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Thread: "Guess-the-Author" Analysis and Critiques

  1. #1381
    Zealous Firebrand Snugglie's Avatar
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    Oh my.

    I need ramen to digest these news. After that, let's give this another shot.
    Stand up, all victims of oppression,
    For the tyrants fear your might!
    Don't cling so hard to your possessions,
    For you have nothing if you have no rights!
    Let racist ignorance be ended,
    For respect makes the empires fall!
    Freedom is merely privilege extended,
    Unless enjoyed by one and all.

  2. #1382
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    As some of you will be aware I havent been on the forums much recently, a consequence of being very busy in real life. I had thought that at some point the extra burden on my time would be reduced to a point I could rejoin the community again - but alas it doesnt look like this will be case for some time to come.

    I came across some old notes that I had taken regarding GtA and remembered that I had, had to disappear at pretty short notice, which was why I was unable to return to complete my supposed tour of duty here!

    So before I disappear again, ...
    The most sincerest apologises I can muster to Canoized and The Yogi for not being able to carry on with the baton.

    To everyone else involved - I can not apologise enough. You have my too sincerest apologises!

    I wish you the very best in whatever it is you decide to do.

    Take Care,
    2Coats
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  3. #1383
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Worry not, 2Coats. Many a project leader for GtA has fallen on busy times. I'm surprised the writers never revealed themselves. We should at least complete the last round.

    The attempt to revive this was certainly appreciated. Thanks for that. And I hope this doesn't mean we won't see you around the forum otherwise.
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  4. #1384
    Evil Genius The Yogi's Avatar
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    My latest spell of extreme RL business is coming to an end - it has involved selling off my mothers house (and going through her COPIOUS belongings with my brothers - we agreed that our mother simply didn't believe in scarcity of ANYTHING) and now that my own family is knee-deep in stuff in our own home, we're having the house reformed.

    Add to that re-organisation at work (which ended up with me being responsible for a division three times the size as before) and no time was left for writing, forumizing or much anything else.

    But things are settling down a bit. If no one else wants to pick up the mantle, I'll try running GtA again by the end of this month.
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  5. #1385
    Zealous Firebrand Snugglie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Yogi View Post
    My latest spell of extreme RL business is coming to an end - it has involved selling off my mothers house (and going through her COPIOUS belongings with my brothers - we agreed that our mother simply didn't believe in scarcity of ANYTHING) and now that my own family is knee-deep in stuff in our own home, we're having the house reformed.

    Add to that re-organisation at work (which ended up with me being responsible for a division three times the size as before) and no time was left for writing, forumizing or much anything else.

    But things are settling down a bit. If no one else wants to pick up the mantle, I'll try running GtA again by the end of this month.
    Formally I guess I am the one doomed to shoulder the burden, courtesy of accidentally reviving it.

    Nah, but seriously though. If someone else would want to run it, I've got no problem with it -- I've got a lot of spare time though, and would not have a problem fitting this into my schedule. If there's an interest from writers, I'd be ready to run this thing, at least for a while.
    Stand up, all victims of oppression,
    For the tyrants fear your might!
    Don't cling so hard to your possessions,
    For you have nothing if you have no rights!
    Let racist ignorance be ended,
    For respect makes the empires fall!
    Freedom is merely privilege extended,
    Unless enjoyed by one and all.

  6. #1386
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Yogi or Snugglie...either one, go for it. Together, the force of GtA may be unstoppable.
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    And check out the Guess the Author thread - back and active!

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  7. #1387

  8. #1388
    Evil Genius The Yogi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snugglie View Post
    Formally I guess I am the one doomed to shoulder the burden, courtesy of accidentally reviving it.

    Nah, but seriously though. If someone else would want to run it, I've got no problem with it -- I've got a lot of spare time though, and would not have a problem fitting this into my schedule. If there's an interest from writers, I'd be ready to run this thing, at least for a while.
    Go for it Snugglie - a lot of spare time I have not, so go ahead - FOR GREAT JUSTICE!!
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  9. #1389
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Red face Oh Dear

    Oops. Uhm. Yeah.

