Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«3 »
  • Locked thread
docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Screaming Idiot posted:

Happy new year, everyone! May your stories have words in them!

Don't, like, stifle my creativity, maaaaaaaan!

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Good Night, Miss Mason
1,207 Words


(In the archive.)

docbeard fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2015 around 15:03

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





"Just Because You're Paranoid Doesn't Mean They Aren't Coming To Get You"
39 words.


The reinforced ward door shook in its frame. The smell of rotten eggs was overpowering.

"Still think I'm just hearing voices?" I asked Doctor Wellington while I waited for the demons to break through.

He had nothing to say.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





In.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Land of the Dead
1,997 Words.


(In the archive.)

docbeard fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2015 around 15:04

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





In, with Godfather Death

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





DreamingofRoses posted:

As penance for my sins of terrible writing and toxxing myself I will do line crits on any story requested for the next 5 people who ask.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on mine from last week. I'll be happy to critique one of yours in return

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





The Custodian
1,303 Words


(In the archive)

docbeard fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2015 around 15:04

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Some critiques for Week Whatever Number Crossroads Week Was What Am I A Counting Calendar Man

Westbound - ZeBourgeoisie

The most frustrating things for me to read are the ones where you see the potential for something good, maybe even great, that just didn't quite get there. This was an especially frustrating story.

Your opening scene, taken on its own, is quite good. I love your first line, and your dialogue between Richard and Dan works well enough. I feel like I have enough to form at least a basic understanding about who these two people are, or at least the ways in which they're different from each other.

However, because of the way your story is otherwise structured, that first scene clashes with everything else. Everything else is from Dan's perspective, and I don't think that it works telling this one from Richard's, particularly given the eventual revelation about Richard's nature. That's particularly unfortunate because that first scene is the strongest part of the entire piece.

You've got a pretty clean writing style, and you do a good job throughout of showing us Dan's character, but in place of a plot, you have a bit of pointlessness. An Indian shows up at a crossroads to say HEY CHECK OUT THE GHOSTS, for no apparent reason other than to pay lip service to the prompt, and then Richard shows up in the next town, repeats his opening line (which works less well this time) and then vanishes and it is spooooooky. There's nothing binding this together, nothing giving it greater weight than just a random series of vaguely ominous events. And so your ending, rather than hitting hard, just sort of sputters out.

Uphill Rivers - Sitting Here

This is kind of a difficult story for me to critique. I think it's quite good, though it's not my favorite thing you've ever written. But it feels like it was written more as an excuse to scratch a particular philosophical or personal itch than anything else, and it's hard to find meaningful things to say about that.

Your use of detail to establish setting and mood is as strong and effective as ever, and that, I think, is what elevates this above just a bit of reflective noodling. (Not that there's anything wrong with reflective noodling, as such.) Likewise, your narrator feels like a complete person, even though I don't know much more about her than a few names of acquaintances and places, and some of her personal demons. That stuff feels like it's out there even if it's not necessarily in the story.

Where this breaks down for me, I think, is in the conversation itself. Not the subject matter, but the fact of it. It's a really weird set of circumstances, this woman all but stalking her to talk to her about her personal fears and failings, and I think you'd have a stronger piece if you committed to that weirdness a little more. Give us some sense of why she's allowing this conversation to happen in the first place. Maybe she wants it, maybe she can't avoid it, maybe it's all part of what she's going through, but I think giving us more of that would take this story beyond, I guess, a framing device for a conversation about being vs becoming and doubt and fear.

Fate, Inescapable - Screaming Idiot

I like the time loop thing. I don't mind the disjointed structure; it all made sense to me, more or less (though I think the other judges were of a different mind). You do a pretty good job establishing your world and the people within it. Your prose style is fine.

