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The V5 Read-A-Thon; Lets goooo for it
Topic Started: Apr 2 2017, 10:02 PM (6,072 Views)
Ruggahissy
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Gimmie
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I finished Carlon


So more so now than usual, this one is down to personal preference I think. I did not enjoy reading Carlon. A huge part of why I didn't like reading Carlon was the writing style. The writing style is very dense and spends a lot of time inside Carlon's head without connecting enough to the external things going on in the scenes. However, though we spend so much time in his head the way it's written keeps the reader sort of at arm's length so it's very descriptive about his thoughts and thought process, but we don't really learn a whole lot about Carlon deeply. He has a habit of repeating the same thoughts, but nothing really progressing with them which can become boring. I think if he'd made it farther to a point where he'd start having more psychological trauma, it might have been more interesting then.

For how much description there is of Carlon, there wasn't a lot of external description and that meant sometimes I wasn't super clear on where he was or what he was doing. He also doesn't have a lot of dialogue with other characters and the dialogue he does have is very formal. That follows with his character as being like, a smarty pants but it's always super formal which I think someone might drop in times of distress like having someone shoot at your foot.

The style is kind of claustrophobic and there would be one paragraph relating to what was going on, then paragraphs of self-reflection which results in a scene that would take up about 5 minutes of real time seeming to be much much longer.

There were some things I did like. I liked Imehal's approach to Carlon's religious side and how he knew Hansel was a church going boy and wanted to believe he was good even after he shot Daniel who was also a friend. I thought it was interesting how he really wanted to believe the best of the people who had been named as killers on the announcements going so far as to not trust the terrorists's word on who was a killer. I liked his slight condescending attitude towards Alex, telling her they could "Talk like adults" about something later.

His death had a lot of the same issues that the rest of his short run had and I found Alex and Kam to be more engaging because their flow was much easier to read. Carlon had good character elements and wasn't bad, but some of the things about the way he was written made him somewhat of a slog for me.


ANOTHER, BARTENDER
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Ruggahissy
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Paulo Abbate

I kind of fell in love with this stupid jerk during pregame. He was very strong in his pregame run. He had a big personality that was goofy but also had an air of relatability. It was established early on that he fronts like he knows what he's doing with fighting, but actually knows nearly nothing about how to properly fight. He wants to be a fighter to be closer to the dad he never knew but his mother shut down any avenues he would have had to become a real fighter and so he has to piece together how to do it from youtube videos and books.

Besides having a very strong personality, a solid voice and an intriguing backstory (I am patron saint of kids with daddy issues) I have a personal bias in favor of Outfoxd's writing style. We write very similarly with a sparse, minimalistic style that isn't very descriptive but conveys a lot of character information. The reason why we're so similar in our writing is probably because we're both trained as journalists and both work(ed) at newspapers (Outfoxd got a better gig and quit the newspaper biz). Newspaper writing is very direct and any purple prose is beat out of you with a copy of an AP Style Guide.

Anyway, moving into the game proper, he meets up with Becca and it's a strong partnership. I wasn't super crazy about some slightly too silly moments (like him singing Baby Got Back and My Humps in his head while looking at Becca) but otherwise, good start. It establishes up front that he's actually scared out of his mind, but acting more matcho than ever to try and cover and he's all-around unsure of himself becaue he doesn't think he's clever enough to find a way off the island.

Then we hit a rough patch. After Becca dies Paulo suddenly drops off the next couple threads only posting every couple posting cycles while Rosemary and Meera do most of the talking and posting. There's still some good stuff as Becca's death kickstarts him into realizing people are really dying and he needs to find his sister ASAP as well as making him want to avenge Becca as the only girl who gave him the time of day. However, we see a whole lot less of him from here until his death and he suffers for it. Some OOC notes in the posts indicate that Outfoxd knows he's not posting enough and he tells people to skip over him.

The death is actually really good. Ian is great as the other half and I like how naturally it escalates. Paulo tells him to fuck off, Ian agrees to leave, Paulo makes a big show of his superiority so Ian says something sarcastic as he leaves and it enrages Paulo who wants to take his anger out on someone, anyone. There's even really cool symmetry in the match since both have some form of fighting training and both of those fighting styles relate back to their fathers. Both boys are worried how their fathers will feel watching the fight.

