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Serenes Forest Scribbles 2016. Winners announced!

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22 minutes ago, Sunwoo said:

Your first mistake was expecting people over at FFN to have standards.

Probably so. I figured anyone could recognize bad writing when they see it, and given the internet would leap at the chance to tell someone, "hey, you suck."

Edited by TheFreelancerSeal

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Since there've been people here who seem like they want to talk to me about my reviews, for whatever reason... I'd be more than happy to give more thorough thoughts individually by pm. I can promise not to judge; I honestly do want to help you (and me) improve. If there's any complaints about what I've said, I'll take those too.

Once more, thanks to everyone who submitted, and to everyone working behind the scenes. Congratulations to @Silver Lightning, @Untold Protagonist, @Thor Odinson, and @LiaLiar are in order as well! I'm eager to congratulate the main prize winners in each category, too~

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On 4/14/2017 at 2:31 PM, EllJee said:
 

Beyond the Horizon

Yay! More Canas! And more attempts to answer “The heck? A SNOWSTORM?!?!” Wonderful job on the description here. You have an excellent sense of when to feed us a detail morsel or two and when to hold back. (My favorite line, for the record, is “He felt hollow, like a glass doll waiting under a heavy hammer.”) You’ve also managed to leave a fair amount of what-was-behind-everything to inference. Perhaps most impressively, Nino reads like the same girl she was in FE7, appropriately aged up into a woman. That’s very difficult to do, and you’ve managed to pull it off. (Though you managed to pull to a close just before any aftermath with Nino….)

The combat is tricky, though. Sometimes the descriptions of magic work very, very well. Other times, it slows down the scene. Combat, especially quick combat, should read equally as quickly; form follows function. Use your mastery of syntax and structure to alter the sentences, not just the words, to lead us into the right pacing. You manage this occasionally, and I want to see more of it.

 

 

I'm glad the writing was tolerable. And thanks for bringing my attention to the pacing of the action scenes. I'll review the story with that in mind. It's certainly something I need more practice in.

I'm surprised (and pleased) both you and @Jotari seem to think Nino's personality came through. I was very concerned about her lack of depth, though as you mentioned her story fades out without proper closure. Originally I planned on killing her off, and obviously I never came up with a satisfactory alternative direction for her. I'll keep thinking about a better way to tie everything up.

 

On 4/14/2017 at 3:30 PM, eclipse said:

I'm intentionally not saying which piece I wrote. because I want to see just how strong my writing is.  Normally, this is the perfect way to do so - blind reviews and votes.  The votes tell me I need to improve.  The reviews don't have much to offer, in terms of what I need to improve on.

Hence why I'm annoyed.  I want an honest review, because it's obvious that my writing is missing something.  I'll wait until after the voting.

I think @Jotari and @EllJee (sorry if I forgot anyone else) wrote solid, honest reviews for everyone. Though I'm sorry I likely contributed to your frustration by pretty obviously sidestepping writing any criticism. I didn't trust myself to make in-depth constructive feedback, which from the sounds of it is what you're after. I think I was too cautious in trying to avoid accidentally discouraging anyone with unsolicited criticism, especially as multiple people have since made it clear they're specifically hoping for feedback from this competition.

Edit: I'm not a skilled or practiced fiction writer. My story isn't exactly tearing up the polls either. But maybe I will go back and at try to write some hopefully decent criticism for each story. I'm not routinely active anyways so I could just come back in a week with my thoughts, still unaware of who wrote which stories (ignoring the few already revealed).

Edited by Wist
Added a paragraph

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Just want to say that I love how involved the writers are this time around lol. Reading all of your constructive criticism and support for eachother has been a treat! I hope that nobody is actually disheartened, events like this can be used to improve in areas you weren't even aware needed improvement with the help of your peers :P.

Waiting on @Silver Lightning to respond to my PM so I can start getting the amiibo stuff ready!

Edited by Tangerine

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Oh, yeah, I didn't expect to win at all. I'm surprised I got votes to begin with. I entered for the purpose of forcing me to enter, which meant I a) submitted a piece of my work to other readers, and b) engaged with this community. Wist, I'm glad my comments seemed helpful; I'd be eager to see how you grow from here!

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4 minutes ago, EllJee said:

Oh, yeah, I didn't expect to win at all. I'm surprised I got votes to begin with. I entered for the purpose of forcing me to enter, which meant I a) submitted a piece of my work to other readers, and b) engaged with this community. Wist, I'm glad my comments seemed helpful; I'd be eager to see how you grow from here!

Same here. I just entered because it was something to do while I waited for some cover art to be made. If not for that, I probably would still be in my self-imposed exile from the forest, although I plan on going back following the results of the contest.

It seems fitting somewhat, almost poetic in a way, that my first and last Scribbles contest would include the last story I plan to write.

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On 4/9/2017 at 3:16 PM, EllJee said:

Conflicted

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Oh, great layout. There’s a deliberate effort to make this a composition, rather than just an art piece. There’s a lot of effort on her hair and the bottom of her dress and her feet. There isn’t as much shading done on her torso—and especially when there’s a giant Yato in the background to draw your eye to the center of the image, the lack of shading there stands out more.

 

Your kind words really mean a lot to me! Thanks so much for the review and criticism c:!!

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And...there, that's my votes cast~!
 
Since I want to preserve my anonymity, I'll be popping back to this thread to answer the feedback on my piece after the final results are posted.
 
In the meantime I'll say that it's been really fun to participate in Scribbles, both as an artist and audience. As such, I wish to extend my thanks to fellow participants and the Scribbles staff for arranging this event, thanks to you it's been a fun time creating, and seeing everyones work.
 
I wish I'd have more time to comment/provide feedback since I know how valuable it can be to receive. Sadly, rl got more swamped than planned on my end. That said, I hope to start writing down some critique soon.

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Finally got around to properly appreciating all the entries and casting my votes. I tried to limit my voting this time around, which was hard especially for the draws (so many pretty sights!) and the miscs since I don't have the proper critical knowledge for those mediums.

It makes me a little sad only 30 something people voted for writes compared to the higher counts for the visual arts, but I suppose it's just easier to appreciate those in a shorter time compared to spending more time reading stories. Still, even I can see the amount of love and passion put into them, so they deserve all the attention they've gotten for sure! It's been a blast looking at all the entries and discovering what a talented community we have in SF; enjoying all these dedicated fan works is the real prize of the event that everyone gets to share.

