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blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

edit: nvm


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Muffin's a big baby

/my first post ITT in weeks

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Screaming Idiot posted:

Man, why's everybody gotta be so angry? Write stories and laugh, goddammit!

Also, I found a couple of major proofreading errors in my stupid Void Vampire story I missed before I posted it, so I want to go ahead and apologize.

no one gives a gently caress

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Badass idea for my week back. In

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Word Count: 487

Artie walked into a flower shop for the first time in his life. He hustled from his pickup to the door quicker than he’d moved in decades, worried that somebody driving by on Old Main Street might see him. The bell above the door chimed like a siren and Artie flinched.

“Can I help you, sir?” the gray-haired woman behind the counter asked and pushed her bifocals up her nose.

“I need some flowers,” Artie told her. “They’re for my wife,” he was quick to add.

The storekeeper, whose nametag on her green apron said Sally, gestured around the store, indicating the abundance and variety of flowers. “What does she like?”

Artie took off his trucker hat and held it over his chest as if the national anthem were playing at a ballgame. “I sure don’t know. But she’s upset like I ain’t never seen.”

Sally walked around to the front of the counter and leaned against it. She crossed her arms and tilted her head. “Let me guess. Something you did. And you think a few flowers are going to make up for it?”

Artie just about dropped his hat. “That how you plan to make a sale?”

Sally’s stern expression didn’t waver. “Don’t change the subject on me. Go on now, tell me what you’ve done.”

“Well,” Artie said and began to fold the brim of his hat. He looked down, feeling like his mother was back from the dead and scolding him over something he did at school. “I made a promise I didn’t keep. A big one.”


“And now she’s mad. Breaking things. I didn’t get no sleep last night.”

Any sleep,” Sally said.

“Any sleep,” Artie corrected, feeling again like he was five instead of fifty-five. “I’ve got until sundown to get things right. Then she’ll be up again. I already got most of what I think’ll make her happy out in the truck, but I feel like some proper flowers will really be the finishing touch I need.”

Sally glanced out the front window of the shop and could see the antlers of a deer sticking up from Artie’s truck’s bed. A nice buck.

“Mmhmm,” Sally hummed. “Well, let’s see.” She began to show Artie some of her best flowers: beautiful arrangements that smelled wonderful. But he soon stopped her.

“What about those?” Artie asked, pointing to a boquet in the corner.

“Those? You don’t want those. They’re nearly dead. And they are starting to smell… funny.”

Artie gave the dying flowers a sniff and winced at the stench. “They’re perfect. She’ll love them.”

Sally shrugged. “If you say so.”

Artie paid for the flowers and got back in his truck with them. The deer in the back was hooked up to a drainage system, steadily filling a big bottle with red, viscous blood. He headed home, praying he’d be able to calm his wife down when she woke up.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Yeah Benny is totally the problem here /sarcasm

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Didn't you get all butthurt about the THUNDERDOME MAFIA then flounce off and never post another story?

What? No. I took a break from writing.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Leaving it all Behind
Word Count: 999
Opening by Simplefish

There was an uncertainty in the wind that blew in over the prairies. Jack laughed, despite himself. Seventeen years and all that he had given her was a daughter; now, not even a home for that daughter to live in.

At least he hadn't taken away her mother. She did that herself upon news of the repossession. The owner-man hadn't sugar-coated his words. Jack could stand it, but Mary—it hurt so to say her name—hadn't sugar-coated her actions. She had decided that there was nothing left for her here now and with a small case of scant belongings rode with the bulldozer man back to the depot.

Hours later he was still in the same place but now the wind had roused a dust storm, and it rode in, rolled in as a great pyroclast or hurricane's wall. A broad cliff of dust, rising six stories high or more, Jack reckoned, but he'd never been to the city so it was hard to judge. He'd have to leave soon, he knew that. It was an era of selfishness, of inherited debts but lacking legacy. And surely his daughter would want to flee from it too. Perhaps she already had.

He turned to check. No, still there.

But land was a man's game, a male inheritance. You were born on your father's land, worked it, till you owned it yourself and died on it. Now the bank owned it, meaning several thousand investors owned an inch square of the acres each. What could a man do with a square inch of farm?

But it was no farm, not any more, just a great sandy landscape, featureless and barren. Not even a farmhouse now. He'd have to go West, find himself a—

But what was Jack looking for? A purpose? No, he had his daughter to live for, even if his wife didn't. A home? Well, home was where you laid your head, however much history a house had to make it a sad thing to lose, so it wasn't that either. No... find himself a—or was that it? find himself?

He smiled the thin smile of a cynic re-invigorated by the tantalising prospect of honest-to-God hope. Escape from fatalism in wrenching back control of one's own destiny was a heady, intoxicating prospect. Control was tempting, and Jack fell to its allure without a care for the outcome. His grin widened as he realised he'd literally thrown caution to the approaching easterly wind.

The path was clear. His grizzled jaw was set. He would head West to find himself—daughter in tow.


