Author Topic: Reviews Schmeviews  (Read 10856 times)

TNT

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 10:05:56 PM »
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Ha ha - Oh I guess I thought when Poko sprayed the strong musk on herself that it was really musk - not perfume (which made me wonder if it was like...urine or something disgustingly glandular like what hunters spray on themselves to attract deer...

Ewwwww, that's. That's so much worse. That's kind of creepy if they collect bottles of animal...essence...Like, do they work on a donation level, or do they actually purchase bottles of stank from somewhere? I can't imagine there'd be much of a market for it. I mean, I guess it's cool they remembered that animals have a heightened sense of smell, buuuut on the other hand, it reminds me of old-school RPs, where people like, set up their characters by basically saying, "Okay, and like, they've done all this stuff and taken all these precautions that it'd be IMPOSSIBLE for ANYONE ELSE'S character to beat them, okay guys?? I'm seriously." Poko didn't show us she was good at disguise, she told us. She did this and this and made it IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to see through her disguise. And that's another thing I forgot to bring up with her app, that she told too much, and didn't show enough. "Show, don't tell" is like, Writing 101, and one of my pet peeves. I mean, sometimes you can tell effectively, based on the character/situation, but this was not one of those times.

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Then with a quick spray-down of heavy musk, she was not even recognizable by scent.  In a flash she was sprinting for the stage the last place her pursuers would be looking.

I just noticed something else. Why wouldn't they be looking at the stage? Because they're (written to be) really dumb? If she's a performer, and she's suddenly dashed off, aren't they going to search like, all the performers eventually? I get that she means to hide in plain sight, but it all just seems a little...twinky and presumptuous to me. How does she know exactly everything that the woodlanders are going to do?

I think I need to put this one to rest, because the more I read it, the more problems I find with it. XP

To answer your other points:

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I think also that Poko would have been caught if the badger hadn't knocked her hat off - that she just took advantage of the fact that she knew the stolen goods were not on her at that moment. You know - luck not skill.

Aha, but see, I tend to factor luck into it as well. As in, the odds were ever in her favor. She could never be a Tribute, no matter how many millions of tesserae she's got! I mean, and the woodlanders were really dimwitted in this, you have to agree with that, at least. Why did the badger not search her hat? He was the one who knocked it off. Derp. Did it not jingle as it hit the ground? Because money tends to do that. I don't remember her mentioning that there were any bells on her hat in particular.

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Or, for that matter, if this is even Yew.

Good point! I can't remember who all set their apps in Yew, and I must've gotten it mixed up. Sorry about that. Besides, they're obviously in Derpville, where all the woodlanders come with an extra side o' derp.

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Maybe I'm more sensitive about unnecessarily sensual descriptions and you're more sensitive about SPAG and we're both left with bad tastes in our mouths over very different issues.

Plus allllll the other stuff I talked about, but yeah. I think Poko could have been good, but the writing was too flat and the setup told in an unrealistic manner. Again, like Skara from Questors Bold IV, I think if the writing hadn't been gorgeous, I would have passed on her. Which is also why I like Risk more, because the writing is a lot stronger. Plus, like Rara said elsewhere, he's not super n00by when you come to think of it. He did just kind of ambush them. They weren't ready for him. If he'd gone in and stopped and made a long speech about how he was going to pwn them all!!!!!1!, then I could justify calling him a twink. But actually, I guess the thing I like best about Risk is that the more I find out about him from reading and discussion, the more I start to like him. Kind of the opposite with Poko.

And really, it is just one line. Granted, the first time I read it, it made me hit my brakes so hard mentally that I was in danger of...a ten brain pileup...on the...on the brain highway...Okay, I think oiled pebbles actually has me beat there, as far as analogies go. Point is, surely one disagreeable line is better than an app that I keep unearthing more problems with as I go along?

(I'M SORRY I'M SO MEAN POKO. HAVE SOME FERRETS AND A HEDGEHOG AND SOME PING PONG BALLS AS A PEACE OFFERING.)
"I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it." - Arrested Development

Rousseau

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2013, 10:18:34 PM »
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(I'M SORRY I'M SO MEAN POKO. HAVE SOME FERRETS AND A HEDGEHOG AND SOME PING PONG BALLS AS A PEACE OFFERING.)

