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Armack
Jan 27, 2006

Corde pulsum tangite


Armack and Chili brawl

Armack
(850 words)

Imma be feeling myself heavy. In a couple years, no more self-consciousness, no closed-mouth instagram smiles, no Todd Alderman saying in front of the whole class I got teeth "like six miles of bad sidewalk." It’s type uncomfortable thinking about mouth pain from now til it’s done, but someday these pearly whites are about to be on fleek.

I miss Dr. V. She was crazy nice last time when she put my spacers in. Now that she's gone, that leaves Dr. Ed running Dimjerian Orthodontics and the place is hella transformed. The lighting’s dimmer, prolly to make it easier for the dental chair overhead to spotlight patients’ teeth. There’s a crusty looking book of teeth diagrams laid open on a table. In place of those motivational posters like “HOPE” and “PERSEVERANCE” Dr. Ed put up engravings of smiling creatures. One has a brace-faced eel coiled into the infinity symbol. The caption says, “Realigned! My smile says it all!”

The assistants haven’t changed though. Typical middle-aged yppo. They all:

“Mary-Susan, do you like the gel pens?”

“Golly, Mary-Theresa, I’m half IN LOVE with the gel pens.”

“Mary-Susan, I gotta tell ya I bought the gel pens for my kids and I think I use those dern things more’n they do.”

“Wooo, Mary-Theresa, you are SO bad.”

These bitches is whack. I'd walk away if I wasn't stuck lying in a dental chair with light blasting in my face. It’s all good tho.

The assistants examine me first. Mary-Theresa tells me I’m her “number one space cadet” because I kept my spacers in all this time since the last visit. She laughs at her own joke. This bitch is extra. Then Mary-Susan brings over a tray of metal braces and instruments and calls in Dr. Ed.

Though the assistants are rocking scrubs, Dr. Ed walks in wearing jorts and a navy blue tee-shirt. But at least he’s got a dental mask on. He walks over to me, asks about Ma Dukes right quick, then sets in. I’m dreaming of how poppin’ my smile’s gonna look in a couple years until I see something real gross. Dr. Ed’s got knuckle hair and I don’t mean just a little. This knuckle hair is spread like black mold in a flooded basement. He grabs a ring of metal, then enters deep into my mouth.

“Oomph, uhhh.” I try to object.

“Drop the sound effects,” he says. I don’t drop the sound effects, so after a minute or two he pulls his fist back.

“What!”

“Ain’t you gonna wear no gloves?”

“Oh, quit being dramatic! I washed up just fine.” He sticks his hand back in. After a minute he says, “Sorry. Didn’t mean to snap at you. Tell you what, all you have to do is think of how nice your smile will be when this whole process is over. Be patient with me. This is for a good cause.”

He’s right, I gotta endure. So I try to think about anything else: The new phone I’m tryna cop, that tight mumblecore, OUCH. Pretty hard to be patient when a motherfucker is straight up pressing sharp metal into my gums.

“Little more work to be done. You will feel a little pressure.”

I keep trying to distract myself through the pain. Volleyball. Alexa. Fortnite. That time I made out with Chang in 7th grade. I got this. I can chill for a while.

“Little deeper,” says Dr. Ed. He’s poking some kinda mental at one of my molars, and GODDAMN IT his knuckle hair tickles the inside of my upper lip. I’m about to boot my entire lunch up at this goon. I wretch hard, and before I know it my leg kicks up.

“Yoo dikk!”

I plant my foot into Dr. Ed’s side and he goes flying backwards into the table close by.

“Oh my God, I am so sor—” I start to say, sitting myself up in the chair.

Blood’s spurting out of his wrist. He must have nicked an artery or something on the metal he was trying to put in my mouth. Some drippings get onto the crusty tooth book.

Just then, the lights flicker. Out of nowhere a voice booms, “I AM COME.”

Mary-Susan gasps, “But we haven’t realigned enough of the chosen!”

Mary-Theresa’s eyes go all-white. “The bridge to this world is yet uneven,” she says in a voice not her own.

From out of the book slithers a eel-man made of teeth. “This form is weak. Who performed the blood sacrifice before realigning the golden number?”

