Register a SA Forums Account here!

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 money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
Dec 15, 2006

b l o o p

Bolt Lux posted:

Fartful stories, some of which are quacking me up!



May 13, 2013

*chews on head*
Lipstick Apathy


So obvious! I really ducked up that opportunity!

Dec 30, 2011

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


Seriously, guys, this was a rough one to judge. Some of you had interesting ideas and rough execution. Some of you had decent execution and not much in the way of ideas. Unlike the two asphyxiation deaths in the Nutshells, everything felt a little half-baked.

There were highlights, though! This week, your winner is Thranguy's "Coal," which succeeded the best at combining concept and execution of any of this week. Your HMs are flerp's highly-polished "A Rifle Isn't A Maybe Kind of Thing Though" and two less polished but dreamy and imaginative pieces, Bolt Lux's "A Hole to Hide" and crimea's "House-Sitting," which gets bonus congratulations as a newbie effort.

The low end of this week was... low, largely smug and ill-conceived. Your DMs are Applewhite's "From a Clear Blue Sky," whose relatively skilled prose was dragged down by limp satire and a lack of a plot, and onsetOutsider's "Lunch," which was dragged down by being interprompt length (and I'm not talking about you insane people who just wrote thousands of interprompt words about duck farts). This week's loss goes to QM Haversham's "He's No Reid Fleming," which combined smugness, pretty bad concept, tense errors, and a twee pseudo-fanfic ending.

Take it away, Thranguy.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Bystanders of the Blue Room
Some not terrible words and reasonably well-chosen sense impressions in this sentimental journey through the sad house of the past, but it doesn't really rise out of cliché at any point - there's plenty of stuff worth writing about in this vein but you need to go beyond 'abuse happened, was bad' for it to be interesting. 5

From a Clear Blue Sky
there's a certain panache in this yarn, but the ever increasing scope of the intermittently homophobic detity is sort of winking and nudging at the twist to come, and hoo look at that there it is. The charactters don't do much more than react to the increasingly kooky circumstances, and while you've got the slick breezy tone this kind of nonsense needs fairly well sorted, it isn't quite clever enough to warrant its essential shallowness. 4

A beautiful filigree of words and images that just about coheres at the end but I'm not sure if it doesn't stay a little too far out of reach. Like it's story fragments cricling a drain. Strong affecting work though 8

The Conference
straightforward ectoplasm and potatoes ghost story with a basic protagonist growth flick flack at the end. I can't bring myself to hate it any more than I would hate grilled cheese on toast, but it didn't get my story gland pumping but perhaps that is for the best what do u think 6

what is it with dolls and calling your elderly relatives, tsk. I guess the words of this are all well assembled and it's nice to know what toys she liked to play with but this is really fatally devoid of narrative motion 5

alrighty so when you mention the far off prison planet of purgatory you're being p straight up about what sort of story this is so thanks for that. I do remain puzzled by how the prisoner who stays motionless in his cell all day gets dirty enough to make filthy water by the morning but maybe he's a Poopy Peter IX i don't know. The rest of the action is sort of ridiculous, as you're positing him breaking through a metal drain with his fingernails then escaping onto a poisonous planet one million light years from whereever. In fact, why the hell is this sci fi? it adds nothing. get out of here with your incontinent monarchs, you disgust me. 4

The Lake Cabin
you're laying on the horror trappings maybe a little toooo thick with the cabin and the patronising boyf and the dawn like a bruise just fyi but you know what you basically pull it together with some fairly classic horror twistts that play well against the saccharine old ppl memories in the second to last para and the close-out lands just right. cliche done well. 7

A Cold Reception
The achingly arch opener and closer would not be out of place in a victorian gentleman's magazine which is my kind way of saying they are considerably out of place in a piece of flash fiction in 20XX. This is basically competent but fails to take any steps out of the cliche trough it's rolling in. while it still would have been fairly bad it would have been better if the money had somehow been lost by his meanness; as is it feels like about 3/4 of a story. And really, those first and last paras: i could almost see the ad for rubberized galoshes that sits next to it. 4

