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  • Locked thread
Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


A bear? A BEAR? She has the GALL to call me a bear?! I seethed with hurt and rage, staring into her fearful eyes.

There had been no lies in this marriage, except the ones we told ourselves. But now I had two beautiful daughters, with their bright golden hair... golden hair that showed no trace of my dark brown fur.

I wanted to claw her face open, to maul her. Instead, I reached out with a gentle paw and brushed the wispy golden strands that covered her chin. I was a coward, more afraid of her than she was of me.

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Judgment









will happen eventually

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Judgment is happening now in this post ok

This was, overall, a pretty decent week to read. Stories breathed a lot more when you guys weren't worried about a wordcount. Of course, you also risked losing the judges' attention. There were a lot of different interpretations of magical realism, some bordering on straight up fantasy. I didn't hold this against anyone too much while judging, but it was nice when stories managed to blend emotion, magic, and realism into one piece. The whole gimmick this week was, you could write as much as you wanted, and I could stop whenever I wanted. As it happens, there were only a couple stories I stopped reading/skimmed. Now, if only you guys could be this interesting EVERY week.

Before I get my bottom rung out of the way, I want to apologize to my co-judges 'cause I'm going to do something that will make them mad. Anxiety by Killer-of-Lawyers is technically up for a DM, but I am fiating the hell out of that because I connected with it even though my co-judges didn't. So no DM for you. Keep writing things with feeling and ambition. Just use less words to get there.

Another person lucky to barely scrape by without a DM is Flerp. The editing in this story was atrocious. I KNOW you can do better than this. Your concept was compelling enough that I couldn't really whole-heartedly support a DM, but thank your lucky stars and holy poo poo EDITTTTTT. We all agreed not to DM this one, but with the caveat that we were going to give very firm, mean crits. So prepare your butt.

Your Loser this week was Skwidmonster's The Family Business.. This read like an afterthought of a story. You'd think, at the end of a week with no word limit, we'd be relieved at a story with so few words. But it was frustrating. You have two talking heads in the first half, and a lot of hard-to-follow mystical poo poo in the second half. Did you have a more complete story in mind? I don't know. Maybe you ran out of time, but even the other two vignettes this week felt self-contained. This read like a snippet taken out of a longer piece, but not in a way that really compels me to want more.

Your DMs are:

DurianGray, because we really didn't like the dragon PI setup, and the "investigation" was basically a conversation that solved everything. There were cool details, like the star girlfriend, but hearing about them second hand wasn't very fun. There was too much LOOK, I'M A DRAGON even though the guy's dragon-ness didn't really play into the story much. I would've rather, you know, actually met the star girlfriend. You could've done something really cool with your idea, and that is why you are getting the brown stamp of disappointment. I mean, I'm full of ideas about other things you could've done with your setting/characters, which is why I was so bummed out when the story ended up being kind of limp and chatty.

Carl-Killer-Miller, because this was all action and no soul. My eyes kind of glazed over when more and more fighters kept pouring into the fray. I mean, looking back, each character was kind of creative, but since the reader isn't really a fan of this sport and knows nothing about these fictional fighters, it just read like a bunch of things happening, with some commentator dialog for worldbuilding/exposition. I like stories that are dynamic and continue to escalate, but because I couldn't connect with any one character, my eyes started to skim. I found myself searching for something aside from action, but by the end, someone won the fight and someone lost. That's all. With such a huge word count, you could've added other scenes to give the characters depth. The fight could've been a backdrop to some "human" drama between monsters, but it never felt that way. The good news is, we know you can write lots of action. Next time, add the human element, too.

And now I'm pleased to announce your HMs:

Jitzu! Your story of magical appliance apocalypse was both endearing and disturbing. It was in close contention for the win. I enjoyed figuring out just what the hell was up with the world as I read.

Spectres! Your prismatic and dreamy story of an ant's "ascension" into the jaws of a dragonfly both intrigued and confused the judges. But we liked it. The final imagery was very, very cool, and the whole concept was so original it couldn't help but stick out this week.

Tyrannosaurs! You told a sturdy, well-crafted adventure. Your characters were memorable and the writing was smooth and easy to read. It felt like a purposeful, intentionally executed short story, which was good! But we couldn't quite consider it for the win because there were stories that surprised us a little more.

Which brings me to our winner. I almost don't want to say it. I was hot on your trail, Kaishai, and now you've pushed the goalposts back even further. I got a feeling that's hard to articulate while reading your story. There was a satisfying 'aha' moment when I realized what the dragons were. You never broke character to look at the reader and wink and say "sure is some magical stuff happening, huh??" Your character was not an especially GOOD person, but she was one I could understand and relate to.

I cede the throne to you.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





No more entries from me til I post a redemption story for both this week and at least one other week that I've failed.

Also I feel like doing some crits this week. Three for the asking, doesn't have to be this week though I'd prefer something recent. Just link me to the story you want critted.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Yes please doc! I may be polishing this up to enter in a competition due 30 April.
http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?...Standing+Water.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


docbeard posted:

No more entries from me til I post a redemption story for both this week and at least one other week that I've failed.

Also I feel like doing some crits this week. Three for the asking, doesn't have to be this week though I'd prefer something recent. Just link me to the story you want critted.

Would you mind taking a look at this one?

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Thunderdome Week CXCIV: Only Mr. God Knows Why



Judges: Kaishai, anime was right, and docbeard.

Time is like thunder (ah-ah!), and its rumbles announce the approach of this year's Eurovision Song Contest. So take out your glittering jumpsuits, Thunderdome! Gel your hair to high heaven, and hope again that the wind machine and a dubstep drop will bring you to victory. Eurovision Week III is here!

Choose a video from the 2016 roster, linked above. Write a story that relates to that video and/or song in a way the judges can detect without a magnifying glass. You need to announce your choice when you sign up, because only one person can claim a performance. At this point you may be wondering whether the judges will pick a song for you if you ask, and of course the answer is yes, but there are caveats: you are likely to get something insane or inane, and you will have 200 fewer words with which to work if you go this route. But what fun would Eurovision be if no one did anything crazy?

No fanfiction, no nonfiction, no erotica, no poetry, no GoogleDocs, and no bribing the judges. Azerbaijan, this means you.

Sign-up deadline: Friday, April 22, 11:59pm USA CENTRAL
Submission deadline: Sunday, April 24, 11:59pm USA CENTRAL
Maximum word count: 1,200 if you choose your song, 1,000 if you ask to have it chosen for you.

Participating Countries:

flerp (France 2014)
newtestleper (Turkey 2012)
DurianGray (Austria): "Looking for Paradise"
Toxxupation (Finland): "Realism"
sparksbloom (Macedonia)
Djeser (Moldova 2011)
Daphnaie (Australia): "Silence"
Thranguy (San Marino): "The Final Logs of Doctor Omega"
FouRPlaY (Spain)
Carl Killer Miller (Poland 2006; Flash rule: Don't praise the day before sunset): "The Dance, the Dress, their Dream, and the Sun"
SurreptitiousMuffin (Ireland 2011): "Brood"
Ironic Twist (Cyprus): "Peculiar"
CANNIBAL GIRLS (Azerbaijan 2008): "It's Not the Dark that Kills You"
Tyrannosaurus (Russia): "Medusa or the Lotus Eaters"
Quidnose (Czech Republic 2009): "Atlanta, 1959"
Sitting Here (Ireland 2008): "YOU MADE ME DO THIS"

Kaishai fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2016 around 05:04

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


i dont need words give me a song

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


IN and PICK ONE for me please.

I'd prefer insane to inane, but either is fine.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I'll take the Austrian entry, LoIN d'ici.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


I'm in and I'll take the Finland song "Sing It Away".

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge5iM...vxT92WkJ1ItgjhJ

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In with Macedonia's "Dona."

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



in, give me a song from stupid song contest for dummies

Daphnaie
Sep 5, 2013



Haha, after last week I promised myself I'd woman up and definitely enter my first Thunderdome this week, so this'll be interesting.

In with Australia, if only out of patriotic pride: http://www.sbs.com.au/programs/euro...silence-dami-im

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

In with San Marino, I Didn't Know

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

flerp posted:

i dont need words give me a song

France 2014: Twin Twin - "Moustache"

newtestleper posted:

IN and PICK ONE for me please.

I'd prefer insane to inane, but either is fine.

