[8th] Week 257: Rolan Strongfeld

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WeepingMagician

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Contact me at matheaus@mtu.edu
This is my main email account, but it is also my school email, so please don't spam me, ok?

Name: Rolan Strongfeld

Age: -updated- Currently 104. Died at 22.

Personality: -updated-
Rolan is a quiet person. He doesn't attempt to stick out, and does his best to avoid other people. He has a hard time recalling how he died, but does remember a few events leading up to it. The way he died was harsh, and it is in part responsible for his crash attitude towards others, but not entirely.

He is unhappy with the order in the Soul Society, and wishes that those in the poorer districts were given more that they had, so that they wouldn't have to lead such miserable lives. He gained this way of thinking when he discovered some shinigami treating the members of the poor districts in similar ways to those responsible for his death did him. With the goal of helping those without power in mind, he moves forward.

He understands that he is pitifully playing the role of a hero, but he is bound by the memory he has of his death to this course of action, and will persevere in order to right those perceived wrongs.

Physical Description
: -updated-
Rolan is about 5’10”, and has brown-black hair that is always a mess. He is light and slim, but carries himself as though he wasn't: walking heavily, and stomping around more often than he should.

He has a scar around his right wrist. It is mottled and torn, as if he had ropes tied around it that he had attempted to remove, without success. He is very self-conscious about the scar, so he does his best to hide it.

His eyes are round, and a bright blue that will occasionally darken if he is angry or afraid. His face itself is round with slightly defined cheekbones, a thin nose that has been broken several times, and thin lips. His bangs are long, and cover his eyes when he isn’t paying attention.

Biography: -updated-
Because of his quiet nature, Rolan doesn't have many people that he is close to. As a result, he sinks farther and farther away from talking to people if not forced to do so by his friends. Before entering the Soul Society, he remembers being a slightly more sociable person, but can't seem to muster up the energy to meet with new people as often anymore.

When he became a shinigami and entered the Seireitei, his friends were disgusted; those in his district did not think highly of the shinigami. His friends told him to pick between them and becoming a shinigami, and he decided to leave them.

Ever since, he has been even more withdrawn, and rarely speaks to anyone, except those in command. He is, however, beginning to get along with a few members of his squad. It only took several years to do so.

Shinigami Specific:

Division / Seat: Squad 8, unseated

Zanpakutou: An average-length katana that is unadorned except for a small engraved line around the scabbard that is identical to the scar Rolan bears on his wrist.

Stats:
Reiatsu: 100
Zanjutsu: 45
Hakuda: 10
Hohou: 10
Kidou: 35

Sample Story:

Rolan has vague recollections of his previous life, but they are few and far between. He was a composer, and wrote music for a living. Although he wasn’t extremely successful, he made a decent living, and had a good life. Unfortunately, he eventually stopped composing when a new job opportunity revealed itself, and began working for a sham company that was backed by a criminal organization.

Years later, he was in an upper management position, and his boss had an important assignment: he was to deliver an important package to a man in South America. The trip went well, but on the return trip, he was ambushed by a group of armed men, and dragged away.

He was tortured and beaten for information. Information he didn’t possess. Because of that, he was killed.

When he reached the Soul Society, he didn’t recall any of his life. Even so, he walked around in a depressed haze for days. He later found out that he had arrived in the 78th district, and that he was in an incredibly low-class district. He was angry, but decided that he would accept his fate as it was.

Years passed, and he became a noted figure, due to his skill with weapons, and he was eventually noticed by a gang of men who believed that they could overpower and kill those in the surrounding districts. Although he knew he could, he still refrained from joining them, and they attempted to kill him them and there.

As he proceeded to defeat his attackers, he was noticed by shinigami who were passing through the area. They confronted him, and ordered him to stop beating his attackers. As he attempted to explain the situation, they took his anger as aggression, and forced him to the ground.

He was released, however the shinigami continued to act as arrogant as they had from the start. Rolan was familiar with such treatment, and for the umpteenth time thought about teaching them a lesson that would stick.

He knew, however, that such action wouldn’t resolve his situation, and that further actions were pointless. Even so, he planned to do something about it.

It was unprecedented, he knew, for anyone of his low rank to be admitted into the Seireitei. He also knew that his chances of success were pitiful at best. In any event, he believed it necessary to improve the circumstances of those in the poorer districts by improving the behavior of the shinigami. To this end, he attempted to enter the Seireitei.

He walked towards the barrier, and, as he expected, was denied access. Regardless, he continued, and was stopped by the guard. He was ordered to leave, and even though he attempted to explain his reasoning, he was forbidden from continuing. Growing angry, he attacked the guard.

Ultimately, he was overpowered, but the battle was noticed by several of the shinigami in the area. As the fight neared its end, one of the Captains came to see what the commotion was about, and noticed the fight. Rolan lost, but impressed the captain, and was invited into the Seireitei.

