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Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Sitting Here posted:

I will do 5 crits this week. First come, first served. Quote this post if you want one. I'll try to have them done by the end of the day tomorrow.

edit: I'd really really like if the people I crit give at least one crit! I was super impressed with you bastards during wizard week. Don't let me down.

I'd like a crit down the line, I'm still reading through/brushing up on thread rules but definitely plan on hopping in on this interprompt/next prompt, and will be cranking that poo poo out tomorrow.

Currently popping in to say I'm in on whatever the next prompt is and get it tracking in my Control Panel.

Looking forward to cranking out wordsnot.


Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

This prompt rules.

Submitting tonight at work. Finished the first draft this morning but wanted to give it the updown/edit before posting.

Also this week presents a unique opportunity for multiple winners. Best opening, best ending, and best overall?

What if Best overall Set the Prompt/Source Content and the runners up set the parameters (Tone/Word Count?)

Fills in your 3 judge slots too?

Am I too new here to suggest these things?

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Sitting Here posted:

:siren: Week 146: The Ones You Hate to Love :siren:

You can all thank Crabrock for saving y'all from a gimmicky-rear end week (by hosting a gimmicky week himself).

I'm too loving drunk and confused to come up wiht some clever prompt. gently caress you.

This week I want you to be Evil. Deliciously evil. Endearingly evil. You are the bad guy. The antagonist. The Lucifer of your stupid little made up world. Important caveat: Your antagonist must either decisively win or lose, you shits. That means your carefully-crafted little Sephiroth wannabe must have THING that they WANT and they must either get/not get that thing at the end of the story.

Additionally, I loving hate incompetence. I've killed better minions than you, over less trivial poo poo than the bullshit you're about to write. As such, I will have open in a separate tab while I'm reading your feeble word discharge. Try to make as few cliche villain mistakes as possible! If I detect an incompetent villain, you could find yourself on the DM list, or worse.

tl;dr: Your main character must be an endearing villain, have a defined goal, and achieve a clear success/failure. Don't use villain cliches. No genre restriction.


Signups due by: 11:59:59PM PST on Friday, May 22
Submissions due by: 11:59:59PM PST on Sunday, May 24
Word count ration: 1550
making GBS threads Here
Blue Squares
A good judge


Broenheim - Your villain has a heroic nemesis. He/she is also your villain's brother/sister! For reasons your villain was never able to get their parents to admit, everyone always liked the heroic sibling a bit better.
Jay O - Gimme casual, laid back evil from your villain.
Wangless Wonder

Man this is hard because there are so many cliches.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Still In but Flash me, I'm having issues getting off the ground.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Destroyed By Your Own Creation
1551 Words

Judging by the number of occupants in the break-room Lars could assume that there weren’t many employees on the sales floor. Any minute now one of the other managers would be coming in to chastise his coworkers for slacking off. He could hear Casey’s voice in his head That guy’s been poking through the music section for a good 5 minutes...what, you don’t care? Right now it didn’t appear anyone did, as their eyes were glued to the television as a news anchor led into the next story.

“We must warn you, the footage you are about to see may be disturbing.” The news anchor was visibly shaken as the words left his lips. Lars suppressed a laugh, covering his mouth in fake horror. His coworkers leaned in to the picture, mouths agape at the security footage being aired. Lars ventured a look at the screen, impressed at the fruits of his labor. A monkey stood triumphantly on the corpse of a fallen giraffe, pride oozing from his face as he raised a shotgun over his head. Lars nodded to himself thinking, This monkey is an icon of the revolution, his monkey brethren will sing songs of the night he broke their bonds and slayed the long-neck. They will cheer his name for generations. MC, Emcee...Monkey Commander.

The news anchor returned to the screen, “Authorities and Zoo officials are as yet unsure as to how the apes escaped their enclosure, and where they acquired the firearms, but foul play is suspected. Preliminary registration checks of the firearms used have yielded no useful information. In total twelve animals and two zoo workers were killed, several more were injured.”

“Break-time’s over, let’s get back to work.” Lars’ said. His employees groaned as they filtered through the door. He enjoyed his new position as department manager. Being promoted from the inside made his associates more likely to listen to him, if not a little bitter about having to do as he said. Still, Lars was sure to be a fair and just ruler. It was all part of his persona. If the police came to his place of employment and asked his coworkers which of their fellow employees would be the most likely to: break into a zoo, release the primates and give them guns he would probably be one of the last names considered for any of the charges, let alone all of them.

The workday dragged on, and Lars struggled to keep focused on the dull work of selling computers. More than one of his customers tried to talk with him about the massacre at the zoo. Some had a sense of humor about it. Most however, were utterly appalled. Still he felt no remorse for his actions, just a slight anxiety at the idea that he might be caught.

“Are you alright?” James, one of his regular customers inquired, “You seem distracted.”

Lars sighed heavily, “I’m just still shocked at what happened at the zoo today,” It wasn’t a lie, he was just shocked for reasons that differed from most reasonable people. “How does a monkey end up killing a giraffe. I mean, I get that he had a gun, but how did he know how to use it and why did he decide to kill a giraffe?”

“Don’t let it upset you too much. The animals that were killed weren’t exceptionally rare. Besides, with the cameras we’re adding this week I don’t think we’ll have any more break ins. The monkey with the shotgun killed the alpha male of the giraffes however. It’s pretty depressing because according to the zookeepers he was prime breeding stock.”

As he scanned the items through the register, Lars saw an opportunity to make things right. He felt bad that his actions had lead to the death of a great leader, “When are these cameras going up? I’d like to help if possible.”

