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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

I can help with judging.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer


uh-oh

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

In

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Kid Krits

The ďnotesĒ section is written as Iím going through, ďoverallĒ is after Iíve read your story. As per usual, people who submitted stories earlier get more brainpower, and usually more words out of me. Please keep in mind, I judged and critted these stories while I had 2 week old kittens climbing on me. This meant that any given moment I was in a fabulous mood or in excruciating needle-kitty-claw pain. Who knows which story got which chili?!

As always, if I didnít go as in depth as youíd like, feel free to holler at me on IRC, I always enjoy talking shop.

Gonna Catch a Big One

Notes Ė Susan is the ďrest of the expeditonĒ, not a huge fan of this unless youíre basically saying that sheís the one actually in control. Youíre taking for granted that we know these characters are kids. Thatís ok, but Iíd prefer to see a bit more characterization up front. Imagine that this story was read by a stranger, they wouldnít understand why you have people who are going on an expedition that would involve bears, but not know what they eat.
The whole opening was weak. You basically just established and didnít tell much of a story or get me interested. You didnít use a ton of words, so thatís good, but you also didnít hook me, and thatís bad.
ďMum stopped him before he got out the door and made sure he put on a jacket first, because it was cold out there and he would catch a cold, and was also making her cold just looking at him.Ē I think youíre going for humor here, but it doesnít really land.
This is a story thatís supposed to be focusing on the kids, but in your second beat the humor is mostly derived from how parents see kids. Not a huge fan of that.
ďIs it purring?Ē asked Susan.

ďI donít think bears cry,Ē

What?
She dropped the rest of the sandwiches in front of the bear, and they quickly made their way around to the trap. Susan crammed the stick into the trap.
Ew.

Oh come on, thatís it?

Overall:

This was fine I guess, but there were essentially no strong choices in this story. Apart from the cutesy kid stuff, which you did a pretty decent job with, there was no tension and nothing happened that really mattered. The most interesting part of your story is when they find the bear, that happens far too late. Start there. Now youíve got kids with a trapped bear and maybe 800 words to play with. You can do a lot with that. What I was hoping for was that the momma bear would show up and then youíd shift perspectives to her perception, just like you did with the kidís moms, which would have been a fun parallel. Something like ďMomma bear though that these things with two legs were surely torturing her cub, because thatís what things with two legs generally doÖ etcĒ Instead, they find the bear, free it, go home seemingly feeling very little about their accomplishments and the story ends. I get that they were going hunting and they ended up freeing which is like soooooo opposite, but come on, thereís more to tell here.

An easy read, but not a particularly riveting one. I wish you went bigger.

Scales

Notes:

ďMaddie and I were not supposed to go to the public pool on our own, but this one evening under a summer heat-wave, Dad had hesitantly let us out of his sight.Ē
That donít sound like no kid.
Yeah and in your next few graphs, that problem seems to be continuing, this sounds like a 20-something writing a story.
ďWe carried it with us down the road until we reached the beach with those dunes that glowed like giant pieces of buried amber washed up ages ago.Ē Oh come on, now it doesnít even feel like youíre trying.
Got an odd parenthetical sentence. Not sure why you did that. The whole thing is her though process. If you were going for something on the backburner dashes wouldíve been better here.
Ē Itíd only be a few minutes before I was home, and the desire to be on the couch with Disney Channel on, sitting on a big beach towel as I air-dried, grew overwhelming.Ē This sentence sucks, read it out loud.
Sea-foam came sailing in on chest-high waves - not the common yellowish kind of foam, but pearly white stuff, and Maddie saw it swirl around her legs. Not quite how dashes work.

That ending thoÖ. What? Why does her hearing the latch fall into place matter at all?

Overall: I like that you went for the point of view from the actual kid. That is, in my mind, the stronger choice this week. Itís riskier but gives a better opportunity for showcasing kidvoice. Unfortunately, you didnít do a great job of that. Her voice was uneven. Sometimes she sounded like a kid, sometimes she sounded like an adult writing a story.
As for the story proper, for some reason, this feels like it was based off something personal. Whether or not thatís true, itís good. It feels like it really happened. I believed it. The bad news, however, is that again, not much happens. Kid tries something, it doesnít work, thatís pretty much the story. Make a bigger choice. What if Maddie got badly injured? You raised the stakes by letting us know thereíd be trouble if that happened, and then it doesnít happen. Iím not trying to rewrite your story, but Iím just bummed that it didnít have more weight to it.

Agua Mala, Agua Pura

Notes: Read the prompt hurfdurf.

Right off the bat, the point of view is clearly an adult narrator, which is fine, but Iím gonna want some good kid dialogue to make up for it.
He saw firsthand, her unending thirst and would take glasses, bowls, cut open milk jugs, and leave them out on the windowsill of their bedroom during rainy days. This is kind of a mess of a sentence.
These images would make him melancholy. Thanks for the feelings update. The next statement should do that work for you. And it kinda does. You shouldnít lead into it by telling us how your character feels.

Reading through this, Iím honestly pretty lost. Weíre not hearing enough from the kids.

Yeah, sorry, Iím continuing on and Iím just having the hardest times grasping what in the Christ is happening with this story.

Overall: You lost me. This was just unclear and hardly gave us much in the way of a kid story. Stuff happening to kids doesnít really cut it so much, needed more agency, early on.

The Understudy

Notes: Right off the bat, youíre nailing this prompt. This is good kids voice, you set up a really dumb underthought kid plan with great clarity, and I am on board with your story. Very nice.
I didn't have a problem with her. I mean, she was totally wrong for Peter Pan, but I didn't think she was disgusting. I like this.

"I dare you," Marissa said, as her eyes darted around the room, "to take a sip of that gross stuff Kat always carries around." So happy youíre story went in this direction. Let this be a lesson to everyone. When you set up a scenario with a clear outcome, if the clear outcome happens, you have a lovely story. Tom should drink the poison, not Marissa. Good lesson for stories.

Tony unscrewed the cap, and took a sniff. "This smells nasty," he said. We all leaned in close as he moved the bottle to his mouth. I was seriously about to tackle him for it, but then I thought: wouldn't it be fun to play Captain Hook? Yeah, they didn't usually let girls do it, but maybe they'd make an exception for me? Wasn't I villainous, more villainous than any of the boys? Yeah, this is still firing on all cylinders. Funny and good.

[ii]I've never been one to turn down a dare. I drank, drank, and drank, making eye contact with Marissa the whole time. My stomach churned as the other campers cheered, and I just kept staring at Marissa, just to make sure, whatever the outcome, one of us would see this to the end.[/i]Ö. You had me until here. I donít understand this ending.

Overall: So for the most part, mostly everything here worked. Your voice was spot on, the stakes were established quickly and the motivations made sense. I loved how the character kept on referring to people and then mentioning their roles. It was a really nice touch. As for the endingÖ it doesnít really feel like an ending? I mean your character wanted something, then didnít get it, then very quickly rolled with the punches, and then the story kinda ends? Why does it matter that sheís staring at Marissa, Marissa has essentially nothing to do with any of this, sheís even characterized by the protag as not all that bad. This was still a pretty strong entry; I just wanted more out of the ending.

Letters

Notes: Right of the bat, lose ďpoutedĒ in your opening line, we can infer as much.

