Reviews for Battle Royale: Only One Survives
Riter544 chapter 1 . 10/19/2012

You asked me to take a look at your story and from this first chapter, I have a better understanding of where you are located in the spectrum of fanfiction writers. Your writing is a tad immature. I do not intend this to be an insult, it is merely a fact. I noticed in your profile that you are 15 years old (maybe a little older now?) and your writing matches the style I would expect from a someone close to that age. Therefore, I'm going to approach your story a little differently than I would under normal circumstances.

1) Let's look at this chapter as a whole, at least for now. How many characters do you introduce in this opening chapter? All of them, it would seem. This may not be obvious to you, who has (I hope) a list of students, which group they belong to, their personality, etc., but you gave the audience WAY TOO MUCH information in this opening chapter. I know that you felt obligated to introduce the entire cast of characters, but that isn't possible to do. For me personally, the only people I remember are some "ghetto" kids, some jocks, a few nerds, cheerleaders...and an autistic girl, which I only remember because you mentioned her last. I cannot remember a single name, and there isn't one character (excluding Ms. Autism) that stood out to me as an individual. My guess is that this will be the case for most readers. That means that you've included a lot of unnecessary information. Think to the original Battle Royale (I'm assuming that you've either read the novel, the manga, or seen the movie) - we aren't introduced to their whole class right away, correct? Sugimura isn't even really a character until halfway through the book/series/movie, and he's one of the more memorable people. So, the first thing to remember when writing is that you are writing so that other people can read and appreciate it, and this opening chapter was more about establishing characters according to what groups they belong to and their standing in the social hierarchy. Readers will find little enjoyment here, and therefore, they may not continue reading.

Homework #1: Ask other people, after reading this chapter, who they remember by the end of it. The people who CONSISTENTLY appear in others' memories - ONLY include them in this opening chapter. Write from their point of view, or focus solely on them and who is important to them. You can allude to the other groups, but mention no other names, because it will only confuse the audience.

2) Let's take a look now at description. There is very little description here at all. You introduce all the characters, but provide very few traits about them. Some people feel that a character description is eye/hair color - this is NOT always the case. Character descriptions are ways to remind the readers who these people are. Sometimes that's a distinctive eye/hair color. Most often, they are things like lisps, scars, tattoos, limps, twitches, common movements (like hair flipping or talking excessive with their hands) - these things help us see the character in front of us, and they help solidify that person in our memory. One good example of this is the girl who wears old-fashioned clothes. This was a very good use of character description - it's something unique that sets her apart, and she will most likely be an easier character to remember than others. There was almost none of that for any of the other characters, which was why it was so easy for them, not only to blend into the background, but to blend into their groups.

In conjunction with that - every character is defined by what clique they belong to. I'm not saying that that doesn't happen in real life, but what you've done is made every single character "The (blank) Guy" or "The (blank) Girl", where the (blank) could be Autistic, Granny, Jock, Class Clown, Nerd, etc. You've taken each person and made them either a stereotype, or simply a part of a larger group. This makes it even harder to tell these people apart, and it makes them less relatable. Even people in cliques have more to them than the clique they belong to, but you've made everyone in "the ghetto clique" a thug, everyone in "the cheerleader clique" a bitch, and hey, maybe they are - but they're all as interchangeable as the next one, they're all just clones of each other. You want your readers to not only be able to tell the characters apart from each other (via descriptions and character quirks) you also want them to CARE about the characters. When I say "care" I mean that you want the readers to root for them to win, or root for them to die horribly. When you have lots of characters who all belong to the same group and aren't distinguishable, then we won't care when they die, and that is not good for a Battle Royale story.

Homework #2: Watch people. Any people. People walking down the street, people at the mall, people in the supermarket. How do they move? What do they do when their waiting in line? What do they do when they think no one else is looking at them? HOw do they react to other people around them? Watch the kids in your school. How do they treat their friends? Their enemies? Random people they don't care about? If you have cliques in your school, look to see what distinguishes one person from another. Why do they hang out together? Do they even like each other? The more you observe people, the more you can make your characters come alive.

3) I like your dialogue. In fact, I think it's your strongest point as a writer. When you have someone speak, it sounds natural to me. And that's a very hard thing to master. So I want to commend you on that. What you need to work on, in terms of dialogue, is how to break up the flow. It is unnatural to have:

"Blah blah," he said.

"Blah blah blah," she said.

"Blah blah?" he said.

"Blah," she said.

No one, when they are talking, are doing nothing else but speaking. You'll see this when you people-watch - when people talk, they gesture, they interrupt, they raise their hands, they sigh, they clench their hands. You need to include some action in the middle of a conversation, otherwise it sounds like two unblinking robots staring at each other in the face and talking at each other.

