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 money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



new thread sucks
don't like it?
fight me

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Twist and me got beef. We got brawl-level beef.




Someone brawl-prompt us before we spill this beef all over TD

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



SadisTech posted:

A question for the judges: I submitted prior to having a way to get an accurate word count, and when I measured it after submission it was 177 words over. I know the policy is no edits post submission; in this instance, is your preference for me to leave it as is or make cuts to bring it in line with the count?

'Don't edit your story' trumps being over the word limit.

Think of it this way: 177 words over on accident is nothing compared to going loving thousands of words over while being fully aware of the word count.

This is Thunderdome, someone's almost always hosed up more than you, so chill out :byob1:

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



he means he submitted it before the advent of numbers

to be fair in #rock B.C.E. they have pretty slow internet

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



OH HEY CRITS

SadisTech - Stick Wins at Pissing
This isn't a bad showing for your first time in Thunderdome. However, good for a newbie doesn't mean good, and while this didn't make me angry (beyond the baseline anger of having to read and crit all these dumb words) there's areas to improve. First off, the framing device didn't feel important in the end. What does it add to the story that he's telling this to his grandson? If you want me to read every word you write, make sure all of those words are good and/or important. Second, there were a few clarity issues that seemed like it needed another editing run. Not just the typos, which weren't many but which did make me stop and notice them, but also stuff like how in the beginning, you said he rarely ever talked about it, but then apparently he's got a mood his grandson recognizes as "war story mood". At its core, it's a fine story, and I did enjoy the actual story about the pissing contest, but it could have done without the slow buildup. If you wanted to make the grandson's role meaningful in some way to the message, I didn't get it.

Welcome to the dome.

December Octopodes - Blood on the Pampas
Overall, the structure of this is pretty good, though it does feel like it ends pretty abruptly. Where you trip up the most is in clarity and grammar. There's stuff like a big run-on sentence ("With no gun at hand and no horse...from the ruined estancia.") that seems like you just forgot to put whatever word was going to split it into two sentences in there. Also, you do a lot of something I have a problem with, and that's cramming a ton of stuff into each sentence. During your action scenes, all your sentences are like 'doing this, i did this" or "i thought this as i did this and this" and when you compound actions like that, you slow them down and you can make the pace seem odd. Like, "I punched him, knowing that my plans of quiet slaughter were so much ash." It's connecting the thought to the punch in an odd way, both conceptually and time-wise. Also, a bit more attribution to the dialogue would have helped--it was hard to keep track of who was saying what at that point. In general, this is a decent story with some stumbles in the execution that closer editing and attention to how the sentences flow could fix.

Screaming Idiot - The Bear, the Rabbit, and the Coyote
I rolled my eyes when I read that Pyotr wanted to be a writer, just because that's the equivalent of, say, a prog rock album about how the power of music defeats the evil overlords. There's some other cliches worked in there that feel heavier than they should--the family situation they've got going on, for one, seems like I've seen it before, even though I can't actually think of another situation like that off the top of my head. Aside from that, though, it was a decent story, and I didn't see much mechanically that bothered me. Your descriptions were generally decent, too--just wanted to mention that since some other stories this week were drier in that area.

Benny the Snake - The Kite Derby Mexico
This story came out all right. You did a decent job of adding in extra details, and you worked the information you were presenting (this time, how to build a kite--last time I judged I think it was hummingbird mating ritual you explained) into the narrative in a way that it didn't feel like a Wikipedia article. Still, it could use improvement. The pneumonia comes out of nowhere near the end, so it seems pretty abrupt. You don't really have a clear conflict running throughout the story--the actual conflict seems to pop up when the derby starts. And you kind of go a little too far in pointing out the message when you say "It all made sense now..." Yeah, I got that, the whole point of your story is that his kite is better-made because he worked hard and learned from his grandfather. If your story has a message, don't stop and say, "I then realized [symbolic point]." All in all though, this is some of the better writing I've seen from you, which isn't great, but it's approaching decent. Maybe next time, push yourself a little bit and write something in third person? You seem to do a lot of first person, and the variety might help.

