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dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at Mar 12, 2018 around 10:51

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dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

ExMojo brawl judgment

quote:

Moby Dick 2: A Whale of A Tale prepped for a wacky yarn let me tell u
1080 words

I had barely finished saying the title when the decrepit old man hurled the book at me.

“Tag line: You orca se-” The five-hundred page classic slammed into my face and I rocked back on my chair. A thick thud reverberated long verbs need to to be placed carefully through the coffee shop as the book landed onto the floor. The girl vivid! curled up on the sofa continued reading Moby Dick, the cashier vivid! continued to dole out change and the hipsters oh christ so intensely vivid i fear for my vitrous humour continued to talk politics. Nobody noticed. It’s not like any of them could see us, let alone hear us. deliver this kind of joke with para breaks, imo

“Hold on, Moby Dick 2: A Whale of A Tale Is just a temporary title, we can rework it in post,” post is something you do in movies (poss part of teh joke idk yet) I explained as I fixed up weak verb my business casual suit. weak noun phrase, this character would know exactly what they were wearing

He opened his hand and another copy of the classic materialized into it. He stared up at me with his sunken eyes and said, “No.” i actually like the weird ghost literary agent vibe you're rocking here, but I think it lands better when people have enough info to understand it the first time they read it. be gentle with your readers when they enter the story. You could have started with the bookshop and gone from there, your title gag is cute but not worth loving up the onramp

Alright, take a deep breath girl, I told myself, you managed to convince Les Misérables to get a makeover, you can convince this stubborn whale. trying too hard

“Listen, Moby Dick is a great work. Not every manifestation I encounter can say they came from such an esteemed classic.” I snapped my fingers at him. “But it’s the turn of the century. Sequels, movies those are the new hotness. Books ain’t selling, and if it ain’t selling, people ain’t reading them.” how about libraries and ebooks, man, informations want 2bfree

As if to spite me, the girl still vivid next to us turned the page on her book and the old man took a deep breath, gaining renewed vigor. His wrinkles smoothed out and his disheveled hair grew back. He rose from his chair and stared at me with contempt.

“Much like Ahab’s path, this path leads to destruction. this is the only bit that even vaguely sounds like it comes from teh personification of Moby Dick (novel) and it's rote I will not help you create this,” He searched for the right word, see, why would a famously verbose and erudite novel struggle for a common word like that? “abomination.”

“It’s called a sequel, and do you know how much a movie increases readership? Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter baby! That was me.”

I paused as a flicker of jealousy ran across his face. Everyone wants to be the next Harry Potter.

Seeing my chance I continued, “And partnership is essential. We need your artistic vision to help us make this a franchise. John Carter, Lone Ranger? All reboots done without the blessing of their manifestations and all box-office bombs. ok this is interesting, I'd like to hear more about this This deal is whale i actually want you to die at this point, no offence worth it.“

An awkward silence fell over us. Maybe that last pun was too much. The old man looked out at the coffee shop, noticing how few people were reading. that's some good noticing bookghost guy Then he looked at the girl, who was fascinated by Moby Dick and smiling. I actually love this core idea but you're fluffing the execution He looked at her as if she was a child taking her first steps on an amazing journey. this is potentially a lovely simile, but 'amazing journey' is so weak and vague. when you make similes give us an image you can see/feel/hear/smell He looked back at me and shook his head.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. Fine, we can play hardball I thought. I let the energy from money changing hands flow through me, I let harsh decisions based off of sales numbers in and I let simple harsh corporate truths wash over me. I was energized, I was reborn, I was Capitalism made manifest; A tsk bad bitch in a suit who was gonna make this sale.

I pointed at the girl vividity enfrobulating! who was reading Moby Dick. “You see her, you know what will interest her more than your tale?” I snapped my fingers and the girlohgodvivid’s cell phone vibrated. I returned his glare and said, “Materialistic wealth, clothes and the latest fad. goddam those fickle ladies All of those things are more interesting than your book.”

The girl vividissimo looked down at her cell phone, excitement in her eyes, never write 'excitement in her eyes' again please and started to walk did she continue to walk after she started to walk could one perhaps even say that ... she walked... out of the coffee shop, the Moby Dick book left forgotten on the sofa. As the old man in front of me grew a little older I smiled.

“See, I know what the kids want. And they don’t want thou or what you’re offering. They want instant gratification and instant appreciation baby!. All it took was a sale at Abercrombie & Fitch to make her forget about you.” I motioned at the forgotten book.

The old man’s knees were shaking and he slumped back into the chair. He looked forlornly at the abandoned book, and then back at me, fear in his eyes. I wondered if ideas made manifest had balls, because if they did I had his in my hands. It was time to squeeze. they'd be all vaporous surely

“Every time money changes hands, I’m there. Every time someone wants something, I provide it, for a price. I don’t just control the world, I am the loving world. Capitalism ho!” you made this point earlier. don't have dialogue that's just people stating their character. dialogue should challenge, insight, surprise, reveal. I produced a very generous contract i like this phrase and laid it out on the table.

The old man looked at the contract and licked his lips. “You can make me relevant again?” this is a weirdly modern word. i think if you want the spirit of the novel moby dick to be vivid you need to put a bit more thought into what the spirit of moby dick (as opposed to the spirit of, say, 'Catch 22' or 'Sex Reptiles of the Lava Planet') woudl be actually like beyond grumpy old man

“You’re already relevant, I’m going to make you famous,” I said, buttering him up. YUCK IF IT'S OBVIOUS DON'T SAY IT BECAUSE IT'S OBVIOUS YOU DON'T NEED TO SAY IT “If you sign this, I’ll make you bigger than Harry Potter!”

The old man nodded. Everyone wants to be bigger than Harry Potter. i'm sure you just told me this

“So, I'm thinking maybe a reboot before the sequel. Reboots are all the rage right now. We amp up the Ishmael and Queequeg homo-eroticism. People love that . Don’t make Queequeg a cannibal though, that’s not exactly kosher.”

I was just thinking which teenage boy toy we could get to play Queequeg when the girl from before vivider than ever before! waltzed right in and ruined everything. having this be random chance is a lost opportunity. why couldn't the book manifest some uniquely moby dicky method of drawing readers to him? She looked around, rushed to the sofa and grabbed her Moby Dick book. The old man looked up at her, like she was an oasis in a desert. My jaw dropped to the floor as she let out a sigh - a sigh of relief - and put the book into her purse.

The old man looked at me, a twinkle in his eye, and shred TENSE MOTHERFUCKER DO NOT MAKE ME DOUBT THE ELDRITCH POWERS OF GRAMMARLY the contract. His boisterous laughter followed me all the way out of the coffee shop. I was fuming, I was furious, but I wasn’t done. I grabbed my cell phone and dialed SP my secretary.

“Hey, Darlene. Moby Dick didn’t pan out. “

I paused as Darlene gave me fake platitudes. She was well worth the money I paid her. I really don't think Darlene is earning her place in teh story exomnd

“Yeah tell Mr Sutherland he won’t be able to play Ahab. i think a more direct callback to 'movies without their books blessing flop' would have been much better here. it's a neat idea given short shrift. Hey, give me Pride and Prejudice’s location.”

Darlene took a moment and gave me an address.

“Get me a ticket to Hampshire then. What am I going to do? Offer a reboot deal, maybe add some zombies, everyone loves zombies!” this ending is flabby, mainly because it's not surprising (he's going to go to a new place and do the same thing he just did!). that said, the implication is she will succeed this time so that's a nice closer.

This has an interesting idea about literary animism, which could support a strong story. i'd like to see the spirits of different books. unfortunately the character with the most wordtime is an endlessly tedious cliche 80s businessman (that's the trope, despite the offhand genderswap). overall, this is around adequate, the inherent interest in teh idea is about enough to balance out the weak characters.

sebmojo posted:

Metafornication
1515 words

You blink scratchy eyes and look at the empty screen, again. second person, trickiest of teh tenses, hope you can pull it off. who's speaking? can we leave that on the side and assume it will be answered or satisfactorily not answered by the end?

You need a character. Easy enough, it’s like working in a stockroom, just pull him off the shelf. Dashing astronaut, bored office drone, frustrated nerd? yes those are the characters you generally have in your story, u forgot bourgeois manic pixie dream girl

Pick the nerd, why not. Pull him off the shelf. Slap him down. Call him Harry. No, Harald, for a hint of nondescript foreignness. thank you for not using ur typical boring name schema though only a little bc the pear didn't fall far from teh pear tree

He’s overweight, enough to want to avoid the stray mirror-glances that make him think ‘who’s that fat rear end in a top hat?’ Belly sore each night, from holding it in all day over his too-tight jeans. Not good with people, but worked out enough tricks to get by. brutal self ownage, respect

Genre next, riffle through the book - they’re like carpet samples, feel good beneath your fingers i don't know this simile holds its weight- science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, cyberpunk, everyday realist humdrum … none of those, not tonight.

Noir?

No, it’s over-done. You wiki up a list of genres. How about socialist realism? Hell yeah. Bring on the tractors and the hardcore revolutionary optimism. the 2nd person is kind of working, but this is a little too cute

Ok, nerdy Harald’s sitting there in socialist reality, ok yes good twiddling his thumbs. This is a story about stories, so make him a writer. A wanna-be writer. He is trying all his tricks and they don’t work. That’s important. why? do you tell us?

Harald sits at his desk - no, a table is more socialist i like the socialist gags. A plain wooden table, painted thick flat white - but painted roughly, without sanding it first. Tiny splinters abound, a sweeping motion makes a sound like rubbing stubble. this is a nice image, and good grounding after the airy fairy genre stuff Harald’s muscles are sore from a double shift at the tractor factory, trying to meet the latest Five Year Plan directive.

He’s staring at the words he’s just written in blotchy biro on the yellow paper he steals from the factory. They’re bad, he knows it; he’s trying to will them into being good. which brawl participant are you talking about now? which?!

Now you need action, you’re a whole paragraph in and nothing’s happened. A knock at the door! Harold has been waiting for this, hasn’t he? Yes. He dreads/anticipates it. Who is it? i think the voice is coming into itself more now, brisk and bossy

Harald gets up and takes a deep breath.

You can use that breath to describe the air in his tiny apartment and, with it, Harald. Cabbages, body odour, socks. The air is warm, though, because even under socialism they have central heating. this could be phrased better i think

Harald strides to the door. He pulls it open, feigning the boldness that he hopes to create in himself.

Who is there? Olga’s there, shining and beautiful. You have a man, you need a woman - or not, of course, but go traditional. Add something, though, all you can ever do is give the reader what they expect or what they don’t. tricksy dropping crits in.
i think this couild be more elegantly phrased tho
So she has a - deformity? Misapprehension? Miscarriage?

That’s it. She had a child with Harald, it didn’t make it to term. Leave it at that; you might find out why later. He probably wrote her lots of letters. i like this little passage, for all it's barely paid off

Harald gives his usual snorting honk of joy at Olga’s arrival and a muscle moves under her ear as she clenches her beautiful jaw. Only a little, though, keep it subtle.

But not too subtle. Look at the word count. i don't know you really justify the nitty gritty story stuff like this, but it's inoffensive so it may stay It’s time to ramp up the tension.

She’s clutching a piece of yellow paper. nice russell hoban in-joke, fellow. Barrow full of rocks to you, sir.

“The Factory Committee has declared your repurposing of stationery supplies a counter-revolutionary activity. You are to report to the Chairman for reassignment… to the work camps!” she says.

There’s a moment here, and you need to make it land. i like this.

Olga is a good Party member. She works on the line with Harald, tightening the nuts with a big wrench. phwooar i'll say etc She has piercing blue eyes, and thews that glisten with sweat in the heat of the shop floor. Those thews are tense with suppressed emotion right now, with words unsaid.

Harald holds out a hand to her. She doesn’t look at it. Instead she hands tsk him the paper (thews! quivering!) lol and turns on her heel. Harald is left, tongue-tied, on his doorstep.

But you’re the writer, have Olga say the words in her heart that she can’t say out loud (for fear of spies): “Harald, I don’t love you, but we share a life and a death. Perhaps once there could have been more, but that time has gone. I cannot approve of your crimes, but I believe you are a good man. Good luck.” i think this could have had more voice, it's a bit to plain, even though this is socialist realism

Perhaps Harald reads the finality of her unvoiced words in the set of her handsome shoulders as she strides off down the corridor? He’s not stupid, just awkward. Does he slam the door and lean on it, panting with emotions he feels but also cannot voice? Or does he close it gently, as though not wanting to disturb the remaining sweetness of his memories of Olga? this is great, adroitly conveyed melodrama

Put them both, you can delete the one you don’t want later. and this is a good gag

Trouble is, right now there’s only two places to go in the world of the story. It’s a linear progression, either back to the paper or onwards to the factory, and both of those are dead ends. All good stories have triangles because a triangle is dynamic. Create one.

The phone rings, socialistly best gag - a harsh sharp braying clatter. At first Harald seems not to hear it, but then he jerks into motion and walks stiff legged to pick it up.

It’s Natalya. Of course, it’s Natalya. Natalya, who works at the factory. She’s a friend of Olga and has always looked down on Harald. Or so he thought, but perhaps he was wrong because Natalya is whispering hotly down the line, like she’s about to be discovered. Harald listens, silent, and his eyes go wide.

You can repay the debt you incurred before, peering into poor Olga’s tortured heart, by keeping this conversation secret. That makes two secrets, don’t forget. this is some moderately complex story machinery that fits nicely with your shtick

All you need to show is Harald putting the phone down, nestling it firmly in the cradle and holding it there while he stares out the small window. Then sitting at the rough white table and picking up his pen, still with that abstracted, exalted expression.

You’re in the flow now, tapping away. There’s an ending ahead and you just have to find it. But the word count is creeping up, so: smash cut! You can do that, it’s an economical and effective way of changing scenes.nice

***

Harald is in the factory now, dressed in his too-tight jeans and his cleanest shirt, with damp patches at the armpits where he scrubbed at the sweat stains. He’s got a fistful of paper, too, yellow paper folded and re-folded on the long train ride in. The Chairman’s goon Kovalesky is there, looming like he does, lol that's so kovalesky and he looks like he wants Harald to come with him right away but Harald holds up his hand. He’s strong, because he has the words he needs. He slides his punch card into the machine, because that’s how it works, and then lack of punctuation here is subtle adn good

***

He’s in the Chairman’s office. The Chairman is an older man with greying sideburns, trimmed goatee and beaky nose, looking up like he’s not sure why Harald is there. He’s tapping away on a keyboard of some kind but Harald doesn’t care because he has unfolded the paper and he’s reading it out loud.

***

You look up at the noise because it’s really late and the house is locked, but the door just opened. Holy poo poo there’s a man there, overweight, little watery eyes. His jeans are too tight. He’s got a wodge of folded and re-folded yellow paper in his hand, and he’s reading it out loud. Why is there someone in your house.

