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Flashfiction #29 Rating Thread

Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by afgpride, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. afgpride Moderator Moderator potato chip eater

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    Critiques for #29: Religion

    Entries:
    Lucaniel
    afgpride
    Nighty



    -Reviews must be at least 50 words per entry and accompany a rating to qualify for the reward system.
    -Entrants who do not give full reviews will be disqualified.
    -Non-entrants who give full reviews will be awarded a point for their time (updated in the Prize Nook).


    Deadline is Monday.
     
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  2. Avalon

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    Was about to go to bed since I'm sick, but then I didn't wanna let Milad down twice in the span of 24 hours, so dropping this review then going to bed.

    :hidari


    @Lucaniel

    Kudos for getting it at exactly at 500 words, I don't know how you manage to do that for every entry you submit. You spend a lot of attention on detail and using adjectives that describe the character and scene very well, it makes it easy to actually visualize the story in my head. I enjoyed the read and didn't really have any major issues with anything.

    8/10

    @afgpride

    This was written in a much different style compared to the 2 other entries of yours that I commented on. I enjoyed the different style and I enjoyed how a lot of it was mostly dialogue, it made it really interesting and I never felt bored reading it. I enjoyed the ending as well, very creative.

    9/10

    @Nighty the Mighty

    Interesting story revolving around the man-thing and his religious cult. I really, really enjoyed the ending. Would have liked to learn more about the ma-thing and how he started his cult though. A sentence or two on backstory would have been lovely. Good work though, hopefully you post more often.

    7/10
     
  3. Lucaniel non serviam

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    @afgpride

    i could be wrong but i think when you use the verb camouflaged in that construction, the preposition is "camouflaged against", or "among", or "in", not 'with'. i'm a little puzzled by your setting because it says "Shaolins mustn’t have been this combative", as if it's a speculation about the past, but the later the father says "bird watch people in person if I cared so much about their conversations" as if the kid was "bird watching people" by watching that clip - i.e. implying something like this, with shaolin monks and emperors etc. is happening in the present day.

    "It all came out like drawl. Noticing such reminded me I was high." - these sentences felt awkward and wrong, especially the first one, "like drawl"? maybe "It all came out in a drawl".

    the piece seemed scattershot and odd, and the narrative voice was sort of irritating. you were well under the word limit so it could've been fleshed out to better explain what was going on. 4/10

    @Nighty the Mighty

    the inclusion of prepositions and articles - ‘Footprint of god-thing as it step on earth, leavings behind of a great spirit.’ - seemed a little at odds with the broken caveman-speech you were trying to create.

    "that the shaman now referred to in its speech its flock." - you missed a "to"

    anyway this piece is a fairly competent evocation of some prehistoric religious rite to a nature spirit, albeit it's not much more than that. 7/10
     
  4. Lucaniel non serviam

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  5. Nighty the Mighty swm n outer space

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    the 'nature spirit' is a lightning bolt btw

    was that at all clear or should I do more to show that
     
  6. Lucaniel non serviam

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  7. Nighty the Mighty swm n outer space

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  8. Nighty the Mighty swm n outer space

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    whoops that posted early
     
  9. Lucaniel non serviam

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    @afgpride just saw ur discord msg nvm lol
     
  10. Nighty the Mighty swm n outer space

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    @Lucaniel

    This suffers a bit from the pacing, not just in the sense that it's trying to convey something sort of inherently complex in a short space but also in the sense that the construction feels rushed. For example that opening paragraph jumps around very quickly relative to what's actually going on. We learn a lot in a short space of time and it's intellectually exhausting trying to keep up. I'm not sure how much of this to attribute to the actual prose itself but as a case study the sentence where you explain his suit is tattered tripped me up the first time reading because I thought "point when" was going to be referring to a point in time.

    There are sort of two ideas at play here - firstly the self constructed shrine which fits the theme and then secondly the critique of rapture idolisation which also fits the theme. I like the second one more and I think you play to it better in this piece - the first comes off sort of lazily or contrived to me.

    6/10
     
  11. Nighty the Mighty swm n outer space

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    @afgpride

    I didn't enjoy this one that much because it felt like too much of a direct attack on the outdated modes of religion and too little of a substantial piece. You sort of need to couch things like this a bit more to get the best effect out of them. Don't get me wrong, religion a shit but I feel like more could have been done to at least pretend at notions of subtlety here. For example the setting suggests that religion has been vastly eroded in this future - that's an interesting idea but the expression of it boils down to "kid does assignment on ancient religion, also is pretentious about it." The problem is that if religion is really eroded that far he should be looking back it at more like how you or I look at old Christianity or even more pagan mythology instead of a "wow that sucked, good thing we got over it" retrospection. It should be pretty far removed from him contextually.

    That paragraph sort of rambled a bit and lost track of itself to get bogged down in critiqueing the setting :catshivers

    Basically what I'm getting at here is that it feels like how you want the future to be instead of how the future would actually be. There's a difference between you writing as yourself about the future and you imagining a future and then placing someone in it if that makes sense?

    Also similar to luc's there's a degree of too many ideas at once at play here. The story wants to talk about science fiction concepts like holographic projectors and explain the context/social implications of them but also talk about the philosophy of religion. Which isn't to say these topics are incompatible just that you're limited by the form you write in (500 word flashfic) and should be aware of that.

    5/10
     
  12. afgpride Moderator Moderator potato chip eater

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    For the record, and I'm only mentioning this bc it has to do with my personal beliefs, this isn't a future "I want to happen"; I hinted at increased Chinese influence (Yuan currency in America, Chinese presence in culture and philosophy) which is something I definitely do not want, and the eroding of religious dominance to a lesser state is something I do consider good, but it's not something I mention just because it sounds good. The simulation thing was purposefully cheesy and stereotypical (tried to describe as such throughout) to show that this wasn't an actually sensible way to look at historically popular religions.

    If I didn't make it clear with my writing it doesn't matter too much, just want to clear up that I wasn't self inserting at all.
     
  13. afgpride Moderator Moderator potato chip eater

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    My crits coming in a bit
     
  14. Lucaniel non serviam

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    he said, four hours ago
     
  15. afgpride Moderator Moderator potato chip eater

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    @Lucaniel

    You did the post-nuclear-holocaust setting justice, but I can't help but find this piece another iteration of an overdone archetype. An apocalypse happens, one person is left to survive, they are lonely and look for worship and anthropomorphise inanimate objects, and the story is often a commentary on the vices of society in some shape or form. I Am Legend comes to mind. It's not that this archetype is bad, there's a reason it's always told, it's interesting and ripe ground for narratives, but still cliche. I'm left to wonder why the last man is the sole survivor and has continued to survive presumably a decade or so since the apocalypse, and X years after the last person. Is it a genetic resistance to radiation? Dumb luck? Would have helped to put a screw in this hole, if only to justify the plot device, since again it's extremely archetypal. Prose wise it's competent and I was able to keep up despite all the detail, but it came off dry. It was basically a matter-of-fact, rhetorically monotonous description of action and environment. I don't know if the register was deliberately somber to reflect the setting but it made an otherwise rich piece more stale to read than I thought it probably needed to be. As far as the themes go, the irony of rapture enthusiasts congregating in a stadium only to burn with fear felt like a worthy punchline and brought the theme together well imo (the difficulty to escape faith in moments of loneliness and distraught, and the absurdity of romanticising tragedy for the sake of such faith). The weak points for me were the cliche undertones and the subtle staleness of your register, but it had strong points all aboard other than that, from the logistics to the descriptions to the themes to the character development peppered in.

    7/10

    @Nighty the Mighty

    I love little quirks like the stabbing of the staff on dirt to emphasize a point. It seems like an underrated aspect of prose to develop subtle but memorable images, behaviors etc that bring a story to life. The setting was unique. I can't truly tell if this is prehistoric fantasy or a commentary on prehistoric superstition, which reflects positively on your work, since you can only really do either of them well if the lines are blurred without being self contradictory. The fire in the tree could be magic, or it could just be a cheap trick played on the spectators. A spirit could be roaming the grass and dirt, or the snapping and cracking could just be a hallucination or autosuggestion. And so on. Even if it really is fantasy and it really is magic, the sort of elusive nature of figuring out what is what is a bit of a fool proof characteristic for me no matter what. I did find the prose to be rough around the edges. Mostly because of awkward syntax and even punctuation (ie; in your opening sentence, the semi-colon can be switched for a simple comma and it would read better), but also for minor but noticeable slips in register, such as the description of the shaman's dirt-stabbing quirk and spots of dialogue. The execution was almost there but not quite, which is fine because the unique story you create is more important than functional use of words, which can always be improved later. Good stuff.

    7/10
     
  16. shit shit is the ne plus ultra

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    @Lucaniel Such a melancholy story. You do a great job making this beautiful with the details. It's sad that there's nowhere to go from here plot wise, but it's a satisfying enough conclusion. As a matter of fact I liked the ending the best with the flashburn remains of people on the wall, great visual.

    @afgpride The beginning threw me off, and I was planning to reread it to really try to understand what was going on before it was revealed a hologram. That said I'm still confused about what the hologram was trying to convey or what the machine actually did. I assume it's something like making an open world where you can talk to NPCs that are programmed to be from a specific time period, but I don't know for sure and it's needlessly confusing. I like the back and forth between the kid and dad, and I laughed that the kid was high. I think this story isn't laid out plainly enough for me to follow.

    @Nighty the Mighty I really like the dialogue and voice you use here, and it impressed me you kept it going as long as you did. You do a great job of keeping the setting feeling authentic, but the details are very sparse which seems unforgivable considering you have words to spare. The plot is thin, but there's humor there. It's simple, but that's refreshing to me a lot of the time.

    luc 7
    nighty 6
    afg 5
     
  17. shit shit is the ne plus ultra

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    hold up, I've determined the winner, let all ties be forsaken
     
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  18. afgpride Moderator Moderator potato chip eater

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    Yeah my bad I thought it was a wrap. Gonna wait until midnight to make sure there are no more crits just in case, since they're technically open for the remainder of the day.
     
  19. Nighty the Mighty swm n outer space

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    rigged election tbh

    investigate this post for three million illegal voters
     
  20. afgpride Moderator Moderator potato chip eater

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    1. Luc - 7.0
    2. Nighty - 6.75
    3. afg - 5.75


    Points will be updated in the Prize Nook. @Lucaniel chooses the next theme
     
  21. Lucaniel non serviam

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  22. Nighty the Mighty swm n outer space

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  23. Lucaniel non serviam

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    gonna write my foot up your ass
     
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