The Freezer Bunny Club - A Reading Circle

Comments

  • SkeilahSkeilah Posts: 1,666 Member
    Ch 8
    - Any thoughts or questions on the magic introduction?
    I didn't know Athena was such a great spellcaster! Just like that, boom, everything done. I bet you, she’s going to find those banned spells.

    - What do you think of Athena’s character here?
    Ohhhh, I felt so sad for Athena. I would react the exact same way as she would do, I think (based on me trying to avoid everything that looks shady, like really flying away from it xD). Would be fun tho, to watch it while nobody can see you.

    Ch 9
    - What do you think of her actions to what she witnessed?
    I’m with Grim there. She put herself in a dangerous situation, and for what? Okay, I would be as cringy as Athena if I saw that kind of stuff but please, just go away instead of getting yourself into it! She should’ve just watched and stay invisible.

    - Did I handle this chapter appropriately? Was there enough to prepare the reader? What would you change?
    For me it was all fine. I’m prepared for everything, hahahah!

    Ch 10
    - What are your thoughts on Masato?
    I can’t read this guy, but he definitely is an interesting person and he know what he wants (and gets it). I would be fricking scary of that guy if he popped up for real.

    - Has your impression of Curtis changed?
    Not really. I still like him a lot and I adore him for his weakness. I don’t think it comes in handy in the situation he’s in, but that’s another story. I still like him a lot.

    - What do you think of Athena’s mental condition at this point?
    Yikes. I think she’s about to just fall down on the ground and not move anymore. Done. Totally done.

    - What is your impression of Dew?
    Dew wat the pink hair girl, right? I actually think she’s cute and cool xDDDD Is that weird? Given where she’s coming from xD She’s straight to the point, exactly what I like. Yeah, I like Dew.

    - What do you think of the organisation of the chapters having two different povs?
    I like different POV’s and it’s flows well, so that’s good!
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  • DuvelinaDuvelina Posts: 2,593 Member
    General
    What are your thoughts on the story? Likes/dislikes?
    What are your thoughts on the writing? Has there been any changes?
    I started exploring different mediums. What did you think of the picture sequence? Anything else about the comic?
    Is there anything I should know about but am unaware given the nature of the story? (Or anything else?)
    Any questions for me? I’m not sure if you want to ask my characters anything at this point, but that’s open too. :sweat_smile:

    I think your story is incredibly interesting and unlike any of the other simlits in this thread. I don't read thrillers/mysteries a whole lot in my spare time, but I do like a good thriller so it's nice your story can give me that. It started out slow in comparison to where we are now, but that's obviously the build-up. I didn't expect to be where we are now and what kind of dark turn it would take. I'm loving it so far and I think you're handling the subject of assault very delicately. It's something I'm fortunate enough never to have experienced and it's confronting but necessary to read about someone else's perspective. I'll never fully understand, but it does help to give more of an insight. I don't think I dislike anything per say. Maybe there is one thing, but it's a bit of a weird thing, I think you're using default replacement eyes or different eyes in general for your sims, right? I really don't like Curtis' eyes. I noticed how flat and dead doll-like they looked in recent chapters. Maybe that's the look you're going for, I don't know, then you're doing great. 😂 I don't have the same feeling with any of the other characters, so if they have the same eyes, maybe it's the colour of these particular eyes I don't like.

    I think your writing has developed. I read in the comments somewhere it was your first foray into writing and I think you're getting better with every chapter you write. At first there were some grammatical errors I noticed and wasn't very fond of. A lot of exclamation points, no commas in places they would have added something but I think that's all a part of your feeling with the language and writing in general. I think you're developing that feeling for writing more and you are more aware of where and when to use commas or exclamation marks.

    I think I've made my thoughts about the different formats clear. I was a huge fan of your comic chapter and I would love to see more like that. You're good at telling your story through pictures and the picture sequence in chapter 9 was so hard to see but it told everything it needed to. I was so relieved when I read the comments and I thought the assault hadn't happened and then I got to the next chapter and I discovered it had happened after all. :( I think you're insanely creative and it shows.

    I don't entirely get this second to last question, so I'm going to say no.

    I have some questions for you! None for the characters, because I like being surprised here and I don't think they could answer very many.

    How hard was it for you to create the poses for the assault chapter and having to play it out in-game? Would you ever do something like that again?
    I'm curious about your own feelings on Curtis. I seem to be in the minority on how he's also a victim in this whole situation. On what side do you stand?
    Did you have your whole story planned out at this point? Or did you go with the flow?
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    @AdamsEve1231

    Chapter 7 & 8
     I did wonder if Carly and her friend(s) would show up, and I'm glad they did. But couldn't they have waited another five minutes?!?  Was Curtis going to kiss her and if so, I can't wait for another moment like that again?! I would've liked to see Athena explain modern art to Curtis, but that was my only "teensy weensy" complaint. Not really a complaint, just a curiosity.

    :wink: Fictional friends always have the best timing. Haha! And I’m glad you found Athena and Curtis’s interaction natural. :) Oof.. about the art part, it’s actually a scene in Season 2, but since it’s mighty far away. I’ll do a summary of what their conversation was here. So keep in mind it is a spoiler. :lol:
    Super spoiler
    You sure? xD
    Athena has a preference for expressionistic art. Hence, she argued with Curtis that art isn’t supposed to ‘make sense’ or be an accurate representation of physical objects, but to invoke feelings. From the hardness of strokes to colors and shapes that are used, he shouldn’t be studying these like some form of science, but feel them. What is his first reaction when he first laid eyes on the painting? What feelings did it arose? Did it compel or draw memories? Did a random image flash in his mind? Yes, it’s important. What did your subconscious try to tell you? She tells him that art is personal so even if she shares hers, it’s redundant to him.

    Curtis’s reaction is to stare at her like she went mad. Then proceed to say that the distorted shapes and forms are merely that. Distorted shapes. :lol:
    I am concerned about Curtis. I'm worried about his physical health. Smoking isn't good for you, and chain smoking is even worse. And he's constantly in danger. I'm really concerned about his mental health.
    You’re right. Curtis isn’t a health-conscious person in every way that you’ve highlighted. Keeping all that bottled away definitely isn’t healthy and regardless of his preference, he’s sharing himself albeit slowly.
    I am also infinitely curious. What could possibly be so horrible that he would agree to become a crime boss' lackey at the age of 11? And we still don't know anything about his parents, but the way he reacted to Saavni's death got me thinking. Here's my wild theory. 
    I love your wild theories! We’re actually extremely close to the chapters that feature more of his povs than Athena’s, except we cut off this week’s reading at chapter 10 which is pretty much so close to what happened rofl. So yeah, we’re just around the corner to what’s going on so you’ll find out what happens next cycle. :lol:
    let's just say I'm a bit angry that Trevor's dad would use Trevor to "loosen up" married women who are bored in order to score clients. 
    Trevor’s dad is an interesting person. :x Which resulted in Trevor being an interesting person too. I’m sorry I can’t say anything because Trevor reappears later. So I’ll let you find out just how interesting Trevor is in the story. But you’re right, Trevor disregards his status as a minor, and his idea of relationships is controversial. xD
    Although, would you be willing to share a bit more about the criminal underworld in this story? The different factions? I assume there is more than one because of Steve or is his group just a street gang? Or what Kirino and Matsuo were after when taking down "Fisheye?"
    So this was in Ch 6 that you’ve asked, I moved it here since here’s the underground scene in the subchapter.

    In my SimNation, there are many cartels that control the underground drug market. The people in this meeting room are cartels that have come together to work as partners. This makes them one of the more elusive and strongest “family” compared to the other cartels who aren’t as united. Their head is Vincent. (I think he looks good too :lol: ) Each Cartel plays an important role in their monopolisation of the industry. Bowser, whom I’ve hinted has authority over many small time street gangs, is in charge of drug distribution. Daemon is in charge of logistics. Why Masato and Kirino targeted Manuia is because he is in charge of drug creation/development. He oversees the laboratories and warehouses. Getting Manuia out of the way makes room for Masato’s entrance here in this chapter where he is able to present a solution to this ‘family’ and make himself a vital resource to maintain their revenue. This chapter here shows how one of SimNation's largest Underground family is now indebted to Masato. I hope this all makes sense (and doesn’t get censored to oblivion). Do share if you have more questions. I enjoyed answering them :)

