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Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

I think you mean "in"


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

:siren: Yoruichi vs. Muffin Brawl :siren:

The Race
1980 words

Kat Englethorne wanted to be hidden away in the attic of her family’s manor house painting with oils on a canvas twice her height, but was she? No! Instead Kat was strapped into the cockpit of a HORSE-3000, crouched in the belly of the mechanical beast as if sitting astride a motorbike, with her upper body laid in its neck and her sweating palms gripping the steering yoke. Kat’s possibly-dead brother was yet to return to from the war, so it fell to Kat, Baron Englethorne had insisted, to defend their family’s honour in the annual point-to-point.

Kat popped her HORSE-3000’s chest hatch and spewed. The chunks flashed away between the racers’ metal legs. The heat, the fumes, the noise; it was all making her head spin. She’d tried to plug her ears with cotton wool but the machine’s vibrations had shaken the plugs loose, and the thundering of hooves made her brain feel like it was being shaken furiously inside a tin can. Accurate, thought Kat. She risked a glance through the left shoulder porthole. Dylan, the boy from one county over who ate with his mouth open, was passing her on the inside. He’d painted red stripes down the side of his steel-grey racer, and its hooves kicked up clods of earth that splatted against Kat’s orange chrome mount. Goldie, she’d named it. Kat yanked the chest hatch shut and wiped her mouth on her sleeve of her silks.

Tightly bunched, the pack pounded around the clubhouse turn and accelerated onto the back straight. Kat was stuck in the middle, jostled on both sides. She could just see the ramp at the end of the straight. She remembered Thomas, waving his fork around and dominating the dinner table conversation as usual, going on about how you had to get a clear run at the ramp, how he reckoned that was the point at which the race was really won or lost.

It was also the most dangerous.

The thought of Thomas led Kat straight to the memory of her mother, sitting in the kitchen that morning in the pre-dawn darkness. Unable to sleep, Kat had thought she would sneak up to her attic studio, but her mother’s presence had blocked her path. Veronica had been crying, an untouched mug of tea cooling beside her interwoven fingers. Kat knew her mother wasn’t religious, so she couldn’t be praying... Kat had fidgeted in the hallway. It occurred to her that her mother might be worried about Thomas. Her father and his men spoke constantly about the war in tones both hushed and urgent, but Kat tended to tune them out, so she didn’t actually know how it was going. But Kat was sure that Thomas was fine. He had been so excited to go, after all.

CLANK. Goldie shook from the impact of another racer barging into her ribcage, and Kat almost lost her grip on the yoke. Her stomach churned. I barely even ate breakfast, she thought reproachfully at her digestive system. She realised she was boxed in. Her father had given her a long lecture on race tactics, but Kat’s mind had at that moment been full of the precise indigo blue that she needed to mix for her painting. Squeezing her eyes shut against the rising nausea, Kat found the booster button with her fingers, and palmed it down.

Goldie locked her knees up against her chest and shot over the leaders’ heads. She stumbled on landing, righted herself, and took off for the base of the ramp. If Kat had been in the grandstand with her parents she would have heard the crowd gasp at such an audacious move so early in the race. She would have seen the furious look her mother shot at the Baron, her fear using anger as camouflage, while the Baron kept his eyes fixed straight ahead, fingers digging into his thighs beneath his long coat.

But Kat wasn’t in the grandstand. She was rattling around inside Goldie, trying to steady herself on the seat and get a better grip on the shaking yoke. They hit the base of the ramp, and the jolt made Kat’s hands slip. She saw the edge rise up to meet them and then they were off, rocketing into the air above the Barony’s largest forestry. Kat just had time to register how much of it had been felled for the war effort before Goldie rotated 90 degrees to the left, sailed horizontally for a single, weightless second, and then began to corkscrew.

Kat instinctively curled into a foetal position. The harness straps bit into her back and her forearms saved her head from banging against the inside of the neck compartment. Earth and sky barrel-rolled past the windshield. An immense clang knocked the air from Kat’s lungs, and as she gasped for breath she found herself upside down, but mercifully no longer spinning. Outside the shoulder porthole she saw Dylan grinning at her. He gave her a thumbs-up, then accelerated away. Goldie’s automatic stabilisers kicked in, and she flipped the right way up, depositing Kat back in her seat and making her gurgling stomach bounce.

Kat threw up a little in her mouth, then gagged and coughed as she swallowed it back down. She yanked the straw of her water bladder into her mouth and took a desperate gulp. The water was warm from the engine and tasted of iron. Kat shuddered. This was, quite possibly, the worst day of her life. Worse, even, than the day Thomas’s battalion had left. Kat remember how the Baron had stood on the top floor balcony for hours after Thomas had disappeared from sight, banging his walking stick against the metal brace on his bad leg. Kat had winced with every hollow tonk, imaging the shooting pain that each impact must send through his ruined knee. Veronica had locked herself in the greenhouse, and so Kat had been left alone to retreat to the attic. But nothing she painted that day had turned out right, and in the horrible quiet as they sat for dinner Kat could find nothing at all to say to her parents.

The racers spread out, roaring over the forest in an elongated V. Kat drifted on the outside edge of the pack. There was nowhere safe to land until they got back to the home stretch of the racetrack proper, so she gripped the yoke and banked Goldie around to follow the others. They were heading for the canyon, red and white flags marking the passage that the racers had to pass through.

There were lots of stories about the origins of the canyon, the most popular being ‘war between giants.’ As far as Kat was concerned, the canyon marked the edge of the world. Beyond the huge rift the land was barren and hostile. Poisonous gasses rose from deep rents, and spidery creatures click-clacked on long claws across the rocks. Her uncle had bought one home once, milky liquid oozing around the arrow in its carapace. Kat had filled a sketchbook with pictures of it before her mother caught her and forced her father to take the monster away and burn it.

The race swooped down into the shadows of the vast cliffs. Kat counted the compulsory passage flags as they flashed past. One… Two… But something was wrong up ahead. Racers were pulling up and out of the canyon. She saw Dylan’s red-striped machine circling, a cloud of dust rising from the canyon below him.

Then Kat saw the spiders. They were spilling into the canyon from the desert side, clattering down the cliff and onto the canyon’s sandy bottom, where a small band of mechanical chargers galloped. Kat recognised the Baron’s coat of arms beneath the dust that caked their sides. She saw one falter, then come to an abrupt halt, they way they did when they ran out of fuel. A man in a filthy uniform tumbled from the side hatch and began to run.

There’s no way he’ll get away from the spiders on foot, thought Kat. She peered out through her portholes, expecting to see help on the way to save the soldiers, but the canyon was empty. Above her some of the racers still circled, while others appeared to have cleared the compulsory passages and continued on. Kat looked back down, unsure of what she should do.

Kat looked again. Her heart began to pound.

It was Thomas.

Kat wanted very, very badly to be back in her attic. She felt sick, but not like she was going to throw up again. This was a different kind of wrong. Kat saw a claw-legged monster bearing down on her brother and felt like she was watching the world, or at least her version of it, come to an end.

A red-stripped grey flash hurtled past Kat’s windshield and landed on the spider with a crunch of metal. Dylan’s racer fired its booster engines and rocketed vertically back off the canyon floor, its mangled front legs dangling. Dylan hauled it around for another pass, but the flapping legs made the machine wobble dangerously close to the cliff.

Kat saw Thomas stumble, then heave himself upright and keep running. The spiders kept coming.

Kat’s heartbeat rose to a roar in her ears. She felt like she was going to vomit, or pass out, or both. In her mind’s eye Kat saw her mother, crying in the dark kitchen. She squeezed her eyes shut as if to block out the sight. With her fingers Kat found the ignition switch, and cut the engine. Kat screamed.

Goldie plummeted. Kat’s eyes snapped open, and she slammed on the emergency landers just in time to hit the ground with a merely bone-shaking crunch. She kicked open the side hatch and jump-fell down onto the sand.


He turned and sprinted towards her. Kat could hear him breathing in high-pitched gasps. His eyes were wide with fear. Somehow, seeing her big brother’s terror made Kat feel braver, as if the sight was so preposterous that none of this could be real. He reached Goldie and clambored inside, then held a hand out to Kat, too out of breath to speak. Kat tried to jam herself in beside him but there was no way they were going to get the hatch shut with both of them in there.

“I’ll ride on top,” Kat said.

Thomas, still hyperventilating, shook his head at her, but Kat unclipped the harness and scrabbled onto Goldie’s back. She threw the strap around Goldie’s neck and wrapped the ends around her forearms, gripping them as tightly as she could. Her legs shook as she banged on the metal with her heels.

Thomas was a much better pilot than her, and he brought Goldie smoothly up to a canter, dodging around the boulders that littered the canyon floor. Kat glanced over her shoulder and saw the spiders falling behind. Ahead of them, a squadron flying the Baron’s banners swooped into the canyon, touched down and galloped towards them.

Thomas increased Goldie’s speed to a gallop, and the wind and adrenaline whipped Kat’s nausea away, leaving in its place pure, crystalline terror. Kat screamed for all she was worth. She recognised her father’s charger at the head of the squadron and thought furiously about how she would never let him make her do anything like this ever again. This was, without a doubt, the worst day of her life. She realised, with grim satisfaction, that she’d be able to tell Thomas so at dinner that night. He might even have to shut up and let her talk for once.