Jack and his fourteen-year-old daughter, Vera, were weeks on the road before the illness found him. They’d scraped by on Jack’s meager savings until he lucked into a position as a general handyman on a small traveling circus. The circus had just been closing up after their final performance in the small, dusty town of Goodluck, Oklahoma when Jack and Vera blew into town. The crowd ambled away, onlookers who looked so unaccustomed to smiling that even after the show finished they couldn’t stop and cracks showed in the dust that caked their faces. Jack spotted a broken axle on one of the wagons and fixed it. Ever since, Jack and Vera rode along with the circus.

Jack often sat with Vera in the rearmost wagon, watching the only land either of them had ever known disappear. Thunderstorms roamed the countryside and lightning flashed far away and Jack wished that one heavenly bolt would land where their goddamned old plot of land was and reduce it soot. Let the bankers squabble over that. But there was no resentment in Vera. She quickly grew impatient with watching the world recede and demand to be taken to the front to look out over all the wonders to come. Vera’s hope could not be diminished by the acts of men.

They’d gone on that way, heading West, biding their time, until Jack fell ill and couldn’t rise from bed. The management grew impatient and grumbled in deliberate earshot of Jack that they couldn’t afford to tow him along much longer.

Entire days passed in which Jack woke only to sip at water from the cup Vera tenderly held to his lips. Her tears fell into it and he tasted the salt of them but he could not raise his hand to wipe dry her cheeks. In his sleep he prayed only for Vera, not caring what happened to him as long as she were all right.

Suddenly, the management stopped coming by to grumble. Vera spent less time in the wagon. When she did, she had fresh fruit and meat and medicine. Jack grew stronger and when he was able, he asked her where she’d gotten these things. He feared that she’d borrowed and knew what happened when you had a debt you could not pay.

Vera only smiled coyly. She eased Jack to his feet and he realized the wagon wasn’t moving. The sounds of a crowd reached his ears. A show underway. Vera led Jack out of the wagon and pushed him in the direction of the audience. He staggered into the crowd and faced the stage.

Vera emerged on stage. She wore a pink ruffled dress that was vaguely Victorian and white leggings. She climbed a ladder to a waiting tightrope and took two careful, wobbling steps out onto the wire. Wind stirred her dress. The crowd gasped when she windmilled her arms and Jack felt his stomach lurch with fear and the last gasps of his illness. Vera winked at the audience and switched to one foot, balanced perfectly. She pranced backward across the tightrope, not a trace of wobbliness to her. Applause erupted and she bowed and disappeared behind the stage.

As the next act prepared, Jack found Vera in their wagon. “Where did you learn that?”

Vera only smiled and said, “Sometimes you take care of me, Daddy, and sometimes I take care of you.”

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

gently caress you Skwidmonster go to hell and if you come back in here you better brawl me immediately. Whoever judges will write a beginning and we will both finish it and you will loving suck and I will win because you loving suck.

oh yeah also guess what im going to finish it myself and publish it for actual money which you will never do because you are a bad writer

blue squares fucked around with this message at 04:37 on May 18, 2015

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

I'm a fast judge (and I have a brawl and an another thing to write this week)

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

OfChristandMen posted:

In. First time Domer, read through last week and Wizard week.

So far I've learned to never edit my posts. Ever.

Don't even edit your stories just write and post immediately

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Don't be this guy

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Sep 28, 2007

Broenheim posted:

Ok, I'm just going to be giving crits for the people who are mentioned because pretty much for everyone else, your stories were middling at best and just barely better then the DMs at worse. If you did not get mentioned in the results and want a crit then ask in PM or irc like I said a million loving times already. Though I'm actually serious here if you don't get to me in a week I won't be able to crit you guys because I'll be out for awhile. So do it now, or risk never getting it.

Let's get the show on the road

first crits for people who asked:

newtestleper/Work Experience

You asked for me what I thought of the action scene. It was pretty clear, pretty loving stupid, but clear. I knew what was going on, though I don’t believe that your protag wouldve been able to headbutt someone and knock them out. Felt like one of those action movie scenes that don’t actually work in real life, but whatever, not the biggest problem. You know what the biggest problem was. gently caress you for that ending.

Simplefish - I am under the impression that losers and newbies deserve line-by-lines so you are going to get one. Congrats!!!!!

Your beginning:

I’m not going to line-by-line your opening for leaving it all behind because it just had one big problem: it was just a dude musing for a little bit and then saying he’ll do something. This was an awful opening to give to somebody, because it didn’t really give the other writer anywhere to go with it. No conflict was really established besides a vague “i have to move forward” and the rest of it was some dude just saying some poo poo about how banks suck and his wife killed himself. Also, wtf, that isn’t light hearted in the slightest, c’mon read the loving prompt.

here's the line-by-line in this doc (Jonked I'd recommend reading it as well):


Your beginning crit for Ring Quest: Your beginning was definitely the stronger part of that story. You set up a clear conflict and establish character nicely, although maybe played a little too hard into the self-depreciating incompetence where it got close to being annoying. Your opening didn’t have that happen, but the ending def. did. Not bad.

Ending for Sole Survivor: Space Janitor

To be fair to you, I was the only judge that didnt have this an HM, though that’s more of a personal thing because I hate sci-fi. However, I did recognize that this was a fun, lighthearted story that wasn’t taking itself serious and that set it apart from the rest of this week’s obsession with being serious this week. It was good because it just fun story told pretty well and it didn’t work for me just because it was sci-fi. That’s just me though, so good work.

Now for my crits for all the people who were mentioned.

Well actually, first of all, for everyone this week, not just people mentioned, wtf were you thinking? The prompt said no emotional poo poo. And almost all of you gave us some emotional poo poo. Why did you think that was a good idea? Almost all of these DMs were because you missed the prompt as well as wrote something stupid. Like wtf. Also one of the HMs missed the prompt too but I liked it so :dealwithit:

Also, just because the ending is the one that got the DM/lose doesn't mean that your beginning wasn't immaculate. Some of you idiots were still bad.


First up is Mercury Rising by Pham Nuwen and Benny Profane

The opening and beginning weren’t that great, but the ending definitely was probably worst but they are close. First problem, this is sci-fi and I hate sci-fi. Second though is that there is no tension. The stakes are incredibly low since the protag already lost her job and it just being a single rover that could be lost. Then, the action consists of techno-speak that means nothing to me, and then everything works out and protag gets her job back even though she was the one that hosed everything up. This one we didnt talk too much about in the judge chat since everyone agreed they didnt like this one but didnt go too in depth on why we hated it

The Fire and the Slave by JcDent and Jonked

The big problem is that we’re supposed to care about the slave but he just kinda sits there and acts dumb. Then the conflict is kinda stupid, like he needs to get the shield to join the army but wouldnt the army give you a shield? Still, the whole plot hinges on us believing that the slave is worth keeping but the slave does nothing and the protag doesn’t even seem to like the slave so it doesn’t make sense why he kept him. Then a god shows up and gives him a shield that wraps up the story just way too nicely in the last portion of the story. It just felt out of place and forced.

The Art Lesson by Fuschia tude and Jitzu_the_Monk

It was funny actually. In judge chat this wasn’t nominated for DM or anything but we were talking and you came up and we all realized we all hated your story. I was the one who brought you up because we were talking about endings that said “gently caress you” to the beginnings and to me yours seemed like the best example. Honestly, your DM could’ve just come from that loving toy pistol thing because that was the stupidest thing I had ever read in my life. You were given a fairly decent opening that set up a clear conflict that could’ve been interesting (although serious) and then you took it to a sort of more humorous direction which might’ve been a good call if you had stuck down that route. But no, you have your protag kill herself and join some magic painting world. I didn’t care for your characters at all, and it relied on me caring enough about the sisters to feel any emotional weight at the end of this story, but I didn’t. You didn’t develop the sister’s relationship really at all, so the ending fell flat.

Work Experience by Something Else and newtestleper

Newtestleper, you know what you did. Don’t do it again.

Birdy by Grizzled Patriarch and spectres of autism

This just disappointed me. You had a great opening and I thought it played nicely into your strengths as a writer since the stuff I enjoy of yours are when it gets intentionally silly. But this went straight from silly to bat-poo poo crazy. Like he makes a flag out of his own skin and tries to kill government officials? I’m sorry, that’s too much. This wasn’t fun to read at all when it really should’ve been.

Ulterior Motives by Jonked and simplefish

look at the line-by-line posted earlier

Thee Tends Well by Sebmojo and Fuschia tude

this DM came mostly by taking a great opening and then making GBS threads on it for some reason. The opening was clear and fun and interesting and then that transcript came and took all the fun away and made me want to punch you in the face. You took all the momemtum created by the story to make a gimmick that wasn’t interesting and really just c’mon now. There was a clear conflict and a good character and you do nothing with it and waste my time. gently caress you for that.

Very special did not get a DM but should have gotten it for his opening

Chairchucker for the beginning of Trouble, Trouble

All the judges agreed that you gave a lovely opening that made us hate the story it was in. Some of us wanted to DM the story but the DM only went to the last person. We toyed around with the idea of just DMing you, but crabrock decided not to because he explicitly said that he was only going to give it to people who deliberately wrote a poo poo opening, but he didn’t think you did. Either way, that opening was garbage and put dmboogie in a situation where he was forced to continue with your train wreck and I felt bad for him. He did the best he could, but still, don’t do that again.


spectres of autism and Thranguy

since this was a loss this gets a line-by-line (also your a newbie):


Sole Survivor: Space Janitor by dmboogie and Redtonic

Look at Redtonic’s above

What’s Left When It All Goes Wrong by Tyrannosaurus and Djeser

Hello I was the one that made you get the HM this week. It was a tough one for me, because crabrock gave me the option to let me HM you guys cause I put you for the win, and I’m still not sure it was the right decision because it did miss the prompt and had faults. But at the end of the day, it had an ending that made me smile and hopeful and it was the story I enjoyed the most reading. It just felt good, seeing some kid lose what he thought was his life, and then have it end making me think that this kid’s going to end up all right. Sure, it was emotional, but it was still feel-good at the end of the story. It just had such a strong theme that I can’t not look back at the ending and just feel hopeful for that kid. Maybe it’s just me and I’m just a sap for those things, but it has this glimmer of hope. However, the biggest problem was that the protag wasn’t really doing anything in the story and it was mostly the dad that did everything. Despite that, I still loved it. Great work.