Though completely unrelated to the topic at hand, this video has reminded me of another video that desperately needs to be shared. You're welcome. -
I'm Busy

Vizon

Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2013, 10:34:56 PM »
Ha! Cute video!


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To be fair, regarding Risk, it WAS just one sentence. I think people are harping on that a bit too much.

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And really, it is just one line. Granted, the first time I read it, it made me hit my brakes so hard mentally that I was in danger of...a ten brain pileup...on the...on the brain highway...Okay, I think oiled pebbles actually has me beat there, as far as analogies go. Point is, surely one disagreeable line is better than an app that I keep unearthing more problems with as I go along?

Not just one sentence for me...

Just to paint a picture of how I read Risk's app - all kinds of problems I had with it when I read it (see attached). This is me pointing and explaining my issues with a red pen.

Probably not fair to just pick on one app like this, but there was so much that bothered me. I wanted to go through step by step and remember what it was that gave me a poor impression. Perhaps there is just as much that bothered me in this one that bothered you about the other. Just wanted to show y'all it wasn't JUST the one sentence that influenced me...
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 10:43:35 PM by Vizon »

Vizon

Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2013, 11:21:30 PM »
I feel kind of conflicted about posting such negative feedback since I write too and I KNOW it's difficult (with drawing too, actually) to see problems when you're that close to the work.

In the end I think you all are right when you say to have someone else read what you wrote first before calling it finished. Having at least one pair of eyes that are not enamored with what you're still in love with might end up hurting you as an author (all criticism does at some level), but it'll help make it better in the end. I figure a lot of what bothered me could have been addressed with an outsider's read-through.
The part about already being famous and killing so easily (the point of which is to make the character look even more powerful) is not something that can be attributed to lack of outside editors though. So even with added grace in regards to flow, it's the type of character itself that makes me cringe a bit.

TNT

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2013, 11:39:58 PM »
Oh, it's definitely not one sentence for me, either. I did think the spear through the head thing was pretty crazy. Also that the app tried to cover waaaaay too much, which was my biggest critique. That's one of the reasons why Vist is my number one vote. Melodramatic to a T, but his character is easily the most believable of the actors. I don't HATE any of them, of course. I just have my personal preferences. And when the story starts, ALL SHALL HAVE TO APPEASE ME OR DIE. MWAHAH.

(Also, yey catsharkroomba!)
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Kerrin Clearloch

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2013, 12:19:47 AM »
To be fair, you do have good points about the application proper... the setup did advantage Poko greatly and the woodlanders were a bit slow on the uptake. Though the hat thing doesn't bother me too much because badgers are big and they tend to jus get to the point and could easily forget about the hat that went flying off. Plus, it tells me she's smart enough to hide the money in her hat, not in her clothing. And for the accent, I guess it's personal preference but I recall Jacques does use over the top accents filled with apostrophes and contractions, with many of his characters including the Gonfelins. Anyway, without going into the details, here is probably my last contribution to this debate.

I like Poko simply because I can see her character clearly through the app. Maybe I'm imagining stuff, but I picture her as impulsive, argumentative, over-confident, but also easily made insecure if she loses the support of her parents, which I hope will happen. Contrary to seeing her out-witting everyone, I see her more as attempting tricks and funny stuff and getting caught at it and finding out it's not so easy when you have to cooperate with everyone and survive. And I see a lot of good stuff which makes me root for her- she's clever, fierce, and she's still young which means her character might evolve by learning new things from the other survivors.

So there it is, my whole view on the topic. The other comments here have made me think a lot more about her though and it's been a really helpful reflection.

Sycamore

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2013, 09:41:03 AM »
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To be fair, regarding Risk, it WAS just one sentence. I think people are harping on that a bit too much.

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And really, it is just one line. Granted, the first time I read it, it made me hit my brakes so hard mentally that I was in danger of...a ten brain pileup...on the...on the brain highway...Okay, I think oiled pebbles actually has me beat there, as far as analogies go. Point is, surely one disagreeable line is better than an app that I keep unearthing more problems with as I go along?

Not just one sentence for me...

Just to paint a picture of how I read Risk's app - all kinds of problems I had with it when I read it (see attached). This is me pointing and explaining my issues with a red pen.

