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Toss around ideas and brainstorm your story.


2 years ago
Thoughts and criticism welcome

You approach the group of urchins, square up to the smallest of them, and gruffly announce: "Need to see ID if you're gonna walk around these streets." Your imposing voice booms loudly, making the nearest mongrel give a little whimper of fear. "C'mon lads, cough up those wallets! Over 12s only 'round these parts."

"Ahh, n-not again, s-s-sir," wails the nearest, an impoverished peasant with an unfortunate stutter. This m-money... t'is for me m-mam, mister! Needs medicine for p-p-polio, see, crippled her half to the f-f-floor. T'is hard being such a malnourished ragamuffin these days, what wiv government cuts to the health sector leading to vastly increased privatisation of care, gov'na," whimpers the tiny child, scratching at his frayed potato sack clothes. The lad's comprehension of politics, apparently proportional to his crippling poverty, sparks a passion deep within his eyes that breaks free of any speech impediment. Through jealousy alone, you sock him a righteous left hook with half baked justifications of not answering back, or respecting elders or something. Who cares about politics? Just vote for the one with the funniest name, showoff.

To his dismay, the outstretched arm remains obstinately outstretched, intentions obvious even to the boy's blind, scruffy mate. He flinches, expecting one of the cruel beatings he's so used to, then hobbles over- wooden peg leg and all- begging with an expression pleading enough to warm the heart of even the hardest cynic. Unfortunately for the heavily emaciated child, you have no heart, which you gladly explain through the pained yelps of the nearby puppy being kicked out the way.

Reluctantly, the boy hands over his torn nylon Digimon wallet. At least, you're pretty sure it's in a reluctant way- it's really quite hard to tell with a sense of empathy about as developed as the urchin's biceps. Rifling through, you pretend to look at his bus pass, then...

"Everything seems to be in order... moron!" you shout, legging it, much to the lack of surprise of the vagabonds. With the money in pocket, you slimily continue down the road, content to have spread a little more fear into the world.


2 years ago
Commended by EndMaster on 4/22/2018 9:18:40 PM
Ah okay. I’d love to help. The usual disclaimers apply. In case you don’t know what they are, here they are: These comments are my own opinion. Probably no one else would agree with me, but maybe there’s someone. No need to change your entire story based on a single opinion. I am going to write this as I read the blurb, so these are the thoughts going through my mind as I read it. Please also note that none of this is personal. Nothing that I write is meant to offend or insult you, I’m just letting you know what my mind is thinking as I read it. I do honestly hope some of the feedback helps. These comments are also likely worth exactly what you paid for them. And remember, you asked:

Starting out: okay, I’m the protagonist. And there’s urchins. My mind is starting to move towards dirty industrial London. Maybe not, but that’s where my mind starts. Then I walk up to the smallest one. Okay, so I’m a bully (yeah, not “bully” in today’s PC world crap where anyone who feels bad about anything any time has been “bullied,” but since I’m in old-timey London, I’m thinking “bully” as in the bigger guy who is actually going to start smacking someone around for fun, money, or entertainment).

Next I’m asking for ID. Well, I’m quickly realizing that I’m not actually in industrial London. I’ve quickly shifted to a current to post-apocalyptic time frame – especially if I’m asking for ID to walk the streets. I’m demanding wallets, so I wonder if I’m a policeman, and then I wonder if I’m corrupt and going to steal from those wallets. But then I’m mentioning only that “over 12s” are allowed here. I’m wondering who is under 12 and has a wallet and ID. My thinking is quickly shifting towards future post-apocalyptic, but then I’m wondering why they don’t just have RFID tags in their arms…

Now the kid stutters. But he’s no longer an urchin, now he’s a peasant. I mean I guess that’s supposed to be the same thing, but to me there’s a big difference between a peasant and an urchin. An unfortunate stutter? Well, he’s an urchin, I think that’s kind of expected, isn’t it? Is there such thing as a “fortunate stutter?”

