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Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


Yoruichi posted:

:sparkles: WEEK 442 JUDGING SECRETS REVEALED :sparkles:

Well, they're not really secrets, but if you want to listen live to what happened in judge chambers, you can do so here.

We discuss all the stories! There are hot takes! Blistering insights! Judgement!

(This will be available in the archive as soon as I figure out why the upload's not working).

Ooh, the podcast is back? That was one of my favorite parts of the old threads. I should participate again, some time...


Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


All right gently caress it in gimme a dragon fact

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004




Your dragon has a dozen pairs of wings, but it is flightless.

Fuschia tude fucked around with this message at 15:49 on Dec 31, 2021

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


Barnaby Profane posted:

Dragon Week Crits

Thanks, BP!

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


Sing Along posted:

I'd be very interested in joining the discord and getting a better sense of this competition. I've followed these threads off and on since around 2011.

tuyop posted:

Me too!

So enter already. New prompt goes up early in the week. You have nothing to lose (except your current av, but then anything is better than BASIL).

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


sparksbloom posted:

week 452 (dragon week 2) crits

Thank you!

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


I can definitely write a not story

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


flerp posted:

your piece must contain tangible objects

249 words

High tension. Fifty thousand volts. A yawning span. Midair acrobatics. Wobbling uneasily. Watching from below, gathering, pointing. Wind whipping through steel, whistling, shrill.

Walking, step by step. Excruciating. Interminable. Doable.

Waiting, at the end, at the top. Red and blue bathing everything.

Step by step.

Holding their breath.

Gusting, nearly knocked off balance. Gasps below. Wobbling, adjusting carefully. Steps.

A screamed epithet from below. Not listening. Step.

Uninterested, nonplussed, flapping overhead. Step.

Overcast, darkening, not yet raining. Shouldn't be, but, regardless, not. Step.

Misstep, nearly ending everything—crying "Look!" and "Watch out!" and "Oh!"

Slightly crouching, adjusting weight, standing back up. Hoping new approach will work better. Step.

Don't look down. Step.

Nearly halfway there. Dipping down in the middle. Several feet below the start. Step.

Gusting again, adjusting again. Pausing momentarily.

Don't let go.


Coming up the other side. Watching from up ahead. Red and brown. Step.

That's it. No different than last time. Done this a hundred times. Step.

Approaching it now. Step.

Not far to go. Craning to look outside. Step.

Again blowing—catching—barely—not quite

Still have it.



Silence down below.

Watching from just above, akimbo, blatantly armed.






Up and over. Finally dropped, no longer needed.

Cheering from below, exuberant, exulting by proxy.

Moving in quickly. Detained. Cuffed. Reciting.

Clicking. Whirring. Stacatto questioning.

Who— and Why— and What-made-you— and Were-you-ever—

And not answering. Closing.

Rustling softly. Radiant warmth from above.

Breathing deep.


One last step.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


a friendly penguin posted:

Crits for week 484 – Screw the rules, I have Thunderdome
Thank you!

You too!

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


Week 489 judgings

Tiger Flip

Ok. So this story operates on dream logic. That's fine.

But... that's all there is to it. Just a sort of gang initiation story about a killing while becoming a furry, all written in this kind of weird child speak. I don't really see the point.

Also where's the flip I was promised a flip. The hellrule said you need a flip. I can't see a flip even if I squint, not even a metaphorical one. I'll find my flip

Where'd it lose me: eh, I don't know. Kind of all over the place.

Flavor: geno gray :geno:


Breaking Hearts At Camp Kippakriptid

I was really into this and I liked all the little details. Just taking the ridiculous prompt and playing it completely straight and mundane and elaborating on all the details of how exactly things would work in a world of mythological creatures is probably the best way to approach this.

But then it all falls apart at the end. That concluding section seemed incredibly rushed, as if you had to cram it into a tight word count and didn't want to cut anything earlier. But... you still had 600 words to spare. And then the very end didn't ring true at all. I feel like you should have cut that last scene entirely and just hinted towards that coming in the future, or something. But it's just hollow revenge porn at the very end, and not even an interesting or well-executed revenge? Meh

Where'd it lose me: the ending. Oh, the ending.

