|Reviews for 42 to 1|
| Riter544 11/6/12 . chapter 6
I nice mix of character development and death for my tastes in this chapter.
In paragraph 3, you use the word "found" a lot. Remember to vary your word usage from time to time, otherwise it sticks out like a sore thumb, and the reader can't help but be aware of it.
Jade's tirade was a little long winded. I couldn't help but feel that if she counted off her points on her fingers (with the action interspersed with the words) that the image would be more complete and less like a monologue.
I like the dissension between the group of girls already. I like how you're setting the scene, although it feels very reminiscent of the lighthouse girls (especially the fact that there's poison there). It's good to use the BR story as a model for things, but the deviations from that model (the surprise twists) are what make people truly enjoy fanfiction.
That brings me to the only true gripe about this chapter so far: I feel like I already know who the major players are (or, at least, have a good sense) and that means that some deaths may become predictable. For example, the whole time Hannah is standing on the cliff and the only other person with her is the extremely unlikable, racist, elitist Rachel, and I'm thinking, "Rachel is such a blatant villain, I'd love for Hannah to push her off the cliff, just to mix things up." I'm not going to tell you how to write your story - that's purely YOUR business. But that scene was the perfect set-up to establish someone like Hannah as an BR villain. We, the readers, already hate Rachel. At the start of the scene, given her nature, we're expecting her to do away with Hannah. And she does. And while this is fine, I can't help but feel that an opportunity was lost here. For example, we know that Gretchen is a villain from the first hour. If instead, you'd switched up Gretchen and Hannah, allowed Gretchen to go with Rachel, and while establishing Rachel as a bitch, get Gretchen to push her from the cliff, and then go in search of Victor, and murder him too. I guess I'm rambling at this point.
I don't know, I guess I just expected Rachel to play, and so when I found out she was, I was kinda disappointed. Morgan's betrayal? Awesome - because we didn't see it coming. Rachel's character is a lot like, I expect, Quinn's character - the leader of some group who is heartless and selfish and will probably use their cronies to their own means. This is expected, and so it is a little boring to read. I challenge you to add something fresh to these groups, to surprise the readers, and to make us realize that anything can happen once Battle Royale commences.
Other than that, a solid chapter. Good writing, and I was very pleased with the flashback - a much better scene. I thought you could have written Kendra's not-so-subtle means of pulling Phoebe away from the group a tad more smoothly, but it certainly does the job. Looking forward to more development and carnage.
| Riter544 10/22/12 . chapter 5
So, an issue I have with this story is that I don't know what time it is. I have no real sense of whether it's early morning or daytime or somewhere in between. I know it's not night, but I'm having a hard sense of placing these scenes into a background. Morgan and Emma meet out in the forest, but if it's still a little dark out, then you can play with shadows a little more, make the scene a little more menacing, or a little more suspenseful.
The scene between Emma and Morgan was very well done. The dialogue still gets to me every once in a while - "You're too smart for your own good...I left my bag and figured I'd take yours and..." etc. It's a little too contrived - not all of it, just parts. When Emma is bleeding and dying, it makes sense for her to want to know why, but Morgan explaining her whole thought process, as well as some of the cliche villain lines, are unnecessary. When dealing with a death scene, less is more. Let the shock and finality sink in - don't distract the readers with too many words (either spoken or otherwise). Catching Morgan in that lie was very clever and a good addition to this story.
The scene between Isaac and Marcus. Hmm, I like it, but there's something a little too rushed about it. The way you describe it, the fight between the two boys almost seems to arise from nothing (as fights often do), and it gets out of hand, and there is a parting of the ways. I guess I'd believe that these two boys, who apparently care so much for each other, would split up if their fight was a little more drawn out - if it had been building between them for the last couple of hours. For a fight to erupt and for these two boys to abandon each other in a life-or-death situation, I'd have to imagine that it was one that they'd had several times in the past, or perhaps the same argument over the last 3 hours. I don't know, maybe I'd feel the argument was more natural if Isaac hadn't immediately rushed and killed himself afterwards. These aren't my characters, so I can't tell you how I feel they would act or what their personalities are (not, at least, until you've established their personalities, then I can comment on inconsistencies) but Isaac seemed very ready to commit suicide. Maybe that's part of his personality - if it is, we should know that. If it's not, then this whole scene happens a little too quickly for my tastes. Even Marcus says he was gone for 15 minutes. I have to imagine that the fight took about 5 minutes tops. That means in less than 20 minutes, Isaac goes from passionately in love with his boyfriend, to sending him away, to suicide. Too fast.
At the end of this chapter, instead of Marcus saying "He did it...How could HE do this to me?" change it like he's talking to Isaac, "How could YOU do this to me?" for a little more power in the dialogue. Also, I like the imagery of the dead body almost as a sentinel. Very cool description.
You have two flashbacks in this story. I like Isaac's better than Emma's, simply because there's more description and dialogue in his, and because it stands alone better. I've noticed this about some of your flashbacks - you add in an introduction and a conclusion, which almost ruins the illusion of the flashback. Don't add in "From then on..." or "That's how their relationship had started..." etc. If you're writing from the character's point of view, keep it in their voice. By jumping to a nameless narrator's voice, you alter the flow of the story, and it can be jarring to the reader, who has just read a scene from the point of view of a character, only to have a faceless person talk about that character at the end (and sometimes the beginning). If I'm not being clear about this, let me know, and I can try to explain what I mean in a better manner.
Overall, an entertaining read. The flow of the story is good, with only a few small things here and there. Check your word choice, since sometimes you use the same word too many times in a small paragraph (the word "trapped" comes to mind). But more than anything, I'm excited about the characters I'm meeting. Only 3 deaths, and still lots of dynamics going on, characters to get developed. And truthfully, as much as I enjoy getting introduced to new characters, I also am looking forward to seeing the return to some of them. Good work.
| Riter544 10/18/12 . chapter 4
What an utter delight this chapter was! I have so many things I want to commend you on, so I'll jump right into it.
First of all, as I mentioned in my previous two reviews, I was concerned about writing this story in "hour-format" and the restrictions that come with it. I have to say that your ability to quickly sum up the past hour for these new characters was seamless and well written. You described not only Amelia's past hour with ease, but also how the group managed to gather quickly together (I assume this was done right outside the school. Did they happen to notice Victor waiting there for Gretchen as well?). You also mentioned (via Maggie's detector) that other clusters of people were forming (as well as another group of five) and this makes me very happy, because it means that you are keeping track of each character, and that even though they aren't mentioned, that they are still acting, because their actions still have meaning. I'm happy to see this, and hope that it continues!
Amelia's character is very likable! She's super smart and absolutely gorgeous, but she is extremely shy and tries too hard to fit in, and therefore has almost no friends. She is almost too ideal, but I enjoy grounded, humble characters and I think I'm going to like her a lot. When you wrote that she deals in facts, and made peace with the fact that she would die and moved beyond it, I knew that I'd like her. Her desire for a friend is so basic, it's almost taken for granted. I think the scene between Amelia and Brian was just okay. The interaction between them seemed a little stilted, a little unnatural, but I liked the scene very much anyways, and I'm looking forward to their development and to seeing them interact more (or not - depending on how the story goes).
On to the group. I don't know how to designate this group, they simply seem like a group of friends, so I'll call them the Group, until I learn more about them. You offer no real information why these six people cling to each other so intensely, and I don't think you need to do that now, but at some point it'll be a necessity, NOT to show how the group formed, but to explain why these six characters value the group experience over any other potential friends they could make (and why one twin would be included and one clearly excluded).
Speaking of the twins, I'm not sure how loudly it speaks about the twins that they are not together. That one was not waiting for the other, and that the one in the group is not demanding to go in search for his brother. I'm not sure what relationship these twins have with each other, but you can't claim that they are particularly close at this point, because their actions say differently.
I'm excited to see how the Group continues to evolve as the game continues. I'll want to know the dynamics of it before BR and how it changes once the Program starts. And like I said before, I'll need to know what brought the group together and what keeps them together. You already started a little of this when Elena starts hypothesizing about which of her friends she could (and would) kill. That whole part was fantastically written and so raw in its delivery, there was no mincing of words and no shying away from hard topics. Very well done.
