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dmboogie
Oct 4, 2013



In.

Also, a question: would the cab of a moving vehicle count as a single room?

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The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

dmboogie posted:

In.

Also, a question: would the cab of a moving vehicle count as a single room?

Yes, but the focus should be what's going on inside the vehicle, and not about describing a Bullitt-style car chase.

e: On The Road or Fear and Loathing stuff or Duel even, but the novelization of Fury Road would probably not fit the challenge

The Cut of Your Jib fucked around with this message at 20:55 on Jul 19, 2016

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Week 206 Crits

Part 1: Here's what you screwed up
On average, the stories this week were good. Or at least, they mostly didn't make me mad. But there was one problem that kept coming up again and again when a story ended up on my list of "I liked it, but I had problems with it". That problem is in your pacing. I'm putting the next line in bold because it's important to take this in. Absorb it. Say it to yourself before you start writing your story and before you start editing it.

Start your story when stuff gets interesting.

Things I want to read about include your character's conflict and what they do to overcome it. Things I do not want to read about include: people talking about what the plot of the story will be, people getting their assignment to go do something interesting, people sitting on the train as they're traveling toward something interesting, and anything else that wastes my time. For instance, if you got the tagline "This was supposed to be a simple job!" you would start where the job goes wrong, unless there's somewhere more interesting to start. Don't worry about having to get everything set up like you're framing a movie shot. This is flash fiction, not a novel, not even a short story.

To help you plan your pacing, I'm going to partake in the literary tradition of stealing from a better writer.

Erogenous Beef posted:

Sit-Down Time With Unca Beef: A Word about Plots

If I ding you this week for having “no plot” or “nothing happens,” then I suggest you try this. A few weeks back, I presented one form of basic story outline. See here for that one, plus some other general writing advice.

This time, I strongly advise you try using a simplified story spine. This is a device thought up by a playwright back in the early ‘90s, and the ideas date back much further than that. Fill out the following outline as a starting point for your story.

quote:

Once upon a time, … (1)
And every day, … (2)
But, one day, … (3)
And, because of that, … (4)
Until, finally, … (5)
And, ever since then, … (6)


This is a semi-abridged version of the original version. Write down a few of these; don’t get trapped inside one idea.

For a thousand-word Thunderdome story, try to pack (1) and (2) into the first paragraph or the first 100 words, and have (3) occur, ideally, at or before the 100-150 word mark, certainly no later than 300.

Spend most of your time dealing with (4). This is the meat and body of your story. About 300 words from the ending, build up towards (5) and then pull the trigger on (5) in the final 200 words. You could omit (6) if the implications from (5) are clear, but otherwise keep it down to a few lines, a paragraph at most.

This will give you a very basic, but structured, starting point for your story. It contains all the basic elements: setup, inciting action, reaction, climax and denouement. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll write gold, but hopefully you can at least fish out the smellier turds before you gleefully present them to the judges like cats hauling in dead birds.

For more on this specific structural technique, read the article.

With that said, let's talk about your stories.

Guiness13
This was a pretty average start to the week's reading. Blocking was decent, action was decent. Had trouble following all the different names and who he was referring to on the radio. Lacking in the character department. Why does he betray his boss at the end? Just because he can? I don't have a sense of any character arc so I can't see what this says about the guy. Middle.

Poltergrift
This was originally high middle, but got revised down to middle as the rest of the week proved to be quite strong. The setting is far and away the best part. The inventiveness and the casual attitude toward living guns and flesh buildings gives it all a strong sense of unease. But because you loved your setting so much, you spent too much time on it and not enough on character or things happening. I don't have clear motivations. The calculator brain-in-a-box is barely a character. The first half is mostly talking, and then you had an action scene so sedate you used the word "idly" and it didn't seem out of place. That said, if this is the sort of thought you're bringing to the game, I'm looking forward to seeing your writing again in Thunderdome.

dmboogie
The breezy tone makes this enjoyable to read, but at points the tone is in conflict with what's going on, like the fight against the not-tiger. Also, you resolved the "main" conflict off-screen in a single line. The way the main character reacts at the end seems off for someone who's been the beleaguered straight man this whole time. Definitely problems with pacing. You could have focused on just the attack and then a postscript of this becoming his full-time job and been able to focus in more on character and action. As it, it jumps around way too much. Middle.

Greatbacon
The emotional context here is good but the story ends before that's even resolved. She just runs off screen to take care of it. When you had time to put in detail, I enjoyed it, and I would have liked more time to spend on that. You really tried to tell too much story here; I would have started this when they arrive at the base, or even when they reach the broken walkway and have to jump across the boulder. It's fine to make a story that focuses entirely on overcoming a physical obstacle, but this sets up too much for that achievement to resolve what I care about. Middle.