Homework #3: When you watch people, pay particular attention to when they speak to each other. Do they mumble? Do they gesture? How close do they stand to each other? What facial expressions do they make while talking? Pay attention when someone is talking to you - do they look you in the eye? Do they interrupt? How does their behavior change from when they ask about the last test you took to when they want to tell you a story about last weekend?

Once you have done these homework assignments I've given you, I want you to take another look back on this first chapter and tell me what you think. In fact, I want you to report back to me once you've done this three assignments (and done them more than once each). Private message me and tell me what you've learned and we'll go from there. I'm not going to read chapter 2 until you get back to me about the assignments I've given you - that way, I won't feel obligated to raise these issues again as I continue on.

Okay? I hope you've found this review helpful. These three things are a good starting point, I feel. Once we've addressed them and you are more aware of them, then we can get further into more advanced things like sentence structure, the flow of the prose, foreshadowing, and other things. I look forward to hearing from you about the homework I've given. Talk to you later.
Daniel Affaro chapter 8 . 8/29/2012
Things are really speeding up and getting interesting. I still really like Vijay.

Though, would Callie really have enough strength to break anyone's neck?
LaineyK123 chapter 8 . 8/22/2012
" "She also has a gun," Said Mr. Walker, "But I guess this game is a toss-up. There are a lot of worthy competitors. It'll be interesting to see what will happen."" - That's right. It will be very interesting to see what's going to happen. I like how you tell about all the students giving reasons why they might win, but also giving them a human side. Like when you were talking about Alfred, it seems like he might be able to win, then you mention that he let Sydney go, also making him. . . well, human. Can't wait for more, this is a great story you have :)
LaineyK123 chapter 7 . 8/22/2012
Great again! There's not much I have to say for concrit, the story is pretty good as it is. I can't wait to see what happens! Update soon!
LaineyK123 chapter 6 . 8/12/2012
Wow. This is really good.
In a lot of stories (especially those related to Battle Royale) character management can become an issue. There are so many, you don't remember what happens to them or who they are. But that is not a problem here. You've got a bunch of great characters and each is his/her own person. Because of all of these qualities, it will be interesting to see how this all turns out.
I also really love the idea of the Program taking place in a school. That gives it a totally new twist which may be an advantage to some of the characters and a disadvantage to others.
I can't wait to see what happens to everyone. Great story, I have no real criticism as of yet because this is really good! Update soon!
Daniel Affaro chapter 6 . 7/22/2012
Really liked this chapter. The narrative was really clear. Not to sound sexist, but the girl overpowering the guy seemed a bit odd, but hey I guess it came down to who wanted to kill more.
I also really enjoyed the Wallace situation, and can kind of see it setting off almost a chain reaction of events. Clifton knocked out, Wallace shot, the girls locked in the classroom, not to mention the gunshots. Gunshots are damn loud. Especially in enclosed spaces. You could probably hear one from a few miles away out in the open in a clear landscape. I can imagine a lot of students either freaking out or being drawn to them...
Well done.
WeissGold chapter 6 . 7/22/2012
I really like your fic. I don't like Kamryn, but Archie is kind of funny to me. I think you did a great job! Keep it up! :)
Daniel Affaro chapter 5 . 7/4/2012
Im really liking Alfred now. He's got a good solid backstory. Tonya having to kill Kris was quite sad actually. I really wanna see where the Wallace situation goes :) Please write more
Daniel Affaro chapter 4 . 7/4/2012
Gillian is messed up. I think I've found my most hated character. I hope she dies a horrible death.
Good chapter though. I feel really sorry for Sydney.
Daniel Affaro chapter 3 . 7/4/2012
Reading this, I know that i definitely want Darrell to win. Not by him killing everyone though. He seems like the most genuinely nice person, so it would be cool if everyone else killed each other and he was forced to kill the most evil one. Who that is yet, though, I'm not sure.
Daniel Affaro chapter 2 . 7/2/2012
Introducing all the weapons and what the characters are doing all at once was a little too much to digest. I had to re read to process who had what and who was going where. Overall though, very solid. I really liked the idea of killing literally just as they leave. I always wondered why more people didn't do that.
Daniel Affaro chapter 1 . 7/2/2012
I like how after the first chapter you know where you stand with all of the students. You know exactly who you should be rooting for, but at the same time can easily pick out the favourites to win. I feel bad for sydney though. My fic is gory and depraved bu I'd never include an autistic person. Youre very brave.

I also love the names xD Some of them are so random and weird it's amazing.
Negat1ve-Zer0 chapter 2 . 5/25/2012
This story is so cool! I just downright love the plot, and I feel so sad for Sydney! I hope someone will be there to protect/help her.