Probably not fair to just pick on one app like this, but there was so much that bothered me. I wanted to go through step by step and remember what it was that gave me a poor impression. Perhaps there is just as much that bothered me in this one that bothered you about the other. Just wanted to show y'all it wasn't JUST the one sentence that influenced me...

Am I the only one that wasn't bothered by the oiled pebbles line, and as a matter of fact, enjoyed it? It's great imagery, shockingly sexual (and therefore hilarious), and tells a lot about the type of beast Risk is. One that has a lot of sex.

Hmm... I don't know, Vizon, if that red ink over a single applicant's writing was warranted. It's much different from engaging in discussion than putting up a sign post for everyone to view. It's just much more glaring.

I liked Risk a lot, personally, and I would like to offer some counterpoints to yours, if you don't mind.


On Risk and the mud, I didn't seem to have any problem figuring out what was going on. I got immediately that Risk was hiding out or stalking. One minute the kits are ogling at a red kerchief (the silliest of things to give to a hordesbeast), and the next thing you know Risk is there, towering, overbearing, and generally intimidating. Risk is into shocking reveals. One minute something we think is happening, and then Risk turns it on its head and suddenly we are off in an entirely new direction.

Oiled pebbles line I've mentioned....

On Risk the Cutter: Risk is famous, apparently. They say he slew a badger prince. Say... he slew a badger prince. I don't see what the fuss is that he's powerful and very good at killing. Some beasts are only good at one thing, and to be honest, we see these types of creatures all the time in Classic Redwall. It makes sense he's famous, and whether or not he's a part of the horde isn't clarified yet, until...

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"Were you just tryin' to recruit these two young todds into your fool's army?"

Oops, guess not. Seems to me he's not part of a horde at all.

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"Oh, er, no, sir, just-but, say... wot are you doin' with runty an' stunted 'ere?"

Your response: I thought he just stood up out of a bush rather than being obviously with them.

Look at the clues, though. Risk's entire accusation gives it away. He calls them two young todds, which is kind of endearing, which gives the hint that he cares for them, and calls the hordeleader a fool. Obviously Risk is not part of the horde to call the leader a fool, and because he's standing there being all intimidating in front of the weasel asking none too kindly if they were trying to recruit them, I think it makes a fair amount of sense for Risk to be assumed to be with the todds.

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Cursing and thrashing foliage could be anything - whoever this Hoc is might just be caught in a bramble...?

Yes, you're right, but cursing and thrashing foliage could be anything, so Hoc could also be in danger. I'm not sure why this was even pointed out...

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Who? How do they even know there's to be a fight?

Why should they not assume there'll be a fight? Check out the todds. They get all super excited about joining a horde because they get kerchiefs, and later on, they are caught prodding the eyes of a dead rat. They like fighting and death, or at least are interested in it a fair deal.

Furthermore, they just happened to be right. Let's say that Hoc did get caught in a bramble. I would imagine that everyone would come running and the todds would be all disappointed. "Aw man, I thought there was going to be a fight..." Dank said as he kicked at some sod.

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Finally I'm getting an idea of what the setting/circumstance might be.

Why is this important before this point?

As far as the fight scene is concerned, I'm not sure what everyone's deal with it is. We have a bunch of imbecilic dunces trying to fight a champion, and yes, Risk is bulky and strong. Why should this detract from him? Hasn't anyone read of hulking creatures in Redwall that could snap a beast in two? What about the Gloomer? The Wearet? Brian Jacques always has monsters in his books. Risk is one such, but he has actual sentience behind him. That's what the difference is. Is that why it's suddenly not acceptable?

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Wow - the nerve of those bad beasts trying to find a healer... So Risk just killed them all. I wonder if he'd spoken to them first if things might have ended differently?

Maybe, but he didn't ask them first. This is why it's funny, hahaha.

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(Finally I understand what was going on at the start)

Again, why do we need this information before this point? In writing, an author has a deck of cards. He decides what cards to give you in order to paint the picture. Sometimes he holds cards back because some things are unnecessary or would detract from the mystery and the allure. Risk's line, "Sorry, I was keepin' an eye on the twins..." works twofold. It gives an answer to a question we had at the beginning of the piece, and it shows Risk deferring to Hoc. This is super important!!! What we just saw, Risk beating the living snot out of three beasts at once, not only has a soft side with the todds, but also gets bossed around by a super big weakling of a jerk.


