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No writer is an island. This writer is a submarine.
Staring Into the Abyss
Original Short Story
The Killing Machine
Original Short Story
Time Heals Most Wounds
Original Minific
Longer Knives
One Shot
Original Minific
White Savior Narrative
#20085 · 7
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
#2142 · 6
Heyla, everyone. Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

I just submitted a story. It is not a very good one, but it is a finished one. It is the first story I have completed in roughly ten years, and, if nothing else, I take an earnest pride in that. Hacking a path through personal anxiety and ego, not to mention generally being able to get out of my own way, are abilities at which I am decidedly imperfect, but, hopefully, my little tale represents a step towards getting better at all three.

For everyone else laboring to finish their work in these last small hours, I say to you:
I wish you all success, by whatever personal rubric you use to measure such things, and I look forward with all chambers of my heart to reading (and commenting upon, even!) what you have written.

Good night, and good luck.
#10641 · 5
. . . Ugh.

I really like my story idea. I really do not like the resulting story I wrote.

Eh, frell it. At least I submitted something.

Good night, and good luck.
#17111 · 5
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony >>MLPmatthewl419
Here is a Man, Neither Fish nor Fowl, Who Stood Up. Born to Be Wild? You Can’t Do That. Now What? Fractured Fairy Tales, A New & Improved Magic System!

A Copious Amount of Alcohol: Tragedy Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight! Five More Minutes, Crash and Burn. Buck the rules, write ponies! I Hold You Responsible for My Failure to Communicate.

The Blights Within Us, Liminal Spaces After Dark Behind Closed Doors. Heroic Propaganda: All Roads Lead to Home.

Message in a Bottle, A Haunting Song Out of the Darkest Storm Dungeon – The Concept of Motherhood in a Spacetime Vacuum, Going Down, Among the Clouds, With the Ship At the End of An Endless Road.

She Should Be Walking By Now.

I'm no GroaningGreyAgony, but I figured I would try.
#2496 · 4
· on Sgt. Ripper
It was twenty years away from now
When Sgt. Ripper and his squad Bombed out
They've been Jumping in and out of time
'Cause killing Spiders isn't any crime
So to re-introduce to you
The grunts you'll know for all these years
Sgt. Ripper's Timely Jumping Squaaaa - aaa - ad!

. . . *ahem* Anyway, this is a very kinetic story. Lots of sound and fury, but it all does seem to signify something, even if, at the end of it, I am not completely sure what it all is. On the one hand, as has already been noted, the constraints of the word count (even if the full word count had been used here) prevent a full-scale exploration and explanation of the depicted setting. On the other hand, that sense of confusion also fueled my interest in racing through this piece. This was helped by the fact that one gets the sense that the author does know what everything means and where everything is going, and that the reader can trust the author to ultimately deliver on that promise. Even if that means that, when the final answer arrives, it will be coming in the form of a much more fully fleshed-out work.

I quite enjoyed this ride. A lot of energy on display here, backed by a compelling universe. My only minor quibble is concluding the story with the text of the prompt. Yes, it has been repurposed to fit the story's nomenclature, but it makes its appearance at the very end of it all a twist too on-the-nose. The suspension of disbelief isn't broken, but it does audibly creak.

Thank you, author, for writing this.
#10623 · 4
· · >>Monokeras

Careful, now. That sort of humor can make some folken a bit cross.
#19760 · 4
Beanis, Help Us! It’s Raining Men, Oh The Humanity, It’s Raining Men – Dead Men! Do, Tell Tales – Not ‘If’, But ‘When.’ A Failed Experiment? Don’t Give Up.

The Smoking Tigers’ End of the World Isn’t So Bad After All. The Devil Who Framed Roger Dodger (?) Wears a Suit and Tie Through the Red Strawberry Snow Mountains. Thy Flesh Consumed All of These (Re)Union Voices Inside of my Head. First World Problems! It’s the Latest Thing . . . (This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.)

What? No Way Out? An Empire of Keys + A Stitch in Time = Glass Masquerade Escape Artists
#3592 · 3
Heyla, everyone.

I have submitted a work for your consideration. I like this one a bit more than the last one I did. It is not great, perhaps, but I do legitimately believe it to be better. The prompt also yielded a second story idea that, while I have not done any work upon it yet, I wish to pursue at some point in the near future.

While I wish to say more, the sun is coming up over in my neck of the woods, and my brain is scrambled from pulling an all-nighter trying to get this thing done and looking good enough to present (it is, thankfully, my day off over here, so I can at least make up the sleep). So, to any of you lucky few still working to cross the finish line, I wish you the very best with every chamber of my heart, and to everyone else who has already submitted, I eagerly await the chance to taste the fruit of your labor.

Good night, and good luck.

P.S. Speaking of the last work that I did, I wish to take a moment to thank the users Ratlab, billymorph, Leo, Not_A_Hat, and The_Letter_J for both taking the time to read it, and taking the further time to comment upon it. It was an instructive experience, and I regret not having given thanks earlier. It is, perhaps, a little strange to say it here and now, but I would rather be odd at this present moment than continue to be rude for another moment longer.
#3633 · 3
· on Historical Retrospective
There needs to be more of a blending of the theoretical aspects that dominate the opening and the reporting of the future history. The dry descriptions of processes that led to the deaths of a great many people are quite well-done, and the tone of it is excellently on point. That said, the sections that are straight history tend to lack that, which, while not a deal-breaker, does make it feel somewhat unbalanced. Something like noting specific instances of "human infrastructure elimination" more commonly across the described wars (beyond just the one assassination of the Russian general, something along the lines of the radicals and their families who died over the course of the machine's evolution, and the subsequent political evolutions in the affected areas) would increase the story's impact.

While the passages of history can, I suppose, come off as dry to some readers, I personally had no problems with them. I have a well-developed inner amateur historian, and they appealed quite soundly to it, even if some description of events outside of a war would have been nice. The concept of decreasing human involvement in aerial warfare is something that has been talked about over the years (in both fiction and nonfiction), and this does a decent job of addressing what a possible future along those lines would look like.

Regarding the end, I must concur with both >>Oroboro's and >>Scramblers and Shadows's assessments. A more concrete conclusion to this "history paper" would have been better, especially given the amount of space to work with that has been left over. That said, I feel like an ending that focuses more on the author of the paper's cognitive dissonance ("This is the infallible machine that keeps the world secure and keeps me and my family safe from danger/This is the infallible machine that can kill both me and my whole family in the blink of an eye, and we would never know why") would succeed the most. I would not call what is currently here a bad ending, per se, but it is one that certainly needs some improvement.

Some technical quibbles:

1.) "CX-3 Vulture" - US military aircraft are officially designated under a system called the Tri-Service designation system, which was introduced in 1962 to unify the aircraft designations used by all branches of the military (which, to that time, had used separate systems). To take the MQ-1 Predator as an example, the M stands for multi-mission, and the Q denotes an unmanned aircraft. As it stands, your fictitious drone is not only an experimental cargo aircraft, it is also manned. Some tweaking would be in order.

2.) "third Iraq war" - I am going to assume that the first two Iraq wars referenced would be Operations DESERT STORM and IRAQI FREEDOM, respectively. That said, an Iraq war could also encompass the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980's, or the current conflict against ISIS/ISIL/INGSOC/NAMBLA/whatever else we call them today. Something a little more specific (such as the War of the Iraqi Dissolution, or the Saudi-Iraq War) would be useful.

3.) "Stanislav Sergej Kuznetsov" - In Russian naming systems, the middle name is a patronymic (meaning, in this case, your character is Stanislav, son of Sergej). However, such patronymics always use the suffixes -ovich, -evich and -ich, meaning your general's patronym ought to be Sergejevich.

Thank you, author, for writing this.
#4252 · 3

Momma said there'd be prompts like this.
There'd be prompts like this, my momma said.

I do wonder about everyone kvetching about this, though. After all, enough of a majority voted for this prompt that it ultimately turned out to be the winner, so at least some of the folken around these parts have some semblance of an idea of what to do.

As for myself, well, it took a few hours of grumbling and grousing brainstorming, but I actually have some ideas. It is now time to see what can be done with them.

For everyone participating today, I wish you all an extra scoop of joyful inspiration and good vibrations, because, Christ on a fudge stripe, y'all are going to need it.

(If anyone out there wishes to send some of the same my way, I'll happily accept!)