Turkey 2012: Can Bonomo - "Love Me Back"

Djeser posted:

in, give me a song from stupid song contest for dummies

Moldova 2011: Zdob si Zdub - "So Lucky"

FouRPlaY
May 5, 2010


In with Spain's Say Yay!

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





newtestleper posted:

Yes please doc! I may be polishing this up to enter in a competition due 30 April.
http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?...Standing+Water.

Mechanically, this is tight. I think the “it’s” at the start of your fourth paragraph should probably be “it”, and there are a few places here and there that want commas, but this is otherwise one of those rare pieces where every word choice successfully contributes to the tone you’re establishing.

It’s obviously not a traditional narrative, and there are no characters to speak of, but as a collection of imagery, this works for me. Each of “your” visions is well-described, though I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the last one. I wish there were more of a through-line though; aside from the loose theme of parents and children and views from pools of liquid, I’m not seeing much of a thematic connection, and if there’s not a connection, I’m not sure what the point is.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003



Thanks!

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007


In w/ flash rule please

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Carl Killer Miller posted:

In w/ flash rule please

Your song is Poland 2006: Ich Troje - "Follow My Heart."

Your flash rule: Nie chwal dnia przed zachodem słońca. (Don't praise the day before sunset.)

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Hey, this week isn't insane for me. Hit me with your rhythm stick.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Hey, this week isn't insane for me. Hit me with your rhythm stick.

How about I hit you with Ireland 2011: Jedward - "Lipstick" instead?

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER



In with Alter Ego.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly


In with Sweden 1974

Or whatever you want to give me, idk.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

CANNIBAL GIRLS posted:

In with Sweden 1974

Or whatever you want to give me, idk.

Azerbaijan 2008: Elnur & Samir - "Day After Day" isn't ABBA, but it has its charms.

Armack
Jan 27, 2006

Corde pulsum tangite


docbeard posted:

Also I feel like doing some crits this week. Three for the asking, doesn't have to be this week though I'd prefer something recent. Just link me to the story you want critted.

If you wouldn't mind, I'd like your thoughts and general comments on my piece from last week. I'm thinking about doing some revision and then expanding it.

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=4684

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





sparksbloom posted:

Would you mind taking a look at this one?

The first piece is simple, sharp, and engaging. It’s always completely clear what’s happening and why. I’d like a little more nuance to Miriam; though her actions feel real enough given the circumstances, I’d like more of a sense of what’s going on inside her. Is her matter-of-fact confrontation of Tom a facade? Is she angry? Scared? Miserable? I could believe all of those but I’d like to see it. I’d also like (after having read the rest of this) to have seen the dual nature of the panalala be acknowledged here somehow, as I think that’s your hook across the other two stories, though I’ll admit I’m not sure how you manage that without making Tom more of a villain than he appears.

The sharp transition of style in the second piece threw me, and while it unambiguously signals that we’re somewhere new, I’m not sure it otherwise works to your benefit. I love the ending, I love the way you relate exactly what Alekai’s mother did, but the setup of the dual nature of the panalala fruit is a little too much infodump, a little too “as you know, Professor”. Again, I think giving us a more personal look at the situation, perhaps through Alekai’s eyes, would make this a much stronger work. As it is, I feel like I’m reading a plot summary for the first half.

The third piece is more personal in exactly this way, and stronger for it. It also does a good job of building off the revelations in the earlier pieces, though I’m not entirely satisfied by the linkages here (more on this in a second). Jared’s only vaguely sketched out, but I think we know everything we need to, and Miyako’s perceptions of him and everything else are really the important thing here, and you sell those well.

So. Three pretty solid tiny stories with a common thread. How do they tie together? Well, as I hinted, I think the links are pretty weak. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; each of these stories stands well on its own, and if you had to err in a direction, that’s the one to go in. But I’m not sure what I’m meant to take away from these three stories, presented together as they are (except “don’t eat panalala if you aren’t a gambling sort”). And that’s not a big deal; each of these stories has a good amount of merit. It just left me dissatisfied.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

Well, TD is fun, and v helpful, but I think it's time for me to move on for the time being. 100 stories is a lot.

won't enter TD again until I get a paying acceptance from a lit mag.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Twenty-four hours remain to enlist for the Eurovision stage. If you're spoiled for choice, Russia, Greece, and Belarus all have memorable qualities on offer.

