Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Thranguy posted:

Interprompt: Shaggy Reindeer Stories

“What on earth is that?” said Space Captain James as Mosebjo emerged from the pine trees dragging a huge creature by its horns.

Mosebjo dipped his fingers into the animal’s open neck and flicked a shower of blood at James. “It’s a rain deer!” he cried.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!


Thunderdome CCCXXXIV: Here Be Dragons

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Blessed Yule and all that everybody.

For the year-end bridging prompt I'm going to do a semi-assignment prompt. I'll link this collection below, and you can either pick one or ask me to pick one for you when you sign up. No bonus or penalty either way.

And what are we dealing with? Well, we've done a lot of prompts on aspects of the core of nerdery that is Dungeons and Dragons, but there's one aspect we haven't touch yet: the map. So here's a bunch of funky old maps:

https://digital.library.cornell.edu/?f%5Bcollection_tesim%5D%5B%5D=Persuasive+Maps%3A+PJ+Mode+Collection

In addition to the usual rules against poetry, erotica, fanfic, political screeds, etc, one more for this week: No historical fiction . Do something more creative with your maps. Be inspired by it rather than going literal. SciFi, Fantasy, or anything set in the present is fine.

1000 words. Toxx for 500 extra.

And in the holiday spirit, when you sign up you may optionally link to one of your older stories and, if you don't fail the week, I'll crit it too.

Deadlines Friday/Sunday Pacific time 11:59.

Judges:
Thranguy
Sebmojo
Anomalous Blowout

Entrants:
Armack (The Sanctification of the Seventh Day)
sparksbloom (A map for the "Scofflaw")
apophenium (These are the nine places to hide)
Flesnock (Bird's Eye View of San Francisco)
M. Propagandolf (The Very Famous Island of Madhead)
Antivehicular (Berkeley's Strategic Position)
Yoruichi (Sanctification of the Seventh Day)
Benny Profane (Portugal is not a small country)
Kaishai (Thus men go safely)

Thranguy fucked around with this message at 00:34 on Dec 30, 2018

Armack
Jan 27, 2006


In.

"The Sanctification of the Seventh Day"

Armack fucked around with this message at 05:27 on Dec 26, 2018

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!


Oh,if you pick a map, especially if it's not on the first page of the collection link please put in an image or page link, thanks.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Strictly speaking I'm going to need the deadline to be "by the end of Christmas" rather than "by Christmas" to get all these done, but here's some more progress on 324 crits. Grouping these together since their major pitfall ended up a big theme of that week.

Mercedes: Flash fiction is tough; you have to fit a lot of story into a really small wordcount, and it has to stand on its own. This isn’t a story I felt really managed that. As Muffin noted, this feels more like the last leg of a longer piece. I’d consider maybe spinning it out as such, even. The story is really built around a twist that requires us to be far more invested than we had time to get.

Sparksbloom: Kind of the opposite problem here. This story moved too fast for what it was going for to come together like it should have, and it felt at odds with its premise. A tale of slow corruption shouldn’t zoom by such that the reader blinks and misses the whole thing. Less “flash,” more “fiction” is my pithy summary.

Solitair: You would have done better if you had more words to work with - there was good prose and character work here, but I feel like this is something you should maybe consider revisiting in a format where it will have more room to breathe.

Bolt Crank: I’ve been here so many times. You have a cool premise in your head you’re dying to sink your teeth into, you work super hard on a great opener, everything feels like it’s coming together, then OH NO! The deadline! Or maybe you’re out of words! Or worse, maybe both! The story falls apart and goes into superspeed mode as you rush to just get the dang thing finished before submissions close and the promising start is squandered. I’ll tell you to do what I really should start doing myself: start earlier, maybe work on at least a rough outline right after you decide to enter. Give yourself more time and space so this doesn’t happen. You’re another one I think hasn’t come back in a while but you should imo.

Flesnolk fucked around with this message at 05:02 on Dec 25, 2018

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Here are crits. They are not good crits, nor are they bad crits. They are fine crits. If you want something with a bit more elbow grease applied, I’ll happily provide a more in-depth look at anything from this week, upon request.

AZXS’s Flare Up

A flat story that, on its face, promised more humor than there was. Like, yeah, funny concept of essentially the most pointless profession for the environment, but then… not much else to deliver on this. The telling of the story itself was mediocre. Flat prose and nothing gripped me as I read it. It was fine. Just Fine.

Sittinghere’s Sun Below

Took far too long for things to get going here. Somewhat forgivable due to pretty prose but I was still hoping for more proper action up front. And yeah, upon finishing this I enjoyed reading it but didn’t feel as though I was taken on much of journey. So yeah, another fine thing I guess. Just Fine.

KoL’s You and I

Not much of a story here? It’s just a musing kinda piece. I can be down for that if the musing is interesting/funny/entertaining, but I didn’t get much of that here. This was sloppy, poorly proofed and felt largely uninspired despite it still feeling somewhat personal to you. You were holding something back here. I wanted more. This story is somewhat south of Just Fine.

Cptn_dr’s Maui the Amazing Merman

Another story that just sorta has stuff in it that reads as largely inconsequential. I like how the merman is featured and built up to, but apart from that I’m not seeing anything as remarkable about this. A big problem is I’m not identifying or being put into a position that allows me to identify with anyone in the story. The opening with the dialogue coming from who knows where doesn’t help with that. Just Fineish.

Kaishai’s Merry and Bright

Story proper doesn’t start until about halfway in, and maybe I’m just sleeping on Christmas this year but I’m not super into what these characters are all about and trying to do. It’s a quest that I have little interest in, but hey, I’m probably lacking in some christmas spirit. All told, by the end, the triumph does feel earned and even managed to satisfy me enough to say that this story lands North of Just Fine.


Thranguy’s Five Christmases

I love this opening and how unmerman it is. I’m sure you’re gonna get there, and I’m excited to see how. Ok, read the rest quickly. A brisk, engaging read that still holds on to the christmas cheer but doesn’t ruffle my feathers about it. A nice handling of the prompt, and a good effort, all around. Extra Fine.

Flesnolk’s Uto

Relatively flat and baggy in the telling of a story that, altogether, I had trouble parsing. The thing this story has going for it is its relatively large, epic scale, but I’m not seeing much in the way of follow through on that execution. The telling of the story itself occurs at somewhat of a droning pace and I found myself glossing over at parts. Like a sentence like this “Mounds upon mounds of fish and krill and seaweed and marine snow were borne into the deep by legions of servants and she waited.” that late in the piece? You’re killing me. Not Quite Just Fine.

Chairchucker’s Dazzling Dan

I can see this high concept piece working in an improv scene. It was a fun, brisque and enjoyable read but didn’t do much beyond that. You definitely accomplished what I’m assuming your goal was in writing something fun and enjoyable though, so good on you for that. North of Just Fine, by a smidge.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk



Also, as is our custom, now is the time we turn off kayfabe. Say what you like and hate, carepost and sincere post, say what you think we need more and less of.

The dome has been looking a little thin recently so ways to increase participation would be a good thing to talk on: we can post ads, evangelise to other threads, challenge gbs to a story-off? Idk, what are your reckons?

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

I'd be down for some kind of Thunder sponsored contest that gets advertised a bit, and maybe even has its own thread or two across some subforums where we think it could draw interest. I'd happily kick in some coin for prize money for such a contest.

Also, thanks again to Kaishai for another year of dedication to the archives!

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013


it's crow time again



sebmojo posted:

The dome has been looking a little thin recently so ways to increase participation would be a good thing to talk on: we can post ads, evangelise to other threads, challenge gbs to a story-off? Idk, what are your reckons?

Cross-post a Thunderdome prompt to r/writingprompts.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

KING OF BLOOD

Upon what meat doth this
our Caesar feed that he is grown so great?


Could we have the avatars that link to TD have those links updated for the new thread?

We should maybe consider buying up some SA ad space soon. Might grab a goon or two looking to fulfill a "I'm going to write more!" new year's resolution

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

And here's the rest of the 324 crits! I can finally stop bothering the thread with my worthless writing opinions.

