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Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

It's been a while since the last reminder:

Kaishai posted:

For the love of little green apples, Thunderdome, stop putting your prompts in spoiler tags unless the judges ask you to do so. Posting them with your story is fantastic, but please do so in a way that's easy to see and record.

Don't edit your post if you've already submitted this week. Just bear this heartfelt request in mind in the future.

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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

bingo week crits

I think everyone had fun writing their stories this week. I certainly hope so because I enjoyed reading them. I even liked poor CascadeBeta’s work who really didn’t deserve the loss but was simply the lease interesting story in a strong week.

So, yeah, good job me for the excellent prompt and good job you for fulfilling it. Also, gently caress you Flesnolk, Bad Seafood, The Saddest Rhino, Cptn_dr, ThirdEmperor, Entenzahn, Obliterati for failing. Most of the time I pretend to give a poo poo when people fail but in reality I'm glad because it means there are fewer words I'm obligated to read. This week, though, I was genuinely excited to see what you were going to come up with and you gave me nothing.

Anyway, on to the crits!

Staggy
Well-written, lots of fun details. And I was stoked for the bingo you made. When I saw bees were one of the possible options I was really hoping that it would both show up on someone’s sheet and that someone would choose it and then BAM first story. It’s loving h i l a r i o u s to me that someone writes about bees with such frequency that it is a noticeable, self-identifying trait. I love it. Anyway, like I said, this is pretty well-written from a technical standpoint. The biggest problem is that it’s just kinda… boring? You create this cool rear end well described tree shrine and you do so very little with it. The setting is nebulously medieval and unimportant. The overarching nature/tech conflict is tropish and you didn’t really bring anything novel or interesting to it. The more personal conflict of witch-baby-sacrifice I guess is a sort of spin on the standard witch-baby-sacrifice thing but it’s still pretty predictably concluded.

Anomalous Blowout
Someone could read this and think that the piece of your bingo sheet which most influenced you here was “surfing.” But they’d be wrong. It was Vanilla as Hell Affluent Man. This was a Vanilla as Hell Affluent Man Story with surfing as the background. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Surfing or skydiving or rodeo riding or sky surfing rodeo or whatever should always take a backseat to character relationships and conflicts. I think you had an opportunity to tell something more than a vanilla story though. Your ending is interesting (not really a “happy” ending imho but that’s neither here nor there). It’s provocative. It’s a hook. If you were to revisit this story, I might recommend some shuffling around. Open with your ending. Let me know that Mac only lost one surfer on his watch. Tell me that is (maybe) a record worth admiring. And then either prove to me that it is or isn’t. Also, maybe look into making this more complex. Right now it’s pretty straightforward. Kid dies. Man feels bad. Man possibly tries to kill himself and is stopped. Man retires. What if the surfer that passed away is Maori? What if they are female? What if the surfer who rescues Mac is *blank*? You have the opportunity to confront cultures of white supremacy, colonialism, toxic masculinity. Also, you should probably let me know how many people die in other surf clubs. As is, one death feels extremely significant. Which it is, of course. I don’t know. I mean, it seems like he probably should have retired before… he let a kid die…

Pham Nuwen
This was rad. This was rad on so many levels. I love the way you used your bingo pieces (brilliant). I love conceptually that anyone can do magic as long as they completely gently caress off from all technology. I love that a bunch of kids playing fortnite on their cellphones could have wrecked the whole thing. I love the reveal about witches always being portrayed as insane and the reasoning behind it. I love that you so expertly used foreshadowing. My only real crits are that there is some disconnect about the baby sleeping ("He's sleeping," she said, "finally.” and then later “It took it out of him, though; he fell asleep hours ago.”) and I would have liked maybe half a sentence more about how different the leaders are now opposed to when they were all still at school. It was between this and QPQ for the win.

QuoProQuid
That deer was deliciously creepy. The ambiguous nature of their interaction was wonderful. The use of a child’s mind turning “John Doe” into the monster we’re introduced to was loving great. Well done, my dude. I can’t get that deer’s voice out of my head and I love it.

Thranguy
I ignored the accidental double line spaces just fyi. I know that poo poo just happens sometimes when you copy paste from google docs and are in a rush. Stories as currency is a a cool concept. The crumbling dystopia you created is neat. Dialogue is quippy. Even the smaller characters feel formed and thoughtout. I don’t really have much to say other than this feels like it’s a small glimpse at a larger body of work (and that’s a good thing). If I had to give it a critique, I think a more interesting choice might have been a little less confidence in the end. “It was working. Every year there were more shamings, and more who crossed over.” could have been something like “It didn’t feel like it was working. Every there were more shammings (et al) but (there were still so many trapped [or whatever]). Don’t tie it off with such a bow. But maybe that would have been worse. I don’t know. Just a thought to chew on.

Flerp
Google Maps was jarring at the end. Your story was otherwise timeless. It could have been in the 1950s or 1980s or 2020s it didn’t really matter. And that’s cool. Because the time period didn’t really matter, yeah? Google Maps makes it specifically contemporary and it… well… like I said, it was jarring to me. Could have just as easily been “And every now and then, I check the local news, just to -” ya know? Other than that very minor detail which may or may not have irritated me and me alone, I liked this. Good, solid voice. Good, engaging hook that grabbed me right from the get go. Good taste of surrealism (always a fan fav). Good job. I liked reading this.

