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Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Pham Nuwen posted:

In, and flash me

Your powerful figure is: The spinner of tales, the bringer of joy - the entertainer

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Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

ThirdEmperor posted:

In, and I'll humbly beseech the throne for a flash rule.

You may have: The writer of rules, the guardian of policies - the Bureaucrat

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

AllNewJonasSalk posted:

I'm in and I want another toxx. This week I'm going for the gold! Flash me.

Your powerful figure is: the Presidentís therapist

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Yoruichi posted:

Your powerful figure is: the President’s therapist

Quick question: Can my president be a brain in a vase or must it be President Dump?

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Quick question: Can my president be a brain in a vase or must it be President Dump?

I can's speak for the head judge, but I would really love to see anything other than the actual present political situation. There have been injunctions against this particular subject in other weeks, but it's ultimately up to Yoruichi.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Quick question: Can my president be a brain in a vase or must it be President Dump?

It most definitely does not have to be about Trump. I would be delighted to read about a brain in a vase. Or maybe they're the president of the local model train society. Or perhaps the president is a figment of the therapist's imagination, invented to impress their friends.

I'm glad you asked this question because it's good advice for everyone this week: you don't have to take your flash rule literally (unless you want to) - it's there as a source of inspiration. But don't ignore it completely or I'll be annoyed.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012


Unlockable Ben

Yoruichi, do you:

A) need a third judge

B) want me to be that third judge

C) dance with the devil in the pale moonlight

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

MockingQuantum posted:

Yoruichi, do you:

A) need a third judge

B) want me to be that third judge

C) dance with the devil in the pale moonlight

A) Nope - Antivehicular and Curlingiron have already joined the royal family
B) Yes - but we'll have to wait til next time one of us wins
C) It's on my list of things to do

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012


Unlockable Ben

Yoruichi posted:

A) Nope - Antivehicular and Curlingiron have already joined the royal family
B) Yes - but we'll have to wait til next time one of us wins
C) It's on my list of things to do

Ahh I missed Antiv in the mix. That's a judging trifecta for the annals of history. Next time!

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome


Chiming in to agree with "please don't feel obliged to write about current politics; actually, if at all possible, don't write about current politics" as a judge policy!

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

One story about a presidential dead brain in a vase on the way. I'm always weary of writing any stories about the current political poo poo because it already seems like a wet dream fan fiction that somehow transposed itself on real life.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010



AllNewJonasSalk posted:

One story about a presidential dead brain in a vase on the way. I'm always weary of writing any stories about the current political poo poo because it already seems like a wet dream fan fiction that somehow transposed itself on real life.

I recommend against making it Nixon in a jar or else you've got Futurama fan fiction

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Less chit chat more sign-ups

Erainor
Dec 30, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In and Flash, let's see if I can do better than last place this time!

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Erainor posted:

In and Flash, let's see if I can do better than last place this time!

Your powerful figure is: the one that got there first

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Countess Antivehicular and Tyrannical Dictator Curlingiron feel free to give out flash rules, as befits your aristocratic status

Armack
Jan 27, 2006

Corde pulsum tangite


Chili, I have not forgotten about our brawl. You may Google Translate your current submission into any language and then run it back. The improvement will make for fairer sport.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

Armack posted:

Chili, I have not forgotten about our brawl. You may Google Translate your current submission into any language and then run it back. The improvement will make for fairer sport.

That's funny because I am still trying desperately to forget about our brawl. Please stop getting in my way.

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013


SCREAMING YES
MOTHERFUCKER
I AM GUILTY, I AM DEATH


Super Magic Galaxy Scouts GOOOOOOO! by MockingQuantum

Your opening is fun. It has energy, a sense of humor, it paints a slightly grim picture without letting that overwhelm the fact itís about sparkly child soldiers fighting a drat giant top hat. So, you win.

The rest of this story is a logical mess.

Emotionally, I get it. One of them has trouble letting go and passing the torch to the next generation, the other is just drat tired. But logically, you fail to present a world that offers any support to Mariaís viewpoint. We never see any reason the younger generation canít hack it. Thereís no sense of huge crisis that makes this the wrong time to throw in the towel.

