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crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

like a fart in a hurricane

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

INTERPROMPT

WRITE 200 WORDS ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS REALLY DISAPPOINTED IN A BUNCH OF WRITERS FOR FAILING TO WRITE IN A WRITING THREAD





crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

tbf, it's only the third highest in failures by percentage...

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/s...es&sort=percent

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



crabrock posted:

tbf, it's only the third highest in failures by percentage...

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/s...es&sort=percent

oh, good

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


I'm Mad That I Don't Have to Read A Lot of Stories

Actually, I'm not.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


He slices, he dices, but he can't finish a story about hunting aliens in a T-64, all based on a song that's constructed around an improbable answering machine tape, so you can say that he sucks and blows, too!

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Misplaced Guilt: A Study In Seven Words

But I didn't even enter this week!

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Shifted Blame or Jumping onto the Threadwagon

The shocking twist is that it was actually the terrible prompt's fault.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Megazver posted:

Shifted Blame or Jumping onto the Threadwagon

The shocking twist is that it was actually the terrible prompt's fault.

the moral of this story is, there are no terrible prompts, only terrible promptees

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


poo poo Never Happens

No matter how bad the prompt, no matter how good an excuse, you can always fail next week.

Lazy Beggar
Dec 9, 2011


Mercedes posted:

Born 2 Serve: Lob Harder

Plot: Death tennis with explosives. Humans suck at it, but the protagonist wins for humanity for the first time with the use of some electromagnetic doping.

I forgot I was reading for almost all of it. However, two parts reminded me.

quote:

When I connected with the metalloid ball, my suit discharged a magnetic field that held me in an immovable stasis for a full second. Kana had told me it allowed the opposition some time for positioning while it charged the ball so it repelled from the racquet exponentially faster.'

These two sentences together confused me when I first read them. I think it is saying that the new suit holds him in place and then accelerates the ball back at the opponent. But the recollection regarding Kana's explanation of the suit confused me into thinking the electromagnetic wizardry causing him to stop was advantageous to his opponent because they could position themselves better as he was suspended. I think this is my fault though...

And I'm not entirely sure how it ended. Well I know the human won, but the end of the match wasn't clear to me.

quote:

'When the ball hit my opponent’s racquet, I dove to the side.'


Up until the end I thought that a point was lost if you were hit. Is that right? But there doesn't seem to be another hit after this line and the insect dies. And the stadium implodes at the end and there is cheering? The stadium imploding confused me the most.

There was some flesh to all the characters. I rooted for the protagonist, without loving the chap. I guess I would be pretty grumpy if I was a gladiatorial slave in the future. Kana serves as a nice balance to him with her jolliness. And the other two work well opposed to him, the dick-ish superior being who you'd want to loose against anyone and the jovial, carefree commentator cracking jokes as the protagonist's life is on the line.

World-building was done really well. Probably the strongest part of the piece for me. Remarkable for so few worlds to create a sci-fi setting and make me feel that this death tennis spectacle is something that could exist.

So there's my tardy crit. Probably not much use to you. I enjoyed it and just highlighted the only bits that I tripped up on to offer something potentially worthwhile.

theblunderbuss
Jul 4, 2010

I find dead men rout
more easily.


Week 150 critlets, part the second

Holding What Is Left

Despite using judgemode, I think all three of us pegged this as your work. I guess that says something.

This was definitely the best-written entry this week, but, at this point, that doesn't come as a huge surprise. Ultimately, what held it back was the length - expand this a bit (both my co-judges have already called it a vignette rather than a story, and I'll third that sentiment) and it could definitely have won.


I.O.U.

This starts abruptly. Very abruptly. It threw me for a complete loop when you time-lapsed without warning after the very first paragraph. I was a bit worried at that point. Thankfully you proved me wrong.

This story's big strength is the atmosphere you create. There's a really strong sense of oppressive horror to the whole thing, and you ramp it up nicely over the course of the third scene. I very much appreciated that you didn't feel the need to actually explain what was going on, which would probably have ruined the whole thing. At no point did I feel like I needed to know more; just the pervasive "this is really wrong" was more than sufficient.

The main issues I had were with clarity at the start - you jump around a bit and it took me a little while to get things straight in my head. Ultimately, though, this was interesting and memorable. Great job.


The Once and Future King

I don't like any of your characters. Especially the protagonist. Just want you to know that. From the start he seems to be defined by the fact that he doesn't like anyone, and that he's just a bit full of himself. Is there anything he actually wants? At the end it seems like his goal is, "that's enough war, thanks," so maybe getting that in early on would have helped.

You've set up a world that is at least different here, which is commendable, but I don't really feel like I've got any sense of what it's like. There's no real atmosphere, and everything's very… vague. To some extent this is a good thing - I don't need three paragraphs detailing the complete history of the war and the makeup of the nearby rock formations or whatever - but I do need a bit more detail than you give here.

What is life underground like? Dark? Humid? Dusty? How are the people taking it? Grim acceptance? Despair? Optimism? Are they in tunnels they've dug themselves, or old catacombs, or the London Underground, or what?

I mean, here's what I know about the battle against the French in the middle: It takes place in a tunnel. That's it.

Ultimately I think the lack of any real details was what rendered this unmemorable to me. Some soldiers had a fight and King Arthur turned up and died. By the time I'd read another couple of stories I'd already forgotten it.


What a Shame

At first I thought this was going to be a story about a breakup and about the strained relationship between two people who tried and fell short. Then it turned out to be entirely about Deus Ex. I know they say, "write what you know," but this might be taking it a bit far.

Maybe you were aiming for the game to be some kind of metaphor for the relationship? If so, it's a really loving subtle one.