Rhino: There’s no such thing as a perfect story, but I don’t think I would/could really change anything here. Among the stories that did best this week, there was a common theme - broken perhaps only by The Sound - where supernatural elements and high concept trappings were mostly or entirely absent and the horror came purely from viewpoint characters, their mental states and their interactions with the world. Sure, duh, psychologial horror, but they were all notable for doing this especially well, and this piece beat them all out at it. That sense of helpless lashing out, the urge to find someone to blame and being unable to do so, and this sense that at any moment the protagonist could just break apart hit Anti and I right in the gut. I especially liked how you used your prose to pull us into how your character perceives the world, so we can think what they think and feel as they feel. That really helps sell the horror and I feel more of the stories should’ve done this.

AllNewJonasSalk: Loss/DQ candidate immediately because of the breach of the “no violence” rule. It was the only rule we had for the week beyond the standard no fanfic/erotica/gdocs so c’mon. Normally I’m fond of or at least not averse to stream of consciousness - it’s a good way to bring the reader into the character’s head or at least take them for a ride, and I know from experience it’s a very effective means of Getting Words Written. Most of the time when I actually get some writing done it’s because I shut off my conscious brain and let whatever my subconscious thought patterns decided belonged on the page stick. That said, that kind of writing needs something to ground it, both so that the story itself doesn’t just fly off the rails and go careening off in no particular direction (especially important with wordcounts as limited as what you see in TD) and so the reader has something connecting them to the world of words you’re slapping together. Without that, a story can easily end up feeling like just white noise. This goes even moreso with horror, which requires very strong reader investment - especially in your characters - to land at all. This entry, even if it hadn’t broken the violence rule, really doesn’t do the legwork to build that faith or draw the reader in, so I’d suggest being more careful with this style of writing.

Anomalous Blowout: This was very well-received by all three of us, and if memory serves it not winning outright was at least partly a compromise because we were split on the loser and also liked several of the other stories. Muffin in particular was dead set on this winning. He hit pretty much all of the points worth hitting, so I’m seconding his old crit, and I will note that this story is a good example of avoiding what I was talking about in my earlier crits, that issue of stories this week coming up too hard on the small wordcount to establish what they want/need to.

Thranguy: I agree that keeping this story more low key and grounded was a good move. That down-to-earth flavour, especially contrasted with the more outlandish/high concept stuff in some of the other entries, really sold the horror in your piece. This is another one that was always high-ranked in judgechat.

Apophenium: Scooter good boy. I am, honestly, tired down to my bones when it comes to post apocalyptic vibes, scavengers picking over the corpse of society, so on and so forth. Nobody ever writes about anything goddamn else anymore it feels like. That said, I liked the bond between your characters, how you used your prose to create this desolate and claustrophobic feeling, and that sense that something is very wrong and you both do and don’t want to know what exactly has happened.

Fumblemouse: As an extremely depressed person this was like a brick to my mouth. One of those stories that captured the vibe perfectly, a well-chosen metaphor, and overall a solidly put-together story that I’m probably good having read only the once. Well done, and I hope you start submitting again in the new year.

Staggy: I actually found this a bit too stuffed with gothic clichés to really land, like you were sticking to safe waters and sure bets, but the story had this relentless feel that gave it some decent mileage. Go further out on a limb next time.

Flerp: Much like Thranguy, this entry benefits from keeping things real and grounded and the contrast really helps it shine. Horror through introspection and grappling with oneself led to this being a daunting, thoughtful, enjoyable piece. This was one of the stories that best hit the psychological angle Muffin actually asked for in the prompt, and it drat near won the week for it.

Derp: I can’t crit this story, it’s not there! Ha. Ha. I’m not sure how this story slid so completely under the judges’ radar, but it does a good job of being creepy and presenting a warped perspective that doesn’t go so far off the walls as to stop being horrific at all. I would caution you about overemploying obfuscation in most instances, but in this context, “what’s happening here? Do I want to know?” is pretty effective.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk



Djeser posted:

Cross-post a Thunderdome prompt to r/writingprompts.

Hgngngn

E: thx for the crits fles, and good on you for your legit brutal toxx spasm

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


I vanished again as autoimmune bullshit once again rears its ugly head but I wanted to say special and very sincere thanks to Mojo for dragging me back and for all of you for being a part of my writing life again. I think of you all often even when I'm too sick to participate!

