Sarah_huis, The Reader

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9/14/2017 3:03 PM

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Oh no, your mother grounded you! What's worse, you also have to take care of your little sister for the day. Do not worry, however, since the friendly voice in your head is here to guide you through this terrible day.

Recent Posts

Human Nature in Charchters on 8/16/2017 8:49:12 PM

I think you already thought of a lot of great possibilities, but here some more I thought of.

I think you need to realise these teens just came from a (probably very) strict prison system, with rules, rituals, and orders. Some people automatically fall in line and practically follow any command issued at them (up to a point that differs for anyone). Additionally, it could very well be that the teen likes these rules and enjoys to follow them. Assuming they came from an actual violent background, they probably did not have a lot of stability in their lives. To then suddenly have a system in order can be very refreshing, including knowing what you are dealing with all the time. 

Another point to consider is the type of crime the teens got thrown in jail for. Did they had one offence too many? Were they a serial killer? A gang member who willingly takes a bullet for a fellow gang member, but who murdered a rival gang in cold blood? Did they murder someone? If yes, was it premeditated or a crime pasionel, or perhaps a robbery gone wrong? Were they an accessory to the crime, or the actual perpetrator? Crimes can be done by so many different types of people, even conventionally good people (ignoring the crime). 

For example, the girl who murdered her cheating boyfriend and the guy he cheated with was a member of the Chess club, ran marathons in her free time, and whose favourite subject was History. The sudden seething rage she felt was blinding, and she has never felt that way before or since. In prison she was timid and mostly kept to herself, intimidated by the more ruthless teens. However, after all that has followed after the murder, she still feels not one ounce of remorse. Oh, she feels sorry for their families and symphatises with their lose, but she does not regret the deed aside from the fact she is now incarcerated. Now she is stranded on a scarred and unfamiliar world with only a pocket knife. She can run fast, but she has never had much strength in her; Even before the blast wild animals were difficult to haunt down, and they had rifles! So, she knows she need other people, and decides for now to stick with the others. She will keep to herself and trying not to stir up any trouble in order to survive. The feeling of the pocket knife on her belt, and the thought that she can outrun most people comforts her. Okay, that might be some initial reason for her to stay with the group, what about staying? Well, they use her quickness in order to lure animals in hunting her, while in reality she leads the pray to the Ambushers, where then the Enforcers kill the animal off. She is known in the camp as withdrawn, which for other people lead to problems and usually banishment. See, the withdrawn people were seen as snobby or even them not trusting the group, and eventually were pushed out. However, she does talk about her favourite subject. Small bits of trivia here, and interesting tidbits there, and she is more known as someone who likes to keep to herself, but can share a good History story, than an outsider who is going to cause problems down the line. No one really notices she never actually tells anything about herself, and only stories from history, and she is grateful for that. At some point a guy higher up in the chain of command learns of her historic knowledge, and utilises this in order to learn more about their immediate area, for instance locations of destroyed cities that might still have valuable goods in them. This information gives her the power to slowly rise higher up, until she is in a position where she has a nice bit of power, but nothing that any higher up could get threatened by. She tries her damndest to stay in this position, even if other try to give her more power.

Okay, I got a bit carried away in that example, sorry about that. An other (shorter!) example could be the gang member. He already was raised in an environment with rules and a pecking order. He gravitates towards this, and he wants his loyal brothers who will willingly take a bullet for him around him, while they are all trying to further the goals of the gang and trying to move up within by earning their respect. Of course, he does not always realise that his brothers might not be as loyal to him as he is to them, not even in his old gang back when he was free, which will bite him in the ass at some point. If he lives, he might become incredibly cynic and ruthless, or he might become a broken man, uninterested in his fellow humans. 

I might have an answer to your question why they prioritised fucking over food gathering. These teens just came from the prison system. I assume that shortly before launch they have eaten something, and that while present in the system they got meals on a regular basis. In other words, the teens are not hungry, and why care about food when you are not hungry? However, they are horny right now, and are closer to the opposing sex than they have been for a long time. So, you know. Immediate gratification versus long term thinking.

Finally, whatever you write, think of what you would do yourself. Or someone you know would do. I would have joined the group without protest, I think. Safety in numbers is a reason, but I am also not a good figther and the worst leader, so that is not really an action I would consider taking. If I do, it will definitely lead to a fight. I get killed or incapicitated. It is quite hard to hunt without any know-how when you are healthy, think of how to do it with a broken arm that cannot be set! You will most likely die. Now, these leaders could very well have shown this initial toughness in order to make sure the group stays together. They might take a bigger share of whatever gets gathered, but you are still fed as is everyone else. I would be fine with that situation. Now, it is also possible that they started good, but slowly turned for the worse. The road to hell is paved with good intentions after all. It might become so bad that everyone is slowly starving and where a simple scrap of food from the higher ups is seen as generous for certain ... services performed. Now, that is not a situation I want to find myself in, but cults exist and happen for a reason. Of course, there is always the possibility of the leaders being completely ruthless and unfair. If they are too ruthless, they will be quickly disposed of by the group because of their danger to the group, and someone else will take their place. Possibly trading one evil for another? If they are ruthless, but too powerful, then yeah, I would try to escape. But it is easier to escape succesfully when you have friends and supplies, something you do not have on the first day. So, I think it is a good idea to stay with the group, and see what will happen and plan from there.