Harald’s voice is nasal but his words are clear for all the indeterminately foreign accent. It’s a statement of grievance. He’s blaming you for himself, his too-tight jeans, his awkwardness, his ex-girlfriend’s miscarriage. He’s blaming you for the sweatstains in his cleanest shirt. It goes on and on, and there’s a certain rhythm and eloquence to it, you find yourself nodding along. Kid’s got talent. this doesn't fit with the genuine menace, make up your mind

But that doesn’t help you right now because he’s edging closer and he’s surprisingly intimidating in person. You should have written him even nerdier, idiot, buffoon. lol

Quick. Natalya. That’s the only secret left. She comes rushing in to the Factory chairman’s office, waving a statement. Behind her is Kovalesky, looking sheepish. This needs to end now, Natalya, explain how this is all a huge--

“The People’s Committee has spoken! The Chairman is declared to be an agitator, besmirching the name of Harald Wiggesmeyer for his own counter-revolutionary purposes!”

She slaps the statement down on your desk, and you gape at it. You read “... how his lascivious designs upon Comrade Olga Muresev led the Chairman to intercept Comrade Harald's correspondence was it worth bringing the letter back? maybe, maybe not. and promulgate a false rumour that he...”

Then there are hard hands on your collar and the belt of your pants, and Kovalesky is lifting you up to toss you out the window. Of your own house. Your own loving window.

Behind your back you hear Harald dictating the terms of himself and Olga in the story from now on. This is ridiculous. This won’t do at all.

You hit ctrl-A, and backspace.

Then you blink scratchy eyes and look at the empty screen, again. yeah, sweet close out

While there are a few areas this could be tweaked or trimmed this is a solid, if cliche, idea (what if characters in stories were real!) executed with verve and precision.




Judgment: Mojo wins

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome


Interprompt: "Sing, O Muse, of rear end frog"

200 words

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


I totally agree, Metafornication wins.





I posted it first though, so I guess I win?


Actual judgement coming later, and with my actual story this time :P

Exmond fucked around with this message at Mar 12, 2018 around 18:42

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

I don't know what's going on but I know I don't like it

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Tyrannosaurus posted:

I don't know what's going on but I know I don't like it

Madness, is what. This is why you shouldn't mod drunk, kids. Reality re-alignment is ongoing.

e: re-alignment complete

dreadmojo fucked around with this message at Mar 12, 2018 around 19:09

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Exmond posted:

Metafornication


sebmojo posted:

Metafornication


both of these posts were edited, by the rules of this thread i declare this a MISBRAWL

You're both DQ'd from your own brawl gj

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Sitting Here posted:

both of these posts were edited, by the rules of this thread i declare this a MISBRAWL

You're both DQ'd from your own brawl gj

I GOT SCREWED!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFmbDYUii1I#t=1827s

SEATTLE SCREWJOB!


Edit: Man you totally didn't put in my SICK INTRO to my story that intimidated you into posting your story earlier.

Exmond fucked around with this message at Mar 12, 2018 around 19:05

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013


SCREAMING YES
MOTHERFUCKER
I AM GUILTY, I AM DEATH


newtestleper posted:

Count your nuggets before they’re dipped
460 words.

Des Drummond stood behind the counter and surveyed his cathedral of plastic, glass and brown tile. The carpenters had been out for a week, and the shiny franchisee from Auckland had retird to his room at the Park Royal for the night, on Les’s dime of course. It was silent, but he could feel an ancient electrical pressure in his ears, like the sound inside a seashell. He took off his shoes and laid them on the counter, as if the click of his heels on ceramic crack the place in two. Gosh this feels nice. I can feel the 'mall at night' vibe hard, and future-echoes of how this place will probably abandoned in a few years. Typos aside, I can't figure out who the 'shiny franchisee' is. Not Des, obviously.
He felt tender. A few steps away, behind the fizzy machine - the soda fountain - was a button that would illuminate the acrylic tower outside, cast the light of his humming yellow beacon across an island. He hadn’t let them test it. His was the first McDonald's in Christchurch. His. The touch of meanness to his possessive feelings make Des feel real here, as does the 'fizzy machine'

It had taken Des a while to develop a taste for the food. The mayonnaise and bread were too sweet, the cheese like yellow rubber. They couldn’t make a boiled egg. And why you’d need dehydrated onions when they were ten cents a pound down at Neville’s he didn’t know. He didn’t know what that was in kilograms - that was one thing the yanks got right. He still preferred a roast on Sundays, but he could stomach a cheeseburger, quite liked the battered chicken pieces called nuggets, and had no qualms eating a medium fries all to himself. Nah. This whole paragraph is nah for me.

But he was nothing if not practical, and if there was anything that carpet manufacturing had taught him it was the value of getting stuck in, of knowing your business better than the next fellow. He knew a correctly dispensed ice cream - soft-serve - as well as a nicely cut multi-level pile. He knew a Big Mac from a McFeast. He slid one foot over the floor as he stalked the dining room on his final check, feeling the places where errant specks of mortar snagged the fibres of his sock. This one is good. More quiet feels with the socks getting snagged, more of Des' officious nature emerging, his old-man generalizations followed by insistent corrections.

The opening would be grand. Tomorrow a baying crowd of Linwood barbarians would be unleashed upon his red-capped regiment of servers and cooks. He puffed out his chest with confidence and pride in the perky youngsters that he’d trained. Never had his work chairing the board of the Lion’s club been so richly rewarded as when he saw the speed with which they constructed and packaged quarter pounders. ahahaha. You have captured the essence of the Lion's club.

Wool prices were falling, and carpet profits were rising. But the business of flooring had taught him never to stand still. The world wouldn’t leave Des Drummond behind. He locked the doors behind him, looked up at the great, dark golden arches, breathed in deep, and strode across the car park, shoes still in his hands. I was ready for no conclusion to this story, so it doesn't bother me. This is private, sad, and sweet, even though I don't like the main and only character at all. It's a good portrait piece and, hey, for under 500 words, I don't at all want my time back. Good job.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Crit: ThirdEmperor – For the Millionth Time, Be Careful What You Wish For

The first section takes too long to set up the concept. There is good stuff here, e.g. the idea of waiting for the mail, but it needs to be less than half as long. I also think I want the magic to be more explicit, and to see Simon's reaction to it – hiding it between sections doesn't do any good here.

I found it a little hard to find the conflict in this story. One conflict, Simon's alienation from his friends, bubbles throughout the second two sections but never amounts to anything. The other, the problem with the parents, is really only introduced in the last two sections, where the story stops just as it takes a big turn.

The Milhouse reference is anachronistic (at least in spirit), inaccurate, and draws a lot of attention to itself.

"There were too many possibilities lately. Simon’s brush with magic had only left him feeling less powerful than before, drowning in a world where anything could be real, especially things that scared him."

This is an interesting paragraph. I wish that the story had been about this, and instead of a few sentences of exposition you gave us some more subtle ramifications of his magic use – gave him a reason for his paranoia and showed a build up of actions that come from it.

I don't like the ending much – too big a break from the tone of the first half, which I enjoyed more.

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Aww yeah, HERE WE GO, BABY! But before we get into it, a few things


If you are going to go call someone out on spelling and grammar, make sure you aren't hititng regional differences.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/d...ry/english/dial

I'll give you the shred thing, even though I can try and get away with a technicality!


Also finally.



6:45 p.m. Monday, in Coordinated Universal Time is
7:45 a.m. Tuesday, in Wellington, New Zealand

Umm, I know some AA people in New Zealand if you want someone to talk to you Sebmojo. Thanks for pointing out my error Crain!


Now let's see what the prompt is!

Exmond posted:

Prompt is a place where stories turn into characters, so take Death of a story but get rid of all the TD Meta references.

Winner gets a new avatar of their choosing

I'm looking forward to this brawl story! You have a real talent for making stories that make me immediately want to talk about them and inquire what they meant to other people! Real surreal puzzlers, dream like substance and metaphors. I think adding this whole "Stories" to life thing will be great, Ill get an insight on what a story means to you, or what your take on killing an idea is. Something thoughtful, full of meaning and just insightful. So, let's see what ya got!


sebmojo's story, which was edited 10:57am, I don't know why posted:

Metafornication
1515 words

You blink scratchy eyes and look at the empty screen, again.

