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Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.

Bompacho posted:

What's the etiquette on crits for the same week? Wait until after judgement or do I just dive on in if I want to tear someone a new rear end in a top hat?

Wait until judgement is rendered, then dive in.


Apr 12, 2006

273 words


Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 03:17 on Jan 8, 2016

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Yeah, y'all have run out of time. Deadline is here.

Judgment will come for you all.

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


anime was right fucked around with this message at 05:51 on Oct 27, 2015

Jul 21, 2014

You shouldn't be doing anything with fluorine.

I'm a disgrace.

Ol Sweepy
Nov 28, 2005

Safety First

Grizzled Patriarch posted:

Wait until judgement is rendered, then dive in.

Thanks. I figured, since people had to read my terrible words last week, I should throw a few crits out there.

Dec 21, 2011


Sorry, I failed this week.

Something came up.

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Feb 25, 2014


Interprompt: That's a lot of bees

200 words

I'll crit them i guess

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

remember everyone: bees can recognize royalty. and bees don't lie

it's not that they can't lie, they are able to lie, but they don't

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

please note that my prior post was not an interprompt but a request for everyone to respect the worldbuilding rules found within the wachowski brothers recent cinematic experience Jupiter Ascending

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.

Oct 30, 2003

Line crit (kind of) of An Unkindness by Bompacho

To be honest I kind of gave up in the second half of the story, about where it seems like you gave up on any semblance of proofreading. It feels a bit lovely to be paying more attention when critting your story than you did when writing it.

Apart from proofreading, I think that you have two main issues here. One is bloat- you say the same things over and over, include irrelevant and boring detail, and large parts of the dialogue are drivel.

The other is the ending - I see no motivation for Ma'Indo screwing him like that. If he'd made some kind of a bargain with Ma'Indo or bound him in some way then I could see it working, but as it stands you should have just made him get back his wife successfully.

Also please do not reply to this apart from a simple "Thank You" if you must. If you are going to give excuses about rushing it or word count or anything then go to Fiction Farm instead of making GBS threads up this thread. If you honestly know the problems with your story already then just write better instead of asking for crits.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


This was not a good week. period.

Just results for now, maybe I'll edit this into something more substantial later, or maybe not, given the effort some of you put into your stories.

One more pun for the road? I hope most of you get the runs.

Loser: Hugoon Chavez

Dishonorable Mentions: leekster, Bompacho, Fuschia tude, Djeser, Tyrannosaurus

Honorable Mentions: hotsoupdinner, Grizzled Patriarch

Winner: crabrock

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 00:48 on Mar 3, 2015

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


anime was right fucked around with this message at 05:52 on Oct 27, 2015

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

i'm a cool kid now :c00l:

Mar 22, 2013

it's crow time again

Feb 16, 2011

I eat your face

Linecrit for Black Metal Week - Walamor

Walamor posted:

Screaming At Hecate - 998 Words
I am fairly indifferent to this as a title, it's not nearly as bad as some others!

In the middle of a shattered town, ten men lay down to die. Excellent start A priest moved among them, placing a concoction vague, low-information word. You'd do better to describe the vessels that contains it (clay bowls or something?) and leave the reader to infer the mysterious "concoction". in their hands . He mumbled and mumbling praises to Hecate and w . When he got to the last man, the man grabbed his hand. Minor thing but I feel this is a better way to divide up the clauses

“gently caress Hecate and gently caress her blessings,” said Alkides. I really like the names in this piece, they sound cool and have an authentically Greek ring to them The priest recoiled in shock. “She owes us this.”

“Only a fool bites the hands of the gods,” said Demonax, rising up on one elbow. “Even when they deserve it. Shut up and take the offering.” I also like your decision to use straight modern language rather than, say, writing it like something translated from ancient Greek.

Alkides stared daggers at the priest and grabbed the herb mixture out of his hands.

“Chew,” said the priest. Oh, the concoction is chewy? I assumed it was like a potion or something. “I don’t know how long you’ll have in the underworld, or even if you’ll come back.” He looked down at Alkides. “You’re probably hosed.” The priest spun haughtily and stalked away.

“Let’s get this over with,” said Demonax, stuffing the foul-tasting hyphenate compound adjectives mush into his mouth and laying You lie down; you lay something else down back down. Pain coursed through his body cliché and the world closed in around him. Soon the blackness enveloped him, and he lost all sensation.

When he came to, he stood up, surprised that he still had all his armor and weapons with him. The other men were doing the same, surveying the surroundings as they checked their equipment.

They found themselves atop a mound of compacted ash and bone. In the far distance there was a city, glowing with an unholy glow. What colour is unholy? Before them lay a foul Another vague nonspecific adjective - in what way is it foul? bog, a dark river winding its way through it.

“Where is the ferryman?” said Hagnon. “This isn’t right.”

“Many things aren’t right,” said Demonax. “But we see the city. Let’s go.”

“I dislike that bog,” said Kimon. “It looks… unnatural.”

“No poo poo?” said Demonax. “The underworld looks unnatural? I’ll be damned.” Kimon flushed. “Would you like to stay here?”

“I’m not stopping until I get my family back, same as you,” Kimon said and marched forward, the other men falling in around him. Good that you're showing their motivations through dialogue rather than telling us straight.

The distances were deceiving, and the group arrived at the bog quickly. The very ground sucked at their feet, and the trees seemed to block them at every turn. Finally they reached the river and stared down at the rushing torrent of blood that sped past them.

Hagnon reached out a hand as if to touch it.

“I would not do that, if I were you,” said a deep, thunderous voice. Weapons leapt into the men’s hands weird cliché as they tried to find the speaker. A tree moved closer to the group and a strained face appeared in the bark, made of ever-changing knots. Neat

“Where is the ferryman, tree demon?” said Hagnon.