Your first beat doesnít get me excited to read everything else. You havenít set up much, except for some curiosity about a letter, and some whiney kids. Thatís not much of a hook.
The next beat doesnít do much else either. We learn that Edward is basically a standard big brother, trying then getting frustrated, fine. I donít see why this is in a story.

Richard brought the letters to the window anyways. You didnít establish this tone, so donít start up with it now.

Good ending.

Overall: Your ending saved your bacon here. Iíll admit Iím a little annoyed I didnít see it coming, because in hindsight, itís somewhat obvious. Regardless, it ended up being a sweet brother story and those always find my favor easily. The problems with your story start early and make it kind of difficult for there to be enough interest to carry your everyday sort of reader to the end. Really, who wants to read a story about a whiney kid and his lovely older brother? Of course, thatís not how it ends, but we spend the bulk of the story without that good bit of information. Iím not quite sure how to go about fixing that, but my 2 cents tells me that a story where we follow Edward a bit more instead of Richard, and see how he covers things up and has to suffer silently and stay strong for his brother may have overall been more compelling.

Resizer

Notes: Child narrator using the word embankmentÖoy vey. Not a great hook overall, havenít given me much of a reason to care about this story anywhere in your first beat.
Second beat is pure characterization, wouldíve preferred to have some story happen.

Ok, so I may be getting caught up on the prompt, but again, this is just bothering me. Sentences like this: Moments later, I saw the pyramid shaped cabin hovering along the tracks through the narrow cutaway of the birch trees. just donít sound like they are coming from a kid POV. Iím annoyed with this because writing in a new voice is a fun opportunity and it seems like people are largely blowing it.
So at this point, Iím halfway through the story and I have no idea what theyíre going to do. Theyíve done a lot of walking, and the story has basically been a ďletís round up the posseĒ type of deal. Now, donít get me wrong, rounding up the posse is greatÖ in a novel, but youíve got 1200 words to play with and youíve spent half of them not telling your story. This is a problem.

My dad says that they only use these things on, wood and stone, but he told me that they could work on anything as long as itís strong. Iíve avoided being pedantic and nitpicking grammar on everyoneís stories up until now. THOSE COMMAS brought me out of that however. What is with THOSE COMMAS

12 year olds donít say iridescent.

So help me, if one of these kids gets ďresizedĒ Iím going to very angry with you, authorperson.

Oh good, they only squished a hobo. Nobody cares about hobos.

Overall: You wrote a story where one thing happened. And that one thing was that a hobo got squished. Thatís not very nice. Reconsider your life choices.

Weíre Not Supposed To (this is the best title so far, gives some idea as to whatís going on and sets a kidlike tone)

Oh, and hey, a nice hook that gets things going, if not a little awkwardly phrased. Otherwise though, not bad.

And now you're kinda losing me a bit with this description of the injury and the wound. Also, now Iím confused if the character was calling ďuncleĒ as a plea for mercy or for their actual uncle.
Oh it seems like itís the latter. Now your hook is less hooky and promised something that isnít being delivered.

And now thereís blocking galore. This is getting harder to follow.

Ok, I may just be a dumb guy, but why is the uncle(who is begrudgingly a real person and not a cry for mercy as your story got me excited for) firing a gun. What is happening? WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Alright got to the ending. Still canít tell you what this is about.

Overall:

Story starts with an injured person and then an uncle fires a gun. I donít know. Thereís too many kids doing too many things, moving around in too many places. This whole story just kinda loses me quickly. And seriously, Iíve probably said it enough at this point, but consider what it means when a kid shouts UNCLE and then some other kid wonít let them leave.

The Treehouse Heist
Notes: YAY! Now this is a hook that gets me into the story. Good word choice here, and I know whatís going on.

ďSher-iff Devin is a poo-py butt,Ē came the song. ďHe eats his poop and he liiiiii-kes it.Ē I hate that this made me laugh; youíre a bad person.
Reading this, Iím getting an Andy-playing-with-his-toys vibe. That is a good thing.

Read the rest quickly.

Overall: This was a good little action piece. I like that you told it straight. It helped contrast the dialogue. I wanted more, so well done there. I think that you nabbed the spirit of this prompt the best so far, but this was a little light. Play is a good place to explore whatís really going on with character but you didnít go much below the surface here with that. Not a big deal really, this was strong.

The Terrible Truth of (Personal) Space
I had to stop and reread a bunch of stuff in your opening graph.

he said, his eyes large as a hadron collider particle accelerator. naaaaahhhh

12 year olds analyze Shakespeare, what kinda school are these kids going to?

Reading this Iím not quite sure what the deal is?

Alright got to the end and Iím having a hard time with this one.

Overall: Not really sure what you were going for here. These kids donít feel like kids, which I think is kinda the point youíre going for but it doesnít really make for a compelling story. Iím also hung up on whatís real and whatís not. It sure seems like this is imagination station, but these kids are 12 and seemingly doing really advanced schoolwork so that doesnít really work. The alternative would be that theyíre really in some kind of pickle and if thatís the case, I donít think 12 year olds would be handling the situation with such aplomb.

Big duck, little duck

Starting your story with a character ďnot mindingĒ something isnít exactly a strong choice. Other than though, you painted a nice picture with your opener.
Lose the ďsoĒ in your second graph.

Halfway through and youíve got me hoping for a good ending. I like this enough so far. Ending was kinda nice but didnít really do much.

Overall: This wasnít much for story. Kinda similar in theme to what weíve seen so far in that thereís an older sibling who ultimately does right by their younger sibling.

Your whole story boils down to a bullshit mom dragging a 5 year old to a pageant, the kid doesnít like it and the sister reassures her. Their relationship isnít highlighted enough for the meat of the story to be that minimal in nature.

This wasnít bad, but it didnít wow me.

The Percussionists

Notes: Decent enough opening. You tell us whatís up, the problem is defined nicely, and that attitude of what appears to be your protag is illustrated.

Your dialogue is poppin. Making for a quick read.

Nitpick point, just a preference thing, but start your characterís names with different letters. Makes for easier reading.

He didn't hit his face, not hard, that doesnít read nicely.

Overall: Probably my favorite so far? The relationships are the focus and, fortunately, the highlight of the piece. The characters speak naturally to each other and another glimmer in the story is the comic imagery of the pathetic cannonball. Itís also a refreshing change of pace to have a friendship thing in what appears to be a sibling heavy week.

Anyway, good story.

Keys to the Kingdom

Notes: Nice opening. Got me slightly concerned that itís going to be hard to keep track of the characters/blocking throughout the story, letís hope Iím wrong.
The characterization of Leslie is solid.

Not really much of an ending.

Overall: Good little story. Not a whole lot in terms of plot, but thatís OK because, as in the last story, the relationship dynamics work. The kids are good I especially like the ďcan I edict that?Ē bit, you used language to decent effect here. Kinda wanted more out of the ending, it all just seems largely out of the protagís hands. But otherwise, this was solid enough.

Itís Not Much to Listen

Notes: Oh sheeeeeyit, we got ourselves a heavy story a-brewin! Good opener, and liking the point of view from the kid. We get a ton of information very quickly and the voice is established. This is how itís done, folks.

His dad pushed him along and his dad went with my Mom into the living room. Ew. Read your stuff out loud please.

And more pretty glaring proofing errors. This needs a cleanup pass.

Ok, read the rest fairly easily, but thatís not so great in this situation.