    That Japan piece, I wrote that. Being new to the GtA thing, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to wait for a certain time, or a formal announcement to reveal myself, or what. So I checked in a few times, didn't see anything obvious, and then... Well, it just slid off my list.

    It's been, what, almost four months, so it's high time that I do the commenters the courtesy of responding to them.

    In hindsight (and with feedback), it seems obvious that my biggest problem with writing the piece was, that I was much too paranoid. I hit upon the simple idea, "Let's do a countdown, let's make it look like we're counting down to something happy and then bam! it turns out it's a countdown to destruction". As soon as I decided on that idea, I thought it was such an obvious angle, that I needed to bury it deep. Which, gauging by the reactions, I triumphantly succeeded in doing. Somewhere right next to Jimmy Hoffa.

    I wanted to leave enough hints that the final revelation wouldn't feel like a complete copout. They can be read that way, but from the comments, it's clear that people only do so if they have foreknowledge. Since my whole idea rested on the twist, I clearly failed. The valuable lesson for me is that I should really bounce things off somebody else, so I don't become prisoner of my own assumptions (which ran roughly along the lines of "It's near the end of the war, it all looks too happy, too good to be true, the readers must know some tragedy is around the corner and what would be more tragic in the Summer of '45 than the nuclear bombing of hitherto untouched Hiroshima?").

    As far as the Western names go, according to that great repository of knowledge known as the Internet (japanesebabynames.com, or somesuch), 'Gina' is a traditional Japanese name and 'Ken' I lifted from Ken Watanabe. Yes, it's contrived, but naming them 'Yuki' and 'Hiro' wouldn't have left any surprise (except, maybe, the atomizing part. Oh well). I have to admit that the porch scene was basically laziness: I wanted to quickly sketch the scene and didn't bother to see if I could make it more authentic.

    I want to thank everyone for their feedback. I've learned not to trust my own gut, when it comes to plotting.

    Oh, and Stuckenschmidt, while I can't comment on the intentions of the other story, I do know that the 'man in butternut' simply refers to the color of his clothes - poor Southerners during the Civil War era apparently colored their fabrics with the butternut.

  10. #1390
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Stuyvesant...

    I didn't get to fully comment on your story. I'd meant to. And I hadn't even gotten to read story 2. I'll hope to, but I can't guarantee.

    I think your story gave me whiplash... It was well done in so many ways, but the things you were trying to keep secret until the end left me trying to catch up too late.

    I almost wonder if there would have been a way to tell the story straight -- to let us know they were in wartime Japan -- but to keep the dates secret until the very end.

    That way I wouldn't have already formulated in my mind that this was an unknown American setting, and then suddenly have to "re-read" everything in my mind to conceptualize it in Japan. I think that threw me off, more than anything.

    Just my thoughts, as I remember them. Good job -- just needs some more concept planning.

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  11. #1391
    Zealous Firebrand Snugglie's Avatar
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    It lives!

    Christmas is over, and my city is eerily quiet after all the other students -- save me, a few natives and a host of Asian exchange students -- went home for Christmas. How better to spend the empty days until New Year's Eve than defibrillating the old beast that is Guess-the-Author? Indeed, it has not died yet, and it would be an awful pity if it met its demise on my watch.

    As there's been a hiatus I am aware that not everybody might be immediately aware of this revival, and so I wont set a deadline for signing up (now, at least). Deadline for submissions will be given when I've gotten three-four (depending on the interest) authAARs to sign up. An aim will be to publish the entries in the first days of February, though.

    So without further ado, the topic you will work with is:

    L'etat, c'est moi!*


    I of course hope to have enough signed-up authAARs by New Year's Eve, but that might be too much to hope for. Or will it? I'll be delighted to be proved wrong.

    Good luck, ladies and gentlemen.