Kat was grinning and crying all at once as they reached the safety of the squadron, and she fell, shaking, into her father’s waiting arms.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

I am judge

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Crits for Week 494

organburner - The unmaking of the song:

Three days without stopping is such a long time. It is too long. Think about it. You’d probably fall asleep without noticing and fall off your horse. And speaking of the horse, that is a long-rear end time for a horse to keep going, even considering that they have extremely good stamina. Why do people do this? Why not stop to think about whether the details you’re putting in your story make sense? You could have had the protagonist ride hard for six hours and arrive exhausted, which would have served the narrative of the story just as well and been much more plausible.

As for the rest of the story, what the gently caress? He sings ditties so bad that poison leaps from his body, and then he gets his one hit song burned out of him by an assassin and lives happily ever after?

This is all very nonsensical, but, you may be surprised to learn that this is not the main problem with the story. Your primary problem is that your protagonist is boring. All we know is that he’s a bard with one annoying ear-worm of a song. Why would we care what happens to him?


Something Else - Tender Teeth:

Ew. That is gross and a bit hosed up and also kind of sweet? I think it needs an edit - in places the language is unnecessarily flowery - and the protagonist needs to be fleshed out beyond extremely poor old dude with rotten teeth. And cut the opening sentence - it is bad and adds nothing to the story. But overall this isn’t terrible.

What does he need his teeth for though??


Albatrossy_Rodent - Trivia:

Ok the bad news is that this story isn’t very good. The good news is, the problems with it are easily fixed:

Delete the first three paragraphs. Go on, start reading at, "We are delighted to introduce our first contestant…” and try tell me I’m wrong.

Swap out any generic descriptions (strange robes / intricate hats) for an actual description of one of the objects in question.

Have your characters do / say things that reveal their emotional state. For example, whenever you have a sentence like, “Doug looks over at his opponents,” this is a perfect opportunity to add, “and began to sweat / felt like screaming / popped a boner / yawned / thought about his cat,” etc.

Focus the story on the thing that matters most for the protagonist. In this case, I don’t think it’s winning this random contest, but finding his people. What Doug really wants is to be with people who understand and accept him; a story about someone finding that would be emotionally engaging and interesting to read. A story about someone winning a gameshow is boring.


Bad Seafood - The Prisoner:

Well that was weird and somewhat horrifying. The imagery and the stand off between these two strange characters are both well done, but I wanted a bit more explanation of who these two were, to make me care more about their encounter. The inevitability of bug-man’s victory isn’t good - I think the story would have been more interesting if he had had to struggle to subdue the horse monster character.


flerp - Making It Make Sense:

Oh dear this is really long. It’s pretty good - I like the ponderous tone and the characterisation of the poison grower - but I don’t think it needed to be this long. You could have cut the stuff about his childhood and removed some of the repetitious bits about how things do/don’t make sense to tighten it up and focus on the poison maker’s conflicted feelings about his actions.


Ceighk - The Sacrifice:

This story has a problem with generic descriptions. Instead of saying things like “dangerous, scarred men,” pick one and describe him in detail. The details that your protagonist notices also provide a lot of characterisation.

The key decision that the protagonist makes in this story is whether to kill or free the goat. Whether to do self-serving evil or sacrifice himself. I don’t think the waking-up-in-a-stranger’s-body framing device works for this at all. The two things are barely connected. What the heck happened to this guy? Why is he in a wizard body now? What the gently caress is going on? These are all questions that are not addressed by his decision to spare a goat.


Staggy - When all you have is a sword:

This is quite sweet. Old warrior lady uses magic sword to cut off the top of a volcano so her house is more welcoming for her granddaughter after her attempt to make scones fails. I think it needs an edit for clarity - I’m a little hazy, for example, on who Caleb is - but overall not bad.


Nae - A Place to Rest:

A Walker, someone who pursues a nomadic life in service of an earth-worshipping tradition, meets a group of people who have abandoned the faith in favour of settled life. He is initially angry, but when he learns that they are mourning a recent death, his view towards them softens, and he agrees to rest with them a while. So, that’s nice. I think this needed some more character meat to make it really engaging. For example, if the death of a child was particularly meaningful to the protagonist (rather than just generically tragic) that might have tied it together better.


QuoProQuid - A Villain’s Guide to Necromancy:

Lol. I enjoyed this. It’s not particularly profound but the dark wizard and his skeletal offsider are both great characters. I think this story is a good example of how a little bit of good characterisation goes a long way, turning what could have been a generic evil wizard character into an amusing curmudgeon (evil wizard) character.


Chernobyl Princess - Heron House:

This was going great right up to the end, where it suddenly became clear that what you’ve written here is the prologue to a novel. I definitely want to read the rest of the novel though, so I hope you’re working on it. Apart from the ending just, erm, stopping, this was my favourite of the week. The portrayal of the couple and their feelings about their lost friends was really well done.


My Shark Waifuu - The House of Everything:

I think the protagonist’s decisions are made too hastily. You paint a picture of someone who has a serious problem with not being able to move on, yet he decides to part with the ring and then to burn his wife’s notes just like that. Beatrice felt like she was going to be an important character, but nope, she just came to get the ring and then she’s gone. Having him decide to accept his neighbour’s help is a good ending, but I think you needed to focus more on his isolation to really make this pay off.


GrandmaParty - Meeps:

Hmmm, weird. For a story about a party grandma, this doesn’t have a lot of energy. The meeps don’t do much except stare and hiss, our protag has a bit of meaningless banter with a bartender, fires her gun, and then that’s it. You needed to make it clear what Gertrude wanted right at the start (to get high?) and then build towards that.


CaligulaKangaroo - The Gods Haven't Killed Me Yet:

I found this quite hard to follow. I think it boils down to: man seeking immortality avoids death by tricking Death into a fight with a sea god. I don’t really know what the bit with the Oracle was about.

Unfortunately, we don’t learn much about this man, apart from he’s old, has to see an Oracle about something, and is kind of a dick.


Idle Amalgam - Bury Me in a Borrowed Suit:

So the Master and the Assistant are dead(?) and manage to find a way to get reincarnated? I found this story had to follow, and didn’t really care about the ending. It’s not really clear what the Master and the Assistant are, or why they’ve decided that they need to be reincarnated, so there was nothing to pull me into this story.


Thranguy - The Tower, Reversed:

I don’t get it. Why does she have seven years? Why is her ex a dragon? What’s going on with the sleeping child? But, more importantly, who is this woman and why do I care if she escapes her tower?


Noah - Ashen Lives:

So, there’s a guy who has seen that his fate is to die in a fire, but then he changes fate somehow, but then he burns to death anyway? This was too flowery and unclear for me to follow.


Tyrannosaurus - the kapua-man; or, don't gently caress with them birds:

I enjoyed this, though I’m not entirely sure I understand the point. But the characterisation is good, and the banter with the birds is fun.


The man called M - Never Grow Old:

This reads like a movie synopsis. There’s not much characterisation, no tension, and the action is all glossed over.


Antivehicular - A Campfire Tale:

In which a nameless person gets lectured by an old lady.

I think this has good story bones, but nothing really happens, and we don’t get much sense of who either of these two people are. I think the second person hurt it - this would have been more interesting as a conversation.


Sitting Here - Updown:

I’m not sure I totally get this. There is some nice imagery, but the protagonist seem so resigned to their situation, I’m not really sure what their motivation was for going searching for the way up/down. The ending, with a rusted shut metal door, hints at a much larger world, which makes me wish we’d gotten more of a sense of what was actually going on.


yeah ok ok yeah - The Longhunters:

Oh christ this one has urchins in it.

Now, answer me this: who is the protagonist in this story? Is it a longhunter, bravely fighting a giant? No. It’s old Collum, who is telling a story in a pub. Who is Collum? What does he want? Why do we care about what happens to him? We don’t, of course, and nor do we care about the longhunters, about whom we also know nothing. You have managed to wrap one boring story inside the framing device of another boring story.


Chairchucker - Fire and Leaves:

That was pretty sweet. I enjoyed it, though there’s not much to it than nice banter. The second person(?) though was unnecessary, and got a bit confusing.


rohan - A First And A Final Adventure:

I’m with Tod, should have left the baby with the other grandparents.

The baby monitor joke at the end was a bit dumb. Some good characterisation of bad grandpa though. The baby has zero personality. I’m pretty sure they cry, at least sometimes?


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Sitting Here posted:

Oh no I spent years cultivating a beautiful and distinctive style that gets consistently high praise oh no oh woe what shall I doooo

I will fight you with my bland and unremarkable wordage :toxx:

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

1460 words

Kelly tightened her tentacles around her board and splayed her abdominal fronds, ready to catch the rising wave of plasma. She glanced back at the beach to see if Jesse was watching, but his back was turned. Probably giving autographs, she thought. A gust of solar wind fanned the aurora brilliant pink, and Kelly’s attention snapped back to the job at hand. Then the wave nosed the bottom of her board, and she was off.

Kelly had worked her gelatinous butt off to qualify for the pro-am league. As last year’s winner, Jesse had been an automatic starter. Kelly couldn’t believe that he hadn’t gone full pro yet, or that she was somehow competing in the same division as him.

The wave was a good one. Kelly executed a pair of competent 360s, then finished with a splashy cutback, holding her breath to make her body glow neon green against the spray of pink for extra style points. She stared up at the scoreboard as she panted back to shore, then punched the air. She was through to the final.

Gemma was waiting for her on the white crystal beach. She was holding a sign that said SAVE THE CRYSTAL MOLLUSCS! A small group of protestors waved similar signs behind her, chanting just loud enough to be annoying.