    P.S - This whole uh.. lore? Background? of Cartels is not covered anywhere in my story so I’ve not spoilt anything. :)
    Kian's dad seemed a bit snobbish when he said "rich kids." Isn't his son attending a fancy "rich kid" school? 
    Oh man you’re so spot on on your profiling of Jules (Kian’s dad :wink: ) Yup, Kian’s dad has a prejudice against rich people. I’m amazed you got that from the “Rich Kids” line. It was what I wanted to convey, but it’s such a small hint. xD You’re right. Kian’s on a sports scholarship, specifically martial arts. :)
    Chapter 8
    I felt sick with her too when she traveled to the dark world that Grim showed her. I wanted to help everyone also. I think she is a bit naive and this was crazy eye-opening for her. I don't think that's a bad thing, but I do worry about how this will impact her decisions going forward. Didn't Grim break his own code showing her these things? I am really worried about Curtis. I like him, but he's super mixed up in things that I do feel Athena should run far far away from but I have a feeling she won't. It's a bit like a waking nightmare, her introduction to what Grim sees. Eek! Well done!
    Ah thank you. At this point, my story became character-driven, so the events that untangled here were imo a result of their desires and motivations. Grim has been lonely for a very long time. Athena is his first friend in 200+ years. Hence it was easy for her to coax him into fulfilling her wish. As long as he shields her with his cloak, it meant that Athena wasn’t present at the scene. Therefore, her fate wouldn’t get tangled up in that environment. Naive is definitely Athena :sweat_smile:
    Also it was fascinating that it took 5 reapers to take down Morgyn and capture his soul. I am wondering though if Grim says that he's worried that pieces of Morgyn's soul as still broken and scattered around (possibly), if Morgyn's power is being used to create the chaos in the story and influencing the criminal underworld. I could be totally wrong here, but I wondered. Also I'm beyond convinced that Athena already knows "untamed magic" somehow and that Avery's loss was her husband at the hands of her daughter's untamed magic. Eek! How devastating for Athena! And Avery. And the whole family really.
    Ooof! Some great theories here! I can’t say more but I think you’ll like it once the magic side of things unravel. I'm super excited to hear what you think then. :)
  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 1,594 Member
    Random observation, but did the latest game update mess up the game for you guys, too? Most of my bigger mods collectively decided to become mutineers.
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  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    @_sims_Yimi I heard the latest update broke windows and doors. But I haven't tried it yet and haven't checked forums. That sounds terrible :worried:
  • SkeilahSkeilah Posts: 1,666 Member
    Oh really? I haven't played yet. Maybe I should take a look.
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  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    @Skeilah Thank you so much for your answers! :)

    Ch 8
    - Any thoughts or questions on the magic introduction?
    I didn't know Athena was such a great spellcaster! Just like that, boom, everything done. I bet you, she’s going to find those banned spells.

    Ooof Yeah! She’s not very good at a lot of things, but because of her spellcasting abilities it makes her good at everything?? xDDD That’s what I felt the game was like when I first got the magic pack. You can make your sim a supersim with just a few potions and spells. Athena was my sim for that. :joy:

    - What do you think of Athena’s character here?
    Ohhhh, I felt so sad for Athena. I would react the exact same way as she would do, I think (based on me trying to avoid everything that looks shady, like really flying away from it xD). Would be fun tho, to watch it while nobody can see you.
    I agree. Grim’s cloak is tbh a really cool free pass to see a lot of things we usually can’t see. xD

    Ch 9
    - What do you think of her actions to what she witnessed?
    I’m with Grim there. She put herself in a dangerous situation, and for what? Okay, I would be as cringy as Athena if I saw that kind of stuff but please, just go away instead of getting yourself into it! She should’ve just watched and stay invisible.
    Ah.. wise words! I definitely agree with you there. Writing this I’m like.. I wish Athena doesn’t have these crippling traits that have this situation turn out the way it did. :bawling:
    - Did I handle this chapter appropriately? Was there enough to prepare the reader? What would you change?
    For me it was all fine. I’m prepared for everything, hahahah!
    That’s good to hear. If there are chapters that don’t sit well with anyone I encourage them to skip so as long as you’re prepared I feel better. I am always worried if some unexpecting person stumble across it and become affected.

    Ch 10
    - What are your thoughts on Masato?
    I can’t read this guy, but he definitely is an interesting person and he know what he wants (and gets it). I would be fricking scary of that guy if he popped up for real.
    Errr…. I don’t want to meet a Masato in real life. If I do I hope he wants nothing to do with me.
    - Has your impression of Curtis changed?
    Not really. I still like him a lot and I adore him for his weakness. I don’t think it comes in handy in the situation he’s in, but that’s another story. I still like him a lot.
    Ooh I’m glad you like Curtis in spite of his weaknesses. He has some pretty big flaws :)
    - What is your impression of Dew?
    Dew wat the pink hair girl, right? I actually think she’s cute and cool xDDDD Is that weird? Given where she’s coming from xD She’s straight to the point, exactly what I like. Yeah, I like Dew.
    You’re not wrong. I put her grown up picture in artbreeder the other day and Wowza! :love: she looks amazing. And I definitely see what you mean. Dew can be very direct when she wants to be. :)
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    @Duvelina Thank you so much. You give such great insights and your questions are so thoughtful. :)

    Chapter 10
    I HATE Masato. After the revelations of the last chapter I think it's safe to make that statement. How could he do this to Athena? And even Curtis? It's sickening how he literally does anything to gain whatever it is he wants. I can't stand how much power he has.
    Yimi hates his guts too :lol: (Tbh if someone tells me they like him I think I’ll do a double take haha) Yeah, he has a lot of power and is exploitative of it. :(
    My impression of Curtis has changed throughout the story for sure. The whole assault chapter was a catalyst for many things. My perspective on Athena changed, as well as Curtis. I outlined my thoughts on Curtis in the last part of chapter 10 on your blog, but I will say here that I feel like he is a victim in all of this too. At first I wasn't sure about him and he seemed mostly cold. After what happened to Athena, I feel like the cold thawed and he tries his hardest to make her feel better in any capacity.
    Ahh so true. Curtis has been hot, cold (and repeat) towards Athena so your being unsure of him is actually really nice of you. I had people tell me they don’t like him straight off the bat, which is totally fine. Hot x cold is a pretty toxic trait to exhibit :sweat_smile: . Aw, what you said is touching there. Yeah, people show their true colors in the face of adversity. Curtis’s mask fell off once Athena got hurt. :pensive:
    Athena seemed to be doing okay in the first part of chapter 10 but that quickly deteriorated after Dew walked in. Curtis was her safe space and when Dew walked in that whole idea shattered. Athena jumped to conclusions and it was an affirmation that Curtis was a bad guy after all. The only person she trusted through all of this. I think it'll be a long time before Athena can stand on her own two feet again and not depend on someone. I do think it's best for her to lean on her mom though. Athena probably won't come to that conclusion herself but I hope Curtis will and drops her off at home so she can recover, as much as possible, there.
    Yeah, Athena associated Curtis as her safe zone and Dew is a slap of reality. She definitely needs her mom. And you’ve pointed out a lot of very insightful things about Athena’s character and her mindset this point onwards so I’m just going to nod my head to everything and I 100% agree that Curtis needs to take her home asap.
    I thought Dew was super pretty. Her potty mouth, as you described it, turned me off from her though. I find cursing that much a real downer, especially for a minor! It's an easy practice to pick up on but it's hard to let go off. Although I do think that's possible. It's probably also a part of the world Dew is in. I was difficult to read her thought process on how to seduce Curtis because she's so young but seems so experienced in the practice already. It's sad.
    Super pretty is right. I put her in Artbreeder and :love: wow I’m speechless. I don’t know what to do with these photos since I used their adult pictures for artbreeder so I’m not sure about sharing them. (Actually, their teen and adult faces are the same y am I hesitating :sweat_smile: ) You’re right. Dew grew up in the same environment as Curtis but where Curtis has gifts to help him, she is tiny and easily taken advantage of. So she cusses to project herself as someone not to be messed with.

    General
    I think your story is incredibly interesting and unlike any of the other simlits in this thread. I don't read thrillers/mysteries a whole lot in my spare time, but I do like a good thriller so it's nice your story can give me that. It started out slow in comparison to where we are now, but that's obviously the build-up. I didn't expect to be where we are now and what kind of dark turn it would take. I'm loving it so far and I think you're handling the subject of assault very delicately.
    Thank you.. When I wrote this story I knew it was going to be controversial, but I wanted it to be for the right reasons and your answer makes me relieved that it’s on the right track. I agree with you that the pacing is weird because when I first published the story, it got banned on the forums :joy: . I was pm-ing the gms back and forth to ascertain what was okay, what wasn’t etc. After a lot of red tape, I was allowed to start a new story thread. So the front few chapters was me trying to get a feel of what I can and cannot write. I would say though, that if anyone were to report my story to the gms now, it’ll probably get deleted again because the characters In my story cuss and well, everything else.
    I really don't like Curtis' eyes. I noticed how flat and dead doll-like they looked in recent chapters
    Oh gosh you are so right. Tbh, I’m unsettled by his eyes too. I preferred his previous eyes but those eyes had so many veins in them so they were pretty junked up looking themselves. I want to change these latest eyes but I felt like it’ll make my story inconsistent. (If he started with dead eyes, he ends with dead eyes, says my rigid mind.) Thank you for pointing it out to me. I can do something about it in S2 but for now S1 ship has sailed. :lol:
    I think your writing has developed. I read in the comments somewhere it was your first foray into writing and I think you're getting better with every chapter you write.
    Thank you. Yes this is my first writing after highschool. Unless thesis papers count haha. I do have a tendency to overuse exclamation marks. One of the readers was kind enough to point out some areas for commas and wow, those were pretty eye opening so I’m more aware now. :)
    I was so relieved when I read the comments and I thought the assault hadn't happened and then I got to the next chapter and I discovered it had happened after all. :( I think you're insanely creative and it shows.
    I'm sorry about that. It wasn't my intention to put a false impression there. When it finally came down to actually depicting that it happened, given the raw nature of Mercy part 1, I couldn't do it. I found the idea of having to pose/animate that moment when it happened was a line I didn't want to cross. And I felt like there was no reason to cross it other than to inject even more discomfort than it already is. Using a 'flashback' to convey that moment was less confrontational so I chose that.