Paulo's death post itself could have used a little more, it's just a few lines about how he falls to his death.

All in all, Paulo had a really strong start and then kind of faded in the middle. I wish Outfoxd had kept it up and if he had, it would have been nice to see Paulo go farther since he had a lot of character stuff that wasn't delved into.

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THOUGHT I WAS DEAD DID YOU?

I finished Casey Malkovich.

She had a base that I dug, someone who had under the surface problems but tried to live with a cheerful sheen over the top so as not to be a bother and also kind of hoping that pretending would translate into true cheer. She starts off being discovered by Carlos and in short order her friend Alice also comes up. They are together as a group from this point on until Casey dies.

From here they move on to another location that's boarded up by another group who tell them to kick rocks. They do and go to an office building. In the office building Kat and Miranda catch sight of them from a lower floor through the window so they leave again to the homestead. Here, Casey accidentally falls through some floor boards, trapping her in the house just as it becomes a danger zone and she dies.

The group is a nice group and I have to say Alice is my favorite member with Casey a close second. I liked how no-nonsense she was and the writing was engaging for her. At one point I was scared during a scene transition that Alice wouldn't be with the group, but then she was.

Anyway, Casey. She's a low-key character that doesn't really have a lot of action in her story. I like her arc of learning to combat her own lack of faith in herself and I think my favorite thing about her is probably her death. She has a lot of good introspective moments like when the terrorists pretend to set off the collars she finds herself ok with it, and then gets upset with herself for being so comfortable with the idea of dying. At first I wasn't sure how to feel about her death. She dies from an accident, she's startled by the morning announcement, trips, and then falls into the floorboards while on the second floor of the house just as the place is declared a danger zone. Alice tearfully says goodbye to her and unfortunately Carlos says nothing because there's a placeholder post. Casey has around 30 seconds to think and she's proud of herself that she didn't make a scene and let Alice and Carlos go quickly so they could escape and not feel guilt. She also thinks about how her time on the island was boring and in being boring, she has a victory over the terrorists. She wasn't entertaining and she didn't kill, so she's basically not a contributor to their game.

I do think that avoiding all the characters they came across was a missed opportunity for some interesting interactions. They leave a group that's barricaded behind some stores when they are asked to keep moving, leave as soon as Kat and Mirranda spot them and don't interact with Stephanie when she knocks on their door. I know there are probably OOC reasons for a lot of these like in the last case the location becoming a danger zone, which prompts Randomness to get Stephanie out of there.

Casey and her group are good but sort of mellow. If that sounds like something you'd like, give them a try. I feel like my review this time wasn't as focused as some of my others, so apologies.

[Special mention that I loved a running gag where any time the group has to run or exit quickly they are all WINDED shortly after because all three of them are extremely unfit ]

Gimmie another.
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Ruggahissy
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I finished Brian.

He makes me uniquely angry in the way that Alex hockeyplayer from v2 makes me angry because there is a lack of trying. An explanation:

Brian has a total of 6 threads before the game starts that are memory threads as well as pregame threads. Of those 6, 4 have heavy involvement from Ruby Forrester, one she appears in at the very end and one she does not appear in at all. And even in the thread she does not appear in, she is mentioned 18 times (I CTRL F'd for Ruby's name and that's how often it showed up). Ruby and Brian are written by the same handler, Fiori.


Let's start at the start. Brian is the son of Russian immigrants and lives in a very Russian-y part of Washington but moves because his mom dies and his father quits his job (why? I had a single parent who worked. This is the fault of the staffer who did this one which searching tells me is Crash) and then gets a new job in Seattle. Brian is into sports and stuff.

The first bit of pregame is a bowling thread, then two threads that are just Brian and Ruby and no other writers except Fiori. What happens is Brian and Ruby are dating, Ruby calls Brian to tell him to meet her at McDonalds so she can break up with him because she's been doing *something* with Reagan (more than hand holding, less than sex from what I can gather). He says he's busy and he'll meet her in 1 hour but telling him she's gay CANNOT WAIT so she goes to his house with a door that is open and sees him gay making out with an NPC and she is inexplicably very upset even though she was going to break up with him for gay reasons.

They make up in the next thread though he like, wants to know if they can still make it work at first which, no, she's gay. And you were both gay cheating on each other.

