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  #1    
Old May 24th, 2009 (02:24 PM).
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I'm not looking for a full-out beta, but wanted some feedback on an untitled fic idea I have and on the... unusual formatting I'm using for it. I've got the first couple of scenes below, and wanna see what other people think of it.

Rough concept of the fic: it's a backstory for Cyrus, mainly from ages 10 to 18, with a few scenes from before and a few scenes from after, up to the end of his involvement in Platinum. I'm characterizing him as schizophrenic, and trying to filter his personality, motivations, and actions through that mental disorder in a way that makes sense. For people who don't enjoy spending hours looking up mental disorders like I do: schizophrenia is the disorder where you hear voices and see things that aren't there, not the disorder where you have multiple personalities or the disorder where you have an uncontrollable urge to kill things.

It isn't an angsty fic (although it won't be very cheerful) and it's definitely not a comedy; more than anything, it's a psychological fic, including a bunch of conspiracy theories that may or may not be imaginary.

I'm going to be hopping all around chronology-wise in the fic, but for the time being here are the two scenes that I think will be the first of the fic. It's got some weird formatting which relies on font color, and since there are about a million different background styles on PC and only about half of them would be compatible with this fic, I'm linking these two scenes off of PC.

Warnings: Crude language. F-bombs and s-bombs, pretty much, because headvoices are not known for politeness.

Untitled W.I.P. - Schizophrenic Cyrus

Anybody have any ideas on it?
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  #2    
Old May 24th, 2009 (02:32 PM).
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Sometimes the voices are completely white and I have to highlight them to read them.
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Old May 24th, 2009 (02:37 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Shadow Ralts:
Sometimes the voices are completely white and I have to highlight them to read them.
Yes, that's the point. Most of the quotes, you may have noticed, are really repetitive. Schizophrenic voices, even when the schizophrenic person is trying to ignore them, are almost always in the back of the mind like "white noise"; distracting, but possible to ignore. When the text is too light to read, then the voices are there just so that you know they always are there, but they're not supposed to be read unless they're darker gray. The almost-white voices (and they're never completely white) inside the fic serve more like... decoration than anything else. If you can't read it without highlighting, then you're not supposed to.

It's supposed to be "distracting" in a way, the way that real schizophrenia is distracting to the person that has it, but not so distracting that it's impossible to pay attention to the rest of the fic. Is it too annoying?
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Old May 24th, 2009 (05:34 PM).
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No. It's just that I would of preferred if you told me they weren't supposed to be read in advance.
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Old May 24th, 2009 (07:14 PM).
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I'd kinda hoped that it would be self-evident that they weren't supposed to be read, but if not, I'll mention it in the author's notes.

Thanks for pointing out that it's not clear what's really part of the dialogue and what's just background chatter. That's the kind of feedback I was looking for.
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  #6    
Old May 26th, 2009 (12:46 PM).
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Heeeey! It's you! We talked about this idea before, if I remember correctly. Anyway, good to see you're actually working on it. When I get ideas, I often end up forgetting all about them after a while...

So. Ahem.
I LOVE THE COLOUR EFFECTS ON THE VOICES!!! SERIOUSLY, YOU ARE A GENIUS! I thought it was obvious that they're supposed to be only partially visible and fade from time to time. It's really, really awesome, and I would never have thinked of anything half as genius as that is. It makes me almost hear the voices and capture the essence, that they really are these weird voices in his head not something an actual person says. A really, really, really great idea. I also think it is self-evident that you're not supposed to see it all, but I don't know. Maybe it was because I discussed this with you before, so maybe you really should mention it in your author's notes.

I'm just a bit afraid that the effect will be in vain in some cases. Some of the skins here have dark backgrounds, and that'll make the voices act in reverse, because the darker text is the one not showing. Also, meddling with the colour is forbidden in the rules, but I think an exception is allowed in a case like this, as it really contributes to the story. The ones with dark background will just miss the thing, which is quite sad.

Okay, enough about the AWESOME voice-effect and on to the actual content. The voices were pretty good, they were insane enough but not too insane. At least that's what I think. There was something odd about them, though, but I can't really put my finger on it. Maybe it was in the word choices, I don't really know. You should just read through them as many times as possible and fix everything that sounds a bit off to you, and I think it'll be okay.

Cyrus's thoughts were described in detail, which was good, but I think there could have been more of it. Of course, there will inevitably be more of in a whole fic, but seeing as this is a psychological fic, you can't really go inside his head too much. I would also like to know what Jupiter thinks, since she seems to be pretty important. It's always interesting to know what the people living close to mental cases think. It might be harder, but I think it would be good to know about her as well.

Then, when reading the flashback scene, this occurred to me. Isn't it a bit convenient that Team Galactic only has people with the names of planets in charge? I thought that maybe those names aren't their real names, but like code names they use in Team Galactic. Maybe it's for the coolness, maybe to protect them, but I still think those aren't their real names. I don't know if you like my idea, but wouldn't that be a cool detail to your story? Maybe Jupiter has a real name, and in the flashbacks, Cyrus calls her by that real name. Then, at some point, the reader finds out that Susie was actually Jupiter and Laura was Mars all along! Or, you can let them know it from the beginning. In my opinion, having real names would make them more credible. Unless Cyrus especially wanted people with astronomical names to be his commanders, which is also possible, but doesn't sound as plausible. What do you think? Should they have "real names" in addition to their Galactic names?