tenniseveryone - The Truth Will Out
This has probably the most interesting plot developments so far, but it gets a little bit fuzzy (:haw:) in places. I think one of the issues is that some of the key points don't come up until later in the story. I didn't get that it was a sci-fi setting until I learned that Kip was a tiger-guy, and the "half-man half-tiger" thing made it seem almost like he was a hybrid, not an alien. Or maybe he is a hybrid. Anyway, the trickle of information makes the plot a little harder to follow--it might have been easier if we knew that the captain had died, and that these are the two most-qualified crewmembers to take his place. Also, I'm still not entirely sure whether it was a spaceship or a regular ship or what--establishing that clearly would also help. I had some mild issues with clarity around the dialogue transitions--just in some places, it felt harder to follow than it should have. It may just be a formatting thing; personally, I like a space between each paragraph, because then it's more evident where one 'thought' ends and another starts.

DreamingofRoses - Hyena's Dinner
Oh man, FOLK STORIES. I'm writing this before I read it. You better do this good.

And now that I've read it, I can tell you what I think. Stylistically s a folk story, it works all right, though there's some things I'd change to make it a more satisfying story-story. The main thing I'd consider is what's the conflict here? Hyena's tricking Lion, sure, but what's going to stop her from doing that? Everything kind of goes as expected for her, and it doesn't feel like there's any threat of things not working out. They don't want to fall for it, but everyone does, so I wonder maybe it'd be more compelling if she had to change her tactics and use some other method to convince one or both of them? The idea is kind of there with Gazelle and Springbok feeling anxious, but it's a bit cliche for the "well, I'll just tell them they were right and you are dumb" to work on both of them. As a story-book type folk tale though, the style reads pretty well, so good job on that.

Jitzu_the_Monk - Thai Cringe
Okay, so on the one hand, this story is written pretty well and I get a good sense of the emotions going on, even if Sumalee is a bit of a cartoon high school popular girl bitch. On the other hand, it's a story about a competition between brothel girls to have sex with as many virgins as possible. I've got to say that you didn't make it as weird or gross as I thought it might go, but that's still an interesting choice to go with, I guess. The misunderstanding too--did he think he got a reduced rate for being a Virgo? A little weird, but it was written well enough that I can't get mad about that, so good job on your devirginizing competition story!

hotsoupdinner - Coconut Shimmy
Solid first entry to the dome. There really aren't any major errors that stand out to me, so I can only talk about smaller stuff. The transition between the second and third paragraphs could be a little clearer, maybe with a section break, or alternatively, if in the very beginning, you establish that we're seeing this through Andre's eyes. I feel the feeling behind the ending, but Andre's motivation for helping Gabriel isn't entirely clear--I'm not sure whether he's doing it because he wants a fair competition, or what. That's what I assume, but there's not much earlier in the story to establish why Andre would stop and help him. It's not out of character, he seems like the sort of person who would do that, but I can't point to a part of the story and say that here's where you established Andre likes fair competitions or that he doesn't want to see Gabriel disgraced or whatever his reason for helping Gabriel actually is. While it seems like I've written a lot of criticism, it's really all I can say because other than that, you did a good job with plot, conflict, description, emotions--all that stuff.

Also welcome to the Dome.

Jick Magger - Sikuaq
Another one where I don't have much to talk about, because it's generally quite good. The one thing that stuck out at me was a tense issue where you slipped into present for a bit ("...but as the ice has receded further...") which doesn't match with the tense of the rest of the story. Otherwise, it's a solid story with a decent thematic thrust of living on the margins, close to death, and the struggle to survive and all that. The ending is probably going to stick with me for a while. Good job.