You need a character. Easy enough, it’s like working in a stockroom, just pull him off the shelf. Dashing astronaut, bored office drone, frustrated nerd?

Pick the nerd, why not. Pull him off the shelf. Slap him down. Call him Harry. No, Harald, for a hint of nondescript foreignness. Nice prose at the end there, I like it.

He’s overweight, enough to want to avoid the stray mirror-glances that make him think ‘who’s that fat rear end in a top hat?’ Belly sore each night, from holding it in all day over his too-tight jeans. Not good with people, but worked out enough tricks to get by. Don't doxx me bro


Full stop, 4 sentences in and I need to ask, what's the draw? So far, no conflict has been revealed and since I know what the prompt there isn't much to go here. Also, I hit this problem with my ideas, is that writing about writing is incredibly tricky. I think you can get around it with your skills, but it's a perilous danger. If I wrote about writing, it would definitely be a DM or Loss.


sebmojo's story, posted:

Genre next, riffle through the book - they’re like carpet samples, feel good beneath your fingers This missed, but good try at prose - science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, cyberpunk, everyday realist humdrum … none of those, not tonight.

Noir?

No, it’s over-done. You wiki up a list of genres. How about socialist realism? Hell yeah. Bring on the tractors and the hardcore revolutionary optimism. Neat sentence

Ok, nerdy Harald’s sitting there in socialist reality, twiddling his thumbs. This is a story about stories, so make him a writer. A wanna-be writer. He is trying all his tricks and they don’t work. That’s important.

Oh no, oh NO! You're falling into a trap! Make me care about the writer, make me care about Harald! Im the easiest reader ever, mention a vampire or some other urban fantasy trope and I'm down like aclown. Mention how a story feels bitter and I'm down. But no, no your writing about a writer writing. NOT LIKE THIS MOJO, NOT LIKE THIS!


sebmojo's story, posted:

Harald sits at his desk - no, a table is more socialist. Lol, I chuckled A plain wooden table, painted thick flat white - but painted roughly, without sanding it first. Tiny splinters abound, a sweeping motion makes a sound like rubbing stubble. Harald’s muscles are sore from a double shift at the tractor factory, trying to meet the latest Five Year Plan directive. Huh? This seems boring

He’s staring at the words he’s just written in blotchy biro on the yellow paper he steals from the factory. They’re bad, he knows it; he’s trying to will them into being good.
K, lemme stop you here and yell "WHERE'S THE STORY? WHERE'S THE CONFLICT. You went into this knowing it's self judged, so if you had mentioned Dracula you would of won (There is still hope if Dracula makes an entrance). Since I'm judging, Im looking for Conflict, Choice or Consequence. Your prose isn't good enough to make me continue reading here. I need something, anything. I don't care about Harald (even if he has the same problem as yours truly) cause I am literally being told how he is being created. It's like seeing an arby's meatloaf being made and being asked to love this delicious arby's sandwich! It ain't gonna work!

sebmojo's story, posted:


Now you need action, Hell yes this story needs action, also I wish the "you" character had been expanded on and made me care about them you’re a whole paragraph in and nothing’s happened. A knock at the door! Harold has been waiting for this, hasn’t he? Yes. He dreads/anticipates it. Who is it?

Harald gets up and takes a deep breath.

You can use that breath to describe the air in his tiny apartment and, with it, Harald. Cabbages, body odour, socks. The air is warm, though, because even under socialism they have central heating.

Harald strides to the door. He pulls it open, feigning the boldness that he hopes to create in himself.

Who is there? Olga’s there, shining and beautiful. I dislike this sentence, Who is there? YOGI is there. You have a man, you need a woman - or not, of course, but go traditional. I like this sentence. I'm liking your "Asides" mentions here. Add something, though, all you can ever do is give the reader what they expect or what they don’t. ]So she has a - deformity? Misapprehension? Miscarriage?

Nice Typo with the bracket. I think this is due to your editing hijinks, cause it's not in your judgement post, but in your original (now edited) first post in the brawl. So eh, let's ignore it. But DON'T EDIT YOUR POSTS and DON'T EDIT YOUR OPPONENTS POST

Also still no Conflict,Draw, Consequence or Choice here! I mean, I kind of want you to drop this fake story bullshit and serenade me like Stepehen King's On Writing book. A non-fiction version of this would have been better.

sebmojo's story, posted:

That’s it. She had a child with Harald, it didn’t make it to term. Leave it at that; you might find out why later. He probably wrote her lots of letters.

Harald gives his usual snorting honk of joyW..What? at Olga’s arrival and a muscle moves under her ear as she clenches her beautiful jaw. Only a little, though, keep it subtle.

But not too subtle. Look at the word count. It’s time to ramp up the tension.

She’s clutching a piece of yellow paper.

“The Factory Committee has declared your repurposing of stationery supplies a counter-revolutionary activity. You are to report to the Chairman for reassignment… to the work camps!” she says.

There’s a moment here, and you need to make it land. Okay, so I hope you explain how to make it land

Olga is a good PartyCapitalize? Unsure about this member. She works on the line with Harald, tightening the nuts with a big wrench. ]She has piercing blue eyes, and thews that glisten with sweat in the heat of the shop floor. Those thews are tense with suppressed emotion right now, with words unsaid.
Nope, that landed nowhere

Nice typo


sebmojo's story, posted:

Harald holds out a hand to her. She doesn’t look at it. Instead she hands him the paper (thews! quivering! What are these in parentheses?) and turns on her heel. Harald is left, tongue-tied, on his doorstep.

But you’re the writer Man I would love to see what the writer is thinking instead of being talked to about boring stuff, have Olga say the words in her heart that she can’t say out loud (for fear of spies): “Harald, I don’t love you, but we share a life and a death. Perhaps once there could have been more, but that time has gone. I cannot approve of your crimes, but I believe you are a good man. Good luck.”

Perhaps Harald reads the finality of her unvoiced words in the set of her handsome shoulders as she strides off down the corridor? He’s not stupid, just awkward. Does he slam the door and lean on it, panting with emotions he feels but also cannot voice? Or does he close it gently, as though not wanting to disturb the remaining sweetness of his memories of Olga?

Put them both, you can delete the one you don’t want later.

Trouble is, right now there’s There is, following a plural object? I think this should be there are only two places to go in the world of the story. It’s a linear progression, either back to the paper or onwards to the factory, and both of those are dead ends. All good stories have triangles because a triangle is dynamic. Create one. Neat, I like this advice and the prose on this triangle bit


Okay, I'm gonna be honest here, I want to warp to the intersting bit's of this story. So far it's a weird blend of Sebmojo explaining how to write a bad story? Or Mojo's view of a bad writer (Maybe SebMojo is trying to figure out what I'm thinking when I write?) And, this blend isn't working!. poo poo man, I love your little asides and you are almost, ALMOST reaching some sweet tones of On Writing by Stephen King, I love that poo poo. But for every time your little aside takes me and intrests me with their wiles, this lovely "real" story comes in and shits over everything. As someone, who's such a great writer that I shouldn't name them, said "GET IT OUTTA THERE!"

Also I think you fell down the write about writing trap, and fell down it hard. I would have loved to have felt what the writer was thinking as their story sinks, or as their inevitable shittyness catches up to them. Right now I have characters, that I know are lovely characters, so they aren't holding the piece up.


sebmojo's story, posted:

The phone rings, socialistly- Heh it's still funny! a harsh sharp braying clatter. At first Harald seems not to hear it, but then he jerks into motion and walks stiff legged to pick it up.