Chili
I get the feeling you tried to get an Archer vibe with this, but there's a couple places where you miss the mark with that. For one, Archer has snappy dialogue, and the exchanges here are pretty lame. Not even in a comedically lame way like someone struggling to be snappy, they're just flaccid and harp on the idea that he wants to gently caress his handler. Second, yes, Archer is an rear end in a top hat, but he gets beat up, made fun of, knocked around, et cetera. It's fine that he's an rear end in a top hat because things don't go well for him when he is, and he's not a complete rear end in a top hat either. I can't say the same for the main character here--I never get the feeling that he actually cares about anyone, nor does anything really bad happen to him other than him vomiting.

And, okay, the central conflict is his attempt to simulate action, as opposed to actually finding the gem. That's a bad idea, because it's less interesting, but okay. Except that there's no real resolution to his attempt other than "he fails and his handler chews him out" and the ending just doesn't make sense. Did he steal it? Did he have it safe there all along? Did someone steal it and put it in his bag? It's much too pat a resolution and reads like you had no idea how to finish it. If there was any foreshadowing of it beforehand, I missed it entirely. The ending turns out to be a twist ending, which is my least favorite sort of ending.

I might have liked this if the comedy was better, but it wasn't funny enough, and you took a risk by getting weird with the prompt and doing "someone simulates action" instead of actual action. Combined with the unlikeable protagonist, I just did not like this story. Low.

Screaming Idiot
Though you didn't do this as bad as other people, you still wasted too much time explaining the situation. The action was decent but could have used the space you devoted to explaining that a Nazi was a Nazi. See, that's the handy thing about Nazis. I can guess what a Nazi's deal is. You were the only one to go Nazi this round, which is strange, because I figured more people would have gone with the Danger 5 angle. Speaking of, Reichmann's comical yelling doesn't fit the tone so much--the rest of it is a bit more realistic, and then you've got someone screaming that yes, he's got a tank. Did they claim he didn't have a tank before? It might have fit if you camped this story up more but as is it's a point of cheesiness in an otherwise straight-laced action story. High middle.

Pippin
Annabelle seems a bit too cartoonishly oblivious in the beginning, but that doesn't last long and she seriouses up soon enough. Your ratio of action to character is good and I liked the dynamic between them, but it would have benefitted from being more up front about what's happening. Being in an adventure competition is a cool idea, as is a rich woman and her gardener boating down the Amazon, but the former is only revealed a third to half of the way through, and the latter is revealed only near the end. High middle.

Thranguy
The setting as a secondary antagonist works really well here. I also liked the fact that you avoided the cliche of being forced to work together with your rival and coming to understand them better. Good shifting between multiple setpieces and good tension in the action. I had a bit of trouble following Crispos and who he was/what happened, but that was the only real difficulty I had. The ending could have been fleshed out a little more--it basically stops with her surviving, but it would have been nice to see her reflect on what happened and maybe develop some character growth there. Congrats on writing a steampunk story that I liked! High.

Ceighk
I like the two characters here, even though Sergei is pretty unremarkable compared to the brawny cyborg hacker girl. I appreciate the way you established the stakes, by talking about the risks in jumping between satellites in the beginning and then having that be the tricky thing they have to do in the end. The ending came so quickly that, even though I know they did escape, it doesn't actually feel like they did. Even just saying that they saw the alien doing its thing as they were crawling back inside the airlock would have given me a sense that they'd gotten away. I think the alien could use a little more concrete description--when you're describing something abstract, you have to almost counter-intuitively be very specific. Pick an animal analogue, or describe its shape, or whatever it takes. I basically imagined some kind of jellyfish squid. This has a bit of First Chapter Syndrome, where it feels like a prelude to something more, but the tone is quite good and you've got a complete plot arc, so I can't be too upset about that.

FouRPlaY
This story starts off by explaining its premise very hard, and it made me start questioning it. Why is Hikaru so interested in hooking up his sister with his friend? Moreover, why is this told from Hikaru's perspective when Kiyoshi would be the more interesting point of view character? The details are very scant for something that's placed very specifically geographically; a ghost appears that's wearing clothes "from history class". That tells me nothing. It's not my job to fill in details that you didn't include. Mostly I was disappointed in this, because when I gave you Mount Fuji, I was hoping for some giant monster battles, or at the very least samurai facing off against oni or something, but instead I got an anime about highschoolers running from a g-g-g-g-g-ghost. Low middle.

Surreptitious Muffin
Light and airy fun that doesn't overstay its welcome but doesn't have much punch beyond just being a fun pastiche. Still better than a lot of stuff this week, even if it's about as rich as the Monty Python skit where they're all named Bruce. The ending is two dei ex machina in a row, but strewth, they pegged it, thoroughly. High middle.

