Goddamn you goons for not updating the latest prompt link. gimme ahot second.
okay , yeah in, flash me.
|# ¿ Mar 8, 2019 08:26|
|# ¿ Oct 4, 2023 16:25|
im just a crinkly old washcloth thats been left in the sun. dont mind me.
|# ¿ Mar 8, 2019 08:47|
Long Live the King
From the command deck, echoing explosions signaled the approaching confrontation, and Baron Terrorstar lounged in his cybernetic throne, fingertips pressed against each other in contemplative thought.
“Sir, we should make haste, or fortify our position,” Lieutenant Chromesour said, pointing towards the escape pod bay.
“Stand down, Chromesour. We will be fine. I have been dreaming of this moment my entire life.” Terrorstar queued up the signal anomaly from his armrest control pad. A terrifying, digital horror of gnashing teeth and undulating purple chaos roiled on the bank of wall-to wall displays. A cosmic entity, expanding and consuming, growing ever larger with each atom eaten.
“What in God’s name…” Murmurs arose from the Systems and Navigation crew. Terrorstar smiled, his crew was taking this revelation much better than he had when he had first seen the Creeping Doom. Perhaps their resolve had been steeled by their decades long campaign across the stars, whereas he was but a child when he was wracked by visions yet to pass; a psychic backlash that had comatosed him for two months. Two months were two eternities trapped in his dreams with that thing eating at the periphery of his consciousness, only to be reborn and recycled again, and again until he finally had found the course of events that led him to this very moment.
A shower of sparks flooded their side of the Command Center blast doors. General Sarah Berenholdt would be through the door in no time, and the crew began to back themselves away towards the escape pods. Terrorstar breathed in as deeply as his skull-shaped mask would allow. He had felt this sense of peace only once before, when he had first met Sarah Berenholdt, when she was just a child.
“Sir, why not the girl too?” Private Chromesour had his gauss-rifle leveled at the overwhelmed and distraught child. Her parents were still smoldering where the plasma charges cooked the tissue with residual heat.
“Stand down. I want them all to know what happens when you forget your place in the universe,” Baron Terrorstar lied. He knelt in front of the small, weeping child, such that he encompassed her entire vision. He knew at once he had finally found the chosen one. “Remember this day, child. Remember the day when you first met Baron Terrorstar.”
He had been thinking about this face for centuries. The rage bubbling to the surface, chipping away at the grief and anguish that had filled her eyes. A smile spread under Terrorstar’s mask, and he took an elementium-gilded finger to her forehead, right above her left eye. With his other hand he grabbed the back of her head, and dragged his finger down through her brow, and buried into the top of her cheek. Sarah Berenholdt screamed in pain and fell backwards into the dirt.
Terrorstar wanted to tell her he was sorry. That he was sorry for the scar, her teacher, her wedding, her home planet, but she would never understand. She couldn’t understand, not until he had a chance to show her the Creeping Doom.
“Lay down your arms men, and witness, finally, the ascension. You are to witness a universe changing moment!”
The blast doors careened open as the thermium charges exploded, and rebels poured through the breech. Terrorstar jumped to his feet, his arms outstretched, his cloak billowing behind him. He wondered if he would embrace her, hug her, and tell her that her pain had all been for something, something bigger than all of them.
“General Berenhodlt, we meet again! I have so much to—”
Plasma charges cut through Terrorstar’s elementium armor, ripping through the back of his cloak and punching holes through his throne. Dozens of piercing beams riddled Terrorstar, and his sizzling corpse flattened upon the Command Center floor. A series of concussion grenades blanketed the perimeter of the room, destroying the monitors and control panels that Center crew had once been sitting out. From the smoke and debris, the rebel squad opened fire on Chromesour and the remainder of the crew, scattering their remains against the unopened escape pod doors.
A tall, brown haired woman stepped forward towards the body of Terrorstar. A scar ran down the left side of her face, pale and white and faded from age. Her green eyes shined brilliantly through her scowl and sneer. She stepped on the back of Terrorstar’s helmet and emptied several more shots into the corpse.
