Charapost 4: The Reaping

A ton of SYOC fic went dead all at once. Annoying, but fitting for the one-year anniversary of this. One author chose to start a more successful Hunger Games SYOC instead, though, so we get to have something a little different today.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12191151/3/Pokemon-Nathan-s-Journey

Hey guys. Nathan here. I’ve decided to put my stories on hiatus until further notice. I’ll post when I’m ready, but I have a lot going on that I don’t want to talk about. Seeya real soon.

What makes this extra funny is that this one was picked up from another author who also went on hiatus.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12301378/9/End-Game

Hey guys, it’s Vixal. I’m sad to say this is getting abandoned. I’ve lost all motivation and haven’t been able to write, mixed with a shitty past month. Maybe I’ll get back to this. I love all of you, please take care.

A shame too, only some of my submissions even showed up.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12316248/12/Pokenapped

I’m putting Pokenapped on hiatus. Why? If you haven’t been able to tell with the very sporadic updates, I have BAAAAAD writer’s block on it. It would put too much pressure on me to try and keep adding chapters if I didn’t feel like I was trying my hardest. I’m not actually sure why I have writer’s block, because I have so many ideas on how to continue and end it. But yeah, it’s going on hiatus. I’m really, REALLY sorry! As soon as some of my excitement on this story returns, I’ll try and update. If you have any questions/concerns, please PM me. Again, I’m terribly sorry!

Arg. I decided to just ask the author what they were going to do with Sypak.

“Well, my basic plan was for her to evolve into a Garchomp later in the story, in order to protect Frost from an angry Dialga’s (also long story. Arceus sees how determined they are and tells them that it will help them get home. Diagla and Palkia get jealous that our heros are getting all the attention and attack them, in a nutshell.) Hyper Beam. Later, when Arceus has returned them to their trainers, Sypak finds her trainer again, who gets really excited when he sees that she’s evolved. He tries to return her to her Pokeball, but she realizes that in complete honesty, she doesn’t want to go back with him. So Tasha convinces Havan to return her to her home, where she has a happy ending with her family.”

Alright then. I suppose it was a given that a pokemon-focused story wouldn’t be so terrible as to forget it completely, but it’s awfully idealistic about her trainer’s willingness to help, so still kind of missing the point.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12392325/5/The-Pokemon-Games

The Hunger Games, but with Pokemon. Because. Bizarrely, the canon cast is in this one, so I doubt OCs will serve much purpose. Most of them have just been perfect saints so far, but Chara has shown up. Just violence so far though:

A greenish arrow with light brown feathers decorating the opposite end flew from the top of the tree Marie had been attacked in. It was covered in a glowing purple liquid. It sank deep into Tasha’s shoulder, almost to the feathered tip. She took a good look at and winced in pain. It was only a small arrow, though. It hadn’t done much. Alina was long gone now, for she had shot up into a tree.

She reached slowly to pull it out, her thoughts suddenly muddled. Any sense of urgency to run was gone now. Suddenly, a hailstorm of more arrows dropped from above. Tasha howled as more of them plunged into her. She instinctively rolled into a ball, hands covering her neck and head, and waited for the storm of weaponry to pass. Sharp needles sliced into her, further confusing her. What was happening? Thoughts kept slipping away before she could quite grasp them.

When she looked up again, nobody was in the tree. But that didn’t matter much, because she couldn’t see anything, really. The world was bright purple, with faint white outlines of trees and grass. She stood, made a strange choking noise, and fell backwards to the ground, her eyes frozen wide like Marie’s. She couldn’t move! She couldn’t move! She saw a small, waifish figure drop to the ground, holding a dagger that glinted in the moonlight in her hands.

“That went easier than expected,” said the figure.

That was the last thing Tasha heard before the knife plunged deep into her temple.

This is another author who’s familiar with Undertale, so any later personality details probably won’t be as enlightening.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12201085/1/Pok%C3%A9mon-Race-against-Time-and-Space

And now, I have to apologise for my unintended deceitfulness. Originally I opened up a SYOC, and I’ve received some great submissions. However I’ve realised that I have no room to focus on other characters when my own still need developing. I hope to bring some OCs back for the league potentially, but for now I’m only gonna have a few of my own OCs in the story.

Ah. Despite many obstacles, wisdom is finally creeping in.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12378576/3/Underworld

This is a story where the two human protagonists get turned into pokemon, which nobody bats an eye at for some reason. Kidra appears briefly at the end of the chapter:

The two of them were walking away from the school building, when suddenly a woman came up to them from a motorcycle.

She grabbed both of them by the arms and put them on the back of her motorcycle, which had two sidecars. Malcolm took the chance he was given to look over the woman.

The woman appeared to be in her mid-twenties, with honey blonde hair and blue eyes. She looked absolutely gorgeous, which made Malcolm suspicious of her. He’d read enough novels and fanfiction to know that a woman this drop-dead gorgeous was not to be trusted.

“Who are you?” he asked, trying to get a fix on this mysterious woman.

She looked Malcolm straight in the eyes, as much as she possibly could while driving a motorcycle.

“I’m Kidra Silvery”.

