[30] Undertale Reviews, Part 9


Cool, Kid

Learn to troll properly.

Sunrise

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.

He had heard and saw reports throughout the years of their efforts to make the world “better” and “more loving.” It made him want to vomit.

Uh, why? In the reset stinger he seems to want to be good again. How could he care so deeply about preserving the monsters’ happiness while simultaneously being disgusted at shows of altruism? It’s possible he regressed to rock bottom in the decades since, but it seemed to take him a long time to get to that point initially; he said he tried to be good for a long time before getting bored, remember.

Frisk made it to the top of the hill and walked a little ways ahead of Flowey and sank their tired body against the base of a tree

Repeating “ands” like this is awkward. You need to use different transitions or split this in two.

mom’s house

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

BelowMyth

“Human”, “monster”, “knight”, “sapphire”, “citrine”, and “king” are not proper nouns and thus should not be capitalized.

Sans for once

You need a comma after “Sans”. You’re making a lot of comma mistakes in general; I’d recommend you get a beta reader to help you.

the dreary, almost quiet over the city streets

Dropped a word here.

Papyrus swallowed gently as a woman spotted his peering eyes, and glumly drew her shutters closed. With a nervous swallow

Repeating words from the previous sentence sounds awkward.

“Sans..!” He quipped with nerves

There are three things wrong with this sentence.

One, 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.

Two, ellipses are always three dots, never two or four.

Three, your speech tag is incredibly strained and awkward-sounding. Don’t be afraid to use said; lovely word, won’t bite, usually more fitting than whatever trendy verb you’re using in its place. You may have heard to avoid said because it’s so bland and boring, but that’s actually its greatest strength. Nonstandard speech verbs stick out; they’re used for emphasis, when how something is said is important to the story and you want the reader to stop and take notice. If you use that emphasis for every single line, the reader will become oversaturated, lessening the impact when you actually do want emphasis on a speech tag.

You’re jumping between past and present tense. This is highly distracting and disorienting.

despite it’s calming tone

Its. “It’s” means “it is”.

before she was nearly collided with

This sounds incredibly awkward and is almost impossible to parse. You need to reword this.

robbed figures

“robed”

Sargent

Typo.

a single, strangely furred hand

Monsters don’t leave corpses.

This is an intriguing idea, but your prose is an overwrought mess and I can barely follow what’s going on. Focus on what information you want to convey rather than describing irrelevant details with as many five-dollar words you can think of.

Also, why is this X-rated?

Your Best Friend

themself

Spellcheck tells me this is not a word. You need “themselves”.

the sun rose like the crack of a rifle and flooded the room with gold

That’s a really weird simile. The crack of a rifle is extremely sudden, a sunrise is slow and gradual. Are you trying to say that, from their perspective, the room had shifted from night to day with the suddeness of a rifle shot?

And mom

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

“I’m the champion of the world!”, he’d bellowed.

That comma shouldn’t be there.

Otherwise, this is very good. The meandering, dreamlike narration is confusing in a good way, and Chara feels relateably childlike and creepily alien at the same time.

You’re filled with Affection

You’re shifting between past and present tense. This is very distracting and disorienting.

New speaker means a new paragraph.

I don’t wanna go anywhere, mom

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

“Are you OK?”

It’s written “okay”, four letters. It is not an abbreviation for something else, nor is it pronounced ook, therefore it should never be written as OK, Ok, O.K. or ok.

“Chrysanthemum..?” she paused, “It’s my… favourite.”

First, ellipses are always three dots, never two or four. Secondly, when narration doesn’t have a speech tag, it’s considered its own sentence and needs to be capitalized and punctuated as such.

This is far 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. This is just a single scene, and it ends very abruptly. People shouldn’t still be wondering what your story is going to be about by the end of the first chapter.

[Deleted]

And had been serving as a royal princess ever since you had shattered the barrier, freed the monsters, and allow prosperity and peace rule over the land.

Starting this with “and” seems like an odd choice; the formality of the narration doesn’t fit with the fragmentary style.

They taught you how to tackle these situations quickly, and the burden lighten on your shoulders.

The last part of this doesn’t parse well – “lighten the burden on your shoulders” would work better, maybe.

you wanted to sleepover

In this context, you want “sleep over”, two words. “Sleepover” is the noun.

a small, flower

That comma shouldn’t be there.

Its leaves reaching out to you. Its eyes fully black, with its mouth pulled into a tight grimace.

These are sentence fragments. They need verbs.

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.

You’re shifting between past and present tense. This is very distracting and disorienting.

giving the stare of what it seemed to convey a “Thank You” message

This is awkwardly worded and hard to understand.

What would Sans react to this?

“How would”

You’re making a lot of mistakes in general; this story is very hard to understand. I’d recommend you get a beta reader.

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

“I know he is not Asriel!” You snapped at him, shooting him a death glare. And then your expression soften and looked away, “Sans… dangerous or harmless… he is still the same person…”

So, Frisk knows he’s not the same person, but he is still the same person? This makes no sense.

only to face you directly in his face

Repeating words like this sounds awkward.

“He did say to you he was soulless”, Flowey cuddled under your neck, “He was wrong. Chara’s dark essence clouded his soul like a prison, shutting out any compassion he may feel. They simply fed him with a dark view of the world that they had, influencing his soul into a murdery one. That was why Asriel could not feel any love, and could not understand any of it. This happened when their souls combined, when Asriel resisted the full power to eradicate the humans in the village. He infuriated Chara, who left their Darkness to poison Asriel’s soul, and then turned into… me”.

This makes no sense. Undertale is not a high fantasy story, the metaphysics don’t work that way. Even if this was true, Asriel’s soul left his body when he died. He would have to purposefully take it back, so there wouldn’t be any confusion.

DETERMINATION

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

Literally a choose your own adventure

Linear prose isn’t a very good format for this; at best, it will be difficult to follow, and at worse it will be incoherent. Platforms like StoryNexus and Twine, or even just a play-by-post roleplay, seem better suited for what you want.

This is so riddled with errors it’s borderline incomprehensible. You need a beta reader.

Costuming

“Dude, what if I could make them actually work?” they ask Frisk. “Everybody would envy me for having all these arms all of a sudden!”
[…]
Sans has opted to be a bedsheet ghost, in true lazy fashion. (“Napstablook gave me the go-ahead, so it’s probably not ghost racist.”)
[…]
Undyne’s staying in to give out candy. That hasn’t stopped her from dressing up as a swashbuckler. Her cackle could scare off a real pirate when she says, “Those kids won’t know what hit them!”

“What’s hitting them will be candy, right?” Frisk asks, suddenly worried. “And not literally hitting them, but in the bowl?”

:D

This is adorable and the ending is really sweet.

A What Kind of Play Through?

The blue and purple sweater they had on was warm. . . But not warm enough for snow and cold.

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

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

I’m sans […] now my

Forgot to capitalize these.

Oh, Torial.

Typo.

You’re making a lot of typos and little mistakes. You might want to get a beta reader.

a genocide run

Why would an in-universe perspective use the same terminology as the fandom?

This is a bit 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. This ends very abruptly, and I’m still not sure what the rest of the story will be like.

Chapter 2

themself

Spellcheck tells me this is not a word. You want “themselves”.

candy and class

Typo.

This is sweet.

have you no rebellion in your bones?

I like this. Not a lot of people examine the fact that Sans waits so long, even though that’s an interesting and important detail. I particularly like the note that Papyrus alone isn’t enough to cross the line for him; it always bothers me when people act like Papyrus is the only person he cares about and the only factor in his decision to attack Chara.

Learning Curve

but mom always hated

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

It was Dipper who’d made the suggestion of going up Mt. Ebott

Hm, Gravity Falls reference?

Frisk had once heard that it wasn’t the fall that killed you, it was the part where you hit the ground afterwards.

They disagreed. It wasn’t either of them. Oh, falling had been scary – but in a strange, worrying way, it was also a bit like flying, if you stopped thinking about it. And they’d landed pretty well, considering. Very well. Flowers, it seemed, were good for a soft landing, even if they were still aching all over.

No, it was the flowers that tried to kill you.

This is clever.

a fairy story book

This sounds odd; the usual phrase is “fairytale book”.

a Froggit

As a general rule of thumb, if something is proceeded by an article such as “a”, it’s a common noun and shouldn’t be capitalized.

themself

Spellcheck tells me this is not a word. You want “themselves”.

This is well-written, and I like that you’re keeping a pretty brisk pace, but this is pretty 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. I don’t have a very good idea of what the rest of the story will be like yet.

Chapter 2

there’s the same feeling the air as the graveyard behind the old church

I think you dropped a word here.

Frisk wasn’t nearly as strong as Toriel

Shouldn’t this be in present tense?

This is interesting, though again the chapter is rather short.

Reloading

This poor kid that she had mislead

“Mislead” is the present tense, you need “misled”.

I’ll see you again sometime.’ the message read

The message should end with a comma, since it’s part of the same sentence as “the message read”.