“It...it was an accident, My Lord,” sputtered Dr. Ed.

“Fool. You shall pay for your incompetence.” The eel-man tooth creature chomps at Dr. Ed. He screams bite after bite, until going quiet half-way through. When the creature is done, he slithers back into the book. Mary-Theresa’s eyes go black and she drops to the floor. Mary-Susan gets all weepy and poo poo. So I turn to her.

“gently caress, I gotta wait longer to get braces now?”

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Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

If you are one of the three remaining entries from this week yet to submit you have about 5 hours left to avoid a failure-tar. Do it, redemption is sweet and remember, the opposite of failing is succeeding.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

lol suk it proud boi


The Deadliest Pudding, 314 words

It shook.

Shivered.

Slithered forward.

I gazed upon the visage of Death with open eyes, unafraid. It had, after all, been foreseen. The old woman had plucked out my eye, replaced it with the Raven’s. There was nothing to be done at this late hour. Still, I held up the torch, and the fouled thing hesitated.

There had been many choices laid out before me. Simple lives, and extravagant ones. Heroic deaths, and notables ones. Every choice at every crossroads, laid out before me as clearly as an atlas. I could have chosen much more circuitous routes to my demise, ones that allowed me to maximize my time on Earth, or my pleasure, or my infamy.

The unwholesome thing spread itself out thin, and separated.

Surrounding.

Encroaching.

Testing.

The true choice of a life well lived was to reach the end and say,

“No.

Not a single regret.

I wouldn’t change a god.

drat.

Thing.

Write that down as my final words”

Before the guillotine decapitated you, and some would-be philosopher held up your head as you desperate blinked in an attempt to send the physician a message signaling your rapidly fading intellect.

But there was one regret, if I would be honest.

It was the weird widow-peaked man behind me, some professor from Drury University who had brought me here in pursuit of an eldritch horror.

He was pantomiming.

And as the unclean liquid enveloped me, I heard him call out.

“In Soviet Russia, Pudding eats you!”

Like a reverse Antoine Joseph Wiertz, I reached a hypnotic nirvana of empathy and understanding at the moment of my own demise.

“What a country” I wheezed out, as the black sludge dissolved my lungs into an acidic slurry.

The professor howled out laughter as he fled, thoroughly mad by what he had seen.

Somewhere, a 30 year old man called his Game Master an rear end in a top hat.

Tibalt fucked around with this message at Sep 4, 2018 around 02:44

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Week 317 Results



Well this was a funny sort of week, with a lot of 'almost but not quite' stories. You all explored the prompt in interesting ways, none of which were quite what I was expecting. So, um, good job, I guess?

First off, RandomPaul, CascadeBeta and Tyrannosaurus are all getting failure-tarred and feathered.

M. Propagandelf is DQ'd for post-editing.

BabyRyoga is NOT DQ'd, despite going way over the word count. The reasons for this are twofold: first, my opinion was that BabyRyoga gained no advantage from their extra 400 words; and second, because "Sploorp". Let this be a lesson to all the dull middling stories this week: if you are going to try and write something bonkers, you may as well go balls to the wall.

The loss goes to AllNewJonasSalk. This was repetitive, dull, and bad.

DMs go to Erainor and BabyRyoga. Erainor, your second entry was an improvement over your first (which we are pretending never happened), but it was still very telly-not-showy. Keep going, you'll be fine. BabyRyoga, なんじゃこれや?楽しかったなんだけど、あれはちょっと。。。At least you kept us entertained.

The judges were not unanimous about our second-favourite stories, so in the end we gave one HM each. These go to: Fumblemouse, for a well-executed if slightly creepy tale; ThirdEmperor, for beautiful imagery and a unique idea; and Phan Nuwen, for a bitter-sweet tale that the judges enjoyed.

The win however was unanimous, if not that far ahead of the rest of the pack. Sebmojo, your story, despite some execution wobbles, was beautiful and thought-provoking, and I personally thought it was the most interesting take on the prompt. The Blood Throne is yours.

(I was tired of it anyway, all this throwing my weight around is exhausting).