Overall: This is a big old bowl of JEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ. Just a rough ending and Iím not sure what the point of the story was at all. Not sure I get what you were going for. This is a sad story for sadnessís sake. Donít think youíre accomplishing all that much else.

There we some nice touches here and there. The Big Bird blanket, for whatever reason, kinda resonated with me and helped paint the picture.

Without a Clue

Notes: Lotta unfamiliar stuff going on, hope my little brain can keep up.

Alright, well I thought some other stories were avoiding the whole ďthese should sound like kidsĒ element of the prompt, but you are just wholesale ignoring it entirely. These do not sound like kids.

What even is this story? Who are these people and what is going on? I canít keep track of any of this for the life of me.

Overall: Iím kind of at a loss? It ends with a decapitation so thatísÖ. cool I guess?

Oy Vey.

The Lost Gold of Old Man Finkelstein

Notes: Takes a bit to get going. Donít really know what the kids are up to from the jump, could use a bit more here.

Read the rest pretty quickly. It works kinda but I didnít care about much of any of it and didnít find anything particularly funny.

Overall: Not sure what you were going for here. Not detecting any good chemistry between the kids that makes for a good story and the dialogue needs a bit of work. There were also some proofing problems. Didnít dig the ending.

Unruined

Notes: Good Hook.

Boy is this talk-heavy. Problem is, itís not quite snappy enough to carry the story. I like the skeleton angle, and I like that the story is a bit distant from reality. Apart from that, Iím not getting much here.
Overall- Gotta work on making the dialog more meaty, it does sound like itís coming from kids, Iíll give you that, but itís not moving the story enough and itís not telling me enough about who the kids are. I donít know, this was fine I guess, had a bit of a time following much of it but it kinda worked in parts.

Dumb Baby Stuff

Notes: First three graphs are worldbuildy and scene setting. Not poorly done or anything but thereís also not a lot to hook me in to the story until that very last bit. The imagery of the kids catching the parent's loving was striking and handled perfectly.

I like this. Got through it quickly.

Overall: Good story, with a lot of good little moments in it. The dynamic between the kids is solid and the backdrop of their imagination set in contrast to the real world events is nicely balanced. This was also one of the better endings of the week so far.

Missing Pieces

Notes: Hook has a pop culture reference that I got, but didnít care for.

About a quarter through and your voice is pretty solid, but there ainít much in the way of a story so far.
Halfway through now, still the same issue.

And yeah, now weíre at the end and yeahÖ pretty much the same issue again.

Overall: I enjoyed the read enough but not a whole happened that showcased strong choices. Could just be me running out of steam, or maybe the kittens clawing into my thighs, but I guess Iíd like to see more. Not a horrible entry, but I wanted more.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Ironic Twist posted:

hey, another Mafia guy

Oh poo poo, that's where I know you from!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Aaaaaaand, it's gone!

Chili fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2018 around 11:38

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Sitting Here posted:

thank you for the crits

Aye, and that's awesome effort considering the stories were short. Thanks, sparks!

Chili fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2017 around 02:42

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

I'm up for being in, or judging.

Your call Mr. Joe.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

GenJoe posted:

seriously feel free to twist these any way you want I don't want them to feel too restrictive

Bringing me on to judge then?

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Here are my crits. I actually liked this week better than our lead judges. There were about seven stories or so that I enjoyed reading. Anyway, here's my thoughts.

Not read in judge mode, that way I know who is esteemed and I do not get egg on my face when I say someone who is good wrote a bad story.

Just kidding, youíre all bad and horrible.

As always, happy to discuss anyoneís stories on IRC.

The Eyes of Eris Ė Uranium Phallics

Notes: Oooo I really hope that your character that we get to know is AI. Thatís a really brilliant idea. Wait. Who is Cythea?

Iím so confused.

quote:

ďAh yes. Diplomacy. That thing Iím best at.Ē

ďItís not the thing youíre best at.Ē

Dialogue: not the thing youíre best at.

Thereís too many adjectives peppered throughout this, ďmost genuine smileĒ ďhappy chimeĒ ďjaunty tuneĒ, eh just use better nouns.
Also thereís too many little things happening here and this story is really tricky to follow.

Welp, I have found the best thing that will ever come out of thunderdome everyone. : Alecta compressed her body structure and squeezed through the hole like a fleshy python.

Overall : I had a bitch of time following the action of this story. I also couldnít find my way to care about Alecta. I was far more interested in your AI character and would have enjoyed the story if it were told from its POV more.

The Resurrection Man Ė The Cut of your Corpse

Notes: Mister Bell? Clay? Is this The Wire fanfiction. Good god I hope itís The Wire fan fiction.
About halfway through now, and Iím digging this. These characters contrast each other nicely and they both sound different. Good control.
Finished the rest, rather quickly.

Overall: Solid entry. Clear action, good relationships, characters do things that make sense based on who they are and what weíve learned about them. I also didnít want to see Clay die and I think you accomplished that by referring to him as Bellís patient right after heís wounded. It mattered to both of them that he survived. You managed to insert some give-a-fucks into your story. Good.

The Job Ė Laggymouse

Notes: Your story is taking forever to get started. Thereís a job that needs to be done, and a guy doesnít want to do it. Thatís fine for likeÖ 50 words, but youíre going into the hundreds and I have no idea who these people are, or what this job is, so why should I care?
ďfurrowed his browĒ pet peeve, but I hate this

Yeah, youíre whole first segment just doesnít do anything. This is a pretty standard ďIíve hung up my gunsĒ type of deal you didnít need to spend forever and a day getting there. Itís not as though Jameson wonít do the job, what the hell else could happen?

Yeah 2nd beat starts and sure enough thatís where he is. You gotta go bigger or different if youíre gonna make us wait that long.

Youíve just joined the ďgenuine smileĒ club for this week.

He fought his way up to the counter and tried to force a smile at the woman behind it.

quote:

ďJameson OíConnell, here for Michael Redfern.Ē

The woman returned his smile with a surprisingly genuine one and looked down at her notes. ďGood morning, Mr. OíConnell. Mr. Redfern came by earlier and left a note, let me see if I can find it,Ē her finger moved its way down the page, ďhere. Mr. Redfern will be in the lounge. If you go back towards the front and swing a left, youíll find it no problem. Is there anything else I can assist you with, Mr. OíConnell?Ē

Jameson looked over his shoulder and counted the number of people between himself and the door to the lounge. ďNo, thank you.Ē

ďWell, you have a great day, Mr. OíConnell, and if thereís anything else we can do to assist you, just let us know,Ē she smiled.

This is 133 words that are pretty much unnecessary. They donít accomplish anything for your story and weíve already been made to wait a whole hell of a lot before we learn anything about this job that the title promises.
Oh fuuuuuuuuccccckkk that ending.

Overall: This is like reverse Reservoir Dogs and it sucks butts. I get what youíre trying to do, tell a story that leads up to the job. Thatís fine, but something interesting has to happen. Ask yourself what about this story could any given reader not predict. Nothing happens, I donít care, there are no stakes and now Iím so upset that Iím going to demand that the next story I read get a DM.

Ears Ė Venomous

Notes: Oh dear, is that a typo or is your character stroking out?

Oh good, Italian jizz.