CascadeBeta
Didn’t deserve to lose. I’ll say that up front. Well, I mean, it did. It was the worst in the week. But this wasn’t a bad story by any stretch of the imagination. It was just the least interesting batch of words in a strong competition. Was this well written? Sure. Was the setting interesting? You bet. Was the dialogue solid? Yup. So why did this lose? Well, this was kind of just a vignette. It was just a slice of life (albeit an interesting, hosed up life). And in the face of a slew of stories with active protagonists surging against conflicts, we felt that that made it the worst of the bunch. But this isn’t bad at all. Sorry.

Antivehicular
I love time travel bullshit. You did a good job not wasting time (heh) explaining how it works. That’s the sort of thing that’s more interesting to an author than a reader. Well-placed focus. The memory stuff is cool but you lose your spine for most of this piece. “There's going to be a hell of a thesis in this.” Tight. But I’d like to see more hints or foreshadowing or tie-ins to the fact that this a thesis project (or data collection for a thesis proposal or whatever). I think there’s a interesting juxtaposition to be found in the cold observation of data and the warmth of developing friendships/saving childhoods. Cool stuff to possibly play around there.

Sitting Here
No lie, every time I gave out a sheet I’d look at it and think about what I hoped the person would write about. I was really hoping you’d pull out surrealism, references to shakespeare, emergent AI, set around water, and death. You’re a good writer and it doesn’t really matter and I didn’t hold it against you but man that was the one I thought you’d go with haha. Anyway… Atlantis is a dope setting that is super underutilized imho. Opening is evocative and pulls me into an interesting setting with an interesting conflict. Ending is fun af and kinda depressing. The only thing missing is the sister’s motivation for keeping the protagonist in Atlantis. Some small sentence or foreshadowing would have been enough.

BabyRyoga
This is loving insane and must have been an absolute blast to write. An easy choice for an HM for me. Some minor technical issues to be cleared up (ex. “but I he musn't know how much...”). Other than that, I don’t have much to say other than I appreciate your willingness to go full throttle absolutely nuts.

Invisible Clergy
I don’t know if you’re going to like this or hate this but you would have been in the running for the win if you’d submitted on time. This story scratches a lot of my itches. Plus, I like how you used all of your elements. I don’t know what else to say. This was cool. Good hook. Good ending. Good dialogue. Believable and weird. The little asides are fun and full of character (I’d always assumed it was our nominal Catholicism). I enjoyed reading this.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

a little less conversation and a little more filthy rodents


Lipstick Apathy

is there any rules about posting crits before judging has happened

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

derp posted:

is there any rules about posting crits before judging has happened

It is generally frowned upon. After judgement is fair game, though!

derp
Jan 21, 2010

a little less conversation and a little more filthy rodents


Lipstick Apathy

Ty!

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Interprompt: Naked pirates, flying ships and dinosaurs. 200 words. Go.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Judgment will occur after three interprompt entries

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

Thunderdome Recap!



To say the recaps are back on track would be premature, but Sitting Here, Ironic Twist, and I--joined by the inestimable sebmojo--recently found an opportunity to turn back the clock and visit the oft-mentioned Week 115: The Eleventh Hour. Do you remember when Jitzu wrote about werewolf necrophilia and didn't lose? Good times! We tip our hats to an old Friend of the Recaps, question the magical powers of mountaineers, and spend far too much time on the porcelain throne before taking a cakewalk through Superb Owl's "Gold in Every Slice" and striving to make it out of Jitzu_the_Monk's "Calvin's Business" without contracting any social diseases.

“I almost died choking on a thousand dollars?!” Kahn shouted on anger.


Episodes past can be found here!

Kaishai fucked around with this message at Sep 23, 2018 around 02:09

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Reverse Meteor
246 Words

You'd be surprised how far you could fall off a ship sailing on the back of the wind. I'm not all that surprised. Mostly I'm embarrassed.


Falling through sky like this, after being caught in the Captain's quarters betwixt a pair of his daughters with nothing but skin clothing my body, can knock life into any man but I think the ground will take care of that.


The wind rushes past me so quickly.  And the ground appears so close.


I'm actually getting kinda worried now.


And then.


A yanking at my shirt. I'm being hoisted through the air. This is not what I imagined being smashed to bits to feel like. I remember to thank god or whoever later and twist around to get a better look at my rescuer.


What being could grip a man falling from the clouds like a lazily tossed ball?


Of course. I see it now. It's a large bird. Bigger than any creature I've ever seen. A new species.


It's got the face of a lizard and the scaly wings of a lizard with wings. But the mouth? The mouth is all beak.


The bird flies high and I hang slackjawed in sheet awe at the grace of this creature. At the apex of it's flight it shoots down at a ninety degree angle. A small thunderclap is heard with every beat of it's wings and then it drops me. And I smash against some rocks on a cliff.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012


Unlockable Ben

Interprompt Entry

What Herbivores Want With A Pirate Ship Is Unclear
200 words

Captain Happytrail gripped his cutlass as the ship listed to the side, giving him a clear view of the green ocean below. “What be the disturbance, laddie?” he called to the helmsman.

The young man’s cheeks flushed red. “I don’t know, cap’n! Something struck us from below!”

“Below?” bellowed the captain. “There’s naught but open seas down there! Unless--” His nipples hardened in fear, though he told himself it was the chill of the altitude. He scanned the ocean, praying it couldn’t be true.

A belch of flame below the ship confirmed his fears. Five more gouts increased it.

“Cap’n, those aren’t--” The helmsman left his protest unfinished, instead throwing his weight into the wheel, bringing them about and readying for a fight.