Kelly tucked her board under one tentacle and rested its weight on her abdominal fringe. “Gemma, what are you doing with these guys?” she said.

“Every time we hold one of these big aurora-surfing events the increased cosmic radiation on the crystal beaches kills untold millions of molluscs!” said Gemma, with the confidence of someone who has practised their lines.

Kelly frowned at her friend. “I’m pretty sure the competition organisers donate to some charity that actually saves more molluscs than are harmed.” She glanced down the beach. The blinding white expanse stretched all the way to the horizon, glittering with the reflected pinks and greens of the aurora. “Besides, aren’t there, like, heaps of molluscs?”

“That’s not the point! They’re a vital part of the ecosystem!”

Kelly’s board was getting heavy against her side. She was tired; her nerves had kept her awake half the previous night. “Molluscs don’t even have feelings! And--”

Gemma punched Kelly in the shoulder, popping her tentacle through Kelly’s surface membrane so that their mesoglea co-mingled. “Besides, you’re my best friend, no way was I going to miss your pro-am debut.” Gemma grinned.

Kelly laughed, enjoying the warmth of Gemma’s jelly in her arm. “Where are you staying?” she said, not looking at Gemma. She thought she’d seen Jesse’s signature mane of yellow tendrils near the bleachers. Her globulous eyes scanned the crowd.

“Oh my god, don’t tell me you’re looking for him?”

Kelly twitched away. Gemma’s tentacle flopped out of her shoulder skin.

“He’s just been giving me lessons, ok.”

“He’s an obnoxious self-obsessed poser, Kelly. He’s probably off co-mingling with one of his rapid fans.”

Jesse was also, Kelly had to admit, not a very good teacher. It was like he could sense the solar winds coming before they even hit the magnetosphere. He’d tried to explain to her how you could tell from the particles’ charge what waves were coming next, but he’d looked so ridiculous, with his eyes shut and his tendrils fondling the plasma, that Kelly had laughed at him. She jiggled with embarrassment at the memory. He’d looked genuinely hurt.

A waft of delicious crab-scented steam reached them from the row of food carts. The band struck the first chord of their opening song, and the crowd screamed with excitement. But most of the party-goers weren’t facing the stage. People were running down to the water’s edge, pointing and hollering.

It was Jesse. The day’s competition was over, but a set of perfect waves had rolled in in the evening calm, neon blue tipped with orange. Jesse jumped and spun between them, fluorescent orange spraying from his board. The TV crew, already half packed up, were frantically unloading their cameras. Even the band stopped to watch.

“See, I told you. Total poser.” Gemma slung her sign over her shoulder and billowed off towards the crab cart.

Kelly couldn’t stop vibrating. She started to follow Gemma, then stopped. Her tentacles clutched her board. Those waves were perfect.

Kelly dove into the plasma, let it wash over her, then surfaced, got her limbs on the board, and used her strong abdominal fronds to fan herself away from the beach. She angled her board up a huge electric-blue wave, but she was exhausted from the day’s competition, and her arms felt like noodles. The wave broke, and Kelly found herself being tumbled back to the beach. She held her breath and rolled into a protective ball, then hit the sand with an unattractive grunt.

Ow. Kelly sat up and examined the mollusc shell that had jabbed into her rear. She turned it over and peered inside. Empty.

“Are you ok?” Jesse leaned over her. His tentacles glittered with blue and orange particles.

Kelly sucked her head in until only her eyes were protruding from her body. “I’m fine,” she said. “Got mollusc’d, is all.” She held up the offending shell.

Jesse took it, and like Kelly, turned it over to see if it was occupied. Back down the beach, the band crashed out their opening chords again.

“I saw you talking to those mollusc-minglers earlier,” Jesse said. “I hope you don’t think all this should be shut down.”

Gemma’s tentacle-steps crunched over the sand behind Kelly. She huff-huffed steam from around a mouthful of fried crab. “I’d rather co-mingle with a mollusc than some of the company you keep,” she said to Jesse.

Kelly’s head schluped back out from her chest. “I don’t think he meant--”

“Oh I know what he meant.” Gemma swallowed her mouthful and jabbed her crab fork towards Jesse. “He doesn’t care about anyone that doesn’t worship the crystals he oozes on.”

“Gemma!” said Kelly. She looked imploringly at Jesse, willing him to say something that wouldn’t prove Gemma right.

“I think the organisers donate to some charity…” Jesse said.

Kelly’s gastrodermis sank.

“...but what they should do is, like, push the competition zone further offshore. They don’t want to do it because it’s not as good for spectators, but, you know, there’d be way less radiation on the beach that way.”

Gemma pursed her lips and nodded, thoughtful. She raised her brows, as if waiting for him to go on.

Jesse jiggled and an orange blush crept up his neck. Then, in a move that Kelly thought looked thoroughly rehearsed, he turned his head so that his tendrils tumbled around his face and stared deep into the blackness of space. “Besides,” he said. “The waves are better out there.”

“Pfff.” Gemma snorted, then burst out laughing.

Jesse looked mortified. His head turned bright orange. “Here,” he mumbled, holding out the mollusc shell to Kelly. “Poor thing’s empty anyway.” He turned and stalked off towards the party.

Gemma!” Kelly undulated her tentacles and flicked her head between her friend and Jesse’s retreating back.

“Why do you like him so much?” Gemma said.

“I don’t like him,” said Kelly. “I just--”

Gemma grabbed one of Kelly’s waving arms and held it still. “You should go after him,” she said.


“Maybe you can talk him into advocating for moving the competition zone? But anyway,” Gemma shoved another forkful of crab into her mouth, “if you like him, he’s probably ok.”

Kelly grinned at her friend. “Are we jelly?”

“Of course we’re jelly.” Gemma pulled Kelly into a quick hug, then spun her around by the shoulders and gave her back a shove.

The brightness of the aurora had dimmed, and the light of the stars dominated the night sky. Kelly could hear the scuttling of molluscs coming out to feed as she ran down the bright white crystal sand.

“Jesse, wait!” Kelly said. “I’ve been trying to, you know, feel the charge. I think it’s, umm, I think it’s helping.” Her brows formed an anxious knot as she met his eyes.

Jesse rubbed one tentacle through his tendrils, making them stand on end. “I’m sorry I’m such a rubbish teacher. You probably don’t want any more lessons…”

“No! I--” Kelly stopped and rearranged her face into a more composed expression. “I’d love some more lessons, if you’ve got time?”

“Wicked!” Jesse said, with a wide grin. “See you in the final tomorrow.” He held out one tentacle, curled into a fist.

Kelly grinned back at him. She bumped her tentacle against his. Jesse’s skin was soft, so Kelly let hers relax too, so that they co-mingled, just a little.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

I love dystopian fiction and I have strong opinions about what makes it good so I AM JUDGE

DO NOT gently caress THIS UP

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Crits for Week 496

The man called M - Dreams Deferred, Dreams made:

Why is “made” in the title not capitalised?

When I was a young lad, I learned about the ‘formula’ to be successful in America. A nice house, a nice car, food on the table. Back in my day, it was barely obtainable. You didn’t have to die to be free. Back then, folks wanted the government to fix everything. They didn’t realize that making things worse payed those in power better. Back then, a person could have actual meat, and not have to literally eat their fellow man.

This paragraph is just gobbledygook. What the gently caress does it even mean? Back when the protagonist was young the formula for success (a house, car and food) was barely obtainable, but now, people are only free when they die? And there used to be meat, but now people have to be cannibals? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

About a week ago, I walked in the field to plant some wheat. That’s what old folks like me do nowadays in the ruins of Chicago. After all, got to keep the meat lean. While I cut the wheat with my scythe, I noticed a pickup chasing a young boy. This happens quite often, but not like this. The boy ran into my field, and his would-be captors got off their pickup and followed on foot. I sneaked by and put my scythe around one of their necks.

“May I help you gentlemen?” I asked. They seemed scared. Good.

“We’re here to get our quarry!”

“Really, now? Your kind don’t usually hunt boys!” They usually hunted young men and women, but not that young.

Alright so in this segment we have learnt that the protagonist is old, that the setting is post-apocalypse America, and that people hunt others for pay. Things that we have NOT learnt are what the protagonist wants (is he happy being a wheat farmer?) or what his emotional state is.

“The client specifically asked for him!” They started to attack. While my movement wasn’t what it used to be, I was able to quickly fight off them. I wield my scythe against them, and they try to fight back TENSE CHANGE ARRRGH, but they were not skilled in hand to hand combat. To be fair, I wasn’t either, but I knew how to use a scythe. I cut them as cleanly as I cut my wheat.

This is awful. Just, really dreadful. Imagine if you were watching a movie, and the protagonist was squaring up against a gang of bad guys, and then instead of showing you the fight scene, the screen went black and the words, “and then there was a fight but the protagonist used his scythe and won,” appeared, stayed there for 5 minutes, and then the movie continued. That’s what reading this paragraph was like. You need to show the reader the fight! Describe some action! A short scene like this is a great opportunity to characterise your protagonist - how do they move, does their body hurt, do they like fighting or hate it, etc. etc.

“Thanks, mister!” said the boy. He looked like he was about ten years old. Something was up.

“Apologies for asking, but why were those guys really after you?” The boy seemed scared.
From his rather chipper dialogue, the boy does not seem scared. What is he doing/saying that conveys this emotion?