“We’re planning on getting started with the install tomorrow. Don’t you do this sort of thing?”

“I just install the cable, but if you’d like I’d be willing to do it free. I can run everything tonight after work and you’ll just need to mount the cameras tomorrow.” Lars hoped this worked. Having
“Be at the main gate at eight tonight, I’ll let you in. You’re not afraid of being in the zoo alone at night are you?”

“Not at all.”

“Good, I’ll see you then.”

Lars had planned on the monkey revolt being a one-time deal. He hadn’t considered that the apes would be expert marksmen, and he had definitely not planned on them taking down a giraffe. As impressed as he was at their tenacity, he was wracked with guilt at being an accomplice to the murder of the giraffe leader, and knew full well that he could not let such a crime go unpunished. This was his mess, and he would help his giraffe brothers in their quest for revenge. The primates would pay for their carelessness.

War was coming to Monkey Island.


James was waiting at the gate when Lars arrived.

“I really appreciate you doing this,” He said, “there’s nothing I hate more than pulling cable, especially when it’s outdoors.”

“I don’t know, I find it relaxing.” Lars smiled as he spoke, “So where are these cameras being put up and where do the cables run back to?”

“Follow me, I’ll walk you through the setup.” James led Lars through the weaving paths of the zoo. The new cameras were being placed in a way that would have made the previous nights activities near impossible. Monkey Island would no longer have the blind spot that had allowed Lars to extend the drawbridge and sneak in the firearms that led to this tragedy. His blood boiled as he caught site of the Monkey Commander. The two locked eyes and the monkey produced a toothy grin.
You won’t be smiling much longer. Lars thought as he clenched his fists, returning the monkey’s smile with a scowl, The Giraffes will have their revenge. I gave you this power, and now I must take it away.

They reached the security building. James opened the door for Lars and introduced him to the security guard inside.

“I’m sure you’re familiar with the equipment, we’ve got more than enough cable, so go ahead and get to it.”

“You’re sure you don’t want to give me a hand?” Lars asked James, grabbing a box of cable.

“No way, I’ve got a long day tomorrow and need my beauty sleep.” James began to walk back towards the zoo entrance. “Try not to work too hard.” He turned the corner and

Lars turned to Lisa, “I’m going to get to it then, I’ll let you know if I need anything.”

After about an hour of working, Lars figured security was still as lax as the night before. He hadn’t seen a single patrol come through. Lars blocked the camera with a coil of cable and made his way into the monkey enclosure. Too easy He thought.

His first kill came easy and didn’t make a noise let alone resist. The next went down just as quickly but not as quiet. Letting out a howl before succumbing to asphyxiation. The tables had turned on Lars, he had lost the element of stealth, and now every ape in the enclosure was out for blood.

A pair of adolescent males leapt at Lars from a tree trunk, missing and tumbling into the moat below, he heard panicked screeching as they struggled for purchase on the smooth walls of the island. A smaller male tried to corner Lars but was caught mid-air and slammed into the ground.

Lars was impressed with himself, surrounded by angry animals nearly twice his strength and he had yet to take a hit. Not bad for a retail clerk, he smiled at the thought. One by one he felled his enemies, until all that was left was their alpha-male, The Monkey Commander. Lars imagined this was how Dr. Oppenheimer felt when he saw The Bomb go off. The two circled one another, Lars’ opponent bared his teeth, issuing a challenge that could not be ignored. The monkey closed the space between, the man stood his ground.

“Look what you’ve become Emcee,” Lars spoke but expected no reply, “You’ve become a murderer, a poacher, and a monster.” The words hung heavy in the air, sorrowful and sincere. “It’s not your fault, I made you this way...and now I need to unmake you.”

Emcee chuckled, and was immediately chastised by Lars.

“You arrogant bastard, you think this is a game? That wasn’t just any Giraffe you killed, that was their leader, that was their future. I should have known the power of firearms was too much responsibility for you.” Lars tripped on a broken branch and hit the ground hard. With a shriek Emcee lept on top of him, a large rock held proudly in the air.

Lars knew the end was coming, time slowed as the rock came bearing down on his face. Left to his thoughts Lars couldn’t help but think that maybe he was crazy for trying to arm zoo animals. His last thought was perhaps the most lucid he’d had in his entire life. What if I’m just crazy?

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

I apologize in advance for what is likely utter garbage. I tried to produce something coherent but feel I failed miserably. I fell short on motivation/logic/just about everything. I think I might have done better if I'd written in first person, but I've never been confident in my ability to do so. I know this was awful, and I'm relying on you all to tell me how much so.

That Time I Induced Stockholm Syndrome in an Owl and Leveraged It Against My SHITBAG Neighbor
This is what I was kind of going for, but feel like I missed the mark. I like the sinister vibe of the narrator. He's rightfully pissed but resorts to cruel and unusual means because he's loving crazy. I love it.
"The thing was tame in no time. Nothing motivates like starvation and strong attachment."

I'd argue that this is the weakest line of the story, the 'starvation' and 'strong attachement' clash in my head. I get what you're trying to say but it just reads weird in my brain voice.

"The important part was preparing it to execute OPERATION RUIN JERRY. And for that, I needed it to wear clothes."

This made me laugh, because it reinforced the idea that while he is a psychopath that knows way too much about avian psychology, he's still just a bitter man with a grudge.

"The fez fell off at this point, but I really had to admire the thing for keeping it on so long."
As a reader I would have liked to be reminded that the bird was wearing a fez.

Everything about that ending made me smile.

