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Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
thanks for the good crits, which were also fast crits. these two qualities were independent of each other.


Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

You know me, you know what I do, gimme something.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
E: scrub'dd

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 04:30 on Dec 30, 2016

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Let痴 get right down to business, Thunderdome.

I know what you want.

I know who you want.


wait, wait, hold on, wrong guy.


This man ruled over a maze, with his beautiful and angular face, and the turnip stuffed down the front of his tight white pants. Today, we pay tribute to his androgynous benevolence.

Write me a story about people who are trapped in a maze. A maze, or a様onger word for a maze. Coming up empty here. Anyway, the maze can be literal or metaphorical, but the innate conflict from being trapped in a confusing situation with twists and turns has to be there.

In addition, for 200 extra words, you can request a song-as-flash-rule. Simply say which judge you池e requesting the flash rule from (me, Sitting Here, or curlingiron), and they will provide it.

Words: 1300
Signup Deadline: Friday, January 15, 2359 EST
Submissions Deadline: Sunday, January 17, 2359 EST
No: fanfic, nonfic, erotica.

Sitting Here

Maze Oddities:
Broenheim (Shook Ones, Part 2)
God Over Djinn
Chairchucker (Starman)
Wangless Wonder
Grizzled Patriarch
crabrock (Beauty and the Beast OR Lazarus)
Thranguy (Always Crashing In The Same Car)
HellishWhiskers (This Fine Social Scene)
Entenzahn (After All)
Bleusman (Life On Mars?)
Lazy Beggar (Breaking Glass)
Jeza (The Man Who Sold The World)
WeLandedOnTheMoon (I Luv The Valley OH!)
Ceighk (D.J.)
CaligulaKangaroo (Rebel Rebel)
docbeard (Moonage Daydream)
Masonity (I知 Afraid of Americans)
ghost crow (Heroes)
sebmojo (I知 Deranged)
SkaAndScreenplays (Sons of the Silent Age)
Amused Frog
Pham Nuwen
Panthotenate (Saviour Machine)
Bad Seafood (Warszawa)

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 06:27 on Jan 16, 2016

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Broenheim posted:

oh wow i guess i was passed as a judge. well then twist, that's fine, im in, and youre going to flash rule me.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

WeLandedOnTheMoon! posted:

I am signing up. I would like a dong. I don't care who gives it to me.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Well, I might as well join in:

Double bonus points if you use vvvthisvvv one, because I might never get to:

Signups close in just over 8 hours

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Under 3 hours left to make a total gut decision and write a story for this week~~~

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Bad Seafood posted:

I'm in and would like to request a Bowie song.

However, since I said I wouldn't sign up again until I turned in one of my two redemptions, I must post one of them ITT before I am allowed to submit my story.

Sitting Here posted:

^^^ No lyrics so this is like the double black diamond of prompt songs but it's v good

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Signups closed, write and write some more.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

So, this was a mixed bag of a week. Turns out, maybe the concept of 田onfusion might not be the best starting point for a story. Some of you made it work, and some of you were lost forever in the grey foggy labyrinth of your own story, doomed to be consumed by obscurity.

Judging was insanely fast, as we were all fairly quick to agree which stories stood outfor better or for worse.

Our first two undisputed Honorable Mentions went to Entenzahn and crabrock, for writing emotionally moving stories, one with a more physical maze, one with a more metaphorical maze, but both were memorably detailed, human, and emotionally moving. Thanks, guys, you helped pull this week out of the gutter.

Another headjudge fiat Honorable Mention goes to docbeard for writing the most genuinely enjoyable story this week, with characters that were some of the most likable and interesting out of all the stories we read. Conversely, the non-headjudges submitted Panthotenate痴 story as another fiat Honorable Mention, and I ultimately agreed葉he story was technically polished and captivating even though relatively low-key. Congrats, you both earned your high honors.

On the other side of the week, Dishonorable Mentions go to both WeLandedOnTheMoon and Ceighk, one for writing an all-but-incomprehensible story about a pregnant woman trapped by smoke and clunkers and talking unborn babies that was a mess to read, and one for writing a Myspace entry that took forever to get to the loving point.

Our Loss this week is Julias. If you read even a bit of this story, you値l know why. The judges had a lot of fun laughing at it. We were not laughing with it.

And that just leaves the Win, which goes to a story that is very polished, very detailed, and is one of the most resonant and softly heartbreaking things I致e ever read in the 船ome.

God Over Djinn, take a seat on the throne. You’ve absolutely earned it.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Face The Pain

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Sitting Here posted:

Twist's best quality is how easy it is to own him tbh

pfft, your feeble owns roll off me like water off an Ock's back

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Chairchucker posted:

I am officially a sitting here superfan now. After she absolutely brutalises ironic twist in SPORTS, I am gonna go and set things on fire and put cars on their side, it is going to be the best. I'm also pre-emptively tattooing SITTING HEAR SPORTS CHAMPION 2016 4EVA on my left buttock.

enjoy your 9 words sitting here

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Flight of Whispers
1298 words (thank you, Jagermonster)

Red twilight glinted off fishtails and feathers for as far as Aon could see. Mermen and mermaids alike floated together in the vast ocean, salted tresses draped over suntanned shoulders, unfurling down to the rippling water as they reclined in the ocean痴 embrace. Some of them used their tails as a perch to support the weight of the larger birds: eagles, pelicans, albatrosses, pouches of woven seaweed tied tightly around their necks. But Aon痴 bird perched comfortably on his outstretched arm, pecking lightly at itself, letting out a sharp quack every so often. His pouch was in his other hand. He felt frozen in place, even though the water wasn稚 cold, had never been cold or uninviting.

Everyone kept one eye on the sun, sinking closer to the horizon.

The evening marked the yearly Flight of Whispers, a celebration of the recent end of the War between the Oceans. The competitors each year trained fowl to fly from one side of the world to the other, carrying messages to those on the other side as the opposing factions did during wartime, back when rusted steel clashed and blood dripped from flesh and fishscale. Now the merfolk collected in the East Ocean, birds held high, each claiming that they were the fastest, that their words would be the first to grace the far waters.

Even though it was a competition for the sake of sport and timelessness, many claimed they had the best strategy. Seabirds were superior, said one school of thought葉he hardy seagulls and albatrosses were suited for long distances. Those that preferred the eagle and the falcon scoffed at their frayed logic耀urely the faster you flew, the less time you needed, and the less energy you expended. Tailfeathers were clipped short, talons were sharpened and filed, and regal crests were adorned with gold and jade flights預ll sworn to improve aerodynamic effect.

Aon felt like a mullet in the belly of a whale in the midst of all the rabid tacticians, winning birds strutting back and forth across their upturned tailfins. He was just a boy at play in the surf, whistling to his pet duck. How could his pet stand up to these birds twice its size, meaner birds, tougher birds, birds that could snap a neck with one swift motion?

The sun was halfway below the water now. The noise and chatter from the crowd stilled.

It was now or never.

Aon took a deep breath, and remembered.

He set the bird down on his bare shoulder and fished a curl of red hair out of the seaweed pouch. He held it in front of the duck痴 face, trying to get its attention. It looked for a moment, then pecked at the blond hair over his right ear.

Aon sighed, then brought the pouch to his lips before he could change his mind, slowly whispered something only he could hear. He grabbed the duck and tied the pouch around its neck, where the brown breast-feathers met the velvety green down covering its head.

Then, he waited. They all waited.

The sun was a semi-circle, a crescent, a line預nd then gone.

An explosion of rustling and squawking happened as the merfolk threw their hands to the sky.

Aon watched the winged cloud disappear into the distance, hoping, filled with desperation borne of longing.


Aon痴 face vaguely flitted throughout the duck痴 mind as he flew, head pointed forward with the single-mindedness of an arrow fired by a god. As the birds dispersed, fell off to the side or down to the earth below in disinterest or fatigue, the duck kept flying.

Everywhere the duck looked, there was Aon, waiting. Flying through the grey clouds reminded him of the sea spray against his face as he looped and twirled above his master痴 watchful eye. The rays of sunlight cascaded through the clouds like his master痴 golden locks, flowing behind him as he leapt over the crashing surf. And in every calling bird, every jeering whistle or mocking ululation, he heard the sound of Aon痴 voice, singing a song passed down from his mother, a melody that was mostly sound but every so often formed itself into words, grew clear like an endless blue sky: I never lose the ones I love

And something burned inside him that was stronger than pain.


的t痴 late, Marius, said Lia. She traced a finger along the small of Marius痴 broad back, twirled a coil of his long hair. 敵et someone else to stand as sentry for a few hours.

Marius痴 expression didn稚 change. He stared off into the moonlit night, unflinching. 的 said it already悠 will be there for the winner. He ran the palm of his hand over the scars on his chest, crisscrossing from his collarbone to his waist, dulled and yellowed in the aftermath of battle.

Lia sighed and turned away. She spoke to herself, just loud enough for Marius to hear: 鉄leep isn稚 for the weak, you know.

Marius didn稚 budge until Lia slid beneath the ocean痴 surface, and then he grunted, ran his fingers through his thick beard. The waters were rising every year, they said. Each year, the waves advancing further and further up the shore, lapping at the heels of the walkers. Keep the water rising, rushing forward over the land, and then maybe he壇 find peace.

His brother was peaceful, incredibly peaceful. His brother was at the bottom of the sea, crabs eating at his eyes, the beak of a stingray lodged in his throat. And Marius was still alive, for some reason, and everyone worth loving or killing was far beyond his reach, and then what was there to do? Lia had suggested collecting sand dollars, 屠ust as a way to pass the time. It had taken all of his strength not to scream in her face. Time flew when you could take your vengeance. Out here, with no one around, time slowed to a crawl.

And now, the Flight. The annual Flight, to celebrate Peace. Oh, how valuable they all said Peace was. Peace was just the furrow between each bloody wave of War.

There was something off in the distance. Marius craned his neck forward, looked.

It was a bird, a strange sort of bird, flapping half-heartedly and coasting on gusts of air. Marius grinned, then let out a whistle.

As the bird flew closer, he could see the pouch dangling from its neck, and his smile grew sharp. He held his arms out to the bird, and it collapsed against his chest, shuddering and quacking.

One simple motion, he thought. One twist of the wrist, and then someone痴 happiness would descend into nothing. Them and their outstretched arms. He壇 cut them all off at the elbows.

For a fortunate second, the duck fell silent.

Something in the back of Marius痴 mind stirred. He wasn稚 sure what he壇 just heard.

He kept his hand around the duck痴 neck, and opened the pouch.

Now he could hear it more clearly.

Marius took out the seashell, a pearlescent-pink nautilus, and held it up to his ear.

The recognition hit him at once.

I never lose the ones I love

He sank beneath the water as the sound ran through him. The duck squawked and slipped out of his grasp, settled down among the rippling waves.

Marius couldn稚 think straight, could only stare down at the boundless depths he壇 once welcomed.

He was still alive. Aon was still alive.

He threw his head back and laughed underwater, silvery bubbles escaping from his mouth and bursting against the night air. Above him, the sea softly crashed, whispering through his flowing red mane, sounding more and more like the voice flowing through his ears until he could barely tell the difference.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Week CLXXXII: Domegrassi

I don稚 know about y誕ll, but I loved all the saltiness and whining that came after last week痴 deadline. And by 斗oved, I mean 努as completely disgusted by. 展aaaaaaah I didn稚 win my braaaaaaawl you dumb judges didn稚 get my stoooooooryyyyy I知 going to spend all these words on Monday afternoon complaining when I could致e used half of those words on Sunday to not poo poo the bed half as hard.

You sniveling little fucks belong in junior high school.

So that痴 exactly where we池e going.