“Let me stay around for tonight, and I can show you through dinner.” comma not full stop he said. There should be a paragraph break here I brought them who is “them?” You’re using “he” for the boy; is someone else there? inside my home. After talking for a while, the boy presented me with what appeared to be a hamburger. Impossible, I thought. I thought cattle were extinct! I took a bite. Sure enough, it tasted like a hamburger.

“How the hell did you get some beef?” I asked.

“I didn’t,” the boy said. “It’s made from plants!”
paragraph break That explains it. I remember hearing about plant based meats from long ago, but I thought that such a thing was a lost art form. The wealthy’s craving for meat was far too great for something like that to stick. He must have kept the tradition.

This is stupid. Plant-based meat is a complex processed food, not a traditional art form.

“What other kinds of ‘meats’ can you make?” I asked.

“Oh, lots of stuff! Cherry Based Venison, Strawberry Based Ham, Kiwi Based steak…”
Why all the random capitalisation? he then showed me some papers he was holding. “This should mention just about everything.” He spoke. He spoke, did he? What did he say, I wonder. I looked at the papers and was amazed at what I saw. It was as if I was looking at an animal farm and a vegetable one at the same time! What the gently caress are you talking about? Is he looking at pictures of cows grazing next to a row of cabbages? There was one thing I wondered, that scared me a little.

“Won’t you need some fancy cooking equipment to make this kind of stuff?”

“Nothing too far advanced.” He
comma, lower case 'h' said. “I was able to make this wheat hamburger with the stuff you have, right?” He had me there. I had stuff to make a good meal, but nothing too fancy.

“Well, with this kind of thing, you might want to present it to smaller communities such as New Chicago.”
comma I mentioned. I figured the higher ups at bigger cities might kill him. Not for the recipe, but because they got rich from all the cannibalism, and they may not want to give that up so easily. He agreed, and I told them how to get to New Chicago. I offered to come along in case there were some more folks like those riding that pickup. He agreed. “By the way,” I asked. “I haven’t gotten your name yet, and I figured you don’t want to be called ‘boy’.”

There was lots of chat in the discord about what constituted a "plausible" dystopia, and I'm going to say I think this story fails on that count. "Plausible" in fiction doesn't mean "realistic," it means believable within the rules and constraints of the setting. If you wrote, for example, a dystopian story about wizards, the existence of magic would be plausible. But this story is set in America, post some kind of disaster where cattle have gone extinct. But people can still grow grain and vegetables, and have sufficient cooking technology to make plant-based meat, so there is no reason for cannibalism to have become commonplace.

“The name’s Jimmy.” he replied. Describe him! Just a tiny bit of description would go a long way to bring this character to life. So far apart from the fact that he looks about 10 we know nothing about this character.

“You can call me Al.” COMMA I said. Afterwards, we searched the bodies earlier for the keys to the pickup and headed to New Chicago. Since I regularly go there to sell my goods, I knew the quickest way there.They WHO IS THEY asked me a rhetorical question about “eating the rich”. I told them that I already had some rich, and they tasted like poo poo. (Bad joke, I know.) loving terrible joke, why is it in the story, idk.

When we got there, we stopped by the local church. I introduced Jimmy to the preacher, Reverend Lou. Why did the protagonist do this? Who is Lou? What is his relationship to the protagonist? He told Lou about their recipes, and as soon as he told him, Lou dropped to the floor with a horrified look on his face.

“Excuse me a moment… I need to wash my hands…” Lou said, as he runs toward the opposite direction of the restroom. Wondering what was going on, we followed him. Turns out he was on his knees at the sanctuary altar. “Forgive me father! There is blood on my hands! There is blood on my hands!” Lou cried. Honestly, I wouldn't blame the man. He, like many others, thought they had no choice but to kill their fellow man for nourishment. The mere fact that he didn’t have to absolutely broke him.

Why on earth would people think they had no choice but to murder and eat people? This is stupid and makes no sense.

Since the next day was a Sunday, we went to service that morning. Why is this man just hanging out in New Chicago with this boy that he found in his field? Doesn't the boy have to go home? He's only 10! Lou told his congregation I'm glad Lou has recovered so quickly from being absolutely broken the previous afternoon about Jimmy and Joe, Who the hell is Joe? and what they had to offer. He then called everyone to prayer, because they have done, as Lou called it, an unforgivable sin. Soon after, there was silence. The silence was eventually broken by someone singing.

“Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound! That saved a wretch, like me! I once was lost! But now am found! Was blind, but now I see!” As they continued to sing, I honestly saw the regret everyone had over what was done. From what I saw, things were on the road to getting better.

You've had lots of feedback about how EXCLAMATION MARKS SOUND LIKE SHOUTING, and yet, here we are again. Writing out song lyrics like this just makes it sound like someone is yelling each line.

Afterwards, Lou offered to take in Jimmy and Joe. I offered to help protect the folks, since the meat companies would be after Jimmy , and their lives may be in danger. All that happened made me realize something.

I remembered the American Dream.

And while the details may have changed slightly, I still believe it to be real.
gently caress me this is dumb. So the America dream is now to have a car, a house and plant-based meat instead of steaks?

Nothing in this story makes sense. Why is Jimmy, the random 10 year old, in possession of the lost knowledge of how to make a passable hamburger out of grain? Why is this the thing that is going to blow up this cannibalism-obsessed society? Who are these shadowy "higher ups" and meat companies who are now hunting this child?

Now, you might be thinking, oh no how could I possibly explain all of that in less than 2000 words, but the answer is NOT to give the reader a whole lot of explanation and backstory, it is to create a setting - quicky and efficiently - that makes sense according to its own rules.

I'm also annoyed at this story because it is not particularly dystopian. It's post-apocalyptic and grim, but good dystopian fiction shines a light on our own society or human nature by portraying an extreme or distorted version of something that either is or that we are afraid might be.

But the worst crime you have committed here is poor characterisation. We learn basically nothing about Al and Jimmy. Neither of them have any personality and don't seem to feel any feelings. I cannot stress enough how boring this makes stories to read. Now I would like to quote my previous crits of your stories: "This reads like a movie synopsis. There’s not much characterisation, no tension, and the action is all glossed over." And, "This story is not very good, but not because of the extremely random dino-baby, but because it does not have enough character meat on its plot bones." Don't make me have to tell you this again.


Flyerant - Earning a Salarium in the Dusty Plains of the Atlantic Ocean:

This has very good space corvid battle action and the characters have got enough going on that I was genuinely rooting for them to get that sweet meteor loot. I really enjoyed these aspects of the story.

But, I found the stuff about the regulators confusing. I think they are implants or perhaps helmets that block negative thoughts and speech and replace them with ads for noodles? I’m not entirely sure how they were going to make money at the end. I get that blowing your regulator is a rare event, but I wasn’t sure who exactly is going to pay for her free words?


Chairchucker - Drivers:

This felt rushed. It is a fairly straightforward evil-bureaucrat-gets-comeuppance story, but the conversation in the middle is quite slow and the ending is over very quickly. I was entertained while it lasted though.


Albatrossy_Rodent - Becker:

This is pretty good. This scene that ends with this line was particularly good - creepy as hell yet also really sad: "I love you too, kiddo," you say, then shut the door and turn the car around. You can see a swarm of hawks descend on him in your rear-view mirror.

I liked the first half better than the second though. It was obvious how it was going to end as soon as we got to the phone call about Jackson’s death, so the ending itself felt a little unsatisfying. I wonder if it would have worked better without Jackson’s death, if the father had, for example, just gotten tired of trying to tell the scammers apart, and decided to adopt one? Once we learn that the real Jackson hasn’t actually appeared in the story, it’s hard to care about his death.


GrandmaParty - Lawyers Starve in the Future:

This isn’t badly written, but I don’t like it. You’ve created a setting in which humans get screwed over by AI, and then told a story about a human getting screwed over by an AI. Without some sort of broader point or hopeful note to balance it out, it just felt kind of mean, like we were just watching the protagonist get beat up for no reason.


Staggy - Run:

This is hella grim, but I like that the protagonist makes the more humane and less ruthless decision at the end. If I were to tweak it I would maybe drop the references to his family starving at home. His decision to help the other runners presumably puts his family in danger, and the fact that this doesn’t factor into his decision felt odd.

My main criticism would be that ‘evil men hunt people for sport’ is too simplistic. Giving the bad guys some other motivation beyond ‘rich people are all murderous psychopaths’ would give the story more depth.


SurreptitiousMuffin - Subject 501107-SYD log (extracted 17:08:23:10:08:33) partially damaged:

This is good. I don’t know what to say about it. I have no idea how you have conjured up a protagonist who I care about without naming or describing them in any way. And the setting doesn’t make any sense! I don’t know what’s going on! What are the towers? And yet, it does make sense??

It’s like you took a jar of buttons or something, shook it out onto a table, and somehow made a painting that I like for reasons I don’t understand. What the actual gently caress.


CaligulaKangaroo - The Iron Duke:

There’s a lot of good description in this, but overall I thought it was boring. ‘Evil rich guy gets comeuppance’ isn’t very interesting unless you really give the reader a reason to care, and ‘people are starving but rich dude doesn’t care because he is evil and stupid’ just isn’t enough.


Nae - The Future is Warbots:

This is good but took too long to get going. I know from the outset that the protagonist’s goal is to reach the warbots, but then I had to wait for half a story before she actually sets out on this quest. The ending is a bit of a bummer, and not in a good way. Given that this is a story about a child chasing a dream, I think it would have landed better if she’d found something of more value than just a padded chair to chill on for a bit. I thought you were going to have her decide to live in the warbot rather than her cardboard shack, so that while it might not be functional her future was at least somewhat brighter.