It’s Natalya. Of course, it’s Natalya. Natalya, who works at the factory. She’s a friend of Olga and has always looked down on Harald. Or so he thought, but perhaps he was wrong because Natalya is whispering hotly down the line, like she’s about to be discovered. Harald listens, silent, and his eyes go wide.

You can repay the debt you incurred before, peering into poor Olga’s tortured heart, by keeping this conversation secret. That makes two secrets, don’t forget.

All you need to show is Harald putting the phone down, nestling it firmly in the cradle and holding it there while he stares out the small window. Then sitting at the rough white table and picking up his pen, still with that abstracted, exalted expression.

You’re in the flow now, tapping away. There’s an ending ahead and you just have to find it. But the word count is creeping up, so: smash cut! You can do that, it’s an economical and effective way of changing scenes.

***

Harald is in the factory now, dressed in his too-tight jeans and his cleanest shirt, with damp patches at the armpits where he scrubbed at the sweat stains. He’s got a fistful of paper, too, yellow paper folded and re-folded on the long train ride in. The Chairman’s goon Kovalesky is there, looming like he does, lol that's so kovalesky Umm, don't think you meant to keep that in thereand he looks like he wants Harald to come with him right away but Harald holds up his hand. He’s strong, because he has the words he needs. He slides his punch card into the machine, because that’s how it works, and then AND THEN WHAT? And then- Smash cut? Did you just explain what you were going to do a few sentences above? There are better ways to do smash cuts!

***

He’s in the Chairman’s office. The Chairman is an older man with greying sideburns, trimmed goatee and beaky nose, looking up like he’s not sure why Harald is there. He’s tapping away on a keyboard of some kind but Harald doesn’t care because he has unfolded the paper and he’s reading it out loud.

***

You look up at the noise because it’s really late and the house is locked, but the door just opened. Holy poo poo there’s a man there, overweight, little watery eyes. His jeans are too tight. He’s got a wodge of folded and re-folded yellow paper in his hand, and he’s reading it out loud. Why is there someone in your house.

Harald’s voice is nasal but his words are clear for all the indeterminately foreign accent. It’s a statement of grievance. He’s blaming you for himself, his too-tight jeans, his awkwardness, his ex-girlfriend’s miscarriage. He’s blaming you for the sweatstains in his cleanest shirt. It goes on and on, and there’s a certain rhythm and eloquence to it, you find yourself nodding along. Kid’s got talent.

But that doesn’t help you right now because he’s edging closer and he’s surprisingly intimidating in person. You should have written him even nerdier, idiot, buffoon.

loving FINALLY. Boom, we got it, stories coming to life, taking over you mind. Stories are after all mind worms, they persist, dig deeper and nestle in your mind. And man, your second person narrative is killing ya here cause I would love to feel what the writer is feeling. Get inside the writers mind as his story takes over his mind.

sebmojo's story, posted:

Quick. Natalya. That’s the only secret left. She comes rushing in to the Factory chairman’s office, waving a statement. Behind her is Kovalesky, looking sheepish. This needs to end now, Natalya, explain how this is all a huge--

“The People’s Committee has spoken! The Chairman is declared to be an agitator, besmirching the name of Harald Wiggesmeyer for his own counter-revolutionary purposes!”

She slaps the statement down on your desk, and you gape at it. You read “... how his lascivious designs upon Comrade Olga Muresev led the Chairman to intercept Comrade Harald's correspondence and promulgate a false rumour that he...”

Then there are hard hands on your collar and the belt of your pants, and Kovalesky is lifting you up to toss you out the window. Of your own house. Your own loving window.

Behind your back you hear Harald dictating the terms of himself and Olga in the story from now on. This is ridiculous. This won’t do at all.

You hit ctrl-A, and backspace.

And.. And what did the writer think about DESTROYING AN IDEA THAT CAME TO LIFE. Millions of characters, their possibilities dead with a few clicks?

sebmojo's story, posted:


Then you blink scratchy eyes and look at the empty screen, again.



Exmond posted:

Moby Dick 2: A Whale of A Tale
1080 words

I had barely finished saying the title when the decrepit old man hurled the book at me.

“Tag line: You orca se-” The five-hundred page classic slammed into my face and I rocked back on my chair. A thick thud reverberated through the coffee shop as the book landed onto the floor. The girl curled up on the sofa continued reading Moby Dick, the cashier continued to dole out change and the hipsters continued to talk politics. Nobody noticed. It’s not like any of them could see us, let alone hear us.


Right away you point out how vivid my des- oh hold on. I'm being told that Sebmojo is instead pointing out how lovely my descriptions are. Yeah okay, I give you that.

Exmond posted:

“Hold on, Moby Dick 2: A Whale of A Tale Is just a temporary title, we can rework it in post,” I explained as I fixed up my business casual suit.

He opened his hand and another copy of the classic materialized into it. He stared up at me with his sunken eyes and said, “No.”

Right, so now you say I shouldn't slam this intro into the reader. You and I are going to agree to disagree. This is flash fiction baby, you gotta get their attention quickly and fast. A starting joke, continued with some light humor is an "OKAY" start. If I had to edit this, I might put the inital idea a little further ahead (I kind of hint at it with books materlizing into hands).

I believe I have the better start sir

Exmond posted:

Alright, take a deep breath girl, I told myself, you managed to convince Les Misérables to get a makeover, you can convince this stubborn whale.

“Listen, Moby Dick is a great work. Not every manifestation I encounter can say they came from such an esteemed classic.” I snapped my fingers at him. “But it’s the turn of the century. Sequels, movies those are the new hotness. Books ain’t selling, and if it ain’t selling, people ain’t reading them.” Good point about Libraries and Ebooks

As if to spite me, the girl next to us turned the page on her book and the old man took a deep breath, gaining renewed vigor. His wrinkles smoothed out and his disheveled hair grew back. He rose from his chair and stared at me with contempt.

“Much like Ahab’s path, this path leads to destruction. I will not help you create this,” He searched for the right word, “abomination.”

You call out how The Personficaiton of Moby Dick has... little character and personality. It might be a great idea, but i kind of fluff the execution and I agree with you. I think overall the character says two lines in the story, and apart from being an obstacle to the protagonist has little else to do. I do wish I could have figured out a way to inject some more Moby Dick into the character.


Exmond posted:

“It’s called a sequel, and do you know how much a movie increases readership? Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter baby! That was me.”

I paused as a flicker of jealousy ran across his face. Everyone wants to be the next Harry Potter.

Seeing my chance I continued, “And partnership is essential. We need your artistic vision to help us make this a franchise. John Carter, Lone Ranger? All reboots done without the blessing of their manifestations and all box-office bombs. This deal is whale worth it.“

At this point you want me to die, but what I really wanted you to notice is that Capitalism is an air head. I'll go into this later, but this is me trying to pull a Sebmojo.

Exmond posted:

An awkward silence fell over us. Maybe that last pun was too much. The old man looked out at the coffee shop, noticing how few people were reading. Then he looked at the girl, who was fascinated by Moby Dick and smiling. He looked at her as if she was a child taking her first steps on an amazing journey. He looked back at me and shook his head.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. Fine, we can play hardball I thought. I let the energy from money changing hands flow through me, I let harsh decisions based off of sales numbers in and I let simple harsh corporate truths wash over me. I was energized, I was reborn, I was Capitalism made manifest; A bad bitch in a suit who was gonna make this sale.

Okay, this is where give you the prose battle. The amazing journey is weak, yeah wish I could of made that land. I do like the "A bad bitch in a business suit who was gonna make this sale." I don't understand the tsk? Did I miss a grammar rules

Exmond posted:

I pointed at the girl who was reading Moby Dick. “You see her, you know what will interest her more than your tale?” I snapped my fingers and the girl’s cell phone vibrated. I returned his glare and said, “Materialistic wealth, clothes and the latest fad. All of those things are more interesting than your book.”

