Author Topic: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)  (Read 2925 times)

Stonewall

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Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« on: June 02, 2013, 06:11:27 PM »
The fun begins! Stonewall's the name
I believe it's time to play the game
A survivor contest that is new
Could always use another review
I needed something new this time
So I've decided to review in rhyme
I see no downside to this plan
Over the two months it will span
So read along if you dare
There's plenty of reviews inside my Lair!

Merchants I will go through first
Which ones are the best and worst?

I am the game, and I want to play

Magical Fish

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 06:27:56 PM »
I'm going to imagine these being read in Grunthilda's voice. Just so you know.
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Stonewall

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 08:32:21 AM »
Nyika

I like the ambiguity
Of what it is that she can see
Her fortune telling is so-so
And there places where that can go
Be it magic or very good guess
It's a skill with much finesse
I like it when characters have some skill
That isn't necessarily just going for a kill
I also like that she gets called on it
She's not fooling the fox one bit
The mix of skill and fallibility
Adds a layer of complexity
I also think the ghost idear
Is, ironically, nothing to fear
Since we can't see it, it's hard to say
If it's there, or if it's some play
Once again, ambiguity
Seems to be the thing that's key
As it stands, Nyika is fun
And for merchants, she is number one.

Alder Flint

I applaud having a backstory
This character has history
I also think that it is best
That you've laid out his emotional quest
We know that he's full of regret
And to overcome sorrow he has to yet
(But if the Abbot only just met Flint
How does he know about his stint?)
A problem, though, that I fear
I where Flint will go from here
The development that he must run
Is shackled, sadly, to the son
The problem with bringing your own NPC
Is that within the plot, it hamstrings thee
It can be done, provided you've sense
To give Alder some independence
Give him development outside the son
And have him interact with everyone

I am the game, and I want to play

Sycamore

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 09:10:37 AM »
These poems you have, I can't deny
My initial thought was, "Stonewall, why?"
But now that you have put them here
I realize I have naught to fear.
And once when I sat fearingly,
I love them most endearingly.
So props to you, my rookish friend,
The last line of stanza marks the end!

Off the record, though, I imagined the Abbot would know of Flint's shenanigans through hearing about it from his wife. You make a good point about Alder shackling himself to his son, though. It may be that we are either getting two characters for the price of one, or he'll abandon him per usual and lament about it while he's in the traveling caravan with everyone else. I just wish I knew exactly what we were getting. It could really go two ways for me, but if I had to bet, it would be that his son tags along to be a merchant-man with his pops, although reluctantly. Still, he starts off with great conflict, and I think most have realized this.
And then he DIED!!!

Stonewall

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 09:42:37 PM »
Terrence Wellspiller

Son of a barber, that one's new
Though how much haircutting does Blake do?
They seem to be in the healing trade
Unless a mistake I might have made
His father issues here might work
That Blake is certainly one big jerk
I can see Terrence going to prove himself
As a benefactor for other's health
Though since I believe that Blake's not coming
An inner struggle will Terrence be drumming
The daddy issues can come into play
But they can't take him all the way
Terrence should face the demons inside
And try to work on his own pride
There's room for growth, and that is good
Given some time on his own, develop he should


Pollux

He and the squirrel can get along
But that might be where this one goes wrong
For character growth he's at his peak
If it's understanding that he does seek
The ghosts of his past do haunt
But what from now does Pollux want?
Where can the stoat go from here
If reconciled with his enemy's fear?
Had trepidation still remained
Then much growth could still be gained
(Also, if I might perhaps
Ask why Vermin is in caps?)
For Pollux, give him long term goals
To build upon as the story unrolls


Zevka

I like that Zevka seems to have learned
That playing with fire just gets one burned
She wants something more than turmoil
Even if it doesn't involve tilling soil
But it won't be easy, that much is clear
Her violent tendencies are very severe
Her emotional quest for finding peace
Can't work if her shenanigans won't decease
The conflict there sounds like fun
To be at rest, or to be someone?
But the advice to Alder, I give to you
Write one character instead of two
Mekad might be around to gallivant
But Zevka is the one we want
I am the game, and I want to play

Stonewall

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 02:06:23 PM »
I failed at reading all the apps
With a newspaper, I deserve many whaps!
Still, let's get this thing underway
What sort of thing will I read today?

The Fall, by Poko

The first showing by the ferret kit
Leaves me just a little split
The first thing that stands as massive
Is that Poko in this one is passive
She does a lot of watching, it's true
(Though admittedly, I don't know what else she'd do)
Also, because there's not much interaction
I feel her personality doesn't get traction
But as sick as though it might sound
I'm glad that the parents are underground
It frees Poko from NPCs
And now you can progress as you please
It gives an emotional direction
And gives you a wide base of selection
Where can Poko go from here,
When without those she holds dear?

I am the game, and I want to play

Magical Fish

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 05:54:07 PM »
Stonewall, I'm not going to disagree with you in rhyme, but I am going to disagree with you. I don't at all think that Poko needed to be "freed" from the NPCs. To echo Sycamore: NPCs can be really great. They can give you opportunites to show how a character will interact in certain situations and in certain relationships that might not pop up with other contestants.

I'm hugely disappointed that Poko's parents perished. I liked the picture we got of Poko and her father working together in her app and I'm disappointed that we won't get to see more of the ferret family working within the larger "family" of the troupe. I was looking forward to their family dynamic and I felt that Poko had plenty of potential for character conflict and growth without the cliche of tragically killed parents.
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Stonewall

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 09:31:47 PM »
How DARE you enter my thread in a fashion other than rhyme! It's completely convenient and conducive towards regular conversation!

The reason I'm glad the father figure is out of the picture is actually for exactly the reason you state: if he was around, then I feel that Poko's story would be focused first and foremost on that and less on the state of affair around her, and less about the other characters effect on her. I do agree that it is possible to use NPC's as a useful tool to embellish traits and emotions of the character you're writing (heck, that just about sums up my own track record in these contests). The problem is when the presence of the NPC becomes the axle on which that character's drama centers: if Poko's story is about making good with her dad, then her drama is always in its own bubble, sort of off set and untouchable from the rest of the cast. It can become very hard to gain high emotional states with the other main characters when her emotional quest has to do with a singular NPC. I think with the parents out of the way, it frees Poko up to connect with the other main characters more readily than she would be able to with the parents still around.
I am the game, and I want to play

Magical Fish

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 11:03:46 PM »
When I invade your haunt
I DO WHAT I WANT.

I see your point of view,
But I still think mine rings true.

But the parents can't be brought back to life,
So I won't pursue this strife.

I just hope Poko's grief and guilt
Won't be the centres on which her story is built.

She seemed like a fun-loving kit
And I don't want her to lose that spirit!
Best in the world.

TNT

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 11:15:30 PM »
The parents were kind of flat and underdeveloped anyway, and it was nice to see Poko out of her element for once. I'm excited to see what changes will occur in her character. I think it was the right choice. I like NPCs that add some flavor to the story, and these ones just didn't do anything for me. I'll have to wait for Poko's second post of the week to see what Poko's author has cooking now for Poko.

Oh. Er. I mean.

I thought Poko's choice was the right one...
Playing video games is fun?

I CARN'T POETRY.
"I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it." - Arrested Development

Balmafula

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 11:40:41 PM »
It's kind of unfair to judge the parents based on the very little amount of time we were able to spend on them.

To be honest, I would have preferred the parents to have stayed alive. At least one of them. Choosing to axe the NPCs was maybe a smart move on Poko's writer's part, but also a slightly dry one. How many times have we seen orphans in stories? I think we're really missing out on an opportunity to be able to see a really interesting dynamic with Poko and her mother and/or father. Even if they were just crippled, it would turn the tables on her life with her having to deal with her own survival AND her parents' too. To me, that's just as heartbreaking and troublesome.

But then she would have to deal with that AND interacting with the the other contestants, which could lead to problems, especially for readers who prefer less NPC-centric characters, so... I can't say I blame her.

