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Master Commentary and Critique Thread

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Master Commentary and Critique Thread Empty Master Commentary and Critique Thread

Post  Kira Kohaku Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:51 pm

So, as of the past month, stories have been flying around. The forum seems to be filled with antsy story-writers just itching to tell their various crazy, insane, and absurd stories.

Now, I would personally prefer to keep the thread for my own story purely to post the story itself and I get the feelings that others would want the same for their own. As such, I have created a sort of master critique thread so that all of the critiques can go on one unified place. After all, we learn to overcome our deficiencies both by learning from our own results and learning by observing others.

At the same time, feel free to point out things that you liked. As an author, I do enjoy when people notice things about my writing that I subtly weave in or just compliment me in general.

Now, for a bit of organization, I'd like to suggest a format that we use. That way, things don't go too disorganized. As an example, I shall make a short critique of my own work as a template.

Story: Project Deva (title tentative)
Chapter/Part: Prelude-Her Stopped Time
Author: HakuHaku
Criticism: Something I noticed while reading your prelude was the fact that you did not even mention Alice's name until the very end of it. Now, this can turn out to be a very risky move in writing stories. The Opening scene should draw the reader in somehow and keep them interested. Now, it seems you were trying to separate the reader from Alice at the beginning to draw in the scenery of a ruined and abandoned world. In that case, you have something that could create an evocative image.

Here is where the problem arises, though. Your prelude could take it much farther. The concept of distancing oneself from the main character to take in the scenery first can work really well, but your main issue is that you could be far more evocative. Take the time to let the scenery melt in and spend more time showing, rather than telling. If you can do that, you'll have a solid hook.

And separate each critique with headers. If you need to refer between critiques, feel free to do so. If you want to critique the whole rather than a part, feel free to do so. Just try to keep it organized.
Kira Kohaku
Kira Kohaku
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Location : Nagatenjouki Academy, Academy City

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Master Commentary and Critique Thread Empty Re: Master Commentary and Critique Thread

Post  Himegami Aisa Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:25 pm

Story: A Certain Series Fanfiction
Chapter/Part: Prologue
Author: Alex
Criticism: Mostly grammar and phrasing, by the individuals request for those who might give me a weird look or several for releasing my inner grammer nazi.

