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Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

Okay, one hour of overtime is enogh. Submissions closed.

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Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Thunderdome Recaps!



Pull up a chair at the card table and join the usual suspects in pondering the cost of Week 236: Three-Card Combo in tears and pain, to say nothing of mana. Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, Djeser, and I find much to praise in the six positive mentions of this round--one of us especially enjoys the fleshy hivemind, and I wager you'll never guess who! Alas, we're punished for our joys when we read No Gravitas's "Two peas in a pod" and uncover a heartless Jewish conspiracy.

The Japanese thought that the Russian smelled of cabbage soup. The Russian thought that the Japanese was an idiot.


Our examination of Week 237: A Way for the Cosmos To Know Itself bears out the theory that good storytelling is an alien concept to Thunderdome. Through ranting plants, mysterious meteorites, and fifty solid minutes of staring at screens we travel, only to crash-land in a tragedy of errors: Jay W. Friks' "Loud until silent by Jay W.Friks."

I fell to my knees and vomited into the intergalactic blue grass.


Episodes past can be found here!

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


fjgj

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

sjsj

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


no dont say that u have to say fjgj or the slow judges will come out and badly judge u

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

DOUBLE BEEF ACTION

Djeser posted:

flerp" post="469847801 posted:

fjgj

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool



what the gently caress

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

Judgment

...And the winner is: La-La Land

Oh, wait.

Wrong envelope.

(are you happy now, newt?)




So, this was a hard prompt. I was expecting it to beat a lot of you, but hoping that one or two people would be able to do something really good with it. Only half of that came to pass, and it wasn't the good half.

So let's start with the bad. Dishonorable Mentions go to:
Erogenous Beef's Cleaner for boredom, cliche, and dropping the word 'postprandial' like was nothing
Chili's On A Playground for an ending that discourages the reader from trying to solve its mystery
llamagucci's Coping Well for finding a novel way to completely screw up digetic narration

And the loser is...
Hawklad's Journal, Pages 467-472, for, among many other sins, forgetting that it was supposed to be a journal.

While I really didn't get the kind of really outstanding story I was hoping for (extra helpings of shame to the four failures) somebody has to keep the blood throne warm and all.

So, for doing one of the best jobs at fulfilling a hard prompt while also being a decent story, this week's win goes to...

BeefSupreme's Faith

The blood throne is yours.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

'Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.' -Samuel Johnson

Unreliable Narrator Week Crits

Okua’s Black Mold

Interesting opening. Taking a while to get a grip on the narrator, though. We don’t learn their gender until fairly late, and sparse details in general.

All in all, a well-told if low-substance little story. A little weak on the prompt: the narrative voice isn’t really strong enough or strongly committed to the character’s stubborn belief in her own good health to really do anything with it. I had this as a no mention.

Chernabog That way of hers

Title capitalization, don’t break those rules without a good reason. Second sentence is a bit of a mess, full of broken parallel structures and short garden paths. Also, ‘drive me crazy’ suggests a negative sense like ‘annoyed’ rather than the positive one I think you’re going for. ‘wild’ instead, maybe?

coleslaw-salad is redundant. Probably hyphenate coconut-and-roses for clarity.
Interesting. Starts out like a standard oscar-bait dementia caregiver narrative, but quickly seems to be going somewhere at least a little bit more intriguing.

A lot of technical problems (more than a few comma splices and tense issues), but the story is good. Strong use of the prompt. Was a possible HM on my list, but fell a bit short.

Erogenous Beef’s Cleaner

‘postprandial’? Really? Opening is mostly competent if a bit cliche up to that point. (Although a big bill could be the other kind of bill. Also, bribing a group of people with a single bill they’re going to have to break seems like bad manners.)

Detective as a title is generally reserved for actual police, so you’re not being fair with that mini-twist.

I think you gave away too much of the game in the interview with Charlie. (Maybe switch the two interview scenes?) So the ending doesn’t come across as a surprising or powerful. I’m mostly left wondering where these people are getting their bribe money from.

In my bottom group.

Deltasquid’s I, Sir Alaric
‘truthfully’ is a bit unwieldy and breaks the flow of the dialog in ways that ‘truely’ or ‘true’ wouldn’t. Okay opening otherwise.
‘upon which’ makes that sentence a mess.
An awful lot of characters for a story this size, which has me worried.