I hope we have many, many more events like this in the future! :D

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Aw, man, who voted for me? I was the only one with 0 Votes! I mean, yes, I appreciate you liked my story enough to throw me a Vote, but that was my shot in the spotlight - the only written entry to receive 0 Votes!

I would love to try and critique people's stuff, but unfortunately my comp SUCKS so I haven't been able to load, let alone read, any written entry dependent on Adobe Reader or on any site other than SF or Docs, and I'd rather not just critique some of them, so…sorry, guys, if yours was one of the abovementioned and you wanted as much feedback as possible, I kind of let you down. Thanks a bunch for your feedback, though, and I'm honestly surprised nobody's called me out on the last paragraph on the last page - it was kind of a last-second cheeky thing of me to do and I expected to get BLASTED for it.

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Oh man! I have so busy I've been unable to get time to post. Here at the eleventh hour, I want to express how much a great pleasure it's been reading and discussing all these amazing works with you all. You truly are an amazing community I'm so happy to be a part of - and the breadth of talent on display here is breathtaking. Thank so much to @Tangerine and the other staff for giving us such an amazing gathering to give life to our creative passions. Good luck to everyone in the final stages of voting!

On 14/04/2017 at 3:31 PM, EllJee said:

WRITES

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A Greater Cause

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An old truism in war literature. The best part about this is probably the pacing; you do well shifting between levels of complexity in your syntax when the pace of the narration calls for it. Short, choppy, and crisp for combat; longer, more elaborate prose for slower moments. But just as that’s your strength, it’s also something you should continue to work on. Like many writers, you (and I) have a tendency to slow way down and observe too much in any given scene. I’ll try to explain below, but feel free to contact me for a better discussion.

 

 

 

It feels like there’s often extra description just for the sake of adding extra description. The first three paragraphs, for instance; there’s much more concise ways to say Lucia was accustomed to what was going on. You could probably trim and combine the first two sentences and lose nothing; you could edit out the word “wrought” from paragraph three with no loss either. The excess verbiage, when taken as a whole, tells me that you’re trying to push too hard for a contrived elevated tone. Don’t. It’s difficult to get that right, and straining for it is terribly obvious. (It’s okay; I fall into the same trap.) Trim the fluff and you’ll be in much better shape.

 

 

 

A classic example of a very simple way to trim your prose:

 

>“Yes, father,” Lucia replied, nodding her head.

 

becomes

 

>“Yes, father.” Lucia nodded.

 

 

 

Dialogue tags are only useful if they tell us something more than is in the dialogue itself. We know that she replied; we also know that most of the adverbs we could use there are just extraneous. We know that nodding generally involves heads. All the information in that line can be distilled, leaving us free to move onto some other line where you have more freedom for description.

 

A Shiver from Beyond

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Canas gets some love! The nagging question of “The heck? A SNOWSTORM?!?!” has a plausible answer. A creative approach to the systems of magic that Elibe uses, and a great job in characterizing Canas himself. The prose is deceptively simple, and it’s easy to abruptly arrive at the end of this story without realizing it. I did very much enjoy this read.

 

 

 

More than anything, this needs a copy edit. There are punctuation errors riddled throughout, from dropped periods to intrusive apostrophes to missed contractions (could, or could not, the elements resist his fel motions?). It’s jarring, to say the least.

 

A Soulweaver’s Journey

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You’ve done a lot of work thinking out what each character’s role is in their respective armies beyond what’s given by the game, and for that I applaud you. Camilla and Sakura in particular have more defined personalities than the rest of your depictions; they read more like the characters they are and less like dialogue given by anyone else here.

 

 

 

First and foremost, though, I have to echo the advice given by others: Paragraphs. Single-spaced paragraphs that go on for pages went out of style after around 1800. If you’re not sure where to add them, here’s a quick-and-dirty link. http://www.editing-writing.com/start-paragraph-fiction/ Google is your friend, too. But the basic rules (without their exceptions), I can echo below:

 

 

 

Any time the basic idea of what you’re writing changes (from scene to scene, from quiet to combat, from moment to moment), add a paragraph break. Think of this as camera shots in a movie or TV episode; whenever the camera angle changes is a paragraph break.

 

Any time the dialogue changes who’s talking, add a paragraph break. Otherwise, it’s hard to tell who’s speaking without cluttering up your prose with a lot of qualifiers and tags you don’t need.

 

Your basic paragraph is 3-6 sentences long (again, I’m not getting into exceptions here). Any time you notice you’ve got a whole bunch of sentences in a row, take a look and see if the main thesis or focus of those sentences has changed at all. That’s where you add a paragraph break.

 

Example below from the opening of your work:

 

 

 

>

 

I decided to begin by talking to Leo - he seemed like the most logical of both families, and logic was something I’d like to think I was good with. I found him near the main armory tent, studying a map with little figures on it by candlelight, most likely a representation of the current setup of the surrounding area. <paragraph break>

 

“Hey, Leo.” I said, sitting down. “Prepping in case it goes bad?” <paragraph break>

 

He looked a little suspicious, but nodded. “It will do us no good to act like you can convince the Hoshidans to stand down, and we both know Father won’t back away. As Xander’s head tactician, I can’t just sit here and not prepare for the worst.” <paragraph break>

 

I nodded.

 

 

 

In other news, I’ve noticed you tend to overuse the phrase “He considered this.” Don’t tell us; show us. Display through your narrative how Ryoma, for example, acts while he considers something, and don’t simply relay information.

 

 

 

I’m curious as to what Jakh and Kythiia add to your narrative. At the moment, they could be edited out and you wouldn’t lose anything; they don’t change the plot in and of themselves yet.

 

 

 

I’d be glad to act as first reader or copy editor in the occasional future, if you need.

 

Anna’s Surprise

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Cute and direct. Aside from the heavy-handed foreshadowing, I rather enjoyed Robin’s clue into why the clothes were clearly intended for him and not Chrom. I also like that neither Chrom nor Anna seem to care about Robin loitering around in his smallclothes. This fic is a great example of how story-driving conflict can arise from the least significant of sources and still succeed at driving a story.

 

 

 

There are a lot of basic grammatical errors here: dangling modifiers, incomplete clauses, and improper capitalization and word use (there’s a crucial difference in meaning between “every day” and “everyday,” for example). Unfortunately, you also fall prey to a very common fic writer’s bane: the overuse of adverbs plus weak verbs rather than powerful, no-adverb-needed verbs. Example: “She quickly got up and rushed out of the tent.” That doesn’t tell us anything, and the adverb isn’t providing us with any information we didn’t already assume. After she holds up his cloak and pants, you could be a lot more succinct and show us more by saying “She sprang up and dashed out of the tent.” or even just “She bolted out.”