We All Gonna Die
the cornpone chewin' tabacky voice you got goin' on here really is powerful irritatin', 'nuff that I'm speculatin' to roust out my shootin' iron and send you a lead postcard, just fer yer in-form-ation, pardner. I think you can get away with it if you're writing in dialogue like he's tellin' a tale in some podunk saloon or w/e but that is not the case here so it's mainly annoying. Or at least for the firat half, because then the narrative picks up and our protag settles on his goal and the dad arrives and hey what do you know we're in a spooky 'call your dad' tale that's not half bad. I like his ghostly apothegms,and i like the control of the last few paras. overall, not bad, and that last line is p drat tight. 7

The Root of Evil
effectively creepy with your really quite problematic murder protag offing fools all the live-long day but I confess to some puzzlement at her endgame, given that she looks nothing like her murdered pal and will doubtless get in all kinds of trouble for giving her buddy the dirtnap, so her confidence that everything's going to be ok at the end of the story seems unduly optimistic. reading it more closely i guess she's just gonna play dumb, which makes her a motiveless murderer which is fine i guess it takes all sorts to get by in this strange world of ours 5

ok, of the extensive list of cliches that have been laid out before my cold judgely gaze I have to say an immortal kris kringle bartering for the souls of the dead at the end of time is the best and most interesting. This is kind of a trick story, but it's the good kind where everything is in service of the trick but it'a s not holding anything back; i like the brutal specificity of his hunger, and looking back can see how each of the story bricks are laid. Plus the audacity of father xmas giving a piece of coal to literal satan is really pleasing 7 hm

Make Peace
A strangely anticlimactic yarn with a weirdass monster that doesn't appear to relate to anything and just wants to you know talk and exchange some dull platitudes. Words are adequate, but I'm struggling to perceive the point of this one. 5

The Vitruvian Beast
a tolerably standard werewolf (?!maybe!?) yarn, with a lot of incident in service of not that much. I'm struck by the oddness of the final line, as I don't know much about guns but I've played a lot of video games; do shotguns really scream? 4

A Hole to Hide
I actually really like the grinding dreamlike repetition in this one, the way it hammers on the elements of her life which (I'm gonna guess) is not at its best in the time in which the story takes place. It doesn't really hang together as a story, but it's not a drab assortment of cliches either so I'm gonna nudge it a little above the soggy middle and have done. 6

A Rifle Isn't A Maybe Kind of Thing Though
This is what you might call your serious gritty words about a guy and his dad and it lands p drat well, no space aliens, no cliché twists, just some solid sad dadstorying. This is the sort of story where you need to go a little beyond the standard drama because we've all seen it and can p much say the words as you're writing them, but i think this does that and lays out in detail and observation the sort of unsentimental understanding that makes you get to the end and nod your head, a bit sadly. 8 w?

He's No Reid Fleming
I'm gonna level with you judges get grumpier as they work through the scattered gobbets of fiction that make up a tdome week, which means if you're posting late (and hey, that's a p cool rocknroll thing to do) you need to take special care around things that make judges super mad, VIS A VIS check your tenses and then check them again, and if something happened in the past, the before time, then make sure that everything else is also happening in the before time! don't idly hop from past to present like a frog drunk on fermented fuckin loganberries! also don't describe movement as 'cliff was quick to return to his truck making a inconspicuous march back to his truck'! don't mash together two sentences then move on to then next one without even bothering to read either, 'She stuck her hand out and Cliff.'! also make sure your story isn't a transparent metaphor about a writer not having the foggiest idea what their story is about before ending it with 'then i woke up and it was all a diorama! lol'. Do all those things and you will make judges, if not happy, at least not so filled with clotted gallons of rage chuck! Seriously it's a win win, there's no downside! 2 dm

Diving Expedition
I like your opening image, arresting, dreamlike and vividly presented. The rest is not quite as on point, with a bunch of strained similes (blue amber is like calling something a green orange) and wonky verb choices ('a rush of water greeted henri'). The meat of the story is actually very solid, i love the weird magic realist octopus that has supplanted her lover (or to which she is forced to still cleave) but since henri is uncharacterised and the octopus is just a squirty slippery bastard with an ill-defined knack for aquamancy, it all falls flatter than it should. This could sit well at twice the length, i'd take it back to the shop for a refit. 6

well I guess it's almost a story 1 l

Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit

Fun Shoe
Thanks for the speedy crit mojo!

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010

340 Judgecrits. Note that I had only one win candidate marked, and that was with the option to make it a loss instead. :mediocre:

Bystanders of the Blue Room by selaphiel
"The closed barrier stared back at me, waiting." burn your thesaurus.Oh man the monster was her dad? Because as soon as you said "the scent of whiskey and oil" it was all over. Other TD people have different desires in stories and this one might work for some of them, but it definitely doesn't work for me. "Abusive dad portrayed as a monster" is a well-trodden path, so if you're going to lead me down this path I hope there's an escaped circus elephant at the other end instead of the same old trees. I'm in judgemode so I don't know who wrote this, but I'm guessing it's someone newer. Technical execution is pretty good, but ease up on the thesaurus use.


From a Clear Blue Sky by Applewhite
I am two sentences in and I'm sure hoping you don't go with "self-righteous homophobic preacher gets his ironic comeuppance".

Well, here we are at the end of the story, and the self-righteous homophobes got their ironic comeuppances. You clearly had fun drawing the scenarios, but it just ends up being kind of smug. I think you had one of the most interesting pictures, though, and I think you could have done a lot more with it. I'm gonna guess that this was another newbie story (early submission is usually a clear sign). Also, I am pretty sure "Reverend" is a title and should therefore be capitalized.


House-Sitting by crimea
I'll give you this: I'm 5 paragraphs in and I can't guess where the story is going, but I'm interested in finding out.

Ok I finished it. I don't really know what this story was. It's full of weird word choices and sentence constructions, and I don't fully get the point, but I don't hate it. In fact I kind of liked it in a weird way, maybe because it DIDN'T turn into a ghost story.

High mid, I guess.

The Conference by Baneling Butts
Having finished the story and looked at the picture, I understand the inspiration pretty clearly. However, I don't feel that the story really did enough. The apartment is haunted, the main character ignores tons of warning signs until she finally sees the ghost, then runs away, then calls her grandma. I'm gonna say, if I woke up and found hot breakfast cooked on the kitchen table, there's no loving way I'd go back to that apartment. And then, if I DID go back, and found the breakfast had been replaced by two glasses of wine (sorry, blood-red liquid), I'm definitely not gonna run through the apartment to the drat bedroom!


Heirlooms by Captain_Person
"Parcel", "shoddily", "sellotape" all in the first sentence, ok we get it, they're in the UK. This story really didn't work for me, which makes 5 in a row, and I the reader am the only common element… I would like to point out the similarities between this story and the previous one (The Conference), which both involve professionals too caught up in work and life to check in with their grandparents. I think this is a pretty natural result given that these tableaux have an old-fashioned feel to the decor and an overall feeling of sadness/melancholy/loss.

Mid, mid-low

Coronation by Simply Simon
"And this is how Charles Esteban was demoted to guard duty in the notorious military prison Purgatory, on the eponymous planet somewhere probably far away." this sentence was rough. How dirty can a person get sitting in a cell all day, since he gets a new robe and a hosedown every morning?

I appreciate that you've written something besides being sad about old houses/people. It feels like a little bit of a cop-out to have the Prince desperately trying to make a hat, purely so he could use it as a momentary distraction to kill the guard. I wanted there to be something more significant to the hat. Also, if he's going to have pulled up the drain and broken it, I want to know how he was able to get the drain unscrewed and work on breaking the drain cover every single night without someone noticing that the drain's been fooled with.

Mid, maybe mid-high.

The Lake Cabin by Hawklad
This story is a weird one for me. Where the previous entries have been largely passive, all three characters in this story have things they want and they take action toward those things. I find the present-tense narration slightly… exhausting? and there's too many adjectives and adverbs, but those are to some extent matters of taste. My main question with this story is: why any of it? Why did the guy kill his grandfather? When his girlfriend starts seeing his grandpa's ghost, and it's clear from her description that it's really his ghost, why does he make them stay when she's so likely to discover his crime? Why was he poking the fire with a pocket knife, besides "I need to introduce that this guy has a pocket knife so he can stab her"?

You had 1200 words and you used every one, but if you went through and cut out half your adjectives, you could get a couple hundred words back to tell me why he killed his geepaw and make it more satisfying.

High mid.

A Cold Reception by Staggy
I just read the first paragraph and let me warn you I love Twilight Zone so don't disappoint me here.

Now I've finished it and I almost missed the Patented Twilight Zone Twist. I thought the stovepipe was all blocked up still and he died of carbon monoxide poisoning, but on a re-read I realized his dad had stuffed all the money up the stove pipe and that's what burned up. I was ready to be mad at you for your prose after I read about rime-encrusted feet, the hand that sought refuge, and a sour expression curdling a face, but past that point I felt like things actually flowed fine.


We All Gonna Die by Chili
As I start this I'm thinking you're walking a fine line with the 'bout and the hisselfs; it can work, but it's risky. However, you've got me hooked with the idea of the painting. And then you almost lost me again with the paragraphs of exposition about how he built himself a life but he never talked to his dad but now he didn't get a birthday card so he's going home and something about how the house stays in the family and he's gonna take down the painting.

I just… didn't get it. That final conversation between the guy and his (dead?) dad was so full of invented down-southisms that I literally could not figure out what the gently caress happened. In taking down the painting, he took hisself to the h'yeahafter? And his dead dad showed up, and they said a bunch of important-sounding things at each other, and that's it. I was hooked when you introduced the painting, but I'm completely unsatisfied by the resolution.


The Root of Evil by Salgal80
Allow me to push my thick-lensed glasses up my nose and squawk MANDRAKE ONLY GROWS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN! Anyway, I'm down with the conceit for the most part, although the origin of Jillian's insanity is not quite clear--the mere act of moving to the city made her go nuts and poison the dog? At first I thought we were going to find that Jillian is some sort of supernatural creature that would take Emma's shape once she died, but she's just an insane 9 year old. My biggest complaint is that the story Jillian tells is not the sort of thing an elementary school kid would come up with, even if she spent a long time rehearsing it--no 3rd grade kid is going to say "disgruntled" or "distraught" or "a reflection of hell on earth, wooden shacks and black dust".


Coal by Thranguy
I liked this. It's pompous, but it's a story about Santa Claus as the last man on Earth talking to the Devil, go ahead and be a little pompous, it suits. Even the Devil bringing brandy, although cliche, sorta works. I found the use of the coal at the end (nice Chevkov's Gun there) a little confusing, since by staying alive St Nick eases the punishment of the Hitlers still in Hell, but at first it seemed like he was symbolically handing coal to Satan to say "keep burning those fucks", or something… I think I see where you were going but it's a little bit of a head-scratcher.

HM candidate, partly because I wrote a Santa story last week too…

Make Peace by apophenium
This is a neat concept. I like stories about weird creatures out in the woods. You say "the words were phonetically correct but Lottie felt the creature did not know their meaning", yet there's every indication it can speak just fine--I would have liked further exploration of its strangeness, although I acknowledge the word limit. I also wonder why this creature kept pumping smoke at her cabin for 10 drat years when it clearly wasn't working, and why it thought smoke would make her come out in the first place.

There's an awkward feel to some of the phrases in this story; maybe you didn't have enough time to edit or something, I dunno. Sentences like "Too used to the cramped cabin she and her parents lived in, Lottie never sought more than what she knew." feel a little like you're reaching for a 'literary' style that's not particularly comfortable to write?


The Vitruvian Beast by SlipUp
This was a weird one. First off, when attributing dialog, you shouldn't ALWAYS use "said Mary". More often than not, "Mary said" would be a more appropriate choice. It's hard to convey the passage of multiple weeks of time in such a short story, but once I accepted the way you did it, I found it reasonably effective. For some reason, I found "They told the stranger they found nothing as they untied him." kind of funny all out on its own between two dividers. Oh, you know what this broken-up style reminds me of? One of those javascript text games where the author pops up a page of the story in between whatever gameplay is going on.

Anyway, it's just not clear enough why anything is happening. Does the guy draw down the wolves on people? Is he working with them? Is he a werewolf? I don't demand ALL the answers, I just want SOMETHING, some inkling why these things are happening. Also I'm sorry but you completely missed the prompt image beyond "you mentioned a dark hallway". It was a weird picture and maybe the hardest of the bunch, but it's a miss.

DM candidate, or DQ.

A Hole to Hide by Bolt Lux
Weird as hell, liking it and hating it at the same time. Maybe I'm too dumb to figure out what the meaning was supposed to be, or maybe it's a cynical attempt at providing something weird we the judges can project our own poo poo onto without actually having any meaning. It feels like a dream, and I mean I have literally had dreams where I dig a hole in the ground and drop down into another world. TD-bait.

Either win candidate, or loss candidate.

A Rifle Isn't A Maybe Kind of Thing Though by flerp
It was interesting to start with, the talk about the silence in the woods. I wanted to hear about what his 'forest' was ("Our forests were just different."), but then you turned right at This American Life Street and we got to hear about how Dead Gun Dad was mean to Gay Son. Well, not really mean to, even, really. It's competently executed but I've read/listened to/watched it too many times before.


He's No Reid Fleming by QM Haversham
Ok despite some minor technical problems I was really into this, but then you lost me at the end. I mentioned on an earlier story that I'm a big fan of the Twilight Zone, but your Twilight Zone twist makes for the least interesting possible Also, the fact that it's all set in a diorama built by an old lady named Frances? gently caress you for that, DM

DM or loss.

Diving Expedition by Bad Seafood
Weird, maybe pointless, but short and sweet enough that I'm gonna say yeah sure i liked it. Nobody died! There were no ghosts! Yay!

HM material maybe, but also incredibly TD-bait.

Lunch by onsetOutsider
For sale, baby brains, never eaten.

Nov 16, 2012

I dunno if this is against the rules or kayfabe or whatever, but I wanted to say thanks to the judges for saying nice things about my submission. I didn't expect an honourable mention, and I'll try to get my next one more polished as per the critique.


Pham Nuwen posted:

I don't fully get the point, but I don't hate it. In fact I kind of liked it in a weird way, maybe because it DIDN'T turn into a ghost story.
This might out me as a pretentious hack but this kind of feedback pleases me inexplicably.

Sep 30, 2006

stayin c o o l
Thank you for the crit. I mention the stove several times and reference the shotgun blast in the wall. I referenced the time period it would exist in with the wallpaper and the antique stove. I get dinged for the prompt every week. I really do not know what else to do at this point. Am I misinterpreting how to use a prompt?

Mr. Steak
May 9, 2013

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS
slipup, i dont think saying thanks absolves you of “dont discuss crits in the thread”

that said, thanks for the comments about my story, pham and seb

Sep 30, 2006

stayin c o o l

onsetOutsider posted:

slipup, i dont think saying thanks absolves you of “dont discuss crits in the thread”

that said, thanks for the comments about my story, pham and seb

Discussing a judgement apparently.

E: I'll leave it alone but I'm going to take a break from this.

SlipUp fucked around with this message at 04:38 on Feb 13, 2019

Jan 28, 2019

Thanks for the crits. I enjoyed writing to this prompt and will try to raise myself above mediocrity in the future.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

don't reply to crits small newbies, even if it's to explain how pleased you are by them.

discord/irc is the place for all your td chitchat needs

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.
Thunderdome CCCXLI: AD 2019, Neo-Thunderdome

It is 2019, everyone. The most cyberpunk of all years: the year Akira was set in. The year Blade Runner was set in. The year the Running Man was set in. So it's time for some cyberpunk.

This week, you have a choice to make. You can tell a straight-up cyberpunk story, or you can tell a story with no speculative elements whatsoever set in the present that emphasizes the cyberpunk nature of this moment in time.

Either way, I expect to see cyberpunk themes this week. Alienation. Rebellion. Technology, viewed pessimistically. Capitalism run amok. Cynicism about social institutions. Anxiety about the end of American superpower status. Noir, with chrome bits. That kind of thing.

Flash rules will be given on request. They will come from tvtropes, so ask at your own risk.

Usual rules against erotica, fanfic, poetry, nonfiction, screeds, etc apply. (Political commentary is obviously not unwelcome, but there should be a story in there, and the commentary should probably be a lot deeper than 'lol Trump' or 'lol capitalism')

2019 words maximum. (No minimum, don't feel like you have to stretch an idea that long or need a big story idea to enter.)

Signups close Friday 11:59 PM Pacific time. Submissions close Sunday 11:59 PM Pacific time.


