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Pregame Timeline/Schedule Idea?
And, whoops, cross-posted.

A big thing here is that V5 pregame's got a lot of firsts in it. We've never had students campaign for positions before. Prom wasn't even roleplayed before V4. Pregame itself came around in V2 (where it was very dramatic in many cases, and much more along the lines of the over the top flashbacks in the BR manga). V3 was a huge step forward for overall realism standards in the game, but that was not closely monitored or enforced until the game was well underway. Pregame was overall quite similar to V2's (in fact, the impression I get is that V3's pregame contributed greatly to the realism kick due to its lack thereof).

V4's pregame was really, really weird. Having seen the whole thing through, I can say it was a huge learning experience. It led to some changes (this is why we have a teacher roster for V5, as well as rough guidelines about class selection and languages offered and such), but we definitely still have a long way to go. I think this idea would help us out quite a bit. :)

Pregame Timeline/Schedule Idea?
I think it's a great idea for future games. I'm even willing to put in some effort to make it happen if someone reminds me. Another thing is sports seasons. We're all over the place on them in pregame, though I understand they're normally pretty rigid (that said, I have no clue what any of them are).

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Little, I actually think that is quite astute. I also think it's really good that you address letting other characters influence things, as I think that's a very important element to keeping a character dynamic and I think it's something that is often sort of left by the wayside.

Rattle: That's a very interesting idea. I've had a lot of times where I've had issues with a character but not known how I should bring them up, or if they even bear mentioning in the first place. I've had characters rub me the wrong way for very minor reasons, and SOTF as a community often doesn't really have anywhere to say things like that. In one way, it's great that everyone's friends and is supportive and such. On the other, most of us are too polite a lot of the time, too willing to sugar coat so as to avoid hurting feelings. I know I'm really guilty of that, because I usually want to like the writing here.

D/N: Those issues are very good points. I've had experience with the "I want you to let me effortlessly improve" thing, and it is no fun at all. I've been very frustrated a few times when someone requested my help on a critique, then spent the whole time I was trying to help them arguing with what I said and trying to justify their choices. There's nothing wrong with being set in your ways, but don't then ask for a critique while really just wanting validation.

David Anderson

William Tyler Folley
This character biography has had no alterations for more than two weeks and has been put in the abandoned characters forum. This profile is eligible for resubmission by the handler upon alterations requested from the staff.

Boys Soccer Captain Election
We're actually doing team votes by handler, not character. Team positions are usually not elected in actual high schools. The only reason we're restricting the elections to those involved in the teams is that they're gonna be the ones RPing with the determined situations. :)

Girls Track Captain Election
We separated it into Boys and Girls, because they were nominated separately. We can assume that there's a captain of each gender, as track is fairly big and someone's gotta keep order in the lockers.

V4 Read-A-Thon: The Reboot
Here you go:


Shangela: Anna Chase (V4 Start)

V4 Read-A-Thon: The Reboot
Here you go!


CondorTalon: Maf Tuigamala (V4 Start)

MurderWeasel's Post Clinic
Hey, everyone! As I mentioned before, I feel like the best sort of critique is the pickiest. I am a picky person with very strong opinions on writing. As such, I'd like to offer any advice/assistance I can to anybody who wants it. At the same time, I wouldn't quite feel comfortable going around dropping in to critique characters really harshly without knowing 100% the handler in question is cool with it. Basically, I read posts like I read profiles. If I've critiqued one of you profiles in V5, you've probably got a pretty good idea what that means.

So, with this combined with the general lack of activity in the critiques subforum, I want to try something a little bit different. I want to start a thread offering critiques, rather than requesting them.

I'd like to focus on individual posts for now, because they are small enough units that I can manage them pretty well and get into as much depth as I feel like. Basically, if you want a detailed critique of a single post, past or present, Mini or Main, let me know and I'll do it. Only thing is, I'll be going into full and honest detail, warts and all. I'll likely focus more on what I'm not a huge fan of, because that's where I can do more. I'll be totally honest no matter how good a friend you are, though I will always strive to avoid being either rude or mean. Post critiques will probably read like a cross between one of my profile critiques and one of my posts over in The General Discussion Thread.

Also, I'm going to ask that each handler only ask for one post critique at the moment. This is going to be a fairly low priority for me, but I feel that I should really give back some more and help out the critique forum.

Finally, because I understand folks can prefer discussing stuff in private, I'm fine with doing critiques over PM. If you want me to give something a look, post here or PM me with a link to the post in question. If it's from V4/V5/anything on Mini, there is no need to summarize the scenario as I have already read everything and have a good memory for SOTF.

