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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Oh, and proof.

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Crab Destroyer posted:

I have some short crits for everybody who got a DM or a loss in week 220. If anybody else who posted in week 220 wants a crit, feel free to ask.

Thanks for doing this! I'd appreciate one.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

BeefSupreme posted:

Losing is better than failing. I think.

Yep.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

sebmojo posted:

gently caress u chili i could nice you out any day of the goddam week you claim to be all 'ooh i'm so polite' but i saw you push in front of a lady at the bagel store once so ur going down

:toxx:

:toxx:

It's an honor to be judged alongside you, Mr. Sebmojo.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Nice Brawl against Sebmojo, the swellest fella this side of the Mississippi.

The Heron and The Beaver
483 Words

As spring set in the bustling forest, Heron worried that he wouldn't find another mate. Though he tried and tried, year after year, he never found love. As the sun rose and the first warm air of the season filled his feathers, Heron got an idea. Perhaps he wasn’t the most beautiful, bright, or courageous, but maybe he could work really hard and show how he was the most special.

He looked around the floor of the forest and saw that winter had covered the ground with loose branches. Heron got an idea: ‘Maybe if I build a big stage out of branches, and stand up tall on it, all of the other herons will see how hard I work.’

And so, Heron set out to collect all of the branches he could find. He worked by sunlight and moonlight, until after three days, he gathered a pile of branches ten feet tall.

‘Now to build my stage!”

But as Heron began clearing a space, Beaver walked by, crying. Noticing the pile of branches, Beaver stopped and wiped the tears from his cheek.

“Oh Heron, you have so many branches and I have found so few. I must build a drat to help keep my family safe. Will you lend me some of your branches?”

Heron looked down at Beaver and saw that the winter had not been kind to him. He was missing chunks of fur and his teeth looked as though they had split. Heron needed those branches, but Beaver needed them more.

“Of course, my friend. Please, let me help you carry the branches to the river. If we work together, we can do it quickly.

And so, Heron and Beaver carried the branches to the river, and Beaver went to work building his drat.

Heron was tired, and knowing that he no longer had a plan, decided to take a long overdue rest. He slept for three days in a tree by the river. After the third day, he heard a knock at the trunk of the tree. Heron flew down to the ground, and Beaver looked up at him, smiling.

“Oh Heron, thank you so much for lending us those branches. May I show you the drat that my family and I have built?”

“I would be honored,” said Heron.

Beaver led Heron around the drat; it was truly impressive. Finally, when they arrived at the center of the river, Beaver turned to Heron.

“I saved this for last,” Beaver said.

And there, at the center of the drat, stood a high stage.

“What’s this?” Heron asked.

“It’s for you,” replied Beaver. “My family and I will guard it, and make sure you’re the only bird to stand on it.”

Heron, shedding a tear, looked down at Beaver and thanked him. He flapped up to the stage where he looked unique and beautiful. It would be a good spring.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe


Thanks for these. You were on point with my story, it's appreciated.

Oh and thanks to Jitzu as well for carrying out his judgely duties.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe


The thing about prompt is....

there should be one.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Surreal Crits:

Read and critted in judgemode for the lulz. At least, that’s how I started. By the last third or so I already knew who wrote what as I started my crits before judgement and finished them after.

I love talking shop, and I'm happy to re-read and give a more detailed repsonse to anyone who wants it. I'm on IRC all the time.

Is It Taboo? – (I remember seeing this get submitted early and I think it was from a newbie)

Your punctuation is crazy-go-nuts. You use a lot of semi-colons but then there’s comma splices all over the drat place. I counted at least 4 or 5. It’s really distracting. I was somehow on board with your story though, pretty much all the way through… until the end but we’ll get there. Despite being on board, I couldn’t really figure out much of what was going on. You submitted this early, that much I know and I think if you walked away from this for a day or two and came back to it, you would have found a way to make this tighter and clearer. I think the saving grace was the music prompt. It fit. Where you really lost me though was on this being a drug trip. That bummed my poo poo. I wish you hadn’t ended it that way. It kinda just excuses all of the images you worked to develop and it doesn’t manage to accomplish much. You spent the bulk of the story trying to paint a picture. Trust that your audience is on board for that experience. We don’t necessarily need to know why. The bumper killed this for me, I wouldn’t say it tamped all the way down to DM territory on its own, but that, and the lack of clarity/punctuation issues means I wouldn’t defend it from such a judgement.

Transfer Request

The formatting of this story is a mess and it makes it hard to read. Preview edit your post and make sure the thing looks halfway decent. You spent time writing your story, honor that time by spending 2 minutes making sure it looks good. This wasn’t really a story, and I’m having a hard time telling what is going on. It’s hard for me to give much feedback here because I just don’t know what you were going for at all. I get that this is a letter being written asking for a transfer, but I’m not understanding what he’s saying, it feels like some random string of complaints and not much else. This didn’t work.

Butterfly Sails

The writing in this was clear and effective. You did a good job of painting your pictures. The story itself? Kinda seemed of little consequence. We begin with you explaining that the carnage has been too much for your protag, but then he jumps out… and he can’t say why… except you just said why… so what’s happening here? I’m not sure what your character is trying to do in this story. It worked with the music and was a pleasant enough read but the ending didn’t feel too solid or in tune with the rest of the piece. This was kind of middle of the road for me.

How Birds Are Born

As with an earlier crit, preview edit your posts please, you needed spaces between some of these lines. This is a huge eyesore. I kinda get what’s going on and you’re setting up for some decent images but overall, I’m not quite following what’s going on here. I get that this is some kind of bird growery/factory type of deal but apart from that this is kind of a story where things just happen. At the end the kid gets the bird but it seems horrific. She doesn’t seem to mind and I don’t understand why she doesn’t. There is consistent logic, and I think it also works well enough for the music. This was kinda just fine.

