Okay, it's been just over a week since the last Book Club choice, so time for another game! (Anyone who hasn't read the last game though, I very much encourage you to check that out and leave a review, it's a really unique and original concept, and definitely worth the read) http://chooseyourstory.com/forums/the-parlor-room/message/25568
Anyways, @mizal @castorgreatpoetguy @ninjapitka @TurnipBandit @Bill_Ingersoll @Cricket @Serpent @ghost11
It's Castor's time to pick the next game we all read (even though you didn't get round to reviewing the last game. Shame on you!) So... What's it going to be? ^_^
@castorgreatpoetguy, make it a good selection!
Thanks for the shout-out, Avery_Moore. :)
NP. You definitely earned it. ^_^
Sorry, was busy the past couple of days! I won't miss another week, I promise!
Anyways, I would like to nominate Crescentstar's Three Hundred Thousand Tears ! I really enjoyed it, and I'm sure it would make for an interesting storygame to discuss.
I have been meaning to write a detailed "formal" review on it at some point, but once you've guys had your say, I might as well go over the pathos of my opinion on the story.
Maybe two weeks for this one? There were a lot of contest entries dropped on CYStia the last few days...
Well, I already read and reviewed this before; so I guess I’ll properly take part in the Book four thread, but anyway my review:
Wonderful story, great imagery and building of character personalities. As far as historical accuracy goes, I found every point was accurate. The "shooting competitions" at the Yangtz river, support of John Rabe to the refugees of Nanking, the fliers dropped ordering surrender in 24 hours; to name a few were historically accurate. Also, the backstory at the start was very informative and well written. I observed very little to no typos in the whole story. The best part about this were the realistic emotions of the protagonist. How the different choices we make changes her views drastically, the emotions and feelings she felt when her family was murdered. In fact, the fact that the characters were very well developed, to a point where they meant something to the reader and when they were suddenly murdered; the pang and guilt that the protagonist felt could really resonate with the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
If we're sticking to the original one-week deadline, then I probably won't make it. After powering through the twelve Lone Hero stories a few days ago, I needed a break.
But the story selection looks awesome. If I don't get to it in the very near future, then I'll have to save it for later.
All right, after a breakthrough writing session last night for storygame #3... and the resulting lack of sleep... I've conceded the fact that no writing is going to occur for me tonight. I can, however, read, so let's see how far I can get!
I love this idea. I wonder how we can incentivize participation.
Not gonna lie, this was probably my least favorite story of the three chosen so far. It wasn't bad, it just didn't grab my attention like the other two. I did enjoy the chance to read something new though. I'm interested to read all your comments to see if you had the same reaction.
The story really starts out with a strong pace. There is no slow build up. There is no initial world-building. It throws you directly into a pivotal moment, which I think helps hook the reader. Some stories that start with action is fitting. Others feel forced. I think this was more fitting than forced. The amount of links of the first page only add to the madness. I really didn't know what I got myself into upon hitting the “play” button and that is in line with the way the story starts out.
One thing that was really distracting was the dialogue punctuation. Part of it was proper. Most of it wasn't correct, which brought me out of the story a bit. It's one of those things that you can't unsee after noticing. I suppose it's not a huge deal, but anything that prevents the reader from experiencing the story to fullest should be mentioned.
Three Hundred Thousand Tears feels to me like it could be summed up in the old saying: out of the frying pan, into the fire. It seems like tragedy after tragedy happens. It starts out bad, then gets worse. Luckily, there is a bit of a revenge element build in. It starts off fast and keeps a fast pace. I probably wouldn't count it among the top stories of the site, but it's definitely not a bad story to play through.
I haven't finished yet, but this is the experience I was having last night reading Zhaoluo's path, too. I was confused by all the choices on the first page, many of which were dates (I'm guessing they are optional backstory passages). I assume if you stay at home, that's Li's path, but I have no idea why not seeking help during a medical crisis would even be an option. And if all that backstory is important, why not make the links more descriptive?
Don't get me wrong; if I were to end right now, I'd probably rate this a 6 or a 7, largely for the author's boldness in tackling such a long and challenging project. The subject matter is intriguing, and this is certainly a standout storygame on this site, just for that reason.
But I get the sense I'm reading a first draft, and that the author never gave her pages second, third, or fourth passes to perfect her sentences. I was able to follow the story, but I wasn't getting immersed in it. I do intend to read more, though.
This was my review:
I hate to say it, but this is an ambitious but poorly executed story. I struggled to reach a single ending, and by that point had no interest in going back for more.
This is unfortunate, because I went into this story expecting I would rate it a 7 or an 8. I was impressed by the length of the story (33,000 words) and the bold choice in subject matter. How could a writer interesting enough to tackle a story of such potential do anything less than wow me with her storytelling skill?
The answer turned out to be too simple: flat writing, an absence of necessary detail, and a dependence on cliched phrases.
I followed Zhaoluo's path, choosing to bomb something, ending up with my friends writing for a newspaper, and a final scene of people touching each other. What, why, how, or where, I can't say, because some of those scene-setting, character-building details simply weren't present, and after a while I ceased to care altogether. I was just slogging through page after page to an end link, because the writing was lackluster and was not engaging.
And this is a major disappointment, because this storygame has so much potential. The actual setting, war-torn Nanking, is filled with human pathos and tragedy, and the decision to base a storygame here struck me not only as unusual, but downright bold on a site overloaded with wannabe dungeon masters.
But throughout my reading, I had the distinct sense I was reading a rough draft, not a polished story -- a rough sketch instead of a masterful work of art. I wasn't particularly concerned about the characters, because they weren't drawn sharply enough, and I couldn't imagine the refugee camp in which they lived, because too few details had been provided. Strike that: details is probably not the right word; there wasn't enough **insight**. Trying to follow along was like watching an excellent movie... on a dingy screen, with the volume turned way down. I could kind of guess there was something good happening, but I could make out too few details to truly appreciate it.
So I started this storygame expecting to rate it a 7 or an 8, but in the end I gate it a 5. The only reason I rated it that highly is because I admire the writer's attempt to tackle such a long story on such an interesting subject.
That was a difficult story to read. Kind of like when we read about the Siege of Leningrad during our "Great Patriotic War Studies" back home. Just bad stuff happening to decent people. I'm not saying it was a bad story, quite the opposite, it was just hard to read.
It is rare that a war story is set in the perspective of non-combatants, and especially during something as relatively obscure as the Second Sino-Japanese War. This was a story about the suffering of civilians during war. It shows a side of conflict we humans don't tend to think about a whole lot. And I feel like that matters.
But onto the story itself. It started off very strong and emotional, but tended to mellow out a bit after that. It certainly felt to me at least that Zhaoluo's story was the more fleshed out one. At least, that was the one that I remember the most about. Now, like ninjapitka said, it basically starts off action packed. Stepmom's in labor, the Japanese are killing people in the streets, we need to get help. But after that it kind of mellows out. Less killing and more talking about those who were killed. Now this isn't a bad thing but it's something I noticed. I think the scenes with the other orphans were well written. Everyone was handling this crisis in a different way. Some wanted to fight, some just wanted to survive the night. It all felt very real.
One problem I did have with the story though is it kind of felt like we were just following the protagonist around and watching them, instead of controlling them. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else? Like, the story felt like it was written in third person despite us controlling their actions. I don't know. Maybe it's just me.
Anyways, I really did like this story. It felt like an accurate portrayal of some of the worst examples of humanity that history has to offer. Nanjing was the most well known case of war crimes during that war, but it certainly wasn't the only.
Currently drowning in schoolwork, so I'll probably have to sit this one out :( I'll get to it if I have the chance but otherwise I'll just join back in next week if that's alg