Oh, and for the record: I've never played Deus Ex. If you were trying to pander with this, you missed.


Trigger

I enjoyed this story, straightforward as it is. Sentia has a good, strong voice, both in her narration and what dialogue she has. I actually thought the, "I knew I was watching my father fight" line wasn't necessary - I had a pretty good idea what was going on by that point (from Jacobus' reaction to her earlier), and other than that line I thought you did a good job of dropping enough hints without actually stating it outright. On that note, having Sentia as the narrator worked particularly well; you couldn't really have got away with that sort of subtle touch if any of the others had been the POV char.

The gunfight seemed a bit implausible - one man against twelve, all of whom really should have been ready for a fight, out in the open? - but that's a minor niggle and one that I can accept is perfect in keeping for the genre.

This was a strong contender for the win. Keep it up.


Homecoming

Okay. Um. This is an interesting one.

I thought your opener was okay. Not amazing, but enough of a hook (disclaimer: I'm unfairly biased towards fantasy). I was all ready to read about the adventures of Helena the hero.

Then she doesn't appear for the next thousand words.

I just… honestly don't know what you were aiming for with this structure. The main body - the confrontation between soldiers and villagers - is entirely generic, and I'd know exactly what was going to happen during it even if you hadn't explicitly told me in the first line. Your characters here are caricatures rather than people, and the dialogue reads more like a LARP session than anything. Really, this entire scene seems to exist solely as the setup for a rollicking three-book epic… which you then summarise in a couple of hundred words and call it a day.

Really, I don't know what you were aiming for with this structure, but… let's just say it didn't work.


The Black Cat Cafe

I like Sasha's note. Just from that, I've already got a good idea of what she's like.

This story kept my attention throughout, which is better than most. It feels unfinished, though, possibly because it's so simple. There's no conflict between the characters; they meet up, there's a bit of a scuffle, and then everything is… pretty good between them? This feels like the setup for a longer story, and these are your protagonists for it. I can imagine that they're about to talk about the actual plot over dinner.

For what it's worth, I'd probably read that.


Souls

Okay, so I get that this was probably a bit rushed, but it does show.

This story definitely subscribes to the every-popular tell-don't-show creed. It's all incredibly detached and bland - you tell me what Klimmer does, and you tell me what he feels, and at no point am I expected to work anything out for myself. I mean, he gets his soul back at the start. That's a pretty big deal, right? But all I know about it is that he vomits and then cries for a bit. There's no impact to that at all.

Incidentally, describing your protagonist as a "soulless cretin?" Really?

Klimmer doesn't actually do anything during this story. He gets his soul back at the start - through no effort of his own - and then he wanders around for a bit thinking about what that's like, and then… he cancels dinner? Is that the climax?

This was weak. On the other hand, you did at least submit it. So that's something.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Thank ye, theblunderbuss!

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013




https://soundcloud.com/djeser-2/the...ttle-of-roswell

epoch.
Jul 24, 2007

When people say there is too much violence in my books, what they are saying is there is too much reality in life.


I'm not a judge or a participant, I'm just a software engineer who used to write. So, sorry if posting any sort of unsolicited criticisms or thoughts about these "works" is uncouth or against the rules of your potemkin village here, but I had a few thoughts about the previous week's entries.

(That sounds rather dismissive and snarky and that's not entirely intentional, sorry)

I read the first, I don't know, six stories or so.

HalliburTown: A retarded title with such generic writing that my eyes physically glazed over. Once I got to "Venn" my mind's eye quite literally showed me a visage of your smarmy smirk while writing that name and I skipped it entirely out of disgust. Try harder.

An Old Friend: I have no idea why a) I read this one in its entirety or b) why I felt the need to actually read it carefully, but it just. so. boring. Boring caricatures of characters and an unnamed "guest" who may or may not be death Himself, oh Lordy.

They Say Fish Have No Word for Water: The title is twice as good as the story. The story is ... okay. Like that one other poster said, it makes me want to read Brave New World, but it's no Brave New World, itself.

Clap Happy: I truthfully could not discern whether your protagonist (inasmuch as a serial killer can be a protagonist) literally murdered or metaphorically murdered. Maybe that's my fault for listening to so many comic podcasts, but phrases like "I killed," "I murdered", etc are so commonplace that I honestly thought you were speaking metaphorically until you got to the bit about sawing off hands and then I actually got more bored and I quit reading it.

All That He Was: It's unfair to criticise you for this, in a way, but there's a lot of inaccuracies both about guitars and technology that removed me from the story. This was another dystopian setting that just felt ... overdone. And, man, what a boring story, though, really. Guy finds guitar, plays guitar even though against government mandate, is captured, kills self. Hold on I gotta buy a new edge for my seat, this one's all frayed!

Up Up Down Down A B A B Start
lol gently caress this story and gently caress you and gently caress your dad too

--- At this point I skipped a few because I felt like I was going to actually cry real tears in real life sitting at my desk these stories were so bad, so sorry if I skipped a good one --

Some Old Hood poo poo: I knew this would be trash by the title. Thank you for proving me right.

Now, this brings me to the first real reason I'm making this post:
Maybe Being Crazy Ain't Such a Bad Thing: This is some really, and I mean really bad loving writing. I mean, Jesus Christ. Then she passes by as she left, say a few kind words, then Dylan waves bye, and start typing away again. Someone else already pointed out what a goddamn mess this sentence is, but I promise you my eight year old writes better. What in the gently caress, proofread your poo poo!

