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sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In!

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sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:30

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


.

sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:32

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Jitzu_the_Monk posted:

Some poets get real cute by altering the refrains (the repeating parts) slightly throughout the poem and they can go gently caress themselves slowly, THAT DOUCHEBAGGERY WILL NOT BE PERMITTED HERE. Your two repeating lines must not change at all throughout the poem, not even in terms of punctuation, even though wikipedia says you can do it

But "One Art" tho

In anyway.

sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Jan 18, 2017 around 10:22

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Week #221 Crits: Flash Frontier Bird Week

SurreptitiousMuffin - Under the sun

I like the way this story establishes a very specific setting and just hints at the alienation of the space between cultures. Thereís a wistfulness in the piece, and itís buoyed by the strong voice behind it. I do think the prose could be cleaned up a little bit, though. A majority of the sentences are cleaved in two by a semicolon, a comma (including a comma splice on the last sentence), or a dash. And while on one hand, I like this, since it echoes the way the narrator feels divided, it feels a little repetitive. The weightier lines -- like the last one -- would benefit from having that rhythm to themselves. Itíd help you sell them a little more, too, since the last line feels like itís reaching for a profundity it hasnít really earned.

J.A.B.C. - War on the Wings

This starts okay. Iím fond of the image of the guy strapping birds to his car as he speeds away from a war zone, and I even like how you donít even tell us why this is happening. Unfortunately, I like that because thereís nothing else that distinguishes this story from action-movie tropes. The dialogue is perfectly generic, and the rest of the prose is poor, stuffed with unnecessary adverbs and adjectives, and devoid of evocative verbs -- which your action story desperately needs! The story both begins and ends on your protagonist, who claims heís staying so the place ďwonít die alone,Ē choosing to do absolutely nothing but observe whatís happening. Itís hard to get invested in that sort of character.

Jitzu - Doping

I like the emotional sweet spot this story hits. The idea of this dad working with his daughter out of desperation, only to find that sheís sicker and more damaged than he thought is really solid. The last three paragraphs of dialogue, though, canít really tie it together the way you need to, though. Theyíre just exceptionally abrupt, like youíve run up against the word limit and canít continue the natural arc. But I do like the bizarre, unusual contest juxtaposed against the stark demands of grief and poverty, and itís why I found this one of the more memorable stories this week.

a friendly penguin - Passenger Pigeons

I think in the podcast someone made the ďsome things just arenít worth dying forĒ comparison, and thatís what lingers in this story -- itís very trite. With fiction of this length, you really need to work on the image level, but so much of this story is spent in the head of the grumpy protagonist that the image you do have (the pigeon eating a little bit a pretzel) just seems really mundane. It doesnít help that you explain the metaphor directly, or that someone outside of the characterís mind just reaffirms their nihilism about life and traffic. There is no complexity or specificity here, which is why this story just falls flat.

ZeBourgeoisie - Something Innate

So the narrator feels like a bad person because of their father, and then this bird comes into their life and they feel better, and then it leaves and thereís another voicemail. Iím left wondering what the intended conclusion here is: is it that happiness is fleeting, and itís really just an escape from ďsomething innate?Ē Or has the experience of caring for the bird changed the narratorís perspective? Ending the story where it ends leaves a lot of ambiguity in this story and Iím not really a fan. Most of the story focuses on how nice it is to care for the bird and this idea of dadís voicemails feels parenthetical. A few more specific word choices could help give an idea of what kind of relationship this is, and that would allow the bird care side of the story to give this more meaning. But maybe Iím misinterpreting the point of this story; maybe you were going for the ďnothing ever changesĒ nihilism, in which case a hint of this characterís reaction still wouldnít hurt.

Mercedes - The Ineffable Mr. Bancroft

This is well-written, outside of the redundancy of ďprepubescent children.Ē Itís likable, thereís a ďwhatís going to happenĒ tension here, but itís also a little anticlimactic. This is the first act of cruelty heís seen, in his long time living in the house? Itís a wizard exacting divine retribution on the deserving, and itís a well-told anecdote, but thereís not a lot of verve to it or surprise in the imagery. I guess I just feel like this one is a little cartoonish, without emotional resonance. Overall, itís fine, but totally disposable, when fiction of this length needs to really strike the reader.

anime was right - From Loaf to Crumbs

This is a puzzle of a story, and while you might argue that the confused, vague descriptions are important for getting into the head of the dementia-riddled protagonist, itís also just really confusing and frustrating. Thatís doubly so when youíre a judge, either for a magazine or for Thunderdome, and you need to get through a lot of entries pretty quickly. I had no idea what was going on here the first and second times I read the story, and while I appreciate what the story is trying to do, Iím frustrated by the coyness of the phrasing: ďthe sun had switched placesĒ and ďthey who wore whiteĒ feel like riddles, not phrases that accurately convey the disorientation of this old man.

Hammer Bro. - The Feast

This didnít make me angry, and I kind of like the cleverness with which you built up to the dumb joke, but this is just a dumb joke and not a piece of writing thatís meant to be taken seriously. So I wonít.

Fleta Mcgurn - Kotjebi

I like this story a lot, and I think thereís already been a lot of good words on its virtues. The humble, plainspoken voice tugs at my heartstrings without being cloying, and the work the story does to establish a setting and atmosphere in its very small wordcount is impressive and it should be an inspiration to other writers of microfic. That said, I was against this taking the crown because Iím not a huge fan of the structure, particularly the third paragraph. Itís a meandering turn that takes the focus off of this story, and while it adds some compelling emotional detail, it makes the story feel looser than it needs to be, especially compared to the winner. You do have a killer of a last line, though, which makes me very fond of this piece.

widespread - Squawk at Night.

Iím not sure what this story is attempting, and the cynical part of me says ďnothing,Ē because thatís what I got out of it. Itís full of bizarre and redundant turns of phrase:
ďinjured via unknown measuresĒ and ďheavy bags, a sign of sleep deprivationĒ are both atrocious. The podcast hosts suggested this might be a metaphor, and I guess I can see that, but in that case this would be the equivalent of ďhey, isnít it weird how sometimes we resent the things weíre supposed to care for?Ē If youíre going to write a metaphorical story, youíve got to take some stance on it. ďItís fineĒ just isnít enough.