Mummy Got Boned by Djeser and Sitting Here

As clearly demonstrated in why Trex/Djeser got HMed, you weren’t my win candidate and I didn’t even have you HMed. When I first read it, I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t really believe the end where he sort of just falls in love with the girl randomly. But on the second read I realized that it was just a fun little story about a horny mummy and a perverted cat. In a stronger week that wasn’t full of depressing poo poo, this probably wouldn’t have won, but because everyone else poo poo in the bed and you told something fun, you got the win. You hit the prompt the best and told a lighthearted fun story that I was happy to read, so I was ok with you winning. Grats!

i agree crit Sebmojo

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Noah posted:

Would I be able to get a crit from 2 weeks ago, the smelly week?

Here you go, Noah:

My first comment is that the opening, while good, doesn’t tell me as a reader where the story is going. Oscar is a good cook, there’s a cook-off coming… okay, but where’s the conflict? What’s the question that’s going to make your reader want to keep going?
““No blood, no cum,” Garaban sneered at him.” I don’t know what is going on with this line, but I found it jarring, gross, and out of place.
Likewise, I’m not sure what the Dieda flashback is supposed to accomplish.
Finally, the ending, with the blood. What?

I don’t know if I am missing something, but I don’t understand why this got an HM. My biggest complaint is that the reader is never told what the cook-off means to Oscar. What are the stakes?! Stakes are key to a story. What will happen if Oscar loses? If he wins? By withholding these details, you rob the story of the suspense it could have. For your next story, I want you to carefully consider what each character desires, and what each character feels will happen if they are successful or fail. That is the source of drama.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Crits for ALL stories up in order of submission

Guts and Bolts — Under Cover of Darkness
This story is well-written and has good characters, but it bored me, especially the beginning. The end turned that around a bit, but if I were just browsing through a collection of short stories by unknown authors, I would have moved on right around the description of the portrait. Pay attention to this—many well-known writers have given advice along the lines of “the most important thing your test reader can do for you is tell you when they stopped wanting to finish the story.” That’s where you need to go and see why your reader hasn’t been engaged. For me, it was because you were heavy on the wrong details: the house, the door, etc. In a short story, every word counts. The house is old and run down. I get it. Now make me care about the characters. What details the characters have in the first bit are boring, too.

Enchanted Hat — The Jewel of Kazaar
This story made me laugh at it’s terrible, terrible ending. Then I stopped laughing and got pissed off. The ending really just comes out of NOWHERE and feels like you stopped caring. Also, your dialogue is very unnatural. After you’ve written your first draft, you should read it out loud, especially the dialogue. I suspect you didn’t, because anyone who did would have realized that no one speaks that way. Also, Google punctuation rules with dialogue and what comma-splices are. Stop doing those things wrong.
An ending should follow logically from the events of story leading up to that point. Twists are fine and fun, but only when, after the twist is revealed, the reader can have an “Ohhhhh!” moment; when it all makes sense. A twist that has never been hinted at is NOT a twist, it’s taking a crap on a piece of paper and making me look at it. Don’t take a crap on a piece of paper and make me look at it. It’s just rude.

Crabrock — The Wrath of Wasp
This was fun to read, though I think it would have been better if it was a little more concise. With such a style, I find it hard to really say much constructive. I didn’t care if the wasp was going to survive or not, so if you were trying to make the reader invested, look into that (though I’m not sure you were).

Pham Nuwen — Plumbers, Cracked
A swing and a miss. I’m annoyed right off the bat that you ignored the flash rule as much as you possibly could (why bother asking for one). You made a couple choices that didn’t work out for you.
Beginning the story with the James character and then switching to Rob, Mike, and JD. I don’t know why you made this decision, but it doesn’t work. Given the comedic tone of the rest of the story, you should have focused on the trio and not on a scared victim. And beyond tone, it just doesn’t make sense to begin a story with one POV character and then dump him and move on.
Not explain the trio’s motivations until the end. After the jarring switch in POV, I didn’t know why they were doing what they were doing.
What I did like about the story was the Super Bowl and simultaneous flushing thing. This is a really funny idea, but by leaving it to the end, I think you lost some of the humor. It could have been capitalized on better.

Screaming Idiot — Cradle to the Grave
Good opening with the twist on the baby’s cries. Made me smile. Thankfully, so did the rest of the story. This was well-written, had an endearing villain, and ended on a good note. I really like your decision to have Lucy bring Mourir back to life. The only negative thing I have to say is about when you switched to Willis’s point of view for the fight with Dumont and the slaying of Mourir. You say Mourir looked “oddly at peace,” when he died. This is a change in the way Mourir was at the beginning, and seeing as he is the focal character, this change would have been better if seen through his POV.