  • As the city's name suggest, 'suggest' needs to be in the present-progressive form, 'suggests'.
  • Academy city is also a home for a population of 2.3 million, with roughly 80% of them being primarily students; in other words. Espers. I understand you were going for a stylistic sort of thing here, but the break in the sentence at the end is just too abrupt. It feels stuttery.
  • But only 60% of the student population can even show the ability to use any power; with this number getting smaller as you climb higher in the Esper ranks. For 'any power', that sounds somewhat awkward without an article (a, the). I'd change that to 'to use a power' or 'to to use an ability'. Alternatively, if you wish to keep the 'any', you could substitute the article with something like 'sort' or 'some'. 'any sort of power' would be the most natural, in my opinion.
  • has reached in AcademyCity. Self-explanatory.
  • Level Fives hold tremendous power, far above, yet equipped with similar capabilities compared to the other Espers. From 'far above' and after, the entire sentence feels weird. The structure could use some fixing. You're trying to convey the information that the power of Level Fives is great and far above that of other espers, but at the same time still the same kind of power, but the way you get it across is jittery. I'd rephrase it as something along the lines of "Level Fives hold tremendous power far above, though in essence the same, what other espers have." I changed the conjunction from 'yet' to 'though', because you seemed to be trying to get a meaning similar to 'however', where you give a fact but then present an exception or other caveat. 'Yet' gives more of negative impression, whereas 'though' is somewhat gentler, feeling more like it just gives extra information. The clause 'though in essence the same' is basically a sentence within a sentence, enclosed in commas. That method lets you give more information without having to haphazardly stuff the information into the sentence with more conjunctions. I actually learned the name for this structure in English class last year, but I can't remember what it was...
  • Only seven Espers have ever achieved this rank out of the entire student population, showing just how difficult it is to attain this power and also being the best example of the power gap between other levels an Esper can reach. Both 'an esper can reach' and the 'other' in 'other levels' are extraneous information. They don't serve to expand the information the sentence gives, they don't have any stylistic purpose or sound cool. They make the sentence feel 'lumpy'. Additionally, 'and also being' is a somewhat clumsy conjunction, especially for your purpose. You're trying to say 'and it also is', using a conjunction to form a compound sentence and saying that it's also something else in addition to what you'd already stated it to be. Stripped of its lumps and with what i think would be a better-fitting conjunction, it'd be something like "Only seven espers have ever achieved this rank out of the entire student population, showing just how difficult it is to obtain this power as well as demonstrating the gap between it and the other levels." For the conjunction, 'as well as' served the same purpose as 'and also being', with that one set phrase serving the same purpose as two of the words you'd originally stringed together (specifically, 'and' and 'also'). You added 'being' there as the verb, but that verb didn't really fit what you were trying to say. So after swapping out 'and also' for 'as well as', I swapped out 'being' for 'demonstrating', which I think got across your meaning better.
  • Also, since the Power Development Program is a part of Academy City's curriculum, they also are honour students showing exceptional skills and astonishing calculating abilities. That should be 'they are also'. The verb comes first. Additionally, using 'also' twice in such a short time feels repetitive. One of them should be replaced with something else.
  • One could say, that they define the idea of being a super-human. The comma is unnecessary and makes the sentence feel jittery.
  • But what happens, when a Level Five is pushed beyond, to the rumoured Level Six? The first comma is unnecessary.
  • With Accelerator being the most known example in recent history, but there was also Mikoto Misaka who was forced into a level six shift. In 'with Accelerator being', both 'with' and 'being' are unnecessary. A simple "Accelerator is" would be better.
  • It had happened during the last Daihaiseisai when Mikoto Misaka forced into the second incarnation of the Level Six Shift. "had happened" is a bit redundant. It seems like the only purpose 'had' has in that sentence is to establish the past tense, but 'happened' already does that by just being /in/ past tense. It isn't grammatically incorrect, per se, but it feels kind of bad.
  • It had involved the use of the Mikasa network and had overwhelmed her free will. Exactly the same as above, only twice in one sentence. Incidentally, if you see yourself using the same sentence structure over and over again like that, unless you're trying for a stylistic technique like a tricolon or something, it'd be good to change things up some.
  • But thanks to interference from Kamijou Touma and the 7th ranked level five the project was halted, and Mikoto Misaka survived the incident bringing an end to the second incarnation of the level six shift. You've been capitalizing 'Level Five' as a proper noun up to here, so make sure you stay consistent. Also, you wrote Touma's name in the eastern order and Mikoto's in the western, so make sure to stay consistent with that, too.
  • But there was a third one who came before Mikoto Misaka and even Accelerator. 'one' is unnecessary and ill-fitting. Scrap it or swap it something else. If you want to swap it, then for example, "But there was a third individual" or "But there was a third esper" would sound better.
  • One could say that he was the one who proved that Level Six was possible to attain, and that was because he was the only one actually to reach it. 'possible to attain' could be replaced with something else to make it much more concise. Namely, 'attainable'. As Shakespeare said, 'brevity is the soul of wit.' If you can say something in less words, you generally should. Additionally, the second half of the sentence seems like a bit much. Rather than as a compound sentence, it might sound better to split it off into a sentence of its own.
  • But most information and knowledge of this individual had been wiped from Academy City. With 'But most information', you should probably add an article to 'information'. "But most of the information".
  • This boy, who was forgotten by a city was the mysterious Sixth-ranked Level Five. For once, you actually didn't use /enough/ commas. "This boy, who was forgotten by the city," would sound better. It's the same structure I used back in my critique of the "Level Fives hold tremendous power" sentence.
  • And this is his story Punctuation is important.

Aside from that, I don't really have anything else to say. In your prologue you're mostly explaining the setting, so there's not especially much for me to comment on. ...So, enjoy my wall of grammar nazi propaganda!