A ghost with only one eye showing from beneath a wisp of stylized ‘hair’ had stopped inside her lab each day, giving her encouragement when she needed it most.

Hm? Didn’t they meet at the human fan club?

his eventual form He

Forgot a period.

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.

This is really nice, and a good way to fill in the gaps in canon. You write Alphys well. I particularly like the detail that she’s the one who summoned all the monsters.

Golden

a flicker of insurmountable greif

“Grief”. Careful; summaries provide the first impression anyone will have of your story, so it’s extra-important to proofread them thoroughly.

a child-with their developing state of mind-is easily

Hyphens have a different meaning than dashes, so this is a bit awkward and hard to read. I’d recommend using double hyphens or full dashes instead.

The flower opens their mouth to speak, “in this world,” they pause

The first sentence doesn’t have a speaking verb as the active verb, so it should end with a period. Furthermore, when you interrupt a sentence of dialogue with a non-speaking verb, you need different punctuation than a comma, either a dash or an ellipses. I would recommend an ellipses here. (It seems you also forgot to capitalize “In”.)

The child pays no mind to this and continues walking to the doorway, a single faint crunch can be heard from under their feet.

This is a comma splice. You need to split this sentence in two or use a different transition. You have a lot of similar mistakes; you might want to get a beta reader to help you with them.

On further examination of their shoes you could see

Who is “you” in this sentence? If it’s meant to be the general you, “one” would probably cause less confusion.

“oh Frisk,” she spoke

“Spoke” is, ironically, not a speech verb, so this has to be reformatted or changed to “said” to be grammatically correct.

Your tense is jumping between past and present seemingly at random, which is disorienting.

to the pie sat directly in front of them

“set”

I….” she trailed off

You have an extra period here.

This is prettily written, but your prose verges on purple in places, making it strenuous to read. irradiated by streams of light intruding through a large hole superior to the land surrounding the golden blossoms seems particularly overwrought, and would be better served by simpler description. I’m having a hard time understanding what’s going on, and the story seems to get increasingly incoherent toward the end. I don’t have a good idea of what this story is about or where it’s going, which generally isn’t the way you want your readers to feel after the first chapter.

Walk into Winter

This is wonderful description. Do you plan to do this for other scenes and areas as well?

How hardy and steadfast they must be.

This confuses me though – who is “they”? Frisk? The rest of the story is in second-person.

sooner or later (you’ll bury your teeth)

it feels like you’re home free instead like of the end of an adventure

You seem to have made a mistake here.

or….

And you’ve got an extra period here.

You’d pretty much follow them to hell

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

This is all wonderfully messed up. I particularly like the lines No, like a sniper looking down a barrel, because everybody plays video games, and Chara’s so much cooler than something everybody does. and even though you’ve maybe been allowed in the place Chara sleeps two or three times at the most, who’s keeping count of it? Definitely not you. (Although the first one does raise the question of what the timeline is – Toriel and Asgore seem to have been sealed in the Middle Ages, so did they wait centuries to have a kid or is Asriel a lot older than he looks?)

Your narration is delightful and so authentically childlike, with all the rambling and catastrophizing. I really like your Chara, too: not a comically over-the-top cliche, but a well-rounded human child who’s still incredibly creepy and off-kilter.

“You’d seriously do anything for me,” they say

HMMM. The cynical part of me wonders if this wasn’t them testing the waters for the buttercup plan. It does seem like a really weird request when, as Asriel points out, there are so many better options.

Overtale: Timelines Never Cease

Terrible things, that will test all of our friends strength, and especially our protagonist.

You forgot the pluralizing apostrophe, and this is a sentence fragment, so it sounds very awkward. Careful; your summary is the first impression people will have of your story, so it’s extra-important to proofread it thoroughly.

the human who had untied once again both humans and monsters

I think you mean “united”.

admiring the scene of where they was from

I don’t understand what this is trying to say.

This is far 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. I currently have no idea what makes this different than any of the other dozen fic with the same premise. This is the sort of thing that should go above your first chapter, not stand on its own.

Chapter 2

“Frisk dearest, it’s time to wake up.”

Toriel never uses contractions in canon. There’s nothing implying she can’t, but it is a little weird to see her using them so casually.

“Morning mom.”

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

it’s residents

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

“Nice to see you again short stuff, though gotta say you look taller than last time.” Undyne 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.

Long strings of pure dialogue look awkward and are best avoided if possible. This is especially true if it’s just light chatter with little actual content, like here. You should practice breaking up these kinds of segments with description of what the characters are doing.

I still don’t have any idea where the plot is going. You should start where your story starts; going through the minutiae of the protagonist’s morning routine is neither interesting nor necessary.