Sarah is just correct, and we never get in Mariaís head enough to see what alternative view of the world she has thatís blinding her to this, or what emotional hang-ups are keeping her oblivious. Thereís a brief shot at this when she shouts about having no normal life anymore. That was good, that should have been expanded on. If this really dug into the mindset of someone whoís spent every day since they were seventeen fighting a war against an endless march of tophats, yeah, thatíd be a much better story.

The resolution is accordingly weak, and the fight is weak. It could have used a total rewrite here. It never conveys any emotion, never dazzles, itís a limp exchange of blows and an explanation the protagonist is losing. Then she stops being an idiot, with no particular emotional resonance placed on the moment of giving in and asking the vadets to help - itís actually phrased as if she just plain didnít realize that was an option - and she wins. This resolves the conflict and ends the story on a farty low note.

Henshin Blues by Solitair

Hoo boy. You put a lot into this. Three thousand words is past the point where I feel a linecrit can really suffice. So letís start this with a thesis statement: This story is bad because it tries to do too much.

Itís a cop story mash-up with magical girls. Okay, that makes some amount of instinctive sense. Also, itís a story using magical girls as a vehicle to talk about a trans characterís experiences and family trauma. Again, in a vacuum, fine. Also thereís a whole friendship unfolding and that makes sense, sure. Any two of those would be a solid story. Three might be called ambitious, but by the way you carry it off, I think it was more unconsidered.

But for a specific example of how these different threads start to strangle each other - if you werenít trying to juggle so much, I donít think you would have tried to write a story where, despite the emotional core being the protagonist struggling to pick their lives up after coming out as trans to an abusive family, none of that is dealt with until the very last. The family never makes an appearance, nothing is said outright, and in order for any quiet unease to permeate from the hints you scatter about, the narrative would actually need to keep the audience focused on a mood rather than distract them in multiple different directions.

Thereís this overlong opening sequence of the protagonist being uncomfortable at a cafe and drinking coffee. Cut this. I can only imagine it was an attempt to establish a cop-story ambience, but what good does that really do? Thereís this pervading sense of cheapness, be it here or in their lovely patrol car or the burnt out parts of the city, and what precisely does that accomplish?

Thereís never a real attempt to juxtapose that unpleasant dose of reality with the innate glamour of flying sparkle-powered teenagers, and there canít be, because you never meaningfully establish the emotions of this city; I still donít know what the grittiness is supposed to represent to the audience, or even what being a magical girl means to the characters. Itís a stylistic clash because thereís no attempt to resolve the underlying meanings.

As for the cop-story side of this, or the buddy-story subplot, those are barely present. They go and fight some chumps, they get ambushed, and they get saved by a deus ex machina. You try, after the fact, to establish that this was a set-up by the protagonistís awful family, and oh yeah the protag has an awful family, but that canít make me care about a segment Iíve already not-cared through. Thereís no turning all this into the establishing incident of a beautiful friendship when thereís been no chemistry between the two characters because one actively shuts the other down until, again, the very final few paragraphs. Thereís a pretty good reason that the point where the gritty, battle-hardened cop starts to open up to their quirky partner is the halfway mark in buddy cop movies, not the ending. Thatís when the characters actually start to play off each other in interesting ways.

Finally. Thereís a sense of the main characterís scorn for everything around her throughout the entire piece, and that just feels bad to read. It makes it hard to invest in anything except rushing for the end. Itís actively priming the reader to dislike your piece as much as the characters hate living it.

ThirdEmperor fucked around with this message at Aug 29, 2018 around 23:44

Erainor
Dec 30, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The words flowed quickly for me, I just hope that it meets your tastes, mighty nobles.

I present in the vein of the one who got there first

The Computer Scam
957 words

There was never any doubt that there were countless powerful figures in the world. Bankers, politicians, millionaires, influence peddlers. All of these were overtly powerful figures that thrived on being out in the open. There was power beyond the obvious as well, but often people were too blind to look. The hidden voice whispering in a kings ear, the ghostwriter of a New York Times best seller list, or the spoiled child that had to be the first in his class to have the hottest new toy before anyone else had it. All of these were power in their own right.

Computers led to another form of power, whereby those who knew their way around a computer could exert power over others on a small scale. In the age of computers, anonymity became power at least to those with the skill or resources to hide their identity. Behind a wall of anonymity people could no longer tell if the person behind the words was young or old, black or white or brown, even whether they were human at all or a very advanced AI.