I'll do more reader crits later on, but I'm about to leave work and still have tickets to close.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica


Need to prove to myself that I am better than the garbage I turned out.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Tyrannosaurus posted:

:siren: Week 147 Judgement :siren:
newtestleper, dmboogie, God Over Djinn, Djeser, SkaAndScreenplays, guts and bolts, Auraboks, JcDent. You all are failures. You could not muster up a single word for an internet writing contest that you yourself signed up for and you should be ashamed. gently caress you forever. Goddamn and amen.
I signed up this week?

poo poo I didn't even remember the prompt.

Oh well...In this week and gently caress it :toxx: and flash rule while we're at it.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Sitting Here posted:

This isn't loving FIFA
To be fair FIFA maybe isn't the best example of an organization fond of rules.

Still, it's Thunderdome, and not that big of a deal. Every now and again you've got to break the rules. Look what happened to Blaster.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

I've been in and out of the hospital this week, I know I failed last week and :toxx:'d this week, but can I submit late for a DQ instead? I've got everything outlined and maybe 300 words handwritten but I won't be able to get in front of a computer again until 10:00CST Tonight.
I'd have it in by 6:00AM CST Monday Morning.


Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

No Toxx this time unless it's mandated by Mods.

Anyone else who flubbed quit bitching...especially if you got out of a toxx. Pay your :10bux: and learn your lesson.

SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 08:40 on Jun 10, 2015

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

I realized I was writing madmax fanfic and I hope I can get this new one done before docbeard wakes up.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Iron Pony
Word Count 1500

The whine of the gears told Ria she was almost moving fast enough, the headlights shining in her mirror disagreed. With a deep breath she popped the clutch and cranked the throttle, a wave of relief washed over her as the roar of exhaust echoed through the parking structure. Like a shot she was off and racing for the exit.

Ria’s helmet rang as she dragged her knee through a corner. She tapped the side of her helmet to answer as the exit came into view. “No lectures Marv, just directions. I’m hitting the street fast, blind and with a tail.”

“Hard right kid.” Marv was always calm, “You’ve got about 5 seconds to do it without getting smeared across the pavement..”

Ria’s visor adjusted to compensate for the streetlamps as her back tire struggled for grip through a turn taken far too quick. She rolled hard on the throttle hard and found traction. Marv chimed in again.

“I’m blind until you get into the city so I you need to feed me some info.” Ria could hear his fingers tapping away at a keyboard as he paused, “What’s your speed and how’s traffic?”

Ria did a rough conversion, the speedometer was in imperial - one of the many features which betrayed the age of her mount. “A buck-sixty I think? Not sure though. Traffic is pretty thick I’m going to need you to open things up a bit if you want me to lose this tail.” There was another series of keystrokes as she threaded the needle between two hulking transit drones. She smiled at the scene ahead of her. Hundreds of cars both occupant operated and automated parted before her as though she were leading her people to the promised land. The analogy wasn’t far off.

“Okay, now how many are on you and how close?”

Ria wished he hadn’t asked.

“poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo,” Ria fought to get the words out. Dread coursed cold through her veins like a terrifying drug as she spotted a trio of sleek black and yellow interceptors giving chase. Her eyes snapped back to the road ahead, she couldn’t look death in the eye. “Three, Incident Response Task Force,” She choked back tears, “I’m not going to make it back. Help me lose them long enough to make a drop, we can’t afford to lose this or everything we’ve worked for is dead like me”

“Don’t be morbid kid.” Marv’s resolve did nothing to stay Ria’s nerves, “Too many people are depending on you.” Ria became infinitely more aware of the relic tucked in her jacket. Thousands of interviews, nearly a year’s worth raw video, millions of words in the form of leaked documents. The story of the century was stored on a fifty year old data drive. A dead format was the only thing keeping hope of a better tomorrow alive.

“Now, before you get to the tunnel how much of a lead do you have?”

It took all of her conviction to look again, Ria flicked a switch on the side of her helmet and a range-finder illuminated itself in her visor “Two hundred meters, they seem to be falling back.” Ria couldn’t believe the rumors were true. IRTF Interceptors, vehicles renowned for their speed and maneuverability were effectively useless off-grid. Their fearsome reputation brought on by a suite of signal jammers, cyber-intrusion hardware, and more control over traffic protocols than most military vehicles… all made possible at the expense of a proper battery. “Our source was good, they can’t keep up outside of the city.”

“That just means you have to open up your lead. Once they clear that tunnel we’ve got nothing on them.” He laughed as he tapped away at his keyboard. “That should do it. Throttle up and rubber side down Ria, you don’t have long before the emergency power kicks in.” Marv had enough access to the Pittsburgh Traffic Authority control center to clear them a path, an edge that meant nothing if the interceptors got too close.

“We’re going to radio silence when you’re in the city, trust me can do this.” For the first time ever, Ria found doubt in her editor’s words” The last thing she heard on the call was the tap of a few keys. The amber light of the Fort Pitt Tunnel went black.

Ria and became the only person the world, the machine which propelled her forward was her only friend as they cut through the darkness with the ease of her bike’s namesake. The roar of the engine echoed off the walls, a great cacophony that reverberated in her chest and swelled to match their terrifying speed. In the distance the faint light of the city grew brighter as she twisted the throttle to full open. The words of Hunter S. Thompson came to Ria as her front wheel left the ground, words that for the first time in her life held meaning.

Faster, Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.

The maw of Mount Washington spat Ria out onto the Fort Pitt Bridge. Despite having called Pittsburgh home for both of her decades, she never grew tired of the way the Golden Triangle looked at night. She blazed onward, too exhilarated to care that Marv and his computers no longer restricted the cars ahead -- Too resolved in her mission to be notice the interceptors emerging from the tunnel behind.

