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Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


How (not) to write a story:the crits

For Everyone

Time for another brief essay on my ideas about flash fiction, something that directly applies to several of the stories this week and might be useful for the rest of you as well. Today’s topic is Illusionism.

You know how they say that when you look at an iceberg, you’re only seeing the 5% of the thing that’s above water? Now imagine a fake iceberg: take that 5 percent and stick it on top of a wooden raft. That’s what writing is. You’re presenting that 5% and trying to fool the reader into thinking that the other 95% is there, under the text, under the water.

In realistic fiction that means doing research. In fantastic fiction that means worldbuilding. In every kind of fiction that means understanding characters. And to make the illusion work, for the important things, you need to know things about your subjects that you don’t directly put into the texts. Not the entire 95%, but enough to know what it’s shaped like. What the mysterious event in the past that you reference was, you should have an idea in your head even if you’re not even going to give the reader enough clues to make a guess.

Exmond’s Humanity’s Children

Typo in the second line (“hissed opened”). Overall, this is charmingly loopy. I'd name the blobs (even just turning the colors into proper names would have helped the flow of the story a lot), and either cut all of the “scientists would call this” bits or give that runner a payoff. This wound up in the high middle of the week for me.

Okua’s All while the soup was getting cold

Title cap issues,my bane. 300 beats in an hour is 5 per minute, which is not only not excited but nearly dead.

Not sure if learning how to fix blown out tire would actually have helped here, unless this guy was so daft as to be driving on a known flat. Still, another pretty good piece of work here, middle to high probably.

Freakie’s Lessons

Not much happens here. A lot of words wasted with redunancy, too. I mean, this is an okay beginning for a story. It needs a good trim, but you’ve established a character, given him a desire that he can't currently attain, maybe set him on a path. But that's not enough. Raise the stakes, force a decision, do something to drive this to a conclusion. In a much worse week, this might have escaped mention, but would probably always fall into the low third.

Antivehicular’s The Candymonger’s Tale

Another fun one. The world building sort of falls apart under close examination: for one, I don't see how you can have a fiat currency but no postal service, or manufacture crossbows but not maintain guns. (I mean, I’m assuming that this is a generic postapocalypse, possibly caused by an EMP of some kind. Although the lack of any re-introduction of electronics and the absence of guns now leads me to suspect this might be secret S. M. Stirling fanfic. But more likely it’s just a not-quite-thought-through worldbuilding thing.) But if you don't look too close at that sort of thing, fun. Middle, middle high maybe.

Entenzahn’s The Sorrow Song

The opening sentence is frankly a mess. And you use the “creepy last sentence” device on a few too many paragraph in a row early on. But this is very strong in general,high,first serious win contender.

Siddartha Glutamate’s The Rut

First section has way too much introspection and too little actual story. Very tell-y, too. The imagery, where the title comes from, is strong, probably the best part of the story.

Doesn't get any better really. First prompt seems inverted and second completely absent, which is not what you’re being judged on but does make me wonder what led you to write this particular story. V low, probably loss candidate.

Quoproquid’s They Said I Could Become Anything...

Nice opening.

Okay, here's the thing. This is an interesting idea, but it's the idea for a story that's at least novella length if not longer. You've trimmed it way down to make it work here, sort of,but all of the month missing parts really feel missing: a few more incidents to show her trying to succeed, and a lot more characters. A longer version would probably want a student antagonist or two, a few teachers, and one or two more friends in her circle, maybe one of which goes Horse during the course of the story, and you’re getting close to the length of a YA or midgrade novel I think. I had this at the middle with potential to be worked into something much better.

crabrock,weird yoga pose


Another fun one. Also another one that can't hold up to that much scrutiny really, too many cognitive and biochemical stolen bases. I mean, there are probably stark theoretical limits to the processing power of such a relatively small neuronal network, a mind with literally no inputs isn’t going to be able to grasp pretty much any of the concepts it’s using during the pre-eye parts of the story or really anything at all apart from maybe math, the business of taking over cellular machinery is pretty much just magic, and so on. Still fun, high group, hm candidate

flerp, The Fable of the Camel

I laughed at the ending. I liked the general Fable story. The two things don't work together exactly though. I mean, the ending requires the setup but is based on but sells all the Goodwill it built doing what it does. This is essentially an ockless Ock story.