Nubile Hillock - Vacation
I'm writing this first before I confer with the other judges, and I'll go back and add more once I've talked. I like the style of this, but there's definitely points where I had to stop and look back at what I'd read for it to make more sense. The "sound of dirt hitting the coffin" made me think that maybe he was taking her body out to be buried, something like that. I don't understand the meaning of the connection between his circuits and Buddhist harmonies beyond maybe some shared identification with his wife, like realizing they were after the same thing, maybe? It's written well but I don't 'get' it.

Other judges didn't have much, so I guess this is just idgi for me.

PoshAlligator - No Filter
This is another story where some explanation up top would help out. It wasn't really until the end that I figured out what Colludium was, though I got the idea that it was sort of like a LAN tournament. Also, the near-future setting wasn't as obvious until we got to the people staring at each other and gesturing, so the idea that they're playing a fully virtual card game might help establish that clearly. The story would still work, as we still don't know what Jack is doing until the end, but with a better reference as to what's going on, it'd be easier to guess. Personally, I figured it was some kind of RTS or FPS video game, not a card game. The only other thing of note is that at the end I'm not sure if Jack is still in the basement or up at the hall or what. The relative seriousness and comparatively low stakes actually make this kind of interesting to read, because it's more unexpected to have this cyberpunk sabotage stuff going on around the cyberpunk equivalent of Yu-Gi-Oh.

Guiness13 - Catching the Train
Funny that I was just talking about low-stakes stories being interesting. This worked pretty well too, again because it's a relatively minor conflict--not in terms of its importance to Richard, but just generally. There's decent emotional thrust and some good description in there too, and while a more substantial ending might have been nice, in general it was a fine, simple read, so good job.

Mercedes - The Rock God
This story:
Rock and roll 8/10
Being pretty metal 7/10
BAD TOUCH 9/10
Not having death and videogames in it 10/10
You almost lost me at Guitardome, but then brought me back with Xavier's sexual harassment. Also beyond the humor, it's a good story with good pacing, establishes its ideas up front so the rest of the story can elaborate on them, and ends in a satisfying way after the protagonist struggles to overcome their conflict.

edit: I literally did not get that this was about you and seb. woops

Quidnose - Transatlantic Melody
I like the way this story is written, but the ending feels really quick to me, like maybe there was supposed to be more there, but you ran out of space, or something. Not saying that the plot should have changed, but it feels like the big emotional shift that comes al happens right in that end, and the idea that there's this difference between Luc and Paul doesn't really get resolved beyond the idea that Luc defected and Paul didn't. That said, for a story that's primarily two people talking at each other, I wasn't as bugged by that as usual--the dialogue feels natural enough that I can believe these people are friends, and you've got some nice turns of phrase in there too ("I watched him play until he stopped being my friend and became the music again.")

Entenzahn - Run
You sure you didn't get Thunderdome confused with Gamerdome? I generally thought this was pretty good, but the emotions at the end kind of baffled me a little bit--I can't quite figure out how much David actually cares about her, and how much he's being a goony nerd and worrying about speedrunning while his girlfriend is literally in the hospital because a bull attacked her. The only time clarity was an issue for me was in the beginning talking about time, where 'over' and 'behind' feel like opposites, but you're talking about him being too slow in both instances.

Maugrim - Formaggio
This is a week of interesting conflicts. You started with a good line, which I like, and you managed to keep up the energy moving through your story. You manage to put enough detail into cheese that even as a person who pretty much only knows what goes on pizza and hamburgers, I could get a sense for what you meant. And you managed to keep a pretty good balance between the inherent silliness of flowery descriptions of cheese and an emotional conflict. It's lightly comedic without being too goofy that it loses its emotional resonance, and the unexplored narrative terrain of cheesemaking made me unwilling to take a break until after I'd finished reading this.

Schneider Heim - Encounter on Trollstigen
This was pretty good, though it took a little back and forth reading in the beginning to suss out exactly how everything works. To be fair, it is a lot to put all together, the mom and divorced dad with adopted son and they're all into fast cars. Aside from that, it read pretty well with a few errors that should have been picked up in an edit pass, like where you repeated "the entire width of the road" and it just made it sound a bit redundant. It also felt a little long in places, like around the flashback--I get what it adds to the story, but it feels like it's slowing down in the middle of a hectic race.

