Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

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 $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Locked thread
Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



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

Sitting Here posted:

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

hey

hey you

You think only Muffin's good enough for you?

He's too busy fooling around with your nemesis.

Bring it.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



hi im posting this on a phone version of wordpad i count 100 words but it might be off kthnx

Solis

The parched earth beneath his feet spread to the horizon. He stood, barefoot, armed only with a lute against the flaming beast far above. He imagined its distant roar, and plucked a counterpoint. Sweat dripped from his face and he stepped back, and forward, a dance beneath its burning gaze that called on times long past.

The beast raged as its flames were swallowed. It roared, it seared, but the musician danced and played unbowed until at last its heat was shrouded. At the end, overcome, he collapsed.

Rain fell on the arid forest for the first time in centuries.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Brawl vs Sitting Here

Hey a thing. Titles suck.

Exploits
1894 words


[Archived]

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at Dec 5, 2014 around 03:36

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



In.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Bad fantasy personally offends me, so I took it upon myself to crit last week's fantasy offerings because I clearly don't have a brawl to write instead.

Book-saidisms were the least of your concerns.


Extermination: Techno Remix
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...uE71piP8dM/edit

A Conversation: Ursine Asylum
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...KRITGt_IQ8/edit

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



sebmojo posted:

EchoDjeserBrawl

Djeser and Echo Cian: you will give me 500 words of folktale, by next Thursday 11.59 pm PST.

Go to this page, take your first and last initials and pick a folktale category from each letter, (so a John Smith might pick 'Love like salt' and 'The Jackal and the Farmer') then show me what happens when those two tales collide.

Kora and His Sister + Androcles and the Lion


Arya and the Guard
495 words

There were once two young slave siblings named Kora and Arya, who were so clever in their work that their master declared they should wed, for no other slaves equaled them. Arya knew she could not marry her own brother, but though they had favor, their master ignored their pleas. She searched for a way out, but could not find it on her own, nor was she allowed to speak with her brother until the wedding. She wept for their fate.

It happened that one day a guard of the house fell grievously ill. Slaves feared the guards, but Arya could not bear to think of anyone so miserable. In her kindness, she asked the plants she tended to help her, and herbs grew. With them she made a tea, which she brought to him each day. Soon the guardsman's illness left him.

When he was well, he called her to him. "What was it that made you weep so, while you tended me?"

"The master wishes to wed me to my own brother," she told him. "I cannot do it, but I don't know how to escape."

The guard was quite taken with Arya. "I will get you away from your master to repay you for saving my life. Come with me now, and we can both be gone."

But Arya would not move. "I will not go without Kora."

The guard tried to convince her, for it would be simpler to save her alone, but she remained steadfast. In the end he saw that to argue was futile. Still, he needed to prepare. He sought out her brother and returned with instructions: "Grow me hemp and hemlock, and wait for me five days."

Arya returned to her garden and the plants once again answered her plea. The guard harvested them and left for his duties, while Arya waited anxiously. If he poisoned their master, they could all be put to death; if his plan was found, they would never escape. As the time for the wedding came closer, she could only trust in him.

In five days, the guard came to her at night, and Kora was with him. Arya hugged her brother, and together they left their master's property. They passed the other guards, tied and bound with rope made of hemp. They were not set upon by dogs, for clever Kora had poisoned them with hemlock. Such was the plan they had devised together, which neither could have done alone.

As they traveled, Kora caught them food. The guard protected them by day on the road, tying their hands with rope and pretending they were his slaves until they were alone. At night, Arya asked the trees to shelter them, until at last they made it safely away from their master's lands. By now Arya and the guard were quite in love. They married, with Kora's blessing; and the three remained loyal to each other for the rest of their lives.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



In.

Also since it seems to help me get into the writing groove, I'll crit another fantasy-oriented story. Doesn't have to be a recent one. Whoever drops me a link here first gets it.

Some Guy TT posted:

I want in, but I feel so much pity for the poor judges who have to read all these entries every week when most of them are terrible. Should I care about that?

If people cared about that, there would be no thread.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Fallen Grace
980 words

[Removed for submission]

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at May 29, 2014 around 23:48

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Echo Cian posted:

Also since it seems to help me get into the writing groove, I'll crit another fantasy-oriented story. Doesn't have to be a recent one. Whoever drops me a link here first gets it.

No one took me up on this, so I took it upon myself, though I waited until judgment to post.

A Ghost of Many: Paladinus
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...u3idmtCNP0/edit


Even though no one asked, too bad; I'm co-judging this week. As such, if you idiots decide to write fantasy, it had better not be boring, stupid, cliche-ridden schlock. I would strongly suggest reading the above crit and the others I did last week so you can maybe take a limp-wristed swing at learning from their mistakes.

On that note: Whether you're writing fantasy or lit fic or whatever you're doing, I want to see characters, not these paper-thin cutouts some of you try to pass off as something I should give a drat about. And the non-fantasy had better not be boring, stupid, cliche-ridden schlock, either.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011




Set it to anyone can view.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



nutranurse posted:

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I figure I get at least one of those since this is my first thunderdome. Is the deadline to submit tomorrow or is that only the deadline to drop out?

They're the same thing. Either you submit or you don't. It's tomorrow either way.

I would recommend submitting.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



The Saddest Rhino posted:

Critiques for Week LXXXIV: MOST OF YOU CAN'T TELL GHOST STORIES

Fixed that for you, fellow insane person.

I wish you'd posted these sooner so people could have read it and learned and not made the exact same mista-

hahaha who am I kidding if people listened to advice we'd have good stories. Or even stories at all.


My crits will be up soon. Don't look forward to them.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Crits for Week 85: Ground Control to Major Tom

This week was awful. Thunderdome is for writing stories. A third of you managed to not even accomplish that, to varying degrees of further failure.

A story is not an ~idea let me show you it~. A story is:

- A character wants something
- but he can't have it, because
- something is in the way (preferably a character flaw)
- so he must overcome that obstacle
- and succeeds or fails based on what decisions he makes/actions he takes.

So many of you didn't have any of those. You didn't have characters, merely a list of names, so there were no flaws; some of you didn't even try to have obstacles, and certainly they weren't overcome; and your "protagonists" made no decisions or actions, contrary to the very definition of the word; or their actions made no sense.

Protagonist. Proactive. For god's sake, make your characters do things and give them enough personality to make those things make sense.

Beef's ranted on this before, so I would urge you all to review this incredibly basic thing to know about fiction writing before you waste another judge's time with your non-stories. I have something more specific to talk about.


Endings.

I was amazed just how many stories - otherwise good stories, from good writers! - tripped and landed flat on their faces right at the ending. In V for Vegas's case, at the very last sentence, making me wonder what the hell was going on. In Krotera's case, for being utterly incomprehensible after a long and adequately-written lead-in that tricked me into thinking my time spent reading might have a payoff. In tenniseveryone's case, for turning an otherwise good story with a talent for building atmosphere into a facepalm-worthy punchline. Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi undid his story at the end, meaning no lessons were learned and no characters actually developed. And those are only the ones I remember offhand.

Don't try to be clever. Don't try to throw in a surprising twist at the end. Don't be so vague as to be incomprehensible. Don't completely shatter your tone by going lolwacky. Don't turn your seemingly serious story into a joke. Don't make the entire thing irrelevant by undoing the point in the last paragraph. Doing any of these things makes me realize that any time I spent invested in your story was a waste, and then I get a bit upset.

This is perhaps worse than being awful from the beginning, because if I'm not a judge, I at least know to skip something that looks terrible; or if I do read it, I know what I'm in for. RunningIntoWalls earned a loss for being unreadable from start to finish and then not even having a point to make the attempt worth it, but at least I knew it was going to be bad from the first paragraph. pseudoscorpion earned a loss for having an awful case of televisionitis, but otherwise being boring-but-tolerable; right up until you directly insulted my intelligence with your AMAZING TWIST and threw in casual racism to boot. You were the first entry to actually make me mad. Congratulations. Please choke on a dinner mint.

Just write a story, the ending of which matches the tone throughout. Don't undermine it with a shocking revelation or a punchline at the very end. Don't try to be vague and throw in a twist without bothering to set it up or explain it first. Don't try to be clever. It only makes the judges irritated.