Creative Disobedience

I liked this one enough. There are some typos “it’s hard to described” and things like that, but in general this worked. Nathan is a dick, so it’s kinda nice when he gets what’s coming to him, but when the first half of the story is told from his point of view, we’re spent having to deal with him and it’s a little frustrating. I guess I’m also not really seeing the point of John being a guy who was laid off from his job and so he’s giving poo poo away? Didn’t really follow why that matter or how it helped you. . Kind of a minor crit really, because overall this worked for me.

Sky’s Reprise

My fingers are sore from rifling through my dictionary. Christ, you know some words don’t you? Anyway, this was tough to follow but at least it was pretty. I’m still not quite sure what your character is/who they are/what they’re trying to do, I think I have some guesses. The prose is strong enough that it carried me through the story but by the end I was more confused than satisfied.

Pickle Me This

Lots of typos throughout this “it’s” when it should be “its” misspelled words, “comenced” etc. Proofread more words please. I like the idea of a guy stuck in a pickle, but that’s about all I’m enjoying out of this piece. The writing isn’t clear you lean heavily on “really” and “actually” when you could just cut them and come across stronger. The sentences also just sound unpleasant. This is a good example: “One thing people know about ghouls is, that due to being mostly rotten flesh, and bones, they can't run very fast. Another thing people know is, that their decomposed brain make them very stupid.” Read that out loud, it’s not happytimes. Not really sure what you were going for or how or why you needed ghouls in this story at all and “un-ceremoniously” doesn’t need the dash and you didn’t even need it in the first place. This story could benefit from a line crit. I’m not going to do that now because I don’t have time, and there are better people who could do a better job than me.

Bradycardia

Nice, very nice. I loved your light-handed approach to the prompt. I read this faster than any of the others so far and it kept my interest and it reached a satisfying conclusion for its purposes. The idea is a strong one and I’m glad you handled it well.
I don’t have much else to say about this one. I enjoyed it.

Oh, Piolet!

OK, not so much on this one. Little about this worked. The stakes here are so very low and it makes it hard to care. I get that this is kind of a TV show existence of sorts and that the big conflict is settled neatly and in time for the end but it’s not good storytelling, it’s really more of a parody that you’re doing. I don’t much care for that; I want a good story. The language is totally out of crazytown and people never talk like this. “I’m just looking at you alertly” isn’t something anyone has ever said. I’m guessing you could justify that by trying to make these folks all seem odd but I’m also unsure of what it’s accomplishing.

Forgetting to Drown

The action in this was clear enough and easy to follow for what felt like a bit of a complex string of events. So good on you for that. I don’t quite understand that reasoning behind the opening though. I wouldn’t have minded as much if you didn’t bother to include the burger buddy thing, would’ve kept it jarring and non-descript. But if you’re going to do give some context, starting with it may help. Otherwise this was functional and clear, didn’t hit me super hard or anything but there were some nice words and some nice sentences.

Held Music

I respect the ambition to write a story about what might possibly be the worst and most mundane situation possible. Problem is, that’s kinda just what happens in the story and it only really goes with that and intensifies the negative. I think I’d rather read a story where the opposite happens. Where, somehow a character finds some kind of way to turn it into a blissful situation. We all already know how much this sucks; you don’t need to tell us, much less write a story about it.

Slaughter

Got some genuine giggles out of me. Good dialogue, snappy even, at times. I don’t have much to offer in the way of criticism here. I guess things could have been a little clearer. Gun to my head? I’m not sure if I could nail all of the plot points exactly as they happen

All Their Hollow, Empty Prayers

Clearly you’ve played Bastion. At least I’d be surprised if you hadn’t, as this went right for the voice of the narrator and nailed it, for the most part. Otherwise, there’s good clear action in this coupled with solid images and a good, striking voice. I liked this one.

Chute

The first half was stronger than the second. Once Teddy is out and on the ground, things just kind of happen. He notices some things, sees some, gets hungry, gets stalked. Meh. I wish he made more choices, I think the story would have been stronger overall if the back-end had more decisions.

Frog Sounds

This didn’t pop. I was excited this week to read big stories with some crazy poo poo going on and nothing about this really felt all that surreal. It’s also just kind of a bummer. We just have to see the frog deal with a raft of poo poo. This is kinda mean and I’m not sure what you were trying to accomplish.

Knight Sacrifice

This piece didn’t hold my interest and I think the problem is you promised some fun dragon time and then spent most of your story in a journey that I couldn’t be arsed to care about as much. The horse talking is a cool touch but if you’re gonna have a talking horse maybe give him some more personality and characterization.

Hell’s Other People

Another edition of “I glazed over during this”. Nothing’s happening in this, there isn’t really a story. You talk a bit about some things that have happened but you ignore the details of the lake and how it works. If you’re not gonna bother having much happen, at least pick the interesting things to talk about.

Market Fluctuations

Read your first sentence out loud. Whatever good words may follow it don’t matter because you’ve already put my head in a bad place assuming that the rest of this is going to be clunky. Anyway, I don’t understand what the poo poo on the ceiling has to do with any of this That may mean there’s something obvious I’m missing but it just makes me feel dumb, and that makes me grumpy. I think there’s a point you’re trying to make but you’re dancing around it too much. Also, stop saying your MC’s name so much.