Louis was a rather ordinary man. Not young or old, mixed ethnicity, but very much a live human. Louis craved more power than he had working what he felt was a dead end job. Louis was a computer programmer for the largest big box retailer in North America. His job was to adjust prices in the system at corporate direction. Hitting one key after another for eight hours a day. While his job was boring, he enjoyed the finer things in life, but he didn't have the skills to get a higher paying job. One night, he was reading about computer schemes online and then watched the classic movie ďOffice Space.Ē He wondered if he could pull off a scam similar to the one on the movie. Louis wanted more from his life, and wanted to be able to enjoy expensive liquors and Cuban cigars. Louis did his research, and he came up with a plan worthy of the guys in Office Space. He knew that if he wasn't careful, he would be caught and there was no Milton to burn down his workplace. He decided to skim a little money off the top from the company and over the long run he would have the money that he needs to live a lavish lifestyle. Louis felt that he was able to do this, since his boss was an empty suit who rarely if ever knew what Louis was actually up to. Louis was a devious sort, and felt that he was always the smartest man in the room.

Louis was simply not worried about being caught. His boss was a non entity who hadn't done any work in programming in ten years. He felt that his plan of adjusting the prices subtly to make some money for himself would give him what he needed. He wrote a program that would change the price on three or four items in every transaction by a single penny at a time and that it would look like an error made by a cashier if examined. Louis knew if he ever tried to dramatically overcharge any customers, then the game would be over. Customers would realize they were overcharged, and then he was sunk. While he hated his job, he hated searching for a new job more. Louis simply hoped that he was truly the one who got there first and resolved to check for existing programming that might be also modifying prices in the system.

It turned out that he was the one who got there first. No other software was found in his sweep that resembled what he was trying to do. He grew in confidence that his plan would be successful. His changes would take place behind the scenes where it would not be noticed, and if he kept the changes small enough he doubted anyone would ever catch on to what he was doing. He simply charged customers a single penny above the listed price and rerouted that amount to an anonymous offshore account in the Cayman Islands. These transactions were done every night and no one had caught on in seven weeks. Louis was on his way to becoming a rich man, but like many people who get power, the power will eventually corrupt.

Louis wasn't satisfied with the speed that he was making money, so he figured he'd change his program to begin to add ten cents. His boss was a moron and still didn't have a clue as to how Louis did his job on a daily basis. He had no idea how his boss had even managed to get this job. He felt that the customers still wouldn't notice, and the corporate bigwigs still wouldn't bother to trace the money. He'd go from making a few hundred to a few thousand a week and no one would be the wiser. He would be able to live a very nice life somewhere warm and far from civilization. What Louis didn't realize in his arrogance was that he had gone too fast while updating his program. He had accidentally made a fatal mistake in his line of code and the authorities were closing in.

The police were waiting for him outside of his house to book him on charges of larceny. Customers did too notice that they were being charged too much, and the store did bother to trace the money. A computer expert that had been called in was able to deduce that Louis had made one fatal mistake. He had changed his computer program from adding a penny per transaction to a dollar per transaction, completely by mistake.

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Erainor posted:

The words flowed quickly for me, I just hope that it meets your tastes, mighty nobles.

I present in the vein of the one who got there first

The Computer Scam
957 words
So many boring words......
More boring words....
When does this end?


Take everything I say with a grain of salt because I'm a five time loser here in the dome.

As a person who has received this criticism often (5 time loser remember?) I know a thing or two about stories that spend a lot of time telling and little time showing. This story didn't show anything at all. I love good exposition. I've always had a thing for good fantasy novels that spend thousands of words describing lakes. This was bad exposition and made me want to stick my head in a lake for 4 minutes until I stop breathing.

Also, this is more of a nitpick, but I have never seen Office Space. This normally wouldn't be a problem but you rely on knowledge of that film to sort of give a shorthand as to what's going on in your story. That's not necessarily a bad idea, I guess but the way you did it was terrible. I'd say you were hamfisted about it but that would be an insult to porky pugilists.

None of this would have mattered a bit if this had proved to be in any way entertaining. Sadly, your story is boring as poo poo. Man decides he wants to be rich, man creates lovely computer program that would never get the job done in real life, and then man goes to prison because he's a moron that doesn't understand how decimals work. How does a computer programmer make a mistake that dumb?

Good job on being first, I guess.

And don't worry, because based on my past experiences here you're gonna be able to really poo poo all over my beautiful words and make me cry!

Now I'm off to find a lake.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

This is my week. I'm head judge. Do you know what that means? It means I can do whatever I want. I am the Queen of Everything: maker of, and above, the law.

What I want in this instance is for AllNewJonasSalk to stop prematurely critting and go and work on their own entry. I will be the one to tell you all how terrible you are, thank you very much.

But, unfortunately for you, Erainor, in this case everything that AllNewJonasSalk said about your story is correct.

Now, I am a generous and benevolent ruler, and I love all my subjects as my children, I truly do. So, what I'm going to do is this:

Erainor, I'm going to give you another chance.

If you want to, you may revise your story and resubmit it closer to the deadline. As your Queen, I will just pretend that the unfortunate incident where you accidentally posted your first draft never happened. Go get some feedback, hit people up in IRC for advice. Heck, why not PM AllNewJonasSalk seeings how they are so desperate to help you.

If you don't want to, that's fine. I will judge and crit your original entry as per usual.

If anyone doesn't like this they can fight me. I will even wear my very fancy courtly armor.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014


In with a flash, please.

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome


Solitair posted:

In with a flash, please.

Your powerful person is the one who saw everything.

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013


SCREAMING YES
MOTHERFUCKER
I AM GUILTY, I AM DEATH


Yoruichi posted:

If anyone doesn't like this they can fight me. I will even wear my very fancy courtly armor.

Hmm looks like you dropped your glove. Here!



This 'judicial mercy' nonsense is an abominable weakness that must be cleansed with holy combat!

Erainor
Dec 30, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Take everything I say with a grain of salt because I'm a five time loser here in the dome.

As a person who has received this criticism often (5 time loser remember?) I know a thing or two about stories that spend a lot of time telling and little time showing. This story didn't show anything at all. I love good exposition. I've always had a thing for good fantasy novels that spend thousands of words describing lakes. This was bad exposition and made me want to stick my head in a lake for 4 minutes until I stop breathing.

Also, this is more of a nitpick, but I have never seen Office Space. This normally wouldn't be a problem but you rely on knowledge of that film to sort of give a shorthand as to what's going on in your story. That's not necessarily a bad idea, I guess but the way you did it was terrible. I'd say you were hamfisted about it but that would be an insult to porky pugilists.

None of this would have mattered a bit if this had proved to be in any way entertaining. Sadly, your story is boring as poo poo. Man decides he wants to be rich, man creates lovely computer program that would never get the job done in real life, and then man goes to prison because he's a moron that doesn't understand how decimals work. How does a computer programmer make a mistake that dumb?

Good job on being first, I guess.

And don't worry, because based on my past experiences here you're gonna be able to really poo poo all over my beautiful words and make me cry!

Now I'm off to find a lake.

Aww thanks guys. I really mean it. This is only my 2nd story and I want to get better.

I posted early because I've got a busy next couple of days and didn't want to fail to post, so I put up a second draft. I'll try to see what rewrites I can come up with.


Edit: I finally figured out how IRC works

Erainor fucked around with this message at Aug 30, 2018 around 03:40

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

ThirdEmperor posted:

This 'judicial mercy' nonsense is an abominable weakness that must be cleansed with holy combat!



See you on the battlefield bitch

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

ThirdEmperor posted:

Hmm looks like you dropped your glove. Here!



This 'judicial mercy' nonsense is an abominable weakness that must be cleansed with holy combat!

Yoruichi posted:



See you on the battlefield bitch

FIGHTBRAWL

Very well it has come to this, fighting, in the thunderdome.

Give me 1200 well chosen words assembled in stories that intersect at some point or in some manner with this image:



Due 11 September, high noon NZ time.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Aug 30, 2018 around 11:08

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Given that you have specified well-chosen words, rather than the usual hastily assembled nonsense, could we bump the deadline til after the weekend?

