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Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

Quidnose posted:


200 words about a diagnosis gone wrong.


"What the hell happened?" Theo said, his voice muffled over Darius's ringing ears.

Darius dragged himself upright and stared at the shattered vial at his feet, utensils scattered across the floor. The corner of the bed frame jabbed into his back.

"Where's Lord Vale?" Theo asked, buzzing about like a pest. Darius wanted to swat him but his arms weren't cooperating. "What happened, drat you!"

Lord Vale. He'd been complaining of weakness, dizzy spells, sunlight hurting his eyes. Darius had guessed vertigo or anemia. Common enough. He'd come in for some tests to confirm the diagnosis, including a blood test as a precaution. They'd just gotten to that, right. Darius had disinfected, inserted the needle, and...was on the floor with Lord Vale nowhere in sight.

Darius reached for the broken vial and winced at pain in his arm. Theo's irritating hands pulled away his sleeve, and his nattering cut off in a gasp. "I- I'll be back," he stammered, and bolted for the door.

Darius felt the injury. Two puncture wounds at a distance apart roughly equal to a human's incisors. He closed his eyes and let his head fall back against the cot. Anemia. Right.

"Hell," he muttered.


Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

So are you trying to push yourself to the stress point of actual suicide or

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

You're all illiterate. :eng99:

In with Koschei the Deathless.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

The Deathless
1540 words


Echo Cian fucked around with this message at 20:01 on Feb 27, 2015

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

shush you ingrates the throne needed a lot of cleaning and I think I just noticed another fingerbone I missed ffs

Thunderdome CXXXI: At the Crossroads

A stranger waits at the crossroads. They'll change everything. What do they want, and why can't your protagonist seem to avoid them - or even want to?

There's your conflict. Characters, setting, genre, all that is up to you - but considering how many of you fucks can't seem to get the basics of storytelling right, I thought I'd make that part easy on you.

I'll be handing out flash rules if I feel like it. And now that I've claimed the first first-entry win crown you can actually bother to proofread your stories. If I see something as drat simple as a missing period at the end of a first paragraph there will be blood and insta-DQs.

1000 words
No fanfic, erotica, webcomic punchlines, or devil-at-the-crossroads - at least try to be creative here. (Yes, Satan counts as the devil, smartasses.)

Signups close Friday at midnight EST, submissions close Sunday same time

Judges: Echo Cian, Schneider Heim, docbeard

-Entenzahn -- petrified | Deadeye, Deadbeat Blues
-Sitting Here -- defeated, vicious rivalry | Uphill Rivers
-Screaming Idiot -- enthusiastic | Fate, Inescapable
-Fuschia tude -- grateful | Dark Thoughts
-Quidnose -- inspired :toxx: | Hippodermic Oath
-SadisTech -- timid :toxx: | Hitching Home
-Capntastic -- indignant | Leading Projecting Developing Managing
-Grizzled Patriarch -- insecure | Until We Meet Again
-Benny Profane -- accepting | Right of Way
-leekster -- understanding | Good Luck in All Your Future Endeavors
-A Classy Ghost -- stubborn | The Path from Pitios
-Sebmojo -- dependent, vicious rivalry | City of Delirium
-LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE -- apprehensive | Friends Forever
-contagonist -- independent | What are you going to do now?
-Tayacan -- hesitant | Those Left Behind
-ZeBourgeoisie -- honest :toxx: Westbound
-Savagely_Random -- humiliated | Coming of Age
-Megazver -- intrigued | An Interrupted Meal
-starr -- helpless | The Hunt
-Dr. Kloctopussy -- cruel | Paper Crown
-Benny the Snake -- ignorant :toxx: | Providence
-newtestleper -- proud | But wait, there's more!
-crabrock -- humble | The Wizard

-Obliterati -- despairing
-kurona_bright -- provoked
-Jeep -- suspicious
-Phobia -- impulsive :toxx:
-tenniseveryone -- irate
-Arm_Fruit -- earnest
-bukkits -- brave
-hotsoupdinner -- ecstatic

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at 05:30 on Feb 9, 2015

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

TD has better things to do than dump babies out of their strollers.

Like listening to advice and improving their writing.

...The rest of you are doing that, yes? :toughguy:

That was rhetorical.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

:siren: FLASH RULES :siren:

I'll be nice and do this early. I used a random generator for emotions and threw them at everyone. These should inform your stories in some way, but do keep "Show, don't tell" in mind. ctrl+f your names or something.

-Entenzahn -- petrified
-Sitting Here -- defeated
-Screaming Idiot -- enthusiastic
-Obliterati -- despairing
-Fuschia tude -- grateful
-Quidnose -- inspired
-SadisTech -- timid
-Capntastic -- indignant
-Grizzled Patriarch -- insecure
-kurona_bright -- provoked
-Benny Profane -- accepting
-leekster -- understanding
-A Classy Ghost -- stubborn
-Sebmojo -- dependent
-Jeep -- suspicious
-bukkits -- brave
-LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE -- apprehensive
-hotsoupdinner -- ecstatic
-contagionist -- independent
-Tayacan -- hesitant
-tenniseveryone -- irate
-Arm_Fruit -- earnest
-ZeBourgeoisie -- honest
-Savagely_Random -- humiliated

:siren: SPECIAL FLASH RULE :siren:

Sitting Here and Sebmojo, I saw all that ponytail-pulling and digging bones out of the dumpster to throw at each other (seb your aim is terrible and SH you should clean them first if you want them to stop slipping out of your hand), so in addition to your respective assigned emotions, your stories will involve a vicious rivalry.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

SadisTech posted:

Not early enough! I already have a full structure I'm fleshing out ffs. Not cool.

deal w/ it

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

Megazver posted:

gently caress it, I'm in. Hit me with a feels.


Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

starr posted:

I'm in.


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

In it so I can't possibly be talked into judging it.


Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

it should have been regret

That's my own theme for the week having to read all this.


Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011


Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

Phobia posted:

Sure. I'll go in. Why not? Feel free to flashrule me too. Also :toxx:. I didn't forget this time.


Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

Not my fault you mistyped when you made the account.

crabrock posted:

give me a thing


:siren: ~10 hours until signups close. If you're still on the fence, make up your mind.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011


Two days to finish writing.

oh hush :(

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

Hammer Bro. posted:

Hah, that's delightful! The judges next time I write are really going to regret you calling out my writing as direct. Thanks!

Have you ever considered writing a basic story that doesn't try to be cute, convoluted or confuse people, or require research to understand, or tries to be much more clever than it actually is?

Try it, you might like it.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

:siren: Two hours left :siren:

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

:siren: SUBMISSIONS CLOSED :siren:

Toxxers better get in soon or you're out of :tenbux:

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

:siren: Thunderdome Week 131 Results :siren:

There were problems this week. The biggest of those problems was the number of stories that presented a choice (sometimes in a very loose sense of the word) and then had the protagonist ignore it, with no compelling reason given why they should beyond "there was no reason not to," which is boring as hell. That said, here's the verdict.

Winner: Entenzahn (how talking heads get done RIGHT)

HMs: crabrock (nice take on a classic), LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE (some errors but forgiven for a good story)

DMs: ZeBourgeoisie (where to begin), Quidnose (did you read the prompt?), Screaming Idiot (what even happened), Capntastic (too boring; didn't read), Benny the Snake ("Forgive me my lord but I confused" and if you didn't rip this story off wholesale, you ripped off enough elements to somehow make everyone who read it think they'd heard it before)

Loser: leekster (I saw that you proofread better than last week, but that apparently didn't help entire sentences that made no sense)

DQ: Tayacan (editing is a good thing)

Crits...sometime. Have fun, Enten sucker

Echo Cian fucked around with this message at 02:18 on Feb 10, 2015

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

Crits/comments for Week 131

The biggest problem this week was adherence to the spirit of the prompt (and the prompt itself, sometimes). I suppose most (but not all) of you did manage to make stories, but they tended to not be very good stories, because my prompt did not say that the protagonist should be confronted with a choice and then ignore it because the choice was basically irrelevant, which is what many of you seemed to think.

There were also problems with weak endings, which I have already covered. Please review.

I got tired of saying the same things over again about halfway through the doc so if you don't have many comments but they aren't very positive (if they are positive, I probably just didn't have much to say), read the comments above you. Will go into more detail on request.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011


Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

Wiz me.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

I respect your dedication, but the troll gimmick is getting pretty boring by now.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

Benny the Snake posted:

Don't for a minute think that you, or anybody else, can break the rules.

But, of course, this doesn't apply to you. :ironicat:

Thunderdome is, and always has been, up to judge whim with general guidelines for people not yet comfortable enough to do their own thing. Which you would know if you actually paid attention to this community you're trying to champion, instead of trying to fall flailing back on rules because you're butthurt about a DM/DQ for a nonsense story.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011


new rule i just made up: if 10 people emptyquote this, benny the snake, the legendary rulebreaker, is banned from entering the thunderdome ever again

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011

:siren: Pilgrimage Week Crits :siren:

Why did so few of you have endings?

Kaishai even specified it in her prompt! We should have DMd the lot of you.

An ending is not "when you get tired of writing," there needs to be a resolution, a reason to feel that the story has concluded and questions have been answered. Maybe try writing a story with the ending already in mind, if this is a consistent problem for you GrizzledPatriarch.

Beyond that, the worst that could be said about Pilgrimage week is that it was boring. Which isn't good. But better than being terrible, even if less fun to discuss in judgechat.

I started writing crits as I read and then had to go do other things and finish judging on my phone, so that dropped by the wayside. Deal w/ it.

ZeBourgeoisie - Madison

The winds died down, and the oak toppled to the ground. - Seems like the oak would topple during the winds, not, as this phrasing indicates, after.

back at the fully erect oak. - lol. IRC ruining my sense of humor aside, it's odd phrasing. Just "at the oak" or "back at the upright oak" would sound less unfortunate.

“Dammit,” she said. - This completely breaks the storybook tone you've had so far and not even in a way that feels intentionally humorous. The story to this point is cute and like something I'd give to a child, then this. Keep your tone in mind and stick to it.

Eight dark pits - Since when were spider eyes pits?

“Juicies?!” :mad:

With outstanding speed, - Pointless description that slows down the action.

the same way he cradled his wife. - he had

next to her’s - <:mad:>

Decent, but not outstanding. The tone shift from cute beetle losing her home to willfully accepting being murdered is baffling. The point where she asked the spider to stroke back her antennae is the point where, in most stories, the protagonist would have some plan to escape. But she just resigns herself. It's a "life sucks, then it ends" story, with a protag with no agency as she is literally dragged and blown around, wrapped up in an adorable initially-kid-friendly premise and idgi.

Mid pile.

anomieatthegates: Roots

I can say this first section has me intrigued, let's see if it holds up.

The story wasn’t open yet. - Proofreading

susurration is a strange word to throw out there, for this character's voice.

Well, I would read the rest of the story you started to write here. So get back to me if you continue it. But it is in absolutely no way a story on its own, more like a first chapter. It's written well enough that I don't want to DM it, but impossible to judge since it just ends and leaves me wondering where chapter 2 went.

??? pile.

SurreptitiousMuffin: saline
or, the last man alive
(stop putting the wordcount in spoilers at the bottom jesus why)

Adam was the only living things - :mad:

MEG added “It’s a goodie.” - commas before and after dialogue tags

Something something Daisy Bell.” said MEG. - Muffiiiiiiin :argh:

Protagonist cycled between emotions too quickly here, with more telling than showing the transitions. Seemed like you were up against the wordcount to try to make it natural, but you still had 50 words, so hard to say. This felt up against the wordcount in general; the exposition wasn't outrageous, but could have been handled more smoothly with more words. It was still enjoyable, and another story that I'd like to read more of if it was ever continued. If only to know whether this planet was the one or if he just gets his hopes crushed again (which would suck, narratively, after that scene, but even so, how is he supposed to actually get humanity grown and settled...?). So much conflict introduced, so little wordcount.