“The boatman is for the dead,” said the tree. “The living may not cross. You must turn --” started the tree demon, cutting he cut off his own sentence with a scream. Demonax raised his axe for another blow,. He cut cutting deep into the tree, and sap pouringed out of the wound. The way you wrote this sentence, the raising of the axe, the cutting and the sap pouring are all happening simultaneously, which is nonsense.

Soon they had killed enough of the shrieking trees to make a raft, using young sapling children to bind the corpses of the adults together. The crossing was difficult, the blood rising until a wave surged over Machaon, washing him overboard. Then the blood subsided, permitting a safe crossing.

Their journey continued, with many challenges laid before them. Some were familiar priests’ stories, and some were beyond anything the darkest mind of men could have created. They were all overcome by might or wit, but the party’s numbers dwindled. Unnecessary telling. The following sentences are much stronger and stand quite well on their own. Pammon succuumed succumbed to the wiles of a witch, Stentor chased a specter of his wife, and Thestor wrongly chose an answer. Vettias and Zenodoros simply laid lay down to sleep and never woke. Kimon wept until his tears turned to blood and his body dried up. Hagnon turned back to find the ferryman.

Finally the city appeared before Demonax and Alkides. The yellowish glow they had seen was a barrier laid before them. They beat upon it with their weapons, their fists, but it held strong, and there was no riddle to solve, no monster to defeat.

“No!” screamed Demonax. “Not after all we’ve suffered,” he said, starting to crying tears of frustration. Clunky. If you find yourself writing someone "starting" to do an action, check if they can't just... do the action. Alkides looked at him in shock. Never had Demonax cried, even after the loss of the rest of their companions.

“drat you Hecate! Lower your barrier!” yelled Demonax, flinging his axe at the wall. It hit and shattered into pieces, raining metal onto the ground. “Give me back my family!”

The gate to the city ground open and a woman came out, riding a horse, a dog at her side. She glowed, the same yellow as the barrier. She was a dangerous sort of beautiful, with a snake draped around her shoulders. She didn’t hold a candle to his Callidora. I kinda like this, but it's a slightly jarring POV shift. Up until now it's been distant third person, now we've gone to a close third with Demonax.

“Silly mortal man. I cannot give you your family back, for I only have influence over the barrier between life and death. But, you have traveled far, and endured much.” She motioned behind herself and his wife and son appeared. Demonax fell to his knees, his hands reaching out to them but stopped by the barrier. His family knelt on the other side, pressing their hands opposite to his. He stared into their eyes and saw his love reciprocated. He was weeping again, this time tears of joy.

“They want you to live, Demonax. Come join them with when the time is right,” said Hecate.

“Can I talk to them,?” asked Demonax, still looking at his family.

“Not just yet. But you will be with them, eventually. It is time for you to go.”

“No, please, just a little longer!” said Demonax, but it was too late. A white portal had opened behind him, and he was drawn inexorably towards it. Pure white blinded him, filled him completely.

Before he lost all his senses, he heard Hecate. “But you, Alkides, I have been saving for something special.”

Alkides’ scream was still echoing in his ears as he sat up back on the surface, gasping in lungfuls of air, the priest staring down at him in shock.

Well I guess Alkides got what was coming to him, heh heh! There were some stand-out bits to this story - I especially liked the first line and the details of what happened to the men of their expedition during the trek through the Underworld - but the overall plot and ending weren't notably exciting. I think because of the way you chose to tell the tale (in a distant third point of view with a very simple, matter-of-fact tone) it was difficult to really identify with any of the characters. You might have done better by going with a close third POV on either Demonax or Alkides throughout, which would have helped the reader to identify with the character in question and really feel it when bad things happened to them at the end.

You could also have done more with the language in various places - keep an eye on your adjectives and make sure they're doing as much work as possible and not just there because it "seemed natural to put them there" - which is often a warning sign of cliché.

Still, overall, it was a nice piece that I enjoyed reading as a fan of classical mythology.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.

Ol Sweepy
Nov 28, 2005

Safety First

ZeBourgeoisie posted:

Flaming Night

I did a quick Line Crit of your story because it messed with my head a little.

As far as the ending/prompt goes:

What about the escaped cultists? The giant, supernatural, flaming, oaken, god-monster that is now on the loose? What of the little woodland creatures Ze Bourgeoisie?
I came into this story looking for a bad-rear end with a hard-on for justice but he let most the bad guys get away. Then when poo poo got difficult he ran and hid in a pond. I felt like Spiro Grimace didn't do anything interesting except stomp around like a big, angry idiot.

There were a few incongruities that pulled me out of the story and it felt like you were clawing for descriptions where you don’t need them. Instead of immersing me you just gave me more questions that I wanted answered. What does a fox screaming sound like? What did Spiro look like?

Don't use 5 words where one will do. See:


glass bottle plugged with a rag

There's a cool story and cool ideas in there somewhere that I could enjoy I just needed the revenge or justice the prompt promised.

Oct 30, 2003

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004



here are some loose scribblings that may or may not be considered crits:

Thanks LBM!

Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Pre-emptive in.

Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?

Jan 28, 2015


Thanks for the may-or-may-not-be-considered-a-crit LBM. I need to work on my fluff addiction. It's hard to shake.

Jan 27, 2006

:siren:Quick Crits Part I, Week #134 - Run Domer Run (aka Two-Dimensional Characters Week):siren:

Way to disrespect Twist coming off his first win, assholes. Next time apply some more :effort:

1. Jake Wilkins is a Cool Guy - Bompacho

-There’s something off-putting about the narration here. How does it serve the story for the narrator to make a snarky reference to Spiderman? Why not just say outright that Jake reeked of three brands of liquor and piss?

- “ ‘That bitch’ was his wife Belinda and to understand why she’s a bitch one must travel back in time 12 hours.” It’s oddly precise for the narrator to have timed this out so exactly. Also, please spell out numbers less than 100.