    *= "L'etat, c'est moi" is a quote attributed to the French sun-king Louis XIV. It's translation into English reads "The state, that is I" and can be seen as a metaphor for his belief in the divine supremacy of kings, and that no state was needed save for himself. Participators are free to interpret the topic as they feel like -- creativity is encouraged.
    Stand up, all victims of oppression,
    For the tyrants fear your might!
    Don't cling so hard to your possessions,
    For you have nothing if you have no rights!
    Let racist ignorance be ended,
    For respect makes the empires fall!
    Freedom is merely privilege extended,
    Unless enjoyed by one and all.

  12. #1392
    the Conqueror Peter Ebbesen's Avatar
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    Good initiative. I might not have time to participate (or perhaps I do and this is merely camouflage to set up the scene for plausible deniability, in which case I just blew it big time unless I want you to think that), but I do have the time to bump the thread in the hope that other people will notice that the thread is active again, read the last few entries, and start writing!
    Finally got around to writing a list of my AARs in the inkwell.
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  13. #1393
    Zealous Firebrand Snugglie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ebbesen View Post
    Good initiative. I might not have time to participate (or perhaps I do and this is merely camouflage to set up the scene for plausible deniability, in which case I just blew it big time unless I want you to think that), but I do have the time to bump the thread in the hope that other people will notice that the thread is active again, read the last few entries, and start writing!
    Good call.

    I know it takes some time to revive an old baby like this, so I'll give it the time it demands.
    Stand up, all victims of oppression,
    For the tyrants fear your might!
    Don't cling so hard to your possessions,
    For you have nothing if you have no rights!
    Let racist ignorance be ended,
    For respect makes the empires fall!
    Freedom is merely privilege extended,
    Unless enjoyed by one and all.

  14. #1394
    Field Marshal Avernite's Avatar
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    Good idea indeed. I don't know what deadline you're working with, or if you had stories aplenty already, but making it show up is always good right?

    And if I think of a good story I might send it in
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  15. #1395
    Zealous Firebrand Snugglie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avernite View Post
    Good idea indeed. I don't know what deadline you're working with, or if you had stories aplenty already, but making it show up is always good right?

    And if I think of a good story I might send it in
    Nah, when I've got people up for the challenge, I'll advertise it in the thread, along with a deadline for submission. I'm swamped with work this week, but next week I might do some slightly aggressive recruiting to get this up and running again -- looks like the old mule won't start moving without a gentle push.
    Stand up, all victims of oppression,
    For the tyrants fear your might!
    Don't cling so hard to your possessions,
    For you have nothing if you have no rights!
    Let racist ignorance be ended,
    For respect makes the empires fall!
    Freedom is merely privilege extended,
    Unless enjoyed by one and all.

  16. #1396
    Ugh. I submitted a contest entry over to Snuggile a long time ago, but it appears the contest has ended. Now that PM that I have sent him is cluttering up my PM box, and I still need help with my AAR writing skills, so I have decided to just post the story I sent him for critique. Sorry that you couldn't get the joy of "guessing the author".

    Royalists, as of 6 AM, the current King of France is currently detained, and our country is now under martial law under me, the head of the armed forces.

    I am sorry that this step had to be taken, but I have no choice. Our country was being threatened by external enemies, and we must do what it takes to save our country.

    We love and support our King, who has led us through great times and have defended our country from the evils of liberalism and Germanism. But our King have recently been infected by an illness. This illness has consumed him, making him incompetent to rule.

    His illness, you may ask? He questioned, questioned the divine supremacy of kings!

    He was in fact waging a covert war against such a concept, by entering into dialogue with those disgusting liberals, with a plan to bring them into government in a power-sharing agreement, and by extension, deprive us of power! He said, and I quote, "I am indeed the rightful King. But I am King because the people want me to be King." That's disgusting! Popular soverignity is not at all how a government should run, that will only lead to the horrors of democracy. The King rules because he has been appointed by God almighty, not because he was appointed by 'the people'!