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Week 317 crits

Erainor - “The one who was first”

While an improvement on your very boring first draft (which we are pretending never happened), this is still bad. The protag experiences some growth (from dull/sad, to prankster/happy, to dead), but the key moments of growth (deciding he's going to start causing mischief at work, becoming a stuntman(!)) are only given a passing mention.

Ending on a forums joke is a terrible idea - to pull this off you'd have to set it up brilliantly, which you did not.

Did you make good use of the prompt and flashrule? Sort of - Bobby uses his "power" (his prankster nature) to gain the respect of people around him, but you don't delve into this idea in a particularly interesting way; Bobby just sails along getting what he wants, without any consequence or challenge.

Keep going - while this story has a few BIG problems, that also means that a small number of changes will lead to a big improvement.


Chairchucker - I Want Candy

Ok so I lol'ed at this. It’s not good (I mean, what is going on, who are these people, how does she escape from the room, why is she a dragon?), but I kind of love it anyway. The off-beat rhythm of it pleases me.

Does it hit the prompt? I guess yes insofar as you accurately capture the demented power of small children to get whatever they want.


Fleta Mcgurn - Give it to Your Brother

The dark vibe of this story comes across well. But, it feels like fragments of a bigger story and I'm not quite getting the whole picture. For example, why is Mom in jail? Why was the truth about this father (who was the leader of a cult??) so earth-shattering?

Two people seeking to hurt one another by giving or withholding information is a good interpretation of the prompt, and you used your flashrule well.


Staggy - Fast Talk

This story is basically a Dilbert cartoon. It starts off boring - we are in a boring meeting after all - gets a little bit funny, and then slides smoothly to an adequate if not earth-shattering finish. Now, I like Dilbert, and I accordingly chuckled at this, but there's not much meat to it.

Does it hit the prompt and flashrule? Yeah sure; they don't care, and this gives them the edge to get what they want.


Phan Nuwen - At the White Horse


Cool idea, but the story doesn't really pull it off. The main problem is lack of characterisation - I enjoyed picturing this little scene at the end of the world, but I don't feel any emotional response to whether these people live or die.

It's also sort of prompt-adjacent - the entertainer is using their power to, well, entertain, but you didn't explore how this helps them further their goals (which goes back to the point about a lack of characterisation, because the piano-player doesn't have any goals).


Apophenium - Last Rites

I don't get this, am I missing something? The investigator finds a grave marked with the name of the man who has just been executed, its headstone overgrown with weeds, and the coffin is empty. What?

Putting aside the fact that I don't understand this story, I also think its poorly paced - too slow to get going and then the ending is wrapped up very quickly.


ThirdEmperor - Built on Sands

Nice use of the prompt and flash - fighting bureaucracy with bureaucracy is not a new idea but the air of magical absurdity is a nice twist. This felt a little hollow to me though, because there wasn't quite enough to show me why the protag wanted to fight to protect the strange cult town they'd grown up in. You had plenty of words left and I think if you'd used them to show us what the protag's childhood was like in this ephemeral paper town it would have landed better.


Thranguy - Savage Skies of Venus

Thranguy, it should be impossible to make a story that features naked space pirates, flying ships and dinosaurs not a whole lotta fun, but somehow you have managed it. For all its extremely awesome ingredients this story lacks joy; it lacks heart. I wish I could cross out your last paragraph and replace it with "and then they banged," because that honestly would have improved it.

Please go away and write this again, this time with feeling. Make the background more lush, the pirates more passionate, the dinosaurs more dinosaur.

And did it hit the prompt? No. It is unclear what power relative to others the captain's mistress has and you didn't explore what this might mean for what that person could therefore do.


Sebmojo - Before Sunrise

I had to think about this for a bit before I felt like I got it. We've got Alistair, whose power is so immense that he could do anything. His future self is reaching back through time to try and imprison him, to punish him for not preventing future evil. But he can't, because the future can't control the past. Alistair is eventually brought to some sort of trial, where he explains that because he can do anything, he must chose to do nothing. He does only the minimum - he ensures the sun rises each day.

On the one hand, I really like the ideas in here, and I think the interpretation of the prompt and flash are great. On the other hand, there are bits of it that don't add up, like why his shadowy future self is trying to imprison him in rock or get him eaten by a tiger.

Overall, while the execution isn't perfect the imagery is lovely and you've left me with things to think about, and I like that. Of all the stories this week this was the most thoughtful and unique take on the prompt.


AllNewJonasSalk - He's the President

What was this? It's not funny, it doesn't explore the prompt, the therapist isn't really characterised, and nothing really happens. It has a ridiculous set-up but then doesn't commit to its ridiculousness. The therapist could have gone on a whole mad brain-in-a-jar caper but instead they just go to a park and then a dog steals the brain and then the end. It is bad and bland in its badness.


Solitair - We Can Work It Out


I can see the use of the prompt and flashrule here, and I like the way you thought about how your protag's use of his power over his friends might have unintended consequences. But like its protag the story is a bit awkward: the ending focuses on his struggle to make friends but the beginning is about his annoyance at being taken advantage of. Somehow the various bits didn't add up into a coherent whole. I like how it ends on a hopeful note, but there isn't quite enough characterisation of the protag to make me really care about this.


Invisible Clergy – Freefall

I'm not sure at the end whether Graham shoots Ben or himself, so this story left me feeling a bit confused. It falls a bit flat I think because the relationship, and its breakdown, between these two men isn't really developed.

It's not a great use of the prompt or flash - Ben doesn't use his position as being the first to escape to achieve anything relative to others, he just is the only one to escape. Or is he, because did Graham harpoon him? I don't know.


BabyRyoga - Full Measure, or "All Four Inches"

"Sploorp". Lol. What. Wtf. What is this. On the upside, this absolutely commits to its outrageous concept, which is more than can be said for some of this week's duller entries. I can read enough Japanese to enjoy your EXTREMELY ANIME dialogue, but in general I think untranslated text isn't a great idea. That, and some other clunky prose, drags this down. Given how distasteful your subject matter is, you’d have to execute brilliantly to pull something like this off.

I decided to let you in, even though you're way over the word count, because this is delightfully bonkers, but more importantly because I don't feel like you gained any advantage by going 400 words over. I think you could easily have trimmed 400 words out of this just by tightening everything up.


Fumblemouse – Powerless

This is sweet, in a mad, quantum sort of way, with an undercurrent of creepy. I'm a bit torn on the maths lingo - on the one hand I like the beat it gave the prose, but on the other hand this story contains a lot of words that I don't know the meaning of. But despite that it is well-executed, and the shift of point of view work well.

I think you needed to decide which way to take it - either make it sweeter, by making the protag more sympathetic, or make it creepier, by empahsising the reality-altering shenanigans he's up to. It's good but a little on the fence.


M. Propagandelf – Supplicant

Do not edit after posting is an ironclad rule of the Thunderdome, there is no head-judge mercy for this crime I'm afraid. But, I did read your story, and I’m afraid it just left me feeling confused, and a little grossed out.

Yoruichi fucked around with this message at Sep 4, 2018 around 09:20

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Week CCCXVIII: two from column A, one from column B

well hello thunderdome, it's been a while

this week we are going to explore our emotions. give me 1200 words on the two emotions I will assign you, the emotion should be experienced by a character in the story.

because that is far too simple, there will also be a picture.

flash rules will be hideous, so request one only if you are prepared to write with ultimate ferocity

entries close friday 2359 pst, stories due 2359 sunday pst,

Selector inspectors
Mojo
Sittinghere
mockingquantum

Chooser confusors

Djeser - depressed, bored
Third Emperor - angry, shocked
Staggy miserable, determined
Fleta McGurn - disdaining, excited
QuoProQuid - inspired, trapped
Antivehicular - disgusted, proud NOTHIN CHANGES ERRYTHIN MATTERS
Thranguy - jealous, amazed
Tibalt - trapped, energetic
AllNewJonasSalk - miserable, amazed
apophenium - trapped, disdaining
skaandscreenplays - terrified, cocky
m. propagandalf - gleeful, homesick
lippincott - insecurity, rage
benny profane - delight, suspicion 12 CHARACTERS THAT HAVE OPINIONS
invisible clergy - diffident, envious CHARACTERS ARE MAGIC TREES OR KIWIS
babyryoga - rage, fury


sebmojo fucked around with this message at Sep 5, 2018 around 08:26

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



in

ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


In.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk


Depressed, Bored




Angry, Shocked

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

If you don't like your emotions then for a reroll

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

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


In.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Chocolate tastes bad,
also fuck you <3