- “Now Jake was a cool guy. If you ever met him you’d buy him a beer. He paid his taxes, worked hard, gave blood regularly and volunteered for charities. But Jake was about to become the victim of a cliche so enormous that the author of this tale had to stand up, move to the bathroom mirror, and take a long, hard look at himself.” This narration is not working at all. First, it’s telly. You’ve shown us Jake being anything but cool, so if you want us really to believe that he actually is (was) cool, it’s best to show it up front rather than flatly stating it. If you're being sarcastic (more than likely), it's falling flat.

-Also the breaking of the fourth wall here is a misfire. It doesn’t help your story for you to de-immerse the reader from it. All this does is leave me scratching my head wondering why the story is narrated this way and why I should bother continuing to read. And you’re glibly signaling to the reader that a huge cliché is imminent? What is wrong with you?

- “Remember, he was a cool guy and didn't deserve to be used and discarded like the handyman’s glow-in-the-dark condom which in hindsight seems like a redundant feature when you’re loving at 2:45 on a sunny afternoon.” Wait wait wait, so Jake got home, saw his wife getting hosed, then shouted and left. But somewhere in between he felt the urge to conduct so thorough an investigation into the handyman’s dick that he noticed not only that he was using a condom, but if it hadn’t been broad daylight, this condom would have glowed-in-the-dark? Smh.

-Not thrilled about the waiter being the guy in the bathroom stall that Jake puked on. Also I’m not clear on where Jake was when he did the bathroom puking. If it wasn’t the Sushi place, then that is a pretty big coincidence that the puke-victim just happened to be the same guy who works at Nate’s choice of restaurant. But if it was at the Sushi place, why would Jake agree to go back there? Also, it seems really weird that the waiter would poo poo in Jake’s shoes at all, the bathroom incident notwithstanding. Jake left his shoes outside and stepped into them again outside. So did the waiter really drop trou in the parking lot and risk criminal, civil, and occupational sanction all to poo poo in Jake’s shoes? It doesn’t work for me.

-This piece oozes with desperation. It’s desperate to be raw, desperate to be snarky, desperate in its attempts to win over the reader with edgy humor. My vote: DM/Loss candidate for poo poo-trash narration.

2. To Fly in the Skies of the Ocean - Fumblemouse

-Nice, smooth prose.

-Plenty of motion and suspense.

-This story has a pleasant air of mystery around it. I felt motivated to read it in order to find out what happened to the crew.

-Hmm. The mystery didn’t quite get solved. We’ve got potential mermaids, zombies(?), the bizarreness of the guy in the crow’s nest. You needed a more definite payoff after setting up the mystery.

-There’s nothing in here that really blows me away, but the ending is alright and you satisfied the prompt.

3. Freefall - Hugoon Chavez

-Good opening line.

-Sloppy editing; please use line breaks to separate different lines of dialogue.

-Character assassination by fetish exposé. Interesting. I’m with you so far.

-And then you lost me. Do you really expect your readers to be satisfied that all of this drama stems from misremembering a person’s name? That’s lame. Following a conversation that important, it’s silly that Jason can’t even keep the guy’s name straight. The last line is also unsatisfying. It doesn’t serve the piece to close it out with Jason making an offhand reference to Mark’s MLP fetish.

-This piece had potential but instead you pissed all over it and tried then tried to feed it to us. Welcome to the ‘dome. My vote: DM/Loss candidate.

4. The Adventures of Nobodyman - Entenzahn

-Good use of imagery.

-Good job being subtle in showing that Nobodyman isn’t real, e.g. the ashtray, the fact that no one else ever sees or interacts with Nobodyman. On the other hand, his name itself is anything but subtle.

-Making Nobodyman Karen’s conscience fits the prompt’s justice/revenge theme well.

-This piece becomes interesting the moment the reader realizes that Nobodyman is all in Karen’s head. That element of the story mitigates some, but not all, of the hardboiled cliché.

-Well, it’s somewhere in the top half of the stories this week, but that’s not saying much.

5. A True Believer - hotsoupdinner

-Hahaha, I love the beginning section. The cynicism toward faith healing is delightful.

-When I read “I almost had Bobby’s money saved up,” I thought that Bobby might be a sick relative of the protagonist, who might be motivating the protagonist’s con artistry. Later on, I read “Almost enough to pay Bobby back,” which was disappointing. The protagonist would be vastly more interesting if he were more three-dimensional. As it is, he’s just the cookie-cutter, run-of-the-mill, cardboard-cut-out con man stereotype. Give this guy some depth. Show that there’s something more to him then the stereotypical con man in debt.

-The ending is satisfying, if not a little hard to swallow that the protagonist has even a desperation-fueled hope in the preacher.

-You HM’d partly due to an entertaining beginning and ending, but moreover because your competition was bottom shelf. If you had given real depth to the characters or better explored their growth you could have been a contender for the win. My vote: HM candidate.

6. Goliath – Benny Profane

-Beautiful prose, good imagery.

-The story structure works, it is appropriately suspenseful.

-You’ve nailed the prompt. Good job.

-There are some issues with the story. In some ways it feels like a bit of a Black Swan rip off, albeit a decent one. You shared in the folly of just about everyone else this week with the poor characterization. Thera is poorly fleshed out. But, at least you TRIED to show the readers that she’s more than a Black Swan cardboard cut-out (the state of her apartment, what kind of neighborhood she lives in). The thing is, these means of characterization were too peripheral. I wanted to know more sides of who she was, and I wanted to find that out through a deeper exploration of her feelings, words, and actions.

-With just a touch more characterization, you would’ve HM’d. You still came kinda-sorta close.