The Cut of Your Jib - Pin Feathers

I donít remember reading this story at all, though thatís not for a lack of interesting elements. Iím not one hundred percent sure whatís going on here. I donít know what the narratorís relationship is to Chrissy and Tim. I thought they were siblings, but the narrator seems pretty unperturbed by their sister running away forever. I donít really understand why the silent Chrissy made more noise than the backhoe -- a bigger impression, I suppose. And Iím not sure why the neighborhood kids have all biked over to watch a house get built. Mostly I like the image in the second half of the caught bird on the fishhook, and of the spell being broken when Chrissy rescues the bird. But I really feel like Iím missing some key element here, as this is clearly a carefully crafted story, and I feel the sound structure. I just donít understand the first half of this story at all.

Sarkimedes - Grandfatherís Pigeons

I liked this far more than the other judges. I just liked the emotional resonance of this young protagonist beginning to grasp the inevitability of death, though I do think the ending being ďjust not thinking about itĒ isnít a great decision. And I think the sentence level writing is good, and thereís a lot of compelling specific detail here. Thereís a good variation in the sentence level structure, and I think the narrator here is one of the more well-expressed protagonists this week. I donít blame the co-judges for finding this trite, because itís certainly pretty sentimental, but I think the piece does a good job couching sentimentality in the perspective of this child.

Crab Destroyer - Cuckoo

Writing about bad people doesnít work when the point is for the reader to just notice ďhey, this is a bad person!Ē The impression anyoneís going to get from this story is just ďwow, look at this deluded dad, willing to believe anything to not have to be a parent to a son who isnít masculine enough.Ē Itís a story that invites us to hate this strawman of a bad person, but it doesnít offer anything else. Thereís no detail that would connect us to his humanity, no satire that would connect him to real-world chauvinists, and no joke other than the elbow-poking irony at the end. At least thereís some sort of an arc here, so itís a quick read and not a confusing one, but the lack of detail and complexity here made this one of the most annoying pieces to read this week.

Ironic Twist - Oh

Iíll be honest: I donít entirely understand the purpose of all the details in this story, and I found that pretty frustrating when I was judging. But thereís a consistency of tone and a sense of vision to this story that makes me feel like itís worth it to keep re-reading and re-assessing. The narratorís Gothic sort of depression is captured well, and I think the generally clipped prose helps to bolster that. I do think the line about the black holes eating each other is probably a little over the top, and thereís a bit of coyness about the details thatís needlessly frustrating -- like the delay of letting us know that Happiness is a vulture.

Some Strange Flea - Legion

I guess this was published to FF, and congrats for getting in, but I donít remember reading this story at all. On the prose level, this is very skilled, and I appreciate the strong imagery and the way you build up anticipation to angry, murderous birds. I also like the element of mystery in ďhis for theirs,Ē which suggests several possibilities that are more meaningful in the ambiguity. You pulled the story from the archive and SA, so Iím not sure if the version published on FF is the same you posted, but Iím surprised I didnít remember a story that took advantage of its word count as well as this did. Maybe I was already getting bored with the ďa flock of birds attackĒ climaxes.

flerp - Twittering Machines

Iím glad this won, because I was very taken with the tone of this piece. Itís a bizarre, surreal scenario, sure, but unlike other bizarre stories this week, this piece is clear and crisp in its prose, and itís never difficult to know whatís going on. And thereís this melancholy feel to it, despite the strangeness. Iím just very drawn to this kid whoís gradually become disenchanted with the mundane magic of this world, and I love the visceral, mechanical details of the demise of the birds. Itís a compelling take on the prompt, and aside from the Big Bird story, definitely the most memorable thing coming out of this week.

Sitting Here - Deep Sky

After hearing you read this out loud on the recaps, I definitely appreciate this story more. During judging, though, I found this pretty but overwritten. The sentence-level prose, taken sentence by sentence, is really excellent, and hearing the piece read aloud brings out the beautiful, flowing meter. On the page, though, itís alliterative flourish after flourish, and the poetic writing brings attention more to the prose than whatís actually going on. And I do like the beauty of this encounter, the alien voice of the sea-crow and the celestial grandiosity. I just think that the multiple rounds of editing put into this added a little too much polish.

Moxie - Kill the Messenger

Why do I -- should I -- care about this father and this son? Other than, hey, itís sad for a child to die of malnutrition, you donít really give us any reason. Or a sense that this is impending, either. Thereís plenty of fish, apparently, and if thatís causing some sort of malnutrition, give us some visceral details. This is a story about two people accomplishing a mundane task with no obstacles, and reading that kind of story tends to feel like a waste of time. Iím not sure whatís going on with the ending, either. You havenít offered enough clues for me to feel comfortable guessing what that paper could be. A message, I guess, but from whom? It could be anything from anyone, so thereís no reason to care. You were lucky to escape a dishonorable mention this week.

Thranguy - Fossils

The imagery in this story is solid, and I like each of the three substantial paragraphs here in the specific details they use, the cosmic arc they strike out on. On the other hand, I really chafe against the structure here -- a wise, calm speaker telling someone whoís upset that their problems donít matter because of the immensity of time. Thatís pretty upsetting, to the point where it prevents me from enjoying the pleasures of the storyís prose. I canít help but put myself in the shoes of the person being addressed, and I find the speaker condescending, full of themselves, and totally ignorant of my suffering in place of their cosmology. And this clearly isnít what youíre going for. This intends to be a hopeful, even inspiring piece. It might even work that way for some people, but I just have a ďgently caress offĒ reaction to this speaker.

Beige - Morning Coffee

During judging, this story especially felt like a big puff of nothing. It lacks drama, narrative motion, and its interior focus makes it feel slight, especially in the context of the week. On one hand, this isnít really a story, and itís barely a vignette. The only events here are the narrator feeding crumbs to the pigeons, a sign falling down, and the narrator looking at the girl who gives him food. Iíve grown to appreciate this for what it is with time. I do like the narratorís quiet, dignified desperation and the way the narrator identifies with the pigeons. And I do feel like this story fits with the Flash Frontier aesthetic much more than a lot of the other pieces -- and thatís not a small thing, writing with an idea of your market. I still think this is a pretty average entry, though, and it was only memorable to me in how bland it was on first reading.

steeltoedsneakers - Birdsong

This is another piece layered with striking, pretty imagery. Iím especially fond of the son saying he can hear the wind weaving through branches; itís a good image, itís appropriate for a child, and it establishes something about the narrator, too. The prose is all around excellent, and every sentence has a fitting rhythm. My only qualm with the piece is the ending, which doesnít quite hit the note of elevated profundity that itís aiming for -- and thatís because youíve already implied that sentiment through the structure of the rest of the story!