    And thank you. wow >_< That is too high praise that I’m not deserving, but thank you. I’m simply a super whimsical person who likes to experiment with a bunch of things.

    Questions
    1 How hard was it for you to create the poses for the assault chapter and having to play it out in-game? Would you ever do something like that again?
    Oooft… Mercy (assault chapter) was an incredibly hard chapter to do. I took a lot of breaks in the creation process, and during testing, I’d have to have a lie down midway lol. The poses weren’t actually poses but a full length animation. I had it in my head that if it were an animation, I’d take the pictures as the animation played out so I only need to be confronted or exposed to this vile scene once. (Which was flawed thinking because after that there’s the whole putting the pictures together part so I don’t know what logic I was applying there lol.) At some point I cried for the character. The entire creation of the joint Mercy chapters took almost 2 weeks or triple the average time I need to write a chapter.

    Will I ever write or pose a sexual assault scene? I don’t want to, unless it is a theme in my story.
    Will I ever write or pose dark scenes that are equally controversial? Yes I’m expecting backlash in Season 2.. :pensive:
    I'm curious about your own feelings on Curtis. I seem to be in the minority on how he's also a victim in this whole situation. On what side do you stand?
    Owh… This is a hard question. I do see Curtis being a victim. That being said, I see the other side of the argument too. There are things beyond Curtis’s control which kept him walking on his path. But Curtis has to some extent become a willing member of his life and actively participates in it. He might be a good or bad person deep down, but regardless of intent, his choices resulted in casualites and consequences that others have to bear, direct or indirectly. I don’t mean Athena or Saanvi here, but just by being a drug runner, Curtis is feeding into the decline of whole neighborhoods and families.

    You’ve actually asked one of the central themes of this story. I love how you do that, pick up on all these details and say insightful comments after. But I don’t have a side. This question is woven into the story instead so that others can come to an answer themselves. At what point does a person turn from victim to offender? What do we prioritise that determines a person’s innocence/good or bad/redeemability?

    I think the comments section can answer your question better than I can, because I personally have no clue. That’s why I ask readers instead. ._. But again, that is an amazing question. It has made me wonder that given the nature of your study, this question must be something you have to deal with all the time. :no_mouth: I think that's admirable. That you have to ask yourself hard questions every day and come to an answer and make a decision that addresses those question.
    Did you have your whole story planned out at this point? Or did you go with the flow?
    I have huge plot points in my story that I direct my story towards. At this point, these huge plot points have been decided. But the in-between is pretty much go with the flow and character-driven. Sometimes the characters take me to places I never expect myself. :)
  • AdamsEve1231AdamsEve1231 Posts: 7,017 Member
    edited September 2020
    I'm just waiting for a bit before I try playing again. My TS4 game broke too.

    I have sad news. One of my WordPress sites was hacked. It was bizarre. I logged in and suddenly my home page was a restaurant advertisement and some sub pages were menus or ordering forms. :s It's so plum and frustrating. (Apparently the forums doesn't like 🤔🤔🤔🤔).

    I'm working on fixing it but between that and repairing TS3, I'm not sure if I'll catch up with reading or writing responses or finishing my character pieces. It's like the universe is against me this weekend because my husband's car is having problems and my vacuum broke. Gah!

    Okay I'm done ranting. Thanks for listening.
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    ...a little bit mystery... a little bit magic... a little here... a little there... welcome to my whimsical writing world.
    Livin' A Simmin' Life's Stories
  • DuvelinaDuvelina Posts: 2,593 Member
    @AdamsEve1231 I'm so sorry all of that happened to you. Completely understandable that you're frustrated. 😔
  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 1,594 Member
    I'm just waiting for a bit before I try playing again. My TS4 game broke too.

    I have sad news. One of my WordPress sites was hacked. It was bizarre. I logged in and suddenly my home page was a restaurant advertisement and some sub pages were menus or ordering forms. :s It's so plum and frustrating. (Apparently the forums doesn't like 🌺🌺🌺🌺).

    I'm working on fixing it but between that and repairing TS3, I'm not sure if I'll catch up with reading or writing responses or finishing my character pieces. It's like the universe is against me this weekend because my husband's car is having problems and my vacuum broke. Gah!

    Okay I'm done ranting. Thanks for listening.

    Aw, man 0.o that sounds like the quite the series of unfortunate events. I hope you get your blog back to normal soon, and fix your game, and the car, and the vacuum my gods. :| Did something really good happen recently so this has to balance it out? Or it's the bad stuff first, in case something really good may happen later!
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  • DuvelinaDuvelina Posts: 2,593 Member
    edited September 2020
    This TS4 Twitter thread made me so happy. All these details I didn't know yet! Thought I'd share. Click on the tweet to go to the thread.

  • SkeilahSkeilah Posts: 1,666 Member
    @AdamsEve1231 ah man, that’s so frustrating indeed... I already would’ve thrown it all away😂😂 I hope you get everything fixed soon!
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  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    I'm just waiting for a bit before I try playing again. My TS4 game broke too.

    I have sad news. One of my WordPress sites was hacked. It was bizarre. I logged in and suddenly my home page was a restaurant advertisement and some sub pages were menus or ordering forms. :s It's so plum and frustrating. (Apparently the forums doesn't like 🌺🌺🌺🌺).

    I'm working on fixing it but between that and repairing TS3, I'm not sure if I'll catch up with reading or writing responses or finishing my character pieces. It's like the universe is against me this weekend because my husband's car is having problems and my vacuum broke. Gah!

    Okay I'm done ranting. Thanks for listening.

    Im so sorry to hear that. I would be so demotivated and frustrated and agitated if my wp was hacked and omg everything else piling over your head. I hope everything goes better for you after this.
  • ajamkeevinajamkeevin Posts: 278 Member
    edited September 2020
    @mercuryfoam Ready for a bible-sized post with thoughts about your story? :smirk: Let's gooooooo :flushed:

    Ch 6.
    - Do you have any specific thoughts about her school life? Her?
    I mentioned this in the comment section of your blog (and this will probably be true for a lot of my answers here, haha), but the way that you wrote Athena's first experiences with the social scene at her new school really took me back to my own high school experience. I think it was really well done! Now, about Athena specifically, I think it's a nice change to see her actually being treated rather well at a school, instead of with aggression and disdain. While I think a lot of the students at her school are superficial and/or hung up on their celebrity status, I'm excited to see them being developed more, I think they all have something interesting to add (even people like Trevor and Carly, who give me the knee-jerk reaction of disliking them, but that's because I was never ever ever popular in school, haha). It's going to be cool watching Athena navigating this new school environment, and I'm happy she's already somewhat popular. It must be a nice feeling for her after the awful experiences at her last schools. I think this change is going to help her be more straightforward but not as aggressive as she was previously. And it's going to be nice to see her develop real friendships! I mean, aside from Kian and Curtis who I don't really see as "friends" yet, anyway.

    - What do you think of the comic? What spoke to you? What didn't?
    It was absolutely, hands-down amazing! I really like that you went with this format change for this little interlude that allowed us to look into Curtis's shady affairs firsthand for the first time. It was an inspired choice! Because A) you really managed to make the comic instantly distinct from the parts preceding and succeeding it; it really stands out from the main story and also in its style, so the reader gets hit harder by the events and I think they linger longer this way. It's an excellent way to make Curtis's story stand out in a way that hits differently from Athena's. And B ) you really got to flex your formidable visual storytelling skills here. I've said it before, you have a skilled and effective way of conveying your story through images, and this shines here. The details that went into each part of this comic! Your images were front and center here, and I loved that. Of course, there's still narration and dialogue, but they're condensed and I think that fit in perfectly with the tone you were going for. The only thing that had me tripping up a little was the visual flow of the comic, but that's on me and not on you; I have occasionally read mangas and I enjoy them, but since I don't read many (and haven't in quite a while), I had trouble following the text at times. But aside from my own slight difficulty reading along, I loved this part.

    - What impression do you have of Kian?
    I've always liked Kian. He is such a breath of fresh air, even from the moment he was introduced in the alley, and I still like him very much. Seeing him get some development at the end of the last section we discussed (with his father) primed me up to learn more about him, and I really liked how, even though Athena is the main main character in this chapter (as with all others, generally), Kian almost felt like he carried the first two parts of the chapter. He was front and center, and most everything Athena did and said was related to him (and you even gave him his own flashback moment to reveal his crush—with that jaw-dropping bait-and-switch reveal there, I'm still sad Trevor's not his crush, haha), and he carried the action of the chapter forward. I think he's a great character. I'm looking forward to more Kian, and he's looking like a whole meal with that brown hair, good thing I'm hungry ;) ehehehehe (his red hair was great and I do miss it, but this brown hair has me feeling a certain kind of way :grimace: )

    Ch 7.
    - What do you think of their time together? Did their development feel natural? How can it be improved?
    I loved it! The development between them felt natural and fit in well with the pace of the story. You've established that Curtis is reticent about letting Athena even hang out with them, so seeing him slowly opening up to the point where he's sad and lets her see him without his guard fully up feels like it's a natural progression given how Athena tries to get a peek behind the stone-cold curtain. I was pleased to see the two spending time together, just talking and enjoying each other's company without the immediate threat of aggression or violence looming. Seeing them doing normal, couple-like things together like sharing sweet treats, visiting museums, buying flowers, etc. reminded me that... these two are TEENAGERS and should be able to spend more time like this instead of constantly being involved in darker things. It was almost refreshing to see them have a reprieve from their intense lives and enjoy an afternoon of simple fun. It gives their relationship a nice balance and it allows for moments like the almost-kiss to be even more satisfying because you get the impression that the two have actually grown to be comfortable with each other by doing normal things. You ask about how it could be improved, but honestly I don't think there's anything wrong with the way you wrote this part, so I don't have any advice to improve. I loved this. :)

    - What are your thoughts on Curtis at this stage (from Ch6 to 7)? Any predictions? Does his character deter you?
    I've mentioned this, but Curtis is going to let Athena in slowly, sloooooowly, and then continue to shut her out when she hits sore spots. Exactly like in Chapter 7, where she slowly saw a more vulnerable side only to be shut down aggressively by Curtis when she pushed a bit too far. Although then, he apologized and fully let her see that he was feeling very down. I think this will keep happening, and I hope Athena puts an end to it at some point because she deserves much more than to have this up and down of emotions constantly. I'm not saying Curtis should just spill all his secrets and let Athena in 100% right away, but if he's going to slowly let her in I hope he does it well, without snapping or lashing out at her... but that's easier said and done, I suppose.

    Curtis has proven to be quite sensitive and emotional, I think. There were signs everywhere in these two chapters that Curtis has a deep well of emotions. I love how you set this up! His reactions to Saanvi's murder where he brought up her children, how Kirino was her friend, etc.; him bringing the tulips to her grave; his thoughts about and concern for Athena, and other things. I like seeing this side of Curtis because he's a fascinating character to read about. I'm only ever annoyed by him when he's rude to Athena, because at this point he can see that she's not a "regular" girl and that she's trustworthy. So treat her well, boy!

    - 7.4 shows a different story angle. What do you think of it?
    One of the many things I like about your story is that there is a lot going on not only center-stage, but also in the background. You bringing some of those background things to the foreground by showing us Masato and Kirino doing their thing in the bar was very intriguing. I feel like it's almost like a puzzle, a true mystery. There's a lot of characters and details in that storyline, and I'm loving piecing together how things fit in with each other. I liked that you dedicated 7.4 to this side of the story!

    Ch 8
    - Any thoughts or questions on the magic introduction?
    I love it when you give us glimpses into the lore surrounding Aelrendths because you do it in such a natural way. It flows well. I love how Avery talked about the spells, and how Grim talked about the Red Decade, these both were beautifully screenshotted and I liked the feeling of learning at the same time as Athena. As someone who hasn't played with Realm of Magic, I'm curious: is there much of a story in that game pack? I know Morgyn Ember is a character in there, but I don't know anything about him. Did you use him as a base and added your own lore to his character? Or did you build the story about the history of the Aelrendths around his existing story? And this is just a silly thought, but I wonder if his fragmented soul is going to come into play at some point. Kind of reminds me of Voldemort and his Horcruxes :P

    - What do you think of Athena’s character here?
    She comes off as pretty grown up a lot of the time, and then I'm reminded that she's still very young. Especially here, she's learning from Avery and Grim, and then Grim shows her an environment that she's never witnessed before, and we can tell that this affects her a lot. I think an important side effect of learning about the realities of any sort of world, be it our own world or a fictional one in a story, is that there's a moment where you can't go back, where your thoughts on the world can be completely tainted in a way that will always affect your outlook on life. I think that Athena's had a couple moments like this, but Grim showing her Curtis being a part of that awful seedy world is going to heavily affect Athena, and I'm interested to see what effect this is going to have on Athena's character. One thing I was pleased to see, though, is that she still has that initial reaction to help the people going through difficult and dangerous situations. I hope she doesn't lose this!

    Ch 9
    - What do you think of her actions to what she witnessed?
    I think Athena is very reactionary. She acts with her heart first, and brain second (or not at all, haha). This is a good thing in certain cases, but Athena is in WAY over her head in this world, and I think she should learn some restraint, especially if she's going to continue to involve herself in these dangerous situations. This comes with maturity, of course, and sadly I think that Athena is now going to understand exactly what the dangers of this world are. Not only to people around her, but also to her, since she's now experienced the horror of being in this world firsthand. I'm heartbroken for her, truly. I hope that, moving forward, she can be a little wiser while living in this world.

    - Did I handle this chapter appropriately? Was there enough to prepare the reader? What would you change?
    I usually avoid stories with these themes because of personal triggers. I don't particularly like discussing things like this, or reading about them in the stories I read during my free time, but I recognize how important it is to acknowledge that these things exist, that they happen more often than we'd like, and that we, and people (or characters) we've grown to know and love are not exempt from this sort of thing.

    I think you handled this chapter exceptionally well. You mentioned in your comments and notes that you've worked with people that have gone through things like this, violence and crime, and I think that your personal experience has helped you in presenting this horrifying episode in Athena's life in a responsible, mature, and powerful manner. It is important to present this sort of event in a way that does not gloss over its importance, and you did that very well. You responsibly prepared the readers for what was about to happen with your trigger warnings and that is so commendable, thank you. Your choice to make both parts of the Mercy section image-only (with only some text overlaid on the pictures in the second part) was a strong one. Sexual assault and violence don't always need to be explained exhaustively in text form; sometimes images are all we need. I'm impressed you made all the poses, that couldn't have been easy at all (emotionally and technically). The image of Athena's tear running down her face especially was powerful and moving for me. I applaud you for both choosing to keep this specific part of your story and presenting in a respectful but moving way.

    Ch 10
    - What are your thoughts on Masato?
    I really don't like him, but I respect his hustle. He's obviously VERY street-smart and wise in his field of expertise. He's also cold, calculated, and cunning; he knows how to play everyone like a fiddle, and that's so important for what he does. I'm not surprised that he played Curtis this whole time and that Athena was nothing more than a pawn (OK, I lied; I was surprised Athena turned out to not be important to him at all, I thought there'd be something else to his interest in her), but maaaaaan was I gooped and gagged at his revealing it to Curtis and seeing this slowly dawn on him. A great moment and reveal in the story! So even though I don't like Masato, he's well-written and super interesting to read.

    - Has your impression of Curtis changed?
    Not particularly. We knew he had been involved in Masato's seedy affairs from a young age, and even though it's nice to know that he would never kill anyone (past tense), I still think that all of his good intentions and thoughts mean nothing if he's using the dark underworld as a means to achieve them. I like Curtis, quite a bit in fact, but I can't look past this for now. Do his ultimate good intentions erase his collaboration in this world that has led to much violence and many deaths? No, I think not. So I think he's a tragic character, and I think what Grim said about him dying as a way to allow him to escape is accurate. Athena should have let him die so he would finally be free of all of this! But then there'd be no story, right? And we can't have that :P

    - What do you think of Athena’s mental condition at this point?
    Sadly, I understand the way she's thinking. "I'm not dirty. I'm still the same!" is a good way to look at herself, but I'm not sure she's gotten to the worst part of her grief and trauma quite yet because I think she's taking things rather well at the moment. But then we can see that she's really emotionally drained and frail since she's so hung up on Curtis right now, and that is understandable. I think she's going to spiral into a more difficult mental space and Curtis is trying to pull away, and this is only going to add to her grief. I'm nervous for her.

    - What is your impression of Dew?
    You weren't lying when you said she has a serious potty mouth! But I love how she's a no-nonsense kind of girl. I can imagine that, even though she's very young, growing up in this world has made her develop a lot of street smarts and she definitely gave Athena a dose of these. I appreciated this because it's true that Athena, even with all the hardships of her own, has had a kind of sheltered life. I'm glad Dew opened Athena's eyes about Curtis's true intentions and nature, because Athena needed to learn about this. It's not like Curtis would have told her the truth, he just walked out! On the other hand, I hope that Dew doesn't really continue to go after Curtis, because THAT would not end well. Nope, I don't see that ending well AT ALL.

    - What do you think of the organisation of the chapters having two different povs?
    Oh, whoops! I was so into the story itself and absorbed in the characters that I didn't even notice when the POV changed :flushed: let me take another look. ~~~~~ Ok, I guess I had noticed but didn't really think about it :P It's cool that you do this! Allows the story to develop through the eyes of different characters, and I think it's well done since it's not jarring when these jumps happen. Obviously not, because I just kept going on without really thinking about the change, and the different POV makes sense and doesn't interrupt the flow. So, I like this choice.

    General
    - What are your thoughts on the story? Likes/dislikes?
    Just, wow! I'm not sure where I saw the story going after the first section we discussed. You set up a lot of things: Athena's magical powers and the Aelrendths, a potential romance between Curtis and Athena, Masato and Kirino's criminial activity, etc., but honestly they've all been really well developed and you've added even more elements to the story (like Jules's investigation, the school scenes, etc.) that make it even more vibrant and intense. It's been such a joy today to sit down and catch up with the story because I was intrigued about where you'd go with it. I think you've crafted a powerful story with many different facets and that's impressive. I'm really enjoying reading!

    I really like how much detail you put into every aspect: in the dialogue, in the images, in the character interactions. I'm actually looking forward to possibly re-reading this one day to catch all the detail that I'm sure I've missed. That is incredible. I also love how much care you put into the visuals, making many of the poses yourself and exhaustively styling the sets and the characters. It makes the story feel complete. I like the little captions you put under some of the pictures, too :P they make me giggle! I don't have any dislikes I can think of. I think at this point y'all in the reading circle know I don't dislike much, if anything, about your stories, but I'm really not that picky. I love diving into someone's story, and as long as I'm absorbed in the story, I'm not bothered by much. And for B2W specifically: the images are flawless and vibrant, the writing is tight, grammar and spelling is great, language choices thoughtful and diverse, the story is intricate and fascinating, the characters are well developed and mostly likable or at least tolerable, and the blog is easy on the eyes. Nothing to dislike here!

    - What are your thoughts on the writing? Has there been any changes?
    Like I said above, I think your writing is tight. There are several sections where I feel like the story would be let down if the writing wasn't up to par (like the Mercy parts that had barely any text, and none outside of the pictures in part 2, the writing in the comic, Grim's parts, etc.), but luckily I think your writing is even better than I remembered it. Descriptive, but not reliant on exposition dumps. For example, I like that when we're learning about something, it's usually because Athena or another character is also learning about it at the same time (like the history of the Aelrendths or the spells or the Red Decade), or through a flashback that explains things through action and not narrative exposition. You're good at that! It makes the story more dynamic. I know we're reading parts of your story that were published like half a year ago, but I think even only between Chapters 1 and 10 one can tell you've grown more comfortable and confident in your writing. I would never have guessed that English is not your first language, truly, because you're very good at writing and your vocabulary is astounding. I occasionally notice some awkward wording here and there but never enough to take me out of the story or to make the section lose its flow or meaning.

    - I started exploring different mediums. What did you think of the picture sequence? Anything else about the comic?
    I said a lot of this above, but I think your choice of using different mediums to advance the story is an inspired one. The comic, the picture-only parts, the switch to a "recording" for the police interrogation; they all provide a nice switch-up that keeps the visual and written aspects of the story very interesting. I love these switch-ups! Picture sequence is always very good in your story, you have a gift for great visual flow when it comes to your story, be it in the comic or during more traditional sections. The comic itself is wonderful, and I know I've said a lot of nice things about it on your blog and above, but, really, it was a great choice and I would love to see another comic show up in the story somewhere if you think it was a good choice!

    - Is there anything I should know about but am unaware given the nature of the story? (Or anything else?)
    I can't think of anything at the moment. Maybe I'm blanking because I'm still so absorbed in the story, haha, but I can't think of something at the moment. You have a pretty great command of the elements of your story and I'm thrilled to be a part of the ride, reading along and immersing myself in the world you've so masterfully crafted. :)

    - Any questions for me? I’m not sure if you want to ask my characters anything at this point, but that’s open too. :sweat_smile:
    You've woven together some very different storytelling aspects and general themes into your story. Like, you have magic but also the intense world of underground crime, spiced with elements of romance and school drama. On top of that, you play around with text and visual representations of the story (switching from dialogue and narration to the comic, or to picture-only sections), so your story is truly a very varied and interesting ride. Did you always intend for it to be so intricate? Or did you start with it, introduced some elements, and then the whole thing poured from your mind and fingers without you being able to control it? :P I'm in awe of how well you incorporate all of these elements! I know you said you have experience working with young people who are connected to the underground crime world, but this and all the other elements of your story are very well-researched and detailed! I'm really impressed, and I feel like I'm learning some things just by reading your story, on top of enjoying it, of course. Do you spend a lot of time researching before writing or do you research as you write?

    I am so sorry I'm coming in right under the line here. I had a translation contract come in last minute and I spent all the time this weekend I had planned to read your story working instead! I think this has convinced me that maybe... maybe I shouldn't binge all the time :P I love binging but it leads to this, where I haven't finished the reading and the week is almost up! I'll try to not binge next time and instead do as y'all do, answering throughout the week as you read. If you have any thoughts about my answers, I don't mind at all if you cut into my week! I know it's inconvenient of me to post my answers right at the end of the week. :flushed:

    With that out of the way.... WOW. I already really liked B2W after our first discussion of it, but honestly I love it even more now. You're a great author. I feel very moved by many parts of your story, thrilled by others, and I'm very invested in the story. It's truly great! I think I'll read a little more before bed because the end of this section has me really wondering what's happening :P I'm excited for your next discussion week!

    Post edited by ajamkeevin on
  • ajamkeevinajamkeevin Posts: 278 Member
    @AdamsEve1231 oh man, I'm so sorry all of this is happening right now! And on your long weekend, too. I hope that you get to relax a bit regardless. Your blog being hacked sounds absolutely awful, I hope you're able to fix it! Sending you all the positive vibes I can muster♥
  • AdamsEve1231AdamsEve1231 Posts: 7,017 Member
    Okay after 4 days of work, I think my WordPress, Simterra Tales is back up. :tired_face: I worked my behind off getting it to a functional place again and it still isn't done, but the site is live in case anyone is wondering/interested.

    I did a lot of work on it to make it more Wiki like (similar to the awesome work of @ajamkeevin). I was going to create a fandom site but... after being hacked... I just wanted to get everything functional again and I already have the site so I figured why not? I'll have a lot more work completed in the next month, I hope.

    Simterra Tales is the home for my worldbuilding articles and background/informational posts, plus my latest story series, Wright Way Travel Adventures. I finished editing/updating a post for the calendar which will be out tomorrow (er... 2 hours from now MDT). I know some of you were wondering about the calendar for Simterra.

    @everyone Thanks for all your kind words. I'm so sorry I missed the end of @mercuryfoam's week and I'm sorry I wasn't able to get Kass responses out. I literally have it 90% written and I just need to screenshot. TS3 is my next big project to tackle. I'm about 75% of the way done with mods/cc for the game to have it back where I want it/need it. I hope I can catch up on reading/answering questions here soon.
    NLa3Fdu.png
    ...a little bit mystery... a little bit magic... a little here... a little there... welcome to my whimsical writing world.
    Livin' A Simmin' Life's Stories
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    @AdamsEve1231 I'm glad you managed to fix it! Hope your game fixes go smoothly too! :)

    @ajamkeevin I love your insights. I have so much to say about your questions but I just had a grueling wrestling match with the gov website and came out on the losing end and have to redo a few hours worth of paperwork. :tired_face: So lol I will get to your comments when I am in a better headspace. But just want you to know I'm loving your responses and will have to take you up on your offer that I might cut into your week for a reply. But I should be alright in a couple of hours, so maybe this preemptive message is not needed but just in case. :smiley:
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    edited September 2020
    @ajamkeevin
    Ch 6.
    Do you have any specific thoughts about her school life? Her?
    I mentioned this in the comment section of your blog (and this will probably be true for a lot of my answers here, haha), but the way that you wrote Athena's first experiences with the social scene at her new school really took me back to my own high school experience. I think it was really well done! Now, about Athena specifically, I think it's a nice change to see her actually being treated rather well at a school, instead of with aggression and disdain. While I think a lot of the students at her school are superficial and/or hung up on their celebrity status, I'm excited to see them being developed more
    I left you a long comment on how happy I am that you found this chapter relatable to your school experiences and that you actually had a “Carly” in your school. I had too. :wink:

    And I love how you pointed out the superficiality here. Regardless of CS High’s prestigiousness, the school was simply a reflection of the social structure of the larger society. There’s an unhealthy focus of status attainment and social stratification in 6.1, then in 6.2 and 7.1, there is a strong emphasis on ability/intelligence. Having embraced her magic, Athena fulfils these skewed expectations and is able to ride the waves and thrive at this school. I’ve never highlighted her experiences in common schools. But I’ve always thought it ironic but true that Athena will be embraced here in this kind of setting. Kind of like how in your story, Enca is ostracised for her difference in status/wealth/w.e compared to the other contestants.
    What do you think of the comic? What spoke to you? What didn't?
    The only thing that had me tripping up a little was the visual flow of the comic, but that's on me and not on you; I have occasionally read mangas and I enjoy them, but since I don't read many (and haven't in quite a while), I had trouble following the text at times. But aside from my own slight difficulty reading along, I loved this part.
    You’re too kind! Thank you so much. And you’re absolutely right. One of my own critiques to my comic is that I put too many panels in one page! :sweat_smile: So no worries, I definitely see where I can improve on and make it easier for both readers and non manga readers to follow the story. You’re right about the text too. If I had less panels, I could spread out the text and make the conversations less condense so its a cascade effect of one flowing into the other. Thank you for pointing them out! :)
    What impression do you have of Kian?
    I've always liked Kian. He is such a breath of fresh air, even from the moment he was introduced in the alley, and I still like him very much. Kian almost felt like he carried the first two parts of the chapter. He was front and center, and most everything Athena did and said was related to him (and you even gave him his own flashback moment to reveal his crush—with that jaw-dropping bait-and-switch reveal there, I'm still sad Trevor's not his crush, haha), and he carried the action of the chapter forward. I think he's a great character. I'm looking forward to more Kian, and he's looking like a whole meal with that brown hair, good thing I'm hungry  ehehehehe (his red hair was great and I do miss it, but this brown hair has me feeling a certain kind of way  )
    Oh yes Kian is quite the eye candy. I have to admit he looks good in his brown hair. :love: Although his personality is hating it so no promises that its staying. He likes his flaming hair. Lol yeah! My bad about the baiting. And you’re right. These chapters are imo Kian chapters. He’s the star here. :smiley:

    Ch 7.
    What do you think of their time together? Did their development feel natural? How can it be improved?
    I loved it! The development between them felt natural and fit in well with the pace of the story. You've established that Curtis is reticent about letting Athena even hang out with them, so seeing him slowly opening up to the point where he's sad and lets her see him without his guard fully up feels like it's a natural progression given how Athena tries to get a peek behind the stone-cold curtain. I was pleased to see the two spending time together, just talking and enjoying each other's company without the immediate threat of aggression or violence looming. Seeing them doing normal, couple-like things together like sharing sweet treats, visiting museums, buying flowers, etc. reminded me that... these two are TEENAGERS and should be able to spend more time like this instead of constantly being involved in darker things. It was almost refreshing to see them have a reprieve from their intense lives and enjoy an afternoon of simple fun. It gives their relationship a nice balance and it allows for moments like the almost-kiss to be even more satisfying because you get the impression that the two have actually grown to be comfortable with each other by doing normal things. I loved this. 
    Thank you. You’re right. They’ve never really had the chance to be teenagers. This moment here they’re almost, almost completely unaffected by outside forces and can simply be themselves. I really wanted to highlight that because this whole time they’ve got some thing crazy going on in their lives. In this moment, it’s just him and her.
    What are your thoughts on Curtis at this stage (from Ch6 to 7)? Any predictions? Does his character deter you?
    Curtis has proven to be quite sensitive and emotional, I think. There were signs everywhere in these two chapters that Curtis has a deep well of emotions. I love how you set this up! His reactions to Saanvi's murder where he brought up her children, how Kirino was her friend, etc.; him bringing the tulips to her grave; his thoughts about and concern for Athena, and other things. I like seeing this side of Curtis because he's a fascinating character to read about. I'm only ever annoyed by him when he's rude to Athena, because at this point he can see that she's not a "regular" girl and that she's trustworthy. So treat her well, boy!
    Ahhhh….. I’m so glad you picked up this side of Curtis. I used to have an author’s note that elaborates on this side of Curtis’s character trait but I scraped it so I’m really excited that you picked it up regardless anyway. You’re right, despite Curtis’s un-reactivity, his sensitivity and depth of emotions are pretty much as high as Athena’s. Curiously he can hold his in while she can’t. :wink: I won’t say more. I hope you have fun figuring out his character :)
    7.4 shows a different story angle. What do you think of it?
    One of the many things I like about your story is that there is a lot going on not only center-stage, but also in the background. You bringing some of those background things to the foreground by showing us Masato and Kirino doing their thing in the bar was very intriguing. I feel like it's almost like a puzzle, a true mystery. There's a lot of characters and details in that storyline, and I'm loving piecing together how things fit in with each other. I liked that you dedicated 7.4 to this side of the story!
    Ahh thank you! I had B2W labelled as mystery at first but took the label off because I don’t actually know what the label means. (For example, if I labelled something mystery, do I need to put clues everywhere? No clue!) So B2W is left as romance lol.

    Ch8.
    Any thoughts or questions on the magic introduction?
    As someone who hasn't played with Realm of Magic, I'm curious: is there much of a story in that game pack? I know Morgyn Ember is a character in there, but I don't know anything about him. Did you use him as a base and added your own lore to his character? Or did you build the story about the history of the Aelrendths around his existing story? And this is just a silly thought, but I wonder if his fragmented soul is going to come into play at some point. Kind of reminds me of Voldemort and his Horcruxes :P
    Ooof.. There might be some story if I put in the effort of reading about the premade families. Morgyn Ember has no backstory except that he is dubbed the Sage of Untamed Magic, is sterile and wears women clothing at times. So anything else is up to simmer’s creativity. I built my own story since there’s none and I love how they made Morgyn so fluid and up to interpretation so I had to have him in my story. Not a silly thought at all! As I was creating the magic lore, I had to consciously tell myself NOT to make a story about horcruxes. I’ve tried my best to make it not a copy of HP. Hopefully it doesn’t feel that way when you reach the magical side of things. :lol:
    What do you think of Athena’s character here?
    She comes off as pretty grown up a lot of the time, and then I'm reminded that she's still very young. Especially here, she's learning from Avery and Grim, and then Grim shows her an environment that she's never witnessed before, and we can tell that this affects her a lot. I think an important side effect of learning about the realities of any sort of world, be it our own world or a fictional one in a story, is that there's a moment where you can't go back, where your thoughts on the world can be completely tainted in a way that will always affect your outlook on life. I think that Athena's had a couple moments like this, but Grim showing her Curtis being a part of that awful seedy world is going to heavily affect Athena, and I'm interested to see what effect this is going to have on Athena's character. One thing I was pleased to see, though, is that she still has that initial reaction to help the people going through difficult and dangerous situations. I hope she doesn't lose this!
    Ahh… I’m glad you see her that way! That is what I wanted to paint. A girl who is in-between. At this stage it’s frustrating to be her because she is both a girl and woman at the same time. She could be mature in this setting, but completely immature or ignorant in another. Oh… I’d give you a thousand highfives there. I think the same. There are things that once you’ve seen or experienced, it changes you and you can never go back. I wouldn’t say tainted. But yes, you’re changed. We don’t know how it changes her yet here since she’s completely in shock.
    Aw yeah. She is at the core, still a person driven by compassion. She managed to stop herself from helping the people in this chapter, but it’s putting so much strain on her almost to her breaking point.