It's very weird because the narrative tries to get you on Ruby's side and like, Ruby is so hurt about this extreme betrayal....and also she went there to break up anyway.

In pregame proper we rip Brian away from Ruby and start to get a little bit of a feel for him. My favorite part is when he talks to Ryan in the diner and Ryan tells Brian about how his life's goal is to become a pro runner and how he's dedicated his life to this goal. Brian then goes "Cool, guess I'll try that too" and Ryan is very annoyed that Brian decides on a whim to take up the goal he's worked on for years. Also Brian has no idea why Ryan gets frosty after.

In the next thread Brian helps Jasper, jerk person, to find his keys.

These are the two pre-island threads where Brian gets to not be with Ruby and I think they are the best indicators of his basic personality. He's a dummy, but a well-meaning dummy who believes the best of people.

Then there's a prom thread, but he doesn't do much.

On the island he wakes up, thinks about Ruby goes off. He encounters Zubin who is fine in this and they come upon Mallory, Stephanie and Nina. He and Mallory like each other but she wants to go off and do things. Zubin doesn't like that and makes some sense in his reasoning (???????) but she and Stephanie skip off and Nina goes off as well. Before she leaves she talks about how she encountered Hansel and is cautious of people but Brian argues that most people are probably ok and that people can be reasoned with, which is a nice trait. He's also into Zubin's escape plan because he'd rather try to cause as much trouble possible for the terrorists than try to hurt people.

Ruby soon appears. I haven't checked dates but I'm guessing this is after he's been rolled. She has Ami in tow and with Zubin, they bunker down.

The next morning Brian and Ruby are talking on the balcony, when Lana and a different Stephanie show up. Ruby recognizes that Lana has killed a single person and says she's going to open fire on the both of them if they don't leave in ten seconds. While counting down Brian asks her to reconsider and she tells him to shut the fuck up. While she's doing that, Stephanie, afraid they're about to be shot, shoots at Ruby. Brian shoves Ruby to the side and takes the bullet for her. He then falls off the balcony and lands on a soft bush. He thinks he's been shot in the lung but still has a very long speech about how he's always loved Ruby and she should live.

Ok.

Brian is constantly thrown under the bus from pregame til the end for Ruby. Sometimes they share a post and when that happens, he always gets shafted in favor of Ruby. Having two characters that interact a lot but share posts means the posts are really long (it's good to break things up for the reader) and Brian cedes time in favor of Ruby. In one case, he never even appeared as the point-of-view character in his own post. He's kind of bland through pregame and only starts to kind of a little bit come into his own once they are separated, but then he promptly dies. The thing that makes me the most grumpy is this from his death thread:

Brian
 
I just wanted to let you know that everything's going to be alright. I may have been doomed from the start, but you? You actually stand a chance! You're a smart girl, I know you can survive this.


What about him made him doomed from the start? He was athletic, well-liked, was doing perfectly fine until this point. He was always doomed because he was always going to take the place of Ruby. He was never intended to out-live her. Even inside the narrative, Ruby makes a bad choice and Brian pays for it. I read Ruby's reaction post and she takes zero responsibility for her part in Brian's death, just like when they broke up.

Gimmie another.

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Ruggahissy
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Yeah, I finished, oh yeah, I'm the president, oh yeah

[/Super Milk Chan references]

The profile describes her as arrogant, stubborn, smart, but not as smart as she may think, and someone who thinks she is better than everyone else. She also wants to be a doctor.

I read the pregame which kind of reminded me if like, David Lynch had just had the worst day of his life and then at the end of that day had to do stand-up comedy at a Medieval Times restaurant.

I was in her first pregame thread in which she screams at people to help her find things at a Bed Bath and Beyond. Paris manages to get rid of her through lies and she starts wondering about the weirdly complex names for the scents of the products. She ends up screaming in the store at Darren that something "Smells like freshly cut kitten." I'm not exaggerating on this one, the narrative says she screams it at him. It's so weird that it does kind of make me laugh.

The rest of the comedy doesn't go so far into "What am I watching?" territory so just ends up being a bit uncomfortable.