…And then they deleted the story because they got bored and didn’t have any ideas for a plot. Dang it, SYOC authors, don’t do that just before the payoff! Followup PMs seem to imply Kidra was going to be in a heroic role.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12398244/3/Four-Seasons-The-65th-Hunger-Games

Time for something a bit different: Their new story was a Hunger Games fic where you can submit tributes. The opening chapter had a weird aside about the viewpoint character being glad she wasn’t a hooker, so I decided to see how they’d react if I made Kidra a prostitute. (Also she’s great for this — the canon names are so ridiculous that “Kidra Silvery” doesn’t even stand out.) I said her strategy was to “not play their game” and that she would refuse to kill anyone except in self-defense. Let’s see how this was interpreted.

Kidra woke up in the room she’d been sleeping in. The man next to her was still passed out, not surprisingly. The men she served were always inebriated. That was just the way it went.

She supposed that she was good-looking, beautiful even, but the fact remained that the men who were typically attracted to prostitutes were…not the type you’d expect to stay sober, let’s put it that way.

Making sure that she had the money the man had paid for her company, she left quietly so as not to wake the man from his drunken sleep. Then, it was on to the next house.

This was the way she’d made money ever since becoming a street urchin. Her parents were both dead, and she had no siblings or grandparents to take care of her. She didn’t necessarily want to live like a princess, but the factory jobs, as well as petty theft, had never been enough for her. She needed more money, and so she’d become a prostitute at the age of sixteen. She couldn’t take out any tesserae, since she was always moving around.

This year, her name would be in the reaping bowl seven times. She had a plan, always, just in case she was ever reaped. Maybe it would be time to put it into action this year, maybe not. She desperately hoped not, but at the same time, it might be better for the districts in the long term if she did end up in the Games. Reason being, she’d be the focus of all of the cameras, and the viewers in both the Capitol and the districts.

While there might not be a revolt in the Capitol, she might be able to ignite something in the outer districts. It wasn’t impossible. And, were she to become victor, she’d have whatever she needed for the rest of her life. She suspected, however, that the Capitol would not want someone who was already a hooker to become a victor.

Because Kidra had heard, on the streets, that if you became a victor, and you were considered desirable, Snow would sell your body to the highest bidder. In fact, this was what was happening to the beautiful Margaret Malachi right now.

Hello backstory dump. But not much space is allotted to these introductions, so I suppose that’s fair. Decent, though still weirdly fixated on the victor prostitution thing. (Why would the Capital care, anyway?) I’m interested to see how she’ll be treated later, as I established her personality and strategy as everything Katniss hates. Hoping that she gets reaped is actually more heroic than I intended (which was that if she is reaped she just wants to do as much damage as possible on the way down), which might be a promising sign.

“Our female tribute is…Kidra Silvery”.

From the section for 18-year-old girls, a gorgeous, skinny girl with long, flowing blonde hair sighed. She came walking up to the stage and stood next to the escort.

This is also… not how I expected her to react to the Reaping. (And I seem to have failed to communicate the right hairstyle.) It’s odd, with how formulaic this structure is it actually would have been a good idea to have one of those “how will they react in these circumstances” forms. I wonder why they didn’t.

Chapter 5 is the characters saying goodbye to their families. The author complaints about the scenes being boring and redundant, which I think says a lot about where their priorities are.

Kidra didn’t have any visitors. It wasn’t like she was surprised. She had no family left, and the man she had slept with last night really could not have been expected to come. Honestly, it was better this way.

The girl knew that she had always hated the Capitol. Now, however, she realized that she could finally do something about it. In a way, it was better that she had been reaped. Once in the Hunger Games, she felt that she would have control of her own destiny. She didn’t have to play by their game; who said she would?

Kidra continues to be taking this way better than she should.

Chapter 6 is the train ride. She gets the viewpoint for the District 5 car:

You might think that Tesla and Kidra would get along pretty well. After all, they had a lot of things in common. Both of them, for instance, broke the law on quite a few occasions.

However, Kidra didn’t want to form emotional attachments. It was one thing she had learned from being a prostitute. While some of the men she slept with were nice and/or handsome, she knew that it was only for a night. Now, it was going to be far worse, because she knew that there was a possibility, even though it might be slight, that she would kill or get killed by Tesla. That possibility was not something she was excited about.

As such, she tried to think about other things. She headed to the dining car and cut herself a piece of apple pie, a delicacy that she had rarely been able to enjoy back in her own district. Some of the men had served it, but not nearly enough.

Kidra returned to the living car to find that Tesla was still sitting there. She decided to go back to her quarters, for Kidra knew that the less she had to do with Tesla, the better. At least, that was the way she saw it.

Because Kidra knew, she just knew, that she didn’t want to form any alliances. She didn’t want to play by the Capitol’s game.

…Except that dehumanizing and distancing yourself from your fellow victims is playing the Capital’s game. It really sounds like the author thinks she’s in it to win — a reasonable assumption I suppose, but it seems I’ll have to be more blatant if I want to subvert that. Only two other tributes seem to be expecting to die.

Also we get this gem from a District 10 tribute:

The Capitol. They have all of this food, and they make us in the districts starve. That’s not fair.

And so people continue to not realize that food doesn’t appear out of thin air and that the problem goes far deeper.

Chapter 7 is just the chariot rides, which contain nothing interesting other than Snow cosplaying as Trump because referencing current events makes you cool even when it makes no sense. Chapter 8 is training. The whole thing is pretty disjointed, but here’s what I can make out:

And so Neo sat alone. Eventually, he saw that the only other tribute not eating at a table with someone else was the District 5 girl. What was her name again?

Whatever. It’s said that misery loves company, so Neo moved his plate of steak over to the blonde girl’s table. Back in District 10, Neo had never really cared about girls, he’d always been focused on taking care of his brother. This girl, however, was drop-dead gorgeous, and Neo couldn’t help but feel attracted to her immediately.

He didn’t want to get too smitten, however, and he wasn’t. He had seen how deadly the District 5 girl could be with knives. She never missed the target that he could see.

“What was your name? Kendra?” he asked the girl.

“Kidra” she said coolly. “For your information, I don’t want to join your alliance, so I’d rather you didn’t sit next to me”.

Still don’t understand why the author thinks this is a smart move. Getting friendly with everyone makes it harder for them to kill you, and makes the whole deathmatch more awkward in general. (We also see that, like Collins, this author does not understand the difference between melee and throwing knives.)

Whatever logic was going on here is promptly undermined, anyway:

“Do you want an alliance?” Kidra asked. She normally would have said no, but this younger girl looked so friendly. Something deep inside of herself told Kidra that someone who acted as nice as this was not to be trusted. Normally, she’d agree.

But this girl was just too innocent, and both of them had something in common…they’d been hurt by the Capitol. And, right now, they were paying the price for what their ancestors had done in rebelling against the Capitol. Going into the arena. To die.

“Sure” Panna said. She hadn’t wanted to align with the Careers, but she was more than willing to help Kidra. “Let’s go to the ropes course before the Careers do it”.

The older girl nodded. “Before we go over there…I have a condition for the alliance”.

“What is that?” the District 3 girl asked.

Kidra smiled. “We don’t play this game by their rules”.

Because it’s not like anyone else here has been hurt by the Capital?

Chapter 9 is more training, and the evaluations.

Elsewhere, Panna and Kidra worked together at the dummies. Kidra was using her throwing knives, while Panna had finally figured out how to get her wire lasso to work. If she simply aimed for the necks of the dummies, she’d be able to work it so that she could strangle the other tributes, or else reel them in for Kidra to stab with her knife. It was going to work, their alliance. She was convinced of it.

Urghh I said she didn’t plan on killing anybody. Why is she doing this.

Then she’s evaluated:

Here came Kidra. The District 5 girl said, “I will show you my skills with knives today”.

She went over and grabbed a sheath of twenty throwing knives from the weapons rack. Holding them in her left hand, she transferred them to her right hand in order to shoot. It threw off her aim a little more than she would have liked, but this was the best way she knew to do it. Besides, she didn’t want to get too high of a score anyway.

Kidra hit the target about half of the time. A few knives got stuck in the ground, while most of the rest of them hit the wall next to the target, which was lined with mats and thus wouldn’t mark up the wall with any misfires.

When Kidra was dismissed, she felt good about her performance, reminding herself that she’d never wanted a ten.

[…]

Kidra was happy with her score. She only wanted an average score, enough so that she’d be considered worth sponsoring, but not enough that she’d be seen as a threat. She could live with a five.

I said this is what she wanted on the form, so of course the author decides now is the time to follow it to the letter. This is so incredibly wooden, and I don’t think it’s just because the author is inexperienced; the other characters are definitely getting wider emotional ranges. It looks to me like the author just doesn’t know what to do with her, so he’s mindlessly parroting the information I gave where he can and filling in cliche where he can’t, all without having a grasp on what it’s supposed to mean. I think next time I’m just going to say she does what Katniss should have done and murders the gamemakers here.

Chapter 10 is… the ball?

It had come time for the last event before the main event, which was the tribute ball. All of the interviews had already been conducted and aired live

He skipped the interviews. After all that, he skipped the interviews. I am speechless. Well, Kidra is completely pointless now that he cut out the part I built her for.

Couldn’t bring myself to write any more. Next time, I might do interviews instead of this, or just include a section with [the victors] together.

IF YOU HATE WRITING IT WHY DID YOU WRITE IT

AAAAGGGHH

Chapter 11 is the opening bloodbath. Kidra gets attacked by a weird misogynist kid who gets killed by a Career, then escapes with Panna.

As Kidra saw the [tracker] underneath her skin, she let out a great sigh. This would be an obstacle in terms of escape, that was for sure. However, she was determined to not play by the Capitol’s rules, in whatever way that could be accomplished.

Also she continues to act like a robot.

Chapter 12:

A pale boy was sitting in one of the branches of a tree, a good ten feet above the water. Neither girl could completely understand how he’d managed to get up there.

“It’s Rey!” Panna exclaimed.

The District 11 boy smiled down at them. “Hey. You’ve found me”.

“Enough games” Kidra said. “What are you doing here?”

“The same thing that you’re doing. Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother, you’ve just got to stay alive”.

“Fair enough” the District 5 girl replied. “But how do you think that could be accomplished that way?”

Rey shrugged. “I don’t know. I just don’t think the Careers will come looking here”.

So in addition to being a robot, she’s terse and uncommunicative even though I said social skills were her strength.