And lastly, the second real reason I'm making this post: At this point, I felt like maybe Thunderdome was full of idiots so I skipped ahead to read some other critiques to see if any of these were actually supposed to be good. 1) At least almost everyone agrees that these stories, were, in fact, very bad. 2) It prompted me to go back and read:

Holding What is Left: I used to post and critique here a whole hell of a lot more, but it's been so long most of you probably don't know me. But this might be the most beautifully written thing I've read here. And as for the judges who said it's too short they are loving wrong and dumb and should feel very bad about just how loving dumb and wrong they are. You condense more into a sentence than these other hacks could given a piece of sidewalk chalk and the vietnam memorial to write on. (How about that for a lovely image). Three sentences in, and I know more about the characters than I know about all the other characters from all the other submissions combined. There is true heartbreak here, true voice, and just, goddamn, good job.

PEOPLE OF CC: MORE DEAD INDIAN VAMPIRES LESS OF ALL THIS OTHER poo poo, THANKS.

Lazy Beggar
Dec 9, 2011


SlipUp posted:

[The Last Hunt]
1498 words

The job hunt was not going well. Benjamin Savos sipped on his coffee and browsed his email inbox from the laptop on the kitchen counter. [This sentence is long, a little dull and doesn't flow well to me.]He only had one real offer, and Joanna wasn't going to like it.[Hey! An offer means the hunt is going splendidly. drat, an interview would be positive enough.]

"Hear back from anywhere?" Jo sleepily asked, as she wiped the sleep from her eyes.["sleepily... the sleep" I guess this just got missed in the edit, changing it from a tell to show.]

"Not yet." He fumbled for the right words. [I think the tag should proceed the dialogue here or write "Not yet..." suggesting he was going to say more but the words would not come. Otherwise it reads to me as a quick response, a lie at that, and then the narrator saying he was fumbling for words. That seems disjointed.]

"You're always welcome at the bakery." She reiterated.["reiterated" suggests she has said it in this conversation already rather than in a previous one, maybe? Not sure.] Ben's gaze fell on to the mounted tiger above the fireplace, then on the .45 Marlin Guide Rifle in it's display case underneath.[This does some evoking, a see something of Ben's character here without you saying, "Ben used to hunt, but now he misses it.] He let a moment pass.[ Not sure this is necessary as his response doesn't follow from her last statement and there is a pause already in the prose from your description of his gazing.]

"Another mauling outside of Crescent Valley." He remarked nonchalantly.

"That's terrible."

"Yeah. They're worried about a repeat of last season, especially after the search party didn't turn anything up. Mayor Tarant put up a private contract on the man eater." Jo furrowed her brow.[Less confusing to have a tag for a certain character with their own dialogue]

[Jo furrowed her brow,] "You promised you were going to look for a real job."

"I am baby, but there's nothing for me." His empty inbox hung in the back of his mind. "I only have one skill to offer." He walked over to Jo and touched her arm. Their eyes met and he couldn't help smiling. His hand trailed down her arm and came to rest caressing her baby bump. [Hmm, ok. There is a baby something a little more to avoid being mauled for. But "came to rest" and "caressing" don't make sense together. "He sat down running."]

"The pay is good Jo, it's a hundred thousand dollar contract.[For a bear? How many babies did it maul? Suspend belief, Lazy. ] I know what I said but this way we can pay off the house. Settle our business loans. Our baby girl can pick her college." Joanna looked away. [Again with Jo acting after Ben talks. Potentially confusing, certainly jarring.] Ben's heart sank.

"You lied to me Ben. People have died out there. [I think "there" needs to described more for this not to sound melodramatic] What if something happens. We'll have no money and you'll be leaving us alone." She sighed.[I get that she is annoyed, upset, frustrated. The sigh doesn't add anything.]

"I'll bring back up. I'm sorry. I need to do this. For us. I love you." [Pretty confused by this. "I'll ring back up"? But then that would suggest he wasn't going to do it, which is contradicted by "I need to do this."]

"I love you too." [I think for this to be less jarring it would work after the next line]

Ben smiled and kissed her. She put her arms around him. They rubbed their noses together and smiled. [Rubbing noses is permissible in private, which this technically is I guess, but I found it upsetting to read.]

["I love you too."]

Four days later, Ben found himself on a ridge overlooking the village of Crescent Valley. Fog spilled from the skeletal forest of Lodgepole Pine as if it had been eviscerated. His guide Leonard was inspecting a splash of blood in the clearing while his tracker Charlotte was skirting the edge of the forest looking for any trace of the bear. [ He has a guide and a tracker. What does he do, pull the trigger? Couldn't one of these outdoors folk do that?]

"Tarant pointed us in the right direction." Said Leo, "I still have my doubts about a black grizzly." [Line break. And also it is "... right direction," said Leo. " I still have... "]So did Ben. The attack was [had been] witnessed by the victim's friend. His description was outlandish. A monstrous black grizzly that stank like rot with knives for teeth.

"Poor kid got carried away. He just watched his friend die." Replied Ben. ["...die," replied Ben." Then line break.] Leo stayed silent.

"Over here!" Called Charlotte. Ben started over to her when he saw what she did[confusing... "As Ben walked towards her, he saw what had caught her attention." Maybe? I don't know.], a tree missing a huge swath of bark.

Ben nodded and glanced at the setting sun. "Okay, let's set up camp here for the night. Leo, find us some firewood." He signalled affirmative and headed into the woods.[As long as Leo doesn't tell Ben to gently caress off, I think it is clear that he is going to get the wood without you explicitly telling us.] Charlotte grabbed Ben by the arm.

[Charlotte grabbed Ben by the arm.] "I need you to be honest. Why did you call me? You could've picked up any tracker in Bumblefuck[eh? Maybe at a push "Cres-stinkyhole." But I hate that pun. And myself.] Valley other there. Why wait on me and my red eye flight? [What?] Is this about what happened in India?"[I guess it is.]

