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Posted: May 11 2017, 01:01 PM
Rank Applying For: Beginner
Link to character workshop topic: Refer to the second post here
At least two of your recent role play topics:
even beautiful lies burn in the truth - Tori Deveaux-Carroll: As the title suggests, there’s going to be some lies involved! The thread begins with Thanatos getting pushed off the stairs and injuring his wand arm. Not seeing the point in wallowing in pain, he goes to the Hospital Wing. (He's being sensible.) Unfortunately, he meets a member of the Deveaux family. The Helstrom and Deveaux don’t exactly see eye to eye on certain matters, like blood purity. After the tragic incident with Elias Deveaux’s father, who married a pureblood witch from a family of dark wizards, the Deveaux patriarch (Tori’s grandfather) is very wary of letting their children mingle with people like Thanatos Helstrom.
standing besides you in the dark of the night - Aki Sei: In this thread, Thanatos is lighting a lantern for his potentially dead parents. In Japanese culture, lantern festivals are held in which lanterns are lit to lead the dead to the afterlife. He meets Aki Sei, who he first mistakens as the ghost of his mother. The two are both from Japan, so I feel like there’s a lot of potential here to develop an interesting relationship.
Commentary: (Why you feel you should move up, any specific concerns you want to address or that you’d like the reviewers to pay special attention to, any special points you’d like to bring to reviewers’ attention)
I revised his profile and removed things I no longer felt were relevant or have since changed since I RPed with Thanatos. I feel like I have a good handle of Thanatos. In addition, I have a lot of potential plots for him in the future, so I’d like to rank him up sooner rather than later : ).
Posted: May 11 2017, 01:08 PM
Thank you for participating in the Ranking System! Your application has been added to the review queue. You can expect your reviews sometime within the next two weeks.
The Notorious Nundu
#99 - SASCHA KLAUS ● CAPTAIN
|♥ Charlie Cooper||
Posted: May 19 2017, 02:20 PM
♥ Charlie Cooper
Hello Jynx! I'm Charlie and you know me! I'm here to be your first reviewer, so welcome back to the Review system!
It looks like everything is in order, so let's get started.
I'm going to be talking mostly about your characterisation of Thanatos and the plots you're working toward in the future!
First things first I think you do a fantastic job of introducing Thanatos as his own unique self. He feels very distinct from Elias, and even though they're swimming in the same pools. As we make more characters it can be difficult to make sure they have their own voices, especially when they share similarities with each other, but you do a very good job of bringing out the distinctions in Thanatos. I'm a huge fan of how you toss in Japanese words into your posts, weaving them into the narrative that you've written rather than just tossing a translation down at the bottom of the post. This isn't an easy thing to do, and it all reads very seamlessly.
The inclusion of Japanese terms helps place us in Thanatos' head, and makes him feel very different from your other characters. You weave details of Japan and his past into your posts, and I really encourage you to do more of this. Doing so really helps frame his perspective for the reader, and is something you do really well. Don't be afraid of straying away from these Japanese terms though. Sprinkling them into the narrative here and there is definitely enough to set the mood of posts. Doing so a little too much starts to read as repetitive. It's something I noticed in particular in the thread with Tori, particularly:
I think in this sentence, it's completely okay for you to use the term sensei once, but you can start shifting to other pronouns that don't necessarily have to be Japanese -- of course, they can be if you want them to. Depending on his sensei's age and appearance you could move into other descriptive terms if you prefer, but don't be afraid of using teacher and sensei interchangeably in this context! Of course, there are some instances where repetition isn't bad to drive a point home or to set a particular tone for specific characters, but there are definitely some tricks to keep in mind while you're doing this! For example:
This is another instance that starts to read as repetitive, but this might just be Thanatos' style of thought. While I think this particular example could benefit from something a little bit more colourful to describe the growth of his pain (adjectives, metaphors, etc) if you want to you can illustrate that this is just Thanatos' style by drawing attention away from the repetition and toward the descriptive instead. What I mean is something like:
It's a simple trick, but putting the emphasis elsewhere will help you imply that this is intentional, and helps break up the sentence so it isn't read in a monotone voice.
In terms of your dialogue for Thanatos, be careful that you don't go too far and leave your reader behind! The exchange with Aki is wonderful and gives us some real insight into who he is, but including some sort of translation so that the reader understands what's going on is important. You don't have to post a literal translation for every sentence following what he says, but I noticed there wasn't as much context for what they were saying.
Most of the time you made sure to keep what was happening pretty clear, but occasionally there wasn't as much context. Using the dolls was brilliant, and something I think you should definitely keep up, but keep in mind the alternatives! Whether it's a thought to reflect what Thanatos or Aki has just said, or a memory from his past which gives us context for the future, you can use plenty of tools to get your meaning across and give Thanatos more characterisation. Hold the reader's hand through the importance of a phrase like kochira koso yoroshiku onegaishimasu. Consider giving us a flashback to the first or last time he said this phrase -- maybe to his sensei, or to the Helstroms when he first met them.
We know Thanatos remembers clearly what to do next in this exchange, but the reader doesn't necessarily understand everything without just a liiiittle bit more context, especially if we don't have an understanding of what prompts his responses. For example when Aki praises him, we know he's being praised, but we only have a vague understanding that it has something to do with the sword. You can get around this road block by giving us Thanatos' personal thoughts on the praise, a translation of what she's said, or a comparison to his sensei's words on the subject, or Thanatos imagining what his sensei would say if he could see him now. Fixating on it just a tad longer will help get across the things you want to get across and provide us with even more context for Thanatos' personal thoughts and experiences.
On the subject of context, it might be helpful overall to explain who the dolls are to Thanatos. Vader is easy enough to recognise but I had no idea who Viktor was, so the significance of these choices for his dolls were a little bit lost on me. It's something I think you should definitely go into in your workshop, because understanding why he connected to and chose these dolls to become his voices will give us a better understanding of who Thanatos is. Especially considering these are two very muggle characters that have been chosen by a boy from a very pureblood family. We know he doesn't personally hold the same feelings toward muggleborns or muggles that his family does, but this is a moment where you can go further and explain his interest in muggle things, or at least these characters in particular.
Once you flesh out the why, you can explore how his family feels about these dolls, if they know about them or recognise their status as fictional figures in muggle entertainment. I also think there is a much more elegant way to include what they are and what they look like in your profile. Don't be afraid to flash us back to the past when Thanatos first discovered who Viktor and Vader were -- why he formed this bond with the characters and decided they should help him find his voice. You can even cut to a flashback of him enchanting them and speaking to him for the first time. A workshop doesn't just have to be a package of information and facts that you just drop on us, you can take us into the moment! Given Thanatos' preoccupation with his history, dropping us into the past in both your workshop and your posts is a great way to communicate information to the reader.
WHEW. I've spent a lot of time on characterisation so I'm going to wrap this up by talking about your plots. I am veeery curious about where you are taking Thanatos, and I think you're making some good ground here. I would love to see more of Thanatos interacting with the other Japanese students. You gave us a really beautiful thread with Aki, and I am hungry for more. Continue developing their relationship, because you're off to a really interesting start!
I'm also looking forward to seeing what happens with Tori, because it looks like you're building up a wonderful dynamic between them, perhaps one where he even finds himself at odds with his family because he has chosen to interact with a Deveaux against their wishes. Don't be afraid of exploring the dark and nitty gritty consequences of simple interactions like this! Thanatos seems extremely at odds with his family. He is the one who doesn't belong, and finding ways to bring this out in your plots is something I definitely encourage. One little sidenote on this - I noticed you used 'stepparents' and 'stepsiblings' to describe Thanatos' family, and I'm not sure this is the term you're looking for. 'Stepparent' is a term that implies that someone has married his actual parent, while stepsiblings are the children of the stepparent. Unless Thanatos has a legal guardian who has remarried to give him stepsiblings and a stepparent, the term you might be looking for is adoptive!
Having an antisocial character can be a bit difficult to overcome, but I think you've given yourself a great dynamic with these enchanted dolls. I'd also be curious to see what Thanatos goes through when he loses this crutch. That might be something to explore, just to see what happens. I would also love to see more examples of the cold, calculating, logical Thanatos, so I think your next step is to play around with various circumstances to see what happens. Find ways to bring out the crime aspect of his family, and the ways this legacy might colour his interactions with others (other students, teachers, etc!) I think you're already doing a great job, and I really look forward to what you do next.
SO because it's time to wrap this up, I happily APPROVE you and Thanatos Helstrom for BEGINNER. CONGRATULATIONS! You've given us a really wonderful and distinct product here, and I'm sure you will find a very interesting direction to take him in. If you have any questions about my review, feel free to give me a poke! Good luck with your next review!