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May 7, 2005


God Over Djinn posted:

:siren: What's a SPORTS without FANS? :siren:

If you have submitted to at least three previous Thunderdomes, but you are not entering this week, you are now officially a THUNDERTOPIAN SPORTS FAN.

Every fan is entitled to write between 80-120 words on the following subject:

What's going to happen after your team wins SPORTS?

and, in the same post, declare their favorite player. This is mandatory. Doing so will result in a small word bounty being assigned to their favorite player, depending on submission quality.

Let's get hunger games up in this bitch. This opportunity will last until 10pm Pacific Time Friday, January 22.

I am an Ironic Twist fan, if only because there is a sports fan rooting for another player and against Ironic Twist. Sports is my opportunity to yell louder and more obnoxiously than other fans. My team winning will fill me with a smug zeal. High on picking the correct team I will lord my superior sports fandom over my family and acquaintances. "Did you see the sports match?" I will say. "I picked the winning team. Who did you root for?" If they rooted for a different team I will smile knowingly and say, "That was a poor choice of sports team." If they picked the same team, I will chest bump them as brothers.

Jagermonster fucked around with this message at 22:07 on Jan 22, 2016


May 7, 2005


Here's a crit. I didn't want to do a line by line, but too many things jumped out at me.

Entenzahn posted:

flash rules: Your story must involve someone who has to find some genuine goddamn humility and ask for help/a favor; tuesday bonus word: monsterful

The Green on the Other Side
964 words

The crops weren’t growing. Again. Second year in a row, the soil was ripe with nothing but the failed hopes and dreams of baby potatoes. Planted, watered and rotten. Their leaves should be dotting the field right now, but Ruben just looked at the same barren wasteland every morning, brown and dull all the way out to the next farm, to Simon’s farm, the farm of his brother. Over there, everything grew just fine. This is a bad into. Too much passive voice. Too much telling over showing. Start with something more vivid like "Ruben surveyed his barren wasteland every morning . . ."

It boggled his mind. Again. that "Again." is real awkward and repetitive

He’d done everything right. Just like their father had. Planted by the same schedule. Used the same brand of fertilizer. Watered them in the morning, checked the soil each evening, dug out a root once a week just to check progress. Until they’d just - poof - vanished, shriveled back up into little veggie corpses.

He couldn’t afford another failed harvest. His farm was already barely hanging on as it was. Rust on the machines and cheap tar on the roof, it wasn’t in shape so much as it was desperately trying not to fall out of it. Even the rats were meager.

He didn’t know what he did wrong. But he knew somebody who, obviously, did it right.

He had to bite the bullet.

He had to visit Simon. this doesn't have the dramatic impact you probably intended it to have - you need to foreshadow the conflict between the brothers more effectively, maybe describe Simon's farm in way that insinuates Ruben's envy and/or bitterness


Ruben’s gut churned up as soon as he stepped out his truck. At his brother’s farm, everything was pristine. The house was painted a fresh turquoise and the roof still had all its shingles and there were boxes of produce piled up in the barn, wafts of fresh carrot and starchy potato spicing up the air with every gust of wind.

This was how a farm was supposed to look. yeah we get it

He hadn’t talked much to Simon since their father had died. They’d both gotten their fifty-percent share of his old farm, and they’d set up their respective corners on this earth and for as long as Ruben hadn’t taken his brother’s calls, that had been it, and it could have gone on like that forever for all he cared. big ol boring peanut butter and TELLy sammich

He stepped up to the house, and his fist hovered in the air, shy, like it was thinking of a way to ask the front door out for dinner. Finally, it opened on its own.

Simon hadn’t changed much: he still wore oversized baggy pants, and sunglasses inside, and a fuzzy beard that suggested he only shaved ever once in a while, when too much cheeto dust caught up in it. In some ways he was a walking 90’s kid meme, and he’d been like that since, well, the 90’s.

“Bro,” he said. “What’s up?”

“Long time no see, huh?”

“Tell me about it.” He opened the door and Ruben stepped in, slowly, as if he was expecting to be ambushed by solid wafts of marijuana smoke. The air remained clean. It was a nice place in general. No empty pizza boxes, no bong on the couch table, but flowers, and scented candles and pictures of a woman above the fireplace.

“Found a girl?” he said.

“Hell yeah, dude.” Simon had disappeared into the kitchen, shouting over his back as he was opening drawers. “I met her at the farmer’s market. She bought a bunch of my veggies, for soup. Came back every time I had a booth up, and I used to be there, like, a lot.” He came back out with a bottle of apple cider and two glasses. “It took me a while before I twigged that nobody needs that much vegetable broth.”

“She looks nice.” this passage would have been better if there was no picture of the woman and Ruben just assumed Simon had found a girl because his place was clean, which would be a nice way of showing Simon was naturally a slob


They sat down at the couch table, and the recliner that Ruben had been ushered into was one of the finest drat things his buttocks had ever made contact with. You could kill someone in these cushions. They wouldn’t mind. definitely a "You could kill someone in these cushions and they wouldn’t mind." situation from what you're trying to convey

“And the farm? Everything going well for you?” he said.

“Totally. Going to be another monsterful harvest this year.” boooooo you failed your flash rule word challenge

“That’s nice. Dad would be proud of you, man.”

Ruben had never been a good liar. Yet, it had come off as sincere.

Because he’d actually meant it. you are breaking up these sentences as if this convo is the tensest thing in the goddamn world but it's boring AF, and the sentence construction instead just highlights that

His brother had used to be nothing but a stoner loser. oh God here we go again with the goddamn TELLy Clarkson Always the one who’d have to be bailed out. From the cops, from the loan sharks. But this wasn’t his old brother anymore. This was someone who was, in every aspect, better. Better than the old Simon. But also better than Ruben.

“So how are things on your end?” Simon said.

Ruben set down his glass and took a sigh, like he was breathing out his last bit of resistance.

“My farm’s a failure.”

“Come on, bro. That’s not true.”

“It’s not like you can’t see it from here.” He took a deep gulp from his glass, buying time, as if it wouldn’t all have to come out anyway. “I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’ve tried everything. I’ve done it just like dad used to do. I just-- I dunno.”

The penny dropped for Simon. is this a common expression? He leaned back in his chair, and he took a sip from his cider, and for a second, his lips tightened up like those of a disapproving mother. But then his face mellowed out again. Because that was his brother. So what if Ruben hadn’t called in two years. So what if he’d only come because he needed something. That was Simon. Chill. To the core.

“I can help you,” he said. “My veggies are doing fine.”

Ruben twisted the glass in his hands. His reflection frowned back at him through the amber cider. “If you… if you’d like.”

“I’d love to,” Simon said. He leaned forward and put a hand on Ruben’s knee. Just like their father had used to do, when things had seemed tough and there’d been cheering up to do. “But first you gotta show me your crib.”

I have no idea what the significance of the ending is. Is that last line supposed to mean something more than just Simon wants to see Ruben's house? You need to set up why Ruben would be so reluctant to seek Simon's help more. So the gist of this "story" is: Ruben was the good son, Simon was the gently caress up. Therefore, Ruben is bitter that the father gave half to each son and should have given it all to the good son instead? And now it's hard for Ruben to accept how successful Simon is? There needs to be more conflict, more of a reason/more stakes to Ruben seeking Simon's help. More needs to happen in this story. This entry is half telly backstory and the backstory doesn't even do a good job of getting the reader to care about wtf is happening.

May 7, 2005



May 7, 2005


1195 words
Forecast: Firestorm

Despite all his recent graffiti, Jake still couldn't quite draw a swastika. The one he had spray painted on the sidewalk in front of the youth center looked so much like a fancy X the neighborhood kids had busted up the concrete and dug down deep looking for buried treasure. The "feet" just never ended up pointing the right way. Jake splashed more gasoline out of his can onto to the dry grass. These swastikas didn't need to be perfect. His unwelcome neighbors would get the message.

Jake could still picture their smug Mexican faces as they lectured him on not cutting in line at the Piggly Wiggly.

"We're from Guatemala," the little boy had said.

"Like which Mexican country matters,” Jake had said, pushing past him to the register. “Y’all cut right into this country. So don’t lecture me."

"Somos refugiados," the old woman had said.

"We're refugees," the boy had said. "We have asylum."

"Refugees my rear end," Jake said aloud to himself as he now prowled around their property. In the moon's faint light he splashed out more gasoline in a crude swastika pattern. Jake's grandfather didn't fight Nazis in World War 2 so some Mexicans could invade and make Jake feel like an alien in his own drat country.

Jake had said as much to those Mexican Guata-whatevers. And what had they said in return? Some nonsense about wind.

"El viento," the father had started ranting in gibberish.

The boy had chimed in with American translation. "The wind scatters all. People have migrated around forever even when they don't want to. Especially when they don't want to. Artificial boundaries cannot stop it."

Jake would stop it

Lights flickered through the windows of the house down the hill. Good. They were still awake and watching TV. Maybe they would see the fire rolling down at them, the big flaming symbols of white pride Jake would unleash. A gust of wind caught the bill of Jake's baseball cap. He slapped a hand over his head to stop it from blowing off. He fished his matches out of his pocket.

In the parking lot Jake had stopped his truck in front of their little beat up Hyundai. He had given the whole family the finger then peeled out. At the first stoplight they had caught up to him. The older ones had stared ahead. The little boy had glared at him in defiant silence. At the next light they had ended up next to each other too. And the next and the next. It turned out they were his neighbors. The Mexicans lived just a few hundred feet downhill from his trailer.

Jake turned his back to their house to shield his matches from the wind. He dragged one across the book's rough strip. He stared at the little dancing flame and wondered what it must have been like to discover fire. It was probably a white man who first figured out how to bang rocks together or whatever to make it. It had probably been stolen by the lesser races.

Jake titled the lit match against the others and they ignited with a flaring sizzle. He dropped them in the gasoline soaked brush. The fire followed Jake's design, creating a kind of curvy, hooked X. It spread along the dry grass until it found another of Jake's gasoline swastikas and ignited. Then it went AWOL. Instead of going downhill like it was supposed to, the fire went up.

"poo poo," Jake said, as a steady current of air sent the fire further and further uphill. "No, no, no." He took off running for his trailer.

Somewhere downhill a door slammed. Jake could hear shouting over his own harried breath. He glanced back to see the flames now fanning out and creeping toward him. The dark figures of his neighbors appeared at its edges. He charged into his home to save his valuables.

Jake was still slinging rifles over his shoulder when dark tendrils of smoke started creeping through the cracks of his trailer. He kicked the door open to find a hellscape roaring all around him. He doubled back and clamored over his couch to the window. Through the dirty glass he spied his Mexican neighbors, buckets in hand, no doubt there to loot him.

“You gently caress off!” Jake called out to the marauders as he slid the window open. One of the Mexicans dumped her loot bucket out, sending a small splash of water into the flaming brush.

Jake pushed his upper torso out of the window. He twisted around to angle a gun through the opening only for another to get wedged against the wall. He craned his neck around to his truck. Flames danced all around it. The hose he had used to siphon gasoline still danged from the tank.

A hand grabbed Jake’s arm. A dark figure had thrown a blanket down underneath the window. The man stomped at the flames now licking out from underneath the trailer
“Vamonos!” the man said. He unsheathed a long serrated blade.

Jake whimpered, but before he could plead for his life, the Mexican cut through the rifle straps keeping Jake wedged in the window. Jake tumbled down to the hard earth. Rough hands grabbed Jake’s collar and hoisted him up again.

Jake stumbled through smoldering brush for a few steps until a force knocked him and his attacker forward onto their faces. Roaring filled Jake’s head. Debris rained down through the trees. His truck’s smoking side view mirror landed with a plunk in front of Jake. Jake felt himself being dragged forward again. Again both Jake and the man dragging him were knocked flat.

A pillar of fire reached up toward the trees setting branches ablaze. Dark smoke blotted out the light of the flames. Jake guessed his trailer’s propane tank had gone up. More hands grabbed Jake and the man who had tried to gut Jake with a knife. The Mexican family dragged them to the dirt road, away from the inferno.

The little boy wrapped his arms around his father’s neck.

Flames enveloped Jake’s trailer. The fire swirled around caught in an updraft. “This would be pretty badass,” Jake said, “if everything I owned wasn’t being burnt all to poo poo.”

The Mexican man started speaking his gibberish.

The little boy translated. “After my father stood up to the drug gangs in our neighborhood they burnt down our store. Then they set fire to our house. We fled north and started over. It is possible to start over here. You can do anything in this country.”

Flashing blue and red lights appeared down the road. The police car skidded to a halt when it caught Jake and the Mexicans in its headlights. One deputy shouted into the radio. The other burst out of car, his hand on the weapon at his hip.

“What the hell is going on here?”

Jake considered the little boy’s words. He cleared his throat and stepped forward. “This family . . .” he looked back to the huddled Mexicans, the flames spiraling up behind them. “These Mexicans burnt my loving house down!”

May 7, 2005



and re: critiquing critiques - that's perfectly fine. It's helpful to writers for someone to say "I disagree with this analysis because . . . ." Y'all are getting obsessed that he phrased it "I really, really dislike this critique" like it was a value judgment. Chill the gently caress out and shut the gently caress up with your critiques of a critique of a critique.

May 7, 2005


Ride of the White Knight
780 words

Justin steeled himself for confrontation as the bus crawled through rush hour traffic. Too often Justin read about women being harassed or groped on public transportation. Justin knew what he would do if he ever witnessed some scumbag doing stuff like that. A palm strike to the nose would stop the assaulter dead in his tracks. Several jabs would send the shattered nose bone up and into the brain, killing them.

Justin gripped the hand rail as the bus made a sharp turn. He never sat. So many men sat, taking seats meant for women. Women deserved better. They deserved a good guy like Justin.

Justin's arm shot up a little bit as he imagined himself confronting some harasser. He stopped himself before he completed the full palm strike. He glanced around to make sure no one had seen him spasm around.

All it would take is one confrontation and Justin would be known for the hero he was. A palm strike straight to the nose - Bam! Someone would film it and it would go viral. Women everywhere would feel safe knowing Justin was out there.

And Justin would get so many blow jobs. He debated whether it would be ethical to accept one from the woman he saved. Other women would want to give him blow jobs too. Justin took a seat to hide his erection.

The bus stopped at Verring Avenue. Justin jumped up so she wouldn't see him sitting. The bus stood idling for a moment. Justin's hopes fell. Maybe he had mixed up her work schedule. Or it had changed. Or she was just running late. Then he saw the top of her golden head.

She handed her money to the bus driver and smiled. Justin would do anything to kiss those perfect red lips. Justin turned toward the window so she wouldn't catch him staring.

"Hey!" a deep voice yelled from the street. A guy in an Ohio State hoodie climbed onto the bus.

"I have to go to work, Kyle," she said.

"We aren't done talking!"

"Yeah, we are," she said.

Kyle closed in on her. Justin's hand tightened on the hand rail. With a jolt, the bus started rumbling down the street again.

Kyle grabbed her arm. "Don't just walk away from me like that."

"You better take your hands off me right now."

Justin took a step forward. "Hey!"

She looked back to Justin. So did Kyle and the rest of the bus.

Justin closed the distance between them. "Back off!"

"gently caress you, bro," Kyle said.

Justin stopped within striking distance. "I said back off."

"And what are you-"

Justin jabbed the heel of his palm up toward Kyle's nose. It stopped just short.

Kyle's fingers dug into Justin's wrist. "You just take a loving swing at me?"

Justin tried to tug his arm back. He jerked it forward and down like they teach in Karate. Kyle's grip wouldn't give. Justin panicked. He lunged forward, head first, aiming for Kyle's nose.

Justin ended up bent over, with Kyle's other hand on the back of Justin's neck. Justin slapped at Kyle's arms. They were as solid as the metal poles on the bus.

Kyle's knee shot up into Justin's face.

She gasped. "Stop it!"

“This guy attacked me!” Kyle said.

"Please," Justin managed to say before Kyle kneed him again. Something popped in Justin's face. His right eye lost vision. Pain coursed down Justin's spine into the pit of the stomach. His head felt like it would burst. Kyle kneed him again, then let go. Justin collapsed to the floor.

Kyle raised his foot. This wasn't how it was supposed to go. It was supposed to be Kyle's head punctured like an inflated balloon, not Justin's smashed like a watermelon. Justin was the hero.

Justin heard a thwack. Kyle's foot came down to the side of Justin's head. Another thwack.

Justin rolled over. Kyle covered his bleeding face. Her hand shot out like a cobra, striking him twice in the stomach. Kyle doubled over. She brought her first up and slammed it down on the side of his head. Kyle collapsed on top of Justin.

The bus screeched to a halt. "What the hell is going on back there!" the bus driver said.

"Please call the police," she said.

A woman in the front said she already had. "And an ambulance for the other one."

"Hey!" Justin heard himself say in a small garbled voice from somewhere behind him. "Back off!"

Someone laughed. "This poo poo is going to go viral!"

Justin closed his eyes and listened to himself getting kneed in the head over and over.

May 7, 2005


Mrenda posted:

Thanks, all three of you for the crits. Getting a few of them in, each approaching the crit in different ways has definitely helped me. So this is a self-report/critique of how I wrote the story and what these crits have helped show me I need to work on.




no don't do this

it was fine when you were commenting on a crit of another writer's story, thereby giving that writer more nuanced feedback

but don't do this poo poo for your own stories, not here

p.s. thank yous all for the helpful helpful crits


May 7, 2005


crabrock is a butt

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