There’s some tone problems: ‘snacks’ and ‘cool’ don’t really fit the faux-medieval setting. In general I can see what you’re going for, but I’m not sure the logistics work properly. (How she gets away, why Marco can’t have just hidden/gotten out of the way) It’s also strange that the untrained squire is able to last longer against Alaric than his supposed peers.

Right in the middle.

Chili’s On A Playground

Title capitalization rules, again, the less common way to break them.
Thought you were doing something weird with 3rd person unreliable. but it looks like you’re doing a Rashomon mystery thing. Ambitious. Opening is attempting to be portentious, but doesn’t really have enough bite in it for that.

I’m a bit confused by this golden apple (that shatters on impact) business. Strange macguffin. Mythic overtones, maybe?

Really don’t like the ending. Because it leaves me with the suspicion that there is no solution, that this is an anti-mystery. Which I don’t like. This reminds me a whole lot of one of my own td stories, also a school-set Rashomon mystery. More on that later.

But I think that this is a fair mystery, and that I’ve put the solution together: that Vincent took the apple, being the only one with opportunity at lunch. That he was trying to frame Jared for breaking it, first trying with the slide, and then throwing at the feet of the kissing Connie and Jared, precipitating a fight between them over whether to blame Vincent. This leaves the almost more-interesting-than-the-story issue of what was going on between Vincent and Ms. Hellman regarding that lunch and her possibly covering for him but still reporting this incident in the first place. But the ending invites the reader to stop giving a gently caress and trying to solve it, and the characters never really rise above stereotypes. Lampshading that fact with the section titles (are you referencing Canterbury Tales?) doesn’t help. Also, Millie’s less Class Clown than Resident Manic Pixie Dream Girl In Training.

The thing about this kind of story is that you really have to lean hard into ‘yes there’s a real mystery to solve, with a solution’ in your ending to make it work. Like I said, this story is extremely similar to one of mine, from Domegrassi week. Re:Teacher’s Lounge Biohazard Incident Almost the exact same structure, even. And mine also blew the ending. I had the principal deliver a pat solution that the reader is supposed to reject (because later stories in the week-it was a collaboration week-would make clear that the ghost is real and thus his explanation couldn’t possibly be what happened.) But as far as I can tell from crits, nobody reading it got past that pat solution to realize that it was a mystery with a solution. So yeah, the lesson is that when you give a reader a puzzle you really need to hammer that fact hard in the ending if you want a chance of it working at all.

On my DM list.

Hawklad’s Journal, Pages 467-472

Introducing characters with ‘that’ only works on page 467 of a journal if you keep it up through page 472. Opening is strong otherwise.

Another one with a lot of character introduced early. The shift to full dialog is a bit awkward but sort of welcome. So her story has changed already from her deciding that the geek likes her to him asking her out, which I don’t quite buy; I think that’s a status-lowering change.

So, from that ending, I’m supposed to assume that she’s been writing in her journal during the entire event, in real time? Passing out just after finishing and punctuating that last sentence? Or did the author suddenly forget that this was supposed to be a journal?

Journals have a particular style that you’ve mostly missed, which was a big factor in this taking the loss. The biggest part of that is that a Journal is always about the moment it’s being written as much as the moment of the events taking place, and you completely failed to nail that sense, especially with a fade-out ending that makes no sense at all in the journal context.

Solitair’s The Party Line

should be ‘of beasts’. The opening doesn’t portend well, but the tone gives me some hope.

It’s probably correct to keep a case-sensitive username’s lowercase even at the start of a sentence, but it makes my reader’s eye hurt enough that I’d advise recasting any such sentence until the problem disappears.

Ultimately, this is a fairly good execution of a not very good idea. The problem here is with reality; you weren’t able to take things much further either in the humor or horror direction than the non-fictional examples, and if you can’t do that, what’s the point? The fact that a reader has almost no choice but to hear the narrator as the Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy doesn’t help at all.

Middle

Metrofreak’s Haunted

Interesting opening. I’m getting a light humor with very dark undertone vibe from it, let’s see how that turns out.

Overuse of ‘attributed’?

I mostly liked this one, but the ending doesn’t quite work. I think you need to be a lot more explicit about what secret you’re revealing, and ‘the gasmask’ doesn’t land in a single place hard enough to give one any idea what they’ve been up to, and a reader is going to react differently to ‘producing fetish porn’ versus ‘serial killer team’ versus ‘monster disguised as human’. (I’m leaning towards the first one, but you should probably be more clear. If I’m right, even simply changing it to ‘in just the gasmask’ would do it.

