Multiple viewpoints. Hard work, for both reader and writer.
Firstly having them all in first person, I don't think will work too well - or at least will be hard. You can't say "Luis thought..." it'd be "I thought" and with luis you could have words like "Yo, i thought..." but with niko and johnny? You're going to have to REALLY get into their shoes to pull this off, and write each person with different styles.
The break with the subtitle "niko," "johnny" or "Luis" might solve that, but it's a kind of cheap way of doing it. It might work, so we'll see.
I do like the concept though. Reminds me a little of my two (set after IV and involving all three), but i think the problem with first person is how personal it is - I
did this, I
said that. It's me
! Having all three characters in the level of intimacy, as i said, could prove difficult. Example, if you took away the name-title breaks, and showed this to someone who hadn't played of GTA IV, would they know the difference? Is each bit of text it's own? Writing as Luis, for example, there's no "bro" or spanish words, which he says a lot. BE HIM! Be Johnny. Be Niko.
But that aside, I noticed a few issues.
|As I stand by the grave of my cousin alongside his wife and their five year old son, Kevin Roman Bellic. |
This for example. As Niko stands by the grave, with Mallorie and Kevin, [/i]what?[/i] You're missing something in the sentence here. "A I stand by the grave [of my cousin along side his wife and their five year old son, kevin Roman Bellic], <Something else should go here> - "I realized how much I have to answer for" or "The guilt leapt from the ground and bit my nose"
That or restructure the sentence.
|I stand by the grave of my cousin, his wife and their five year old son, Kevin Roman Bellic, beside me.|
|The rain aims for my head hitting me with strong drops which tends to get irritating, but I know I deserve it.|
I don't think "Tend to get irritating" needs to be here at all. It's needless.
Instead: The rain aims for my head, hitting me with strong, irritating drops.
|Five years ago from now, the world lost a great man and I felt it was all my fault.|
Five years ago from now feels very clumsy. Five years ago today, perhaps, or simply five years ago - is it important we know this moment happens exactly five years from Roman's death? Remember you want to run through this while proof reading (see below) and trim all the fat. EVERY SINGLE WORD you should ask yourself: does this need to be here? Why?
|Rain and tears run down my face as I think about what I've done, and I remember what he said to me numerous times: "Everything was fine until I got here."|
Missing colon here. - I remember what he said to me numerous times [which is as follows - ] "Everything was fine until I got here."
Also you're quoting Roman - why is roman saying "I" - doesn't he say "You"?
|Rain and tears run down my face as I think about what I've done and I remember what he said to me numerous times: "Everything was fine until you got here."|
The only other problem is - i'm not feeling it. I get you're trying to convey Niko's guilt, and sadness, but it seems rushed - a reference. Throw it in our face! cut our skin and rub salt in it. Make US feel the guilt. Imagine it's you, and open your own heart - draw from past experiences if need be - but get that emotion on the page. One ability I have is to put myself in other's minds. I've always been able to just think myself into a character - from Niko's emotion, to Luis's reluctance and disconnectedness, to the cold, professional of Rami (JIF), even the cheater Richman character in the Bar, or the rapist. Your mind can go to dark places, and you might feel uncomfortable, but if you can THINK like the character while you're writing, you can throw in more emotion.
Now for johnny:
|After all that has happened to me in the past life, all I can say is "What the f*ck happened to us?"|
Past life? The Implication is that Johnny's been reincarnated! Simple thing here, why did you chose PAST and LIFE ? what message are you aiming for? Things that has happened previously? The history? Or throughout his life? Consider:
"After all that has happened to me in the past six years," or "After all that has happened to me in my life"
Also, as said, we need character. This is Johnny, goddamned biker badass. BE him. Talk like him. Use phrases and speech patterns found in biker gangs. Look into The Lost and The Damned more, ignore the gameplay, but focus on JOHNNY, his speech, his choice of words, his mannerisms. Take them and create Johnny in your mind, and get it on page!