“It’s over,” she said. “It’s finally over,” but her voice had no elation or triumph in it, it was as though she were only stating a fact. “Kill any survivors and turn this over to the Council. Then we move.” Her squad saluted her, and she turned on her heels back out the blast door from which she had come.
|# ¿ Mar 11, 2019 05:05|
Your story is told as a series of letters.
When you think about it, aren't they all?
|# ¿ Mar 23, 2019 03:41|
Your flash rule is you have to write a story from the perspective of a blind protagonist with zero visual description oh and there's a mermaid.
I'm about to win an oscar on this bitch babeee.
|# ¿ Mar 23, 2019 03:56|
Your flash rule is you have to write a story from the perspective of a blind protagonist with zero visual description oh and there's a mermaid.
A Friday in Lent
I did not need to hear the garbled words to recognize the cadence and inflection in the carnival barker’s voice.
“Come one, come all, see the fish-man of Atlantis, a horrific fusion of skin and scale, sure to linger in your dreams! To tickle your toes from the depths of Havasu, dragging you down to the depths of the Rio Grandy!” Gilbert shouted.
I knew what a fish was. Where it began, where it ended, how stiff and rigid the scales felt, but together how flexible they could be. I was not a fish. I knew what a man was, where it began, where it ended. And I was also not a man.
The massive thunk signaled the show had begun. I was to swim, darting back and forth from the edge of the tank to the other. And just when the front of the tank got warm, I would press my face against the glass. The gasps from the unknown audiences had grown duller as of late. And I laughed to myself about the feelings of guilt I had at not being as horrific an oddity as I had once been.
“You’ve had better Phineas,” Gilbert said. My ears were above the waterline of the tank, to listen and still breath. Coins clinked. There were not many. “Come on, a blind fishman, in Sante Fe!? Feh. Philistines.” The coins slid against each other in the carnival barker’s hand. He was right.
“There was a man here, they said he was from Galveston,” Susan said when she and Clarice had come to chum my waters. River fish, and from someplace far off by the smell of them. New Mexico had been disappointing in many ways.
“The Collector,” Clarice said in a hushed tone.
“You heard about Billy Stiles’ boy, boiled alive to see if he really tasted like lobster,” Susan whispered. Rotten copper and salt filled my mouth. Is this what I will taste like? Will I make more money as a stew?
I heard their hands tap the water, and I put my hands against theirs. I couldn’t hear them anymore, but I felt their lips press against the top of my head. When I felt their hands retract, I let my ears peek above the water. I felt intense sadness as their ungainly shuffle leaft my room. I circled my tank. I listened. I waited for my answer.
I knew what a gun was. Where it began, where it ended. How heavy it was, and where the weight of it would thump on the ground when it fell from a dead man’s hand. I also knew where Gilbert kept his gun. There was a desk, with a chair that would scrape against the ground when Gilbert pushed himself away from his paperwork. There were drawers, one on each side. One of them would stick, he kept the money in there. The other would slide real nice like. He kept the gun in there.
The heavy boots coming down the hall were not Gilberts.
Metal groaned with each lap I made as I picked up speed. I felt the weight of the tank shift but remained strong from the locked wheels. From the sound of the footsteps before I submerged, the man would be at the door in a moment. With a tremendous flick of my tail, I launched myself from the tank. Water splashed against the cold dirt of the ground.
I landed with a hard thud, the bluntness of the ground so shocking, I held onto my breath with every fiber of my being. The creak of the wooden door opening pierced my ears like a lance. The Collector had come for me. Heavy boots stomped to a halt. Hastily, I wrenched the drawer open, and it fell to the ground, wood clattering in my ears. I thought I had known how heavy it would be, but I even then, I was surprised. My wet hands felt for purchase, canvasing the innards of the drawer before finally grasping the handle of my salvation.
“What the devil,” an unknown voice came. And I knew to shoot. The horrific boom shattered my ears, and I heard nothing else save for ringing. I tried to not panic as the dry emptiness closed upon my lungs, and I laid my head down upon the earth. The cool, dry, earth. That this would be the final sensation my hands would feel was not comforting. I longed to be free, to swim, to feel the silt move through my fingers one last time. But I had no regrets.
|# ¿ Mar 25, 2019 05:46|
In. Slogan please.
|# ¿ May 1, 2019 20:47|
I can help judge.
|# ¿ May 8, 2019 03:05|
Reading and will have comments sometime tonight.
|# ¿ May 14, 2019 02:18|
|# ¿ Oct 4, 2023 16:25|
I will preface this with acknowledgment that I've laid out some stinkers on this place before. Don't you worry about that. It happens. It'll happen again. Keep at it.
Write a human story. Get me to care about your protagonists.
Show, do not tell.
Stop bragging and name dropping and reference making. A story needs this: someone to care about, a structure to follow, and something that makes me think something bad is gonna happen to the the person I care about.
Y’all are faffing about with word counts like nothing. Use your word(count)s. 1500 words can be divided into 3 or 5 segments. Use that to help you construct traditional narrative arcs. Rising actions, climaxes, denouments.
Sonder: The realization that everyone has a story
Comments: This whole Ariadne subplot is bonkers. Absolutely cut this out. Something happens, which I will give you that. But the realization that everyone has a story isn’t a realization. Protagonist is given empathy pills, doesnt develop empathy, and now is having an emotional crisis but its low stakes. If you want me to empathise with the protagonist, give me something that elevates them beyond a repeat offender. It’s not tragic because I don’t care. He just murdered a man with a wife and kid. If only it had worked earlier! Except I don’t know why he’s even here since it’s been 3 months since he was released from prison.
You’re not hitting the prompt. There’s nothing really connecting it to the story because none of the decisions the protagonist makes is relevant to the prompt.
Recommendations: Give me a protagonist who has a job where depersonalization is integral to their job performance, that also doesn’t HURT other people. A surgeon who can’t grow attached to the patients, a 911 operator who has maintain functionality in face of disaster. Something where the protagonists personal combat with depersonalization is in conflict with other people’s need for them to be detached.
Vemödalen: The Fear That Everything Has Already Been Done
Comments: As a whole its ambitious, but each of the parts are not. What I mean by that is, you have played with form, but only a little. You’ve cut your word count into a 1/3rd, but you end up repeating too much. You shot for the stars, but landed on a moon. You haven’t done enough with this to toss out a lot of traditional structure that would have helped you out.
What I believe this is missing is emotion. I know you’re going for a very detached, unemotional way of portraying the word, but I don’t think that works for your word, as it might for some of the other ones.
You’ve used strong words without showing. Lonely, Perilous, Barren, Dying. These words aren’t even necessary because its all tell. You can’t show because you’ve chained yourself to the form.
Speaking of form, if you are going to change it up and emphasis the difference, go hog wild. Capitalized words, some surrealism, and fill in the blanks aren’t enough. Especially if you’re going to intentionally cut words.
Recommendations: Give me the middle story, show me his dying, show me he is lonely, he finds a predecessor. Give me the emotion of your word. This one is a feel word.
Onism: The Awareness of How Little of the World You'll Experience
Comments: an eight year old is making an ocarina and getting a bach boner. To go see Japan the band.
This is very stilted writing. This suffers from an immense telling and not showing. Armand is immediately an insufferable character and he’s still only 8.
There is nothing sympathetic about Armand. Why do I even care whether he succeeds or fails?
Recommendations: Armand’s entire identity is a realization that FOMO is impossible to avoid, thus its necessary to specialize. Armand’s speciality is live music. Secret shows, eventual superstars playing their first gig, and lastly farewell shows when they meant something. Armand’s mother dies and the funeral is preventing him from something he wants. What happens next?
Anemoia: Nostalgia For A Time You’ve Never Known
Comments: Nothing happens. A woman spends all of her time in front of her computer, her mom dies, and then she misses not being able to ask her things, but never asked her things when she was alive. Then she gets sad about a letter about a dead kid and now she resolves to change things? The details of her search of Ancestry.com is incredibly boring. I would rather this person be playing an emulated version of a dead MMORPG for all the things that happen. At least then I’d believe someone got addicted to bullshit that doesn’t matter at the expense of their actual life.
Chillaxe on the adjectives. You have a tight word count, adjectives better emphasize something that matters.
Recommendations: This woman is a dedicated confederate civil war re-enactor. A second character comes searching for their own genealogy, and protagonist has a sordid family history if looked upon by an outside party. Their families are inextricably linked. What does the protagonist do?
Olēka: The Awareness of How Few Days Are Memorable
Comments: You’ve got something here that’s interesting, but you haven’t taken it home yet. I think you’re missing an opportunity to show the character casting off the chains of anxiety and constant envisionment of events that haven’t happened yet. You can say all you want that the protagonist won’t do all the things he fears he will do, but without showing them have that internal conflict you don’t have a resolution yet. You’re hitting the climax right as you finish the story.
This is also missing enough of a link to the prompt. There’s no longing or sadness that should be accompanying the prompt. Does the protagonist yearn for days there were not memorable, now that they have had a memorable, life altering day? Does this event make the protagonist realize that all other days had not shaped his life like this will? You’re teasing at it, and I think you’re almost there. The style gets a little repetitive, and could be cut down if you wanted to keep the word count tight, but otherwise this could use a couple hundred extra words and get into what the protagonist is going to do next.
Nodus Tollens: When Your Life Doesn't Fit into a Story
Comments: This is some real self-indulgent woe is me, with only the faintest hint of being a caricature to be mocked.That doesnt make me think is tongue in cheek. If it is, you’ve spent entirely too much effort on that note, and not enough on the story.
If this is not tongue in cheek, you’ve essentially just described depression but your prose has wrenched all the humanity out of it. It’s so ‘smart’ and ‘thinky’ and ‘thesaurus’. Get better words. Easier words. Words that make me think I’m reading about a real human and not some depression robot who can only read old aol instant messenger away messages.
Your prompt work needs work. Does this character believe their life doesn’t fit into a story? If so, what story? Because the protagonist has equally as low an opinion of others as himself, so then what’s the story he belongs to?
Recommendations: A story about someone whose identity is based upon a preconceived destiny. Could be internal, could be external. Challenge the protagonists assumptions, and then make them decide something mutually exclusive to their happiness.
Ambedo: A Moment You Experience For Its Own Sake
Comments: Right off the bat you’ve made something so simple be vague. I’m not a fan of the cold open dialogue. Why have you done this? I should not be surprised there is actually 3 people witnessing this event.
You’ve gooned up all of your descriptions. Who is doing what? The pilgrim or the caretaker? The narrator keeps making assertions about why someone is doing something. How does this person know?
Ugh. Jesus. Millennials am I right???
Recommendation: Completely scrap it. You are giving me a play by play about how I should feel. It’s far too literal without meaning anything. Don’t tell me how to feel, tell me about how a character is feeling. Don’t cold open with dialogue. Too many characters is splitting your narrative focus. What good does the caretaker do here?
A man stumbles on a painter in the wilderness. They have opposite philosophies. Do they stay that way? Do they change? Show me, don’t tell me.
Yù Yī : The Desire to Feel Intensely Again
Comments: Hey you know what? I like this. But, I don’t know the spirit of your word is actually being fulfilled here. This person actually feels pretty intensely to me. And that’s hate, regret, longing. To me, the prompt word embodies depression. You tried, but you I think you let yourself get too into this narrator, and that ends up as anger.
This could use some clean up in clarity, as much as stream of consciousness can. On the first read I thought it was the narrator who was hospiced, inwardly reflecting, as opposed to the grandkid watching this.
