LAST EDITED ON 04-28-07 AT 11:31 PM (EST)
I've finished reading the whole thing. I already told Estee via PM, but I figured the least I could do is give the thread a bump. I've got a few comments, as well as a couple questions.
1. The Alex-Gardener and Alex-Connie relationships are extremely interesting, mostly because they captivate two types of conflict for Alex while on the show. With Gardener, it was all about the game. Most of the conflict between these two characters are game-related.
-Gardener trying to get rid of her pre-merge
-Alligning post merge
-Instrumental in later boot decisions (boot MaryJane/Gary before Robin, take Connie far)
To win the game, Alex had to beat Gardener at the game.
With Connie, it's completely different. The conflict is obviously based in personality and faith differences. The feud between them is extremely personal and transcends the game. Connie represented all the people that Alex has to overcome in life, while Gardener represented the people in the game.
2. The finale was a test of faith for the reader. I believed, going into it, that there was no way that Connie could possibly win this thing... Or, I hoped. With the way Alex was reasoning, and the way the jury votes were stacking up, it didn't look good.
Despite all those actual facts, there was something inside me that refused to agree with them. It just couldn't finish that way.
3. Even though you gave descriptions, I pictured some of the contestants like former Survivor ones. Not all of them; just a few.
Gary - Earl (Fiji)
Connie - Scout (Vanuatu)
Angela - Ami (Vanuatu)
Robin - Eliza (Vanuatu)
Desmond - Roger (Amazon)
Trina - Janu (Palau)
The eeriest one is the Gary-Earl one, despite you writing this before Fiji started. Every time I thought of Connie, I pictured Scout for some reason, and Ami as Angela.
4. The only minor critique that I offer is that some of the paragraphs were really long, making it difficult to read sometimes. Some of the jury questions, and reunion comments in particular. Other than that, I think the story's absolutely perfect.
1. Easy question first. What's the word count on this thing? It's got to be at least novel-sized.
2. Did you have to do much research for this thing? There was a lot of behind-the-scenes kind of stuff, which might've taken some digging to find. If it's even possible. Did you have to make a lot of assumptions about production decisions and whatnot?
3. Did you put some of your own personality in Alex? Your sense of humor seem to be somewhat similar (that's a compliment), and both have a somewhat detached viewpoint of things...
Not that I'm saying I know your personality (I don't), but there's got to be a little Estee in there.
4. If you were re-writing this, would you have changed anything story-wise? Like maybe developing certain characters more, or introducing things at different times?
5. Were you worried about any potential backlash from Christian readers, regarding Connie's characterization? Y'know, that people might think that you were just trying to paint Christians in an evil way? I don't think you did, but you never know how people might react. You included a couple examples of more compassionate Christians (Philip, Gary) in the story, though, so I don't see how that argument would hold weight.
6. Did you intentionally censor the language a little? Did the guidelines here factor into that decision? I noticed there weren't any F-bombs or anything, just a couple of damns and whatnot.
Whew. That was a lot of commenting.
Anyway, I'm going to stress this once again... This story was simply fantastic. You put a lot of effort into it, and it shows. This is better than a lot of published books that I've read. Anyone who's a fan of Survivor should read this thing.