    Luckily, we have since detained such a rabble-rouser before he could do too much damage. He is currently being sent to re-education, and hopefully, he will resume ruling our fair country in the future, this time with our guidance. Until then, I will serve as a regent.

    I can hear some of you say: "We are the Royalists, defenders of the divine rights of kings! If the King wants to do something, then that's his right and the military shouldn't intervene!". But, we should keep in mind that we are not blind followers of the King. Just because we accept the divine right of kings doesn't mean we have to agree with everything he says! Sometimes a king might be mentally insane, or a king might be young. And sometimes, a king might decide to give up any belief of his divinity and thereby upset the entire social order. We don't listen to those Kings, and nor should we. God has given them the right to rule, but if a King does not know how to excerise those rights, then somebody else must step in.

    Still, I share your concerns about this incident. I take full responsiblity for not educating our King beforehand about how such an action would destabilize the social order and lead to chaos. Hopefully, this will not happen again...but that may not be enough.

    Result:
    1) Dissent increases by 10.
    2) King Louis XXX removed from Head of Government.
    3) Charles Alexandre de Calonne becomes new Head of Government.
    4) Liberal CON increases by 1.
    5) Liberal MIL increases by 1.

  17. #1397
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Servant,

    Thank you for writing this, and for posting it, even so long after the fact!

    I do hope that this thread will come to life again, under new or renewed leadership.

    I liked the first 2/3 of the piece. After that, I think it started to wander, and my suspension of disbelief ended.

    I will assume this was intended for an audience -- as you seem to indicate toward the end -- of the regent's peers and immediate underlings. This is not for public release. If it were, it would have been unrealistic for the time -- any time, really. But it makes sense as an address (written, from the format, not spoken) to his supporters.

    At first, I thought to myself, "where's the spin"? "Where's the justification in terms the people will understand?" But these, too, are modern concepts. He would only have to have justified himself to those to whom he owed his power (not, at least in his envisioning, the "people").

    And I do accept that -- no matter what modern sensibilities may think of the subject -- this is how a person of his class at that time might well think. And he's speaking to people who mostly believe the same thing.

    As a (former) political speechwriter, I can tell you it's probably "off message" to go on, toward the end, trying to outthink the readers' potential confusions. A strong leader (alas, maybe this is not really a wise or strong leader) would not even address the subject, lest he risk raising an issue in the subjects' minds that wasn't there before. They do, as we've said, think more or less like him.

    When dealing with political messages, such as this, I've found that realism is of utmost importance, because politics is a very, very REAL process. Watch, if you haven't, the movie The Age of Innocence (great movie, which I haven't seen in years, but masterfully done on the subject of politics and "high society" of the Victorian era). Watch the "unwritten rules" (in society, as in politics). Watch the vast amount of communication that is conducted by looks, glances, subtle behavior. Watch the snubs which are delivered... as often as not by something NOT being delivered! It's a fascinating game -- and that's what it was (and is, in politics).

    I mention this final bit as a piece of advice, not as criticism -- you've done well! And also as encouragement, because if you have an interest in that sort of writing, I find it very entertaining when done well. Doing something well in that genre takes practice, and you're on your way.

    Thanks!

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  18. #1398
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Hmm..... Okay, this thread has gone dormant for FAR too long!

    I'm starting this up again. I'll run it, for now.

    This thread is one of the most promising and potentialized features on this whole forum -- a place for developing authors to challenge themselves, submit their work for critique by other developing authors (and some relatively expert ones also) and then learn from their mistakes and successes alike! This type of double-blind feedback is invaluable for developing authors (and developed authors too -- no author really knows how his/her writing will be taken without others reading it first). It's a great part of the learning process.

    Paradox Forums are an amazing resource for these purposes anyway -- the way authors can get feedback on their AARs -- but the Guess The Author Challenge (GTA) is unique in that it allows authors to critique each other without knowing who they're reading or giving feedback to. It eliminates preconceptions and is a more true test. GTA also allows a very unique but important writing challenge -- a short piece written on a topic not of the author's choosing! This is actually one of the greatest tests of a writer's talent, and one of the most productive means of a writer developing within the craft. It's part of many writing schools and programs. We do it here for free!