As for participation ideas, I'd be happy to lend a few bucks for a prize of some sort.

We could also do what Mojo did for me and reach out to some oldbies who haven't been active recently. That definitely worked on my end.

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

sebmojo posted:

Also, as is our custom, now is the time we turn off kayfabe. Say what you like and hate, carepost and sincere post, say what you think we need more and less of.

Less: irc bullshit
More: people joining


Td is odd, having only a week to write a story is tough. The response you get ranged from okay to “gently caress you”. It isn’t too bad if you just stick to the forums.

A lot of online people I have talked to have said “not my cup of tea, no thanks.” When I mentioned td. There’s a stigma of td being people saying “gently caress yoooou” rather then people trying to improve writing by offering critiques.

Is there any though in extending the entries to be two week instead of one week?

You could try the cross promotional games thing, like someone did before.

Getting people outside of sa is a hard sell, with a $10 fee and writers being pretty separated. Td is advertised externally and it doesn’t appear to have garnered much interest.

Edit: also the first week of December should be a weird post the first chapter of your novel thing, 1200 word limit, so you get all the post nano people back. Something like post 1200 words of a story, it doesn’t need to wrap up the story.

Exmond fucked around with this message at 08:33 on Dec 25, 2018

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk



Tyrannosaurus posted:

Could we have the avatars that link to TD have those links updated for the new thread?

We should maybe consider buying up some SA ad space soon. Might grab a goon or two looking to fulfill a "I'm going to write more!" new year's resolution

Yeah, i update the losertars as I see them. PM me if I've missed one.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Oh also, I hope TD secret santa has gone well for everyone! I'm waiting on one last author to finish up the story that we all pitched in on!

If you haven't gotten your presents from your santa, or haven't heard from them, give me a shout. Or, if you're a Santa who has yet to deliver, get in touch with me and let me know what's up.

If you did receive presents, and you want to show them off, now is the time to do so!

Merry tdmas!

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Exmond posted:

Is there any though in extending the entries to be two week instead of one week?
Time management is an essential skill for the budding writer.

We make time for the things that are important to us. If you (using the royal you, here) can't set aside enough time to bang out meager a 1,000 words a week, you won't do it in two. The more time you're given, the more you're likely to put it off. It's human nature. Several Domers have already copped to basically burning time until the weekend; free time we could've devoted to writing, but didn't.

Anyone can write at their leisure, and is welcome to do so - for however far it gets them; for however far they want to go. Thunderdome is a competition, and fundamentally limited in design. It shouldn't extend beyond the week.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Think about it this way, publishers waiting for your draft and publications taking submissions have a specific deadline and don't care what's in the way, you get your writing in by that deadline or it doesn't get published/considered. The TD deadline trains that skill.

...Says the guy who has failed more times than almost anyone in TD history.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

KING OF BLOOD

Upon what meat doth this
our Caesar feed that he is grown so great?


Judges should make a special attempt to get out crits for new blood. No point in coming back if you don't actually get feedback.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

KING OF BLOOD

Upon what meat doth this
our Caesar feed that he is grown so great?


Exmond posted:

Less: irc bullshit inside jokes

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME


I have given this some thought. Here are the issues:

1) Attrition. There are only so many people on this site, or who are willing to join this site, who also want to write short fiction. There's an even smaller number who want to write short fiction on a weekly basis, and among those people, many of them are reluctant to repeatedly receive our style of critique. Also related to the dwindling membership of SA in general.

2) Apathy/general inability to participate. A lot of people I talk to express they're glad TD is trundling on without them; the sentiment seems to be that TD will always be there for them to come back to later. These threads have been around for over 6 years so it's easy to assume they will continue on regardless of any individual person's participation.

3) Inconsistent ads on SA. This is partially my fault since I lapsed in buying ads (my TD budget is pretty small ), but I think there is definitely a correlation between ad purchases and increased participation. This is the easiest problem to solve, if we are so inclined.

4) Lack of engagement with other subforums. In the past, we've got new writers from Games and E/N. It's been a while since any of the other subforums had a reason to think about TD.