7. Golden - Wangless Wonder

-Middling stories like this are the hardest to crit because my impulse is just to shrug and give it a “meh.” The piece isn’t terrible; it’s just that I felt like I’ve read it a hundred times. Boxing story, plenty of action, the final fight has interpersonal implications that go beyond the ring. It’s an old story, but to make it feel fresh, it needs to have a stronger emotional impact. Fully fleshed out characters and a compelling arc would also help. You’ve got semblances of these story elements, but in 1200 words I was looking for just a little more oomph.

8. Flaming Night - ZeBourgeoisie

-“The robbed robed men and women…”

-You’ve got some proofreading and verb tense issues in this piece.

-Sandra = generic damsel in distress and Ronald = generic knight in shining armor. There is no depth to your characters whatsoever in this piece.

-The tone of your piece seems off. For example, Roland screaming, “The power of twelve gauge compels you, you bastard!” It’s jarring and out of place.

-I take this to be a low effort story. C’mon, Zeb. I’ve seen you do way better than this. My vote: DM candidate.

9. Really, it's because I don't want to pay the ten bucks – Djeser

-No sense critting a joke post. Also, gently caress you. My vote: DQ/DM candidate.

10. Mercury - Fuschia tude

-I’m six paragraphs in and still NOTHING HAS loving HAPPENED. The beginning section of your story is boring descriptions of people and things I’ve been given no reason to give so much as one flying gently caress about.

-“2 eggs over easy and a grilled cheese sandwich for her, gazpacho for him.” You persist in describing minutiae. Why is the precise nature of their restaurant order important? And look! You’ve started a sentence with “2.” I suppose hunting and pecking t-w-o on the keyboard was too challenging.

-Where is the hook, the compelling characterization, the rising tension, the sharpness of prose, the mystery of how your protagonist might try to overcome whatever conflicts prevent her from getting what she wants? Your story is literally woman breaks up with a douchebag in a club and oh by the way there’s a gun involved. It’s less a story, less even a vignette, and more like a sentence stretched out over a thousand words. My vote: DM/Loss candidate.

11. The Smell of Victory - A Classy Ghost

-You know what? The humor somehow works for me.

-I like the fact that the werewolf happened to be a nerd. The running joke with Febreeze made sense in the context of the story, and paid off at the end. The story structure is okay and the tone is charming.

-I wish I had a better sense of who Nick and Jake really are, other than baseball player and his friend.

-You managed to submit something and it wasn’t horrible. This week, that’s saying a lot. Still, I think you’d agree that taken as a whole, the story leans in a direction of being low-effort and even asinine. I described it as a “guilty pleasure” when discussing it with Twist.

12. Living - Savagely_Random

-You use the passive voice in much of the story and it’s not clear why. It’s kind of off-putting.

- The prose is sterile. Many of your verbs feel weak. I wonder if you have more experience with academic writing than fiction. In the first few paragraphs, some of your weakest verbs are developed, was set down, got, was made, had to make, governed, had closed, let out. I recommend using stronger verbs, something that puts a more vivid action in the reader’s mind.

-This is supposed to be a story. In stories, characters perform actions. So why are inanimate objects and concepts the subject of so many of your sentences instead of people? Partly this is a side-effect of using the passive voice, but you do it too often even in the active voice. Consider sentences like “It [carrying trays silently] was a trait developed out of the justifiable fear of the wrath of one’s ‘social betters.’ ” Why not make it “Gabriel developed this trait out of the justifiable fear of the wrath of one’s ‘social betters.’ ”?

-Gabriel’s life up to now is supposed to be tragic, and the general’s villainy is supposed to induce the reader’s disgust. But all of this intended emotional liveliness dies out from sterile prose. Because of how the story is written, readers struggle to find resonance. It was a slog to read.

-Another judge pointed out to me that the prose gets better as the story goes along, and that’s true. As Gabriel demonstrates agency, the writing improves. But even if symbolic, your terrible prose is inartful. ‘Naw man, I painted this terrible painting ON PURPOSE. Don’t worry. Off in the corner it’s not so bad.’

-Even I’ve never written prose this bad for TD, and that’s saying a lot. Homework: Do me a personal favor and read this book cover to cover before entering TD again. My vote: DM/Loss candidate.

Ol Sweepy
Nov 28, 2005

Safety First

Jitzu_the_Monk posted:

:siren:Quick Crits Part I, Week #134 - Run Domer Run (aka Two-Dimensional Characters Week):siren:

Thanks Jitzu.

Aug 2, 2002

prompt: guest judge week.

DrK will be judging TMBG week, and I will be cojudge. need one more judge still.

pick a they might be giants song that is not particle man. write a story. DrK will post the full prompt later.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

crabrock posted:

prompt: guest judge week.

DrK will be judging TMBG week, and I will be cojudge. need one more judge still.

pick a they might be giants song that is not particle man. write a story. DrK will post the full prompt later.


Mar 21, 2013


Grimey Drawer

Crits from week 133 (I think) - The gods of thunderdome

This broke my brain. My brain is broke. I realise these are perhaps a little short, but, on the plus side, there are a fuckload of them.

If you remain unsatisfied with the benefit of my opinion, PM me or use my sa username at gmail for further discussion - I'm open to that

Nubile Hillock - IdiotHellFucker69

So, let’s assume this isn’t just some entirely joke entry because you couldn’t be arsed.

Humour through insults can be funny, but you’ve got to use it sparingly. You often get this in Children’s Plays where author’s seem to think that mildly creative insults will endlessly entertain children at the expense of anything else happening. They are wrong - even five year old will get bored with calling someone a poopoohead eventually. Here it took only three paragraphs before I was tired of it and the story.

Nothing really happens - god uses god powers to no effect barely even registers on the conflictometer.

The commentary on writing is asinine. Writing is hard and you can’t be arsed, and yet you managed to waste my time for several hundred words on the topic.

Bompatchop - An unkindness

There is some terrible dialogue here. Is someone really going to use the words “gently caress you all” and “slough off” in the same sentence? Slough seems incredibly specifc.

Crazy use of grammar and commas - you really need to check this poo poo before you post.

What is going on with the bucket? Where did the food come from. Why does a monkey walk slowly and steadily. Why does he spit Roan right out of his hole? Why is the Raven god such a bastard? There’s nothing to indicate that there’s any advantage to this short of just being a dick.

The ending with the corpse in the bed had potential as a reveal for a completely different story than what I just read. I note the god didn’t even make that specific request - just Roan.

ex Libris - Hammer Bro

This story starts of well and then vanished into incomprehensibility. You’re making the reader do a lot of work here, and unfortunately it doesn’t pay off very well. It’s like the movie sunshine - it’s doing fine until the end when the monster turns up and then it all turns to poo poo.

There’s some odd word choices that do strange things with your meaning:

Grayson knows each one of them as another would know their distant relatives - so not very well, then?
Accosted by an estranged childhood friend, Grayson strives for recognition. - recognition by whom?
Though it makes no sound, Grayson goes deaf from its intensity. - well, that’s a weird thing that happened. Why deaf? How did that change anything?

The ending comes across as a combination of overwritten and confusing . A thousand eons of entropy suffuse that scream - what does that even mean? Added to the fact that the physical motions of the participants aren’t clear, and the fact I have no idea what the actual joke that is making Dulne giggle at the end is, and you kind of squander the goodwill you start off with.

The Gift of Tongues - God over Djinn

This is a clever premise, there’s no denying it, and one of the weeks ‘origin of the gods’ which were usually among the interesting entries. But the power of the ending, that Toron-Mata should become a god himself, is contained within the prompt - there’s nothing really in the story that makes it an interesting turn of events. We see the giving of the gift, we are told the betrayal of Ush’s intent, but the crux of the piece, what happens next, is entirely missing from the piece itself and is only implied by the description of the god you chose. The arc is cut short, which is frustrating.

The words are good, though. Bearing the above in mind, I would perhaps have spent less time on the act of the gift and more time on its consequences - perhaps extending the story out so we can see the beast’s life before and after.

Akkakut - BaiSha

This story just went on and on and I got tired of reading it. There’s a bunch of stuff that seems completely irrelevant to the story you are wanting to tell. The stuff with the lion. The faux epic language “Let us go and do naughty brigand things, that we may take our share of the loot” Gag. This was deinitely a case where the story could have done with a dose of personality through dialogue.

Why doesn’t the Queen wake up when the dude starts wailing that she’s disappeared? Do lion skins have magical sound deadening properties? And the Akkakut isn’t actually hiding or anything, nor does she say anything when he prods her with a spear to leave - stuff just conveniently happens because plot.

And then another god turns up for some reason and is pissed off. There’s no real cause and effect coming into play - you’ve taken some elements of a myth and stapled them together into a rudimentary structure, but it falls over if anyone looks at it too hard.

The Wind God's Tricks - hotsoupdinner

I think the first four scene setting paragraphs are really unneeded here. Start with the interesting thing, which is the fact that two gods were unhappy.

The ‘clever’ end to the story - the final trick - is kind of dumb. Why didn’t all the people suffocate at the same time? Also, the gods all moving away made them seem, perhaps, a touch too human, like itinerant beggars, going where the worship is.

That said, the core of the story is interesting - you were one of the few to focus on a flawed, human type god, and Naven did have an arc, which was satisfying to have resolved.

Why the Goddess Smiles - the anomaly

There’s some lovely language here, and I was just bursting for something to actually happen. But nothing did, and I was sad. As sad as An, as she learned things that made her sad, from a tree.

But then An learned something that made her happy. But she would later be sad, as she realised that she wouldn’t be happy forever.

Perhaps this story should have been about what An did with that knowledge. How did she make her sisters angry, and what were the consequences - remember C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. This just sort of meanders towards nothing.

I’ll keep harping on about that for a moment. By the same token, Versoot learns some stuff also - but does nothing with the knowledge. How is he enriched? How are they both changed by what they’ve learned?

The Order In Silver - contagonist

Deus ex machina, in full, literal, flower.

there was a lot of intriguing stuff going on, but it never really quite gelled. the lawgiver faction seem kind of just bureaucratic bastards until they suddenly turn up pissed off about something. It’s never quite apparent why Ioc and the Lawgiver should be super worried about the making of an orrery, or why Vido is suddenly public enemy number one, or why the lawgiver should choose this moment to make an appearance.

Part of the problem, and this is why Deus ex machina is usually thought of as a bad idea, is that all Coletta does is make the machine as she is driven to do. She has no agency in any of the other events, so while the straw man of the Lawgiver’s beancounters do seem like a conflict, the lawgiver stepping in to resolve it makes the proceedings have far less weight.

But I liked your Ioc and her verified labyrinth (though verified seems a random choice of word there) and Coletta’s journey with her, and the assembly of the machine, revealed some intriguing details about your world.

Megzver - Worrying tendencies

So I actually really like this one a lot. thunderer was an amusing character. I think I smiled at the ostrich, and I laughed at the crocodile - a good belly laugh. Nice to have a good comedy this week, especially after the mean-spirited sourness of IdiotHellFucker69 (boo hiss)

That said - there were a few element missing that kept this one from getting an HM. Comedy dialog is good, situation is good, but the botched equations popping up at the end really gives thunderer nothing to react to - at the heart of the story you’ve given the thunderer nothing to do except have your final joke happen to him (or after him, really). It seems a shame not to let the thunderer have a last stand, however futile.

I would also have liked to see more of a through line - you mention the internal time-flow at the beginning, and the botched equations at the end. What made them wonky - the arrival of God? the trickster brother? giving it that would tie things together and make it less of a succession of, admittedly, funny ideas.