This chapter left me wanting more - more development, more interactions, more answers, more fighting! That's exactly what you want from the readers - keep drawing them back with good writing and get them to invest in the characters. Right now, I'm more interested in Amelia's search for a friend and Elena's thoughts on the endgame than I am with Gretchen's desire for victory and recognition from her parents. But then again, this will vary from person to person.
I'm looking forward to chapter five!
| Riter544 10/17/12 . chapter 3
Okay, opening chapter. Let's get to it.
First off, I needed a little more detail included in this chapter. There was very little description of the classroom (what, exactly, defined it as a classroom? A blackboard? It wasn't desks, since there was no mention of them) and for that reason, I had trouble picturing the scene. In addition to that, I wanted to be able to picture Mr. Foster. I don't remember if you described him physically in the prologue, but I have zero idea what he looked like while he was delivering his long-winded monologues to the students. I know it might be a little early to describe the island, so I won't fault you for that, but a little more than what you offered (regarding the first sensations of Gretchen once she emerges from the school) wouldn't hurt the story.
I mentioned before about Mr. Foster and not seeing him deliver his speeches - that part of the story bothered me for a few reasons. I couldn't tell whether he was getting his rocks off at seeing the students squirm (in which case, his long, laborious sentences make sense, but I'd also imagine a lot of movement, almost grandiose, as he maneuvers through the students, getting up close and personal as he relishes in their fate) or whether he's bored with the rules and simply wants to get them killing (in which case, his language is too flowery and should be more terse and to the point). When he complains about the necessity of explaining rules that everyone should know by now, he certainly does it in a verbose way, and this doesn't make sense to me. His long monologues either need to be broken up with actions, or they need to be shorter. I guess the critique to take away from my issues with Mr. Foster is that he's a character too - one that we should understand to a certain extent. And all I really know is that he loves money, and that he enjoys drawing things out. Imagine that you are sitting in this room, listening to this man go on and on, what is he doing as he talks, what are some of the other people doing? Is his long-winded speeches something of a character trademark? These are all things to consider moving forward.
Now then, on to Gretchen and Victor. Did I like this opening scene between the 2 so-called lovers? Yes and no. Yes, because it was exciting. It broke the mold, it threw you headfirst into the reality of Battle Royale. No, because of the dialogue. First off, put yourself in Victor's shoes. He's waiting around, risking his life by staying by the school, in order to have sex with his girlfriend before one or both of them die. Not exactly the most rational decision, but still one I can live with. Then, once he sees her face (why couldn't he see her face inside the classroom? Why is her bumpy face such a shock?) he decides he'd rather kill her than have sex with her (because apparently an ugly face makes someone a bad lay). Again, not the most rational decision, but one I can live with. What I can't live with, is the cliched, "I'm sorry for what I'm going to do, but I have a family, blah blah blah". If he's made up his mind to kill her, he's not going to explain why, he's just going to DO IT. And if Gretchen, who has just been attacked by the boy she loves, decides she needs to defend herself or die, she's not going to say "if I'm so ugly, let me destroy your eyes, etc". She may think it, but she won't say it. She'll just do it (also, why bother with his eyes, why not outright kill him?). This scene, without the cliched dialogue, has the same impact, or perhaps has a greater impact, then with it in. Even with small bits of dialogue, imagine instead Victor says, "Your face...it's hideous.." and then stabs her. There's no real doubt why he does it, and there's no need for this wasted breath explaining the stabs and attacks. Likewise, if Gretchen just falls to her knees and begins to cry by Victor's body, then she doesn't need to say, "Why, God, why?!". We know that she feels torn by her recent actions, and perhaps feels some regret by them. Her descent into madness was a little quick for me, but not unreasonable. I think a somewhat-unloved child hoping to gain recognition from her parents is an excellent motive for a BR antagonist, and I'm interested to see how far she gets.
As an aside, wasn't a girl released first? That means, in girl-boy fashion, there should still be one more boy waiting to exit the school, right? What's taking him so long to make his entrance? It could be this whole scene takes very little time, in which case, everything is fine.