My suggestions would be just don't smack her with the angst stick too much after this. I know it's kind of difficult, considering the circumstances, but even if you're going to break the cutie, then have her grow from the experience. Do that, and I think you'll do well.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 11:53:28 PM by Balmafula »

Aleisou

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 02:01:06 AM »
It's kind of annoying me that people are assuming that Poko's grief can't be dealt with in any way that isn't just 'angst'. People want to see characters go on emotional journeys, but then when they encounter what may be the most difficult emotional journey there is, suddenly it's overbearing angst? I don't deny that orphaned characters have been done many times, but mostly by amateur writers who don't really know what they're dealing with and make it all weepy and clichéd. Poko wrote well enough to get into the competition in the first place, so I'd hope she can handle it better than that.

There's just been an enormous natural disaster, and many, many people will have died in it. It makes sense to me, that Poko would lose at least one of her parents. It's not like it just 'randomly' happened as a ploy to get rid of them. There's going to be very few survivors. But either way, it can't be changed now.

Quote
I just hope Poko's grief and guilt
Won't be the centres on which her story is built.

She seemed like a fun-loving kit
And I don't want her to lose that spirit!

I said this in my other review, but I think it would be in very bad taste for Poko to go back to her old self. Everyone I know who's had to cope with grief on this level has been completely changed by it. For me, it would just be excruciatingly unrealistic - even insensitive - to see Poko maybe have a post or two sniffling about it and then just get over it and become all chipper. No, her posts don't need paragraphs upon paragraphs of introspection about it, but it need to be there, constantly. I don't know. I'm thinking of when my mum lost her sister, and months later even when she laughed, you could tell there was something not quite there. That's what grief is. It suffocates your life. Even if you want to go back, you can't function in the same way again, possibly not for years.

I'm sorry to go on that melodramatic rant but I just feel quite strongly that Poko's author needs to be realistic about this. What's done is done. Her parents aren't coming back. And I don't want to see her trying to sweep it under the carpet because she's scared that she'll come across as 'angsty' if she actually tries to write what Poko has to be feeling.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 02:31:42 AM by Aleisou »

Balmafula

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 10:08:05 AM »
I don't think the deaths were random as much as manipulative, I guess. At least 9 creatures survived, so why not one more?

I never said she should go back to being exactly how she was before, and I understand that yeah, it's a truly devastating moment and should leave an impact. That's why I said she should grow from the experience. I didn't mean she should ignore it. Even people who lose family members still smile and live their lives, even if they're thinking about it all the time. People react to grief in different ways, too.

...Anyway, she might be thinking about it all the time, but there is still an entire PERSON that exists beyond that grief. The whole idea I'm coming to is this. Should she get over it right away? 'gates no. Should she spend her posts in a state of stupefied sadness to the point where she doesn't do anything? No. Should she still sometimes crack a smile and act like a curious and mischievous little kid? Yes.

Quote
She seemed like a fun-loving kit
And I don't want her to lose that spirit!

She didn't say go back to how she was and not change in anyway. Just to not lose her spirit - I think that's not too much to ask for.

TNT

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 11:00:38 AM »
I should probably point out that death is also the one common theme that runs through ever survivor contest ever. In essence, these stories are all about experiencing and reacting to death. I don't think it was such an excessive thing for her to kill her parents off; the mortality rate is so high it probably would've gotten to them eventually anyway. I still think this can be something that really defines Poko, and changes her for better or worse. Will she mature, will she become resentful, or will she just go batpoo insane? People react to death in so many different ways. She doesn't have to angst, even if she's grieving. People make jokes at funerals all the time, laughing through their tears as they remember the lives of the ones they've lost. Grief is a complicated thing.
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Balmafula

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Re: Stonewall's Lair (Of Reviews)
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2013, 12:18:32 PM »
Please don't have her go insane XD That's kind of a slippery slope that's really hard to do well. Not saying that you can't, but... just think before you do it. Unless that was your plan all along!