She darted and weaved through the throng, taking for granted the agility and freedom the traffic around her had sacrificed in the name of safety. Ria smiled when she realized that somewhere back in the tunnel, she and the bike had ceased to be separate entities. Woman and machine were now one.

She cut a sweeping arc as she merged onto the westbound freeway. Not far now, she thought, riding the lane markers so delicately they could have been a high-wire. The joy of pushing the envelope abandoned her as a truck slammed its brakes. Reflexes, sharp with the effects of adrenaline barely saved her. Reality hit all at once...Traffic protocols prohibited braking on the freeway. Marv wasn’t able to help her anymore...and she’d lost a lot of speed.

She kicked into high gear and checked her mirrors. The fear which had been left behind in the tunnel had finally caught up, all three Interceptors were dangerously close, the blue glow of the co-driver’s console was faintly visible through the tinted glass of the windscreen. Don’t panic, she thought back to a retired IRTF whistleblower she had interviewed, the story that got her fired from corporate journalism, Their strongest tool is fear, and after that comes control. They’re not going to run you down with an interceptor when they can force an unsuspecting family hatchback to do it for them. She saw a gap in the cars ahead of her, a tight fit, but she could make it. Okay Ria, eyes on the road, not the enemy. She was back on the throttle.

Through downtown she rode, swerving and braking, dodging and evading. Despite their best efforts Ria would not be brought down by an innocent bystander. No you bastards, the words in her head came out stern, If you want to stop me you’re going to have to do it yourselves.

The last exit came up quick and Ria almost missed it, cutting off a delivery-truck which moments ago had nearly run her off the road. The turn was tight and Ria downshifted to cut speed. The engine backfired in protest as a radiator hose burst in protest.

Ria cried out as her leg was scalded by coolant that had reached its limits. She didn’t have much time before the engine overheated. The exit ramp opened to another bridge, straight and flat and devoid of traffic. In her mirror she saw the interceptors gaining on her...ahead several vehicles she knew from the newspaper. She did the math in her head. No chance, she hoped she’d be good enough bait for the IRTF. Solemnly the young journalist tapped another button on her helmet.

“Send Message To Marv: Couldn’t make it... The drive is with the bike, I won’t be.” The helmet parroted the message in a tone that was ironically cheerful before sending it off. Ria continued “Default helmet to factory settings: Confirmed.” IRTF wouldn’t be getting any names from her call logs.

She reached into her jacket and tucked the storage drive into the storage pouch that was lashed to the fuel tank. She was positive the bike would reach her friends, fairly certain the drive would survive imminent crash thereafter. She stood up for a moment before freeing the steel pony which had carried her so far. Images from a leaked IRTF interrogation flashed through her mind as the ground rushed towards her in what felt like slow motion…

She hoped the impact would kill her.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

SadisTech posted:

gently caress.

skwidmonster posted:

loving gently caress.

EDIT: Google Doc for anyone kind enough to crit.

SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 12:56 on Jun 15, 2015

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Broenheim posted:

Hey I gave you some crits on the docs.

Also, it would be pretty cool if you would crit other people's work before you asked for crits yourself. that's usually how these things go.

I'll have them up later tonight. I wanted to try and keep them all to a single post but passed out when I got home from work.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica


Also First Batch Of Crits
Screaming Idiot
Hank Armstrong: Metalsaur Slayer
"...the entire horse, Armstrong! The entire goddamn horse! You're off the force! Gimme your badge and gun!"
This sentence doesn't sit well with me. I think it's the combination of rhyme and repetition. The opening as as whole
feels weak and doesn't inspire me to keep reading.
Your antagonists aren't very believable but don't make up for it in any meaningful way. Trying to imagine a guy
that can be described as having jowls, an Irish brogue, speaking in poorly written "ebonics" makes my brain hurt.
The casual badass thing doesn't get enough of an introduction. How did Hank go from a cop who desecrates horses to a
monster slayer? I usually don't require too much exposition to understand motivations but this just feels forced. There's
a lot of description here that doesn't fit what I'm reading. The way certain things are described just sits weird in my
mind's ear.
far-off beast let loose another ear-busting jet engine roar.
It's far off, so the 'jet engine' part is fine but as a human being I understand how sound and distance work together.
And find the 'ear busting' part breaks what little immersion I have at this point.
"The time for beer is over," he said to nobody in particular. "The time for vengeance is now."
What vengeance? We've only just met this creature...what is he avenging? How has he been slighted by this creature?
The POV shifts are wholly unnecessary. I count about 5 changes in perspective in 1500 words none of which advance the plot
I get what you were going for but I feel like you killed yourself by making it too absurd. There's a difference between
"Campy Netflix B-Movie" and "poo poo Redbox Buys"

Stealth Archer
I like the opening dialogue even though it doesn't give me a whole lot of information. The paragraph afterwards though
is meandering. I get what you're saying about 'nepotism' and 'potential' but the phrasing is weird and puts me of track.
Same with the 'I, to this day...' The structure is loose. 'To this day...' might have been a better choice.
When we get to the action the dialogue just flops though. Scripts Are A Great Way To Learn Good Dialogue Techniques

"Not actually doing it old man, simply showing the capability. Regardless, I'm sensing some hostility to this idea. Security, remove the general if you would."
After this line things fall flat. Your protagonist is trying to avert a nuclear holocaust from what I'm gathering, yet he's
describing it as though it was a particularily eventful trip to starbucks.[/i]
The dialogue between your hero/antagonist is the weakest part when it should be the strongest. Also your antagonist agrees
to nuke the planet because they just gave him promotions?
It's not riddled with terrible mistakes but it's bland. It could have been pretty good if it weren't for the issues with dialogue
and voice. The idea of a nepotism hire getting pushed up through the ranks because he's malleable is a cool angle but it
didn't come strong out of the gate and ran out of steam due to a lack of believable motivations.

