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

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«79 »
  • Post
  • Reply
RandomPauI
Nov 24, 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

Grimey Drawer

My entry is automatically disqualified because I never entered. But I heard people had trouble with the prompt and had a few hours to kill so I figured on giving it a try.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Submissions are closed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04mfKJWDSzI

No lingering toxxes but Fleta Mcgurn, Flesnolk, a New Study Bible!, BabyRyoga, HisMajestyBOB, and Maigius are all no-shows and total weenies. Come on guys, I gave you three hours.

Nevertheless, if any of these weenies manage to submit their stories before judgment, they just might get a crit out of it. Maybe.

As for the rest of you, carry on my wayward sons. And daughters. And Crabrock.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

flerp derp brawl results

derp posted:

Residue
1375 words


flerp posted:

derp brawl

651 words

Guardian Angel

i'll crit these a bit later but basically i asked for stories where all animals were sapient, but couldn't recognize this quality in others, and couldn't communicate with them. so flerp wrote a story where a dove recognizes the pain in a boy and actually understands the words that the boy says..... i mean like. what, you violated both parts of the prompt... I DON'T EVEN KNOW. derp's story was way more on par with what i wanted. a bunch of animals being dicks to each other. it had a loose narrative that was kind of fun, if more "ripped from the headlines" than original, but it got the job done.

derp wins, almost by default.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

a little less conversation and a little more filthy rodents


Lipstick Apathy

woo, my first TD win

Hawklad
May 3, 2003


Who wants to live
forever?


DIVE!

College Slice

derp posted:

woo, my first TD win

OPEN THE BLOODGATES

Djeser
Mar 22, 2013



fast, judging! good; judging?

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

Djeser posted:

fast, judging! good; judging?

Judging sneak peek: there were some bad stories and there were some not bad stories.

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013

awww...
you guys made me ink!


THUNDERDOME


Chairchucker posted:

Judging sneak peek: there were some bad stories and there were some not bad stories.

I don't believe you

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

This sure is some slow judging huh

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Tyrannosaurus posted:

This sure is some slow judging huh

You could say it is some T-REXible judging.

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome


Tyrannosaurus posted:

This sure is some slow judging huh

It's not their fault that the judging results are locked behind a steel vault door and the thermal drill broke down.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk

Inter prompt NEVER EAT ANYTHING LARGER THAN YOUR HEAD 200 words

derp
Jan 21, 2010

a little less conversation and a little more filthy rodents


Lipstick Apathy

sebmojo told me not to ever eat anything larger than my head, but i have a very small head and that excludes most foods and i am a large man who needs much food so i starved to death and now i am a ghost. gently caress you sebmojo.

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 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

Grimey Drawer

NEVER EAT ANYTHING LARGER THAN YOUR HEAD 200 words

(note to self, everyone’s talking about fan fiction so do that too.)

Griffin had an unhealthy fascination with being eaten and with eating bananas. So his loving youtube fans celebrated his birthday by combining the two interests into one. A life-sized bananafied copy of Griffin. His clothes and skin were made with flavored fondants like chocolate-banana, and strawberry-banana. His eyes were banana slices dipped in white chocolate. Banana pudding formed his blood, banana cake the fat, banana bread the muscles, and frozen bananas the bones. Griffin greedily tore into the banana-head, ignoring youtube messages and comments asking him to slow down. Alas, the banana third-vertebrae proved Griffin’s undoing. He choked on it and died, live on youtube.

Crain
Jun 27, 2007



Never eat anything larger than your own head.

Never eat anything bigger than your own head yeah? I mean, how would you anyways? Like you eat with your mouth yeah? My mouth isn’t bigger than my head, or even the same size, not to mention the size of my throat. So like, you’re not gonna eat anything bigger than your own head anyway. A cow’s bigger than my head, am I going to try and python a whole cow? No I’m eating a burger. Gut some steakums. Same with a pig. Wilbur’s bigger than my head, bacon ain’t. Hell, we can even go on to veggies yeah? Watermelon? No one’s skulling that like a Nyquil. Slice it up, cubes, mash it into a drink, you’re gonna make it smaller yeah? Even if you don’t bring tools into the situation you’re gonna make whatever you’re eating smaller. Them cudgel looking turkey legs? No knife and fork for that, but I got my teeth. Bite it, it’s smaller. Leg’s bigger’n my head; mouthful ain’t. Right? See where I’m at? C’mon.

“Sir I’m not allowed to sell you the whole spiral of gyro meat.”

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

sebmojo posted:

Inter prompt NEVER EAT ANYTHING LARGER THAN YOUR HEAD 200 words

ok

Ninjalicious
Feb 21, 2010


sebmojo posted:

Inter prompt NEVER EAT ANYTHING LARGER THAN YOUR HEAD 200 words

The Penguin (62 words)

Never eat anything larger than your head. I watched my friend Will eat three 1/3rd lb patties one beef one chicken one lamb. And what had to be four persons full of of chili fries.

It was certainly bigger than his head and he certainly vomited it all over the glass front of the Penguin diner. He got the shirt though.

Ninjalicious
Feb 21, 2010


Okay self shame. Spellcheck failed.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


sebmojo posted:

Inter prompt NEVER EAT ANYTHING LARGER THAN YOUR HEAD 200 words

Too Much to Swallow (200 words)

She cast my head in chocolate, down to my breasts. I don’t remember sitting for it—perhaps the morning I woke with plaster in my hair and a terrible itch up my nostrils. How did she do it without disturbing me? My girlfriend moves like a ghost.