1. Sebmojo (Unusual User Interface)
2. Saucy_Rodent (Hacker's Cave)
3. Fuschia Tude (Good Prosthetic, Bad Prosthetic)
4. Sitting Here (Voice with an Internet Connection)
5. steeltoedsneaker (Industrial Ghetto)
6. onsetOutsider
7. AllNewJonasSalk
8. QM Haversham
9. Bad Seafood (Layered Metropolis)
10. Yoruichi (Human Popsicle)
11. selaphiel (Black Market Produce)
12. Baneling Butts (Solarpunk)
13. iTrust(Machine Worship)
14. Applewhite(The Singularity)
15. The Saddest Rhino(Upgraded Animal)
16. M. Propagandalf(NGO Superpower)
17. Staggy(Post-Cyberpunk)
18. cptn_dr(Information Wants to Be Free) toxxed
19. arbitraryfairy
20. Easy Diff
21. crimea
22. kurona_bright, toxxed
23. Lipincott
24. Mercedes
25. Simply Simon
26. Uranium Phoenix (Tron Lines, Wretched Hive)
27 Viscardius (Cyberpunk With a Chance of Rain)
28. The Sean
29. Tyrannosaurus
30. anatomi

Thranguy fucked around with this message at 04:58 on Feb 18, 2019

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

In, obviously

Oct 24, 2018

by Pragmatica

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


gimme a flash rule, rulepunk

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
gently caress. poo poo. piss. cloud-spurting robodicks. I don't have the time or energy for this but i am in

Jul 26, 2016

In. Hit me in the retina-gel with that flash.

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

Fuschia tude posted:

gimme a flash rule, rulepunk

Good Prosthetic, Evil Prosthetic

Hacker Cave

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

steeltoedsneakers posted:

In. Hit me in the retina-gel with that flash.

Industrial Ghetto

Mr. Steak
May 9, 2013

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS
im in for black mirror week
(im kidding dont kill me)

Apr 22, 2017

This is perfect for something I have to write for a fiction class I'm taking this semester so I'm definitely in. For the foreseeable future all of these TD prompts will sync perfectly with this class so I guess it's God's way of telling me to jump back in the loving dome. So here I am hopefully writing some poo poo that's not poo poo because I don't want to be poo poo on in a public setting to my face!

Also anyone that can find a way to rip off "The Golden Girls" and "Neuromancer" at the same time will have my eternal respect. Thanks in advance.

AllNewJonasSalk fucked around with this message at 06:17 on Feb 13, 2019

QM Haversham
Nov 12, 2018

Postmodern Furniture Enjoyment Society: Where slow is the revolution and apathy is the fuel.
I'm in.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.
Jacking in.

Hit me up, flashman.

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

Bad Seafood posted:

Jacking in.

Hit me up, flashman.

Layered Metropolis

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

In, flash

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Yeah flash me up thrangles

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

Yoruichi posted:

In, flash

Human Popsicle

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

sebmojo posted:

Yeah flash me up thrangles

Unusual User Interface

Jan 31, 2019

where did all the entwives go?
In. Flash.

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

selaphiel posted:

In. Flash.

Black Market Produce

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

SlipUp posted:

E: I'll leave it alone but I'm going to take a break from this.

This makes me sad. So, at the risk of rewarding you for whinging, here is a crit of The Vitruvian Beast by SlipUp.

The wind blasted through the old house like a demon, slamming all the doors at once before dying almost entirely.

This is a bad start - it's a bit, "the wind is doing a dramatic thing oh no wait don't worry it's stopped."

“What was that?” Asked John groggily from his sleep.

There has been a lot of chatter about the badness of unnecessary adverbs in this thread recently. You would do well to heed that advice. Also "asked" shouldn't have a capital.

“It was just the wind,” said Mary, as she rolled over in bed and sighed.

“Probably, but I’ve never seen the wind do that here. I’m going to go check,” said John. He got up and put on a pair of trousers and his suspenders.

“Blasted war,” he said to himself. Leather rationing meant no more belts.

Your worldbuilding needs to be clearer. Where are we? What sort of war? Also leather belts are a really weird thing to run out of given they last forever. And why isn't elastic being rationed?

He lit his bedside lantern and went downstairs. The wind that remained wailed quietly through an unseen opening as if someone was screaming in the distance.

"Wailed" and "quietly" are pretty much opposites. You could have said something like, "the wind wailed like a distant scream," or something.

A loud thud came from his front door. He opened it.

“Mary!” He called out. “Bring a blanket!”

It was a man; totally naked, covered in deep cuts, and bleeding.

You should have started with the bleeding, naked man on the doorstep. This is the most important part of this section and is a good, attention-grabbing image. The rest is just chitchat about the wind and an unexplained belt shortage.

They dressed the stranger’s cuts in the bathroom. Mary used her good linens for bandages. They put him in the guest room.

Sentences that just say "and then they did thingy," are a waste of words. You need to think about what each sentence is telling the reader about the world, the characters or their relationships. For example, when telling us that they put the stranger in the guest bedroom you could have done this via some observation of the details of the room, like you did with the reference to Mary's "good linens." This passage is confusing because it makes the stranger sound completely passive - are they lugging him around unconscious or what?

They were woken again that night by the sound of wind. This time it sounded more like howling, off in the distance.

This oooh maybe it's actual howling thing is a bad way to build suspense. Just say they could hear distant howling, that's ominous enough.

That morning Mary telephoned the doctor. He had several other patients to visit, so he could be as long as four weeks.

Four weeks! Why?

“Call me if his condition changes before then.”

Two weeks passed, and still, the stranger slept. They had tended to him as godly Christians should, and his wounds had begun to scar but he moaned terribly at night. His cries punctuated by the howls in the distance. Had this poor man been attacked?

John had gone looking around the edges of the property. He found tracks. Lots of them.

Do they not usually go outside? How had they not noticed wolves everywhere? The lack of information about this world is making this a confusing read.


Yes I got that.

They heard a mad crashing that night, spilling from the guest room followed by wordless screaming. The wolves yipped madly in unison, creating a cacophony of chaos. Mary was the first to open the door.

The man was awake, thrashing and wailing on the floor. He had pulled all the hair off of his body and was bleeding from the head and groin.

Ew, drat, he ripped out his pubes? Wtf dude.

They tied him to the bed with rope and put a stick in his mouth so he wouldn’t swallow his tongue.

I'm glad this couple are super strong such that they can easily overpower someone thrashing around and ripping out his body hair. Have they even tried talking to him at all at this point?

When the stranger was lucid, he told them he was from a few hours north, where his family lived. He remembered hearing howling for weeks and had gone outside one night when it grew so close it had left his ears ringing. The next thing he knew he woke up tied to the bed.

Ok so all the references to the passage of time in this story are too long. What is going on that a man with a family would cower inside listening to wolves for weeks before going to see what was up?

“How’d I get like this?” Asked the stranger, flexing the ropes. They told him that he had been out for weeks, and was seizing on the floor.

“We were worried about you,” said Mary.

“We’re going to go check on your family,” said John. “Hold tight. We’ll loosen you up as soon as we get back and can keep an eye on you. The doctor is coming and we don’t want you to get hurt if you seize up again.”

I imagine the stranger was extremely not very happy about being left tied to a bed, alone, for no reason.

After they left the room, Mary asked John if he really thought the stranger could have another episode.

“Maybe,” said John. He grabbed his shotgun, their lanterns, and they departed.

The forest was mute as they traveled. Gone were the birds, as was the wind. Only the sound of snapping twigs and the gurgling of a stream.

Birds disappearing seems like an important detail, but doesn't come up again. Don't just chuck things like this in if they don't mean anything.

Dusk approached. It was further than the stranger made it seem.

The homestead loomed before them in the twilight. It was raining faintly but no smoke came from the chimney and no light from the windows. The door was open.

“Keep an eye out,” said Mary as she approached the entrance. John put his lantern up on a stump and leaned against another tree opposite the lantern so that his silhouette would blend in.

“I’ll be over here,” said John.

Mary’s lantern was illuminating the front of the house, but its light was lost in the absolute darkness within the doorway.

She edged her way to the door and looked inside.

Mary clenched her hand over her mouth and ran to John as fast as she could.

"Clenched" makes me think of a clenched fist.

“What’s wrong?” He asked. She grabbed his shotgun and shells, ran back to the doorway, and unloaded both barrels.

She fumbled two more shells into the shotgun, vomited, and blasted inside again.

Shoot, spew, shoot is a really weird sequence of actions. Vomiting usually takes a couple of minutes plus a bit of recovery time. If you are opening your mouth to argue then yes, yes of course she could have just barfed on her hands and kept going. And I appreciate that you wanted a physical action that would convey her disgust at whatever she is looking at. But you need to work with readers' expectations - if you're going to use a familiar action, like upchucking, in a surprising way, you need to make what you mean really clear.

She pulled out two more shells that she dropped before collapsing and crying, her head resting on the barrel of the empty gun.

