Hey man, thanks so much – excellent, excellent feedback, really detailed and much appreciated. Truth be told, I originally read the brief as requiring us to tell a story that fits into and illuminates Mark’s story; the idea that it has to focus on a particular aspect of Mark’s story (i.e., the eponymous character) was something I only found out after reading a mod comment on the submission thread! I tried to hide wiggle out of this by framing my synopsis as “The President comes to understand Nemesis and thus gains an insight into his character,” and while that’s kind of true it was mostly slight of hand. Now that the results are in there’s no point me continuing to keep up pretenses – yep, I totally fucked up!
Great to know that the internal monologue worked – I spent ages on it, watching videos about hostages and reading interviews or news articles, trying to write down my visceral reactions. Then I rewrote and reworked it and rewrote it and rewrote it, and after I submitted it I thought, “Bah, this is shit!” Good to know that it worked on the level I was going for, and that I hit my mark in that particular, at least for someone.
Thanks again for the detailed notes – I really love this stuff. Cheers.