Good, though. Another that just barely missed being an HM pick for me.

BeefSupreme’s Faith

Good opening. The semicolon in the second line does nothing that a full stop wouldn’t accomplish, so I’d usually go that way.

This was another good one. There’s a point near the end where the narrator’s stupidity/blindness becomes a bit too much to bear-for me it’s the paragraph on other women. And I think you may have more of a story if the narrator has another character to play off of, maybe only in a later part of the story. Give him a chance to develop personality traits beyond the central one of his paternal blindspot.

Good. Wound up being my favorite of the week.

The Cut of Your Jib’s A Dark Day

Opening is okay, raises questions more than directly grabbing the reader.

Okay. This story is better than it should be. I mean, ending a story in which a man is manipulated into murdering one of his only friends by another with a punchline, that’s a bad idea. And I’m not sure it hits the prompt all that strongly, and that as far as it does hit the prompt it’s to the story’s detriment. I mean, the narrator doesn’t deny that he’s (mostly) blind, it’s just the writer going out of their way to be cagey with that fact for a while, trying hide it among drunkness business. And if the part where he's being grifted is supposed to be part of the prompt, it's not present strong enough and rushed through too quickly to land hard enough. Not sure what the deal with the glasses affecting the alibi: presumably his blindness is the sort that’s apparent looking at him, but wearing dark sunglasses indoors at night is also a blind person thing to do.

High Middle

llamaguccii’s Coping Well

Opening is reasonably grabby.

I see we have a mini-theme with digetic narratives that just don’t make sense. Like this one, which continues for several sentences after the file it was in is deleted.

The other main problem with this piece is that the ending doesn’t really give much guidance as to how much of what preceded was bullshit, if she’s coping with some other kind of death, or a break-up, or is plotting a murder. This wants to be more about the death, or ‘death’, and is spending too much time on the relationship history. Prose and character work is generally strong, but that ending just hits me the wrong way, leading to it being in my low list.

Dr. Kloctopussy’s The Tower

Catchy open. ‘The descents’ should be descendants I think.

quote:

I'm more of a Cassandra girl myself, but even I don't believe anymore.
Someone is trying to be a bit too clever here.

Okay. First off, I’m not really seeing the prompt here at all. Maybe she doesn’t know that she switched places with someone else, (even though that ought to be fairly obvious) (and that someone else is happy with moon princessing anyhow.), but otherwise, no. Secondly, this isn’t quite a story. Maybe the inciting event to one, but even as that glossing over how the wine accomplished the escape (a demonic pact, probably. Possibly just straight magic I guess.) hurts it for completeness.

Talking this over I’m made aware of an alternate reading, in which moon princessness is an alcoholism metaphor. I guess the wine was destroyed as part of a getting clean process in that reading? Don’t really buy this, though: being an alcoholic gives you time to study geography? Or the other way around; the tower is a metaphor for sobriety? In which the wine was consumed in a binge. But in that condition she had all the best wine. so that doesn’t work all that well either. I can’t quite buy this character as a mostly successful social drinker. Nor does it work for manic-depression or medicated/unmedicated states of general mental illness. I don’t think it quite works; that if that’s what was being attempted it’s one of those things that relies on a reader primed to hunt for an unreliable narrator, and doesn’t really work even then.

The prose and voice are very strong, enough to rescue these flaws from the danger of a bad result at least. Middle.

Thranguy fucked around with this message at Feb 28, 2017 around 21:37

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

I smelled that loss coming a mile away! In retrospect a bad choice for the title. Thanks for the crit.

Hawklad fucked around with this message at Feb 28, 2017 around 21:47

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Hawklad posted:

I smelled that loss coming a mile away! In retrospect a bad choice for the title. Thanks for the crit.

ok

prompt

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


ok

prompt

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Interprompt:

Prompt

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool


Sitting Here posted:

Interprompt:

Prompt

prompt (prompt)

prooooooooompt

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Please post a Prompt. Thank you and god bless.

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

DOUBLE BEEF ACTION

I'd like to thank my mom, I wouldn't be here without yo---

Oh, a prompt? Fine. I'll have one up tonight when I get home from work.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

BeefSupreme posted:

I'd like to thank my mom, I wouldn't be here without yo---

Oh, a prompt? Fine. I'll have one up tonight when I get home from work.