Carl Killer Miller
There's less action in this but I still like it, it's more of a horror/thriller vibe. This is like the one story this week where seeing the assignment actually made sense, because it built up that feeling of wrongness that grows the longer the story goes on. I got a good feeling of the characters here having history between each other, but I couldn't tell you much about them as people beyond one being a doctor and the other being a captain. This reminds me of some classic high-concept sci-fi stuff, and I thought it was generally quite good. High middle.

Jonked
There's a good tone here and a good emotional arc. It reminded me of Apollo 13 and the more hard sci-fi movies like Gravity and Moon. The inevitability and self-reflection lend it a satisfying emotional weight. I would have preferred a better explanation of what the plan to bring him in was, though--I forget the name of it, but I'm not sure what that 'V-delta' was aside from some sort of...fuel or energy or something? You could have had her roughly describe the idea behind the plan ('you said you had v-delta left over, right? well that gives us one means of propulsion...) and then kept the tension of the penultimate scene where it's all about executing it with perfect timing. High middle.

starr
This story didn't have many surprises, but the action and tension was well-executed. Two thoughts if you want to revise this and make it stronger: First, draw out his betrothed's character more. If we know more about how she was in life, it makes her spirit's bloodthirstiness more impactful, and it gives you a way for him to try to reach through to her, if you want to have one of those 'are you still in there' sort of moments. Second, I liked the aspect of the incongruously human eyes, and you could have leaned into that even more, gotten descriptive about what it looks like when human eyes are in a tiger's face, and the visceral reaction someone might have to that. High.

areyoucontagious
The action is decent once it starts happening but the plot is bad. The irony is absolutely cartoonish and loses any audience sympathy with the character once it becomes clear that these aren't the people he's looking for. He's an agent, presumably he's smart, so why am I picking up on this easier than he is? The ending doesn't conclude anything, it's just a realization he has and then it comes to a screeching halt at the point where things got interesting. You could write an interesting story about an agent trying to cover up the fact that he botched an assassination. You could write an interesting story where an agent questions whether he's got the right marks or not. You did not write either of these. Low.

The Cut of Your Jib
This doesn't waste time getting to the point, which I love. In the same paragraph where he starts looking around and wondering where he is, he comes to the conclusion that he's in a museum. There, done. The pacing here is pretty much perfect. The character interactions work really well and give a good sense of companionship. There's never too much detail, but everything seems crisp and visceral, even in the action scenes. Afterward I was wondering how the ship still worked after all that time, but in addition to being willing to give you narrative convenience, I realized you had dropped a line in about how the nuclear power stuff ran forever, so guess you had that covered. This was fun, action-filled, well-written, and emotionally resonant. You deserve your win. High.

Tyrannosaurus
The writing is, of course, good. You've got a good ear for tone, and that makes the strange social situation a lot of fun to read about. But man, the ending. It's a god drat twist ending. It's a god drat all a dream twist ending. And it's a huge tonal shift away from funny weird camp shenanigans to somber reality that feels sudden and jarring. The ending killed it and I was considering DMing it because of how bad the twist is, but spectres liked it, so that saved you. Seriously, this would have been HM/win material without that god drat ending. Low middle.

Maigius
This story is full of issues. There's technical errors like typos and missing words and incorrect words. There's sentences that just feel awkward coming out of people's mouths. You didn't include any dialogue attribution, which means I was struggling to even follow who was who or how they were speaking to each other or even where they were. It was just disembodied dialogue floating alongside your story. The tone is very stiff. I can see the story you were getting at, but the emotional arc you've got is very barebones and the characters are very sparsely detailed. This story feels like you were fighting the English language every step of the way. Low.

Fuschia tude
This had no need to go three hundred words over the word count, because even with 100 less words, I wouldn't understand what the point was. The action was okay, but the beginning was irrelevant. There were a few interesting bits, like the cave fronds, but the rest of it didn't make sense. Why is there an underground society of pygmies? Why is there a priest with a macuahuitl? The writing on a surface level is fine but the plot feels like inexplicable dream logic. Low middle.

LITERALLY MY FETISH
The tone was engaging here and the story hit roughly the beats I expected it to, but it was still enjoyable enough to read through. I liked the ending in particular, because it seems to setup that he'll get away but instead ends with his self-sacrifice to save his family. I found it odd that at the beginning, Samir knows him well enough to profile his habits but still doesn't know anything about him as a person at the end--that could be solved by making it clear that he only knows him through his thievery and they haven't been able to identify him. While fun, this could have used more flavor or something extra to set it apart from your standard 'thief stealing to help struggling family' plot. Middle.

sebmojo
Effortless is the best way I can describe this. It's so full of energy I can tell you had fun writing it and coming up with these ideas, and yet it still works as a story. Muffin's was light and fluffy, but this is a surprisingly meaty bit of fun. Blame Sitting Here for stealing the win from you; if it wasn't for her counsel you would have won.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Djeser posted:

Week 206 Crits

:agreed: Thank you for your critique.

