Thursday, August 02, 2007

Review of “Passing the Sentence” – Don’t Miss It.

So, the second “Passing the Sentence” game is over now. And the critique was on my computer even before I could send the details to the reviewer !! Yeah, looks like he kept checking my blog for the story to wrap up and without wasting a single moment he was on the job. And what a fantastic job he has done, writing about each statement given by us, a kind of review I like most.
You can imagine his excitement about this game from the simple confession he has made and I have scolded him for that. :)
And all of you will agree with me that the story generated so much anxiety among all of us that at one stage we started praying ! That’s the beauty of this game.

Here are some observations from my side when I compared it with the previous game.

Except Peter, all other participants are Indians living in India or abroad. Does that mean we Indians are good at appreciating horror or do we like it very much ? Read Peter's many comments on that post.. he was very upset & really wanted ME to finish off the story so as to bring a happy end. :)
Another observation was that unlike before, only two females (including me) participated this time. Girls are really chickens I guess.

Ok, so here is the critique produced verbatim, done by a fellow blogger Pyare Mohan. He is Mumbai based film maker with animation industry and a great story teller. Please read till the end, he has some suggestions for us as well.

Cuckoo chan some people call, some others have some other names. Sweet sounds, sweet games. Well, sometimes you might be surprised; the game might lead into a horror story.
An interactive game is a wonderful medium for bloggers as all the bloggers love to type and type. So the first thing that crossed my mind was 'Man, I wish I could be a part of it.'
As the rules were, I couldn't. But I must confess, I cheated, and that is a compliment to the post. I couldn't resist. Cuckoo, Clap clap clap to the game you started!

Now to the story part -

Each line written by a blogger reflects the personality traits of the person and how they interpret the word 'horror'. I am going sentence by sentence trying to analyze how many emotions, twists and turns a story can go through in 20 lines.

Cuckoo started off with a mystical journey setting out the mood and the pace for the next 19 bloggers. The sentence took the reader to the chilly, foggy environment.

Sag_Nik, continued. Here came the predictable footsteps of an unknown stranger...

Maverick bought a little twist in the tale, by bringing her long lost friend. He left it with an open end... a suspense that could change the course of direction of the story..

Peter, wanted to make this into a comedy. A comic tragedy or a tragic comedy... I wonder, but this is where the next couple of bloggers had to be careful. Peter’s plot, made the story to be carefully taken forward, the following bloggers had to tread on slippery roads.

Till this point the story bought in an essence of the place, an intrigue about her long lost friend and left a ghost of her past in the memory of the reader.

Vaidya brought the story back to the present, with the rustling leaves crushing beneath the feet.

Now the story could have gone anywhere, murder mystery, revenge... etc. Sam brings in the realisation of horror by presenting the Missing Shadow.

Scanman takes the reader into a different dimension, talking about an unsolved mystery thus certifying the death of the lady, and that this lady in front of her was actually a ghost!

Beast dwells deeper into the case, and poor Cuckoola is trapped in the story as a demon. tch tch..

Praveen brings the Dracula effect... Now the horror starts growing...

Mayank brings about the biggest twist into the story by bringing Anita, the ghost and an unidentified boyfriend who was snatched by the prettiest woman. So this story looks like it is going to be a revenge story...

But my question is if she was in the body of a he, wouldn’t it be a guy who was walking towards her in the forest in the first place ? Why would a ghost disguise a man’s body to a woman? She just has to go for the Kill... Nevertheless... I keep the logic aside for an explanation...

Rohit brings in the personal touch... the missing bracelet. The Ghost gets a name...and the suspense mounts...

Lord Suicaine unsolves the mystery. John, the boyfriend’s death, Rozy is dazzled... how? when? where?

Kalyan gets in the suspicion... we dive deep into the psyche of a sad, heart broken Anita, and all the suspicion in her heart.

Deepti confirms the fear.

Ashutosh invents the new source of energy for Bloggers. Also I must mention, the imagination was quite surreal. The needs of a ghost is not limited to taking revenge, but slow conscious death... that’s an interesting perspective!!

No comments on the next line...

Adi brings a breath of fresh air with a smiling J's face.... but leaves an uneasiness with the noiseless shriek...

Sid brings in the twist. It is not Rozy who is a ghost... it is she who is the ghost!!!

There are so many twists in this story, it looks like a Jalebi!!!

Arun P, brings both the dead lovers into a romantic mood but...

Abhi finishes it off in a note that leaves us pleased. All the 20 bloggers lived through the nightmare along with Anita.... and everybody heaves a sigh of relief. The nightmare is over....

An applause to all the contributors, for the story that has been developed, has more emotions, chills and thrills than some of the mundane books that are published and floating in the bookstores... I hope there are more such thematic games on this blog so that I can participate in it without cheating!!!!

