Supercenter, by Jason Rizos (5:15)

IOD-SupercenterToday we see that even if done for effect, a little bit of stylized voice goes a long way.

What I gleaned about the story: G.E. is a rebellious teen, stationed in a militarized Supercenter in some kind of post-apocalyptic teen hell.

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Note: The writing style is oddly fragmented and disjoint. Sentences seem to break. In unexpected places. Thoughts are juxtaposed with little seeming connection. But it’s too early to say whether this is by accident or by design.

WTF #1: Unsignalled head hopping

Analysis: At the bottom of the first page, the POV shifts from the protagonist to that of his supervisor, who then begins talking about the protag. But this happens with no scene change leaving us to wonder if the protag was now talking about himself in the 3rd person. Very jarring. An omniscient POV can work, but the author has to clearly signal the transitions so that readers are not left wondering how Character A suddenly seems to know what Character B is thinking.

WTF #2: Missing word

Analysis: With the chaotic writing style, smaller problems have larger impact, so a missing word at the end of page 1 was too much for me to wrangle and I fell out again. It infuriated his teacher to no end that G.E. did this because knew he could get away with it.

WTF #3: Chaotic sentence breaks.

Analysis: The odd phrasing and breaks mentioned earlier have now reached the point where I had to back up and re-read three sentences in succession, and even if the odd style is intentional, this is too extreme for me to stay immersed.

The Emperor's Daughter, by Richard Flunker (3:02)
Living the Afterlife, by River Fairchild (9:36)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That’s why he writes.