As he pleaded his case, Rolan became increasingly frustrated; nobody he talked to seemed to agree with what he had to say. Then, suddenly, the captain who invited him in asked, “Would you like to train to become a shinigami?” The question caught him off guard, and he nearly immediately turned it down. Slowly, he realized what he had just been offered, and thought of thousands of ways he could influence the shinigami from the inside instead of the one or two from the outside. He replied slowly, “Of course, if at all possible, sir.”

Rolan spent seven years training, and then finally graduated from the academy. He graduated and immediately began planning methods to rise in the ranks.

* * *
“Maki! You’re too far ahead! You need to pull back!” Suzaku, the group leader, shouted. Maki hastily replied, “Sorry, sir! I’m coming back.” Suzaku sighed. “We’re needed quickly near the east end of the city. They’re having problems holding the enemy there, so we’ve been tasked with assisting them.” He told the group.

Aside from Maki and Suzaku, the group consisted of Rolan, his friend Markus, and two other shinigami who had just been assigned to their group. “Ahh....” Suzaku sighed, “Rolan, I need you to take the two newbies and help out team four. We’ll clean up here.” “Understood.” Rolan replied, without much enthusiasm. As he left, Rolan barked, “What are you two doing? Follow me.” They followed, and the three of them set course for the besieged group. Almost immediately after the others left Rolan’s sight, Rolan heard an odd sound behind him. As he turned, he swore and jumped back. A hollow had killed one of the new members, and the other was frantically trying to hold it off. “What are you doing?!” Rolan screamed as he cleaved the hollow in two. “H-he’s dead....” the remaining soldier said. Rolan harshly replied, “Yes, and so will we be if we don’t move.”

Before either of them could take another step, five hollows jumped out and surrounded them. “Where do they keep coming from?” Rolan’s compatriot asked. Rolan quietly replied, “We don’t know.” Suddenly, Rolan’s blade shot up and killed three of the hollows, and the soldier dispatched the other two. “Good work,” Rolan stated, “with those. Before we continue, I need to know your name.” The soldier quickly replied, “It’s Jarsha.”

They continued on, and reached team four just as they finished off the last of the hollows. Suzaku, Maki, and Markus quickly followed, and the two groups met to discuss the events of the mission. After the meeting, both returned to the Soul Society.

With the mission complete, Rolan decided to head back to his room. On the way, he happened to see Suzaku and Markus talking outside in a garden. He thought about joining them, but decided not to. They had all been through a tough day, and he didn’t want to intrude on their conversation.

When he arrived in his room, he sat down, and without even realizing it, began to write a music staff, then filled it with notes. Before he knew what he was doing, he had written a song, and had began to fill it’s title, as though he had done this thousands of times before. He paused, then in slow, strong strokes, titled it Aria of Life and Death; the name of the first song he ever wrote.


I know that this isn't exactly gold-medal material here, but if there's something that you think would work a bit better, then please let me know. I've played on other RP forums before, and sometimes the players there can be absolutely unhelpful. Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope to hear from you soon!
 
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Rob

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Hey there, I'm your resident Rob and I'll be handling your application. Though, a word of warning, considering it's Christmas, I may be a little slow on the uptake so please bear with me.

Name: It works, and it's nice to see some more westernized names - even if this is a mostly asian-oriented RP.

Age:
I'm kind of wondering here. You state that he was around seventy years of age after he left the academy, but most of our personal writing usually takes place quite a few years after the academy. So is he older than seventy, or did he really just come fresh from the academy from the moment your application gets accepted? I'll be honest, I'm not going to be nitpicking too much, just some musings on my part. Ages are considered to be some of the least important aspects of a character's life unless you're an advent human or a quincy - and even then it's kind of eh.

Personality:
Now, while I appreciate the summary, a character's personality is something important. Not just to yourself, but to those you write with as well - especially them, actually. We need to know what type of person he is on first glance, yes, but that doesn't mean you should just throw the traits in there. Why does he have these traits? As it stands now your character seems very bland because it feels like he only has one traits to him. He's cautious, but apparently that's it.

Expand on this some more please, and if you are having trouble coming up with good ways of writing it up, try taking a look at some of our other applicants. (for instance: http://www.mangaden.net/forum/showthread.php?36722-13th-Week-249-Thaleia)

Physical Description:
Again, while I appreciate the quick summary of it all, it really wouldn't hurt you or your character if you would expand on this a little more. As it stands now I don't really have a clear picture of Rolan - given, I am not the best descriptive writer ever, but still.

Biography:
Now here's an interesting little tidbit. Your character's biography would fit better as his personality. Because, what you've written for his biography is something I would consider more his traits and inner workings. So, I'd like you to move his biography to personality, and rewrite his biography. Again, if you're having trouble with this don't hesitate to look at some of our other applicants, or contacting me on the forums or through aim (Robin DvX).Other than that, your writing is good and you seem to have a good grasp of writing etiquette, so if you would just expand a little on his physical stature and do that biography thing I told you before I head on to your personal chapter, that would be great.

Sample: Okay, I'm not going to lie here... I'm a bit torn between wanting to say this is indeed part of a chapter, or saying it's part of his biography. The reason why is because half of the chapter reads as a biography and the other half as a chapter. What you did before the '***' really read as you recounting the events up to his current life, the current time. What it is now is tell and not show, while your second half is show and not tell.