Some other notes:


PROOFREAD. If you can't be bothered to check your own story for errors, making the judges read it is an insult to all of us and an embarrassment to you. If you don't care, why do you expect us to?


STOP WITH THE "COULD SEE/COULD FEEL." We don't care what they could do, we only care what they are doing - and if all they're doing is hearing or seeing, we care more about what it is they're hearing or seeing, not the fact they're hearing or seeing it. Sensing verbs are bad enough already, don't waste my time even more by taking another step to separate the reader from the action.

Ana heard a loud sound and turned to see a dragon that had smashed through the trees behind her.
"Sup dudette?" she heard him say with her ears that were listening to sounds.

Something crashed behind Ana. She whirled, and came face-to-face with a dragon.
"Sup dudette?" he said, shaking a tree limb out of his claws.


You choose which is more immediate.


And finally (for now), withholding information from the reader does not make you clever. I could have tied this in with endings, but there were other stories that did this throughout. Kaishai is the only one who pulled something like this off, and that was because she didn't try to hide it; the way she wrote the story, the information was naturally revealed in perfectly normal conversation between the characters via letters. Read her story and learn.

CaligulaKangaroo had a variant of this, taking far too long to get to the point and then being coy about the ending, so I barely knew what had happened. Bushido Brown seemed to attempt the reveal, but only made it confusing, also taking too long to clarify the setting (and never getting to a point, too caught up in an ~idea~; see above). Those weren't the only ones, but everything's blurred together by now.

Withholding information that the protagonist knows just to try to make things mysterious or keep the reader guessing only gets annoying. Flash fiction doesn't have room for playing coy. If you're not writing a mystery, don't hide things; and if you are writing a mystery, don't conceal what the protagonist has already figured out just because.


With that out of the way,

Have your line-by-lines.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Pseudoscorpion posted:

And with crits in mind,

...

It was a normal day, just like any other.

...

“Hey, uh, Adam.” Zach muttered.

“Darn it,” I spat.

“I dunno if I can keep this up.” Zach panted.

...

STUPID TWIST ENDING



Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



magnificent7 posted:

My deadline is Friday? Or that other rear end kisser?

Funny hobby you've got for an illiterate.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



In, hit me.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011





Twilight Blue
1496 words

Caleb knew birds. His bookshelf held a phoenix feather protected in glass, its brilliant orange and yellow mirroring the fire in the hearth; ensconced in a display case beneath his end table rested a piece of a roc's eggshell, cloud-white and an inch thick. His yard was strewn with birdfeeders and birdhouses, his roof lined with cages for pigeons.

He took pride in knowing all there was to know - until his pet crow flew in from the north and brought him a feather the blue of a twilit sky, marked with an eye-shaped spot that mirrored the moon at its brightest. Peacock blue was dull beside it. Only the phoenix feather burned more vibrantly. To discover something new, to become known, had been his lifelong dream. He held up the feather and saw two moons, one in a scrap of sky in the middle of the northern mountains. He packed his bags the next day, left an assistant to tend the pigeons, and set off with his crow flying overhead.

The trek took days, but he had traveled the world to study birds; the mountains were his backyard. How the crow had found a feather he'd never seen before so close to his own home, he couldn't guess. He hiked and hunted, kayaked and climbed, until he scaled peaks he had only seen through binoculars.

After a week, with his supplies dwindling, he finally saw it: A flash of blue on a higher peak, deeper than the daylight sky. Caleb climbed higher, until he clung to a scrub bush across from a nest where a twilight-blue bird fed chicks the color of scruffy clouds. She watched him warily, but he didn't move, and she soon ignored him. He hardly dared breathe. It truly was no bird he had seen before, and he had seen a hammerkop appear in a lightning storm, felt the wind from a griffin's wingbeat.

The twilit bird spread wings edged with eye-shaped markings that glowed like miniature moons, and dove from the nest in search of food.