Finn’s

You waste time in your opening paragraph “the name of the establishment”, why? Just call it what it is. Your next paragraph starts with a horrible bit of telling, rather than showing, but then you go ahead and show us anyway. So yeah, more wasted time. There’s other small things in this that just bother me, your sentences aren’t sounding good. “The room was awash in blue light emanating from a large curving fish tank that filled the wall on one side of the room.” You’re starting and ending a sentence with the same two (bad) words. Anyway, this all kind of second to the fact that the story just doesn’t have enough substance to it. Not enough in it happens that I could find myself caring about. Raise the stakes.

Moving On

I think this was supposed to sting more than it did. I wish the story started with the swallowing shards bit, and went from there, everything else felt a little uneven and unclear. I appreciate you trying to do more with less, but you could have spent some more words developing the picture of your piece.

Kinder mit lego Waffen.

I was wondering if anyone would go this route, the child imagination thing. I’m glad you did and overall this OK. But really, all this is, or at least all I’m seeing is kids loving around. There’s gotta be a reason to care. Your ending basically invalidates the story if I’m reading it correctly. By just asking to run it back, the consequences are diminished and it’s sort of confirmed that none of this mattered.

Under the Maelstrom

Starting a story with the phrase “you wouldn’t understand” in a week were stories are naturally going to be a little out there is an invitation for me to hate you. That happens again in the story and all I can really say is “yeah, I don’t understand”. I’m getting that there’s some body stuff going on but the clarity here is kind of off and isn’t helping. There are pretty words here and there and some of the images are well constructed but overall this is kinda middle of the road for me.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I didn't participate this week because I was sad, but now I want to help make Thunderdome Great Again.

I'll attempt a detailed line-by-line crit this week for the first person to ask for one, ideally for someone who has only done a few subs at most.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Erogenous Beef posted:

Bring it. Who shall judge the BeefBQ?

BeefSupreme posted:

Seems we've got a Beef Sloganoff

I gotchu fellas. Here's what I need:

You have up to 2,000 words and until 11/22 10:00PM EDT to write me a story.

In this story, your protagonist must be a vegan. They don't necessarily have to be a bitching and moaning vegan, they can be a super chill vegan, but a vegan they must be. That lifestyle choice must be important to your story.

Toxx it up, and may the best beef be passed on, because meat is murder.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

In. Throw a tiger my way, please and thank you.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

BeefSupreme posted:

Come at me, Beef. :toxx:

:toxx: I'll have a line-by-line crit your way within a week after judgement.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Oh and feel free to ask for a flash rule if need be.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

BeefSupreme posted:

Alright flash me

:woop: ROAD TRIP!!!! :woop:

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Someday, this poo poo may be included in a volume of bad stories.

Chili fucked around with this message at 07:19 on Jan 1, 2017

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Beef Supreme gets an extra hour since he toxxed and Erogenous didn't. Make good use of it!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

The Battle of The Beefy Vegans has come to pass.

BeefSupreme accidentally wrote a story that hit insanely close to home for me. It was a simple, micro story about small relationships, and it was told delicately with great respect for his characters, and their intentions.

Erogenous Beef, on the other hand, took this opportunity to go ape-poo poo and propose a story that seems to be set in a bleak, not-so-distant future. The risk paid off, the story was boss as gently caress and the punchline was begging for me to cringe at it, but by golly he stuck the landing.

Both stories were good, but one must emerge as a winner. Due to the subtle yet powerful descriptions of the environment, the food, and the cruelty, Erogenous Beef takes this one down.

Both stories were a joy to read. Thank you for writing them!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Sailor Viy posted:

Still looking for 2 judges for this week.

I was gonna pump the brakes as I had been judging a bunch, but if you can't find 2 more by the sign up deadline, I'll jump in.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Mercedes posted:



The two vegan stories, holy poo poo.

Indeed. They're both worth a read.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Sailor Viy posted:

Whoops! :siren: Signups are closed. :siren:

GenJoe, lucky for you I was sick and forgot to close the signups last night.

Chili, are you still good to be my 3rd judge?

I'm your Chiliberry

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Sailor Viy posted:

I don't know if I can get on IRC at a convenient time if you're in the US. You can email me if you like? wjbroom700 at gmail.

I'm usually on at odd times for my timezone. But sure, e-mail is fine.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Haven't been in touch with Sailor, and I wasn't given any order to close submissions, so they're still open until Sailor says so.

Meanwhile...

As I haven’t been able to connect with the other judges and I’m beginning to think that this week may see a slower-than-usual judgement, I’m going to issue an…

Interprompt :siren: WITH A PRIZE :siren:

Everyone has from right now, until judgement is rendered, to take up to 500 words and write a story about a black sheep. It can be a literal black sheep if you’re a disphit, but what I’m looking for is a character who just doesn’t fit in with their peers. They should want something and/or try to do something.

Also as a means of inspiration, use this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YplCJukBPI

flerp defined using songs in a good way, so I’m just gonna steal from him:

flerp posted:

... basically all I'm looking for is for me to listen to the song and read your story and for me to nod and say "Yeah this fits the story well enough."


My favorite story wins an Avatar Certificate!

Use it to make yourself spiffy, or hold onto it as Loser insurance, or give it to your favorite user if you're happy with your avatar and you're never going to lose (Kaishai).

Also, I'll do crits of anyone who submits an interprompt story just as I would judging a regular week.

Edit: looks like judgement may end up being swift, so take until Tuesday some time.

Chili fucked around with this message at 05:27 on Nov 28, 2016

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Farchanter posted:

I was sick this weekend and I couldn't finish. At least, that's what I'm telling myself is the reason. I'm still pretty proud of what I have so far, so I'm going to post it tomorrow when I do finish. I don't expect it to be judged, at least in terms of the competition.

I'll definitely still crit your story.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

My Share of the Crits

Arrangements

Notes:
I want things to happen faster. The first 400 words bored me.
You’re using a bunch of adjectives that you don’t seem to need. I’m noticing it especially around dialogue attribution “she said thoughfully”, “she hastily added”, “the abbess’s frank speech”, “she offered meekly”. That’s all in the span of like 150 words. That’s just too much. If you must do it, do it less often so it punches harder.
I don’t like this sentence: “Relief and shame pricked Catherine equally.” That’s an awful lot to tell and not show. I also think you can trust your readers enough to leave that out. I was able to piece together the emotional ramifications myself, your writing made Catherin clear enough that I could’ve gotten there myself.

Overall:
This was a serviceable and nice read but it left me underwhelmed. I’ve found that when an author proposes a dichotomy, choosing one of the available options is never all that satisfying. The real score in the proposal of a dichotomy is choosing something outside of the set of proposed options. By having her stick to the original plan, the story doesn’t end up mattering. I get the “well now she made a choice and that’s all the difference” angle, but gently caress it, why not have her run away? Or maybe demand to meet the guy first so she can make an informed decision? Sure those things might not be possible, but perhaps she gets motivated enough to ask because she finally feels empowered and now your story can take a bold new direction in challenging the status quo.
This is less a story than it is a conversation but it managed to hold my attention and entries like this typically don’t so overall this was good enough, but didn’t do much else for me.

Journey

Notes:
Killer hook. Got me right into things. I’m on board. You start to lose me a bit though when Thorkild’s reminiscing becomes the focus. You promised me growth and missing fingers. I kinda want more of that than him thinking about young love.
The shifting of focus inside the parentheticals became tiresome after a certain point. I’m glad you stopped when you did, but I would have preferred it to stop sooner.

Overall:
Not really sure how to react to this. Nothing really happens. Guy comes home, looking forward to meet girl, girl basically tells him to gently caress off, and he fucks off. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to care. You do a decent job of letting us know Thorkild has seen some poo poo, but you generated interest in whatever that poo poo was and then you never capitalize on it. Once he gets home, all of the action that occurs until he finds Asa seems unnecessary to the thrust of your story. Your words may have been better spent showing some more of his trip.
The prose was tight for the most part and this wasn’t a massive failure, but I do think you missed out on some good opportunities.

Spirits in the Forest

Notes:
Another nice hook. You’re setting me up for there to be a solid threat to the house, you better deliver on it.
Some sloppy tense stuff, using “has” and “had” in close proximity to each other makes this a bit clunky. Oy, it only gets worse. I see what you’re doing talking about the present and shifting to Benjamin’s recollection but it happens too much and is kind of a turn off when it comes to flow.
Fair amount of proofing mistakes here, enough to DQ you from the win if your story ends up being deserving of it. Not gonna point them out, go read your story again, you’ll stumble on them.
And now, as the story chugs along, the hook falls down. It no longer matters. I’ll touch on this in the overall…

Overall:
This story let me down. You set me up for an intense “survive the night” scenario where a boy had to fight off spirits in the terrifying darkness of his cabin…
But then everything is OK and it’s morning.
Then you get going with him trying to bury his mother, and suddenly wolves show up….
But then everything is OK and he buries her in silence.
This is a sad, and downtrodden story that offers an awful lot of resolution through essentially no meaningful action. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to care about Benjamin apart from the fact that he’s seen poo poo. You set up interesting situations and fail to deliver on them which is one of the worst crimes a story can commit. If it were bad from the outset I wouldn’t have expected more.
I don’t think your character should have ever left the cabin. The setting you started off with, a cabin enshrouded in darkness with a corpse of your MC’s mother and spirits of the forest seeking to claim her… That’s good poo poo. Wish you stuck around there a bit.

The Warrior and the Beast

Notes:
Interesting hook, and I’ve set up stories in a similar way myself. It’s a little on the nose though, you’re clearly telling us that something else is going on, I don’t know if you need to. It’s OK to lean back a little and let us come to that conclusion on our own. And if we can’t that means your story is weak. Haven’t read the rest yet, so we’ll see.
Proofing mistakes. Pernicious and distracting ones at that. Please read your stuff over.
“ a pungent mix of fishiness and farts” that got, what I’m assuming was, an unwanted laugh out of me. There has to be a better word than “farts” here.

Overall:
Guy gets sent on a fool’s errand, which we only know due to the benefit of wisdom the character and his people don’t possess. He then sees a whale. He then wants to kill the whale. Then he doesn’t. Then he dies.
Meh. None of your character’s actions matter. He just sorts goes out and dies. The conflict between him and the whale needed to be more fleshed out and perhaps we didn’t need to know as much about the reasons for him going out since they were silly. He could simply be a warrior on a mission, but now he’s dealing with this whale and that gets more words.
I wanted more out of this.

Squaring the Circle

Notes:
My first impression on this is that it will be whacky as gently caress. I am on board.
I love this: “But that was many pairs of sandals past.”

Overall:
This was great. Of everything I’ve read so far this addresses its century the most effectively. It’s punchy and clever and doesn’t overstay its welcome. Any longer, and I think it may have. I don’t have much else to say really, this stylish and fun and a solid entry.
Definitely and easy HM to me and maybe a pick for the win.

All the Men Merely Players

Notes:
A whole lot of procedural stuff in this story. Stuff just keeps on happening and it’s really difficult for me to find a reason to care. I don’t really understand much about these characters and what drives them personally. There’s just a bunch of hobnobbing and deal doing and it’s not doing a whole lot for my interest.