Okay, this has become a bit long, sorry for that. But, hopefully you find it useful :)

Rex Publica first Brainstormi feedback appreciated on 8/14/2017 3:11:32 PM

May I wager that you are German? You capitalise your nouns, something that does not happen in the English language aside from things like names. :)

Anyhow,  the story sounds very interesting, but quite elaborate indeed! Maybe a tool to keep track of all the decisions to give you overview might make it easier to keep the story coherent. Right now you want to start your story in university, where our protagonist decides running for student council/government/parliament/whatever, graduates, and then goes for the real deal. This could work, but you want the grand prize to be the White House - and thus to be the President of the United States - and for most American career politicians the path to this goal is extremely long. Say, winning smaller elections in their cities, counties, and states. This gives them influence, connections, and hopefully power. You did mention to start with running for mayor, but do you really want to fill up your story with all these smaller story lines? It could work of course, but either each decision is a small, almost insignificant one untill you get into the presidential race, or the story is going to be huuuuuge, and might get dreadful halfway through.

Personally, I think you should either completely focus on the US presidential storyline, or completely flesh out the college student council storyline. The latter one can seriously work out really well. No need for elaborate backstories such might be needed for the US presidential one, since any student - even one without special connections - could run. Additionally, here there is more room for different parties or even starting one on your one compared to the presidential campaign, since in the real world only the Democratic and the Republican parties are of any significance. It might take the reader a bit out of the story when for instance the Tea Party suddenly wins, since the story is based upon something so specific in the real world. A student council, however, can take many different (and believable) forms, since there are many different universities in the USA. You can even just make one up.

Now, politics is extremely difficult. The problem with a two party system is that it forces the voters into a 'us vs them'-mentality, whereas a multiparty system has to have an opinion on every subject, even if they might not really have any opinions on the matter leading to voters not agreeing with you on every stancd. If you can write this into your story it could be very interesting. For instance, an example. Say that party A wants camera's in every college room in order to video tape every colleges for the students to review back later. Unfortunately, the school board thinks this costs too much money, so in order for this to happen party A has to give up something major. For instance,  a free, or virtually free, student cafetaria. So, if the camera plan gets through, the cafetaria gets more expensive. Now, party B finds this unacceptable, and refuses the camera plan, since it wants to keep the cafetaria as it is. Then there is party C, who does not want the camera's installed at all. Or there might be a party D, who wants the camera's installed, but wants the cafetaria as well, so they offer an alternative for the school board to cut back on. So, this way you have a multiparty system, and conflict to overcome (you want your party to win after all).

Additionally, you can involve all other aspects one can think that is needed for a campaign. Debates, talking to people, creating connections. Or maybe blackmailing, not keeping promises, removing the opponent from the race, laying the right connections, stealing from the funds, etcetera. Being a student even has the added difficulty of needing to pass classes or might otherwise be expelled, and you cannot really run for the student council when you are not a student.

Finally, final tip, reread whatever you write, even something small as a forum post. The post was quite chaotic, and some sentences really needed a rewrite and punctionation. It was sometimes a bit hard to read what you meant. The start of your post was quite clear, however, so I feel that the middle part was mostly due to enthiousiasm and writing too quickly. 

You are absolutely welcome to ignore any of this, it is after all your story, but I hope it might help you a bit or might give you some ideas. The idea sounds interesting, I look forward to hearing more of it. :)

Grounded! Feedback appreciated on 8/12/2017 11:24:46 AM

Hi guys, I wanted to get familiar with the CYOA editor on this site and wrote a short story, Grounded!, where you have to survive the day while at the same time watching over your sibling. I was wondering if I could get some feedback for some aspects and maybe some general tips. I hope the story is not too short for this site, according to the statistics 31 pages is below average, but I am still curious to your opinion. 


° I hope I gave it the corrrect tag and info. I was not 100% sure if Modern Adventure was the correct category (on which it is now), or that I should have placed it in Everything Else. I hope people find it a humourus little story, but I find that hard to guess. Furthermore, I gave the game a 3/8 for maturity level, but I do swear in it (fuck and shit are the two particular instances). Is 3/8 fine or too low?
° Going back on the swearing, how do you feel about that those two swears were used in the story? I am still not sure if I can leave it like this, or if it is better to try to avoid it at all (in the context of the rest of the game)
° I do wonder about the length of my paragraphs. Sometimes they can be really short. Is it dissapointedly short, or is it reasonable?
° Of course I need to ask the mandatory, how is my English usage? Grammar and spelling wise. I did read it over, but if I missed anything, please let me know.
° Additionally, I do worry about not using enough synonyms, especially concerning the word 'sister'. 

These were my specific questions about my story. I have another about the editor. You can added chapters, and that is nice for overview purposes. But can you add existing pages to a new chapter? Additionally, can you move around the pages? So, move the place on position #5 to #3 for instance.

I hope you enjoyed the CYOA and felt there was at least a bit of a choice. Please let me know what you thought of it.