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Yoruichi posted:

Given that you have specified well-chosen words, rather than the usual hastily assembled nonsense, could we bump the deadline til after the weekend?

done

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Some critlets for last week

Rushed rites

There's a common critique of bad fiction that it doesn't have 'character development' and like all the standard rules you can break it when you know what you're doing. You don't know what you're doing, or rather if you do you don't show it here. Your protagonist is an rear end in a top hat in every way that can easily be described. Which is what you were aiming for so fine, mission accomplished, but then you just sit on that accomplishment like a toddler on his potty, grinning. Aleius hates everyone, and everything, and is lazy and selfish and then dooms everyone and gets eaten by cliche zombies. See how that's an exact summary of your story, and also an exact summary of a boring story we don't want to read? the words themselves aren't terrible, though padded well beyond any reasonable necessity. Challenge your characters, make them work for it.

Heights

the opening of this is bordering on the cheesy, with its OMG SENPAI stylings but it commits to its story and makes it work, rotating smoothly around the 'no one's ever ready' line, and buoyed by the various interlocking metaphors - rising lift, rising sun, the view. There's a whole sci fi conceit that you convey very smoothly, without resorting to As You Know Professors or infodumps, and I think that's the essence of why this lands so well, because there's no friction in the telling of it, and the lines are clean. Nice work, for all it could have been generic with less precise execution.

Boom room


I confess I was reading this with a grin, because it's a delightful tdome wacky at first with its aphorism-happy blowjob mums, chairchucker light low-affect stylings and bizarre happenings, but you need to at least make an effort to wind it all up otherwise people feel a little cheated. I really wanted to know the insane way cubic zirconium eye lady and neck-bomb Pete might have worked out their mutual befuddlement but you bailed on it, and although tbf I bailed on writing a story at all, what you turned up isn't that much better. I'll let you in on a secret, which is that at least half my stories I get three quarters of teh way through and have nfi how they're going to end, but you know what? the end always comes, eventually. you didn't even tell us about the bomb collar, which is one of those ironclad literary rules man. never leave the unexplained bomb collar hanging, i think dickens said that.

Myocardia

I have a considerable fondness for your technicolour psychopunk ravings, but you need to take a step or two back towards consensus reality. The idea of duelling magical roombas is so amazing i wanted something more solid to stand on to enjoy it. Not to mention having your roommate kidnapped by the chrono sushi delivery boy, it's magic, but if everything's crazy it risks blurring into a smooshy wash of colours. I don't even think it needs that much - next time just twist the knob a quarter turn towards, idk, kitchen sink realism with David Thorpe-Walsford worrying about getting that raise so he can afford a new toaster. Then hit us with the sentient psychic waveforms and the cyber-insect catacombs. Up to you, but you're leaving readers behind at the moment.

Map reading

This is weird because i was literally just reading that insane thread about the goon who wanted to walk across the mojave with a shopping trolley, a six pack of twinkies and a dream, haha what are the odds. This is not dissimilar to Yoruichi's in its solid execution of a straightforward idea, but fumbles the touchdown because it takes teh focus away from the character who's been in all kinds of idek peril, like fires for miles, and slaps it clumsily on the fiance, who to be fair has been a part of the story but only as a sort of human wiki page. It's a well drawn picture of what it's like to do the things that happened in it, but it lets out all the air it's painstakingly puffed into the tension balloon, without giving a sense that the character has actually learnt or changed.

Seeds

this is a fantastic opener, just tremendously visceral and creepy, and it gave me all kinds of goodwill for the awesome story i was about to read BUT then you did two things one of which is to not link the subjective experience of the hex with the rest of the story - it's clear enough on a reread but if you're going to sucker punch the reader like that at least help them up - AND you forgot that it's is only ever short for 'it is', you moron, you buffoon. Ultimately this doesn't really pay off its strong opening because it gets mired in a soup of abstractions and Capitalised Entities. there are enough meaty chunks in the soup and the prose is zazzy enough for me to acknowledge it might have earnt its HM, but I think you were probably lucky.

Planning and Action

'like the assmaster he is' made me lol because i'm fundamentally and absolutely a 12 yo at heart, and I liked the line about rick's parents whispering their rueful judgements of his character to each other. And in fact this is a really very nice piece, keeping the focus on the kids as it should with grownups and teachers as distant but ever-present figures of retribution. the kid voice is really well judged, recognising their essential retarded kidness without treating them like idiots. Yeah, I think I'd have given you Thranguy's HM, but possibly yoru would have kept the win by virtue of your protagonist being essentially an onlooker and collaborator ratehr than instigator, for all he clocked the odious rick one right in his dumb chops.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009

I am a real boy.


