BKA: Josie Vernon. Before I actually get to Josie, I wanna talk a bit about one of my favorite SOTF deaths. Emma Babineaux was easily one of the best deaths in v3. It took a complicated relationship, toyed with it, coaxed every bit of emotion out of it that it possibly could, & the turned it on its head at the last minute. It was wonderfully paced & executed (& it seems the staff is as in love with it as I am, since it's the death we were presented with for the v4 prologue). Sierra's death is right up there with Emma in my favorites, and a brilliant companion to it at that. The details are a little different (we've got a much more sympathetic & a quieter, more subtle scene), but Chelsea plays with the idea of these characters' seemingly unbreakable bond and destroys it with the same sense of style that's present in Emma's exit. Chelsea's been a favorite of mine ever since Lulu Altaire, but this is by far the strongest writing I've ever seen her put out. It's a clear sign of how far she's come as a writer and how much she's grown into her own style, and it has me really, really excited to see where she goes from here.
& while I'm at it, I'd like to suggest that staff give this scene the Emma treatment & throw it on the v5 intro tape. I can't think of a better way to set the bar for next round.
BDA: Liz Polanski: Between Betsy & Chelsea, we were insanely spoiled on deaths this month. We had two of our best writers put out two of the best scenes we've seen from them. Honestly, we've been spoiled on deaths period: Sean has developed to much & so fast as a writer that it makes my head spin, Grim (possibly one of the most underrated writers we have) ended The Gully absolutely gorgeously with Belle's last stand, and the rest of the line-up is certainly nothing to sneeze at. But from the word go, Liz has been something really special. Betsy worked beautifully with everyone in the thread (including & especially Mr. Toben & his fabulous terrorists) and made sure she left us two for two on exciting & tightly-written escape attempts. More than that, she demonstrated that she really gets the spirit of the board. It was a little over-the-top, it was a stretch at times, but instead of bogging anything down, she used all of that to her advantage & it came together wonderfully. BDA or no, this is & will always be one of the key scenes that v4 is going to be remembered for.
With the gushing out of the way, there's something a little less pleasant I want to address. There's been a lot of negativity & resentment floating around Liz for a long time. It's completely undeserved. I like to imagine that this hasn't skewed the votes in any way, & I'm going to keep thinking that, because it's much nicer. But I do want to throw down on the sentiment a bit.
No, the science of the escape wasn't bulletproof. Yes, Liz did draw a lot of attention to herself in the process. There's plenty of room for legitimate criticism throughout Liz's plot. But the accusations of "hogging the spotlight" and the vitriol and disrespect towards Betsy and Liz have been, frankly, really disgusting. So I'd like to make the following very clear: there is no room for that kind of pettiness here. SOTF may be a competition, it may be a bit of a popularity contest on its worst days, but it's a community first. As a community, we need to be encouraging the writers who do crazy shit like this. We need to be building an environment where we can put ourselves out there like this. If we start shooting down our Betsys and encourage this toxic environment full of hostility and pettiness, then we're completely missing the point. We need a constructive & supportive community for the game to work. So, in the future, let's try to make sure we stick close to that. Otherwise, we really have no reason to be here.
I also want to note that I'm putting my real handle up on this for a reason. If you have an issue with what I've said here, please take it up with me personally. This isn't meant on an attack on any of the votes & it doesn't reflect anyone's opinions but my own.