Welcome to the Family Nerissa

“You know, if you distract yourself with other things, it will make the hatching process seem quicker” Alphys quipped

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.

“Quipped” is also a bizarre speech verb to use here, since the line doesn’t seem snarky. “Said” would be fine here.

watching the Fish monster

“Fish” is not a proper noun and therefore should not be capitalized.

It had been a couple of years since coming to the surface, it was quite a rocky start with the humans, luckily Frisk was a great ambassador.

This is a comma splice. You need to split this sentence into multiple parts or use different transitions.

But she didn’t know carrying an egg could be so… Uncomfortable at times

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

Your tenses are all over the place. You need to choose whether you want the story to be in past or present and stick to it; switching around without warning is extremely disorienting.

onto it’s side

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

You’re making a lot of mistakes in general; the story is very difficult to follow in places. I’d recommend getting a beta reader.

Why does Alphys both carry and lay an egg? Both fish and lizards use external fertilization, so there shouldn’t be a significant carrying period. Do monsters not use eggs at all normally and she had to jam an egg into herself with mad science?

COOLSKELETON95: I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS WILL BE THERE TO WITNESS THIS EVENT

skelepun91: bro, check your surroundings ;p

COOLSKELETON95: OH RIGHT, I AM CAUGHT UP ON THE GLORIOUS MOMENT I FORGOT I WAS HERE ALREADY

This is cute.

“All female Monster babies of Alphys’ kind are born with pink colored eyes”

But… Alphys doesn’t have pink eyes in-game, plus this one should be a hybrid unless Alphys self-fertilized. It’s also really weird that only Asgore would know this.

This is a nice idea, but it’s hard to appreciate when the story is borderline unintelligible due to poor grammar.

worth a thousand

Feralphoenix again. This is where Chara’s transformation into tragic oppressed woobie begins, I believe.

“What’s a dee vee dee?” you want to know.

This is cute, but the speech tag sounds awkward – my initial reaction is that it’s a separate thought and should be capitalized, but that doesn’t feel quite right either. This might flow better if it was reworded to something like [that intrigues you, and you want to know:] at the front.

“You should, um,” here the camera jostles a bit

The narration here definitely needs to be a separate sentence, though, since it doesn’t contain a speech verb.

But they told you about getting hit for not smiling right. Getting yelled at, shunned for being too creepy.

Hmm. This feels quite forced. Their smile looks pretty normal in the omnicide ending, so I always imagined their “creepy face” as something they consciously put on. This is a reasonable explanation for why they refuse to do it again in canon, though.

Otherwise, this is nice, particularly Asriel’s behavior and clinginess.

Softcharas are really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren’t they. I was tempted to snark something like “oh no the poor baby was ostracized for being a sociopath, that definitely justifies mass murder” but I chose to be diplomatic. For now.

Salvage

“HUMAN! HAVE YOU BEEN THOROUGHLY PERPLEXED BY MY SUPERIOR PUZZLES?” The tall skeleton cackles.
[…]
“I’m no match for your puzzles, Papyrus,” the words wobble out between her teeth all wrong.

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.

Why does Frisk have to hard reset after dying? Do her saves expire, or something?

stripped sweater

“Striped”. “Stripped” means “bare”.

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

This is an interesting and very depressing concept. I’ve been wondering what would happen if someone died postgame, myself. But I’m still not sure why Frisk can’t use saves and has to go all the way back to the beginning – is there going to be a specific explanation for that, or is it just more dramatic that way?

Chapter 2

“…me?…I’m okay…

Very minor, but the central ellipses here wasn’t autocorrected to the ellipses character. The three periods are noticeably thicker, so they stand out awkwardly.

I love the little Alphys interlude here.

Chapter 3

Your writing style is fine. Writing styles are all about tone, and the choppiness of the narration fits the choppiness of Frisk’s psyche.

It’s weird to see Toriel using contractions, though. She very noticeably does not in canon.

Give it Up

Your sentences feel clunky and disjointed, and you’ve got a lot of run-ons. It’s hard to follow what’s going on. I’d recommend you get a beta reader.

“You’d think by now I’d find this a bit more humerus.” he said
[…]
“WOWIE Sans, you really did show that human not to go about hurting the most popular future royal guard, Papyrus!” he could hear it now

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.

Now it was just him alive along with … who else was there but Asgore left? The flower Papyrus talked to was still around, but was anyone else alive still?

Alphys evacuated New Home. There are still plenty of monsters left.

I do appreciate that you’re capitalizing Sans’ dialogue, though.