dmboogie - Gray Wave Symphony

The prose in this piece has a lovely meter, but the wordy sentences and semantically empty adjectives (ďill omens,Ē ďeternity words,Ē ďher familiar rocky shores,Ē ďa grand shipĒ) makes it hard to appreciate. The archaic, wordy style also robs the events of this story of impact. The protagonist is cast as a mythic figure, which makes the tragedy of the end difficult to appreciate except as the resolution of a myth. But itís the choice of generic adjectives over specific details that really makes this piece feel distant, and while I understand that might be a stylistic choice, it made it very difficult for me to get into the events happening here.

llamaguccii - Power In Death

This is another piece that lacks immediacy, but this one lacks good prose to make up for that. The problem here is that the protagonist spends half of this story reviewing incidents that happened in the past, and that makes this story feel scattered. A story of this length canít take such a macro-level view without seeming surfacey and insincere, and youíd probably have been much better off covering the moments before the protagonistís attempt at death. And I do like that element of it, their steely bitterness at their condition. But we really donít need thoughts like ďI admired vulturesĒ because it doesnít cohere into a narrative, itís just background information, and at this length you cannot include a single bit of unnecessary information.

Fuubi - Nightís Flight

quote:

He soared over the countryside, his sharp eyes seeing weak verb even the tiniest movement far below. metaphor or a specific example of a tiny movement would work better here He swooped down at a slight movement, unnecessary comma and rose with the night's dinner in his sharp talons. repetition of ďmovementĒ and ďsharpĒ isnít great, especially given that ďa slight movementĒ is frustratingly vague, and most talons are sharp. He was used to the taste of raw flesh by now, unnecessary comma and the white rabbit in his grip was still fat from summer's bounty. He would feast well this night.

The first time he found himself like this, he'd been lying in bed, watching the birds fly far above through his window, wishing he could fly away with them. His eyelids had grown heavy, and then he had found himself again, repetition of a vague, passive phrase like ďfound himselfĒ robs the story of character soaring like the birds but he is a bird, at least if he has feathers and talons, right? above the clouds, feeling the wind through his feathers, breathing the cold night air.

Now he flew every night, taking to the skies to escape his father's shouts, ungrammatical comma and his mother's tears. He soared high above the hurt and the pain that always followed, ungrammatical comma when his father sought someone else to take out his drunken anger on.
He knew these were only dreams. That he was not flying high up in the sky, unnecessary comma but asleep in his bed, his mind escaping the reality of his wretched life.

There was a shift in the air. more frustrating vagueness He banked, dropping the rabbit carcass in the progress process, and flew across the rooftops of the sleeping village. His sharp eyes fixed on a particular open window, and the drunken man standing above a sleeping boy.
His talons felt sharp yeah you already told us, and he swooped in.

The boy slept on.

This is probably the weakest entry in the birds-as-revenge-fantasy mini-genre this week. I think you take on the "birds = flight = escapism" idea with aplomb, and the passage about him being the bird and escaping is strong -- aside from those commas that don't need to be there! Itís mostly hobbled by the mechanical errors, because I do think this is a compelling idea and I think a rewrite would be worthwhile, since thereís a genuine emotional core here.

a new study bible! - Comfort Food

I kind of like this. Itís sweet, light, and not too substantial. The dialogue is crisp, and I just like the image of this crow choosing to stick with this lonely old man and keep him company. That said, the beginning is a little rocky, although I suppose itís important to show the manís loneliness and isolation from even his son. And the stuff about him naming the parrot Toucan Sam makes it seem like this is going to be a goofy, ironic story, when instead itís genuinely heartwarming. It makes me think this wasnít too well-thought out, but even so I appreciate it for what it is.

Jay W. Friks - Ciacco

I donít quite understand whatís going on here, although a google search on the title clarifies things to some extent. I found myself thinking that the protagonist was a mouse or a rat for the first half of this story, honestly. And then I started thinking that the idea behind this is ďfactory farms for humans,Ē and maybe that is what youíre going for, and I think thatís an interesting idea, but now I see that the protagonist is a reference to a character in Danteís Inferno battered by rain. So as near as I can reconstruct it, this story is a man being tortured in Hell for his gluttony by a demon bird-lady. I guess in life he was losing his sanity after an aneurysm -- Iím struggling to figure out how that fits in. And as the final message, she unleashes a rain of birdseed upon him, which causes chickens to chew at and eat him. This causes him to come to a ďpainful understanding,Ē which I donít understand at all as a lesson, or an ending. How does this teach him to regret his eating?

What are we, as the readers, supposed to take away from this? Are we supposed to find this a just punishment, or are we supposed to be horrified at its brutality? I like my factory farm theory, but Iím not sure if itís intended.

I also find it really difficult to tell where this is going on. The ďHellĒ thing I only figured out after doing a little bit of research, so on my first read I start by thinking heís taking a walk by a carnival, smelling the deep-fried treats, and then getting carried away with it. It isnít until the womanís words that I realize itís a torture scene. And while ďfeathersĒ and ďraw hideĒ indicate this is something supernatural, there just arenít enough clues toward Hell.

I donít know how this escaped a DM, other than sheer judge fatigue and the absence of too many mechanical errors.

my cat is norris! - Vutures

This was pretty good, but it gets worse as it goes along. Itís fairly well-written grimdark material, but the piece has a strong sense of setting and I appreciate the specific details, like the wedding ring falling off the emaciated finger. I start to lose you with ďmy lady,Ē which has an aristocratic pretension that doesnít fit this piece, and sheís also ultimately meaningless. The protagonist stays alive for her, but then decides she doesnít really matter because, hey, suicide by vulture. I also found the image of the protagonist just lying there, stoic and at peace, as vultures chew at him at length a little bit silly. And yes, itís here at the ending that the grimdark starts to spill over to Myspace poetry. Iím speaking specifically of ďTheir seduction invites me to forget my pain,Ē but itís not the only instance where you make the protagonistís suffering meaninglessly vague.