And it's all so completely pointless. Inevitability, as a theme, can work, even meaninglessness can work, but it needs some kind of context, something extra to serve as a contrast. And that's what this lacks. Take the time loop out entirely, and nothing, not one thing, about this story changes. And you know, you could have just told a story about a couple trying to escape from an invading army and failing, and I think that probably would have been fine. Not exceptional, probably not even enough to stand out, but fine.

But by adding this additional element without really exploring it, without providing any sense of struggle against it or a reason to accept it or anything about it at all, you take that fine-but-unexceptional story and completely undermine it. I don't mind being left with questions after a story, but "why did I bother reading this" should never be one of those questions.

Paper Crown - Dr. Kloctopussy

This is kind of the opposite of the stories I've read so far, in that I found the style to be a bit awkward, and the tense shift about 3/4ths of the way through certainly didn't help, but the story itself really just worked for me to the point where I don't care so much about all that.

Was the shift to the present tense on Wednesday deliberate? I could see it either way, but I don't think it quite works,

I do think the style you've employed works well at establishing just how worn-down Marly is by everything, for all that it's not my favorite thing to read. And it's that sense of being worn down, her desperation at everything, that gives her ultimate rejection of the child's plight some weight. She's cruel, she's horrible, but it's not out of malice, it's because she just doesn't have anything to give for a million reasons, and that makes her more interesting, makes her that particular sort of unsympathetic character I'm still inclined to give the time of day.

What are you going to do now? - contagonist

You could use a lighter touch on some of your descriptive language at the beginning. You're just overwhelming me with description and simile and metaphor, and it's just too much. And "like a blue screen of death", while clever, just knocked me right out of the story.

I do like the way you establish your narrator's situation a little at a time, hitting us with something new just as we've wrapped our heads around what we think is happening. Your third paragraph, the sentence about what he imagines will happen if a cop shows up, is pretty awkward, though and, again, threw me out of the story at least until I could work out exactly what you were saying.

Things start to falter at about the point your protagonist's conversation with the AI starts up. The dialogue itself is fine, but I think the conversation goes on too long, divorces itself from the action too much, and accomplishes too little. It ultimately feels like it's part of a different, if related, story.

Likewise, the scene at Joachim's grave. I can see in the abstract how it's all meant to fit, but it doesn't really flow together. We've got these distinct chunks of story that have been welded together.

I don't get your ending at all. Your AI's decided it's going to "tear apart the lies of this world", but what does that have to do with anything you've told so far, and what does that last line even mean?

Deadeye Deadbeat Blues - Entenzahn

You're kind of walking a tightrope with a story like this, but you pull it off, staying on just the right side of the divide between maudlin and genuine emotion. I love the way you convey your protagonist's awkwardness around the other man, especially the part where he feels he has to return to sit on this park bench with this stranger, because he "promised". I also love that that awkwardness, even after the two of them have shared their secrets with each other, never really goes away. The uncertain note on which things end feels honest.

This story would still have been a serious contender in a much stronger week than this. Well done.

Those Left Behind - Tayacan

I enjoy the way the relationship between the two women grows as they travel, even though it's not something either of them appears to want to happen. I think the motivations behind both of them are a little shallow, but there's just enough nuance here to keep my attention. Maryanne unconsciously falling into a mothering pattern with Elaine, and Elaine's suspicion of same is a setup that works pretty well.

Your ending is where things fall apart for me. Elaine's "welp, maybe I'll go home" feels like it comes out of nowhere, doesn't really feel earned. It's as though the story ended because you ran out of words (which may well have been the case). I'd also have liked a little more insight into why Elaine was on the run in the first place, and maybe that could have factored more into the ending. Without that insight, without something, those last couple of lines don't quite undermine the portrait you've created of these two women, but they certainly don't add anything to it.

Right of Way - Benny Profane

I don't get the "Q." thing at all, but I get what it's standing in for, so fair enough. You could probably get away with omitting it entirely; I think we'd still get that your narrator is answering questions.