Confronting myself in chocolate. Blind unseeing eyes begging me to what—eat it? Not eat it? But it’s chocolate. This gift demands eating. But the head is so lifelike, it could pass for me were it not such a solid shade. How did she capture my eyes so well? What happens if you eat your own head?

When I was a child my mother gave me a chocolate kitten for Easter. I’d never had a problem eating cartoon bunnies before, but the kitten gazed at me with eyes begging me to spare it. I couldn’t bare to bite it. I left the chocolate kitten safe in its box. Until months later it melted.

I put my chocolate head in the fridge. The breasts broke off, but I don’t mind eating those. This way the head won’t lose my essence. It will be contained until…? I can’t stand its stare. I shut the door.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Adventure Awaits!


Fun Shoe

FG...



..GJ?

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Results!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBgp5aDH23g

So this was a pretty uneven week overall. Even the best stories were lacking something - most often, a satisfying conclusion - and the bad ones, well, I'll let the crits speak for themselves.

At the absolute bottom of the barrel we have Unfunny Poster, whose detached, uninteresting protagonist committed the worst crime of all: a story In Which a Thing Happens and that's it, that's the story. There's definitely more to dislike here, not the least of which being the bare minimum lip service you manage to pay your own flash rule, but when it came to the race to the bottom, that's what cleared you out ahead of the pack.

But don't be quick to judge, lest you yourself be judged, Ninjalicious and RandomPauI. Unfunny Poster may have spared you both the losertar, but make no mistake you guys owe him big time. Especially you Ninjalicious, Mr. Sign-Up-and-Immediately-Post-a-Story. Welcome to Thunderdome.

In greener pastures we find the better works of Antivehicular and Dr. Klocktopussy, whose charming, low-risk capers still managed to stoke the human goodness in my heart. High times, good times.

But there can only be one winner, and that winner - by a thin margin - was DreamingofRoses, whose Jack Burton-inspired shotgun wedding captured more or less everything I wanted from this prompt, and had me wishing for more.

The throne is yours, Dreaming. You didn't even have to steal it. You earned it.

Mekchu
Apr 10, 2012



poo poo.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Week No. 286 Crits

Taken verbatim from my notes, except for the parts where it isn't.

Why Try Harder
By Ninjalicious (NO FLASH RULE)
  • Opening line: okay. Gives me a conflicted portrait of the narrator, in a believable way. It’s the next line that does the conceptual heavy lifting with regard to the premise.
  • Little bit of “As you know” going on here.
  • PRESENT TENSE AAAA I knew I forgot to ban something.
  • Weed and refuse (poo poo), of course; goons will be goons.
  • Yes you can’t make up this stuff where everything’s easy for me and we gloss over the fun details I swear.
  • Why does a fully automated ship need a galley?
  • Drugs, poo poo, sex slavery, unhealthy eating habits; this story has it all.
  • Your crime isn’t fun, your setting doesn’t pop, and I’m not smiling.
  • Your protagonist largely succeeds because everyone else around him is incompetent, which is seldom satisfying to read.
  • RANKING: Low

My Last Day
By Unfunny Poster (the Shanghai grocer and the Austrian dentist hated each other immediately)
  • Opening line: functional, but workmanlike. Least I know you’re taking your flash rule seriously. In a vacuum though, this does tell us something pretty important about two of our characters.
  • ...And our narrator, whose very detached from the proceedings. Worrisome start.
  • ...Ah, one of those superior to their surroundings types. Prospects grim.
  • Sex exploitation and defensive vomiting, we are just cruising along.
  • Thanks for throwing in some last minute detail on that casino after spending the whole story in a dingy office with an unwashed man; a casino that’s both noisy AND loud? It’s like I’m really there.
  • A thing happened, the end. I hate this kind of thing.
  • Your crime isn’t fun, your setting doesn’t pop, and I’m not smiling.
  • Your protagonist is unengaging and uninteresting. Greg is the only person in this story with any real personality and he’s a overbearing gremlin, the type of which are a dime a dozen.
  • Your flash rule gets only the bare minimum amount of lip service but you don’t do anything interesting with it.
  • RANKING: Low

A Trip Down Memory Lane
By Exmond (your protagonist gets caught up in closed-room murder mystery)
  • Opening line: pretty okay! Delivers an immediate premise that catches my attention and suggests the character of the speaker, a Miss Oakfield. An older woman, I’m assuming.
  • The following bit gives some nice follow-up, though the dialogue is a bit stale. We’ve got a pair, our protagonist, and they’re in over their head, whatever it is they’re up to. The first aside was really more than enough to clue us in though; the rest are frivolous.
  • Loyalty, loyalty.
  • Gaudy, in a good way. I know where we are at least (take note, previous submitters).
  • Hmm okay so it’s a mystery in the center of her mind. Not sure what this means for the legitimacy of the mystery since this is likely all an allegory, but we’ll see where this goes.
  • KNOX’S THIRD, DIE THE DEATH, GREAT EQUALIZER IS THE DEATH
  • Gross crown bro.
  • “And then there was lights.”
  • The dialogue in general is not very strong in this piece.
  • To the Moon AF
  • Your crime was confusing, your setting popped, and I’m not smiling, but I’m not frowning either.
  • Your protagonist, Elizabeth, gets the most love here (literally and figuratively). The thieves are fleeting specters, and inserting their backstory in this way does more to hurt than help.
  • You kinda write around your flash rule by making everything a metaphor, but whatevs.
  • RANKING: Low