Plus the end needed more worm god, but that goes for almost every story ever..

Forgotten - starr

Bit heavy on the cliches but not a bad effort. The differences in the characters come out somewhat in the dialog and vocab choices which is always nice.

You’d think the keeper would have had a smarter plan than just barrelling into Felix after his sudden but inevitable betrayal. You stop in the middle of an action scene to talk about how the keeper had expected this all along, but hadn’t actually thought of what he was going to do, to the point where Felix gets the upper hand on him.

You fall over in some phrasings - is catatonia something you ‘get out of’? but mostly the text is simple and clear. If anything, it’s sometimes a bit too simple. You gloss over some things that have the potential to be quite interesting, to the point where much of your story has the overall impression of being once over lightly. You could have gone further into detail about the nature of the knowledge ( even tantalising hints) or the forms battle, or what the hell versoot was talking about with ‘forget then remember’

Gifted - Entenzahn

I liked this one as myth with a modern teleporty sort of twist. I didn’t notice it at the time, but going back I see that Apothekon literally becomes a spear - single of purpose and point. Nice.

I didn’t have much of a problem with this one, except that, while what Apokekon was doing was fairly clear, Etheus really didn’t stand out. He’s going to banish the gods but his motives are fairly opaque, except that he doesn’t like them.

The overuse of the word hope was a bit of a problem - Apothekon has hope to save Etheus, but gives up all hopes except to find his brother - didn’t quite make sense to me. Simialrly - the stakes seemed odd - why were the gods so concerned about sacrifice when their very existence was on the line - some kind of reference to the nature of the gods might have been nice - perhaps that sacrificerequirement was why Etheus was so down on them

How the stars found their fire - Surreptitious Muffin

So this one had some good but more bad points. It starts off in a particular voice, but that voice didn’t seem to survive the rest of the telling. Sometimes it’s ‘aint nothing’ and sometimes its ‘dancing the knife edge between beginning and end’ or ‘from whence they came’

The description of the gods takes too long at the start - your story doesn’t really get going until the mid-way point. Sure - you have some nice words in that first half - but I needed to be grabbed much, much before where you finally start telling a story.

And the story itself seems … odd. The last line seems to imply some kind of import, that doesn’t really make any sense. I was confused as to the overall point. What did the fire mean to them? The fact that they had found it from someone other than Volun is important, but I am not sure of the implications, but all the detail sketching has happened int he wrong places. The stars don’t come across as characters in their own right, and the detailed gods are mostly not important to the story.

Aloha - Tyrannosaurus

In comparison to the previous one - here the voice remains constant and adds something to the telling. The lens of the story teller actually adds something to the telling of the myth. I could still have used some kind of rationale for the framing - tripping story-telling is one thing, but I always like to know why its important that the story is being told now - doesn’t have to be much, just a touch of relevance to the proceedings.

That said - this was very much an enjoyable read and closed off in a satisfactory manner. Thank you.

Guiding lite - Sitting Here

Words good. Ending bad.
Ok - a bit more. I really liked the characterisation, the gods as people is an interesting vein to mine. Which is why the ending is such a let-down. You have a potentially rich topic to explore - why would a god choose to live as a mortal, but you betray it by having him throw away his exile for the sake of being dragged to a party, and then a joke about the mata-cosmic-ur-god that really didn’t need to be told. I don’t know if the world needs more ‘your existential angst is irrelevant because PAR-TAY’ stories.

Nom blah blah blah - PHIZ KALIFA

Tedious waste of time. You seem to be just throwing stuff out there, wanting to tell a completely different kind of story and it’s just a dump of space-action adventure tropes creating no real desire in me to want to keep track of all the various elements you are coming up with.

Zelazney’s Lord of Light did the gods are actually High-Tech thing, and still managed to make it epic and mythic. This just drags the whole concept down to the level of third-rate boys own adventure comics. Yawn.

Some of this might have been forgivable if any of your characters had motivations or sensibilities that were more than paper-thin. But they didn’t, so DM for you.

Shem the time thief - wangless wonder

I found this a terribly confusing story - you definitely need to work your clarity here. things happen and then appear to link up with other things later but the connections are hard to fathom - Shem’s father’s stone now has a temple around it that Shem built? Why? How did shem discover the wonder of his mind and what is that all about?

There’s a story here between the lines of how Shem became the Thief of time during his moments on the cliff , but you forgo that, and have him reappear as an arbitrary god doing rather arbitrary stuff, but the whys are confused. Men hated immortality but now Shem is pissed that we don’t have it any more? I just don’t get the point. Possibly breaking up your paragraphs would help. Why does the world need more smart men? Didn’t Dent save his ungrateful life a whole lot? Your intentions here are unclear and that doesn’t make for a satisfying story.

I do get that ‘the wheel turns’ indicates that the nature of things is cyclic, but this is entirely orthogonal to the point of the story, which is Shem. The two things either needed to be tied together better, or the wheel aspect dropped and Shem focussed on.

Similarly, raging against death is an ok motivation, but Shem doesn’t really face any obstacles in his quest for a different state, per se, so the story is lacking on that front as well.

Patience - Benny Profane

I liked the story and the fact that it had a consistent message the the story reflected. I don’t think silverfish eat wood so unless the library was glued together, or all the books had glossy paper, the factual accuracy of it might have left a little to be desired, but you could easily replace it with an imaginary super-termite and no harm would be done.

Yala doesn’t do much except has faith, and presumably the people in the library had some means of getting food there, so the people leaving seemed a tad over-dramatic and whould probably have happened over a considerable period of time, which is a flaw in an otherwise good story. But the words were clear, I had a fair idea of who everyone was, and the twistish elements made sense so nice job there.