On to my last point, as you may remember I said before, writing this in "hour format" will come with some restrictions. This chapter encompasses the first hour of play. It could be that very little happens, in fact, that's probably the case. But keep in mind that every contestant is doing SOMETHING in this first hour, and it's important to keep track of that. Even if it's running to find shelter, or looking for water, like Gretchen is (wasn't water provided in the packs?). If new characters are brought up in the next chapter (as I expect they will be), I'll want to know what they've been doing for the first hour. Likewise, the next time we see Gretchen, I'll want to know what she's been doing in the gap of time since we've last seen her. By excluding all the other characters from this chapter, you've implied that nothing of importance is happening to them. This may or may not be the case, but it's important implication to realize. Flashbacks of these gap times between character chapters can only do so much. However, we can address these issues as they arise.
Speaking of flashbacks, the one describing when Victor and Gretchen met did very little for me. It doesn't hurt the chapter, but it doesn't add anything to it either, other than making me wondering who, exactly, Victor was. However, that kind of character development is unnecessary and irrelevant at this point.
Okay, that's enough from me. I hope you didn't get the sense that I disliked this chapter - that is not the case. I think it could be improved here and there, but that overall the writing was solid and exciting. Remember my suggestion about reading out loud to test for flow, and I noticed no spelling errors here, which I am very happy about. I look forward to jumping into chapter 4.
| Riter544 10/12/12 . chapter 1
It's been a while since I've been to this site, but I thought I'd check out your story anyways. I'm a pretty harsh critic, but I promise to be honest with you about what I think works and what doesn't. I can get nit-picky, and, of course, you don't have to listen to my advice, but hopefully you grow a little from my suggestions and that I can get inspired to write again from your story.
So, here's the opening the chapter. Reminiscent of the classic BR (buses, gas masks) but I found those similarities nostalgic and I liked them. I liked your description of the school and how you introduced only a few characters in this prologue - after all, there's no reason to weigh the readers down with tons of names in the beginning. Overall, a strong opening chapter. I like your writing style, your use of description, and the natural feel to your dialogue.
Okay, to my critiques: 1) Proofreading is always important, and sometimes mistakes slip by us. But in the very FIRST sentence, you have "shat" instead of "that", which made me laugh, but in a cringing sort of way. Only a few mistakes here and there, but don't hesitate to read your stuff out loud to catch more mistakes and to test the flow of the language.
2) As far as I can tell, there's no reason why putting Tiffany in the bus won't knock her out like everyone else. If that weren't the case, why would Mr. Foster need a gas mask? I see the pros of using violence in the opening chapter to establish the tone of the story and Mr. Foster's character (and it is also reminiscent of Shuuya getting hit on the head in the bus from the movie), but if Mr Foster needs the gas mask, then it would make sense for the gas to still have effects and Tiffany would be able to be knocked out without the potential of damaging her. Upon re-reading, I see that Mr. Foster doesn't replace his gas mask upon entering the bus again, so it's possible that your scenario could work, and this critique could be invalid.
That's really all I have for now. I noticed, since I'm reviewing chapter 1 and you've already posted through chapter 4 that you're writing this story with each chapter encompassing an hour of time. This comes with a certain degree of linearity, which may make things easier, but it comes at a cost, and that is credibility. If some characters appear in chapter 1, and then don't appear again for 3 chapters, that's 3 hours unaccounted for. So either they're not doing anything, or you're constantly telling part of their story in retrospective to account for that time gap. It also means that you'll have to know what EACH character is doing AT ALL TIMES so that continuity is held up. It's a lot of planning, but if you can pull it off, then the story will thrive.
I look forward to checking out your other chapters when my time will allow.
| kanna-chan94 10/9/12 . chapter 2
one word: UPDATE!
Seriously, this is amazing. Just one thing:
Personally, I feel that the chapters are a little out of order. You should have done the roster first, then the intro chappy. But that's just me.
Ok, I lied. One more thing:
the one thing I don't like about the roster is how you have girl then boy. I think it would be easier to read if you listed the girls first in one list, and then listed the boys in another list. Like this:
GIRLS (this should be underlined)
Girl #01: name
Insert more here
BOYS (this should be underlined)
Boy #01: name
Insert more here
Personally, I think that doing the roster like that makes it easier to read. Just my opinion and some friendly advice. I look forward to seeing more of this!