You've done some solid work here, in a style that's risky. Your monologue flows naturally, and I feel like I've got a decent picture of who the narrator is as a result. The actual events of the story are slight, since all we have is a description of the specific event that your narrator is relating, with any larger context just hinted at in the margins. For me, this worked fine, but you're always going to run the risk of your audience losing patience or getting confused, and that's always going to be something to keep in mind.

Coming of Age - Savagely_Random

Hamza is a cardboard cutout bully, Rashid is a cardboard cutout mentor, and Yusuf is a cardboard cutout Bullying Victim Who Learns To Stand Up For Himself. They all play their parts, like twenty thousand cardboard cutout characters have played those parts in twenty thousand identical stories. No innovation, no surprises, nothing but a story we've all heard and seen before.

There's nothing wrong with using familiar ground as the basis for a story, but you've got to give us something to set your story apart from those twenty thousand identical stories. Otherwise, what's the point?

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Alothaa, mother of lost causes and lost souls. Her song reaches through the deepest silence, makes plain the hidden paths, and sees the wanderer safely home.

In.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Failing this week. Playing the sick pet card.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





crabrock posted:

actually the judges can't force you to write under a certain limit, just like the IRS has no jurisdiction to levy taxes against you. Remember that when somebody says 1200 words, you can probably write 1300, and when a police officer pulls you over, you don't have to comply with is orders, as he has no power over you.

This only applies if you write your story in all caps, so that the legal fiction is distinct from the fiction you have written.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





In with Destination Moon.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





My remaining crits for Crossroads Week

The Hunt - starr

I enjoyed this more than the other judges this week did, but I can't really say they were wrong. There's something dissatisfying about the ending, though I think you're close to making it all work.

It takes way too long for what I assume to be a fairy queen of some description to show up. The imagery you use in describing the forest at first is good in its own right, and would be a fine way of opening a longer work, but I don't think it supports the story you're trying to tell, not at this length.

I think that, in order for Alana's failure to be meaningful, there needs to be much more time devoted to her struggle. You present her as a generally strong person up to the end, and the contrast between that and her fate should be the centerpiece of this story. As it is, she tries to escape, fails, tries to fight back, fails, and it's all done with before we even have a chance to see that it's happening.

But Wait, There's More - newtestleper

A video game forum I used to frequent would sometimes categorize games as "friendly mutts". These were games that may not have objectively had a lot to recommend them, that may have even had some glaring flaws, but that you couldn't help but like anyway.

This story was, for me, this week's friendly mutt. I think there's room for improvement, but I enjoyed reading it a lot.

I think, in particular, you do a pretty good job of sketching out who Chet is and what he values. His decision at the end feels like it's in character. It does, however, hit just a little flat, and I think that's because it's a little too obvious what he's going to do. Even given that, as I read it, he didn't intend to turn them down until he was actually there, there was never any doubt in my mind that he would, and thus no tension as I read the thing.

There are two ways I think you could go with this. First, you could make it a genuine internal struggle. He's turning down a lot of money and I think it would be more meaningful if we saw him at least think about taking it. You do a good job of showing us what he'd be giving up if he took the deal, show us what he's giving up by not doing so. Second, you could play up the contrast between what people expect of him (to take the money) and what he wants to do a bit more. Show us his buyers trying to convince him to take the deal.

An Interrupted Meal - Megazver

There's always a tension, when establishing an unusual or fantastic setting, between overwhelming your readers with useless, worthless detail and just completely leaving them confused and in the dark. Worldbuilding is a dance between these two extremes, and you just sort of lumbered onto the floor like an exposition elephant. You could cut out your first two paragraphs entirely, and not one detail that is relevant to your story would be lost. Your story's set in a bar/hotel between worlds. Maybe just tell us that. Or don't. Starting from your third paragraph tells me that you've got a detective protagonist in a place where ghosts and demons are commonplace, which is fair enough and perfectly clear. The world-hopping stuff turns out to be completely irrelevant to the narrative.

You've got some pretty good turns of phrase, but your plot is formulaic, which isn't necessarily a bad thing; you can do all kinds of interesting things with a formulaic plot. However, your protagonist feels like he came off some sort of noir assembly line and none of your characters are especially interesting either. And when one's a headless ghost (who turns out to be a literal femme fatale) and one's a demon, that's a real problem.

Friends Forever - LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE

There are so many ways you could have hosed a story like this up, and I'm pleased to see that you've avoided them. For a story featuring someone basically enduring all the worst possible things about living forever, you've managed to avoid the crass cynicism that usually comes with the territory, and the resulting work is actually quite sweet as a result.

The only real complaint I have is that the characterization is shallow. There are some stories for which that would be a major major complaint. Here, it's just something I wish were a little better.

Yuna's something of a cipher. She's someone to whom things happen, but I don't really get much of a sense of who she is as a result. Your depiction of her immortality, and the implications it has for her, is engaging, but it would be more powerful if I had some kind of insight into her as a result.

God's motivation for doing this is simple and easy to relate to. Though for someone who wanted a friend, God is pretty standoffish, only checking in with her pretty rarely. There are reasons this can work, but again, I'd love more insight into God's character here.

Dark Thoughts - Fuschia Tude

I quite like "2-bit ex-cop in an 8-bit world" as a turn of phrase, even if it doesn't really fit in with anything.

So. Detective interviews and then shoots (!) sofa dude. There are no consequences for either action. Detective gets stopped by Mysterious Stranger and handed the keys to the plot for no adequately explored reason. Detective defeats unknown baddie with unknown motives who tries to trap him via unknown means which don't work on him for unknown reasons.

I'm sure this all makes sense somehow inside your head. I can't say that it makes much sense to me at all. I really don't like dismissing ideas as inappropriate for flash fiction, but I think that, given how essential the idea of selfers is to your story, it really needs a larger work in which to be established more naturally and meaningfully. As it is, your first scene is probably necessary to give us an idea of what selfers are (though I can't say I really get it), but spending that much time on an ultimately-irrelevant interlude is poison to a work of this size.

That's really the problem with this entire story, though; it consists of unconnected set pieces that have nothing to support them. The hints of a larger world are great, I love that sort of thing. But your basic elements just aren't there.

Sofa dude doesn't have anything to do with your story, and the encounter tells us almost nothing about Generic Noir Protagonist #45368, so why did we just waste all of this time? The informant (who is apparently an agent of the selfers or something?) comes out of nowhere and disappears just as swiftly. Why did this happen? Why should I care?

And then there's your ending. No context, no reason for the murders, just a deathtrap that fails and a bit of violence and a wish I was reading something that respected my time and my intelligence.

Good Luck In All Your Future Endeavors - leekster

You've got a solid premise here. You present a dilemma for your protagonist that makes sense, that's worth looking at further...and then you do nothing much with it. Your awkward, overcomplicated prose is probably the reason you lost, but that's relatively easy to fix. My problem is that you haven't given me any reason to care about any of this.

The obvious choice would be to have Philip try to escape his impending assassination, but I don't think that's necessary here, and I don't think it would be appropriate to what you seem to be trying to do. Philip's acceptance of his 'retirement' can absolutely be a feature of a compelling story, but it needed something more. Maybe giving some space for his encounter with the woman at the bar would have done it. Maybe just give him something to do, or something to avoid doing because he figures he'll be dead shortly, maybe even just show us (rather than tell us about) the aftermath of his last mission. Or give him a more complex internal monologue.

The Path from Pitios - A Classy Ghost

You've got a good, clear writing style here.

I liked the detail that Sevlin found the color-changing leaves to be unusual, but I didn't like that this unusual detail never became significant. Was it associated with Cidra's magic? Do they not have autumn in Pitios?

Cidra herself is a massive cipher. Why was she attacking or abducting travelers? What was she hoping to accomplish? I don't necessarily need a massive explanation, but anything would do. Also, if Sevlin could kill her so readily when she was in the middle of working her magic, it's kind of hard to buy her as a threat.