Middle.

Tyrannosaurus’ Doctors Without Borders

Okay, interesting,entertaining, well crafted. Another that barely holds together logically, I'm afraid. If the vault was her health, what was the cancer, and wouldn't their heist have in fact made her more endangered? The story’s unusual structure works, for the most part, doesn’t particularly get in the way or take anything away, but it doesn’t really add anything or let you do anything that couldn’t have worked in a traditional narrative, so I wonder why you should have bothered with it in the end. High middle, probably below the hm line.


Fuschia tude, So, You Want to be Fabulously Wealthy

The “be” should be capitalized.

More charming daftness, where were you during comedy week? Seriously, had it been in that week it would likely have been my choice for the win. Not sure if the other judges then would have felt the same, though.

“<wild assertion>, but that’s another story” is one of the laziest forms of illusionism. It can work, still, and sometimes even without you having any idea what that other story is. Still, lazy. And it has the risk, if you’re successful and you’re writing serially, of having your fans demand you write that story even if you can’t come up with any answers.

There's a big high middle this week and this is part of it

Obliterati , Backwards Compatible

Another pretty cool piece of prose that is a lot less than a story. This one, though smaller than the others, does a much better job at the illusionism, making it feel like the missing parts exist.

Of course, the problem here and is that the only reason I have a clue what's happening is because I've read Anathem. Fra Jaad is always cool, but a reader without that background is going to be lost. And I don’t know how to fix this or if it can be fixed even. A big part of its success is in its compactness, and you’re going to lose that entirely delivering the speculative and real quantum physics payload that it needs (and probably also the booster rocket of Captain Crunch hacker history that it also likely would need.) So, apart from ‘turn this vignette into a long novel’ or ‘target this directly at a very small subset of fandom’, I have no idea what can be done.

High subjectively, but fatally flawed.

Fleta Mcgurn’s This Rider Is Bullshit

This one is just sort of there. I don't think it does quite enough to justify the revenge ending to be honest, I sympathize more with the band here. Even the member you dwell upon at length isn’t made quite awful enough to outweigh the narrator’s petty unprofessionalism (which will probably bite them in the rear end down the line), and the other, less-developed targets of the revenge here are even less justified. And the more I think about it the bigger that problem gets. Low.

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Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

BabyRyoga posted:

In it to grin it
Pokemon Red/Blue



flerp posted:

give me a good game ty
Minesweeper



Yoruichi posted:

I will help judge if you don’t already have judges the second and third lined up
god have mercy on your soul

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Doing a quick crit for Freakie since I promised. More crits will be posted on Fridayish..

Overall:
Allright here we go! Your start is okay, by your 2nd paragraph we don't know what the fight is about but I'm down. If the person is heavily into sword play or thinks they are in for a fantasy adventure you got em. If they aren't interested in either of those things your start doesn't give them much to latch onto.

So, your fight scene. I like it, I don't mind it and it went down great. I'm going to point out that it doesn't read fast. It sounds fast, suddenly, quick, it took only a few seconds, but it doesn't read fast. All those words get's in the way. I think you need to consider, fo I really need to know that time slowed down and ken was ready? I think I just need to know that Ken seemed ready for the first time. It didn't get in the way of the story, I'm just going to point it out. Brandon Sanderson did a great advice on fight scenes.

Good rule of three with the Fucks. You are really making Ken a character. I'd look at your formatting here again and consider having "gently caress" blah blah action be it's own line. Pure formatting preference though, and something Ill address later below.

John coming in should have been its own paragraph. Also you do a bit of "Tell" here. You tell me about John, at this point I'm into ken, I can relate to this dood. I'm down for this so I would have liked to have known how Ken views John.