“Aye, lad,” the captain said, while twisting the grip of his cutlass. He watched as the red blade sprung forth, engorged, buzzing with plasmic energy. “The Brachytrachelopans have found us at last. We end this here.” He dashed to the bow of the ship, leaping gracefully into the open air, pivoting midair to dive head-first, his feet and other anatomy buffeted by the cutting wind as he dove to meet the deadly and shortest-necked sauropods, proportionally speaking.

Ottermotive Insanity
Dec 30, 2006



Yoruichi posted:

Interprompt: Naked pirates, flying ships and dinosaurs. 200 words. Go.

The Patchwork Prince
200 words


The Iberian Prince, captain Santiago’s galleon, cut through the clouds over the open sea. It's enchanted patchwork mainsail billowed at each breeze. Ahead a flock of great green monsters glided. “They fly like gulls... demon birds,” the captain said to the sorcerer. The sorcerer nodded.


#


A month prior Santiago had drunkenly hired the sorcerer on the promise of vague riches. Once sober he considered ordering the man thrown overboard, but a chance encounter with the Company’s navy, and a bewitched fog showed the captain the value of not drowning the man.


The Prince had plundered four ships in two weeks with the sorcerer’s assistance. Her hold was full, but the sorcerer requested one more excursion to an unmapped island. Perhaps the captain was hexed; he agreed to whatever the sorcerer asked.


The island was filled with enormous creatures beyond the crew's understanding. The sorcerer demanded hide from a winged lizards. The crew's attempts to kill one frightened the beasts out to sea. The Prince gave chase. The sorcerer screamed some ancient words, and the sails caught fire. “drat!” he shouted.


#


The captain and crew stood on the deck, readying their muskets, bare-assed. Their clothes, hastily sewn together, flapped above them.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Judgment for Week CCCXVIII

This was a good week, not in the quality of stories (which was laughable and appalling) but because I had a good time relaxing and hanging out with friends.

Unfortunately into each life a little rain must fall and sometimes the rain is made of vomit, poop and homelessness - AllNewJonasSalk your hilariterrible romp of poor excretion decisions and regrettable socioeconomic circumstances Macadelic had some good turns of phrase, but they were the wee bits of carrot in a spreading pool of chuck, and no one really wanted to pick them out. Imagine being tied to a chair under a spotlight and the judges turning to you, their faces clamped in horrific iron masks, and intoning LOSER in eerie atonal synchrony because that's roughly what happened minus all the descriptive detail.

That's it, no dishonourable mentions this week unless you count Invisible Clergy with Starlight - I regret not clarifying in my flash rule that I meant the Kiwi bird rather than New Zealanders, but luckily you faceplanted adequately with a dull mishmash of vaguely antipodean cooking stuff that did not at any point resemble a good story - and derp with best friends. Derp, you started telling a sad story about a friend dying then you started telling a wacky romp with oh, so many dildos, but the two stories did not at any point meaningfully resolve into one.

Happily we didn't hate everything, and Staggy may take an honourable mention for Running up that Hill - an extremely simple but immaculately told tale of being fat and becoming less so - as may Antivehicular with The Blameless Prisoner - flash rule compliance cuts little mustard round here unless it is done with immense panache, and that's what you managed with this story where nothing happening is the point, and the mattering is an elegant outgrowth of that like a tiny beautiful flower growing out of a hideous magic realist mountain-sized carceral atrocity

But the winner is none of these stories so in a sense they all failed (though not as badly as the couple of actual failures) because they weren't the winner, which was Eyes, by Djeser. This was probably the best picture so you had an unfair advantage, but this hits the crazy-in-the-mundane target it's aiming at with precision and force.

Advance, Djeser, and ascend the scarred and hallowed steps of the Blood Throne for the sixth time.

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Yoruichi posted:

Interprompt: Naked pirates, flying ships and dinosaurs. 200 words. Go.

For what it's worth:


Human Storage
240 Words

“For fucks sakes Phil, I told you Angela was stopping by. Put some clothes on!”

Before him was a swath of opened chip bags, pop bottles, and instant noodle cannisters. The garbage encircled the living room couch like a moat, and upon that couch reclined Phil. The fat of his body presently concealed the worst of his shame.

“Relax. I’ve got a blanket here,” Phil replied. Jake couldn’t help notice how bad Phil’s teeth looked. He wondered whether if any vitamin C had made its way into Phil’s diet lately.

“Also, I got a message from utilities saying that they’re shutting down our line ‘for failure to comply with our cease and desist notices,” seethed Jake, “Have you been torrenting poo poo again?”

“I masked the line man.”

“You’ve masked gently caress all, and even if it worked, I told you not to! We’re on a tethered line in this shithole of a solar system!”

“It’s a noble sacrifice for we’ve done for the Warez front. We were the first to leak Megasaurus XVIII before it hit theaters. We’re legends man!”

“gently caress you. When I come back, we will have a talk.”

The ship bell buzzed. Jake rushed to the airlock and opened the door.

“Hey Angela!”

“Jake! And oh, hey Phil.”

“Hey Angela,” replied Phil, now covered by a blanket, “By the way if you guys watch the new Megasaurus, it’s good. Better than seventeen, but sixteen is still the best.”