The girl looked down at her cell phone, excitement in her eyes, and started to walk out of the coffee shop, the Moby Dick book left forgotten on the sofa. As the old man in front of me grew a little older I smiled.

"See, I know what the kids want. And they don’t want thou or what you’re offering. They want instant gratification and instant appreciation baby!. All it took was a sale at Abercrombie & Fitch to make her forget about you.” I motioned at the forgotten book.

The old man’s knees were shaking and he slumped back into the chair. He looked forlornly at the abandoned book, and then back at me, fear in his eyes. I wondered if ideas made manifest had balls, because if they did I had his in my hands. It was time to squeeze.

“Every time money changes hands, I’m there. Every time someone wants something, I provide it, for a price. I don’t just control the world, I am the loving world. Capitalism ho!”. I produced a very generous contract and laid it out on the table.

The old man looked at the contract and licked his lips. “You can make me relevant again?”

“You’re already relevant, I’m going to make you famous,” I said, buttering him up. “If you sign this, I’ll make you bigger than Harry Potter!”

The old man nodded. Everyone wants to be bigger than Harry Potter.

Again we encounter the weak characterization of Moby Dick's manifestation. Didn't catch that he wouldn't use that wording.

Right so we also hit a bit of a problem here that you point out, I was very scared that people wouldn't get the initial idea. That I wasn't explaining things correctly. So I did a bad thing, I overexplained. I would keep some of the things you crossed out, but would heavily rework this section.

Also, I like repetition, Everyone wants to be Harry Potter, Everyone wants to be bigger than Harry Potter. I liked how it repeats itself but changes.


Exmond posted:

“So, I'm thinking maybe a reboot before the sequel. Reboots are all the rage right now. We amp up the Ishmael and Queequeg homo-eroticism. People love that . Don’t make Queequeg a cannibal though, that’s not exactly kosher.”

I was just thinking which teenage boy toy we could get to play Queequeg when the girl from before waltzed right in and ruined everything. She looked around, rushed to the sofa and grabbed her Moby Dick book. The old man looked up at her, like she was an oasis in a desert. My jaw dropped to the floor as she let out a sigh - a sigh of relief - and put the book into her purse.

The old man looked at me, a twinkle in his eye, and shredRight, teeeechnically in dialogue shred can be past tense, but yes this should be shredded the contract. His boisterous laughter followed me all the way out of the coffee shop. I was fuming, I was furious, but I wasn’t done. I grabbed my cell phone and dialedAmerica! my secretary.


I didn't want Moby Dick to have any affect on the girl coming back because I wanted to have the girl coming back by her own mean something (I'll address this in a section called "Pulling a sebmojo"). Also in this next section we do encounter a problem, I need to end the piece with a bit of exposition, so I need to hastily add an earpiece.


Exmond posted:

“Hey, Darlene. Moby Dick didn’t pan out. “

I paused as Darlene gave me fake platitudes. She was well worth the money I paid her.

“Yeah tell Mr Sutherland he won’t be able to play Ahab. Hey, give me Pride and Prejudice’s location.”

Darlene took a moment and gave me an address.

“Get me a ticket to Hampshire then. What am I going to do? Offer a reboot deal, maybe add some zombies, everyone loves zombies!”


Allright, so here was the main thing I was trying to pull, a sebmojo. What is Pulling a SebMojo? you might ask, it's your story having two meanings, one is a neat story, the other is kind of an insight into the author.

So I went with what I think about novels turning into movies and how making money interacts with art. Kind of Capitalism vs Art and my take on it. Hot tip, art wins, as the girl comes back and grabs Moby Dick on her own volition. I was worried I was going to get too political, but you didn't seem to notice it. Overall I think I kind of failed in this regards, and it turned into the main plot, but the hints are there.

At the end, the movie she is trying to get made is Pride and Prejuidice and Zombies, which BOMBED hard. The girl coming back on her own also means novels and the written word still have a place in this weird media age we live in.


I agree with your assessment of my story, but will disagree about the 80's cliched businesswoman. Capitalism is a cliche in this story because she's supposed to be a dweeb, someone who doesn't get it and spouts catchphrases and puns at you to get what she wants. When you try and step out of line she unleashes fury at you.


So for your story, man, I liked your prose and your asides. Ifthis piece had strictly been non-fiction, "Sebmojo: On Writing", I think it would have blown my piece out of the water. But no, you merged Non-Fiction with Fiction and it suffers. To make matters worse you have these weak characters (Hey, I at least TRIED to have characters), that need to hold up the story because the story, is..so..loving..plodding. That's a huge deal for my enjoyment of your story. The first half of it is about harald and what sebmojo thinks about writing. One part of that is interesting, the other part is dreadfully boring.

I think you also have a problem with no Choice, Consequence of Conflict. If you swing and miss with your inital "draw" or whatever main method you are trying to use to entertain, you need to make sure one of these things are there. Readers start off in a swamp, and if you fail to draw them in, they need Conflict, Consequennce or a Choice to grab onto to make sense of your story. This story had neither.

Finally, man, you missed the prompt (you literally wrote about stories coming to life, I wanted to hear stories AFTER that happens, what does the story want, whats the effect of killing a story) but you also wrote about writing. If I had written about writing (And I have) I would have suffered a DM, Loss or permanent disfigurement as the judge goes after me with a knife. I don't think it necessarily sunk the story, in fact the most entertaining part is where SebMojo tells me his writing process, but I think it interferred with the story. It's not a big thing, since the prompt was confusing (and bad, some people may say).



So let's take a look at both of our stories


PROSE: Mojo wins (Not a surprise, I need to work on this department. I may have had some wicked puns, but overall some missteps)
CHARACTERS: Draw (I would lean my way, as I love the 80s cliched businesswoman. Feel I nailed the "Producer" feel very well. I think you don't win because well, I couldn't make a connection with any of your 6 characters. I might have missed a metaphor, or something about the author, so I can be convinced you win)
IDEA: Exmond wins (Yeah, I'll fight you over this. Capitalism made manfiest trying to convince the manfiestion of Moby Dick to submit a rewrite, wrapped around the writers faint question of "Do novels have a place in this day and age" versus "IMMA WRITE A STORY AND IT COMES TO LIFE")
CONFLICT/CONSEQUENCE/CHOICE/ARE YOU A STORY?: Exmond wins (yup, I want to talk to you about this on IRC, but I feel like my story had the stronger "This is a story, here is a draw, read me" portion)

Winner: Exmond

Exmond fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2018 around 00:51

Crain
Jun 27, 2007



Exmond posted:



Umm, I know some AAA people in New Zealand if you want someone to talk to you Sebmojo.


You mean AA. As in Alcoholics Anonymous.

AAA is the car service.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

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

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=riH5EsGcmTw

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016


Crain posted:

You mean AA. As in Alcoholics Anonymous.

AAA is the car service.

Well, this is confusing: https://aa.co.nz

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Oh yeah my new avatar can be this



And with the words "I'm WRITING!" with a URL link to Thunderdome underneath it!

If the gif is too long, just get to the part where she is typing and smiling.

Crain
Jun 27, 2007




Goddammit NZ, just flipping the script like that.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Crain posted:

Goddammit NZ, just flipping the script like that.

Well you see, they are upside down...

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Well, I guess it comes down to beefsupreme's tiebreaker judgment to bring this delightfully retarded episode of tdome history to a close

But while we wait, SITTINGHERE you cutprice svengali, you moustache-twirling manipulator, you eminence sleaze! This whole dumb fight is your fault, so it's time to come out from behind the curtain.

Get on down here, and put up your puny word fists. This is a double team, exmond and me against you.

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Pfft, getting disqualified due to Sebmojo editing my post.

Im IN!