In and

e: I would like that potato picture to play on a screen, forever, and place it so that when you walk in my house that's the first thing you see.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk


Miserable, determined



Fleta Mcgurn posted:

In and

e: I would like that potato picture to play on a screen, forever, and place it so that when you walk in my house that's the first thing you see.

Disdain, excited

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012


In.

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

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


Ultra Carp

In.

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


In

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk


Inspired, trapped




Jealous, amazed




Disgusted, proud

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

lol suk it proud boi


In.

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

It's time to try again. In.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk


Trapped, energetic



AllNewJonasSalk posted:

It's time to try again. In.

Miserable, amazed

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009

I am a real boy.


In

SkaAndScreenplays
Dec 11, 2013

by FactsAreUseless


In

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

Lippincott
Jun 28, 2018

You weren't born to just pay bills and die.

You must suffer.

A lot.


In for an emotional week.

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012



In with ferocity - let's see one of these hideous flash rules.

Invisible Clergy
Sep 25, 2015

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

Malachi 2:3


Congrats on the win, sebmojo.

I'm in. Is it permissible to see what my emotions and image are before deciding whether I would like a flash rule?

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk


Trapped, disdain



Invisible Clergy posted:

Congrats on the win, sebmojo.

I'm in. Is it permissible to see what my emotions and image are before deciding whether I would like a flash rule?

Diffident, envious



Benny Profane posted:

In with ferocity - let's see one of these hideous flash rules.

Delight, suspicion



flash rule your story has twelve distinct characters, all of whom must voice an opinion

Lippincott posted:

In for an emotional week.

Insecurity, rage




Gleeful, homesick




Terrified, cocky

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

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


Ultra Carp

If it's possible to get flash rules after our main signup, I'd like a flash rule, please. I'm hungry for a challenge.

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

Crits for week 216

So - putting it mildly, it was fair to say that 'views differ' this week. When I was grading, despite very different styles, I didn't actually have a great variety of initial scores, going from 5-7.5 - so bear that in mind as I hyperbolise my way through my rationale. I wasn't particularly concerned with prompts or flashrules, I just read for enjoyment in good ol' judgemode.

I'm going to start with Myocardia - about which my esteemed co-judge said:

"I challenge anyone to validate this execution as anything beyond a smokescreen for a story in which nothing interesting happens, no context is provided, no character is revealed or cultivated, no tension is present, no revelation prepared, no meaningful commentary leveled, and even the protagonist has only the most remote investment in her own well-being and that of her friend in the face of a conflict with no meat or even base entertainment value."

Well, I'm not sure I can do all that, but there's a certain quality this story had that no other story did this week. It was actually fun. Why do you hate fun, esteemed co-judge? Myocardia bounced around a metaphorical landscape like a pinball, dinging idea after idea and watching the sparks. It painted its oddball world at a great clip. If one element didn’t work (angels/bacteria), there was another one honking at it to get out of the way right behind it.

And what a world - beset by deadly muta-allegies, survival depends on love fueled roomba-bots, which cleanse the pathogens. Landlords enforce the status quo, possibly in league with the future, and the non-empathic (dark hearted) are forced to fake their way through. And that’s just the setup.