They wanted to make sure that they spent as little time in the swampy water as possible. Hopefully, there wouldn’t be too many infections there. Kidra remembered the factory smog that had killed her mother…

And sudden backstory is sudden. In the submission I said Kidra’s mom was poisoned by power plant runoff, which as you might notice has nothing to do with either smog or jungle water. It really does look like the author just genuinely doesn’t understand anything I submitted.

Nothing interesting happens in the next two chapters. In chapter 15 she finally fights someone:

Lance began bounding towards Kidra, but the District 5 girl was ready. She had just finished untying the canoe, and she held up her throwing knives to show that she wasn’t going to be going down without a fight.

The District 2 boy retreated slightly, so that he was able to duck when Kidra heaved a knife at him. It hit Sei in the left leg, and blood started spurting out. The District 1 boy quickly pulled it out, but that only caused the blood flow to intensify.

Bah. Thigh wounds are usually fatal, so if she was purposefully aiming for the thigh she was shooting to kill, which I explicitly said she would not do. She’s become the standard Good Tribute who avoids conflict but is still willing to kill their fellow victims when necessary, which is so boring. In fairness, I was vague about what her actual strategy was. This is definitely giving me ideas for what she should be doing instead, though.

And again with the throwing knives. In her submission I tried to emphasize that her skills were in coarse weaponry and unarmed combat, to avoid giving her easy, elegant solutions like this. I will have to be more specific about that in future submissions.

“Let’s just hope that we don’t find another crazy bee muttation” said Panna. “I’m not a big fan of bugs, whether they be insects or technical bugs”.

“Bees aren’t insects” said Kidra.

…Yes they are? I don’t understand what’s up with this.

Panna, as it turned out, had really hit the jackpot. Her bag contained a long length of rope, a first aid kit, and spaghetti and meatballs. “Yes!” she said, when she saw the weapon.

“What can you do with a rope in the Hunger Games?” asked Kidra skeptically.

“All sorts of things! Make a lasso, for one”.

The District 5 girl did something that Panna had never heard her do. She laughed.

“A lasso! You’re out of your mind”.

“Hey, you can laugh, but my mother’s a virtual cowgirl. She makes a living doing that”.

“What’s a virtual cowgirl supposed to be?” Kidra asked. “That makes no sense!”

“I don’t know? said Panna. “Ask her. All I know is, she makes good money doing it. For every man she picks up at the bar, she gets-“.

“So, basically, she makes money by playing video games” said Kidra. “I can’t say that I approve of that, but to each her own. I mean, I…” she trailed off.

“What?” the District 3 girl asked the District 5 girl. “Why do you say that?”

“It’s nothing” Kidra said, but Panna was insistent.

“Is it anything about your life story?” Panna asked Kidra.

“It is” Kidra replied. “Do you want to know? You might not like me afterwards”.

“Sure” said Panna, as the girls continued down a lane with small gates with grapevines on the sides. It was quite beautiful if you didn’t acknowledge the fact that this was a Hunger Games arena.

“Okay” the older girl said, taking a deep breath. “Both of my parents are dead, and so I left home, joined an urchin gang, and eventually became a prostitute. How’s that?”

For a second, Panna looked as though she suspected Kidra of joking. However, she sat back and said, “I suppose that’s pretty sad. Sorry”.

“No, it’s fine. It doesn’t matter any more, now that we’re both going to die”.

“Don’t say that! Be positive, you don’t know that for sure”.

“I’m just saying, statistically that’s what usually happens”.

Dear lord that was awful. Kidra continues to be a robot.

Panna, however, couldn’t stop herself from asking the one question that had been plaguing her since offering an alliance with the older girl. “When you told me that you wouldn’t play by their rules, what did you mean by that?”

“Not now, okay?” Kidra said. “It’s time to wait for the anthem, and then we’ll get some rest. We both need it. And then, we’ll head to the summer island. Let’s not stay in one place too long, shall we?”

I strongly suspect this is because the author himself doesn’t know the answer.

Chapter 16 kills one of the Careers really stupidly. They hear the cannon and…

“Who do you think that was?” Panna asked.

“No idea” said Kidra. “I’m hoping that it was one of the Careers, though. Wouldn’t that be great?”

I specifically said she would not demonize the Careers. The author is just ignoring everything at this point.

Chapter 17: Kidrabot continues to be against alliances for no reason.

“Do you want to join up with us?” Panna asked.

Kidra looked at the youngest girl. “Panna, she probably doesn’t want an alliance-“.

“Yes, I would” Juliana said. “I’m willing to join up with you guys. Will two become three?”

“I guess they will” said Kidra, shaking the District 11 girl’s hand. “Kidra Silvery, and this is Panna Sonic. What’s your full name again?”

“Juliana Elle Skythorne” Juliana said.

“All last names start with an S!” Panna exclaimed. “What do you want to call this alliance? The Girl Power Alliance?”

“Sounds perfect” Juliana said. “Tomorrow, let’s get some weapons from the Cornucopia”.

“No need” Kidra said. “I’ve got knives. Can you use those?”

“I can use knives” the District 11 girl replied.

“Okay. You’re in”.

Chapter 18: Kidrabot continues to be a dick for no reason.