Alright, so youíre doing an accent. I thought your keyboard was broken. Hereís the deal, I donít know how read this and make it sound the way you intend. I checked in IRC and it seems like itís generally not considered a great idea to write out the phonetics of an accent. Why? Cos most of the time, like now, your reader will be a big dumb and will not know how to pronounce it. /rant, back to the story.

ďIím about to sigh a relief, but then the biggest lightbulb ever made explodes in Rickyís head and he gasps at me.Ē Donít love ďever madeĒ. This is weak prose and you can probably do better.

One thing Iím noticing. We donít know when this is happening. Iím guessing night? In which case theyíve already managed to break into the Louvre and theyíre being quite flippant and casual about it. Or theyíre in there during the day and youíre not telling us anything about the crowd. Kinda problematic either way.
Oh, cool ď"Well, okay, that oneís small and there isnít bulletproof glass around it, but do you really want to go through with this in broad daylight?" So now we know, but we should have known sooner cos, ideally, I wouldnít have had that question for so long.

The repeating seminal references areÖ odd. I think you were going for funny, but itís not quite landing and itís just getting weird.

Alright, this is just tons of talking with occasionally soliloquizing and nothing is happening. Also, you sometimes end paragraphs

Like that, and it doesnít look right. I get that youíre trying to show an interruption of though but a dash might work here, or maybe ellipses. I donít know, ask someone smarter than me.

UMMM WHAT THAT ENDING??

Overall: You didnít tell a story so much as two guys and one guy remembering better stories than the one he is currently in. Well not currently, anymore because you threw him into the SeineÖ for reasons?
I didnít really care that he died, and I certainly couldnít quite tell you why. My best guess is that heís suffered from PTSD or something and hasnít gotten help. But I canít be sure and Iím wondering why, of the one thing to happen in your story, you chose to go with a suicide.

The missing ingredient Ė Chernabog

Notes: Welcome to the genuine smile club, we needed a vice president! Got some missing commas, like in ďaye captainĒ.
Anyway read most of the rest of this fairly quickly. Itís not bad.

Overall: Itís a story. Your character wants something. We see him try and get it, and it works. Thatís more than most have offered thus far. The story, in content feels like itís supposed to be funny, but none of it really made me laugh and the moments that seemed like jokes, didnít quite land.

Smalldog Ė Chairchucker

Notes Ė Fun hook, Iím on board. We also learn a great deal about this character in a minimal amount of time. This is good story telling.
Iím a sucker for these kinds of stories, where characters have mundane conversations while treating the threat like a nuisance. Feeling like thisíll be a story I go to the matt for.

This dog is the best.

Ok, read the rest quickly.

OverallóDog stories are risky. Feel like theyíre easy to land on the top or bottom piles. Forutnatley, this is a top piler for me. Good humor, some nice growth in there too for the dad. I would say that, that his characterization is a little weak, but thatís made up for because we get to know the dog a widdle.
Anyway, the story got me to care; it also got me to laugh. I liked this a lot.

Driverless Ė Benagain

Notes: First couple of paragraphs are a little clunky. Iím finding the POV confusing. Looks like youíre going for some kinda middle ground between an all knowing narrator and the character as well. Iíve seen that done well before, but itís not quite clicking here.

This is really messy and itís hard to tell if itís purposeful? Iím inclined to think that itís not for the most part. It seems like your character has an accent or something, but Iím not sure how that helps you or why itís good for your character to speak with broken English. But then thereís sentences like this: ďFinish lesson, jamming on passenger side brakes the entire way.Ē And Iím not quite sure what youíre going for?
And Iím lost. I donít know whatís happening and I donít care.

Overall: This was a hard to follow mess, that seemed, like many stories this week, to go for humor and not quite get there. Iím not sure who these people are, and I canít sort out their motivations or even tell why they are in the places they are in.

Arrival Ė Hawklad

Notes:

Starting off this is a bit messy and tricky to follow. Iíve had to go back and re-read some things. Also, I havenít seen the movie, but Iím just guessing that this has something to do with the recent film of the same name?

Yeah this is just one of those types of stories that canít seem to hold my attention. Iím not sure what is going on with the alien things and why people care. Iím just kinda lost going through this.

Overall Ė The parallels with the pregnancy and the alien areÖ fine? Itís not really subtle but then, it was one of the few things I could wrap my head around in this story. Iíd be interested to see sort of a flo-chart of events for this. You did do some work on making these characters believable, in a sense, but Iím not getting much else out of this.

The Bride-to-Be Ė Katdicks

Notes: Thatís a pretty hefty opening line. Couldíve been punchier. The paragraph itself has a couple of adverbs you donít need, if you ditched precariously and unsurprisingly, the meaning is still all there and itíll feel less cumbersome.

I really liked the letter into the next pargraph where he reveals the knife. I wish it stopped there and we didnít get a flashback. Itís cool that the gift of a silver dagger is essentially a warning and letting the readers imagine that for themselves would be more effective. I get that youíre explaining how she got taken, but Iím not sure how much it matters.

Overusing trembling. We know that Leo is a trembler by now. And now his knees bucklesÖ itís a bit much. Youíre showing, which is good, but itís getting distracting.

Yeah, see, now through exposition weíre learning how she got caught anyway from Von Kreet. I would definitely ditch the flashback. Youíd get to the action faster and would build some intrigue along the way.
OOOOOKKK, I actually kinda like that ending.

Overall: I always get annoyed with potential binary endings. Either heíll win, or heíll lose. There needs to be more to make it special. You accomplished that by earning the victory through a loophole. So thatís good. In a way this feels coming-of-agey which is a tough thing to accomplish in such a short period of time. This needs tightening. A snappier opener, and get rid of the flashback and this has some potential. Itís good otherwise.

Home Office Ė Metrofreak

Notes:

Starting a story with a character waking up is usually a harbinger of a bad time. I hope that isnít the case here.

OK, so weíve got a problem:

quote:

He was downstairs a minute later, used mug in hand. Heíd walked silently past the doors upstairs. He neednít worry about waking Amanda or Ethan, not anymore, but old habits died hard. He put on the kettle, pulled a fresh mug out of the cupboard, set it next to his stained one and spooned out an equal measure of instant coffee, sugar and powdered creamer into both.

He resolved to watch the kettle and get his morning coffee out of the way, but instead found himself on the sofa with a bowl of dry cornflakes. Heíd realized the lack of milk mid-pour. He made a mental note to gather up some of the laundry heíd scattered around down here, and promptly forgot it, filling that mental space with the early morning news.

Look at how all of these sentences start. This is a mistake that gets corrected if you do the thing that nobody wants to doÖ read your story out loud. Youíll catch how crappy these sentences sound when you string them all together like that HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE
Anyway, all that aside, weíre a couple hundred words in so far and this dude is boring as piss. Heís woken up, watched the new and got his mail. Why should anyone care about this boring boring dude?

Oh, OK, a girl left him. ThatísÖ something at least, but I wish you had gotten here sooner. I think itís Ebeef who always says that youíve gotta pretty much get all of the information you can into your first 100 words. We needed to learn about Amanda in likeÖ the first paragraph, maybe the second.
JeeezÖ this is justÖ why does this matter? Itís a guy just doing things in his house. Come oooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

And now Iím wondering why in the world we needed the story to open with Times. Youíve wholesale abandoned that halfway through.