Frisk-cicle

and the ball rolling in seconds

I think you dropped a word here.

“Human,” Papyrus starts, and he seems uncertain for just a second before he presses on, “Is it

Minor, but when you interrupt and continue a sentence like this, the second part isn’t capitalized (since it’s part of the same sentence).

“Human!” He booms

And the “he” shouldn’t be capitalized here.

are usually becoming sick

I have no idea what this is trying to say.

Sans approving thumbs up

Forgot the apostrophe here.

Otherwise, this is cute. And I appreciate that you’re capitalizing Sans’ dialogue.

all this gorgeous pretending

(Oh Jesus is this the point where MiniNephthys got eaten by Softchara? They’re using Feral’s all lowercase titling style. Why have you done this to my one light through these dark months, Feral.)

This is great, and the ending bit is sweet. I like that Mettaton is actually against massacring the humans for moral reasons. Most fic portrays him as totally amoral and self-absorbed, but the fact that he’s part of the human fan club implies he should have a more complex view on this issue. I’m a bit surprised he’s so resigned, though; he doesn’t seem the type to give up so easily, and he should have quite a bit of influence.

A Beginning and A Judgment

As they passed through the living room, the chair that was a mirror of Toriel’s waiting for an occupant who had never returned, a pair of Froggits hopped up, as Frisk had known it would.

This sounds awkward – the bit about the chair feels like it’s cramming too much information into the sentence at once. “As Frisk had known it would” is also odd when referring to multiple things – “as Frisk had known they would” makes more sense.

Also, if you’re using monster names as common nouns, they shouldn’t be capitalized, for the same reasons you don’t capitalize human or dragon.

“… somehow, I don’t think Asriel knitted this…”

Huh? Why does Frisk think this?

A small room, familiar, but one of the few differences with Frisk’s memory.

I’m having trouble understanding this. Does it change every timeline?

Frisk had never actually seen the creatures that waited next, save for here. “Final Froggit”, something in their memory told them.

Hm? Frisk encounters final froggits in the Core.

And if I did?” Internally, they tensed. “How did that aging sack of bones outlive me ?”

It seems like you’re using quotes for thoughts too? That’s really hard to follow, since it makes it look like the characters are talking to themselves, and that’s a pretty important distinction here. Italics are obviously a problem for an all-italics scene, but you could probably get away with just dropping the quotes. Different markings, like curly braces, could also work.

I don’t understand why Chara is pretending to be Asriel. Seems like it would be both more productive and more fun for them to act like themselves. The rewind is also weird, since it raises the question of why Asriel can’t undo his death.

one of dad’s attempts at pie-making

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

“It was true when I said it. Ironically, it was when I was finally about to die that I stopped wanting it so badly. I… remembered Asgore’s words, as I was about to let go… and I found that I just couldn’t…”

This doesn’t match up very well with canon. We know Chara’s soul was lost with Asriel’s; the reason they were resurrected was from an outside determination source (Frisk). If determination sustains souls, Chara’s should have stuck around instead of their consciousness only returning upon Frisk’s arrival.

Chara laughed bitterly. “Not a thought in their heads. Living on nothing but the ‘hope’ of killing seven children so they can kill the rest of humanity.”

“And here I thought you liked that plan,” Frisk said simply, and stretched.

…Why isn’t there any followup to this? Frisk’s right, that’s a pretty major change in thought that beckons an explanation. Why does Chara not want to kill humans anymore?

“So you finally made it,” the figure spoke

“Spoke” is, ironically, not a speech verb, so you need to close the dialogue with a period here.

Frisk beamed quietly.

This is nonsense. “Beamed” is a visual description, you can’t do it quietly.

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

Hrm. This is well-written, but I’m having trouble understanding a lot of it. I particularly don’t understand Chara; they seemed pretty nice right up until the end, so what caused them to become so sardonic and murder-happy? Would this make more sense if I read Aftertale?

a rabbit as king of the ghosts

This is sad and sweet. I don’t see why you labeled it T, though; it seems pretty G-rated, even with the looming threat of death.

Hello/How Are You?

Flowey….doesn’t take it well.

Ellipses are always three dots, never two or four.

Second-person doesn’t work very well for stories about a specific, established character. I’d recommend reading this guide to POV styles for further information.

You couldn’t see, but the plant was grinning a twisted grin.

Particularly when you seem to be lapsing into omniscient, which only works in third-person.

(despite, Toriel saying, this would very likely be temporary while she established her own school)

This is very awkwardly worded. Try removing the “Toriel saying” and trying to parse the sentence – it doesn’t make sense. Removing the commas or changing some of the words would make this flow much better.

The constantly-sour flower had grumbled that you could ‘learn from experience, and you were smart enough anyway. Middle school is stupid.

There’s no endquote here.

Underworld

Underground.

“You’ll need to be getting outside soon, my child.” She quietly intoned

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.

Also, Toriel never uses contractions.

“It’s not even light out.” Flowey pointed out, motioning behind him to the window. “I’m not dampering when there’s literally nothing to damper.”

This is funny, though a little forced, since “damper” is officially a noun, not a verb.

But yeah, I guess, have ‘fun’ at school. Fun is in air quotes, by the way.

I also like this – this isn’t the sort of thing that occurs to you in text, but of course he’d have to spell that out. I always find it hilarious when people do that.

Don’t give mom too much trouble

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

(which Alphys had given Frisk as a gift. Frisk found it a bit silly at first, but eventually got into it. Flowey was decidedly neutral.)

Multi-sentence parenthetical asides are extremely awkward and best avoided.

“…I kicked one of them in the shins…” You admitted.

That seems OOC, unless this is a timeline where Frisk killed Flowey the first time. Frisk can only reach the true end by being extraordinarily patient and forgiving; if Frisk couldn’t hurt someone who tried to torture them to death, it’s hard to believe they’d lash out at baseline bullying.

Flowey’s behavior also seems inconsistent. The ending has him display the nice personality we see in the reset stinger, but his behavior in the early bits seems too malicious to just be an act, especially since it upsets Frisk.

34 Comments

  1. illhousen says:
    “Softcharas are really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren’t they.”

    What I don’t quite get is why people latch onto Chara so much instead of Frisk. Frisk is a blank state with a backstory that can be anything. It’s easy to make them a little woobie, easier than Chara. You can even go with murderous woobie if that’s what you dig since it’s easy to say Frisk killed a fuckton of monsters in their first n runs (just not literally everyone they could) and only got the Pacifist end through repetitions once they mellowed out/figured out that violence doesn’t work.

    So why even bother with soft!Chara? Is it just a cool factor? Or some kind of projection I’m missing?

    1. Roarke says:
      I think soft!Chara mostly comes from this desire to have no member of the Undertale cast be a truly irredeemable monster. IIRC every other character has a soft side, sympathetic backstory, chance of redemption, or whatever (except Jerry). Chara doesn’t. Chara kills people. Chara embodies the negative aspects of a gamer’s mindset, but softcharas probably saw the backstory and wanted to salvage the character.
      1. Mini-Farla says:
        I suspect this may be part of it, and maybe that’s what really got it moving… but from what I’ve seen most Softchara stuff stems from Feral, and her motives seem quite a bit less idealistic. She seems to majorly project onto and identify with Chara, because she is kind of a terrible person. Again, see Uncommon Time for more on this.
        1. Roarke says:
          What’s Uncommon Time?
          1. illhousen says:
            An RPGMaker game. The gameplay is very rote, which prevents me from getting into it. Apparently, the main character is protosoftchara.
            1. Roarke says:
              Yeah, I have difficulty with most RPGMaker games for that very reason.
              So how is one a protosoftchara? What even is a softchara, is there consensus on that? I don’t really have a deep understanding of it.
              Reply
              1. illhousen says:
                Well, I didn’t play Uncommon Time more than an hour or so, and there weren’t any batshittery right from the start, so my knowledge is limited to secondhand sources. You’re better off waiting for Mini-Farla’s response.

                As for Soft Chara, there are variations, but the gist of it is whitewashing them and turning them into a perfectly innocent character who can’t be blamed for anything.

                A lot of arguments for this rely on Chara as the narrator theory which postulates that all flavor text you get in the game is told by Chara. From there, people ascribe various traits for them that can’t be derived from direct sources (Chara’s monologue at the end of Genocide route, tapes from the lab, red text) and postulate that in Pacifist route Chara is perfectly sympathetic and likeable, which must mean that in the Genocide route they were corrupted by the player.

              2. Roarke says:
                But the Genocide Route starts in the Ruins. The first red text you get is in Toriel’s house. Chara is onboard with it basically from the start. That’s not a perfect woobie getting corrupted, imo.
              3. Mini-Farla says:
                Nono don’t you see, even THAT was enough to corrupt poor woobie Chara. It’s all the player’s fault! Admit your sin you evil problematic abuser!!!

                You won’t win here. Crazy conspiracy theorists left facts and logic behind a long time ago.