5) Stratification of writers. Back when TD was a young blood sport, there was a huge, diverse number of writers and big weeks meant a variety of winners and losers. Now that we are mostly populated by a group of regulars, the same people tend to wind up at the bottom of the pile over and over again. This, I imagine, produces a lot of frustration.

6) TD worked. A lot of people are currently working on other projects, having gotten what they wanted out of TD.

7) General baggage. When a lot of people do something for a long time, feelings and expectations become entrenched. Whether intentional or not, this makes things more impenetrable to new people.

Honestly, I think a lot of these problems are out of anyone's control. We can't make SA a more populous place and I'm not sure how you would incentivize people working on other projects to come back to a weekly flash fiction contest. What I think we can do:

1) More ads. Duh. I will buy some at the start of the new year, but I'm a poor idiot so it would help if other people pitched in.

2) Forumsdome. Running a Thunderdome-style competition in a busy forum might garner some interest in people who don't otherwise visit CC (or look at ads). This would be most effective if done in coordination with the mods of whatever subforum.

3) Re-evaluate the format. I'm hesitant to suggest this because this competition is what it is because we've stuck to a few pretty simple rules over the years. On the other hand, TD has changed a lot on its own from the years of "I WILL poo poo DOWN YOUR GAPING NECKHOLE, YOU BURBLING FOUNT OF WORDSPITTLE." This could come in a lot of forms. One option, similar to what Exmond proposed, is to have occasional special weeks where people are allowed to submit excerpts from existing projects. Another option is to have events that last for multiple weeks (either in tandem with weekly prompts or as a special event [though this might present an archiving challenge]). We could also host events that are purely constructive and less competitive, to help writers who are stuck in the stratification effect I mentioned above. Or maybe something I haven't thought of yet. I personally an leery of deviating too hard from the current format (especially only a few days before the new thread goes up), but maybe in the coming year it's something we can develop collaboratively.

4) Accept the smaller numbers and tailor weeks more to the individuals signed up. This would be up to individual judges and could take a lot of forms. Things like giving people different win/loss criteria, offering time-sensitive word count opportunities, and so on, are easier when there are fewer people. Also, if both the judges and participants have been around for a while, the participants could be challenged based on strengths/weaknesses in their writing.

5) Mentoring. It could be fun to have a week (or weeks) where people who have done well team up with people who haven't done well (or who personally feel they would gain something from working with someone who gets frequent positive results). I personally like the idea of a week where longtime regulars help newer/greener writers, under pain of possibly getting a loss on their own records. Something like that. This might just be me, though, so I'm not really putting this forward as a plausible thing.

6) Word of mouth. If people are inclined, it might be possible to join other writing communities and tell non-SA writers about TD. This could also be a huge waste of time and effort because of the paywall and SA's general reputation.

7) More in-thread engagement. Traditionally, talking about TD has been done offsite. Maybe it would help to have intervals where it's okay to talk in-depth about writing and/or crits in the thread. This has the downside of burying 'in' posts and stories. One way around that is to as people to include a specific forums smiley or whatever in their signup post, but I don't know if extra thread chatter is worth it. My thinking with this idea is that if people feel like they can have a conversation about writing in TD, they might feel more inclined to write for TD.

Anyway, this is just me spitballing. I really enjoy TD and the network of writers I now have access to has been monstrously helpful in my own writing journey. More than anything, I want the opportunity to continue helping people write. TD is a forums tradition at this point, but that doesn't make it immune to the necessity for change and reevaluation.

Sitting Here fucked around with this message at 18:29 on Dec 25, 2018

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

KING OF BLOOD

Upon what meat doth this
our Caesar feed that he is grown so great?


Let's include in the OP a "Current Year Leaders" or something. All time winners/hms/dms/losers is cool and could stay but that's also pretty daunting. New competitive blood could be see the Current Year Leaders and think... Hey... I could do this...

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Tyrannosaurus posted:

Let's include in the OP a "Current Year Leaders" or something. All time winners/hms/dms/losers is cool and could stay but that's also pretty daunting. New competitive blood could be see the Current Year Leaders and think... Hey... I could do this...

