The Thinking Man's Guide to Destroying the World
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February 5th, 2011, 05:20 PM
Mizan de la Plume Kuro
Bass, Bass Everywhere!
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Airstrip One, Oceania
Well hello there, a magnificent story you’ve got going here, and I am really not surprised that you have a distinct lack of reviews in relation to your quality of writing. PC’s frequent FF community’s not incredibly active until prompted into action, and a majority of commenters who give praise to works either know the author or just happen to stumble into the plot and get enthralled by the writing style. If I were to categorize myself, I’d fall into the latter, but that’s neither here nor there. What’s important currently is that we get on to the review to get you some well deserved praise and or a critical view of your work.
But first, a note on a certain other post born of my pedantic nature.
The Thinking Man's Guide to Destroying the World
Kester Ruby has one of the worst days of his life, with the result that he is stuck - along with a Rotom who doesn't believe in the fourth wall and the insufferably arrogant Sapphire Birch - in the centre of a bizarre tangle of gang warfare, evil corporations and one man's grand scheme to destroy the planet.
Comedy, Parody, Adventure
Degree of Completion:
It isn’t entirely accurate to classify your piece as a parody. A parody, if you recall, is a piece of work created to satirise the subject-matter at hand by an occasional use of comedic or ironic imitation. Your work for one, while comedic, does not really satirise anything. To call it a parody of the Pokémon series would be inaccurate because the underlying plot of the story does not make and satirical jabs at the series in question. I admit that while you do mock the very idea of the Trainer-Pokémon relationship, this isn’t an integral part of the plot and Kester’s reluctance to be captive is really a natural reaction.
Anyway, I just thought I’d get that off my chest before we start.
First section: Quote-based Critique.
The P-L.O.T. Device whined loudly and gave off a shower of sparks; its operator recoiled in shock and motioned desperately for someone to get the patient out of it. Hurriedly, a couple of nurses tugged at the gurney, pulling it free from the Device’s clamps with a rough crunch of breaking plastic.
One of the most overused clichés with regards to electrical machinery is the spark and breakdown malfunction. A cliché that persists in cartoons (anime) and writing to this day because movies back in the day needed an easy way to show that something was broken to non-tech&engineering savvy people. In reality, a machine will only spark that way if it short-circuits and, even then, the sparks won’t be as dramatic. The fuse will give way first, naturally. Still, I guess you could argue that Rotom being an electric ghost in the machine could have bypassed the fuse and overheated the machine. Even so, the mental image I get when reading, what with the sparking machines, is a bit jarring.
Unfortunately for the patient, however, the orange light was of vital importance; in fact, it was going to be the biggest thing in his life for quite some time to come.
I opened my eyes and blinked groggily; I tried to sit up but someone pushed me back down.
Generally, switching between two POVs isn’t a good idea for authors to use as it’s seen as an incredibly unorthodox manoeuvre. If I’m not mistaken, it could almost be taken as a taboo in some circles, seeing as how rarely it’s done, and in chapters (not alternating) too! What most authors usually do with rotating perspectives is to switch between two characters, but never between two perspectives unless the third person just happens to be someone telling a story. My advice to you: either stick with one perspective or make the third person POV into Rotom’s first person POV. However, seeing as the story seems to be more flexible currently, I’ll let it slide. You know, of course, –and this is for the benefit of anyone reading reviews—that creativity has no set rules and whatever works, which --in this case-- works incredibly well, goes.
I was speaking to a doctor, who was standing next to the bed I was lying on.
No need for a comma there.
It was one of those things where you think it’s important, but when you think about it, it turns out not to be important... Puck tailed off.
Have I told you how much I love your humour? No? Well then there.
Team Magma and Team Aqua; there hadn’t been a more famous set of rivals since the Montagues and the Capulets. Two crime syndicates, both alike in aspect, both calling themselves Hoenn’s Mafia, locked in a never-ending battle for supremacy over the nation’s underworld; their agents were spread over the region, scattered into fighting units in every town and every city. From the knife-fights in the treetops of Fortree to the shootouts in the depths of Lilycove, not a week went by without news of another skirmish, another clash between the two Teams’ forces. Neither was large enough to eradicate the other, and so the fighting wore on, little, indecisive victories won – the Magmas won this street, the Aquas won that dock – that didn’t really take anything away from the other Team. Their gang war had been raging on for fifty years, and showed no signs of letting up; the current underworld situation had developed against the backdrop of the fight, and now you could pretty much be certain that almost every crook in Hoenn supported, directly or indirectly, either the Magmas or the Aquas. The worst of it was that everyone in the country knew all about it, and the government did nothing: the Teams were essentially large armies, and the gang war might just become a civil one if they were interfered with.
Ah yes, a mistake most people fail to realise is that Team Magma, Team Aqua, Team Galactic, and Team Plasma are not criminal syndicates per-se like Team Rocket. All the aforementioned Teams, Team Rocket notwithstanding, all work for a supposed greater cause but use unorthodox methods that disrupt the natural balance, thus portraying them as villains. They do not do petty crime like Team Rocket. In this case, Magma and Aqua are both something akin to eco-warriors with their own goals.
It’ll be like Home Alone, only without
I accept your references to Doyle, a timeless classic, as somewhat understandable seeing as the thing is from England and all, despite being a Pokémon. But don’t you think Puck referencing a contemporary (as far as contemporary goes) movie is going a bit too far?
“He has the Carvanha,” the Aqua girl added by way of explanation.
“What do you have?” asked Sapphire, evidently seeing possibilities open up.
“A shotgun,” replied the Aqua, pulling one out from behind her back.
This is easily by far the best exchange of words between two characters in a piece of fanfiction I have ever read. Kudos.
staring at his hands with all the fervour of Lady Macbeth, he did not see
“My name is Usher,” he told us, holding out a wide hand for us to shake, “Usher House.”
In that respect, it was rather like a chocolate factory.
How well read are you really? As a fellow connoisseur of the English literary scene, I find your constant references to literature particularly delightful. I may have missed out some other jokes, but the ones that I have found bring a smile to my face.
We stood to one side of the fanciest lobby I’d ever seen; a richly-patterned carpet cloaked the floor in a thick, shaggy veil of red and gold; Corinthian columns of white Pentelic marble (such as you would find at the base of some of the columns at the Pantheon) made a ribcage of the walls, and a splendid example of fake lierne quadripartite vaulting executed in moulded plaster turned the ceiling into a veritable work of art. Even the desk was carved from a beautiful piece of solid Imperial Porphyry.
Kester! cried Puck. Stop stealing my descriptions! You don’t even know anything about architecture.
I was going to jump in with something about the extent of your character’s vocabulary, but you got me there first. Nicely done.
Second section: Critique on the story in general.
I have to say that I’ve been wanting to read your works for a while now and, quite truthfully, I’m blown away. Your comedic prose is excellent, I can only assume that you’re doing something English-related for you’re A-Levels, your characterization is superb, and your general plot is amazing. The only minor annoyance I have with your story is that you keep alternating between a first and third person perspective, but we’ve discussed that so I won’t repeat myself. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to reading more from you.
i c t i o
"Break his heart, Estella. Break
his heart..." - Cutlerine
a n f i c t i o
The Promise I Made to You
SWC 2012 Second Place
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