[23] Undertale Reviews, Part 10


Dark Reprise

“I don’t care.” he sneered.

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part is considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking to themselves, which is confusing to the reader.

“Sneered” also seems like an odd verb to use here, since he seems more angry than mocking. Your speech verbs are weird in general; focus more on what information you’re trying to convey rather than using the fanciest words you can thing of.

“You of all people should know- this human, this foul creature- has murdered my dear cousin… and with it, any hope I could ever have of truly enjoying myself. Now, all I care about is destroying the murderer. You and the others had better make sure to evacuate well ahead of time. I’ll crush the entire Core if I have to.”

This kind of exposition is incredibly stilted and wooden. People don’t spontaneously divulge their entire life stories for no reason. As he points out, Alphys should already know all of this.

attaching defense systems that she had placed throughout the core

You capitalized “core” earlier, but not here. Be consistent.

“…”

This is a visual art convention that doesn’t work in prose.

AnD ThEY’LL DiE… AnD ThEY’LL DiE… AnD ThEY’LL DiE…

This makes no sense. Mettaton doesn’t know about the save power.

f̤̰̙̲͉ͮ̽̂͒ͥ͌ỏ͈̦͓̻͍͇ͮͦ̋ͫͧͪ̀r̈́ ̢͕͚͂ͦ̔ͪ̋ͪt̘̗̣̜̲̱̾̒̅͌̄̐͞ͅh͍̦̞̪͓̯̄̏͊͊̒ͨ́ḛ̜̭͖̈́ͩ̿ͫ̽̏ͅ ̞͈̘̝͖̥̖̅͊ͨ̈́͢Ċ͍̰̹͚ͦͮ̚u͎̩̱͙̭̳̣ͫR̭͖̼ͯͨ̿͞Ṫ̮̻̌͌̈̋̋ͨA̼̖̰̐̔̆̃ͣͨİ͇̗̮̠͙̝N̼̘͔̪̔͆̽͆́̒̈́ ̬̼̖̭̰̤̭͛̅̐̄͢ẗ̙̻̘͉͓͉̘̍ͤ̊̓̔ͬơ̜̞̻̿̂ ̔ͧ͗ͤ͒̋̀f͖̓̽̐̇̉͐Ḁ̬̍̾͊͊͑̈l̥̤̲͚̳̞͓̍ͧ̽ͯ̔̔l̠̟͍̳̣̑̋ .”

This is unreadable. Be careful not to overdo Zalgo text.

it only seemed to stay for a moment before he was on the other side of the room

Who is “he”? Chara? You refer to them with neutral pronouns elsewhere.

The child had stepped onto part of the mechanism connecting Mettaton to the Core. Gunfire and blazing circle saws tore the connection to shreds, leading to a flood of oil and an ungodly cry of pain.

Well, that was incredibly stupid of Alphys. Why did she leave a weak point in such an obvious and vulnerable place?

Defense systems slowly but surely were either hacked off by a plastic knife, sharper than diamond

Chara isn’t literally super-strong. The only reason they’re strong against monsters is because monsters are weakened by killing intent. Physical obstacles should still impede them.

Your sentences get very hard to follow towards the end. I’d recommend you get a beta reader.

Childhood

This is cute. I always assumed “Kid” was their actual name, but it also makes sense as a nickname.

A Will to Survive and a Voice of Reason

This one is actually the middle of a story with a weird chapter format I accidentally stumbled into. I review the rest of it much later. I’d recommend reading it from the start.

Sans pulls the toasted hot dog bun off the grill and lays down a foundation of relish, then two precise squirts of mustard. Satisfied, he picks up the ketchup, points it downward, and starts to squeeze. He moves the bottle back and forth over the length of the bun, making a slow count to five. The other condiments vanish beneath that sea of red. The grill-marked bun stands up to this assault valiantly before slowly soaking through.

This is excellent.

the regular ”dog

Seems like you have an extra ‘ here.

I like the way you’re writing Sans here. A lot of fic portrayals of him rub me the wrong way, either too morose or too silly, but you’ve got a nice balance here. Chara is also good – their thought process is very creepy and alien.

white lies to the dead

They’ve got enough problems already…”

“I miss you, Undyne.

When making multiple paragraphs of dialogue without narrative interruption, there’s never an endquote until the end of the whole passage, so that first endquote shouldn’t be there.

Mettaton’s doing a lot of charity shows, too.

Hm, is this a lie? I thought Mettaton NEO dies in the omnicide route.

This is utterly heartbreaking. It’s often said that it’s the people who are left behind who suffer most from tragedies, and this conveys that wonderfully and painfully. Poor Alphys.

Expectations

There was a person with salt and pepper hair that lives at the base of the mountain.

That should be “lived”, I think. Your tenses are inconsistent in general, which is very jarring and distracting. If you’re doing it on purpose, I can’t tell what that purpose is.

“I cannot tell you what you must face,” They said

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part is considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking to themselves, which is confusing to the reader.

The new glowing red heart… Does not.

When an ellipses doesn’t end a sentence, the following part shouldn’t be capitalized.

Fighting would be easy here but- Toriel had said talking was the key. Talking.

Ah, that’s clever. A shame the game doesn’t take that route.

the Humans

Why is this capitalized?

This is sweet. I’ve seen a lot of fic that casts Frisk as a grizzled stoic, so it’s nice to have a reminder that they can also just be a scared kid who doesn’t always know what to do.

you were waiting, as I dove into the waterfall

Please make a more informative summary. Only giving the reader a vague, abstract summary open to many interpretations is frustrating and manipulative.

“Hey, can I tell you something?” Someone asked

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part is considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking to themselves, which is confusing to the reader.

“I can see that grin on your face, don’t think I don’t! But okay.” First’s laughter sounded like the deep reverberations of bells.

“Where do I start…?” They wondered

You probably shouldn’t make a break here, since without names the paragraph breaks are the only easy way to keep track of who’s speaking.

Your narration is detailed but stilted, making it hard to follow sometimes.

This really doesn’t have anything to do with Undertale. Monsters are mentioned, but never in detail, and the topic is quickly dropped – you could publish this as original fiction without changing anything. I’m not very clear on what the story is about in general; meaningless chatter, while common in real life, doesn’t make for a very engaging story.

Bend A Little

Sans cannot remember resets in canon. If he has perfect recall, this is an AU and should be labeled as such.

But I do appreciate that you’re not capitalizing Sans’ dialogue.

she said soft

“softly”?

You didn’t come from— […] I just knew you’d […] Now he’s got a friend […] Oh, you’re unionized?

You’re generally good about avoiding contractions with Toriel but you slipped up here.

“That’s no problem,” Sans grinned.

Narration that doesn’t contain a speech verb is considered a separate sentence, so there should be a period at the end of the dialogue here.

All of them looked like they had been read a million times; most of them had seven or eight bookmarks poking out; some had handwritten titles on their cracked spines.

The semicolons don’t really work here. A full colon in place of the first and a comma in place of the second would flow much more naturally.

she must have /made/ the recipe

Looks like you forgot to italicize this.

This is really sweet and cute. You do a good job of showing how well they get along.

“The cold doesn’t bother me because I’m so … chill.“
There was her laugh, bursting out shrill and delighted. “Still! I am unintentionally giving you, um. A cold shoulder!

And this is really funny.

Nation Builders

Forming a plan and executing on it

That “on” shouldn’t be there, I don’t think. Though this would also work if you changed “executing” to “acting”.

“I understand, Toriel.” The way that he had to practically choke out that final syllable suggested he didn’t understand, but at least he’d stopped using her pet name.

This pleases me.

That’s correct […] I’m pleased to hear it

You’re generally good at avoiding contractions with Toriel, but you slip up here and a few other places.

I have no doubt that you will have our communications infrastructure connected to theirs in no time at all.”

“We’re depending on you, Alphys.”

When splitting dialogue across multiple paragraphs without interruption, there’s no endquote until the end of the whole thing.

the long-lost Queen

“Queen” isn’t a proper noun here and thus should not be capitalized.

Why she hadn’t figured out exactly why tasking him with that cursed position was a bad idea – hell, why having a Royal Scientist at all was a bad idea – that he couldn’t say.

This kind of thing is incredibly forced and irritating. Sans may insist on the cliché that he can’t tell anyone else, but we’re seeing his thoughts; he should have no reason to keep them from us. If you’re really committed to keeping a dark, looming secret like this, it’s best to not go into the secret-keeper’s POV at all. You’ll have to twist flow and reason into pretzels to maintain the secret, and that’s both incredibly obvious and incredibly jarring to readers.

“Past unpleasantness aside,” And wasn’t that just the most politely-understated description for half of what the Royal Scientist position had ended up responsible for?

When interrupting dialogue with a non-speaking verb, you need to use something other than a comma – a dash would work well here.

“I understand that you’re angry, that you’re scared of what this could mean. But I was there too, Sans. I remember just as clearly as you what happened.”

no, you really don’t. you don’t have to live with all of this – not like I do.

So why doesn’t he just tell her that?

Asgore had always spoken fondly of those particular flowers – of the idea that the people could come and enjoy even a small taste of the surface whenever they liked. Those flowers were a reminder of what they’d had access to once before, and would one day have access to again.

I like this.

While this is decently written, it’s rather dry and plotless. This chapter is pretty long but practically all setup and exposition, which is a quick way to lose your readers’ interest. This could easily be condensed or skipped entirely in parts, with the pertinent information added later – it’s perfectly acceptable to make short asides like “Alphys had been appointed Royal Anthropologist, whose responsibilities included…” in the middle of narration, even once the plot has started.

I’m also not sure what’s going on with the opening scene, since if they just end up going back to the summit it’s pointless. It would probably work better if they did get to the base of the mountain and Toriel did the speech there.

social links

This is really sad and cute and sweet! You write Alphys wonderfully. I especially love them bonding over science puns. I’d never thought about that before, but it makes perfect sense. Science jokes are great.

You lick your claws, too, because what the hell, if he’s going to judge you at this point now he has options.

I also love this. It’s a great blend of the gallows humor, overreaction, and sad self-deprecation that all envelops Alphys.

I mean,” you pause for a second, thoughtful, “I guess it’s kind of sad

But! When you interrupt dialogue with a non-speaking verb, you need to use something other than a comma. [I mean…” You pause for a second, thoughtful. “I guess it’s kind of sad] would probably work here.

Call Home

Please make a more informative summary. Only giving the reader a vague, abstract summary open to many interpretations is frustrating and manipulative.

The hall is deathly quiet as Frisk walks through it the echo of their own soft footsteps

You need a comma after “it” here.

The path ahead was unavoidable now that they’ve come so far, they knew; Sans’ thought-provoking musings still hover in their mind, reminding them of what exactly ‘the end’ entailed, and yet it was only just now hitting them.

That semicolon feels off. The two sentences aren’t closely connected enough, I think; a period would probably serve this passage better.

A pressure builds behind their eyes. They try again, knowing better than to expect ─

Ring. Ring. Ring.

… that warm and gentle voice ─

This is confusing. If I think about it I can see the first line is supposed to connect to the third, but that’s not very clear. You should change the ellipses to a dash to maintain continuity.

You’re also shifting between past and present tense throughout this, which is highly distracting and disorienting.

Otherwise, this is nice. I’m used to fic portraying Frisk as a grizzled stoic, so it’s nice to see them as a vulnerable child too.

Mother Knows Best

Often times the child gained scratches

“Oftentimes”, I think.

One day, Lucy had not returned home.

All Toriel found was a toy knife, thrown in a corner, and a splotch of blood on the floor beside it.

She had felt disgusted.

Asgore.