I liked her bitey racoon friend a lot, and the surreal worldbuilding was well done.

The reference to suicide in the opening paragraph I think doesn’t match the tone of the piece. Given that it doesn’t come up again, this could be cut.

“Billionaires are evil and stupid” is a boring cliché. You’ve created a cool and crazy trash landscape for your setting, I think you could have had something more creative as your oppressive ruling class than just bad rich people.

I had a liiiiiitle bit of a feminist twinge at tampons being the most disgusting garbage. This could have been used bandaids and other used dressings instead.


flerp - Bodies:

I don’t fully get this, but in a good way. It’s not confusing, just very open to interpretation. I like how weird and tense it is. The dialogue is very stilted, but because this feels deliberate I think it works.


yeah ok ok yeah - Chemical Lake:

This is 1400 words of not very much happening. Man has to work on vacation. Man is sad. That’s pretty much it.

The most interesting thing in this story is the son and girlfriend getting fused. That is a super weird thing for people to be blasé about, and I would have liked to read more about a society where people consider this sort of thing normal.


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Gimme a thing from Cindy's box and a hellrule, I've been doing this for 232 weeks, you don't scare me

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Sitting Here posted:

Written by Crabrock.

WEEK 500DRED Prologue
500 words

sebmojo posted:

Your characters are all made of Lego

Love in the Legosphere
490 words

G’day and welcome to Bonza Airlines, this is Captain Bonza speaking.

Dr. Cindy was surprised to discover that she was on an aeroplane, that the plane was made of lego, and that she was also made of lego.

We’re about to experience a patch of turb--

“Crickey!” said the flight attendant next to Cindy. The corks on his hat swung wildly.

Cindy bonked her plastic hands against the chair’s armrest. She tried to grip the - what were they called? Bumps? Knobs? - on its surface, but her hands were too big.

Panicked, Cindy cast around for Dave, her useless intern, but he wasn’t in any of the seats she could see. Cindy was alone.

“Beer or wine, Miss?” said the flight attendant.

“It’s Doctor, actually,” said Cindy.

“Neato! Actually, I’ve got this thing, could I show it to--”

“Not that kind of doctor.”


“I’m a physicist.”


“I’ve got a PhD in crystal-spatio temporal-manipulation.”

“Beer or wine?”

Utterly alone. But then, what was new. Cindy had been alone her whole life.

The flight attendant leant closer, corks swinging in front of his face. The curved black line of his smile didn’t move, yet Cindy thought she saw concern in his expression.

“Or I could get you a sausage? In bread? With tomato sauce?”

He really was quite attractive, Cindy realised. Skin an appealing yellow. Logan, his name badge read.

“I would die for a cup of tea,” said Cindy.

“Steady on mate, no need to go dying on me, haha!”

Logan held out a plastic mug. Cindy couldn’t open her fingers to take the mug, so she just pushed them against its side. Her hand wouldn’t go, but then Cindy felt Logan pushing back, with just the right amount of pressure, so that--


The mug was in Cindy’s hand. But it was also still in Logan’s hand. Their hands were one above the other, joined together by the mug. Logan’s other hand was clicked to the drinks trolley, and his feet, Cindy realised, were connected to the - bumps? No, studs - on the floor. Cindy’s rear end, too, had studs in it, studs from her chair, holding her tight. And the chair was connected to the plane, and so were all the other passengers - they were all connected!

A great wave of understanding washed over Cindy. Everything was connected! Round bricks, rectangle bricks, square bricks… They all fit together! And if any brick could connect to any other brick, then--

Cindy met Logan’s eyes. He nodded, a slow up down. Cindy pulled her tea towards her face, but Logan made no move to unclick his hand from the mug. She put the brim to her lips…

Meanwhile, Dave had to wrestle a crocodile that had somehow gotten into the toilet, but they’d resolved their differences by the time they got to Adelaide, and Dave and Cindy and Logan all went to the crocodile's house for a barbie.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Sitting Here posted:

Dave reaches into Dr. Cindy's box and hands you...A spool of extremely pretty ribbon. It's SO pretty. Dave can't even.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

it is important to have an anchor

Thranguy posted:

a soul again congealing

Yoruichi posted:

Love in the Legosphere


re-ravelling; but something, missing, unspooled across infinite timelines, or maybe something that was never there. You, exist. Why? Perhaps you never knew or did not want to know. You search the threads, hear cicada-song, see a man running through graves, your mouth tastes of sick, the air smells of calcium.

A crocodile hands you a sausage in bread. He asks you a question but before you can answer his head unspools into red streamers, the colour of tomato sauce.

Behind the ribbons of crocodile a woman stands divided into squares. Her head rotates to face you with a painted on semi-circle smile and you feel warm - this is it! - and so you unspool ribbon fingers, but none of your threads are in the same squares as the woman. All her squares are connected to other squares, on and on in gridlocked harmony, but none are connected to you, cold.

Unravelling. You stuff the sausage and bread into your mouth, to prove you have a mouth. The crocodile stops dissolving long enough to grin at you, teeth like a chainsaw blade.

“What do you want, Dave?” the crocodile says.

Timeline fragments, some cut your fingers when you grasp them, others scatter like dandelion seeds that you tried to snatch in your fist. There is a drop of blood on your thumb and you see the woman’s face reflected in it. It looks like tomato sauce, so you lick it. The crocodile shakes his head.

Click, click the sound of the woman’s feet as she walks away. You run after her, trailing gossamer strands of yourself. Name, name; did she have a name? The crocodile called you Dave so that can’t be her name. How could you have forgotten? The crocodile’s eyes narrow. Do you love her?

“Lucinda!” That’s not right that’s not what you called her, but she turns anyway, last-glance-wise over her shoulder head rotated 180 degrees to her away-walking body.

“What do you want, Dave?” she says.

You are sunk to your knees now in infinity the consistency of tomato sauce and you are going to dissolve in it, unravel. You can’t go with her. Can’t stay here.

You can’t go back.

“What do you want?” hisses the crocodile in Dr. Cindy’s voice.

Choices stream through your fingers like sand.

What do you--

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Yoruichi posted:

Love in the Legosphere

Crocodile Love
230 words

"I love you," said the crocodile.

Dave did not reply because his mouth was full of sausage and bread and tomato sauce, and his mind was full of Cindy.

Cindy was holding Logan’s hand.

“I love you,” said Logan.

Cindy laughed. They’d just met, it was a preposterous thing to say, clearly a joke. She squeezed his hand a little tighter.

I love you, thought Dave; three words he would never say aloud to Cindy’s face.

“That thing in the aeroplane toilet,” said the crocodile. “I was just kidding around. I wouldn’t eat you.”

“How did you even get in there?” said Dave.

“That’s just the thing,” said the crocodile. “I don’t know.”

“Reality got smashed,” said Dr. Cindy, huffing around a mouthful of hot cheese sizzler. She swallowed, and held the rest of her cheese-oozing sausage-in-bread up to her eyes. “I love these,” Cindy said.

“But they’re just sausages!” Dave wailed.

Logan put one suntanned arm around Dave’s shoulders. His Billabong t-shirt smelt of sunscreen. “Have you ever considered,” Logan said, “that you might be a sausage?”

Dave looked down at his body. It was pink, with a line of tasty char running up each side.

I’m a sausage, Dave thought.

“I love you,” the crocodile repeated.

Cindy loves me! This realisation made Dave very happy.

The crocodile mistook the reason for Dave’s sudden smile, and his heart beat a little faster.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Bacon Terrorist posted:

...the family who is pasta secrets...

If you want a shot at the loss you have to submit your 498 words. Not submitting at all will just be recorded as a failure.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Crits for Week 503

Nae - A Fight to Remember:

I like this. Running away on the back of a dinosaur is pleasingly absurd, and the way you describe the older teen struggling to look out for her younger sister is really touching. On the downside, the younger sister doesn't have much personality beyond being adorable, and the parents are quite generic.

The pet dino was great. This story did the best job of answering the prompt's question, 'but what if silly movie dinosaurs?' which is what nudged it ahead for the win.


Tyrannosaurus - Idolize:

I had a massive smile on my face when I finished reading this. Great characters, very relatable emotional core, entertaining rap, a happy ending, and one of them is a dinosaur. Who knew these things were a perfect combination. Very nice work. 


Chernobyl Princess - Sadbrains:

Aww dude, now I just want to give you a hug. This is very sweet, very human, and very relatable, and yet still feels like it is the author’s own perspective and not a rehashed take. I really liked it, good job. 


The man called M - I Love My Dinosaur Son:

I hate your dinosaur son. This story sucks. You’ve just described the life story of some guy called Kyle, from the POV of his Dad, who does nothing and has no personality, and surrounded it with a pointless framing device involving President Biden. 

You’ve had this same feedback multiple times now - a plot synopsis does not a short story make. You should look at the structure of the winning story this week and try to replicate it. It has an opening section that introduces all the characters and shows us what the protagonist wants (for her parents to stop fighting), then section 2 shows us more about the protagonist and how she is struggling to get what she wants, section 3 is the moment of crisis (confronting her parents), and section 4 shows us how the protagonist responds and gets what she wants (by running away). 

Now, a story about a father trying to reconcile himself to the fact that his dinosaur son has to go fight the killer robots could be great! Robots vs. dinosaurs would provide an entertaining backdrop to a relatable human emotional conflict. Unfortunately, you did not write this story.