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

sebmojo posted:

Well, I guess it comes down to beefsupreme's tiebreaker judgment to bring this delightfully retarded episode of tdome history to a close

But while we wait, SITTINGHERE you cutprice svengali, you moustache-twirling manipulator, you eminence sleaze! This whole dumb fight is your fault, so it's time to come out from behind the curtain.

Get on down here, and put up your puny word fists. This is a double team, exmond and me against you.


Exmond posted:

Pfft, getting disqualified due to Sebmojo editing my post.

Im IN!



Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016

Six of one, half dozen of another.

Grimey Drawer


C'MON AND SLAM, AND WELCOME TO THE JAM!

The toxxes are up and your ballz are down on the chopping block so let's get this party started.

SEBMOJO and EXMOND have declared a partnership for brawling against SH.

Here's yo prompt Seb and Exm



C'MON AND SLAM

Seb, you're going to begin a story. Word limit 500. You're not going to finish it, just gonna get the party started. The story can be about anything in any genre save all the usual lovely stuff (Erotica, Fanfic, ect). Once it's done, Exmond, you're going to finish his story with a 500-word limit. You two can work together behind the scenes, planning, detailing, but the two of you must write and submit your entries alone.

AND WELCOME TO THE JAM

I just gave a serious handicap to Seb and Exm, they could easily botch this up and guarantee a Nina Tucker situation out of their story so SH you're getting something hard to work with too. Your prompt SH, is to write a story involving Basketball and magic. Your challenge to make it as dead serious as possible. So in contrast to the SPACE JAM going on in this post, you gotta cut all ties with the Looney Tunes/NBA jerkoff session when you do up your story. MAKE IT SERIOUS. MAKE IT DEADLY loving SERIOUS. Word limit 1000.

All this is due by MARCH 28, 2018 at 8 pm PST.

Good luck and drink your ecto-cooler.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Antivehicular posted:

Interprompt: "Sing, O Muse, of rear end frog"

200 words

The Interprompt Adventures of Mosebjo: 7


“rear end frog, rear end frog,” sang Mosebjo tunelessly to himself as he stalked through the tall reeds at the edge of the river. Sharpened stick poised he scanned the muddy ground for the sources of the croaking that filled the warm evening air.

Mosebjo liked singing. His ditties used to make more sense but he’d been alone with no one to talk to but Caterpillar for many weeks now.

There! A splash in the shallow water and the flick of fat green legs. Mosebjo lunged forward with his stick, but the soft mud sucked at his heavy leather boots and he splatted into the shallows like a drunken duck belly flopping onto the water.

Spitting river water from his mouth Mosebjo looked up to find the yellow eyes of a huge frog watching him from the reeds.

“rear end,” said the frog.

“Frog,” said Mosebjo.

BeefSupreme
Sep 14, 2007

DOUBLE BEEF ACTION

METAFORNICATION BRAWL JUDGMENT


Alright alright I'm here I'm here. I can't believe you morons couldn't figure this out yourse--jk I pretty much knew this would happen. I'm just salty that I have to read your dumb stories.

I didn't read these blind, but it didn't really matter cause you both have the same weird anime avatar and the same not-actually-that-clever title (Is "metafornication" supposed to be a euphemism for masturbation? Because that's what this whole thing is). Also neither story is particularly good. I've consulted with my co-judges and taken their critiques into account. You can read their flaming hot takes here and here. Okay let's get this over with.

Exmond posted:

I believe I have the better start sir

Wrong, sorry bud, both stories are bad

Okay but seriously. Exmond. Your story exists in the uncanny valley of prose. It lacks subtlety, shading, complexity, and yet, it also lacks the cartoonish clarity of a Ray Bradbury story. Either might have made this story's themes and ideas ring true. Of course, for as lacking in subtlety as it is, the ideas themselves are underdeveloped. 1980's capitalism is a rich and easy target. If you want to claim that your story wins on ideas, you better say something that hasn't been said before, or say it in an interesting way. To say that capitalism is out of touch with the needs or wants of actual people isn't particularly new. There's also a counter-argument: capitalism doesn't actually care about the specific nature of the needs and desires of society, it just wants to make money off of them, whatever they are. I don't know why Capitalism here is so driven by this need to crush books. If people like books, they'll make books.

Also not sure why Capitalism needs the approval of this nameless, colorless, flavorless manifestation of... Moby Dick, the book? I kind of wish you had just made it the whale. Or Melville. This grumpy old man is nobody, and reads like it. ("I do wish I could have figured out a way to inject some more Moby Dick into the character", you say. Read Moby Dick, I say.) Perhaps Capitalism here feels the need to gain the approval of The Essence of Dick because of bottom-line concerns--un-blessed adaptations having flopped tremendously in the past--but it doesn't really read like that. What meaningful blessing could Moby Dick confer upon a studio/producer intent on mining the IP for gold? Only someone beholden to the art would need something from the original creation.

If you're going to do metaphorical manifestations of ideas, let's do it right, man. Punch up this prose. Hell, add some actual punching. Give me Uncle Sam in a suit made of hundreds hunting a white whale. Instead, we get a lot of flat prose and characters telling us what they're thinking or doing. Show, not tell, etc etc

Sebmojo posted:

While there are a few areas this could be tweaked or trimmed this is a solid, if cliche, idea (what if characters in stories were real!) executed with verve and precision.

lol ok

This reads like both a shining example of and a metaphor for writing stories at the last minute. There is a real idea here that actually took me by surprise. Sort of. Halfway through, as the prose shifts from the author's perspective to actually just being in the story, I thought at first that you just got lazy, which wouldn't have been particularly surprising. Then I realized that it was actually a fairly compelling representation of what it's like to get lost inside your own creation, how the characters become manifest inside your own mind. The idea of authors being responsible for what happens to their characters is interesting, and worthy of exploration--if I kill off a character, am I a murderer?

Of course, your execution was sloppy. Exmond is right--your characters are kind of nothings. I am inside your author's head, but there isn't much there except for some cute little jokes--more funny heh than funny haha--and some literary allusions. Things get a little interesting when his characters get away from him and start to take on a life of their own (another interesting comment on the writing process) but not too interesting. He erases them shortly after that, after all. The ending is fine. It is clever-ish and fitting, but it also does cut off the story before anything interesting actually happens.

Let's wrap this up. This prompt was... uhhh, something, anyway I'm mad that I read a third story to try to understand the prompt better. And this whole self-judging thing is example A#1 of why nobody wants story explanations or crit responses.

Sebmojo wins

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.

fjgj imo

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk


Yes & thx beef

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

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

Eighties Week Judgment





I had high hopes for this week. I was mostly disappointed, getting a bunch of stories with poorly defined stakes and endings that didn't really work, along with anachronisms like kids having computers more expensive than many cars as gaming machines or vegan-dominated communities.

Worse than those are our bottom stories. DMs go to newteseper’s Count your nuggets before they're dipped , a nothingburger of a character sketch of a boring character and  Lazy Beggar’s The Workout , A story with many technical flaws and not many virtues to make up for them. The loss, though, goes to Unfunny Poster’s The Wolf , which combined both of those sets of problems, and more.

On to happier things. HMs go to QuoProQuid’s Call and Response , Antivehicular’s Rainbowland , Tyrannosaur’s Stupid Punk , and Jay W. Fricks’ Chain , four stories that captured enough of the 80s zeitgeist to resonate emotionally with at least two of the judges.

The winning story did the same, but even moreso: Kaishai, Greed is Good has put you back on the blood throne!

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.

prompt imo

Mekchu
Apr 10, 2012



In less than a month I've jumped to one of the all time losingest TD contributors.

Go me?

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.

Unfunny Poster posted:

In less than a month I've jumped to one of the all time losingest TD contributors.

Go me?

Those are amateur numbers.