...yeah, that's basically it. :)

SOTF-TV Mafia: Game Thread
The night was still. Almost too still, in fact. Mikaela Warner was trying to be stealthy. She wanted to do what she could for the other students. They weren't all crazy, not yet. Maybe there was still time to make a difference, to head off all this madness. After all, hadn't she wanted to save lives? Wasn't that what she had worked so hard for?

Mikaela was still nervous, though. There was a lot that could go wrong. She clutched her assigned shuriken to her chest, though she knew she would have no chance of defending herself with them if her opponent was better-armed than she.

This was why she had to bite back a panicked scream when she bumped into the boy carrying the rifle.

"P-pardon me," Mikaela said. "I didn't mean to... I'm sorry."

"No," the boy said.

"W-what?" Mikaela said.

"Ah, sorry," the boy mumbled. Then his voice picked up a bit. "I was rude. I'm Vincent Sullivan. What I meant to say was, 'No, you're not sorry'."

"I'm not?" Mikaela asked, totally confused.

"Not compared to how sorry you're about to be," Vincent said, smiling.

Mikaela had only a moment to pale in fear before Vincent shot her point-black in the face. Her last thought was how wrong this was. She was supposed to help people, not be murdered.

Somewhere else in the night, Jhamel Thompson smiled. He was after the girl. He'd caught a glimpse of her earlier, after her last kill. It had taken him a lot of work to find her trail, but now he had her in his sights. She was resting in a grove of trees up ahead. Something about her was a little familiar, a little disconcerting, but it was too late to turn back now. He'd wanted to join a gang, to prove he was hard. What better way than to put down some sick dog of a murderer?

He moved closer, walking stealthily, letting his feet fall softly. He was perhaps twenty feet away from where he thought she lay when his foot caught something, some unexpected resistance. It didn't trip him, but from up ahead there was a rattling crash, as something unseen toppled.

In an instant of sick curiosity, Jhamel bent down and saw that his foot had snagged a piece of fishing line. Then, the gunfire started.

From what little he knew of guns, this seemed excessive and panicked. About ten shots flew in his general direction. Only one got him, but it got him good, catching his shoulder and spinning him around and dropping him to the dirt. His own gun flew from his hand, landing just a bit out of reach. He tried to crawl for it, but it was too late. The girl was there, was somehow in front of him, between him and his gun.

Jhamel blinked. He knew her. She was from his school. She'd always been quiet. She'd always seemed a little scared of the world. He'd figured she wouldn't last too long. He'd never expected this.

Funny how things turned out.

"Karen," he gurgled, "What--why? What made yo'--"

Then he fell silent, mostly because she pumped another three shots into his head.

Sideliner, RD5: Mikaela Warner (Doctor)
Fioriboy, RD3: Jhamel Thompson (Tracker)

22 alive means 12 for a lynch. The day phase ends on Tuesday, June 5 at 4:00 GMT.

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
A thing that I think is important to note is that there are many more ways that people evolve than just interests. I know that I do not think or talk the same way now that I did when I was young (in fact, when I was younger I was much more of a pushy person, and I tended to try to prove my maturity by citing concepts I had only a loose understanding of. Sometimes this turned out well, other times I still get grief about (like the time when I was four and threatened very loudly to sue my grandmother for child abandonment wen she tried the old "Well if you're not ready to leave, I'm going without you!" trick). Where I'm going here is, there's a huge amount of stuff to consider with a character's evolving point of view.

As to Laure's question: I'm not entirely sure what's meant by flexible in this context. That said, I try to make my characters as realistic as possible. That means they've all got a bunch of interests and mode of interacting. Someone won't be the same if they had a great day as they will if they overslept and had to run all the way to school and then realized they forgot their lunch. One of my bigger SOTF pet peeves is the flat character. Usually, it's a character who is silly, peppy, and fun, even if it makes absolutely no sense for the situation.

Basically, if characters are people, then they're gonna be weird. Sometimes, they're gonna do things that seem terribly out of character, because sometimes people do weird things. The challenge for the writer is to roll with that, to make it understandable and relatable and stop all the readers from calling you out for screwing up. You've got to make it make sense.

I always write characters who can change. Anything else defeats the purpose of collaborative writing entirely. That said, they change in different ways depending on what happens. Some elements of characters are key to their identities. Some are just acts they don't have much emotional attachment to. Sometimes, what changes a character isn't the big dramatic stuff. One of the biggest unexpected twists in a character came about for me as the result of a really calm conversation on day ten of V4. It ended up shaping the entire rest of the game for the character in question.