It's loving bonkers and I loved it, in all it barely-holding-together-with-seams-burstingness. I love a future without fluorine, Fetus music, love-powered drones fighting theta rays vs magic, saw-toothed above-their-own-laws landlords and using similes in-text based on previous throwaway mad-arse ideas to cement the crazed world. It's true that if everything is possible then nothing is interesting, but IMHO you just manage to keep the tether on this - unpredictable is not the same as Omnipossible. The thru line definitely needs to come out more, it took me a couple of readings to grok the lot, but it's there and it's worth developing. Lord knows I'm guilty of expecting people to catch every word and intonation but in flash fiction, as I consistently fail to do, you've got to make allowances

I like that if you wanted to, you could go down the metaphorical-reading path with this story without veering too far from the text, reading it as anhedonia revenge fantasy, or ASD allegory. I don't necessarily know if you had any of this in mind, but sometimes having that in your head as you review can help you strengthen connections in a piece, even if you only notice them later (trust your subconscious to unearth them, and your conscious to connect them).

I found the language appropriately bent most of time - clipped phrases jutting into the narrative seemed to suit the subject matter. I'm not going to deny that it's rough as guts in places, (the psychic death really does need some more goddamn explanation) nor that some parts wouldn't benefit from some elucidation and some passes reading aloud. But this story carried me along with it, tickled my synapses and just plain out and out gave me a better time than any other story this week and that's why I had it for the win.

Heading down my ranking chart I find Seeds next

This actually had much of the same thing going as Mycardia. The failing here was that it just didn't cohere as well in the final wash. It had a lot of good 'bits', at a slower pace than Myocondria, but I am not, for example, entirely sure why a spike in nihilism would amuse a Revolution god, except in as much as a spike in anything would amuse a revolution god. As that is the parting image it didn't really feel connected in a way that would have bright the piece into some kind of fullness.

The same with the hexmonger (great job description, btw) section. There are interconenctions between each piece and this one is either too subtle for little ol' me or isn't actually there. the hexmonger, you would thunk, is doing something to benefit his dark Goddess (presumably the next sections Capitalism) but buggered if I can figure out

Map reading and Heights both suffered from something that was, in some ways, built into the prompt. When you write a story about planning and execution you need something that going to muddy the water a little bit, and I’m not sure either story really had it. Map reading, for sure, had a flash forest fire, but the structure of the story had the fire only arriving halfway through, and it basically maintained a polite distance because the protag was adequately prepared so never really got a sense of danger. Heights improved upon this by having the protag experience performance anxiety, but basically got better with practice, so neither really had had me gripped in my chair plot wise. The other thing they had in common was both involved their protags measuring themselves and their self-worth against prime male physical specimens, and were both in the first person, so all in all a good week for possibly gay protags.

Heights won on the ideas stake. It’s like high diving, only low-G and on Mars, or something. That’s pretty cool. The stakes were personal, rather than related to any actual danger, but managed to avoid tweeness until the very end when the protag became the one boy in all the world who can win the popular studmuffin. The problem with the story then becomes one of agency – yes, he does continue in his efforts, not giving up despite setbacks, but he is being positively supported to do so, and basically gets better with practice, which is a wibbly hook to hang a story on. That said – you absolutely got the physical feeling of flying and enjoying the scenery and the experience – not an easy task when inventing a whole new sport - so viscerally this story did have quite a bit going for it.

Map reading started off slowly with some nicely observed character detail. Some parts went awry. “So wildy in l love I proposed in the weeks after.”? That’s…not very wild. Then it literally ambles along the road for half the story twittering on about stuff that only a married tramper could love (ugh - the great outddor. Awful isn't it?). The real story doesn’t get going until the second section and doesn’t really kick into gear until the third. This could work as a kind of ramping up, if there was enough of a sense of danger to make the journey worthwhile, but the fire itself is a bit of a fizzer. A bit of heat and smoke and then saved by the truck! The sense of danger is never fully conveyed, which is a shame, because the protag has literally done more than he set out to do – not just tramped but survived the worst nature can throw, not just followed in his fiances footsteps but lived through his wits in a difficult situation. The fact he attributes all this to his fiancé undervalues his own level headedness and the fact that he can now say he’s ready for anything marriage can throw at him.

So that’s the good stuff – things I felt I got more out than lost in the process of reading. I was fairly torn about the last three

Rushed Rites, on the other hand, I didn’t like because it was too predictable. You have basically given the game away to anyone who has ever read a story before midway through section three, so the only point in continuing is to find out how it all goes horribly wrong – except that you have already told us that early in section 2. But I respect creating and conveying a world and a scenario and a character effectively, even if you don’t put them to as good a use as you might, so well done for that at least.

