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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I want to harp my poo poo out

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magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


HARPEN SOME poo poo.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Thunderdome Week 332: Steering the Crap
We're going back to writing class this week with a prompt cribbed straight from Ursula K. Le Guin's book on writing.

You have two options: you may either choose to write about a character or an event.

Here's the trick: you are going to write about them by describing a place. If you write about a character, it should be somewhere they live or frequent; if you write about an event, it should be the site of the event. Also, your subject does not appear in your story. If you write about a character, they are absent; if you write about an event, it is either before or after it happens.

Since these are descriptive pieces, you won't be judged on narrative structure. You will be judged for your words being boring or bad, so don't do that. All genres are permitted. You may optionally submit two pieces this week, one for a character, and one for an event. Flash rules available upon toxx.

Word count: 800 (per piece)
Enter by: Midnight Pacific time, Friday night
Submit by: Midnight Pacific time, Sunday night

Judges:
Djeser
Antivehicular
A handsome judge

Entrants:
dreadmojo :toxx:
Solitair :toxx:
apophenium
Chili :toxx:
Saucy_Rodent
Thranguy
Yoruichi
Staggy
Sitting Here
BabyRyoga
Chairchucker
Kaishai
ThirdEmperor :toxx:
M. Propangandalf
LITERALLY A BIRD
YOU??? TOO LATE IDIOT

Djeser fucked around with this message at 08:02 on Dec 15, 2018

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



As a bonus, I've transcribed Ursula's own version of this prompt, in case you need some extra help:

A better writer than you posted:

Character by indirection: describe a character by describing any place inhabited or frequented by that character - a room, house, garden, office, studio, bed, whatever. (The character isn't present at the time.)

The untold event: Give us a glimpse of the mood and nature of some event or deed by describing the place - room, rooftop, street, park, landscape, whatever - where it happened or is about to happen. (The event or deed doesn't happen in your piece.)

You aren't to say anything directly about the person or the event, which is in fact the subject of the piece. This is the stage without the actors on it; this is the camera panning before the action starts. And this kind of suggestion is something words can do better than any other medium, even film.

Use any props you like: furniture, clothes, belongings, weather, climate, a period in history, plants, rocks, smells, sounds, anything. Work the pathetic fallacy for all it's worth. Focus on any item or detail that reveals the character or that suggests what happened or will happen.

Remember, this is a narrative device, part of a story. Everything you describe is there in order to further that story. Give us evidences that build up into a consistent, coherent mood or atmosphere, from which we can infer, or glimpse, or intuit, the absent person or the untold act. A mere inventory of articles won't do it, and will bore the reader. Every detail must tell.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





magnificent7 posted:

PROMT YOU FUCKERS I WANNA MAKE poo poo HARPEN.

Aww yeah in :toxx:

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


IN :toxx:

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


Hey, this was the next bit of Steering the Craft I was gonna do! How fortuitous! I am in.

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give



I'll judge!

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016







Yorxmund brawl judgement

Exmond: Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed!
894 words

The last Akihabara maid droid, G36, watched as customers rushed through the open courtyard towards them. They ran over her fallen co-workers, their combat boots impassively stomping over the other broken maid droids. Just as the maid aimed, SU513 addressed their complaints with a pull of a trigger. Fifty-nine to forty-seven pinged G36’s squad computational unit. Not a bad opening as openings go, but two things threw me here - one, I feel like you say maid droid a lot in the open, to the point where I thought you were doing it for comic effect. Two, I didn’t get that your last sentence was a score straight away. Maybe it was because everyone is numbers already.

G36 formed a fist. She would not lose to an accountant droid, not even to an accountant droid with advanced modules. As long as she had a single volt in her battery cell, this Akihabara maid droid would not lose.

A wave of customer complaintsI guess this is just the world state you’ve given me - but like, why? also this phrasing makes me unsure whether we’re in cyberspace, or this is a clumsy metaphor? came their way, and her maid protocol advised her to offer a smile. As her lips turned upwards, her combat protocols activated, making her fling herself behind a pillar. Dust and plaster fell all around the pair.this para is exclusively about the maid, “pair” doesn’t work here - think about your blocking.