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012


Unlockable Ben

WEEK 318 JUDGECRITS courtesy of the TD equivalent of the Olympic judge from the country you've never heard of

Overall I'd concur with Seb's evaluation of this week: It wasn't pants-shittingly terrible, it wasn't pants-wettingly amazing, but it was pants-removingly fun. Even the bad ones made a concerted effort to entertain or provoke thought, and for that I thank you all. Without giving anyone too long a look into how the horrific sausage of TD is made, there was some robust discussion on both who deserved to win and who made us hate life for a brief thousand words. Behold my critbarfs, and wonder:

Funhouse

I liked the broad concept here, of someone jumping around to different dimensions or whatever to collect stuff. Execution left something to be desired. I felt a bit like you set up an interesting conflict but immediately resolved it. I would have loved to have seen a little push/pull between the rifter and the guy in the mask, some sort of obstacle they’d have to overcome to get the coin. As is, it feels a little foregone and unengaging. This story does have some heart to it, which endeared it to me, but didn’t do quite enough to distinguish itself.


Macadelic

Seb hit on the big points in the judgepost: some clever turns of phrase, but couched in a lot of crap. The base, technical writing was fine, but you plopped me right in the middle of a very unpleasant world with not much depth, guided by a main character who is… unpleasant with not much depth. There were some colors to this story but they were all brown and slightly nauseating (I kid, some of the moment-to-moment description was fun and clever). I think there’s a way to do this sort of story and do it well, but I admit I don’t know what it is so I can’t offer much guidance. Honestly I think the biggest issue for me was the ending. I take issue with any TD endings that can be fit into the scheme of “whoops, actually ____” and this was definitely a “whoops, actually everyone goes to hell” which is both too easy to do badly and has surprisingly been done too often. It would have benefitted from a little more foreshadowing throughout the story, but even then I’m not sure I would have liked it. You worked so hard to make this world seem terrible that it would probably still feel like the characters are going from hell to a slightly different hell.


Best Friends

This was definitely a mood-whiplash story for me. I was confused as to what mood you wanted to establish and kind of didn’t feel much of anything as a result. I liked some of the language and the way you represented that moment-after-the-phone-call panic attack speed. I did have trouble following the conversation in the paragraph where Minny and Jen first talk. It’s tough for me to say if splitting it up into separate lines for the sake of clarity would have diminished the rapid-fire effect you created here, though. As for the back half, with the dildos and the letters flying everywhere… I just couldn’t get behind it, it felt too zany and out of left field based on how you set up the beginning of the story. I’m not gonna lie, too, I had a little trouble parsing out that the “letters” were porn/erotica/whatever they were writing together. I was also really unclear on why the main character felt it was so critical the parents were convinced they were lesbians together instead of dirty smut writers or what have you. Overall a very messy story that I initially wanted to like.


Running Up That Hill

This one hit me in an unexpected way. I mentioned this in someone else’s crit, but I genuinely appreciate when people discard genre fare and outre plots in TD and grapple with something a little more realistic and true to life. And “grapple” really feels like the right word here. I felt a lot of pathos from this story, and was really invested in this character’s struggle in a way that stuck with me after reading. This is going to be one I’ll point to when I need an example of how TD conflicts don’t always need to be big and earth-shattering, and how sometimes the “smaller” the struggle, the more personal it becomes. I don’t have much to criticize on this one. Well done.


Twisted Goose

So I never thought I’d enjoy a story about a serial groper, but here we are. Overall a pretty strong story, though it fell to the middle of the pack for me. I think your descriptive language was very strong here, I had a vivid picture of the scenes and felt like I could see these characters well. I think the only complaint I have, and that’s not really the right word, is that it feels a bit like the real meat of the story happens at arms-length. This is a common issue with TD stories that are told in this fashion, namely where someone recounts someone else doing something. The story does fine given how intertwined the narrator is in the action, but Werner’s the real star of the show, in some ways. I’d suggest to you what I suggested to someone else this week: what would the story be if it had been told from Werner’s perspective? Would it have benefitted from being more directly in the action of the scenes? I’m not sure the answer to that second question is “yes” but I’d be curious to find out.


Little Departures

I really enjoyed this concept, and early on the way information gets paid out little by little is fun. I do think the idea doesn’t really go anywhere by the end though. The main character seems a little bland and reactive and there’s not really a conflict to be overcome here, beyond the guy being a zombie. As a result, the ending really didn’t land for me, and I’m left wishing the idea was developed just a little bit more, or that you’d said something with the idea at the end. Still, this was a fun one and was a pretty strong entry. Well done.


ZODIAC RACE: UNTUCKED

I’m a little split on this one, honestly. There’s not a lot going on here in story terms, and given the requirements of your flash rule, you didn’t exactly have very much room to develop a tension or a conflict that could go anywhere. It ends up being banter and very little else, but the banter is fun and brisk. I absolutely have to commend you, though, on finding a fantastic solution to the flash rule. This one caught me by surprise and made me laugh, and while I just complained about a lack of conflict, I do appreciate that you didn’t really try to stretch the conceit further than you did. Ultimately, it’s fine but not fantastic on its own merits as a story, but in the context of the flash rule it’s kind of great.


Eyes

I loved this story. It made me uncomfortable, it was vivid, and I want more than you could possibly give me in the space of 1200 words. I loved the dreamlike altered consciousness bits you have peppered throughout here, and the way you represented the character’s paranoia was pitch-perfect for me. Too many times when I read a story with a similar conceit, the writer treats the character as crazy, acknowledges to the reader that they are crazy; here you’ve assured me they’re not, which leaves it up to me to decide whether I believe them and all the horrifying implications that entails. This one took me by surprise, which hasn’t happened in quite a few weeks. Excellently done.