Next and probably the most relevant to the game, Travis and her get in a fight over space at the gazebo and he's a right douchebag, but she's so unreasonable I'm kind of siding with him. She challenges him to a duel and he's like "I'm not gonna duel you for standing in the gazeebo" which is fair. She tries to intimidate him with her expansive vocabulary

Aileen
 
"Travis, I am informed of the fact that you have a finite awareness of the English vocabulary. Assuredly, you would feel invidiousness. Yet I will be magnanimous and I may contemplate diminishing my speech to your standard. Accord?"
.

He's unimpressed.

Travis
 
...you sound absolutely fucking ridiculous. What kind of a teenager talks like that, seriously!? I mean, I know some stuck up bitches, don't get me wrong. But even Naomi, who is applying to Yale, doesn't talk like that."


Then she goes to the house of some dude she's never met before to ask him to fix her clock (not a euphemism) and while she's there she asks if he'll take her to prom and he says sure and then go to prom.

A lot of her pregame makes you kind of wonder if she hasn't been told by other people that she's behaving erratically and that it's not good for making friends.

GAME

She wakes up and she ends up buddying up with Owen. They come across Lauren and Aileen is hostile so Lauren wants to leave. When she sprints away she commands Owen to stop her but it's too late. Not sure what they'd have done if they caught her anyway. Next they find Naomi and Cammy who allow them to buddy up with them and possibly find escape, but Naomi says they cant waste resources finding people. Cammy thinks Naomi was too harsh in the way she spoke to Owen and departs.

Next morning the three wake up. Owen is crying because the announcements mentioned people he likes, Naomi is shaken, but trying to stay calm. Aileen is like "Good, less competition for me. Also she thinks about how if she had a gun she could boss people around to do what she wanted and if they didn't listen she'd shoot them. Naomi and Owen are unnerved.

Owen
 
"ďI... no, I didnít, I... How th-the hell are you still so c-calm?Ē Owen sputtered out at Aileen.

Naomi
 
But at the same time, Naomi had to wonder if Aileen was mentally subnormal. She was handling this all a little too easily.


They split up, gang! to search the apartments and when Aileen comes back to find Naomi she instead finds Summer is eating a bowl of Naomi spaghetti. Aileen thinks about how that's bad, but like, she doesn't need to worry does she? Owen walks up, screams, and runs away crying.

Aileen
 
"I swear revengeance upon you, vile villian! ...Later!"


Aileen leaves alone. We coming up on the turning point in Aileen's story so I want to talk about her dialogue for a moment. Up until "Things We Lost in the Fire" it's a chore to read. I know it's a choice on the part of both the writer and the character and it's supposed to be absurd but it just makes me cringe and it makes the first half of her story kind of hard to get through. Example:

Aileen
 
"Such copacetic clime! Alas, the state of affairs leaves scads of, er..." She had to think briefly about a synonym for "things". "scads of chattles and conditions to be desired."

"Sooooo...." She clasped her fingers. "I do hope that I have not disrupted a confabulation of significance, but I must catechize the whereabouts of a certain Owen Kay. He has gone astray after we witnessed Summer Simms devouring Naomi Bells."


It really grates after awhile and it doesn't help that she appears to have very little concern about the situation. I know the joke is supposed to be that she thinks she's better and smarter than people so this is how she shows it even though it sounds ridiculous and makes people not take her seriously, but it doesn't land with me. Comedy is subjective and I'm joyless.

She meets Joe and she and Joe travel together for awhile, during which time she starts talking like a normal person and that make it a bit easier of a read. Still difficult to mesh with her as a character because it doesn't feel like she has a lot of vulnerability, but that'll change a little in a minute. They come upon Owen yaaay, and Joe leaves but Hansel walks up with a hostage and says they need to give him their stuff or he'll kill her. Owen freaks out and hands over the stuff, Aileen tries for an attack, which is the first time I have related to her so far. Hansel shoots her in the leg. He's hit in the head by a golf ball by Sharon in the bushes and takes their stuff and leaves.

I don't know if Bik was out of town or what but it takes a long time to find out that Aileen was shot and we learn it from Owen because she doesn't get a post for awhile. In the next thread she's bandaged up and has a walking stick. I'm kind of sad we didn't see her pull a Helen and dig the bullet out herself since she wanted to be a doctor. Her medical knowledge actually never pays off.

Following the Hansel encounter her confidence is shaken and she finally starts treating the island as a legitimate threat. Still not good at socializing though. She comes across Jessica and says if she doesn't give them food, she'll kill her. Jessica sees Aileen's leg is hurt so she runs away. Maybe next time, Aileen.