You could also take your chances with the luck of the draw, because I have not begun to run out of classic weird.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

In with Russia.

Quidthulhu
Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!


Ok.

Ok, ok, ok, ok, ok.

I have lost and I have been absent and I haven't even read the prompt but you know what? I am loving writing something this weekend.

e: I guess I need to read the prompt, pick something for me and give me less loving words, do it, gently caress you, what do I care?

Sign me up, and loving ban me if I don't goddamn write anything

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Quidnose posted:

e: I guess I need to read the prompt, pick something for me and give me less loving words, do it, gently caress you, what do I care?

Sign me up, and loving ban me if I don't goddamn write anything

Czech Republic 2009: Gipsy.cz - "Aven Romale"

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

yeah ok fine, in and give me the eurovisionest song u got

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Sitting Here posted:

yeah ok fine, in and give me the eurovisionest song u got

I know just the thing.

Ireland 2008: Dustin the Turkey - "Irelande Douze Pointe"

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER




pahahahaha

Kaishai posted:

I know just the thing.

Ireland 2008: Dustin the Turkey - "Irelande Douze Pointe"


ahahAHAHAHAHA OMG GOOD LUCK

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Two hours left!

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Sign-ups for Week CXCIV are CLOSED!

Contestants, you have no obligation whatsoever to pay attention to the lyrics of your songs, but in case you'd like to--and in hope of discouraging failure and heartbreak--I've collected links to what English translations exist.

flerp: Twin Twin - "Moustache"
newtestleper: Can Bonomo - "Love Me Back"
DurianGray: ZOË - "Loin d'ici"
Toxxupation: Sandhja - "Sing It Away"
sparksbloom: Kaliopi - "Dona"
Djeser: Zdob și Zdub - "So Lucky"
Daphnaie: Dami Im - "Sound Of Silence"
Thranguy: Serhat - "I Didn't Know"
FouRPlaY: Barei - "Say Yay!"
Carl Killer Miller: Ich Troje - "Follow My Heart"
SurreptitiousMuffin: Jedward - "Lipstick"
Ironic Twist: Minus One - "Alter Ego"
CANNIBAL GIRLS: Elnur & Samir - "Day After Day"
Tyrannosaurus: Sergey Lazarev - "You Are The Only One"
Quidnose: Gipsy.cz - "Aven Romale"
Sitting Here: Dustin the Turkey - "Irelande Douze Pointe"

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

read this post if you need help procrastinating on your story this week

Yep, it's more recaps. This week, Djeser hosts! As usual, we take a look and the DMs, WTFs, and loser of week 184: The Great White Elephant Prompt Exchange. Featuring a dramatic reading of Skwidmonster's Come Back, in which we ponder why Toonces the cat is such a motherfucker.

The recap!

Archive link for week 184!


BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE

We actually recorded a second episode in the time it took my lazy rear end to remember to post this poo poo. Myself, Kaishai, and Twist listen to the music of the night (volume 2) and discuss why pop music horror in flash fiction is hard. In addition to discussing week 185, we open up the archive vaults and go back to week 98, where writers were challenged to spin 80s dance hits into monster mashes. Featuring a choice reading of Let's Dance by Drunk Nerds.

The Recap!

Archive link for week 185!!

Archive link for week 98!!!


BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE (recaps)

Thank you as always recappers, listeners, and writers.

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Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

YOU MADE ME DO THIS
997 words

Cillian draped himself over the mound of dirty laundry piled on the couch, limp as a soiled shirt. It was five days until the national “Stars of Creative Motion” Youtube event, and he didn’t have so much as a twirl or a somersault choreographed.

Maria watched Cillian from the loveseat. She was an aspiring artist, and usually only felt good when Cillian felt worse than her. He was a mildly successful dancer within the Creative Motion scene, and had a modest following on the internet. Maria had a stack of half-painted canvases in her bedroom and three thousand dollars in debts to the local Art Institute, which she dropped out of.

“I’m scum,” Cillian said, head tilted back, eyes closed. “The world filled my mind with content, and I’m trying to sell that content back like I own it. I’m the most pointless creature to ever walk the Earth.”

“More pointless than mosquitos?” said Maria.

“Mosquitos feed birds and bats,” Cillian said.