Bad Math

I was a little undecided on this story. I appreciate what you were trying to do and the conflict you created was engaging. I did really enjoy the dreamlike quality, and the narrative bouncing around had the effect of leaving me feeling a little unmoored and uncertain of what precisely was going on, which I think was a positive. But I think it also meant the scenes ended up feeling a little disconnected, so the cause and effect in the story didn’t have a chance to ramp up the tension right to the ending. The end felt kind of undercut to me as a result. Still, I liked this one quite a bit. This was a near miss for an HM, mostly due to the HMs being especially strong this week.


Sunday Dinner

A very solid story, good language, really enjoyed this. The ending felt kind of deus-ex-machina-ish to me, but I don’t think it hampered my enjoyment, since whether or not Dad caught him wouldn’t have changed the conflict of the story as much as it just determines the resolution of the scene. This felt like a family, and I could really get into the tension you created not just between the dad and the son, but the mom and the son as well. I liked how much you dug into the son not wanting to end up like his mother, in the little space you had available to do it. Overall a very solid story.


The Blameless Prisoner

So initially I would have put this at the middle of the pack, because “argle bargle there’s no conflict and drat the flash rule grumble grumble.” But honestly in the brief few hours since I read it the first time it’s grown on me. I initially had to be talked into HMing this story but on a re-read I’m a lot more on board with the carefully detailed nothing happening you’ve created here. You did an excellent job establishing how nothing happening is essential, and that creates a sort of slow-burn tension all its own, if against nothing else than our human tendency to hate inaction. The one piece missing for me is why nothing happening is essential. I get that it’s a prison and keeping people in prison is good, but what would actually be at stake if this warden failed at her job? Even a little inkling of that would have added a lot to the story for me. Overall I’ve come around on this one and enjoy it a lot. I’m not sure the concept would work as well if it were even another 500 words, but that’s neither here nor there, I suppose.


De-escalation

Good job trying to find the drama in an everyday situation, oftentimes TD stories go to the far extremes of life and genre so it’s sometimes refreshing to see normal life represented. First off, this badly needed a proofread and an additional editing pass. Lots of unnecessary words, missing words, awkward phrasings. I think you leaned too much on adverbs to try and add detail and depth to the conflict. What I really wanted was more actual depth to the conflict, as it kind of just felt like the same micro-conflict rehashed over and over: patient wants a thing, doctor doesn’t want to give it to him. The ending kind of springs out of nowhere as a result, since I’m left wondering why the patient decided to do it then instead of four paragraphs ago when the conflict was in essentially the same place. I also wonder if you wouldn’t have been better off writing it from the perspective of the patient than the doctor. The doctor’s objective in the scene is to prevent anything from happening, which in the context of flash fiction, isn’t a terribly engaging goal, since you don’t have a lot of room to explore the nuance of inaction. I’d rather find out what the patient is going through, and what he’s willing to do to relieve his pain, what’s going through his mind, etc.


For the Love of God

I really, really liked this one. I was dragged by the nose through this whole thing, and I mean that as a compliment. The prose grabbed me and kept me engaged throughout, and I was curious about who these people were, what their relationship was, etc. The assassinations themselves were interesting enough, but in the end what I really enjoyed, and wanted more of, were these little glimpses of the relationship between Anton and the Wolf. I felt like I got only the surface level of what Anton wanted from her and how the interaction affected him, even a little more sense of what it meant for her to choose him would have made me even happier with this. I put this as an HM candidate but I think the other two just barely inched past.


Starlight

This one fell flat for me. I intellectually got what the conflict was here, but wasn’t grabbed by it or the characters. It felt like you had a good basis for conflict and some tension that you could build, but nothing quite gelled for me. I’m also biased in that I hate stories that take much time talking about food. On that point, though, there were a couple of sentences that felt a bit like token “oh yeah I gotta remind the reader they make food here” passages. I really feel like an opportunity was missed here. So much can be conveyed by how people interact with food, the care they put (or don’t put) into preparing it, why they think a dish is successful or not; all these things could have told me a lot more about Lagi than I got in the rest of the narrative. As is, the food descriptions are good but they’re not pulling their weight for how much space they take up.


Suburban Skategirls

This story was a bit grey and squishy for me. I didn’t have enough idea of who the characters were, to the point that I had trouble keeping the whopping four characters straight. This is a nitpicky complaint, but the use of the word “trepidatious” was kind of silly, given that it’s a big departure from the level of language you use in the rest of the story. For me, too much of the story felt like a lead-up to the prompt, in a way that felt a little silly and contrived, but I know other judges thought it was cute and fun in a way that benefitted the story so take that with a grain of salt. I do feel like the story picked up once you got to the race, so perhaps the earlier half of the story would have benefitted from a little more definite action.
Lastly, there were lots of little grammatical issues and typos, as well as some questionable…

...typographical choices. I’ve seen professional authors try that same sort of thing and it always, without fail, feels like an author telling me how to feel about a moment when they should just be writing it well and let me draw my own conclusions. I used to do it a lot, too, so I get the temptation to try, but I never felt like I could pull it off in a way that it didn’t just draw attention to itself. Also be careful with temporizing in dialogue (“Um, ah, well, eh…” etc.) as it rarely achieves much compared to how we use them in actual speech.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

a little less conversation and a little more filthy rodents


Lipstick Apathy

Prump?
Prom?
Print?
Pramp?
Pront?

Also ty for those krits

derp
Jan 21, 2010

a little less conversation and a little more filthy rodents


Lipstick Apathy

i dont think i took enough time with these to call them crits, but here are the thoughts i had while reading the stories.