"No, I called you because of the bear hunt we did in Russia. I need the best. I need someone I trust." He could[n't] help but notice the way she laughed.[Derisively? Seductively? Manically? I am going to guess seductively.]

"Good, because India was a mistake. [Not seductively? He just liked her laugh?] It makes sense now, you need someone you trust so they don't steal your trophy." [ That dialogue sounds odd.] She walked past him and smacked his rear end loudly. [I am getting mixed signals] His train of thought derailed.[Maybe make the metaphor less cliche.] It wasn't true but he didn't have the words. He sighed and pulled out his tent. [I wonder if this is a joke because it sounds like he is going to pull out his dick because of the potent sexual tension, otherwise it seems like he has pocket tent that he whips out, flicks, and tosses towards the ground. And then there lies a tent to sleep in.]

Their luck with the weather ran out two days later during the early night. The skies wept and the winds howled. The trees groaned and swayed around them. Charlotte took point and Leo was rear. [It sounds like he is being taken on an adventure holiday by these guys.]They would usually have set up camp by now, but their game was close. They could hear growls in the distance. The beast was angry. Search parties would not dare get this close, the bear was not used to being chased so tenaciously. Its frustration was a poignant hook in an orchestra of raindrops splashing. [I don't think I know enough about music to understand this metaphor.]They had to close the distance, but doubt was creeping into Ben's mind. Where [Were] they tracking a beast or following a trail of bread crumbs? Each time they reached the point of the last sign, the beast was always just a bit deeper into the veil.

Now it had been some time since the last crumb. [The bear was leaving crumbs?] Did they lose the trail, or had they already received their final warning?

Thunder shook the ground they were standing on, but there had been no lightning. A foul odour filled the air. [Good to be thinking of the other senses.] Ben turned to look at Leo[.], but [T]here was something behind [him] Leo. A shade from which no light escaped reared up and roared. The man-eater. Leo's face went ashen. He reached down, holstered his pistol and slowly turned around. The bear was too close. As soon as Leo looked it in the eye it lashed out with one of it's [its] power[ful?] paws and [had] unhinged Leo's jaw clean from his face. Charlotte screamed and Leo fell back grasping at his gaping maw. Ben saw the man-eater advance on Charlotte, so he frantically shouldered his guide rifle, flicked off the safety and fired. Too hastily, the shot went wide [That was all he was here for! To fire the loving gun!], but it caught the bear's attention. It turned to face him and broke into a loping charge. [Doesn't really capture the immediacy of the situation.] Ben's heart rev'd[hmmm] in his chest as he ejected the spent cartridge and chambered the next. He tried to bring it to a firing pose but the man-eater slammed into him at speed. The shot escaped into the canopy and the rifle tumbled into the darkness as Ben felt a sickening crunch in his chest. [Again, long sentence but with not much rhythm to it.] His breathe burned through his chest like fire. He gasped weakly and all he could feel was the warm moist breath of the bear on his face. Suddenly[more sudden without the adverb] several shots rang out. It was Charlotte.

"Come on you fucker, try a real challenge." [Charlotte making GBS threads on Ben when he is down! I like that.]The bear yelped[yelped doesn't seem right for this monstrosity], it had been struck. Charlotte took off away from the bear, but up the mountain. The man-eater was close behind. Ben regained his breathe and followed gingerly.[Are you trying make Ben seem like a cowardly, useless twat? It isn't a bad thing if you are.]

As he reached the edge of the clearing he saw the bear catch Charlotte. She cried out as it ploughed into her from behind. [Is this another sexual phrasing joke?] Before she could regain her composure, the bear sunk his teeth into her calf. She screamed out. Ben ran out into the clearing.[A smidgen less craven.]

"Let her go! Charlotte!" The fire raged in his chest, his breathe robbed him of all his strength. His rubber legs were catching him as he fell forward, nothing more. The bear was dragging her now. There was a black pit at the other edge of a [the] clearing. She saw him running toward her. He was desperate for her to say something, to tell him what to do. [really? This hunter is not very convincing.] His heart stopped when she spoke out.

"Run!" The bear had began pulling her into it's den. "Go!" And she disappeared. Ben ran faster. He could make it, he could still make it.

He reached the edge of the den and hesitated to catch his breathe. He choke back air that reeked of rotten eggs. He steadied himself on the wall of the entrance and his hand came back black. An old coal mine. The kid was telling the truth. He stared into the abyss, straining his ears for any signs of life. He yelled for her. [You tell us then he does it in the next line.]

"Charlotte!" Nothing. The silence hung out in the air, and was punctuated by a gunshot.

"Charlotte!" The ground trembled underneath him. This was different. Then he realized, that smell wasn't rot. It was a methane build up. ["At room temperature and standard pressure, methane is a colorless, odorless gas." - wiki] His hand... Coal dust. He looked back up into the abyss as the gates of hell unfolded behind him. At first it was the size of a lit match in the distance. Within seconds is was a crashing sea of fire. [Was it just a random combustion? If so what was the coal dust hands bit about?]

"poo poo!" The geyser flung him into the air. Time seemed to stand still. Ben could only watch the stars pass through his fingers as the pillar of fire challenged their supremacy of the sky. He would never remember returning to Earth.

***

It was the ugliest pelt anyone had seen, but repentant, spilling all it's former secrets. It's fur was as black as night, dyed that way by coal dust. It's teeth were jagged blades, many were broken, some down to the bone. The man-eater was a survivor. It had sustained it's jaw injury from another hunter's rifle. Derived of the means to catch it's prey [by humans, presumably, but this needed to be expanded on], it turned to humans. The cub pelt beside it attested to it's success. [I'm shocked that any part of the belt survived the challenge to the stars.]They would be his last, but his attention always fell back to the mounted tiger above his fireplace. He lingered for a moment until a baby's cry shattered the silence. He smiled sadly and went into his daughter's room.[So he is sad that he will never hunt again? Why is Charlotte and her laugh never mentioned again? Or how she saved his life? The only mention is...]