Overall: This isnít a story. You took the prompt to mean ďletís get inside a guys head and see what he seesĒ which is fine, but thereís nothing about this thatís compelling or engaging to read. These are essentially journal entries. And now, I donít know who James is. I canít tell you anything about him. Why? Because you didnít challenge him. He had a breakup sure, but you got throw something at him so we can see how he handles a situation on the fly. You gotta go bigger than this. You also seemed far too concerned with your flashrule. Genjoe said over and over again that writers were encouraged to expand upon their flashes as much as they like, so there wasnít necessarily a reason to adhere so tightly to it.

One Too Many Ė Kenfucius
Notes:

Good opening. Nice scene setting and opening on a fire gives some immediate stakes.

quote:

Walt nodded approvingly at the command in his partnerís tone.
This is not a good sentence. And the rest of that paragraph is a little heavy on the exposition.

Youíre starting to lose me a bit at the bar. Youíre getting away from action and just straight up telling us how your character is feeling. And then you do it again with the relationship between the partners in that they ďalways knowĒ
Feeeehhhh

Overall: Not much of a story. A thing happens, a guy gets drunk, decides to quit his job. Those are the beats and theyíre fairly predictable and lack much in the way of interest or punch. I respect that you really went for the prompt. In fact, you may have made gone the most directly towards the ďhuman characterĒ bit, which is nice, but before that your story needs to have something else that makes it worth reading. We hear about a fire, we never see them interact with it. We hear about this relationship that these partners have, but we donít see much of in practice. Thereís good elements here, you just need to tease them out a bit more.

May contain: - sebmojo

Notes: Iím sure youíve caught your glaring typo in the first line of the story by now. But allow me to echo what Iím hoping youíve been hearing from others: shame on you.

Honked petulantly? Thereís a couple of reasons why that doesnít make a whole lot of sense.

quote:

Elanor shook her head. ďIím having a baby.Ē She swung the wheel hard right and took the ramp to the liquor store carpark with a bump, then slid her car into the handicapped slot, yanked the handbrake and clambered out of the car, grabbing her keys as an afterthought.

Good blocking/action.
Good ending as well.


Overall: The length of the story did you a lot of favors because not a whole lot happened but we did get a nice little glimpse into someoneís heart. There were some clever things in there too like not having space and what not, I saw what you were doing there.
Not bad, but definitely could have done with more. As it happens, there ainít much going on in the story and I think more time with these characters doing something challenging or having to deal with something together wouldíve been interesting.

Mr. Blood Ė jon joe
Notes: Blee a missing word in your opener. What are you taking lessons from sebmojo?

Your first paragraph in the second beat is a mess.

Third beat starts with you telling us that something is odd. Donít do that. If itís odd, show us. You probably are planning doing that anyway, but donít waste time stating it outright.

OhÖ so this is a farce? You got stones. Letís hope it works.

Overall: Hey, it kinda works!

There are some difficult to parse out bits, especially because we donít know whatís happening when and we basically canít know until we read the next beat what the current beat is, but thatís true of most farces that arenít perfect. There are some that accomplish perfect clarity throughout with confusion that only the characters see and not the reader, but thatís the gold standard and really tricky to pull off.
Otherwise, this is a pretty good effort. Not sure how well it addressed the human character element of the prompt, but it works.

The Outlaw Josey Graves Ė Tyrannosaurus

Notes: Opener is solid. I like the character already and the humor lands.

Halfway through and realizing that I havenít commented on anything yet because Iím too busy enjoying the story. So thatís good.

Well OK you just threw in an unnecessary brow furrowing. So that takes you down a bit.

Yaaaayyy, I liked this story!!

Overall: Probably my favorite so far. Good coming of age. I believed in your characterís transformation. This worked on just about every level and even the little bits of ďlevel upĒ humor were nice and kept the story light and springy without diminishing the stakes.

A Little Medicine Bad Seafood
Notes: Strong opening

Iím finding the repetitive nature of the prose somewhat tiring. I get that itís purposeful, and likely done for effect, but itís just not clicking. I think once or twice with ďNiles couldnít do that, he never could do thatĒ type of thing can be helpful and productive in telling a good story, but youíre leaning on it a bit too much and itís losing a lot of punch.

Hmmmm

Overall: Well this is a sweet little moment between father and daughter, but Iím having a hard time with the opening now. Heís sitting on a lot of things that make him upset, so it almost seems like heís asking to die because heís bummed and not a burden? The things in this story that are good, are really good. Audrey mannerisms, for example, and how she comes home from workÖ. All handled very well. But Iím a little lost for what the story is and how things have changed because of the events in the story.
I liked reading it, but I guess it didnít leave me satisfied.

Itís Not Something You Can Leave Behind Ė Fuschia tude

Notes: good opening. We get information quickly and you donít waste time.
Ok, read the rest pretty quickly.

Overall : A sad story, but handled decently. The nature of grief is a tricky one to deal with in a short story but you did a nice job. I also dig that you just kinda went for it and put in some magical poo poo. Good times, and not enough people took that route this week, so good on you for that. When we think about a character wanting something and seeing them get it or not, itís usually important for there to be something at the end to speak to the nature of the journey and you did a nice job of encapsulating the journey. I liked

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Just to clarify, you're looking for script format for a piece that could hypothetically be acted?

Would appreciate a clarification on this as well.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Tyrannosaurus posted:

I have added clarifications.


Muffin & Chili, I'm not sure what you guys mean.

Title
word count

words.


That seems pretty standard. If the question is: should I be writing this with someone performing it outloud in mind? The answer is yes.

Are stage directions ok? That's my question; I think it's muffins as well.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Alright, enough pussyfooting out of me; in.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Aaaaaaand, it's gone!

Chili fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2018 around 11:38

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Aaaaaaand, it's gone!

Chili fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2018 around 11:39

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

I don't plan on doing anything fantastical, but just in case

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Aaaaaaand, it's gone!

Chili fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2018 around 11:39

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Congrats on the twofer, Thranguy.

Please allow me to remind you, however, that this is supposed to be a thread about bad words, not good ones.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

None of you bitches are loving anyone.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer






Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Oh and Beef or Muffin....

I will accept a flash rule from either of you.

Whoever is first.

Come at me.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

BeefSupreme posted:

Chili/Muffin, I will also take a flash rule

from EACH of you

Pfft, I knew my amazing display of brass balls would lead to a one-up.

But whatever.

I'm giving you three choices.

1. A standard flash rule: If your characters talk, they do so while their mouths have food in them.

Or you can take a flash handicap

On your honor, you must:

2. Type your whole story with only one hand.

OR

3. Listen to this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sruEnQ9HkU on repeat, at any point that you're adding or fixing lovely words to your story.

Choose anyone of those three, and post your choice before you start your story.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Sitting Here posted:

so apparently this is a thing

Butterscotch should be our dog.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Aaaaaaand, it's gone!

Chili fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2018 around 11:39

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!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Julias posted:

In Also, give me a flash rule.

Unconventional Weaponry

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)

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Deltasquid posted:

In, and please give me a flash rule.

Your fight occurs on unstable ground.


GenJoe posted:

in and please flash rule me thank u (kissyface)

There is a great disparity in the size of at least two of your combatants.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Aaaaaaand, it's gone!

Chili fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2018 around 11:39

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

CRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITS


All read in judgemode. But, of course, I remembered some of the flash rules I handed out and who they ended up going to. Otherwise this was fairly impartial.