Welcome to Domegrassi Junior High School, a modest-but-large educational institution in the heart of America Town, America.

Reminiscent of Voidmart Week, all of your stories will take place inside or around Domegrassi Junior High. You can be a teacher, a student, a lunchlady, a secretary, the delinquent smoking cigarettes under the bleachers, whoever, just so long as your story takes place in the same shared universe.

Three roles are restricted to a single story, however.

They are: The Principal, The Vice Principaland The Janitor. First come-first served.

Wordcount: 1300
Signup deadline: 2359 PST, Friday, January 29
Submissions deadline: 2359 EST, Sunday, January 31
No: fanfic, nonfic, erotica

Ironic Twist
Sitting Here

Snot-Nosed Punks
BlueWher (Janitor)
Grizzled Patriarch
Wangless Wonder
God Over Djinn
Broenheim (Principal)
Bad Seafood
spectres of autism

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 00:01 on Jan 30, 2016

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

WeLandedOnTheMoon! posted:

Are you open to other roles as well? I would like to sign up as a maintence/repair person. Not sure if that is too much overlap with janitor for your liking.

Sure, go for it

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

SadisTech posted:

Is the third judge spot filled yet? I'm keen to help if not.

I appreciate you stepping forward, but curlingiron volunteered as well, and we're thinking of doing the livecrits again. Thanks anyway, though!

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Your ratio of bluster:actual accomplishments is strong, kemo sabe

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
As agreed upon in IRC:

God Of Muffins Poetry Brawl

God Over Djinn, SurreptitiousMuffin:

Write me a poem that has to do with sound. You cannot use the word 都ound.

1000 words, due Sunday February 7th, 2359 PST.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Judge Notice:

Signups deadline is 2359 PST, which is in nine hours, but I'm going to change the submissions deadline to 2359 EST on Sunday, where it should've been in the first place, because that's more conducive to livecrits. Just giving y'all a heads up ahead of time.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Signups closed, time to

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Reminder: Deadline is now at 2359 EST, as mentioned earlier. That is in :siren:EIGHT HOURS.:siren:

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
submissions closed

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

And so Domegrassi Week ends as it began: with the salty tears of teenagers.

This was a week that was heavy on style, low on substance. Y誕ll wrote a lot of charming stories that ultimately didn稚 do much in the way of a satisfying plot. The parts did not add up to a satisfactory whole, and as a result a lot of these stories fell apart fast.

Honorable Mentions go to both Bad Seafood and Grizzled Patriarch, for writing stories that did one thing really well幼haracter and language, respectively預nd for this week, that was enough to land you in the top.

Dishonorable Mentions go to both BlueWher and Panthotenate for both writing stories that didn稚 really feel complete and didn稚 really have a lot of believable, likeable, or intriguing characters. You took different approaches, but ultimately fell at the same hurdle.

And now, the Loss.

docbeard, man. This was a giant surprise. I don稚 know what happened here, but this was a story that made預s previously stated様ess than no sense. I致e seen you have more of a handle on character and plotting than this. I really want to see how you come back from this week. I know you will.

And, with the Win this week, another surprise.

Boaz-Jachim, you brought your A-game when a lot of others this week slacked off. This was a tight, vivid, and interesting story that stuck with me long after I read it. Welcome to the head of the class.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
In addition:

:toxx:ing right now to have crits for Week 180 and Week 182 done before Week 183's results post.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Week 182 Crits Part 1

Dicking Around

I知 not going to lie, I kind of loved the opening paragraph. It really nailed down the tone you were going for, it was a good use of character voice, and it created this tension that made sense to the character and was portrayed well for the reader.
The story痴 very tongue-in-cheek, but it still works fairly well as its own conflict, within the confines of the world you致e established. It seems almost fable-ish, from the way people act葉hey all have their own fixed personality and method for dealing with problems, and even though the end was a bit of an unexpected one, it felt a bit fixed as well. Again, it痴 a very pleasant story, but pleasantness isn稚 exactly the root of conflict, change, or emotional resonance. This story is a well-crafted joke told at a bar擁t痴 funny and really good for what it is, but no one痴 going to be moved by it. Still a decent effort, and a good way to start the week.

New Year, New Life

I get what you池e going for here, epiphanies don稚 always have to be these world-shaking proclamations, sometimes they can be as small as a guy looking up community colleges. But that痴 sort of like how writing really good flash fiction is harder than writing a really good short story葉he smaller the epiphany is, the more crystal clear and well-crafted everything leading up to it has to be, because you don稚 have the natural gravitas of a death or a birth or a break-up or a marriage. Here, it doesn稚 work, not just because the memory about his wife telling to go to community college comes too late in the story, but because we don稚 have any sense of his wife as a person. Again, that痴 one of the pitfalls of writing stories this short, but every detail has to be both concise and sharp, and a lot of the ways you were trying to 都ubtly fit in his wife and son痴 death were both blunt and vague, especially in the scene with Charlie. It痴 good that you池e trying to be ambitious with this story, but it might have gone over more smoothly if you had simplified it, maybe restricted it to one scene.

A Photo Of Mr. Kellogg

I felt like this story was only a few tweaks away from being an HM or even a win. Everything involving Mr. Kellogg is really interesting, I enjoyed the concept of this shut-in janitor who痴 able to fix almost anything, and the major scene where Hector goes to search for him was blocked well and had some legitimate tension to it. It would致e had more tension to it if Mr. Kellogg wasn稚 just seen as a regular part of the school, rather than being shrouded in more unknowns. I kind of knew that Hector would turn out okay while reading the story because there wasn稚 that worry that Mr. Kellogg would turn out to be a villain. The ending where his leg is fixed is pretty good, but again, it痴 not in service of much change within the story, so I feel like a lot didn稚 change over the course of it. It痴 more of a plot than a story, because the emotional dimension isn稚 really there, and that痴 what hurt its chances the most.