"Little Charlotte, did you miss me?" [It is not ok! Not ok to name your child after a previous lover, even if they've saved your life. Not ok!]

My comments above might seem harsh at parts, but well... they are harsh. I don't mean to be a dick. I liked the character of Charlotte, especially the part I highlighted above when she mocks and saves Ben in one snap. Ben was at least somewhat developed, but I don't rightly understand his arc. He misses hunting, so he hunts a monster, people die like his wife said they would, and he still misses hunting but at least now he will look after Charlotte #2. Not ok at all, by the way! The plot is ok and I felt some regret about the death of Charlotte, less so for Leo. I felt more disappointed that he was thrown away so easily. He was just a character to collect wood while Charlotte and Ben flirted and to die as soon as the bear turned up so we knew business was about to be done.

There are some confusing sentences. I highlighted some of them. Also, maybe look up how to handle dialogue tags and what-not. I am not an expert, but I think you've got some punctuation mistakes and some pacing problems.

Less conjunctions in your action sequence.

Overall it wasn't bad. It had characters, it had a protagonist who wanted and got, a climax. The execution let you down a bit. Some grammatical mistakes and typos. The typos actually made me feel bad because they are annoying and avoidable with a decent edit, but I am bad for them myself. Sorry anyone who has/will crit my stuff. Anyway, I would suggest trying to move away from well established imagery and develop your own stuff a little more.

I more or less enjoyed it. Definitely a better conjurer of tales than me.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

epoch. posted:

I'm not a judge or a participant, I'm just a software engineer who used to write. So, sorry if posting any sort of unsolicited criticisms or thoughts about these "works" is uncouth or against the rules of your potemkin village here, but I had a few thoughts about the previous week's entries.

these are good crits imo

ButtWolf
Dec 30, 2004

Hey, you want a toothpick?


Jesus christ all these crits are pretty brutal. When's the next prompt? It'll be good to get torn a new rear end in a top hat.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Soon as our judges stop weeping into their gavels, we'll have a winner, and they'll set the prompt, as is their punishment.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



WEEK 151 RESULTS

So, despite the abominably-low turnout for this prompt (), this was really an above-average week. Almost none of the stories made me wish I had never been born, which is always a plus, and some of them were actually pretty good.

This week’s winner is Sitting Here, who took one of my favorite songs and turned it into an interesting, entertaining and unique story that was kind of like The Fly if it was directed by Wes Anderson. Well done, SH.

Honorable mentions go to Thranguy for giving us an interesting story about a devil’s bargain with likeable characters, and to Grizzled Patriarch for writing a luminously-described moment in the life of a caught fish.

No DMs this week, partly because the overall quality was pretty good, and partly because there was such an immense gap between the rest of the stories and the losing story…

…which was written by Doctor Idle. Lots of un-proofread errors, a character that was unsympathetic and up his own rear end, a plot that went virtually nowhere and an ending that went straight off the deep end—the field was too small and the competition too tough for someone to poo poo the bed, but I think this story could have lost in a week with five times as many submissions. Pay close attention to the upcoming crits, and come better next time.

I’m out. SH, the blood throne is yours once again.

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at Jun 30, 2015 around 02:46

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Week 152: Rhymes with Red, White, and Blue




For US goons, this coming weekend will be a time to celebrate explosions, independence, barbeque, and all of the other things that remind us we're truly exceptional. This week, I want you to write about America's creamy filling, that special something that sets us apart from every other human that eats, drinks, sleeps, and poops on this dumb planet.

That's right. You're writing stories about a big-box megastore. Think Super Walmart. Think Mega Target. Think Captain loving Kroger himself, squatting in an car-choked concrete prairie, dumping steamy hot bargains straight onto your chest.

Enter...VOIDMART, the ironically-named superstore that feeds all your needs.

Indulge me, goons. I've wanted to do this prompt for a long time. Once you sign up, I will assign you a department. Voidmart is an improbably huge and well-stocked store, so some examples might be: women's undergarments, the deli, the fitting rooms, the auto center, cart duty, and so on. Your protagonist must work in the department I assign you, though you're free to write about supporting characters from other departments, or collaborate with other goons (in fact, I would love if you guys worked together, though it's not mandatory).

Genre is open. Voidmart is a pretty big, weird loving store and an equal opportunity employer, so don't be afraid to do crazy poo poo. That said, I'm going to be firm about the setting. Your story must take place in Voidmart or immediately outside Voidmart. And NO EROTICA OR FANFIC do I even have to say it


A bit about Voidmart

Voidmart is huge. It puts all other megastores to shame in both size and range of products offered.

For a big-box store, it's not actually very boxy. In fact, its roof is oddly dome-shaped. Fluorescent lights hang from beams that criss-cross above the many, many aisles.

There are cameras everywhere, and security is top-notch. Still, there are spots where even the all-seeing eye of loss prevention cannot look.

Management lurks in a foreboding office at the top of a dark flight of stairs. I'm not too fussed about where in particular those stairs are located in the store.

Voidmart's in-house coffee brand is called Golden Bean. A Golden Bean cafe is located near the front of the store, so customers can energize themselves and shop longer.

CUSTOMERS SUCK!!!!!


Wordcount: 1300
Signup deadline: Friday, July 3rd at 11:59:59PM PST
Submission deadline: Sunday, July 5th at 11:59:59PM PST
Judges:
CEOing Here
Chairchucker
SkaAndScreenplays

Fulfilled employees doing meaningful work:



Your character works in The Back, taking in freight and stocking shelves. Sidenote, customers have an annoying habit of thinking anything, even out-of-stock items, can be found in The Back. Usually, they're wrong. Occasionally, they're not...


newtestleper posted:

So very very in

Your character works in The Meat Department. The blood the blood the bloo

(No refunds on mystery meat)

crabrock posted:

in to stop people from getting a win just because nobody else signs up.

Aw thanks Crab. Your stories make me think you know a lot about poo poo. Your character is on Restroom Duty! If it's yellow, they're mellow, if it's brown, they frown. God knows what they've seen and heard.


Doctor Idle posted:

In. I wrote trash and must wash away the shame as best I can.

Your character works in Returns and Exchanges. Store policy states that all animals must still be alive to be eligible for return.

Pham Nuwen posted:

I'm in

Welcome to Voidmart, I love you.

Congratulations on your character's promotion to Quality Assurance. They walk the floor and tidy racks, call in spills and injuries, and generally hang around giving the impression that someone gives a drat about customers' experiences.


Your character also works in The Back, taking in freight and stocking shelves. Sidenote, customers have an annoying habit of thinking anything, even out-of-stock items, can be found in The Back. Usually, they're wrong. Occasionally, they're not...

Thranguy posted:

in, indeed.

Your character is in Loss Prevention. They get to go into the super secret control room with all the cameras, and sometimes even tackle senile old grandmas who try to wander out of the store without paying for their merchandise.


Djeser posted:

Welcome to voidmart, let the mart envelop you.

Your character got their dream job of working in Remote Control Toys. That's right, Voidmart carries an extensive line of RC vehicles, drones, and robots. So many they needed their own entire section. Sweet.


jimcunningham posted:

In

Im so anxious.

Quit getting high on your own supply cause your character is a Pharmacist. Voidmart carries an extensive range of generic and irregular medications, for under-the-weather customers who aren't fussy about what's in their pills.

Flashrule: Hey, this expired months ago. Do you think it's still any good?

curlingiron posted:

TRAPPED IN VOIDMART, PLEASE SEND HELP


Your character is the Beastmaster. Okay, they work in the Pet Department. But keeping a bunch of cooped up animals happy in an environment of depressing artificial light and weird-smelling shoppers isn't easy.

Broenheim posted:

in and can you flash me (no not like that)

Your character works in Guns, Ammo, and Liquor. One stop shopping!

Flashrule: "If it doesn't have a price tag, that means it's free!" lolololol

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

ahaha I loving love it. In.

Your character works in The Meat Department. The blood the blood the bloo

(No refunds on mystery meat)



Your character is the Beastmaster. Okay, they work in the Pet Department. But keeping a bunch of cooped up animals happy in an environment of depressing artificial light and weird-smelling shoppers isn't easy.

Pete Zah posted:

Yo, did you get my job app? I have customer service experience and can totally pass a urine test.
Wait, a hair test? What is this North Korea?

In.

Your character is a Cart Pusher! Envied by their coworkers because they get to spend all day in natural light and real air, your character knows that the parking lot is actually a battleground where cars and carts dance the endless waltz of war.


Congratulations on your character's promotion to Quality Assurance. They walk the floor and tidy racks, call in spills and injuries, and generally hang around giving the impression that someone gives a drat about customers' experiences.

dmboogie posted:

aaaaaaaaa

in

Most people think working in the Produce Section would be boring. And, on good days, it is...

The Saddest Rhino posted:

In gimme a dept

Your character is a Shift Supervisor. Everything is terrible. Life is suffering. They're not even salaried. Holidays no longer exist. Why do they keep showing up day after day? Could they stop if they wanted to? No. Voidmart needs them. Voidmart loves them. Voidmart will never let them go.

Screaming Idiot posted:

Screw it, I'm in.

Your character is the chief engineer, aka Maintenance Guy. They're not exactly sure how Voidmart works or why, but it's their job to keep it that way.


SkaAndScreenplays posted:


SKAANDSCREENPLAYS HAS BEEN PROMOTED TO JUDGE


VOIDMART
5150 Fountainhead Crossing
Libertyville, IL 60048
ATTN CEO/HUMAN RESOURCES
Care of: Sitting Here


Greetings,

My name is redacted I will be working at VoidmartTM for the next few months. This was arranged by the board of directors of Voidmart's parent company for reasons I am not at liberty to discuss. It is my firm belief that my life experiences make me an ideal candidate for several departments within your company. My work history is a checkered one, and many of the positions I have held are not of a nature one would discuss in polite company. Needless to say my previous employers equipped me with a diverse skill set with which your company could make good use of. I have strict non-disclosure agreements with the companies, syndicates, and governments I have contracted for in the past and thus am unable to disclose the traditional applicant questions regarding: problems I have had with customers or coworkers, and times I was put in charge of an operation. In regards to my skills however, please note that I:

Am Fluent in 6 Foreign Languages (Portuguese, Russian, Persian, Pashtu, French, and Korean).
Have a working knowledge of network security and information systems and I am competent in the field of digital intrusion.
Trained in several martial arts disciplines and am EMT certified in the State of Illinois.
Have experience in high-risk negotiations and financial transactions.
Am familiar with the Material Safety Data Sheets of all commercially available chemicals, as well as their chemical interactions.
Have experience in physical security and surveillance systems and am familiar with their deployment.
Highly skilled in printing and graphical design. (Please notice that I have duplicated the VoidmartTM confidential internal-use-only letterhead for this correspondence)

You will notice that I did not include the standard application or resume. Please do not construe this as contempt for your application process. My work history demands anonymity, a virtue I believe you as the CEO of VoidmartTM can both appreciate and respect. I will be waiting for you in your office before start of business Monday to discuss my start date and payment requirements. I look forward to meeting you.