Thranguy — Cupiditas
This was decent. I like the opening and the last line a lot more than the long action play-by-play. You have some creative ideas and clearly had fun writing the mission scene, but for me it went on too long. Success was an inevitability, so more time developing the characters would have been more enjoyable to read. As it was, the action was mostly clear, though at times I had a little bit of trouble following it. Good job, but next time work more on characterization. They were all one-dimensional and the betrayal’s motivations weren’t explained.

SkaAndScreenplays — Destroyed By Your Own Creation
This story is full of typos and grammar problems. You obviously did not bother to read over it after you finished, because many of them are clear as day. Example:
Lars hoped this worked. Having
That’s just laziness. Also, the whole contrivance to get Lars into the zoo, with Lars having a regular customer who just happens to work at the zoo and invites him to come put up cameras, was also lazy. Lazy plotting.
Then James loving leaves and “Lars turns to Lisa.” WHO? This story is awful.
The only good part is the final line, because it makes me wonder if you asked yourself the same question: What if I’m just crazy?

Jitzu The Monk — That Time I Induced Stockholm Syndrome in an Owl and Leveraged It Against My SHITBAG Neighbor
This started off promising and was funny. Around the time you had the character get on the train, it went off the deep end and stopped making sense and was funny for a different reason (not the one you intended). The first bad part of the story came when the character interacted with the old woman on the train. It was a pointless interaction with unbelievable dialogue. You should have cut it. Everything following that was rough and instead of having that amusing tone of the beginning, was just ridiculous and needed another round or two of edits. Look at the shift in tone from what I thought was funny (the beginning) and what I thought was bad (the end) to see how you can develop what worked and stop doing what didn’t.

spectres of austism — Honey Kiss
You seem to have missed the part in the prompt which specifies your villain should be ENDEARING. Your villain is just terrible and I couldn’t wait to be done reading about him abusing and raping people. Your last line also makes no sense and I don’t know what impression you wanted the reader to have at the end, but whatever it was, you missed it (unless that impression was disgust, in which you nailed it).

God Over Djinn — Sun Eater
I got outvoted on this because I have no idea what the hell this is even supposed to be? I don’t see the connection to the prompt. SittingHere asked for clear goals and I don’t see it here. The other two judges both voted for an HM though, so there you go.

Blue Wher — The Zurich Teleportation Caper
Some grammar notes:
1. You don’t need a comma before every single “and.” Look up the difference between independent and dependent clauses.
2. You don’t capitalize the “she” after a line of dialogue (ex. “What?” she asked.)
3. Don’t use periods at the end of a line of dialogue that includes a dialogue tag (ex. “Hello,” said Clarice.) Note the comma after Hello.
Style notes:
1. Don’t repeat a metaphor twice in a row. “like they were ghosts[...] While on this platform, we are basically ghosts.”
2. “To a pedestrian, it merely looked like a big steel marble.” Are there pedestrians in their lab? Strange phrasing.
3. I’ll get to this later, but concluding the story though after-the-fact dialogue explanation is boring.

So, I liked the beginning, but then it just went waaaay downhill from there. The dialogue is very unnatural and the conclusion is completely tacked on. You should not end a story by making the POV character just pass out and then be told “hey, here’s what happened while you were sleeping lol.” That’s bad storytelling.
Another problem is that your POV character is passive. That is also boring. Your characters will be more interesting when they take actions that drive the plot instead of simply reacting and then LITERALLY being passive when the actual loving climax happens.
Do better next time.

— paper cranes are hard to make when your hands are for the gun
This is a good story. I was drawn right in and eagerly kept going. I had to slow myself down once or twice so I wouldn’t read too quickly. I loved the image of Kang pouring the cranes out of a bucket into the sky. Beautiful.
However, I don’t understand why you skipped to Amelie being gone without explanation. This shows a big change in Kang and the reader never learns why he does it. When I finished, I really wanted to know what made Kang change his mind. Making the reader want to know more about the events is a sign of a good story, but when it is something so crucial, it can hurt you.

Grizzled Patriarch — Fortress of Solitude
“It is true that I have a life-sized cardboard cutout of the Crimson Patriot in my bedroom, which my henchmen are prohibited from entering on pain of death.” LOL. Great line.
The rest of it is well-written, but nothing quite comes close to that line (save for the one about reading a poll). The action isn’t terribly interesting and the main character’s motivations are not clear, nor is the outcome. What exactly does he want and does he achieve it? I’m not sure. Good job on the characterization, but there’s not enough of it. A little more focus on the character and what he wants would have helped you.

J.A.B.C. — Progress
I didn’t understand what happened with this one. You had 700 more words you could have used and you needed them. There just isn’t enough information here for the reader to make sense of what you’re presenting. Clarity is probably the hardest thing in writing to fix, because it is so difficult to see the story though the eyes of someone who didn’t create it. What seems perfectly clear to you could be a mystery to readers. You hinted at gates, cycles, fate, but they didn’t all come together to create a clear picture. I also wasn’t sure entirely what your villain wanted. She seemed to be preparing to die like she always does, but then suddenly she kills the heroes with ease. Why was this time different?