Caleb set up his tent on a plateau below the scrub bush, where a path he didn't dare take led nearer to the nest. He ventured to the valley floor to hunt, but spent most of his time watching the birds. The three ungainly little cloud-chicks had an endearing way about them, their grey feet too big for their bodies, their necks so scrawny it was a wonder they could eat the meat their mother brought them. He had never seen such a brilliantly-colored raptor. He studied, recorded, wondered how he could never have heard of this bird if it lived so near to him.

He awoke one morning to unfamiliar shrieks and calls. He climbed up to his viewpoint, and saw a blaze of orange in the twilight blue. A larger bird tore at the mother, whose feathers were stained red. The chicks lay scattered, unmoving, except for one in the far corner.

Caleb shouted and waved his arms, but the orange-tipped bird ignored him. He abandoned his usual vantage point and sought the path he hadn't dared climb, that led to the nest's peak. He scrabbled for handholds in the rocks wet-slicked with droppings and blood. He dragged himself over the edge and found himself beside the last chick, as the blazing intruder stepped over the mother's limp body.

No other choice entered his mind: If he lost this, he would lose his opportunity. He scooped up the last chick and held it tight to his chest. The adult hissed, its orange crest flashing in the early touch of sunlight, its orange breast feathers flaring, and lunged at him. Caleb toppled from the nest and landed on a ledge below, groaning at the pain in his arm. The chick flailed, peeping; the crow croaked. A shadow moved above. Caleb gritted his teeth and slipped from that ledge to the path below. He nearly toppled over the edge, and threw himself back hard against the cliff face as blue streaked past him.

When it came back, it met his crow. It pecked and scratched at the far larger bird's eyes, beat its wings in its face, until dark blue melted away, pursued by hoarse caws echoing sharply off the cliffs. Caleb got to his feet painfully and made his way back to his camp. He didn't dare risk the male's return. He rested, bandaged his arm, and gathered what he could still carry to return home.

The bird's harsh trills followed him down the mountain, but faded by the time he reached the river, and stopped altogether when the forest thickened. His crow rejoined him for the journey back. The chick settled as Caleb fed it pieces of his catches, grew used to being carried. Pigeons flew from him in surprise when he climbed the steps to their cages and created a makeshift nest on the roof for the chick, separated from the pigeons by mesh.

The bird grew quickly. Its body became proportionate to its feet; its cloudy fluff was gradually replaced by blue. After growing up with the pigeons fluttering by, it ignored them when Caleb took it out of its enclosure. It watched them fly until it took its first leap off the roof, which ended with an ungainly thump on the landing below.

Caleb sent out his findings, and experts came to study it. It was similar to an eagle; it shared traits with a phoenix; it wasn't quite closely related to anything. The aggressive male was never found, though scientists searched the mountains with Caleb's guidance. Through it all, the young bird he named Inigo showed attachment only to her surrogate father.

As the story spread, more than scientists got word of the new, rare bird. Caleb woke to another chaotic morning: Pigeons fluttered, his crow squawked. On the roof, a dark figure bundled flashing moon-eyes in the enclosure's mesh. The bird thrashed, but was not yet full grown; the roof was already splattered with dark.

Caleb's bellow rivaled the mother bird's screams. Again, there was no other choice, but fame was the last thing on his mind. He charged the thief, tackled him to the ground, beat his fists into the man, until a sharp pain in his chest knocked the wind out of him. He sagged to the side. His hand touched loose mesh; his fingers seized on it, and he pulled.

Twilight and silver flashed above him and Inigo lunged at the thief. A clatter; morning light reflected off the knife skittering across the concrete. The thief shouted and fought, but Inigo dug in with claws and hooked beak. Caleb found his feet, snatched the knife; shoved Inigo aside and pinned the thief. He tied his hands with torn mesh, and waited for the police and an ambulance.

Inigo watched from the roof's railing. The medics paused only briefly to stare at stark blue in a lightening sky, and listened in awe and disbelief when Caleb told them how his bird had fought like a mother protecting its own. His injuries weren't serious. Yet when he returned home, Inigo was nowhere to be found. Only a few scattered feathers remained from the scuffle, blown into corners.