Re: Teacher痴 Lounge Biohazard Incident

I want to give you props for having the guts to take a risk by playing around with format, but ultimately it was a gimmick that didn稚 pay off. The characters weren稚 stereotypes, but the confessional-style format kind of isolated them and kept them from progressing and gaining depth and interacting with each other within the story, so giving them their own voices actually turned out to be a detriment. Also, the plot makes no real sense, and the addition of Violet being a ghost at the end just sort of ruined it further. If you池e not going for a plot that makes sense or is about more than someone just taking a poo poo in a trashcan, and the characters aren't exactly interesting or humorous enough to make up the difference, then yeah, you have an issue.

Don稚 Be Too Smart In Middle School or The Universe Might Collapse In On Itself

Yeah, this was the week of Roger Ebert痴 妬diot plots.
I didn稚 find this charming, which I think is what you were going for, but I didn稚 find it offensive either庸or me it was just kind of boring. The tone of the narration contributed to that sense of boredom a lot葉here痴 a black hole in the school and the principal can barely be bothered to hustle to fix it. He痴 really the only character in this story, too容veryone else is either a cipher, like Amy, or a stereotype, like the kids. And beyond that, the title is basically the only logic holding this story together, because the story really does nothing to enhance or flesh out the premise. It痴 just a laser focus on this character drama that doesn稚 resonate with people who don稚 agree with the sentiment that it痴 not okay to be too smart as a kid. And then in the end, we find out that the final scene is all held up on a lie anyway. Cool story, Bro.

The Finger

This is one of those 鍍alking-heads stories, where you take things that could possibly be interesting and you confine it to a mostly-dialogue conversation between two people. It can, on occasion, lead to a good story. This was not that occasion.
If you wanted to write a story predicated on these two characters and nobody else, then why would you make both of them try to blackmail each other? I sort of understand that you weren稚 trying to make either of them likeable, which is something I壇 advise against, but okay, sure, we値l go with that. But if you池e not going make them likeable, at least make me care about what they池e going through. A guy trying to get another guy to take the picture of him picking his nose at a D地奪 party by blackmailing him with a video of him wearing a dress is a very junior-high conflict, but there are other conceivable junior-high conflicts that are much less convoluted and a lot more immediately interesting and relatable. Here, you just sort of drenched the whole story in this back-and-forth dialogue and ended it with this sanctimonious speech from Jonas that was supposed to come off as this big epiphany, but just sort of fell flat.
Really, my advice is to just simplify. Characters, situation, conflict, everything.

都o it痴 gonna be forever or it痴 gonna go down in flames

This was really charming in a way that a lot of other stories weren稚, and nailed the junior-high voice in away that a lot of other stories didn稚. I felt like it would have stayed charming without a lot of the subtle digs it was going for擁f you just made this a story meant to be taken with a realistic tone, it might have increased its effectiveness even more. As it was, I felt like I could致e stood to know more about the main characters. The only real bit of character information I got was the baseball thing, and that didn稚 really end up factoring in or going anywhere. The ending was really cute and heartwarming when run through the concept of the Cyclops, but with the characters being sort of faceless, it still has more in common with a joke story than I壇 like. It was very enjoyable, nonetheless.


Yeah, if you saw the livecrits, you know all my problems with this story痴 nonsensical plot involving a serial chips-and-coffee pisser. So we値l try to focus on other things. Spencer was the best character in this story, but that was because he was the only active one. I could致e read the story from his perspective and it would致e been an improvement. Sarah痴 just sort of there for almost all of the story, until the end when she changes Jordan痴 grades, which is meant to be this masterstroke that willdo what, exactly?
Okay, I can稚 focus on other things. The dialogue痴 reasonably well done, the characters are alright, Mr. Ashley痴 sort of a cartoon villain, but whatever, I was assuming it would pan out to something. The raw elements of this story aren稚 terrible, it痴 that they池e all used to craft a story that痴 aggressively nonsensical, to the point of being offensive. And for a week that was intended to produce stories about junior-high-schoolers in a junior-high-school environment, this story was A) full of characters that either were adults or that acted and spoke like adults, and B) took place in an environment that was a junior-high-school on its surface but demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of how a junior-high-school was supposed to work. And even that can still work葉he winning story this week took a non-standard interpretation of the prompt and made it work through stellar execution. This was just half-assed in terms of execution, and it hurts to say that, because I know you池e a good writer and that you致e written good stories in the past.

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 20:32 on Feb 6, 2016

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Week 182 Crits Part 2

Don稚 Let Your Star Go Out

From what I remember of this story before it was taken down, it had a plot sort of in that Beatrice Sparks YA-Novel vein of a kid developing this attraction to this older teacher, and then the story ends with the teacher getting removed from the school for being involved with a different student. I知 going to say what I said about the story before, because I think it still stands: it痴 a familiar concept that doesn稚 stray far enough away from the familiar. Yes, there痴 the fact that the protagonist has real feelings for the teacher, which I thought was illustrated vividly in the scene where he was writing on himself, but we really didn稚 get to see much of him as his own person. There痴 a hint that he has a bad home life, but not much else. There was never a point where he had to make a critical decision that would reveal more about him as a character, the decision was made for him when the teacher was removed, and that, more than anything, held this story back.

The Girl With The Dead Mom

The main character in this story was captivating, but not because she was likeable洋ore captivating in the way that something not quite right would grab your attention. I could tell right from the beginning that there was something off about this character in terms of her believability as a junior high student. It might致e been that the tone was aiming for pre-teen and failing, or that I didn稚 know what mood you were exactly trying to establish in her. Either way, I don稚 think the character was entirely successful.
I liked the scene with Violet, even though it didn稚 seem like it fit within the story. I sort of wish that the story had ended there, because having it end with her father showing up and delivering his perfect lines and bringing out the notes to tie a perfect bow on the entire story悠 don稚 know, it all felt too manufactured. I didn稚 believe that this changed the main character into a better person, or that she was having too many problems with not being honest to begin with. It was a solution to a problem that I was never completely sure existed. Ask yourself: what exactly does your main character want?

The Little Bird Don稚 Sing No More

It痴 your story. It痴 a very GP story, in that it痴 very visually striking, but I知 not entirely sure what the end to it is. We joke around about your stories having no ending and I知 sure you池e sick to death of hearing it by now, but this one痴 lack of an ending comes from the lack of its main character having much of a purpose. I have no real idea of who he is or what he wants, he痴 just beset by this lasting ghost of the dead bird for a reason that痴 very vague. Did Sarah raise the ghost of the dead bird? Will it haunt him forever? Does he feel any sort of emotion over it dying? You have genuine writing skills and it痴 worthwhile to think about these things that would provide your story with more depth than it currently has.

The Case of the Shy Ghost: A Domegrassi Jr. High Movie Club Mystery

This is justodd. It feels very dependent on continuity and extraneous information, as you mentioned in the title. I feel like this was the story that suffered the most from the collaboration this week, because it really was not a stand-alone piece, and the characters could致e been interesting if they weren稚 tied to this pop-up canon you guys made. Also, if there was a clearer and less convoluted plot. Also, if the dialogue wasn稚 as corny and stilted.
It really does feel like another story where you were hit with too many ideas at once, and even though some of them were good, they all just crowded each other out. It痴 a very frantic story, and it feels like plot point after plot point is being shoved onto the page and there痴 no room for anything to breathe. There was enough of it that was still weird enough to be interesting, but it ultimately made little sense. I didn稚 know why there were demons in her mp3 player, why Moira was being set up as this murderous villain, why the story gets so moralistic about socializing at the endit was all just Too Much.

The First Last Road Show

This was sort of in the same mold as the last story, for obvious reasons, but I can see the places where things held together just a little bit better. The little details that establish character make more sense, the dialogue is a bit more believable, and the whole thing feels like a stand-alone unit, even if the ending is sort of limp. It felt less like a story with a conclusion than a brief look into the lives of these characters, but it was fun to read and it captured the tone of junior-high school well enough. Solid job.


This story won for more than one reason, but the reason that immediately comes to mind was that it was the best at establishing tension. You, out of all the people this week, actually made me give a poo poo about what happened to the characters in your story, and for that you should be commended. It was a clear struggle葉hat of student government vs. personal attachment擁llustrated beautifully over the course of mostly one climactic scene. Rebecca did come off a bit robotic at points, even if it did work in service of the story痴 conflict. I would致e liked to see more personal details about her, rather than having her just reveal her humanity through her lingering attachments to Steph. But the setting was well-constructed, the voice was effective, and the ending was great. Gold star.

Pray to Dionysus

This was just okay, really. I think what really kept it from going further was how closed off your main character was throughout the story. While reading, I didn稚 get the sense that any of the events really changed the main character all that much. 的 don稚 hate her, I just feel sorry for her doesn稚 read to me as empathy, it just reads as more walling-off of the emotions. I have no idea what this character really wants or how she succeeds or fails at getting it in this story. She痴 just sort of in the right place at the right time for there to be a story in the first place, and as such she just comes off as an [at-best, uninterested, at-worst, malicious] observer to this other person痴 meltdown.
Beyond that, it doesn稚 really stand out as an interesting story, he drives her home, she kisses him, and that痴 it. Not a whole lot happens. I feel like your intentions were for this scene to be really emotionally striking, but that comes down to how vibrant or interesting you make your characters.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
1166 words

E: gone

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 04:55 on Mar 1, 2016

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Week 180 Crits

The Rondeau.

Ultimately, I came away from this story not sure of what tone you were trying to establish. I don稚 know if James is supposed to be likeable or not葉he narration tends toward likeable, but he does so many unlikeable things that I never felt myself relating to him or sympathizing with him. So you take that away, and then you池e left with a story that doesn稚 really have that much to it預 guy goes to his ex-girlfriend痴 mom痴 funeral in order to make amends, and we池e told how much he痴 changed since the breakup, despite seeing none of that in the story. I wasn稚 a fan of this at all, but I知 glad to see you致e kept at it.


There痴 a delicate balance you want to adhere to when using the unknown as a device in your story. It痴 okay for certain things to remain unexplained, usually when the blank space inspires more fear or sympathy than something tangible. But if your story is littered with those blank spaces, then it just falls apart, and that痴 what happened here. Everything that happened inside of the factory was almost completely inscrutable, and I thought Eli could致e done more work as this mysterious counterpart to all the weirdness and macabre happenings inside this abandoned place. But nothing really came of it, they made it out, they parted ways, and that was the end. It was like a riddle that I couldn稚 solve, and ultimately didn稚 care enough to want to.

Saviour Machine

It痴 odd that the robot is the most human character in this story, but also sort of brilliant.
Like I said, this was an example of quiet drama that nevertheless hit hard. I think the Asimov nods sort of help it and hurt it at the same time擁t gives the story a strong baseline but also keeps the story from going much further into anything original. Also, to echo curlingiron, the kid was sort of saccharine and irritating, even when he was talking about the murdered cat. Nice job overall, though.


Grey. So much grey, throughout this story. It comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. Why did you write this? I知 not asking that question to dismiss this story outright, I知 asking because I知 genuinely curious and I want to know what the process of creation was for this. What themes are in this story that would appeal to a potential reader? The character doesn稚 change or learn anything over the course of the story, and the reader doesn稚 learn anything either. The character isn稚 anyone to begin with. I remember enjoying your story from Imitation Week and pushing for it to HM because it had elements that were vibrant and unique. This story is neither of those things, and it痴 a shame.

A way to not be lost forever

Nothing really negative to say about this piece, to be honest. It was a quiet drama illustrated brilliantly and heart-rendingly, and it absolutely deserved the win. Well-done.