Himegami Aisa
Himegami Aisa
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Master Commentary and Critique Thread Empty Re: Master Commentary and Critique Thread

Post  Sir Alexander Beathen Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:44 pm

Story:6-6-6-6-6 Then End
Chapter/part: Prolouge
Author: Ivaman
Critisim: It wasn't very long so not much to say other than it had gripped my attention very quickly. It was like well the feel of it felt familiar, I've been on this ride before but this one in a different shade of colour. If you understand what I just said there.

I blame the feeling of familiarity on anime plots.

Story: Project Deva
Chapter/part: Prologue
Author: Kkohaku
Critisim: I'll be writing this as I go since it's a bit long and I'm on my phone at work. Basically to start up with you don't actually elabroate if this is Earth or not. You made the reader assume that or something else which is great. It's getting the reader to build up the scene with a little push from you.

I also enjoy your use of environmental description there is a nice balance to it and flows pretty decently. I feel you can improve much more on this aspect, but it just takes time get it right and not many can ever get it right. So there is no shame if you can't get there.

I do feel suspense when reading this thinking something bad is going to happen to the girl and that because the environment feels to quiet. Meaning the background isn't lively but maybe that's the point it is a post apocalypse. No deathclaw about here lol.

Oh god she used the key and found a spiral stair case, I'm waiting for a hockey mask wearing madman to chop her up now.

Huh the ending is not what I expected. Sure I remained hooked and got an ending I didn't predict. That's very good in my eyes and yet I now get a Noragami/Fate feeling. If that's a good thing depends how you go from here. It's just given me an idea of your setting.

Story:Lunar Souls Gaze at the Sun
Chapter/part: Prologue
Author: Jack
Critisim:Again I'll be writing this as I read your piece.

"Nothing, everything and never"

Bright black shadows. How does that work exactly? Ah so they're unique and act like a virus. And it verses a dragons treasure trove of light. Why am I getting black and white alarm bells.
There seems to bit to much description for the light thing and it made me wanted it to hurry up. The same with the shadow bit also it feels a bit dragged and could flow better then this I imagine.

Hmm this battle between light and darkness is some sort of
Symbolism. If I'm right than that's pretty nice.

You do seem to use words that are out there and something I do t think the average reader will understand. It greatly rejects the average reader when you use words that aren't common.

Waa I felt confused by the ending and while it was interesting, like the use of certain words it feels rather out there. Maybe I'm too much of an idiot to understand but this is an honest response to what you wrote. I'm curious to where this goes from here though, it makes me want to learn more about this setting.

And Beijing, I'll be honest I didn't expect an earth based setting.
You got me there.

But to describe it all this feels convoluted. I'll read this again later to be sure when I'm not at work.

EDIT: For further explanation, I think your start isn't really friendly or rather inviting to new readers. Basically, again it feels a bit convoluted far too soon and it really doesn't feel natural. I mean you're hitting us with something concerning beings of mass powers almost immediately? Maybe I'm reading this wrong and this is some incredible writing representing symbolism of its finest level. But I think introducing the goddess should come a bit later, leading into them as they're probably something far complex then the normal joe in your story.

It's just me, so I guess take my words as a grain of salt.
Sir Alexander Beathen
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Master Commentary and Critique Thread Empty Re: Master Commentary and Critique Thread

Post  Oda Taichi Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:59 pm

Story: Project Deva
Chapter/part: Chapter 1
Author: KKohaku

Act 1
Hmm, never really been sure about dialogue starting a new chapter. I wouldn't suggest it at least despite being guilty of it. I've found that it's better to set the scene first then straight into talking, especially with it being a new chapter and it has been a month since the Prologue.

Alice is a dick to God. (Kali)

Wait a month ago? Errrmh I see forgot about that OK. Reread the Prologue, up to date again.

Two sides of the coin. Huh here comes the cryptic talk.

God is a dick to Alice.

Alice isn't a true cynic.

So all Pantheons ever conceived exists, that's an awful lot of contradictions right there if that is true. Not for what you wrote, just that a lot of God's contradict each other and all I can say that there needs to be staff layoffs in the Pantheons staff roster.

And Noragamai vibes are strong with this one.

Yep very strong Noragamai vibes and confirmed.

This doesn't mean it's bad since it's really clear the two stories are different. But the core idea seems to be rather similar, but with notable different concepts and start points. If that makes sense, probably not.

God continues to be a dick to Alice, I'm with her this God isn't explaining this in the correct order and that makes my OCD side mad.

God calls Alice rude for interrupting, while she is right, it seems God doesn't understand the irony that she is also rude to poor Alice.

God is a dick to hungry people.

Act II

I noticed the return of the same descriptive prowess from the prologue, haven't got into the meat of this act yet. But I feel a bit of rearranging is so that this food piece serves better between before the first dialogue in Act 1. Maybe that's just me, but you obviously have the final call.

Kali is giving me vibes from a certain other anime god character, but it's fun to read Kali's actions so far, and I hope this continue.

Kali or just God is still a dick.

Alice reminds the readers that despite this banter back and forth, the world is fuck, and she is a little girl suffering.

Kali admits she needs to work on her explaining prowess, and I would agree on regarding the same world, yet two different worlds explaining paragraph. Maybe a bit more word play is needed if this is information dump moment, make it seem more friendly and not give me at least... same world, but two different worlds... Wait what? Moment. Minor grip but you asked for my view.

Kali totally punched a building at some time.

So basically, we've been a dick to God world and caused a lot of trouble there which bounced back to ours, causing disasters and this bounce back to their world which basically caused a snowballing effect which eventually lead to the current crises? That is what I gathered here and so basically we're all paying for religious warfare.

God dammit.

Sudden scene jump, but divided by acts so that alright then.

Wait has this jump back in the past? bold choice especially in the middle of a chapter here and actually maybe a bad idea. I may have to think on this but there is doubts on mind if this is actually the case here. Now to actually read further here lol.

OK so it is happening.

Great descriptive prowess again and the tension could be improved but it works really well here. But again I feel the choice of sharing this event, still well done in this way and suddenly isn't the correct choice. I can't fully give you an answer to this without reading the entire story. Since it's like a piece of a puzzle and I felt you solved this one a bit too quickly. It would've been better to allow the reader to imagine exactly what happened a bit more.

Allow the mystery grip us a bit more and with this you risk damaging the pull of the overall story.

A flashback from Alice in the moment? Still something that could be left for later, but time will tell here.

And that will be it for now, I'll post again for the next three acts or more tomorrow.
Oda Taichi
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Master Commentary and Critique Thread Empty Re: Master Commentary and Critique Thread

Post  Himegami Aisa Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:10 am

Story: Project Deva
Chapter/Part: Chapter 1
Author: Koha
Criticism: So, at the beginning, the dialogue is quite iffy. It just doesn't really sound natural; that's now how people actually speak. Later on, it gets better, but I'd suggest you go back and iron that stuff out. Also, when Alice meets Kali, it feels like she accepts everything far too easily. She's surviving on her own in a post-apocalyptic world, she's shortly afterwards proven to extremely wary of strangers, she was apparently nearly raped not long ago, and so on, yet she nearly instantly trusts Kali with almost no wariness. Even if Kali's supernatural abilities drew her eye, and even if her explanations are an extremely potent lure, there still seems to be too much of a gap there. The surprise of meeting a god: there should be a path from shock to acceptance, but Alice leaps from the starting point to the goal in a single leap. That's not superhuman ability, that's just poor CG. And the same goes for the wariness of meeting an unfamiliar soul in the wasteland that the world has apparently become.

And moving on to the next scene, I quite liked the conflict between Bridgette and Alice. You went straight into an action scene, giving the story a sense of momentum. And from what you revealed of their personalities, you've certainly grasped my interest. A young child who rejects what she perceives as the hypocritical tyranny of adults. Normally that would simply be the indignant cries of an inexperienced child, but in a world where society has crumbled and she carries the power of a god in one hand, they gain a new weight. And that smile from Alice's flashback... Alice and Kali's relationship did a bit too much of a Hassou Tobi in this part as well, but all in all, it's not like there's any issues that'll break the spine of the story, all that I can find can be fixed easily enough if you decide they're worth fixing, and you've definitely won my interest. You did a nice job overall, Koha.


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