Here's another question from me, and it's a total tangent:

How honest do folks like their critiques? To be completely forthright, one of the big reasons I have not done very much in the critique forum is that I can be frightfully critical and blunt. This comes in large part from school; I'm not sure how many people know this, but I've got a BA in English and followed the creative writing track, meaning a very large part of my college experience involved telling people exactly what was wrong with their writing. I approach reading SOTF from the perspective of somebody who assumes that everyone involves wants to improve as a writer, and I know that when I want to improve I don't want to be coddled. I want crushing honesty, and I've got people who preread my stuff sometimes who I know will be crushingly honest (as an example, one of my editors for V4 epilogue stuff went, "This isn't very good. You should rewrite it." and was totally correct, and I ended up scrapping about 5,000 words of work). When I critique profiles, I'm only toning my picky-ness and awareness up a little bit, and I'm phrasing everything in a very detached and polite manner, because professionalism is very important.

What I'm driving at here is, is that I'm wondering if there'd be any interest among handlers in tough critiques. I want to avoid hurting feelings, because nobody likes that, but I also don't feel like speaking my mind in anything but full if I'm gonna take a long time to go over something. I was considering starting a thread making some offers in the critiques forum, maybe trying something a bit different there, but I want to make sure that a. people would be interested and b. it would be helpful.

Phew. Apologies for the thread hijacking.

SOTF-TV Mafia: Game Thread
Nine hours to go, and I'm still waiting on a lot of night actions.

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
At my school, they just had a boatload of secondhand clothes they'd give to kids when they had accidents or whatever. Now that I think of it, I've got no clue where they came from. Perhaps they just raided the lost and found or something. There were spare clothes to be had, though.

The Party Was Over Then, Too
It turned out that Michael had decided to go after Juliana at complete random, rather than due to any specific malice or ongoing feud. Steven was, in a strange way, glad to hear that. It made Michael a sporadic jerk rather than a complete asshole. He'd still have to keep his eyes on the boy. A short temper combined with some wrestling moves could make for a very problematic combination, assuming this was more than a single bad day.

That was all fodder for the future. At present, Juliana was still talking, explaining that the book was good but a bit over her head. Steven could relate to that. He felt the same way with many of the classics they read in English. Yeah, some of what he read for personal amusement was complicated in its own right, but in a very different way from the works he was assigned.

Ah well. At least Juliana seemed happy now. She even cracked a joke.

"You know," Steven said, "I'm not even sure what that is. I mean, it sounds like something I've got way inside, probably producing chemicals that keep me alive or something, but I figure if it's working right, no need to worry, you know? I mean, if you want, I can give your homework a go. I figure it doesn't count as cheating if I've guaranteed to be detrimental to your grade."

He flashed Juliana a bright smile, just to make sure she knew he was kidding. Then he continued on, answering her question.

"Nah, the reason I'm really here is I thought this could be some secret teeming hotbed of Prom activity. I'm with the paper, writing some stuff on the biggest night of our high school lives, and wouldn't you know, some days there just aren't any dramatic date proposals to spy on."

Prom and Student Government/Team Positions
Elections are open.

Prom and Student Government/Team Positions
Positions have been announced and polls made. The presidential election will be up shortly. If you wish to have a character in a position that has not yet been discussed or claimed, please PM a staffer to discuss it. The polls will run for one week. Thank you for your time.

Also, this isn't 100% official, but I suspect Prom will be pushed back a week to allow the polls to close before it, as some positions could be relevant (say, knowing who's dating the football captain or whatever).

Boys Soccer Captain Election
This is a poll to decide the position of Boys Soccer Captain.

The candidates are:
a. Owen Kay
b. Miles Strickland and Francis St. Ledger (co-captains)

Please remember that you may only vote if you have a character who participates in the activity in question. To vote, please post your vote and the name of your character who participates in the activity. This poll will run for one week.

Football Captain Election
This is a poll to decide the position of Football Captain.

The candidates are:
a. Cody Patton
b. Mike Whaley

Please remember that you may only vote if you have a character who participates in the activity in question. To vote, please post your vote and the name of your character who participates in the activity. This poll will run for one week.

Debate Club President Election
This is a poll to decide the position of Debate Club President.

The candidates are:
a. Zubin Wadia
b. Naomia Bell

Please remember that you may only vote if you have a character who participates in the activity in question. To vote, please post your vote and the name of your character who participates in the activity. This poll will run for one week.