Tyrannosaurus - The Blue
I don't know what it was about this week that made TD collectively start coming up with good ideas all of a sudden, but there you go: sci-fi chainsaw ice sculpture. I've got to say I'm not entirely sure what the sci-fi added to it, beyond an extra layer of humor about needing special augments just for ice sculpture and tying into the feeling he has of being obsolete, but it works. You also get to be the rear end in a top hat who does the thing I'm telling people not to do, but makes it work. I've been saying to put the cards on the table up front, but the way you wrote this, it generates interest with that slow trickle of information, starting with the argument, then moving to augs, then chainsaw, then finally the fact that it's chainsaw sculpture. It wouldn't work as well if you were upfront about it, so good job.

Jonked - Desert Magic
I'm not a huge fan of stories where the joke is that someone's a big overdramatic nerd about something, and not just because I'm an overdramatic nerd. It's a pretty easy joke to go to, so when I realized what was up, I rolled my eyes a little. But to your credit, you kept it focused on the competition for the most part and not on how dorky this guy was, which made the dorky touches less annoying than if you'd beaten me over the head with how goony goon this guy is. That said, most of the middle of it feels stretched out, when the actual interesting bit of it is the final battle where he'll either go on to compete or lose. An angle I sort of wish you'd taken a little further is the idea that this guy is doing card tricks, i.e., MAGIC, with his Magic cards, while in Vegas. (Honestly, the story of a magician using his skills to play a card game like this might be more compelling than this while still getting the 'lol, magic' jokes out there.)

Your Sledgehammer - The Newcomer
I feel that this is a pretty solid entry, even if the broad plot structure is one that's pretty typical. Again, I don't know what everyone in TD was on this week that made them come up with interesting ideas, but the Eagle Festival definitely works for that, so good job there. The one thing that might have put this in a higher place for me would have been getting deeper into just why she's so good--does she have special training from her father? Has she worked hard at it every day? Is her eagle special in some way? The broad plot of a woman succeeding in a typically male field is common enough that it would have been good to see what makes her unique. The pacing here is all right, so I wouldn't necessarily throw in a flashback or something, but maybe a reference somewhere to what makes her a good falconer. (Eagler?) It'd help emotionally justify her win if we had an idea of what she's done to deserve it. Overall, I did generally like this and felt it was good and descriptive and everything, but that's what I think could be improved on here.

WeLandedOnTheMoon! - Playa Nigra
I'm not entirely sure how much of this I understood, but I think part of the point here is that it's meant to be confusing. Tim is confessing to a crime he didn't commit because he wants to be let free, and he's trying to get the main character to confess too. The thing that doesn't make sense to me is them laughing about it and the "good job" and handshake at the end. I'm just not sure what it means--if Tim was working with the jailer guy from the start, then what's the deal, were they just trying to kill the mian character or something? The structure of it was fine, and I like the idea of the tidal jail cell, but I just lost the plot at the end there, and I'm not sure if it's my own poor grasp of intrigue plots or ineffective writing. I was with you, more or less, up until the end at least.

Morning Bell - Love Is A Dot, Too
There's a typo in your first sentence, which is a pretty bad idea. But, on the other hand, the rest of the story is good. It reminds me of Screaming Idiot's story this week, except this one was more interesting and took the family hardship in a different direction. The description in there was good, the emotions worked well, and the message throughout feels solid and interesting, so despite tripping up your first impression this was a pretty good story to read. The only thing that seemed somewhat out of place was the fact that the bomb doesn't go off and then it's completely forgotten--it seems like Vuk would have asked about it, or something.