I’m like 6 away from most dms!!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME


don't forget to sign up this week I will if I can get my brawl done before the weekend


I'm curious if there is anyone who mostly lurks, or participates rarely, who wants to weigh in on 1) crit rates and 2) the culture.

Currently we are looking at over 16000 crits/comments for about 6000 stories. Also taking into account the fact that crits weren't as much the norm in the beginning, most of those crits have happened in latter day Thunderdome. It is my opinion that, short of hassling judges one-on-one, there is no meaningful way to enforce crits without forcing people to toxx to judge, or whatever, which is never going to happen. It's also my opinion that if you post a story here, you are more likely to receive critique than not.

Culturally: I'm interested for someone to show me, in quotes, where in-jokes and offsite nonsense have impacted the thread. Again, if anyone is lurking and thinking "boy, I'd sign up for Thunderdome but they keep making this joke about abonened bunkers so it's not for me" then I would love to hear your input. The only thing I can think of in that regard is that it might be good to make the 2019 thread title something that says more plainly "this is a flash fiction contest".

Considering this competition had the highest rate of new signups when it was still a loving hot mess of kayfabe and overt in-jokes, I'm struggling to see where in the past couple years new folks might've been MORE alienated than when TDers were talking about 'word cunts' and telling each other to drink bleach. I'm open to being wrong about this, but I feel like the changes we need to make are more along the lines of engagement/revitalizing the format with cool new poo poo.

Some sort of yearly leader board for 2019 accomplishments would be cool, but Kaishai also has poo poo to do that isn't TD data entry, so maybe that's something someone could take upon themselves.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






I know I've been doing kid dome recently to some degree of success. I could invite the kids to join our group? Maybe offer the best three stories a free membership? (I would possibly need help paying for this. Probably no. I'm not as poor as I once was.)

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


What about keeping this thread for posting stories and crits and prompts but starting another thread that's like the Thunderdome Lounge where stories can be discussed and conversations can happen on-site? It'd have to have some rules so it doesn't turn into "YOUR CRIT WAS WRONG AND HERE IS WHY" but I've been in a lot of forums or megathreads on here that have had an associated discussion thread.

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

Babies don't fail THUNDERDOME

Would it be possible to maybe "modernize" the whole IRC thing in the form of a Thunderdome Discord or something of that sort? I don't think I have been active on IRC since the turn of the century. I guess IRC has a more secret treehouse feel to it than something like Discord, but the latter is more much advantageous.

edit: also, maybe some sub-forums cross posts including highlights or challenges with minor rewards could bring in new blood. I came here because I remembered enjoying a one or two week Thunderdome challenge that was posted in the games forum 4 or 5 years ago.

BabyRyoga fucked around with this message at 20:17 on Dec 25, 2018

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




This is what I posted this time last year:

quote:

Things I like about Thunderdome:
- No feedback sandwiches! The worst possible thing that can happen is that everyone hates your story and tells you that you suck and this happens every week and actually isn’t that bad and I find this to be very refreshing.
- How despite this we all keep coming back week after week to dash ourselves against the rocky shores of the Thunderdome. We are all great and weirdly persistent.
- Brawling is a perfect dispute resolution mechanism.

These things are all still true. I also love the archive (thanks Kaishai!), IRC conversations with TDbot (the rest of you are ok too) and Thunderdome secret santa (thanks Chili!).

My favourite thing about Thunderdome remains the brutal honesty and yelling. There is no greater compliment you can pay someone than to say, "you are an adult and I respect and trust you enough that I can honestly tell you that THIS STORY WAS GARBAGE AND READING IT HURT MY EYES." I like that there are two possible responses to this feedback: 1) I don't understand why you hate my perfect word-baby please give me more detailed feedback - which can happen ITT or over IRC or wherever, or 2) gently caress you, fight me. I honestly think that any attempt to make Thunderdome "nicer" will make it less accessible. As it is you can just turn up, poo poo out garbage at the last minute, get yelled at, and that is perfectly fine. You don't have to be "good" to come here, because no one is good. All is garbage words.

quote:

Things I dislike about Thunderdome:
- How obsessed I’ve become with trying to win Thunderdome.