You're about 75% of the way to a good little fantasy piece, though.

Hippodermic Oath - Quidnose

The thing about writing a humorous story is that you still need to write a story. You need to have all of the elements of a good story and it also has to be funny.

This is kind of funny, though encounters with unfeeling bureaucracy are a well-trod path, and you don't quite have anything that elevates it from thirty other 'the receptionist didn't give a poo poo about me' stories. Dude is sick, intake nurse is being the absolute minimum amount of help, neither of them are characterized much beyond 'newspaper humor column anecdote' level, and nothing much really happens.

I quite like some of your imagery, and him presenting a frozen yogurt rewards card as proof of insurance genuinely made me smile, but most of the humor feels forced, and the genuinely funny moments get lost in the churn.

Hitching Home - SadisTech

I think I liked this better than the other judges, but it's rather slight for my tastes. You do a good job of revealing what's going on over the course of the story, though you could have gotten to the point a little quicker.

I think the biggest problem here is that there's no real conflict. Carl is presented with his the opportunity to participate in his recovery from Alzheimer's or whatever, to determine what sort of person he'd like to be, but there's no real sense of what that entails, what decisions he faces, what's in store for him at all. I think you get closest with his "I want to be someone who rolls with the punches" moment, but that doesn't go nearly far enough.

Still, I like the way you write, and you've got an interesting premise. With some work, you could turn this into something worthwhile.

Leading Projecting Developing Managing - Capntastic

I suppose I just don't get why Gregory is so upset at, broadly, having succeeded in his work. Or rather, i don't get why the company he's been sabotaging being bought out by his real employer constitutes a failure for him, much less the sort of betrayal he's reacting to.

I also don't really get why I should care about any of this. Gregory's too cool to have recognizable character traits, I guess. Without any sense of who he is, other than a super-cool guy who blundered into a major corporation and had them eating out of his palm within the week, his anger doesn't matter, his decision to resign doesn't matter, none of this matters.

I think there's a story here to be told, but you haven't told it.

Providence - Benny the Snake

You're goddamn lucky that "forgive me my lord, but I confused" doesn't seem to have become a catchphrase for you on the level of Rosa Flores jokes.

This reads like every single myth in which a proud mortal is humbled in an encounter with a god ever. I don't know if there's a specific myth you're retelling, but you're not exactly straying far afield from about thirty of them, and you're not really bringing anything new to the table.

The warning against hubris at the end and how Thessalos avoids (or doesn't avoid it), or the question of whether being handed divine cheat codes will really be fulfilling to someone who loves the act of competition itself both feel more compelling than the story you've actually told.

City of Delirium - sebmojo

I feel like I'm drowning in your first sentence, and not in a good way. I think it would be more effective as a couple of simpler, sharper sentences. Even so, you're as good as ever at atmosphere, and your word choices made this a delight to read.

"The caravans from were" saddened me.

I think the twist at the end just about works, though I'm still not entirely clear on what actually happened even after a few reads. I think it would hit harder if we knew why he was so hell-bent on killing his father, and why his presumed hallucinations were taking the form of seeing his father everywhere. I can make a few guesses, but there aren't quite enough clues in the story to lead me there naturally.

As well, ending on the Caliph passing sentence without a direct reaction from Mai feels a little abrupt. I think that's the key to what I find lacking in this otherwise fine story; I want more of Mai, more of a sense of who he is and why he's doing what he's doing.

Until We Meet Again - Grizzled Patriarch

I don't have a lot to say here. I liked this a lot, but I think it needs one more scene, or maybe a rewrite of your final scene. The time skips work, but your ending feels abrupt, and I don't think that's what you were going for.

As well, maybe introduce Gerda a little earlier, tease out her significance to him a little more by dropping in little details into his thoughts as you're establishing him with the colonel.