Rap Three Times
Baptism of Blood
The intro doesn't fit well.
Is Tara the city? A misspelling of "Terra" or something else? I'm not sure yet and it bothers me.
The violence comes out of nowhere, the prose is pretty solid but I've got no context for the violence. "I came in peace"
but I'm not cool with waiting so I'm just going to murder you all? There's a difference between a short fuse and psychopathy.
Naming the sword is fine, but it's repeated far too often.
All in all the words are pretty strong, but the characters themselves are weak.
Same beef with the intrusive narrator at the end as the beginning.
Personally I don't think it fits the prompt very well.

Two Short Fights And Some Filler
I instantly like this, in the first 3 paragraphs I'm locked into the character. Your protagonist is established right away
and I know that he's been abandoned by an ex-something (girlfriend/wife/employee). Everything about your word choice tells
me something else.
"We could never afford hirelings" - They struggled financially
"Must have scored on that last job Than I thought." <-So much info from such few words.
"Scallops," I say through clenched teeth, offering her the tray. "Madam?"

Nailed it

Indeed You Did Sir. So much fun.

The ending is vague in a good way. All in all I liked it, though the scene on the iceberg is a little too implausible.

That's all I've got steam for tonight, 2nd batch coming tomorrow morning. Going to try and touch on all of them.

If Critiquing In Google Docs Is Your Thing There's the link. Thanks everyone for doing better than my poo poo-story for Villain week.

EDIT: It might be better to crit in thread though because my google doc reverted to an older version I think. The in thread one is properly formatted with italicization and such where it should be.

SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 10:21 on Jun 16, 2015

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Schneider Heim posted:

Doing two line crits for summer blockbuster week. Any takers?

I'd like one if you're up to it.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

HopperUK posted:

Iron Pony
Okay I want to love this because it's a kickass cyberpunk motorcycle chase. It also has a downbeat ending which I actually like because it feels like it fits. I like your protagonist too. It's just not quite enough. A bit more texture, perhaps, or a bit more detail as to what the exact stakes are, some more depth to the world. Still, not bad at all, was never in danger of a DM or anything.

Thanks Hopper - Appreciate the feedback.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

:siren: New Batch Of Crits :siren:
Early Days Of A Wetter Nation
This is all exposition and history, I don't get a BLOCKBUSTER feel from it.
There's no real conflict, no discovery, it just feels flat and out of place in regards
to the prompt.

Enchanted Hat
This could have been really interesting and engaging but there are too many issues with voice.
It seems like a fun concept, cop fights ghost pirates. It's just not presented with an engaging voice
things are happening but they don't seem to have any consequences. It isn't awful, but it doesn't stand
out either. The dialogue could have definitely benefited from some exposition. There's a large chunk where
I'm left to imagine that they're just standing there talking to each-other. There's no intimidation or dickwaving
going on that would indicate action.

Double Oh Heaven
Prose is technically good. It's refreshing to see a submission that isn't all dialogue. The opening paragraph could have
been better with more of a buildup to the self destruct. It seems like all of this is run of the mill, but he doesn't react
much at all when the disarming of the self-destruct doesn't go as planned. The concept is entertaining if not a bit cliche.
The ending is kind of all over the place. On the whole the biggest issue for me is passive voice killing the narrative.

Born 2 Serve: Lob Harder
I like your character from the start, and I've got a lot of information from his actions and the narrative. I like the way
you handled the perspective changes, it doesn't feel forced and it fits in with the action. The dialogue, even with the crude
language that's being used isn't forced, and the jokes are subtle (mostly) and well written. There's a few technical/formatting
errors but nothing that really broke my immersion, and a few instances where the word-choice could be stronger or more accurate.
"Jet Stream" being the biggest offender. All in all though it was a fun read.

I'm having trouble critiquing this one because it's just so different. It was fun and engaging, and I swear to you I pressed the
Inception button every time. It's good, and it could have been great...but I'm not sure how to improve it myself. I think
maybe the absurdity simultaneously made it a stand out, while preventing it from being the winner.

It Was A Hot Day In June
Your first sentence is jarring to read. It's hard to follow, and also you used [i]moist[/u]. Personally I couldn't find a
gently caress to spare but it's one of those words that turns people off. As a gun-nerd it bothers me that one of your characters
adjusts his tripod to line up a shot because I know that ballistics are handled by sights/scopes.
Your POV jumps from past to present tense: Frequently. This is bad, and you shouldn't do it. I can't think of an instance
in anything I've ever read where this was intentionally done...let alone done effectively.
I don't feel like your characters had any real motivation, and the ending made zero sense to me.

Cache Cab
The Termolenator
This is Michael Bay camera work in prose form. By the time I'm processing a line I'm getting hit with three more. I'm not
bogged down by exposition but there are times where I want more than, 'A mole attacked me' not awful, but too absurd for
me to enjoy.
Not sorry for grievous misuse of :siren:Siren:siren:

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

I'm out this week. Getting sent out of town for work and won't be near a computer.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

5150 Fountainhead Crossing
Libertyville, IL 60048
Care of: Sitting Here


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

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

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

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



Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

A Classy Ghost posted:

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck I'm in

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck :toxx:

edit - also:

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

If the squirrels are having that much fun eating them - you're pretty sure they'll do the trick for your customers.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Sitting Here posted:

Thank you SkaAndScreenplays for stepping up to judge BTW

No problem, just let me know on IRC when it's time to start the discussion. Might need a walk-through on how judgemode works on writocracy too, but I'll let you know when it gets to that.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:


Your best trait used to be that I wasn't aware you existed. Now you have gone and hosed that up as well.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

hubris.height posted:

these are good insults so far, and i am insulted and shamed at my inability to write a mean thing.

keep going, these are the best stories so far.