Regarding this objective:


This year, the only thing I want to whinge about is not enough critting, particularly judges who don't post their crits in a timely way (or ever). What is the point of posting all these garbage words if no one yells at me?

In response to other posts:
- I would happily contribute to SA advertising if people think that would help increase participation. Someone tell me what to do.
- I'm not in favour of changing the format, e.g. making TD a fortnightly competition or having people post bits of other writing projects. Trying to make Thunderdome all things to all people will probably kill it immediately. Instead, I think having complementary writing threads, where TDers can get more in-depth feedback, mentoring etc. are a good idea.
- I like Tyrannosaurus' idea of a 'current year leaderboard' or something. I'd include 'has written the most crits' on this. I'm not sure how much effort would be involved in maintaining something like this but I'd volunteer to help on the admin side.

Here are two thoughts to chuck into the mix:
- Allow people to re-use previously submitted stories. I've thought about doing this as a prompt - e.g. a 're-write your own story' week - and I wonder if it would make Thunderdome more attractive to people who are really trying to improve their writing? Most TD stories are essentially a first draft, and then you get useful crits, and then you just start again from scratch, and sometimes I think it would be nice to go back and do a second draft and see if it worked any better. I have no idea if or how this would work - just an idea.
- How much help / pre-critting do people seek before submitting? Thunderdome is absolutely a competition not a cuddle party, and I wouldn't want to see that diluted, but equally if a newbie or someone who was struggling with their entry want to come on IRC and say "hey can someone please read this draft and give me some comments" I'd be happy to see that happen.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

We've actually discussed switching to a discord but a lot of people seem against it

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Exmond posted:

I’m like 6 away from most dms!!

Your writing has improved enormously since your first TD entry and your unnecessary self-flagellation just detracts from your own achievements, which are clearly a result of considerable effort on your part, as well as the help and encouragement you've had from people here. So

STOP

loving

WHINGING

and just enter, jeez.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Mercedes posted:

I know I've been doing kid dome recently to some degree of success. I could invite the kids to join our group?

How young are we talking...? (Ponders previous post yelling at Exmond...)

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

KING OF BLOOD

Upon what meat doth this
our Caesar feed that he is grown so great?


I'll take responsibility for the leaderboard next year

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




BabyRyoga posted:

also, maybe some sub-forums cross posts including highlights or challenges with minor rewards could bring in new blood. I came here because I remembered enjoying a one or two week Thunderdome challenge that was posted in the games forum 4 or 5 years ago.

let's make this happen

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Some of my thoughts:

IRC, with its text-centered format and tabula rasa (it doesn't maintain what's been said in a channel forever), is more forgiving and more focused, and I'll maintain a TD IRC channel as long as I'm around to do it. Participants who want to talk shop without throwing tantrums over criticism--or perving on anyone, or being an rear end in a top hat--will be welcome there.

A rebirth of the Fiction Farm would be ideal if people would post in it! Once upon a time, TD pieces were discussed frequently enough in the Farm, and it worked; the thread seemed to die for lack of interest, though. Maybe that interest has returned?

Enforcing crits across the board can't happen, but lead judges could take crit records into account when deciding who should judge alongside them: this page makes it possible.

This is a competition first and foremost, and a flash fiction competition at that: writing our best complete pieces at restricted lengths is the name of the game. We all want crits, but if you're only writing for crits without trying to win, you're wasting the strengths of this format. Reviving the Fiction Farm could be helpful to people who really aren't into the whole "winners and losers" thing. Winners and losers are integral to Thunderdome, however.

I would prefer to see any non-competitive events held in other threads--but that again could come back to the Fiction Farm.

In jokes aren't going anywhere, nor should they so long as explanations are readily available. But keep them out of entries. See: that thing about trying to win, above.