Here was another one where I didn’t really have any problems with the word of the story, but the ending let it down. As soon as Censiron says he only sees through the lens of every human life, then the ending is a dead giveaway and the twist isn’t particularly twisty.

Plus there’s the implication that one doesn’t know what one is going to say before one says it, which is a bit of a cop out - a sick, dying person, struggling to get the words out, probably has time to compose internally. I dunno, it didn’t quite ring true for me.

On the other hand, I liked your picture of Censiron, and the creatures you populated your world with - the shadowbeast stuck within the confines of a trees shade was a fun, creative beast.

Buried and Sunken - A classy ghost

This here is what I have heard referred to as an idiot plot - a plot that only succeeds because the protagonist is an idiot. After going through all that, dealing with gods and monsters, Tirm decides that he’ll throw away his revenge for a bag of mud. Hmmm. What an idiot.

The ending is kind of meh. And the adventures, while adventurous, lacked some of the poetry of other efforts. I’m guessing the moral of your story here is ‘be grateful for what you have’ but if that was the case, Tirm would never have gone off in the first place.

The middle portions of the story hang together a bit better - I like the god letting him pass because his threats amuse her and she knows he can’t carry them out. A lot of people pickedup on using the waters as a ‘rule of three’ type barrier and here it makes sense. Shame about that end, though.

Broenheim - Time heals all wounds

You do not have to mention characters by name, every time they do something. Other pronouns, such as him and her, do exist.

Not a bad story, someone learning to let it go has been a popular theme of late, but it really could do with a bunch of tightening up. For example, you could start the prologue with “yes, yes I’m”, end it at ‘save for the breathing’ and not lose anything really. Once again, though, your protagonist doesn’t really display much agency - they’re led to understanding by the gods, but if you wanted to take this in a mythic direction, a la the prompt, you’d use all the words you save trimming the gently caress out of this piece to describe how Catherine fights against this knowledge, probably to tragic circumstances. The gods as Self-Help book lacks a certain elan

Djeser - a night in the gods city

A novel conceit - the calling cards of communicating with the gods - couldn’t save this slight story from being a disappointment. I’m not clear on what exactly happened - had she been dreaming? Did Aloha save her for some not exactly specified reason? I just don’t know. Because if this was a ‘she woke up and it was all a dream’ story I am going to be so pissed with you! Can't really comment any more as a lot depends on what actually happened, but for now, I had difficulty following what actually happened shall be the whole of the crit.

Mercedes - Rock a baby

Now here’s a weird one - a myth with a serious, if perverse sense of social justice. I mean, our protag literally gets away with murder. Admittedly he feels that he has prevented the murder of an innocent, but people acting weird immediately after giving birth should be taken with a grain of salt, at least for a little while. So that was a disturbing direction for the story to take and I’m not super happy about it. The juxtaposition of the dudebro guitar god and the subject matter didn’t gel particularly well, and the ending, where miracle baby shreds metal on a violin came of as a bit glib and pat.

I have to applaud the attempt to do something a little off the beaten path, but some of the actual mechanics of it left me feeling a bit squicked, to be honest.

Benny the snake - how felix cheated winter

So, Benny, I think you’re not so much going from strength to strength as weak to to not-so-weak. But here you had a broadly coherent story, and even an arc, so I didn’t want to gouge my eyes out at the end.

I didn’t fully understand the rules of the game - I get that they call the die roll as odd or even, but it seems they won one round each - so why did they worry about cheating at that point? The stakes are never mentioned, so we don’t know what winning means for the winner or loser, which robs it of much of its tension.

The southern california bit comes out of nowhere and doesn’t feel earned. If you want it to be a surprise, you might want to throw in a few clues so we get more of a sense of place.

I also would get confused between who was a speaking, Winter or North: North chuckled gruffly as Winter flicked his die onto the ice. "I call it odd," he said as it flew it the air. - who is doing the speaking here? North seems kinda uppity for a wolf - his actions and speech need to be separated from Winter’s

Grizzled Patriarch - The Thing Beneath the waves

I loved this one very much - a thing of beauty, so close to the win. I loved the image of volun’s lip being pierced by a fingernail, all it was missing was the touch of humanity that Ironic Twists had

newtestleper - When Gods Forget

Another very good one. I don’t think I ever figured out who the ‘I’ in the story was. I figured it’s Dulne but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in context. It did take a bit of close reading to figure out who the characters were as things progresses - but all the information you need is there. It’s always a risk to have prose so tight that its hard to distinguish characters - I still don’t know who Abi is in relation to anything else which made it hard to picture her.

Ironic twist - Out of Reach

Ok - to call a spade a spade, this wasn’t the best written piece of the week, (Gizzled PAtriarch can take that honour) but for some reason it was first in Jeza’s list of recommendations and when I looked at my list to compare, which I marked anonymously, I found that I had given it my highest score.

As an exercise in mythicness, I’d come back to the stories after I’d read all of them and seen which ones I could remember best. Some I just recalled that I hated, some came to me in parts, but this story had an almost cinematic quality to it that I remembered instantly. The gods had character - Yuan as the neglected best friend, An as the weird looking white manta-girl, Mendora as the jealous moon (Ok - put like that it sounds like a crappy anime, but wevs). And then the end, where the gods of the story are listed, positionally, almost as if in a frieze or a tapestry - that image stuck with me - in fact still sticks with me as I write this a week alter. The fact that it also had the Just So qualities of true myth about the tides and how they can claim men just sealed the deal. It had the grain of truth that I had been looking for, and that image, the gods surrounding a man, sometimes helping, sometimes hindering, sometimes suffering in neglect won it the throne. Nice work Ironic Twist.

