MW's Tiny Critiques: Strength/Weakness

This is the critique board, suggested by Outfoxd. Come here to request critiques and critique the work of others. The goal of this board is to be a respectful environment conducive to the improvement of writing skills.
MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

March 22nd, 2015, 5:12 am #81

Rosemary Michaels

Strength: Rosemary's story contains some moments of real excellence. Probably the most notable is her death scene, which does a great job of being interesting, horrifying, and totally fitting for her character and arc until that point. Generally speaking, when there's something big going on, when the scene is unusual or the stakes are high, Rosemary really steps up and delivers. Another good moment is her encounter with Joachim in the wake of winning BKA--it's just such a wonderfully weird scene, not even so much for the actions that take place during it as for the mental states of the characters involved, the ways they surprise each other and find their perceptions challenged. Rosemary has some really fresh moments, and that's saying a lot after almost a thousand characters in SOTF's history.

Weakness: The thing about Rosemary's high points is I always was left feeling like the rest of her story could reach the same heights if her narrative just played it a little less safe. Rosemary's story could often feel a bit too eager to please, casting her as a generally likable sort trying her hardest, and yet I think the moments when she was at her most interesting were when that view of her was compromised by her making weird or poor choices, or otherwise letting her emotions or human fallibility get the better of her. It's not an awful thing, but I really think Rosemary's story often settled for a safe good when it had the opportunity to take more risks while striving for great.
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

March 22nd, 2015, 5:36 am #82

Frank Callahan

Strength: Frank, like so many of Outfoxd's characters, has a really strong core to him, a super considered character and psyche. This, I think, is what lets his brand of minimalism work when for so many others similarly brief styles fail--Frank's posts are never short for the sake of being short, and they're never short because it's the easier choice; instead, they convey exactly as much as they need to. On a note more specific to Frank, he's a character who by any reasonable measure should be pretty despicable--he's a heavily patriotic player in The Program's fascist universe--but because there's that human core to him, we can always see where he's coming from and just maybe empathize with him. I think a big part of that is that his scenes aren't exclusively fights, especially the important ones. His initial alliance with Audrey and his later more troubled partnership with Dylan give us a chance to view him from many angles, and when he does get into action sequences, they don't overstay their welcome or substitute for characterization.

Weakness: This is going to be a bit nitpicky since on the whole Frank is a very well executed character. That said, there are a few odd little stylistic choices in Frank's story that don't do it for me. Especially in his earlier threads, he's prone to intrusive italicized thoughts, which sometimes work but mostly are a much less elegant option than the more integrated thoughts featured in the bulk of his narrative. Frank's story also has two one-shots in really close proximity to each other, and I honestly can't say why either is its own thread--they both follow really brief (sub-200-words) exit posts and aren't notably longer than average posts themselves, and thus could probably have been rolled either into those exit posts or the intro posts to his next threads without anything being lost, while at the same time improving his pacing a bit.
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

March 22nd, 2015, 6:36 am #83

Rutherford Roger Jr.

Strength: RJ was a character who was incredibly grounded and well realized. His narrative was willing to do what so many seem afraid to: stop and deal with emotions in a slow, overt way. RJ was also greatly helped here by excellent chemistry with Maddie, with whom he shared a conversation in the parking garages that's one of my favorite moments of V5, not to mention RJ's personal story. That said, I don't mean to suggest that RJ owes his success wholly to her; he also had some really solid scenes with other standouts from the version (notably Joe). RJ's narrative went some dark places, but it never reveled in that or came off as gratuitous. As a person, RJ was flawed, but he always was likable for me. He was a favorite of mine throughout the game, and a lot of that's down to his consistently stellar quality.

Weakness: This is going to be a bit nitpicky again, though probably less so than for some of the others. While RJ was an all-around great kid, his action scenes tended to be a bit forgettable or messy. Going back through his threads, I realized that I'd entirely blanked out his fight with Theo. In some of his other scenes, like his killing of Lauren or his tussle with Tyler, the choreography comes across as a little contrived or unclear. This never really changes, though his death scene manages to work well in spite of it due to a really wise choice to focus the narrative internally--this means that even if the exact progression of events isn't 100% clear, I don't really care because that's not the focus of the scene. I think that's also the case overall--RJ isn't a character about fight scenes, so even if his aren't great, it doesn't really mean that much to his overall quality.
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Un-Persona
Mr. Danya
Joined: February 28th, 2012, 2:09 am

March 22nd, 2015, 7:10 am #84

Thank you very much for the feedback~

I'll make sure to use this for upcoming writing.
V7 relationship thread! Say hi to my kids!
[+] spoiler
[+] spoiler
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ & ❤ ❤
[+] spoiler
V7 - ❤ ❤ ❤ - PV3 - {❤} ❤ ❤ - TV3 - ❤ ❤ - V8 - ❤ ❤ ❤
[+] spoiler
21:33RattlesnakeIf you can't ninja roll the solution is to get naked until you can ninja roll

Justice for Natali - Today at 4:21 PM
Your adorable face will not save you from the long dick of the law

Gianni - Today at 8:05 PM
Sometimes the big tru tru different than the small tru tru
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Joined: May 22nd, 2012, 9:45 pm

March 22nd, 2015, 3:21 pm #85

Thank you for the feedback. Like Persy said, it will be really helpful in future writing.
Version 6
Adelaide Walker-N/A
V6 Pregame: 1-2
Image Song: TV on the Radio- Wolf Like Me

Frederick "Rick" Brea- N/A
V6 Pregame: 1-2
Image Song: SOHN- Artifice

Version 5
(G006) Rosemary Michaels- Butterfly Knife: "H-h-heh..."- DECEASED
V5 Game:
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-6 (Return)-9-10-11-12-FINAL



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Espi
Winner
Joined: November 20th, 2012, 9:32 pm

March 23rd, 2015, 12:01 am #86

If you don't mind, could you do Nina Clarke for me?
V5: Cut Short
Theodore Fletcher
Nina Clarke
Gwen O'Connor

V6: Broken Down
Alice Baker (->Aura)
Henry Spencer
Blair Moore

V7: Unprepared
Rhonda Lawson[/b
Toby Underwood
Paloma Salt
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

March 23rd, 2015, 2:16 am #87

Forrest Doe

Strength: Forrest's narrative has a bunch of little subtle details that help to characterize him and make his posts interesting beyond what we tend to see from early game characters. Things like the discussion of his feelings towards the provided food go a long way towards making Forrest feel like a person with distinct tastes and opinions. Forrest's narrative isn't afraid to get a bit irrelevant to the SOTF situation at times, but all the same it's usually not random or self-indulgent. Forrest goes on tangents, but they're tangents that do hold some value, if mostly for getting a feel for Forrest's processes.

Weakness: Forrest didn't really get a chance to do much, and while some of that's down to his being out of the game quickly, he was stuck in early game mode for an awfully long time even considering that. This combines with the nature of his death to make for a somewhat awkward conclusion to his story. It took me a while to put my finger on it, but I think my issue is that the fight is far and away the most extreme situation Forrest's been in, and I'm not really sure why it's what we close on--it almost would have been more in keeping from the rest of what we'd seen for him to just be taken totally off guard and not get the chance to put up so much of a struggle.
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

March 23rd, 2015, 2:32 am #88

Sorry this ended up posthumous. ><

Asa Rosen

Strength: Asa is my favorite Laure character ever and I'm still crushed he got rolled. I think the reason I liked him so much is twofold. First off, Asa felt, especially as the game progressed, like a real person. He had a really clear motivation and character and his decisions stemmed from that. He had moments where his resolve faltered or he was less than perfect in his execution, but he generally pressed onwards. The second big factor was what exactly Asa was doing. His efforts to sabotage the game were perfectly tailored to the TV universe, and he was effortlessly fresh and unique. He was one of the characters who most often had me going, "Dang, I wish I'd thought of that!" but never in a way that felt forced or like he was doing unusual things just because nobody else had done them. He managed to be pretty innovative while also being consistent and believable.

