Honesty is the best policy (85)

1 Name: ... : 2009-12-30 15:03 ID:OtfC9pM/

Want an honest opinion? Possibly mixed with some concrit, if I'm feeling generous? Post here. I WILL NOT BE NICE.

Unless you deserve 'nice'.

I mean this, by the way. If you can't take it, don't ask. I will make no apologies for my opinions.

The question is, do you have faith enough in your work to unleash me upon it?

This undead-robotic-amorphous-blob is hungry.

2 Name: JustAchild : 2009-12-30 15:16 ID:ERgLmGXy

This sounds awesome......
I have much respect for you (:

3 Name: ... : 2009-12-30 16:09 ID:OtfC9pM/

Respect, or fear, I wonder? Or a nameless sense of dread?

Come. Let me press the Diamond Blue Tips into your palm. It's time to torch 'Fast Cars', Paul. There's always the axe, if you refuse, and you don't really need two thumbs, anyway.

Now who wants to be Paul? Annie's waiting!

4 Name: JustAchild : 2009-12-30 16:12 ID:ERgLmGXy

-backs away slowly, wide-eyed and scared-

I'm only little....):

5 Name: ... : 2009-12-31 08:53 ID:OtfC9pM/

Cockadoodie brat, don't waste my time.

6 Name: JustAchild : 2009-12-31 09:19 ID:ERgLmGXy

I'm no brat......fine, Ill post some of my work then....

7 Name: millet_crunch : 2009-12-31 09:49 ID:rSAM7HP5

And is it necessary that an honest opinion NOT be nice?

8 Name: Fee : 2009-12-31 11:03 ID:Ttj6HZpJ

>>7 I doubt it. Just, most of the time, an honest opinion isn't overly nice. Try asking a lot of people who've asked me for feedback.

(note the sudden drop of the link :D)

9 Name: millet_crunch : 2009-12-31 13:18 ID:rSAM7HP5

So most of the time people/writers/artists fail in the goal to produce work worthy of praise? That almost nothing out there satisfies? Honesty need not be cruel or biting. It's hardly expected that people will feel the same way about the same work and there's nothing wrong with being strongly opinionated. However, there are ways of saying things and ways of saying things.

Sudden drop of the link, Fee? I take it you're referring to yourself?

10 Name: inulover90 : 2009-12-31 13:39 ID:+FsVByqY

there are ways of being constructively honest. you don't always have to give nasty remarks. it's okay to be honest... it is the best policy but people would be more open to listening to what others say when they are said with as "try this." "how about?" "this is what i see wrong". just telling your opinion about something doesn't help anyone, this site is for authors to talk and get better.... try helping out instead of just saying something.

11 Name: millet_crunch : 2009-12-31 14:56 ID:rSAM7HP5

My point exactly.

12 Name: inulover90 : 2009-12-31 15:07 ID:+FsVByqY

yup yup. catch more flies with sugar than vinegar, as the old saying goes. more people listen when you talk to them instead of telling them harshly.

13 Name: ... : 2009-12-31 16:28 ID:OtfC9pM/

This thread is not for discussing the philosophy of the process; it is for honest feedback. Again, 'tis stated- I will not be nice, unless you deserve 'nice'. So far nobody has used this thread to post work. You want a debate, make another thread. I won't talk about sentence flow if you need to sort out basic spellings, and I won't praise your spelling if you've written a Shakespearian epic. I just don't have time. Praise where praise is due, stoning when you need it, and you'll get more stoning than praise. I'm here to help with writing, not nurse fragile egos. I don't profess to be the best- but I will give the best criticism I can offer. If I don't mention something, take it that it's either good or unimportant just yet. Please stop using this thread to engage in philosophical debate; it's not what it's here for and it makes you look stupid.

14 Name: JustAchild : 2009-12-31 16:51 ID:ERgLmGXy

Sorry.....i will post something of mine....my computer's being difficult at the moment though ):

15 Name: Vic Taylor : 2009-12-31 17:27 ID:Ab07WGJ3

I'll post two things of mine, if that's okay... And I don't care how harsh you are, as long as you help me to improve. :)

This is my latest Doctor Who fic:


It carries on from "The Last Of The Time Lords" and is AU where the Master gets taken aboard the TARDIS.

This is an original story:


The summary is: Joy is looking into your child's eyes at Christmas. Freedom is being able to let go. Despair is having your child's freedom taken away.

16 Name: ... : 2009-12-31 17:35 ID:OtfC9pM/

At least you are planning to post some. It was not aimed at you (well, it was aimed at everyone on fanbbs, but you had not posted anything irrelevant).

17 Name: ... : 2009-12-31 17:39 ID:OtfC9pM/

That was aimed at Justachild, btw

18 Name: millet_crunch : 2009-12-31 17:53 ID:rSAM7HP5

>>13 When did this become a private thread? Thoughtful debate makes us look stupid? Such comments make you look arrogant, but then I doubt you care as much about my opinion as I care about yours.