Owen and Aileen are starving and head to the mall being inhabited by Ben Ward. He agrees to give them food and shelter if they'll barricade the mall for him. That's a really interesting set up and I like it. Aileen and Owen get to work and in no time they have the place barricaded, but seeing how they care for each other starts to drive Ben crazy with jealousy, so he leaves his brand new fortress to find (and kill) Janie, his friend from before. I like that too.

They continue making improvements to the fort when Joe and Travis turn up. Travis and Aileen have beef, but she's willing to let him in for food and shelter, because she likes Joe and recognizes the severity of the situation. Nice character development. They ask for a med kit for Aileen's leg and Travis is like "No" and Aileen is like "That's fine, I don't want your junk anyway" but Owen is angry that he's not willing to help them given the help they are offering and says only Joe can come in. More character development. Owen started island life as a crying jello pile so this is a change. He and Travis fight about his coming in and Travis tries to stab Owen with a scalpel, but Aileen gets in the middle of the fight to try and control the situation and ends up stabbed in the throat on accident.

I know this isn't an Owen write up, but I read the next thread he's in anyway (after a one shot) and in that one Travis kills him immediately. He calls for his new friend, not caring that letting Travis know he has a new companion means he's putting them in danger. He just wants someone to help him. Travis waits and if his new friend had come out to help him, he would have killed her immediately.

I only mention this because Aileen and Owen both have development on island but their development is exactly in the opposite directions. Owen starts as cowardly, sweet and trusting. Aileen starts as abrasive, paranoid and controlling. Aileen ends willing to compromise and she sacrifices herself for Owen's sake. Owen ends hardened, distrusting and willing to throw his new companion under the bus for a shot at survival.

I had this joke about making a cry counter for Owen, but he doesn't shed a tear after Aileen dies, just enters a trance state and buries her. Weirdly, I think he meant more to her than she did to him.

Aileen steadily improves in every thread starting from her truly baffling pregame to a decent character in her last thread. However, I can't recommend her because she's so uneven and it takes a long time to get to the point where she's an enjoyable character. I felt so alienated from Aileen a lot of the time I found myself clinging to Owen and Joe as the point of view characters. I would recommend Owen though and if you read him, you'll get her anyway. It's really commendable that Bik improved the way he did, but he has stronger v5 fare.

Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie
Edited by Ruggahissy, Sep 28 2017, 04:48 PM.
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Hello, I decided to take a break from the V1 read o thon do to this.

So Ian's profile is that of a fairly normal teenager with some interests. The most important ones are graffiti and old movies. It says he's really calm and gets along well with people. Not much of note. Onward.

He only has one pregame thread. Ian comes to the park and spray paints a cat on a wall. Pretty much everyone ignores this act. He goes and speaks to Arthur, Miranda, Kathryn and Joshua who never made it to game. I made an executive decision to skip/skim any Joshua posts over 1,000 words long because the kids are just talking in a park. Sorry, Nic.

Honestly, the ones I remember the most from this sequence are Miranda and Arthur. They steal the show character-wise. Ian is there and ends up going to breakfast with Joshua, Arthur and Kathryn. He tells some jokes that I don't think are funny, but seem like the kind of thing a teenager would say so it makes sense. Forward ho.

Ian wakes up on the island for the second time. He woke up once, decided that there was no point in getting up if he didnt know where he was going to go, and went back to sleep. I think he's sleeping partly in a shallow pool of sea water since his pants are wet, so he could have moved a little.

In due time James and Kathryn appear and shortly after Venice and Amy. James has a Clue board game for a weapon and the crew proceeds to spend one and a half pages just talking about Clue. James has never heard of Clue until now and Amy is getting more concerned about like, the death island thing.

As we go on it becomes clear that Ian feels nothing about being on this island. He just plain doesn't give a shit.

Ian
 

"You're all freaked about staying alive but there's no one in this immediate area who's going to kill us, and if there was, we'd be toast already, yeah?" Ian crossed his legs and sat on the ground in a firm, if foolish, decision. " Oh I don't know, someone with legs could walk up and kill you but what are the odds amirite?