    The topic for this round will be:

    A Deserter

    The first four or five people to contact me by e-mail will be accepted, and you'll have to deliver a piece of fiction on the topic of 300-1200 words to me by May 1. DO NOT POST THE PIECES YOURSELF!!! I will post them.

    Send both requests to participate and the final submissions to me BY E-MAIL at coloconservative@aol.com -- DO NOT send me a PM here on Paradox (my box is full, and your submission will be too long for PM anyway). Send any questions to that e-mail also. MARK ANY MAIL FOR GTA WITH THE SUBJECT LINE: PARADOX GTA - (YOUR FORUM NAME HERE).

    A brief review of the rules from page 1:

    1) Actual story posts will only be submitted by me or the designated person in charge, to retain anonymity. Critical/guess posts will be made under your own nick.

    2) This is what happens: First, the coordinator will choose a topic for authors to write about. Topics will be very broad and general, and will cover topics in (if at all possible) the EU games, HoI, Victoria, Rome, or Crusader Kings so authors who own only one of those games (or, possibly, none) can still join the project.

    3) Second, anyone who wishes to write on a topic must e-mail the coordinator (Rensslaer -- coloconservative@aol.com) and get approval. The number of authors writing on any particular topic will be limited to 4, or otherwise as designated by the person in charge, so it's important to inform the coordinator of your interest as soon as possible so you will be one of the first four. The coordinator will inform you of if you're going to write or not (ie if there are already four authors signed up).

    4) Submissions will have a deadline that they must meet. This is to allow all the posts to be put up at once, so as to give "equal time" to them, in addition to keeping the manager of the project sane (actually, the latter may be a lost cause already ). This also keeps the project rolling, even if one of the authors has unexpected problems.

    6) Anyone may offer guesses as to the identity of the author and may post constructive criticism. Spam will not be tolerated, nor outright attacks, as per forum rules.

    7) The list of authors will not be provided until a set time has expired. Then all will be revealed. (As our community has grown enormously, guessing the author should no longer be as big a priority as providing positive feedback.)

    8) Posts that discuss writing in more general terms should be posted in the SolAARium, not here. Not that we don't want to read them, but everything has its proper place, from artillery to literary criticism.
    Enjoy! I hope we can get this going again, with sufficient interest and participation both, from writers and from critiquers.

    Rensslaer
    Serenity - (V2 v1.3) - An isolationist Japan tries to stay out of everybody's way (Updated July '13)
    Kriegsgefahr (Impending War) - (HOI3/SF/HPP) - Germany attempts to remain at peace! (Updated Apr '13)
    Locarno - Italy vs. Germany (HOI3/SF/HPP) - What if Mussolini stood with France against Hitler?
    The Die is Cast (Roman Civil War) - Caesar will make a name for himself! (Updated June '12)
    Império Novo - An Axis Portugal AAR for HOI 3 (Updated May '13)
    Fire Warms the Northern Lands - A Prussian Victoria 1 AAR (Awarded the VictAARian Cross for Jan-Jun 2006)
    Castles In the Sky (Vicky 1) * Sforza!!! - A Milan AAR (EU III) (Updated May '13) * I Am Siam (V2 Minor) (tied for Silver VictAARian Cross for Best AAR completed in 2011) * A Long Time Ago... (HOI 1 Argentina)* Check Rensslaer's Inkwell! (list of online writings)

  19. #1399
    General Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIRome Gold

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,718
    Blog Entries
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    Oh my God, a Zombie.

    Good luck, Rens.
    Never smile - It is contagious

    Got one of my AARs made into a video. Thank you, Paradox Extra.

  20. #1400
    Not working

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Copenhagen, plotting my revenge
    Posts
    4,998
    Good to see it is still going

    I wont have time to write anything by may 1st. but certainly I will keep my eyes peeled for a later topic

    V

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