Bad Ideas Good - DNF
This feels more like a vignette to me, because I can't say what the beginning lends to the second part, other than establishing that it's a dangerous road they're traveling on. Then in the second part, you kind of bounce back and forth between these people's heads, and it gets weird to shift back and forth between Rodi's thoughts and Luc's thoughts--I would have picked one and stayed with it, in this case, probably Luc. Since the part with both of them is so short, too, I'm not sure what the ending is getting at--is he worried for his safety? Does he not like the the terrain? I don't really know enough about him to guess why he decides to retire and hates South America now, beyond the obvious that he's freaked out over Rodi's injury.

Ironic Twist - Black Cherry
Seriously, there's lots of good ideas this week. Sauna competition. Yes. And honestly, I don't have a whole lot to say about this, as I thought it was generally good. The emotions were pretty believable and I liked the connection as brothers, the idea that they're competing against each other constantly, but that it's just what they do. The slight jealousy over seeing his brother get married was a good touch that tells us a lot about their relationship too. The ending is a bit gross, but I guess, what was I expecting, you know. Good work.

Walamor - Empty Victory
I didn't have any major problems with this story, but it didn't catch me in any particular way, and it seemed like the ending came a little more quickly than anticipated--I think a lot of people this week ended up with kind of abrupt endings though. You definitely teased at some good motivations, but I don't know if I exactly feel the SPORTS going on in this one.

Grizzled Patriarch - The Alley-Runners
I liked this one a lot. There's some good vivid description in there, and I'm guessing the thing at the end was kind of going for a loss of innocence/can't believe this has happened vibe? Either way, it worked for me, and you made the most of your words in a short span, which is good. I do like not having to read a whole bunch, when you can pull it off without having it feel clipped, and this felt generally pretty substantial.

Leekster - Royal Blood
I'm not sure I really understood this, and given the length, it feels more like a vignette than a full story. I'm kind of assuming this was written so you'd have something to submit, but I wasn't quite sure what was going on with the bowing down and everything at the end. It wasn't badly written, it just didn't cohere into anything consistent for me.

seb and kurona, you guys were late so didn't get critted with the crits I did before judgement. If you want to get a crit, just ask.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



cool ur jets

Gardens

Djeser fucked around with this message at 05:21 on Jan 1, 2016

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



everyone never post in this thread

legit good advice

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Only thing that gets you banned round here is not submitting when you're toxxed.

Word counts are where you stop slapping the keyboard. They're an upper limit.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Greenwich Mean Time more like Greenbitch Scream Pine. :mad:

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Finish that poo poo up quick and post it. Disqualified for being late is better than nothing at all.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



While you're looking up your favorite prompt, I've cooked up a little survey because I'm interested in what makes a prompt tick.

:siren::frogsiren:THUNDERDOME SURVEYDOME: MAY THE BEST THUNDERDOME WIN:frogsiren::siren:

Link to the survey here, dumbs!

Open to anyone who's read most of the stories for one or more weeks. If you've judged, even once, that means you! Or if you're like Jitzu and subject yourself to all the stories just for kicks, that too. All you have to do is write down which weeks you thought were good (or, at least, notably above-average) and which were poo poo (or, at least, notably below-average.) It's a highly unscientific survey, so don't get too worried about it. You can put in week numbers or what the prompt was or whatever. It's a chill survey so :justpost: :byob1:

To clarify, this is about which prompts produced submissions of higher or lower quality.

Once we get enough entries here, we can make STATISTICAL MAGIC HAPPEN :pseudo: but only if you judges step up and tell us what weeks were good and which weeks were bad.

SO FILL OUT THUNDERDOMESURVEYDOME NOW!

Djeser fucked around with this message at 02:21 on Jan 19, 2015

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Djeser posted:

While you're looking up your favorite prompt, I've cooked up a little survey because I'm interested in what makes a prompt tick.

:siren::frogsiren:THUNDERDOME SURVEYDOME: MAY THE BEST THUNDERDOME WIN:frogsiren::siren:

Link to the survey here, dumbs!