19 Name: ... : 2009-12-31 18:30 ID:OtfC9pM/

Okay, @Vic Taylor:
1st fic, 1st chapter:
Before we begin, I should note that I have only seen a couple of Dr Who series, and, as such, there is little I can say about characterisation or continuity. I can, however, offer advice on writing style. I can't copy and paste, so this is in note form. If something doesn't make sense, ask.
-Prison; why WOULD he like it? Pointless sentence.
- 'reminded of imprisonment'- no, REALLY? It's a PRISON. Actually, whole sentence is weak.

Para2- word 'cell' rptd twice in sentence. Cut 1 or use a synonym

Para 3- should be "guards'", not "guards", as it's possessive

Then it's fine for a while, until...

Para whatever; lost count- 'say anything more, though,'- you're missing the first comma

- 'noise of shouting'- cut the words 'noise of', as shouting IS a noise. You could then use the word 'shouts' instead of 'shouting', although that's more of a stylistic preference

-barely undisguised- what, it IS disguised? I think you mean 'barely disguised', although I'm not...

20 Name: Iaculus : 2009-12-31 18:32 ID:cpHsBodG

Thoughtful debate's fine and dandy, but outside the OP's intended purpose for this thread (i.e., have people post their stories and get them critiqued in a particular manner). If you want to discuss the pros and cons of various kinds of criticism, there's always the 'Really Bitchy Reviews' thread, or you could even start your own if that doesn't appeal. Nothing stopping you - in fact, it's pretty much using the forum as it's intended.

To summarise, the OP set up his/her/its thread for a specific purpose. If you want to discuss something else, you can always set up your own thread for your own purpose.

21 Name: inulover90 : 2009-12-31 18:37 ID:kr52aacn

>>18, >>20, >>13
i do see what you're saying about this thread, so let them have their thread and we'll create our own.

22 Name: ... : 2009-12-31 18:44 ID:OtfC9pM/

... Sure why she is disguising it.

-'commotion from the door'- what a rude door. Either you mean doorWAY or 'behind the door'

-'seemed to scatter'- either they did or they didn't. Misusing 'seems' is a common writers' error, but its easy to fix

-'and therefore saw him speak the next words'- pointless; adds nothing to text. Cut it.

-'he met his eyes' change to 'their gazes met'. Simply because of the repetition of male pronouns being confusing and clumsy.

-'called after the boy called Luke'- change to 'boy named Luke' or simply ''Luke'', because of repetition.

That should help.

23 Name: ... : 2009-12-31 18:54 ID:OtfC9pM/

>>18 Thoughtful debate doesn't make you look stupid; ignoring the purpose of the thread does.

>>21 it's not a case of 'them' and 'us'; it's a case of people reading the first post or not reading it. If you don't read it and then post something completely irrelevant, expect me to tell you to GTFO and come back with something related.

@Vic- I'll continue tomorrow, when I'll have access to a computer.

24 Name: inulover90 : 2009-12-31 19:00 ID:kr52aacn

all i said was i saw your point and we were leaving YOUR thread and i made my own. that is all i said. you dont like then its your problem.

25 Name: ... : 2009-12-31 19:34 ID:OtfC9pM/

Oh, for Gaia's sake...


Tl;dr: read.

26 Name: ... : 2010-01-01 16:18 ID:OtfC9pM/

@Vic- no computer access, unf., so I'll have to continue with notes.
1st fic 2nd chapter
-'the race the Doctor and he comes from'- should be 'come from', although it's still a bit awkward; you don't come from your race but are part of it.

-'feigning being taken aback'- change to 'feigning surprise' or 'feigning shock'. At the moment it's clumsy.

-lack of hair- maybe this is a running joke, in which case ignore, but if not, you can be menacing without hair. Observe bouncers.

-'Turned, running'- change to 'turned and ran', as she wasn't turning as she ran (I presume. Wastes energy; you end up running in a half circle).

-'Don't try to make me feel guilty'- capital 'D'.

-'Two.'- 'Two:' and then 'Three:'

-'After everything that's happened, who do we trust?'- comma

-'a step forward to the place...'- just say 'a step towards the TARDIS'. It's v. awkward phrasing ATM.

That's all for that chapter. Btw, even though I'm not too familiar w/ the fandom, I get a clear sense of chara, which is good, and it's witty.

27 Name: ... : 2010-01-01 16:52 ID:OtfC9pM/

1st fic, 3rd chapter:
1st para:
-'Your... His... Your'- huh? Use one or the other
-'masks itself'- it's not hidden; why a mask?

2nd para:
-'to play with and taunt'- sounds like the MASTER is playing. Change to 'to be played with and taunted', although 'played with' should be changed, as it sounds fun

-'in a way that I could never find you.'- 'in such a way that I can never find you.' as it stands, the tense changes and it sounds odd.

-'bending me right now, seeing how far it took'- 'how LONG it TAKES'. I'd also change 'bending' to 'testing', as I got one hell of an odd mental image.

-'why do you hate me?'- the Doctor knows why; you've already said!

-'the only form of that you have is me'- needs rephrasing; it's clumsy

-'doorway to the rest of the ship'- just say 'doorway', and just say 'frame' rather than 'door frame' so you're not saying 'door' twice in the sentence

-'it's not a nice laugh'- no WAY. This just killed the mood and made me giggle. It sounds childish.