“Barren” is quite a word choice. Did you choose this word on purpose to make your protagonist seem like an rear end in a top hat? If yes, well done, that is how you create character. But, unfortunately, I don’t think you did. 

And worse, why the gently caress did you choose to write the line, “...he didn’t like the taste of rapists”? I mean, sure, rapists are bad people, so they taste bad, fine. But your choice of words informs the reader about what sort of people your characters are. You need to choose words that match the tone of your story. Tossing in an unnecessary reference to rape isn’t funny and just makes your story worse.  

And goddammit with the random capitalisation. “Velociraptor” doesn’t need to be capitalised. Nor does “dinosaur” or “high school.”


The Saddest Rhino - Home Improvement Will No Longer Be Renewed After 8 Seasons, TV Guide Reports:

So, Tim Allen snorts a lot of coke and then gets his finger bitten off by a dinosaur? 

This is ok I guess, but I didn’t think it was very funny, and I don’t care about Tim Allen. 


Thranguy - The CIA Hired Stanley Kubrick to Fake the Moon Landing. He Insisted on Shooting on Location:

Apart from the surprising number of typos (tut, tut) I enjoyed this. The ending doesn’t work for me though, it seemed to come out of nowhere. 


Chairchucker - The Rabbit Said, ‘I Think I’m a Typo’ :

This is moderately entertaining, but not much more than that. 


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

1210 words


Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 06:16 on Dec 31, 2022

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

:siren: Thunderdome Week 506: Surrealism :siren:

Prompt: Surrealism

Q) But, what--?
A) Surrealism

Word limit: 900

Deadlines: 8pm Saturday and Monday, NZ time

Judges with melted clocks for heads:
- Me

1. Chairchucker
2. Thranguy
3. My Shark Waifuu
4. AllNewJonasSalk
5. sebmojo
6. JetSetGo
7. Idle Amalgam
8. The man called M
9. Bad Seafood
10. derp
11. Nae
12. Mrenda
13. SurreptitiousMuffin
14. Tyrannosaurus
15. hard counter

Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 07:46 on Apr 16, 2022

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

OR, you could write something not stupid? Just a suggestion.

Anway, let's take a look at this:

Dead Man’s Jazz
879 Words

It’s the here and now, and I am getting ready. This is a crap first sentence. Saying things like "it's the here and now" is a waste of words. Be specific, for example: "It's Christmas Eve and I am strapping on my gun holster." See how this immediately gets the reader interested? I’m getting all the guns I could Tense shift AAAARRGH. This should be "I'm getting all the guns I can find" OR "I was getting all the guns I could find." The latter is better - past tense is the 'standard' story telling tense, only write in present if you're doing so deliberately find. Big ones, small ones. I’m packing heat, cold, and lukewarm. This is a terrible joke. Wtf is a lukewarm gun? Hell, I even brought a few knives for good measure. The way you've used "hell" here is good, in that it helps me imagine what sort of person your protagonist is. I’m determined to finish things. It’s the here and now, and I am preparing for the last day of my life.

I think back to ten years ago. Oh noooo a long and pointless flashback. I had been discharged in the army, so I decided to join a mercenary group. That’s how I found the Adders, a group not bound by the government, or any government. It was there I was introduced to him. There are so many pointless words here. It's flash fiction, you need to get to the point as quickly as possible. This whole backstory could be one line.

“You must be Joe? I’m Sam Juda. A pleasure to meet you.” This is an incredibly boring line.

I think back to a year after that. Me and Sam got into a number of jobs with the Adders, and while we weren’t necessarily the best of friends, we both knew we had each other’s asses. On one excursion, we just so happened to meet a certain young woman, who just finished being a girl. This is a fairly unpleasant way to talk about a young woman. Now, if you mean to give the impression that your protagonist is a misogynist, or perhaps just holds very outdated views about women, then good, but is this what you intended? I don't think so. Due to circumstances from said excursion, it was obvious that we couldn’t just ask her to come home, so we took her with us. This sentence doesn't quite make sense - you couldn't ask her to come home, so you took her with you?

“What’s your name, lass?” I asked. What sort of person says "lass"?

“Julie…” she said, obviously scared out of her wits. No, bad. If you want your reader to know that a character is scared, then describe what that looks like. Perhaps she is shaking, clenching her hands, maybe crying?

Throughout the next few years, Julie would train with the Adders, developing into quite the assassin herself. She would get to know both me and Sam, and we would both fall in love with her. There was one day that Julie made her choice. She chose to be with me. STOP WRITING AS IF YOU ARE SUMMARISING THE PLOT OF A MOVIE. We were in love, so we made love. I hate this line.

I think back to two years ago, when the Triad attacked the Adders. Many of us were killed in the attack, including (or so I thought) Julie. I would later find out it was Sam who sold us out.

I think back to a year ago. The repetition of "I think back to [time period we're now flashing back to]" is really tedious to read. I started working a few odd jobs around the city, mostly involving killing. I worked with a few partners, and they were the kind of people I considered family.

I think back to a few weeks ago. Julie would come back into my life. I honestly thought she was dead, so I was relieved This is the weakest possible emotion for someone to feel upon discovering their lover is alive. Is this deliberate? Is your protagonist the sort of man who doesn't experience strong feelings?? she was there. While we reminisced, Julie told me that sam rose up the ranks of the Triad and became their leader. Later that night, we reminisced on a more personal level.

We were in love, so we made love. I can't believe you put this poo poo in twice.

Unfortunately, some triad members came and shot us down. Julie died for real that time, Did the protagonist feel any feelings about this? while I remained somewhat unscathed, or so I thought. Turns out, I later learned that a bullet was lodged into me in a way that it would eventually kill me, but if it gets taken out, it will kill me soon after. When I was told this information, I knew what had to be done.

Present day. FINALLY. Finally we are at the start of the loving story. Look at all the words above this. All of them could be deleted. I'm serious. Sure, if you started reading from here you might wonder a bit about how the protagonist got here, but it is a much more interesting reading experience. I finished driving up to the Triad Headquarters. Found it funny that they became powerful enough that their headquarters was wide in the open. I could see part of the reason why, because as soon as I walked in, there were some metal detectors up front. As soon as I went through a detector, I was stopped by a security guard.

“Excuse me sir, I need you to remove your metal items,” he said. I showed what I was carrying. Every last part.

“Holy gently caress!”

I started unloading. Sure, my aim wasn’t what it was back when I was with the Adders, but for punks like these, it was enough. Sure, they got a few hits on me, but I had a certain destination I had to go to, and I didn’t have time to just lay down and die. I gun my way to the elevator, and press the button to the top floor.

As I headed up the Triad Elevator, I prepared for a fight by hiding to the side of the door. Sure enough, as soon as the door opened, guns were firing. I got out of the elevator, and quickly knocked down a Triad guard. This is still quite, "and then I, and then I, and then..." but it is an improvement on your previous fight scenes, in that you are actually describing some action.

“Where’s Sam?” I asked him.

“Down the end of the hall, to the left!”

I quickly went in that direction, gunning anyone standing in my way.

When I went through the fancy looking door at the end, I noticed a desk with a chair. I went over to the chair and turned it around. It was empty. I then felt a gun at the back of my head.

“I was wondering when you were going to show up.” Sure enough, it was Sam.

“Well, I did have a blast trying to get here.”

“I honestly thought my men killed you, along with Julie.”

“Well, you know what they say, hard to kill a man who fucks.” We both laugh. Ok, this line is terrible, but it is also good, because you are finally starting to show us some character. Who says something like, "it's hard to kill a man who fucks"? A dickhead, that's who. And who laughs at that joke? His dickhead friend. So, now we know something about these two dudes, and we can start to feel interested in whether one is going to kill the other.

“I know drat well why you are here, and it isn’t for some witty banter, '' Sam said. He started to pick up his gun. I do the same. Christ almighty with the tense shifts. This should be, "He picked up his gun. I did the same" OR "He picks up his gun. I do the same." Honestly you should really just stick with past tense. It still reads like things are happening in the present, and is just easier to write and read.

“Then let’s get this over with.”

“Yes, let’s.” BORING

We both fire our guns at each other.

Sam falls to the ground. You need to insert here how the protagonist feels about finally achieving his revenge.

Soon after, so do I.

As I laid dying, I couldn’t help but feel satisfied. Before I rested my eyes, one thought came to my mind.

Julie…I’ll be there soon. I like the fact this ended on a sweet note.

This story is very bad. The first half is all interminable flashback which reads like a movie synopsis, and the second half is very clunky. BUT, I do think this is your best story so far, because imo this one gets the closest to having a clear character who has some personality and a clear goal and motivation. The protagonist is a no-emotions assassin guy, who fell in love once, but then the woman he loved was killed because his friend betrayed them, so he went hunting for revenge. That is clichéd, but that's ok. Your prose is terse and not very good, but the clipped style does at least match the personality of the protagonist.

For your next story I'd encourage you to really focus on your main character. Describe them. What do they look like? What things do they like and dislike? Show the reader how your protagonist feels in response to whatever happens in the story as much as possible. It would probably help to try writing in third person instead of first so you can concentrate on bringing your character to life.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Well you're too late anyway. Sign-ups are closed.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Submissions closed.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

:siren: Week 506 Judgement :siren:

So, what is surrealism? I don’t know, but I did, of course, and despite my protestations to the contrary, have some idea about what I was hoping for this week. I think surrealism is about using the fantastical to make you look at something mundane in a fundamentally different way. By taking reality and making it unreal, the surreal should show you something that you otherwise could not have perceived. 

