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Boaz-Jachim
Sep 20, 2015

CANERE CORAM LEONE


I hosed up.

In.

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Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Come get your Pelmeni and Oysters right here.

Froglight's pelmeni

This a long crit because there is so much to say. This was so very close to losing, but in the end, Oystermen just made me a tad more mad than this piece.

This is such a mess.

You are constantly telling the reader everything. Instead of showing us the characters and the world and allowing the reader to read and figure it out - there is all this exposition. This makes for a terrible read.

And it’s not just exposition about the characters - but you have them spew emotional exposition constantly in dialogue, too. That completely deflates a story and turns it into cringey melodrama. Please do not do this! It is very unpleasant to see!

There's a useful example I've stashed in my notes from an old forum post - check out the Orscot Scott Card extract, quoted in an old Fiction Writing thread post here. Please read it! Twice! It will help you with your dialogue.

I do not like the old adage of “show don’t tell” - I think it’s overly simplistic, since depending on the context telling can be more appropriate than showing, so perhaps it’s better to say “know when to tell and know when to show”. But in your case, you really need to "show, don't tell"

Here’s why I’ve been repeatedly punching myself in the face while reading this: there are actually creative parts buried underneath. Like, the concept is fine, there’s actually a story here! Underneath the chaotic storm, tiny creative things lurk in the darkness! If you re-wrote pretty much all the words, this story could work. The wife wants stuff, the husband does too, and there’s conflict and desire and background and interaction - all good things for a story.

OK. Here are two more horrible, inexcusable things:
Swearing. Do not use it like you use it. It jars the reader and is so juvenile and totally does not fit the tone.

The ending. This is SO bad. Never do this! This is “P.S. and then he died”. Maybe, maybe if you mentioned the landmines before and you weaved a thread about it through the story… then maybe it would just be plain bad - but this is absolutely inexcusable and you're lucky to avoid a loss because the losing story committed the same sin.

I want you to Thunderdome again because most of the time when I hate a story, it’s because nothing happens and everything is flat and bland and there is no taste and life seems pointless. This story, though, is the opposite - everything is lumpy and misshaped and there are colours and noises and I get nauseous and throw up in my mouth and life seems like too much.

This contained nuggets of characters with desires and histories and conflict, and was ultimately somewhat entertaining, despite the chaos, which was the one saving grace.

Also.

quote:

As he walked he had a brief fantasy of drowning Dragana in flour. He immediately felt like an rear end in a top hat, mainly because she was carrying his first child, and secondly because he loved her.
What have I done to you, Froglight? Why did you make me read that?

I need a drink.

ZeBourgeoisie's oysters.

This is not good. This is a ridiculous piece that does not know what it is and wants to be, and fails on every premise it promises to establish.

Ivan is just musing by himself at the start - there’s all exposition and you’re telling us his thoughts and he's watching oystermen but it's all internal blah blah - this sort of thing is death for the reader's interest and attention. A lone protagonist thinking exposition is almost always an ugly chore to read (so if you're struggling with this sort of thing when writing your next story - it might help giving your protagonist someone to interact with and bounce off).

Lots of ugly sentences: “...he thought to himself. “ - As opposed to someone else? “I thought it would’ve destroyed your mind. But here you stand, still capable of understanding speech and everything.” - so much that's wrong in this story is summed up in this sentence.

Arrival of biker is the first interesting thing, but then what happens? Biker is just gone? Ivan's with an Oysterman? He just *kills himself* in the end? What’s the story about? Nothing fits together. Exposition everywhere. Ridiculous melodrama. Here's a tip - the more horrible something is that you’re describing, the colder you should be when describing it. If you over-dramatise or tell the reader how to feel, it makes for unpleasant reading.

The ending, again, commits the unforgivable sin of "P.S. and then he died". I felt this story had a lot of problems that the Pelmeni piece did as well - but ultimately this was less entertaining and thus drew the loss (it was very close). Sorry, mate.

Things need to sit together nicely in a good flash fiction story. You need to establish a premise, deliver on it, satisfy the reader! Present information about the world in an engaging way and trust the reader to piece things together!

I need another drink. I hope these notes help you both with your future stories.

Morning Bell fucked around with this message at Sep 29, 2015 around 04:47

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Six parts gIN to one part vermouth. Subject me to a flash rule that I will learn from, if your overarching cybernetic intuitiveness would be so kind.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Fumblemouse posted:

Six parts gIN to one part vermouth. Subject me to a flash rule that I will learn from, if your overarching cybernetic intuitiveness would be so kind.

Flash rule: Your appreciation for Tom Lehrer leads me to believe you may do well in Music.

Froglight
Oct 4, 2010



Thank you for the crit, Morning Bell. I will keep Thunderdoming. This was fun.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

Aww how sweet, babbys first day of school. Well it's time to lose the packed lunches and trapper keepers, cause your rear end is headed to college. I'm reasonably certain that even domers can't write shittier than the college essays I've graded, though I'm sure you'll try.

In as third judge. poo poo stories will be reported to the dean's office and could result in expulsion. Of feces. From my mouth. Into your mouth.

Illuen
Feb 18, 2011

All comedy is derived from fear.

I can't believe I'm doing this, but I want to give it a go. I'm in.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, spin up the goddam chaingun.' -Robot Santa Claus

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school...


Teacher! Hit me with a (flash) rule-a!

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007

The turtle moves.


Fun Shoe

crabrock posted:

In as third judge. poo poo stories will be reported to the dean's office and could result in expulsion. Of feces. From my mouth. Into your mouth.

How did it get in there in the first place?

Also, can I get a flash rule? I feel jaunty.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Thranguy posted:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school...


Teacher! Hit me with a (flash) rule-a!

Flash rule: If you're fond of implements of measure, you ought to enjoy Geometry!

Screaming Idiot posted:

Also, can I get a flash rule? I feel jaunty.

Flash rule: You will henceforth be doing your screaming in a Foreign Language. You may choose which to study.

(Note on this one: your story should still be written in English, but at least one other language must play a role.)

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012



In, and requesting a flash rule please.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Benny Profane posted:

In, and requesting a flash rule please.

Flash rule: The class that inspires the most profanity is Calculus, I find.

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Ask me about being the most Magnificent Bastard in EU4 Multiplayer.

In.

e: also flash rule me, I like topics and also subjects

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Obliterati posted:

In.

e: also flash rule me, I like topics and also subjects

Flash rule: Then you should enjoy learning to write essays in English Composition.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

in with my rad new kicks and my MLP backpack!!!

better go get a flash rule from the guidance counselor

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Sitting Here posted:

in with my rad new kicks and my MLP backpack!!!

better go get a flash rule from the guidance counselor

Flash rule: Sitting Here? Where is "here"? A course in Geography will help you sort that out!

Jocoserious
Jun 9, 2014

LOOK OVER HERE!!


Enough lurking, time to participate! I'm in, and give me a flash!

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Jocoserious posted:

Enough lurking, time to participate! I'm in, and give me a flash!

The professorial staff welcomes all of our new students!

Flash rule: You want to get out of the shadows, and Speech will show you the way.

Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006



Illegal Hen

Remaining judge crits for food week

Broenheim's Cake

Strong start. I'm immeditately interested about your world.

But then - I didn't understand why the dad was killed and wy the protagonist wasn't. Why do people take the cake if his dad was killed? What are the reprecussions? Will he get killed for this? If this stuff is meant to be hidden or implied, I dont think it works for me. In this respect, the piece feels a little undercooked (haha good one, me).

I also don't get a very good image of the world of the story. You drop cool stuff but it's not enough to form a picture - I think you could do more, show more.

This is not a bad piece at all, though, but feels like it could have been a lot better.

Ironic Twist's Chicken Burger

I liked this one. Good turn at the start, and I'm interested while I'm reading. This is nice flash fiction. The story keeps on surprising the reader and I like that.

Unfortunately, there's a bit too heavy exposition in the dialogue, and ultimately this doesn't feel as smooth as the other entries. I personally think the piece would have been improved if you dropped the truth serum gimmick, and just went with a late-night man with troubles. HM candidate, but didn't quite make it.

Fumblemouse takes us out for Ramen

I kinda liked this, but voice teeters on the edge of me wanting to punch it in the face. It's wacky and annoying in places, almost obnoxious-high-school-kid or something. Some bits were good - hey, there's two guys ordering ramen and I'm actually with you there - but some parts, like the baseball bat, were too slapstick. This story needed to be toned down a bit. But I did like the set-up - set in one place, two characters are fishes-out-of-water who can bounce off each other - although they could have been more distinct with the way they talked.

The ending saved this for me. I really dug the cigarette call-back. And the vomit - I laughed. Good use of humour throughout despite a questionable voice.

Killer-of-Lawyers' Goat Tongue

So... it's a story, I guess. There's a chance and gunfire, but I don't find it very interesting. I'm not really invested in the characters. The ending was cute, but I found this piece very forgettable. The writing's fine, at least, but everything is a bit action movie and not very interesting.

I didn’t like the way you switched to a short “Ara talks” section in first person.

Tyrannosaurus's Vietnamese Sandwich

I like how Handsome is named Handsome. I like the way the gang lord talks - accent works. When the protagonist lights up the cigarette at the start, I'm already rooting for him. The story works and delivers what it promises. The plot is neat and the use of prompt is neat, too. You certainly packed in a lot of stuff for a flash fic story - not surprised you're right on the word limit. The story does strain a tad under it's length constraint - it would really breathe with a higher word count.

Snappy with a good dialogue and voice. I really dug reading this. HM.

Kaishai's Pig's Head

My notes for this one, as I was reading, were mostly "aww" and "aww no" and "oh poo poo" and "loving Richard". This is because I was invested in the story and the outcome. This is exactly what I want from a story! It was touching. I genuinely felt for the protagonist. I could really picture the restaurant scene, and it was a tasty way to throw the prompt in. I really liked the pig's head dreams.

The writing's rich and good, but for me, it moves just a little slow in parts - occasionally slightly unwieldy and a little heavy toward the 'tell' side of showing and telling.

kurona_bright's Crisps.

Aw mate, why did you do this to us? This is half a story. You just... end, and nothing gets resolved to any satisfaction.

This is a middle finger in my face! The writing isn't terrible or anything. You have too many sentences doing the same job - try to be more concise and make sure there's no needless words. Crunching on crisps while in danger is a nice element. It's not ungodly and I'm fine with your start and all but we do not get any satisfaction at when we hit the end. That's a terrible thing for a story to do.

The woman is just “tall and young?” She’s down gently caress-knows-where, I need to know - does she look nuts or normal or crazy or like she lives down here or not or what? Stuff gets clumsy when she shows up. It's kind of like you spent some time on writing the start, then rushed the middle, saw the word count and the time, and just hit submit.

Dr. Kloctopussy's Hakarl

This was a disqualification - since there was both no sign-up and a late submission, it would be unfair to the other entrants to include this.

The title immediately got my attention. I did like this one, though! Creative concept and good use of prompt. Neat ending. Neat framing with the dialogue. God, her sister's awful.

A couple of tone changes when Marja is talking are strange. She's also a bit too swear-y, to the point where it lessens the effect of her being genuinely upset.

Okay!
I'm full.

Schneider Heim
Oct 17, 2012


Food Trouble week crits from me will have to be delayed as I'm sorting out some RL stuff. Later.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly


Present.



What class is this again?

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

WeLandedOnTheMoon! posted:

Present.



What class is this again?

Flash rule: Mathematics were very important to the moon landing, including Algebra.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2015 around 15:30

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

if anybody needs some help kickstarting their brain, i will give additional THESIS FLASHRULES in your given subject, but only if you've already been assigned one. they will be hard.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


crabrock posted:

if anybody needs some help kickstarting their brain, i will give additional THESIS FLASHRULES in your given subject, but only if you've already been assigned one. they will be hard.

Teacher's pet will be first to sign up for this.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014



crabrock posted:

if anybody needs some help kickstarting their brain, i will give additional THESIS FLASHRULES in your given subject, but only if you've already been assigned one. they will be hard.

give me

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Some much-belated Week 155 critiques.

Crits for Thranguy, Morning Bell, WeLandedOnTheMoon!, Jonked, Guiness13, Kaishai, Centurium, Tyrannosaurus, Cyty1, and Grizzled Patriarch.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014



Museum Crits Part 4: The True Ending

Entenzahn, Grizzled Patriach, and Schneider Heim here are lovely line by lines because idk, I didn't have much to say about your stories per line, so good work there I guess.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

Also, I better have not been the only loving person to submit to bopdeadcity contest or I will be seriously loving pissed at you idiots for not trying to submit to places. C'mon, you already submit poo poo to thunderdome, wtf is it about submitting to journals that you're so terrified about?

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

docbeard posted:

Some much-belated Week 155 critiques.

Crits for Thranguy, Morning Bell, WeLandedOnTheMoon!, Jonked, Guiness13, Kaishai, Centurium, Tyrannosaurus, Cyty1, and Grizzled Patriarch.

Thanks for the crit!

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Teacher's pet will be first to sign up for this.

Biology. The discipline created to answer the question "where do babies come from?" Unfortunately, the person in your story answering the question doesn't actually know themselves. Even worse, they are an adult.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer


Chemistry. It's all about sharing electrons. Your thesis is about people sharing chemicals, and it can't be drugs or medicine. In fact, it shouldn't be any sort of routine chemical used by people.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

If crabrock's Ivory Tower bullshit flash rules are too fancy for you, feel free to ask for a secondary-level flash rule from me. I ain't givin' 'em to ya if you got one from crabs, though.

SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, spin up the goddam chaingun.' -Robot Santa Claus

I'll take a crabrule.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

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

Grimey Drawer

Thranguy posted:

I'll take a crabrule.

Geometry. Shapes on an cartesian plane. drat, that's a pretty good pun imo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_sofa_problem Your thesis explores the relationship of two people, one who is stuck inside a half-moved couch on a staircase, and the other who assured them it would work.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


I think I actually have time to dome it this week. I'm in.

I'll take a flash rule while I'm at it.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



curlingiron posted:

If crabrock's Ivory Tower bullshit flash rules are too fancy for you, feel free to ask for a secondary-level flash rule from me. I ain't givin' 'em to ya if you got one from crabs, though.

SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!

Yeah gimme an Ebony Dungeon bullshit flash rule then, teas and plank yew.

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011



im in. all my friends got flash rules i want one too

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

Fuschia tude posted:

Yeah gimme an Ebony Dungeon bullshit flash rule then, teas and plank yew.

Sometimes I like to go read students' old discipline reports, but I really hate it when they don't give me any juicy details in the event description. In your story, someone is in trouble at school, and I drat well want to know why.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Meinberg posted:

I think I actually have time to dome it this week. I'm in.

I'll take a flash rule while I'm at it.

Flash rule: You will study the effects of time, temperature, and pressure in Earth Science.

spectres of autism posted:

im in. all my friends got flash rules i want one too

Flash rule: Your friends are all in other classes, but perhaps you'll make new friends in Choir?

Lazy Beggar
Dec 9, 2011


Can I get a crab rule for Economy, please?

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Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

CURLINGHERE BRAWLBOWL I

Curlingiron, you decided to start your story off with hitting somebody in the nuts. Do you think that I'm that immature? Was that supposed to make me laugh? Because I am and it did gently caress yeah well done. Probably my favorite part of your whole story. Because this was just "okay" in my books. I like that you used sports as a background for a story about a relationship between brothers (I also like stories about brothers being brothers and getting along so gj there too) rather than focusing completely on the sport itself. I think that using all the sport stuff as a metaphor for something more is a smart premise. It just didn't hit the way it probably should have. This needed something that I can't put my finger on. Some kind spice to heat it up because it was very A to B to C bland. Good idea. Would have liked something tastier.

Sitting Here, your title/opening sentence combo works way better than it should. But it did! So... yay! You pretty competently wrote out a story from there in the way that experienced writers are capable of doing. However, I feel like your narrator's disdain for SPORT STUFF was a not so thinly veiled author insertion of Sitting Here's disdain for SPORT STUFF. Which isn't terrible I was just hoping for something else. I think where it failed you, though, was your ending. Having your character go "Eh who gives a poo poo" is such a bland way to finish this because it means that nothing happens. We just get this slice of life vignette about an uninterested girl being uninterested. I would have liked to have seen something more. Something, as I said to curlingiron, tastier. Would it have been so bad to have your girl get a embarrassingly stoked about having actually contributed? I mean, there's a ton of ways you could have spiced up your ending instead of... you know... Doing what you did.

“Touchdown,” I muttered, and let the ball drop onto the wet grass.

Ultimately, I'm a little disappointed with both of you guys. I intentionally gave you two a prompt that I knew would put you into unfamiliar territory and crossed my fingers that I'd get something interesting back. Instead, I got two stories neither of which are particularly different from anything else you two have written. It's like you both went "Jocks? Ewwww yucky. How can I skate around this back into something I know how to handle" rather than embracing the challenge and tackling some different kinds of characters. To be fair, I didn't tell you guys I was doing this so I"m not holding it against you but I guess I just wished I would have gotten something else than what I did.

The win goes to Sitting Here for being a slightly better piece. It was close, though. Curlingiron hit the prompt better.

Let me know if you guys would like to try again with the same prompt and actually write stories about jocks you loving nerds.

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