ThirdEmperor - Flying Machines

Unfortunately, this is the most aggressively boring story of the week. Your prose is fine, verging on good, but an entire story full of nice descriptions of animatronic birds watched by an engineer devoid of personality just isnít interesting. I donít know what the intent is behind this story. Maybe you were just compelled by the image of two animatronic birds hanging out in a workshop, one better-built than the other but perhaps more fragile because of it. And thatís fine, but thereís no drama, no pathos, no arc. Thereís no reason we should care when the German Wallcreeper breaks other than this sense of ďgee, she put a lot of effort into making it, and itís all gone to waste because of this silly parrot!Ē Thatís not enough to power a story, not when itís just your protagonist watching this happen with next to no reaction.

Entenzahn - Polly

On one hand, I like the concept behind this piece, that a parrot is the last echo of a dead lover, and that the protagonist only mourns Marcus after that last echo is gone. Thatís a really touching idea, but Iím not in love with the execution of it. The story doesnít do enough work connecting Marcus to the parrot, aside from the bird repeating his diagnosis. And I donít think you do enough to sell the pain of that last echo. Wanting to wring the birdís neck is too generic -- the kind of thing youíd do for any noisy bird, not one that reminds you of your loverís death. Details about Marcusís ant farm or kissing him in the vines arenít the most relevant details here, and those are the sort of details you need. I get that you want to establish a history of the relationship, but her sticking with Marcus through his illness is enough for that, and it just takes away from bolstering the symbol of the parrot with more impact.

SkyAndScreenplays - The Peacock and the Raven

Why a peacock? This story doesnít deal with any classic peacock features, like the labored display of its beautiful feathers. I suppose, being a rather large bird, that it might be more likely to get the ďbig fish in a small pondĒ feeling that this peacock has than other birds, but when you signify ďpeacockĒ and you donít follow through with qualities specific to that bird, itís distracting. Iím also not sure how a zoo peacock gets onto a roof -- what roof? -- but doesnít just fly over the gate. This is just basically your story about how a Manic Pixie Dream Raven gives this peacock a new lease on life, and inspires him to go get out there in the world. The great escape from the zoo is less than thrilling, so what weíre left with really is just that hackneyed trope of a girl teaching a dude to really live again. Also, thereís no thermals like eight feet off the ground, and this story is full of mechanical errors.

Tyrannosaurus - Tuesday Afternoon

Iím actually really taken by the magical realism of this piece. The economy of detail here allows this story to set out a full arc without getting cramped. I fully buy the panic and desperation of Kaitlin here, the rush to bargaining. I think what took away from this piece is that no one was really sure what the ďtradeĒ was here. The first ďhe knewĒ seems to indicate some past miscarriage or loss of a child, and thatís a really poignant detail, but Iím a little lost toward the end. Is Kaitlin hoping to trade her life for her childís? But then she wouldnít get to ďkeep being a mother.Ē And Iím not sure what the second ďhe knewĒ is in reference to -- her desire to give up her life for her childís? But in any case, the vulture turns the ďtradeĒ down, and the story ends with Kaitlin knowing that the vulture would be coming soon to take her child. I like that beat, but I just think things get a little muddled in the lead-up.

Leftovers - kurona_bright

This is another one that has me totally befuddled. Itís a dude being attacked by seagulls who reminisces about his old flame Francine, who seemed to cause some witchy cosmic apocalyptic mischief in NYC. I donít recall this one even being in contention for a DM, which is strange because it makes next to no sense. What is happening here: ďa ridiculously theatrical stunt involving a snakeskin briefcase, a polka-dotted tie, a washed-up Navy SEAL and his jock strap taking place 70 feet above the city had been broadcasted live on national TV, followed quickly by sloppy make-outs.Ē Is this just monkeycheese nonsense, or is this a reference to something that Iím just not getting? What is the intent here? Youíve done an alright job at describing this apocalyptic scene by the ocean, but as soon as it gets into the Francine flashback Iím confused beyond belief. Why is this included? Does it have something to do with the seagulls? Did Francine not only cause vague worm creatures to attack NYC, but also bewitch seagulls to attack Our Hero? Why? And why should I care, since you give us zero reason to care for this person?

The Saddest Rhino - Cock

I like the bitter voice in this piece, as well as the details that sell the strange, mundane facts that make up the troubled kidís suicide. For once this week, Iím left wondering about details in a good way. I have an idea of who this troubled kid is, you give us an idea of why he might have hung himself, but nothingís told with exact finality, and the irony of the protagonist here being left with a losing rooster is a good tone to strike. Itís only the prosedy that stopped this from getting an honorable mention. While I like the fragments, they donít flow together as well as they could, and sentences like ďOther than for hurting you, it seems fairly uselessĒ are leaden with dead weight, and that numbs the emotional impact this piece strives for.

Chili - Keepers

The prose is this piece is relatively strong, but Iím a little unsure of what the impact of the ending is supposed to be. This kid runs into the forest to tell the birds about his abusive dad, and once he has that catharsis, he goes home. But he realizes the birds will migrate south soon, and he thinks this is a good thing, because theyíre bringing the secrets of his broken home away. If this is meant to be a sense of purging the pain, or if the kid sees it that way, itís not very evident from the text of the story. Or if the kid is upset at losing this outlet of catharsis -- thatís not evident either. The kid seems to find something sacred in the birds keeping his secrets, but this seems pretty abstract to me, and not like something a kid would believe. I think itís an interesting vision, and thereís an arc, but Iím not sure I really ďgetĒ the kid at the center of this.

Hawklad - Echoes Over the Water

Iím a bigger fan of second person than most people, but itís a bad choice for this story. The forced intimacy with a dad who murder-suicides his cancer stricken son because he doesnít want to watch him die is just distasteful and unpleasant. If your aim with the second person is to corral us into sympathy, it was not successful. Neither was the decision to cast the kid as a paragon of innocence, begging the birds to a reprieve, while the Dad says nothing at all. The effect is just distilled melondrama, and the attempt to link the sonís argument (birds donít deserve to be hunted) to the Dadís (itís unfair that everyone I love dies of cancer) doesnít really make that much sense, beyond the attempt to make ďthey donít deserve thisĒ into a mantra. I think this is reasonably well-structured, although I think Dadís haunting silence would have worked better to build tension if the story wasnít told in the second person. The prose is also competent; itís the storytelling decisions that donít work here.

sebmojo - The Cuckoo of Kaitaki Close

This story manages to be both creepy and light, and would probably have HMed if youíd taken a couple more editing passes at it. ďCellphone ringtoneĒ is redundant. ďĎOh is that the time,í I said brightly,Ē could use a comma, a question mark, and an adverb deletion. ďFly on out of our streetĒ is very difficult to parse at first. But I do like how the creepy eccentric lady places her creep eccentric imprint on George. The specific details -- the laugh and the tui squawk -- give the piece a sense of place and texture that benefits what could have been a stock story. And Janey is probably the most memorable character of this week because of that.

