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Contest Discussion / Re: Nice Guys Don't Last (in the Crater)
« Last post by Vera Silvertooth on September 19, 2017, 04:10:34 AM »
As authors, we often come up with ideas that we just can't make work in a story. Is there any scene that you really wanted to write for Silas, but couldn't?
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Contest Discussion / Re: Nice Guys Don't Last (in the Crater)
« Last post by Silas Hetherton on September 18, 2017, 09:17:27 PM »
- Paper or plastic?
Before children, paper, as it is a renewable resource. After children, plastic, for dirty diapers.

- 80's or 90's music?
80's is more fun. 90's more nostalgic. 80's ultimately, I suppose. There is less shame in enjoying "Tainted Love" than "Chumba Wumba."

- What was Silas' favorite and least favorite "mice story" growing up?
He liked the tale of Martin the Warrior, which made him feel like even a small beast on his own could change the world. He was not as fond of the story about Cluny the Scourge, because of the way it painted rats in general. Silas would emphasize the evilness of Cluny himself and how he abused his underlings when he and Artie talked about the stories.

- If only one member of his family had survived, how different would Silas' story be?
Vastly. Silas would never have gone to the Crater, unless said family member were brought there. If even one had made it, he would have been satisfied simply being a dad/husband, even if it was difficult to make ends meet. He was used to working his tail off, after all.

- What served as your inspiration for the app and character?

I wanted to think of a revenge character who was completely sympathetic and justified in feeling vengeful, while still being a moral character, which I knew would clash with Crater life. Perhaps my father-in-law growing up on a farm played a small role in the farming angle. I chose a plain brown rat because I wanted his character to outshine his species. And of course, my own family and children were inspiration.
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Contest Discussion / Week 5 - Ends the 11:59 PST on 2 October
« Last post by Zevka on September 18, 2017, 08:40:10 PM »
This week will end on the night of 2 October.
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Contest Discussion / Re: Nice Guys Don't Last (in the Crater)
« Last post by Tooley Bostay on September 18, 2017, 08:14:39 PM »
Condolences on the death, Silas. Congratulations for making it this far--I had my issues with Silas, but I very much enjoyed his character and your writing.

A few random questions to start things off:

- Paper or plastic?

- 80's or 90's music?

- What was Silas' favorite and least favorite "mice story" growing up?

- If only one member of his family had survived, how different would Silas' story be?

- What served as your inspiration for the app and character?
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Contest Discussion / Nice Guys Don't Last (in the Crater)
« Last post by Silas Hetherton on September 18, 2017, 07:49:12 PM »
I figure a majority of you already know who I am, but for those who do not, here's my big reveal thread. Feel free to ask questions before you guess. I will answer them.
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Contest Discussion / Re: First Impressions
« Last post by Crue Sarish on September 17, 2017, 08:59:41 PM »
I apologize for not getting reviews up this week. Both life and laziness got in the way.

I just wanted to say that I primarily enjoyed this round. A few posts were enjoyable, but didn't really add much to the story. Some authors tried new tactics with varying results, and while I appreciate the ingenuity, somethings worked and some things didn't. All of your characters made me smile, some made me laugh, and it was - out of time restraints - interesting to simply read them instead of trying to be critical.

I'm sorry to hear it was a rough week or two. I get that things come up in life that just plain suck and there's not a whole lot you can do about it, so you just do what you can. As much as I would have liked for posts to go up regularly, sometimes that just doesn't happen. I hope that this next round finds you all in better situations, or at least in better spirits.

In the words of the AMAAAAZING Kali, "Today is a new day!"

Thank you for all your hard work!
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Contest Discussion / Re: Storyteller's Vigil
« Last post by Tooley Bostay on September 14, 2017, 10:36:52 PM »
The Monster at the End of This Book

Ohhh, alas. Another falls to the axe of Nire Borean.

Ah ha, I see what you were setting up. Monster fighter indeed. Clever with him facing off against Minerva. I'm glad we get to see another cast member kill one of the death votes, and this time in the arena proper!