Open to anyone who's read most of the stories for one or more weeks. If you've judged, even once, that means you! Or if you're like Jitzu and subject yourself to all the stories just for kicks, that too. All you have to do is write down which weeks you thought were good (or, at least, notably above-average) and which were poo poo (or, at least, notably below-average.) It's a highly unscientific survey, so don't get too worried about it. You can put in week numbers or what the prompt was or whatever. It's a chill survey so :justpost: :byob1:

To clarify, this is about which prompts produced submissions of higher or lower quality.

Once we get enough entries here, we can make STATISTICAL MAGIC HAPPEN :pseudo: but only if you judges step up and tell us what weeks were good and which weeks were bad.

SO FILL OUT THUNDERDOMESURVEYDOME NOW!

Reminder that if you do this you are a cool dude. To the eight people who've already given me VALUABLE AND SCIENTIFIC DATA, you're cool dudes. Expect INTERESTING RESULTS and FASCINATING CONCLUSIONS in the next few days.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



:frogsiren: THUNDERDOME SURVEYDOME RESULTS :frogsiren:
Before I get into it, thanks to everyone who helped out by filling out the survey! Also, when I say 'good' or 'bad' prompt, I'm really saying 'a prompt that leads to successful weeks' or 'a prompt that leads to unsuccessful weeks', but that's a lot to type out.

The Reason
I thought about it, and while we've racked up over one hundred weeks of Thunderdome, we haven't honed our prompt-craft all that much beyond Man Agonizes Over Potatoes, the first Thunderdome prompt. Thunderdome superstar Stuporstar wrote a post about the first TD prompt, and why it worked so well compared to other writing prompts. I wanted to see whether or not the Thunderdome experience bears out what she said about prompts, and whether there's any more to be learned about what makes a good prompt versus a bad prompt.

The Theory
I wrote this down before I started the survey, so I could see how my expectations compared to the results. "Prompts that do well contain inherent conflict or conundrums. Prompts that require research also do well. Prompts that do poorly are assigned or general topics that don't encourage the construction of a story."

The Way
So, I set up that survey. Which weeks were particularly good, and which weeks were particularly bad. I got twelve responses. Since we didn't have a poo-poo week or a pee-pee week, I ended up with nine responses we could actually use. I tallied up each week, and marked down which ones came up more than once. We had enough overlap between different judges that everyone's tastes seemed similar, except for one disagreement on Week 124 (Fanfic).



(Not pictured: Crabrock grinding his teeth over how poor a sample size this is.)

This gave me a good idea of what prompts worked and didn't work, but I wanted to make some sort of category system so that I could compare similar prompts. I came up with six broad categories that most prompts had:
  • Assignment - Any time a prompt has a judge passing out something person by person.
  • Given Theme - "Write a story inspired by [concept]."
  • Given Plot Point - "Write a story where [event] happens."
  • Given Feature - "Write a story that incorporates [a specific item]."
  • Pick Your Own - Any time a prompt has people picking, either from a list or out of the blue.
  • Research - A catch-all for effort required beyond reading the prompt and selecting something from a list.
With these categories in mind, I created this diagram of which prompts hit on which categories:



The 'Sults
Using that table, we can see the sort of prompts that work well for each type.



Assignments are the most wishy-washy, since the quality of the assigned topics affects things just as much as the theme. What doesn't seem to work is saying "use only what I give you and don't do research", because that's what the judges said for Folk and Cocktail weeks.



A given theme works more often than not. When it doesn't work, none of the elements help inspire a story. (Genre fic about music, for example.) Some of these work because they suggest conflict (like Southern Gothic) or because they're ideas you have to put work into (fantasy without violence.)



A given plot point doesn't work when it's the only thing, because there's only one plot beat to work off of. The good weeks incorporated either pick your own and research, or a given theme to play off the plot point. The bad weeks used plot points that, taken on their own, might lead to most of the interesting story happening outside of the actual written story. (While this could have happened with the calamity week, I believe that one raised enough interesting questions to be good in the end.)



