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Reviews by darlarosa

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the last love song, by Some Strange Circus

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Ambitious, but falls short, December 14, 2015
by darlarosa
Related reviews: romance, relationship,
This story is a very ambitious piece, but unfortunately falls flat in a number of places. I will start with some basic thoughts and then some of the larger picture items.

For starters this game does not use capitalization, which isn't an inherently bad thing, but it reads as somewhat lazy when the story is about this mature subject matter. It just is kind of unappealing for the amount of work that was seemingly put in it when looking at the website. Also the title has no reason to be there, and it doesn't fit the text because there doesn't seem to be anything to do with music. Next the first passage doesn't grab the reader's interest. It's mostly onomatopoeia's and it's done in a way that one of my favorite writing professors( Jessica Anya Blau if you want to read her stuff) always said was one of the problems with second person. It is an attempt to create something that can't really be captured in text without a gifted hand. Starting with blinking isn't interesting and it isn't notable really. It would have benefited the story to have started with the feelings and emotions of the character waking up.

There are subtle nuances in the writing that are rarely done and done well. The fact that the boyfriend and the protagonist are caught off guard and he calls her out, almost insulting her is great. Another passage that I liked , for example, was the passage about doing nothing. A number of the endings seem to just "end" without anything happening, but the choice whether to speak or not should leave a bit of impact. Not doing so is kind of a disappointment to the subject matter. Overall there are some passages that capture things well and really shine out, but the overall experience leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn't offer anything particularly insightful or new, but it attempts to tread on this ground in a different and more down to Earth way. But there just isn't enough in the way of results or meat to really impact the player/reader.
I once read an article that accused most IF of being like personal narratives, and while the article was almost insulting to everyone who wasn't in the writer's inner circle, the spirit is applicable here. There needs to be more detail. Why would we want to stay with him? What makes us special? What does our fear feel like? There's a way to go into that in second person that wouldn't compromise the imagination of the story. Without those details many passages feel like a straight script of an event where the player/reader has no agency that matters, doesn't achieve actual intimacy or investment with the situation or characters. Ultimately there's nothing to leave you satisfied even when the characters get a "good" ending, and they have no real problems. What problems there are do not get to experienced, but are told to the audience. Those problems and what they mean never felt by the audience. It is almost assumed that people will connect, and that's not true. I have had many relationships where this sort of conversation has occurred for a variety of reasons in many ways. Still the scenario as presented without real feeling, context, or umph lacks maturity and any impact.

There are some really good bits of dialogue. The character's have a nice voice and the use of space between them is a beautiful touch that people often over simplify. Those two things are the most convincing parts of this story. And I'm not trying to insult the author, but there needs to be a lot of thought on these subjects. People live them. People read them. People watch them on television and film. You really have to up your game and think hard about the whys, whos, and whats along with how to make them bring in the reader.


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