Hm, so Asgore’s forces can enter the ruins? I got the impression the door kept them out too, unless this is before she set up the door.

He sparred with Vegetoids […] the Loox children

You don’t capitalize monsters’ names elsewhere, but you do here.

Of course, mom!

When a title (such as “mom” or “dad”) is used in place of a name, it’s capitalized like one.

This is nice, though I’m surprised none of the children were evil. Everyone seems to assume the ballerina was a murderer, due to the narration saying her items are dusty.

This actually reminds me of a better fic in this genre that I read toward the beginning, before I decided to start reviewing stuff…

Seven

This is beautiful. You give a lot of detail while still making this feel like a collection of faded memories, and the children have a nice variety of personalities. And the ending is perfect.

Boredom

(or was it still a child?)

This sounds awkward – my mind keeps expecting that “still” to not be there every time I read it. “or was it a child” or “was it still a child” both flow well, but both at once get in the way of each other, I think.

Unexpecting it, you

“Unsuspecting”. Also, who is “you” in this paragraph? Both Chara and Frisk are referred to in third-person elsewhere.

the most fun you’d have

“had”

(After maybe the thousandth time, of course.

This needs a close.

You’re making a lot of little errors and typos; you might want to get a beta reader. Otherwise, this is good.

if one saves a butterfly, has one saved the world?

There is a saying that goes “Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world.”

The saying needs a comma before it, I think.

a Froggit

Species aren’t proper nouns and thus shouldn’t be capitalized. Or have I already told you that…? It’s hard to remember sometimes.

Frisk spares a Froggit. Another Froggit, seeing that they can be peaceful, goes on to ask Frisk to give mercy to the monsters they encounter. Frisk listens, and surely that was the first event that lead to the breaking of the barrier and the escape of the monsters from the underground, and so it can be said: they have saved an entire world.

Ah, clever.

This is sweet. It’s nice to see stories about the common monsters, though you stop pretty early in the list! I suppose it might have gotten repetitive otherwise, though.

Song of Joy

Asgore hums more than he sings.

It’s nothing much. Just a little ditty he knows while he’s out watering his garden. Flowers grow better if you talk to them, and even better if you sing. It’s been scientifically proven, by someone or other.

This is really cute.

Chara-tea

”Heavily featuring soft Chara.” nooo MiniNephthys you were my only hope not you too

“Hey, I wonder what she’d say if we pointed it at the sword?” they ask.

“I don’t want to risk her thinking that humans actually eat swords,” Frisk replies.

This amuses me.

Hm, I wonder what triggered Chara’s withdrawal. Did you have a specific reason in mind, or is it meant to be ambiguous?

Fallen Again

Sans always kept an eye on the kid when they went through the underground;part of him wanted to see if they would manage to get through it without hurting anyone.

Missed a space. Careful; your summary is the first impression people will have of your story, so it’s important to avoid mistakes.

a Shyren

If you place an article in front of something, it’s a common noun and shouldn’t be capitalized. By all accounts, though, Shyren seems to be the monster’s actual name – there’s only one of them, and all the other characters refer to her by name.

the Statue

This definitely shouldn’t be capitalized, though.

Of course, he had never seen a human child before, or interacted with one

This seems unlikely, considering the promise he made to Toriel and the fact he recognizes Frisk as a human on sight. It is theoretically possible he only arrived in the underground after the sixth human died, but this still stuck out to me.

thats […] paps fault

Forgot some apostrophes.

Sans liked Frisk and…maybe…after never seeing the sky, a monster can feel a little suffocated; if any kid could save the Underground, it would be Frisk.

This is a run-on sentence; the semicolon should be a period. Also, doesn’t Sans say he doesn’t actually care about leaving the underground?

All lowercase Sans does not work nearly as well in prose as it does in game.

he gently lay them down

This sentence is in present tense, but the rest of the story is in past.

Mercy

“You visit Flowey.” Sans finished. […] “I ran, that first year.” Frisk said

You’re generally writing dialogue correctly, but you used periods instead of commas here.

Hrm. This ends rather abruptly, even for something that’s trying to be ambiguous. I’m not totally on board with the idea Flowey can only regress – he managed to stay nice for a really long time before, and he seems to genuinely care about peoples’ happiness in the true end stinger. Going from that to saying he’ll always be miserable and can only feel hate seems extreme.

“Sans noticed that Frisk wasn’t completely making eye contact with him, but looking ever so slightly to his left, and a blue, pulsating glow was washing over their face.” Gah, this again. Sans having power incontinence that flares when he’s angry annoys me in a way I can’t quite articulate. I guess because it just doesn’t match up with how it works in canon, but it also tends to overlap with the weepy overemotional fanon Sans that I hate. I’ll have to think about it more.

goldenrod

“They’re just crayons,” Chara says say.

???

No a big deal

Typo.

Chara is still looking at you funny, as though you’re being especially weird today, but you ignore them; it’s not often you get a chance to show Chara something.

I’m not sure if these clauses are related enough to justify a semicolon.

You try to make your voice sound reassuring, the way your mother does when she’s giving you your magic lessons and you’ve messed up but she’s trying to convince you that it’s fine.

This is a nice detail.

This is cute, and I like the ending.

No Strings On Me

All lowercase Sans does not work nearly as well in prose as it does in game.

it’s tongue

You want “its”. “It’s” always means “it is”.

sans slumped forward

Forgot to capitalize “Sans” here.

Oh, of course you do! And if you know about him, then you’ve done this before. Well, not THIS-this, but all the rest of it. You got everyone out. You opened the barrier. You got your happy ending.

How would he know this?

*SAVE*

Shouldn’t that be “load”?

To die would to let Flowey

Dropped a word here.

rattling the skeleton and making him lose his grip on the tiny piece of his own consciousness that he’d been holding desperately on to for a precious moment.

I’m not sure what this is trying to say. It’s very overwrought, which also stalls the flow of the narration.

hissed Flowey

Forgot the period here.

Sans good eye

Forgot the apostrophe.

Flowey overpowers Sans surprisingly easily here. In one of the endings Flowey claims he doesn’t know the full extent of Sans’ powers and that he’s forced him to reset before, which doesn’t make sense if he’s this easy to incapacitate. I thought using the jokes to defeat Flowey was clever, but in the end Flowey is also defeated surprisingly easily; given how negatively he reacted to Frisk knowing about Asriel at first, it’s odd that that’s what makes him give up.

Dancing to the Beat (Of a War Drum)

and they took little pleasure in hearing the villainous laughter coming from the abomination only increase in volume.

This is awkward and overwrought – you’re cramming too much information into a single sentence. It might be a better idea to split this in two.

I ‘ l l s a v e o v e r y o u r d e a t h s o I c a n w a t c h i t o v e r a n d o v e r a g a i n .” Flowey cackled

This just blends together into a mess, which rather dilutes the impact. If you’re going to do this, make sure to preview the final version so you can be sure multiple spaces weren’t stripped.

Also, you’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part is considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking to themselves, which is confusing to the reader.

They were up to their ankles in an ashen dust

This sounds off – “a dust” is usually only used when referring to dust covering something. “Up to their ankles in…” implies the plural form.

which you had once thought

Who is “you”? Did you change the story from second-person to third at some point in development? Proofread.

The worst part was… Flowey was right. Frisk couldn’t keep dodging forever

But… they don’t need to? They just have to keep dodging long enough for the souls to rebel, like they did last time.

there was no guarantee that they would be able to reset after an anomaly like this if they were dead.

Why would they think this? Omega Flowey isn’t any stronger than he is normally, and Frisk can still reset then. If we’re going completely by canon, it’s possible to return to the menu and reset at any point, even during battles, so Frisk should have done that as soon as Flowey started killing people.

Frisk ran like the hounds of hell were on their tail.