The Blasio moment I'm split on. On the one hand, it's really well written. That beat before Blasio registers and Silas lunges is great, and the scene itself is really sharp. ...but I'm disappointed that the fang didn't actually poison Blasio. What a way that would be for Silas to go out, and what it could potentially do for the rest of the cast. If Blasio is funding the FTN, then what does this mean for their plans as he slowly succumbs to poison? Is the timeline ramped up? If he's not, how does a greedy McMoneybags like Blasio react to his impending doom? Ahh, alas, such potential, withered on the vine. My precious conflict... *sad woozle face*

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“And do you happen to have physical proof that Blasio is helping the FTN?” Nire challenged, voice low and controlled.

Silence.
Hrm, actually, he does. The coin he was given. It proves he has a connection to the FTN, and isn't just making utter nonsense up, in the least. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure Nire would spare him to use him as a tool inside the FTN (like Minerva). I understand why this didn't happen, but as I read it, it did hit me that yeah, Silas does have some proof on him.

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picturing Artie, reading secretly when he thought his parents were asleep, as if the stunted candle wouldn’t give him away the next day. ”Just one more chapter!” he would beg, gripped by tales meant for mice of Martin the Warrior and Badgers of Legend. Books Silas too, had grown up on.
I love this description. Really want to stop and highlight it, because it feels so genuine. The bit about the candle, the son's love of mice stories, the stories Silas himself grew up on. There's so much history and weight and meaning to this passage, and it hits home oh-so-well. I really get a feeling for the wonderful family Silas had, and what he's lost. Well written here, Silas.

The fight with Minerva was nice. A bit simple, so not too much to go into, but nice.

My condolences on your death, Silas. You had a really nice character and an engaging grasp of prose and descriptive work. Wish you the best moving on.
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Contest Discussion / Re: Storyteller's Vigil
« Last post by Tooley Bostay on September 14, 2017, 10:02:54 PM »
So I actually reviewed Komi's post privately. I may end up putting a public review up, if her author is fine with that, but TBD. With that in mind, let's jump straight to Aldridge's second post:

Loggerhead

Oh ho, second Aldridge post! Lessee what we got.

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“Oh!” Komi grinned. “The one about the mousemaid and the searat. Thankfully none of them knew the third verse.”
...is that a Thrayjen reference?

I appreciate seeing an edge and darker tone to Eve. It works to counter her pomp, for one, but moreover, it follows Kali's post/moment with the Northvale beasts wonderfully. Going to point out a really good moment, and a less good moment:
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“Death happens on this road, Moor. I thought you of all beasts would understand that.”

A general’s words.
"A general's words." Boom. Those three words instantly did more for Eve's character than the rest combined. It says so much in such a short period. I know what type of beast this is in a deeper way, know how she tics, and how she will move against the wind. Better yet? It comes through an observation that is in-character and fitting for Aldridge to know. Wonderful work. I'm now interested in Eve as a character.
Quote
"I do not approve of your actions, but I will at least try not to get in your way. And if you are willing to drop the grandstanding then I will work alongside you to bring this place down."
This is the second time where I feel Aldridge's reaction to a set of horrible news has been less than impressive (the first being when he was all right with Nire killing the bowyers). So we know that Aldridge's plan is to redeem the Crater, so why is he willing to work with here to "bring this place down"? I'd kind of expect his reaction to this bit of news to be to stagger back, stare at this general-in-a-clown's outfit, and reject her and the FTN out of paw. She's just another side to Nire's coin--why be willing to work with her at all?

The scene with Rinam was cool. I forgot about Adeen's book, but what a device it is to be used. All those observations? Of course Aldridge will be able to use that, as it'll no doubt provide him what he needs to truly take over the Crater. Better yet, Aldridge isn't seeking the book for that reason. Nah, our tender-hearted soul of a stoat is still just seeking to help his friend, who in her own way "betrayed" him.

