Day 1 Reviews (6)

Six reviews, one Pokemon and five Homestuck.


Before we begin properly, an obligated review. I run a review exchange over on FFN, and this was a request.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7310386/1/Stone_Silence

This seems overwrought. You have a landslide blocking the cave entrance, but Meteor Falls, like the rest of the caves in the game, doesn’t have a single entrance. You have it taking a year to clear, but there are pokemon that can lift mountains. And however badly people might take the death, I find it stretches my belief to think everything would grind to a halt, all the major trainers would be in mourning, the elite four refusing to take any challenges for a year… This can’t be the first time a major trainer died, or something happened to the league champion.

And the twist at the end is somewhat unexpected, but seems incredibly dickish considering the story revolves around how everyone is completely destroyed by his death. If the story had focused on more varied reactions or shown people getting over it as well, it would probably have worked better.

There’s also a lot of minor errors – Hoen should be Hoenn, [“Ghosts don’t leave.” Pheobe murmurs, shivering in her light attire. ] and [“Class dismissed.” she says.] should be a comma rather than a period, [“Gone. Hiding from his grief”] needs a period, [“He told me all about Solrocks and Lunatones and he never got angry when I asked to many questions. I should have kept it mommy!” ] pokemon species shouldn’t be capitalized and “mommy” should, [“Do you miss him?” He asks the empty house.] shouldn’t have “he” capitalized.

In addition, I’d suggest arranging things differently. You often have a line of dialogue and a line of narration as separate paragraphs, which can get confusing to read because it’s not immediately clear if the narration belongs to the same person speaking.

And now, to Homestuck! Since I got interesting results last time I thought to check, I’m going to also be keeping track of characters like I did with FFN, and what POV the story’s in.

http://archiveofourown.org/works/139551 Dress Rehearsal Rag (Crowbar)

So, you used to always write dialogue with periods, and now you seem to have flipped to all commas, all the time. Commas (and not capitalizing the first letter of the following narration) are for when the dialogue is still part of the sentence, connected with a speech verb, and periods are for when they’re two different sentences.

and see if father has finally returned

Anytime you’re using father as a name, they’re capitalized. Same for mother.

I really love the setting of this – it’s very close to our own, so it’s easily recognizable, but there are enough small touches of how they’re different that it still feels distinct. It gets across that they’re still regular people even if they’re green and start off with tails. That said, I’d also love it if you wrote more stuff where the fact they’re frog people was more in the forefront. (And I’d like to know more about what their tadpole stage is like.)

I’m curious about the Two Lovers story. When it first comes up at the beginning, I thought it was happening on their own planet, but then the characters start talking about aliens. So is it set on a different planet, with the talk of swamps and alligators because it’s what they’re familiar with? Is the story supposed to be true to some degree (but then how would they know about it?) or are stories supposed to be just making things up for fun and Cra just really, really liked the idea? The way it’s presented I had the impression this was an old traditional tale, and those are usually supposedly true or at least have some basis. (Overhearing the trolls complaining about problems on another world?) Or is alien kids supposed to mean she met someone else on her travels and the resulting kids are half alien? I just could never quite figure out what the story was intended to be to them, even if it’s clear what the point is for this story.

Does Kvak ever go through with the penpal thing?

Scratch’s offer is interesting. I read what you said about other Felt’s reasons for leaving, and they generally didn’t have much of anything else, while Cra does still have a few ties. Does he just vanish right then when he accepts, or does he have time to leave a note? It seems like it’d be nice to say something before dropping off the face of the planet, regardless of if it’s just saying he’s leaving instead of that he was murdered in the night or some long insane sounding ramble about aliens and fuck you dad I’m going to another world.

http://archiveofourown.org/works/140230 Voyeur (Jack(Bro/Davesprite))

Dersians or Prospits 

I can understand the way you declined the first, but the second is pretty awful. Even just matching Dersian with Prospian would have looked a lot better.

You do a pretty good job at drawing out the moment here, but your prose gets a bit purple at times even for this. And a number of your sentences seem to have gone off weirdly. Well… his fierce black joy was dampened somewhat by that which is duly fascinating. for example, I’m not quite sure what you’re saying here. The way it’s drawn out is perfectly fitting, and I like your look into Jack’s head, but I think it could be smoother.

Though he would never admit it to anyone else, he decides that it would take a greater abomination than he to truly revel in the intricacies of a dying human. 

And this seems a weird finish. I could accept that he’s unsettled, but this seems more like it’s going for some strange sort of nobility. I could see him respecting a foe, but not just generally feeling bad about the deaths of anyone else.