Mid pile.

my effigy burns: Geburtsag

Not going to read this one now, but no you will not be forgiven for going over, the wordcount is a wordcount for a reason and you went over by just short of 300 words. You won't respect the rules and our time, I won't respect yours. Nice try hiding your wordcount at the end of the post, too. Going to suspect everyone who does that of tricking me into reading an overlong story from now on.

Also capitalize country names.


Fumblemouse: Forest Flower

fast becoming exhausted.. - :(

"impromptu midwife" breaks the narrative voice a little.

There's a slight niggling disconnect in the dramatic beat of the breaking of the vow, and the results. He was accidentally sort of right, but the wife died anyway, but his child survived, so was he getting punished by his wife's death, or did she take the punishment, or is the point that the vow had nothing to do with anything? That lack of clarity weakens the rather cliche ending.

Still, it's solid and an enjoyable read and you maintain the fable-style tone. That problem only stands out because of the emphasis given to the vow previously, and the wife dying as punishment to Satman for the lie feels rather backhanded, if that was the point.

Naming the title after the child when the child was a footnote is also an odd choice.

High pile, HM or win?

Sixto Lezcano: Ontonagon Route 28

It was fun.”,


“I’ll drive, even.”.

what are these crimes against man and nature

Rampant grammar abuse aside, I am glad this didn't turn into a story about "the time my idiot brother crashed the car into a lake and nearly killed us both" like the start's emphasis on bad weather and questionable reliance on caffeine led me to expect. Not even being sarcastic about that. It was an amusing snapshot of two brothers, that didn't dive into navel-gazing or tragedy, but not much of a story. Not a bad read, but not standout.

Mid pile.

Lazy Beggar: Saudade

Your grammar is atrocious, but I'd rather focus on the main problem here: The common advice is "show, don't tell." Your entire premise revolved around telling everything and showing nothing, and it was as exciting as reading a textbook. To top it off, you thought of or read that last line and then sat there all week trying to figure out how to make it literal, didn't you? The entire thing was just a lead-in to the ending, making it a long joke with a dumb punchline where nothing mattered.

Low pile, DM or loss.

newtestleper: Sea Serpents

that sped away from them into the evening, back towards - ...towards...? proofread dammit

You have some good description, of the dancers and the ocean, but...what's the point? Girl meets boy, girl meets other boy, first boy storms off and leaves girl with other boy, the end? The relationships aren't established, Tom lets her go way too easily for having known her longer and having the emphasis on him earlier, and there's no reason to think that Tipene is anything more than a friend - or why they couldn't both just be friends with him, since the jealousy comes on suddenly and then leads to nothing.

Low-mid pile.

Grizzled Patriarch: On the Hearth a Little Flower Blooms


Very pretty prose, and definitely tweaks the heartstrings, but there doesn't seem to be a running thread other than "war is hell," which is very well-trodden ground at this point. The ending doesn't bring anything to a resolution. Vignettes about the atrocities of war don't a story make, so although it was pretty and I liked the scene with the songbook, it fell flat aside from a couple nice moments. It also didn't have an ending.

High pile.

Thranguy: Knee Deep in the Hoopla

Your conflict here, and thus your story, was about the value of honesty, and not claiming another's work as your own. In 1190 words, two paragraphs and a few lines of dialogue were actually devoted to that conflict. It was brushed off so you could explore your concept. Which, granted, is a cool concept, but you spent too much time on worldbuilding, and Lani was a completely irrelevant character that took up too much of your wordcount. It doesn't matter whether she was a pianist or a drummer, because it has no impact on the story. The only ones that mattered were the protag and Kass, and Kass got shuffled offscreen to some vague fate. The protag didn't seem to even care that Kass knew that rare special song that supposedly meant so much to him, which...makes no sense.

Your homework (which you'll never do): Rewrite this with the focus on the actual story, as I described it above, with no exposition and no irrelevant characters.

Low-mid pile.

Broenheim: The Last Story We Have Together

For the most part, I like this, although I see you didn't listen when I said to display the narrator talking to someone as just showing his responses, no ellipses needed. Each one was a visual bump in the road.

There are questions, though. I assume it's a rule of the world that people with this ability lose the stories they tell, but that's a strange thing - why not write them down instead, or tell them back to each other? It's also not clear why the narrator threw the rock away. I can guess that it's because she was young and petty and didn't like what she was hearing, and now wants to prevent her pupil from making the same mistake, but I can't be sure.

What little you show here is a very interesting world and makes me wonder more about it, just enough hints to be intriguing. The rules need some ironing out. There also isn't much of an actual conflict, which seems to be a recurring theme this week.

High pile.

C7ty1: Dormant Faith

This is confusing. She's nervous and hesitant at the first trial, but it turns out to be completely harmless, and by her interactions with Theo she apparently knows this. Then the next trial is genuinely dangerous, yet the ones following get increasingly sillier to the point of almost comedy, but the tone isn't quite right. At the end, does she rebuild the shrine as a show of having faith in a god rendered silent anyway, or does she make a cairn as a casket for a dead god and discover atheism and with it, peace (as Kaishai put it)?

There are aspects I like, but they're shoved together in a jumbled mess that doesn't know what it wants to do with itself.


Claven666: The Bargain

A story with interesting imagery and an intriguing premise, but too much is left unclear for it to stand up after much thought. Why did the protagonist summon the Pilgrim? What does the Pilgrim get out of this bargain that makes it simply shrug and leave when the protag realizes he was in a catch-22?

I can guess at themes of pride, or "be careful what you wish for," but those guesses are from common tropes of this story setup more than what's actually there. This is one case where I am genuinely interested in an explanation of what you were going for to see which of our guesses was closest.

Mid pile.

Sitting Here: Flotsamson

He shoves a long, waterlogged plank away with his ore. - sigh

This is definitely promising, but has a few too many ideas to comfortably fit into the wordcount. Anuun's perspective and character slide out of the picture by the last section, and you'd think that he would have more of a reaction to his promised wife appearing. Sedna also felt too important early on to never appear or get mentioned again. Sveinn's perspective has some nice words and foreshadows the end, but with such a limited space, you might have been better served sticking to Anuun.

This would benefit tremendously from a higher wordcount and I would love to see it expanded on at some point, but it was very claustrophobic for a flash piece.

High pile.

Killer-of-Lawyers: Lies

I overall like the banter between John and the AI okay, but the details about the rat feel irrelevant and it's YET ANOTHER "everyone dies, the end" story with no resolution. Jesus, Thunderdome.

Kaishai pointed out that this is a third entry into a series of stories using the same characters. I might actually read the book that these are from (it feels like a novel setting), but none of them stand on their own at all, least of all this one. Man walks through desert talking to a robot, the end. Focus on writing a story that can be introduced and concluded within the wordcount, which doesn't need another story - or two - for context to make sense.

Mid pile.

BoldFrankensteinMir: Hit the Bricks

RedTonic and I had to explain to Kaishai that the protagonist's sin wasn't breaking the millstone. But we didn't know what the sin actually was, so I understand her confusion.

That aside, we enjoyed this. You have solid themes here of guilt being a burden only until you're willing to put it down, and that the journey can mean as much as the destination - even if the destination isn't at all what you expected. One of the sadly few solid endings this week. Had this been grounded with a little more detail and a mention of the sin that made him abandon his family and walk all that way, it might have been a contender, but it was closer to the vignette side than a full story. Definitely worth a mention.

High pile, HM.

jon joe: Thrown

The judges were a little mixed on this, but not that much. We all saw what you were going for - finding meaning in small acts - but you didn't get into the protagonist's headspace enough, or didn't make the gestures fitting enough, to sell the tearful ending. We didn't see the emotional journey, so what we get is a person randomly crying over tea. We don't know why. Then it ends, and what was the point?

A vignette this steeped in an emotional journey needs a well-drawn character to show that journey. And, probably, more words.

Low pile.

crabrock: The Hackney Comet

Cute opening, but the protagonist as a kid didn't seem to relate to the careless guy who hosed himself over five ways in the later part. His casual attitude was more annoying than charming; why would anyone have sent this idiot on this mission, with valuable equipment? The premise falls apart with the slightest poke. At least it was readable and had some amusing lines.

High pile.

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