Your inability to properly capitalize is its own insult. Not only to those of us who suffer through it but also to the television which raised you and the closed captions which taught you words.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

A neonate enters the tavern. He's covered IN all manner of bodily fluids and looks like he has a story to tell.

He looks over at the sultry tavern wench, expecting her to FLASH him.

SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 07:45 on Jul 7, 2015

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

St. Maria - JimCunningham
In addition to technical failings like tense changes you didn’t really manage to tell a story. Your opening was weak and it didn’t really get much better from there. this whole story was just words to me. The dialogue and interactions suffered from you telling us what every character was thinking and the voice was almost exclusively passive. This one was all over the place.

Neddy and Roger Hunt A Giant Spider - NewTestLeper
This was a hell of a story with a wonderful opening. The way you described human body parts as cuts of meat gave the narrative a cohesive voice, and the description of the meat-locker was clean and to the point. This was an early pick for Honorable Mention and it managed to stay near the top even with 28 more stories following after it. USDA GRADE - V: Voidtastic.

A Cat Sized Void In My Heart - Broenheim
This was okay, it didn’t fit the prompt all that well in that your department was barely mentioned. Being an ATF employee I was hoping for something a little more splinter-cell for your cat rescue. It was an interesting choice to write your POV character as not liking his department and I think this could have been a lot better if you hadn’t just opted to have him state it. Again, not bad, but not by any means a stand-out.

The (One Note) Ballad of Bean Hill - RedTonic
This one was well written but unfortunately felt like it came to its resolution a little too easily and threw out some otherwise interesting tools. Your character was setting up blackmail and addiction to her Golden Bean cold brew as a means of forcing her coworkers to unionize, and just sort of gets her manager to sign off on it. Had a lot of potential but missed some opportunities that could have really elevated it above the others.

Leaves By Night & Flowers By Day - HopperUK
This was a cute and fun slice of life that made me smile. Arguably the best written of the stories my only major gripe was a hurried ending. Your dialogue was strong and your prose was stronger. This was a VERY close contender for winner.

next - Lazy Beggar
Another entry that could have been decent had the protagonist been motivated in any meaningful way. She’s miserable before work - miserable at work - miserable all the time but does nothing to change that. There were also some weird decisions made with word choice and some glaring typos and spelling errors. This one just sort of plodded along and never really gave me anything to get excited about or feel sorry for. While you got a dishonorable mention there was a pretty big gap between your entry and those other two.

These Diode Starts - Entenzahn
This one was on the whole pretty good. It has the distinction of doing a better job of fleshing out Benny as a character than his POV story did. I don’t really have much to say positively or negatively about it. On the whole it was a nice little bit of optimism and I enjoyed the ending.

Forever Voidmart - Enchanted Hat
This one was not good. It relied on broad stereotypes and mad swears. The action and violence came out of nowhere and there was no explanation for it. Your coworker was a caricature of the already over the top image most people have of conservative gun culture. IIRC this one barely escaped DM in the eyes of multiple judges.

Brian The Bean and The Ball Pit - Thranguy
As Voidmart Gestapo I’m so glad I was able to find the plot summary to your heist on IMDB. This was probably the biggest missed opportunity of the bunch. You had a ton of interesting plot elements but they were just things that happened and didn’t really move me. The ending was too convenient.

oop north, in the devil’s den - Surreptitious Muffin
This was another one that I liked quite a bit. The action was strong but the dialogue fell short. The cursing was a bit over the top and cheapened the story for me. I still liked it but it it could have been a lot better if it wasn’t so rough around the edges.

Babies are Cute Because They Want You To Think That - Mercedes
Another fun one with a strong opening. Took a turn for the weird quick but in a way that wasn’t god awful or offensive. I laughed pretty much the entire way through. It was a blast and well written on the whole. Upper middle of the pack. Not good enough to contend for winner but all in all really enjoyable.

Deals on Wheels - Bompacho
This was my pick for loser by a pretty wide margin. It was just a long drawn-out fat joke that didn’t even manage to be funny. Congratulations, you managed to write Paulina Blart Pastry Thief. Just god awful in every sense.

The View From The Top - Curlingiron
This was another entry that just sort of existed... It wasn’t awful to read, but it did have some glaring technical errors...This is me...judging you. Quit with the ellipses.

The Black Line - Megazver
Really liked this one for the inherent creeps that it gave me. On the whole the atmosphere won out over the characters, which were decently written but flat compared to the other HMs.

American Sleep - Ravenkult.
One of the entries that could have been a real show-stopper if it had managed to get to the action a little quicker. While it was slow out of the gate the CEO’s friend was super creepy and it really set the tone for the story. Honestly I would have liked more of this to take place in the dressing room, it would have been a great opportunity to elaborate more on the nature of Voidmart’s CEO.

Arthur - Spectres of Autism
I had to go back to this one because I didn’t really remember it. It isn’t bad but it’s forgettable. I liked some of the exposition, and you found some interesting ways to describe things but on the whole there wasn’t anything that really grabbed me.

Human Resources - Docbeard
I still don’t really get this one, and I’ve read through it a couple of times making sure I haven’t missed anything important. Your character is interesting but your conflict was needlessly convoluted. The action as written wasn’t bad though.