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011



week 206 microcrits

here are some microcrits. i was spaced when i read most of these so yr stories were judged by my deep seated id.

Guinnes13 - ransom

Rite so the problem here is that these guys cruise into the terrorist hq and they let them keep their guns. That makes no sense and the whole plot ramps up when they start shooting ppl. Didnt feel deserved so i was like eh on this.

Poltergrift - Flesh Sellars

Yeah so i liked this cuz of the ideas. I liked the living guns and the talking dog torso head and all that stuff but like its not like the ending resolved things. Id start w her and brainhead mid-chase and end w an actual resolution. so yeah mid but at least images stayed w me.

dmboogie - I belong in a Museum, Dammit!

Yeah so like whats w the sequencing on this. In media res of the guy flopping like a clown, then cut to a long intro sequence, then the climax comes early and ig the opening happened chronologically somewhere in between all this stuff. and then hopefully he makes it w this badass mercenary chick. I like when love flowers but theres nothing sexy about entrepreneurship.

Greatbacon - Tranquility Peaks

Yeah so i spent this whole story thinking the ai had gone rogue and taken over. Thats not relevant tho. The climax is ppl bouncing on a moonrock. Heres a tip: when you have a mission into a base it should be the base thats the danger. There should be aliens or robots and they sort of go in and snag the ai whose chilling by the door. Ig thats where she should be. I sure hope she saves the person she loved because that person held her hand. When someone holds yr hand you lock them down.

Goons who post stories in thunder dome shouldnt write chars who are marines.

Chili - The Big Show

Man like. Im not even sure how this made sense to you. So the diamond was in his satchel. So did he steal it??? Wtf. the plot of this story is talking and then he fakes it. Unlikeable protag, unlikeable side chars, i hope whatever will happen to them if they dont find the diamond happens (prolly nothing.)

Screaming Idiot - sayonarra, reichmann!

Ok so apparently nazis are easy to escape from. Im gonna quote this para:

quote:

Liberating the jeep had been stupidly simple. The guards were all dozing in an alcoholic stupor -- Reichmann was indeed generous -- and the few workers going about their tasks paid them no mind, exhaustion etched on their haggard features.
4/20 keep yr guards wasted every day.

Also sounds like joe just sort of wandered onto the base and started killing ppl. Thats some good subterfuge.

Its like they keep guards rly drunk but they care so much about escaped prisoners they send a tank after them. The evil nazi dies tho so resolution.

Pippin - Around The World, and Greatly Dazed

Idk so this is funny but it’s all some sort of game show. Unless an actual person is actually being held prisoner by actual evil mystic temple forces.

Dynamic between assistant and boss who is less useful than her is interesting but eh. This story didnt really grab me at the beginning and not esp good prose during the action scenes. “Alarming” is not a good word dont use it.

At the end shes like back to my rhohendrons bitch

Thranguy - Showdown on the scorching sands

So i dont rly care about either of the two factions here? Thats on me tho. So theyre held together by the swords and they make this death defying leap over a chasm. Picture that in your head and tell me how that makes sense. Unless they had a unimind theyd jump at different times and flop in the air and die hard.

They talk about politics for a bit and im sorry if its me but idc

BUT

That sort of thing usually ends in them realizing theyre not so different. But actually in the end theyre super diff and end up stabbing each other. Ig its a subversion? Ig one of these ppl won.

This hmed and i have like no real complaints but my eyes glazed over the politics like the maple donuts that fuel my canadian body

Ceighk - Satellite scabbers

Hey so this wasnt bad but i was too out of it to follow whatever the twist at the end was. Yeah i should have supported an hm maybe here. uh big suze was almost flagged for fanfic but in the end you escaped because that wouldve been dumb. She is a character in a show tho.

Oh yeah weird poo poo with the second/third most dangerous thing stuff. Should have juked it. Equipment failure can be a technicality or the third most i mean whose gonna kno.

Is a satellite a vehicle? Its more kind of just someth that floats

FouRPlaY - Go For The Heart

Hey, ghosts. And a story w a resolution. Shouldnt this have been on Mt. Fuji tho? Eh who cares.

Not good enough for me to push for an hm but tbh i was so neutral on 90 percent of these stories

Surreptitious Muffin - Space is our Destiny

SPACE IS OUR DESTINY

Carl Killer Miller - At the Velocity of the Sun

So this was some sort of zombie mutant story. Its a mission to a far off planet that goes wrong and everything goes sideways. Interesting mechanics and better than a lot of stuff this week but eh i think weve all read this basic plot structure a million times

Jonked - Red Sun at Morning

Aka the opening w a undocking sequence story. This was a good story about survival… in space! But imagine how much better would be if it didnt open w an undocking sequence!!!