KAISHAI - Nemetes game

I didn’t quite get the rules of the game in this one either. Namete gets six out of seven and then has as many tries as he likes to get the seventh. That game sounds a little dumb. And the ending - I have no idea why Nemete forfeits - but I feel like there’s a game of chess being played above my head and I can only see the underside of the board. Clearly, when he forfeits, he sets in motion things that mean he will get what he wants anyway, but any explanation I can see requires Ah to be in collusion and I just can’t get that to work in my head. Perhaps I am teh dumb.

Anyhow - lovely words, but I think you might have outsmarted yourself with your own cleverness here, a little.

Capntastic - the throne and the monkey

You tried to shoehorn every single god in here, and the story kind of suffers for it, because you get to a point where you’re just mentioning gods for the sake of it. It’s a fun game, to work in the descriptions of all the gods to an overall plot, but it’s not that much fun for the reader, because they don’t know the tools you’re working with, so it just seems like you’re making stuff up on the fly - except you’re only half doing that because other people have done the making up for you, leaving you only to assign their places in the jigsaw.

That said I managed to make it to the end, there’s a richness to your language that works well in this mode and I certainly didn’t hate it - I just think you were a little misguided in the path you took.

leekster - cry of progress

This was pretty slight as a piece. I really didn’t get a sense of Lidya or Ah from it except as pure avatars of concepts. Lidya is threatened, but takes no steps to remove the threat and safeguard her domain, Ah has no details about the breakthrough or how it will permeate Lidya’s defenses. Candidate for DM because it didn’t really seem to be trying - except for the much more offensive stuff that did worse.

Sebmojo - unrung

See me after class. There will be beer.

Sadistech - Mountain Too Deep

This was a kind of sophomoric look at comparative religion. It’s all dialogue which might work for a radio play but doesn’t make for a very satisfying story unless its phenomenally good, which this isn’t, and making the point that many religions sound batshit crazy to one another or outsiders isn’t a particularly novel twist, nor is tweaking a common dialogue with environmental variations a particularly rich seam of humour.

On the other hand - aside from the annoying tendency to use insults as cleverness (DON’T DO THIS), the dialogue had a sense of realism to it and for a couple of moments I thought sebmojo had dug out some of his old .txt files because he was in danger of missing a deadline again, which is fairly high praise as far as dialogue goes.

Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at 03:14 on Mar 3, 2015

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


anime was right fucked around with this message at 05:51 on Oct 27, 2015

A Classy Ghost
Jul 21, 2003

this wine has a fantastic booquet

Thanks everyone for the multiple crits.

Jun 20, 2013

Those five crits I promised are nearly finished. Life snuck up on me last week.

Thank you for the crit fumblemouse.

Wangless Wonder
May 27, 2009

thanks for the crits. one day i will write the good words

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's DIE!"


And by "they" I mean the judges. Hey-oh. I hate myself and I don't want to live in this world anymore. BUT throughout all my life, when I was down, and even when I was up, there was always one band that had the perfect song for that moment. They Might Be Giants. Yes, I am serious about that.

So, prompt is simple: pick a They Might Be Giants song. Yes! That includes their children's albums. No! That does not include solo works by either John. One entrant per song. You can use other songs in secret, I don't give a poo poo, but you can only claim one song. Post it with your registration post, or request a song and I will assign one. Warning: I have listened to them all and I do not promise to give "easy" ones. Some rear end in a top hat is going to end up with Minimum Wage. Maybe.

You may find the most intensely detailed band fan-site of all time useful:

Write something 1000 words or less inspired by that song. You can take inspiration from anything related to the song, and interpret it really broadly, but it should be kinda related somehow. And you can do whatever format you want. Yeah, finally that trio of sonnets you have been wanting to do, whatever, go for it (keep reading though).

1) Pick Particle Man
2) Write something that is basically the same story as in the TMBG song, but with more words.

Judging is going to be based only on our enjoyment of whatever you write. So think twice before you write a trio of sonnets or just the word "balls" 1000 times (hint: unless you are a sonnet master, "Balls Balls Balls" is going to beat you).

Dr. Kloctopussy :toxx: very special judge :toxx: If I don't post crits by 3/24/15, then I am banned. (toxx applies to me only)

Registration Deadline: Friday March 6, 2015 at 11:59pm PST
Post Deadline: Sunday March 8, 2015 at 11:59pm PST

The Hall of Heads:

Capntastic - Birdhouse in Your Soul
SadisTech - Boat of Car and/or Hall of Heads
leekster - I Palindrome I
GrizzledPatriarch - Narrow Your Eyes
SittingHere - Where Your Eyes Don't Go
Wangsbig - Judy Is Your Viet Nam
Maugrim - Chess Piece Face
Bompacho - Purple Toupee
Entenzahn - I'm Impressed
J.A.B.C. - Snail Shell
Jagermonster - The World's Address
Ironic Twist - Ondine
hotsoupdinner - Memo to Human Resources
Curling Iron - Someone Keeps Moving My Chair :toxx:
Djeser - Istanbul Not Constantinope :toxx:
Screaming Idiot - Robot Parade :toxx:
Benny Profane - The Mesopotamians
Kaishai - The Statue Got Me High
Starr - Stone Cold Coup d'Etat
Pete Zah - Don't Let's Start
Docbeard - Destination Moon :toxx:
Megazver - Prevenge
PootieTang - Hot Cha :toxx:
newtestleper - How Many Planets? :toxx:
Ancient Blades - Canada Haunts Me
Cancercakes - The House at the Top of the Tree :toxx: Flash Rule: a long-awaited return, mice
Schneider Heim - Twisting

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at 03:57 on Mar 6, 2015

Jun 26, 2013


In. Gimme a song.

Jun 20, 2013

I"m in and have never listened to this band. Please give me a song.


Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's DIE!"

SadisTech posted:

In. Gimme a song.

Boat of Car

Edit: I changed my mind, you can also pick Hall of Heads

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at 08:05 on Mar 3, 2015

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