Schneider Heim — A Bad Parry
This story was really boring. Why? No characterization. You gave the reader no reason to care. Your main character’s motivations were not clear. The story had no stakes. Next time, ask yourself why each character wants what he or she wants and what that character feels will happen if he or she does not achieve their goal. I don’t know the answers to that in this story.

Entenzahn — Bonaparte
I’m not sure why you were compelled to capitalize the word “whiskey.”
Other than that, nice job! I kept expecting you to screw it up, because your story kept hinting at going lovely directions, but each time you surprised me by making excellent choices. Mostly, I thought it was going to get really sappy. The ending was perfect and made me laugh.
Also, kudos for actually have a villain with a clear goal, something a lot of people forgot to do. As for improvement, I did not like this line: “And Lionel gave real answers. And if he was being completely honest with himself, maybe, just maybe, he even enjoyed it a little.” I would have liked to see what Lionel actually said.

SadisTech — O RLY? YEH.
I don’t know what else to say besides this. This was incredibly vague and confusing and also boring. None of us judges could make sense of what you were really trying to do here. Instead of being so abstract, just tell a clear story with characters and scenes. Give the characters a goal and show us the struggle to acheive it.

Benny the Snake — Man in the Machine
I can only echo the most common complaints I have had this entire round: Too much action in lieu of characterization and an unclear motive (until the end). The prompt was clear: the villain is supposed to WANT A THING and either get it or not get it. There are also some really clunky sentences like: ‘’I shout at the top of my lungs while punctuating each syllable slamming my fist into his punchable face as we break through each floor of the building until we finally reach the ground floor’’ and metaphors that fall flat like: ‘’gawking as though I just assaulted their collective grandmother’’
Work on building characters with clear motivations. Without clear motivations, there are no stakes. Without stakes, there is no drama.

Killer-of-Lawyers — Factory
I’m halfway through and I have no idea why Virnesh is doing what he is doing. Nor does he seem like a villain. WHAT DOES HE WANT? Why should I care? What are the obstacles? Why can nobody do this?
As for what you did well: the writing itself. I was able to visualize the scene and follow the action. The dialogue was good. You know what you are doing on a technical level. However, you just never gave me a reason to care. Again, this is the problem I see in about half of this week’s stories: motivation issues. Who is Virnesh and why is he doing what he is doing? Next week, focus on creating clear motivations for your characters, because that is the heart of an exciting story.

SurrepitiousMuffin — in memoriam
You were faced with a challenging flash rule and you rose to the occasion, but along the way you seem to have forgotten about the actual prompt post. Your story is interesting and has a lot of great lines, but it didn’t do what SittingHere asked you to do: give your villain a goal and have your villain either succeed or fail. Also, the writing itself was better than the story as a whole. This is because it lacked a real drive. I didn’t know what Samuel was after, what he wanted.

Benny Profane — Doctor Apocalypse Vs. The Modern World
I loved this story. I laughed out loud several times at the excellent dialogue and prose. The whole thing with Solar Flare, especially in the middle, did drag a bit. The “old enemies who are nostalgiac for the old days” thing is cliche and even showed up in two other stories this week (at least). But, this was the best take on it. Great characterization overall, clear motivation, clear outcome. Good Job. Only reason it might not be a winner is that it is one-note. It’s funny, but none of the characters have much of an arc, if at all.

Newtestleper — Whites and Reds
This is tough because the piece is very well done but I’m not sure how well it actually fits the week. Yeah, the pitcher does seem to purposefully bean the batter in the face, and that’s villainous. Very good voice and great details (like the pink shoes). I was drawn right in and could see the scene.

A Classy Ghost — The Last Villain
This started off interesting but just degenerated into blah. The flash rule was incorporated boringly (I’m trapped! Oh I have a gun I’ll shoot it everything fixed now yay). Punchinator turned to the “dark side” too easily. But mostly: there was never any conflict in this story. At all. Doctor: You have diabetes. Spencer: I can’t be Sugar Bullet anymore. So he stops being sugar bullet. Problem solved. He faces no real obstacles, therefore the story is boring. Next time, throw some wrenches into your protagonist’s plans. Seeing how a character responds to difficulty is what makes characters interesting.

Broenheim — Every Family Has Its Problems. Ours is Telepathy
Your conflict was solved in the first paragraph. That’s not good storytelling. You didn’t spend any time setting up the characters and establishing the conflict. Instead, you just told the reader that everyone likes Brett, and then the very next sentence the protagonist does *something* that makes people not like Brett anymore. Right there, your story is told. The rest of the piece is just a bunch of unclear and repetitive stuff. With no conflict, there’s no reason to keep reading (except that I have to). Focus plot structure next time.

Fuschia tude — A Glutton For Punishment
Excellent opening. The first sentence establishes conflict. The paragraph specifies what Carlos wants. THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT, PEOPLE!!
The rest of the story proceeded logically and was above average. The allergy thing didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the story, though. I know you were flash ruled and had to put it in, but some hinting at his allergies in the beginning might have helped that twist to seem more sensible. I’d say work on tweaking dialogue, as the interaction with the teacher’s helper wasn’t very natural. And the whole thing might have benefitted from being a little shorter, as it was clear where the story was going but it took a while to get there.

