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  • This draft is very rough, but I need feedback in order to overhaul it. It's rushed in some places since it was a brute force effort just to get to the end. Once I rewrite this I plan to make a spin appeal for it.

    https://hopelessnightowl-sandbox.wikia.com/wiki/Lost_Episodes_Can_Be_Found_Again

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    • Sorry for the brief delay. As you requested, here is the review. I'm going to start with the mechanical issues before moving on to what I thought of the story itself.

      Sentence structure: There were a few fragmented sentences that made the flow feel a bit choppy. "I'm going to tell you a secret.(,) But (but) first, you have to promise me you won't laugh.", "I suppose I can forgive you if you broke your promise.(,) But (but) I must emphasize that I am not joking.", etc. I tend to avoid starting sentences with conjunctions as they tend to come off like you're breaking a single sentence into two separate ones.

      Spelling: "I (It) took me a couple hours to work up the courage to finally hit "Play."", "By now it was largely overgrown, and I cursed myself for not brining (bringing) a machete."

      Wording: Some of the sentences feel a bit overly long and have some repetition that's best avoided. "The image was a frame from whatever twisted version of The Aristocats I had seen, and while I hadn't actually remembered this particular still until I found this message board, the instant I saw it I remembered (avoid re-using the same word multiple times in rapid succession) the clip and more memories started flooding back, still vague but vivid and definitely real.", "I was now more firmly convinced than I had ever been before that I had seen some version of The Aristocats that was never meant to be seen (a synonym for seen would improve flow a bit) by the public", "Annoyingly, the door did not appear to have a mechanism for staying open, and was too heavy for me to hold open (same)."

      Capitalization: "I Googled (googled, when used as a verb is typically left uncapitalized) "lost media group", but the closest thing I could find was a website for an online club", "He shrugged and said(,) "oh (Oh) well, that's pretty much what happened. Nothing much else to tell really."", "I crossed the Interstate (typically interstate is only capitalized when referring to a specific one like Interstate 95) on foot, there being only light traffic"

      Punctuation: ""Sorry about that," he said(comma missing) "but I did warn you."", ""He shrugged and said(comma/colon missing) "oh""

      Story: Going into detail at certain points might enhance the plot. Lines like: "I saw a movie called The Aristocats, filled with the scenes I have described, and it scarred me for life.", "There was no graphic violence, no psychedelic scenes, nothing that should have traumatized me as a child.", etc. would be enhanced in my opinion if you went more into the impact it had on the protagonist's life. What impact did seeing these horrible things have on him as a child? Did it give them waking nightmares, did it make them incredibly wary of any cartoon? Going into detail would help separate this a bit from Lost Episode tropes which tend to mention how emotionally traumatic witnessing a lost episode is, but not going any further than that.

      There are some sections that feel like they could be trimmed back. The Cartoon Geek transcript in particular feels more like a waypoint to the plot and not something needing multiple paragraphs of explanation/set-up for a lost episode which really doesn't advance the plot (the narrator reading the comments on the video is more of a catalyst).

      Description: There are a few times where going into detail might help out a bit with building a sense of realism. Lines like: "it escalated into a full-scale riot in which spectators swarmed the field and attacked each other. About 20 minutes into the riot, the tape ended." and "I took a break from the mission and focused on life obligations." could have a little more fleshing out. You don't have to get gruesome when describing the riot, but some explanation of the conflict (were they throwing bottles, how were they attacking each other?) might build on the realism. As for the second line, what are life obligations to the protagonist? Work (that might explain how they scrounged up one thousand in cash), social life, academia, etc.? It's something small, but it provides some slight insight into the character and story.

      Plot issues: "During the "Lion" short, I had managed to snap a quick digital photo of the TV screen while the man wasn't looking, and had put the camera back away before the whole bad acid trip thing." and "However, I did photograph each one of them just in case." Anytime there's mention of physical evidence, that almost always results in people wondering why it isn't being provided in the story itself. The protagonist's main goal is to get the story out there so it leaves me wondering why they wouldn't provide this physical evidence if they have it.