Sebmojo, I think, has mentioned that part of his process is to think of an obvious storyline (like this one) and then subjvert it and write that instead - to dick around with audience expectations. That could have happened here with good effect - what if the scepter needed the bodies/ritual and was angry, what if the zombies solved some other problem...etc etc. That would have upped the fun quotient considerably.

Boom Room I got the feeling could have been done in a quite enjoyable way with the right voice behind it, but that never happened as the story progressed and the potential of the opening was wasted. In retrospect, I think I was too kind about it in my initial judging and I’m really not sure why. It is a slight thing, and not nearly as funny or clever as it appears to think it is. Perhaps it made me laugh at the time, and I have since forgotten. I’m not unhappy it got the loss in the end, because I don’t think it’s particularly salvageable. The ending is awful – plus it’s five questions. Ugh. File this in your ‘Things I had to get out of my system before I wrote my Magnum Opus’ folder and move on without looking back - as I will in critting it.

But for the loss – well, as I said above, views differed. When I turned off judgemode and found out my most unenjoyed-est piece, Planning and Action was Kaishai’s I could sense trouble brewing, especially when I discovered my fun-hating yet still esteemed co-judge had the story for for the win. If you come at a homicidal AI, you best redefine the concept of missing so that it becomes logically impossible – which is a big ask. Here then, is why I thought less of this piece than Boom Room and Rushed Rites

To be honest I got halfway and I was more or less on-board with it. My twee-sense was buzzing a bit, and slightly plasticky/after-school special kids being calm and rational after getting bloody noses, and saying other kids were ‘smug’ didn’t exactly ring true, but I was looking forward to the Rube Goldberg resolution. Because that would have been a clever trick to pull off in the quasi-realist setting. But Chekhov’s Rube Goldberg contraption never got a fire lit under its hamster wheel and instead we got a resolution lifted directly from Spartacus (or Dead Poet’s Society if you want to keep the school theme). What? Argh! Why? Rushed Rites, even Boom Room at least tried to come up with their own schtick, but you forgo the perfectly cromulent thing you’d already set up to rip off plot points of movies with 10 Oscar nominations between them? So I docked a few more points for unoriginality and in the final countdown (da da dahh dahh - da da dit dah daaaah) that took it underneath everything else in the week's close score range. I'm not averse to borrowing ideas, or tropes, or concepts, but this was just a step more derivative than I felt comfortable with.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Antivehicular posted:

If it's possible to get flash rules after our main signup, I'd like a flash rule, please. I'm hungry for a challenge.

My flash rule is stop requesting things and politely enquiring, demand them as your goddam loving right, that goes for everyone

Also

in your story nothing must change but everything must matter

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry


fight me

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer




ThirdEmperor
Aug 7, 2013

BEHOLD MY GLORY

AND THEN

BRAWL ME


Alright you two.

By Midnight September 11th PST
in 1500 words
You will give me a story Where the world is ending and I feel fine
Notice the 'I' there. Stories must be in the first person.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

ThirdEmperor posted:

Alright you two.

By Midnight September 11th PST
in 1500 words
You will give me a story Where the world is ending and I feel fine
Notice the 'I' there. Stories must be in the first person.



good

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Next person to sign up gets these:

Emotions: Rage, Fury



sebmojo fucked around with this message at Sep 5, 2018 around 03:33

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Need one more judge

vvv you're in

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Sep 5, 2018 around 03:34

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012



Gun Saliva

I can judge, though it means dealing with the time difference

By which I mean me having to debase myself by consorting with kiwis

Invisible Clergy
Sep 25, 2015

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

Malachi 2:3


MockingQuantum posted:

I can judge, though it means dealing with the time difference

By which I mean me having to debase myself by consorting with kiwis

"Consorting with Kiwis" is my favorite book in the enchanted forest chronicles.

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

THUNDERDOME LOSER

6th Anniversary Edition


in again!

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk


sebmojo posted:


Emotions: Rage, Fury


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