End of Month Reviews

Had to do one by obligation (two, actually, but they never did get back to me about what I was supposed to review) so I figured I’d do a few others to round things out. Next time, it’ll be back to Homestuck.

Unity

[Black was the most popular kid in kindergarten. Maybe it was because his family was so rich and powerful, but whatever the reason why, he didn’t care. Everywhere he went, people waved and said hi, even the first and second and third graders. ]

This really isn’t how little kids work. A rich kid used to seeing everyone defer to his family would likely be much more assertive because he sees it as just natural and pulls the rest of the kids along through that, and the teacher might give him special treatment, but other little kids are unlikely to understand and care that he’s rich, in large part because they don’t really understand that.

[Black was the youngest member in the group of popular kids, and because of this, he figured he had authority over all the other kindergarteners.]

There wouldn’t be a single group of popular kids. The elementary kids are mostly stuck within their individual class, then with others of their grade more often than with everyone. This is even more true for kindergarteners, since schools usually keep them completely separate from the rest of the kids since they’re the youngest and not used to school yet. Even assuming the school’s failing at something so basic, having bigger kids on his side during lunch and recess isn’t going to protect him during his normal class time, which is most of the day – some kids might be nice in the hopes he wouldn’t target them later, but others are going to jump at the chance to get revenge when he’s away from the bigger bullies, especially when he doesn’t seem to care who he targets so why bother sucking up to him?

[Black and all his friends were all well-liked and admired by the whole school. The teachers adored them. But they weren’t as sweet and innocent as the grown-ups believed.]

Yeah, no. If he steals someone’s desert every lunch, the other kids are all going to say he did it, and even if they’re too scared at the time, they’re going to go home and cry to their parents about it. Their parents are going to say that yes, they sent their kid in with dessert, and what sort of incompetent teacher is walking off while the little kids eat and leaving six year olds completely unsupervised, able to guzzle white-out and thumbtacks as they will?

Also, Black has no social skills whatsoever here, so he wouldn’t fool any teacher.

[Black had never talked to her before, like the rest of his fellow classmates. Honestly, he didn’t even know her name. He deemed her unworthy of his precious attention, like most other kids in his class.]

Kindergarten classes tend to be pretty social. You’re introduced to other kids repeatedly, you have little free time blocks inside the class where everyone plays, you’re broken into groups to do activities… And getting back to the adored by teacher thing, no, the teacher’s going to think there’s something really wrong with a student who refuses to so much as speak to any other kid in the class.

Also, no, a kid who will not interact with anyone is not the most popular kid in the class.

[ She tumbled backward, tripped over her chair, and hit the floor hard. She went sprawling onto the hard, cold floor, face-first.

And everyone laughed. Especially Black. He grabbed the fallen cookie from the ground and sneered at her. Around him, kids were roaring with laughter.]

Nope.

All of this reads like you’re writing middle schoolers. Kindergarteners are not left to their own devices, they run crying to adults all the time, they do not usually passively give up their candy because someone orders them to, and they don’t find it hilarious to see some other kid get hurt, especially when the one doing it is someone they’re already scared of. It’s more likely one of the other kids would start crying just seeing all this happen, because if he hurt White, maybe he’s going to hurt the rest of them next.

(Really, the only thing that middle schoolers wouldn’t be so impressed with is eating a fallen cookie, and honestly, most kindergarteners know better there as well, even if they’re pretty tempted personally. He’d be the one getting jeered at for popping something from the floor in his mouth. Little kids love enforcing rules.)

And god, are they loud little criers. If Bianca’s screaming at him for what he did while White’s still on the floor, the inexplicably gone teacher or any other adult within a half mile has heard it and is certainly going to be rushing in to deal with this. And then what – he’s smeared with chocolate and cookie crumbs, White’s visibly hurt, Bianca will back up White’s version of events, the rest of the class will back up White’s version of events, calling the parents will back up White’s version of events…

Etc, etc. Black is ridiculous, a weird caricature of bullies that doesn’t make sense for his age or his situation, the way everyone else acts is nonsense, and his methods are absurd. It’s like you had no concept of his character at all beyond that he should be a bullying jerk, so you just threw everything you could think of into one big lump with no thought as to how any of it would actually work.

I reviewed the first chapter of this for NaRe. No idea why they wanted me to review more.

Five Times Sburb Almost Broke Sakura Kyouko (And One Time She Helped Break It) Ch1

My, Mami is painfully orange.

And hmmmmm so she’s either lying about what the game’s going to do or similarly confused about things the way Sollux was.

And nice to see Kyouko trying to be genre-savvy. Hopefully it’ll work better here than it did the first time.

Ch2

That went from depressing to cute to horrifying in impressive speed.

Ch3

“Because it’s all right for me to accept help from you,” Sayaka says venomously, “but not the other way around!”

Sayaka’s breakdown is great here – it seems like Kyouko has derailed her suicide mission for the moment and then nope just kicked her into the next level of craziness.

Ch4

anarchistCook [AC] responded to memo.

AC: I’m not dead yet.

anarchistCook [AC] ceased responding to memo.

CF: I wish she wouldn’t do that. I feel like I never get to just talk to her anymore (‘^’*)

MM: am i the only one who thinks she’s actually gotten weirder?

MM: i wouldn’t have believed it was possible if you’d told me two months ago

TE: It was a concise report.

Hilarious. Blackly so, but still. And poor Mami trying to keep everything under control.

I like Poseidon and the boss battle was great.

“You’re so cool! If you can do that, you definitely don’t need a sprite anymore.”

You are really mining so much creepiness out of the sprites!

When you come back up, Akemi is gone. You know that was a doomed time clone, so you guess you’re glad she left before she kicked the bucket. You’ve seen more than enough death already.

And everything else, really.

Ch5

Void magic. That has to be one of Sayaka’s fraymotifs. Her element is cold, dark, absolute emptiness, the antithesis of light and warmth. Leave it to her to use it for fighting fires.

Really, everything about this chapter is great, but I really love how heroic Sayaka’s being throughout. She’s so great when she’s not martyr-suiciding over how terrible she is! And they got to share first corpse-kisses, awww.

Ch6

::::D Best end! Happier than the anime, even, and it all came together wonderfully.

The Adventure of the Child-Eating Tree

Quite cute, and I like your ideas about how a haunted pine tree would work.

Buy The Stars

This is awesome. The Rubbery Men stuff was fascinating – lots of good explanations with enough lingering questions to keep things mysterious and give a sense there’s still more to it. You write the devils well too, with the whole alluring friendliness/scary burning hot monster dichotomy, and I like your main character’s balance of self-servingness and decency. And the plot unfolded beautifully. (Why so mean to the pets, though?)

4 Comments

  1. Rowen says:
    Did you read far-future Madoka fanfic “To the stars”? It has excellent worldbuilding, in my opinion, with bureaucracy, demography and such in great detail. It is huge, though.



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    1. Farla says:
      I’ve not – I haven’t read much Madoka stuff at all, really. Have a link?



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      1. Rowen says:
        Here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7406866/1/To-the-Stars
        And here is the author’s tumblr, with some useful stuff in sidebar: http://ttshieronym.tumblr.com/



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