Here’s a thing tho. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to witness what you’re describing. And everyone deals with these things differently, but that being said, I have had to deal with this in my life. And it’s horrible. And I know people who are actively dealing with this. The one thing I don’t feel/see a lot is anger. I’m not sure where you’re going with this one. The grandkid is angry that this dog and pony show is all for nothing, but there’s no choice here. There’s no consequence.
Recommendations: Insufferable protagonist somehow is the one who has to make the decision to pull the plug. Could it be he/she drew the short straw and is doing the nightshift at the hospital in case the person wakes up. Give me the rigamarole of how dull this whole thing is, give me a protagonist who hates it, give me the family who still appears to be receiving catharsis for having a parent, relative, alive. Now make your protagonist choose.
Socha: The Hidden Vulnerability of Others
Comments: I’m missing what is at stake here. I want to know more about hidden vulnerabilities. I want to know what the narrator needs from them. I need to know what happens if she can’t get at them. You had the room to work with, and I think you can revisit this and give me a little more. You have the imagery, you have the character, I want a little more plot. I want to have more to say, but I don't know there's enough here yet.
Kenopsia: The Eeriness of Places Left Behind
Comments: Immediately stop telling me and start showing me.
This needs a line crit. Every single line I want you to ask ‘have you told me a fact, or have you described something, and let the reader make the call.’ Always go to the latter. If you don’t think you have described something the way you want the reader to interpret, then throw it away and try again.
People dont talk nor think the way that you have said they do. ““endearing in his naivety, but not spoilt by this town.” what???? “He was not sure what that meant,” yah.
"he could tell that it gave him an uneasy feeling, like the one he had gotten on the graveyard where they had buried his mother." This is not good, I’m sorry.
“Rik had never been an imaginative person, in fact the very concept of imagination was foreign to him, and this sudden vision overwhelmed him to the point of crying out” why? This is very abnormal and does not make any sense.
Okay so Rik is autistic, but suddenly realizes he’s autistic because he has a premonition that the dents in the caravan were because a woman was killed by it.
Recommendations: 3rd person. State that Rick is autistic immediately. A man brings him a car to repair and its obvious the man has struck ‘something’. The man says its a deer. Rick doesn’t think that’s a deer. What happens next?
Astrophe: The Feeling of Being Stuck on Earth
Comments: To start with, this does not do anything with the prompt for me. The use of words like corprokinesis and apportation is kind of a loving pain. Then you’ve got sci-fi, fantasy, and lovecraftian things happening, and its all really far too much for 1500 words. I don’t know poo poo about Nick or Belle, or whatever the gently caress.
If you want to have a story that features these kind of elements you need to use an economy of words. Don’t over-explain things, and say them in simple terms.
“The only safe means for ranged application requires an apportation specialist whose sole job is to create a bridge that instantaneously relocates the wavelength to the specified target.” re-write: The only way to fix this mess required a crash test dummy, or a sacrificial lamb if he messed this up.
Code words here aren’t helping who is talking and to/about. There’s no reason for all of these disparate elements to be here.
Recommendations: Aliens constantly drop trash/problems on Earth. Nick has to fix them. Fixing them is dangerous. Others disproportionately benefit from his efforts. Nick gets his biggest/most dangerous problem to date, and now has a watchdog. What happens next?
Ballagàrraidh: The Awareness That You Are Not at Home in the Wilderness
Comments: This needs a line by line edit. You’re wasting words. Are you from Southern California? I don’t think that you are. Oranges are primarily grown in Northern California. Additionally, only black bears are found in California.
Where are you going with your symbolism of Russian/Siberian peasantry? Also, “ If Southern California had a history like Siberia, some young artist would painstakingly draw George’s eyes and hands to show the dignity of simple, honest work.” Southern California has a massive cultural emphasis on rancheros.
What are you implying with the growing of a beard about the war? You’re implying that he is possibly connected to Afghanistan somehow, yet you’re making Russian comparisons. Is this related to the Soviet-Afghan war?. Who’s Grandfather bought the farm? George’s? Is George a recent-ish immigrant?
If you want to start making symbolic comparisons, I don’t think you’re on the money here. Symbolism has to mean something a little more than a superfluous connection.
Your biggest sin here is that nothing happens. Nothing even has a chance to happen. Conflict, conflict, conflict. You have interpreted your Sorrow word in a very literal manner without actually evoking any of the feeling. She’s not in the wilderness, she is at home, and she is not aware of anything.
Recommendations: A prideful art school graduate is forced to live at home, the farm, because XYZ, and now her dad is dying. The farm is the only thing the father has left of his attachment to earth. What happens next?
Dès Vu: The Awareness That This Will Become A Memory
Comments: You’ve got yourself a pretty good story here. With 600 extra words, I’m glad that you have. As much as I like this story, and it has the things a story needs, you also had a lot more room to play with. I appreciate that its fantastic, without overexplaining things. There’s a little bit of fiddly descriptions I think you could change, unless im missing a deeper meaning of so many things being ink-black.
The only major thing I would say needs some adjustment is that Danyar states she is not ashamed of her gems, and her actions indicate that as much too. So, her reaching for a memory to smite the wizard isn’t as impactful as it could be. I want Danyar to be conflicted in her actions, even if in retrospect during a life or death situation. Why does she need Cardell if she can lightning bolt? Why does she need anyone if she can just lightning bolt all her problems away?
High but DQ.
Lachesism: Longing for the Clarity of Disaster
Comments: My biggest beef here, beyond the distasteful nature of the story, is that you have shown no form of ‘clarity’. You have told me that the narrator is in a fog unless physically threatened, yet I have no idea what this fog is other than one you have physically manifested for the story. Also, a fog bank is not something you get surprised by? So I’m not sure where you’re going with this one. This character makes no decisions, because as you’ve stated, they are a slave to their brain fuzz. You have told me a first person story about an idiot who enters into a car wreck. Am I the narrator? No, because I chose to read this story.
Recommendations: Scrap this story. Watch the movie Crash (1996). Show me someone who has survived disaster, blossoms from it, and is now addicted to the feeling. Give this same person an ‘Ahab’ moment. Give them choices, and the conflicts that arise from these choices. I also recommend not putting this in first person. Go third.
Kudoclasm: When Lifelong Dreams Are Brought Down to Earth
Comments: This was probably one of the easiest prompts, but this story has missed it. I do not enjoy diary form writing. Especially not in flash fiction. You can’t have lifelong dreams at 9 years old. These are just snapshots of what has happened in this person’s life. There’s not a narrative arc, or a set of choices or circumstances that changes this character or defines who she is.
Recommendations: Something human has to happen and the protagonist is faced with a dilemma about their lifelong dreams.
Morii: The Desire to Capture a Fleeting Experience
Comments: You’re spending a lot of time on something you keep telling me isn’t important. I think you need to rearrange some of the parts to the story. You’re tapping into something interesting here, but you are also getting bogged down in the vaguery. Present Relic in a dire spot first, then explain to me that she has to kill to survive. At the same time, you need to make it a real choice. She doesn’t have the choice to not kill here.
Prompt-wise, I’m not sure you’re getting this here. You could completely strip the prompt off this story and nothing changes. Which fleeting experience is she after, the killing of each of these people? She doesn’t dwell on how that makes her feel very much. She just seems like she’s hungry. People don’t chase the fleeting feeling of a cheeseburger. They just eat the next one. The protagonist’s need is too base, too instinctual to classify this as some kind of nostalgic, or momentary bliss.
A potential way to resolve your narrative arc and prompt is to have them conflict with each other. She craves emotional connection as badly as she craves human flesh. Her moments of connecting with others are tainted by the inevitability of their death. Also, no need to be vague in descriptions of things. It’s not enhancing the story. Just say what things are.
|# ¿ May 14, 2019 08:32|