Signing in with a and humbly requesting a flash

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi!



Hi, it's that weird time of year when I'm only working 2 out of 4 jobs and almost have enough time to spend on things I actually like!!!! and a flash rule, please!

Ashwat
Nov 11, 2004

Behold the cuteness.

Thanks for the crits!

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome


apophenium posted:

Signing in with a and humbly requesting a flash

Your powerful person is the last holder of a valuable piece of knowledge.

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Hi, it's that weird time of year when I'm only working 2 out of 4 jobs and almost have enough time to spend on things I actually like!!!! and a flash rule, please!

Your powerful person is the inheritor of a dangerous birthright.

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


Crits for last week

Ashwat - Rushed Rites
  • It might be a bit blunt but I like the opening. It sets the scene very efficiently
  • Iím not sure you actually explain how the others died. They were at the tent ďafter those bastards surprised usĒ. If they were there AFTER the ambush then Ö what? How did they die? I mean, it doesnít matter in the grand scheme of things but its annoying. Seriously, change ďafterĒ to ďwhenĒ. Job done.
  • I like the characterisation in the paragraph starting ďAleius watchedĒ. I got a very strong sense of what a lazy little poo poo the protagonist is, which obviously sets things up later.
  • I keep going back and forth on how believable I find Aleiusí scepticism. Magic is clearly acknowledged, so why not necromancy?
  • I feel like a little expanding on how the crystal is charged/changed here would help. Why not just take a spare with him? Show us what needs to be done to drive home how much he screws up by not doing it.
  • Your narrative arc was strong in its simplicity. Protagonist is lazy -> half-asses job -> gets comeuppance. For a short story, simple is good.
  • Your writing was clear and descriptive throughout.

Yoruichi - Heights
  • Your opening paragraph established background, setting and motivation in ~100 words. Thatís impressively efficient.
  • Iím struggling to find anything to say for your first half-zone paragraphs or so. Itís clean and clear writing that does the job well.
  • I thought you built Sven into the story in a very effective manner. We donít get a bloated run-down of all his achievements - we get shown, not told, that heís famous and talented and sort of oblivious to it.
  • I liked how you worked the prompt in - preparation can only take you so far and eventually you need real-world experience.
  • We donít really get a clear moment of growth for the protagonist. They panic on the first jump and donít on the second. I think you could have done more here.
  • I liked the setting. It made me think of the sort of extreme-scale sport youíd find in The Culture.

AllNewJonasSalk - BoomRoom
  • I did a double-take when I saw your word-count. Thereís nothing wrong with going super short and to be honest the snappy writing made it quite a refreshing read.
  • The actual content though Ö I mean, the first paragraph is a hell of a hook.
  • The tone of the second paragraph is a bit jarring. I get what you were going for but the rest of the story is quite clean and clinical. If it had all been low-key seedy like this then maybe it would have worked.
  • I have no idea where the prompt is supposed to come in. Flash rule, yes. Prompt, no.
  • Thatís five questions, not four.
  • I have no idea what any of this was supposed to be.
  • It feels like you got part-way through, got stuck and decided to just kill the protagonist to force an ending.

Spectres of autism - Myocardia
  • This was a trip and a half to read.
  • This was a very difficult story to parse and while I realise thatís sort of the point/somewhat inevitable I feel like you could have clarified it a little bit.
  • For all that Mao feels trapped in an uncaring world she doesnít really seem to react when Mahalia gets taken.
  • I think this would work better as a longer story. That or take out one or two ideas and expand on whatís left. Thereís a hell of a lot crammed in, to the point that the loose worldbuilding crowds out an actual story.
  • Changed my mind - going for a confusing and chaotic world isn't a licence to have impenetrable prose.