Through a Glass, Darkly
By Deltasquid (you are going to steal the Eiffel Tower, actually. The actual, for-real Eiffel Tower. Twice)
  • Opening line: functional. Lays out the board, sets the mood, puts some description in there.
  • A little telly, but there’s some good character work here. I know who everyone is and what they’re after, and how they mean to get it.
  • Who’s Marcel?
  • Had to google “Cosh.” Could’ve just said club.
  • Also I gotta be honest I keep reading Beatrica’s name as Beatrice. It’s a bit of a distracting change.
  • Ha ha okay that was a fun little romp. A mite confusing at points, but I got the jist.
  • Good use of the flash rule, though it’s a little less clever without foreshadowing - unless I need to reread the piece again
  • Who’s Marcel!?!?
  • Ending is mostly satisfying but feels a little rushed. It’s obviously supposed to be a conclusion and not a continuation, but it raises certain questions about the back-half of the job.
  • Additionally, Beatrica selling off the tower for scrap kinda dampens the feel-good nature of the crime since it makes her a bit more self-serving.
  • Your crime was mostly feel-good (take that Japan, but poor France), your setting popped, and I’m smiling.
  • Beatrice and Seamus were a fun pair, and basically the protagonists. Some confusing blocking, a too-quick ending, and a few nitpicks keep this from being a cleaner sweep.
  • RANKING: Mid-High

The Soft Touch
By Antivehicular (when your protagonist is called out, as inevitably they will be, they will calmly explain “When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships”)
  • Opening line: pretty good. We’ve already got a personality for our narrator, a relationship, and a tone.
  • If you’re gonna “Tell, don’t show,” this is the right way to do it. I feel like the narrator is telling me a story, like I’m at his place and we’re chatting and he’s going on about that one time the way real people sometimes do.
  • I like that your protagonist has a life outside of crime, but also that his family’s in on it. The small town, small business husband-and-wife dynamic adds a mildly hilarious yet wholesome air to the whole affair.
  • On that note, having your protagonist turn down the job to prioritize his employees and customers is was a great way to signal he’s a criminal, sure, but not a scumbag.
  • Good use of the flash rule, respect.
  • Solid ending. The whole thing’s a little low-stakes, but deliberately so, and it works. Likewise, the setting doesn’t exactly “Pop,” but it wafts into view and lingers, which for this story is just as good.
  • Your crime was feel-good, your setting popped (in spirit), and I’m smiling.
  • I would read more of this guy’s low-key adventurers, or a sequel where he meets the Swan for real. For that matter, you do a good job characterizing the Swan, who only ever actually appears in the margins.
  • RANKING: High

Word of God
By Fuschia Tude (your protagonist is a pacifist who likes to announce their burglaries 24-hours in advance. Their adversaries are armed to the teeth)
  • Opening line: functional, but a bit generic. It tells us something about the speaker though, so that’s cool.
  • Fields of what now?
  • Alright, I’ve got a good sense for your protagonist. The yellow suit’s a nice touch. I understand why he speaks the way he does, though at the same time - as a reader - it’s a bit irksome.
  • Your knock-off Ministry of Information has a very Seussian vibe to it; not that I’m complaining.
  • Spending a lot of time on the particulars of this bulb-car I don’t really care about.
  • Some lip-service toward the guards being armed. Hope it’s relevant.
  • A single long hair!
  • “Archaic writing implement.” It’s okay for your character to talk like this, but having the narrator talk like this is a bit weird. Just say it’s a pen or a quill or whatever it is.
  • Laslo’s a bit...dramatic.
  • I guess everyone in this story’s a bit dramatic. And metatextual. Hmm.
  • Laslo’s risking a fair bit more than the story seems to want us to think he is.
  • Getting a lot of info just now that would’ve been nicer earlier in the story as build-up. The mystery doesn’t serve you well here. The whole heist comes off as high-stakes, but faceless. Why was this a secret in the first place? Who benefits from keeping it secret?
  • Your crime was whatever, your setting popped, and I’m not sure how to feel.
  • The hardest part of your protagonist’s job was already taken care of off-screen, which makes the whole caper feel very low-risk, low-effort. Even the token resistance of his enemies feel empty and lacking.
  • You scratch at the flash rule without really grasping it. Your protagonist comes off less like a pacifist and more like someone who just prefers to manipulate people, and the bad guys are armed to the pinky. He does announce his crime, but to no real effect.
  • RANKING: Low

The Adventures of Colin Flame: Heiress on the High Seas
By Sandnavyguy (the ship was sinking, the mark was missing, and there I was handcuffed to the Ethiopian eunuch)
  • Opening line: getting right into the action, okay.
  • Prose, thy name is purple-ish.
  • “The rogue spun a high kick into the officer’s right hand,” yeah, but who’s who?
  • Bad guy doesn’t waste any time establishing he’s the bad guy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
  • The two characters introducing themselves “Off-screen,” as it were, is super telly and doesn’t gel well with how this story’s going so far.
  • And then you keep doing it. Ain’t a great look, man.
  • Dude check out where they clipped me.
  • Is he an admiral or a captain? I know the guy in charge of the ship is always the captain, but still…
  • Ah, the old “Hero has a secret solution to the problem he never shared with anyone, least of all the viewers” trick.
  • Your crime was feel-good insofar as the goal was noble and the victim deserved it, the setting didn’t really pop, and I’m not smiling.
  • Your protagonist’s kind of a generic plucky rogue with nothing especially interesting about him, much like the generic ship he finds himself on that you don’t bother to describe much cause it’s pretty much like any ship you can imagine.
  • The flash rule’s here so I guess you’ve got that going for you at least.
  • RANKING: Low