Mekchu
Apr 10, 2012



Yeah I misread the stats page. Still pretty abyssmal performance so far.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

OK folks, here’s a link to my crits. If you want to see comments on your stories, as I read them, go here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/...dit?usp=sharing

For the lazy, here are my final thoughts, which you can find at the bottom of each story on the posted link above.

The Chain:

There were problems with this. Too many characters, some clarity issues, flat prose, and a relatively unfocused story. The good news, however, is that this is a nifty idea and it’s handled relatively well. The potential I see in this story is it being told from a first person POV with just one character dealing with it. I can imagine it being a much stronger, clearer, entry that way. But, what we have here is still OK. Not bad, could see it HM’ing if the other judges are willing to overlook some of its shortcomings.


Aro Street Gothic

I mean come on, is that really supposed to be a punchline? This is just a E/N room mate story. You told it well and all but what was its function? Meh.


Going Home

Ehhhh, OK. I guess I kinda liked this? I’m not one for stories that just kinda take an event a provide an out-of-nowhere explanation for them. But, I guess it’s OK? At the very least, a character faces their past/weaknesses so you accomplished that much. This wasn’t fully polished, but then, many entrants were this week. This is a pretty solid No Mention for me, but if it connected with someone, I could see it HM’ing and I wouldn’t fight that.


Count your nuggets before they’re dipped

I mean… what is this? It’s barely even a vignette. I don’t quite get what it is you’re trying to capture or trying to say with this piece. It’s fine, it reads OK, but you’re just talking about how a guy is and what he feels. Meh


Greed Is Good

Cool cool. A story with neat things that has stuff happen in it… and hey a good ending! Not a whole lot to complain about, except that I think you may have been trying to show us early that there’s magical stuff going but I wasn’t sure if your invoking metaphor or just being dramatic in your writing. Kind of made it confusing and I wasn’t sure what the thrust of the piece was until the magic became more apparent. If you specify things a bit more, up front, it would be easier to detect and would strengthen the piece considerably, imo.



Desperate Measures

I don’t know what to make of this one. The ending is on the better end of things for this week because at least there’s some semblance of a punchline or an intention. Apart from that, there’s proofing problems, unclear action (both on a technical and motivational level) and overall I’m not sure how all of this is connected. It ends up kinda becoming a weak heisty story I guess? I don’t know, this was fine.


Stupid Punk

OK, well I guess that’s a realistic ending but it’s certainly not one that does much of anything. The voice in this is strong, but that’s to be expected coming from you. Apart from that, I’m not finding anything particularly engaging or novel here. I like that you went with a generally unlikable protag though.



Five and a Quarter

Alright, another non-ending. I don’t know, this is fine. Nothing new here and nothing to get me excited about reading it. There’s a fair bit of technical woes in the piece that make it a clunkier read than it needed to be so you may have lost some goodwill through that. Proofread more, make your dialogue an extension of the characters, and stop just asserting truths in your story that we’re just expected to accept. Earn your poo poo.


Rainbowland

Hm. Well, I guess this was a story? I’m somewhat confused by the role some of this stuff plays. The mysterious woman kinda just seems like an explain away sort of mechanic and I don’t know why she’s doing the things she’s doing. The whole escapism during a time of conflict thing isn’t exactly new and I’m not seeing you bring anything novel to the concept. This is fine, but it doesn’t do much to grab me.


For The Millionth Time, Be Careful What You Wish For

Unsatisfying endings seem to be the running motif this week. This wasn’t bad. It was an easy read and for the most part had a good feel about it. I guess I wanted to see more of the cool stuff. Either see him use the power more or dive further into like… what happened to his parents and what’s he going to do. Why did this end here? This is not an ending.


Hiding

Alright, Crain. One of us is out of our gourd. Either this story transcends my comprehension or it’s a tight hot mess. I really don’t know what to say about this. Thranguy writes good crazy stuff though from time to time so maybe he’ll be able to parse it.


Call And Response

Oy. I liked every part of this until the ending. I didn’t need a happy ending, but this was just such a fizzle and it picked up such ET, Stranger Things notes that I wanted at least some kind of moment at the end. Maybe this was intentional, if it were I’d argue heavily against this choice. Ultimately, I guess the kids learned a lesson in humility? That’s fine and all, but what made this a good story? The prose, dialogue, and the overall handling of the point in time was well done enough to keep this on the upper end of things, but unless nothing else special gets submitted the best this can do is an HM and I’m not sure I’d fight for it.


Workout

Lots of problems here. Too many too count. You started 34 sentences with “she” and that was a quick count. Apart from that… I guess nitpick, there’s a lot of issues here. You didn’t proof this, or if you did, you didn’t do so carefully. Lots of technical errors and hardly any action whatsoever to carry the story. I don’t really know what’s supposed to be interesting about any of this. It’s… a fine thing for a person to go through but we don’t earn any of the catharsis you’re trying to summon up for your characters.


The Wolf

Not a great effort. I have to believe that you know that. This piece is riddled with clunky prose and technical errors that even a semi-careful editing pass would’ve caught. As for the conceit of the story… it’s not bad. The problem, however, is that we only see snippets of the parts that actually matter. Who’s quest is this? The wolf kid arguably seems like a more interesting character, and he also gets the arc. Why aren’t we following him?

Decent idea, poorly executed on a technical and creative level.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Unfunny Poster posted:

Yeah I misread the stats page. Still pretty abyssmal performance so far.

It's not great, but do you see the HM that Jay W. Friks just earned? His start was pretty damned rough--and he largely earned his stats, as you've largely earned yours based on the three entries I've read so far. Now he's gotten HMs in two consecutive weeks. How long it might be before you do the same, I don't know, but each of your stories I read was a bit better than the last. Persistence is the key to improvement. Stick with writing and let us all see the day when you shine.

Thank you, judges! A prompt will have to wait until I'm home from work, more's the pity. Keep yourselves busy until then with posterior amphibians or whatever.

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Unfunny Poster posted:

Yeah I misread the stats page. Still pretty abyssmal performance so far.

Thunderdome is a competition where the rules, expectations and judges constantly change.

I was on a 7 dm/loss streak before I finally pulled up and even then I still get dms and yes they still sting.

Also,Thunderdome isn’t the only game in town. We would hate to see you leave, but check out other writing groups.

I would suggest you get precrits, ask someone to read your story before posting.

Exmond fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2018 around 13:28

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

fcgc thanks chili you're a g

Mekchu
Apr 10, 2012



Exmond posted:

We would hate to see you leave

What? I'm not gonna quit. Just being a big baby and am gonna stop whining about it now.

Thanks for the crits Chili.

Mekchu fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2018 around 13:44

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Kaishai posted:

A prompt will have to wait until I'm home from work, more's the pity. Keep yourselves busy until then with posterior amphibians or whatever.

What the hell kind of nonsense is this now?

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

Chili posted:

What the hell kind of nonsense is this now?

shut up and rear end your newts

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Sitting Here posted:

shut up and rear end your newts

TD Cabal covering for TD Cabal, classic SEATTLE SCREWJOB!

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome


Thanks for the crits, Chili! Just read the short versions since I'm at work on my phone, but will dig into the doc later.

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Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016

Six of one, half dozen of another.

Grimey Drawer

Kaishai posted:

It's not great, but do you see the HM that Jay W. Friks just earned? His start was pretty damned rough--and he largely earned his stats, as you've largely earned yours based on the three entries I've read so far. Now he's gotten HMs in two consecutive weeks. How long it might be before you do the same, I don't know, but each of your stories I read was a bit better than the last. Persistence is the key to improvement. Stick with writing and let us all see the day when you shine.

Thank you, judges! A prompt will have to wait until I'm home from work, more's the pity. Keep yourselves busy until then with posterior amphibians or whatever.

I endorse this statement.

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