28 Name: ... : 2010-01-01 17:00 ID:OtfC9pM/


-'shot into the room fully'- odd phrasing.

-'I RETURN'- present tense!

... And that's it for that chapter. As a side-note, I'd also mention the promise (just don't say what it is) right at the start of the chapter, to tie it all together. Also, although I found the Master's injury amusing, if you're trying to write a sad chapter, you should probably cut it, because it lightens the mood (along with the 'don't kick my ship').

29 Name: ... : 2010-01-01 17:36 ID:OtfC9pM/

4th chapter 1st fic

Before we begin- this chapter is full of tense issues. I doubt it's been beta'd. Your tenses are normally consistent, but this chapter makes the whole fic look bad.

1st para:
-something about it seemed childish. 'Have got more and more cutting' was the worst offender, but the whole thing needs tightening up.


-',but, I wonder'- don't need 2nd comma.

-'I've pushed him for...'- awkward sentence. Consider something like, 'my silence has pushed him to breaking point, and, finally, he snaps.'

-'willpower'- one word.

- 'I was so preoccupied...'- TENSES!

-'hide my jump'- how? Either you jump or you don't.

-'he pressed'- 'presseS'

-'Anger falling from the edge of my tongue'- weird. Is he losing his anger, or saying something angry? Needs rephrasing.

-pain and enjoy??? Masochism, or did you mean 'endure'?

-'flying across'- just 'crosses'. This ain't a romance.

-'was confused'- 'AM confused'


-'laughed'- 'laugh'!


30 Name: ... : 2010-01-01 17:50 ID:OtfC9pM/


-'Throw myself away'- sounds like litter. 'Throw myself at him' would be better.

-'Fist IN his face'- 'across' makes it sound like it didn't connect.

-'to me'- change to 'than me', as it makes it sound like the Master loves humans.

-After Master says, 'fine', 'would' should be 'will', 'was'-'is' and 'was'-'am'. Again, it's tenses.

Overall, your grammar is generally good and you can spell. You sometimes phrase things in unwieldy or childish ways, and you give extraneous information that could easily be cut. You characterise well (esp the Master) although your Doctor's motivations and thoughts do go back on themselves sometimes, making him less believable. The final lines in the 2nd and 4th chapters are lovely. The tale feels like more of an account than a story, though- there's no drama to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Basically, it's 'I wanna be free!' 'well, you can't' for every chapter, and it's a bit samey. Maybe you could give hints that the master has a plan, or something like that...

31 Name: ... : 2010-01-01 17:59 ID:OtfC9pM/

... to add some mystery and suspense. At the moment, it needs something more, to make it stand out. Anyway, I'm glad that it was nowhere near as bad as I'd feared it might be (not a slight on you, but this whole site is a joke) and I hope you find that helpful. I'll take a look at the original fic later, although I'm willing to bet that many of the issues will be the same. For now, I sleep.

32 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-01 18:28 ID:Ab07WGJ3

Um... thank you. There was a lot in that I found helpful. You're right about it not having a beta. After so many let downs, I just decided to go it alone.

<wacks head on desk> Damn those tenses! That was one of the things I went through and looked for. Uh!

Thank you again. The action's going to pick up soon, as I know what's going to happen, etc, etc.

Oh yeah, I wanted to lighten the mood in the chapters, so the jokes and everything are meant to be in there. The hair joke is funny because in the series he always had a full head of hair, and without it he looks... unmenacing.

The Doctor's and the Master's exchanges can go from serious to funny in a second because they're those kinds of characters. That wasn't me that made them like that, it was the TV people. :)

Your concrit is great though. Harshness is good when it helps to improve. :)

33 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-02 09:18 ID:Ab07WGJ3

I've posted another chapter of the Doctor Who story. Stuff is beginning to happen. :)


Your concrit is much appreciated. :D

34 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 12:57 ID:OtfC9pM/

If you want to lighten the mood, that's fine, but bear in mind that if you want your audience to feel sad, you're stopping that from occuring. The Dr Who scriptwriters put jokes in at certain points to lighten tension, but it's done for a purpose. The Doctor did not burst into a slapstick routine when Rose went through the portal.

Even if you don't have a beta (I don't ATM, and it's a pain) there are still things you can do. Double and triple check a couple of times right after writing (I daresay you'll want to do that anyway) and then leave the fic alone for a day or two. Then go back to it and check again. If it helps, imagine you're someone who hates you, and who is just LOOKING for things to poke holes in. It can be overkill, but it can also help, and you should have fun doing it. You have to be your own harshest critic. If some of the things I've said above seem needlessly sarcastic, it's exactly the same way I fix my fics.

I'll read your original fic now.

35 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 13:30 ID:OtfC9pM/

Original fic:

Okay, I'll get straight to the point here- this is boring. Sad, because the opening is promising (I'll concrit that). The rest of the fic, however... Well, there's a guy I don't care about (because he doesn't say or do anything to get my attention or sympathy) and he has a family I don't care about (ditto). They are in a house for a chapter. Nothing happens. They have no character, except for the fact that the guy's gloomy. Only we don't really SEE his gloom; rather, we are TOLD about it. This happens quite a lot, actually- as a writer, you need to show, not tell. For example:

'She was a caring person'- no.

'She gave the last of her birthday money to a homeless child.'- yes.

See the difference? Readers hate having info dumped on 'em.

Then, in the next chapter, nothing continues to happen, except that the man we don't care about is being followed by another man we don't care about. The 'man with the eyebrows', I believe. And that description made me snort every time I read it...

36 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 13:45 ID:OtfC9pM/

... So if it's meant to be menacing, it needs to change. Drastically.

You describe too much. There are some lovely lines in there ('silence like tar', and somesuch) but there's too much. You, as a writer, are having fun trying out all these eloquent methods of describing the scenery and atmosphere, but your audience are bored senseless. Describe in moderation, and make every word count. Also, google 'purple prose', as there are a million lectures on this floating around online. You need a huge amount of plot in contrast to description; at the moment, the balance is skewed.

There's no point in my correcting sentence structure and such for a piece that needs such major reworking, as everything I say will be completely irrelevant and a waste of my time. Instead, here's some concrit for the opening:

-Definition of family- did you make this up? Either give a real definition, followed by your alternative, or don't give one at all. As it stands, it looks silly...

37 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 13:59 ID:OtfC9pM/

... And the phrase 'misconceived to contain a pack mentality' is odd. A group doesn't 'contain' a pack mentality, it HAS one. And this line really doesn't link to the content of the chapter, so unless it comes into play later, cut it. It makes it sound like your going to have a chapter about a gangster family stabbing each other in the back and so on. Actually, I'd prefer it if the baby pulled out a revolver or two. SOMETHING needs to happen.

-of course a murderer's killed people. Say mass-murderer and cut the following clause

-'even people I knew myself'- lol. Nobody else matters! And yet saying 'people' rather than names is strangely impersonal. Needs altering (as I don't know the backstory, I can't give you an alternative)

-'that nobody but me would ever understand'- sounds childish. I don't know how old your narrator is, but this sounds like something a 12yr old would say. If your narrator's 12, fine, but you need to alter the phrasing of the other lines, because they're NOT in a 12yr old's style...

38 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 14:14 ID:OtfC9pM/


-'I stare, I look, I take in'- ALL MEAN THE SAME THING. Say 3 diff things ('I stare, I breathe, I smell the tang of blood' or something) or just cut two. As it is, you have a good sense of sentence-rhythm (turn of phrase, if you like- I noticed it in your Dr Who fic, too) so I'm willing to bet you want to keep the power of three.

-'Lilt'. Is this really the right word? You can say a 'lilting voice', but in terms of movement, it's somewhere between a swing and a sway. Exact connotations do vary from reader to reader, but still- what, the strand of hair is dancing on his forehead? Is it moving in the breeze? Has a thesaurus been raped? Whatever's going on here, it needs fixing.

That's really all I can say about that fic ATM. Feel free to post it again when it's been sorted out, and I'll help with the minutae then.

39 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-02 14:47 ID:Ab07WGJ3

Hmm. Seems a little harsh to me. I fully agree that it needs work. Most things in life do, but when you're the only person out of 11 other reviewers that feels this story's crap, I begin to think you merely created this thread to rip into other people's work.

I'm very thankful for the feedback you gave to me on the DW story, but for my original one, you've just pointed at it and said "rubbish". That's not constructive. That's flaming.

Maybe post some of your own work, and let me have a look at it, huh?

40 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 15:13 ID:OtfC9pM/

@Vic-The DW fic needs less work than that one; it's as simple as that. There is a lot of advice there; you can take it or leave it, but I'm doing exactly what I said I'd do. I just don't have time to fix little things when a work needs so much alteration. I find it ridiculous that I'm the only person on this forum offering to do this; we're meant to be writers. Again, I did warn at the start of the thread.

Now then. The next DW chapter. Firstly (and this'll sound like toadying, now, but I mean it), this is your strongest chapter by far. It's good that it's mostly in the 1st person, as you write a strong Master and it makes it fun to read. The corrections I have are mostly minor.

5th chapter:
-'work station I'm at'- 'my workstation'

-'The room I'm in'- 'my room'

-'the hole this is'- 'this hole'

-'"bored." I speak'- '"bored," I say'

-'hoping that I might'- 'hoping to'

-'What privacy, is what I ask?'- 'What privacy? That's what I ask!'- at the moment, the statement and Q are rolled into one and...

41 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 15:21 ID:OtfC9pM/

... it'll look wrong whether you end it with a question-mark or a full-stop.

-'would drown me out if I remained '- 'will drown me out if I remain'- it's the dreaded tenses again. You should also say that the Master wants to shout before that line, as it's confusing as it stands.

-'look of worry'- 'worry'

'...Before I go mad' (capital 'B')

-'don't want him to is the'- no comma needed

-'Things that only existed in a few chosen heads'- what? Do you mean that only a few people remember? It needs clarifying.

Hope that helps.

42 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-02 15:29 ID:Ab07WGJ3

Okay. Let's leave the original one and work on the DW fic, shall we?

More good suggestions (and I hate tenses XD), but the last suggestion, about the line 'Things that only existed in a few chosen heads' makes perfect sense to a DW fan that's watched all the episodes. Trust me.

43 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 15:46 ID:OtfC9pM/

Fair enough; I've already said I'm not too familiar with the canon. And, honestly, if you think I'm wrong about the original fic, then you don't have to do anything to it. It's my completely objective (and, to you, objectionable) opinion. I just dislike spending an hour texting writing advice on a mobile and then being told it's a flame. Trust me, if I'm flaming you, you'll know about it.

Oh! One other thing- the swearing in the 5th chapter. I've forgotten the age rating, but there was an f-word and an s-word in there, so either the age rating needs to be 'M' or the language needs altering.

Again, hope that helps.

44 Name: Slavka13748 : 2010-01-02 16:11 ID:vhbr97ne

Feel like having a look at my 'fic? I don't get many reviews, and I am trying to improve as a writer, so...


I admit that some of the chapters, particularly the early ones, are terrible, and I'm certain I overuse certain phrases and words, but take a look if you want.

45 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-02 16:19 ID:cpHsBodG

Ah, and when/if you have a lot of time to spare, I'd be perfectly happy to add

46 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-02 16:20 ID:cpHsBodG

... my own little effort to the queue:


47 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 16:29 ID:OtfC9pM/

... Oh, sweet Jesus-the-bodice-ripping-vampire...

They. Are. Long.

But I will try... sobs

And BRILLIANT, an FF12 fic. Had to be that FF. The one FF I can't stand (I won't let that get in the way of my judgement, but still).

Maybe I should introduce a length-limit to this thread... Or just cry.

We'll see. I'll look over them, but not tonight. I'm off to drown my sorrows with some Britney Spears songfics.

48 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-02 16:43 ID:cpHsBodG

Well, the idea was more 'see what you can get through' than 'devour the whole thing NOW', but again, only if ye be interested.

49 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 16:48 ID:OtfC9pM/

Oh, no, I am, don't get me wrong! I'm just enjoying my wallow in self-pity... I'll do my best, honestly, although if your fiction is anything like your posts on here, I'll probably be laughing too hard to be much use. But try, I shall!

... Just not now.

(Mein Gott, I nearly used an emoticon. NOW LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.)

50 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 17:31 ID:OtfC9pM/

Okay, Slavka. As I've said, I hate FF12, so I'm not too great with the events of the game (I haven't touched the rancid thing for over a year). My character-knowledge is also lacking, and I won't notice minor things, such as spellings of placenames, or item qualities etc. But I shall try my best.

Chapter 1:

-Ashe not having a cold demeanour? I thought she did. But I suppose that's subjective, and maybe she didn't before... well, everything. Ho hum.

-'The king's echoed'- 'The king's voice echoed.'

-'audible wave of relief'- I know what you mean here, but it sounds weird. Maybe change it to 'they breathed a sigh of relief' or something similar.

Chapter 2:

-'rounded the same corner...' this is a v. long, clunky sentence, and you haven't mentioned a previous corner, so shorten it to 'rounded the corner'.

-'suddenly realising... hastily'- ditch an adverb. They're horrible in large doses.

-'vibrant display of the fading'- ditch 'vibrant'. Too many adjectives in a small space. It's a desert sun; 'course...

51 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 17:45 ID:OtfC9pM/

... it's 'vibrant'

-'knew not why'- c'mon. 'course he does. Actually, all the crush-ness at this point seems to come out of the blue; you should add something @ the start of the chapter to give it concordancy.

-'unrelenting'- THEY DID IT FOR TWELVE HOURS?!! Damn game characters getting all the action... Come on, let them have a break.

-I have a feeling that's not what Ghandi was referring to... It's a good quote, but it doesn't really fit in context. That use cheapens the quote and makes the fic look pretentious. I liked the first chapter's quote, but, thinking about it, I'm not sure that links too well either.

I'll continue later. Anyway, your writing is generally strong, and the 'issues' are mostly stylistic (and thus subjective anyway). The plot is a little slow so far (or rather, it seems to move in dollops) but then as you're writing about events that your readers already know of (in part, if not in whole) that does make some sense. It could do with a 'hook', though. More later.

52 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-02 18:59 ID:Ab07WGJ3

Ooh yeah, rating. Thanks for pointing that out. But I'm pretty sure that it's only a T. :)

53 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 19:00 ID:OtfC9pM/

Chapter 3:

-'was duelling'- 'had been duelling'. As it stands, it sounds like she's still fighting as she screams.

-'In his mind'- cut; sounds like he's imagining it.

-'eyes screwed up'- I'd cut this and find a stronger image; you start with talons ripping into flesh... and then she screws up her eyes. It spoils the impact.

-The word 'blade' is used at the end of two consecutive sentences, in different paras, and it sounds clunky.

-'she tried'-'she'd tried'

-'the strain in her voice'- 'her strained voice'

-'perceived weakness'- 'weakness'; you can't hide something that is perceived but doesn't exist.

-'slight sting'- cut 'slight'. Again, it weakens the effect.

-'mingled together'- 'mingled'. If they're mingling, they're together.

Chapter 4:

-'was sat'- 'was sitting'

-peaceful but bored but absent-minded? If someone is fidgeting w/ a bored expression, they don't need Vossler to tell that they're restless.

-'she elaborated,' -needs comma

-'Vossler replieD'- tense! (and 'does'-'did')


54 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 19:08 ID:OtfC9pM/

@ Vic- the f-word is an 'M' on most sites, so I'd check that one.


'"Nay, my lady," the knight beside her replied. "Merely to adulthood."'- This might be a personal thing, but I find dialogue much easier to read if the words and info are split as above.

-'tire him'- cut; the audience will know that that's what you're referring to.

... That's that. My only other reservation is with chapter 3- would Ashe really be duelling such a beast? Because she's RUBBISH when you get her. Then again, I suppose it's artistic license...

More later.

55 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 19:54 ID:OtfC9pM/

Chapter 5! 1/5 of the way through!

-'and, if his current manner was...'- needs comma and the word 'if'

-'then again...'- I'd put in same para as preceeding sentence, as they link directly.

-'he seemed to'- 'Vaan seemed to'. Just to avoid confu.

-'keep a tab on him, then'- needs comma, and as it's a direct thought, should be formatted as such, or cut.

-'had encountered'- 'encountered'

-'His and Ashe's'- 'Vossler's and Ashe's', or better, alter sentence so there're fewer people.

-'street rat'- 'street-rat'. Just because I read it oddly the first time.

-'in which he'-'in which one'. You're talking about something general, so make the pronoun general.

-'which would eliminating'- 'which would make eliminating'

-'had his own reasons'-'had reasons. Of course they're his.

Aaand that's it for chapter 5!

56 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-02 20:03 ID:Ab07WGJ3

The rating T is translatable into 'teen'. The f-word is perfectly all right if you're a teenager.

I'm currently writing the next chapter of my fic. :) I was re-reading one of the scenes and I thought "uh-oh, she (or he if you're a he) won't like that". Bascially I have a very long Hindi translation, and you'd probably say it looks silly.

57 Name: tiger002 : 2010-01-02 20:26 ID:X9X6gb8v

I'm scared to see how badly you will tear this apart, but I'm sure it needs work.
It's based on Disney's Suite Life of Zack and Cody, so you might not be familer with the fandom, but it's an AU, so that shouldn't hurt understanding the story much. Thanks.

58 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 20:46 ID:OtfC9pM/

@Vic- it's not about what teenagers find acceptable; it's about what the site DEEMS acceptable. The three yr old at the end of my street swears, but you'll find that Postman Pat is a polite chap. If I were you, I'd alter the word.

@Iaculus- b/c I feel bad about doing 25 chapters of Slavka's before ANY of yours, b/c I'm getting bad FF12 memories and b/c you've been hinting for a review for ages and I've been playing dumb ('and there's weaponized Swahili!'... 'sounds fun...' (what can I say; it's long and I don't know all the fandom and it's long and I'm tired and it's long)), I'll do a chapter of yours now.

And from now on, I'm going to have to ask that people only post specific sections that they're having trouble with. Otherwise, there's just too much. I do have a RL. If you've already posted a fic, I'll look over it all, but any new ones must be either be short fics or brief sections of longer ones.

Right... cracks knuckles

59 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-02 21:24 ID:Ab07WGJ3

Can I still post new chapters from my DW fic? As you know, they're rarely more than 1500 words long.

60 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 21:25 ID:OtfC9pM/

@Iaculus. Okay. Before we begin, I should say that most of this is stylistic. As we have very different writing styles, I've tried not to step on your toes and say, 'do it like THIS' because while I may personally use a different word, that's my writing style rather than an error on your part. At the same time, I want to be useful, so I have my suggestions. I hope I have the balance right.

Chapter 1

-'knew this'- is it referring to the pigeon's observation, or their own awareness of their (lack of) humanity? I wasn't sure.

-'seeing as'-'as'

  • Say where the pigeon is. I presumed it was in the tunnel, which confused me when it could see them better as they walked out.
  • Can I just say how much I love the image of someone actually RADIATING lethargy?

-'by contrast:' colon

-'pigeon had gone'- so you're not repeating the word 'left'

-'but then that was pigeons for you'- there're already a lot of commas in that sentence, so I'd scrap that one, as it's not strictly necessary.


61 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 21:40 ID:OtfC9pM/

@Vic- yes, that's fine; I did say I'd do yours. Just don't make it last forever. I need sleep.


-'come to and from'- 'frequented'

-'abundant wealth'-'wealth'. It's generally abundant, and you use a lot of adjectives as it is.

-'how their lives would be'- 'how they would live'

-'its shields sparkling'- Aargh, it's Edward Cullen! ... Okay, that was completely irrelevant. Ahem.

-'caught fire'-'combusted'; flames ARE fire.