Weakness: See, I think I should clarify a bit and say that Asa became my favorite Laure character. Initially, I wasn't too sold on him, and I think it's because at the start of Asa's story he was always the butt of jokes without getting much opportunity to get in laughs of his own. It's the opposite of a problem I see a lot--Asa came off as a character who wasn't expected to have much reader sympathy, and as a result his narrative didn't have a whole lot of sympathy for him either and could come off really harshly. This was especially prominent in his pregame, but persisted a little into his first few in-game threads, especially as he struggled in the ice palace. The good thing is, Laure really quickly started giving Asa more of a chance to stick up for himself, so this only caused trouble in his first few threads (Asa remains fallible and full of moments where he's questionably sympathetic at best--they just flow more naturally from his character and the scenes at hand), but it was a notable stumbling block that Asa benefited greatly from moving past.
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

March 23rd, 2015, 3:00 am #89

Harun Kemal

Strength: This is going to be twofold, because Harun's biggest strength, in my opinion, is something that will also most likely be useless to 95% of SOTF stories. Basically, after getting involved in V4's rescue, Harun had an incredibly strong Post-Game. While a lot of V4's Post-Games were extremely character-focused, and a decent number delved well into the future, Harun's pushed that really far, carrying us through Harun's career choices and well into his later years, all while keeping him recognizable as the same character we saw on the island. His development never felt cheap or forced, and the new story was markedly different from his SOTF focuses yet also fit wonderfully next to them.

In the game, Harun had a great combination of solid writing and deep relationships. While it's become more fashionable to move towards shorter posts, Harun's time on the island offers an excellent counterargument, with each of his posts actually advancing the scene and his character while also providing good detail and enough stage-setting to give a solid sense of scene. This also helped his dynamic with the other characters, particularly Rashid, with whom he spent the bulk of the game. There were a few awkward moments (particularly one where Rashid's narrative especially seemed to be dancing around implications of sexual tension between him and Harun, but in a way where it was ambiguous in a not-so-effective fashion), but by and large the two of them had good chemistry.

Weakness: While Harun didn't have it as bad as a lot of V4, his storyline in game still ran into one of the version's most common issues in that it could come across as rather insular. Harun and Rashid spend almost the whole game together, sort of falling in and out of other groups/scenes, but almost every point of impact in his story centers around the activist club or Rashid, with the rest of the island and the ongoing death game more of a backdrop than anything else. It's a good story, and Harun is nowhere near the worst offender--he actually is forced into acknowledgement of everything else at several points--but it's still fairly notable just how incidental a lot of the encounters he passes through end up in the long run. The evolution of his and Rashid's partnership is really great, but sometimes it just feels like it takes over and shoulders out other possible plot points.
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Rattlesnake
Winner
Joined: January 4th, 2009, 9:01 am

March 23rd, 2015, 3:29 am #90

SC!Sadnick rundown pls c:
[+] spoiler
G065 KK Konipaski - "I killed a girl today. I think. And I didn't make a lot of friends with it. You don't bleed that much and walk away, I know that."
Skidded to a halt in the Central Park with the Basket-Hilted Rapier, Swordbreaker, Butterfly Knife, Stinger.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

B060 Matthew Young - "What brings you to the beach on this crappy day?"
Taking a sand nap in the Eastern Inlet with the iPod from Heck
1 2 3 4

G075 Tessa Blackridge - "Oh. ...I left quite a mess, didn't I?"
Staring down the cold hand of Death in the Bike Trails with the Pepper Spray
1 2
[+] spoiler
B055 Nick Reid - "Put that thing down, and neither of us have to die."
Troubled no more in the Mountains with the Molotov (x1), Estoc, Jutte

G090 Kari Nichols - "please..."
Sleeping forever in the Logging Road with the Nothing

B088 Cody Jenkins - "They won't come, you know."
Decomposing in the Northern Cliffs with the Middle Finger (x1)
NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

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