A Heap of Trouble
By Apophenium (the contractor who designed the building where your story takes place clearly attended the same architectural college as the guy who designed the myriad of puzzle box mansions present in the Resident Evil series)
  • Opening line: ha ha, okay, I like this. I have no idea what’s going on yet, but the mere concept is intriguing by itself.
    Patently charming beginning.
  • The overall direction of this story is a little vague, but I know who our protagonists are, what they’re looking for (in broad terms), and why they want it, so that’s good.
  • Like the rest of the story, the Heap is both vague yet distinct. This might be a problem.
  • I like the twist where the narrator, one would assume the de facto expert, has an area of weakness his companion has to compensate for. Characterizes both of them and makes the team more meaningful.
  • Feels like it took awhile to get our narrator’s name.
  • You hinted at the narrator not having legs earlier (“She still had her legs”), and confirm it here, but somehow I wish you’d been a bit more forthright about it.
  • Also around here’s where the vagueness starts to run a bit dry with the old man. Before it felt like you were trying to leave more to the imagination, but here it feels more like a bare minimalist school play.
  • Confusing dialogue attribution.
  • Wait, they’re leaving? What did they find that was worth a healer’s services?
  • And the problem solves itself; meh.
  • Your “Crime” was feel-good, your setting popped, but I’m not smiling.
  • Your protagonists are charming and there’s something appealing about the bizarre world they inhabit, but it doesn’t amount to much in this story. You sacrificed a lot of potential flavor, I think, trying to facilitate the story’s completion within the allotted word count, when you could’ve start started a little bit closer to the ending (maybe right when they arrive at the Heap) and added a few more personal touches.
  • Flash rule is there and functional, but not much else to say about it.
  • RANKING: Mid

May Treasure Fill Your Home
By Dreaming of Roses (the trailer for Big Trouble in Little China)
  • Opening line: short and snappy. Functional, but actually better than that implies.
  • Alright, we’ve got our key players introduced in quick succession, and probably the most well-defined setting thus far this week in terms of sheer “Pop.” I’m down.
  • “She took a few steps...her target.” This sentence is wonky and feels clipped.
  • I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, but that’s okay. I mean, I know it’s a wedding ceremony of some kind, but there’s clearly more going on. To put it in movie terms, this is the scene following the bit where someone has a plan they don’t elaborate on, and now we the audience get to see how that plan unfolds. It’s a good feeling.
  • Functional bit of backstory here. There might have been a better way to drop it in, but this is fine.
  • “Looked at her a bittersweet smile.”
  • I accept that magic is part and parcel of this universe, but the phrase “Counter-spell” still seems video gamey.
  • We anime now.
  • ...Well that was easy.
  • Jack kinda feels superfluous here. He basically exists to open a lock and dress Carmen’s wound at the end. Carmen and Wendy are both fuller characters.
  • Alright, all’s well that ends well.
  • Your crime was pretty feel-good (if, ultimately, a bit to easy), your setting popped, and I’m smiling.
  • Excellent job reading into your flash rule, by the by. This is more-or-less exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for.
  • RANKING: High

Simple Pleasures
By Crain (trained in eleven martial arts, twelve languages, and bog standard parlor tricks)
  • Opening line: wordy, but sets a tone and half a scene.
  • Might just be the time of day on my end (late), but am I reading this right? Preparing for three years in this country for a thing they didn’t know would happen in this country until this year?
  • Your three protagonists feel kinda...bland?
  • Confusing dialogue attribution, and the dialogue ain’t great either.
  • Lots of telling.
  • Fighting as a distraction’s a nice touch, but it feels a bit limp.
  • Ah, fighting, language, I see where this is going. Dad tricks will save the day.
  • Yep (though “Snakes only” is a hilarious aside).
  • It’s weird to have a narrator who’s a character in the story, then jump to another character with an omniscient narrator backing them up.
  • And they get the thing...for whatever reason they needed or wanted.
  • Your crime was a crime, your setting feels forgotten, and I’m not smiling.
  • I like your use the flash rule, Bertrand’s impressive skills falling by the wayside as his more modest abilities save the day, but beyond that this piece is just plain kinda dull. I don’t really care about anyone or why anything is happening.
  • RANKING: Low-Mid

Queen of Diamonds
By Curlingiron (your protagonist, or one of them, has a crippling disability which makes an otherwise routine part of the job significantly more complicated. Despite this, they hold their own)
  • Opening line: functional. Puts us in the action.
  • Chaavi, Chhavi
  • Gonna need to know more about this Diamond Plague before I can evaluate how much of a problem it is. Similarly, you kinda just casually mention your protagonist catching it off-world, which is a heck of a detail to just throw out there into the cold open.
  • Your protagonist gets lucky, then unlucky, then the story ends.
  • I get she’s got some kind of crystalline growth, but shouldn’t that be obvious to other folks? Less of a tell, more of a condition. Not sure why she folded, unless she showed her cards.
  • No real crime (feel-good or otherwise), setting doesn’t pop (really this could be anyone’s space casino), and I’m not smiling.
  • Competently written, for the most part, but feels like only part of a story, and Chhavi’s not really interesting enough for me to care what happens next.
  • RANKING: Low-Mid

Sands of San Christo Cor
By Djeser (NO FLASH RULE)
  • Opening line: some respectable set-dressing.
  • Okay I like these losers, though I’ve only met half of them. Narrator’s pretty matter-of-fact, but with a knowing tone that fits. Hopefully we get to meet the other guys soon.
  • Consider your setting well and truly “Popping.”
  • The paragraph where you describe Leonard’s many treasures could probably have used another scan before submitting.
  • Nice introduction for the inspector.
  • Okay, I really like this setup where his long-time rival is here, but not for him, but she’s still a problem, but he’s also seeing her as a person (perhaps for the first time), and then she hits the button. It’s all very good.
  • You do a lot with a little, regarding your protagonist’s accomplices. They’re bit parts, but they play them fittingly.
  • I kinda don’t like how the plan basically goes off without a hitch once the button gets pressed. Yeah, the inspector offers some token resistance, but it’s quickly swept by. This is a strong piece that largely deflates with how easy the ending is.
  • Your crime was feel-good, your setting popped, and I’m nodding appreciative after almost smiling a few times.
  • Everything’s groovy up until the lights go out. I could see another version of this story with a modified last act winning handily; but this iteration? I’ll need to think about it.
  • RANKING: High

Alternates
By Crabrock (your protagonist must make off with the crown prince in the middle of his own wedding, with no one the wiser - including the prince)
  • Opening: killer, though I’ve never liked the use of # in prose.
  • Your protagonist’s casual exasperation sets a good tone and voice for the piece, but it’s also a tone that feels very familiar coming from you. I know what to expect, I think, and that’s both good and bad.
  • There’s a fair bit of background information here, but again, you ease into it by virtue of the delivery. Now that everything’s on the table though, we need to get to the action.
  • Hmm, well, that makes things simpler.
  • Everything seems way too easy, unless you’ve got one heck of a curveball on deck.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqZMlSZzUu8
  • Yeah, so, no real curveball except for something that made an already easy job even easier. Yawn. The tone kinda bottoms out here as well. Once you get past the initial concept of an interdimensional switcheroo, there’s not a whole lot of meat to this story, or to anyone (or anything) in any of the universes featured.
  • Your crime was decidedly neutral, your setting was...an ambiguous palace and some guy’s office, I guess? If you haven’t guessed, I’m not really smiling.
  • Competent prose, but your story’s pretty hollow. I’ll admit I gave you a real humdinger of a flash rule, which you more or less did justice, but the story and characters still aren’t that interesting or captivating.
  • RANKING: Low-Mid

Speed Drops
By CascadeBeta (your protagonist has formed an odd but genuine friendship with the police inspector who’s been chasing them all these years)
  • Opening line: action-packed, not bad.
  • “I thought I had heard a shatter I traded paint,” what?
  • I wouldn’t be sure, what?
  • Your first few paragraphs feel a bit...faceless? You have a narrator who’s doing things, feeling things, and has a reason for being there (being a gin-runner), but it comes off as kinda distant.
  • You focus on the particulars of the car chase itself but I don’t feel invested since I don’t know enough about the people - even though you are trying to tell us something about the people.
  • See, now we’ve got dialogue, now we’re getting to know these people.
  • I can kinda believe these guy’s friendship, even as adversaries, but something feels like it’s missing. I can’t put my finger on it.
  • More blow-by-blow car shenanigans. My eyes are kinda sliding down the page, honestly. Prose isn’t a great medium for trying to convey an extended range of motion. If you’re gonna have fight scenes or chase scenes, you wanna keep ‘em short and snappy. The particulars of the characters are always going to be more interesting than the particulars of the action they’re performing.
  • Assuming this is America, Prohibition ended in 1933. We had TVs then, but not in the same form we’d have TVs later when they exploded in popularity after WWII. Radios would’ve been more common then. It wouldn’t have been impossible for a restaurant to have a TV, but it’s odd enough that I stopped reading your story to double-check whether or not they would. Obviously if this isn’t America, you can disregard all this, but it’s one of those little details that’s gonna make a lot of people stop and go “Wait, did we have TVs then?” On a rewrite it’d be better to go with a radio…
  • ...except then you’re kinda sorta doing that thing where the radio/TV/news ticker immediately starts harping on about whatever it is the protagonists are talking about, thinking about, looking into it, and it feels a bit convenient. Might’ve just been better to have the narrator say “I heard-
  • More driving, ho-hum
  • It was a setup...a practice setup! Yeah, that kinda sucks the wind out of a lot of this story.
  • No crime was committed, if I understand this correctly, the setting is a modestly defined restaurant and a bunch of big city streets, and I’m not smiling.
  • Feels like you were trying to be a bit clever here, in the name of incorporating your flash rule, but the cleverness backfires in this case. Your car chase reads like a lot of stage direction.
    Your human interactions are a little better, but mostly passable. Give this one another shot, chief.
  • RANKING: Low-Mid