And now to the fact that it was all a flashback. I've seen people complain about this, too, but I can't understand why. We learn so much about Risk from the preceding scene, why should it even be an issue? Risk's days with Hoc and the Todds are what he considers "The Good Old Days," when he was ward to a pair of immature brats and a bodyguard to a frail and weak fox that constantly put him down and told him he was wrong.

I think this is very, very important to Risk's character. He can't do right in the eyes of Hoc. He saves his life, but he gets Hoc's tunic stained in the process, gets scolded for leaving his side, and then gets reprimanded when Hoc hears that the twins could have disappeared to become hordebeasts. And then, after it all, when Risk tells them to respect the dead, Hoc dismisses him there, too.

Risk can do nothing right in the eyes of Hoc.

And now he's getting bossed around by a mime, of all things.


I don't mean to come off as harsh or anything. I'm just trying to offer counterpoints to yours because like I said, I like Risk, and this time between when the apps are posted and the votes are counted is super important because people can't defend themselves. They have to rely solely on the audience to fight for them.

I would like to see what you thought of Nyika and Grainger. While they're at the bottom of your pile, they're both at the top of mine. Risk was, too, actually, hahaha. You seem to hate all my favorites, and if I had a chance to defend them, I would like the opportunity.

*edit - Oops! We talked about Grainger in your other thread. Forget about him, unless we can bicker more about him!
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 09:49:39 AM by Sycamore »
And then he DIED!!!

Vizon

Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2013, 10:38:43 AM »
Banter's good. I'm glad you're engaging my points - and really the last thing I want to do is hurt someone's feelings...which is hard not to do when giving critique. Our characters are near and dear to us - a part of us even. So criticism can be taken quite personally when one is the writer for a character - so I'm glad you're making a case on behalf of Risk's writer.
 The redline is my default when it comes to critique because I'm used to giving artistic critique (which utilizes redlines superimposed over the original drawing). But I realize it looks more teacherly and mean when it's writing - the red pen of dooooom. This is how I edit my own stuff too though - print it out and scribble and write all over it.

That said, I'll leave your Risk defense alone - I think I'm done with that one. You spotted my explanations for Grainger, but it seems you missed my Nyika explanation. That's more of a personal aversion to psychics and the supernatural. I know there's a ghost of Martin in Redwall, but it's not my cup of tea. When I first picked up a Brian Jacques book in the 7th grade, I was gripped by the raw realism he described - torture and death and slavery even though it was a story about little animals and mice! I loved that contrast to the typical "happy woodland creatures" fairytale type stories that are all sanitized and cutsie for kids. I was ready for battles and blood and villainy, but still enjoyed the idea of talking animals. So it's the raw realism that I've always loved about Redwall. Not so much the supernatural bits. So that's mostly just me and not a good argument for others not to rank Nyika higher.
Other than that it felt like I learned more about the Vixen than the fortune teller in the app, and it wasn't very clear what exactly took place except that Nyika really did have the sixth sense (though why the ghost didn't tell her his name is strange if he really wanted help).





foxpen

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2013, 11:29:58 AM »
I'm so glad everybody can have a good, serious talk here without it dissolving into angry, rude behaviour. : )
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Vizon

Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2013, 11:37:46 AM »
Me too. And like you pointed out in your audio reviews (which I found highly entertaining incidentally), everyone who made it this far has already been sorted through and "chosen" as above the cut. So it's all really just a lot of nitpicking to narrow it down. No one should feel like their apps are hated or perceived as horrible.

Balmafula

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2013, 11:47:30 AM »
Not to pick on you in particular, because I noticed other people saying it as well, but I don't understand how we learn more about the vixen than we do about Nyika.

We learn more about the vixen's history, I suppose, but that's just because we're told it from Nyika. It's kind of superficial. There have been seers in Redwall since the start. Grissoul from Taggerung in particular is one of my favorites because she is one of the only cases where Brian Jacques doesn't outright tell us whether or not her prophesying is real or fake. That's one of the things I love about Nyika; she leaves it up to the reader to decide for now. You have to lave some mystery so the reader wants to see more.