“I can’t sleep” Juliana told Panna.

“That’s not my problem” Kidra said, who had been woken up. “If anything, blame the Gamemakers. They’ve really made this a brutal arena to sleep in”.

[…]

“There’s three of us now” Panna said. “We can take on these Games. Should we start hunting in the morning?”

“I really do think so” Kidra said. “It’s not pleasant to think about, but we can’t let these Games go on forever. It’s already night 3, and there’s only been one death since the Bloodbath. The Capitol is going to get bored fast”.

“I suppose that you guys are right” Juliana said. “I’m going to try to get some more sleep. Would really help if you guys would let me have one of your sleeping bags”.

Each of the other two girls were sleeping in her sleeping bag, but the newest member of the alliance got the short end of the stick. Neither Panna nor Kidra would give up their sleeping bag for Juliana, which she supposed was fair. After all, they had gotten them first.

So the author is finally giving her some insight into the metagame, but seems to have missed my point by having her be super paranoid towards the other tributes. I’ll definitely have to specify she’s more selfless than this in future submissions.

(And as this passage points out, the Games have been going on for several chapters and barely anyone has died. The author seems determined to drag this out, but the chapter ends with Kidra running into another group so hopefully something will happen soon.)

Chapter 19: Finally we get some blood.

“I have an idea” Panna said.

“What’s that?” Neo asked, pointing his machete at the District 3 girl. “If it involves us teaming up-“.

“It does, actually” Panna replied. “I propose that we form a temporary alliance of seven and go and attack the Careers’ stronghold. After that, we can disband peacefully”.

We start with Kidra’s partner being the socially savvy one instead of her, and her agreeing to murder her fellow victims without even a word.

During the battle, Kidra bails at the start because she’s not strong enough, then Panna gets killed. She does not appear to feel any guilt over this.

“Let’s go a little further up on this island. I don’t know if anyone has ever explored it.

“I’m fine with that” the District 5 girl said. “I’m going to keep my knives, just in case we find something to hunt down. We don’t have any food, and I wish that we would have been able to pick something up from the Cornucopia. Still, though, there’s nothing we can do to change what we did in the past. For instance…”.

“For instance, what?” Juliana asked the older girl.

“Never you mind” Kidra said. “The point is, we’re here right now, and, at least for the moment, we are in control of our own destinies. That’s something that you can’t often say as a tribute in the Hunger Games”.

“To be fair”, said the District 11 girl, “you could say it, it just wouldn’t be true. You can always say whatever you want, it’s just whether or not that thing is true that matters”.

what does this even mean

Kidra doesn’t appear in chapter 20. In chapter 21 she and Juliana find a hot spring:

“Okay” the older girl said, getting into the water slowly. At first, it was almost painful, but once she had gotten used to the water it did indeed feel relaxing. She tried to keep as much of her body above the water as possible so as not to get overheated. If she did, she’d be pretty useless hunting later.

How does she know survival training. Is she transforming into Katniss.

For a few minutes, the girls just floated there, watching the snow fall and get sizzled in the hot water. Then, Kidra said, “How long are we going to stay together? There’s only ten left”.

Juliana had barely considered that question. “Well, you can leave right now, if you want. I’m not going to stop you”.

“You know what? I think I will” the older girl replied. She got out of the water.

“You can’t be serious. I’m really enjoying my time with you” Juliana replied.

“Well, you were the one to say it first. Besides, I’m getting sick of this. I’m getting out of here”.

Before Juliana could say another word, Kidra was already running away into the woods, leaving the District 11 girl soaking in the hot springs.

I still have no idea why the author is doing this.

Kidra didn’t look back after abandoning Juliana. She was too focused on what she had to do now; find a source of food.

She didn’t think ditching her ally was going to get her that many sponsors, but she didn’t know what her looks might do. She smiled at the camera, even though she was feeling no joy, quite the opposite. She had a lot of dark thoughts in her mind, mainly of the future and the age-old question of what happened when you died.

Kidra didn’t want to think that way. She would survive. She had to believe that, or she wouldn’t survive. It was just that. It was all about your will to live.

Okay, some of it might have been due to your own actions. Still, will to live could play an important factor.

what is happening

Chapter 22:

Kidra had managed to bring down a fox, and she was eating from it. She was also able to use the fur coat as a blanket. It was kind of disgusting, but at this point she was willing to do anything if it meant staying warm. It was that cold on the winter island.

She hated to play the Capitol’s game, but she had underestimated the power of the fear of death. The most powerful weapon that the Gamemakers had in the arena was thanatophobia, the instinctive fear that all humans seemed to have of their own mortality. The Gamemakers sure were good at manipulating this.

…That? That’s “playing the Capital’s game”? Not the part where you murder fellow victims to sow distrust between the lower classes?

“I’ll get you!” yelled a voice that he recognized as belonging to the girl from District 5. Kidra.

“Not before I get you!” Fennal yelled, going after the blonde girl. He whipped out his axe and began swinging wildly.

Kidra pulled out some knives. “How dare you join up with the Career alliance! You helped facilitate my ally’s death!”

“Panna? That was your ally?” the District 7 boy asked desperately, trying to stall for time. He didn’t think his axe would be able to win against her knives. Not that easily.

