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Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

I don't really have anything in the tank but want to participate in the first week, so I'll help judge.

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Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

I will do my best to give crits that aren't just agreeing with Seb.

Mrenda: Amateur Geology

Sebmojo and I were in agreement that this starts strong and is charmingly written. However, it's a very Mrenda story in a negative way: it begins on a strong footing, and then as it gets going it loses track of itself and just rambles for a while until the endpoint. It felt like it was talking without saying much of anything. This is something I've noticed a few times with your writing, and I think you'd enjoy a lot more success tightening things up and giving it a clearer direction.

Something Else: the laughing knight

I found the faux-medieval affectation in this entry obnoxious; you tried too hard to sound like a period piece and crossed into sounding like a parody of medieval stories. Although you didn't do this specific thing, there's a rule when it comes to using phonetic accents in prose that's relevant here: Don't. Leaning into gimmicks is distracting and irritating to the reader unless you can do it extremely well, and if in doubt the answer is "you can't do it extremely well." Think about what you're putting in your story and why, and don't try to sucker in your reader with affectations, because the person reading your story isn't stupid and will absolutely see what you're trying to do.

Doctor Eckhart: the best birthday surprise

I didn't like this one. It was trying too hard to be zany, and nobody in it felt like a real person reacting to real circumstances. This is especially the case with the two men, who don't talk or behave like any reasonable person in possession of all their faculties should and don't manage to make that actually funny. Maybe this would work as a televised comedy sketch, but in prose it's flat and irritating, especially when the main character completely shrugs off the twist at the end. This has nothing in it other than "literally the song line I was given as a prompt," and it isn't really possible to care what happens in a story when the characters themselves don't. Also: animal cruelty isn't funny.

Crimea: Prisoner of the hell planet of desire

I liked the writing and thematic work in this story, and it felt like a rare story this week that was trying to be about something deeper. I wasn't comfortable giving this one the win nod, though, because, although being too much of a prompt stickler is seldom a good thing, it felt off base. This was explicitly meant to be a positive week, and you turned in a bitter, gruelling story about an incel's sour grapes and fraying self-delusions. There was nothing here to suggest there was more to the main character or his story than the "loser comic book reader" stereotype, and there isn't much happening here beyond rubbing our noses in his spiritual dirt. If there was a sense of the story going anywhere, or anything advancing, or the prompted "light at the end of the tunnel," I'd probably look at it better. As it is I felt like it was a good entry, but a bad fit for the week.

pththyalyi: Baby

I had mixed feelings about this premise, and I'm thinking about if my initial impression of the story is even fair. On the one hand, this is a real situation people deal with all over the place all the time; somewhere, a young woman is probably dealing with this exact dillemma as I type these words. On the other, you lay these circumstances on so thick the reader almost has to wade through it, and it ends on a bit of a cop-out; in judgechat, one judge pointed out a story about a character making a tough decision should probably include the actual decision, and another felt this ended where it should have began. One funny thing is that sebmojo thought she decided to keep the baby, while I read it as her being resolved to get the abortion. I'm going to contradict myself just a little and say I think that ambiguity is in the story's favour; the ending, then, is less about what she chooses and more that it's her choice, which she's happy with either way. This is a bit of a cliché ending though, and I wish you had done something to shake up the Abortion Story Formula, especially as the whole story leading up to that piles in one trope after another - the teen dad-to-be who skips out immediately, the mother who'd make her keep the baby, so on and so forth. The prose doesn't do this any favours; the writing is very blunt and comes down more on the side of telling us things rather than really pulling us into Elena's world and making us feel things as she does. But then, that can work in its own way, and not every story needs to be written like Nabokov. Is that really a fair way to assess it? I don't know.

I would, however, say ditch italicised thoughts. They're amateurish and weaken your prose; all narration is your protagonist's thoughts, and while this is much more literally true in first person, the same applies to third. Use your prose and narration to show us your character's thoughts and feelings, rather than straight up telling us through italicised text. Please don't be discouraged, though; as first entries go, this wasn't bad at all, and I'd love to see you stick around.