The bit with Davesprite is wonderfully done, though.

http://archiveofourown.org/works/142415 Low Place Like Home (The Felt)

I love all of these. The detail of the first two is particularly great, and I like Fin’s just because yes, fucking horses and their fucking faces (and I’m curious – does he succeed and get the money but blow through it on more gambling, or fail and end up in even more trouble?), Die continues to be the creepy outlier with his tarot cards and drama while the other guys are all about just doing the job, Matchsticks is such a cheery arsonist, and Cans the most educatedest boxer. (Though I wonder why he’s so invested in the honesty of a match.)

http://archiveofourown.org/works/142417 Roses (Boxcars (Snowman))

Colossally depressing. You do a wonderful job with all the tiny details of this, and another wonderful job making the relationship make sense for both of them as well and seem so perfectly in character that it feels obvious, and yet so colossally depressing. There should be rules about depressing fic not being allowed to be written well enough to tempt people into rereading it.

Somehow the ending is all the worse for being enforced. From how Doc Scratch talks, it’s not even that what happened soured things enough to ruin the relationship, which feels like it’d have at least been a sort of closure.

http://archiveofourown.org/works/142572 Queen Takes Jack (Jack, Black Queen)

This is a very good portrayal of kismesissitude, but for the actual characters, it feels badly unbalanced. So Jack is ugly and her underling, but he’s “easily smarter than she is”, and she’s called insane and a sadist as well. Neither is she really in control, “They call her the Mad Queen, and she is kept out of battle, for the most part, and her ire at this takes on bizarre forms”, she’s above Jack on the rungs but clearly not actually on top and able to make decisions for herself. So all she has in her favor is that she’s hot, and Jack has everything in his favor but that. This puts all the blame for everything on her and throws in a number of extras that either have no basis in canon or contradict what we know.

My, the Archive isn’t handling things well. Probably better to be doing this now than later, though, since I expect it’s going to keep getting worse from here on. We’re still months from Yuletide.) Neither am I going particularly fast – at this rate, I won’t make it through to the end of the carapace fic. I’m estimating at least 200, which will take 7 a day. And some of these are long fics.


As to our count, we have as POV characters:
Crowbar
Jack
The Felt
Boxcars
Jack, Black Queen


Considering that we’re starting with a major gender imbalance, unlike with the main cast, this seems reasonable so far. Let’s see where it goes!

7 Comments

  1. Laura says:
    Have you, by any chance, figured out a way around AO3’s “2000 works per fandom” limit? It’s driving me absolutely insane that some of the lovely Homestuck fic might be lost to the depths of their counterintuitively organized archive. I’m tempted to just go through and bookmark them all, but AO3’s server load makes that pretty much impossible.

    …It occurs to me that one way to do it would be to add separate standardized Homestuck tags to all of the works, like Homestuck- 1, Homestuck- 2, and Homestuck- 3. That way when you clicked on one of them you’d have roughly a third of all of the fic total. But in order for that to work you’d need to get all of the authors on board, and I doubt all of them still even use AO3, and then there’s orphaned works, and I’m not even sure how the anonymous fic posting works.

    The first 1000 works posted are permanently safe, though, so if I were going to go through bookmarking everything I’d probably start with the first ones after those.

    AO3 sure is buggy!

    1. Farla says:
      Technically it seems like we can get around it by using the search feature to search a particular date range. But that seems quite messy and it doesn’t seem to want to give me the stories in properly dated order.

      My own workaround was I just saved the pages for a few hundred of the middle ones that are about to vanish.

      And your workaround would never work because it’d have to be done by the archive staff to be done properly and adding tags to a person’s story is against the site religion. I’m not even kidding. It’d actually be a pretty elegant solution otherwise.

  2. Ember says:
    “Queen Takes Jack” has the dubious distinction of being the shortest fic I can never bring myself to read all the way through.  Between the purple prose, the weird uncomfortable bit about carapaces being programmed with sexual urges but not built with sexual organs, and the frankly ridiculous assertion that Jack is smarter than the Queen, my brain just shuts down every time I try.
    1. Farla says:
      The barbie doll anatomy was pretty widespread fanon for a bit, so I can sort of see why that might have happened, and I think/hope that it was supposed to come off as weird and messed up.

      As much as I hate it, I didn’t want to say that a fic can’t say Jack is smarter, because we don’t absolutely know for sure…and then it started going on about how also she’s a horrible sadist who’s evil and basically Jack’s better in every single way.

  3. Ember says:
    “At the time, it was my interpretation of Jack Noir’s previous
    personality that managed to remain unchanged from the transformations.
    Not nobility insomuch as an inability to be so completely monstrous as
    to genuinely love watching anything die.”

    That… But… How do you decide that that is Jack Noir’s previous personality?  Jack is all about watching things die.

    1. Farla says:
      I think he’s the same one as was running that formspring Jack, and if not, in the same fanon circle.

      As to how, first you find some leather pants…

      1. Ember says:
        They’re not the same person.  For one, they have completely different styles.  For another, that person was called LED on the forums, and I’m pretty sure Sionnan called themself Sionnan on the forums as well.

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