              4. Roarke says:
                But Flowey ONLY mistakes Frisk for Chara because of the Genocide murder spree. Frisk acts like Flowey expects Chara to act, i.e. like an unrepentant mass murderer.
              5. illhousen says:
                Well, obviously that’s because in the Pacifist route Chara is content to hang back and watch over Frisk like a little guardian angel they are while in the Genocide route they feel the need to take control out of your murderous hands, so more of their mannerisms bleed over. That’s what Flowey recognized. Certainly not the callous murders.
              6. Roarke says:
                The red text literally asks “Where are the knives.” The only reason Chara would take over is to make murder more efficient. And indeed, that’s what they do.
              7. illhousen says:
                Ah, but don’t you know that they’re obsessed with knifes because they’re self-harmful/suicidal?

                The dark power of headcannons trumps your puny logic!

              8. Roarke says:
                They used self-harm/suicide as a means to gain the power to murder people.
              9. illhousen says:
                Only because people deserve to be killed for allowing whatever abuse authors insert into Chara’s backstory to happen.

                Really, you’re trying to interrogate it from the wrong perspective, to mangle a quote. Soft Chara is a dogmatic paradigm. Chara being sympathetic is taken for granted, everything else is worked backwards from there. Whatever objections you may raise, there is probably a headcanon explanation for them somewhere.

                And, really, that’s what bothers me the most about it. I can get behind Chara being a deeply messed up kid who did some fucked up things but is not truly beyond redemption. However, soft!Chara proponents insist that no redemption is necessary, Chara is perfectly fine, and it’s everyone else who need to learn to live with them (by dodging knifes, I guess), which is… eh?

              10. Roarke says:
                Only because people deserve to be killed for allowing whatever abuse authors insert into Chara’s backstory to happen.

                Yeah, but this is a game whose very premise is that most people don’t deserve to die and killing is bad no matter who you do it to. If you can play the game and still believe that, then you didn’t even grasp the surface of it.

                However, soft!Chara proponents insist that no redemption is necessary, Chara is perfectly fine, and it’s everyone else who need to learn to live with them

                Yeah, there are a lot of characters like this, especially characters that were actually abused in canon. People see that kind of thing and believe any atrocity the poor woobie does is justified, which is a perversion of the actual truth of what many victims actually need/deserve.

              11. Mini-Farla says:
                Yeah, but this is a game whose very premise is that most people don’t deserve to die and killing is bad no matter who you do it to. If you can play the game and still believe that, then you didn’t even grasp the surface of it.

                Ah, but there’s one key difference: Chara wanted to kill humans. Undertale just tells you that killing monsters is wrong.

                So yes, they completely missed the point. Never underestimate peoples’ ability to take the exact opposite lesson away from stories’ messages.

              12. Roarke says:
                Ah, but there’s one key difference: Chara wanted to kill humans. Undertale just tells you that killing monsters is wrong.

                Nah, I’m pretty sure with Toriel’s verbal smackdown of Asgore in Pacifist that Undertale doesn’t want you to kill humans either. Undyne the Undying’s intro speech, too. That’s just off the top of my head. Asgore himself not actually wanting to kill anybody counts, too. Also Asriel sparing Chara’s villagers at the cost of his life.

                Never underestimate peoples’ ability to take the exact opposite lesson away from stories’ messages.


                At this point, they’re just pitiable.

              13. illhousen says:
                No, no, Asgore was weak because he waited for humans to fall down to him instead of killing the first one, then going to surface and doing the job himself. Asriel’s betrayal (and yes, it’s often called betrayal) resulted in Chara doubledying, which is the worst thing ever and he totally should have killed humans on their behalf.

                Again: Chara being a saint comes first, everything else is worked out backwards. Often it requires twisting game messages and conventional morality into pretzels, but, well, omelette and skulls, you know.

        2. illhousen says:
          Hm, so there is still a clear source? I thought it reached the status of memetic infection by now, like manipulative!Dumbledore or justified!Empire, with people joining the bandwagon without direct contact with its creator.
          1. Mini-Farla says:
            Possibly. I don’t actually know details, and I wouldn’t be surprised if narrachara popped up independently. But Feral is a huge source of it.

            As for Uncommon Time’s connection… this really has to be seen to be believed (I think it’s around part 20 in the LP), but basically, the protagonist (who seems to be Feral’s self-insert) wants to destroy the world, and at one point is affirmed by the narrative for this: she is morally right to do so, all the Good people agree with this, and the only people who think it’s wrong are evil controlling abusive problematic neurotypical scum. The narrative basically gives the protagonist a carte blanche on morality, and takes it to a horrifying conclusion. If this is reflective of Feral’s own outlook… I can see why she might not have seen Chara’s extreme misanthropy as the flaw it was intended to be, and worked backwards from there.