BeefSupreme - Trickle-Down Economics

This is a story about a bird pooping on a statue even though a guy hopes it wonít. Thatís why there arenít any dramatic stakes here, and that would have cost this story, but what really put me off was the dialogue and the half-attempted dialect. Iíve warmed a little bit to the Sisyphean tragedy here -- and I think thereís a handful of stories that deserve the loss more than this -- but itís still a poorly written story (how many times can you use the word ďladder?Ē) and fairly pointless.

Dr. Kloctopussy - Junk

I liked this story a lot for the strength of the voice, the lurching melancholy. It felt distinctive, accessible, and full of strong images. I also finished my first read of the story thinking that the protagonist had given birth to a stillborn bird, and the more I think about the details of the story, it doesnít really hold up. (The point the recappers had about milk not really happening until after pregnancy is pretty critical, in my opinion.) But in a story of this size, Iím going to like something with a confident voice, actual events, and yes, fuzzy logic, a lot more than a precise, gauzily written story.

Chairchucker - A Dish Best Served Bird or Why She is Totally the Baby, Not Me

I had this up for a DM, and in the ďdeluded, awful personĒ aspect of this story itís awfully similar to ďCuckoo.Ē I guess the banter has a little bit of verve, but itís not especially telling about who either of these characters are, and when you have so little space to convey meaningful details, this empty banter feels like a waste of my time. And then it just ends with those quirky little anecdotes meants to show how in denial this protagonist is, and it doesnít feel like an ending, it feels like a half-assed character sketch.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:33

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


thanks for the crits!

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In. for 2 entries.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Week 223 Crits

Because these crits are so late, and many of these stories already have a half dozen crits, I'd like to offer an additional free crit to anyone who submitted on time this week. Just let me know what piece you'd like me to look at.

Fleta Mcgurn - Peanut Milk

Thereís something in the confessional tone of this story that I find really likable, even though a guy getting sad about a high school flame isnít the most exciting thing. I like how this story surprises in small ways. Iím not sure if branded peanut milk is a thing in Taiwan (where I assume this story is set, but Iím not sure), but it strikes me as an unusual and pretty obscure thing to model for, even if it is ďthe good kind.Ē And that makes me wonder if the protagonistís sense of nostalgia is just a disappointment of his own lot in life and just this envy of someone elseís success.

Well, probably not. A good chunk of this story is the recounting of the crush this guy had on Peanut Milk Girl, and while I think itís well-told, there isnít a lot surprising there. I like the details youíve chosen to flesh out the superficial nature of this connection, though. The bonding over a popular musician, the gentle teasing about her volunteering in the nurseís tent when sheís too queasy to handle medical work. These details let you establish that this is a one-sided, superficial connection without having to hammer it into our heads. And although I think the end of this story gets too bogged down in the protagonistís head (everything after he starts talking about the amusement park is pretty inessential, IMO), itís the subtle human observation that made me like and appreciate what this story is trying to do.

N. Senada - Subject: I love you Iím sorry

A good chunk of this story feels like itís going to end in a request for me to donate money to a charitable organization. The whole part about Adam, I mean. Itís a well-intentioned attempt to express some heartfelt outrage against racism and people who are blind it it, but at heart Adam is a prop for that attempt, and itís more a parable than a story. Of course, thatís not the entire story here. The story is the main, nameless protagonist making this declaration that the election of Donald Trump means he shouldnít keep living outside of the country with his black girlfriend. And this isnít explored with any complexity -- if youíre going to include the lead-in chat log, maybe include the lead-out chat log where she berates her self-important boyfriend for making a unilateral decision based on these high-minded concerns.

Itís also not a good story. Thereís no wide arc here. We know heís leaving from the end of the chat-log, and the letter meanders all over the place, with the only hint of the story being the impotence of the Adam story -- a story where the protagonist doesnít do anything. I get that the immediate grief of the election probably meant submitting to Thunderdome wasnít a priority, and I argued against a DM for this piece because of that. And I have to give you credit for the emotion on the voice, because thatís certainly there in the letter. Itís just not enough to rescue this muddle.

Boaz-Jachim - Remember, I will always be your Hunter in the night Sky

The prose here is absolutely gorgeous. Itís not overwritten or too showy, itís just pretty and nostalgic and itís flowing and musical. And the voice is perfect for capturing the intimacy in this story. The incident of hunting the star elevates this from spirituality to grand, magical realism, or maybe something along the lines of myth, but itís also tethered by the human incident of comforting the dog on the night these two make love. Itís difficult to read this piece and not feel the warmth and the tragedy in the corruption of this loverís spirit.

That said -- Iím a little fuzzy on the material details here. Maybe thatís not important. My impression is that some foreign, sick spirit has compromised the loverís spirit, but itís also possible that the loverís spirit has just fallen to some contagion. And while the one-line interjections do add some urgency, some drama, to the early fond reminiscences, theyíre semantically kind of empty, and add the unfortunate (I assume) element that the Hunter is savoring the kill. That dampens some of the purer sentimentality of the story, and maybe this is something youíre attempting that just isnít clicking for me. But yes, this is a very confident and competent story, and it was very easy to pick it as this weekís winner.

Okua - To A Seaside Well

This strikes me as a well-realized vision of a community getting swallowed up by new ways. Thereís a lot of really lovely lines here that mingle the grief for this one person with the grief for the island as a whole. And I like the decision to cast the protagonist not as a partisan of faith or one of science, but one torn between the two, drifting toward science but still owning the faith in the old superstitions. This is a far more subtle exploration of a theme than I usually expect in a Thunderdome story, and I appreciated that here, along with the polished prose.

Unfortunately, this is also kind of a boring story, because itís all pondering and thereís no action or decision. This isnít a recounting of something that happened, this is a recounting of a thought process, and no matter how well-realized your world or how nuanced your main character, itís difficult to make that very engaging. It doesnít help that the story just ends. Of course the boat is going to leave. There isnít enough context for us to determine if the nameless character will be on the boat (although I have a hunch that they will), which means thereís a little too much ambiguity here.

Also: not a fan of you using the flash rule word-for-word.

Baleful Osmium Sea - Bottled Immortality

The prose in this story is competent, although puffy, and I like that it sets out to tell a full story. But it suffers due to a lack of any stakes. As Elwyn introduces himself, I donít like him very much. He gets the vapors at the thought of ďsavages,Ē heís judgmental of other peopleís habits, and the heavy-layered irony makes him seem like a bit of a dupe. But the story doesnít do anything with that, and so I feel like the unlikability isnít intentional, that itís just scene-setting period detail. And unfortunately, the whole story sort of feels like that. We learn about how Nathaniel Bottomsly wrote a lot of poetry and then presumably ascended to alchemical immortality. Or maybe he didnít -- maybe the lack of immortality of his words is supposed to indicate that he didnít achieve alchemical immortality either.

The effect is a pompous pointlessness. Iím interested in the attempt of Elwyn to publish Nathanielís poetry against his will, but that conflict isnít really explored, and really there isnít much conflict at all, just Elwynís silent skepticism about Nathanielís interest in alchemy. And while the sentences, for the most part, are well-written, thereís a couple of proofreading mistakes that really annoy me. This story had promise, because you clearly enjoy writing in this voice, but the lack of a point and the unlikable, unpleasant main character really drags this down.

a new study bible! - Comfort and Security

I liked this story for the sympathetic-but-unhinged main character. Of course heís nuts. This isnít the letter you send if you want to get a job. This guy hits on employees, breaks into the park, and spends his days wandering around Disneyland. These are all played with a beat of irony; youíve clearly intended for him to be dangerously off-kilter. And yet the main arc still makes him sincere and sympathetic. Heís just watching out for his brother, who was kidnapped by his dangerous, alcoholic Dad. The revelation that Dadís been stalking Hector is genuinely unsettling, and I found the inevitable kidnapping genuinely sad.

I donít really believe that the main character has been so traumatized by his family drama, heís been reduced to the severely-mentally-ill state heís reached by the time heís sending the letter, though. And yet, even though I thought it was a bit much, I still thought it added to the poignancy of the loss of his brother. I understand why Ent hated this -- it doesnít really work on a lot of levels. But I think the jarring contrasts in this story are an admirably brave choice, and they make this story memorable and fun to think about. It seems like you veered off in the off-kilter direction as the story ends, though, and the prose suffers for it. I think him accosting the woman and hitting on her is probably a step too far. On the whole, though, this is an enjoyable, dissonant story.

Hammer Bro. - Nigh

The story is attempting dark humor, but itís a little heavier on the ďdarkĒ than on the ďhumor.Ē The exaggerated kid-voice works for the wry jokes in all the early sections, but the wry jokes are just uncomfortable in the presence of alcoholism and near-violent fighting. And of course I have sympathy for the poor kid in the wake of these terrible things happening around him. Of course youíre going to generate pathos from a kid in a broken home whose parents just suddenly vanish forÖ well, Iím not sure why Satan called everyone to Hell suddenly, this just seems like a reverse raptureÖ but also all of Satanís friends are on earth?

And then thereís the twist, which is just so arch that it makes me feel stupid for falling for the pathos youíve generated. The story is so concerned with being clever -- and yes, it is that -- that it doesnít seem aware of how uncomfortable this tone is. Satanís letter is so jokey and light that we nearly forget the kind of peril and despair the story has conveyed before this. (I do appreciate the line about the guy from the church, which seems to key back into the actual emotional dynamics operating here.) The effect of the story as a whole is whiplash, and a feeling like weíve been tricked, that the story has played us, and left us feeling awful for a few jokes.

Thranguy - Lean That Way Forever

This is a pep talk, more than a story -- a pep talk that humans are scrappy and will survive any crisis, no matter how bad. Or at least, itís the pep talk parts that show the most energy, the most verve. The second-to-last paragraph and the paragraph about the crises humanity have weathered seem to be the point of this story, but the connective tissue holding the theme together isnít really strong enough. Itís difficult to know whatís going on, and thereís not enough context clues about ďfatherĒ to know why his return is a bad thing, or why heís been exiled. That makes it difficult to get invested in this story. So does the fact that youíre still dropping breadcrumbs a third of the way in -- yes, itís frustrating when we get a contextless ďyou still talk to Piet?Ē in a conversation that also hasnít been contextualized in its meaning.

I have to give you some credit for disguising the sadness around the election in the semblance of a story. But that doesnít excuse stuff like the actual conversation with Piet being a two-heads-in-space kind of affair, in which you reference a constructed proper noun ďUnfailing Court of the HsifĒ that adds absolutely nothing to your story. By the end, I have no idea why Mark has ordered the retrieval of Father. I find the element of the wrecked alien worlds interesting, but you donít do enough with this. The narrator fixates on the idea that humans will come find her in one of these graveyard worlds, but youíd think sheíd consider that, like humans, the aliens in those worlds might be surviving through a near-apocalypse. But that doesnít mesh with the theme of human resilience. There is an admirable depth of vision here, but I donít think enough of that vision has translated onto the page.

Jay W. Friks - Deadline Imminent-Please Open Immediately

From the first sentence, this story is unfocused (and difficult to comprehend at first, due to the comma splice), and the protagonist is uninteresting and unpleasant. While I like unhinged protagonists, this guyís main drive seems to be self-pity, and that results in a whiny, meandering story. Instead of things happening, weíre treated to the most mundane parts of this guyís biography, like his digestive problems, or how he talks to his coworkers as heís heading back from the bathroom. The result is a story devoid of images -- the only backdrop is this guyís monotone resentment of his cognitive disability.

Like the last story of yours I critted, I have no idea how you expect us to feel about this guy. If itís empathy, Iím afraid youíve missed the mark considerably. His final act of sending this letter and giving the father of the girl he killed his net worth strikes me as misguided, and at the end, heís not blaming himself for not taking responsibility for a hit-and-run, but heís blaming society for not having a place for him. Itís extraordinarily unlikable and not even in a nuanced way. I wonder if this story would benefit from giving Volvo Man a foil; someone that can force him to reckon with himself beyond his self-pity, or at least that would let us see some sort of positive, likable traits that would cast his other decisions in a more complicated light.

The prose is pretty bad, too. I see youíve gotten plenty of crits on this story already, though, and I assume people have pointed these things out already, but feel free to PM me if you want a more thorough prose crit.