I liked this story but it was not flawless like Apollo god of the sun

starr - Burning Bright

Theres a song i like called burning bright and it was playing in my head while reading

Above average prose, neat mix of horror/romance in a tribal vein

This story reminded me of ginger snaps. “Id rather be dead"

areyoucontagious - Mistakes Were Made

Idk just some story about a crazy person/idiot. People who are both crazy and idiots are rarely likeable protags. Its like w these the twist is either that he isnt crazy or actually he really is and w both its like eh.

I didnt have the energy to focus much on this story. Did you know that whales sleep one brain hemisphere at a time?

The Cut of Your Jib - Old Friends

Ill b h i didnt feel strongly about this or a lot of stories this week. I dont think i am esp into generic action making me a dumb choice to be a judge. Well anyways,

How the gently caress does this spaceship still work after a million years or whatever? And if they were hanging it from the ceiling, wouldnt they take the fuel out? You know, make it lighter?

But ig this won. Well, i dont actively h8 that decision.

First Dance - Tyrannosaurus

So i think this story actually enriched my life. Cuz how it filtered into my brain was like wow someone actually decided to write sci fi erotica. Or at least old timey sci fi w gratuitous sex. Then the characters began to seem like real people, just constantly bitching about this annoying problem. They try to work together to deal w it which sets up the ending nicely. The ending was so unapologetic about what it was that it retroactively made the whole tone of the story kind of genius. This was the only story this week w an ending that hit me and im sorry if im some kind of twist ending fanboy.

Idk all the elements together just made me think

maigius - The Final Deposit

So lol. This is a journal entry story which is like

dont do this

And then the tension tries to build except he has enough time to write in his journal. And then it builds and the sweet release is

His friend took him home while he was asleep

Ez loss here

Fuschia tude - Obsidian

This dude is calling his possibly dead brother a son of a bitch

Unless i missed someth that medallion at the beginning never came up again

This week all massed into a giant eh for me and this is sort of part of the jelly slime of the third impact of this week.

LITERALLY MY FETISH - Thief

I love how the dude in the beginning is like why did you steal medicine??? I cant figure it out. I actually dont love it i was unimpressed by it as dialogue

Idk why he didnt give away all three vials.

Cool he cured the kids polio/smallpox/gout/autism

sebmoko - Orbital Decay

This was funny and charming, just didnt blow my mind so i forgot to support a hm. No problem w that tho, def higher end this week. I forget how spaceman jim works but gj using him for the mccoy thing. Exploding a spaceship w a personal blaster is p badass. I imagine spaceman jim is more buff than me and has more sex too

END OF CRITS

take the moon fucked around with this message at 04:25 on Jul 20, 2016

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

gently caress around flash fiction: Trying to register at synirc.net but it gives me a Could not open socket error. Why am I such a dumb idiot? 800 words max

e:oh yeah, the whole point of that was to find another judge, so someone please step up.

(I'll judge any FAFF idiot submissions between now and Friday Noon EST and declare a winner)

The Cut of Your Jib fucked around with this message at 07:47 on Jul 20, 2016

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


Try this: https://client00.chat.mibbit.com/?server=EU.synirc.net%3A%2B7001&channel=%23THUNDERDOME

Peteyfoot
Nov 24, 2007


I'm in.

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER


That worked, friend. Thank you.

Social Studies 3rd Period
Oct 31, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER





In and :toxx: for my string of terrible failures, goddammit. Also will take a flash.

Ceighk
May 27, 2013


t h u n d e r d o m e
We can talk about it
Or we could get gully, I'll size up your body
And put some white chalk around it


Thanks for the fast crits you three

spectres of autism posted:

uh big suze was almost flagged for fanfic but in the end you escaped because that wouldve been dumb. She is a character in a show tho.

What show were you thinking of? Out of curiosity.

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

Thanks for the crits!

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011



Ceighk posted:

What show were you thinking of? Out of curiosity.

it was brought to my attn that its the name of a char on this

but i mean if you go thru all of fiction theres prolly a char whose called big [any given name]. didnt srlsy bug me

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

C7ty1 posted:

In and :toxx: for my string of terrible failures, goddammit. Also will take a flash.

a character lost something (or someone) in your setting

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Thanks for the crits.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006


Good crits

Ceighk
May 27, 2013


t h u n d e r d o m e
We can talk about it
Or we could get gully, I'll size up your body
And put some white chalk around it


spectres of autism posted:

it was brought to my attn that its the name of a char on this

but i mean if you go thru all of fiction theres prolly a char whose called big [any given name]. didnt srlsy bug me

oh i probably did subconsiously get it from there lol

Screaming Idiot
Nov 26, 2007

JUST POSTING WHILE JERKIN' MY GHERKIN SITTIN' IN A PERKINS!

BEATS SELLING MERKINS.