Let's talk about the Thrayjen scenes. So, the previous collab post set up an amazing turn for Thrayjen's character, and I was pumped to see these two interact. Aldridge and Thrayjen have two very different approaches in dealing with not only the Crater, but their pasts. Aldridge has set it aside and doesn't seem to be haunted by it, as he's a truly changed beast. Thrayjen has changed as well, but his approach seems far more to be one of avoidance--he's too afraid to rock the boat in any way. With such internal disagreements, that post set up an incredible amount of potential for future conflict.
Looking at what happens in this post, though, it reads like "Aldridge talks to Thrayjen. Who surprisingly only seems mildly bashful about covering himself in someone's blood. Then they talk amicably about Adeen and history over tea. Then they have tea. Yay?"

I see no conflict, no struggle, no moments of intensity rising from either of them. I'm not saying they should be having a full-on shoutdown match, but perhaps some heavy awkwardness? Thrayjen truly feeling the weight of his actions sinking into him (does he react somberly, does he lash out when Ald tries to address?), Aldridge struggling to see if the beast he met in the Crater is fading away or not, so on and so forth. Now look, the scene here over the tea is nice. It's genuine, it's a good moment, but it doesn't read like it accomplishes anything internally in these characters, either in furthering their relationship or deepening their conflict.

Gonna continue on this just a bit longer. Let's look at this line here:
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“He wanted The Blackwhiskers, so that’s who I gave him.”
Boom. There it is. Thrayjen is saying he's justified in what he did because of Nire. At this moment, I'm waiting to see what Aldridge's response is. Does he try and show Thrayjen how he's losing himself? Does he snap at Thrayjen to wake up and see what he's doing? Does he rant about Nire? Well, no, he says "hey, you like tea?" Now, at this point, I was actually still on-board. The tea scene had the potential to answer the prompt delivered to Aldridge via the dialogue quoted, but ultimately it was just "they talk over tea, Aldridge gets the right recipe for Adeen's brew. Yay?"
So, just for fun, let's take a look at my first idea I mentioned: "he tries to show Thrayjen that he's losing himself." How would one accomplish that in the following tea scene? Well, they sort through the tea, Thrayjen makes some educated comments, they chat a bit, but then Aldridge asks Thrayjen about his tea farming. About Nan and the hogbabes. Thrayjen smiles as he talks about them, but his voice gets quieter and quieter--you can see the weight pressing down on his shoulders as he thinks of those happy, joyful times, and is remembering just what he did. For Nire. Aldridge then has an opening to make his point. And he does. It hangs over the steaming tea. And then we see Thrayjen's reaction. He runs away, pushes his tea aside, breaks down and asks for help, does nothing and just stares? Any of the above would be a marked step for their relationship and conflict.

Now, to be clear, I'm not saying "ugh, you should have done what I~I wanted, Aldridge!" My point is only to give an example to what I'm getting at--that the rich potential that existed between these two characters wasn't quite grasped with this scene, and so it makes the moment read hollow. Hopefully this makes sense!

The moment with Tegue was cool. I still think it'd be far more in-character for Aldridge/the Barrowbeasts to not even bother with the FTN and try their own plan out (and also more compelling to read about, since it's all rooted far more directly into Aldridge personally, and the stakes are that much higher for him), but eh. I'll see what you have planned. The line about him caring for Adeen here and fighting her out there is wonderful. An excellent, compelling way of describing the effects someone can have on others and the world around them. The song was really nice as well. Artful, with a good flow to it all, and an interesting point that tied wonderfully to the moment. I'm envious of your poetic prose, Aldridge.

Overall? A good post. But an unsatisfying one. I wanted so much more from Thrayjen. Wanted to much more from the Barrowbeasts. It reads like a lot of things are going to happen next round, which is good! But I recommend looking for moments where you can write in some far richer interactions with the characters and scenes you have at-hand.
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Contest Discussion / Round 4 Runoff - Adeen vs. Minerva
« Last post by Zevka on September 14, 2017, 04:12:51 AM »
So, there was a tie this week -- if you voted for anyone besides Adeen or Minerva, please recast your vote by th end of the night tonight.
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Posted a reply to another topic, so I'm just bumping this to be sure everyone sees.
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