran into was one of the level-headed ones. With any luck, y'all will get to keep living this way. It may sound strange, but I'm jealous of you."

Rachel didn't understand the jealousy. "You're leaving already?" she asked.

Delta frowned. "Gotta get back and upload this footage on my personal port, it's too important. If I try to send it to the Cloud from here, I can't encrypt it because… well, don't worry about it. But I'd stay if I could." She looked genuinely apologetic but started toward the station anyway.

Rachel grabbed her arm. "You didn't ask me. I'm not happy here. What happens if I'm not happy here? Do I come with you?"

"Whadya think you'd do in Reno, exactly? Part of the reason y'all are still out here is because things are too different. You wouldn't be employable, not without at least basic experience in the Cloud. Everyone's all wired up, jacked in, streaming live. Trust me, you're better off out here. At least for now."

"But, how are you even getting out of here?"

"Don't worry about it. I'll let my contacts know that there might be folk out here who're ready for integration, how about that?" Delta's voice was shrill and, Rachel thought, full of false hope.

Rachel got an idea. "Yeah," she said. "Do what you gotta do. But don't forget about me, okay?" She forced a smile.

"You know I won't," Delta said. She sounded relieved.

It didn't take a genius Cloud freak to figure out Delta's plan. The trains rolled in full of freight, but they left empty. Security was lax around the station.

In the weeks that followed the Reno girl's departure, Rachel took up part time work at the restaurant. She swept floors and washed windows, and the place looked better than it had since the dome was founded. It was a nice break from Mom and her Goggles and the trailer and the heavy silence that came with connection to the Cloud. She saved every dollar she earned in a jar beneath her bed.

There were no travel bags for sale in the dome, so she settled for wrapping her things in a thin blanket, which she secured with a belt. That done, the only thing left to do was wait for the whistle of the freighter rolling down the tracks. She didn't know what she'd do once it came, how she'd sneak on, what she'd do when she got to Reno.

But the future, in all its audacity, had come back to the domes, to a place it had forgotten. And it had brought with it silence and lethargy. It had brought the Goggles, which had connected the domers to a world they didn't understand, at the expense of the way of life that the domes were built to protect.

It had sent cheerful, misguided Delta.

No, Rachel thought as she waited for the freight shift to start, to seize her chance at escape. The future deserved to know what it had left behind. Who it had left behind. She was done living in stasis.

The next time the train whistled, it was as it was pulling away from the dusty, hexylated glass dome.

The domers were one fewer in their number. The trailers were quiet and stale.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

No Longer Flaky posted:

Whatever bitch.

I'm down to clown. Let's do this!

:siren: Thunderbrawl: No Longer Flakey v God Over Djinn :siren:

Some people who have read a lot of my writing know I'm all about DREAMY DREAM DREAM THINGS and the dreams they happen in.

So. You both have 1500 words to tell me a story about dreams encroaching upon reality. This can be genre fic, but doesn't have to be.

Due date: Thursday, February 13th at 11:59:59 PM, PST


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Congrats Djinn and all other HMs. This was a tough week to judge! Which is great. I will have crits up within the day.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
:siren: CRITS :siren:

So, this is about 2/3rds of the crits. My esteemed fellow judge Sebmojo should be along with the last 11 or so entries left over at some point, and I know Kaishai is well under way with her feedback. So if you don't see your story here, don't worry! There is more to come.



Grammar issues, comma issues. I’m not really sure if I understood what was going on properly. The inclusion of your element didn’t really feel very natural; it would have been better to work it in more subtly. You didn’t lose by virtue of the fact that this had a recognizable story arc and an ending. This warrants a deep critique, which I’m not doing, so maybe head over to the fiction farm?


There were comma issues and general mechanical wonkiness. I felt like I was reading a Peep Show novelization which is sort of good and bad, because I like Peep Show, but I have to wonder if this isn’t a bit borrowed. Unless maybe my binge watching recently is causing me to project, my bad. This story has me torn, because while the writing itself has so many issues, stuff happens! Our character has a defined motivation! He seems sort of sympathetic, then less so, then even less so. He doesn’t get what he wants, but then, we don’t really want him to so it’s sort of a happy ending? Your adherence to the prompt wasn’t too bad, I actually like how you added a pop of color to the story. I really don’t know how to feel about this. I don’t really get the “spun her head around like the girl in the exorcist” thing though, did she actually or did she just turn and give him a scary look?


You say mouth two times in the first sentence and it’s weird. A lot of things in this are weird. I find it hard to believe that Lao Qiu would be totally surprised that his workplace was making him sick when he’s puking like bloody vomit. But hrrrm I like the mushroom thing. I did have to read wikipedia to figure out which part of your story was derived from your element, and you did an alright job incorporating it. But like a lot of the entries this week, it felt like there was a nod to some obligatory wikipedia reading, and then the story just kind of got on with business as usual.


Ow my eyes. The paragraph breaks in this entry were all over the place. You included an almost word-for-word bit from the wikipedia article. And you didn’t even have to! It’s not really relevant to your story who discovered polonium or what it was named after. This story itself ends pretty abruptly. I’m not a big fan of endings where the “protagonist”, such as they are, is just BLAP *dead*.


So the writing is pretty good. I’m undecided on how I feel about your use of the prompt. This needs a theme or a metaphor; you almost had something with this girl’s interest in lightbulbs, but you didn’t go anywhere with it. So it feels a bit shoehorned. This is decent enough that a strong theme would’ve made me like it a lot.


This is weirdly dark for you CC, what’s up? Otherwise, this was a favorite this week. My only critique was that the narrator was almost too hateful for me, and had no self awareness. If she had been a little more human, this could’ve clinched it for me. All in all, a strong entry.

El Diabolico

Um. Well this…..ends. The issues with this are as myriad as the colors in your subterranean sky. Lead has so many uses and is EVERYWHERE, yet I didn’t really think about it while reading this. Pipes and poo poo, I guess? Maybe your protagonist is suffering from lead poisoning at the end? Each sentence is blocky and your descriptions and metaphors are all very tired and well-worn. And then the ending. This feels like the beginning of something, not a complete short story.


This was barely not scifi, but ok technology at the end of an era of magic, I’ll work with it. The writing itself was serviceable, though your description of things, particularly the sort of stream-of-consciousness moment where Jyllo touches the uranium under ground, wasn’t the most inspired. The only bit that I really didn’t get was the ending. Is the implication that, in trying to help the world prepare for this prophecy, Kyllo brings about the end of magic?

Don’t actually answer that here, but the fact that I was unsure should tell you something. Overall not the best, not the worst, pretty middle of the pack for me this week.


BAD MEINBERG. All you would’ve had to have done was NOT included the nebula cruise-type bullshit and I would have argued with Kai until I was blue in the face that this was pretty realist near future tech. But no, SPACE STUFF FOR NO REASON.

The story itself is ok, if nothing new. I like that you didn’t have your protagonist abruptly killed at the end, though I’m not sure why he is so sure they won’t just kill him anyway or follow through on the deal. Your writing is clear, I think you just need to learn how to have more fun with your concepts. Like I wouldn’t believe for a second that this story is something you care deeply and passionately about. Tell me THAT story next time. This week would be a great opportunity.


So I liked this, and once I figured out what the narrator was up to I liked it a whole lot more. Pretty cool concept and interpretation of the prompt and flash rule. The only thing that was missing for me was more of a moment of self awareness or something...but your character didn’t really approach that. So I was left feeling like I got this cool glimpse into someone’s life, but there wasn’t terribly much in the way of character development.


Ugh Quidnose. You already know the fatal flaw in this. Had you somehow made it more like, absurd or magical realist or something, you could’ve slipped in and probably been upper-middle of the pack. The story itself was pretty amusing and well written, but obviously the speculative elements DQed you.

God Over Djinn

So I really liked this. I personally didn’t have a problem with the chronology; I like the hook in the beginning. You’ve got this old lady who is a “burden” to her family, but then suddenly she’s lighter than air. And I want to know why, and how. I found the inclusion of your element elegant and multi-layered. The tone of the story admittedly resonates with me for hard-to-articulate reasons that boil down to personal preference, but really, I felt like this was the most graceful interpretation of the elements this week.


So, the more I read this, the more I like it, but it didn’t quite register with me the first time through. For some reason I just didn’t connect the eggs with the whole “humans claim the land by using it” thing. I guess it fits in with sulphur because sulphur smells like gross eggs, but I was left kinda of going “huh?” at the end. But I think I get what you were going for now. I guess I’m just not sure what effect the eggs actually had; the volcano is erupting at the end, yes? So I wasn’t anymore certain of this tribe’s fate at the end than I was at the beginning, so I have to take Budi’s word for it at the end that this is a victory.

Benny the Snake

Benny, Benny, Benny. I hope you come back. You weren’t even the DM this week! But this was kind of a weak entry. I think you spent too much time on the beginning and didn’t really know where you were going with this, which forced you to write a really abrupt ending. I mean, at least it does end. But other than oracles having silver eyes, I’m not really feeling the element silver. Generally when I see lines in stories that are like “little did I know, things were about to change….” or “I still remember to this day…”, I know it’s a bad story.

Another issue is that we don’t ever get to SEE your character trying to avoid his fate. It’s just, he gets his fate told, and then he kills his family.


You intrigue me, ‘Saurus. You already know you’ll never live down the piss guitar, but you’re actually coming into your own quite well here in the ‘dome. That said, I thought this week’s offering was a little too fluffy for my taste. Yes it does hit all the right emotional spots, and your inclusion of your element was good, but I can’t help but feel like I’ve read this story before, and already knew what was going to happen as soon as it began. That said, I think you did an ok job of going through the loyal dog trope, and E/N likes your story so what now? Upper middle of the pack. Keep improving!


Admittedly, I really enjoyed this on the first readthrough. Getting down to brass tacks, I really wanted to have more of a sense of what the consequences of the evening were going to be. I wanted Emily to have more than a bit role as WIFE #2. Otherwise, your dialog was tight; I’m getting really partial to the writing voice of you southern hemisphere English speakers. Maybe it’s all the ‘mate’ this, ‘mate’ that. This had the ring of a 'Mojo piece, in that it had a good eye for detail and characterization, except for Emily. One of my picks this week.


So, your description was pretty great, but there was so much of it that I kind of got lost in all the pretty shapes and colors. I’m not sure why, looking over it, you’re writing is pretty serviceable and clear. I guess it’s because I never got the sense of what this fantastical cave and weird Core are for, beyond putting hapless adventurers in peril. The very ending lines were kind of weak; “waiting for inevitability” is such a general sentiment that doesn’t really close up your story. Otherwise not bad, you’re just a couple inches left of the mark.

Nettle Soup

While this was one of the approaches to the prompt that I liked, I was left scratching my head about a few things. Why was this lady so fixated on the golden rose? I liked the logic of the blood feeding it, and there was a nice metaphor in there somewhere about our fixation on gold, but it didn’t shine through like I would’ve preferred. I’m not really sure why she became the tree at the end. This had the makings of a King Midas sort of cautionary tale, but the logic didn’t quite work to make me accept your premise. Also, why didn’t it occur to Erik to like, sell this thing?


I mean, yeah, the writing is solid. But after reading so many of your stories, we can safely put this one into the Martello.txt file. You have a lot of interesting life experiences, and insight but you bury them under lingo that makes my eyes glaze over. Of course, write what you want to write about, but it’s hard for me to dredge up new things to say about the war is pointless trope. Am I being mean? I don’t know. I just know that you’re a better writer with more versatility than you show in TD a lot of the time, and it leaves me at a loss for new things to say.


Okay, the first paragraph could’ve been cut, or at least trimmed down. But this was a story, where a character wants something, does/doesn’t get it, and then changes as a result! So structurally, good job. I liked the inclusion of your element also. In a weaker week, this may have got an HM, but as it is, pretty good job. I think it was just that first big block of description that failed to pull me in effectively.


Well enough written. I guess I just didn’t really get Joe’s motivation, was the thing that kept it from getting a nod from this judge. There wasn’t enough motivation for him to basically risk ambushing the narrator and assaulting his girlfriend. I guess the fact that he and narrator discovered the shack together? But I don’t recall getting a sense of why these guys hate each other so much. I did like the parallels with the crack of the bat, when you describe Joe in the beginning and then near the end when Claire whacked him over the head.

Schneider Heim

I wasn’t so much a fan of this one. I’m not entirely sure how your element played in, and the premise was kind of a stretch. For one thing, what’re they going to do about a drummer? Why would an amateur cover band get paid? Why would the venue double their pay? Why would any of this work out in any way other than “sorry guys, you don’t get to play or get paid”? I don’t know. The whole premise just didn’t sit with me, and I had trouble finding the prompt element.


This was good. It was neat, it was tidy. The protagonist was likeable, and the plot was solid. I guess I just saw the ending coming from the beginning, so that’s what kept me from feeling this 100%. I don’t actually have much to crit other than that though, so good on you!


This was charming to me in ways that I find hard to articulate. You’ve definitely been improving here in the dome, though. It did get a little rambly in places, but I was able to work with it because the narrator seemed like the rambling type. I did like his interjections about his thrift store, and how that tied in to him coming into possession of the quilt. Your element didn’t play THAT big of a role, and I can’t say that I am 100% sure that I got your whole premise, but you did an okay play on the whole “devil at the crossroads” thing. I liked that Pete didn’t take the deal, though. I don’t know, this wasn’t the best by a long shot, but you’ve got a kind of charm, Docbeard. Keep it up.

No Longer Flakey

This is one of those stories that feel kind of throw away to me. I don’t really care about anyone or what they’re doing or why. Nothing has changed by the end of the story; Chad is still a total rube, and the narrator hasn’t really DONE anything. The writing is clear enough, but the premise is just… Come on guys, the prompt is just a starting point to narrow INFINITE POSSIBILITIES down to slightly-less-than-infinite possibilities. So this story just…..doesn’t do it for me.


Sooooooo much pontificating at the beginning. And then your character looks at a ring, and at the end of the story she still has doubt. Only maybe she is reaffirmed in her doubt? I don’t know. The tone in this was overwrought and dry, and there was too much rumination.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

I'm thinking about entering this week, but I'm going to be moving to another country/exploring steamy jungles next week and probably unable to judge if I win. Can I like, take the crown but defer the judging onto somebody else or would that be a super lovely thing to do?


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
So apparently everyone in IRC got apocalypsed and me and Rhino are the chosen ones.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
Djinn and Flakey, just about 9.532.5 hours remain for you to get the dream police up in my head.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 00:19 on Feb 13, 2014

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

gosh I guess I was just over excited to read your writing

my bad


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007

Jeza posted:

Guess who's back with a brand new lap(top).

I'm in. Not written words for quuuuuuite a while. And I'm busy for all the days left to submit. However, PAIN IS TEMPORARY, GLORY ETERNAL


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