Overall:

It was an easy and light read and I guess I was sort of interested in what happened, but only just. I see where you’re going with the ending, and I guess you nailed the date as this is all based on historical stuff and such but I’m not sure what to do with this story, not sure why it matters. Just feels kinda empty.
To be fair, this sort of story stands essentially no chance with me, I’m put off by historical tones and things like that.

Magistration

Notes:
“Now downriver - in Eridu or Ur - there they knew how to make a chair you could listen to whiny idiots all day in, and never once have to surreptitiously extract a termite from between your buttocks.” This is clunky.
“One in particular, standing hand in hand with a strapping young man, looked particularly comely.” Take a guess why this particular sentence is bad.

Overall:
Read the rest of this quickly, liked it enough. I’m happy you had the guts to go for the ending you went for but there’s not a whole lot of consequence. We have a magistrate who don’t give a gently caress, we have two sorcerers who are just screwing around and basically troll a proceeding and we have a guy who was fair to accuse them and is now screwed out of three month’s salary. So nothing of major consequence happens to anyone that I cared about.
It was nice and lively to read though, and that redeems it enough.

Listen to Me, Not the Flames

Notes:

The opener grabbed my attention. It’s a dude talking about sand but the fact that he’s addressing his son and the voice of the character struck me as genuine in passing a message along to progeny.
Read the rest easily.

Overall:
I like the everything that surrounds the meat of the story a lot better than the story itself. You lost me pretty quickly when the father really gets into it. And then, coming out of the father’s story going into action and back into the story I definitely got lost. It feels intentional, but it also doesn’t feel like it works. A lot of this pretty and more than any other story thus far, this story calls a lot of attention to a sense of presence. I felt the heat, could see the sand, and the transformations.
So functionally, this works, but I think you did sacrifice some storytelling punch in the name of style and presentation. Probably an OK trade though.

Cut

Notes:
Right off the bat, it’s nearly impossible to tell who is doing/saying what. Characters don’t have names and you’re just using him and his, so this is horribly unclear.
Moving on, referring to the characters as “the man” and “the rat holder” is not doing you any favors. I’m struggling when I should be looking forward to what happens next.

Overall:
I stopped with the notes because, Christ, I just have no idea what’s happening here. It was nearly impossible for me to follow much of the action in this. I can try and parse through this with a more detailed line-by-line but I think this just needed an editing pass pretty badly.

One and Another

Notes:
The opener is pretty but as I’m going through the first several paragraphs, I want to see what you’re describing in my head, but it’s just not landing. This is a lovely crit so pardon my lack of incisiveness but something about the descriptions makes it hard to get a sense of place, I don’t know where these characters are.
Saying Mother and Daughter over and over again is tiresome. It’s unpleasant to read.

Overall:
Your story found its focus and momentum once they start travelling with the man. At that point there’s enough clarity to process the details and enjoy the prose. Interestingly enough I could see it in my head more when there was less description of the place. I guess since it didn’t work for me at first, but it was there, it boxed me out.

I know people aren’t supposed to respond to crits, but can you tell me if any of this made sense to you? I can’t tell if I’m making sense.
Anyway, the story was fine.

Where late the sweet birds sang

Notes:
Well of course that’s a great hook, and you rear end in a top hat, you go right ahead and call it a great hook in the story.
Loving the voice of this, it’s clear as hell who this guy is.

Overall:
This kinda worked, I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. This feels like bar story without a punchline that really lands. You wouldn’t ordinarily need one but as it’s a “shut up and listen have I got a story for you” type of story, you kind of do. Also, and maybe I’m just dumb, but it sure seems like Max dies and then he’s alive and sodomizing his friend? I can’t tell what’s happening. The last line didn’t work for me either, not sure what that has to do with anything and it doesn’t strike me as a way a scene like this would genuinely end.

Roanoke

Notes:
Couldn’t understand what happened in the first scene. I don’t under this:
“You have broken trust,” he said. “We have left. You will face alone.””
There are a couple of places where this doesn’t sing nicely. Things like “ Thomas’s tracks led due south from the village with little deviation. John cursed the man for leading his search with so little effort. Until they found the bodies.

Thomas’s body sat upright against a tree with his head in his lap”

Overall:
Huh? OK, I’m thinking that not understanding the first scene really came back to bite my rear end on enjoying or understanding this at all. I guess there was some kind of transgression that caused there to be some kind of payback but Christ, it just sorta shows up in the end and we don’t get to see how it resolves. This plays like a murder mystery but ends up in a bloodbath/poltergeist type of deal and it just doesn’t feel satisfying.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Beef Supreme requested I line crit this story as opposed to his brawl sub, so here it is.


Apollo remained standing by the door after Kevin had closed and locked it. His hackles raised. As far as I know, this is an indication of aggression, not curiosity. Not the tone you’re going for There was a new presence here, faint, but distinct, lingering beneath the bench where Kevin stowed his shoes. While Kevin was at work, Apollo spent much of his time cataloguing all of the smells in the house—the stinging, counterfeit lavender of the laundry room, the disappointing succulence of the kitchen trash, Kevin’s potent, intriguing Nike’s A dog doesn’t know that they’re Nike’s, keep it simple, no reason to get specific—but this was none of those. Apollo took a few preliminary samples of the air, and then traced his way back to the kitchen. He found no more clues, but he did find his breakfast. The investigation would have to wait. This was a good bit of humor that indicates an upbeat and light tone.

******

For several days, no new clues had surfaced. Apollo knew where to look to account for new smells, but none of his spots had provided even a whiff of this most curious invader. The downstairs bathroom was his first stop, almost always good for a strange scent or two or ten. He’d tried the kitchen counter, where Kevin often carried in new smells for Apollo to investigate or even sample. There was nothing there, now. I don’t think you need any of this. If it’s not there, and it didn’t happen, just cut to a week later. Dogs aren’t likely going to pursue something when it leaves their immediate situation, object permanence and such. Just cut to…

Then, a week later, the scent was back. Apollo was awoken early, earlier than normal, by an intermittent breeze carrying echoes of the scent to his nose. The scent was sweeter, more floral, than the first one, but it was undeniably the same presence. Rising quickly we can infer as much to action, Apollo trotted to the entryway, easily tracking the trail with his muzzle aloft and his tail swishing energetically again, we know. It did not take long for him to identify the source: a sea foam green scarf tucked underneath Kevin’s coat. I don’t think the dog cares about the color

This was big news. Apollo knew that Kevin owned no such thing. He would need to alert Kevin immediately to the presence of this befuddling interloper , at last found out. He pulled the scarf out with his teeth and quickly made his way up the stairs to Kevin’s door. He laid the scarf on the floor and began to scratch at the door.

Kevin came out about 20 minutes later, dressed to run. “Good morning, buddy,” Kevin said. Apollo nudged the scarf toward him, and sat on his hindquarters panting enthusiastically, proud of his work. Kevin, however, picked the scarf up nonchalantly, and said, “I imagine the owner will want this back.”

Apollo tilted his head and whined lightly. An owner! This meant the scarf was not the answer. It was but a clue to a new, greater mystery for Apollo to solve. so at this point, the audience knows what the scent is. It can be really frustrating for the audience to be ahead of the protag. He has to solve it, sure, but we’ve already gotten there.

Apollo followed Kevin downstairs. Kevin traded the scarf for a leash, and put on his Nike’s, and for the moment, thoughts of the new scent disappeared. The appearance of the new scent had also brought several changes in Kevin’s behavior: they’d been going on a lot more runs recently (a fact Apollo was enjoying), and eating far less bacon (a fact Apollo was not).

******

The door specify which room here and ditch it latersquealed as Apollo’s shoulders widened the gap. Apollo froze. Kevin’s room was restricted territory. Most days, the door was shut tight, and Apollo had not yet solved the riddle of opening it. Today, however, Kevin had been in a rush—he’d come home much later than usual—and had left it cracked.

Apollo had been trying to get in this room for days now. His search for the mysterious ‘owner’ had brought him back again and again to one place: Kevin’s room. Whenever he passed the door, he caught a whiff of the smell. He had begged Kevin to let him in, had even barked at him—a rarity—but those conversations always ended with a pat on the head and a “good night, buddy.” So far, all of this feels like it could have come before finding the scarf. I get that the switch from scent to owner matters, but he could still easily be looking for the scent in the room.

Now, he had his chance. While he stood still halfway through the door, the scent assaulted Apollo’s nose from several angles at once. His fear overridden by opportunity, Apollo bounded from the bed to the dresser to the bathroom, nose on overdrive. The smell was everywhere. It did not take long, however, for Apollo to conclude that it was all residual scent —the 'owner' was not here.

Momentarily stymied, he made a more thorough search of the room. Apollo was not planning on wasting perhaps his only opportunity here. Doesn’t feel like this sentence helps you.

Eventually, his search brought him to the closet. The new scent was not here, but he liked the closet. It was warm, and full of some of his favorite smells. Years ago, he’d been allowed in Kevin’s room more often. It was not always only Kevin’s room. She If he knows Kevin, he should know “she” would let him in, would let him cuddle with her, would sit and scratch his belly. Apollo wound his way toward the back, hanging shirts and pants brushing his soft brown and black fur. Polyester browns and cotton blues gave way to silken scarlets and woolen whites. again, I don’t think color matters here. An old, inert scent, fading but deeply embedded, resided here. On the floor, a box sat tucked next to a row of shoes covered in several years of dust. The box held a picture of Kevin and her, some odds and ends, a diamond ring. Diamond?

Apollo stopped searching and laid down, resting his muzzle on his paws. When Kevin found him there much later, he joined him on the floor and idly rubbed Apollo’s back. They stayed sitting for a while. Most of the time, interludes like this bog a story down, and while this disrupts the story, it’s very sweet and well done for the most part, it paints a pretty evocative picture. Again though, it puts the solution to the mystery at the forefront and we’re left following a protagonist learn what we already know.

******

The key in the door woke Apollo from his nap, like normal, but that was not what jerked him to his feet. A current of air rushed through the open door, and Apollo’s senses could not be deceived. The potency of the smell streaming from the hallway could only mean one thing. The 'owner’ was here.

Apollo bolted for the door. His paws slipped on the hardwood kitchen floor, and he only narrowly avoided a crash with an out-of-place stool. He soon reached the carpet of the living room and found his footing, flying past familiar furniture and play toys. He leapt up the half staircase into the hallway and raced down it. Very good action, economical and I can see it all in my head.

“Whoa, easy boy!” Kevin said, and chuckled. “Down!”

Apollo normally would have complied, but this was too monumental a moment. He had solved the
mystery! He jumped up and down, ran in circles, barked his excitement to Kevin, who was seemingly unaware of the importance of this discovery.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into him,” Kevin said.

“That’s okay,” a new voice said. It was soft and kind. “He’s just excited to meet me.” The voice’s owner squatted down and ruffled Apollo’s ears.

“I don’t blame him,” Kevin said, and squatted down as well.

“Apollo, meet Alicia,” I really hate that we get to know Alicia’s name but not Kevin’s dead wife who seems to matter a lot to the dog he said, turning and smiling at their new guest. “I’m hoping you’ll be seeing a lot more of her.”


*************************


So yeah, this is schmaltz as gently caress, but that’s OK for the most part. You set out to tell a sweet story and ultimately, it landed.

My big trouble is consistency. Sometimes we get descriptions as though the dog were almost soliloquizing and sometimes we’re getting the benefit from an omniscient narrator who clearly knows more than dogs.

You should have picked one or the other, and in my opinion, though it may have been difficult, sticking with the perspective of the dog and only the dog, describing things in the house without calling them “diamonds” but “hard things that humans put on their fingers, would have made this more fun and would potentially have helped enshroud the mystery a bit more.

When you talked with me about your story, and I recommended checking out that Pixar short, think about the perspective and how that could have worked to your benefit. Everything is narrowly focused on the dog and we only get a glimpse of his owner’s face when the dog has to make a decision. Because of this, the ending, which is a twist of sorts, catches most people by surprise even though it should have been obvious.
It’s also a little hard to believe that a dog like Apollo could have possibly missed a human coming into the house. He certainly is an alert doggo, so it’s odd he missed her. That’s kind of a nitpick I guess, but maybe the smell could of just been on Kevin. Maybe he spent time with her instead and just came home and the smell was new and strange.

I’m not sure if there’s a way to make this a “mystery” that your audience can’t solve pretty quickly. There needed to be something else. Like, maybe he discovers her quickly, and then he has the moment in the closet which helps Kevin realize how important it is to have someone he loves in his life and that motivates him to make a change. It would have been nice if Apollo’s actions impacted the result of the story as opposed to him just reacting to stuff.

Overall though, this was fun and sweet and there’s a lot of good in here. I’d actually really like to see you re-write this sometime because it definitely seems like something you cared about doing and I think while this is a good story, there’s a great one buried in it.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Interprompt Judgement

Only two of you managed to put forth an entry. Pathetic. But I'm glad we got that many at least.

I asked for stories about black sheep....

As far as I can tell I got stories that had little to do with that subject matter.

I could see the song in Thranguy's a bit, not so much in Fleta's.

So just looking at these two stories as independent of the prompt, I enjoyed Thranguy's a teensy bit more, it was a slick read.

Thranguy, you have won. As you now eat the apple from the forbidden garden, and acknowledge your nudity, please clothe yourself with a new avatar.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Okua posted:

Week 226: Viking Wisdom

Since I won with a story about vikings, and had Snorri's Edda right beside me as I opened this thread, I think we'll continue with that theme. For each person who signs up, I'll get a random number and assign that person a stanza from Hávamál. These are the words of Odin, the god of wisdom himself, and based on your stanza you will write a story. It can be any genre in any time or setting, so get as creative as you want. You don't need to make a morality tale - you may interpret and work with the stanza however you like as long as I can see how it is related to your story. Hávamál can be found in full here if you want that.

Signups close Friday at midnight, CET
Submissions close Sunday 20:00 CET


You may want a word limit.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

In.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Mrenda posted:

Cool. I'll do a word war if manufactured literary beef is what drives this place. I've been awake all night so I can't do it today, and I'm spending about eight hours traveling with yet more hours in a waiting toom tomorrow but I can get to it Friday/Saturdayish, presuming I don't "gently caress it" and write, edit and post my response in a sleep deprived fit of confidence.

It just seems a bit delicate for me. "Dishonourable" mentions for bad writing with requests to front up like we have to entertain millions of manbabies so people call for a :toxx: based on my one post in a year. Aren't I supposed to work my way up the card? I could never have imagined robust discussion and critique would call for a ladder match between the last TD Winner and single entry DM.

You slung some poo poo, so there's a brawl. And yeah, it was one post, but it was a post where you went out of your way to poo poo on someone.

Also, as nice as your summary of Thunderdome is, you're not above all of this by identifying it. The thread is called Thunerdome. Obviously, there's an intense nature to it. It's of course in good fun, and if you don't want to brawl and entertain us manbabies than don't do it. You won't find too many people begging for you to write words for their entertainment. If people want entertainment they'll read a Stephen King book, or Harry Potter, or comics, or something on the bath room wall, there's plenty of better options.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Someday, this poo poo may be included in a volume of bad stories.

Chili fucked around with this message at 07:19 on Jan 1, 2017

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Chairchucker posted:

FAST JUDGING GOOD JUDGING

Indeed. Well done judges!

And thank you mrenda, for your very thoughtful crit!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I am in, and I will be capitalizing on that bounty.

I will kill the Christmas spirit wit my story. Probably not purposefully.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Crit of Beef Supreme' Mean Things

“Jake! What are you doing?” Joanna gripped Jake’s arm with both hands, tugging him back toward the school behind them. Not a great hook. Doesn't tell us anything specific and doesn't give us anything to get excited about. Also, consider not starting two of your prominent character's names with the same letter. It's not helpful for clarity.

Jake looked to his left at Joanna, who was staring at him open-mouthed and wide eyed. There's way more going on in this sentence than you need. So much blocking, and it's laregly unecessary. Why not, 'Jake looked at Joanna, she was incredulous' “What I have to,” he said, before returning his eyes to his parking spot, about 30 feet away, in front of which stood Marcus Dorman and a couple of his followers. Why does he get a full name?

“What you have to?” Joanna released his arm and circled in front of him. “What you have to? Jesus, this isn’t a movie, Jake. The fate of the world doesn’t hang in the balance. Marcus is going to beat the crap out of you.”

“I have to, Joanna. You weren’t there. You didn’t hear what he said.” He pushed past Joanna and walked a few steps toward Marcus. That makes four "have to's", that's definitely more than you need and it's making the reading tiresome

“And what exactly did he say?”

“He said…” Jake hesitated. The truth was, he couldn’t remember what Marcus had said. In fact, he’d forgotten it almost as soon as he’d heard it. He had been walking to History class, and had passed C hall, where Marcus and his crew—the school’s resident drug dealers, in the sense that they occasionally sold some drugs but mostly did them—loitered during the day.

Ok so we're going through the rest of this in flashback. Not sure if that's the best way for you to handle this story. 800 words ain't much and shifting perspective like this can be challenging. The intro into this flashback wasn't all that compelling and I'm wondering if something as simple as "Marcus had it coming, let me tell you why." May have worked better. Also, since we're going to through Jake's memory, maybe this whole story would have worked better from his POV? Not sure, but did you consider it?

Jake had been thinking about Joanna at the time, and how they got along so well, and how cute he thought she was and how funny and how he should ask her out. At that moment, Marcus had said something generally repugnant, and his cronies had laughed, and Jake had stopped. He normally never would have stopped, but Joanna was on his mind, and things like that shouldn’t be said, he thought. Yeah see this paragraph is a chore to read, but it would have been cuter and more fun if Jake were saying most of it instead of a narrator

“Don’t say things like that,” Jake had said. Marcus and his friends all turned to Jake, bemused smiles on their faces. Jake’s own head recoiled in surprise. He did not know where those words had come from.

After a moment, Marcus chuckled. “Stop me, then.”

“Okay.” He looked down at his hands, now fists, raised in front of his torso. When that had happened, he did not know.

“Okay?” Marcus stared at Jake, his head cocked to the side and his face scrunched up with legitimate confusion. “After school. Your car.”

That had been this morning, during brunch. It was now after school. We cut away for this? I mean, it all makes sense but this is pretty normal run-of-the-mill school stuff, what about it is interesting? What about it is different or worthy of attention?

“He said what, Jake?” Joanna waved her hands at Marcus. “What could he have said that made you want to end your own life?”

“He said mean things, Joanna. Things about you and other girls.”

“Right. ‘Mean things’. Thank you for volunteering to get your face smashed in to protect the world from punks saying ‘mean things’.” Joanna crossed her arms in front of her and rolled her eyes. “You’re a real hero, Lancelot.” Again this is all playing out exactly how one would normally expect a situation like this to play out. She's being rational and telling him not to be stupid. Why is this good or interesting?

Jake took a few more strides forward. He’d never been in a fight. Hell, he’d never even seen a real fight, except for baseball fights. Which probably aren’t real. Who is saying that last bit? I think Jake but again, it's weird that it's not coming directly from him.

“You should listen to your girl, man.” If Jake had been paying closer attention, he might have noticed the note of concern in Marcus’ voice, the look of concern on his face. Marcus’ friends had noticed, and they laughed. That was what Jake noticed. I don't see how, much of that helps you.

“Shut up. Or I’ll make you shut up.” Normally Jake applied a complex logical filter to everything he said; his brain seemed to have rerouted things for the time being. Now you're just excusing bad dialogue. It's nice that you acknowledge that it's bad, but that doesn't make it more fun or engaging to read

“Seriously, man, you’ve been watching too many Steven Segal movies.” The note of concern was gone, replaced by nonchalance. If the concern was that fleeting than you really didn't need to waste time on twice He was not much bigger than Jake, though he was obviously stronger. You could see it in his forearms. Where Jake’s were thin and narrow, Marcus’ were wiry and defined. If it's obvious then you don't need to tell us how or why.

Jake saw himself in the reflection in his car window, just behind Marcus. His hands were raised in poor imitation of a boxing stance, in the way that a stick figure is a poor imitation of a person. His face was fixed in a comical scowl. Behind him, he could see Joanna punching numbers into her phone. He saw himself move toward Marcus. I kinda like this image, you did well here

“We’re doing this?” Marcus asked, and raised one of his fists. “You’re sure?”

Jake responded with a punch, wild and hard, hard as Jake he could throw. It was aimed squarely at Marcus’ jaw, which Jake knew was supposed to be a weak point.

His punch missed. Marcus’ did not.

It landed just above Jake's jaw. It had only been a jab, but it had stunned Jake. He staggered back two steps and froze. Marcus hit him again, this time in the stomach, this time with his full weight. Jake doubled over, then slowly sank to the ground.

Marcus squatted next to him. “Never thought I’d have a problem with you.” He stood and started walking away. “Find somebody else to fulfill your action hero fantasies.”

-------
So I just don't know what you were going for here. This story has no twist on it to make it compelling or interesting. It kinda works but I'm not finding much of a reason to care. Something as simple as 'a kid tries to take on the bully but gets his rear end kicked' needs another layer to it. Maybe the bully's father could have showed up and kicked Jake's rear end, maybe the bully was a teacher and Jake attacked him instead? I don't know, those aren't great examples but I think on their face they at least give you something that's at least slightly more attention grabbing. My advice for you on this story is to take bigger shots. Ask yourself what about your story is familiar and then pour some secret sauce on it.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe



http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3758791&pagenumber=109#post465434730

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Someday, this poo poo may be included in a volume of bad stories.

Chili fucked around with this message at 07:20 on Jan 1, 2017

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

In.

Stop Twerking

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Sitting Here posted:

:siren: hey chili :siren:

i heard you were cruisin for an extra bruisin, therefor i am giving you a second picture



have fun

Thank you.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Love you all, happy new year and may you all find yourself atop the throne at some point.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Removed, for some day this may find itself in a compilation of bad words.

Chili fucked around with this message at 21:53 on Jan 2, 2017

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I like flerps, not the most clever but the most inviting.

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