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Winner of the WriteOff Worst Writer aWard
#20972 ·
· on Watching the Show
It’s a baseball story, so of course I don’t care.


I mean your first paragraph is 99% nonsensical to me. It’s a clutter of meaningless words apparently organised in a grammatically correct way, but that’s all it is. I don’t have an inning of what’s going on.

As a consequence, I don’t even want to read the rest.

But since I decently can’t penalise you for writing a story I’m not in the audience thereof, I will simply abstain.

For this once.

Don’t tell me I don’t go to bat for you.

Please avoid American football too.

And cricket.
#20969 ·
· on It's Not the Leaving that Grieves Me
First amendment: no right to harm whales.
#20956 ·
· on It's Not the Leaving that Grieves Me · >>Cassius
Well, this is Moby Dick like, of course, but don’t expect it to reach the same heights.

Frankly, I despise whales hunter. Really, I hate them. So don’t expect me to relate to your protagonist in anyway. Kill defenceless animals to make money? That’s base.

Besides my reflex disliking of your hero, I share most of what Pasco said, so I won’t repeat it. There’s little except a too intense love story between the guy and his wife, the way you depict it is very much stereotyped.

Even the end is, somehow—sappy.

Finally, Oceano Nox.
#20952 ·
· on In the Melted Eye of the Beholder
I acknowledge your know-how at melting dolls in oven, Pasco! Any experience you'd like to relate to us? :)
#20951 ·
· on Saint's Day
I think the idea is a nice once, being able to skip a holiday—Valentine or Christmas or w/e—just because you don’t adhere to the philosophy that underpins it. Well, the comparison with Christmas is not fair, because at Christmas you get one, or two, day(s) off, that you can enjoy regardless of what you think of it, whereas for Valentine's you get nothing but being bullied if you can’t celebrate it properly.

That being said, the story really does not venture much beyond that argument ("I'd like to skip that day if I was given the possibility to"). There’s no twist, nor further idea/concept thrown in. You could’ve had, say, a girl knocking or phoning at 8 AM to ask if Gary was available for an evening date, and Eddie trying to vamp some excuse for him to not be. Or whatever other twist. Instead, you turn it into a stone statue, which is fair, but not really something we didn't expected. It maybe a salt statue, but it doesn’t add much salt to the story.

And without any substantial to add into the mix, we’re pretty left with talking heads debating why Valentine's is obnoxious to single people, pros, cons, which, frankly, which is, in all truth, a tired argument.

Once again, not bad, but could’ve benefitted from a better ending with a dash of fantasy.
#20949 ·
· on In the Melted Eye of the Beholder · >>Pascoite >>horizon
This is a fair entry.

There’s quite matter to rant about the physics, though. I suppose your oven temperature is 500 °F, because at 500 °C all you would get out of your oven would be specks of dust. I’m not aware of any household oven that can reach that high, so I suppose you’re talking Fahrenheit here. But even at 500 °F, which is 260 °C, the plastic used to make the dolls would burn and carbonise, giving you just a plain black dollop and certainly emitting obnoxious acrid odours all the way through its decomposition. What you describe instead sounds pretty unrealistic to me.

I mean, this could be nitpicking, but you seem to devote quite a substantial part of your story describing what happens to the dolls. If you do, then better check your physics.

So, what is the message here? That’s beauty is to be found inside, beyond the (absence of) flesh? Or beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Surely, there’s some truth in that, even though this message is pretty old. I think the story would’ve been better if you had extended to scope to “what is identity” itself by, say, bringing forth a character with but all his limbs, and why not also internal organs, grafted from different sources. What is the identity of such patched up individual? What are you when your heart, your kidneys, your liver, your limbs all come from different, deceased people? Are you still you, or are you something else?

So, overall, as I said, a fair entry, but I wish you'd been more ambitious in your endeavour.
#20931 ·
· on Son the Father · >>Cassius >>Dubs_Rewatcher >>No_Raisin
I'm not sure why Cassius like that story so much.

This is pretty boring. You start from a fairly common premise, a boy with telekinetic powers, but you don't do much with it. You could have got inspired by this episode of Star Trek TOS.

Instead of exploring what possessing a superpower could do on the psyche of a boy, you tone it down, until you get a pretty tasteless result. First of all, you ruin about all suspense by explicitly telling us straight up the boy won't be normal and his parents are blockheads. We get that confirmed, and then… nothing happens. The boy is dull. His parents are dull. Their life is drab. Then it turns out the boy is a serial killer, but we’re not even certain, and we don’t even know why he gets like this.

It seems to me you were also pretty dejected when you wrote this, and you let that seep into your protagonists. This is not bad, but it’s pretty much a squandering of resources.
#20921 ·
· on On the Classification of Giant Winged Lizards · >>Anon Y Mous
>>Anon Y Mous
No, because she doesn’t state she can’t fight it. Alright, she says some weapons won’t work, but she says also some others will, albeit with a reduced efficiency. That’s enough for a hero, no?

I mean look at the last Star Wars when they make contact with that bar tender – she cares to explain things in the middle of a fight. Now that’s what a true hero should be like.
#20909 · 1
· on Ingénue, c. 2003
Odd word choices here and there to begin with. “like a revelation from God or something far beyond her consternation.” I’m not sure consternation actually means what you think it means (did you mean “comprehension”?); also “and eyes shimmering asynchronously with the embers…” asynchronously? That makes me think of a camera or some electronic device. Its presence here is quite jarring to me. Also I’m with Horizon when he says that Catherine and Christine (Kristen) are really too close one to the other.

Interesting use of "grey" where "gray" would be expected, since you use American spelling (realiZed, snuck…)

Conceptually, I suppose Kristen was the model, and maybe the painter was her abuser. That would explain why she insists so much at destroying the picture: as Dubs says, because it reminds her of her lost beauty, but also of the guy who defiled her.

Otherwise, I don’t have much to say. Barring what I pointed out, the prose is good. A nice bittersweet piece, although more a scene than a story. I agree with Raisin that the phoenix metaphor was a bit on the nose. I think readers are clever enough to figure that out on their own.

But clearly atop my slate right now.
#20890 ·
· on On the Classification of Giant Winged Lizards · >>Anon Y Mous >>Miller Minus
Ahem. This one is about calling a spade a spade, right?

Or is it?

Well, it’s a scene. To be honest, I found the girl pretty (s)callous here: a monster is destroying the town, and she just sits here, taking her time to make her assistant realise he was wrong, while the wyvern keeps rampagning around. Not really what you’d expect from a full-fledged, good natured hero.

Other than that, it’s difficult to care for both protagonists, as we get so few things about them. Make the girl actually fight the whatever it is she has to fight, and let her assistant discover he made an error. Here, what you do is pretty much all telling and no showing, which detracts a lot from the story.
#20889 ·
· on My Beloved Husband
I am not sure what the metaphor is, here. Is your message “all guys are just randy. At first, they make efforts to woo you, and then once they’re married, they stop and you become a mere sexual object to them”? If it is indeed what you want to get at, it’s a bit cliché. But is it? Is it something else? Is it just “love fades with time?” It’s difficult to decide.

I mean it seems obvious you want to deliver a message; this has not been written just for the sake of writing something, but what is it?
I’m perplexed.

The last line is, in its way, weird too. We know from start we’re in a dream. We know the guy has become ugly. Why confirming that one more time. It’s no twist. It’s just a pointless repetition.

There are also some tense usage I found weird, but that may be just me.
#20886 ·
· on The Sparrow · >>WritingSpirit
This is an odd take on a post-apocalytical world. There are some technical issues, like that big blank in the middle of the story, and I wonder if a part of the story hasn’t be rubbed out here, as well as “sliver of light” used twice, for example, and generally the way you describe the world sounds slightly off.

The plot also is skimpy. The bird flies from its branch to that bizarre place (what is it, we never really get to know) then back and sings in the solitude. It’s pretty clear everyone else has been wiped out, but why it survived is not spelled out. Also the last sentence is confusing: is it an animal, is it robot? And if it’s a robot, why wait until the very last words to tell us so. It’s not that the reval recontextualises much of the story.

So, at the end, it’s… weird, but what the takeaway is, I’m still wondering.
#20883 ·
· on Born Killers
I’m always a bit disappointed by the way most authors return to what I consider their comfort zone, i.e. fantasy or SciFi, when they don’t have much idea what to write on.

This one is disappointing from this point of view, and doubly so because it never goes beyond the talking heads stage. We don’t even know why vampires are introduced, and really we don’t really care for the characters either. They’re quite bland and generic, and the fantasy background is never justified. Seems the author just followed an easy path into a familiar universe, without even taking care to populate it beyond a few passing mentions.

Nothing really outstanding to my eyes. Just a dialogue, but no meat to back it, so at the end we don’t even know why we have read what we just read.
#20881 ·
· on The Many Iterations of Deborah Wood
Hmm. That’s somehwat funny, but there’s no real story here. You have a good premise, but you don’t really bear it besides that scene, and even then, once you’ve explained how they are jealous one of the other, that’s about all we get to see.

It’s more a skit than a story.
#20862 · 3
>>Anon Y Mous
#20512 ·
· on Moonlight Shadow · >>TitaniumDragon
Merry Xmas everyone! :)
#20388 ·
I second Pasco on this one.
#20374 · 2
You’re welcome to review, though :P :P :P
#20363 · 5
It’s in. I swear I shall never write pony again after this one.

Good luck to everyone!
#20344 · 7
#20342 ·
· on The Burning
#20326 · 1
· on Rebirth
Nah, this fully deserved its place in the finals. You’re adorable, and I’m really beholden to you for what you say, but it was fair. And don’t worry, I’ll get over it.

Or not. :P

#20311 ·
· on The Burning · >>No_Raisin
>>Cold in Gardez
But seriously, why would you burn a body for fuel?

I get behind Cold on that. I agree that might not be very efficient. You have first to evaporate all the water, and, IIRC, body is about 70 to 80% water. Take out bones, which are ininflammable, from the dry corpse, and you’re left with very little to warm you with.

IMO, you'd spend more calories boiling the water out of the body than you would get from the burning of the then dried-up remains. Clearly, you have a point here, Cold.
#20291 ·
I meant last line of my post-mortem recap'!
#20288 · 2
· · >>Pascoite
Good luck to the finalists!

I wanted to write a story about climate change.
Thanks for the praise guys, but apparently the silent majority hated it. Also see last line.

>>Anon Y Mous
>>Miller Minus
>>Baal Bunny

Must really have shit in the eyes to let so many typos creep in. I’m interested in knowing what was wrong with the words, so that I may use them appropriately in the future. Not being a native sometimes shows egregiously.

I wanted here to slip in an invisible PoV change: at first, the narrator suggests the monsters come after his blood, and when he becomes one, the monsters switch sides but they’re still after his blood. I hope I could build on this, but obviously the format was too short and I sorely lack the necessary talent to write that sort of plot anyway.

Finally, I’m sorry Raisin, but since neither stories made it, I’ll axe both of them. I appreciate you plea, though. But the cleaver has fallen: rm -f *
Paging WIP