Caroline - Unburied
I wish I would have known a little bit more about your character. His ‘Penance’ feels more like a MacGuffin, and I’m not sure why he’s acting the way he is. The things he’s doing throughout the story are just things decent people would do yet he treats it like its his punishment. It’s a bit too broken up for me to really get behind.
Projections - Pham_Nuwen
This was almost a contender for Honorable Mention with me. It was bizarre but not in a way that offended my sensibilities. There was some really cool high-concept stuff that worked well but the narrative was a little flat at points. All in all pretty good.

In Repose - Benny Profane
The exposition about plumbing fixtures was remarkable. The story was light and cheerful and I’m glad you got an HM out of it. Over the top stereotyping was kept to a minimum and you expressed the quirks of Voidmart in a wonderful and poetic way.

The THWUMP - Crabrock.
For all its weirdness I really liked reading this one. It was a fun problem solving scenario. The TWUMP tubes were interesting, and put to good use as a means of plumbing repair. The THWUMP as a living entity didn’t work very well for me. On the whole really well written.

epitaph - The Saddest Rhino
A great look into the mind of a creature that has been assimilated by the corporate machine. This is, in my opinion, the strongest narrative in terms of voice. It was cold and mechanical - and took huge risks regarding the prompt. My only real complaint was that it was hard to follow. Another almost for Honorable Mention.

Shifters - Ironic Twist
I wasn’t alone in thinking ‘I just don’t get it.’ Another one that wasn’t bad or good, and if anyone is up to it I’d nominate this one for a line crit. It was another monotone entry that didn’t really have anything that made it stand out from the rest. It existed. I’d line-crit myself but I don’t feel as though I have the credentials for it yet.

Take Charge Marketing - Killer of Lawyers
This wasn’t bad, and has the distinction of being the only story that followed a supernatural employee. I really enjoyed the panic of your electronics employee but I wish I had a little more insight into her as a plant and how that affects her as a person.

Discontinued Voidmart Training Document - dmboogie
This was a pretty big risk and it was handled competently. I honestly don’t know where I place this one because it was so different from everything else. On the whole not bad though.

Cracked - kurona_bright
This was one of the few that fell into the ‘patently bad’ category for me. It didn’t really have anything going for it. The dialogue and characters were unbelievable and as a whole the story was lacking. Voice was weak and it just didn’t really go anywhere for me.

The Crow Aisle - sebmojo
I didn’t like this one as much as the other judges but I still liked it. It was fun and and some great moment. “Birds are the Enemies of Profit” comes to mind. It was entertaining and well written.

Zero Days Since Our Last Accident - Grizzled Patriarch
Charming but forgettable. Doesn’t really have any staying power to hold up its sincerity. I didn’t feel motivated to finish it and had to come back to it for a reread. It was solid but didn’t stand out.

Barista Blues - Bad Seafood
Pacing, Timing, and Humor were all on point. This was my favorite from start to finish. Everything about it helped carry the plot forward and the action was tight and polished. A definite frontrunner in every aspect.

Honey - A Classy Ghost
Despite hamstringing yourself with three tough flash rules you came out of this week smelling like dick grass. You managed to keep me entertained and capture the spirit of Voidmart. With a little more polishing I think this could have come really close to honorable mention. It was fun, fit the prompt well, and made good use of the flash rules.

Good week guys. You made my first stint as ThunderJudge an easy one and a hard one at the same time.

SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 10:14 on Jul 7, 2015

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Total Party Kill
FLASH RULE: Your Druid's nudity helps it communicate with nature, but the rest of your party isn't so convinced.

“Look, I’m not sure how you think I’m okay with this. We’re in hostile territory, it’s freezing, we have no idea how we got here,” Greg shivered as the wind picked up again, “So why, good friends, do you think I would choose to be naked?”

“I’m just saying you haven’t exactly jumped at the opportunity to take the clothes we offered.” Summer’s words were cheerful, they didn’t do anything to make Greg feel warmer.

“I told you it doesn’t work for me.” Greg sighed, “In order to keep my link with,” he paused, “I’m struggling to find an appropriate swear for this frozen wasteland. Point is I can’t be clothed, at least not if we want to find someplace to sleep tonight.”

“That’s what you say, I think you’re just showing off.” Thor’s voice was painted with a thin coat of bravado, an obvious attempt to hide the jealousy beneath. Greg was too cold to notice or care.

“Showing off? What would I be showing off? My ability to complain about the cold, or how about my new-found ability to just ignore frostbite because my lips are chapped and cracking and feel so much worse than any of my extremities are capable of. If not then maybe-”

Summer cut him off mid sentence, “I think he was more or less referring to your giant,” she paused and her face twisted in agony as she searched for a polite way to put her next sentence.

“You can say it, my-giant-magical-compass-dong.” Greg looked down at his penis, frozen solid and pointed ever to the North, “It’s not a blessing by the way Thor, It’s a curse, a frozen, wind-chapped, shriveled curse. Be glad you’re in furs.”

“Someone’s a droopy druid.”

“No, I’m just cold, and cranky, and you.”

“What did I do?” Summer was indignant.

“This is your fault.”

“Please, elaborate how I’m responsible for your poor decisions when character creation.”

“Normally when you bring ‘enhancements’ to game night they’re things like pot-brownies, or mood music, or incense and candles.”

“So you’re upset I like to add immersion to the campaigns I run?” Because that seems reasonable.” Greg could hear he was getting under his friend’s skin, but after the past three days spent freezing they deserved it.

“No, I’m upset that the enhancement you brought this time sucked us into another dimension and is forcing us to play through one of the most difficult Pathfinder campaigns ever put together.”

“Well I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was going to do that.” The words came with a stiff upper lip. Summer was at her breaking point, and Greg was too blind to see it.

“Guys, please stop arguing.” Thor’s voice was drowned out by the argument of his friends.

“How could you not? You BOUGHT IT AT VOIDMART.”

“Well I’m sorry okay, I didn’t think that something labeled ‘Voidmart™ Gaming Immersion Pyre’ was capable of soul theft, and I’m sorry I didn’t read the instructions on how to get out of it. Mostly though, I’m sorry that I invited such a whiny power gamer into my campaign.”

“Guys…” Again Thor went ignored.

The words hurt Greg, he knew they were true.

“Scratch that, mostly I’m just sorry that you can’t appreciate how AWESOME this situation is. We’re basically in freaking Skyrim and you’re finding something to complain about.”

“Please stop fighting…” No one heard the fear from Thor’s voice.

“Okay, you know what, it’s awesome, I’ll admit that. That doesn’t mean I can’t moan about my Dragonborn shriveling up and freezing off. So I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude.”

“Thank you, I’m sorry I got us stuck in the Frozen Wastes when you were playing a character that can’t wear clothes.”

“I’m glad we got that out of the way.”

“Me too. Hug? It might warm you up a bit.”


“I don’t think you’ll need a hug to warm up. The fight will probably do that for you.” Thor said, as the dragon landed on the road ahead of them.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

:goshawk: :goshawk: :goshawk:INTERPROMPT: CHOOSE A THING THAT MAKES YOU ANGRY AND TELL THUNDERDOME WHY IT MAKES YOU ANGRY. :goshawk: :goshawk: :goshawk:

I really hate the way the word "Kind" sounds in any of its uses. It's just a sad, flaccid adjective.

EDIT: And I've always considered it kind of 'racist' when used as a noun.


SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 07:07 on Jul 13, 2015

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica


SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 05:25 on Jul 14, 2015

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Broenheim posted:

Hey nerds, you all kind of sucked this week, but here's my basic notes. I'll have more comments coming up where I get more in depth but for now, here's what I thought of your stories initially.

Additionally I flash ruled myself and have no cursing in my crits! Trust me though, I would've if I could.
Thanks Bro - I appreciate it. No excuses just improvement.

docbeard posted:

In unrelated news, crits for the last of the (non-DQ) entries for Week #149 are here. Featuring critiques for SlipUp, Lazy Beggar, SkaAndScreenplays, Entenzahn, and newtestleper.

The folks who submitted late will still get critiques. You will just get them late. (As opposed to the timeliness of these crits, you understand.)

Also, because apparently I can't get enough of this, I'll offer up three line-crits for this week's stories, first come, first served. If you get a crit from me, give a crit to someone else. (This someone else need not be me, but I certainly wouldn't complain!)
And Thanks Docbeard. Wish all my stories were at least this quality. I'll get there eventually.

EDIT: I'm out this week but I'm planning on doing some crits based on titles that I either like or are awful.

If you want to dibs a crit let me know. I don't have a specific number in mind.

SkaAndScreenplays fucked around with this message at 05:39 on Jul 15, 2015

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

epoch. posted:

So far I haven't gotten any crits from anyone aside from about four sentences in IRC from BadSeafood. At this point I'll literally blow someone for some feedback on my story.

No favors required. I'll try and knock something out for you Friday night

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Broenheim posted:

Total Party Kill

I hated this story so much. I read this and was just annoyed the entire way through. The dialogue felt boring and unnecessary, and nothing happens in your story really. People just talk and talk and talk and talk and it’s the most mundane uninteresting conversation. Nobody is interesting nor has any personality to speak of. Of course, there’s dick jokes, but those aren’t funny and will probably never be funny. But more specifically, dude, in-jokes are rarely ever funny in stories, I’m sorry. Throwing in Voidmart for no reason is just really stupid. It adds no enjoyment for the average reader and gets a groan out of me because you don’t realize why Voidmart was funny and interesting. A lot of people don’t seem to understand jokes in this world, and the reason jokes are funny and interesting are because they’re novel. If you keep doing the same joke or world, the novelty wears out and the interest dies. This has the danger of retroactively causing something cool like Voidmart to become an annoying in-joke that, in time, everyone will groan at when it gets brought up. I want Voidmart to be one of those things that when we bring up, we say “yeah, that was a really cool week!” rather than “God, what a terrible in-joke that is.” So please, avoid in-jokes. They don’t add anything to stories, so don’t force them in.

Agree on every level. Sorry about you all having to read that.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

Tyrannosaurus posted:

:siren: THUNDERDOME CLVI: LET'S GET hosed UP ON LOVE :siren:
So I've been really digging this band called Family and Friends lately and in this one song specifically the singer repeats over and over "let's get hosed up on love" and I think that, as a sentiment, it's just loving cool as poo poo. So I wanna read some stories like that-- stories where people feel deep, wonderful, powerful, passionate emotions-- and I want you to write them.
A song inspired prompt in which I dig on the song?

60 Hour Hell Weeks Be Damned

Count Me In.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

I'm failing this week, again. Sorry for being a continual disappointment. :negative:

I really need to quit my job.

Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica


Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica

IN If only to fail and make the new people not feel bad.


Dec 11, 2013

by Pragmatica


Detroit, Michigan

:siren: flash rule - your story must be NeonPunk. I don't think that's a thing, but plz make it one.
Should you need inspiration I suggest Moonbeam City on comedy central.

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