-'A small, numbered cube...'-'she held a small, numbered cube...'. Change the verbs from passive to active, to make it more dynamic.

-'city' used twice in a row, but not in the third example, so it looks odd. If there's a way to change it, do so.

-'...'- I never thought I'd say this, but why is the ellipsis there? There are only 3 examples prior to it, so it seems somewhat premature, and disrupts the flow.

-'been human (and now were considerably more) watched'- brackets.

The plot is intriguing, and I like the light humour. On the other hand, it's a little like...

62 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 21:55 ID:OtfC9pM/

... a fanfic equivalent of the FT- nearly all the sentences are complex, and long at that, which can make things confusing. As there are also a lot of adjectives (I don't know which are integral to the plot, but cut some of the ones that aren't) you have to really concentrate while reading it (or maybe that's 5am talking). I'd suggest splitting some sentences up, to get a better mix of simple, compound and complex. Also, w/ words- things like 'illumination' instead of 'lighting'- it's a stylistic preference, true, and a lot depends on your target audience, but if you want to make the piece more accessible, don't use ten syllables where one will do. At the same time, if you want that style, do it consistently throughout. It's a good opening and piques interest; it just needs to be a bit easier to follow.

And now, I sleep.

63 Name: tiger002 : 2010-01-02 22:28 ID:X9X6gb8v

if you're too busy to do mine that's okay. It's a long story and will take a couple hours to read, and the later parts won't make much sense without the beginning.

64 Name: ... : 2010-01-02 22:42 ID:OtfC9pM/

I will get around to it, but you will have a wait on your hands. I have approx 45 chapters to do already, not to mention RL things, and my 'work' on another forum, that comes a LONG way before this site on my list of priorities. Then there's my own writing. My holidays end in two days. So if you post something in a 'ahh, well, I cba to check this or get a beta, so I'll just post it here' way, expect to get chewed out. I've already said I won't be nice.

65 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-03 05:14 ID:cpHsBodG

Ta for the suggestions - I gave it a few tweaks accordingly. Kept one or two things, like the 'abundant wealth' - felt I had to maintain adjective balance in that sentence. I am, however, kicking myself repeatedly in the head for forgetting about 'combusted'.

66 Name: ... : 2010-01-03 06:02 ID:OtfC9pM/

I know; I was surprised, too- my thought-train went something along the lines of '...spontaneously- lol, no WAY!!!'

Fair enough on the 'abundant' point; as I was going through it I started looking for any extraneous adjectives to cut, as there were just so many, but the rhythm-alteration did bother me. I thought I would point it out, and then 'twould be up to you whether or not you changed it. Again, our writing styles differ wildly; I write 2000 word comedy oneshots, you write a 25 chapter crossover epic. And I'm too lazy to bother writing much description (my weakness is an overabundance of dialogue) so, again, we differ. If the plot was less intriguing, I'd advise that you cut some, but then it's NOT and it's a prologue anyway. So yes.

67 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-03 20:23 ID:Ab07WGJ3

Here's chapter 6 of the DW story. I have a terrible feeling you're going to rip it apart:


I'm especially unhappy with the scene containing Jack, so any extra points you can make about that one would be doubly welcome.

68 Name: ... : 2010-01-05 02:44 ID:OtfC9pM/


For reasons outlined in my Vodafone thread on the 'pleasant chat' board, I cannot currently access fanfiction.net. Therefore I cannot do any proofing at the moment (and I can't answer your PM, Iaculus) unless you post sections that are in dire need of help to this thread. By 'sections', let's say 500 words or less.

If anyone knows anyone who works at Vodafone, please make their life hell for a weak. Thank you.

69 Name: ... : 2010-01-05 04:17 ID:OtfC9pM/

*week. Ahahahaha, see what happens when I'm annoyed?

I CAN still access Fictionpress, btw.

70 Name: Sheechiibii : 2010-01-05 07:52 ID:ysW1IYy5

Will you take a look at mine? I don't mind harshness >.<
It's a Naruto fic - SasuNaru(yaoi) and I've done about 12 chapters so far...
If you don't want to do it just let me know ^.^
You know how you can't access fanfiction...can you access any of these links:





71 Name: ... : 2010-01-05 08:40 ID:OtfC9pM/

... I can get on the 2nd one, but I refer you to post #58.

72 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-05 08:59 ID:cpHsBodG

... So this site is not on Vodafone's 'Restricted' list? Clearly, we must amend this posthaste.

No big, and hope the problem resolves itself soon.

73 Name: Sheechiibii : 2010-01-05 09:11 ID:ysW1IYy5

Well, could you maybe just look over what I've already done then? I don't mind if you don't get back to me in an age >.< take as long as you want.
If not then thanks anyways =)

74 Name: ... : 2010-01-05 09:33 ID:OtfC9pM/

@Iaculus- I find it interesting that Vodafone doesn't block its own soft pr0n, but does block fanfic.net. It does this every month, so I'll just have to sit it out, but it annoys me no end. I've used proxies before now, but they're so slow... Purgle.

@Sheechiibii- I think you missed the point. You have written TWELVE LONG CHAPTERS. Quite simply, I'm not going to read through all of them. If you post a short section, I will concrit it. But you're right; 12 chapters will take me 'an age', which is why I'm not going to do it. Call it laziness, call it a desire to see daylight every once in a while. Even if I decided to do just 'a paragraph a night', I wouldn't want it hanging over me. For a millenium. I will finish Vic's, Slavka's and Iaculus's, as I agreed to that before I decided to just do sections, but they are the ONLY exceptions.

75 Name: Sheechiibii : 2010-01-05 12:50 ID:ysW1IYy5

okay ^.^ yeah I did miss the point =P
Thanks anyways!

76 Name: grammarsink : 2010-01-06 17:12 ID:rSAM7HP5

>>18 Thoughtful debate doesn't make you look stupid; ignoring the purpose of the thread does.

>>21 it's not a case of 'them' and 'us'; it's a case of people reading the first post or not reading it. If you don't read it and then post something completely irrelevant, expect me to tell you to GTFO and come back with something related.

Wow. Rather full of yourself, aren't you? You attack people for questioning your motives after you offer no credentials or reason to trust your 'honest opinion' and the vague promise that you might be 'nice,' and then you curse at them? Very mature. I'd definitley trust the opinion of someone who doesn't offerup any of their own writing for review but tells others to GTFO a public thread on a public forum. Not. If nothing else, this thread is infinitely dull and I suspect only the people who feel the urge to subject themselves to abuse will check back. I'm not among them.

77 Name: ... : 2010-01-06 17:29 ID:OtfC9pM/

And I don't care. Have a nice day.

(As you posted here, I must tell you that 'offer' and 'up' are two different words.)

78 Name: ... : 2010-01-06 18:13 ID:OtfC9pM/

Or perhaps that was a section you wanted me to concrit... In which case:

-'Full of yourself'- redundant; cut- the persona '...' frequently refers to itself as such, as noted in the phrase 'glutted with foundless pride' on the 'who loves Iaculus?' thread.

-'questioning motives'- wrong phrasing. Questioning a person's motives is not the same as questioning their technique.

-'definitley'-'definitely' (spelling)

-'Not.'- cut. Reinforcing obvious sarcasm actually detracts from its impact, as it is a technique commonly employed by small children.

-'infinitely dull'- irrelevant. Your argument is that you do not trust the opinion of the persona '...'; what does the 'dullness' of the thread have to do with that? It seems as though you wish to end your post on a damning note, but cannot think of the right insult, so instead choose one that does not fit. Consider 'infinitely pointless' or 'as useful as a snorkel for a shark'.

-'feel the urge to...'- clumsy. Trying use such techniques to persuade others not to...

79 Name: ... : 2010-01-06 18:26 ID:OtfC9pM/

... post only weakens your argument, and makes you look as though you are unsure of the inherent validity of your stance.

In conclusion, the line of your argument is unclear and illogical, you attack ad hominem rather than attack opposing points, and you try to turn the impersonal personal. Also, if this argument were posted on the thread it seems intended for, it would be doing exactly what the thread creator specifically instructed people not to do. It is irrelevant. There are other threads (the opinions thread, for example) which are designed for this sort of argument. This piece definitely needs reworking.

80 Name: Anonymous : 2010-01-06 19:08 ID:Ab07WGJ3

To the person who started this thread (as I don't know your name) - Just ignore the people bashing you. If they want to argue the point of this thread, let them, but if you don't pitch in it'll be a pretty short arguement. You've been extremely helpful to me about my DW story, and you've done exactly what you said you would do: critique.

People who continue to say you're flaming (and I apologise for implying it before) and don't post their work are, in my view at least, cowards. :)

Whenever you manage to get back on the fanfiction.net I've posted another chapter of my DW story. Here are the links to chapters 6 and 7. They're not that long.

Chapter 6:


Chapter 7:


Thank you!

81 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-06 19:10 ID:Ab07WGJ3

That was me on post 80. For some strange reason it didn't show my user name...

82 Name: ... : 2010-01-06 19:27 ID:OtfC9pM/

@Vic- I guessed it was you; the reference to the DW fic gave it away rather. I'll take a look at those chapters as soon as I can. Can't say when that'll be, though.

This persona is known as '...', 'Ellipsis', 'dotdotdot', 'Terpsichore' and 'Mongoose'. It is controlled by another. Therefore, when others personally insult it, they are wasting their time. And providing the, shall we say, 'puppetmaster' with lulz.

Maybe I should create a 'Bawww, I got butthurt by Ellipsis!' thread where people can let off steam... Hmm...

83 Name: Vic Taylor : 2010-01-06 19:31 ID:Ab07WGJ3

@dotdotdot - XD I don't get people who shout uselessly on the interent, do you?

Whenever is fine for my fic. I'm in no rush. :)

84 Name: Slavka13748 : 2010-01-07 15:48 ID:vhbr97ne

@... Thanks for reading mine - sorry to see you hate FFXII, but I really appreciate the help.

85 Name: ... : 2010-01-07 15:59 ID:OtfC9pM/

@Slavka- I will try and continue with it as soon as possible.

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