Had she been stolen, after all? Had she left when she realized her home was no longer safe? Caleb could find no sign of a thief. Days passed; weeks, months. Inigo had ventured off before, but never for so long. She didn't peck at his window when he overslept, didn't follow him around the yard more like a dog than a bird, didn't harass the crow and squawk indignantly when he tweaked her tailfeathers in return. She had run other predators away from the pigeons, chased a dog away from Caleb - and saved him from the thief.

Caleb had already published research on the strange birds, their behavior and growth cycles, their aggression under threat and apparent devotion to those around them. Now, he informed the public that the birds were no longer near him. There would be no more accolades for him, especially when a few more of the species were found in distant places, easier to study. Warding birds, some began to call them, though Caleb thought that was a terrible name. It said nothing of their color, their strange little chirrups, the way Inigo tried to copy the crow and pigeons but couldn't quite manage either sound.

Nearly a year after the robbery, Caleb once more awoke to commotion among the pigeons, but the crow's call wasn't a warning. He walked onto the landing and looked at the roof. Twilight blue met him with twice the silver moon-eyes, and a crest and breast of orange, distant on top of the cages. Caleb stared, and vowed that he wouldn't publish another paper: These birds were his, and this time no one else had to know.

Inigo chirruped to the sunrise while her mate preened orange-tipped wings.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Sithsaber posted:

Could I "cheat" by expanding on a short story I've been meaning to amend? Time stamps prove that it was originally destined for this thread before I learned the competition was closed. I dumped the original telly version (with a few grammatical corrections) onto the farm, which probably means the piece is inadmissible due to already advised punctuation pointers. If it did get in I'd try to text 280 words of examples and a slightly drawn out version of the first murder/zombie raising which had already been half assedly been considered the conceptual origin of the god War before this chance of my admission was presented.

God drat shut the gently caress up and write something new for ONCE for god's sake

Also, as someone recently told me:

Read the thread

Read the thread

Read the thread

READ THE GODDAMN THREAD

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



I regretted not joining last week so in this one.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Mayfly
1200 words

[Archived]


Pretend there's a line down the leftmost column. Took some liberties but idgaf

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at Dec 5, 2014 around 03:37

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



oh god hurry up and fix my computers repair guy

Thunderdome Week 103: Pacifist Run

With two computers bricked, I'm getting a bit sick of things dying on me. Contrary to my entry last week.

So this week, I want to see fantasy with no violence.

Your plot cannot be driven by physical violence in any way; you'll have to come up with some other kind of conflict. That said, there had better be conflict, because I want to read some actual stories here, and they'd better not be boring. Not that I hold out much hope from my last times judging you fuckers.

It should go without saying from the tone of this, but no grimdark, either. Be creative for once.

Signups end Thursday at midnight, submissions end Sunday, blah blah blah EST, you know the drill.
Wordcount: 1200
Judges: Echo Cian, Sitting Here, God Over Djinn

Those who have taken the vow of nonviolence:

Chairchucker: A Cat By Any Other Name Would Still Be a Jerk
Number 36: A Tower of Joy
Alpacalips Now: Lissandra's Hope
bromplicated: Return from Evernight
Crabrock: The Ends
HopperUK: HMS Dragonfly
Meeple: Heirophany
Gau: In Search of Eons Past
Entenzahn: Memorabilia
Jick Magger: Why did the elf cross the road?
Thalamas: 7
WeLandedOnTheMoon!: The Alchemist's Spire
Nethilia: Perhaps Tomorrow
Obliterati: Purification
docbeard: A Friend in the System
Hammer Bro.: Temperance
Fumblemouse : The Tower of Wizardry
Blade_of_tyshalle: Firmitas, Utilitas, Venustas
Benny the Snake: Burn the Witch
SurreptitiousMuffin: Love Blooms on City Rooves


Results!


Failures:
Djeser
Ausmund
Phobia
Kalyco

Crits:
Echo Cian | Second round
Sitting Here
God Over Djinn

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at Aug 6, 2014 around 00:39

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Oh yeah signups closed and all that.

I still don't have a loving computer.

Did I miss anyone?

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Lest anyone was confused on time zones, or thrown off by my forgetting to close signups for a day:

Four hours left.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



One-hour warning.