“Yes, I was aligned with her. And I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Fennal, the Capitol is evil. You know that. And yet you’ll never understand, because I’m about to kill you now”.

She’d figured that, since there were still quite a few other tributes remaining, the part about the Capitol being evil would be edited out. That was what usually happened in the Hunger Games.

“I don’t think you will” Fennal said. “I got a ten in training, you only got a six. What makes you think that I’m going to let you win?”

“I never said you’d let me” Kidra replied. “I said that I’m going to win, whether you let me or not. Fuck you for volunteering!”

Kidra heaved a knife at Fennal’s heart, but he was able to deflect with his axe. The District 5 girl was able to dodge the knife, but she aimed another one for his brain.

Fennal was rolling on the ground, doing his best not to allow the blonde girl to kill him. It was clear that he was on the defensive now.

The District 5 girl stuck a knife through the side of the District 7 boy, piercing his heart. The cannon fired instantly, and Kidra stepped back.

She’d done it. She’d achieved her first kill. That was a pretty good place to start, but if she wanted to win the Hunger Games, she would have to continue doing things like this. If she didn’t, it was likely that the Gamemakers were going to catch up with her somehow. The way things were going, Kidra was probably keeping them entertained. At the moment, that was all she really cared about.

SIGGGGHHHHH

This makes me curious if any of the other characters were so brazenly derailed. No one seems to be complaining in the reviews, for whatever that’s worth.

I really wasn’t expecting Kidra to make it this far, but from this, I’m guessing that Kidra is going to make it to the endgame at least. Looks like we’ll have to wait another month to see how she ends up.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12398244/23/Four-Seasons-The-65th-Hunger-Games

I am very sorry for this notice, but I really did have to put it out there.

I am discontinuing this story. I wasn’t enjoying writing it, and I tried to hide this fact. However, I realized that I just wasn’t liking writing the SYOTs. I really hope that you won’t take this against me.

OR NOT

Hahaha oh my god this is truly the perfect ending to this post. I suppose it’s impressive they got this far, at least. PMs tell me she was going to be killed in the endgame. I don’t know why they kept her around this long if they were just going to kill her, but okay.

I also talked with one of the readers who expressed a vocal dislike of Kidra; they didn’t like how similar she was to Katniss, and say that their own character got butchered too. How interesting!

27 Comments

  1. CrazyEd says:
    There’s a lot to get through that last one so I only skimmed it, but when I saw “Snow is cosplaying as Donald Trump” I was halfway to posting a comment asking how one suit-wearing politician can cosplay another suit-wearing politician and make it immediately obvious who he’s dressing like when I remembered that unlike the book reviews, I can actually click a link and read these firsthand to find out for myself.

    So when I go on over to chapter 7, I see the author’s note at the beginning and I think that this is gonna be great and I’ll have to be vigilant to miss this easter egg hidden somewhere in the text. So onwards I go.

    But first, while I’m skimming for any mention of Trump, I see what looks to be very technically competent writing compared to a lot of the fanfiction that makes it on this site, but two things stand out. One tribute’s clothing is described with a colour, and then in parenthesis, the relevant hex code and another’s is described in reference to a movie for children from years ago, and the weirdest part is… neither of these are required descriptions. I can imagine seafoam  green and a shitty elementary-school-play-tree costumes on my own.

    Is this something that happens throughout the fanfiction or is it happening because the author has to describe a literal huge procession of ridiculous outfits in one go? It’s weird and jarring to include hexcode in the middle of your story, and even moreso to reference a movie there’s a zero percent chance your characters have seen. But whatever, I thought, I’m getting distracted with nitpicking, let’s get to Snow-Trump!

    … But then when I finally find Snow cosplaying Trump, expecting some big paragraph after all those costume descriptions that describes how Snow tried his damnedest to contort his appearance into what would happen if you told every college-aged protester to draw a caricature of Donald Trump mixed with the Devil and then put them all in a big blender together, the payoff I was looking for is that… he wore a red tie? And he didn’t even get the hair right?

    I know this is hardly the point of the post and is nitpicking at best, but… I just don’t understand the author’s intent. If you’re going to compare Trump to whatever villainous politician your fandom has, actually do it. It’s just so disappointing. Trump’s Bizarre Adventure had more social commentary and that video series is just someone pasting the heads of various political figures onto the characters in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure opening theme songs.

    1. Is this something that happens throughout the fanfiction or is it happening because the author has to describe a literal huge procession of ridiculous outfits in one go?

      Oh no, that’s just a weird thing this author does. He doesn’t stop, either, he keeps mentioning hexcode colors for everything. At first I thought it was meant to imply the viewpoint character had super vision or something, but it happens regardless of the viewpoint.

      Anyway, you should review to tell him that!

      1. CrazyEd says:
        Eh, it doesn’t seem worth it to have to make an account on a website for the sole purpose of going “but why hexcodes?” on a fanfiction I’ll never read and, despite what my very opinionated rambling comments over the last week might imply, but ever since about 2012 or so, I stopped being the sort of person who likes to (or should) thow himself into that sort of critical public forum (especially directed specifically at the author, since even my attempts at even the most sincerely meant constructive criticism tends to come off somewhat vitriolic because I’m a naturally abrasive person). Even commenting on a blog this large and well travelled is pushing it for me, which is half the reason I’m posting here. I’m trying to get past that. Right now, I’m just glad I haven’t managed to get myself run out with torches and pitchforks yet.
  2. illhousen says:

    The author complaints about the scenes being boring and redundant, which I think says a lot about where their priorities are.