SH has several good/interesting ideas for prompts that might shake up the status quo, and there's something to be said for experimental prompts if a lead judge wants to run with them. Variety adds a lot to our enterprise.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 21:41 on Dec 25, 2018

sparksbloom
Apr 30, 2006


I think TD has done a lot to make me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and the crits I've gotten from here have been some of the most valuable feedback I've gotten from anywhere. I'd like to see not only more consistent, timely critting, but also a place where people can really stick their teeth into a couple of stories and figure out what makes them work. I've loved the podcast for that, especially when the hosts disagree on if a story is good or bad, or there's just a long discussion on why the story doesn't work and where it went wrong. Just hearing the good-faith attitude—the "this is pretty bad and silly, but I'm going to assume you've got interesting ideas and you did this for a reason" approach—inspires me to be a better critter myself. I've listened to some of the podcast segments on my worst stories several times, just because it's really valuable to hear how people are interpreting my decisions as a writer. It'd be nice to see some of that in the thread—or maybe a side thread, like Anormalous Blowout suggested.

On the other hand, I also miss seeing the really eviscerating line crits that used to come up, so I'm not saying everything needs to get nicer and more academic. It's just cool to see people really deeply engaging with these very short stories! That's always been my favorite part of TD.

Definitely wouldn't be in favor of more lenient time requirements. If I'm not feeling the prompt, I don't want to wait two weeks before I can enter again.

I'd probably be more engaged with the community if we switched to a Discord. I just have a Chromebook and a phone, and it's easy to forget about IRC in a way that I wouldn't if I could stay logged in all the time.

Also, in for this week. I'll take a map assignment!

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






Yoruichi posted:

How young are we talking...? (Ponders previous post yelling at Exmond...)

High school

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME


The thing about Discord is that none of the people who are/have been TD admins (insofar as there is any admining to do) want to run a server. There is nothing stopping someone else from starting their own, I suppose, but I'm not sure how much in-thread participation that would generate.

I think it would be good if people who want to be proactive maybe list off what they're willing to do; for example, Tyrannosaurus offering to keep a year-specific scoreboard. I think there is a lot of potential for that concept. What I am personally willing to do next year:

-Pay for ads.

-If people want to brainstorm with me, I'd be willing to run/help run some sort of contest in another forum. Sadly I really only post in GBS, which is a dubious place to try running a fiction contest. I'm willing to give it a shot if Sebmojo wants to run it by the mods first, though.

-If you are a judge and want to run a big-rear end gimmicky week, hit me up! Part of the fun of TD of course is thinking up a prompt and forcing people to write your heart's desire, but I think we've had a lot of success with "event" weeks. I'm usually happy to help and I'd love to try out some of the ideas from my last post.

-Run TD-sponsored events in their own threads. If there is an interest for like, TD-brand crits for longer contests or existing works, I would love to get my finger in that pie.

-hassle people who have lapsed. You know who you are. Don't flake off like so much dead skin, we need you yes YOU to write stories.

-Recommit to the crit. 2018 was a ghastly, horrible year for me, but I think starting fresh with a new year will give me the psychological kick in the pants needed to be a productive TD citizen.

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Sitting Here posted:

I think it would be good if people who want to be proactive maybe list off what they're willing to do; for example, Tyrannosaurus offering to keep a year-specific scoreboard. I think there is a lot of potential for that concept. What I am personally willing to do next year:

-Pay for ads.

-If people want to brainstorm with me, I'd be willing to run/help run some sort of contest in another forum. Sadly I really only post in GBS, which is a dubious place to try running a fiction contest. I'm willing to give it a shot if Sebmojo wants to run it by the mods first, though.

Reminder of the writer discord we have, it's great.

I'm willing to help pay for ads. I'm also down for doing some weird TRAD GAMES thing, where we got roleplayers to write short stories. Maybe based off of their favourite RPG system?

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



As a relative newcomer to TD it might be nice to see some longer-form rounds but I'll echo previous comments re: deadlines: if all that changes is we have two weeks instead of one I think that'll just result in a whole lot of people writing nothing for a week and a half. Maybe weeks that build on previous weeks? So have a run of ~3 prompts as usual but with the caveat that weeks 2-3 have to form part of the same narrative of the first week, with the final crit looking at how the three pieces work as a whole. Of course, that runs the risk of discouraging people from jumping in if they miss the first week.

A separate commentary thread sounds good to me.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!


sparksbloom posted:


Also, in for this week. I'll take a map assignment!

A map for the "scofflaw"

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply