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New plan: We actually decided that Irene will become trapped in the bathroom due to a sudden and unprecedented lock failure, and we will spend our time on the phone with the landlord trying to figure out if any locksmiths are available on Halloween.

Challenges for V6
I'd love one if you're up. My concepts tend to slide a llloootttt, so I can't promise I'll actually go through with it and want to give appropriate forewarning, but I'm always down for ideas. :)

I'm probably gonna be a detective, same as every year. Good day for a trench coat too, since it's raining. I love Halloween but hate planning things in advance so my costumes are all stuff from the closet.

Should be a fun evening. We're going out to a few places and then baking hideous rainbow cake.

National Novel Writing Month 2014
I think NaNo's a great project if approached with the right attitude. It's pretty much aimed at getting people who don't attempt such projects to actually try creative things, or at serving as an external motivation to those who stall. I think the key things to internalize, though, are that if you fail to hit 50,000, hey, you're still [however many words you did write] above where youd'v'e been otherwise. I'm a bit cavalier abut the rules and requirements, I guess, because I've done it three or four times in the past (and gave up a quarter through another when I realized I wasn't writing very well).

That said, I'm sitting this year out, I think. Maybe I'll aim for 50k of various site things I owe or school stuff, but probably not. NaNo is great fun, but unfortunately my other creative responsibilities go very poorly with burning through first drafts, and I'd end up feeling bad if I put NaNo ahead of stuff.

Good luck to those attempting it, though! I know you all have it in you, and I can't wait to hear about your results. :)

V5 Twentieth Rolls
As promised, here is the final roll thread of V5, presented publicly for curiosity's sake.

V5 Final Four/Endgame Discussion Thread
V2 was a little different, yeah.It's not that she had no chance of winning upon reaching it so much as that the Endgame winner discussion was made public so everyone already knew the results. Part of this was because they asked the site about making changes based on the rolls; back in V2 there was no established Endgame segment and staff just sort of continued rolling characters without much provision for cooperation. After V2, it became a little bit more formalized.

V5 Final Four/Endgame Discussion Thread
It is indeed the first time on Main to have two kill-less kids, but V2's Whitney Acosta also had no kills heading into Endgame, I'm pretty sure, so there's some precedent for that at least.

I'm super stoked to see what this crew pulls out. Lots of good writing to bring us to this point, and I'm really excited to see how V5 wraps.

Ask a Mod
Oct 29 2014, 04:13 PM
Well, not on staff, but I think that boxers are comfier than briefs, although frankly men's underwear in general is way comfier than women's. Probably more than you guys ever wanted to know. :)
Banned for speaking for staff/spilling confidential staff secrets. >:C

Birthday Threads and Security
You can indeed still post to archived Birthday threads.

Ask a Mod
Heya! This is a cool suggestion, and actually ties into a thing we had planned back in early V5. I'll see if I can drum up some interest in reviving that. That said, I'd like to ask everyone to take it a bit easy at the moment.

The big issue with staff replies is that they're rarely a one-person affair unless it's something where we already have a set of protocols completely written up. As such, any reply involves some fairly intensive drafting/discussion. I'm bumping back the old staff lounge thread to see what we can do there (turns out to be even older than I thought--December 2012. Whoops! ><), but there's a pretty good chance any such thread won't be much faster than PMing and won't involve off the cuff rulings simply because we like to make really sure anything incorporated into precedent is thought through completely.

MW's Tiny Critiques: Strength/Weakness
Anzu Sakamoto

Strength: Anzu's part of what is probably TV2's most overall identifiable unit, which moves from pregame into the game proper. The band and related characters have some major ups and downs, but Anzu generally manages to be on the right side of their scenes. She plays into things, has a strong and consistent voice, and can let her quirkiness take the back seat when it's time to be more serious. She's at her best when she's being unobtrusive, when she's sort of middle of the pack, balancing the more extreme stances of the others. The band is interesting in that there's no one standout spotlight character, and Anzu can hold the ball when it's her turn in the focus and support her threadmates when it's not.

Weakness: Anzu's big emotional high points/center stage moments really don't work very well for me, especially during and right after the dissolution of the group. Specifically, her reaction to Caroline's death is this odd form of denial, but her posts around that part of her story become a lot more minimal and exclude the reader from the thought processes necessary to rationalize viewing her best friend as alive despite having seen her shot. We only see the stubborn, insane insistence. Unfortunately, this leaves it feeling like perhaps the reason these rationalizations are excluded is that there's no clear idea behind them. I'm really glad to see Anzu pushed away from Caroline's body and back into a slightly more rational groove, because while she was going nuts, she felt a lot less real and deeply-considered than she has at most other points in her story.

MW's Tiny Critiques: Strength/Weakness
Paisley Hopkins

Strength: Paisley conveys some really good emotion and care, especially when it comes to Tucker and Pia. She's a character with strong conceptual connections, and they inform her story without dominating it. This gives Paisley some real thrust and motivation in almost every scene, all the while providing some good reasons for her to keep moving and think about the big deals in the game (like the fact that she can't come out of it along with everyone important to her--this actually works out pretty well with her never figuring out Tucker's on her team). I also rather appreciate that, at least so far, she's never linked up with him; there's a real tendency to neatly resolve searcher plotlines, and I like seeing one left dangling.