 

Azel’s Epilogue

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I really love how subtle the description is here. Errors aside, I think my favorite line is “For the first time in his life, Azel tried to count every that stone that were peeling layers by layers away. Now he understood what was to be homesickened.” Though the description of the dining room for the first time is a close second. There’s so much mood to be felt while reading this. The settings are veritable characters of their own, and that’s an incredibly difficult thing to pull off. Well done.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, my favorite line also highlights the biggest way this piece could be improved. I’ll demonstrate: “For the first time in his life, Azel tried to count every stone that was peeling away layer by layer. Now he understood what it was to be homesick.” This is riddled with a lot of simple copy-editing errors: dropped words (“Prince Seliph had specifically [asked] the magic-capable of his crusader host”), noun-descriptor disagreement (“Don’t say another words!” rather than “another word”) odd choices of articles (“Her face turned the shade of pale rose” rather than “a shade”), accidental cut/paste errors (“Yes, yes. Please.” Finally, Azel had replied. The butler stepping into the room to see his  Finally, Azel had replied. The butler stepping into the room to see his young lord hunched over a book”). It detracts a lot from what otherwise would be a fun narrative. When there’s this many of them, rather than being little things to overlook, they give the impression that you didn’t bother to edit this at all. That’s both lazy and disrespectful to the reader, and I know you didn’t intend either of those.

 

Battle of Alucia

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Fire Emblem meets thinly-veiled hot recent anime parody meets out-of-meter Disney film. I almost expected a magic tome to summon flying cabbage. A motley pastiche if ever I’ve seen one. This is exactly the kind of fic where the most heavy-handed crossovers and references flourish and thrive. In fact, trying to work them in more smoothly might actually detract from the pastiche. The sheer volume of things that were thrown together in a blender to make this almost forgives the bumpy ride. Almost.

 

 

 

It unfortunately still suffers from a lack of general copy editing. More important, though, are dialogue tags and the first rule of narratives. In a pastiche or farce, deadpan dialogue tags can be an absolute boon—but only when they’re used with precision. Even in pastiche, each individual dialogue tag still serves a purpose. The connotative meaning of “said” is distinct from that of “replied” from “answered” from “hissed” from “stated” from everything else. If you’re not looking to use a specific meaning, feel free to drop the tag and just include the narration of what the characters do while they talk, as needed. Which brings me to the first rule of narratives: Show, don’t tell. For example: “Nym was surprised, he didn’t know that Chloey was also a mother.” This tells us in about as boring a manner as possible what we need to know. Instead, show us Nym’s surprise. Does he do a double-take? Does he scratch his chin? Rather than tell us what he didn’t know, show us in his mind what he’d expected instead, or why he hadn’t wondered.

 

 

 

And a very simple fix: When writing prose, small numbers especially should be written out: “two days ago” instead of “2 days ago.”

 

Beyond the Horizon

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Yay! More Canas! And more attempts to answer “The heck? A SNOWSTORM?!?!” Wonderful job on the description here. You have an excellent sense of when to feed us a detail morsel or two and when to hold back. (My favorite line, for the record, is “He felt hollow, like a glass doll waiting under a heavy hammer.”) You’ve also managed to leave a fair amount of what-was-behind-everything to inference. Perhaps most impressively, Nino reads like the same girl she was in FE7, appropriately aged up into a woman. That’s very difficult to do, and you’ve managed to pull it off. (Though you managed to pull to a close just before any aftermath with Nino….)

 

 

 

The combat is tricky, though. Sometimes the descriptions of magic work very, very well. Other times, it slows down the scene. Combat, especially quick combat, should read equally as quickly; form follows function. Use your mastery of syntax and structure to alter the sentences, not just the words, to lead us into the right pacing. You manage this occasionally, and I want to see more of it.

 

Cages

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Excellent character exploration. The writing is crisp and concise, for the most part, and each character read like an individual person—something that’s not always the easiest to pull off when you’re writing many. I’m very impressed by this piece on the whole.

 

 

 

I have a measly two pieces of advice. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to be careful with repetition. If used right, it’s an excellent tool; if used imprecisely or accidentally, it can trip you up. A concise example: “It was so dark outside that I couldn’t even see the moonleaves outside.” Using the word ‘outside’ twice at the ends of two adjacent sentence halves is a little clunky; you only need one. A longer-term example: “At times, she felt like she was the only sane person in the fortress”. She says that directly to Xander later, but rather than coming across as foreshadowing and recalling, it feels like you didn’t know where to use it or forgot that you already had.

 

 

 

The second piece of advice I have is actually from an old playwrighting professor of mine, and I have to paraphrase it: Never argue about what you’re arguing about. Here’s what I mean: the most dramatic dialogue is always given by actions, not words (as your Xander knows), and when you do need to rely on words, we don’t naturally tend to say exactly what we mean. When a married couple argues about “You never do the dishes,” what is really meant is “You never pay attention to my needs.” You’re edging toward this already, but I want more focus on the Dishwasher argument and less on the actual source of conflict—or, at least, a resolution that tries to tackle the latter. Is Flora upset that her work isn’t being recognized and appreciated, or that she’s trapped as a political prisoner and forced to work? If both, which is the surface and which is underlying? Xander’s resolution to the conflict—that is, helping with chores and sending beds and thank-you notes—seems to tackle the unrecognized conflict but not the political prisoner conflict. If he can’t do that one, we need to see that… and for a character as subtly intelligent as you’ve made him out to be, it feels like he should be able to see her underlying conflict through whatever she covers it with on the surface.

 

Dragonson

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Just clean up what’s left of my heart when you leave, please. Ugh. This is so full of feels it’s gross, and I mean that in the best way. I was thoroughly engrossed reading this. I actually have to dissent with some of the other feedback you’ve gotten here already. At no time did I feel like you were overboard in your prose; it felt rather like each and every description was precision-placed for a reason. Elegant, flowery language doesn’t always mean purple prose; so long as it serves a purpose and doesn’t detract, it’s worth leaving in. Especially if that’s your style and it feels organic rather than forced. You have an excellent sense of dramatic timing, and that’s in part why the more elaborate prose never felt off to me.