A given feature works more often than I thought it would have. Just having a given feature on its own ("write a story with a pumpkin") is clearly a bad idea because there's no story to build off of. When it works, it's either because the feature complements the theme (supernatural horror in a small town), or because pick your own/research forces enough effort in to picking a concept that it counteracts the effect of a given feature.




Pick your own and research are close enough that I can talk about them together. The phobias prompt could have done poorly due to not properly inspiring stories, or due to the relative lack of personal thought that had to go into the choice. A number of the good prompts required people to come up with some detail from their own life (a song they knew, a country they've never been to). The cat gifs/Craiglist missed connections prompt was the only one that needed significant work beyond reading the prompt but was also bad, and my assumption is that it had too many moving pieces and trying to tie it all together led to poorer responses.

Not included since it didn't fit into my categories: Said bookisms week. I think it's pretty obvious why that went poorly. "Hey, Thunderdome. Write bad on purpose." "WOOOW THIS IS A LOT OF BAD STORIES" who would have guessed

The Conclusions
In that post from Stuporstar, she said that a good prompt inspires conflict and makes someone ask "why?" The prompt "man agonizes over potatoes" does both. Someone is agonizing over potatoes, so there's got to be conflict, and when you hear that someone's agonizing over potatoes, immediately you start wondering why someone is agonizing over potatoes. It's not a common source of grief.

Stuporstar pointed to inherent conflict and wondering "why?" as part of a good prompt. These are totally true. From the results, I can pick out two more things that lead toward good prompts: encouraging consideration of the prompt (pick your own/research) and unexpected ideas. A huge portion of the good weeks had prompts that encouraged creative thought (fantasy without violence, adding or removing a sense, a competition in a country you've never been to).

At the same time, I got to get a closer look at prompts that made for bad weeks. They're usually well-intentioned, but they don't end up hitting any of the elements that lead to good prompts. It's better to have some specifics, it seems, whether that's a specific phrase to be inspired by or a specific element to include, since a couple of the bad weeks had prompts that suggested a plot structure, but little else. (Compare aftermath of a calamity, which was a good week, with something important happens at the eleventh hour, a bad week.)

One of the things I didn't expect to see was that just about every kind of prompt can work. The only ones that outright don't are the "include a pumpkin in your story" ones. The weeks that had that as an element were good despite that being in there, not because of that being in there. Most of my hypotheses were accurate, but I was wrong in thinking assignment prompts were bad. In fact, assignment prompts were one of the more even splits and seem to come down to the ease/quality of the prompt and its assignments themselves.

Djeser's Very Scientific Guide To Good Prompts:
Include one or more of the following:
  • An inherent motivation or conflict in the prompt. ("Man agonizes over potatoes.")
  • Raising questions to be answered. ("Fantasy without violence.")
  • Encouraging consideration or personalization. ("Pick an SA thread and write a story inspired by it, without twists.")
  • Unfamiliar or unexpected ideas. ("Fantasy without violence.")

Can you make a prompt that doesn't follow any of these? Yeah, you could--there were good weeks in the survey that were just good, like sci-fi with assigned vices or virtues. On the other hand, when it comes to not being bad, that's a bit easier.

Djeser's Very More Scientific Guide To Avoiding Bad Prompts:
  • Be specific.
  • Think about how you'd construct a story from your prompt.
  • Don't tell people to write poorly.
  • Don't tell people "write a story that must include x."

So, in the end, the results aren't far from what I expected, but it was still interesting to see in detail what can go into the prompt to encourage good writing. Sometimes, a week could just have a glut of good writers, or get flooded by a cabal of people trying to gently caress with the judges by writing stories all about the same character, but the prompt is where it all starts. A good prompt can get a good story out of unskilled writers, while a bad prompt can leave them struggling.

ed: This isn't intended to be like "don't do this" or "do this" or whatever, it's all just my own observations, and it's the judge's choice to pick any prompt at all, of course. I just wanted to look at prompts a little more closely and see what assumptions you can make about prompts that encourage successful weeks versus prompts that don't. :)

Djeser fucked around with this message at 01:18 on Jan 21, 2015

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Where did the astronaut park his spaceship? Next to a parking meteor!