The Woman in the 73-Market

I enjoyed the labyrinth in this story until I lost my confidence that you knew enough about how it worked. At a certain point my eyes glazed over the numbers and the directions because I knew they were arbitrary and only there for comedy痴 sake. More actual physical details, especially small ones, would致e been nicer. My main impression is that it痴 more of a pitch or an opening title sequence than a story, to be honest. There痴 some character there, but the two characters feel more like chess pieces than people, like the love story between a Rook and a Bishop. It痴 okay, but okay wasn稚 going to get you anywhere this week.

The Delivery

I think you got a good enough impression of this story from the livecrits, but just to say it again, the fact that she was pro-life didn稚 hurt this story, it was the fact that not a lot of it hung together or made sense that hurt this story. I feel like if you had worked in a less-physical maze and made the characters a bit more present and interesting, you might not have had as much of an issue, but as it was, the characters took a backseat to all the magical bells and whistles you threw into the story in the hopes of creating interest.


Yes, this was another one of the stories this week that just came off as wholly bland to me. It痴 the whole amnesia thing again, but beyond that, there痴 no real objective to this story or motivation to the characters. They wanted to get out of the maze, but how would they do that? What was beyond the maze? If this is purgatory, then what would their heaven or hell look like? There was no light for any of them to move towards, and thus I didn稚 know what direction the story was going in. Solid middle-to-low for me.

An Escape Velocity Needs Both Speed And Direction

This story was different in a positive way from some of the others in that there with different dimensions to the characters and the setting, but again, it ran into the problem of not having much of a motive or direction. I liked what I read耀ave for the excessive literary references, which came off forced傭ut ultimately it was just a segment, a scene to something much larger. And the language and characterization, decent as it was, wasn稚 enough to make up for the lack of a story.

Triplicate Four Out of Three

You had way too much fun writing this, because it was really more about the minutia and the bureaucracy-speak than any sort of story that would captivate someone. Filling Out Forms: The Story. No thanks. But if you had this as a concise prelude to a much longer story, I壇 be more open to it. The voice was strong, even though it was disembodied.

Closed Circle

I had the toughest time seeing the maze in this story more than any of the others. You could argue that social strata are a type of maze, but that痴 still very thin reasoning. And again, it was light in the 鍍hings happening department. Comparing this to Saviour Machine, the kid here was less saccharine but also less interesting as a character. The scene between Mark and the kid is meant to be the meat of the story, but it takes way too long to get there, and ultimately it痴 up for debate whether a whole lot changed or was set into motion because of it. I would致e started at the kitchen, and made the conversation much more meaningful. Some inner glimpse into Mark痴 mind and feelings would致e helped.

The Monster at the End of Infinity

This felt like much more of a tangible journey than any of the other stories this week, and I don稚 know if the fantasy setting was partly responsible for that, but it was a definite positive. I enjoyed the world you created, and I was surprised by it at different points. I felt like you took all the themes that people gravitated towards this week and did them better. Simte, especially in his epiphany about Alya and her death, was my favorite character, even though he was lost in an unfamiliar environment. Well done, all around.

Halfway For Too Long

I immediately want to say that this story was flat, but that痴 not true at all擁t was just quiet. Quietly intense. It was brushing right up against the top mentions, and I知 trying to figure out what extra thing you could致e added to put it over the top. SH calls your stories 田ircular, and this one makes me agree, but I think that sort of hurt it. It wasn稚 just a circle, it was a perfect circle. There wasn稚 really a moment where the narrator found himself at a crossroads where he could make a choice to be a different person, it was just a steady portrait of this one person and his issues, throughout. Maybe that痴 why it fell short. At any rate, the characters were solid, and human, and real, and I genuinely cared for them. You should count that as a success, no matter what.


The ultimate breath of fresh air, after so many dark and monochromatic stories. I loved this. I loved the characters and how funny they could be, I loved the setting, I loved the way you pulled off the scenes switching back and forthI loved the ending a bit less, just because it seemed too easy, and I don稚 know whether to chalk that up to the word limit or not, but otherwise, this was really well-done and it made me give out my first fiat HM just because of how enjoyable it was. Nice work.

Invisible Fortress

A guy thinks he痴 being stalked, then it turns out he is. Wocka wocka.
It痴 a bit of a disappointment, because if nothing else, I believed in the strength of the character and I felt like you could致e done something more substantial with him then just validate all his delusions at the end. I liked the premise, but not how it paid off. Ah, well.

Weekend of Lights

Really, you needed to pick a plot development out of a hat or something. Tornado, return of the Black Plague, cannibalistic streakers, something. This was just dull. All of the characters that could致e meaningfully interacted with the protagonist were woefully out of reach, and when that meaningful conversation finally does happen, it痴 tossed in as an afterthought. Something important needed to happen and it needed to happen much sooner than it did. Start your next story knowing that a potential reader痴 looking for any excuse to close the book on you.

The Land of the Lost

This stuck with me a lot longer than I expected to. It had that Beckett or Sartre one-act play feel, mixed in with a lot of macabre desolation. But again, it痴 that whole thing of deciding how much to leave unexplained, and with this, I was hoping for a bit more of a payoff at the end, or any payoff, really. I guess you could argue that that痴 not what life gives you sometimes, and I thought your characters put in more work to compensate for the lack of a real resolution, but nonetheless, this was missing something. I still liked it, though.


This was a rush job that turned into something magical. I think that if you could turn the unintentional funniness of this story into something that you could master and have control over, you壇 take TD by storm, but I doubt any of this was intentional. It felt like you drove the story off a cliff ten minutes before you submitted it, and it showed. I値l match curlingiron痴 free crit on your piece if you come back and submit again.

Sounds in the Forest Portend Evil Within

This was much better than you gave it credit for. It was short on the literal maze, but I felt boundless conflict within this one character and his struggle to be good. Your prose is always very solid, and the environment you set up was well done. I hope you can come back to this type of story even though it痴 something you profess to dislike.

Had to go Somewhere so We Crashed Into You

Standard Chairchucker story with a Bowie twist. I wish your efforts were longer sometimes, because your dialogue is always interesting and worthwhile and hinting at something larger. Thanks for joining this week, even if you weren稚 technically on time.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Poembrawl Results

Muffin, I appreciated the clarity in your words for the most part, and I liked the uplifting tone of your piece. But as a poem, it sort of fails. There's not a whole lot of rhythm or meter to it as it's written, not much creativity in the language that's used, and not much effort expended to evoke any sort of stimulating imagery. It reads more like a speech than a poem, maybe a commencement speech given to a graduating class. Also, the one thing I told you both not to do was use the word "sound", and then you go ahead and write "here is the sound and the sound alone". It almost makes me think you took a dive.

Djinn, your poem read better as a poem, read with a much better rhythm out loud, played around with language to a satisfying effect, brought forth interesting imagery that stuck with me after I read it, and ultimately had a message that was more complex and original. There were some points where the meter sort of stuttered a bit, but this was rock-solid for the most part, and it felt more worthwhile as a whole.

Djinn blows Muffin's speakers out and wins.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

16) Broadway Boogie-Woogie, 1942 by Piet Mondrain

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

newtestleper posted:

Very excited to see the painting week stories! I'll give crits to all those who choose a painting week prompt.

Edit: So I'm a judge so I'll be giving crits to everyone. Maybe I'll do line crits for painting week stories.

I will do line crits for the zero people who choose a song by The Books as their prompt

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
2nd flash rule:

92) They sliced the cake and found more Krugerrands with every slice. | Gold in Every Slice by Superb Owls -

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Where The Devil Says Goodnight
1489 words
Flash rules: Broadway Boogie-Woogie, Gold In Every Slice

Arlen took an extra-deep drag on his cigarette as his wife hit the high-note. The sound turned him into Pavlov痴 stage manager, brought him right back to two nights ago.

He and Aviva loving in the back of the orchestra pit, right next to the third trombone. He remembered holding Aviva off until right before that high-note, then surging forward as Cathy痴 mouth formed a perfect 徹 onstage, heard Aviva痴 moans of ecstasy tumbling out of it. He壇 pulled his pants back up, plucked a few hundreds out of his wallet and dropped one into each of the waiting bells of the brass section. Not a bribe, just a courtesy. They knew enough not to cross him.

He dropped the cigarette butt, stamped it out, snapped his fingers. 擢ran-swah. Wine. Now.

A short and thin man in a red vest picked a bottle of Merlot off of the prop table and poured it into a glass, then strode over to Arlen痴 outstretched hand. Arlen plucked the glass away, took a quick sip, then smiled. 溺eet me after the show, Frenchy, I値l slide you some foie gras, compliments of the house, said Arlen, rubbing his thumb and forefinger together.

Merci, Monsieur Bandel, said the man as he turned around and left. Arlen chuckled to himself. There would be no 殿fter the show, just a long procession of people that could kiss his rear end as he and Aviva made their way out of the country. A quick escape out his theatre痴 back door, and then he壇 slam it shut on his old life.

Uciekać, diabeł mwi dobranoc. Run like where the Devil says goodnight. If it was going to be the last day before those boys uptown broke his legs for not paying them that protection money, he might as well run with them. Those hundreds he壇 tipped the trombone players with were the last in his wallet, and he壇 sooner wipe his rear end with the singles that were left. Now it was all up to Aviva, that bimbo, it was up to her to set everything up nice.

鼎hrist, said Arlen to himself. He drank more of the red wine. The wine was like jazz揺e壇 never understood all the notes, he just knew how it made him feel. And in a way, that was his life幼harmed, and always falling into place, even if he couldn稚 understand it. He壇 work it out.

They壇 work it out. They壇 make their way up to midtown where the ports were, pay their way onto a steamer bound across the Atlantic with the stash he壇 told Aviva to bring over, and then猶aris? London?

He壇 take one of them Norway cities at this point.

Arlen drained his glass, gripped the stage curtain with his free hand.

The lights dimmed, and the Bandel Theater痴 stagehands went into motion, shuffling chairs and tables into place in a meticulous and hunched dance. The only one who stood still was Cathy, in her Marie Antoinette frippery and lace, staring into distance with a faint smile on her face, like she liked what she saw.

Aviva痴 thick heels clomped against the stain-studded pavement, taxi lights shimmering against her sequined dress. She stopped, steadied herself against a lamppost. Everywhere was lights, blinding, flowing, flashing lights. It all burrowed into her eyes and blazed against the inside of her skull.

She put her head in her hands, grabbed at her temples. It wasn稚 fair. This wasn稚 supposed to happen. The directions Arlie壇 given her swirled around her head in her panic, building names and right turns swimming out of her ears and hitching themselves to the headlights of passing cars. Chelsea Left. Astor Place Way. Right Turn Across Stuyvesant Square. Six blocks from his apartment to the theater, but what did a block mean to her? She was born in South Jersey, farm country. She didn稚 live inside of a circuit board. Arlie had always been there with a hand on her shoulder, telling her where to go.

Aviva walked to the curb, waved her hand back and forth in the air like a crazed metronome. 典axi! she screeched.

No one stopped, even after her arm dropped to her side, its strength gone. She tucked her chin to her chest and yelled through gritted teeth, stamped her heels on the sidewalk. She had to get to Arlie, tell him that his stash wasn稚 there. The canvas bag was there, back behind his stack of empty Chesterfield boxes, but it was empty, upended in a crumpled heap. She knew by the glint in Arlie痴 eyes as he gave her the directions that whatever had been there would致e impressed her, but there was nothing there now.

Aviva had torn the closet apart, emptied shelves, coffee mugs full of gilded cufflinks and used shaving brushes, thrown polished black shoes against the wall like cannon fire in frustration. Nothing, nothing that would buy their way to Europe, hand-deliver her into a life of luxury. Just a pile of broken and scuffed things.

She took a breath. Don稚 stress yourself, she told herself. Think. Think hard. What did he say?

Something about Broadway, the main street

Aviva snapped her fingers. 釘roadway runs right down the middle, she said out loud. Of course, that was it. She壇 stick to moving left and right, and once she found Broadway, she壇 follow it down to where all the theaters were.

As she walked, the lights fluttered around her.

She pretended they were the flares of light from the sun, glinting off wrought iron and tin shingles as she made her way down the Champs-Elysees, a shopping bag strung over each arm預nd with Arlie, of course! Arlie with his arm around her like the cameras were flashing, pointing up at the Eiffel Tower, French wine on his breath and stars in his eyes, saying they壇 get married at the very top, where they could see everything and want it all for themselves, the streetlights sinking below her as she walked on top of the world, until a puff of exhaust wafted into her face.

擢riends, said Cathy, her voice lilting under the spotlights, 的 welcome you.

This was the centerpiece scene, where they took audience members up onstage to dine with the 殿ristocracy, then whisked them off the stage in time for the Revolution to start.

展e are at the center of a Golden Age, said Cathy, addressing the guests at her table, made up nobility and giddy spectators alike. 典onight, we dine in celebration of the everlasting pact that holds us together欄

She could feel Arlen痴 eyes on her, watching from the wings. Fitting. He owned the entire place and didn稚 have the decency to stay in his back office where he was supposed to be. Instead, he dragged his filthy little fingers over everything in front of him. Everything he thought he owned.

She壇 seen a glimpse of him and his little tramp out of the corner of her eye, screwing in the orchestra pit like rats trapped under railroad ties. She壇 finished the end of her number, looked down, and stared directly into his eyes, his hands resting on his girl痴 bare hips. The way he壇 looked at her was the way he looked at his shoes in the morning before he put them on曜ust another thing for him to step into, another void he only wanted to fill with himself.

的t is time, said Cathy, smiling. She clapped her hands, and the two servants brought out the cake and set it down at the head of the table, pink frosting dappled with white streaks of piping. 釘less us, bless the Lord, and bless the revolution.

She picked up a wide knife from the table and sank it into the pink skin of the cake with two tight slices, then lifted a wedge out and placed it onto the plate of the theatergoer next to her.

Something clinked against the china plate. The man picked it up, held it to the light.

To her right, Cathy heard Arlen痴 wine glass shatter against the floor, followed by a single expletive in Polish, whispered out like a last breath.

The thick gold coin shone like a morning star under the stage lights. The man痴 jaw dropped. 滴oly hell欄

滴ey, there痴 more! said the younger man next to him, grabbing at the slice of cake.

滴ands off, said the first man, grabbing the knife from the table and brandishing it, but a minor noblewoman plunged her manicured hands into the cake before anyone could stop her.

The table tipped over towards the audience, sending gobs of frosting and gold splattering against the hardwood before the actors and audience members fell onto it in a pile of grasping limbs. Someone screamed in pain.

As the front rows of the audience rushed the stage, Arlen let out a full-throated scream of rage. In the chaos, only Cathy heard it.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh
Week CLXXXV: Music of The Night, Vol. II

Kaishai posted:

Songs can chill the human spine. To this day, I can't hear Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor without imagining a rotting Gothic castle. This week you're going to explore the power of music to haunt, to creep, to terrify: your prompt is to write a horror story inspired by a song the judges will assign to you.

There's a catch, however! These won't be dark songs. You won't be asked to conjure fright from "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" or "Smooth Criminal"; that would be too easy. Distilling dread from "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"? Now that will be a challenge.

It痴 a prompt from a year and a half ago, but it led to some of my favorite stories from TD, so let痴 see if we can get that lightning back in the bottle.

One thing, besides the no nonfic/erotica/fanfic rule葉he song prompts from the original week were mostly 80s hits. The prompts for this week will be updated00s and on.

Have fun~

WC: 1400
Sign-ups Deadline: Friday, February 19, 2359 EST
Subs Deadline: Sunday, February 21, 2359 EST

Ironic Twist

spectres of autism裕he Weeknd, 鼎an稚 Feel My Face
skwidmonster勇lle King, 摘x痴 and Oh痴
Tyrannosaurus憂ay-Z, 99 Problems
curlingironOutkast, 溺s. Jackson M83, "Midnight City", +200 words
Guiness13悠LOVEMAKONNEN feat. Drake, 典uesday
CANNIBAL GIRLSKendrick Lamar, 鉄wimming Pools (Drank) Tay Zonday, "Chocolate Rain", +200 words
QuoProQuid有ady Gaga, 撤oker Face
Lake Jucas50 Cent, 鼎andy Shop
Grizzled Patriarch裕he White Stripes, 鉄even Nation Army
flerp裕he Darkness, 的 Believe in a Thing Called Love :toxx:
Thranguy柚.I.A., 撤aper Planes
jon joe佑hairlift, 釘ruises
Bad Seafood友eist, 1234
newtestleper由obyn, 泥ancing On My Own
crabrock揖anye West feat. Jamie Foxx, 敵old Digger
docbeard優aft Punk, 泥igital Love
SurreptitiousMuffin裕aylor Swift, 鉄hake It Off
kurona_bright由ihanna, 泥iamonds
Bird Tyrant憂anelle Monae feat. Big Boi, 典ightrope
ghost crow唯astille, 撤ompeii
Djeser友lorence + The Machine, 泥og Days Are Over
JuniperCake輸my Winehouse, 迭ehab
BlueWher涌wl City, 擢ireflies
hotsoupdinner有orde, 迭oyals
Benny Profane宥orillaz, "Feel Good Inc.", +200 words

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 02:37 on Feb 19, 2016

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

spectres of autism posted:

spectres easily enters first, building up a combo from last week


curlingiron posted:

Hell yeah I'm in.

Guiness13 posted:

Been too long. In


I'll take a song.

QuoProQuid posted:

I'm interested in producing something that isn't awful.

Lake Jucas posted:

I have some free time this week and I miss the dome. IN.

jon joe posted:


Thanks for the crits!


Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh

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