All in all, you're doing pretty fine. Just don't let it slip on the angsty side of fiction, because it'll lose heaps of credibility. I'll definitely read the finished fic or any sample pieces you've got to show. Now that my vacation is finally starting, I can even do so without feeling guilty for ditching school work

Well done, ckret!
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  #7    
Old May 26th, 2009 (01:30 PM).
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Wow, thank you for all the comments! :D That really helps a lot.

Quote originally posted by Aurincha:
I LOVE THE COLOUR EFFECTS ON THE VOICES!!! SERIOUSLY, YOU ARE A GENIUS! I thought it was obvious that they're supposed to be only partially visible and fade from time to time. It's really, really awesome, and I would never have thinked of anything half as genius as that is. It makes me almost hear the voices and capture the essence, that they really are these weird voices in his head not something an actual person says. A really, really, really great idea. I also think it is self-evident that you're not supposed to see it all, but I don't know. Maybe it was because I discussed this with you before, so maybe you really should mention it in your author's notes.
Mmkay. Glad it seems like a good idea, but yeah, I'll be sure to mention it in the author's notes, just in case.

Quote originally posted by Aurincha:
I'm just a bit afraid that the effect will be in vain in some cases. Some of the skins here have dark backgrounds, and that'll make the voices act in reverse, because the darker text is the one not showing. Also, meddling with the colour is forbidden in the rules, but I think an exception is allowed in a case like this, as it really contributes to the story. The ones with dark background will just miss the thing, which is quite sad.
Yeah, the colored background problem is the reason I posted the W.I.P. off of PC and just linked to it. When I write the real fic, I think I'm going to do the same thing; either that, or I'm going to have an off-site link for the "real" version, and then on PC itself just use one color. The voices that you're "supposed" to read will be italicized, and the ones you're not supposed to read will just be deleted; it gets the story across but gets rid of a lot of the coolness. Whether or not I do an effect-free version of the fic on PC, I'm still going to provide a link to the fic off of PC so that people can read it in its normal form.

Quote originally posted by Aurincha:
Okay, enough about the AWESOME voice-effect and on to the actual content. The voices were pretty good, they were insane enough but not too insane. At least that's what I think. There was something odd about them, though, but I can't really put my finger on it. Maybe it was in the word choices, I don't really know. You should just read through them as many times as possible and fix everything that sounds a bit off to you, and I think it'll be okay.
Thanks for pointing that out. If you ever manage to put your finger on what struck you as "odd," let me know; it may have been intentional. Otherwise, yep, I'm going to be reading through those voices a lot. Head voices are really, really hard to write.

Quote originally posted by Aurincha:
Cyrus's thoughts were described in detail, which was good, but I think there could have been more of it. Of course, there will inevitably be more of in a whole fic, but seeing as this is a psychological fic, you can't really go inside his head too much. I would also like to know what Jupiter thinks, since she seems to be pretty important. It's always interesting to know what the people living close to mental cases think. It might be harder, but I think it would be good to know about her as well.
Oh, there's going to be a LOT about the Cyrus's thoughts, more than in these first two scenes. By the time he's all grown up he's come up with an extremely grandiose, extremely inaccurate (by our standards) worldview, but I didn't want to reveal everything that he'd come up with in the first scene--which was difficult to do, since he's 27 in the first scene. I'll see whether or not I can cram more stuff about Cyrus's thoughts in the second scene, but really, the whole fic is going to be about the world as filtered through Cyrus's thoughts.

Quote originally posted by Aurincha:
Then, when reading the flashback scene, this occurred to me. Isn't it a bit convenient that Team Galactic only has people with the names of planets in charge? I thought that maybe those names aren't their real names, but like code names they use in Team Galactic. Maybe it's for the coolness, maybe to protect them, but I still think those aren't their real names. I don't know if you like my idea, but wouldn't that be a cool detail to your story? Maybe Jupiter has a real name, and in the flashbacks, Cyrus calls her by that real name. Then, at some point, the reader finds out that Susie was actually Jupiter and Laura was Mars all along! Or, you can let them know it from the beginning. In my opinion, having real names would make them more credible. Unless Cyrus especially wanted people with astronomical names to be his commanders, which is also possible, but doesn't sound as plausible. What do you think? Should they have "real names" in addition to their Galactic names?
Funny you should mention that! I've already got that part planned out. Jupiter's name really is Jupiter and her hair really is purple, but Mars and Saturn are going by aliases. Jupiter was the first to join up with Cyrus in his grand Team Galactic scheme. A few years later this redhead girl named Marissa joins the team, dyes her hair even redder and shortens her name to Mars. And after that they meet this boy called, of all things, Jerricko (he rather hates his parents for not at least spelling his name a normal way), Jupiter and Mars tease him that if he wants to join the group he needs to dye his hair and come up with a planet nickname, and so he dyes it blue and goes by Saturn. Charon, meanwhile, is an old scientist named Mr. Charman, who picked up the nickname Charon because he kinda creeps people out.

Quote originally posted by Aurincha:
All in all, you're doing pretty fine. Just don't let it slip on the angsty side of fiction, because it'll lose heaps of credibility. I'll definitely read the finished fic or any sample pieces you've got to show. Now that my vacation is finally starting, I can even do so without feeling guilty for ditching school work

Well done, ckret!
Thank you very much, and I can't wait to reach vacation myself. XD
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