Okay, the stutter is trying to talk about money. Apparently I was planning on shaking them down. And he needs medicine. For polio. Okay, now I’m thinking I AM back in industrial London, though I’m not sure they actually HAVE medicine for polio. Actually, the more I think about it, I don’t think there’s ever been a cure for polio. So if there’s some medicine available here, then maybe I am in the future. Okay, so… maybe an alternative history setting? But hey, at least this 10-year-old knows all about privatization of government health care.

Oh wait, as I read on, that’s a point that’s made – that this 10-year-old is a political wonk. But wait, who the hell actually has potato sack clothes? Really? Have you ever tried to make clothes from a potato sack? Where did they get the damn sack, anyway? So yeah, I’m back in industrial London with just a slightly alternative history timeline where someone discovered a quick cure for polio in a pill form back in the 1400s or something.

But hey, the little polio-ridden kid’s eyes show he’s a smart kid, so I’m going to punch the cripple in the face. I’m apparently not just your average bad-guy, I’m the bad-guy that punches handicapped, begging kids in the face while I’m strong-arm robbing them in the streets.

I don’t understand what happened next. The paragraph that starts with “To his dismay” completely confuses me. I don’t know who “his” refers to. Is that the crippled kid I just flattened? It is me? It seems like it’s me, but “his” makes it sound like it’s not me, so I don’t know who it is. But wait, there’s more! There’s an outstretched arm. Who the hell does that belong to? Is that my arm? If so, why is it outstretched? I thought I just punched the kid in the face, and no one leaves an arm outstretched after throwing a left hook, do they? Does it belong to the kid I just clocked? How the hell did he stretch out his arm after I smacked him in the face? I have no idea what’s going on here. But hey, the intentions of that mysterious arm are obvious to other kids. I guess they’re smarter than me, because I’m completely lost. And holy cow! The mysterious arm’s intentions are obvious to the blind kid! I really feel stupid now.

Somebody flinches. Is this the blind kid? I’m thinking the blind kid is running a scam of his own. Isn’t that how you’re supposed to check if a person is faking blind – pretend to hit them and see if they flinch? This kid just flinched, the jig is up (and gone)! Oh damn, the fake blind kid has a peg leg, too. I wonder what diseases this one might have. Maybe he has the scurvy. Oh hey, he’s begging. And he is “heavily emaciated?” Was that intentional? Yeah, it didn’t work for me. I suppose he could be “painfully emaciated,” but damn, the kid already has scurvy, a peg leg, and is faking blindness, so maybe another affliction isn’t really needed.

Okay, he’s handing over a Digimon wallet. Shouldn’t that be an electronic wallet? Because if it’s not, I think it would be a wallet with a Digimon picture on it. And since I’m still confused as to what damn era I’m in, I have no idea what’s going on. Now I’m back to present-day London, but where the hell did these damn urchins with scurvy come from? And IDs for 10-year-olds? But that whole paragraph feels really, really forced to me. I can’t tell if he’s reluctant? Than I wouldn’t bring it up. If he did it reluctantly, he did it reluctantly, whether I know it or not. I might not care, but if I don’t really know the difference, then I don’t think I would be able to tell the difference.

Finally, I shout at them and then run away. But wait, I’m bigger than all the little 10-year-old cripples, aren’t I? Why am I running away? And apparently they expected me to run away, after I’ve stolen their wallets. And hey, I ran away “slimily.” What the hell is that? Am I sliding on my rear, downhill, on a road that is lined with moss and pond scum? Are my legs flopping around as I slide? I have no idea how to run away “slimily.” And hey, I took the kid’s bus pass and ended up putting his money in my pocket. And I’m still sliming. Am I like Spiderman, except I shoot slime instead of webs? And I’m not sure I spread any fear when I ran away like a little girl from some little tiny crippled pirate kids.

Hope that’s what you’re looking for, and I do hope it helps in some strange way! I really should have spend this time writing my own stories, but oh well.


2 years ago
Oh, dw about disclaimers- even if I was hyper sensitive despite asking for disclaimers it's not like you were even mildly harsh, just some sort of stream of consciousness response to what I wrote lol.

I should have given a little context seeing as 50% of your post is bouncing back and forth between what sort of setting you think this story is, and what sort of person the protagonist is.

The story is set in an unnamed city, with different branches leading off to different, stranger places. The whole thing is supposed to be lighthearted and ridiculous, flecked with darker parts and leading to a twist that completely changes the story later on. That's vague, but I don't want to give away too many details. This bit happens to be an option you can pick if you're being a complete dick (gotta have a morality variable), with the whole group of helplessly poor vagabonds trying to serve to make you look like a generally awful person.

For example, it's not really like the streets are actually reserved for over 12's and you're some sort of enforcer, you're just making up some bullshit to extort money out of them and express power. It's not entirely supposed to be consistent- it's a stat driven storygame with a surreal setting that often portrays characters around you in entirely different ways depending on your choices, often to pits the world against you. It's difficult to sum up without getting more of a gist of the story's feeling, so I'll post another extract below.

Yeah, might have to revise that 'To his dismay' paragraph, especially seeing as it's post punch, which I added ad hoc. Seeing as it's in second person, however, I think it's fairly obvious I was writing about the boy's dismay. But that's me picking over details- I get your point that it's not that clear. Thanks for the feedback btw!


2 years ago
Don't use 'slimily', -ly adverbs are bad and that was an especially strange and distracting one.

My assumption after reading all that was the character was just a modern day bully and that you were using an overly elaborate and convoluted way to get to the point, which didn't really grab me. If you're intentionally going for random or surreal...well, it's a better example than we usually get of that sort of story, but it's not a genre or style of humor that generally works for me.


2 years ago
Yeah, fair enough. It's actually by far my favourite way to write, and while you might not like it, I have more to offer than most of the <1000 word entries usually done in this style.

Also, the surreal side of it is only about 1/10th of the story. There is a twist partway through that, without giving away too much, completely changes the genre and direction of the story.

Extract 2

2 years ago
(Result of trying to buy a burger without having chosen the 20 euro item option at the start)

You gaze hungrily as an avant-garde take on the traditional 'sandwich' is deftly reverse deconstructed in front of you, left awed by the kiosk owner's incredible comprehension on the anatomy of fast food. Meat gilded from the leanest of meats isn't the only thing to tempt you closer- two firm, perfectly shaped buns beckon, succulent in all their...

"Oi! 'Ands off- that's se-kyuu-shal a'rrasment I'll 'ave 'e kno'," thunders the kiosk owner, indignantly pulling his stained apron to cover himself. It takes a few seconds to process an internal translation of the gratuitous apostrophe use, but you promptly apologise.

A delightful mish-mash of mystery meat(s) catch your redirected attention. %%INTELLECT%>%8%You're grateful to have invested in intellect, being just clever enough to somehow fool yourself into believing the luminous carpet of mould adorning the patty is lettuce, the sprinkling of dirt merely pepper.%%%%INTELLECT%<%9%A less-than-delightful carpet of mould adorning the patty catches your eye.%%

The kiosk owner's hand snakes out like a Biblical metaphor as you stand there, collecting dust. Torn between greed and a dim comprehension of what it takes to feed it, he barely contains himself from sifting through your pockets. Chill out, don't get too excited; the man manages to refrain from enacting his own special brand of social etiquette and compromises with mild threats. 10 of your finest currency units, lest he inflict various injuries in as many ways.

Appalled at the price, you reach into your pockets to pull out the fresh €20 note... that isn't there. The burger man's face becomes stone cold, all the more as you attempt to pay with a hug. Mistaking your attempt to clasp him to your warm bosom for another perverted attack, the man spins about with incredible power. His worn trainer makes acquaintance with your cheek and introduces you to its good friend: unconsciousness.



2 years ago

Any story featuring a protagonist decking some emaciated kid in the face is welcome here.

Although a little more background would have been nice, setting up the scene and all.


2 years ago
You're sick.


2 years ago


Says the guy who wrote it.