SkaAndScreenplays - 99 Songs of Revolution

ďSee ya later, sweet cheeks. Trump is bad, and youíre not part of my plan to make him less bad. Toodles.Ē

This is a bad story, you know itís a bad story, and youíve been told by half a dozen people already that this is a bad story. Youíve stacked generality after generality for three paragraphs, and you didnít even bother to edit out the mechanical errors. And as for the content itself, the ďstoryĒ has the issue of why Murphy doesnít ask Charlotte to participate in revolution or activism or whatever with him. Like N. Senadaís story, this story sees revolution as something done by a lone wolf dude, driven by his own anger and frustration. But revolution and change comes from coalition building and establishing solidarity, not this sort of power fantasy. The week of judging, I was willing to look past that, because of course everyone was hurting. With the passage of time, itís much more striking.

Tyrannosaurus - To Open On The Day You Graduate Highschool

This is on the saccharine side of sweet, Iím afraid. Not irritatingly so, since thereís enough specific details and quirk to the letter writer, but enough to make me roll my eyes. The epilogue is just a bad idea, since it steamrolls right over the ambiguity and sadness inherent in the writing of the letter. I guess, eighteen years later, Dad is still at war -- or thatís the implication, given that he isnít looking over her shoulder and tearing up -- but thatís easy to ignore, since the note weíre left with is just how moved the daughter is.

The piece is well-written, and Dad has a strong, compelling voice. While the last paragraph of the letter is genuinely moving, its effect is dulled because the same rhetorical repetition was just used two paragraphs ago. (ďYou can, you can, you canĒ after ďyou never, you never, you never.Ē) It calls attention to the pieceís emotional manipulation, and then the little epilogue spills thing over into ďway too much.Ē I do want to credit the way the piece sets the scene. The second paragraph and the first half of the third establishes Dadís state of mind really well, his sort of frayed psyche, and it sets his sense of sheer joy at discovering this girlís will to survive in high relief. But then we just stay on that emotional note for the rest of the story, and itís just a little tiring.

Kaishai - Discovery

While I really like where this ends up, thematically, the story lurches there like a lovesick grieving zombie. The idea of going through a loved oneís possessions after their death and finding that they indicate unknown depths and hidden sentimentalities, and then getting hit with this sense of even greater loss at not being close enough in life to know these things -- this is a really solid theme to work with, and your closing paragraph ties it together well. Unfortunately, thereís just a lack of momentum here. The first few paragraphs donít convey any sense of stakes, and on the first read, they struck me as mundane details packed on each other. On a re-read, they frame your theme well, but the lack of momentum is still a problem -- do we really need Caroline spiting the Northern weather and the unmowed grass for a whole paragraph? And I think you play the relationship between Caroline and Angelea a little too coyly; I donít fully understand Carolineís anger. Anger at the distant relationship to her sister? Anger at the heavens for having her taken away? Frustration at her being a packrat and forcing her to spend all her time sorting through these possessions, triggering little bits of grief? Maybe a little of all of this, but a stronger throughline on that would make the beginning of this story more accessible.

Once the zombie enters, the story gains momentum, because now Caroline has a foil to work through these feelings with. The crestfallen zombie learning about Angeleaís cremation is a really striking aspect here, and I like how that sense of loss without expected closure shines a light on Carolineís own sense of loss. And the mixing of the mundane and the extraordinary, with Angelea going down into the dirt with this zombie and the two of them hanging out helps capture the strange vertigo Caroline has at reconciling this part of her sisterís life. But the prolonged set-up robs the immediacy from these pangs, and I just wish youíd worked those introductory details into the parallel structure that the zombieís entrance brings.

Hawklad - Flying With the Turkeys

I like this one a lot for the creeping sense of dread and paranoia, but the lack of a real payoff is a problem. Thereís a compelling arc here about how this guy scares away his friends and loved ones, and his hallucinations toward the end of the story feel like theyíre leading toward something. The way he ramps up his drunkenness, the way the sleep deprivation becomes more and more important, and his self-awareness of these things are all well done. You lose me at the ending, though, which doesnít offer any sort of closure for me beyond ďwow, this guy is really hallucinating now!Ē And I suppose heís dying, too. But this doesnít really address any of the conflicts that the story sets up. The protagonist doesnít have to confront his own failings, he just gets to make more empty promises.

Structurally, this is probably a little too fragmented. While the breaking down of this decline into letters helps sell the steady progression of the protagonist into madness, some of the details just feel superfluous, and I wonder if it would be possible to compress the action here. Do we really need to know about ďblock and tackleĒ moonshine? What does this add to the narrative? Donít get me wrong, the storyís setting is different in a good way, and it seems like youíve done some research into moonshine making, but the details shouldnít be here for the sake of details, they should be included to develop this character or your tone. Still, this is probably the best of the DQed entries, and I donít think an HM would have been out of the question.

widespread - My Old Friend Needs a Hand

This story suffers most from a total lack of context. Is this character mad for pressing the button? (Probably. Heís having conversations with a button.) Is the condition of the world such that starting a nuclear war would be a conceivable idea? Why does this dude with a nine-to-five job have access to the nuclear launch codes? The total vagueness around the storyís setting and around this character gives a sense of ďnothing really matters,Ē which makes it difficult to invest in this guyís pushing of the button. Frontloading the story with Charlieís confession adds onto that; there really isnít much more to this than ďI have done a terrible thing. I pressed the button.Ē

The dialogue, too, is stiff and awkward. The conversation with the admiral is completely pointless, and mostly serves to pad out the story. I guess I like the protagonistís eventual decision that his legacy doesnít matter, but itís not shaded in enough, and the story doesnít even really sell his decision to shoot himself that well. I assume itís to avoid living with the consequences of pressing the button, or maybe itís just an ultimate fulfillment of his sense of nihilism. On the whole, itís a story that suffers from a pointlessness thanks to everything being settled from the first couple lines, and then itís followed up from a lack of any details that might offer those lines some complexity.

BeefSupreme - Protect the Future

During judging, I started reading this story and then I got so annoyed that you didnít follow the prompt that I immediately stopped reading. Coming back to it now, it looks like I didnít miss much. Aside from the fact that this story isnít a letter, Iím also annoyed at how ďaw shucksĒ naive Charlie is. Maybe Iím just cynical, but ďCharlie couldnít believe that the government and the military were bad,Ē without any kind of follow-through, just comes off as grating -- a caricature. Having him raise questions with obvious answers (ďwhy didnít he say anything in his emails?Ē) and then having those questions answered in the next portion of the latter just makes me more annoyed with this character.

The sentence level prose is fine, but this story really suffers from its structure. I mean, aside from it not being a letter, which it really should have been. The non-letter portions of the story feel empty and pointless, even as you try to set up this throughline of the loss of innocence or whatever. And the letter itself -- well, itís fine, but it only really alludes to conflicts and doesnít provide any closure on them. Charlie not actually looking at the flash drive feels like a cheat; like you didnít bother to think what could be on it, you just thought Charlie looking at the poster and thinking ďgee, the military is badĒ would be enough closure, and well, it wasnít.

Next time you write a story, I recommend following the prompt, though!

The Cut of Your Jib - Time Just Got Away From Me

This story seems to be nothing more than a non-linear nostalgia-rama. Reading it is a little like looking through a strangerís family album; itís dense with too many proper nouns and awash with stories that seem to be meaningful to the speaker, but arenít meaningful to the reader. (Thatís a mixed metaphor, but you know what I mean.) But the sheer density of characters in this story thatís less than 1000 words is a seriously bad decision. Itís extremely disorienting, and thatís not accounting for the way the story is unstuck in time. The effect is random anecdote after random anecdote, and thatís just numbing and frustrating.

I like the ďlook at how far weíve comeĒ impulse behind this story. And if youíd had more words to spend, the sort of structure you have here might work. The anecdotes are illustrative and evocative, at least. I like the one about dissassembling and reassembling the art piece, only for that effort to flatter the artist. I think thatís insightful, and the choice to tell that anecdote is reflective of the sort of nostalgia that someone might have for a long-gone relationship. But without a stronger cohering thread, these random anecdotes filled with nearly a dozen random people just come off as noise, and itís easy to come away from this piece with nothing at all except frustration.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


a stray crit:

Hawklad - Arrival

For a character to be compelling, they have to have agency. They have to make decisions. In this story, the only decisions Margrette makes are ones I donít understand. Like sliding the alien corpse toward her -- why does she do this? Curiosity? Compassion? Boredom? The dominant personality traits about Margrette conveyed in this story: sheís tired, sheís pregnant, and she feels the world is too lovely for her child to inherit. That last part is obviously the most compelling part of the story, but it doesnít resonate because the conflict is too simplistic, and the story seems more interested in worldbuilding than establishing Margretteís character. Many words are spent on details of the past alien invasion, but zero are spent on the babyís paternity and Margretteís relationship to that fact.

That said, I do like the body horror of the alien attaching to the womb, panicking the baby, and triggering a premature birth. I like the ambiguity as to whether the creature has corrupted the baby in some sense, and I think that ending is paced well. The baby seems to share Margretteís hatred for alien nuclear winter, which I think is an interesting element, the relationship Margrette has with her baby, but because Margretteís personality is so blank, itís not as good as it could have been. Instead of infodumping (the ďLike all childrenÖĒ paragraph), tell us her immediate feelings and thoughts when she sees the alien sphere or the alien larva. Give us her reaction to the celebration of the community. Does she share their joy, or does she find it excessive? Is she overwhelmed by anxiety? Iím frustrated by the decision to keep us so distant from this character. Iím not even sure what her job is. Just a barkeep? A sex worker? (Is that the assumption weíre supposed to make about the babyís paternity?) Nor am I sure the purpose of Robb in this story, other than for someone to kill the alien fetus besides Margrette. (Maybe heís the father? But then why introduce him as her ďboss?Ē)

It mostly strikes me as frustrating that you took a week that explicitly focuses on character and wrote a story thatís driven by setting instead. But now that you have that setting down, I think you have a strong foundation to rework this piece by strengthening Margrette and giving her an identity beyond her pregnancy. Already the ending nails the ďbodyĒ part of ďbody horror.Ē In giving us more of a reason to care about Margrette, you can help sell the ďhorrorĒ part.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:33

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:33

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:33

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


I'll judge.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Please post a Prompt. Thank you and god bless.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:35

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Mrenda posted:

Thanks for the crits Hawklad and Fuschia tude. There's enough encouragement in both your comments for me to keep working on this. I've showed it to a few other people and their comments along with yours makes me think the framework is there. It's workable in a few places but there's definitely something missing. Looking back over it keeping your comments in my mind there are places where what you said matched up exactly with what I was thinking now I have some separation from the story. Thanks for the judgement.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Mrenda posted:

You show appreciation for someone's work and effort by letting them know it's had an effect on you. And their critiques did have an effect. What I said wasn't an offhand thanks for politeness, or for the sake of decorum. It was an attempt to show appreciation by me making an effort, albeit a small one in pointing out that their critiques had informed what I now take from the story with their help.

I held back on pointing out the specific aspects of their response that I'm hoping to address, because I'm not rewriting a story for their benefit (not that they'd want a second version of it,) nor was my post an effort to rewrite what I submitted after the fact. I was trying to go some way to show I appreciated what they said.

I know sometimes I feel a simple "thanks" is hollow, a formality rather than a real understanding and acknowledgement of someone's work for your benefit. I also know that a lot of the time it takes a lot of effort to say that simple, "thanks." But this was me going beyond what I know is typical for Thunderdome because I integrated what they said into my own writing. You can poo poo on me for trying to show appreciation, and engagement with what they said about my story but that's all I was trying to do: show appreciation by saying how their response effected me.

This is a good attitude for a college critique circle or w/e but that's not what this thread is for. Feel free to brawl me if you feel strongly about this

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


Mrenda posted:

I feel strongly about writing, the improvement of writing, and thunderdome. I don't feel anything about a fight with you other than it seems kind of pointless. I'd love to critique your writing, or critiques from you. I'd like to be a better writer. I'd like to engage with people on their writing, and for them to engage with me. I'd like a connection through writing, and response. I don't feel trumped up brawls and $10 accounts are the way to go. I'm not trying to prove anything, just engage. And this isn't the place.

afaik the toxx only comes into effect if you fail to submit for the brawl, not if you lose. Brawl entries tend to get elaborate critique and writing more stories is a great way to get people to engage with your work and be a better writer without getting earnestness all over the kayfabe thread.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:35

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In. Please flash me something (in)appropriately bonkers.

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


in with gender dysphoria (for the main character) and borderline personality disorder (for the secondary)

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


I'll take those extra words. Thanks, Chili.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:36

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


thanks for the crits, flerp

in for flash, and flash me

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:36

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In and I'll take a dog flash

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:36

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In for sin

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In.

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


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sparksbloom fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 03:36

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sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


In. I'll take a room

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