I have no reservations regarding department, as I am sure you will place me where my skills will be put to the best use. Therefore consider me

IN

Regards
Redacted

ATTN: ALL STAFF AND PERSONEL

I'm pleased to welcome redacted to the team! Please give them your warmest welcome and comply promptly with any instructions they give you. Do not hesitate to give them access to any part of the store, including restricted areas. Do not attempt to revert any alterations they make to merchandise displays. Familiarize yourselves with any changes they make to the Point of Sale (POS) system. Do not make eye contact unless spoken to by redacted. If a Customer mentions redacted, please adhere to best practices as outlined in section 3A of the Employee Compliance Manual.

Have a VoidTastic day!


Entenzahn posted:

Pleas guve me jab. Thanx

Your character knows that any complex machine runs at least in part on human pathos and misery. You are Voidmart's Branch Therapist, and it's your job to minimize employee turnover.

Just a reminder, some of you will get the same job/department as other people.


Megazver posted:

Okay. In.

Your character is in Loss Prevention. They get to go into the super secret control room with all the cameras, and sometimes even tackle senile old grandmas who try to wander out of the store without paying for their merchandise.

theblunderbuss posted:

Let's do this. In.

Most people think working in the Produce Section would be boring. And, on good days, it is...



Your character is a Fitting Room Attendant. Their job is sort of a mix between running the pet department and maintaining the bathrooms, only they have to give fashion advice, too.



Your character is the Bean Inspector for the Golden Bean Cafe and Coffee shop. Only patented Voidmart Beans are allowed in Voidmart Golden Bean Coffee. Their job is to keep competitor's beans from infiltrating your customer's cups. Voidmart Golden Bean Coffee make the happiest customers.


Your character is a Cart Pusher! Envied by their coworkers because they get to spend all day in natural light and real air, your character knows that the parking lot is actually a battleground where cars and carts dance the endless waltz of war.


Killer-of-Lawyers posted:

I'm sure that my C-store experince will transfer nicely to this prompt, and not end with me gibbering in the middle of a horrific hurricane evacuation flashback.

In and

Beep boop. Your character is in Electronics. They're an expert in all mainstream games, consoles, and gadgets plus the many Voidmart Licensed alternatives, though customers often complain the latter don't usually work as expected...



Congratulations! Your character gets to help Crabrock's character on Restroom Duty! If it's yellow, they're mellow, if it's brown, they frown. God knows what they've seen and heard.


cargohills posted:

In with a for being a lovely failure last time (and also most of the times before that)

Your character also works in The Back, taking in freight and stocking shelves. Sidenote, customers have an annoying habit of thinking anything, even out-of-stock items, can be found in The Back. Usually, they're wrong. Occasionally, they're not...


RedTonic posted:

In and because I'm a wretched failure who must redeem herself in the cashier slave pit.

Your character is the Head Barista and Junior Assistant Bean Inspector at the Golden Bean Café.


Quit getting high on your own supply cause your character is a Pharmacist. Voidmart carries an extensive range of generic and irregular medications, for under-the-weather customers who aren't fussy about what's in their pills.

Lazy Beggar posted:

Bugger it. I'm in.

Your character works in Returns and Exchanges. Store policy states that all animals must still be alive to be eligible for return.



Your character works in Plants and Gardening Supplies. Their green thumb probably comes from the questionable chemicals they spray on the plants every day.


unburied posted:

Still want new blood? I have been observing a few weeks and I think I am ready. I will try not being bad. Try.

Give me a job.

In.

Edit: Does Voidmart close or is it open 24/7?

Your character works in the Baby Supply Department. Everything a parent needs to raise another cherished Voidmart customer.

docbeard posted:

YOU CAN'T FIRE ME I QUIT

That is, I quit not being in.

A store like Voidmart is nearly a city unto itself. And cities need trash cans. Lots of trash cans. And those cans need people to empty them. You work in Garbage Disposal, an elite team of garbage-movers who specialize in taking Voidmart's diverse non-fecal waste from small receptacles and putting it in bigger receptacles.

sebmojo posted:

in. prompt me the hell up and none of your bullshit

um obviously you are in senpai department with rhino

Your character is a Shift Supervisor. Everything is terrible. Life is suffering. They're not even salaried. Holidays no longer exist. Why do they keep showing up day after day? Could they stop if they wanted to? No. Voidmart needs them. Voidmart loves them. Voidmart will never let them go.

Flashrule: There's a crow in your story. I dunno what it's doing, that's up to you.

skwidmonster posted:

Dragging my carcass back in for Voidmart because I reaaaallly need the job. Might as well throw a on there too for good measure.

Also, I don't have references and drug tests are against my religion.

Can't wait to hear back from you!

Your character works in Construction Supplies and Heavy Machinery. Hard hats required.

A Classy Ghost posted:

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck I'm in


fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck


Your character works in Nutrition Supplements and Organic Body Products. Voidmart knows our customers' chakras are misaligned, which is why we created a wide selection of products to keep their aura swole and their DNA redacted.

Flashrule(s): FLASH RULE: You don't believe in the Holistic bullshit that your department shills - so you've been swapping the contents of the 'home remedies' with pharmaceuticals and some of the stranger plants from the garden center.

I deserve a discount!!!

This weekend, Phil Walsh, the head coach of the Adelaide Crows Football Club, (that's Aussie Rules BTW) passed away. Your flash rule is to honour his memory by working Aussie Rules footy into your story somehow.


kurona_bright posted:

In with a ! Let's see if I can pull this off.

Beep boop. Your character is in Electronics. They're an expert in all mainstream games, consoles, and gadgets plus the many Voidmart Licensed alternatives, though customers often complain the latter don't usually work as expected...