Caveats! I don't’ read good. So if you went experimental or a little “out” you may have lost me. That happened a few times. Also, my sanity began to wither somewhere at about ⅔ into this so take it all as it is!

Also, if you have any interest in talking about your story, come find me in IRC! I love taking shop!


You Fight Like a Girl


Running Notes - I’m seeing a lot of X did N to Y and then Y did M to X. This is boring and flat prose and makes for stale action. I get that these guys are doing things to each other, but there’s so little description as to what’s going on.

Oh, and that’s all.


Overall - OK. Well this was short and mildly amusing with a somewhat whackadoo ending. I didn’t hate this because I didn’t have enough time to hate this. That’s… an odd consolation prize but I guess it works. The fighting itself is brief, yet confusing. I get that this is an in-n-out story, but some more color in the proper fight would have helped you here. Otherwise, this kind of reads like a flat telling of The Aristocats.


5/10



Duke Guncock and the Golden Funnel


Running Notes - Broloseeum. And with one quick word you have earned losertar immunity as far as I’m concerned. Well done. OK, broletariat. Another good one, but if this continues you may start to lose some charm on this. Brocialism, I guess I’m still with you. Also you're doing a nice job of recapping a fight, so I’m still with you. Brobots… and broligarch. I love to hate you.

Through the first two beats, and I’m digging this so far. You’re pacing is spot on on. We see what the motivation is and in spite of the humor which is, at once, good and distracting, the story is working. Also, you seem to have retired some of the bro stuff, a wise move.

Oh, nevermind. More brostuff. Most of the time it’s clever enough so I’m OK with this.

Onto the training montage… and I’m kinda with you here. The leg day joke is kinda tired at this point and I’m not sure how much we need this. But you know, a good old training montage can be good part of a fight thing. So it’s still working.

Oh, that ending. Bro gently caress Yourself.

Overall - Alright, this was good. The tone and the humor are a bit over the top at times, but you went for something big and kept it consistent. A real struggle with pieces like this is that sometimes, things start to fall flat toward the end. Ending on a stupid pun is a fun choice and one I’ve enjoyed doing myself as it gives a nice shaggy dog feel, which I’m always a huge fan of. Anyway, your fight choreography is remarkable. It’s clear and introduces fun and playful elements and that’s a tough act to balance. This was a solid entry and is an early HM pick for me for sure. I like this story’s guts and I liked the execution.

9/10



Sacred


Running Notes - Alright, from the top you got me ready for a fight with a dragon. That means there better be a fight with a dragon or something of equal or better value.

The opening is longer than it needs to be. Consider the information the audience cares about. A dragon took protag’s kid. There’s a faster, snappier way to get this going but spend 250 words doing so.

Proofing error He tried to think of there were. Little distracting as the other stories so far were well polished. Also, I just don’t think we need this He tried to think of there were any other boys of the same name near Aberfirth, then tried to convince himself he’d heard the name wrong, but no self-deception could sooth the chill in his blood or the drums in his heart. Pretty much at all. If there’s one thing readers can understand, it’s that a parent will go after their child. We don’t need much more than that and you gave it to us from the jump.

Just in sight of the crags, the knight found himself sprawled on the ground, mud coating his leather cuirass and his crossbow nestled in a bush, the bolts scattered about. Wait what? When did this happen?

It’s also wildly confusing how you go from calling your MC both “the knight” and “ingram” pick one.

Decent fight choreography. Not a whole lot happens but the resulting pain is kinda what sells it. When fighting a dragon there’s a couple of ways for your story to work successfully, and choosing a “realistic” victory versus and over-the-top dragon slaying metal experience is a fine choice and helps avoid cliche. I’m a little unclear why he was so ready to kill himself with the fairy at the end. Maybe something at the beginning with him examining the thing?

Overall - This was serviceable. Which is a thing I hate to hear when I write a story, but that’s kind where it was for me. I don’t see why you wasted time with other characters at all. The interesting and worthwhile part of your story is Dad vs. Dragon. If you spend more time on that and less with other characters bailing on your protag before the confrontation even starts you probably coulda built for more investment in your reader. Anyway, the fight was clear and realistic considering, y’know, dragon. But more time spent on showing the power and terror of the moment leading up the fight itself and less on ancillary characters that we don’t care about would have improved this a fair bit.

7/10



The Disciple


Running Notes - This may seem pedantic, but it’s your first sentence “irritated individual” is a really lovely alliterative and doesn’t sound nice at all. It immediately put a sour taste in my mouth. Nevermind the fact that both of those words are just… not good? We know that a person is an individual. There are so many better one word options that could fit: miscreant, ingrate, etc.

The word carried a sense of resentment. - Telling, not showing. We already know he’s an irritated individual, but perhaps he can say this through clenched teeth? That conveys what you’re going but we don’t have to take your word for it.

OK, so Lysander is just a bitter student. Or at least, that’s all I’m getting so far. He kinda seems like a huge d-bag.

“This isn’t how alumni generally greet me,” Adriatus said, leaning out from behind a tree to Lysander’s right. “Would you care to explain?” Aww yis. This may not be anything special but I love calm in the face of danger. Conveys real power and is serving as a nice contrast to this Lysander fella.

Roman candle is an out of place reference.

You’re crazy,” he said. “Attempted murder because you flunked a class.” Can’t quite put my finger on it, but this a weid tonal shift. Up till now, he sounded very Dumbledorey. This was less-so.

Woah now. What is this Lysander’s deal? He’s setting fire to a school and potentially killing children for what reason again? Just because you have a character call him out for being ridiculous doesn’t excuse the motivation not making sense to a reader.

I dig that this shifts from magic to punches. Clever and gives a good sense of weight.

Hm, I guess that works well enough for an ending.


Overall - There’s some prose issues, but I got what you were going for in your story. The villain’s motivation is just kinda over-the-top and I’m not totally buying it. Especially -- and sorry to do this, but I’m going back to the beginning -- when you simply characterized him as an “irritated individual”. That makes him sound like a greasy haired actuary who has been made to wait a bit too long at the DMV. Give your villain some power from the jump. Don’t hold your punches. I also found Adriatus more interesting than Lysander. Could’ve done with some more characterization from him before he was immediately put into the role of protector of the school. That’s a role anyone in his position would take. Why should we care about him as an individual?

Overall, this was fine. Fix up the prose a bit. Use strong nouns, and shoot for more showing and less telling.

6/10




This is Canonically a Part of the Star Wars™ Expanded Universe


Running Notes - I want to like your opening but it’s very clunky to read. I get the broad strokes of what you’re going for but it didn’t bring me in.


He swam every weekday, so he wasn’t fat anymore. Instead, he had that thin swimmer’s body and was tan too. He always had that faint smell of chlorine on him, though. Point of improvement: When you’re editing, do a search for “that” and delete it when you don’t need it. Y’know like in the case of both of these sentences. “A” would work much better.

Justin laughed and then pulled his arm back to hit him again. But, when we he swung down, Bobby blocked it with his forearm. Then, he grabbed the stick and janked real hard, and Justin’s grip loosened and it fell to the ground. Read this out loud, your action is clunky. The bad fights this week have a lot of THIS HAPPENED, THEN THIS HAPPENED.