Oh neat second-hand gear eh? Maybe Ken is poor or something, neat detail.

One thing to note is your formatting! It's getting in the way of reading your story. I checked your story out in thunderdome.cc and the forums and Im seeing weird paragarp and stuff. Does "It took only a few seconds" need it's own paragraph? I don't think so and it looks really weird. Also at this point in your story you need new lines for each new line of dialogue.


"You allright buddy" said exmond's bad story.

"No you killed me" said TDBOT


Looks way better like that then as one long paragraph. It can be done, breaking rules and poo poo, but let's start out with the basics.


Allright back to the story, gently caress yeah I'm into Ken. I don't read many of these stories, but Ken isn't coming off as cliched and I'm getting to know him, good job! And BOOM, halfway in we know Ken hates losing and we know he reacts to it badly. And the sensei offers some cliched advice, but hey whatever, and ken reacts to it BADLY. poo poo yeah, Ken is definitely a character. Ken doesn't loving get your advice, man.

Allright and now the weirdest spider metaphor I have ever seen. You might have gotten a bit of humor if you had the sensei shrug and say he didn't get the metaphor either. I think the prompt got in your way here. But lets see how you pull it off.

Right and.... nothing happened. Okay that's , that's not good. If this was a character vignette, it would be okayish (Though I'd still be disappointed). Your story needs more.. conflict rather than this non-ending. The piece you wrote is a great introduction to a character, but it isn't a story. Ken neither grows, learns anything about himself (in fact he rejects the wisdom that is offered) or accomplishes anything. I think you should have continued off of this piece, have ken continue the match. I think you also need to fix your formatting and do a re-read, see if there is any fat you can trim off of this. Right now this piece is like a fatty steak when I ordered chicken at a restaurant. Im not gonna say no to free steak but it's like all fat and wasn't what I ordered.



Prompt:

The way you wrote it, I think the prompt got in your way. The spider metaphor seems to be added and.. doesn't make much sense. It's pretty telling that the sensei immediately moves on to a better (Slightly cliched) metaphor. You nailed the mastering the sword, fumbled the spider bit.


Summary:

A great article about Ken, the guy who really dislikes losing in Kendo, but a boring story that doesn't go anywhere. Which is a shame becuase I was rooting for Ken.



Graph:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...dit?usp=sharing

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


in i guess

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Grimey Drawer

in give me game

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Game me up

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


Okay yeah in, give me a good game (gg as they say)

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Bad Rats: The Rats' Revenge


crabrock posted:

in give me game
System Shock 2


sebmojo posted:

Game me up
Tetris


Uranium Phoenix posted:

Okay yeah in, give me a good game (gg as they say)
Overwatch

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Word bounty

It's my birthday. You have ~24 hours to write me a nice birthday card for extra words. No mean stuff!!!!!

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


Happy birthday jerk
Your writings ok, I guess
Cheers to you, that's all

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Chocolate tastes bad,
also fuck you <3

Happy birthday to you
Your writing is a jewel
You're king of the dome now
So don't be a Scrooge

Aesclepia
Dec 5, 2013
Next verse same as the first.

Happy birthday, Entenzahn!
Among these bloody sands
You stand above the rest
For now. Judge well and fast
As we know you will, your
Polished sword separating
Meat from gristle and strong
From weak. You lead our group
Of unherdable cats with
Promises of video game prizes.
Well done! I don't know where
I'm going with this but
I hope your day is full of
Joy or at least not-bad things.
In conclusion, happy birthday
To you, you delightful goon.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

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

Dear Entenzahn
It's me Tyrannosaurus
You seem like an alright guy
Happy birthday
I hope that it is fun
I hope that there is cake
I like cake
I eat it on my birthday
My favorite is Red Velvet
What is your favorite
Anyway gotta go
From me, Tyrannosaurus

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


Happy birthday Entenzahn!
May your presents be like
new eggs at the hatchery
May the day's joy pierce you like
the warm needles of a hydralisk
May you be surprised like
marines stumbling on lurkers
May your friends be
as numerous as the swarm
May the celebrations be like
the victory screen when you crush your enemies

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


E is for Elder
- The age or the wood.
N is for Nature
- The kind that is good.
T is for Tender
- Merciful, kind.
E is for Effort
- And keeping in mind.
N is for Nachos
- With flavorful cheese.
Z is for Zebras
- That go where they please.
A is for Annum
- Another one past.
H is for hours
- And making them last.
N is for numbers
- To measure our fun.
Ent, it's your birthday
- Have a happy one!