The Wizard - crabrock

Not gonna do a whole line-crit of this but I think your first sentence would be stronger if you ended it at "every choice I've made in life". Likewise: "...for I have not showered in many months. The bathhouses don't extend charity." invests me in the narration a little more without the extra words, because I have to think just a little more to work out the connection between the two thoughts, and what they mean for your protagonist.

I love your premise here, and I really like the contrasting motivations that lead your protagonist to do something ridiculous. Both the old man and the centurion feel like real people, if not especially complicated people, and even if the actual story is, broadly, an E/N thread recast as historical fiction, it works because of that.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





The War Is Over
976 Words
Destination Moon


(In the archive)

docbeard fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2015 around 15:12

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Thanks, DocK, for the TMBG crit!

Also, in!

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Til Chicago
1200 Words


(In the archive)

docbeard fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2015 around 15:13

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





In.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





crabrock is going to murder us all in our beds on Saturday and then make a graph about it.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





You can read the signs in seemingly mundane events. For you, small superstitions reveal large truths. Your magics draw on the everyday world, to great effect.

When Alice Miller Fought City Hall
1277 words


(In the archive.)

docbeard fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2015 around 15:13

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Speaking of crits, here are some of a couple of random wizard stories. (Literally. Random.org picked which stories I critiqued.) Might have a few more in me, might not, though I'll at least give Hammer Bro's a going over (thanks much for your critique, man), and do the same for anyone else who isn't a judge who gave/will give me a crit.

(Note that there is no time frame associated with this promise. I feel that it is best to manage expectations.)

Jesus Walks Into A Motel - Grizzled Patriarch

There's an idea here that I absolutely adore, the person who creates a sort of apocalypse in an attempt to bring back a lost love. I can't quite tell if it's just your protagonist doing this or if it's everyone, and maybe it doesn't matter, but I think it probably does.

The thing is, I don't know if more details, more facts would strengthen this or just weigh it down. The emotional beats ring true, and whatever dissatisfaction I feel at not being quite sure what's going on is probably preferable to losing that emotional core. Ideally, you could have both, but it would be one hell of a balancing act, and in this case, I think you made a choice that is at least defensible.

Twelve Steps - curlingiron

I love the premise here. It's simple, clear, and sets up a genuine conflict that feels completely natural once you've accepted the idea of an emotion-stealing wizard at all.

But it's undermined when your wizard takes center stage. I think the reaction to him feels real, because of course they'd be angry, but he feels too much like a cartoon character, and it works to the detriment of the general mood of the piece. Make him a little more sinister, or pathetic, or anything that doesn't just outright clash, and I think you've really got something here.

Also, I was surprised that he didn't at least try to capture their anger, though I could see him just being taken by surprise by Ana's direct assault. Though why he wouldn't expect them to be pissed off when he was all 'lol I have been exploiting your misery for my own personal gain', I don't know. But that, again, circles back to the wizard not being a believable character at all in the context of the rest of the story.

Randolph the Green - Killer-of-Lawyers

I don't get your title at all. Is it a reference to something?

Another story where I love the premise but the execution leaves something to be desired. I think your essential structure works: establish Ryan as a wish thief, establish Jane's suicide attempt, and give us Ryan's comeuppance. It's the opening segment with Ryan that really cripples this, an almost textbook example of "show, don't tell". Maybe instead of going through Ryan's thought processes as he seeks out the wish that dooms him, give us some examples of him at work that establish these same ideas, that he has no use for selfless or impractical wishes, that he has to take the consequences of the wish he's stolen whether he wants them or not, etc. Use those examples to establish not only the rules of your world, but also the things that make him tick, that make his ultimate fate something he deserves.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Screaming Idiot posted:

We're all a bunch of mothers.

Your mum's a mother!

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Sitting Here posted:

Your villain receives a mysterious package of some sort at the beginning of the story.

Is it a briefcase

(Also, I'm in, and would like a flash rule)

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





I'm out.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





A Classy Ghost posted:

It's pretty nice of you to treat failures like they're real people, sh.

Not that we are, but it's a pleasant lie.

Anyway, yeah I'll do this.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Oh and for the record, dunno if this is a toxx brawl but all the same.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





My Mouth Is Closed
524 Words
Failurebrawl Entry


I awaken, already in motion. Someone has taken me from the Master again. My mouth is closed, so I cannot smile.

I wonder who has taken me this time. My mouth is closed, so I cannot see, and my abductor has not yet spoken. I hope it’s not a machine. Machines are too crunchy, their flavor too bland. My teeth are more than up to the task, but food should be more than a duty, it should be a joy.

The Master doesn’t know I think about such things. It doesn’t matter. So long as I perform my task, the Master is content, and so long as the Master is content, I am content.

We’ve stopped. My abductor speaks. A human, a woman, defiant, confident. I feel myself hit the ground while she speaks, lies about surrender to the Master’s guardians. It doesn’t hurt.

My mouth is closed, so I cannot see, but I know the Master’s guardians have been ordered to kill her. I think they’ll fail. They don’t, usually, but I have a feeling this time. I don’t mind. We all serve the Master, in death if not in life. If they fail at their task, then I must succeed in mine, and I have never yet failed.

I hear the whine of the Master’s guns. They cannot harm his guardians, nor can they harm me, not so long as my mouth is closed. They are deadly only to the flesh, and mine is all inside my mouth. I hear my abductor cry out, and then fall silent, and I think for a moment that I was wrong. But then I hear her snarl. I hear metal rent by claws, I hear the whine of the Master’s guns, and in time, I hear nothing at all.

I feel myself being lifted again. We move faster than before, and her breath sounds different now. Harsher, like a beast’s. I know that the Master created beasts from humans to be his guardians, before he settled on the machines he uses now. I am the only beast who remained faithful. The others were not content to serve, and they hurt me when they left. That is why I love the Master. He helped me to live, when I would have died. It is different now, inside my new mouth, but I am content.

In time, she stops to rest. I feel her setting me on the ground. Her breathing sounds human again. After a moment, she says, “This is Grafton. I’m out, and I have the package.” There is another voice that I cannot hear. “Nothing that won’t mend. Those drat guns of his hurt, though.” More talking that I cannot hear. “Roger that, I’m on my way in.”

She turns me around. “But before that,” she says, and she doesn’t know that I can hear, she thinks she’s talking to herself, “let’s see what’s inside this thing.” She reaches for my lips, undoes the clasps that hold my mouth closed. “What’s so special about a little black briefcase that warrants all that security?”

My mouth is closed, so I cannot smile.

Not quite yet.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





In, pursued by a bear.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Blue Wher posted:

Challenge accepted. We just need a judge now. Oh who, oh who, will judge these lowly, spiteful noobs?

Guts and Bolts vs Blue Wher

Write for me a story, 750 words minimum, 1250 words maximum, in which mortal enemies must work together toward a common goal. Make sure I give a drat about your characters, their conflict, and the reason they have to work together. Keep posturing, in and out of your stories, to a minimum.

Due Wednesday, June 3, by 9:00 PM CST cuz I'm not staying up late on a workday to make sure you loudmouthed fools deliver.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Appearances
1495 Words
A man 'tames' his wife but, really, it's the wife who gets what she wants.


(In the archive)

docbeard fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2015 around 15:18

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





docbeard posted:

Guts and Bolts vs Blue Wher

Write for me a story, 750 words minimum, 1250 words maximum, in which mortal enemies must work together toward a common goal. Make sure I give a drat about your characters, their conflict, and the reason they have to work together. Keep posturing, in and out of your stories, to a minimum.

Due Wednesday, June 3, by 9:00 PM CST cuz I'm not staying up late on a workday to make sure you loudmouthed fools deliver.

Speaking of brawls, this one comes due in less than twenty-four hours.

Do not disappoint me.