Funhouse, m. propagandalf


Typoes. I’m having a hard time visualizing this off-putting man. Unsure how she can tell he’s wearing blackface if he’s wearing a mask. As I’m reading, many of these descriptions are hard for me to imagine. “The man pranced off as Yolanda followed suit.” she pranced as well? This strikes me as humorous, in a sort of ‘walk this way’ kind of way. This whole thing could use some close reading and a couple more rounds of editing. I liked the unexpected way the man reacted like he was all hurt and sad that she didn’t want to stay, that made me smile. Overall though this story wasn’t very satisfying because Yolanda didn’t do anything, it was all the man’s actions (telling her where the plushy was, then giving her the special coin) that allowed her to leave.

Macadelic, allnewjonassalk

Oh boy, a poo poo story. The first sentence is where I would normally stop reading but I’ll go on for a crit. Well this certainly is miserable. Strikes me as kind of a gross out story, but it at least has a cynical edge, which I like. Not sure what to think of the message here. It seems to be a critical look at the way cities deal with their homeless, but then all the homeless are described as shitbags so...? Pretty well written, I chuckled a couple times, and the ending was unexpected. Not much of a story though, in a ‘character trying and failing/succeeding to do something’ kind of way.

Running up that hill, staggy

I liked this one. The beginning has a good hook and it held me all the way through. I really enjoyed that it didn’t end in a sappy or dumb way, or a twisty way (almost thought he was gunna die on the hill WHATATWIST) but in a realistic ‘work is hard, and it sucks, deal with it’ kind of way. Nice work on the descriptions, too, really had me feeling the guys pain and frustration. I’ll probably think of this one again at some point, which is more than I can say for most of the stories I read here.

Twisted goose

I wanted to stop reading this cause who wants to read about these kinds of assholes, but I noticed that one of the words for your prompt was ‘disdain’ so, okay, I guess I’ll feel disdain. Pretty well written, pulled me along, made me want to know what was going to happen. I thought the story should have ended here “This is the Twisted Goose, he said impatiently, and it’s how I’m finally going to grab Mindy Burbank’s tit.” It was funny, and unexpected, made me laugh. After that though you kind of figure of course it’s going to go wrong and are just waiting to find out exactly how. Not a bad read, though the content kind of brought it down, imo.

Little departures, sparksbloom

I guess it was written competently enough, but I just didn’t care about anything that happened. Didn’t seem like the character did, either.

Zodiac race, billy profane

You got a hell of a flash rule and did what you could with it. The reality show context is kind of amusing, but there’s really not much to pull this story along. There’s no question i want answered, no tension, no ‘what’s going to happen?’ not bad for trying to fit 12 characters in 1200 words though.

Eyes

Good descriptions of his weird experiences i guess but I just don’t care. Nothing changes, nothing is learned, nothing is tried, nothing is failed. A guy has some thoughts and then stabs himself.

Apophenium, bad math

I liked this one. Interesting, unpredictable and nothing is explained, which is as it should be. Would have liked a bit more of a sense of Jeremy’s feelings of being trapped and resisting, so that the finale is more satisfying. But pretty good for the number of words you had. Also i liked that she died in the end. Would have ruined the story imo if somehow his shooting bart made her wake up. Yay. after reading everything I might pick this for a winner.

Lippencot, sunday dinner

Nice. I like this one too. I was really rooting for Abe. Made me feel the tension and feel that connection and internal cheering every time Abe held his ground. Took a little while to get going, otherwise great.

Antivehicular, blameless prisoner

Was interested to read this one after seeing the flash rule. I was definitely curious while reading it, it’s an interesting premise and I wanted to find out more. Pretty good for a story where nothing can change, which means nothing really happens. The unanswered questions were good, just enough intrigue to leave me thinking about what kind of prison this is, what it means to be there, etc. pretty good. After reading everything, could be argued for a winner or hm

Tibalt, deescalation

Cut the second paragraph and this is pretty good. Can feel the guy’s desperation and helplessness. Could use some editing and rewriting in parts to make it more snappy and sharp as the story itself is. But not bad.

Thranguy, for the love of god


This was a good read. Well written, good pacing, interesting characters and interesting plot. All around good. Not sure it fits the prompt to well and i don’t get the title. But I enjoyed it quite a bit. Could be a winner.

Invisible clergy, starlight

Bored. Don’t know what the point of this was. What was i supposed to feel or think... the best way to get a reader to care about or like a character (if that’s what you were trying to do) is to show them either being really good at something, or really bad at something but trying super hard at it anyway. He didn't seem like he had to try very hard, maybe that’s why I didn’t care. I dunno.

Lead out in cuffs, suburban skategirls

This was pretty cute, and nice job on using the literal image lol. The skunks were kind of random though and a distraction cause I was trying to figure out what they meant or how they related to the prompt.

Lead out in cuffs
Sep 18, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Thank you for the crits and judgement.

derp posted:

i dont think i took enough time with these to call them crits, but here are the thoughts i had while reading the stories.

These too.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

I have heard it said that the way to summon judges is by doing more interprompt story's but they must have the word prompt concealed within them

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017

Time for tea and Thunderdome

Pirates
Ran
Over
My
Pterodactyl

flerp
Feb 25, 2014


sebmojo posted:

I have heard it said that the way to summon judges is by doing more interprompt story's but they must have the word prompt concealed within them

prompt

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Another week where I get to take home that loser status. Next week I shall be back to break the curse.

Thanks for the crits guys. I am absorbing them with my power.

AllNewJonasSalk fucked around with this message at Sep 11, 2018 around 06:52

Lead out in cuffs
Sep 18, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Naked Pirate

A streak of blue sailed past George's face. It bounced on the couch, and revealed itself to be a plastic tugboat.