|After all the sh*t that's gone on in the past few years, all i can say is: "what the f*ck happened to us?"|
Things like "that has" is too proper, too formal. corrupt it a little. "That's"
I'll admit my example wasn't the best, but look at the little details. make the speech less-correct, if you get me. It can be hard, but johnny, unless you're trying to change his character, has his own speech pattern. The problem with first person too, is you can't really use adverbs much. You can't say "I said gruffly." - its just weird. You can't offer much information about yourself. You have to rely on the reader to infer it - and that requires you sowing the seeds of subtly masterfully.
Also, try not to emphasize speech with caps. Use italics.
We ended it all by killing half of our own and breaking into
a prison to kill the man responsible, Billy Grey.
With johnny, i think you need to show a little anger. Niko reflects on the past with sorrow and guilt, but johnny? I think he'd look back and instead of hanging his head, swear and punch the wall. With three protagonists you want to create differences, you want them to be opposites almost. Niko, the consciousness man with blood on his hands, Johnny the hot headed brute, and Luis, the young, shallow guy, the reluctant hero.
IT all feels like a synopsis. Like the back of a book. If luis had an autobiography, this would be the blurb. Not the story. I don't feel the character here either. It's just text. Yeah, bro, I can see what you're trying, but it aint working. It just doesn't sound convincing, bro
Look at BOGT again. Luis is the hardest character to write, because he gives us nothing. He acts like he doesn't care. He acts like he's underdeveloped, and many think he is, but he's not. He hides behind a macho facade, the tough guy. How is he really?
Again look at his speech in BOGT - youtube MAY help, if you find any vids that have cutscenes in it. How does he speak, what words does he use?
If i wrote a passage from previous GTAs, I dare say you'll know who it is. IF i read the passages without seeing the names, what tells me who they are? Where's the personality?
I think they're also too short. Perhaps that's why I can't feel, because there's little there TO feel. Give us more. Don't rush to switch character. Let yourself get lost as your write. Write pages, for hours if need be. Then when you edit, you can cut it down etc. So far, these passages say "sh*t happened" and that's it. tbh, we need more.
A word on editing. It can be hard to get down, and I struggle sometimes. I recommend the following:
First edit - check to see you're saying things right. Are you using the right words, is the speech pattern working?
"Dude, can we just do this thing? We can sit and hold hands later."
That little interchange, who's who out of Luis niko and johnny? Why is that? What is in the speech that makes them them? writing as first person, think of it ALL as speech. write it all in their style.
The second edit, check for tense and viewpoint. It's very easy to slip up:
|I walk through the door, immediately hit in the face by the smell, like a paddle. I look behind me, getting a nod, but i didn't see anything else. I moved forward, my gun up and I aim. The man's scared, but he stood up, defiant.|
"Go on then," he said.
Tell me what's wrong there.
Viewpoint is easy - it's all first person here, so it's all I, Me etc. Never HE. Also with all three characters as first person, you will have to divide them, as you have done i think. colored text, subtitles, whatever. when sh*t gets going, cutting from the action to say "niko:" will destroy the flow. Or, conversely, it might add to it, like in Pulp Fiction, but it won't happen by accident.
Then spelling and grammar. check all that.
Finally, read through it again, checking for anything else. Be an asshole to yourself. Pick things out, demand to know why they're there. say to yourself - "this is sh*t" if you think it is. Try to be objective.
Right all that sh*ts out the way, I like the concept. The tri-protag thing could work. First person is a great way to get the reader intimately acquainted with the characters, but you dont normally see THREE in one story. That's going to be difficult, cutting from one character to the other, and keeping the reader with you. Not saying you can't do it - there are no rules in writing (beyond language ones) but I hope you've sat down and planned this. With three protags, things will get messy if you haven't. Also i think your intros need expanding.
I do look forward to seeing more, and i hope I've made sense in all the above!