I wrote an article for my school magazine

It's about the relationship aspect of "Catherine" for our Valentine's issue. It might be rough around the edges, but this is the first time I'm doing this kind of writing. Seeing as you all seem like intelligent people around here, I'm looking for your opinions. What kind of things should I add? Remove? Edit? It's your call.

****ARTICLE STARTS HERE****
Let's play a love game
I had originally planned to write a very cynical article discussing the distillation of love in the mainstream media. But that wasn't really fitting in to the general feeling of the issue. I was lying awake one night, thinking about an exceptionally interesting video game that was released this year: The story-driven puzzle-platformer Catherine.
The general trend in video games in regard to relationships is a generally poor one. The most common two being a damsel-in-distress scenario (see the Zelda games), or a barely-existent relationship set up purely for a revenge story (see Dante's Inferno). The reason that this game is so different is that it has a far more mature outlook on love and relationships, and forces the player to deal with the difficulties of a real relationship. The player character is 32 year old Vincent Brooks, who at the beginning of the game is going out with a down-to-earth and stable, if slightly boring woman named Katherine. Just as he is getting pressured into making a bigger commitment in the relationship he is seduced by an outgoing and adventurous, if potentially dangerous woman named Catherine. So at the beginning of the game we already have the themes of marriage and loyalty. As the game progresses, Katherine tells Vincent that her period is late, indicating that she is probably pregnant. Now the player is feeling pressure from both Katherine and Catherine that affect the player's choice in who they will eventually end up with. Another thing that the game does is teach the player about themselves. Between the gameplay sections of the game, the player has to answer a multiple-choice questions based on their previous experiences with relationships. This forces the player to think about how they think of relationships their personal view of love. The choices that the player makes throughout the game, including but not limited to these questions, will affect which of the 8 available endings the player achieves.
At the end of the day Catherine is a prime example of how much potential the video game industry has to deliver a mature and emotional experience. I look forward to what the future brings. Happy Valentine's Day.

Let's play a love game.

I had originally planned to write a very cynical article discussing the distillation of love in the mainstream media.

Are you really meaning to use the word "distillation" here? Perhaps you might elaborate on what you mean by that before moving on.

But that wasn't really fitting in to the general feeling of the issue.

It's not a hard and fast rule that you can't start sentences with a conjunction, but with an already short sentence like this, it makes the text feel choppy.

I was lying awake one night, thinking about an exceptionally interesting video game that was released this year: The story-driven puzzle-platformer Catherine.

Abrupt transition. You need to lead into this better, as it has no relation to the previous two sentences.

The general trend in video games in regard to relationships is a generally poor one.

I agree with your sentiment, but this is an awkward sentence. You've used "general" and "generally" in close proximity to one another, which makes for a cumbersome read. Consider revising this sentence so it flows better.

The most common two being a damsel-in-distress scenario (see the Zelda games), or a barely-existent relationship set up purely for a revenge story (see Dante's Inferno).

The most common two what, exactly? Perhaps revise to read "The two most common examples being..."

The reason that this game is so different is that it has a far more mature outlook on love and relationships, and forces the player to deal with the difficulties of a real relationship.

Re-consider using "relationship" twice in one sentence.

The player character is 32 year old Vincent Brooks, who, at the beginning of the game, is going out with a down-to-earth and stable (if slightly boring) woman named Katherine.

I've made a couple of small changes to the above sentence in terms of punctuation to help it flow better.

Just as he is getting pressured into making a bigger commitment in the relationship he is seduced by an outgoing and adventurous, if potentially dangerous woman named Catherine.

This is more or less fine. You might consider adding a comma after "relationship", but it's not essential.

So at the beginning of the game we already have the themes of marriage and loyalty.

We do? This hasn't been established.

As the game progresses, Katherine tells Vincent that her period is late, indicating that she is probably pregnant. Now the player is feeling pressure from both Katherine and Catherine that affect the player's choice in who they will eventually end up with.

I've not played the game, but it occurs to me this might be a spoiler. If your aim is to interest people in playing the game, you might change this to read more vaguely, such as "circumstances arise that lead to", or something in that vein.

Another thing that the game does is teach the player about themselves. Between the gameplay sections of the game, the player has to answer multiple-choice questions based on their previous experiences with relationships. This forces the player to think about how they think of relationships, and their personal view of love.

Some awkward sentence construction here...I've tidied up a couple of small grammatical and punctuation errors in the above paragraph. You can compare it to your original if you want to see what I've done.

The choices that the player makes throughout the game, including but not limited to these questions, will affect which of the 8 available endings the player achieves. At the end of the day Catherine is a prime example of how much potential the video game industry has to deliver a mature and emotional experience. I look forward to what the future brings.

Happy Valentine's Day.

This part is fine.

I'm not sure if you're working under a character limit for this article, but you might consider fleshing it out a little. Both in the first paragraph (your distillation of love comment), and in the body of the review, where you could go into more detail about the game itself. As it stands, the review, while not poorly written, leans towards the brusque and perfunctory. I want to read more about the mature and emotional experience you had with the game. Make me FEEL it.

BloatedGuppy:
snip

You are amazing. To answer some points: I am under a limit of 1 double-spaced A4 page, so substance is a problem. Second, my intention is purely to highlight the mature and complicated nature of Vincent's relationship in the game. I guess I should mention that the overlying theme of this article is "Love and modern media". Another one of the writers is doing a piece on "old-fashioned love". I wanted to give a contemporary example of a proper relationship in a video game. Some of the awkward sentences can be attributed to a much lesser draft. I guess I didn't catch them in editing
Seriously though, you are absolutely awesome. This was a great help. I'll make the changes you suggested and see how it turns out. I really can't thank you enough.

Hylke Langhout:

BloatedGuppy:
snip

You are amazing. To answer some points: I am under a limit of 1 double-spaced A4 page, so substance is a problem. Second, my intention is purely to highlight the mature and complicated nature of Vincent's relationship in the game. I guess I should mention that the overlying theme of this article is "Love and modern media". Another one of the writers is doing a piece on "old-fashioned love". I wanted to give a contemporary example of a proper relationship in a video game. Some of the awkward sentences can be attributed to a much lesser draft. I guess I didn't catch them in editing

Seriously though, you are absolutely awesome. This was a great help. I'll make the changes you suggested and see how it turns out. I really can't thank you enough.

In that case, I would consider scrapping all but the introductory elements in the first paragraph, and paring your plot synopsis down and replacing it with thematic summation. Plot synopsis can read as very dry, whereas a thematic summary is often much more enticing (provided there's any theme to summarize, often an issue with games), and would be easier to tie into the thrust of the issue.

I'm happy to help any time you need it. I work as an editor and I did a lot of amateur writing in my youth. I won't claim to always be right, or even competent, but at least I'm enthusiastic. =D

Example of plot synopsis vs thematic synopsis:

Not only is the 2nd one less spoiler ridden, it's significantly less dry, and more compelling.

 

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