Nothing will happen if you do but I'll be sad and do you really want to make a grown man cr...never mind. (Oh, and I guess since no one, including me, brought up the Brawls Should Be Toxxed thing this time around I won't hold you to that, but seriously, don't weasel out like a bunch of weasels.)

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





docbeard posted:

Speaking of brawls, this one comes due in less than twenty-four hours.


Tick tock.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Also, hit me.

(By which half-hearted blackjack reference I mean I'm in, and would like a flash rule.)

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Blue Wher posted:

Is an extension possible? I just haven't been well this past week for various reasons and guts appears to have disappeared into the abyss.

Because I am a merciful soft touch or something, I will allow for an extension of 24 hours. Best make it worth my while.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





He's not important enough to ignore.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





docbeard posted:

Because I am a merciful soft touch or something, I will allow for an extension of 24 hours. Best make it worth my while.

... this is not what making it worth my while means.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





sebmojo posted:

ban the motherfuckers

- the ecutioner

Be a bit of a dick move to hold them to it now.

I suppose this can be taken as a lesson about mercy and why you shouldn't.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Painted Jezebel
1,358 Words

(In the archive)

docbeard fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2015 around 15:19

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Week CXLIX: Thrilling Adventure!

Write me a big ridiculous summer blockbuster. Any genre is allowed, except the boring ones.

What I Want:

Interesting characters.

Ridiculous situations.

Whether it's fate of the world stuff or something more personal, there had better be something at stake.

Excitement.

What I Don't Want:

Violence without context. Fighting is fine, mayhem is fine, but make it mean something.

Tedious worldbuilding.

An ironic deconstruction of the action thriller. Be as funny or as serious as you like, but be sincere.

People I don't care about doing things I don't care about for reasons I don't care about. As ever, "make me give a drat" shall be the whole of the law.

1,500 words.
No fanfic, no erotica, no whining.
Sign-up deadline:
Whenever I wake up Saturday morning.
Submission deadline: Whenever I wake up Monday morning.

Bear in mind that I am an early riser, and that I'm in CST, and plan accordingly.

Two-Fisted Justice:
docbeard
Schneider Heim
HopperUK

Coming Soon To A Thunderdome Near You:
Hocus Pocus (Flash Rule: One of your significant characters is a fugitive from justice. Innocence or guilt is up to you.)
Entenzahn
Killer-of-Lawyers (Flash Rule: One of your significant characters is not a human being.)
skwidmonster
StealthArcher (Flash Rule: Your story involves one character being disdainful of another's accomplishments.)
Grizzled Patriarch
Masonity (Flash Rule: A time limit with deadly consequences must factor.)
Thranguy (Flash Rule: A significant portion of your story occurs underwater.)
Le Woad
JcDent (Flash Rule: Reflected objects turn out to be much, much larger than they appear.)
newtestleper
Screaming Idiot
Ironic Twist (Flash Rule: Only your protagonist knows the horrible truth.)
SquirrelFace (Flash Rule: Someone is a double agent. BUT WHO?)
theblunderbuss (Flash Rule: Your story does not end on the same continent on which it started.)
SlipUp
Rap Three Times
Jonked
Blue Wher (Flash Rule: Your story contains a high-speed chase. None of the vehicles involved in this chase are cars.)
SkaAndScreenplays
Megazver (Flash Rule: An ancient mystery must factor.)
Mercedes
Enchanted Hat (Flash Rule: The monsters come out at night. Shame about your insomnia.)
s7yndicate3
tentacleDate
SadisTech
Lazy Beggar
Cache Cab

docbeard fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2015 around 03:23

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Hocus Pocus posted:

Looking forward to this one!

In and could I please have a flash rule?

One of your significant characters is a fugitive from justice. Innocence or guilt is up to you.

Killer-of-Lawyers posted:

In. Can I get a flash rule as well?

One of your significant characters is not a human being.

  • Locked thread
«3 »