Thaw
By Hawklad (casing the joint’s already hard enough when you aren’t babysitting your cousin’s kids)
  • Opening line: Hoke Remington is a badass name and the juxtaposition of this dude doing cool stuff while some kid is whining at him is quietly hilarious.
  • “Puh-lease, Uncle Hoke,” ugh, I can hear it.
  • I don’t usually mind when the narrator speaks to the reader but I kinda mind it here.
  • You’ve done a good enough job showing me this guy isn’t good with kids that calling attention to it (twice) feels weirdly distracting.
  • Ha ha okay this might be my favorite “Treasure” this week.
  • It’s, uh, Winnie the Pooh, friendo.
  • Okay the woman holding the turkey got a solid, audible chuckle out of me.
  • Cherube.
  • Wait so he was in it for the money, then he wasn’t? Also, dude concinved those kids to give him what he wanted way too easily. Lots of criminals this week just getting their way, though here it’s at least balanced by everything he had to endure up to this point.
  • The revival thing’s an interesting John Carpenter-esque last-minute twist, but it raises a few questions about Hoke’s motivations that don’t go down easy.
  • Also he left the kids behind holding the bag, 0/10 babysitting.
  • Your crime was feel-good, your setting was iconic enough, but that ending dampened my smile a bit.
  • I like stories where there’s one character who’s essentially the only sane man surrounded by a bunch of ridiculousness, and you delivered on that front. I just wish you’d hit a home run instead of a three-baser with the ending.
  • RANKING: Mid-High

Hell Hath No Fury
By Yoruichi (NO FLASH RULE)
  • Opening line: Bulwer-Lytton presents…
  • For real though, you communicate a fair bit here, including a certain tongue-in-cheek pulp sensibility, so it mostly works.
  • That’s the second fist-sized ruby of the week.
  • Yeah, definitely playing up the pulp here, though I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.
  • ...Okay, yes, that would be a shoe. The hunter has become the hunted.
  • Honestly the best thing about Lightning Jack is how unfazed he is by this whole turn of events.
  • Not a bad scrape, though I’m left feeling a little unsatisfied. That’s it? It’s not a story where a thing happens, the end, but it’s not far from one either. If you’d toxxed and spun this story a little longer, I could see it hanging with the big boys.
  • Your crime was feel-good, your setting popped, and I kinda get it.
  • What I will say say is I can tell you had a lot of fun writing this, and I wish a few more authors this week had your enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the story itself is just okay.
  • RANKING: Mid

Gloria Tuesday in: Last Train to Russia
By Thranguy (who could’ve guessed the Takarazuka Revue was just a front!)
  • Opening line: I like this line because it starts off mundane only to end with a little lemon twist. In this case we have a time-period established, but also something that clearly breaks with that period. It’s nice.
  • I like this setup, but now I’m not sure why the carriage is unfolding like this. I had to go back to see if I missed anything, and I don’t think I did, but now I’m not sure why this is happening - why this conversation couldn’t just happen in a regular train car.
  • Okay now I get it.
  • That said, considering this is between WWI and WWII, this Dragon dude must have some major league clout to have the entirely of the Japanese Greater East-Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere eating out of his hand. I’m not sure if I can quite believe that level of power from a single crime lord.
  • I like this little seated action scene.
  • A bit showy at the end for an allegedly secret operation.
  • Also if she had a convincing fake why didn’t she just give them the fake. I’m also not sure why ‘Henry’ doesn’t ask for the gem back either. America and Japan aren’t exactly chummy at this particular time in history.
  • Your crime was feel-good, your setting popped, and I’m smiling...but a little confused.
  • Your characters all have a nice air of confidence about them, and it really makes this click as a kind of larger-than-life heist with the fate of nations on the line.
  • RANKING: Mid-High

The Day Before Sunday
By GenJoe (she was a handsome young woman with a knack for shooting; a real Annie Oakley in a three-piece suit)
  • Opening line: functional, but surprisingly robust. Gives us an immediate sense of time and place and what’s about.
  • Very cozy so far, light and airy, snack-sized.
  • And there’s the pitch...halfway through the story. Oh dear.
  • Though this sort of clash usually bothers me, I like how your villain breaks the charming, light-hearted mood of the piece.
  • “Yeah, my enzymes are going to be all over you,” kinda clashes with the rest of the piece.
  • Another ultimately easy crime. Positive feelings abound, but I’d hoped to see Jeannine have to figure something out. The skills described in her flashrule don’t ever really come into play either, beyond giving her an excuse to meet the mark.
  • Your crime was feel-good, your setting expressed itself humbly, but I’m not smiling.
  • I described your story as snack-sized and, really, that’s kind of all it is. A snack between meals.
  • RANKING: Low-Mid

The Midas Blade
Dr. Kloctopussy (the job was a setup,only not that kind of setup)
  • Opening line: good. Introduces the protagonist, the antagonist (presumably), sets the scene, and gives us an action to focus on.
  • And just like that, you’ve neatly laid out the backstory, the stakes, the presence of magic (or something like it); this is a very well-compartmentalized story.
  • Ha ha her so it’s that kind of setup. Good use of the rule.
  • The mundane family drama does a lot to elevate this piece, and of course Robin’s useless. It’s a bit cliche, but it’s almost the better for it since everything else is so extraordinary.
  • I like that Puck seems more upset about being replaced (by a centaur) than by the potential loss of his treasure.
  • Pretty good ending too, sans the typo, though the escape being so easy deflates it.
  • Your crime was feel-good, your setting, hmm, well, parts of it popped - all the fairy stuff; Puck’s place was kinda just there - and I was smiling.
  • Your protagonist is likable, their problem is both fantastical and painfully normal (again, good use of the rule), and the whole thing is just generally well polished. Most of my problems are nitpicks, though at the same time this is well-worn ground.
  • RANKING: High