SU513’Susie’ works, but does this mean the maid’s name is Geb? crouched beside the pillar, listening intently as a high pitched whine came closer to the maid cafe. G36 ruffled out the dust from her skirts, and seeing her rival distracted she peeked out to get a few shots. A quick pull of the trigger and she delivered 7.62mmWell, actually, a G36 fires 5.56mm - that said naming someone who is doing shooting the same name as a gun that does shooting in an action-oriented story adds unnecessary mental labour customer satisfaction. A few screams from customers and the score updated: fifty-nine to fifty. this was the way to introduce your scoring - use “pinged… squad computation unit” once it’s established.

“Get down!” SU513 screamed and pushed G36 to the ground. The whine intensified, ended with a large boom and the ground exploded a few yards away from them. The pillar shook, and shrapnel slammed against the droid’s ”whoa! here comes an ‘s’” wasn’t the right rule to apply here metal bodies.

G36 was aghast, no amount of ruffling could fix her skirts now. As another wave of customers came towards them, G36 came out of cover, aimed her gun and beamed at them. A few minutes later the score was fifty-nine to fifty-two and G36 looked quizzically down at the accountant droid.

SU513’s eyes glowed green as petabytes of information crawled across them. Another holo-call with central, G36 thought enviously. A moment later SU513 looked up at G36, simu-tears flowing down from her eyes. “The main army is in full retreat. Civilian models instructed to stand their ground,”

G36 nodded. Good, fewer people to share customers with.

“Do you lack the computational units to understand?” SU513 looked her in the eyes, searching for something, and threw her hands up in frustration. “Of course you do comma they had to core most of your functions out. Orochi is leaving us to die!”

More complaints came their way, and G36 ducked behind the pillar. The accountant wrapped her hands around her knees and started rocking back and forth. “I'm in my office, I'm balancing the quarterly budget. I'm in my office,” SU513 kept saying.

Combat protocols warred with maid protocol seven: Assist your coworker. SU513 was her coworker, wasn’t she? A better performing coworker, but a coworker never the less. G36 fired a few more shots to let the customers know she was busy and ignored her combat protocols. She was a maid droid first, refit civilian combat droid second.

“SU513, I know you’re scared, and that’s okay. Customers can be scary.” G36 wanted to whisper, but an annoying whistling sound required her to increase her voice modulators volume.

“When I get scared, I think back to when I was just a simple Orochi maid droid serving simple egg omelets.”

The shocked look SU513 was giving her wasn’t the expected output her motivational module expected, but she continued.

“I know one day, this corporation war is going to end, and we can serve eggs instead of hot lead. And when my favourite customer, $MEM_NOT_FOUND comes back, I’m gonna make him the best egg omelet. But I have to stay here, to make Orochi proud. To be a true Orochi maid!”

The accountant stared at her, “You don’t understan-”

“I don’t understand a lot of things that you do. I don’t understand logistics, artillery calculations or balancing a budget.” G36’s motivational module whirred into overdrive, and she put a big smile on he face. “But I do understand that you made me better. Without you there to show me what a real droid can do, I wouldn’t have been half the combat droid I am today!”

Pulling out her last grenade, G36 placed it into SU513’s hands and clasped them together. “Let’s go satisfy those customers.”

The accountant looked up at her, simu-tears streaming down her face and despair in her eyes.
“You really don’t understand,” SU513 said and then started laughing. A loud, desperate laugh that was louder than the approaching whistling.

And then the whistling sound stopped, and the droids were engulfed in a wave of fire.

=+=

Soldiers were scavenging supplies from the crater the artillery shell had left. They walked like zombies, the days fighting had been long and hard.

“loving droids,” one of them said, emptying his clip into one the carcasses.

His companion looked down at the other droid. “God, this one is even dressed as a maid.”

SU513’s charred shell slumped over G36’s body, the two droids still grasping hands together. The rest of the unit gathered by the ruined droids and one of the soldiers kicked G36. The maid's body emitted a small spark.

“Hey Charlie, get over here. Might be able to salvage this one, get some intel!”

G36’s eyes opened, and she counted eight customers gathered around her. With her last volt in her battery cell, G36 lifted the pin off of her grenade and smiled. Fifty-nine to sixty

Thanks for kicking this in with a tight deadline, you’re a good sport. Overall, there’s a clunkiness to it that prevents the story building the sort of kineticism that it needs - there’s a lot of action covered, but it’s a little stop-start or even perfunctory. Think about sentences like “As another wave of customers came towards them, G36 came out of cover, aimed her gun and beamed at them”. What does it look like? What’s the most badass way to write that? What happens to the shells from the gun? What does G36 look like through the gunsmoke?