Thrangles: When

This is a sweet little snapshot, with nice dreamy prose, but it's wafer-thin, with nothing of interest below the surface. There's no real arc here, or a sense of why this is happening, or who the people involved even are, and it's hard to recommend this story above the rest of the pack. A classic "Thranguy story" problem is entries that feel like a) a summary of a story or b) you chopped out the beginning or middle of something longer and plopped it down, and this is solidly an example of B. Give this some connective tissue and it feels like it would be a great ending to a longer story. I did enjoy reading what was there, though.

Azza Bamboo: It’s not right

Bad. This story boils down to "did you know capitalism bad?" in 1200 words, and feels very much like My First TD Entry + a CSPAM post blended together. Of course, it literally was your first entry, so look on the bright side: you can only go up from here. Most of this is extremely earnest back and forth dialogue; you don't have the space for this sort of thing in a TD entry, and the consequence in this case is I felt like I was being preached at, not told a story. Flash fiction is about capturing a moment, and 1200 words sounds like a lot but once you actually get to writing it runs up on you very quickly. Be efficient with your words and consider exactly where your story is going. Also, proofread, and never use it's when you mean its again or I'll brawl you.

Benny Profane: Things are gonna change

I'll need some time to think up a substantive crit of this, but I generally concur with seb. Something I liked about it, that made it stand out above the other entries, is there's a sense of real kindness to its ending; it felt most like the kind of story Anti was asking for.

A Friendly Penguin: Rose

You were trying entirely too hard to "write well" here. The sort of "writing well" that entails overwrought prose and far too much time spent on trying to look impressive. I know what that looks like because I've done it myself. Like I said to Azza, you don't have the wordcount to do things like that, and like I said to Something Else, your reader will spot what you're doing immediately and just get annoyed. Think about the story you're trying to tell, and how you can best portray what you're going for in the space you have. Also, don't have your "happy ending" be a woman literally transforming into a man's inanimate accessory.

Slip-Up: Twelve Stories of Vengeance

Cats: Good. This story: Not. Yoru's linecrit is very insightful and you should read it thoroughly; I'm largely in agreement with her, and think you can learn a lot from what she had to say. The big problem with this story is there really isn't anything to it beyond "lol cats." It even throws in the "cats are all evil masterminds and your cat is actively plotting to murder you" cliché/internet meme, and much like the drive by piercing/birthday party story, I found this to be all silliness and no character or meat. Reading it with fresher eyes I actually think maybe this should have lost instead of 209.


Selaphiel: 209

This is comprehensively bad and, amusingly, feels like the complete opposite of the prompt. It's also carelessly written, with a glaring typo in the very second sentence. I'm actually a little angry this story exists and was tempted to just put down "gently caress this story" and leave it there. Judge pandering is typically poor form, but for the future, writing an animal cruelty story in a week I'm judging is a good way to instantly be my loss pick, especially when you involve a puppy. On top of my personal objections to it, I consider it lazy; you're grabbing the reader by the throat and screaming "FEEL BAD ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE" in their face instead of earning their emotional investment. Your prose is dry as a bone, and I see what you're going for here: you want a very clinical, blunt narration that will drive home the horror of these experiments by starkly portraying them with no embellishments. That isn't how it reads, though; this is blunt misery porn, and the end result is somewhere between boring and outright laughable. This note will sound a little bizarre, but you don't really do anything to make these characters feel real - their voices and mannerisms read as completely human, and while this is likely an intentional gesture (anthropomorphising the victims of animal experimentation to engender empathy) it makes me feel like I'm reading about two guys in animal suits.

Twist: Control X

This story essentially got second place, because the judges liked Benny's story, particularly its ending, just a little better. You did a good job at something most stories this week were trying to do: balance dark elements with an ultimately happy core. Your turns of phrase are great, and I found this story enjoyable just on merit of its prose, even before considering the rest. Lia's trash-absorbing power is a great metaphor, and while I'm generally hazy on speculative elements I actually feel like it suits this story perfectly. I'll need to do some thinking to find much of anything to poke at here.

Carl Killer Miller: Lone Loveseat

I personally don't like opening a story with dialogue. Disembodied floating heads don't do much to earn a reader's attention off the bat, and in flash fiction you have to grab their interest right away and run it like you're going for a touchdown, because you just don't have enough space to lose people. I do like this, though. These people feel like an actual couple, talk like actual people, and there's something charmingly realistic about a fight blowing up over something so silly, especially with how despite said silliness there's a reason it caused real hurt. Dwayne and Eric's conversation has a similar vibe, to me, and I overall found it a pleasant read. I do find the prose a little dull, though, in need of more life, and you resort to bluntly telling the reader what your character thinks and feels a lot. First person is a direct link between the reader and your protagonist's inner thoughts, and while Dwayne certainly isn't a walking camera, I think you can stand to unpack his feelings and reactions more, rather than just saying things like "I felt sad." You could have gone into the drowning metaphor a little, for instance.

Flerp: Up There

This story lays it on so thick it's positively maudlin, and I'm not sure if you were trying for comedy with the litany of deaths around the protagonist but it certainly came off that way, to the point that my usual hard-stop (dog death) didn't even give me pause because it seemed ridiculous. I honestly would have stuck with either the mother or the grandfather, maybe one other to keep the idea this is a pattern, and gone on with the story from there, because I get what you're trying to do - someone surrounded by death, grief, loss, etc. finding hope through nursing this bird back to health - but it's just over the top. I'm a little confused by this story because I don't know if you're trying to parody these sorts of tales or being dead serious, leaving me unsure how to react or best give feedback to it.

Yoruichi: Brownian Motion

I overall thought this was a good story, and you're in good form. That made this crit difficult to write because I feel the need to find something to pick at, or at least something more substantial to post than "good job," especially since it begs the question of why one story won and another didn't. I'll probably have to revisit this, because I can't really come up with much of anything beyond it lacking the certain je ne sais quoi that makes a story stand out enough to be a solid win pick. It was a nice story and Jim and Sharon felt very human, but I feel like it needed something more. I plan to revisit this to try to sink my teeth into it more.

Magic Cactus: The Whiz of The 'Whiz

I have to make the troubling admission that I'm having a hard time coming up with any opinion of this piece and I'm not sure why. I'm amused by the notion of cheese-based premonitions, and some of the ways you play with words here, but it feels almost more like a long, rambling anecdote than a story. But then, that could be me having an overly narrow definition of "a story." I think, though, that you would have had more success narrowing this down to a particular narrative, maybe focusing on one of the specific events mentioned in this, and giving the reader something to invest in rather than telling them Things What Happened Because Cheese.

Anomalous Amalgam: An Extra Bounty

quote:

Garden of the God’s

Loss. But jokes aside, this feels like a bog standard sci-fi romp that doesn't really try to be more. That's honestly disappointing, since I do believe you can write more substantial stories when you try.


Chairchucker: No Parking

This is better than It's Not Right, the characters more interesting and better-realised, but it still has that pitfall of the story being almost entirely back and forth dialogue. That isn't inherently bad - wordcounts are limited, and people do have conversations about things - but it's somethng to keep an eye out for. I think you do a good job establishing these people and their relationship in a short space, and this does feel like one of the more human stories of the week. However, I cannot in good conscience praise a story that, essentially, presents police brutality as a good thing. You wrote an entry about a cop looking for an excuse to brutalise somebody and the only other major character in the piece cheering it on and saying it's "richly deserved" because the person was a bit rude before the story starts. Maybe that's not a crit of the actual story, at that point, but I still find it distasteful and you were honestly lucky stories like 209 and Twelve Stories of Vengeance were in this week. All cops are bastards means ALL cops.

Flesnolk fucked around with this message at 17:26 on Jan 10, 2020

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Azza Bamboo posted:

You should probably answer the drat question and quit hiding whatever bullshit you'd judge your brawl on or that you'd consider "better" words.

You’ve annoyed me. Let’s brawl.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

While we await a judge, you do know that the judges of the previous week are going to write crits and tell you what they didn't like about the story, right?

Flesnolk fucked around with this message at 15:17 on Jan 21, 2020

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

End of day in which time zone? :toxx:

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Me if SH accepts

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

.

Flesnolk fucked around with this message at 12:53 on Dec 31, 2020

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h


If you want to discuss stories and stuff, the discord server or fiction advice thread are better places.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Bad Seafood doesn't appear to currently be active in the Dome, unfortunately.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

portmp

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

No story chat in the thread, go to discord or fiction advice.

Wee woo wee woo I'm the TD police apparently.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

fjgj

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Morptp

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Anomalous Amalgam posted:


Round 3, no extensions, and a short, sweet wordcount, 2 weeks time if judge is willing?

Sure. 1500 words, a story about a boxer but without portraying a boxing match. No pre-, post-, or mid-apocalypse. Due date, 23:59 EST on 22 March, 2020. Custom rules on request.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h


Flesnolk posted:

without portraying a boxing match.

You're disqualified. Slipup wins, crits to come ASAP.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

pormp

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

verb
verb: prompt; 3rd person present: prompts; past tense: prompted; past participle: prompted; gerund or present participle: prompting
1.
(of an event or fact) cause or bring about (an action or feeling).
"his death has prompted an industry-wide investigation of safety violations"
Similar:
give rise to
bring about
cause
occasion
result in
lead to
elicit
produce
bring on
engender
induce
call forth
evoke
precipitate
trigger
spark off
provoke
instigate
Opposite:
deter
restrain
cause (someone) to take a course of action.
"a demonstration by 20,000 people prompted the government to step up security"
Similar:
induce
make
move
cause
motivate
lead
dispose
persuade
incline
encourage
stimulate
prod
impel
spur on
urge
inspire
provoke
incite
Opposite:
discourage
2.
assist or encourage (a hesitating speaker) to say something.
"“And the picture?” he prompted"
Similar:
remind
cue
give someone a cue
help out
coach
feed
jog someone's memory
refresh someone's memory
supply a forgotten word or line to (an actor) during the performance of a play.
COMPUTING
(of a computer) request input from (a user).
noun
noun: prompt; plural noun: prompts
1.
an act of assisting or encouraging a hesitating speaker.
"with barely a prompt, Barbara talked on"
a word or phrase spoken as a reminder to an actor of a forgotten word or line.
Similar:
reminder
cue
feed
another term for prompter.
COMPUTING
a message or symbol on a screen to show that the system is waiting for input.
2.
the time limit for the payment of an account, as stated on a prompt note.
adjective
adjective: prompt
done without delay; immediate.
"the owner would have died but for the prompt action of two paramedics"
Similar:
quick
swift
rapid
speedy
fast
direct
immediate
instant
instantaneous
expeditious
early
punctual
in good time
on time
timely
ready
willing
eager
unhesitating
rathe
Opposite:
slow
late
unwilling
(of a person) acting without delay.
"the fans were prompt and courteous in complying with police requests"
(of goods) for immediate delivery and payment.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In, flash.

prompt

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

I don't know why I can't get my worthless brain to come up with anything, but I've got nothing this week. I'm going to :toxx: to complete a redemption for this week by 11:59:59 PST on 30 April, 2020.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

.

Flesnolk fucked around with this message at 12:55 on Dec 31, 2020

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In, hellrule toxx

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Because I was too sick to complete my entry, I donated to RAINN:



gently caress you, Lowtax.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

Sitting Here posted:


2. Quote only this part of the post if you would like to receive what I consider to be an especially challenging prompt! You get to keep the 2420 word count if you select this option, but challenging assignments are final! No takebacksies.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

In toxx hellrule

I vote no more losertars, they make me anxious and feel like adding insult to injury.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

The prompt is racism

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Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

.

Flesnolk fucked around with this message at 06:11 on Dec 30, 2020

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