P.S. How about each blogger writing a chapter and passing it on. 20 chapters make a book... and we send it to a publisher... what say?

Note:- I request & expect each one of you to reply to the suggestion made by Pyare Mohan. What do you say folks ? A book ? Please leave your suggestions/comments here on comments section.

P.S. - Requests are pouring down to have another round with more sentences… yes; I’ll increase the no. of sentences but first let the game become a bit more popular. More than half of my readers are wary to participate in it and I hate to leave things incomplete. I have some ideas and suggestions are most welcome. But promise me first that you’ll all take part in it and bring in more people to do so.

Current song- Daddy Cool – Bonney M
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david mcmahon said...

A big hello, Cuckoo,

Great game and a wonderful review. But let me tell you that girls are not chickens!

Maybe this time around, but I'm sure they'll be the front-runners with the next game.



Aditi said...

hmm i am sorry i missed out on this round of the game.. will be around next time for sure

Vaidya said...

A well written review of this game pointing out details of the sentences which grew. Overall enjoyed it and looking forward for some good one in time to come ;)

maverick said...

great review by pyare mohan, yes i suggested the plot n left it open ended, so tht the next blogger can use all his imagination. I wanted to leave the next one equal degrees of freedom tht i had.

btw a suggestion.

instead of allowing each blogger to comment only once, i feel it'd be great if u keep an upper limit on how many times one could comment like may be three with the restriction tht one cannot contribute two comments consecutively. tht way i can comment, leave n see where people take it n then come back again n participate. It'd be much more fun.

n may be instead of limiting by the number of comments, if u limit it by a time frame, it'll be much more fun.

Cuckoo said...

Thank you very much.
Girls not chicken ? Ahh I also thought so. Let us see in the next round.

Keep coming.

Yeah, I felt your absence very much. :(

Cuckoo said...

Yes, the review is very well done. Why do you think I play this game on my blog ? I like the uncertainty & the twists & turns of this game very much. You never know what is coming next.

Keep coming & keep watching. Till then you can read some archived posts of mine and let me have your valued views on the same.
P.S.- you have not answered the suggestion by PM about writing a chapter each or is it after playing some more games?

Cuckoo said...

Thank you on behalf of Pyare Mohan. Yes, you set the plot and gave enough freedom to the next blogger. That’s the way it should always move.. just like a chess game. You play your part and let the opponent think how to put forward his move.

About your suggestion – Some more people have opined the same. Even before anybody spoke about it, I have already given a thought to it because I too have always felt the urge to participate more than once. :)
But then I don’t want only 5-6 players in the game. So, it cud be a more-sentence-a-game to have more players. But then it runs the risk of having an incomplete game which I would not like.
Let us see. First let this game become popular here. More than half of my readers don’t take part in this game, so it is up to you guys to guide readers of your blogs to this place to have more fun.
BTW, you have not answered the suggestion by PM. Writing a chapter?

Vaidya said...

Hmmm well writing a chapter not a bad idea though as it will have a blend of different writing skills and flow of thoughts. But, in my opinion it depends on the base plot or a sort of framework on which it can build upon.

Suggestion on game.. yeah many like to involve more than once but in that case involvement of ppl w.r.t to comment may vary.
You can either have a time frame within which the game has to finish. Each person can have a chance twice or thirce but with a condition that he/she can scribe only after a gap of ( 5 - 10 )comments/sentence.

Vaidya said...

And yes i have glanced over many of your previous posts and i enjoyed reading them. Well written :)

Peter said...

I guess there are many ways to play this game and I'm not sure what I would recommend. So far I think that the present procedure has gone quite well.

About writing complete chapters I may have a doubt. It will probably take considerable time even if the chapters must be very short (limit number of words...). As already pointed out, as we have all different ways of writing, the total "book" would not be very homogeneous. I believe that just a phrase is good enough for a blog; you anyhow end up with a story and if it's good enough, it could possibly later be developed into a "book" or a real story by some gifted person.

Now, if you would try to change the rules, one idea could be to give the first AND THE LAST sentence?

I believe, considering the high number of visitors you have that just one phrase per participant must be the limit; if not a few would take over and part of the fun is gone; the majority of your visitors would just be observers!

I would also like to say that you have handled this operation very well, by resuming and keeping the "order".

Was surprised to see that I was the only participant of non-Indian origin (maybe I have some, who knows)!

Sam said...

Writing a book????
That's a Herculean task!! Hmm... I have one such sample of an incomplete story!! I'll post it.. may be you can take a look at it sometime and tell me what you think of it!! It's crazy... weird...

And well.. I had to bring that Missing Shadow... else der wouldn't have been a horror story!! :)

Cheerio... have more such games!! am waiting!!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

How wonderful - well done cuckoo!

(off topic; please check your spam/trash folder, I believe my mail is probably there, as it has not been recognised because it is the first one I've sent.)

sAg_NiK said...

#PM:Like this review :-)

#cuckoo:I'm echo with Maverick that we shud allow more-than-once in this setence-game...also agree with ya that MOST bloggers prefer only 2 read the posts/comments than direct participations....

may b withdrawal personality ??

Let's hope we'll see more active readers in next games :-))

Craver Vii said...

Fun game. Too bad I missed this one.

maverick said...

writing a chapter? u guys meant it seriously? i thought u were kidding. well, then there'd be multiple authors for the book and multiple copyrights.... and multiple royalties :), seems like fun :)

but on a serious note, i dont think it is feasible and even if it was, like peter said it'd not be homogeneous. To make it homogeneous, there shd be a single editor who can edit all the chapters to make the links perfect but then that wudn't be the same as the original work anymore.jus thinking if i've seen a single work of fiction by multiple authors ....boy!! this game is fun, lets just keep this up.

ashes said...

A great review by PM! Cuckoo, I see that you are not the only one who puts in a lot of time and effort in the Cuckoo's nest. Your readers (and reviewers) do that too.

I agree with David that girls are not chickens. I did not notice it then, but now I wonder why did your female readers not participate.

I would beg to differ from Maverick's and Vaidya's points of having a time-limited game rather than one bounded by the number of sentences. This would definitely run the risk of having an incomplete game. Also, that would look like a contest more than a game.

Regarding writing a book one-chapter-per-blogger, I agree with Vaidya, Peter and Maverick that the output might not be homogenous and free-flowing, and the time taken to write a chapter might be huge. There would have to be only one person working on a particular chapter. The other authors may write on their own chapters parallely or wait for the previous one to finish. Both the cases have their own hiccups.

I have another suggestion to make this game more interesting: you could ask each blogger to write a paragraph instead of just one sentence, and limit the total number of paragraphs in your story. You could put a cap to the number of words or the number of comment-lines on the blogpost in one paragraph. This would solve the problem of people using commas, semicolons and multiple dots to anyways make a paragraph out of a sentence, and would also allow a contributor to considerably move the story. Maybe we can grow up from sentences to paragraps to pages to chapters at a later point in time. And maybe then to books written by several authors (one-book-per-blogger) amounting to a series!

And as I already said, providing multiple-entry to contributors is also a good idea, provided the number of sentences is higher, and irrelevant semicolons and dots are not allowed.

PS: Boy, this comment is almost the size of a blogpost by itself. I think I should start a blog reserved only for my comments on your posts. :)

Arz000n said...

I liked the idea of publishing the book....but once the book is published, are you gonna force us to buy a copy each?

or is it okie if one purcahses it...scans it and uploads it online so that we all get to read it...for free I mean.

Is that allowed?


You gonna slap me now...isnt it?

Cuckoo said...

I guess for the time being the idea of a book suggested by PM is out. Maybe he has to say something else on it.

Suggestion on the game – As I said I have a fair idea what I want to do. Let this game become a bit more popular.

And many thanks for your appreciation about my work. *Cuckoo bows down*

Cuckoo said...

Yes, I think the current method suits well. Me as 1st and last person ? Not a bad idea.

I absolutely agree with you. The idea is to have more & more different people in order to have diversity in thoughts. Otherwise some people who literally sit on my blog for hours would finish off the game among themselves and we all would be mute spectators.

Cuckoo said...

The idea of a book seems to have failed at present. Waiting for your post.

have more such games!! am waiting!!.. Waiting ? Wait, let me appoint you as reviewer for my next game. :P

Cuckoo said...

Thank you sweet lady.

Yeah, got it now. Will go though it shortly. Thanks.

You are looking nice in your profile picture. ;)

As I have been saying, I have a fair idea of it. Let this game become more popular. Yes, I think it is withdrawal personality. :(

Cuckoo said...

Craver vii,
Hmmm.. don’t miss the next time. Keep watching.

He idea is dropped. I’ll ask PM what he thought when he suggested it ?

Hee hee.. I know the game is fun or else why do you think I started playing on my blog ?

Sam said...

oi!!! I wanna play!!

Cuckoo said...

Oye oye,, Sometimes you should not !!

adi said...

but my chapter will consist of a poem only ;)
otherwise u'll have to keep the topis cto love, where i can fill the whole book ;)
anyways, i wud say, k let the game become more popular, and u also act as a judge. for example, i had to give that twist cos the story had been morphed real badly by the previous blogger. and to be frank, i dint want it to be in the frame at all.
hope u won't mind.
take care.