John cautiously approached, put his hand on Mary, and peered inside.

This is a significant under-reaction to your wife's rage-spew situation, John.

He saw two dead wolves among the strewn body parts of human beings torn limb from limb.

Flies covered everything.

They told the stranger they found nothing as they untied him.

What a pair of meany weanies.

Mary called the doctor the next day. He said it would be okay for him to move around, but to also get plenty of rest and food as well.

“I’ll be there in a week and I can give him the full check-up,” said the doctor. “I can’t diagnose over the phone I’m afraid.”

The doctor plays no role in this story. He doesn't reveal anything about the world or the characters and should be cut.

John called the police after. They sounded skeptical of John’s claim of the house in the woods but said they’d investigate within the next couple days.

“That’s pretty remote and we’re low on manpower. The war, you know how it is,” said the policeman, “Say, why didn’t you enlist?”

“I did,” said John, hanging up the phone.


The stranger passed his time chopping wood in the back. He insisted he ‘earn his keep’.

Umm, given his house is only about half a day's walk away don't you think he'd want to go check on his family himself?

Mary was making tea on her gas stove when there was a pause in his rhythm. She felt eyes watching her. When she turned to look, he had lodged his axe blade into another large log, hoisted it on to the chopping block, twisted his axe free, and cleft it in two.

He repeated this for days. Always a single stroke.

I think this part is supposed to convey that he is super strong and probably a werewolf? I already know he's a werewolf...

The howling continued all this time, growing closer and louder. There were more of them. They were hungry.

The morning the doctor was supposed to show up for the appointment, the stranger left without notice.

I'm amazed he didn't leave as soon as they untied him, tbh.

Mary tried to call to cancel the appointment, but there was a problem with the phone. The wire outside had been chewed.

By dusk, the doctor had not arrived.

There was no howling that night.

Oh good.

The next night, the full moon shone through their windows and the howling was outside their front door, piercing their ears and tormenting them.

Dang, just when I thought the wolves had left.

Then a scratching, tearing at the front door, building to a fever pace as it smashed back and forth in place.

"back and forth in place" is a weird turn of phrase. What do you mean?

John grabbed his shotgun and they went downstairs. When they reached the kitchen, John stopped and gave Mary the gun. The front door was just through the kitchen hall.

“Take this. If anything comes through this door beside me, you blast them,” said John as he disappeared into the dark passage beside the stove.

Mary braced herself against the kitchen table. The scratching stopped and one lonely howl echoed through the night, more man than wolf, more pain than fury. Then there was the sound of crashing wood as if lightning had struck a tree, followed by a deathly yowl.

Mary leveled the shotgun at the door. The darkness moved. Her shotgun screamed.

Oooo-kay so we have reached the end of this strange little tale. Or rather, the point at which it stops. I would have preferred an actual ending where we find out what happened to John and the stranger.

I'm not really sure what was going on for most of this, but, my writerly feedback for you is that there was absolutely no reason to care about any of these characters. Who are Mary and John? Did they form any kind of bond with the stranger such that they were anxious about his fate? Why should I read this all the way to the end?

I think the fact that you got dinged for prompt non-usage two weeks in a row or whatever is a coincidence. I'm not 100% clear how that picture inspired this story but honestly I wouldn't worry about it. For what it's worth, when I'm judging good use of prompt sometimes earns people bonus points but a good story that doesn't use the prompt wouldn't get minus points (it's still a good story after all).

Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 09:54 on Feb 13, 2019

My Shark Waifuu
Dec 9, 2012

I'm in and I'll take a flash please!

Mar 25, 2010

It's not good for your health.

I've been hovering on getting involved with a TD for a while but I feel like this theme is as good as any to give it a go.

So I'm in for a flash.

Aug 16, 2014

by vyelkin
Nap Ghost
I’m in
E: gently caress it, gimme a flash too, please.

Applewhite fucked around with this message at 09:28 on Feb 13, 2019

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Put it all together.
Solve the world.
One conversation at a time.

in, give me that terrible tvtrope

M. Propagandalf
Aug 9, 2008

In. Flash please.

Mar 20, 2008

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

In, flash.

Jan 31, 2015

For what it's worth SlipUp, I liked your entry. It's a huge improvement over your previous one.


Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies

I'm in, with a :toxx: from my cyberspace dome of shame. Flash rule too, please.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5