Most of the stories this week did not do this. The most common weakness was stories that had surreal backdrops, but the story itself was boring; nothing much happened and the surreal backdrop didn’t actually matter. That said, the surreal imagery you conjured up was mostly very well done, making this a tricky week to judge. The middle and upper end were tightly bunched, and the bottom end wasn't that far behind.

Now, onto the bad news. 

The man called M is DQ’d for wasting my loving time. This was by far the worst thing submitted this week but it is so far from being an attempt at a story that I refuse to consider it alongside the other entries.

flerp and sebmojo should be DQ’d for entering without signing up and lateness respectively, but because I am nice I will let them both away with it as long as they each crit a minimum of three stories from this week within the next seven days as penance. 

Earning the loss, for a story that they at least put some effort and thought into, but unfortunately didn’t quite work, is JetSetGo.

hard counter gets a DM for a similarly worthy attempt, that unfortunately turned out hella boring. 

At the top end, we have four stories that used their weird to good effect. The surreal aspects of the top stories either added characterisation, provided stakes, provided context for the characters’ goals, or were just really cool. SurreptitiousMuffin, sebmojo and Tyrannosaurus earn HMs, and--

Thranguy wins! Strange and New did a great job of creating a whole surreal world with very few words, and still had meaningful characters and something to say about life. Very nice work.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Crits for Week 506

Mrenda - Stone Blow Heart Hammer — Thanks Emily Dickinson. I forgot your name, Mrs something:

I had no idea how to interpret this the first time I read it. But then I decided maybe it was about a person experiencing their death and reincarnation, and I read it again with that interpretation in mind, and liked it. The way it’s written makes it hard to follow, but I liked the way it forces you to read it slowly, and think about what each bit might mean as you go.

I’m not sure what the story is trying to say, or whether it is actually trying to say anything. But for a dreamlike piece like this being so wide open to interpretation feels appropriate. 


Nae - Immersion Therapy:

This one isn’t very satisfying to read because it ends halfway through the story. Bird doctor is pretty weird but the fact that he’s a bird doesn’t really matter - the story would be exactly the same if it was a human with a scalpel. The story also lacked stakes - the only reason given for the protagonist to be undergoing this procedure is several people have told her she’s got anger problems, so I’m not sure what she stands to gain by undergoing this painful treatment. 


JetSetGo - One Walks the Anexium Pathway Again:

Hmmm, so in this an unnamed protagonist goes to visit a shaman in order to undergo a ritual that will allow him to speak to the gods. Then the protagonist trips balls, either literally or metaphorically, meets god, experiences a bunch of poo poo, and then (I think) gets reincarnated. 

This didn’t hit the mark for me. We don’t learn anything about the protagonist or why he wanted to talk to god, so I don’t really care what happens to him. There’s a lot of psychedelic imagery but I’m afraid none of it felt particularly original. It feels like you had fun writing it, but none of the imagery ties back to or underscores what’s going on for the protagonist or his quest, so it’s just background. 

Your protagonist had a surreal experience, but I did not. 


Chairchucker - Like Yesterday:

I’m a sucker for lol wacky stories, so I enjoyed reading this, but I don’t think it went anywhere. It starts with the protagonist seeming to have lost his memory, but the ending doesn’t really tie back to that. 


Tyrannosaurus - The Hyena; or, the Bar Exam:

This is kind of boring I’m afraid. If you took away the fact that they’ve got to eat a bunch of paper and the Chief Justice flies around in a gold helicopter, then all you’ve got left is some exam nerves and the protagonist deciding they can do the thing after all. I also don’t get the punchline. But, it is well written and the imagery is very vivid.


flerp - Your Body Changes in Strange Ways:

Alright we definitely have a pattern emerging this week. This story has the same issue as several of the ones above, in that if you took away the weird backdrop there’d be almost nothing left. The fact that they turn into birds (as opposed to anything else) doesn’t actually mean anything. This one did at least have a sweet emotional core, which I appreciated. 


derp - Caracole:

So I think this about two lovers, separated by death, being reunited through the magic of oysters? I guess that’s nice? Lots of nice sea imagery, but not a lot going on otherwise. 


hard counter - A Poor Player:

In which two people have a boring conversation during their lunchbreak, the result of which is that one of them feels slightly better. Barely a story. I think quite a bit of thought went into this, but it didn't quite come through on the page.


The man called M - Bob the Bike builder’s Homosexual Bike:

Oh for gently caress’s sake. 

Thranguy - Strange and New:

Weird! But in a good way! And unlike many of the others this week I felt like the weirdness in this one actually connected to the characters and their (doomed?) mission to find a better life for themselves. Good job. 


SurreptitiousMuffin - i am become something new:

Well this is some lovely wordage. I think it’s another death/reincarnation story? Whatever it’s about it’s definitely pretty. I feel like I say this every time you write something like this, but I needed to see more of the protagonist to pull me into the story, something tangible to anchor all the gorgeous images to. 


My Shark Waifuu - The Machine:

Ok as meta stories about the writing process go this isn’t bad. I smiled at the end. To improve this I think it needed some stakes, i.e. we need to know why the protagonist needs to create, or what it means to her, in order to care about the outcome. 


Bad Seafood - Skinny Dipping:

Really great imagery in this one, diving into the drowned city might be the best image of the week. But, what’s it about? Why does sitting in the rain then going for a spontaneous swim matter to the protagonist? 


sebmojo - Blue, blue, blue:

In which a floating man convinces his long-suffering floating girlfriend, just by making a sad face at her, that it doesn’t matter that he didn’t do the thing, because it’s the thought that counts??

On the one hand I liked this because it’s sweet and hopeful, and all the floating descriptions are great, but on the other hand I’m not sure that long-suffering floating girlfriend should have let Mr. Protagonist get away with not doing whatever it was he didn’t do. I mean, not only did he ruin gravity, but he didn’t even vacuum, and so now they’ve got to float around in a cloud of carpet dust and crumbs and poo poo. Gross. 

I think this would be improved with a bit more specificity about what the thing was, so we know what the stakes are for these characters. 

I thought this one did a good job with its surreal aspects, because all the floating around and leaking out the skylight served as a good metaphor for the slow drift apart / decision to hold on to one another that happens in long term relationships. 


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

The Second Death of Felicity Swanson
1110 words

Felicity clamped one hand over the bullet wound in her thigh and aimed her rifle out the kitchen window with the other. Another would-be assassin hit the dirt with a puff of dust. She slumped to the floor with her back against the rough wooden cabinet, yanked a knife from her ankle holster and sliced a strip from the bottom of her skirt. The pain made her gasp as she tied the fabric tight around the wound. You are a fool, Felicity Jane Swanson, she thought to herself. You should have killed him when you had the chance.

Felicity held her breath and listened to the crunch of footsteps in the yard. The men outside had red handkerchiefs tied over their mouths and noses. Horse Gang. How they’d found her she didn’t know, but she should have known that Steve “Red” McGee would never believe she was dead. Not until he’d killed her with his own hands.

Dragging her bleeding leg, Felicity crawled out of the kitchen and down the cottage’s short hallway. She put her back to the timber wall and pointed her rifle at the front door. At least the sound of Roxie’s galloping hooves had long since faded. Wade was riding hard to get help, but even with Roxie’s turn of speed there was no way.

Felicity looked down at her skirt, heavy with blood. No way she’d be seeing Wade again. Her hand clenched around her rifle. She could almost feel the soft scrape of Wade’s stubble against her palm, as she’d cupped his face for the last time.

Run, my love, she’d said to him.

Do you mean me or the mare? had been Wade’s reply.

Felicity cracked a smile at the memory, then held her breath as the front step squeaked under a booted foot. Felicity didn’t wait for the door to open. She yanked the trigger, and the bang of the rifle in the small space made her ears ring. A man screamed, and then the door burst into splinters as returning fire ripped through it. Felicity hurled herself flat, and dragged herself through into the bedroom, her leg trailing blood.

From the hall Felicity heard slow footsteps, and the jangle of spurs. A low voice called her name in a mocking singsong, drawing out the final syllable until it sounded heavy with menace.

Red. A shudder ran through Felicity’s body. How she loathed that man. Her original partner in crime. He was violent, sure, but so was she. But Red had a cruelty in him. Felicity had been such a fool, to think she could dance with a devil and not get burned.

From her vantage point on the floor Felicity could see the slatted underside of her and Wade’s bed. She smiled through the pain in her leg. Some good memories on that lumpy old mattress, even if they were living in sin. Wade would have made her his wife, but Felicity couldn’t stand the thought of making more promises before God. She already had enough to answer to Him for.

Jangling footsteps in the hall. Why did Red have to wear those damned big spurs? thought Felicity. A good horse like Roxie would dump him straight into the dirt if he so much as touched her with those rowels.

Roxie. A lump formed in Felicity’s throat at the thought of never sitting astride her best friend again. That little chestnut mare had carried her away from the Horse Gang, carried her for days and nights with little rest and even less complaint. Felicity almost fancied she could hear Roxie’s hooves, drumming the red clay soil with her herd galloping behind her.

“There you are, Missus McGee.”

Felicity stiffened. Her breath quickened. She felt lightheaded, and very cold. Slowly, Felicity turned her head and looked at Red.

He looked like poo poo. Several days unshaven, sweat stained and covered in orange dust. But his eyes were the same. Murderer’s eyes. Felicity used to wonder if her eyes looked like that. They couldn’t, though, or Wade would have turned and run instead of buying her another bourbon the first night they met.

Wade. This time the lump in Felicity’s throat threatened to choke her.

The sound of galloping hooves was getting louder, but Felicity couldn’t tell if it was coming from inside her head or out. Using the bedframe for support and breathing hard, she levered herself upright. She swayed, almost fell onto the bed. Felicity gritted her teeth and steadied herself, leaning on her rifle like a walking stick. She felt her boot fill with hot blood. Come get me, Roxie, she thought. It’s nearly time to go.

Red’s lips twisted into a sneer. “You’ve got a lot to answer to me for, girl, living out here like another man’s wife, letting him bed you like some--”

Rifle shots rang out outside, and Red spun to face the window. He took two steps and banged the casement open. He swore, and raised his rifle to his shoulder.

Felicity couldn’t see outside from where she was standing but she could hear the sound of horses thundering down the rough dirt road. Men shouted, and there were more gunshots, and screams. They sounded like they were coming from underwater. Felicity blinked, but the encroaching darkness on the edge of her vision remained.

She looked at Red’s back. Her heart hammered, but unevenly, skipping beats so that her head swam. Her good leg was shaking. Should’ve killed him… But she couldn’t, back then. Not while some part of her still thought of him as her husband. Not while she was so afraid. So she’d fled. She’d faked her death and hid, believing like a fool that she’d escaped.

Felicity heard footsteps on the porch, and Wade’s voice, shouting.

Red swung his rifle to face the bedroom door.

Wade’s footsteps were in the hall, running. No, thought Felicity. Red’s finger was on the trigger. No!

Felicity forced some of her weight onto her wounded leg and begged her good leg to stop shaking. The pain was terrible. She was struggling to breathe, so she filled her lungs and held it. Felicity raised her gun. The thunder of galloping hooves roared in her ears.

“I got no one to answer to but God,” she said.

Red turned. He met Felicity’s eyes above the barrel of her rifle, and she grinned, baring her teeth, as she saw his eyes go wide.

Come get me, Roxie girl, she thought.

Felicity let out her last breath, and fired.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Dear Sitting Here, Fight Me
34 words

There once was a woman here sitting
Whose views on Thunderdome weren't quite fitting
She threatened it with an ax
But she can't argue with facts
And so against her myself I am pitting.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

:siren: Thunderdome Week 508: Spirits are Everywhere :siren:

This week your prompt is to write stories in which places, buildings, rivers, trees, objects (both precious and mundane), etc. etc. all can or do have spirits.

What do the spirits want? Do they want anything? What do they do all day? Do they inhabit a separate plane of existence or do they live amongst humankind, invisible to all but a very few? You tell me.

If you ask for a flashrule I'll give you a picture of a Japanese yōkai. I profess no expertise whatsoever in yōkai, so your picture will be from an anime I watched once.

If you ask for a hellrule I'll give you something dreadful.

Have fun!

Word limit: 1200
Deadlines: 9pm Saturday and Monday NZ time.

Spiritual guides:
- Me
- Chili
- Chairchucker

People who have suddenly discovered that they can see... something...
1. Rohan
2. Bad Seafood (train youkai)
3. Ceighk (swamp youkai)
4. Thranguy (hairy ball youkai)
5. flerp (diner youkai)
6. JetSetGo
7. The man called M (waterfall youkai)
8. sebmojo (piano youkai)
9. BabyRyoga (one of your characters only speaks backwards)
10. Tyrannosaurus
11. hard counter
12. The Cut of Your Jib

Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 10:09 on Apr 30, 2022

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Bad Seafood posted:


Hit me with that yokai spirit.

Train youkai

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Ceighk posted:

in and yokai me

Swamp youkai

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Thranguy posted:

In and yokai me

Hairy ball youkai

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

BabyRyoga posted:

Hey, can I go in with a hellrule please

One of your characters only speaks backwards.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Sign-ups will be closed, this time tomorrow. You can still enter, and you should!

Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 10:49 on Apr 29, 2022

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Now sign-ups are closed.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Submissions are closed

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

The Cut of Your Jib posted:

Collapsing Metaphors, Missing Deadlines, Clock Confusion, Panic Buying Ironic NFTs, (Regret)

Alright fine, you're in. But you should write some crits as penance for lateness.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

:siren: JUDGEMENT :siren:

Well done Thunderdome, this was not a dreadful week. Lots of these could be pretty good with another round of polishing.

The loss goes to Ceighk, who wrote a nothing-happens story pointlessly disguised as a very dull play.

The man called M gets a DM for writing two not very good stories and smooshing them ineffectually together, managing to make the whole thing read like a movie synopsis, and having a bunch of annoying errors.

At the top end, rohan gets an HM for The Turbulence Waiting Beneath. We had a few potential HMs, but all three judges found something to like about this one.

And your winner is, Tyrannosaurus! a mall, a spirit, a friend was the most technically well executed and emotionally engaging tale of the week. Take the throne, tiny arm dinosaur dude.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Crits for Week 508

Just in case you think the lowest score in a 10 point scale is ‘5’, this is what the numbers mean:
1 = very bad
2 = bad
3 = fairly bad
4 = insufficient
5 = sufficient
6 = satisfactory
7 = fairly good
8 = good
9 = very good
10 = excellent

Bad Seafood - The Longing:

I like the melancholy mood of this piece, but it doesn't really go anywhere (haha). The conversation with the conductor felt a lot like chitchat, and needed some more emotion and tension I think.


flerp - Our YouTube Channel Still Isn’t Getting Much Views Though:

This is cute, but I found the characters' under-reaction to what should have been a pretty mind bending experience a bit weird. I think it would have worked better if it was established at the start that finding a sense of peace and quiet (and nostalgia?) was something important to them.


Ceighk - Carl and the Swamp Creature:

The play format really kills this I’m afraid.

As a play, this seems extremely dull, and as a story it’s not much better. I don’t really get the point. Dude gets dumped by his girlfriend, tries to leave the swamp, can’t, watches anime. The end. The one upside to this story was that the creepy swamp vibe was well done, but unfortunately it didn’t pay off.


Tyrannosaurus - a mall, a spirit, a friend:

This is super cute. I was going to complain that it starts off being about candle guy and ends being about a spirit finding a friend, but then I decided I like the way the story follows the spirit's 180 degree shift in attention. It makes the spirit much more child-like, which also pays off nicely at the end.


The man called M - The Ice Sword and the Waterfall of fire:

Ok, this is not completely terrible. Progress! First, the good things: I liked this story because it has a clear protagonist, who has a name (Arturia), some personality (she is determined, tough, yet kind-hearted), and a clear goal and solid motivation (get revenge for her father’s wrongful death). Arturia is not a particularly original character, but that’s ok. I was still interested in how things turned out for her.

Next, the bad things: You should have ended this story after Arturia got her revenge. The second half feels like a whole separate story, which isn’t as engaging as the first half. While the first half of this story is the better half, it still reads like a movie synopsis, in that you are telling us about the events of Arturia's life in chronological order, rather than focussing on showing us how she feels and responds to these events.

This still might lose, but it’s an improvement.


hard counter - A Tricky Request:

This one is quite charming, but I would have liked the Maker to be given more personality, so that we can see what it means for him to solve the iron stripe’s existential crisis. As it is it doesn’t really feel like it’s about anything.


Thranguy - Telegraphs:

You do an impressive amount of world building with very few words in this one. And the characters are interesting and well done. I don’t really understand what happened at the end, but I was certainly engrossed in this story while it lasted.


rohan - The Turbulence Waiting Beneath:

This is pretty good. Some good creepy river spirit vibes, a well done flashback, and some pretty good characterisation of the two girls. It doesn’t entirely come together though. I don’t really get what happened to make Laura change her mind about Kate, it feels like they got over their spat too easily.


BabyRyoga - Leathal Enforcers:

Lol at “the door was a jar.”

I enjoyed the magical realism you’ve got going on here, though the pacing of the story was a bit off. It felt like the story couldn’t decide what it was about, jumping from being a murder mystery, to being about the relationship between a local detective and the strange new comer, to something about the ocean coming to take revenge? I think this needed to pick one idea and focus on it. Still, not bad.


sebmojo - Two Part Invention:

What a strange and delightful little interaction. It took me a bit to orient myself and realise this story was happening inside the piano, but once I got that I enjoyed it. I’m not really sure what it was about, or why Penelop has only just popped into existence, but I have a sudden urge to go bash the keys on a piano in an enthusiastic fashion.


The Cut of Your Jib - Collapsing Metaphors, Missing Deadlines, Clock Confusion, Panic Buying Ironic NFTs, (Regret):

Hmmm, I like this. It’s dreamy and surreal and weird and I’m not sure I totally get it but the idea of an earth spirit preventing a colony ship from leaving earth’s orbit is a neat one. Is your title a description of your writing process??


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

:siren: Sitting Here brawl entry :siren:

In Sickness and in Health
1250 words


Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 06:18 on Dec 31, 2022

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

In with the Ladies Home Journal


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Write by Numbers Jib/M Brawl

Your story must be told from the protagonist’s POV, using past tense, and follow a simple narrative structure: Your protagonist wants something (important to them), they go searching for it, they encounter an obstacle, then as a result of their own action or decision they either get it or they don't.

The thing they want is their lost pet llama.

The story is set in space.

Your protagonist better feel some feelings.

900 words

Due high noon PST tomorrow.


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