    Sad but unsurprising.

    Are you engaging with the Hunger Games fandom right now? I’m curious about the current discourse.

    From what I’ve seen (and, mind, it was from a periphery, stuff bleeding into other fandoms and spheres of interest), it seems the fandom is fixated on the logistics of the murdergames: what’s the best weapon to murder other kids, what is the best strategy for murdering other kids without getting murdered, whether you should form an alliance before betraying your partner and murdering them or go lone wolf route and murder everyone indiscriminately, etc.

    It doesn’t appear like there is much room for questioning whether you should play the game to begin with or much focus on how it would affect you as a person. Nobody disputes that the Capital is evil, but its evil is treated as an afterthought compared to the excitement of the games.

    Which… yeah, about what I would expect given how the books are written.

    1. CrazyEd says:
      The weirdest bit of that is, so far as I can tell, is that it seems like 99% of Hunger Games fanfiction that doesn’t start in the Games themselves never actually manage to get past the opulence of the capitol before they’re abandoned by bored authors.

      Which… yeah, about what I would expect given how the books are written.

      1. illhousen says:

        Ah, that’s probably just blind obedience to the stations of canon combined with running out of steam. Typical for fanfiction as a whole.

        1. CrazyEd says:
          It’s still interesting how it always seems to happen right before the part where the pretty dresses and shipping has to stop so the brutal violence and character death can begin.
          1. illhousen says:

            To be fair, that could be due to the action scene and most writers sucking at them.

            A lot of fanfiction relies heavily on dialogue and workmanlike descriptions with minimal action, so the massive bloodbath at the start of the games could pose a purely technical barrier for continuing writing.

            1. CrazyEd says:
              That didn’t stop Suzanne Collins. The initial bloodbath is actually one area where sparse and confusing description would infinitely improve it. Imagine if Nasu got his hands on someone in that state of mind during such a traumatic event.
              Reply
            2. illhousen says:

              Sure, but while Collins is a hack, she’s massively better than most fanfiction writers, and she actually got paid for her work.

              Reply
    2. This has been my only engagement so far, but given the popularity of SYOT stories, I’m guessing this is reflective of the fandom as a whole, yes. Are you looking at the questions the author asks each chapter? Some of them are very telling. (All the “what would you do in the Hunger Games” stuff is so unbelievably tone-deaf — like, surely everyone has seen the interview where she says the setup is supposed to mirror American imperialism, right? The books aren’t good at showing it but come on, do a little reasearch if you love the series so much!) 

      This is why I tried to make a tribute who would explicitly not participate in the concept at all, but it seems I underestimated fandom’s devotion to formula. I think next time I’ll just submit someone who suicides at the outset to make it easier on them.

      1. CrazyEd says:
        Are you looking at the questions the author asks each chapter?

        I’ll keep an eye out when I go back and read it in-depth. Reading paragraphs upon paragraphs of text on a computer screen is very taxing for me. I think I got through Storm Front in less time than it took me to read the review of it here. I don’t think I’d get through any of this site at all if I wasn’t able to maginify it 150% with Google Chrome. As convenient as the ability to carry around a library in my pocket with an eReader is, I’m doomed to be a print book reader until my eyes go too bad to use them.

        I have the problem you’re having all the time when I’m playing in RPGs. My PCs usually have pretty large and characterful families, and I am the reasons players try to orphan their PCs (good luck with that, I’ll haunt you with your dad’s ghost if I have to, and he is going to constantly nag you about settling down with the cute elf in the party so he can have grandkids). I can’t even remember the last time I was tempted to run non-DB Exalted. But the thing I hate, hate, hate, hate the most about this (especially after essentially becoming a Forever GM) is when these background NPCs appear in the hands of another person. I’m never satisfied with it. I’d probably be one of those authors who hates fanfiction of my work because they’d be getting my characters wrong. It just never feels right, like that feeling you get when you try to use someone else’s laptop for recreation, except in reverse (the feeling you get loaning your laptop to someone else to play on)?

        I think the highest compliment anyone has ever actually given me about my RPG skills is when they said that I understood their PC’s character just as well as they did. No wonder they ended up soulmates. Their PC actually gifted mine their Cup Grace after a Raksha shaped it into an item for them.

        1. illhousen says:

          But the thing I hate, hate, hate, hate the most about this (especially after essentially becoming a Forever GM) is when these background NPCs appear in the hands of another person. I’m never satisfied with it.

          Nah, that was the expected result. The whole thing started with Farla writing an article on her forum about how SYOC stories are a bad idea and you shouldn’t write them.

          The whole thing here is basically about collecting data on the exact ways SYOC stories can be bad, not getting characters being one of them and one of the more obvious.

          What is frustrating is when writers not simply write characters kinda OOC or don’t get nuances or simplify their motivations, but when they actively ignore the core concept of characters and twist them so they could fit into a preexisting narrative, which kinda defeats the point of writing a SYOC story to begin with.

