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It's Better Than Nothing, Right? · She-Ra Minific ·
Organised by QuillScratch
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#1 · 1
Hey everyone! Welcome to another She-Ra writeoff (gosh, it feels like it's been ages). Friendly reminder as always to stay anonymous on your entry(/ies) until the site reveals who's who at the end of the contest.

Good luck, have fun & drop me a note if you have any questions! 😄
#2 · 4
· on 3 > 1
I don't know how common Lonnie stories are in the general fandom, but they seem to pop up regularly in the write-offs.

I'm sorry I'm not going to have a lot of useful things to say here. It was certainly a pleasant read, and I like this idea of them growing beyond the need for Catra and finding that they have a new need for each other. However, it felt a little safe.

There are two parts to that. One, Lonnie keeps using this "I don't know" mantra, and we're not really invited or given the reasons to figure out on our own, so it would be nice if Lonnie did some of that on her own behalf. She has a bunch of time to sit there and think, so it stands to reason she might spend the time trying to figure her way through some of it. Introspection is always a nice way to look at a character.

And two, if you really want to get a reader on board for why these characters mesh so well, give me the evidence of it. Not just that Lonnie inexplicably feels good sitting against Rogelio like that, but toss in a couple of anecdotes about times from their past that she decided he wasn't such a bad guy, or they had fun together, or he earned her respect. One or two illustrative examples go a long way toward breathing a lot of life into the characters.

One thing that professional flash fiction writers agree on is that one of the main purposes of it is to surprise the reader in some way. That may be through the imagery, the language use, the characterization, plot, whatever. You want to strike a note that's going to stick in the reader's head, so that after they've read a magazine with ten of these in it, upon seeing the title or the first line again, they'll immediately remember, oh yeah, this was the one that did X.

With only 2 entries, standing out isn't an issue, but do think of it in terms of someone reading a whole anthology, what's going to make yours stand out? What's here is definitely good. Just throw me a curveball somewhere.
#3 · 4
· on Entrapta Presents Her Latest Invention
This one's a hard one to figure. It feels like a feghoot, but I'm not sure it's meant to be one. A feghoot is usually some kind of pun, but here, you're delivering the normal phrase as its own punchline. The story doesn't come to a conclusion, so I have to assume that punchline was the point. As humor, eh, the joke didn't land with me, but humor's one of the more subjective things out there, so just because I didn't laugh at it doesn't mean nobody will.

I do feel like this is a missed opportunity to explore Entrapta's character some, and you had the space to. She doesn't do things for no reason. Either she'd planned to use this Nothing, or she made it just for the curiosity of seeing whether she could, then worry about what to do with it later. But she never expresses any purpose to it.

Even with this being a feghoot-ish story, the best feghoots are the ones that give you a lot of story in the lead-up. Either they look like an earnest story until the joke comes (which doesn't negate that earnest story, but simply makes that a bonus for the reader), or they go for madcap humor throughout, and you're just waiting for the big finale. It may broadcast that it's leading up to a pun, or maybe the reader's expecting a more standard joke, but the point is to revel in silliness through the whole thing.

So with this lead-up to the joke, it would have been nice if you'd either gone with something relentlessly silly, or given me a meatier plot to sink my teeth into before reaching the surprise ending.

I do think Entrapta's responses suit her character, though. Once Catra's line of inquiry starts, she's kind of oblivious to what Catra's aim is, happy to supply information as it's asked for (and nothing more than is asked for), or just assuming people know what she's talking about.

Scorpia is a bit of a puzzle here. Her disco ball comment is funny, as are a few of her physical reactions, but other than that, she's just asking the same kinds of questions Catra is, so she's not providing a new angle. She feels a little redundant, and she's set up to be a nice comic foil here, if you wanted to go the silly route for the build-up. I'm guessing that was your intent, so then go over the top with the humor. Most of what's here is consistent with the low-key humor even in a serious episode of the show, so this feels more like a show-tone slice of life than a comedy, except ending in a punchline suggests you were aiming for comedy.
#4 · 1
· on 3 > 1
and Rogelio, the big lizard guy

This part struck me as odd and kicked me out of immersion. She didn't call Kyle the scrawny blond guy in this sentence, so calling Rogelio the big lizard guy seemed discordant. Who's her audience for the narration that knows Kyle but not Rogelio? I could accept her adding a fond description of him right before snuggling up as her thoughts move toward closeness with this big beefcake, but it doesn't seem like that kind of description.

Otherwise a decent vignette that could slot into something larger but doesn't really stand out on it's own.
#5 · 1
· on Entrapta Presents Her Latest Invention
“I call it Nothing 2.0.”

I had to stop and admire this opener. With Entrapta's name in the title, I could hear this line perfectly in her voice.

with a claw, curiously

"Curiously" seems excessive here. Her action seemed obviously curious from the description so this word wasn't really needed for me. If you really wanted to increase the sense of curiosity, I'd add a few more words to the physical/concrete description of her action.

“Oh, right, I haven’t explained nothing yet,”

Broke my brain right here. I stopped and thought "that's not right." Nope. It's right.

You can’t make something out of nothing.

You got me. I was looking for deeper story right up to the end. Well played.
#6 · 2
· on The Nothingnest Nothing to Have Ever Nothinged!
It's interesting how transparency has been defined by the standard reference pattern used to show that there is indeed nothing there of note. Clever to use this as your backdrop so at least some readers will have an idea of what's going on.

The cute figure seals the deal and gives this piece a cheerful, happy direction. As it stands, it can go in only one place on my slate. Thanks for creating it, Artist!
#7 · 1
· on Poking Fun!
Ah, dear Stickcat, you are met again. Stay cute.
#8 · 1
· on Poking Fun!
So, when the cat inevitably pushes the nothing off the table and breaks it... what happens?