— Like A Lemming Off A Cliff
This is a fun little piece, but if you really wanted to be in the top today, you should have used more of the word count to flesh out the story a bit. Explaining who this Callister is, for one. I really like the idea of a supervillain being defeated because his childhood blanket is held hostage, but I wish you’d done more with the idea.

blue squares fucked around with this message at 02:24 on May 26, 2015

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Swkidmonster and Blue Squares brawl. Tyrannosaurus: you did NOT say we couldn't put words IN BETWEEN your words:

The Story of Jason, Quinn, and the Gypsy: A Gay Romp in and around the southern Italian city of Naples, Italy.
Word Count: 1190 (Including Tyrannosaurus’s words).

Jason watched Quinn pace around their hotel room. “I dunno, man. There are worse things than being turned into a spider.” He held an apple and ate it with what he hoped would look like ‘nonchalance.’ He didn’t think Quinn deserved his sympathy, impending metamorphosis or not, after what happened last night.

After a pause, Quinn asked, “Like what?”

“Like being turned into… I dunno. Something a spider eats. A fly, maybe?”

“But I don’t want to be a spider!” Quinn said. “I don’t want to turn into anything! I want to stay a human!”

“Then maybe you shouldn’t have slept with the first thing that wagged his rear end at you on what was supposed to be our vacation together. That I am paying for.”

“Can’t we talk about this after we, oh I don’t know, saved my freaking life? I was really drunk. I hardly even remember it! Also, you refuse to call yourself my boyfriend, so I don’t think you have much of a leg to stand on.”

“That’s okay,” Jason shot back. “You’re about to have enough legs for the both of us. Eight, in fact.”

Quinn grabbed Jason’s hands. “Look, I’m sorry. You’re right. But do you have any idea what I should do right now?”

Jason shrugged. The internet hadn’t been helpful in answering “How to fix a gypsy curse” and that meant he was pretty much out of options. He hadn’t learned anything about how to fix his friend. He did learn that “gypsy” was an outdated, pejorative term and that it was more appropriate to use “Roma” or “Romani” because there were too many negative and stereotypical associations with “gypsy.” Like the belief that they could cast curses.

Which it turns out they could. At least some of them. At least one of them.

Quinn covered his face with his hands. That morning, two more eyes had opened on his forehead, calling to mind the insults that had been hurled at him as a child, before he’d gotten his contacts. Finally, Jason relented. He reached over and rubbed his buddy’s back.

“It’s going to be okay, man,” Jason said, “We just need to find their camp. See if we can trade something to get you back to normal. Or at least what passes for normal, in your case.”

He put a hat on Quinn’s head and tugged it down over the extra eyes.

“Ow!” Quinn said.

“Don’t be a baby.” Jason kissed him. “Now let’s go clean up your mess.”


“Seriously?” Jason said, looking around in disgust. “This is where you hosed him? I thought you had class, Quinn. I picked you up at a Barney’s for crying out loud.”

Quinn blushed. “It didn’t look so bad at night!”

They stood in a clearing in the forest outside Naples, in the foothills of the same Mount Vesuvius that froze Pompei in time. Beer bottles littered the ground, along with old cigarettes, condoms, and other trash. Jason kicked a Peroni bottled and watched it bounce into a rock and break.

“So, what, are we just going to wait here?”

After a moment’s silence, Quinn picked up an empty condom wrapper. “Well, we could pass the time…” he said, trying to make a joke.

“I am not in the mood for your humor right now, Q.” They leaned against a pair of trees and waited. Jason refused to look at him.

“He said he comes here all the time,” Quinn said.

“And you found that reassuring?” Jason patted his pockets, looking for his cigarettes, and came up empty. “gently caress.” Forgot them in the hotel.

They waited another half hour until the gypsy arrived, arm in arm with another unsuspecting victim. Jason and Quinn hid behind their trees, waiting as the pair neared. When the two were only teen feet away, Quinn pointed out which one it was, and Jason took off running at them. The gypsy and his new lover spotted him, but didn’t have time to react. Jason tackled the gypsy, pinned him down, and punched him twice.

“Oh my god, Jason! Stop it!” Quinn ran after him and grabbed Jason’s arm after the second punch. The would-be victim sprinted away into the woods, back toward the city.

The gypsy screamed and tried to twist out of Jason’s hold. “Don’t you move, spider-man,” Jason said. “Not until you fix my friend here.”

“Boyfriend,” Quinn corrected.

The gypsy noticed Quinn and his fear turned to anger.


“Yes, me!” Quinn yelled back at him and, suddenly feeling bold, ripped off his hat and thrust his extra eyes at the gypsy.

“You have a lot of nerve,” the gypsy said.

“Me?” Quinn asked. “Him?” Jason asked at the same time.

“Yes, you. First your throw up all over my pants, then you cry about how much you love your boyfriend and you can’t do this to him. Now you bring this oaf, who I assume is the aforementioned boyfriend, and try to beat me up? loving gypsy-bashers, go back to America!”

Jason let the gypsy wriggle free and get to his feet. He looked back and forth from Quinn to the gypsy and processed what he just heard. “You didn’t sleep with him. And…you said you love me?” he asked in a quiet voice.

Quinn locked eyes with Jason. “I… “ he trailed off and looked down. “I was really drunk. I don’t remember.”

Jason walked straight to him. “Because I love the hell out of you.”

Quinn looked up. “I love you too.” They embraced and kissed until the gypsy finally spoke up.

“This is sweet and all, but would you mind getting the hell out of my forest now? And never coming back?”

“Look, I’m sorry for hitting you,” Jason said. “But can’t you please reverse whatever you did to turn him into a spider?”

“Whatever I did? Whatever I did?! I didn’t do anything! It was all his idea. I figured it was some kind of fetish thing. He took the potion all on his own.”

Jason dropped his embrace. “Are you serious? You are one messed up twink, you know that?”

Quinn grimaced. “Oh, poo poo. Now I remember. We were at that bar. The gypsy bar. I thought it would be hot. I was pretty drunk.”

“So you keep saying,” Jason said, shaking his head. He turned to the gypsy. “Are you, like, okay?”

“Just go away!”

They went away, arm in arm, and with every step, they repeated their love for each other. When Quinn jerked and two more legs sprouted out of his rear end cheeks and tore his pants wide open, they were horrified, but they went back to “I love you” soon enough. They reached the bar, paid for the antidote, and Quinn downed it in one giant gulp.

Instantly, the amount of eyes on his head reduced to two and the extra legs were sucked back up his butt with a mildly enjoyable sensation. He stood pantsless in the bar and took a few deep sighs of relief. Then he looked up at the menu, turned to Jason, and exclaimed, “Whoa, look! You can turn into a fly!”

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Lol did skwidmonster just fail AGAIN? What the gently caress

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Thanks for judging our brawl, Tyrannosaurus. You're right about my story.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


blue squares fucked around with this message at 04:00 on Jun 6, 2015

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Bad seafood, perhaps you should allow Thranguy to make some of the flash rules, especially since this is his first win.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Bad Seafood posted:

(10:57:21 PM) BadSeafood: But yeah I love gambling stories. Is it alright if I offer flash rules?
(10:57:57 PM) Thranguy: Okay, so that's set up. Sure, go ahead and offer flash rules, was just about to say that I wasn't going to myself but that it would be fine.

Good deal, my bad

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

:siren: Twist and Jonked brawl :siren:

What happens when you Twist a Jonked? This:

You two will write a story in which your hero belongs to one genre (Western, Sci-Fi, Horror, Romance, etc.,) and is suddenly thrust into a different genre and must save the day.

Maximum wordcount: 2,000
Deadline: June 10, 11:59 PM Central Standard Time, because Texas, that's why.

Go hog wild. Remember, all brawls automatically come with :toxx:

blue squares fucked around with this message at 03:12 on Jun 3, 2015

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

StealthArcher posted:

How can we improve it? We read that poo poo is how:
Woot woot.

This should be a podcast

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

blue squares posted:

:siren: Twist and Jonked brawl :siren:

What happens when you Twist a Jonked? This:

You two will write a story in which your hero belongs to one genre (Western, Sci-Fi, Horror, Romance, etc.,) and is suddenly thrust into a different genre and must save the day.

Maximum wordcount: 2,000
Deadline: June 10, 11:59 PM Central Standard Time, because Texas, that's why.

Go hog wild. Remember, all brawls automatically come with :toxx:

Someone is going to need to take over and judge this because I'm done with Thunderdome. Adios.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Hey Thunderdome. I'm teaching creative writing to female inmates at a county jail in my area. For our next lesson, we'll be talking plot structure (basic 3-act style plot, i.e., character tries and fails to solve problem, changes in some way, is now able to solve problem). We use stories as models for our lessons, but stories longer than 5-6 pages are just too long for the format of my classes. And I have had a hard time finding stories that short with good plot structure. So, I'm posting here for suggestions of past Thunderdome stories that have great, standard plots that I can use to show my students how basic plotting works. Thanks so much in advance.


blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

I wrote something that might work for that, too.

Wow, I can't believe this is the only one of my own I found that I think fits that structure even though I'm always harping on about it. What the hell, me?

Kaishai posted:

That's a cool request, blue squares. These stories of mine may suit your plot needs (I leave whether they're good enough for you to judge):

”The Blood on the Page”
”A New Song”
”Fighting Time”
”Angel of the Morning”
"Pumpkin Dreams"
”The Merman’s Package”
”Epitaphs” (Cut the last paragraph from this one if you prefer; I probably would.)
”Taking Notes"

I'd rather they not be posted elsewhere on the Internet, but assuming that's not the plan, I hope that something there can help you.

Sitting Here posted:

You are welcome to use any pieces of mine that are still in the thread. It's a swell thing you're doing!

Thank you! I'll likely use more than one of these.

  • Locked thread