Lippincott - Map-Reading
  • For someone who has obsessed over the weight of their pack - and had their partner double-check - it feels weird to be given a vague ďabout thirty eight poundsĒ figure.
  • Look, I work at a company where weíre encouraged not to use contractions. That means when I read dialogue - like here - where common contractions like ďweíreĒ or ďwhatísĒ arenít used it reads as deliberately formal. Which doesnít seem to be the intention here.
  • Has the protagonist actually gone hiking on their own before? Hell, have they done it at all in the past year with their partner? I donít get the sense that they have, which jars with the obsessing over preparation.
  • ďfor all he good it doesĒ. Sorry but it jumped out at me.
  • I feel like the map and compass could have been introduced earlier. As it is, thereís not a huge amount of tension - the protagonist uses the map and compass to walk to a road. The fire doesnít come in early or strong enough to feel like an obstacle for the protagonist to overcome as opposed to window-dressing.
  • In general, thereís not a lot of challenge beyond the hike being more difficult than expected. That, expanded into a full story with specific obstacles to overcome, could have been a fun story. As it is, it feels almost sidetracked by the fire.
  • Good use of the prompt - I liked how you contrasted being over-prepared with an event that you canít fully prepare for.

Thranguy - Seeds
  • I like your opening paragraph. I really, really like it. Itís some very solid descriptive work and it instantly hooked me.
  • Iím a sucker for mixing the magic and the mundane and I liked how you established that as the setting with two lines - one about the airplane bottle and the other about the tablet/wire transfer - without beating the reader over the head with it.
  • The first scene change is where things start to break down a little. The transitions felt jarring, like there wasnít enough tying the scenes together into a cohesive whole.
  • Take the scene with the gods - yes, by the end you can go back and see how it connects but it feels tangential.
  • I feel like you had three solid ideas but didnít quite manage to mesh them into a cohesive whole. Seriously, magical torture potions & revenge? Solid. Goddess of Capitalism v God of Revolutions? Solid. The death of the soul in modern life? Solid.
  • Solid writing, good use of the prompt and flash rule but it tries to cram a bit too much into the wordcount.

Kaishai - Planning and Action
  • You wrote kids well. Thatís an achievement by itself. You got lovely and childish without being clichť or patronising.
  • I just feel like the setup with the contraption is a bit of a red herring. Itís the sort of ridiculous idea you could see kids putting way too much effort into and when I thought that was where the story was going I was totally on board. When that got dismissed I lost a bit of interest.
  • The ending felt a little ďafter school specialĒ but it worked. Again, you wrote a conflict and resolution that felt believable and meaningful for kids. Thatís difficult, to say the least.
  • The p.o.v. character is very passive barring the initial punch. Thatís fine. But when Mazda comes across as so much more interesting and proactive I canít help but wonder why the story isnít from her perspective.
  • Itís a well written, solid story - it just suffered from brushing up against other, potentially more interesting stories.

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Thunderdome Recaps!





Nigh on three months ago, some of us donned feathers and tentacles to battle for supremacy in Week 306: Strange, Familiar Intelligence (corvids vs cephalopods). I leave the question of whether any smarts were in evidence as an exercise for the student, but there were undeniably stories: tales of sticks and restaurant-labs and cuttlefish castration flowed freely, because of course, Thunderdome. Of course. Armack joins Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and me on our zoo tour, and he stays afterward to provide his lead-judge insight on Week 307: Unitary Will. Don't miss our vocal performance of QuoProQuid's "Take a Gander" unless you can live without hearing Armack's homage to Fargo. And really, who could?

Unfortunately, that's not Eleanor, itís Conrad and heís a dick. gently caress him and his shape-shifting hilarity.


Speaking of homages, you're in for something special! Week 308: Codex of the Infinite Planes is one mad journey after another, taking the recap crew from a stranger's living room to the irradiated Midwest to a living Hell. At last we land in... Duellist Kingdom? Or is it Dominaria? Maybe Johto? Don't ask me to keep Twist's headcanon straight, though we all make a valiant* effort as we read his epic, "The Trap Card."

* This may not be the word Twist would use.

No need to get all defense-mode about it, I think to myself.


Episodes past can be found here!

Kaishai fucked around with this message at Aug 31, 2018 around 22:19

Invisible Clergy
Sep 25, 2015

"Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces"

Malachi 2:3


Sounds like a fun prompt. In. Flash me.

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Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Invisible Clergy posted:

Sounds like a fun prompt. In. Flash me.

Your powerful figure is: the first to escape

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