When referring to the singular place, “Hell” is capitalized.

there was only a couple ways it could go

“Were.” You make a lot of similar mistakes; you should proofread more thoroughly.

This is too short for a first chapter. Remember that your first chapter is your opportunity to hook your reader – in other words, to show them what makes your story unique and worth reading. While you have a vivid and detailed opening sequence, I still have no idea what the plot is actually going to be about. Cliffhangers don’t always encourage readers to come back – especially if you open with one, they’re more likely to make your readers feel cheated and manipulated.

Old Man

She unbuckled both herself and the plant and hopped out of the car […] He nervously scratched behind his head

These sentences lack punctuation.

You’re sometimes formatting dialogue correctly and sometimes not. In case you’re confused on the rules, dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part is considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking to themselves, which is confusing to the reader.

a ‘Prickly Pear’

As a general rule of thumb, if you place an article in front of something, it’s a common noun and shouldn’t be capitalized.

This is sweet, and a nice pun on “old man”.

Feeding Time.

the True Lab

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re placing an article in front of something, it’s a common noun and shouldn’t be capitalized.

“^*E)#@OEO_)@@(&@!)#*@)” It shrieked.

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part is considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking to themselves, which is confusing to the reader.

The Memoryhead was placated, deciding that that’s how much they’d ask for this time. Next time, they’d ask for some variety in their diet.

So wait, is this third-person omniscient? I thought this story was from Alphys’ perspective.

Even if Memoryheads were they most mentally intact of all the Amalgamates

“The”, and… are they? They seem to have some weird hive mind thing going on. Lemon Bread and So Cold seem more coherent.

Your prose is quite wooden and sterile, robbing the story of a lot of feeling. Most of this is just Alphys mechanically doing things and then the narration telling us how she feels, without any real emotion behind it. This also feels too short for a first chapter – nothing’s really happened yet, so I don’t have a good idea of what the story is going to be about.

6 Comments

  1. illhousen says:
    I think you forgot to close the link tag at the end as the whole last review is a link.

    Hm, would you mind doing a compilation of genuine recs with brief descriptions after you’re done with reviews? It’s not always easy to say which fics there are worth checking from your reviews alone, especially since you’ve chosen to be polite to soft!Chara crowd, and I would be interested in it.

    ”Heavily featuring soft Chara.” nooo MiniNephthys you were my only hope not you too”

    All shall LOVE Chara and despair.

    1. Roarke says:
      Chara needs more LOVE. Please queue up at the dotted line and provide easy access to your neck.
      1. illhousen says:
        Chara’s theme song:
    2. Mini-Farla says:
      Fixed, thanks.

      And that would take effort, so probably not, no. I think my reviews usually make it clear which ones I actually like, though, and I also usually comment on any interesting ideas even if I didn’t like the fic.

      1. illhousen says:
        Shame, I’d have appreciated it. Oh well.

        By the way, I checked out MiniNephthys’ profile. They have a few fics for Uncommon Time, so we know who to blame for Soft Chara stuff of theirs.

  2. Roarke says:
    I guess because it just doesn’t match up with how it works in canon, but it also tends to overlap with the weepy overemotional fanon Sans that I hate. I’ll have to think about it more.

    Yeah, one thing that’s always struck me about Sans is that he has rigid self-control even taking into account the fact that he consciously suppresses his emotions and has depression. The only time he really ‘loses it’ is during his final attack when he starts tossing you around (and if you made it that far, you won the fight, so he’s really at the end of his rope physically and emotionally).

    I think Sans is one of those characters fanon interprets as weepy/emotional because his personality is the type that tends to have a breakdown eventually. So the type of fan who wants to see that breakdown will be left unsatisfied by canon and look for it themselves, and they’ll typically overcompensate.

    My interpretation is that canon Sans has a post-breakdown personality. He kind of gives me the feeling of someone who has put himself back together, more or less, and is resigned to his life as it is. That’s obviously not going to satisfy the people who want to see weepy emotional Sans, though.

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