He does casually think that maybe he might kill people later though?
Ian
 
"Sup Kat? I mean," he shrugged a bit sheepishly, "besides the obvious, I guess." He scratched the back of his neck, wondering why this whole thing felt so awkward. Ian wasn't terrible at the whole making-new-friends thing, and these weren't even new people just -- new circumstances, really. Awkward new circumstances. Ian wasn't going to kill anyone, he knew that much. There was no way he had the stomach for it. I might get desperate enough entered his mind, and he shooed it away
.

For awhile I thought he was just fronting about not caring about the situation but apparently that's not the case?

Ian
 
It wasn't like he was in denial, or anything. Denial was pointless and ridiculous. There wasn't anyone who was going to rescue them, and there wasn't any way of stopping people from killing, so far as Ian could see. It was kill or be killed -- and Ian had cherry bombs, and James had Clue. What are you gonna do, someone comes and points a gun at you, shoots you in the head? There's nothing you can do.


Well they play some games of Clue and then finally sleep. When they wake up in the morning Ian finds that he's still not concerned and even after hearing the list of the dead he doesn't feel anything for any of them either, just mildly glad he's not on the list.

Then people go their separate ways. Shout out to James who is my favorite character in this scene, exasperated by the Clue talk and worried and paranoid in a charming way. He at one point kind of hopes a killer comes in just to interrupt the endless Clue talk.

I feel alienated from Ian at this point because it is difficult for me to care about someone who does not care. Even if you have decided that it is pointless and you should just focus on having a good time before you die, I don't think it's possible to completely forget about your circumstances and that would still poke in now and then.

Next thread is a one shot. Ian decides he'll go at it alone and seems to be slightly more paranoid than before which is an emotion.

Next thread he comes across Tyler, he of the flicker eyes, Cass and Alex. These three are FIGHTING. Alex is trying to come up with an escape plan and Tyler is calling her a dumb bitch and Alex isn't helping. Ian decides to walk up and sit near them, but he's mostly ignored. He's getting more and more paranoid because he's been alone for three days, snaps and yells at them

Ian
 
"You kill this early and people will call you on it! They'll hunt you!" He had no idea where the words were coming from, could follow no straight line of thought. "You gotta wait till there's no other option, that's the only safe way to do things!"


So I guess he's cool with killing now as long as it's near the end. Bit of a leap. I do see how isolation for two days could start to change his way of thinking, but we didn't get to see that happen so I'm not clear on how he got from Point A "Who cares what happens" to Point C "Kill people when we're closer to the end." More than 1 post where he's alone may have helped here.

They continue to largely ignore him so he leaves.

At this point Ian had gone inactive. He was then adopted out to someone, but was immediately rolled, so SOTFHelp took over. It's not a bad death, really. Stephanie point a gun at him and he rushes her. He beats her to death with the gun, but he's been shot in the knee which makes it so he can't escape in time when the place becomes a danger zone. I like the gruesome part where he tries to use the gun as a crutch to escape the zone, but falls short.

Final thoughts: Ian had a perfectly fine base and not much pregame so I didn't really get a good sense of who he was. Going into the island I was put off by how nonchalant he was about the whole affair. I think the idea of someone going paranoid and mad from isolation isn't a bad one, but there needed to be more transition and time. He's also hindered by the fact that besides his first thread he has no one to play off, being alone or mostly ignored.

Another.

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Hi I got this character assigned to me five months ago. But I always fulfill my DEBTS

Sophie McDowell



FINAL THOUGHTS

Errrrr. I canít recommend this character. She wasnít awful, but she felt a little rudderless. Things were very surface with Sophie. She was a nice girl who liked art and dancing, but thatís mostly all I can tell you about her.

I really like her partnership with Alex. I get the feeling that Laurels didnít have a super good idea of what he wanted to do with her. Any footing or momentum Laurels could have made in deepening this character is destroyed by the two massive multishots in which sheís basically window dressing for Gavin and his plan. Her character comes to a screeching halt for a really long time because this group had to pump out these massive posts and decided the non-Gavin related people werenít important enough to have a lot of time dedicated to them.

She has one pretty good thread with Alex when they decided to run away from Gavinís group, but she dies almost immediately after. I think Laurels has improved since though, so at least it was experience.


IS ANYONE STILL RUNNING THIS? GIVE ME ANOTHER
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