I enjoyed this app because it doesn't TELL us what she's like, but shows it in subtle ways.

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"You spend a lot of coin, don't you?" Nyika said, peering atop the glass bubble to the vixen sitting across from her. She had noticed the way she had been teasing with a jeweled ring when she first entered her tent, but that wasn't her only clue.

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The wildcat shrugged, dropping her gaze back to the ball. It was unnecessary theatrics but it helped beasts believe, and more often than not that made the difference.

Right from the start, she's observant and clever. You can also tell that this isn't the first time she's done this and she knows the art if nothing else. She wants to be paid because she has to eat, but at the same time you can tell by the way she reacts to the vixen selling her kits that she has high moral standards. She puts aside the seer persona to tell her what she thinks instead of what the vixen wants to hear. But at the same time she still acts like a teenager, moping and feeling sorry for herself and arguing with the ghost.

And I just love the mental image of Nyika trying to do her thing while a beast with his throat cut is standing right over the vixen's shoulder staring at her XD I'd love to see how she would do around some of the other beasts who make a living by killing.

Vizon

Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2013, 12:21:28 PM »
Pick away - I don't mind. These are good points.

Sycamore

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2013, 12:43:25 PM »
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Other than that it felt like I learned more about the Vixen than the fortune teller in the app, and it wasn't very clear what exactly took place except that Nyika really did have the sixth sense (though why the ghost didn't tell her his name is strange if he really wanted help).

Hmm, I've noticed most everyone state this (most notably Rousseau), about the confusion involving why Nyika couldn't guess his name if he's standing right there ready to feed her information. I can offer two guesses as to why:

  • The Fox Ghost is playing with her.
  • The Fox Ghost is feeding her false names.

Personally, I think it's the second. Look at what information we have. We have a vixen who lives extravagantly, donning jewelry and being prissy and going so far as to sell her kits to a slaver to continue living her extravagant lifestyle. Then she turns around and goes to a seer. If the Fox Ghost has been following her around, it makes sense for him to protect his investments, instilling enough doubt in his mate of Nyika's authenticity so she doesn't waste the coin he worked so hard to earn.

Then when he learns the fate of his kits, he seems to back off. Check out that first line of dialogue Nyika shares with him:

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"Oh, shut up," she growled in the empty tent. "I need to eat too, you know."

What was he doing? Apologizing? Offering explanations? Whatever the case, Nyika doesn't want to hear it and she's bitter he cheated her out of a sale.

But yeah, Nyika has that mystery of "Is she authentic or is she crazy?" It's never answered, and that's what I love about her. For all we know, because she didn't know his name, she could have pulled that Splitear remark out her butt, then realize what she said and got really upset about it. It seems she's self-conscious about it if she's constantly reassuring herself that her ear is perfectly fine.
And then he DIED!!!

Aleisou

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2013, 01:49:37 PM »
I honestly think I'm enjoying reading people debating than I am the actual applications right now! It's so great to see people getting so in-depth with their reviews and actually taking the time to argue for the ones they want to win. :)

I've read over Nyika's application a few times, and I don't feel like I've come to a concrete conclusion as to what really happened in it. But I think that's the point. I think the ambiguity surrounding her is a great way of getting around the inherent twinky-ness of seers. Personally, I see Nyika as somebody who is genuinely gifted with a seer's ability, but cannot control it. She can't choose when to see or hear the spirits; they approach her of her own accord, and the ambiguous ending to the application is a reflection of the fact that even Nyika herself doesn't really know what's going on. And she's only sixteen. Every single day for a sixteen year old is a series of confusing events. :P

I just love the thought of a fortune-teller who has absolutely no say over what they can and can't see. It seems a very original idea to me, and one that wonderfully evades the inherent issues of seers being too powerful.

Hmm. Can't help but wonder how Nyika's author is reacting to this! Either way, it's likely she'll be making it into the top nine, so I'm interested to see how this turns out.

foxpen

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Re: Reviews Schmeviews
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2013, 02:11:48 PM »
Ever seen the movie Ghost, with Patrick Swayze? XD
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