Why is there a cow in a spaceship? It wants to go to the moooon!

How do you keep warm on a spaceship? Use a space heater!

Why did the aliens land their spaceship in a vegetable garden? Because they come in peas!

What do you call a sad alien spaceship? A crying saucer!

If an athlete gets athlete's foot, what does a spaceship pilot get? Missile toe!

What do you get if you cross Santa Claus and a spaceship? A UFO-ho-ho!

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



also i'm in

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Sitting Here posted:

All story posts are final. No edits, no take-backsies. Once youíve submitted, your rear end is riding the train full speed to Fistville. We MIGHT use lube, assuming you donít try to sneak back in and edit your entry.

I understand why reading the OP might be tough.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



crabrock posted:

Flash rule: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. No weddings.

the TARDIS is a spaceship technically

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



judge fast, in a similar manner as a spaceship is fast.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



crabrock posted:

write [...] spaceships

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Space Isn't So Scary

Djeser fucked around with this message at 05:22 on Jan 1, 2016

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



:toxx: If I do not win once by the end of the year, I must post the steampunk story I wrote in high school in the thread. :toxx:

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



In. Puss In Boots.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



A Jackal's Word

Djeser fucked around with this message at 05:25 on Jan 1, 2016

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



In

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Oh also :toxx: for any weeks I enter during February and March.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Inga: Investigator, Retriever, and Rogue For Hire

Djeser fucked around with this message at 05:26 on Jan 1, 2016

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



:siren:Interprompt:siren:: write a netflix episode summary

samples (courtesy of https://liartownusa.tumblr.com):

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



in preemptively for fumble's PROOOOOMPT

(also reminder i'm :toxx:ed for february and march)

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



To reaffirm that I'm in, I bring you my god.

quote:

12 And these he offered to the Secondborn, patron of betrayer and betrayed,
13 For so often does the betrayer think himself betrayed.
14 Before him appeared the god, as a bronze lion with two heads,
15 ...
16 ... [and] bearing the arms of man. "Secondborn,
17 I seek vengeance," he spoke, and was touched by the god's brand,
18 Such that he could not die until avenged, or struck down
19 By the hand of his betrayer. ...

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Djeser posted:

To reaffirm that I'm in, I bring you my god.

quote:

12 And these he offered to the Secondborn, patron of betrayer and betrayed,
13 For so often does the betrayer think himself betrayed.
14 Before him appeared the god, as a bronze lion with two heads,
15 ...
16 ... [and] bearing the arms of man. "Secondborn,
17 I seek vengeance," he spoke, and was touched by the god's brand,
18 Such that he could not die until avenged, or struck down
19 By the hand of his betrayer. ...

for people who don't like reading, it's a two-headed lion vengeance god* with human arms

*made out of bronze

Djeser fucked around with this message at 03:53 on Feb 19, 2015

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



A night in the gods' city

feat. Secondborn (Djeser), Anathot (BaiSha), Hm (Sitting Here), Sonair (Mercedes), Spirum (ZeBourgeoise), Dash Winglet (PHIZ KHALIFA), It-Shits-Boiling-Life-Mud (SadisTech), and Aloha (Tyrannosaurus)

Djeser fucked around with this message at 05:27 on Jan 1, 2016

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



gods strong :mad:

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



In, toxxed as per my rule.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



the hash in the #judgechat IRC channel is gold fringed

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Really, it's because I don't want to pay the ten bucks

haha yes i'm even replacing this one with an archive link you fucks

Djeser fucked around with this message at 05:28 on Jan 1, 2016

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



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

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

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



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

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



i'm a cool kid now :c00l:

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



  • Locked thread