Fun Shoe

Those crits are good crits. Also, consider me in for this week's prompt.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In, and I'll do a redemption at some point for last week. I straight up forgot about deadline. Flash rule?

Flesnolk fucked around with this message at 06:17 on Jul 21, 2016

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


quote:

:siren: MEGABRAWL ROUND 3: FRIENDLY FIRE :siren:



This one's gonna be a bit unusual. We've got four of you left, and this time I am asking you to team up ... WITH YOUR ENEMY. That's right, each brawling pair have to collaborate - their pieces have to be strongly connected. You're not competing with the other pair though: you're competing against your own teammate. You will share characters, settings and themes, but you will not share victory. May the best goon win.

TEAM 1
Curlingiron vs Spectres of Autism

TEAM 2
Newtestleper vs Thranguy

The prompt:
an outbreak of disease is more sinister than it first appears.

Word Count: 4000 (between two writers - divide it up as you see fit)
Deadline: July 17th, 1am EST
Something has gone horribly awry - newtestleper, though given a fine extension, has failed to submit. There must be a fight in each megabrawl: I will let nobody pass into the final unchallenged. All is not lost, however! Back in the dawn of time when the megabrawl was being conceived, I cut a deal with a well-known 'domer to be the SECRET BOSS LEVEL. That 'domer is called to stand now, to replace the coward newt.

Due to the nature of the prompt, giving them the same would cause a massive amount of extra work for Thranguy and I don't think that's really fair considering he already put in the hard yards. So:

:siren:Newtestleper is disqualified
Sittinghere will now fight Thranguy for a place in the final. Thranguy, you get to choose the prompt. You have to run it past me to make sure it's reasonable, but otherwise you've got free reign.
:siren:

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Flesnolk posted:

Flash rule?

Your protagonist cannot/will not leave your setting

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Thranguy, you get to choose the prompt. You have to run it past me to make sure it's reasonable, but otherwise you've got free reign. [/i]:siren:

Sittinghere! You get to write a Fair Play Mystery, according to the rules and spirit of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. See http://www.seattlemystery.com/rules-fair-play for those rules.

2000 words.

Ed: Due 7/29/16 11:59 PM PST

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Thranguy posted:

Sittinghere! You get to write a Fair Play Mystery, according to the rules and spirit of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. See http://www.seattlemystery.com/rules-fair-play for those rules.

2000 words.

Ed: Due 7/29/16 11:59 PM PST
Approved.

Also, In for this week. Flash rule me.

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:


Also, In for this week. Flash rule me.

at least one character must be lying down for the duration

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Thranguy posted:

Sittinghere! You get to write a Fair Play Mystery, according to the rules and spirit of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. See http://www.seattlemystery.com/rules-fair-play for those rules.

2000 words.

Ed: Due 7/29/16 11:59 PM PST

"challenge" accepted

starr
May 5, 2014

by FactsAreUseless


Late but thanks for the crits!

Also I'm in with a flash rule please.

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

starr posted:

Late but thanks for the crits!

Also I'm in with a flash rule please.

literal bottle(s) must play an important part in your story

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011



The Cut of Your Jib posted:

Trying to register at synirc.net but it gives me a Could not open socket error. Why am I such a dumb idiot? 800 words max

Kaleidoscope
798 words

In the future of the internet we post hard. The fabric of information tears under the swells of synapses fusing and breaking, calling out each other’s name in dopamine rain. We’ve made time and space into words and they stretch from thousands of billions of nodes fragmenting silence and noise into meaning. Everything is about time and space. It takes time to post and you feel the space between what you say and when someone replies.

Forums user The Cut of Your Jib feels the future calling to him, the echo of decades. Lost on the deep web, he’s found a site that sells posting rigs. Big heavy things with helmets and goggles and body tubes. Gleaming things that won’t quit when the comments bleed from wounded neurons.

While he waits he can hear his heartbeat. It sounds like drums in mountain depths. It comes in monochrome boxes without return address or postal code, and he finds it outside his door before he can sign anything.

He builds it. There’s a single sheet of instructions, but the text runs into itself like the technical writer was either infinity or death. He only makes out fragments of meaning, half lines in the emptiness. He plugs things where they look like they go and saves the flesh tubes for last.

When he’s finished he mounts the helmet, pulls down clunky goggles. The helmet and cables are connected to the tower, which is a pitch black cube, opaque without reflection. He rams the cables home, watching them burrow into his skin through sepia filtered glass. Then his brainwaves pulse with the beat of his heart, pumping his soul through darklit streams of information, vibrating his essence on the sacred frequency.

The Cut of Your Jib logs into the harmonics of Thunder Dome.

Winning was easy. There were a lot of stories but they were all bad. Now the harmonics are frantic. Lights in the dark, searching hopeless. Disappointment, in themselves, in the perceptions of others. Post mortem analyses of stories dead on arrival, token efforts by bored coroners. He logs in to celebrate his triumph.

The lights are looking for him. They burn with expectation for something he has yet to do. I won, he thinks, confused, and hovers there, thrumming. The lights are seekers and they soon find him.

They say words meant for him. To find something called IRC and connect. But the sea of concepts is washing over him, thoughts curling over in neon, feelings spiralling day-glo.

What is IRC? I Are Cut, he thinks. I am the cut of their jib. That is the name I chose for myself, concrete against other words. Is that right? All around him the lights war, fuse, break apart. Couple and decouple as people try to talk to each other and realize it’s cool to stop.

I’m the cut of their jib and I can’t decide if I like it. If I like myself. The lights are blinking like fireflies.

He isn’t sure. He reaches out, tentative, wavering, tendrils of self pale and thin. They grasp slow and the lights buzz away, dancing with each other in tight ellipticals. He watches as they become stars, blips in other galaxies, far away.

If I ask for help, he thinks, will they like the cut of my jib? He’s frozen. He feels naked. A cold wind blows through him and he wonders if he left the A.C. on. He’s boneless but something is wiring him in place, rooting him, grown through him. The lights flit back and forth.

They don’t, he thinks. Because they don’t like the cut of their own jib. He can feel the swell. The things they see in themselves that they hate in other people. The deep ocean underneath, the words that scar over dark blood.

He despairs. Wants to jack out. Wants to rip the tubes from his body, see the blood geyser and foam as his eyes try to adjust to the real. A waste, he thinks, of my short years, when I could have been in the sun. Out with people who don’t care about the future internet or even the normal internet.

And then the lights collapse on him and he sees his path.

Jibs, he thinks. Everyone has many jibs. The jibs they show off, the jibs they try to hide. The jibs halfway between that other people see. This whole time he’s been too specific. His gaze a magnifying glass held over something combustible. I can’t forget, he thinks, as the lights swirl around him, whipping so fast their traces blur together. Everyone kaleidoscopes everywhere. I have to like the colours.

And then as Thunder Dome begins to vortex, the lights sweeping him up in the swell, he starts to kaleidoscope himself.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


btw THUNDERTOME meeting is tonight, at 8 PM EST, in #thundertome on IRC.

(I'll be in before then, but that's the "official" time.)

The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Less than twelve hours until sign ups close. I still need a third judge, it's just me and crabrock so far.

Armack
Jan 27, 2006


The Cut of Your Jib posted:

Less than twelve hours until sign ups close. I still need a third judge, it's just me and crabrock so far.

If you haven't found anyone else by the time you see this posting, I'd be happy to judge.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


And now, for the next meeting of the THUNDERTOME BOOK CLUB, something a bit less dense, but no less good.



Next meeting tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 5th.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Ironic Twist posted:

And now, for the next meeting of the THUNDERTOME BOOK CLUB, something a bit less dense, but no less good.



Next meeting tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 5th.

:woop: in :woop:

take the moon
Feb 12, 2011



Ironic Twist posted:

And now, for the next meeting of the THUNDERTOME BOOK CLUB, something a bit less dense, but no less good.



Next meeting tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 5th.

ok

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Ironic Twist posted:

And now, for the next meeting of the THUNDERTOME BOOK CLUB, something a bit less dense, but no less good.



Next meeting tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 5th.

IN for thundertome

Armack
Jan 27, 2006


In for Book Club #3

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Ironic Twist posted:

And now, for the next meeting of the THUNDERTOME BOOK CLUB, something a bit less dense, but no less good.



Next meeting tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 5th.

Wonderful book. I wouldn't miss it.

Peteyfoot
Nov 24, 2007


Parlour Delivery
989 words

There was a crash loud and violent enough that it seemed a building had just slammed into the side of the room. Which of course, was exactly what had happened. It was that kind of office, the kind that moved at high speed through the city suspended by cables in order to accommodate the newest managerial trend — a desire for ever-changing scenery in order to inspire original ideas in upper management. It was especially popular among marketing execs.

Devin snatched his folio back out of the air with one hand while holding on to the reception desk to steady himself with the other.

“I said it’s for for Mr. Ronmoth!” He yelled over the sound of several filing cabinets falling over. “For signature and immediate return!”

The burly receptionist, who had continued typing through the collision, sighed and gave Devin a frustrated look. He stopped typing just long enough to jerk a thumb toward the back of the office.

“Okay it with one of the clerks first,” he said in a surprisingly high-pitched voice, and immediately returned to typing intently.

Devin grimaced and walked past the receptionist’s desk. Paper from the collision was still flying through the air. Clerks dressed identically in white shirts and tan vests were hurriedly snatching paper out of the air and wherever it landed, attempting to file it back onto piles on the desks or into cabinets. Two clerks were unsuccessfully trying to lift two fallen filing cabinets that blocked the aisle to the back of the office.

“I got it!” came a muffled voice, and the cabinets were lifted from the other side and slammed back into place. A woman in a business suit stepped through, slapping her hands together. A tall, strong-looking woman.

Devin felt his heart sink. Erin? Except… this woman was huge. Tall enough that she towered over cabinets and clerks both. But everything else was horrifyingly similar: the same eyes, the same heart-shaped face and jet-black bangs.

“Oh hi!” She said, her eyes latching onto Devin with immediate interest. “You’re here to see Mr. Ronmoth too?”

“I’m uh… here to deliver a document. And then I’ll be leaving.”

Devin winced and looked past the righted cabinets. She even sounded like Erin. For god’s sake, it had only been a week and he was trying not to think of her. Not-Erin extended an enormous hand.

“Marie! Nice to meet you” she said, and smiled. Devin felt his hand swallowed up by the handshake and tried not to make eye contact.

“Nice to meet you too.” he mumbled, “Sorry, I’ve got to get this signed and gone.”

“Well I understand,” Marie said, still smiling. “A courier, right? Do you have a card? My company’s looking for someone good, and you’ve got guts coming to one of these offices.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t,” Devin said, edging his way past cabinets, clerks and giantess, “Look, I’ve got to…” he turned around and quickly stepped past another row of filing cabinets toward the back of the office.

A single, wide desk at the end of the room was surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. The chair behind it faced away from Devin, failing to obscure its’ extremely wide occupant.

“Mr. Ronmoth? The document for you? For signature?”

The chair wheeled around, and Devin froze. Black, beady eyes fixated on him, and the man’s hands manipulated a cat’s-cradle in the shape of a… web? The man’s six hands.

The hands clapped together and the web disappeared.

“Finally. I’ve been waiting to complete this contract for quite a while, Mr…”

“Eh, Stuart. Devin Stuart. I’m just the company courier sir, I uh… haven’t been briefed on the document’s contents.”

“Well then. Just know that this finalizes quite a important bit of business between your company and mine. I thought this day would never come.” A pen materialized in one of his hands. Mr. Ronmoth twirled it quickly.

Devin gave Mr. Ronmoth a tight-lipped smile and stepped forward with the folio, opening it.

It was empty.

Mr. Ronmoth’s six hands slammed into his table, palms down.

“Sorry, I must have dropped it in the… mess back there…” Devin managed to get out.

A second incredible crash knocked Devin off balance and the folio flew out of his hands completely. Cracks spiderwebbed the glass on all sides. Mr. Ronmoth stood up from his chair, frowning.

“I’ll be right back” Devin said, and turned back toward the renewed flight of papers and clerks.

Behind him, a piercing whistle caused all motion among the clerks to cease.

“Find this man’s document” boomed Mr. Ronmoth. Frantic motion immediately resumed.

Devin turned back around to face Mr. Ronmoth, who had put his arms behind his back and across his chest.

“Mr. Devin, Ronmoth and Brood has waited six hundred years to see this acquisition complete, and I refuse to…”

The receptionist’s shrill scream came from the front of the office and somehow managed to get louder and higher in pitch. Devin whipped back around yet again to see the front of the office disintegrate in a crash. It heaved clerks, filing cabinets, crests of paper toward Mr. Wisely and Devin. A single incredibly talented clerk had managed to climb onto the receptionist’s desk, and rode the wave of office debris toward them, waving something in his hand.

“Sir, the document!”

Mr. Ronmoth leapt from beside Devin onto the desk, snatched the document, pressed it against the clerk’s chest and signed it. The desk and the entire other half of the office continued rushing towards Devin and the cracked windows behind him.

“Courier! When you land, make sure this gets back!”

Mr. Ronmoth grabbed Devin in several of his arms as he reached him and began spinning him. As they swept toward the windows, Devin felt himself enveloped in cool, sticky strands of… something he didn’t want to think about. The world disappeared in a mass of white and he felt himself fall.

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

Ironic Twist posted:

And now, for the next meeting of the THUNDERTOME BOOK CLUB, something a bit less dense, but no less good.



Next meeting tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 5th.

In! Hopefully this time I'll be able to read the book and show up for the meeting portion. So far, I've only pulled off step one.

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The Cut of Your Jib
Apr 23, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Time has closed for submissions. Reminder that Sunday at MIDNIGHT EST is the close for final works. That's New York. USA. Best coast not the West Coast time. (it's actually Pittsburgh time also, so I am hopeless as a human being)

Specters wins the FAFF round by default, but I've been digesting the story all day and will receive a crit quite soon. I am sure it will solidify my place as an idiot.

e: I forgot what AM and PM mean

The Cut of Your Jib fucked around with this message at 17:18 on Jul 23, 2016

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