“You feed the local economy! That coleslaw bar you like would probably go out of business if not for you constantly tweeting about it.”

Cillian rolled over, burrowed deeper into the oily, fleshy smells of the laundry pile. “Oh, God, I’m really a joke, aren’t I? I’m that artist. The one who’s more persona than content.” His voice was muffled by a bouquet of mismatched socks.

“Well? So what? It’s not illegal to just be a, you know, an amateur. It’s not even illegal to be a stupid pointless animal eating and screwing its way across the Earth.” Or a wannabe with two hundred dollars’ worth of unused art supplies in your closet.

Cillian made a long, miserable ugh sound.

“Okay. You know what? No. You do this every time, and it’s stupid.” Maria shoved herself out of the loveseat and went to the filthy couch to loom over Cillian. “Get up,” she said.

Cillian rolled over and opened his eyes, blinking up at her. “I’m kind of having a thing right now,” he said. “I don’t really need your ‘tough love’, or whatever this is.”

“We’re going to the petting zoo,” Maria said, folding her arms across her chest. “Either you come with, or you’re gonna have to start paying for the weed you mooch off me. I’m not joking even a little bit.”





After a lot of mumbling and grumbling, Maria got Cillian bundled up in his black peacoat and flat cap and out the door. They arrived at the Seward Memorial Petting Zoo twenty-five minutes before close, when most of the families were leaving.

“See?” Maria said to Cillian while he petted a sheep. “Aren’t you having a nice time petting this sheep? Like, just by existing, its mere sheepness is bringing you joy.”

“I feel like you’re trying to make an encouraging point right now? But it’s mainly coming across like you’re comparing me to a sheep.” Cillian stopped petting the sheep, sighed, and looked around. His eyes fell on the turkey enclosure a short distance away. “Oh my god, look, I think that turkey wants to gently caress that other turkey.”

They rushed over to the slumping chicken wire fence that enclosed the big birds. Sure enough, a big, puffed-up male paced around a small, grey and white female turkey. The male’s wings were partially extended and his tail was fully fanned out. He shuffled back and forth behind the female, his voluminous plumage swaying with his every step.

Maria giggled, then glanced at Cillian. His eyes were wide and watery. He was completely fixated on the bird.

The male turkey raised and lowered his tail plumage, almost rhythmically.

“Dude, look,” Maria said. “He’s--”

“Don’t say it.”

“What?”

“That the turkey is twerking.”

“Actually, I was going to say: he’s TURK-ing.”

Cillian made a disgusted sound and stomped back toward the car.





Maria didn’t see him for days afterward. Books on turkey behavior appeared on top of their shared toilet reading pile in the bathroom. Bits of fabric and errant fake feathers dusted the hallway. Cillian remained locked in his room, and only the periodic smell of hot glue gave Maria any assurance that he was still alive.

The date of the Creative Motion Youtube event came and went, and still, Maria never saw Cillian. She checked the event’s video channel, feeling a mix of trepidation and schadenfreude. She skimmed thumbnails and previews, holding her breath, but Cillian wasn’t there. She checked the event roster, but his name had been removed from the program.

She went down the hall to Cillian’s closed bedroom door and knocked. “You okay in there?” she called.

“Leave me alone,” he called back.

At least he’s not dead, Maria thought. Having completed her welfare check, she went back to her laptop to do a little more digging.

She typed “Cillian Mclaughlin Creative Motion Disqualified” into the search bar, and gasped.

Cillian’s performance was everywhere except the event’s official page.

The video began with Cillian walking slowly on stage to the tune of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. He was wrapped in a feather robe, grey and black and white and brown, like a turkey.

“Oh,” Maria moaned softly. “Please, no.”

As the song built up to its full momentum, Cillian tore away his feather robe to reveal his mostly naked body. There were hundreds of fake feathers glued directly to his skin, and his penis wobbled merrily as he strutted and shuffled his way across the stage. He’d even painted it red, like a waddle.

“I deserve to exist,” he shouted over the song and the objections of the judges. “I deserve to be appreciated for what I am.” He thrusted. His waddle swung pendulously as feathers fell to the floor.

I am not illegal,” he screamed as event staff rushed the stage. “I am not illegal!”

After the clip ended, Maria sat with her face buried in her hands for a long time. Then she got up, went to her room, and began to paint.

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