Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 6, 2013 - 9:01am
Get Spazzed - SOUND
88% (14 votes)
Medicine Bottle - RENFIELD
13% (2 votes)
Total votes: 16

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 6, 2013 - 9:16am

Prompt: Skrillex fan girl dancing all crazy. You can see it HERE, like three postings above the honeybadger video. Unless Renee is kind enough to post it up again :)

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 7, 2013 - 7:58am

bump

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest April 7, 2013 - 7:50pm

Bump

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 8, 2013 - 9:49am

bump

Frank Chapel's picture
Frank Chapel from California is reading Thomas Ligotti's works April 8, 2013 - 2:57pm

Reading...

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Ira Levin April 9, 2013 - 2:55am

Voted :)

Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks April 9, 2013 - 6:16am

I'm going to post the prompt underneath this paragraph because I really want to start discussing Thunderdome stories, so it'll provide a break between me explaining that there are spoilers and me actually, well, writing the spoilers.

PROMPT:

 

--- don't read below this if you haven't read the stories! ---

 

I liked both stories, but went with Medicine Bottle in the end.

I'm both really surprised and not surprised at all about how lopsided the voting is. When I first started reading Get Spazzed, I felt guilty because I thought I'd made up my mind before I got to Medicine Bottle. I'm not usually a big fan of sci-fi, but there were a few moments when this story really blew my mind.

The first time I really got a gut feeling that I liked Get Spazzed was when she mentioned her signature and the two pending lawsuits about it. This was the first time it happened, but every other time her name being sold was mentioned, I was reminded of The Crucible and him shouting "Leave me my name." It's a great premise and one that really touched base with me.

I think that the ultimate downfall of Get Spazzed for me was the ending. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of sci-fi, so that probably influenced it a lot, but I was really dissastified with the jump to Doritos suddenly being in captivity. A great sci-fi story is hard to tell in such a restrictive word count, and this one fell short for me. I loved the description of time travel as water through a bag, though. I think I've mentioned on here Cracked's take on Looper: the description of time travel is basically, "I could tell you the whole fucking thing and take eight hours to do it, or we could move on." A similar "fuck the specifics" attitude was used there and I liked that, a lot. I didn't like the ending, though, and one of my stories ended with "You." I think that in the case of Get Spazzed and my story both that that ending is a little forced and unrealistic.

A few moments really stand out to me, too -- the moment when she talks about her mom being outside and how it breaks her heart, and the "moment between ringing and saying 'hello?'" description of time travel. Get Spazzed was a great story, but the writing felt lackluster to me in comparison to Medicine Bottle. I liked so much about this story despite my complaints. It really made up for its defects in a huge way.

Both stories had some typos and errors in it, and Medicine Bottle definitely seemed to have more (probably because of the concentration of mistakes in relation to the length), but it didn't affect me as much as errors usually do. The story, despite its brevity, was strong and came full circle.

My favorite thing about Medicine Bottle was its honesty and authenticity. It's hard to capture a voice in the few words alloted here and it's risky to have a story that's half as long as your competitor's, but that risk definitely paid off for me. I have the tendency to use up all the words I'm given, and I think the author could have done that here, but it would have significantly damaged the story. The risk was well worth it.

I had to reread the first few paragraphs after I finished the story (coming off of sci-fi and not understanding whether they were playing a game or tripping threw me off) and that's what made me see how well the story answered itself. The first paragraphs had a blank, "I'm high" vibe and it ended on a conscientious note.

The mention of RU-486 was a little endearing for me since it was so out of place in the scene (I love it when there's juxtaposition of normal and private things) and seemed a little under researched.* But I was willing to suspend my disbelief for the story because a.) it fit in well with the story, b.) it seemed like a natural next step for the character, and c.) most people don't have the irritatingly specific knowledge that I do, so it wouldn't harm the story anyway.

I sensed more of a change in the character in Medicine Bottle than Get Spazzed. I know Get Spazzed ended with a literal change, but the character never grew, where the narrator in Medicine Bottle did.

*In case the author is wondering where I noticed infactual information: it never seemed like she was doing it illegally, and she wouldn't be showing at 9 weeks; she probably wouldn't be out with her friends taking the last dose because it requires a lot of patience with changing feminine products; and she's supposed to let them dissolve in her mouth for half an hour and it seemed implied that she swallowed them.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 9, 2013 - 8:13am

Thanks for the detailed critique, Courtney. And for posting the prompt. Agreed on all counts regarding my story, which you may or may not know was mine.

Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks April 9, 2013 - 11:12am

What's funny is that I cannot for the life of me figure it out. You'd think that having you on as a columnist, having battled you in Thunderdome before, and having lost to Renfield in the first round of WAR, I'd have even a glimmer of idea, but... nope.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 9, 2013 - 1:02pm

I'm not very good with figuring out who wrote what either. 99% of my guesses in WAR were wrong.

Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks April 9, 2013 - 7:34pm

Same here! I hate not knowing, too, so it's super frustrating for me!

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 10, 2013 - 10:11am

bump!

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics April 11, 2013 - 6:47am

A super-frustrated young woman is a dangerous thing...

Oh, and bump that shit, bitches!

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig April 11, 2013 - 2:28pm

EEEE! So excited to read these!

 

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 12, 2013 - 10:34am

bump

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 12, 2013 - 12:02pm

I've been trying to guess on these.  I was right about JR vs Frank.  And I'm almost positive I know this one...

the SUSPENSE!

 

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 12, 2013 - 10:45pm

Nice story Ren, I really liked it. 

And thanks to everyone who took the time to read and vote. 

Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks April 12, 2013 - 10:51pm

I had absolutely no idea who wrote which, and I'm still surprised somehow.

Michael.Eric.Snyder's picture
Michael.Eric.Snyder April 12, 2013 - 10:52pm

Ienjoyedbothstories. Congrats Sound. 

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest April 12, 2013 - 10:56pm

Great stories guys. Congrats Sound. 

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt April 12, 2013 - 11:13pm

Thanks guys! I really liked the story that came out of this prompt.

Michael.Eric.Snyder's picture
Michael.Eric.Snyder April 12, 2013 - 11:15pm

Yeah, it's a goodun'. 

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts April 13, 2013 - 12:35am

Finally, some poll results I can agree with. I did really like Sound's story but the genius of mine is the confluence of bad creative decisions and poor execution.

@Courtney My research process consists of flipping through Lippincott's until I find something I like and pretty much stops there. I had something a little bit different in mind in that section of the story but I had fiddled myself into a corner by switching it to a stupid non-linear story frame, so all the actual pertinent info from each scene was so clipped it all didn't really come together, but the character's knowledge of those things kind of allows the drugs thing to slide. I've never taken Xanax either, but I hear that if you snort it, it some trippy shit. Honestly I couldn't really keep the whole stupid story straight throughout this whole draft.

It was fun though. The whole inventiveness of Get Spazzed is dazzling fun too. The first time I read her name I thought this is gonna be like Idiocracy if it were taken completely seriously. Which somehow makes it even more comical.

Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks April 13, 2013 - 1:59pm

Honestly, Ren, I don't think that the lack of absolute 100% accuracy damaged the story. I've never snorted Xanax and know absolutely nothing about it, but you did a good job making it interesting and realistic enough. That's how I imagine others were with the RU-486 section; they didn't have the disgustingly specific knowledge I do (for the record, everyone, I haven't had a medical abortion -- I'm in a human sexuality course) and it probably didn't skip them up like it did for me.

I loved it. I really, honestly thought this story was fantastic, and the way you executed it was great. It definitely needs work, but I think I voted for it based on the potential.

Don't get me wrong, Get Spazzed was great! I just don't like sci-fi.

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland April 14, 2013 - 3:25pm

Congrats Sound,

Condolences Ren,

I liked both of these alot and had to think about it a while before I casted my vote. I was quite suprised that it wasn't a bit closer but utlimately I had to go with Get Spazzed because I loved the whole idea behind it and thought the execution was pretty damn good. However, after I read it I was like no way the next story is going to be better and then I read the next one and had to read them both again. They were very different but both strong stories.