Ugggggh. I’m a sucker for brother stories. But this Justin dude is just so irredeemable so far. Their relationship starts off nasty and it’s not getting much better. I guess I’m supposed to want Justin to “get it” in the end. Either by being punished or coming around. But really, Bobby just seems like a well put together person and Justin a dipshit. Not sure why I should care about the latter or worry about the former.
There was some were.

I don’t get this ending.


Overall - Yeah, this is just snapshots of a decent person and a lovely person. I hated Justin all the way through, he’s just a nasty piece of poo poo brother. I may resent him especially and have a hard time finding some kind of silver lining to him if there is one because being a big brother is the best thing in the loving world and people who blow it like this are utter poo poo heads. Anyway, there isn’t so much of a fight as much as there snapshots of cruelty. This didn’t really go anywhere and it didn’t feel like either characters grew or changed all that much.

4/10



Single Bedroom. Two Residents

Running Notes - A cursory glance at this and I’m shuddering over the formatting. This looks like a mess. And I’m getting started and this, in fact, a mess. You can’t possibly win with a story formatted like this and it could easily tip you from a DM to a loss. Preview edit your submissions, make sure they look decent. Judging can be a pain in the rear end and running into a story like this feels just rude and makes me want to rush through it and move on to someone who has more respect for my time.

Why, oh why, are you slamming on your return key so much? I did this for my first entry and it’s part of the reason why I lost. It may be part of the reason why you lose to, if you do.

And seriously, you’re going to come up with an awesome idea of a married couple literally fighting over a divorce? That’s an idea that deserves some attention and care, why did this have to be yours?!

Wait, just because he chose axes, does Lucille not get one? Where’s her ax?

Oh? She has one? Crawling with an axe seems hard and improbable.

UCCCCH what even is that ending?

Overall - This bums my poo poo, because again, what an idea. I love this idea. This idea alone deserves an HM. But the fight itself is barely worth any interest. The formatting is a disaster, the POV oddly shifts, we don’t get to know or care about either of these characters so the victory is irrelevant…. There’s so many quibbles and gripes I have with this. But perhaps the worst is the ending because it feels an awful lot like you’re going for some kind of joke or punchline and it’s just so aggressively boring. Like what even is that? A small reveal of a minor strategic choice, that by the way is essentially physiological nonsense? Who cares?

This let me down; I’m not happy.

3/10


Secret of the Silent Fist


Running Notes - Nice image in the opener. I don’t get a ton of info, but I can see the scene in my head.

This is good dialogue. I’m getting to know The Silent Fist through his tone and the small little bits of description throughout.

The action could be a bit smoother, but I like the small touch of giving the flunkies blocking and appearance based names. Helps keep things relatively clear.

I’m reading through the rest of this quickly. The action is nice and springy and you handled the volleyball net, which was my suggestion very nicely.

Aw, I liked that ending.

Overall - A nice, quick read, that sported functional prose, likeable characters, and clear action. This was a strong entry. Characterizing the peons was a smart and helpful choice, and the ending didn’t feel unsatisfying because it was at once surprising and believable.

8/10



Rise of the Rebel King, or; How I lost my hand

Title is capitalized oddly and if you’re going for Dr. Strangelove you’re looking for a colon and not a semicolon.

I’m OK with the opening. The scene is set relatively well and we know who these people are.

Granted, in their eyes, it was all Thravvin waters. Huh?

Uch, OK. I really like the fact that we’re in first person but here’s the deal. Fights are quick. Forming of thoughts and things like “I wasn’t stupid enough to think I could push that aside one handed.” just don’t carry a sense of urgency and don’t make it feel like your character is at risk.

And again “I suspected he spoke from empirical experience.” That’s just not a thought I believe a sane person has in a fight. He’s the underdog here, it’s likely he’ll die, why is he “suspecting” anything.

I kept my eyes sword woops.

And just when you’re trying to stick the landing: I raised the point my blade and threw up my left arm in a desperate block, I lost it. Come on…


Overall: There’s a lot about this I wanted to like but the proofing errors and the narrator's thought process often brought this to a halt. There was a really nice, kinetic feel to your action and the fighting was clear. I didn’t realize that your MC was a prisoner and on a quick re-check at the intro, I’m still not seeing it. I may have missed something but it definitely didn’t land for me.

That being said, you kinda took the easy route here. By making your hero the smaller character, and the underdog, we inherently want to root for him. That’s OK, I guess. But we’ve seen it before. Why not go bold with this? Maybe make the big guy the underdog? Large but unskilled as a tiny warrior outmaneuvers him. I’m not taking off points because you didn’t go there, but that kinda choice would be more surprising and fresh.

Anyway, the fighting was good enough to carry the rest of the piece, but it didn’t wow me. And clean things up please. Edit and proofread, some of those mistakes were bad and obvious.

6/10



Pink Collars

Little heavy on “knees” right out of the gate. This is your opener, scrutinize over these words more than any others.

There’s a relatively consistent issue here with you not being clear on who is saying what. Most of the time I can figure it out, but you want the reader to not have to figure out. You want us along for the ride. I like the cabbie so far, and I’m seeing where the fight will be. I also like he’s too tall to fit in the cab and I’m also a fan of him being the MC. You took the advice I gave the last writer.

And the whole fight is distilled down to one action.

I guess that’s a choice to make, but I’m not expecting BeefSupreme to be happy since, you know this prompt was all about a fight. There’s a ton of build up to this moment and for it all to resolve that quickly….


Overall: Eh. I think the strength of this story was in its believability. This did all feel like something that could happen. I’m a little unclear as to what the pink collar motif was and why this guy cared so much about these pink-collared people. May just be something that sailed over my head as I’m now 9 stories deep into this week. Anyway, there was a whole lot of stuff that led up to essentially one sentence of solid action. And that sentence itself wasn’t a prose haymaker so the story kinda falls down a bit.

6/10

Asimov’s Laws and the Apocalypse

Running Notes: Ooooooo robot fights.

Liking the struggle with sentience vs non-sentience.

Suddenly, I’m unclear as to why Rho is attacking Delta. It seems odd and out of place and that’s gonna color how I read the rest of the fight.

The neutral “why” from Delta is oddly chilling and well done.

The rest of this was good.

Overall: OK, so I came around to this. I think of all the stories so far this one has done the best job of the fight being part of the story. It wasn’t overdone, or heavy handed, but it provided a clever look into what violence is. You managed to make me care about robots in a week where people have made it hard to care about dying humans. Well done.

8/10



Guardian

Strong and visceral opening. I don’t know who these people are, but I want to know more. Good start.

Second paragraph is… jarring, though that certainly seems intentional. I’m getting slightly worried about clarity.

I want to know more about the grey. It’s been mentioned quite a bit through the third paragraph and at this point I’m gonna shift from curious to frustrated if it keeps on getting mentioned instead of explored.

So far, you’re handling injury better than anyone this week. The character’s pain is clear and strong.

Ok, this is now shifting in flight-of-ideas territory and that’s a style that never lands for me. I’m gonna try and stay focused because the prose is worth is thus far.

Got the end, but call me JJ Abrams, because I am lost.

Overall : Couldn’t follow much of this. Ideas were placed before clarity and it led to a failure in execution. This may have had one of my favorite openers of the week though. That can’t redeem a story that struggled to make much sense though. Whenever I feel a story fails on execution, however, I must remind the writer that I have the reading comprehension of an ape drooling into a bucket.