Score! Whatever you do, you've got a co-judge in me!

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


BeefSupreme posted:

I'd like to thank my mom, I wouldn't be here without yo---

Oh, a prompt? Fine. I'll have one up tonight when I get home from work.

this isnt a prompt

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


jfc

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly



same

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



i'm making the face in wlotms avatar at beef2 right now

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

DOUBLE BEEF ACTION

Thunderdome CCXXXIX: Stop trying to crit me and crit me!


Every story needs a conflict. This week, those conflicts will be physical. You have 1000 words to write me a story about a fight.

The setting is wide open. A duel at high noon. A martial arts tournament championship round. Brothers duking it out in the backyard. A dogfight between giant anime mechs, for all I care. Scale is important, though. We're not talking wars, we're talking fights. Multiple combatants can work, but you're entering the danger zone there, so be careful.

Be mindful: it still needs to be a story. It still needs to have beginnings and endings, plot, all that stuff. Most of all, it needs to have characters worth caring about. If I don't care who wins the fight, you certainly will not win this fight.

Clarity is extremely important! Check your blocking! I don't need your shakycam bullshit in here.

TKOs will be awarded against anyone who dares try to write a metaphorical fight. I want punching, dammit.

NO HOLDS BARRED
(Except FANFIC and EROTICA. You know the rules, fighters.)

PRIZE FIGHTS
From now until SIGN-UPS close, anyone who toxxes into a brawl or judges a brawl gets an extra 250 words.

PUNCHING ABOVE YOUR WEIGHT CLASS
Flash rules get you 150 bonus words. Ask at your own risk. Fight Referee Chili or myself will provide these.

FLASH RULES ROUND 2
You can get another 150 words if you take one of my handpicked classic fights as inspiration. Do with the fight as you will, but it should be clear how the fight inspired yours.

FIGHT TO THE DEATH
, get 100 words.

SIGN-UPS CLOSE: Midnight PST on Friday
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE: Midnight PST on Sunday

JUDGES
BeefSupreme
Chili
Sebmojo

CONTESTANTS
flerp (+100)
Jay W. Friks (+100)
Chairchucker (+150)
Metrofreak (+150)
Julias (+250)
llamaguccii
Uranium Phoenix (+250)
Fuschia tude (+250)
Erogenous Beef (+250)
Okua (+150)
Gau
GenJoe (+150)
Deltasquid (+150)
Thranguy (+300)
Flesnolk (+150)
Killer-of-Lawyers (+100)
The Cut of Your Jib
Kurona_bright
Kaishai
Bad Seafood
Sitting Here (+250)

BeefSupreme fucked around with this message at Mar 4, 2017 around 06:18

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


in

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016

Six of one, half dozen of another.

Grimey Drawer

In

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

In please give me a classic fight

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

DOUBLE BEEF ACTION

Chairchucker posted:

In please give me a classic fight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mm4mLsCAyI

Metrofreak
Mar 17, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Hey, I did better than middling low. Now to get cocky and gently caress it all up. In.
Gimme a classic.

Julias
Jun 24, 2012



In Also, give me a flash rule.

llamaguccii
Sep 2, 2016

THUNDERDOME LOSER


IN

And thanks for the crit. =^.^=

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Julias posted:

In Also, give me a flash rule.

Unconventional Weaponry

Uranium Phoenix
Jun 20, 2007


RADIOACTIVE DUST SURGE DETECTED


In. I'll take a flash rule and

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Uranium Phoenix posted:

In. I'll take a flash rule and

Man vs. Beast

(just sounds nice to say that, but gender is up to you)

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

DOUBLE BEEF ACTION

Metrofreak posted:

Hey, I did better than middling low. Now to get cocky and gently caress it all up. In.
Gimme a classic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XOg4ktTDAg

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER



in and flash me a give, please

also

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


Inicated by the violence.

Okua
Oct 30, 2016


IN with a flash rule

Gau
Nov 18, 2003

I don't think you understand, Gau.


In it to win* it.



*not lose

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BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

DOUBLE BEEF ACTION

Okua posted:

IN with a flash rule

Old friends

Fuschia tude posted:

in and flash me a give, please

“If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” -- Sun Tzu

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