            (It should also be noted that she headcanons Chara as having messed up hands and requiring wrist braces, despite this having absolutely no basis in anything whatsoever. The protagonist of Uncommon Time has the exact same injuries.)

            1. Roarke says:
              and the only people who think it’s wrong are evil controlling abusive problematic neurotypical scum

              I feel like this may be the first time I’ve seen the word “neurotypical” used in such a way that I actually feel like I have to unpack it, so, forgive me if this is insensitive/hurtful to anybody out there, but how is it an insult?

              Reply
              1. actonthat says:
                Never underestimate tumblr’s ability to turn normal states of being into insults! Why consider nuance when it’s so much easier to establish your Innate Betterness over the plebeian masses?
              2. Roarke says:
                So… they’re Hazel from FiOS?
              3. actonthat says:
                I know you’re sort-of joking, but yeah, that’s literally who the book was for.
          2. SpoonyViking says:
            Hold on, unless I’m misunderstanding what “manipulative!Dumbledore” means, Dumbledore IS quite the manipulator. He’s even called out on it by canon characters (although the narrative “proves” them wrong, as usual with Rowling).
            1. illhousen says:
              Yeah, you’re misunderstanding. Manipulative!Dumbledore is… well… it’s easier to show. Here is one of the definite examples of the genre:
              https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6992471/1/Lily-s-Changes
              Reply
              1. SpoonyViking says:
                (sigh)
                Why? Just… …why? Using only what’s written in the books already makes Dumbledore look really bad, there’s no need to invent things on top of it.
              2. illhousen says:
                Oh, the reason is simple: most of the authors in the HP fandom are teenagers. As a consequence, they have no sense of proportion or perspective. Everyone must be either a saint or Satan, there is no middle ground. Dumbledore can’t be a deeply flawed person who means well but doesn’t always do well, he must be a monster from the bowels of Hell out to steal Harry’s money and fame, playing everyone like a fiddle for some ill-defined Greater Good (never mind it was Grindelwald’s catchphrase that Dumbledore rejected) up until Harry has an epic tantrum which utterly demolishes Dumbledore and causes him to wither and die on the spot.

                It doesn’t help that Dumbledore is intended as a parental figure for the protagonist, so the authors project their own frustrations with their parents (and authority figures in general) onto him, exaggerating them in the process.

              3. Socordya says:
                In addition to what Illhousen said, there’s also the problem of the discrepancy between the character JKR meant to write (good but flawed guy) and the one she actually wrote. As you said, a lot of things in the books make him look really bad. From that point, either you admit JKR isn’t exactly the greatest writer ever, or you invent some ulterior motives for the things Dumbledore did who don’t make sense.
                1
              4. SpoonyViking says:
                But isn’t the second one already implicitly confirming the first?
              5. illhousen says:
                Yeah, that’s a contributing factor as well. The problem here is that Dumbledore who has ulterior motives for doing stuff that paints him in a bad light also doesn’t make sense because this stuff is, well, stupid and rather obviously dictated by plot needs rather than logic.

                I find it’s a persistent problem in a lot of fandoms: people overfocus on Watsonian reasons for characters to behave the way they do without examining the work from the Doyalist perspective and thinking about narrative reasons behind various decisions.

                Most likely a contributing factor to soft!Chara stuff as well, come to think of it.

                1
              6. An Author's Pen says:
                In addition, Harry Potter has a weird genre shift that’s particularly noticeable in Dumbledore’s case. Book 1 Dumbledore is a fairy-tale parental figure from the kind of children’s books that feature over-the-top abuse that has no actual consequences. He’s the guy who says “blubber oddment tweak”, and this is normal. When he says he sees socks in the Mirror of Erised, it’s in-character. Book 7 Dumbledore is just not the same character, and I don’t find the two reconcilable. Book 7 Dumbledore was definitely lying about seeing socks, you know?

                Most of the things the fandom gets on Dumbledore for have to do with how he leaves Harry at the Dursley’s despite their horrific treatment of him, and how he doesn’t give out much information. And these are all problems, but they’re also cliches of the genre sub-set Rowling started in. Problem is, they’re not things she deconstructs once she’s decided to write a different story. Instead, she ignores them. And so fandom fills in the gaps in a really annoying way.

                (Sorry for the long comment, the manipul!dumbles stuff annoys me almost as much as the Snape apologism)

              7. illhousen says:
                But Snape is such a Nice Guy!

                Well, at least it’s usually not pureblood supremacy apologia. Silver linings and all that.

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