Don Mendoza and his Sly Compatriots Strike their First Corpulent Target - 756
By RandomPauI (NO FLASH RULE, NO SIGN UP; DISQUALIFIED)
  • Opening line: a bunch of gobbledygook. What’s more, a bunch of gobbledygook in need of proofreading.
  • [Don’t] do this. [Never] do this outside of research papers and the like.
  • Purple, purple everywhere.
  • Ellipses...I see…
  • I forget who it was who said “Readers tend to look for people,” but it’s true. You could’ve skipped the first three paragraphs entirely and started with Poltrot.
  • Some pretty low-key tyranny here.
  • This dialogue is pretty clunky. These names are too.
  • Armendariz is the name of my Red Mage on the Yggdrasil server.
  • You “Use” a lot of “Unnecessary” quotation marks.
  • For a guy who is active on the scene, Armendariz sure doesn’t feel like a character.
  • A lot of this reads like someone trying to emulate Shakespeare based on hearsay.
  • And it just ends in what feels like the middle of the story. I can’t say this was particularly satisfying.
  • Your crime wasn’t feel-good (we didn’t even get to see it happen), your setting gets forgotten, and I’m not smiling.
  • I can’t say I really have a strong impression of anyone or anything in this story. They’re just all there, doing things.
  • RANKING: Low

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Also, prompt.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

Bad Seafood posted:

Also, prompt.

prompt imo

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

DreamingofRoses
Jun 27, 2013


Thunderdome CCLXXXVII: Bad Romance

Since I've been on a bit of a romance kick lately and since V-day is coming up in a couple of weeks I've decided to start the torture early. I like romance stories and not just Harlequin bodice rippers. Unfortunately, very few people can actually write a compelling romance, which is a loving tragedy. In the vain hope that someone can stir my long-shriveled heart, I want you guys to try your hands at it. I am used to reading trash so hopefully this shouldn't hurt that much.

Write an interesting romance. It can be joyful or tragic, funny or completely serious, the main focus of the story or just noticeable in the background, but it has to be interesting. The characters have to be interesting. The actual interplay between them has to be interesting. If you want to pull out bullshit cliches, you'd better earn them through characterization. Melodrama is accepted, but only if done well.

The word count is 1,000 words, but if you really want to hurt me, just ask for a flash rule and I will give you a couple from mythology or literature as inspiration and you can have 500 more words.

NO EROTICA OR FANFICTION

Word Count: 1,000 or 1,500
Sign-up Deadline:12:00 PM EST Saturday, February 3rd
Submission Deadline:11:59 PM EST Sunday, February 4th.

Judges:
DreamingofRoses
Sham bam bamina!
Exmond

Entrants:
1)Unfunny Poster
2)Chairchucker Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi from Japanese mythology
3)Antivehicular Niu Lang and Zhi Nu from Chinese mythology
4)apophenium Balthamos and Baruch from His Dark Materials
5)GenJoe
6)NethiliaElizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
7)Thranguy Sybil and Samuel Vimes from Sir Terry Pratchett
8)Jay W. Friks Orpheus and Eurydice from Greek mythology
9)Ninjalicious Laura and Shadow Moon from American Gods
10)Ironic Twist
11)Fuschia tude Lancelot and Guinevere from Arthurian legend
12) Tyrannosaurus Petruchio and Katherina from Taming of the Shrew
14) sparksbloom
15) Yoruichi
16) Sebmojo
17) QuoProQuid
18) Kaishai
19) Bad Seafood

DreamingofRoses fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2018 around 17:05

Mekchu
Apr 10, 2012



I guess I'll try for a hat trick while not really meaning to suck at writing. Count me in.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

flash me pls

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I won a rosette in the Thunderdome


In, and I'll take a Flash Rule, please.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009

I am a real boy.


Thanks for the solid crits Bad Seafood

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009

I am a real boy.


And count me in for romance week, with flash rule(s)

DreamingofRoses
Jun 27, 2013


Chairchucker posted:

flash me pls

Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi from Japanese mythology

Antivehicular posted:

I'll take a Flash Rule, please.

Niu Lang and Zhi Nu from Chinese mythology

apophenium posted:

And count me in for romance week, with flash rule(s)

Balthamos and Baruch from His Dark Materials

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Grimey Drawer

I will have all of my crits from weeks 257 & 269 posted by 2/6

GenJoe
Sep 14, 2010


hell loving yeah I’m in

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


Romance, you say? Then I'm in.

Oh, and please give me a flash rule.

Exmond
May 31, 2007


im doin it ma im writing

THUNDERDOME


Unfunny Poster Crit

Unfunny Poster posted:

Prompt 286

Word count: 761

My Last Day
The two men clearly hated each other, that was immediately clear as soon as they both sat at the table. This was emphasized even more later on when the larger man cracked the smaller one with a hard right. Honestly, I could have prevented it, but I had already mentally checked out of this job and was trying to find my way to someplace exotic and fun. Forget Tucson is what I had decided.

Eldorado Casino doesn’t like it when people cause trouble, especially my manager Greg. For whatever reason these two buffoons decided that tonight was a good time to let out their anger, and just so happened to pick my table. Which was why I found myself sitting in an office being chewed out by my idiotic, sweaty, fat, balding boss for not spotting their mood earlier.