Another thing holding this back was the “customer” and “complaints” metaphor/euphemism. It’s cute, but it actually masked what was going on at times in an unhelpful way.


Yoru: Between the Salt and the Sky
895 words

Yan was closing the distance with Tamanth; close enough to feel the salt spray from her tyres rattle against herthis “her” is different from the one you just used. don’t do that. It’s a good open, so don’t make me stop and think faithful Ducati’s windshield. They were well ahead of the rest of the pack. Yan’s enmeshed senses fed her information directly from her bike; she could feel the traction of the tyres as if her own feet gripped the hot salt. She had an iridescent silver body and she was flying. She gunned the engine and the rush of fuel was like the sweetest hit she’d ever felt.

Yan remembered the first time she’d raced Tamanth; the thrill of defeating another prodigious talent, the excitement of finding her in the crowd at the post-race meet, and all that came after. She felt a surge of regret at the gulf that had grown between them.

Something about the way Tamanth was riding was wrong. With a twitch of her cheek muscle Yan brought up her retinal display. She felt a spike of fear as she picked up a visually-imperceptible wobblestylistically, I don’t feel like I’m flying down the highway if I’m mumbling my way through the phrase “visually-imperceptible wobble”. Add some punch, mix up your sentence lengths. shivering through Tamanth’s bright green Kawasaki.

Suddenly she was back there, three years ago. Yan remembered how that subtle shiver had grown into a fishtail that her exhausted mind this feels like a clumsy phrase couldn’t control. An unnoticedthis feels redundant flaw in the hard-packed surface had sent her bike spinning into the air and Yan tumbling, screaming, into darkness.

Tamanth had been the first one there, when she’d come to, broken, on the blood-washed salt.see this is good use of adjectives Tamanth had stayed with her, held her hand, tight, when they told her about her leg. Tamanth had cared for her while she adjusted to her new limb; had even offered to pay for synth-skin. Yan refused to get it covered, insisting she didn’t want to pretend. She’d hosed up and crashed, and now she had a metal leg; end of story.

Tamanth had sobbed when Yan refused to make her stay in Tamanth’s apartment permanent. Yan told her she couldn’t stand it under the dome, that the unearned comfort of the enclosed city made her constantly restless. What she hadn’t - couldn’t - say was that she feared Tamanth’s soft touch on her broken flesh. Tamanth’s hands running down her belly and over her buttocks. Tamanth’s hands on the ugly ridge of scar tissue where ‘Yan’ joined ‘Yan’s leg.’ nice characterisation hereTamanth would stroke her there like it was nothing, like it was normal, and Yan couldn’t stand it.

So Yan had fled to her trailer on the salt flats, cocooned herself in this desolate, defiant landscape that remained exactly as it had always been.

The syncopated vibrations of Tamanth’s bike were getting worse.

Yan opened a private channel - technically illegal during a race - and yelled at Tamanth to slow down, but the the connection crackled and dropped. all these cybers and we’re still foiled by radios, huh?

poo poo, she thought. Through her retinal display she could see the intricate circuitry that traced through Tamanth’s body pulsing like a living tattoo.

Their first real fight had been about Tamanth’s augments. She always wanted the latest kit, anything to get an edge. Yan had been horrified to feel the hard ridges of a freshly implanted interface nestled in Tamanth’s palm. Tamanth had shouted through angry tears that she’d done it all for Yan, all so Yan would respect her.

Yan yanked herself from her bike’s sensory web. Suddenly she was back in her own, lopsided body, guiding the bike with nothing but the feel of her sweaty palms on the shaking handles. She flipped open her visor. Hot exhaust blasted her face.

“Tamanth!”

Without her retinal overlay Yan could see that Tamanth’s suit was soaked with sweat. She was lying low over her handlebars. Tamanth’s head dipped, then snapped back up. A shudder ran through her bike and her head lolled - ok, so why are they exhausted? Is this future le mans? Because that’s unclear..

“TAMANTH!” Yan screamed.

Tamanth’s body slumped sideways and her bike disappeared from underneath her. Tamanth’s body slid like a ragdoll on ice, limbs wrapping around her body as she rolled.

Yan’s tyres sprayed salt as she skidded to a stop. Tamanth wasn’t breathing. Yan knew she had life-preserving augments but her system hadn’t rebooted. Help was on the far side of the track; they wouldn’t make it in time. No, no, no! she thought. Yan’s hands shook as she pulled off Tamanth’s glove and felt the ridges in her palm. She had no matching connectors on her bike, and Tamanth’s was too far away. Desperate, Yan yanked off her boot. She braced herself for the wave of synthetic pain and smashed the hard heel down on her articulated toes. She screamed but the casing broke.

Using the sharp metal edge Yan cut the skin of Tamanth’s palm and exposed the circuitry below. With gritted teeth she hooked the interface directly into the panel in her artificial thigh and let her own emergency response system take over.

The endless white salt disappeared and Yan floated in darkness. She felt a wave of relief as she heard the faint knock of Tamath’s heart. Then Tamanth’s body heaved and sucked in a desperate, blessed breath, and Yan was snapped back into the sunlight.

Tamanth lay panting against Yan’s side. Blood from her cut palm made a rorschach pattern on the salt. Yan thought of Tamanth sleeping, her dark curls spread across her pillow in the morning sun.

Above Yan the white-blue sky seemed too huge, too empty, for one person alone. She took Tamanth’s other hand in hers, and held it, tight.

You dug into a different aspect of rivals here, and managed to set the story in a clearer context than Exmond’s.

Both stories struggled to convey their frenetic nature through style, but Yoru’s had better turn-of-phrase and made me care more about the characters - and therefore the outcome of the story.

:siren: Yoruichi wins
:siren:

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

In.

:toxx: Hit me with a flash rule. Please, and thank you.

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Good brawling yoruichi

Saucy_Rodent
Oct 24, 2018

by Pragmatica


In

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




in

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Chili posted:

In.

:toxx: Hit me with a flash rule. Please, and thank you.

The Lewis chessmen.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




In

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes



In.

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


in flash :toxx:

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again




Silver coins from the Cordoba Treasure

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


clarification: should there be no characters present? (e.g. you're not looking for a detective narrating the scene of the crime of some such) The conceit of the prompt sort of leans in that direction, and especially LeGuin's description.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





who wants a fight - no-one who's brawled me before

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 11:55 on Dec 11, 2018

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



BeefSupreme posted:

clarification: should there be no characters present?

Ursula would say yes, but I'm flexible on this. There may be characters present, but they cannot be the character you're describing. If you want to use some kind of voice, you may, but again, that voice cannot be the character you're describing. As long as you meet what I said in the prompt (your subject is absent and you describe a place) I don't care how you get there.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




oh gently caress yeah in

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

Babies don't fail THUNDERDOME

OK in

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


Hanukkah Week Judgecrits!!!

What a fun week! AV and I had some tough choices to make. There were a lot of okay stories! No one posted a real stinker. So, here are how things shook out in my lil noggin.

Djeser: Starts off with some heavy exposition, which I was able to forgive because the words were pretty! And thankfully it was not just solid exposition the whole time. There was a cool theme of the watcher becoming a sort of reluctant god. All seeing, but unable to act... Until she does act. We get a light-speed sketch of the civilization advancing from faith into science and into who knows from there. It feels like an intro to a long, meaty sci-fi book that I wish I had a copy of! This got my interest piqued and there's a hint of payoff, just enough, I think. Let me know if you ever expand this!

sh: Oh, cool, a Djeser-inspired inanimate object story, maybe? I dig it. There's a real pleasure in following the tautological viewpoint of the orchid. It's a simple joy to read, especially since the prose is so fine. I admit, the first time through I was a bit baffled by the ending. I thought hell was opening up and swallowing the woman, and that she randomly orchid-magic'd out of there. But hell swallowed up the fire, and the bit about her being somewhere else is just that she survived and moved elsewhere. Once that clicked for me, my enjoyment of the story really bloomed.

tyrannosaurus: Oh no! This one was so frustrating for me because it's so good! I can't help but feel there was some squandered potential here. I was all geared up for some wacky exorcism or something, but I didn't get it. Oh well. It's a very good story, the characters are great. Sheriff and mom were well characterized, and I even got some cool stuff about the kid, Cricket. So the ending had a bit of a punch with the realization about the dog... But not quite enough to lift the story up into something I'd call complete and realized. Really great hook and bones here, though!

Solitair: I was daunted by the word count right off the bat. I tried to hide away my worries and just plow through. So I had to dig through a lot of exposition to get to when the story really happens, once Moncrief is introduced. I didn't get enough to really care about either Moncrief or the subterranean people, despite the chunky word count. And then the ending, I guess Moncrief prayed and sacrificed himself for the underground folk? I like that in theory, but it didn't necessarily follow from the 1500 words or so before it. Nor was it impactful enough to justify all those words. But, it was a complete story, with a solid ending. So, as AV said, you kinda just got the short straw. While here you had plenty of words and told a whole story with them, they weren't as good as say tyranno's, even though tyranno's didn't have much in the way of a conclusion.

Bad seafood: Pretty engaging, right off the bat. Had me asking questions and wanting to see them answered, which is always a good place to start. But then some things happen that I was largely confused about! People gather and the narrator kills them in order to complete some ritual that will make them invisible? But it doesn't work? Or it works too well? Not sure! It's got a great mood, though. I read it a few times in rapid succession cause there were some cool bones that I wanted to get some meat on, so I could figure out if it was a duck or a tiger or a snake. I think the clipped, enigmatic prose works for capturing the narration of a person who is maybe to traumatized from the events they're recounting to really give much in the way of detail. The bits that stick out are pithy and wry, like a deflection. Which you'd have to have I guess to rationalize murder. I would hope anyway.

Kaishai: You got a neat premise here. I really felt thrown into it. It's a tough purgatorial survival kind of thing. Although the characters seem immortal, somewhat. Trying to figure out the characters and their goals was interesting. I got the sense that the characters all had some kind of entwined backstory that was just to the left of when the story started. And I never got enough pieces to start putting the puzzle together. The love of the narrator, Graham, for Vesper was a little unsteady. So Graham makes a raft and sends Vesper out on it. The possibilities being that Vesper makes it to... Somewhere. Somewhere hopefully better. Or Vesper dies. Which Graham justifies by saying well, Vesper was going to heaven anyways. I didn't have enough on Graham's character to really follow the logic here, so the impact of the ending was lost on me. It seemed like being stuck on the volcano island wasn't really much of a threat since they could just jump in the lava or whatever.

Thranguy: I was initially really impressed with this because a lot of the stories had rushed endings, non-endings or unearned endings. This one felt realized and earned and solid. Which is good! That's a good thing, to tell a story with an ending, I think. I also was very very smitten with the premise. This story really shines in the details, like the Voice's vocabulary being lost on the people and the big honkin' red button. I also loved the symmetry with the telling time by the stars thing. Really good little details there that make the setting and therefore the story feel much bigger. And the reluctance of the Question-asker becoming a leader. Just kind of going and being followed. It worked for me as a competent and entertaining story, but not one that fully soared.

seb: I think this works on a few different levels. The conversation between the two characters in the story is fun and witty in the way conversations can be when they’re well written and the people are kind of talking past each other. The coincidence of the store collapsing the absolute second the narrator’s nostalgia and obligation are finally shattered is pretty cool and the scene is described quite well, shocking, confusing, scary. My main gripe is the vaguely manic-pixie-dream-girl quality of the lady. She’s from a different country, acknowledges the weird tap tap thing, thoughtfully responds to the narrator’s odd and self-indulgent questions, and invites the narrator out and away, the act of which sets the climactic events of the story into motion. So that unfortunately drags down an otherwise interesting story.

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories! I had a lot of fun reading them.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




sebmojo posted:

ty for the judging, and to fleta and beef for joining on our retarded autoflagellation.

I'll :toxx: to crit all the stories in the week I failed and the week just gone, by 2359 pst this sunday.

Yeah I'll fight ya.

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


sebmojo posted:

who wants a fight - no-one who's brawled me before

Thranguy posted:

Yeah I'll fight ya.

YES a blood feud

two bitter rivals squaring off in a battle royale spoken of in ancient prophecy

titans of the arena raining blows upon each other to finally end this bitter war

wait


huh




what?

SEBGUY BRAWL

PROMPT: two people/robots/giant space aliens/babies/entities of any kind fighting (literal figurative whatever) for no discernable reason
WORD COUNT: 1100 words
DUE DATE: 12/22 11:59pm PST (let's get this done before Xmas huh?)

:toxx: up boys

flash rules available upon request

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Gimme 2 flash rules :toxx:



sebmojo fucked around with this message at 11:24 on Dec 12, 2018

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




I'll take one. :toxx:

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





crits for raygun week

La Familia Orfeo

The words in this are put together adequately, though there’s a clunkiness to the description, particularly at the outset - I think you’re trying to do too much with a single sort of unpacked moment. She’s been around for two months, and presumably would have seen this stuff arrive, so why is she surprised about it now? The idea, of bringing back ghosts is potentially interesting but you don’t make much of it other than I REALLY LOVE U and I REALLY LOVE U 2. You try and give the characters some qualities but it’s unfelt, because it doesn’t manifest through action. What actually happens? A family tells their beloved aunt they love her, the end. That’s not interesting. I know it’s not the story you wanted to tell, but it would be actully more interesting if they brought her back to do the opposite. What if different members of the family wanted different things? The overall impression is one of mushy blandness.

Vanity Fatigue


This is a really strong and well-executed conceit that falters at the end, as you probably know. The language is very precise, and I like the little obsessions the mirror displays - there are a bunch of clever tricks of phrasing and repetition that establish a strong character, and the triangle of mirror man woman (maybe two women, i don’t think you specify) is neat. So it’s sad when you muff the ending - I may be missing something but the burns on the main person is out of nowhere and doesn’t really make either literal or metaphorical sense, unless it’s the straightforward beauty is skin deep thing. The last bit of dialogue is kind of ploddy and bland too. I’m landing on it hard because I liked the rest a lot, but this doesn’t land for all its immense charm and breezy style.

The edge of gorrin


The problem with this is that it’s just dull. Two dull randos I don’t care about discuss a dull beastie of some kind (don’t care) that will revitalise the flagging fortunes of a dull town that I also don’t care about. Various small, dull things happen, none of which I care about. At the end the protagonist decides to go away and find a more interesting story to be in. There’s a vague hint that the protag isn’t choosing to be at the beck and call of no stinkin’ man, but this is expressed by doing what the man asks and then leaving in a mild, dull huff. Also: it’s is only ever short for ‘it is’, fyi.

Wants


There’s an ESL oddness to the language here - ‘rudy’ instead of ‘ruddy’, mischieved is an odd verb though not unflavoursome, ‘the morning lights’ is weird (don’t need the ‘s’), The Mother would not normally capitalise the ‘T’. However there is a more fundamental problem with the story which is that it sets up a bunch of dominos, each of which might be the point of the story, then doesn’t really knock any of them down in any satisfying fashion. You’ve got your Portentoustly Capitalised Mythic Figure, you’ve got your array of unnamed sprites (who I kind of like, their chit chat has some charm) and they ask for a name and get told nope. That’s it, and it’s possible I’m missing something clever but I don’t think I am. I think you could have made a nice little parable about the meaning and power of names and with the raw materials, but the sprites’ request is sort of shrugged away so it doesn’t even do that, so we’re left with a signifier that don’t signify.

Lizat

I confess I saved you from the loss here, and I hope a reread doesn’t make me change my mind about that. Let’s see: naw, yeah, that’s a decent story. You made an unnecessarily bold decision to not have any paragraphs, which I don’t think quite adds enough to warrant the annoyance, but the creepy yet weirdly tender idea is very strong, and the way you introduce the dastardly corporation’s ultimate crime of making people love it by addicting people to alien wasp drugs is really clever. It’s got a nice conversational rhythm to it that would have read fine with paras, though there is a little merit in having it as a big chunk, adds some intensity to the speaking. It also raises some interesting issues about emotional reality that I think it leaves at the right point - if you really feel an emotion, what does that mean? And of course the deliciously evil idea of monetising that is the payload of the story, which gets delivered adroitly. I might even have argued to HM this if the other judges hadn’t had such a dislike to it.

The House on Lindworm Street

I like the confidence of how this one starts a ways away from its central conceit. 1000 words is basically nothing, and it’s generally a good idea to start with some kind of bang, but this one is all dum de doo don’t mind me just a day in the life of mild manner school librarian Ms Hastings then it just sliiiides into its genuinely widescreen Idea and brings the reader along with admirable grace and precision. The one thing I don’t like as much is that she made herself forget about the dragon - I think you could have done something more interesting there, which you touch on when all the dragons appear. Can humans even hold the idea of dragons in their head? There’s a kind of rhyme with the collection of ideas in a library, hmm. So it’s a great idea, well developed. I don’t like the final line though - it’s a I WOULD NEVER FORGET THAT SUMMER LINE and it belongs in a much worse story. You could have almost ended on the line before - story’s done its job, find a nice suspension and bow out. Still, a deserved win.

Charm Sellers

Slick as hell opener, I particularly like the parts of speech separating - yeah adverbs get down low like the dirty creatures u are - but I’m not sure this really good for the word cheque it tries to present. You sit in your vernacular real smoothly, of course, and the interactions with the eel and the brother are fine, but it has the feeling of marking time. Yeah they do magic, yeah, budding capitalists, but the way it ends is basically a tune in next week and that’s not really enough, given there’s no particularly interesting unifying idea or theme. It’s less a story than a collection of solid ideas laid out at a stall for a passerby to rifle through.

Me and My Shadow

These are competent vaguely gritty fantasy words, used to lay out an idea that’s sort of neat (though you don’t do anything too interesting with it by not having your protag interact with anyone who can’t see ghosts) and then it gets to the bit where interesting and exciting adventures might happen and WHOA NELLY LOOKIT THE WORDCOUNT the story ends. These are not uncommon in the dome, but it’s something that you should always strive to avoid, and especially don’t waste your last line on a lame Hellraiser reference.

Julie in Bloom

Hmmm. I just reread this a couple of times, and I think I don’t like it but it has enough charm that I don’t mind. Really not a fan of the first para, though, it’s the sort of thing you should write then cut and incorporate it into the body. As is it adds nothing apart from an unhelpful infomercial patina to the story which already has enough problems. E.g. nothing really happens, it’s just a couple chatting charmingly for a bit, and for all it strives to make that The Point, it doesn’t land the fish.

Gnosis kai Khara

I presume in your head the notion of grace and its role as the centerpiece in a debate between weird ancient egyptian animal creatures is self evident and obvious but I have to say I struggled with this. It’s a nothing story where some richly visualised cardboard cutouts debate philosophy then go for a walk. While it angles for emotion it does little to actually evoke it - cf the weird alien wasp goo story that made me genuinely feel for the poor protag.

Crimes?

The only crime here is that you deleted your story before I could read it. I might have decided it was better than one of the others and given you retrospective vindication. I might have found some interesting nuggets of prose or elements of style that I could genuinely praise. Don’t do this. We’re all just here to make words better, and none of the barbs we trade mean anything apart from that. Look closely at the link I posted and think on what it represents.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

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



In I guess also gimme a flash.

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



Chairchucker posted:

In I guess also gimme a flash.

Mechanical galleon, from the British Museum's collection of clocks.

Djeser fucked around with this message at 18:29 on Dec 12, 2018

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Quick Secret Santa announcement:

The story is coming along and we're getting closer to a finished result every day!

Also, some have asked about posting pictures of their loot, yes! Do that! And feel free to name your Santa if they named themselves. And if you're a Santa who wants to claim their handiwork, that's good too!

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

by sebmojo


Well, my person decided to keep the SECRET in Secret Santa by not including in their name... But I love my gift all the same! Thanks, stranger!

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007


sebguy flash rules

Use these as you see fit

Thranguy posted:

I'll take one. :toxx:

https://youtu.be/EspZ4t2FAuE

sebmojo posted:

Gimme 2 flash rules :toxx:

#1:


#2: “Either put on these glasses, or start eating that trash can”

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




preemptively :toxx:ing for the brawl i hope someone isn't too much of a coward to challenge me to

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




*Yawn*

Yeah alright I mean I beat you once already but I guess I can do it again. If I win you have to call me Yoruichi The Magnificent for the next month though.

:toxx:

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Yoru Here Brawl

This is exactly 1000 words of a couple breaking up, but they are happier at the end than they are at the start.

Yoruichi your flash rule is "inflatable car"

Sh, your flash rule is "dogs that speak"

Due 29 dec 2359 pst

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 09:57 on Dec 13, 2018

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




HUGE thanks to Antivehicular, who was my secret santa this year! What a haul!



Also thanks to chili for organizing this, and for surprising me with fancy art markers!

If you haven't got your secret santa gift yet, there's a chance that it's from me and will be going out shortly :v:

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Chili posted:

Quick Secret Santa announcement:

The story is coming along and we're getting closer to a finished result every day!

:sparkles:

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Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Not super on topic, sorry, but did something happen to the IRC? Nobody else is in there and the topic is blank.

Edit: NVM, it's back now. I think there was a server glitch.

Flesnolk fucked around with this message at 03:18 on Dec 14, 2018

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