    Ch9
    What do you think of her actions to what she witnessed?
    I think Athena is very reactionary. She acts with her heart first, and brain second (or not at all, haha). This is a good thing in certain cases, but Athena is in WAY over her head in this world, and I think she should learn some restraint, especially if she's going to continue to involve herself in these dangerous situations. This comes with maturity, of course, and sadly I think that Athena is now going to understand exactly what the dangers of this world are. Not only to people around her, but also to her, since she's now experienced the horror of being in this world firsthand. I'm heartbroken for her, truly. I hope that, moving forward, she can be a little wiser while living in this world.
    xD I agree with everything you say. She will learn to respond than react. :wink; You’ll get to witness it when it happens :)
    Did I handle this chapter appropriately? Was there enough to prepare the reader? What would you change?
    I think you handled this chapter exceptionally well. You mentioned in your comments and notes that you've worked with people that have gone through things like this, violence and crime, and I think that your personal experience has helped you in presenting this horrifying episode in Athena's life in a responsible, mature, and powerful manner. It is important to present this sort of event in a way that does not gloss over its importance, and you did that very well. You responsibly prepared the readers for what was about to happen with your trigger warnings and that is so commendable, thank you. Your choice to make both parts of the Mercy section image-only (with only some text overlaid on the pictures in the second part) was a strong one. Sexual assault and violence don't always need to be explained exhaustively in text form; sometimes images are all we need. I'm impressed you made all the poses, that couldn't have been easy at all (emotionally and technically). The image of Athena's tear running down her face especially was powerful and moving for me. I applaud you for both choosing to keep this specific part of your story and presenting in a respectful but moving way.
    I’ve mentioned in comments how much your words impacted me and reminded me of why I chose to depict Mercy this way and not another less confrontational manner. I’ve been thinking of ‘toning down’ the darkness of my story but with your words, my resolve has strengthened. Thank you so much for that.

    Ch10.
    What are your thoughts on Masato?
    I really don't like him, but I respect his hustle. He's obviously VERY street-smart and wise in his field of expertise. He's also cold, calculated, and cunning; he knows how to play everyone like a fiddle, and that's so important for what he does. I'm not surprised that he played Curtis this whole time and that Athena was nothing more than a pawn (OK, I lied; I was surprised Athena turned out to not be important to him at all, I thought there'd be something else to his interest in her), but maaaaaan was I gooped and gagged at his revealing it to Curtis and seeing this slowly dawn on him. A great moment and reveal in the story! So even though I don't like Masato, he's well-written and super interesting to read.
    Masato gives his thanks. :lol:
    Has your impression of Curtis changed?
    Not particularly. We knew he had been involved in Masato's seedy affairs from a young age, and even though it's nice to know that he would never kill anyone (past tense), I still think that all of his good intentions and thoughts mean nothing if he's using the dark underworld as a means to achieve them. I like Curtis, quite a bit in fact, but I can't look past this for now. Do his ultimate good intentions erase his collaboration in this world that has led to much violence and many deaths? No, I think not. So I think he's a tragic character, and I think what Grim said about him dying as a way to allow him to escape is accurate. Athena should have let him die so he would finally be free of all of this! But then there'd be no story, right? And we can't have that :P
    I totally see where you’re coming from. Curtis walks on a grey line. And even then his actions don’t stay grey. He does a mixture of both good and bad, his approach to solving issues in his life and Athena’s reflect that too. So it’s up to us whether the end he desires justifies his means to get there. Or if his means are so repulsive that regardless of what horror he managed to purge in the end, he should still be condemned for his actions.
    What do you think of Athena’s mental condition at this point?
    Sadly, I understand the way she's thinking. "I'm not dirty. I'm still the same!" is a good way to look at herself, but I'm not sure she's gotten to the worst part of her grief and trauma quite yet because I think she's taking things rather well at the moment. But then we can see that she's really emotionally drained and frail since she's so hung up on Curtis right now, and that is understandable. I think she's going to spiral into a more difficult mental space and Curtis is trying to pull away, and this is only going to add to her grief. I'm nervous for her.
    You’re absolutely right on that statement, and that she’s hung up on Curtis. You’ll see her (and him) crash soon.
    What is your impression of Dew?
    You weren't lying when you said she has a serious potty mouth! But I love how she's a no-nonsense kind of girl. I can imagine that, even though she's very young, growing up in this world has made her develop a lot of street smarts and she definitely gave Athena a dose of these. I appreciated this because it's true that Athena, even with all the hardships of her own, has had a kind of sheltered life. I'm glad Dew opened Athena's eyes about Curtis's true intentions and nature, because Athena needed to learn about this. It's not like Curtis would have told her the truth, he just walked out! On the other hand, I hope that Dew doesn't really continue to go after Curtis, because THAT would not end well. Nope, I don't see that ending well AT ALL.
    Yes! Athena, Dew and Curtis have had a lot of things happen to them, but those were in their own scope and setting so when put in another setting completely different from the one they were exposed to, they would all be considered sheltered. In this case, it’s Athena venturing into Dew and Curtis’s world, so she comes off as the sheltered one. Dew of course doesn’t see that, she simply see’s a… lol. I think you know what she sees when she looks at Athena haha!

    General
    What are your thoughts on the story? Likes/dislikes?
    I really like how much detail you put into every aspect: in the dialogue, in the images, in the character interactions. I'm actually looking forward to possibly re-reading this one day to catch all the detail that I'm sure I've missed. That is incredible. I also love how much care you put into the visuals, making many of the poses yourself and exhaustively styling the sets and the characters. It makes the story feel complete. I like the little captions you put under some of the pictures, too :P they make me giggle! I don't have any dislikes I can think of. And for B2W specifically: the images are flawless and vibrant, the writing is tight, grammar and spelling is great, language choices thoughtful and diverse, the story is intricate and fascinating, the characters are well developed and mostly likable or at least tolerable, and the blog is easy on the eyes. Nothing to dislike here!
    Thank you! You’re right there’s so many different elements at play that it’s becoming quite mad. I’m happy you think they still gel together cohesively (Hopefully you think that) :lol: I’m glad you like the details and that the characters at their least are tolerable haha! <3 I’m happy you enjoy it regardless of its darker themes.
    What are your thoughts on the writing? Has there been any changes?
    Like I said above, I think your writing is tight. There are several sections where I feel like the story would be let down if the writing wasn't up to par (like the Mercy parts that had barely any text, and none outside of the pictures in part 2, the writing in the comic, Grim's parts, etc.), but luckily I think your writing is even better than I remembered it. Descriptive, but not reliant on exposition dumps. I think even only between Chapters 1 and 10 one can tell you've grown more comfortable and confident in your writing. I would never have guessed that English is not your first language, truly, because you're very good at writing and your vocabulary is astounding. I occasionally notice some awkward wording here and there but never enough to take me out of the story or to make the section lose its flow or meaning.
    Thank you! I’m actively reading now so I’m pretty sure my language is improving with every simlit I read! :) I’m grateful for that and this circle because I’m learning from everyone. Even through reading comments I like picking up words or humorous phrases or vocabulary I’ve never used before. It’s all an awesome learning experience.
    Any questions for me? I’m not sure if you want to ask my characters anything at this point, but that’s open too. 
    You've woven together some very different storytelling aspects and general themes into your story. Like, you have magic but also the intense world of underground crime, spiced with elements of romance and school drama. On top of that, you play around with text and visual representations of the story (switching from dialogue and narration to the comic, or to picture-only sections), so your story is truly a very varied and interesting ride. Did you always intend for it to be so intricate? Or did you start with it, introduced some elements, and then the whole thing poured from your mind and fingers without you being able to control it? :P I'm in awe of how well you incorporate all of these elements! I know you said you have experience working with young people who are connected to the underground crime world, but this and all the other elements of your story are very well-researched and detailed! I'm really impressed, and I feel like I'm learning some things just by reading your story, on top of enjoying it, of course. Do you spend a lot of time researching before writing or do you research as you write?

    I think the reason why B2W is so full on with so many different aspects is because it was never meant to be written. :sweat_smile: I’m a pure simmer who play as a form of escapism. So fantasy, magic, celebrity stardom, making supersims was all I intended for my legacy family. As I reached Athena’s generation, I dice rolled and got ‘crime’. So I added that element into the generation and well, it no longer was true escapism. I began viewing the game events with a dose of reality. And regardless of how much unrealistic element I put in there, making her befriend Grim for example, it only added to the unreal yet real story. Finally when Athena was like 4-6 days to becoming an Elder, I decided to pause the game and write it. “The whole thing poured from your mind and fingers without control” is an accurate description of how this story was written lol. I don’t talk about my experiences so to suddenly have an outlet, everything flowed like a waterfall. (Again I have to emphasise, this is FICTION. They may be real-life inspired, but I’ve twisted everything to the point that none of them exists.) I do spend time researching before, during and after I write. :sweat_smile: Given the nature of my story in that it deals with taboo subjects and vulnerable people, I wanted my representation of events and people to be as true as possible, at least to the best of my abilities.

    Thank you so much. You’re too kind with your words but I’m so happy you think that of my writing. I’m sorry to cut in to your week. I can’t wait to dive into your story and find out what happens to my favourite contestants *waves at Kyungri* Also your new banner is just BOMB <3 Amazing! You made your own wallpaper and it’s just royal!
  • ajamkeevinajamkeevin Posts: 278 Member
    @everyone I'm so tired today :flushed: going to try to nap instead of working as I should, haha. I'll post my discussion questions tonight! In the meantime, here are the episodes I'll center the discussion around (some of you have already read everything :sweat_smile: ): Episode 6 through Episode 9, plus the bonuses. The bonus ones can be read in whatever order, but if you're wondering what the official story order is:

    Episode 6: The Girl Who Is A Silent Killer
    Charlee's Dream
    Episode 7: The Boy Who Strips Down
    Episode 8: The Girl Who Makes A Move
    Matthison's Paradise
    Louise's Nightmare
    Episode 9: The Girl Who Judges Everyone
    Enca's Choice


    I'll get some discussion questions up later today! Can't wait to hear what y'all think.
  • ajamkeevinajamkeevin Posts: 278 Member
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    Hello Freezer Bunnies, ajmkv here! At the moment, the whole production team at K&GI is hard at work filming and editing the finale, so keep an eye out for it! In the meantime, here are the discussion questions for this week.~ I tried to avoid spoilers in the questions, but there are a couple minor ones here and there, so watch out if you haven't read the episodes yet. I'm really looking forward to your answers! Thanks, everyone.♥

    Episode 6 + Charlee's Dream
    • What did you think about the guests/challenge? Did you have a favorite guest? (Manon, Aurora, Qykoz, Patricio, and Dr. Kim were the guests.)
    • What do you think about Jessie working with the producers to plan the challenge?
    • Were you satisfied with the elimination or did you want the eliminee to stay?
    • What did you think about Charlee's bonus episode? Was it too risqué? :flushed:

    Episode 7
    • We get a peek into a lot of the relationships between the housemates this episode, instead of high-stakes drama. Do you like the more laid-back vibe of this episode?
    • I know the challenge was kind of boring, but did you like pictures/ads?
    • Matthison has some competition! What do you think of Louise revealing her crush to Gabriel?
    • What did you think of Enca revealing a twist at the elimination ceremony?

    Episode 8 + Matthison's Paradise + Louise's Nightmare
    • We're at an overseas destination! Do you like the change of setting?
    • Did you like the challenge? Eight guests is a LOT, but do you think the pairings were good or at least fun to read about?
    • Marjan has been dropping hints here and there about her story, but what do you think of the introduction of Cielo into the mystery? Do you feel angry at Marjan for using her super-nomination power to place Enzo in the bottom, which led to his elimination?
    • Two relationship questions: what do you think of Matthieu being jealous of Russ? And, do you think Louise should have kissed Branden?
    • Did you like the bonus episodes? The first revealed a few details about Matthison but was mostly just some good fun, as was the second one about Louise.

    Episode 9 + Enca's Choice
    • Were you happy to see the eliminated contestants return and get the spotlight once again? What do you think of their interactions once they got back? (The various fights at the cocktail party, Enca forgiving Patricio, China and Gabriel, etc.)
    • The roast was long and kind of rough, but did you generally like it? Who was your favorite?
    • Are you happy with the returning contestant, or do you wish someone else had returned?
    • Did the elimination shock you? How do you feel about who went home?
    • In Enca's bonus episode, she tries to come to terms with the fact that she wants to be with Patricio even though she knows it's risky. What did you think of the episode and of her choosing to follow her heart?

    Technical + Writing
    • I got rid of the regular nomination segments starting in Episode 6 since I thought they dragged on a little too long. Do you think this was a good choice or did you like this section?
    • In Episode 8, I upped the visual quality of my game so the screenshots are sharper, and I gave a final glow-up to the headshots, icons, confessional images, etc. Is it noticeable?
    • I switch up the writing style in the bonus episodes in order to give a different look into the characters' lives. Do you like this?

    General + Arc 2 Story Questions
    • I consider that each housemate has at least one major thing happening in their storylines in this section. What is your favorite storyline so far?
    • Marjan has been slowly revealing vague details about what's really going on with her. What do you think of her character at this point?
    • Has your favorite character remained the same, or has it changed? Why?
    • Do you have any predictions at this point? Did some of the ones from last time come true?
    • Do you have any questions for me or the characters? I'd love to do more confessional-style answers from my characters if you have any questions!
  • ajamkeevinajamkeevin Posts: 278 Member
    @mercuryfoam I'm excited to read your thoughts, I'll edit this comment later once I read them all. Just wanted to say, thank you so much! I loved your comment, it made my day :flushed: Hope you enjoy reading and catching up with Kyungri and the others! And yess, thank you, I made that wallpaper and it took me so long since it's only my second piece of CC :P Glad you like the banner! Your new banner is also looking bomb.com♥
  • DuvelinaDuvelina Posts: 2,593 Member
    Chapter 6 + Charlee's Dream
    What did you think about the guests/challenge? Did you have a favorite guest? (Manon, Aurora, Qykoz, Patricio, and Dr. Kim were the guests.)

    I like how you diversify the challenges! It never feels like you're reading the same thing again and I think that's a hard thing to do with a reality tv format. I don't think I had a favourite guest, but I liked seeing Manon because of the drama potential. How disappointing when she was completely supportive. 😂
    What do you think about Jessie working with the producers to plan the challenge?

    Surprising! I wouldn't have thought she'd do something like that because she's been so nice throughout the competition. I did expect some major fall-out from that because she did mess with people's lives here but we didn't really get that.
    Were you satisfied with the elimination or did you want the eliminee to stay?

    I didn't want this particular eliminee to go because they livened up the house but I was also at peace with it because no one liked them and it was getting tiring for everyone involved.
    What did you think about Charlee's bonus episode? Was it too risqué? :flushed:

    I'd say so, yes. I wasn't expecting such an out-there chapter because everything so far had been pretty aboveboard. It felt like a little much for me, personally.
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    edited September 2020
    @ajamkeevin

    Episode 6 + Charlee's Dream
    What did you think about the guests/challenge? Did you have a favorite guest? (Manon, Aurora, Qykoz, Patricio, and Dr. Kim were the guests.)
    My favourite would be Manon and Dr. Kim. I think they were featured the most and had the most personality. I liked Dr Kim from the start because well, he looks mighty fine. :wink: And his personality is fun even if he focuses a tad bit too much on appearances. I wouldn’t mind seeing him and Kyungri having more features. At first I didn’t feel anything for Manon. She didn’t make any impression on me, simply a character to boost Gabriel’s image. But what she did to Charlee was hands down the best. It shows just how much strength she has underneath that smiley girl facade. Woo!

    What do you think about Jessie working with the producers to plan the challenge?
    I thought it was odd that the producers would allow something like that. I thought the other contestants might feel favoritism there. Like what makes Jessie so special that she gets to plan the next challenge? She didn’t even win the last challenge. After giving it much thought, I’m wondering if the producers purposely sabotaged her. They asked her to plan it, and then announced to the others that she had a hand in making them feel miserable/ confronted/ bad side showing etc. The only person that is happy from this challenge is probably Kyungri. xD
    If you meant the question to be what do I think about Jessie herself, well I’ve been gushing about her nonstop in your comments haha. I love that she is showing this side of her. Although it has significantly cut short her airtime. Hopefully not now that she’s become interesting.

    Were you satisfied with the elimination or did you want the eliminee to stay?
    I’m happy to see Charlee go. She made for some nice drama. But oof. I thought she stayed a tad bit too long.

    What did you think about Charlee's bonus episode? Was it too risqué? 
    I thought it was fine. I would’ve loved more actually. I wouldn’t mind if the words get a little more hot and heavy. I certainly wouldn’t mind if the pictures got hotter too. Tee hee! I do have a limit but you’re nowhere near it. In fact, I thought you wrote it in a very safe manner, so if you’re worried about leaving anyone emotionally scarred or that you're worried that the heat becomes too hot to handle, you’re in the clear. At least for people like me. :wink:

    EDIT: WCIF Kyungri's outfit? :love:
  • DuvelinaDuvelina Posts: 2,593 Member
    Chapter 7
    We get a peek into a lot of the relationships between the housemates this episode, instead of high-stakes drama. Do you like the more laid-back vibe of this episode?

    I didn't notice it was too different from other episodes, actually. I liked it just as much as any other. Some beautiful pictures came out of the challenge this episode!
    I know the challenge was kind of boring, but did you like pictures/ads?

    Just answered this. :D And I've already talked about my favourite in your blog comments. It helps that every sim is so beautiful. It makes for some great pictures.
    Matthison has some competition! What do you think of Louise revealing her crush to Gabriel?

    I admired her for doing that. I'm very much like her that way. When I crush on someone, I always feel better for telling them and not letting it simmer for too long. It's good for the other person (and for me) to know what they're in for. Rejection sucks though. It makes you think whether it was even worth confessing. I'd always say yes to that afterwards because otherwise you wouldn't know the other person's feelings and keep that hope alive.
    What did you think of Enca revealing a twist at the elimination ceremony?

    I was super surprised. Enca was my favourite and I was sad to see her go but I respect her decision. It was a hard, but smart one.
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