Mercedes posted:

*Hands in an application full of unintelligible crayon scribbles, coffee stains and baby poop smeared across the bottom edge*

Your character works in the Baby Supply Department. Everything a parent needs to raise another cherished Voidmart customer.

painted bird posted:

gently caress it.

I'm in. If I'm still banned on Sunday, someone else can post the story for me.

Your character works in The Meat Department. The blood the blood the bloo

(No refunds on mystery meat)

Flash rule: This store is too large. You should make it smaller. Yes, you personally, peon.

JuniperCake posted:

I would like one jerb please. In

-ing because I am an abject failure.

Your character also works in The Back, taking in freight and stocking shelves. Sidenote, customers have an annoying habit of thinking anything, even out-of-stock items, can be found in The Back. Usually, they're wrong. Occasionally, they're not...

Bompacho posted:

I'm back from ban hiatus and I am in.

You are the Lobby Attendant at the Golden Bean Cafe and Coffee Shop. The Golden Bean's guest seating area is a culture unto itself. It's Voidmart's watering hole. Customers are happy to tell you their suggestions for "improving" the store, and you frequently have to shoo away feral shoppers who creep in to try and pilfer pastries.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at Jul 6, 2015 around 03:13

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



In.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


So very very in

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

in to stop people from getting a win just because nobody else signs up.

Doctor Idle
Mar 7, 2008

Hey, if some hillbilly comes up to me, I'm gonna lash him in the face, that's all.

[Best GM 2013-2015]


In. I wrote trash and must wash away the shame as best I can.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010



I'm in

Welcome to Voidmart, I love you.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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




Yesss. In.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

in, indeed.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Welcome to voidmart, let the mart envelop you.

ButtWolf
Dec 30, 2004

Hey, you want a toothpick?


In

Im so anxious.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

TRAPPED IN VOIDMART, PLEASE SEND HELP

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


in and can you flash me (no not like that)

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


ahaha I loving love it. In.

ButtWolf
Dec 30, 2004

Hey, you want a toothpick?


Wait, what's flashing?

spectres of autism
Feb 12, 2011

~it's like people say we're all gonna die
but me it's different i'm not trying to be alive~




im in for this

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


jimcunningham posted:

Wait, what's flashing?

It's one of those things that if you hang around will become clear.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


jimcunningham posted:

Wait, what's flashing?
If you think the prompt is too easy/boring you can ask for an extra 'flash rule' that applies only to you. They're often pretty brutal, so ask at your own risk.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



jimcunningham posted:

Wait, what's flashing?

this is flashing:

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

TIME TO PUNCH IN here are the first few assignments. Some of you may be in the same department as others, in which case I will copy the job description (if any) mostly word-for-word. Don't feel like you collaborate with someone in your department, but also do if you want to.



Your character works in The Back, taking in freight and stocking shelves. Sidenote, customers have an annoying habit of thinking anything, even out-of-stock items, can be found in The Back. Usually, they're wrong. Occasionally, they're not...


newtestleper posted:

So very very in

Your character works in The Meat Department. The blood the blood the bloo

(No refunds on mystery meat)

crabrock posted:

in to stop people from getting a win just because nobody else signs up.

Aw thanks Crab. Your stories make me think you know a lot about poo poo. Your character is on Restroom Duty! If it's yellow, they're mellow, if it's brown, they frown. God knows what they've seen and heard.


Doctor Idle posted:

In. I wrote trash and must wash away the shame as best I can.

Your character works in Returns and Exchanges. Store policy states that all animals must still be alive to be eligible for return.

Pham Nuwen posted:

I'm in

Welcome to Voidmart, I love you.

Congratulations on your character's promotion to Quality Assurance. They walk the floor and tidy racks, call in spills and injuries, and generally hang around giving the impression that someone gives a drat about customers' experiences.


Your character also works in The Back, taking in freight and stocking shelves. Sidenote, customers have an annoying habit of thinking anything, even out-of-stock items, can be found in The Back. Usually, they're wrong. Occasionally, they're not...

Thranguy posted:

in, indeed.

Your character is in Loss Prevention. They get to go into the super secret control room with all the cameras, and sometimes even tackle senile old grandmas who try to wander out of the store without paying for their merchandise.


Djeser posted:

Welcome to voidmart, let the mart envelop you.

Your character got their dream job of working in Remote Control Toys. That's right, Voidmart carries an extensive line of RC vehicles, drones, and robots. So many they needed their own entire section. Sweet.


jimcunningham posted:

In

Im so anxious.

Quit getting high on your own supply cause your character is a Pharmacist. Voidmart carries an extensive range of generic and irregular medications, for under-the-weather customers who aren't fussy about what's in their pills.

curlingiron posted:

TRAPPED IN VOIDMART, PLEASE SEND HELP


Your character is the Beastmaster. Okay, they work in the Pet Department. But keeping a bunch of cooped up animals happy in an environment of depressing artificial light and weird-smelling shoppers isn't easy.

Broenheim posted:

in and can you flash me (no not like that)

Your character works in Guns, Ammo, and Liquor. One stop shopping!

Flashrule: "If it doesn't have a price tag, that means it's free!" lolololol

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

ahaha I loving love it. In.

Your character works in The Meat Department. The blood the blood the bloo

(No refunds on mystery meat)



Your character is the Beastmaster. Okay, they work in the Pet Department. But keeping a bunch of cooped up animals happy in an environment of depressing artificial light and weird-smelling shoppers isn't easy.

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wigglin
Dec 19, 2007



Yo, did you get my job app? I have customer service experience and can totally pass a urine test.
Wait, a hair test? What is this North Korea?

In.

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