Greg routinely enjoyed reminding me that I was just a dealer and that he was the boss, with only the owner Lou being above him. He liked to think he was hot poo poo, especially around the young women who got hired, but in reality he was just a pathetic looking excuse for a man. That didn’t stop him from lording over others though.




WOO HOO no spelling errors. Holy crap this is MUCH improved. Good job.


your story posted:




“Jesus Christ Sarah, are you really that incompetent? How am I going to explain to Lou that we had an Austrian dentist performing free dental work on that Jap grocer in the middle of the pit?”

“He’s Chinese.” I replied.



Dialogue tag error, but its minor. You should have a comma at the end of Chinese, not a period. But it's minor and didn't impact the story at all. Just pointing it out



your story posted:



“What?”

“He’s Chinese. He was speaking Chinese, not Japanese. I think he said he was from Shanghai.”

“Who gives a poo poo? The point is you hosed up, and to be honest there’s not much I think I can do to stop Lou from deciding to fire you after this.”

As Greg gave me the news, he positioned himself closer to me. His cheap Walgreen's cologne reeked of a mixture of his own sweat and what could only be described as faux sandalwood. I could feel the bile building up in my throat.

“Sarah look,” Greg said as he touched my leg, “I don’t want you to get fired so I’ll make you a deal. You do something for me and I’ll make sure this doesn’t get back to Lou. Deal?”


All right, so at this point, the conflict reveals itself (I think). Sarah is gonna be offered a job, do you want your job or not? The top bit is all preamble, explaining the situation and the tone. You have a tone going, I'm getting that Sarah dislikes her job, or maybe she just dislikes everyone. Kind of sombre, sarcastic tone here. Your story takes a bit to get to the conflict, but we do have one.



your story posted:


I knew exactly what Greg was thinking. Nobody in this day and age hears that and thinks “Oh gee, what a good idea!”, especially not with a little toad like Greg saying it.

Instinctively I pulled his hand off my leg and stood up. That, of course, did not make Greg happy as he then grabbed around my waist and pulled me in closer to him.

God his cologne had such an awful smell.

“Listen you little bitch, I can make your fuckup go away so you can keep this job or you can get blacklisted from every casino in the state. I know people.” he gritted.

That’s when I threw up in his face.


HAH, gently caress yes. Okay, Greg is a bit shallow but who cares, let's beat up some scumbags. Kind of bummed out, I was hoping to learn more about Sarah and her choice, but instead, it's a binary decision. Also, I don't know if you can grit something out, but if you can the sentence should end with a comma. Not a biggie, still gonna point it out so you can really nail Dialogue Tags down (Also I'm terrible at them so it helps me practice)



your story posted:


Now, I wasn’t planning to throw up in his face but with that awful stench mixed in the with the mental imagery of being forced to have sex with a grotesque slob of a man like Greg in my mind, my body decided to take over.

I was somewhat happy for that to happen. Greg however wasn’t.

As he recoiled from the horror of having a bucket full of half eaten panini and Starbucks hit his face, he fell over his desk and cracked his head on the floor. He didn’t get up right away.

Panicking I ran over to his body to check for a pulse. Thankfully, he wasn’t dead, but he was for sure going to have one hell of a headache the next morning.

That’s when I saw the bag of money and a passport on his desk. It hit me as hard as that dentist hit the grocer, the rear end in a top hat was skimming off the casino and about to skip town. So, I figured, quite reasonably, I’d do the same. Then I realized Greg could make a good distraction for my getaway, and called the cops with his desk phone telling them that there was an injured man in the office. Maybe they’d notice what I saw and he’d get what he deserved in the end.

Leaving the noisy, loud, and lavish casino I hopped into Greg’s douchemobile, a yellow Camaro, and drove south on I-19 towards the border. And that is how I ended up here in Mexico with a nice $200,000 in cash to take me to wherever I want to go next.

I’m thinking Rio de Janeiro.


Okay this is short, goes down easy. You didn't make the protagonist unlikeable, she's in a tough situation in a tough world. I liked that part. My biggest gripe is that there isn't much of a conflict, choice, or mystery here. Like, whats your draw in me reading the story? Your story was good enough to get me reading to "THE DEAL" and then I thought she would have a tough choice, but she didn't. And Sarah is so easily explained there isn't anything interesting or mysterious about her or her circumstances. That's fine, but with nothing to draw me in I kind of just read your story and go okay.



I can sum up the story, scumbag tries to sleep with girl, gets injured through his own fault, girl steals money to leave.


For a second entry though, this is MUCH improved. I didn't hit any snags reading your story, so you got a good fix on your grammar and structure. You also nailed a tone, something that's hard to do (especially if it's sarcastic/dour protagonist or the world.) There wasn't any point a mistake got in the way of your story, nothing sinks a good entry like grammar mistakes or spelling mistakes.



I'm looking forward to your next story!



Overall: Medium-Low (It is a story, just no choice, conflict or mysterious draw)

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 and a flash rule.

Jay W. Friks
Oct 4, 2016

Six of one, half dozen of another.

Grimey Drawer

In w Flash rule

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Ninjalicious
Feb 21, 2010


Praise be the crit gods for identifying my Mary Sue garbage for what it is. I shall struggle to do better holy ones.

In for romance week with a flash rule please.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«79 »