"Martha! That child of yours is throwing his toys again!" he said.

He looked up from his newspaper to see a toddler running across the living room, wearing nothing but a pirate hat, and chewing on a purple dinosaur. A portly woman chased after him.

"He's ripped off his clothes, too! Billy, you are such a handful" said Martha as she caught up.

Billy looked up at Martha, waved the purple dinosaur, then made a noise.

"Did you hear that?" said Martha, "I think he's trying to speak. Oh my god, George, this could be his first word!"

George got up off the couch and leaned down to listen. Billy made the noise again.

"It sounds like he's trying to say papa!" said George.

Billy furrowed his tiny brow. Behind his eyes, gears seemed to turn. Then he smiled.

"Prompt!" he said, clapping his hands. "Prompt! Prompt! Prompt!"

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Thunderdome Week 319: 雷電のコンペティション〜☆

This week, you're going to write magical girl fiction!



Aside from the genre, you're free to write about whatever you want. Write a fight scene. Write drama between friends. Write about the non-magical friend who has to cover for a magical girl's nonsense, or a magical single mom in her thirties, or Cardcaptor Cleopatra, or Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Royal Navy Scouts.

1281 words maximum
Entries close 11PM PDT, Friday night
Submissions close 11PM PDT, Sunday night

Judges:
Djeser
Solitair
CantDecideOnAName

Entrants:
Fleta Mcgurn
Antivehicular
apophenium
AllNewJonasSalk
Tibalt
Thranguy
Lippincott
derp
Armack
Beezus
curlingiron
Invisible Clergy
Bad Seafood
CascadeBeta
Maigius
M. Propagandalf
Mr. Sunshine
Staggy
Tyrannosaurus
ThirdEmperor

Djeser fucked around with this message at Sep 15, 2018 around 05:36

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

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



gently caress YES I AM IN

Sailor Teamu wa!!!!

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome


THUNDERDOME ENTRANT POWER, MAKE UP

(i.e., in)

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009

I am a real boy.


Definitely in

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I'm in. Ready and rocking.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

lol suk it proud boi


...well, okay. I'm in.

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

In

Lippincott
Jun 28, 2018

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

You must suffer.

A lot.


Most definitely in.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

a little less conversation and a little more filthy rodents


Lipstick Apathy

okay i will do it

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014


May I judge this week?

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



Solitair posted:

May I judge this week?

You got it!

Armack
Jan 27, 2006

Corde pulsum tangite


I am in.

CantDecideOnAName
Jan 1, 2012

And I understand if you ask
Was this life,
was this all?


I will also judge, if you'll allow me on your panel.

Lead out in cuffs
Sep 18, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

AllNewJonasSalk, crits below.

AllNewJonasSalk posted:

Macadelic
945 Words


I'm in the bathroom ridding my bowels of yesterday's lunch. The only problem is the colon highway is backed up for miles so all the poo poo has to reroute and take the next exit through my mouth. Projectile style. So there are a few issues with this. First is that it’s very telly. “It’s a painful experience”. Seriously? Show me. This is literally visceral pain. Second, this is not how the human digestive tract works. Constipation does not lead to vomiting. Maybe this is some hell dimension where it does, but that’s not at all clear. But OK, protagonist sits down to take a poo poo and ends up projectile vomiting instead. Only, I can’t actually tell this either, because you didn’t even tell this well. If this character was sitting in a bathroom stall projectile vomiting, then it should be splattering on the inside of the door. Thirdly, ew.


It's a painful experience made worse by the fact that some rear end in a top hat keeps banging on the door. Can't he hear the stall is occupied?


Between gags I somehow chain together a couple foul tasting expletives and shudder myself back into my bearings. Next thing I know the rear end in a top hat starts banging louder and then someone yells something about security and men open the door and grab at me. OK some showing at least, although “shudder myself back into my bearings” is awkward. It’s still not quite clear why the protagonist is being thrown out of a nightclub just for puking in a stall, but OK.


A couple moments later I'm thrown from the club. Show don’t tell. I land on my head but, luckily for me, my head lands on a bum. Show don’t tell. Also “bum” in this context is ambiguous but in a dumb way. I mutter an apology. The bum mutters a “gently caress you,” and we both go about our lives.


I walk along the sidewalk as the sky unzips it's trousers and pisses all over me. OK so now we’re at three eliminative bodily fluids without really getting to know much of anything about the character or the setting. Suggestion: keep the poo/pee/puke/whatever for when you want to add punch, rather than scattering it everywhere. There's a pizza place a couple streets from here where I know I can take shelter. Right now it sounds like the protag is also homeless? I head that way and wonder how long it'll be before my friends realize I haven't returned with their drinks. OK, probably not homeless, but somehow he got thrown out of a club without any of his friends noticing him being dragged out?


Walking always unlocks my eye for detail. This is possibly the worst tell-when-you-could-have-shown sentence in this piece so far. I push the eye back into my skull OK, so maybe this is body horror. If so, you aren’t doing yourself any favours being this coy about it. and notice that the mayor's war on poverty is moving along nicely. I've never seen this many homeless people downtown in my life. I've also never seen so many cops cracking so many homeless skulls with their flashlights before stuffing them into the backs of so many squad cars. This is still not really making sense. Cops are beating “so many skulls” in just a few blocks of walking? Is there a riot going on? Are there flashing lights everywhere? If there is, show us. If this is really that out of the ordinary, show us. Taxpayer dollars will make sure these bums have a nice home and lukewarm food for the foreseeable future. I personally haven't paid taxes in many years and have no interest about the details of where your tax dollars go. Mine go up my nose when I can afford it. OK, so we’re well into the story right now, let’s recap what I know about your character. They either have severe digestive trouble or they have literal body horror where they can vomit poo poo out of their mouth. They possibly have a literal detachable eye, but I’m not quite sure. They don’t pay their taxes, and like to snort drugs of some sort. So far, I’m not seeing anything to make me care about them.