Severe thunderstorms rolling through, hallelujah. I didn't need that electricity anyway.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Submissions closed.

I'll count the failures later.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Thunderdome Week 103 Results

The average overall quality this week was pretty darn good. Only one of you managed to flub the prompt, and the culprit was unsurprising. Place your bets now.

The winner is Entenzahn, for a nice, sweet story that we all liked, with an actual conflict and resolution that came from and displayed the characters' personalities. You hinted at a lot beyond what you wrote, and that takes some finesse.

Honorable mentions go to:
HopperUK for a solid creeping horror piece that just lacked some character;
Docbeard for a complete story with a strong voice that avoided a non-ending;
Fumblemouse for an interesting setting that I would like to see more of;
and SurreptitiousMuffin for writing a better story in an hour than several of you managed in a week, also for creating a character I would totally go chill with.


The loser is Hammer Bro., for a story that made no sense, and nikchecs. I play word puzzles; don't think I didn't see that immediately. And now I am infuriated that I had to memorize the spelling in order to mock it properly. What were you thinking?

Dishonorable mention goes to:
Gau, for managing to rip off Discworld, Terraria, and Nausicaa and yet for all that, nothing interesting happened.

And finally, Benny the Snake is disqualified for writing a kinda-story that missed the point of the prompt. I asked for a conflict that did not involve violence. What you wrote was a premise that clearly set up that violence would happen; you just stopped writing before it did. You might have lost if you hadn't flubbed completely. Then again, it would be hard to annoy me more than nikchecs.


The floor's all yours, Entenzahn, you poor, poor sap.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



But really, the winner is me because I got a computer again.

On that note,

Have some crits.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



I did a few extra crits for week 103.

I can do more in-depth crits for anyone who wants them from that week, but I don't think the rest of you needed it much.


Number 36: A Tower of Joy
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...y31SGhgY0c/edit

bromplicated: Return from Evernight
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...Ax_WLjce-M/edit

Gau: In Search of Eons Past
https://docs.google.com/document/d/..._IGW7b1uaA/edit

Benny the Snake: Burn the Witch
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...OMJ2KrjwHg/edit

Hammer Bro.: Temperance
https://docs.google.com/document/d/...DgnQljt1vQ/edit


e; fixed permissions, whoops

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at Aug 6, 2014 around 01:28

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Reminder to people who have done crits in Google Docs:

Comments are now invisible on docs unless the doc is set to enable everyone to comment, not just view, so please update permissions on crit docs you've posted and keep this in mind for later.

And hope Google fixes this because seriously.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Just a friendly little reminder before anything else gets submitted:

PROOFREAD YOUR drat ENTRIES FOR THE LOVE OF THE BLOOD QUEEN

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Sitting Here posted:

I think one of the most essential things for good description is a keen sense of observation. A lot of you guys were clearly regurgitating descriptive-type phrases that you've seen other writers use. Some of you obviously had a movie-like picture of your story in your head, but couldn't figure out which parts to focus on.

This was the biggest problem this week. Things turn cliche because one person uses them, and then someone likes that description, so they just keep using the same phrase until all meaning is lost instead of coming up with something new from personal experiences. Think of impressions, not just the plain fact of the inanimate image sitting before you.

I didn't get in-depth, but here's my commentary for the week. I can get into more detail if something is unclear, but I doubt I'd say anything the other judges won't cover on their own.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/...Jr4Al6OqSg/edit

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Thunderdome 2015teen: Reading is hard so let's write excuses instead

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



In.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Hawk's Cry (720 words)

Siera clung to a scrub tree on the precipice, her hands and lungs aching and her head ringing. Hawks soared and called below, and Siera wondered what it would be like to join them. Would she fly if she leaped off the cliff? Would she feel the impact or only the rush of wind as she plummeted?

Their words haunted her from the moment she'd opened her eyes and found the tavern collapsed around her, felt the thrum of power through her veins. Witch, they'd screamed as she stumbled away from the wreckage, stammering. Accursed, the man had shouted when she tried to move a piece of roofing that had pinned his leg. Anathema! chased her from the tavern without her violin, from the town, onto the mountain.

The hawks didn't accuse. But she'd done it. Her music had gone wild, winding ivy throughout support beams and growing moss to chew through wood until down the tavern crashed. She didn't know if anyone had died, but it didn't matter. She still remembered the thorns tearing through her brother's legs when he'd frightened her with a snake as a child. He had never played with her again. He hadn't walked.

Would she become a hawk if she sang as she jumped? She dragged herself to her feet and peered over the edge. It was a long way down. How easy it would be to let go of the branch and let gravity do the rest, to never again have to worry about losing herself to what she loved and hated both. She deserved whatever the villagers would do to her. Maybe she deserved the rocks below more.

"Hey."

Her head snapped around, hair flying. She hadn't heard the young man approach. She'd seen him somewhere before. The tavern? Something about him - his brown hair, his bright eyes, the way he stood tall and alert - had reminded her of the hawks.

"They're looking for you," he said quietly.

Siera turned back to the cliff. She should just jump. Become a hawk. Feel the rush. Anything but let her hand tighten on the tree.

"I heard your playing," he continued. "It was beautiful. I've never heard anything like it."

It didn't matter, she almost wanted to say, but even that didn't matter. She could grow a tree straight up his back and he wouldn't even know, and she wouldn't even mean to. What did beauty matter in the face of that? What did liking something matter, when music was what she loved?

"They were just scared." He paused, waiting for a reaction, but she gave him none. "My uncle's a songworker, too."

Again, she almost spoke, but stayed silent. Pointless. He wouldn't know what it was like.

"You don't have to run or hide on the mountain forever." She heard the attempt at a smile in his voice. "He can settle them down. Or-" He hesitated, then laughed nervously, and his words came out in a rush. "Or I can stand here until they give up and hold onto you before you give up, because I want to hear you play again, and you're pretty and I'm really going to put my foot in my mouth if I keep babbling, aren't I?"

Siera finally looked at him, incredulous. The misplaced awkward smile on his sharp face, like he knew he'd just said the dumbest thing he possibly could have, made her crack a smile of her own, despite herself. Her hand was sore from clutching the tree. His, when he held it out, looked much softer.

"I'm afraid to play again," she said. "This isn't the first time."

"It's okay." His hand remained, pleading, as he glanced at the cliff edge, bright eyes worried yet warm. "We can make it the last. I won't let them throw rocks, I can promise that."

It was all flattery, trying to talk her down. He couldn't really be interested in someone like her. He wasn't even a songworker. But she couldn't just jump in front of him. She might deserve it, but he didn't. And...well, maybe he was right. He'd come all the way here for some reason. For her.

Wings beat past the cliff as she accepted his hand and let him lead her back from the ledge.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



God Of Paradise posted:

I'm a stupid reporter.

I'm a pretty good stupid reporter too. I've won a couple of stupid awards being a stupid reporter.

Whether I am a bad poster has no relevance on my stupid job. I would rather shoot myself than be a technical writer.

This is a flash fiction contest. No one gives a gently caress.

No one will read your overlong poo poo when the judges already have to read upwards of a novella each week just because you can't read.

Either follow the ONE RULE THAT MATTERS and write something new or get out quietly, defending yourself is just making GBS threads up the thread.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



To clarify a bit: Good on you for getting excited enough to write that much.

However, anyone here could blab on about nothing for six pages. Working with the low wordcount is the point.

God Of Paradise posted:

I'll pull something else out of my rear end and post it.

That's more like it.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Your Sledgehammer posted:

Take your loss, learn from it, make your writing better.

Fifth time's the charm?

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Thunderdome 2015teen: Where Words Come to Die
alternatively, Where Ideas Come to Die

Thunderdome 2015teen: Read More, Write Better

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at Dec 23, 2014 around 07:43

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Well, as long we're seriousposting...

Benny, kindly gently caress off so we can forget your existence asap. Also: what Fuschia_tude said.

...

Anyway, crits are fine as they are. Some people give a couple sentences; others get detailed. I've gone either way depending on how I felt that week or what the story warranted. Just be more constructive than "haha what gently caress you" or don't volunteer. No need to regulate beyond that.

  • Locked thread