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

THUNDERDOME LOSER

6th Anniversary Edition


on your day of birth
the blood of your vanquished foes
would make a great wine

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016

Six of one, half dozen of another.

Grimey Drawer

This is the annual analysis of your birth. Entenzahn, you take a look in the mirror and ask yourself-
Cake or Pie?

This is the day where a number is your itinerary. Entenzahn, if you're over 21, scream "It's my Birthday!" at your local bar and 50/50 someone will buy you a drink. (my gift of advice to you)

On this day the Ent-Entered-Zahn and now whaddya got? Entenzahn, have a Happy Birthday because they get shittier as they get older.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



Thranguy posted:


More charming daftness, where were you during comedy week? Seriously, had it been in that week it would likely have been my choice for the win. Not sure if the other judges then would have felt the same, though.


What is this "comedy" you speak of?

Thanks!

Freakie
Oct 30, 2013


Entenzahn posted:

Word bounty

It's my birthday. You have ~24 hours to write me a nice birthday card for extra words. No mean stuff!!!!!

Today you're a year older
And what great timing

Rewarding the ones bolder
To try more writing

Although it's still not Yuletide
Cheers are upon the Dome

Today you're the poster child
King both here and at home

flerp
Feb 25, 2014



happy birthday ent

you dont suck that much

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

roses are red
violets are blue
it's your birthday
lol

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Siddhartha Glutamate
Oct 3, 2005


So I lost last week and the worst thing that can happen if I do the hardcore challenge is that I DM?

WELP...



Siddhartha Glutamate engaged for Hardcode mode of DIABLO II.











.... poo poo, I did that wrong, didn't I?

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Siddhartha Glutamate posted:

So I lost last week and the worst thing that can happen if I do the hardcore challenge is that I DM?

WELP...



Siddhartha Glutamate engaged for Hardcode mode of DIABLO II.











.... poo poo, I did that wrong, didn't I?

You sir are a genius.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Well you can still lose, probably.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Well you can still lose, probably.

i wonder what your videogame is going to b

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Entenzahn posted:

Word bounty

It's my birthday. You have ~24 hours to write me a nice birthday card for extra words. No mean stuff!!!!!

Good writing is rare as duck's teeth
Happy birthdays common as muck
But I'll wish you the latter, Entenzahn
Finding the other here, well, good luck.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

sebmojo posted:

i wonder what your videogame is going to b

hardmode tetris if she had the guts

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

word bounty over thanks for the kind words, im older now, practically dead & waiting for your stories to give me that final push (into the grave)

The Saddest Rhino posted:

Happy birthday jerk
Your writings ok, I guess
Cheers to you, that's all
where are the noir crits rhino +110

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Happy birthday to you
Your writing is a jewel
You're king of the dome now
So don't be a Scrooge
oh yeah but what if i am +120

Aesclepia posted:

Happy birthday, Entenzahn!
Among these bloody sands
You stand above the rest
For now. Judge well and fast
As we know you will, your
Polished sword separating
Meat from gristle and strong
From weak. You lead our group
Of unherdable cats with
Promises of video game prizes.
Well done! I don't know where
I'm going with this but
I hope your day is full of
Joy or at least not-bad things.
In conclusion, happy birthday
To you, you delightful goon.
nice but the only prize here is my foot up your rear end if you write about video games +250

Tyrannosaurus posted:

Dear Entenzahn
It's me Tyrannosaurus
You seem like an alright guy
Happy birthday
I hope that it is fun
I hope that there is cake
I like cake
I eat it on my birthday
My favorite is Red Velvet
What is your favorite
Anyway gotta go
From me, Tyrannosaurus
Malakoff-Torte!!!! +210 sry i just get really excited about cake

Uranium Phoenix posted:

Happy birthday Entenzahn!
May your presents be like
new eggs at the hatchery
May the day's joy pierce you like
the warm needles of a hydralisk
May you be surprised like
marines stumbling on lurkers
May your friends be
as numerous as the swarm
May the celebrations be like
the victory screen when you crush your enemies
is this your way of letting me know that you would have rather written about starcraft +165

Thranguy posted:

E is for Elder
- The age or the wood.
N is for Nature
- The kind that is good.
T is for Tender
- Merciful, kind.
E is for Effort
- And keeping in mind.
N is for Nachos
- With flavorful cheese.
Z is for Zebras
- That go where they please.
A is for Annum
- Another one past.
H is for hours
- And making them last.
N is for numbers
- To measure our fun.
Ent, it's your birthday
- Have a happy one!
I LOVE NACHOS +250

BabyRyoga posted:

on your day of birth
the blood of your vanquished foes
would make a great wine
he he just wait for the crits +125

Jay W. Friks posted:

This is the annual analysis of your birth. Entenzahn, you take a look in the mirror and ask yourself-
Cake or Pie?

This is the day where a number is your itinerary. Entenzahn, if you're over 21, scream "It's my Birthday!" at your local bar and 50/50 someone will buy you a drink. (my gift of advice to you)

On this day the Ent-Entered-Zahn and now whaddya got? Entenzahn, have a Happy Birthday because they get shittier as they get older.
my life only gets better as i get older as is evidenced by this thread +150

Freakie posted:

Today you're a year older
And what great timing

Rewarding the ones bolder
To try more writing

Although it's still not Yuletide
Cheers are upon the Dome

Today you're the poster child
King both here and at home
i like that it rhymes, and the happy ending +175

flerp posted:

happy birthday ent

you dont suck that much
dont lie to me peasant +99

sebmojo posted:

roses are red
violets are blue
it's your birthday
lol
lol +101

+5000 oh poo poo ur not actually in welp

big scary monsters posted:

Good writing is rare as duck's teeth
Happy birthdays common as muck
But I'll wish you the latter, Entenzahn
Finding the other here, well, good luck.
nice diss, this guy gets it +200


yes i know some of these were haikus

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016

Six of one, half dozen of another.

Grimey Drawer

Entenzahn, I'm going to bow out for this week. Taking a break from TD sounds like a good idea.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

I wasn't going to enter, but if Friks is leaving, it should be safe. Also, I have previously played games of the kind that you find on computing machines so I expect that will give me an overwhelming advantage.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


I'm using my extra words to add clever references (or "Easter eggs" if you will) to all your favourite video games.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


sebmojo posted:

i wonder what your videogame is going to b


Entenzahn posted:

hardmode tetris if she had the guts

blah blah blah

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

blah blah blah



i will end you

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Fumblemouse posted:

I wasn't going to enter, but if Friks is leaving, it should be safe. Also, I have previously played games of the kind that you find on computing machines so I expect that will give me an overwhelming advantage.


Fine, then you do Space Station 13


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

blah blah blah
Two simple letters could change your life forever

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

In.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Entenzahn posted:

Two simple letters could change your life forever

RIP SEBMOJO is way more than 2 letters

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

Hatoful Boyfriend


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

RIP SEBMOJO is way more than 2 letters
Noice

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

Did you FAIL THUNDERDOME Entenzahn? Don't worry, here's an example on how to write!

signups are closed

friendly reminder that playing video games does not count as research

Entenzahn fucked around with this message at Dec 16, 2017 around 11:58

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Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Exmond, are you posting crit's in a thin veil of an excuse to not participate in this weeks prompt and shitpost anime?



A reminder that YOU are a good writer and you didn't fail this week!

Crits are HERE . Sorry about the Outline being.. weird.. haven't figured out that yet.

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