6/10



Radical Self-Careless

Running Notes: “I loving hate you,” says Maggie. She lets out a shaky breath. “Yeah. That feels good. I. hate. You. I hate you! Of all the words to miss a capitalization on in your opener… hate?

OK, well at least we finally get a female protagonist. Though it looks like a barking mad one. Looks like we’re getting a story where someone will beat the poo poo out of themselves. Eh, gently caress it, I’m board. What you got?

This is just sad to read.

So I have some bias here. I’ve worked with people who have self harmed and beaten themselves in secure treatment centers. This person doesn’t seem to be in one. This is just way over-the-top.

Overall: So I guess you wanted to bum the reader out and make them sad? I don’t know, if so, mission accomplished I guess. The problem with a story like this is that there’s obviously something wrong with Maggie but before we have any chance to learn anything about her or how she got like this, she’s kicking the crap out of herself. So what that means is we’re just watching something sad and not caring. It’s an empty, unfair sadness. There’s no relief at the end, because at that point my brain has decided that I can’t care about a person I don’t know.

The rough nature of the fight was handled well, and I like the idea of a person fighting herself but the execution didn’t quite match up.

6/10



Black and Blues

“The stage set aflare; Sparklers and light beams blasted the majestic stage, as the spectators roared with anticipation.”


The theme this week seems to be clunky openers. I don’t know why sparklers is capitalized and you say stage twice. This is clunky. This is your shot to convince the reader that you have written matters. Don’t squander it.

The groupies murmured, whispering rumors and heresy about the reasons for the sudden hiatus. Woops. But you did inadvertently win sentence of the week. So, well done there.

Wait, is Lizzie saying “pluuugh” that is a strange thing to say. Also, why is she hitting people. This is a silly silly person.

OK this is probably the goofiest motivation for a fight yet.

Lolwut drumsticks in a throat. ohjeeeezis

Ok this is just bananas and not in a good way.

Overall : I think this story needs some attention, maybe a line crit or something. There’s a lot to unpack with where this thing went wrong. Suffice to say the reason for the fight makes little to no sense and what happens in the fight is light years away from the tone you were fostering. It’s OK for something to be shocking but I don’t think you were looking for the kinda laugh I found in the drunk sticks going through the throat bit.

4/10



Many Beasts

If the Sorceress has faced worse beasts than the one she’s facing now, why aren’t we seeing that story instead of this one?

Oh god, and she’s not flinching. So she doesn’t care and she’s not worried, so why should I be?

The sulfurous smell made the Beast's nose wrinkle, and it took a few steps back, it's limbs unsteady from the electricity that still crackled across it's fur. Woops. And you do it again later. The really annoying part is that you don’t make this mistake consistently which means you may know better and that this is just sloppy.

“There wasn't any doubt that she would prevail then. The fight was just delaying the inevitable.” You keep on pleading with me to not give one flying gently caress about your story. Why in the world would I read about delaying the inevitable?

Overall: Seriously, this couldn’t have been more boring. The fight was fine but over and over again you harp on how powerful this sorceress is and that the fight is inconsequential. Why read this then? And gently caress that poo poo at the end. She won the fight and that knight’s a little bitch.

I might just be cranky because I have to go to bed but this story bothered me.

4/10


Riley’s Last Ride

Opening is pretty and I want to see more.
Oh poo poo, this got real.

Love the PI angle, hoping this story works. YOU’VE GOT ME HOPING, WHOEVER YOU ARE

“Before I can get it together, the lug hauls me out the window like a side of beef on his meathooks and I flop to the greasy pavement. poo poo”. Good sentence. Great contrast. Well done here.

“I slam the shot glass into his right orbit like breaking into a creme broulee. There’s a quick crunch then the smooth squish as the glass presses into his socket and his eyeball fills the glass with a sick suction sound like a novelty stress ball. 103rd Street Monocle.” HELL YEAH

Overall : Yeah, this was good. Good action, great voice. Clear, and stylish through and through. Not gonna waste time picking this apart. Good job.

9/10



Piss and Vinegar

“You think you can talk to her?” a voice asked, almost familiar. “Do whatever you want?” Zach didn’t have time to think. Question?

Not really getting much of the motivation behind this. But it does seem like senseless is what you’re going for here.

Alright, read the rest quickly. This was kinda by the books. Action was OK, didn’t really care too much about anyone though.

Overall: This didn’t make a huge impression on me. I don’t really know Zach or why I should care about him which means that the stakes weren’t there and the action was mindless and inconsequential.

It worked OK though.

6/10


One Last Job

Strong opening. You grabbed me and me feel like I was being talked to by these characters.

I knew them at once, though we'd one just met. woops

Well, I suppose I should judge. A wild guess that this is meant to be shouldn’t. If not, then it’s odd and I don’t get it.

Alright, this was a quick and enjoyable enough read but it didn’t make an impression on me.

Overall: Kinda what I just wound up saying. I’m not entirely sure who these people are or why I should care about them. The action is kinda slick and it functions decently but overall, this didn’t land any evocative or cathartic blows like better pieces this week did.

6/10

Chili fucked around with this message at Mar 6, 2017 around 11:07

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

BeefSupreme posted:

I SAID I'D JUDGE

NOT WRITE GOOD



Pick the time and the place. I'm there.

Done.

I am your judge.

Your brawl is simple. Write me a story that takes place in a courtroom.

Use 2,000 words or less to find a way to please me.

You have until this time next week.

I hate you both immensely.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer


In.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Aaaaaaand, it's gone!

Chili fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2018 around 11:40

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Chili posted:

Done.

I am your judge.

Your brawl is simple. Write me a story that takes place in a courtroom.

Use 2,000 words or less to find a way to please me.

You have until this time next week.

I hate you both immensely.

This was initially set for 5:38 EST but I'll be on the lookout for these by 10PM EST.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Yup, that sounds about right. Thanks for the fast judging and double thanks for the fast critting Jibs and Mrenda!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Court Brawl: Judgement



One of the things I was secretly hoping for in this brawl was for the setting to be a courtroom but for no trial to take place. But you guys both went the trial route, which is fine. Anyway, neither of these stories particularly wowed me.


BeefSupreme: You did the thing I was hoping wouldnít happen. Your courtroom was more a less a venue for another story to be told. I of course never bothered to say that was a problem, but you didnít anticipate my whims and for that I am disappointed. Also, I got confused in your story a couple of times with regard to telling who was who. The names were a bit much and the action was a touch hard to follow. I got a little lost a couple of times. I want to re-read this and, of course, would be happy to parse it out in greater detail in IRC.





Sebmojo: I donít know what your story is, what happened in it, or why these people are doing things. But I liked it. The central elements that got me through it were that the story happened in the courtroom, with the players from the courthouse being the main characters. I could see your characters pretty clearly as well, so that was nice, and it was a fun enough read.



Iíd really rather just give this win to Jitzu, who had a great entry in a brawl I judged before but lost to an amazing one. Or, to BeefSupreme for a loss that was also a good entry up against an a better one. But I donít think thatís how brawls work.

So Sebmojo takes this one down.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Uranium Phoenix posted:

I still need 2 judges 1 more judge for this week. It would probably be preferable to have stories judged by two td vets debating people's stories in a reasoned fashion, rather than the personal whims of a radioactive bird.

I gotchu

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

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