Flavor: tutti frutti



I enjoyed this. Not much to say. I'm not sure about the ending scene; the story could maybe explain a bit more exactly what's going on. I read the story before the hellrule, and yeah, it pretty much explicitly explains the last scene, I guess, but I don't think this story quite hangs together unless you know what that rule was.

Where'd it lose me: The end, kinda?

Flavor: French vanilla


Wings Against Stone

This is some very nice description. Cute ending. I don't really have anything to complain about.

There's other ways this prompt could have been interpreted, but this is probably the best way to play it straight.

Where'd it lose me: didn't

Flavor: dark chocolate


Well Rooted

Another cute ending. I know, it's one of those Kiwiana things, right down to the entendre in the title. For what it is it's well executed, but I kind of wondered if it quite had to be quite this, this I read the rule and OK yeah.

Where'd it lose me: eh. Didn't really

Flavor: well-chewed rawhide


From The Memoirs of a Grey Alien Diplomat

Eh. So it's a diplomatic meeting of a gray alien to an audience of circus clowns. That's it that's the story. I feel like there has to be something more to it than just the high concept; that just comes straight from your prompt. Nothing about the alien even seems alien; it just seems like a slightly confused 19th century Englishman.

It does make it pretty clear what the rule is even without knowing that ahead of time. But I'm not sure that's actually a point in favor of the story to the end of being a, you know, story.

Where'd it lose me: somewhere in that first paragraph or two

Flavor: custard pie only it's all shaving cream


Horse Out of Hell

I'm most of the way through this story and I really have no idea what's going on.

I read the hellrulehellrulehellrule after and... still have no idea what was going on.

I know it would be pretty hard to wring something coherent out of a prompt like that but it doesn't look like you tried to.

Where'd it lose me: not sure you ever had me

Flavor: bone broth

mid, lowish

The Nixon Cheese

I think this is the first story where reading the hellrule after the story makes it into a punchline.

Light, but it knows what it wants to be and does it.

Where'd it lose me: never

Flavor: a nice dollop of ayib


While My (Air) Guitar Gently Weeps

Not a promising opener. These paragraphs feel way too long and that makes it difficult to follow. That effect can be used to cause a particular feeling in the reader, but I'm not sure it will in this case. A lot of these words feel extraneous. And it's not in service of the character; he's not some scientist or detatched observed meticulously cataloguing all these pointless notes. They're just vomited on the page, as if you don't know which are important and which aren't so you have to write down every single detail.

This feels so, so wordy. All these words and yet not much happens; we don't really even get a sense of the character, who he is and what he wants. Why is he even fighting this duel? Yeah, he's getting revenge for the CEO for money; but why does he do this? (Also linking to youtube videos as part of the text is... weird. I don't know.) We don't even get a resolution to the duel. Not even a hint of one to come. It just

Where'd it lose me: The opening sentence is completely bland, and it stands alone as if it's supposed to be something profound or arresting. And then a wall of text follows.

Flavor: foam rubber stuffing

mid, lowish

Buzzer Beater

This does a much better job of filling the words with important information than the last one. These are also long paragraphs, but every details is important, either explaining the character or moving the events of the story forward.

It's a good, satisfying story, even as it leans more into the ridiculous scenario of the hellrule.

Where'd it lose me: didn't

Flavor: wintergreen


Leonardo (or How I Learned To Start Worrying and Hate The Time Travel)

This is doofy but fun. A quick read. The narrator doesn't seem at all like da Vinci aside from namedropping a couple of things he'd done, but I guess that's not really the point.

I don't get this choice of recurring joke though

Where'd it lose me: never

Flavor: bubblegum



These are nice word paintings so far. Still holding my attention.

Then the story turns more abstract and time compresses and it kind of loses interest for me. It seemed to be building up to something tense and interesting and it just never pays off. It becomes a Groundhog Day story but there doesn't seem to be a point. It just kind of sputters off and dies.

I don't think it quite fits the hellrule, either.

Where'd it lose me: the last section

Flavor: candy cane

mid, highish

Nuclear blues

This moves fast, but I'm not sure about it. There is the odd punctuation issue, but otherwise solid construction at the low level. But high-level, eh. The resolution doesn't quite feel earned, and the very end is inscrutable. I know the dilemma was provided to you, but still. Going into it without knowing that ahead of time, the rising absurdity takes hold, and the story never really recovers from that. You go for a cathartic ending after that, but that's going to be nearly impossible to reach given where you're coming from.

Where'd it lose me: the climax

Flavor: candy-coated pretzel

mid, highish

They are made of stupid

So, this is a script. A screenplay. No blocking at all. Just about the only non-dialog lines are "X time passes", which you never want to write out, and a bit of meta-commentary at the end.

What this actually is is a chatlog. And nobody wants to read a chatlog. Maybe you could have made an entertaining story even with this structure, but you didn't. This is just stepping through the details in the hellrule like it's a checklist. You check off the last one and you're done.

These are non-characters, they have no personality, and nothing happens.

Where'd it lose me: the start, realizing this was a dialog between two disembodied voices

Flavor: helium baloon


Fly Me to the Moon, Let Me Kick Its loving rear end

Good job building the whole story up to a punchline on the last line with a typo in it. Or, if that spelling is intentional, it instantly pulls the reader out of the story.

I don't quite get the ending, either.

This is goofy premise piled on top of goofy premise that's kind of played straight, kind of leans into the absurdity, but it's worse for not going whole-hog either way.

Where'd it lose me: Eh, I was kind of only halfway there the whole time.

Flavor: cafeteria spaghetti

mid, highish

Could Also Be a Squid, I Guess, I Mean I’m No Marine Biologist

I too am tuning out.

So many of these lines don't really accomplish anything and could be cut out. That would let you write a proper ending too, rather than this skipping ahead.

And the ending is just... meh. Don't care about these things or Dara, who I didn't remember was the granddaughter. You haven't given us any real reason to.

Where'd it lose me: You see this line? "A streak broken when the octopus pillow started talking to me." That's where your story should start. Nothing before that point was necessary, or a few bits could at least be folded in and restated concisely later.

Flavor: wonderbread


Agent Double-Oh-Sexy in: Big Shoes To Fill

That intro is doing job setting up the tone. Yeah this is goofy and fun so far.

The ending dragged on way too long, though. Don't overstay your welcome after you've resolved everything, in a story this short.

Where'd it lose me: the end

Flavor: glazed donut

mid, highish

What the Poor Man Has, What the Rich Man Needs

A fun little story. Nothing objectionable, nothing really standout.

Where'd it lose me: no

Flavor: salmon


Four More Years

The structure's decent (until the end) but you need to edit more tightly. That dialog section early on could have been much shorter without losing anything. And that giant paragraph in the middle should be broken up.

I don't know. In terms of subject, this is a completely literal take on the prompt, but it's also goofy. Even setting aside the sentence issues, it doesn't quite gel right as a story. And it ends on a joke that isn't funny, or insightful, or anything.

Where'd it lose me: the dialog dancing around each other at the beginning

Flavor: stale pocky


The role of works in a sinful world

Comma splice. Punctuation all over is an issue here. Why. Why don't you end questions with question marks.

The combination of good descriptions full of metaphors and goofy dialog sits oddly. It's a peanut butter and lamb sandwich.

I feel like if this was edited tighter and cleaned up it might earn that ending, but as is it doesn't quite.

Where'd it lose me: punc tu a tion

Flavor: thunderstorm air

mid, highish

Fuschia tude fucked around with this message at 00:40 on Dec 21, 2021

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


Sitting Here posted:

I'm in and i would like sex please

me too

Also my motif is Unnatural Cruelty. :v:

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


Uranium Phoenix posted:

My complaint will probably be evergreen, as is the same as above: Don't sign up to judge if you're not going to crit the week's stories. The three crit perspective is extremely valuable, and it's annoying to know your story needs work, but not know why because the crits never get dropped. I understand life happens and people get busy. But writers, if you're going to commit yourself to this contest, then fulfill the promise you made.

That said, it also feels like we need the new blood to join the judging triumvirate a bit more. Reading closely in order to write critiques is just as critical as writing and getting feedback for getting better as a writer, and so I will also encourage folks that have joined a few times but haven't judged to step up to the plate throne. Know that you'll usually get a relaxed but intelligent discussion about the stories of the week and then have to say something about them--even a retelling of the story is useful or opinion on how it made you feel is great. No one will yell at you for your crits, and you can be as honest as you want.

Yeah, this is true. The old rule of thumb, wait until you've won or at least HMed, is still a good idea; but if you've submitted a dozen+ times you already know how this game is played and what it's like writing for it, and have at least some idea of what makes good and bad stories. More importantly, the process of reading a bunch of stories and ranking them and articulating what about them works and doesn't work will improve not only your editing, but also your ability to write.

a friendly penguin posted:

Chili and Princess Chernobyl! I have been informed that you don't put enough Old Bay on your berger cookies. We must brawl!

Whoa huh. Apparently we need to set up a Thunderdome Bay meetup at some point. Ideally waiting until doing so will no longer risk our drowning in our own lung fluid.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


Mercedes posted:

Kayfabe off: I miss you guys so very much and I miss writing, but this pandemic and dealing with all these sick people who blame you till their last breath, and the non-stop mandatory overtime has been making me really depressed and taking its toll on my health.

I've just been surviving day to day and I hope one day I can enjoy working again and find joy in sitting down and writing stories.

Yeah, do what you gotta do.

Also I have a thing tangentially related I think you would like and hopefully I'll be able to show it to you in a couple of months.


Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004


Hunting Alone
720 words

The moon unlocked, and then came the red.

Dark-lapped stone tile ringed a hazy pool. Ground spices wafted through the air. Festival berries filled baskets, hung from tree limbs, drenched red in the moonlight.

Then the red moon broke, and, breaking, it shattered the stars.

In this night to end night, a dark-skinned man, with black hair, and a red beard, and a hard heart, came to the forest. He wore only furs, and he carried only a sword. And as he walked, the sword shimmered red in the moonlight, shimmered like the fur of the wolf, shimmered like the end of days. And as he walked, the forest shuddered. And as he walked, the ground shook.

The man looked up and saw the sky, and in it the stars sparkled red. A wolf's howl pierced the night.

The dark-skinned man felt a breeze, and stepped, and turned, as a white owl came flapping madly just past his head. He swung his sword, and the owl was cut in two, and fell to the forest floor, and there it glimmered red.

The man walked on until he came to the pool, and he stepped into it, and it pressed dark and warm on his skin. The red moon broke again, and again, and the red shards fell like rain, and the shards lit the forest, and the shards scorched the sky. The man stood in the center of the pool, and he peered into the depths, and the depths peered up at him. And the water churned, and the water boiled, and the water bubbled up from the bottom of the pool.

A red wolf came darting in, and the man swung his sword, but the wolf ducked below, and came splashing out onto the other side.

"You were lucky, wolf," the man muttered.

"Not luck," the wolf replied.

"What does a wolf know of luck?"

"I was a man like you, once," the wolf said, eyeing him from atop the dark-slick stones.

"What happened?" the man asked, and he gripped his sword tight.

"I died," the wolf said. "But this moon brought me back." Then the wolf lifted its shaggy head and howled.

"Then you are the one I have been looking for," the man said, and raised his sword. "But it has brought you to the wrong place. I am the slayer of wolves, the bringer of death. I will end this curse."

But the wolf only growled, teeth bared, as it slowly paced around the pool. "If you want rid of me, it will cost you your blood," it said.

"Very well," said the man, and he took his sword, and a red line cut down his palm.

The wolf watched the dark cloud growing in the pool. Then it turned and raced back into the forest.

A red-haired man stepped into the clearing then, clean-shaven, clad all in red, wearing a red cloak, with a bow in his hand. The red-cloaked man came to the blood-dark pool, and he looked down at the man in the center of it, and he smiled there as he stood.

"I hear my brother seeks my blood," he said.

Then the blood turned black, and it thickened, and it bubbled up, and the red moon shone.

"I seek only to end this, Brother Wolf," the dark man said.

"As do I," the red-cloaked man said, and the pool turned to steam, and the red moon vanished.

In one swift movement he drew a steel-tipped arrow and lifted it to his eye and loosed it, and the arrow shimmered red as it flew, and it hit true, and the man in furs fell back.

Then the steam cleared, and the red moon shone bright, and the red-garbed man turned without a sound and went back into the forest.

And the blood turned into blood-oil, and the red moon burned, and the ash fell thick and white like snow for three days and nights.

The red-cloaked man returned to town, stinking of blood and oil, and his cloak was stained dark with blood, dark as the stain on his heart. And he had no brother. And he had no explanation. And the people turned him out.

But he was free. The wolf was gone. And he returned to the forest, to kill, to live.

S115.2.1. Murder by driving nail through head.

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