Weakness: Paisley's story handles issues of morality rather weirdly. The whole time we're with Paisley, she comes off as really scared and almost naive, yet she goes along with the plan Matt pitches and Pia continues without ever really dwelling on it in any concrete way. Sure, she isn't super happy and sometimes gets upset by Pia killing people, but the fact that Pia is killing real people never seems to quite settle in for Paisley and that can leave things feeling pretty awkward. When there are attempts made at delving into what she's doing, they don't quite connect, either. This is especially the case in the scene with Genni, where a much more violent and assertive side of Paisley rears its head out of nowhere only to vanish beneath the surface again pretty quickly. I almost wish Paisley had gotten the kill herself, because that might have forced her to grapple with it in a more concrete and real way.

BDA Voting Thread #10
A bit late, but luckily there's no new contest to butt up against it. Voting runs for three days.

V5 Twentieth Rolls
One day, ten hours, and twenty-five minutes for deaths.

V5 Twentieth Rolls
Two days, eleven hours, and fifty-three minutes for deaths. If you are waiting on the completion of another scene, I highly recommend getting some pre-writing done at this stage so you can just copy/paste things over and be sure to hit deadline.

While I was digging through the GD board cleaning up birthday threads, I came across a couple blasts from the past when Tear was core on Sona and Rattle was a jungle main.

Birthday Threads and Security
I went ahead and archived them. I figure new threads can sit in Fun and Games for a week or two, so they get noticed, and then can be shuffled into the archive. This is of course all open to change; the threads would be very easy to put back.

For those curious, birthday threads comprised about 50% of the GD board, but interesting about 80% of them were in the most recent third of the section, meaning birthday threads have been massively more popular in the last 2-3 years, and at the same time other threads have been notably less common.

MW's Tiny Critiques: Strength/Weakness
Meera Steele

Strength: Meera's a really good team member. Her narrative adapts smoothly to the flows of scenes she's in, and she adds spice and movement without needing to stand in the spotlight all the time, or even much at all. She also adapts well to changes in the group, stepping up more and assuming a larger role as Paulo, Garrett, and Joey drop out of the picture. She's just a really competently-executed kid in most situations, because her handler is good at reading what's going on and working in concert with it as opposed to struggling against it. I can't really emphasize enough how good that sort of thing is for scenes, even if it rarely produces the most talked-about characters.

Weakness: Meera's death is kind of a mess. It feels like a pretty huge mismatch of killer to scene, in that neither Meera and Rosemary nor the softball clique really have any reason to be that belligerent to each other. They dance back and forth, trying to figure out who's going to be the unreasonable one, and there's never really a good feeling of the stakes involved. Why is leaving such a big issue? Why are both sides throwing so many jabs? There are answers to these things, but they don't feel very natural to Meera, and the whole death feels kind of forced. For a kid who's usually strongest working in concert with scenes, it's a bit of a disappointing note to close on.

MW's Tiny Critiques: Strength/Weakness
Matt Vartoogian

Strength: I've said it before, but Matt represents one of the gutsiest long games in SOTF history, in and out of character. He lays out his plan to wait out the worst stages of the game at the very start, and then generally follows through, laying low and occasionally prodding others into taking risks he'd rather not involve himself in. That's a really interesting concept, and the fact that Matt was indeed able to make his late-game villain turn and offer any payoff on what's been building so long is really cool. I'd also like to put in a good word about the route there on a character level, because it would have been so easy to make Matt pragmatic to the point of sociopathy, but instead we see him reconsidering, feeling bad, and staying the course nonetheless. It's the sort of thing I like seeing in almost all villains.

Weakness: The problem with a kid laying low and playing smart is that at times it can be less than enthralling reading. Matt's at his best when he's working within a larger group, first with Jesse and then with Garrett, because that gives him something to push up against (he is, after all, secretly working at cross purposes to them). When he's on his own, or just with Finn, Matt often feels like he's just drifting until the time is right to switch on. This is especially tricky with Finn, because there's a ton of foreshadowing and build-up of something bigger coming but, as I mentioned upthread, Finn just sort of suddenly ditches Matt. This makes a lot of the awkward getting-to-know-each-other feel like the wrong focus, since it doesn't illuminate too much about either of them, beyond suggesting growing affection for Finn on Matt's part (which, again, kinda falls apart when they split) I'd say from the time he leaves his last big group to the time he actually sets up a nest and starts taking shots, Matt feels like he's just spinning his wheels most of the time.

MW's Tiny Critiques: Strength/Weakness
Lily Ashburg

Strength: Lily's got a story with a lot of good emotional points, and what works best is when she does something that doesn't immediately seem to be in character but that, upon further reflection, is a totally natural extension of who she is. Most of this has taken the form of Lily being snippier at Dougie than expected, first snapping at him on the beach and then leaving him in her most recent thread. Since she's usually on roughly the same page as him, this works pretty well, making her feel human and avoiding a lot of the pitfalls of typical in-game long term team-ups, which can often feel too perfect or see the characters have only perfunctory quarrels.

Weakness: Lily's story is super insular, with her and Dougie ditching almost everyone they meet in short order. More than that, her personal narrative is really heavily centered on him, which can lead to her feeling like an island apart from the game. Her posts tend to focus on him to the point that other elements of her character and plot fall by the wayside, even when they really shouldn't. Big stuff will happen, like people she traveled with coming up as dead on the announcements, and she'll note it in the moment but its lasting impact ends up basically zero. This is unfortunate and misses some big opportunities to make her story feel more rounded and complete.

I can't believe you made me do this even though we talked about it in person. >:C