I really must ask you to rewrite that first half of your sample chapter into something that is more show than tell.

Anyway, I will review the second half of your sample chapter since I feel like there wouldn't be a major difference in writing whether it's five hundred words or a thousand words:

One thing I noticed right off the bat is that you have a clear idea and understanding of the English language, but that when it comes to things as dialogue usage it is a bit sloppy at times. Now, I'm going to steal what Will posted in another application and use that as my baseline for this explanation:

Will said:
Silliness aside, it actually served as a good example:
"I'm a little teapot," Jimmy began. "Short and stout."

"Where is your handle?" Sally asked, utterly confused.

"Here is my handle," the young boy replied enthusiastically, "and here is my spout!"

"Oh my," the little girl exclaimed, "I'm getting all steamed up!"


This also leads in to two dialogue-related critiques. In dialogue, there are basically three ways to write it:

"Those words," she said.

He agreed, "These words."

"Those words," she corrected him, "not these words!"
First of all, see that there are three different ways of using dialogue? Four if you count stand alone dialogue as in: "That's terrible!" Strutting forward, Nana punched exhibit A in its face.
A second thing I noticed is that you smash all of the dialogue used in one paragraph together, but that's not the correct way of doing things. As a rule of thumb, if a new speaker is introduced with dialogue, you also introduce a new line/paragraph.

For instance:

You said:
“Maki! You’re too far ahead! You need to pull back!” Suzaku, the group leader, shouted. Maki hastily replied, “Sorry, sir! I’m coming back.” Suzaku sighed. “We’re needed quickly near the east end of the city. They’re having problems holding the enemy there, so we’ve been tasked with assisting them.” He told the group.
Me said:
“Maki! You’re too far ahead! You need to pull back!” Suzaku, the group leader, shouted.

Maki hastily replied, “Sorry, sir! I’m coming back.”

Suzaku sighed. “We’re needed quickly near the east end of the city," he said to the group. "They’re having problems holding the enemy there, so we’ve been tasked with assisting them.”
See my way of spacing things, but also how I broke up your last sentence and put 'he told the group' in between it? I did that because it not only breaks the sentence up, but also gives the reader a chance to catch their breath while reading the dialogue sentence.

Now, what I want you to do with your chapter is skim it over and see if you can't edit your dialogue usage, because... honestly, that's really probably the only thing you may need to work on a bit more than anything else! Your writing is good, now it's just a matter of fleshing it out!
 
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Rob

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Next time, it would be nice if you could also post after you made updates. I wasn't really aware that you hadn't updated anything else until this very morning, and I feel bad for having to make you wait like that.

Anyway, everything leading up to your chapter seems fine now except for one minor detail, and this is something I've seen a lot of people do wrong.

When talking about Seireitei and Soul Society people tend to add the article 'the' in front of it, this is incorrect for a good reason. Think of Seireitei as a name for a city, and Soul Society as the name of a country.

You don't say "I live in the Munich," or, "I live in the Amsterdam," or, "I live in the New York." You say, "I live in Munich/Amsterdam/New York". Similarly, you don't say, "I live in the Germany," either or, "I live in the Russia."

Because in Mother Russia, Russia live in you.

Anyway, jokes aside, it just isn't the correct way of writing things. "I live in Seireitei/went to Seireitei," etc. When speaking of cities always leave out the article 'the', unless you're writing "I live in the city of Seireitei," for instance.

Now, the error you made her was "Before going to the Soul Society," is an understandable one actually. It is grammatically sound because you speak of 'the society of souls', but we don't use it in that way. To us, Soul Society is the name of the country our character live in. As a result we do not use 'the Soul Society,' but just 'Soul Society'.

Why I can understand your confusion is because there are a few exceptions to this country rule. For instance we have, "The Unites States," (The States), and, "The United Kingdom," as well as, "The Netherlands," the thing is, these countries are written in plural. 'United' 'States', 'Lands,' and for Britain's case 'Kingdom' is pretty much always spelled as 'The Kingdom of,' so there's that.

Society is, indeed also written as 'the Society', but because of the nature of our RP, we write it as 'Society' when we speak of 'Soul Society'.

Hope that cleared some things up for yah!

Now, as I said in my previous review I do want you to rewrite the first half of your chapter (until the *** mark) into something that reads less like a biography recounting the events up to his current life, and more so as an actual story of those events.

However, I do want to touch on one thing that I found within that first half. Generally speaking Captains don't really... tend to do what they did in your chapter. I remember when I first applied that I did a similar thing and the general consensus is that it's a no go. The reason for this is that a captain is only really one of the current captains, so for instance my character, or Will's character, or any other of the captains, and unless you have explicit permission to write them offering your character into the Academy, it's unlikely to happen.

Which bring me to this: it's generally very unlikely for a captain to check what 'the commotion was all about,' because they simply tend to not wane their way through Rukongai.

Anyway, fix up that Soul Society/Seireitei thing and rewrite the first half of your chapter and I think we can come close to sending you off to Final Drafts!
 

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