« Week #522 - THUNDERDOME 10TH BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA »

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Date: 08-01-2022
Word Limit: 1000
Words Written: 79,755

Judges (crits):
Sitting Here
sebmojo
Tyrannosaurus
Week Archivist:
MockingQuantum



It’s a little weird to be typing this post. Just shy of ten years ago, I was a stupid moron living in a party house, gazing out through my bedroom window at a cherry tree wondering, “Why are my stories so shitty??”

Naturally, I logged on to Something Awful dot com to try and sort it out. MEANWHILE. Three unknowable eldritch titans were conceiving betwixt them a flash fiction contest. Rounds would be short and brutal, the prompts borderline nonsensical, the results unforgiving.

After some straining and grunting, Thunderdome was born screaming onto bloody sands, and promptly gave everyone and everything the finger.

The first prompt was “a man agonizes over his potatoes.” The first combatants were eager but confused. Those early days were heartless, with the insults coming fast and loose. The stories were rough, often bad, and even the good ones were unlike anything most of us had seen in publications. There was no particular reason for Thunderdome to continue for any length of time, and maybe that’s why it’s persisted now for a decade.

No one came into this with longevity in mind. Thunderdome has always been pure, concentrated “just write” We put one word after another onto the page, and next thing you know, ten years have gone by. And you look around and notice that everyone you started out with has gotten pretty goddamn good. Maybe you yourself have picked up a few skills along the way, too.

In ten years of Thunderdome community, careers were born. There were marriages, deaths, births, gatherings. A surprising amount of travel. People coming together in ways that I would never have fathomed in August of 2012. There is a globe-spanning network of friendship and creative camaraderie that is second to none.

I could wax on for a considerable amount of time, but that wouldn’t be in the spirit of a flash fiction contest! Without further ado, I give you…



CHOOSE YOUR DESTINY.

prompt destiny alpha - Vanilla version

A variation on the classic Thunderdome experience: A [blank] agonizes over [blank]. When you sign up, you have the option of filling in the blanks for yourself, or you can ask the judges to fill them in for you. If you request a fill-in-the-blanks, the judges will select words randomly from a big list of people and things.

People who sign up for this prompt are entitled to #SpinTheWheel! one(1) time. See Chili’s post directly below for details on Thunderdome’s 10th birthday livestream wheel-spinning extravaganza!

Flash and hell rules are still given out upon request, whether or not you choose to use your spin on the wheel. Again, see Chili’s very illuminating post below for details! Note: Asking for the judges to fill in your blanks does NOT count as asking for a flashrule. Flashrules will be handled slightly differently this week.

Entrants to the vanilla prompt can choose to join the ladder prompt later, but they have to declare their intent to do so in the thread.

Base wordcount: 1000 words maximum
Deadline: Sunday, August 7, at 11:59:59PM PST


prompt destiny omega - fully modded and ready to fuck you’re shit up

This is where it gets interesting. This challenge isn’t for the faint of heart.

The structure is as follows:

Prompt #1: Same as above: A [blank] agonizes over [blank]. Identical to the first prompt, except you’ll have to write a whole lot faster!
Prompt #2: Retro Flashback: Thunderdome Week 80: Tell me a story about your life
Prompt #3: 250 words about WONDER. More info here.
Prompt #4: Your story must be about a wizard, who does magical wizard stuff. More info here.

This is a ladder prompt! You can join the fun any time you want, but you can’t skip ahead. Let’s say you want to write for prompt #3. You’ll still need to write something plausibly story-like for prompts #1 and #2 before you’re allowed to write for #3. And obviously, the sooner people submit stories for each prompt, the faster the prompts get unlocked!

These stories are going to be quick, nasty, and ridiculous. The judges will be looking for boldness, panache, daring, fierce styles, and a whole lot of gall. Don’t think, just write.

Entrants in this category are entitled to #SpinTheWheel up to four(4) times—one(1) spin for each story submitted as part of the ladder prompt. Please see Chili’s very helpful post below for info about the wheel.

Base wordcount: 1000 words maximum to start—other prompts may have different wordcounts!
Deadline: Sunday, August 7, at 11:59:59PM PST

PLEASE STATE WHICH OF THE TWO PROMPT CATEGORIES YOU’RE SIGNING UP FOR IN YOUR SIGNUP POST. You can switch later if you want to.

Boilerplate rules: No erotica, google docs or external links, ideological screeds, plagiarism, fanfic (Fanfic of other TD stories is ok)
Questions? PM me, or head to #Thunderdome on the Thunderdome Discord server. Direct all questions about #SpinTheWheel to Chili!


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Failures who signed up but did not submit: