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Working On A Hurricane Survival Story

2 months ago
I'm working on a hurricane survival story. If I'm not mistaken, then it's on my userpage. Anybody wanna try it out?

Btw, I've only completed day one.

Working On A Hurricane Survival Story

2 months ago
My character thinks they have to move away from an entire planet to get to an area with less storm activity, and was so inept and uncoordinated they couldn't even look at a weather alert on their phone without instantly crashing and dying. It's also the future on another planet and they look at social media first thing in the morning. I don't think they have it in them to survive any storms, and I don't think they deserve to.

The writing is technically fine but seems a little straightforward and dry, I think you could add a more more detail or imagery, dialogue and so on to help keep it interesting. Not getting much of a sense the setting is sci fi at all for instance other than being told that.

Working On A Hurricane Survival Story

2 months ago
That's true. The whole point is that this character is a disorganized mess and that he's been lucky. The story isn't just about them surviving a strong storm, it's about them as a whole person.

Yes, the character moving off the planet to get way from storms would be believable as the entire planet is riddled with storms that year. They are inept and uncoordinated because literally 52% of their entire planet is dead. They're crashing their car because they're lost in thought about this announcement. Also, why does it matter if they're looking at social media in 2062 on another planet?

They're trying to fight through trauma and trying to fight through storms.

But yeah, he is pretty inept.

Working On A Hurricane Survival Story

2 months ago
Well that all goes into what I said about needing more detail, because not much of what you're giving me here as an explanation is really getting across. The first couple of pages are important, if you don't really grab the reader's attention then and get them into the character's head and invested in their circumstances then you don't really get another chance.

The 'waking up in the morning, getting a choice of nothing interesting' beginning has become kind of a hallmark of subpar stories around here you might as well know. And a storm ridden planet where over half the population has just died and the protagonist has PTSD over it really shouldn't be difficult to make interesting. I just don't think pages of getting up in the morning and checking Space Twitter before another boring undescribed day at work would be how most authors go about this.

Working On A Hurricane Survival Story

2 months ago
Thanks for your advice, and honestly, Space Twitter is one of the funniest thing I've read in a while.

Working On A Hurricane Survival Story

2 months ago
Oh, and by the way, the Mega Tempest is this storm. I'm more active on this website.

https://hypotheticalhurricanes.fandom.com/wiki/Mega_Tempest_Voma_(2062)

Working On A Hurricane Survival Story

2 months ago
Thanks for the advice, though. I'll see if I can fix the dialouge.

Working On A Hurricane Survival Story

2 months ago
Commended by mizal on 9/21/2021 4:13:05 PM

I've read through your story, and here are some things that jumped out to me:

 

1) Background info is the first thing the player reads.  Sometimes this can be a turn-off for new readers.  It’s often a good idea to start with some action or dialogue that directly engages the reader with the characters, or the unique aspects of the premise, before going into more background detail.  That said, what you have here is pretty to-the-point, and doesn’t distract much from the plot, so it’s your call.  Besides, as the story currently stands, you don't have any pre-exposition action or dialogue you could use to pull the reader in with.

2) Pointless first-page choice.  Mizal already said this, but having the first choice not matter other than for flavor text isn’t an interesting way to begin the story.  It seems like you’re trying to give the player an opportunity to choose wisely and pick up some important background information by clicking on the weather alert—but it’s very clear from before the choice which option is going to be most beneficial in a hurricane survival story, and there’s no clear reason the player wouldn’t be able check both before going to work.

3) Consider tightening the scope of the story.  This is a hurricane survival story, but it’s also a sci-fi dystopian about an alien planet recovering from a major humanitarian disaster.  That’s a lot going on in one story.  Do you plan to seriously address the questions raised by the major environmental and political changes caused by these events?  If you don’t, then you may want to consider setting this story on present-day earth instead.  This will let you focus more tightly on the survival aspects of the story, as regular earth hurricanes have plenty of opportunities for survival scenarios.  If you do plan to seriously address these questions, then you should be prepared for a much longer and more complex story than this one is currently shaping up to be.

4) Death choices seem arbitrary.  It feels like you’re just throwing death choices in there because, well, it’s a survival story, and there must be death choices, rather than because they actually make sense in context.  For example, the connection between putting shutters on the house and dying seems pretty random.  Additionally, the main character gets “a bad feeling” about the bus, and that’s the only information the player has to judge whether or not taking the bus is a good idea.  So, did the main character just have a psychic premonition?  Is that ever going to be brought up again?

5) Spelling and grammar look good!

6) What are your plans for branching with this story?  Is it a linear survival story, or do you plan to have multiple branches?

7) The writing doesn’t “grab” the reader.  There’s nothing wrong with this story, just nothing that’s really pulling me in.  I don’t care about the characters or the world, and the puzzles aren’t challenging or engaging enough for me to enjoy this on a game-based level.  To engage the reader more, you have an infinite number of different options, a few of which I’ve suggested here:

       A) Add characterization.  Giving the main character more personality, and adding one or two other interesting characters could go a long way in terms of involving the reader.  Give us a reason to care if this guy lives or dies.  Give him some more agency, and a few unusual skills or traits that will be helpful (or harmful) later on.  I recommend this option if you’re writing a cave-of-time style story.

       B) Make the puzzles more interesting.  Alternatively, you may instead decide to focus on the game aspect of this story.  This would probably involve some scripting and variables to keep track of long-term decisions.

       C) Focus on the world.  You’ve got an interesting, if ambitious, scenario here.  One way to increase reader interest would be to focus on the wider-scope ramnifications these storms are having on the planet’s population and ecosystem, and make this a story about political consequence in addition to simple survival.

 

Details:

-Why did a car fall into the bay?  Was it the rain, or the wind, or what?  Isn’t that kind of a big deal?  It seems weird that the main character just goes on to work, instead of calling for help or something.  If cars falling into bays is a normal and expected occurance, that should be explained to the reader.

-The main character casually considers leaving the planet at one point.  Is that an option?  So far this world seems to be at about current-level technology.  If space travel is common and accessible, the reader should be told more clearly.