 

 

 

Importantly, I also have to say I felt the same way about Eliwood not telling Roy—but as I kept reading, the more his silence on the issue made sense. Elibe has a drastic prejudice against dragons at the end of FE7. If Eliwood had no idea Roy would ever go find Durandal and get involved with that prejudice on an international level, he might have no reason to ever tell him out of concern for Roy’s safety (at least until Roy hit a certain age). It does have precedent in the real world. Even now after the war with Bern, when public memory of dragons must still be terribly negative, it makes sense to me that Eliwood would hide it as long as he could. I suppose I’m less convinced that Roy never figured it out, unless Ninian died when he was very, very young.

 

 

 

What I loved most about this was that it wasn’t an FE6 fanfic. It also wasn’t an FE7 fanfic. It was an Elibe fanfic, and that made it so much more compelling to have both generations involved and the implications of each one’s decisions allowed to play out. I love the subtle reminder that Mark exists, but that none of this was his story. I especially appreciated the shared grief between Lilina and Eliwood—and the PTSD of Eliwood the elder when suddenly pulled back in time to view his fight on Valor. Favorite line of narration: a tie between “in time, she would come to realise that it was the tone of a man trying to be both father and mother.” And “They were the words of a younger man, a promise made in confidence, and Lilina felt like she shouldn’t be hearing them.” Favorite line of dialogue: “Back in my day, the lech wore green.”

 

 

 

I suppose the single biggest critique I have of this piece is actually a very minor one. It has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with continuity with the source material: Ninian wasn’t a fire dragon. Ninian was an ice dragon. Why would Roy’s kisses—and especially her own, as seen in her memory and spoken by Eliwood—taste of sulfur? Unless that’s something about dragons in general and has nothing to do with their magic breath damagey thing.

 

 

 

After that, though, is dialogue tags. You’re usually great about this—which makes the extraneous ones stand out all the more. Example:

 

 

 

>Roy nodded, then turned to the last woman of the assembly, still on the outskirts of the room. “Sophia!” he cried. “Come and join us!”

 

 

 

We know who’s talking from the narration; we know he cried it from the exclamation points. This particular dialogue tag of “he cried” doesn’t give us any information, and can be removed with no loss. This might be what’s cluttering up your prose, more so than being a little more flowery than is in vogue right now.

 

Fairy Tale Ending

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Compelling and brief. We don’t even need to know anything about Sigurd, Dierdre or Alvis to know what’s going on here, and that’s its greatest  strength. Everything that is necessary is contained in this excellently concise ficlet, and anything unnecessary is notably absent. I especially like the shift in tense for her realization. What makes this work so well is that she doesn’t remember. She just knows, somewhere, that the truth is different.

 

 

 

I’m a little ambivalent on the total removal of names. On the one hand, it universalizes the story, draws it out from the specifics of Deirdre and hurls it into the metaconsciousness of humanity. The names themselves, the particulars of whom, aren’t actually as relevant to the plot of this ficlet; just like everything else unnecessary, they’ve been excised. It also reflects Deirdre’s missing memories. On the other hand, now it’s a lot less Fire Emblem.

 

 

 

The biggest problem I have with this is actually the first sentence: “Her life could be described as a fairy tale.” It’s a clever literary trick to start things off in the passive voice to reflect just how passive Deirdre is here, how little agency she has in what her life does… but to me, it still detracts, particularly because of the word “could.” Her life COULD be described as a fairy tale—except “could” implies that it isn’t. That revelation is so much more potent later, and since this is so short you only really need the one heavy-handed foreshadow of “That she hadn’t wanted, or needed, a prince in her life.” The shattering of her fairy tale is so much stronger if the opening leads us into believing it more. Who described her life as a fairy tale? “Her life was like a fairy tale” is succinct and starts us there. “She’d felt her life was like a fairy tale” if you want a subtler nagging doubt in the past tense.

 

 

 

And one minor niggle: “She’s now trapped with her Prince Charming, who she loves, but does not love enough.” Whom.

 

FE7 Epic (aka The OSTIAD)

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In a word: ambitious. This is an entirely different animal. I’m not qualified to review this for reasons, but if I were to pick one thing I liked and one I didn’t: I love how loyal it tries to be to the tropes it draws on. It’s got the in medias res, the invocation to the muse, the epic catalogue, the arming scenes. It’s got the echoed epithets and digressions. It’s even in dactylic hexameter—or as best English can approximate it. There’s a considerable amount of sheer effort in here to be faithful to both kinds of source material.

 

 

 

What I don’t like is that all of the characters basically sound the same; there’s little distinction in character voice. Sain sounds like Lyn sounds like Marcus sounds like Florina sounds like Hector. That’s a problem. Anyone who’s played FE7 knows Florina sounds nothing like Hector, much less Sain. And while that might be harder to do in verse with a strict meter than in your regular prose, it’s still something to strive for—yes, even in the old epics, where Odysseus and Agamemnon and Achilles had distinct mannerisms of speech, as did Beowulf and Unferth, as did Arjuna and Krishna, as did Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Gotta beef up your characterization to match how ambitious the rest of this was, buddy. Consider playing with signature syntactical structures, or assigning certain lexicons and vocabularies to certain characters. If you can’t block that out before hand, consider experimenting and revising as you go. It might take forever, but it’ll be worth it.

 

Fire Emblem Echoes from Time

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You’ve set us up for what seems might become a Magic vs. Technology piece, with Chiki as our tie to Fire Emblem and cyborgs instead of Risen or Faceless or Morphs. Definitely a new take on Chiki’s longevity as a dragon. This is a bold direction, and I wholeheartedly encourage it.

 

 

 

That said, I also encourage some editing. This is full of basic errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, diction, what-have-you: reign vs. rain, was vs. were, 3 vs three, coco vs cocoa. Run-on sentences abound. If you’re not sure how to edit your own work, or find doing so difficult, ask around; I’m sure plenty of other fans here or elsewhere would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Aside from the basic stuff, there’s two big lessons I’d advise. The first is the first rule of narratives: Show, don’t tell. This piece has LOTS of tell. Here’s what I mean:

 

 

 

> Io looked at her again and saw that she was depressed.

 

 

 

This merely imparts information, but it’s bland and tasteless and we don’t really get anything from it. Rather than telling us that Io looked at her, telling us that she was depressed, and telling us that Io saw it, show us all those things. How does she act? What about her posture, or eyes, or mannerisms, or tone of voice does Io see or hear that causes him to decide that she was depressed? Show us those in your descriptive narration, and let us draw—on our own—the same conclusion Io does.

 

 

 

This is especially crucial for scenes like this:

 

 

 

> She could evade most of their shots but was unfortunately struck through her right leg, ignoring the pain as best she could, she kept running in the direction of what looked like an old destroyed hotel.

 

 

 

You’re telling us that combat happened. What we get instead, from your tone, is “well, I guess this isn’t very important to pay attention to because there’s no emotion attached.” Instead of telling us she dodged a lot and then got hit and it hurt, describe her dodges. Describe the sound of the shot that burst through her leg, or the sudden searing jolt as her brain registered the pain of what happened, or the brief stumble in her steps as she kept running with the hit. We don’t want bullet points of plot summary; we want flesh, bone, blood, spit, tears, breath. We want the life in these characters.

 

 

 

The second lesson draws on that: Never describe someone’s appearance just so we know what they look like. It’s a hallmark of new writers, and while it’s effective at feeding us information, it’s also a lot of telling and not showing.

 

 

 

> Their friend sail, a smaller woman with short Messy honey-brown hair and green eyes, sat next to him with a small rag full of her special antiseptic, rubbing the bruises she caused.

 

 

 

None of this information is really necessary except what Sail is doing. Description like this—that Sail has messy honey-brown hair and green eyes—should be filtered through action and dialogue. That Sail’s hair is messy, for example, only becomes important when she runs her hand through it, or complains that it doesn’t look right, or blows it out of her eyes. The mental image of Sail might be crucial, but feed it to us subtly, not with a hammer.

 

 

 

I’d be glad to discuss more if you want, with no judgments; just help and advice.

 

Fire Emblem Generations

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Just great. Set us up for a big complex story arc that spans a giant scope and just… leave us hanging, why don’t you. You’ve certainly got a vision for where you wanted this to go, I assume. The conflict gets jump-started immediately (sort of), and there’s a sense that the dialogue isn’t just a vehicle for plot; the characters are distinct. It’s over very quickly, but you could easily expand this into a much greater piece—as I think was your aim.

 

 

 

Keep watch on some very key issues, though—first and foremost being how you frame dialogue. You tend to overuse very simple dialogue tags: said, asked, responded. Each and every possible word for a dialogue tag means something slightly different—and each and every time, they should provide new information. If you’re not looking to use a specific meaning, feel free to drop the tag and just include the narration of what the characters do while they talk, as needed. Example:

 

 

 

> “Haha, it’s good to see you again, Hector!” Eliwood laughed as he approached his friend.

 

 

 

If you’re leaving in the laughter in the dialogue itself, drop it from the tag.

 

 

 

>“Yeah, it’s good to see you, too, Eliwood,” Hector chuckled. “I believe you know Florina.” Hector brought his wife in front of him.

 

 

 

We can assume from the dialogue that Hector has indicated Florina; there’s no need to say so.

 

 

 

>“He-Hello, Milord Eliwood,” Florina stuttered.

 

 

 

We know for certain from the dialogue that Florina has stuttered; there’s no need to say so. You could drop that tag entirely and either replace it with something about her gaze or posture, or just go right to Eliwood’s reaction.

 

 

 

You can feel free, also, to begin dialogue in the middle of a paragraph, after description; not every new line of dialogue must start its own paragraph. If Hector says X and does Y at the same time, you free up a lot of options if you allow yourself to start a paragraph describing first Hector doing Y and then saying X at the same time instead of the strict quote-and-then-act order.

 

 

 

One more quibble: The paragraph that begins with the line “Eliwood and Hector began talking about how they and their towns have been since they last met” is entirely unnecessary. All of that paragraph is just so much details that aren’t at all important to the plot or narrative of the story you’re telling. Fade to black and just show us the party’s over.

 

Grief and Resolve

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Poor Mozu. For such a short ficlet, you do an excellent job treating with the onset of grief and potentially PTSD or survivor’s guilt. The characterization of Corrin as savior—and the immediate refusal on Mozu’s part to be a passive damsel in need of rescuing in favor of being an active force for her own agency—really help drive her mindset.

 

 

 

It’s exactly that mindset that bugs me, though. I know this is short, but to run the gamut of all five stages of grief in a matter of seconds, find resolution for her traumatic experience, and suddenly be uplifted by new purpose—for someone who’d never fought before—seems a little unrealistic to the point of being jarring. Mozu’s gonna have some things to work out in the future for her mental state, and even a hint of ongoing grief, that the ending isn’t quite as rosy as “Find new friends, everything’s okay,” would help a lot. It just seems to be wrapped up a little too neatly as it stands.

 

Hatari Investigations – An Interactive Adventure

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This is a great farce—as long as you don’t mind Volug and Tauroneo being about as OOC as it gets. The humor is dry and self-deprecating, and there’s only the barest semblance of a fourth wall. It’s not serious, but then, it doesn’t need to be at all. It feels a little bit like if Fire Emblem were done by Studio Trigger (that’s praise, in case it wasn’t clear). The fact that there are a whopping twenty different endings is impressive all on its own. There’s no real issues to detract on the whole in terms of grammar—at least, not that I saw in my readings.

 

 

 

>“It was a really interesting place to look at. Filled to the brim with vivid descriptions and stuff. You really should have been there.” I lost it.

 

 

 

It’s hard to critique, though, as it’s not trying to adhere too hard to any particular source material. The most I can do in the spur of the moment is note that after the first two or three endings you hit, it all starts to run together. The farcical humor only carries this piece just so far, and once the novelty wears off, the narration just feels drab instead of deadpan. I’m not entirely sure how to fix it, as farce is not something I’m very good at writing myself, so take all of this with a shaker of salt.

 

Historian Of Johanna

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Rather than a complete work on its own, this seems like the beginning of a much greater story. The characters are new enough that they’re distinct, and the piece takes itself just barely seriously enough to move on its own merit as a narrative. It’s possible that this could stand alone as a deadpan comedy snarker of a bait-and-switch from the narrative it promises into something else more serious.

 

 

 

What trips this up from doing so, however, are a series of simple basic errors and one key issue. You’ve got a slew of weird grammatical errors in here such as misused punctuation, improper capitalization, and abrupt changes in tense. More importantly, though, this ends very quickly—so quickly that we almost don’t get a chance to grow attached to the characters you’ve given us. We only get the barest glimpse of Ada, Sal, and Alexi before the ficlet ends, and there isn’t a lot in there to grab us and tell us why we should be invested in them. Sure, then the ficlet ends, but that’s no excuse for giving us characters we should care about but don’t.

 

I’d Do Anything

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The tone of this piece is very consistent. You’ve definitely found your writing voice, so keep working to let that shine. And especially for a mood piece, you’ve managed to produce that excellently in only two-and-a-hair pages.

 

 

 

I’ve got three mild pieces of advice, and the first is dialogue tags. You have a general sense of when to drop them entirely, which is great. But you still fall into the trap of using bland tags. Some examples:

 

 

 

>“Yay, I’m all better! Thanks Mama!” she sang cheerfully.

 

“Sang” is actually a great choice here, but the adverb “cheerfully” is entirely superfluous; it doesn’t actually give us anything new that “sang” hasn’t already covered. Drop the adverb.

 

 

 

>“Who… how did know you guys know?” I asked.

 

We know who’s speaking by context, and we know Corrin asked by the question mark. This tag is entirely unnecessary.

 

 

 

>“Big Brother, is this what you feel after every battle?” Sakura inquired.

 

“Inquired” is a fancy way to say “asked,” and like “asked,” doesn’t give us new information. For things like this, give us an action rather than a method of speaking. To tell us it’s Sakura, give us some other hint to Sakura’s mood for this question. Maybe she shuffled her feet. Maybe she cast a worried glance up in Corrin’s direction. Maybe she squeezed Corrin’s hand.

 

 

 

> Kana wasn’t quiet for too long. “Papa, you should go back now. I don’t mind you leaving early as long as you get rest. I don’t want to see you so sad Papa!”

 

This is an example of one of the places where I LIKE your dialogue tag. It does give us information (that Corrin pays attention to Kana even now, that Kana had purposefully shut up for a moment for her father—not just that other people were talking, but that Kana purposefully shut up), and it doesn’t give us unnecessary information. More like this, please.

 

 

 

The second partly stems from the first. Each of Sakura, Takumi, Hinoka, and Ryoma get exactly one line of dialogue with tags that tell us only who’s saying what. This is the main reason why the sudden entrance of Hoshido’s royalty feels very contrived; it seems like each Hoshidan is there for one token line of dialogue just to prove they’re there, and then that’s it. I suggest either expanding this so they have more to do rather than just show up, or limit yourself to one Hoshidan royal, max, who has a larger role.

 

 

 

Then there’s your conflict. Usually, combat happening quickly is a good thing; here, we barely notice it happens before Corrin bluescreens. Your verbs are sort of flimsy: drew, hit, got, tossed… these are weak verbs. If you’re going to describe combat, use strong verbs and be liberal with description; you can make the sentences themselves choppier to signify how quickly action is moving. Especially if, as Corrin says, the act felt like it took hours, don’t write it off as an afterthought in the reader’s mind. Even if it only spans a sentence or two, those sentences should be memorable. (And break that first combat paragraph up a lot more often; the “theme” changes a lot between sentences, from the outlaw’s actions, to getting hurt, to Corrin’s actions, to Corrin’s mindset…)

 

In His Lonely Footsteps

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It’s astounding to me how easily you establish characterization so quickly—through narration especially. This piece is a phenomenal example of how conflict doesn’t have to be resolved in order to close out the arc of a ficlet. Both Samto (great reveal, by the way) and the speaker (whose identity actually isn’t terribly important to the narrative you’ve built for us, but could be Phina, perhaps) will still have a lot of grieving and growing to do once this ends, but at least we know they can.

 

 

 

In general, there isn’t much to complain about here; my advice, then, is to tighten up. Here’s what I mean:

 

 

 

> I was desperate to cry, shout out the name of the man I loved, however once again my body refused to cooperate.

 

 

 

If anything is “wrong” about this sentence, it’s that it’s almost a run-on. Doesn’t seem like much, but there’s a few things you could do to make something decent into something great. First is “however,” which—while similar—doesn’t work like “but.” Words like however, but, yet, except… they might be synonyms, but their connotations are different; use each with precision and not to stand in for each other. Because you’ve used “however” here, the second comma in your sentence seems out of place. You could resolve that by turning it into a semicolon, or replacing “however” with a shorter, more direct, more immediate-feeling conjunction like “but”.

 

 

 

Similarly, the first comma draws attention to a weird sticking point: the clause “shout out the name of the man I loved.” The choice not to say “to cry, to shout out” is definitely a choice, as that might have been the smoothest way to say this—since then the two verbs agree. If you’re not doing that, you might consider setting that clause off on both ends not by commas but by em dashes (—). These serve as interruptions, and when used to border segments of prose, function much like parentheses with strong emphasis (segments bordered by parentheses have weak emphasis; those by commas, neutral, though sometimes that can be ambiguously interpreted like your sentence above).

 

 

 

In microcosm, that one sentence says everything I want to critique about this work. It’s good, but a little tightening could really make it stand out.

 

No Longer Human

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I do really like the distinction Zihark draws with the title drop. What we get here is really crucial to understanding why he seems so laissez-faire until Ike talks to him, and you’ve done a great job giving him the character of a boy thrown into something he thinks he’s ready for and really isn’t—contrasted with the sullen man who doesn’t stick his neck out at all that bookends the flashback. In fact, that’s probably the best title drop I’ve seen in a while, and the best reason for one.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, the “watched Master die” and “watched first [forbidden] love die” tropes are themselves sorta hackneyed, so there needs to be a lot of effort put into making them feel fresh and unexpected—even when we do expect them—in order to make them work. It means you need to be in absolute control of your narrative at all times (or at least make it seem like you are). Forgive the following series of gripes; they add up.

 

 

 

Long, drawn-out, all-caps howls aren’t helping, nor is the Big No. Drop all-caps in general. There’s really no need to extend the vowels in your dialogue for something like these; leave the howl to the narration, and leave Zihark’s cry of denial to maybe some italics—maybe—and some description.

 

 

 

“Tumbling... smashing... cutting...” As Zihark falls down the mountain, these things happen—and yet by the third, the mountain is reduced to a single edge. All the force has suddenly vanished from ZIhark’s fall. Use much more powerful verbs than “cutting” (options include rending, lashing, slashing, lacerating, shearing) or at the very least, structure the three from weakest to strongest.

 

 

 

>It wasn’t the slashes that Moto had taught him, it was the mad plunge of a youth who has witness the fearsome nature of human beings... and dared to defy it.

 

That comma needs to be a semicolon, and “witness” needs to be in the past tense. And has he defied it… or fallen prey to it?

 

>“I can disguise myself Zihark, then you don’t have to do everything alone.”

 

Another comma that needs to be a semicolon, and a space before Zihark’s name where a comma is necessary.

 

>“W-well I didn’t... I mean I didn’t mind...” Zihark stuttered as her gaze came back to his curiously. [remove paragraph break] “I just... would’ve appreciated a little time to get ready.”

 

Zihark’s the only one talking, and there’s a lot of short dialogue here; adding another paragraph break between short lines from one person and only one quick narrative sentence makes it confusing who’s speaking. Also, drop the adverb; if you must describe her gaze as curious, call it a curious gaze.

 

 

 

It’s possible to make the cliché new again and revitalize it, but everything else has to be tight around it; otherwise, your readers are going to notice that it’s a cliché and not the work you’ve done to make it feel new.

 

Pray to the Dark

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I really love the characterization here. Each and every action and reaction is entirely believable, and the flashbacks do lead right up to where we see our characters in Fates as you depict them. Well done. I like how the progression leads from character to character in a series of timeskip snapshot vignettes all tied together by the one common theme of overcoming their unifying trauma. You have a great sense of you writing voice, too; I think the writing actually gets better the further down we read. The first few vignettes have more errors and less focused description than the latter few.

 

 

 

Here’s an example of what I mean: the very first sentence is almost a run-on. It leads somewhere, but doubles back in a way that actually detracts from its impact. The first line of a narrative should be just as punchy as the last.

 

 

 

A few other comments that are simple fixes:

 

 

 

>Some time passed this way, and then Elise had finally decided to take a break;

 

You could condense this sentence by restructuring it. Rather than treating the time passing and Elise’s break as their own events, consider beginning with “When Elise finally decided to take a break to…” or “Elise’s eventual break gave the twins a much-needed chance to…”

 

 

 

>“Corrin, I’m done! Here’s yours!” Elise shouted as she placed a crown of pink flowers on Corrin’s head.

 

We know she shouts by the exclamation points; the dialogue tag itself isn’t really doing anything here. You could skip the tag and just tell us what Elise does, and you’d lose nothing and make this tighter.

 

 

 

>Corrin smiled. “Thanks Elise! Did you make one for yourself too?”

 

Much better. This is an example of where you do that thing I just suggested you do more of.

 

The Kindling of a Flame

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Petrine had always been a complex figure; she’d never really been a sympathetic character so much as a tragic one, though. You’ve changed that. Well done. You’ve taken a plotline we’ve all read before and given it new life in very interesting and yet familiar ways.

 

 

 

There’s a couple tips I can give you for how to improve this, though—one of which is rather controversial, so bear with me.

 

 

 

The less controversial tip is: Don’t describe someone’s appearance just for the sake of telling us what they look like. Why? Because it tells us. It doesn’t show us.

 

 

 

>Natalya looked up from the hunter’s stew as her green-haired, red-eyed daughter set a hunting spear against the wall and began to take a pack off of her back.

 

>The sun hid itself behind the clouds as Alexei, a laguz man with black hair, grey cat ears, and red eyes, finally appeared on the path passing by his dwelling with a long dagger in hand.

 

 

 

We don’t, ultimately, need to know that Petrine has green hair and red eyes in that moment; none of that is important there. She’s not doing anything with her eyes (which would give you an excuse to mention the color) or her hair (which, again, gives you that excuse). The same with Alexei. If you’re trying to convey that her eyes match her father’s, then mention that when it becomes relevant—or perhaps have Natalya think it. Otherwise, it detracts from what’s actually happening.

 

 

 

The second, more controversial, piece of advice I have is: Don’t overuse “said”. No, really; hear me out.

 

 

 

There’s two camps: one which says “Never use said! Use all these other words instead,” and one which says “Ignore all those bigger, clunkier words. Said is best!” I fall into neither camp. To me, each and every word that serves for dialogue tags has a connotative purpose; “blanket” words like said, asked, replied, and the like are no exception. When you know exactly what connotation you want to convey AND that connotation isn’t already conveyed through the dialogue itself, that’s when you use a particular word; otherwise, drop the dialogue tags entirely and show us who’s speaking through some action:

 

 

 

> “Not as good this time,” Petrine said, as she opened the pack and pulled out two wrapped bundles of meat. “Something has the deer spooked.”

 

This becomes

 

> “Not as good this time.” Petrine opened the pack and pulled out two wrapped bundles of meat. “Something has the deer spooked.”

 

 

 

It’s more concise, as there’s no extra words floating around being redundant, and it gets right to what you want to convey. There ARE times when you will want to use “said,” but use it with precision.

 

The Path of Conquest and Dragon Pokemon

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This is almost Douglas Adams level of deadpan snark; it’s that much fun to read, even for someone like me who dropped out of the Pokémon fanbase right around the year 2000. This fic is lightheartedly playful enough to turn a blind eye to minor inconsistencies in character—such as the royals not really recognizing the difference between Corrin and an entirely different dragon Pokémon. In this light, the only thing I can really try to tackle is the narrative structure.

 

 

 

Like many writers at this stage, one of the best pieces of advice I have is to just focus a little on tightening up your prose. There aren’t errors so much as “places where it could still be better,” where you could drop some unnecessary verbiage or clarify an ambiguity, such as the following:

 

 

 

>while Iago squawked about how Corrin obviously couldn’t be trusted and was charging up a spell.

 

 

 

The structure of this clause makes it seem like Iago squawked about two things: that Corrin obviously couldn’t be trusted, and that Corrin was charging up a spell. The immediate next sentence clarifies that it was, in fact, Iago who was charging up a spell, as Iago unleashed it and Salamance dodged… but by changing the tense of the word “charging” from the past perfect to the preterite (from “was charging” to “charged”) to agree with “squawked,” it immediately solves the issue as it’s much clearer that Iago is doing both the squawking and the charging.

 

The Prince of Verdane

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This is just as much a character study as it is a what-if scenario, and boy howdy do you have a way with characterization through dialogue. Even the slight glimpses we get of Olfey and Seliph are packed with characterization—and that’s not to mention Cimbaeth. I almost wanted the entire piece to be told from Cimbaeth’s point of view.

 

 

 

The part that was, though—Cimbaeth’s story—highlights a few things you can do to tighten up this work and make it even better. First and foremost is how you split paragraphs. Remember that a typical paragraph is 3-6 sentences, and not many more lines; whenever the topic shifts, consider a new paragraph. If those new paragraphs are all one person’s dialogue with no action breaks, open a new quotation mark at the beginning—without closing the old one—to remind us that it’s still that same person’s dialogue. When the whole story finishes, you can close the quotation marks. Once you learn when and when not to split up paragraphs, this will all read a lot smoother.

 

 

 

You have the same problem from the opposite angle at the very beginning:

 

 

 

>“King Batur, what has happened to you?!” Sigurd ran into the throne room. It was completely deserted, save for the gravely wounded figure of King Batur of Verdane that was lying on the ground some way from the throne.

 

>“Please… hold on!” Sigurd said as he crouched down next to the King; Prince Jamke followed behind him. “Father!” he called.

 

 

 

Here, you have a broken paragraph between the same speaker, and it doesn’t need to be there. In fact, it gives the illusion that a second person has begun speaking, which is not the case. Where you DO want a new paragraph is for Jamke’s dialogue, since it shouldn’t be in the same paragraph as Sigurd’s.

 

The Value of Refuse

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A very, very different take on Limstella than I’d ever considered, which means I immediately enjoy it for that alone. It’s plausible, too; it provides some backstory angle to three of the most underappreciated characters in the game. In general, this doesn’t have a lot “wrong” with it. It’s fairly streamlined already. It reads almost like a stageplay or screenplay than anything else, and that’s a refreshing difference from the usual prose.

 

 

 

You do use a narrator, though—and that means the Narrator is a character in this stageplay, much the way Limstella and Nergal are. There’s stage directions, such as

 

 

 

>(Renault’s hands shake and he drops his sword. Renault’s boots grasp the floor and he runs. As fast as he can without looking back.)

 

 

 

But there’s also actual narration, which—since you have a Narrator—should logically be theirs to say. See the next line:

 

 

 

> Limstella watched as Renault thrust his sword through the morph. Something strange happened when he did. The morph’s facial muscles twitched.

 

 

 

And yet nowhere but the very beginning do you actually give the Narrator those lines. All of the other characters get their speech directions throughout, but not the Narrator. It’s an easy fix, but it’s still very jarring.

 

Too Much Not Enough

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I absolutely adore the way you handle narration. Each scene is crisp and direct; nothing is out of place. Time moves immediately when it needs to, and slows to a halt when it needs to. Your writing voice outright shines. Your diction and syntax completely support your intentions here *(yes, even the use of ‘said’ for most of the dialogue tags, which ordinarily irks me a lot; the connotations were supportive enough), and it makes for a very enjoyable and immersive read. Well done on that front.

 

 

 

Favorite line:

 

> Hector frowned, his lips tight, his gaze stone-cold. “He sacrificed himself out of devotion to you, Ninian. Don’t waste his gift, or I’ll never forgive you. I’ll never forgive you for taking his life.”

 

This is perhaps the single most in-character line in your entire fic. Which leads me to my only substantial critique:

 

 

 

This is a very odd AU, to me. It felt a little out of character for Eliwood to do what you’ve had him do here, after what he’d been through from his father and Ninian herself earlier. It was hard for me to believe the narrative you were giving me. Sure, I had no real insight into how Eliwood justified the sort of grief that he causes here, knowing that he’s gone through it himself; he’s not our protagonist, and we’re looking through third person limited. But I want something to grasp that tells me “Yes, this is reasonably within Eliwood’s personality to perform,” and I’m not sure I was able to satisfy that need for myself here.

 

 

Oh man. You do me such love with your words, I thank you so kindly. Your feedback gives me so much joy! The sulphur thing, I imagined as the taste of just bad magic reptile breath, haha. I probably should have chosen something with less fire connotations, but I found it appropriately repulsive. I'm always trying to clean up my writing and reduce clutter, so your insight is so much appreciate. I'm just really glad you enjoyed the story!

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Gonna need to run tiebreakers for two categories lol. Will have the threads up in a bit, and we'll leave them open for 3 days.

 

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1 minute ago, Tangerine said:

Not for prize winning positions, we don't have extras :P.

Oh yeah, that makes sense.

Well, now that the voting round has closed ... I wrote the one with the Pokemon. So which four of you voted for mine?

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Tiebreaker threads are up, good luck guys!

Edit: That's curious, it seems you can still vote even when the threads are locked, must be a new default setting on our upgraded forum software. I'll hide them until the voting is over to avoid any shenanigans.

Edited by Tangerine

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That feeling when you voted yourself out of third place (at least based on what the numbers were a few hours ago). I would have deferred the prize anyway had I got it, Cipher doesn't interest me much.

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9 minutes ago, Thane said:

So the winners will be announced after the tiebreakers, right? I'm really curious to see the final results.

Fort the writes I'm quite sure Dragonson came first, Too Much Not Enough came second and Cages came third. Wasn't monitoring the other rounds as much but I think the Nyx statue had a heft lead for most of the voting in misc.

Edited by Jotari

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1 minute ago, Jotari said:

Fort the writes I'm quite sure Dragonson came first, Too Much Not Enough came second and Cages came third. Wasn't monitoring the other rounds as much but I think the Nyx statue had a heft lead for most of the voting in misc.

Neat, thanks. Since the voting time is over, I guess I can reveal that 'twas I who wrote Cages. 

Please imagine that I threw off a dark cloak dramatically. 

Anyway, a big thank you to everyone who voted for it, I'm very happy you enjoyed it!

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17 minutes ago, Thane said:

Neat, thanks. Since the voting time is over, I guess I can reveal that 'twas I who wrote Cages. 

Please imagine that I threw off a dark cloak dramatically. 

Anyway, a big thank you to everyone who voted for it, I'm very happy you enjoyed it!

Don't go quoting me just yet on that. My own story (Hatari Investigations) and Fire Emblem 7 Epic were also in the running for third but I think Cages came out one or two points ahead, regardless it was pretty close, I could have not voted for Cages and voted for my own to force a tie. Dragonson's lead was pretty high from close to the start but Too  Much Not Enough only pulled ahead in the last day or so.

Edited by Jotari

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21 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Don't go quoting me just yet on that. My own story (Hatari Investigations) and Fire Emblem 7 Epic were also in the running for third but I think Cages came out one or two points ahead, regardless it was pretty close, I could have not voted for Cages and voted for my own to force a tie.

Sure, but going by that logic, I could've voted for my own story and I would've been in the lead regardless. However, I voted for A Greater Cause because I liked it the most, and I don't think I would've voted for my own story even if it were the only one in the competition.

I really do appreciate you voting for my story. Even if it turns out I didn't place in the top three, I'm just glad I could write something people found enjoyable.

Edited by Thane

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7 hours ago, SoulWeaver said:

... I'm honestly surprised nobody's called me out on the last paragraph on the last page - it was kind of a last-second cheeky thing of me to do and I expected to get BLASTED for it.

It was cute, and it was self-aware, so I don't think it deserved a blasting from anyone. I hope you can finish building your Roy deck.

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