      Conclusion: All in all, I liked the investigative approach to this as it made for a driving plot. You also manage to weave in tropes like red/bloodshot eyes and hyperrealism in a way that links it to other lost media which gives the plot more credence as a lot of people are aware of those tropes, so there's a bit of an added sense of realism where you're bringing a lot of these sources under the auspices of your plot and grounding them in your story. As for the ending, I think a little more can be done to make the Lost Media group a little more horrifying with their ulterior motives (they try to run them off the road, hijack a broadcast, and a few other attempts to obscure the truth) so Cathy's reasoning at the end feels a bit lackluster given that the protagonist posits their own theory about them, but doesn't really flesh it out. If they were so determined to cover-up their secrets, how is the protagonist posting it now and why aren't they concerned for their safety?

      All in all, I like the story and think that with a few tweaks, it would make a good addition to the site. Most of my points in the story are more things that I feel would make the idea more effective and they don't necessarily need to be strictly adhered to when it comes time for an appeal. They are mainly just suggestions I would give to someone asking for feedback/review. Hope this helps!

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    • Thanks for the review. The initial draft took a lot of energy so it may be awhile yet before I begin fixing it up, but your suggestions sound good.

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    • I have to agree with Empy here, how did the view traumatize the narrator? You keep mentioning how he is traumitized to the point needing this cathartic closure through a second viewership but you never explain how exactly he is traumitze. Give us details, was it nightmares, night terrors, dark thoughts, some sort of flash backs... Give me something, Owl. 

      Also, I didn't like the feeling of New World Order this Lost Media Group gives off, might as well make them seem more criminal. People consume Snuff, gore, illegal pornography and what not. Give them a mafia feel, and bang, you have something that feels far more real than "we give people the option".

      Also, isn't writing this whole thing (in story) kind of "revealing the secret", as your narrator is sharing this somewhere in story, thus I think the closing statement should be altered. 

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    • I've added a little more about the effects of the film on the narrator.

      > Also, I didn't like the feeling of New World Order this Lost Media Group gives off, might as well make them seem more criminal. People consume Snuff, gore, illegal pornography and what not. Give them a mafia feel, and bang, you have something that feels far more real than "we give people the option".

      Well, I wasn't trying to make them the Illuminati, but since this story is basically framed as a deconstruction of the whole lost episode genre, I made the conscious choice to incorporate the existing tropes of lost episode stories, knowing it was a risk. That includes some supernatural elements that would make them more than just a crime syndicate and kind of forced me to stray into secret cult territory.

      That said, I do like your suggestion. Originally I did consider tying the group to snuff tapes, but didn't know how to include it without it being forced and awkward.

      My original vision was for the Lost Media Group to resemble the secret group in this story, which I feel successfully splits the difference between the secret cult group that may or may not have occult powers, and the seedy eccentric illegal media syndicate. Guess I fell somewhat short in that aim.

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    • HopelessNightOwl wrote:
      I've added a little more about the effects of the film on the narrator.

      > Also, I didn't like the feeling of New World Order this Lost Media Group gives off, might as well make them seem more criminal. People consume Snuff, gore, illegal pornography and what not. Give them a mafia feel, and bang, you have something that feels far more real than "we give people the option".

      Well, I wasn't trying to make them the Illuminati, but since this story is basically framed as a deconstruction of the whole lost episode genre, I made the conscious choice to incorporate the existing tropes of lost episode stories, knowing it was a risk. That includes some supernatural elements that would make them more than just a crime syndicate and kind of forced me to stray into secret cult territory.

      That said, I do like your suggestion. Originally I did consider tying the group to snuff tapes, but didn't know how to include it without it being forced and awkward.

      My original vision was for the Lost Media Group to resemble the secret group in this story, which I feel successfully splits the difference between the secret cult group that may or may not have occult powers, and the seedy eccentric illegal media syndicate. Guess I fell somewhat short in that aim.

      I think you just need to clarify what are the means of your group for all their connections, control and "work abilities", basically. Make them appear not supernatural. Crime syndicates, even very localized ones are extremely potent, and we're talking on a scale of something cross nation or even global, just look at how the Yakuza operates for a good example. 

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    • A FANDOM user
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