After what seems like minutes of deep introspective bullshit This is some good self-awareness. Have you considered just not including the whole paragraph of deep introspective bullshit in your story? I'm at the pizza spot.


“Roach Box is the name and pizza is the game” is how they style themselves on their television advertisements. My friends say the pizza tastes of filth and decay but I wouldn't know. I've never actually ate eaten a single slice of pizza here. Usually if I'm in this joint I can be found awkward phrasing on one of the arcade machines watching Pac Man eat pills and chase ghosts. Again, telling rather than showing.


Tonight I'm denied entry after I rifle through my pockets and notice all my money is gone. I guess the bummy headrest from earlier snagged a couple bucks as payment. Really, in that brief interaction? And the bum cleared out *all* of your pockets?


“What kinda pizza place has an entrance fee anyway,” I start to say as the door is firmly slammed in my face.


The rain still hasn't let up but there's a bus stop that looks reasonably clean. With only three used syringes and a mostly fresh tampon for company, I begin to wait out the storm and wonder when someone will text me a “Where'd you go, bro?” Why the actual gently caress didn’t you just text or call them?


Within minutes a police officer shows up to surveil the scene and surmise find a better word my business here at this bus stop. show don’t tell


“You one of them homeless people? Show me your papers,” barks the cop. awkward dialog


It's now that I remember that all my papers were in the wallet that guy from earlier absconded with. In lieu of response I point towards a now very well dressed bum walking up the street towards us. OK, in the space of the last, what, ten minutes, the same bum has gotten cleaned up, bought himself new clothes, and just happens to have wandered down this same street at the exact same moment as you’re being accosted by the cop?


“You're not gonna believe this officer,” I say. “But that man robbed me earlier. He's got all my poo poo. And he even bought a parasol. Can you believe the balls on that guy?”


True to prophecy the cop doesn't believe a word of my story and knocks me on the head with his fancy baton. Just before I descend into unconsciousness I hear him relay news of his victory over the radio.


“I got another one. Now I'll be able to afford that fancy toaster that actually toasts the bread instead of setting everything on fire like my old one,” the cop loudly intones. be careful of adverbs in general, but also, this one doesn’t even match the verb


“Roger that, Mike,” the radio chimes back. “The chief says you should stop using your radio to chatter about your toaster.”


And then everything goes black.


#


I wake up a couple hours later feeling like my head's been split open. After pressing my fingers to my skull and feeling soft squishiness where I normally feel hard firmness, I confirm my diagnosis. again, this is not how human anatomy works


I look around and find myself in a dimly lit room. I can just make out the bodies of several sleeping men. They're possibly women but it's hard to tell in the dark. My sex life is very adventurous. This last sentence in this context is kinda creepy. I think it’s meant as sarcastic self-deprecation, but it could also sound like you just sexually assaulted a few people in the dark cell.


Within moments the lights skyrocket awkwardin intensity and a loud voice booms I feel like this is an instructive phrase. “a voice booms” is showing, “a loud voice” is telling. “loud” in your sentence is redundant. over a PA system.


“I'm sure you're all aware of the mayor's mission to rid our city of poverty one bum at a time,” says the voice.


Those of us not able to sleep through the deafening roar mutter in acknowledgement.


“Good. Good,” says the voice. “Now fiscal finance not being what it used to be. We can't afford to house and feed you all. Don't worry. The city has come up with a solution to all of our problems. Notice how hot your quarters are?” how about describing the heat through the protagonists POV?


We notice.


“You're sitting above a pit that leads all the way to hell. Allow us to guide you there.”


And then we hear the distinct sound of a finger pressing a button right before we fall at an alarming rate. I'm not even given proper time to investigate my astonishment at the fact that hell does indeed exist before I'm burned into many foul smelling ashes.


I wonder if hell has blow. I can certainly use a toot or three.

OK, so you’re going for dystopia. Things to work on: show don’t tell, try to make your character at least slightly relatable, try to foreshadow an ending like that rather than just making it a lovely diabolus ex machina. Also work on making your story coherent and understandable. Exposition can be painful, but if you’re showing more than telling, it’s easier to work it into the story.

Beezus
Sep 11, 2018

I never said I was a role model.


I’m in.

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Lead out in cuffs posted:

AllNewJonasSalk, crits below.


OK, so you’re going for dystopia. Things to work on: show don’t tell, try to make your character at least slightly relatable, try to foreshadow an ending like that rather than just making it a lovely diabolus ex machina. Also work on making your story coherent and understandable. Exposition can be painful, but if you’re showing more than telling, it’s easier to work it into the story.

Thanks for the crit. I will take your well thought out criticisms and plug them into my brain. Eventually I'll get good at this or die trying.

E: a heartfelt thanks to the judges as well. After reading the other stories I was pretty sure I'd be the loser but it's always nice to know exactly why.

dreadmojo
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!

sebmojo posted:

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.

ThirdEmperor, you're well past due for this, so you're about to lose that sweet av unless you pony up.

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curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

I am in!

curlingiron fucked around with this message at Sep 12, 2018 around 05:26

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