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Letters

by Madison Evans

2016

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Number of Reviews: 4
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Epistolary twine with interesting teenage protagonists, December 9, 2016
by dgtziea
Related reviews: IF Comp 2016
Twine. You are looking through different letters send to you by your friend Cadence, and click keywords to bring up more letters. Sometimes there's a bit of your own inner commentary as well.

Cadence and you are characters with personality: Precocious, a bit melodramatic, but then that's kind of what you get with teenage protagonists like these; you need that sort of perspective to drive things. The letters span a bunch of times, different topics, different moods, and Cadence pours herself (or versions of herself) into them.

Each letter has a couple keywords you can explore, and those keywords take you to another letter or moment about that. The starting letter's keywords all lead to branches that address a different topic or event.

The writing... the writing is quite good, good enough that it makes me want to settle in, and treat it like a novel. That's the mode my mind switches to. But those have professional editors and countless revisions, and I hit these minor typos, or places where the sentences are too short, or some other small thing... They're all minor, but they feel just slightly disruptive, and it's not fair to compare it with an actual novel, probably -- Twine's a great tool, but the lack of spell checker means people should consider running their text through Word or something.

The writing's generally better in the letters than in the third person stuff, which sometimes didn't flow as well, or which were phrased slightly abnormally; as an affectation in written letters, they work well, but in third person, a bit distracting.

This has a structure, and the letters are revealing, in different ways, and build, in different orders. The branches eventually hit an end, and you have to start over, and I think that reasonably gets across the idea of you poring over these letters and re-reading them for clues, haphazard and disorganised. You can set a system for how to go through the letters and you can go down the line, or you can just click whatever draws your attention first. This works either way.