          1. CrazyEd says:
            Expecting a result you know you’re going to rankle at doesn’t make the rankle rankle any less. I have had GMs who just totally didn’t get a character to the point where I asked them if they could just straight-up not appear anymore before, though.

            What other ways could one of these stories specifically be bad in ways typical ones can’t besides twisting the characters and ignoring their concept, though? The only real difference between this kind of story and the average fanfiction is the crowdsourced cast, isn’t it?

            (Incidentally, what does SYOC actually stand for, anyway?)

            1. (“Submit Your Original Character”)

              It doesn’t rankle me unless they ignore the character completely, as happened here. People can interpret things in interesting ways, and even when they twist them, it’s useful to see what people pay attention to. Did you see Chara in the Power Rangers crossover, for instance? Hilarious!

              Reply
            2. CrazyEd says:
              No, this is the first of these that I’ve followed. I’m trying to read more of the fanfiction-focused posts that get put up, now that I’ve started commenting, than I otherwise would on my own. But even then, I’m usually not a fan of crossovers in general. I’m not interested in what it’d be like if Karkat Vantas and Dipper Pines were Pokemon trainers. What’s the sense of that crossover pairing? I’d much rather have something like… Kuroki Tomoko as a Persona protagonist. That at least has some thematic connection.

              I suppose the difference in our rankling is that you’re specifically not intending for the character to be accurately portrayed. You just want to see what they make of it. I have far less of a problem with GMs putting their own spin on a character when I just give a vague paragraph long overview of what they’re like than I would with, say, a PC becoming an NPC now that I’ve switched to playing my PC’s kid after a timeskip. There’s just not much there to be wrong about in the first place, whereas I’ve lived in that PC-turned-NPC’s head for months. For you, the rankling is because they just make something totally new, and that totally defeats the point of your exercise in submitting a character, not because they get it wrong per se. That makes sense.

              Reply
            3. illhousen says:

              What other ways could one of these stories specifically be bad in ways typical ones can’t besides twisting the characters and ignoring their concept, though?

              https://www.fanfiction.net/topic/11834/142912324/1/Stop-Asking-For-OCs

              That’s a comprehensive list to start with.

              Reply
            4. CrazyEd says:
              Hm, I see the point that link’s making, and I see the confusion. See, I thought there was more to it than that, because all of those various types of unusable submissions would require you to twist the character to fit into the story, so I counted them all under that one aegis.

              I was thinking that there was somehow something else entirely that could impact the story. I misunderstood. The things about having to change your plot to accomodate the great character who just doesn’t quite fit is the closest that post has to what I was imagining there’d be.

              Reply
            5. illhousen says:

              Oh, the core problem is the same: random characters are very unlikely to fit a story you had in mind, so either the characters break or the story.

              What’s interesting is the sheer number of ways writers take in order to twist the characters and the specific motives behind it.

              Reply
      2. illhousen says:

        Well, I’m looking now.

        Here is an interesting tidbit:

        What I mean is, the Careers you usually read about, whether it be in SnowLucario Hunger Games, Hoprocker Hunger Games, or just plain Hunger Games, are arrogant teenagers who volunteer for glory for their district or themselves.

        Again, sad but unsurprising*. Based on Career thing description, I figured the kids were raised in a communal effort and told all their life how what they’re about to do is good for the community, good for people they love. Their very existence allows everyone in a district to get supplies in exchange for increasing their chances of being chosen for the games as the Capitol allows, and if they win, they would bring money and food and supplies into the district, which would, again, help everyone.

        They should think of themselves as heroes risking their lives to help their home, even if ultimately that narrative just helps the Capitol to drive districts apart.

        *Should it be a motto of the fandom? Hunger Games: Sad but Unsurprising. Seems like it fits.

        1. CrazyEd says:
          To be fair, he’s totally correct about how Careers are portrayed. Remember, this is the book series that trained a half dozen kids to go into an arena of unspecified terrain with no outside assistence for weeks on end to engage in a lawless deathmatch, and forgot to teach them how do gather food. You’d think they’d be a combination of Les Stroud and Bruce Lee, but you’d also think Katniss wouldn’t have to waste her time at the survival station learning how to build a fire in the 74th Games’ training period.
          1. illhousen says:

            Which is why it’s unsurprising.

            I’m not really mad at the fandom for buying fully into the books’ narrative and not critically analyzing it or doing interesting subversions, just disappointed.

            1. CrazyEd says:
              Isn’t that kind of stuff usually not the result of people who like the media enough to be a part of the fandom in the first place? No one is writing the story of Charlie Swan: Vampire Hunter if they think Edward and Bella are the perfect couple.
              Reply
            2. illhousen says:

              Oh, it was absolutely expected. Yet it managed to disappoint me still.

              Reply
        2. Hinebras says:
          “Should it be a motto of the fandom? Hunger Games: Sad but Unsurprising. ”
          If the shoe fits…
    3. Hinebras says:
      “From what I’ve seen… it seems the fandom is fixated on the logistics of the murdergames…”
      They should rather go for a Battle Royale fic, twice the blood with the same amount of politics.
  3. As it turns out, I should have waited another day to post this! Scroll to the bottom for a new addition explaining the glorious finale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar