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Old January 13th, 2005 (01:16 AM). Edited March 6th, 2005 by Frostweaver.
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"What is a good fanfic" has always been a frequent question within this forum. Sometimes people wonder what sets apart a fanfic from the rest that makes them a "Fanfic of the Week" story. So I've decided to do a complete analysis of my personal favorite story in PC, in order to show just why does this fanfic deserve such high praise along with why is this fanfic classified as a "good" one. (Also, it's the first fanfic to win the Standard of Excellence award from me.)

As well on a side note, now you know exactly how I mark a fanfic. ;p Perhaps this can teach people how to read fanfics a little bit too.

Fanfic Analysis Currently Featuring:
Reflections, LilyPichu
-study of title
-study of how motifs can enhance a story
-study of setting's influence on theme
-study of characterization
-study of theme/s

Trial of Reluctance, Meitantei Isaac <coming soon>
-study of tone
-study of characterization
-study of support characters/minor characters' contribution to the story
-study of coherence in multiple plotlines
-study of theme/s



Reflections, Lilypichu- Complete Analysis
-we'll go paragraph by paragraph to analysis the living daylight out of this fanfic to see just what is so good about it.

Before the analysis begins, always check where the writer resides. Knowing that Lilypichu lives in US, be sure to readjust your mind to the standard of USA english (so friends in england/australia will have to change their mindset a bit.)

Quote originally posted by title:
Reflections


Before the fanfic starts, a good reviewer should pause to think about the title. The title got no sign of title characters so we can set that worry aside. Reflections suggest thoughts and metacognition (meaning to think about thinking), or a character looking back on a past event (which means that the story maybe written in past narrative form then.) If the story doesn't turn out to show these 2 traits, then the title is most likely an ineffective title because it doesn't show the ideas of the story. However, this oneshot does talk about thoughts so the title is good. Also, the title reveals a little about the theme, yet hardly anything about the plot (it's not explicit at all), so this title is considered a good title.

Quote originally posted by 1st paragraph:
"What is your name?"
A rather effective opening as a question creates mystery, and brings the reader to read on forward. Shows the setting of a dialogue as well.

Quote originally posted by 2nd paragraph:
The words escaped the shiny coating of lips smoothly, having a nice carefree touch to it. Hannah gave off her best smile, the rim of her speckled glasses lowering before her warm mahogany eyes. The peaceful light gently painted across the beige carpet, and shined a brilliant golden color upon her neatly tied honey colored hair.
A set of character description at work. Not only are there physical descriptions, but this shows us a bit about Hannah as well. Look at the choice of diction of the name. Hannah means "graceful and favorable." The name has already implicily foreshadowed what is to come as the story progresses, and what Hannah is truly like deep inside... Other warm descriptions of her actions along with the setting create support for this claim, creating coherence in the story.

The action of looking at something/someone with his/her glasses lowered is often a symbol of analysing, and such people who often have to analysis things are doctors, police or psychologists, and etc. Before the story even tells us her profession, we've already learned what her possible professions are.

Quote originally posted by 2nd paragraph, continue:
But twenty three year old Hannah did not try to pay attention on her surroundings, but to the scrawny boy in front of her.
Good fanfics aren't flawless. Here a sentence starts off with "but" and that isn't too good of a start. "But" is used at the start of this compound sentence two times, which means that this turns out to be a run-on sentence as well. This is a slight grammatical flaw, which isn't very fatal though. The sentence structure can be reworded slightly here.

The boy is already casted in a negative light. The setting is described with "golden light" earlier in the paragraph, yet the usage of "but" suggests how the boy is to the opposite of the surrounding. The boy is most likely the antagonist of the story. However, keep in mind that the narrative is based on Hannah. Narrations can always be wrong... Keep this image in mind that the boy is to the opposite of the narrator's description of the surroundings.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 3:
He was the queerest little kid she had ever seen. His scrunched up ebony hair ruffled in and out like the breeze, eyes glinting amber as they reflected the sunlight. Unlike her peach complexion, this boy had a darker skin tone, as if tanned. His expression was eccentric as well. Wide curious eyes merely stared right back at her, but his mouth was still formed in the obdurate line. Hannah sighed, crossing her legs over while scribbling down on the clipboard.
It's Diction-Goddess at work here... so much to say.

"Queerest," "eccentric" and "obdurate" all suggest the fact that Hannah and the boy are the opposite to one another. They cannot understand each other at all. Sighing then crossing one's leg is the body movement to express boredom as well. "Scribbling down on the clipboard" is also a rather boring tone of voice, which matches the suggestion of boredom. This is as if Hannah is acting only due to responsibility, which she heavily dislikes if we remember that the author suggested how Hannah is "carefree."

The boy's description furthers the character foil (meaning differences between characters) with Hannah. While Hannah relies on the light being casted on her (from paragraph 2), the boy has the light within himself. The outdoor nature is described as the surrounding for Hannah, while the outdoor nature is described to be in the boy instead. Notice the contrast in how the author is comparing the two characters' differences with similar items.

1st time the motif of scribbling down something on paper appears... yet nothing has been answered, and Hannah is already writing things. Rather questionable...

Quote originally posted by paragraph 4:
The boy merely kept that same blank expression. His gaze faltered over to the wide window taking up the whole wall space. Sunlight poured in, giving the dreary room at least some compassion. He wished he could go outside and play, maybe kickball or baseball. Because of the fact he had to be patient, he could not of course. A low sigh barely came out as he sent one last wistful gaze before coming back to reality.
The window is often a symbol of looking out, or a way for one to see. The outside world is shown in its full glory, making the setting (which is the indoor) more antagonistic. The setting is further described as dull, similiar to Hannah's opinion about what she is doing. Whatever is going on, we know that it's hated by everyone. It's safe to assume that the outside world is a paradise, as it is suggested as a dream and not a "reality." This really starts the possibility of a theme about urbanization.

Another secret hint has been dropped about how the ending will turn out. Compassion is given from the outside world to the inside. Remember what/who is described with similiar ideas of being compassionate...?

Quote originally posted by 5th paragraph:
Let me ask this again, Hannah said, she said those words carefully. She smiled widely; skin smoothing out, her glittering lipstick stretching until it seems they were scattered out. What is your name? There, simple enough. Surely the kid wasnt as dumb as she had thought? Her words and her speech had been deliberate and slow, easy to understand.
The tone suggests frustration already... some further support of how Hannah's description is really far apart of the boy's description which is associated with nature.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 6:
My name is Ash. He said quietly after a moments hesitation, casting his eyes on the ground. The fine dandruffs of the thick maroon carpet swished in and out. It was like the grasses dancing, but there was no wind here, no freedom. He wanted to be the wind, he wanted to help them movebut oh if only he didnt dream of the impossible! Or perhaps it was the inevitable, he thought, now concentrating his attention to the beige wall.
The indoor setting is further emphasized as a terrible place to be. It is described as no freedom, while the grass (in the outside world) represents freedom here. The wall and the floor are all beige color, as if every part of the room are identical. Everything points toward to be similiar to a prison.

Also, it's the second time in the story which Ash is associated with the wind along with freedom already.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 7-9:
Ash. Thats a nice name for a kid, She started with a simple compliment. He said nothing.

How old are you, Ash? She tried asking again, returning a forlorn smile.

Im He started in that same small voice again, so tiny with his figure. Really, it was terribly frustrating when he fidgeted in that awkward angle like that. She clicked her pen, receiving a peculiar gaze from Ash. He really must comb his hair, and at least clean his nails too. Good heavens, was that a bruise on his cheeks?
More frustrating tone in narration. This tone will continue on for awile... just that this time even the narration declares out that this tone is meant to sound frustrated.

Ash has a messy appearance, unlike Hannah again who has lipsticks on with her skin described as beautiful. However, it's further contrast between natural and the unnatural. We also see that Ash is also equally observative, as he looked up to see what she is going to write on the click of a pen.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 10:
Im seven. He finally adverted his gaze from the window long enough to answer, as Hannah scribbled down some more notes on the flimsy sheet of paper clinging onto the clipboard. She sighed, but kept a forced smile on her face which was supposed to look sweet and caring.
2nd appearance of the motif is right here. However, the questionable topic of what Hannah is writing remains. (keep this thought in mind for now)

The idea of the unnatural being a false face (known as lying) continues on, being one of the many themes in this work. Her smile is a terribly unnatural one.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 11 and 12:
So your teacher has been telling me youve been fighting again. Hannah started casually, switching her position to get a better view of the boy. He shifted uncomfortably, avoiding eye contact. Good, she had hit a nerve. Now they were getting somewhere.

He started it first. He muttered under his breath meekly, feebly rubbing over the same white cloth of his t-shirt again and again out of pure torment trying to avoid Hannahs steely gaze. Feet swung about as the woman sighed, shaking her head. He was so difficult to manage, but what could she expect? He was only in second grade, although she wouldve expected much more of him despite his maturity age.
Ash, often associated with the idea of dreams and freedom, is rather surrounded by Hannah who represents the unnatural and imprisoning. Suddenly, we find the roles of the "good guy"/"bad guy" flipped around. The narration is based on the "bad guy" actually. The use of "steely" here further shows how Hannah/the urban world is rather imprisoning all that is inside.

A small irony is here at the end of paragraph 12. Ash is in fact pretty observant, and for a 7 yr old boy, he knows how to protect himself by diverting his eyes to avoid eye contact. Ash is actually acting more mature than his age. This is also the first of waves to come as Hannah being the one who fails to see what is happening (which is another irony in itself considering what she is suppose to be doing due to her profession.)

Quote originally posted by paragraph 13:
The sunlight was ceasing, indicating it was around noon so far. The distant sound of kids screaming could be heard vividly even through the glass, as Ash closed his eyes wistfully. He could almost visualize the red rubber ball flying high across the field and children having a grand time. But of course, he was stuck here with a prim lady with glasses and a huge empty room only consisted of a desk and shiny metallic drawers. In fact, the only thing he liked about it was those wide windows. He was sure he could see everything if he could only tip toe to it a bit closer
A vivid description which suggests what Ash imagines, adding realism to the story... Setting is now explicitly alluding itself to being a prison and a cold place, along with Hannah being associated with the same thing. Ash is further associated with the capability to see. The second theme has been revealed: the power to understand and comprehend.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 14:
Who did you fight with this time? Hannah asked, interrupting his daydreams.

Ash blinked once, before resuming his usual pace of swinging legs. They were like the pendant of a clock, ticking away time. They were also what annoyed Hannah; that infuriating behavior children had sometimes. Honestly, why could they not be patient and wait for once? She blamed society.
Hannah got even more negative comments, interrupting dreams. A humour is presented here, as Hannah mocks herself by accusing Ash of being impatient. This is also another support for Hannah being incapable of understanding the situation.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 15:
Gary Oak. Was her reply, as Hannahs frown creased the skin around her mouth. With a deeper frown and some unrecognizable muttered words, she quickly jotted down some fancy blue lines on the yellow lined paper, before looking up again.

Gary OakWasnt he the one you fought with two times before? She questioned; a pretend confused look fluttering on her face.
Hannah is now called "unrecognizable." Relating back to the beginning paragraphs, Ash is described as unrecognizable to Hannah. This creates another irony if one re-reads the first part. Hannah is the opposite to Ash according to the previous build-up, and if Hannah is unrecognizable (unclear), then Ash must be the one who is clear all along. Don't forget that Hannah has a pair of glasses, symbolic for needing aide in order to see things more clearly.

Motif of writing strikes back... now she is writing about something she already knows. She did ask "who did you fight with *this time*" meaning that she already knows what is the problem. So what is she writing anyway? Safe to conclude that she is writing things that she has observed, but are actually rather pointless or petty things.

I believe that the "was her reply" should have read "was his reply" there... a typo there. It doesn't make sense otherwise.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 16:

Ash blinked again. Why was she forcing herself to be curious? Why was she forcing herself to smile whenever she looked at him? And why was she forcing him to be confined in this positively awful room? It was an encased glass bottle, his only view to the outside world by that wide window. He stared at that direction again, a reflection of a haunted little boy staring back at him, obviously unhappy with his setting.
Explicitly, the author shows us the great observant skills of Ash which actually outsmarts Hannah who is the "professional". The idea of forcing herself to do something backs the theme of the false face. Notice how every paragraph relates back or support everything else? This is the coherence in a story, with one part of the story supporting another- evidence of careful planning and well chosen sentence structure.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 17:
Yes, but he made fun of me first, Ash declared finally, clenching his fist up high to show his pride of defiance and anger. So I hit him. A light whoosh was made as the fist made contact with air, receiving only a disapproving glance from Hannah.

And how did he make fun of you, Ash? She asked politely, jotting down some more words.

The boy thought for a second, swinging his legs. Hannah gripped her pen tightly out of frustration. Really, she mustnt lose her temper like so, no matter how irritating this irksome boy might be. A scowl lifted on Ashs face, memories dawning in to him like a small tidal wave. Indeed, but it was still a wave.
Jotting down stuff again, but the narration never tell us just what is she writing, as if they are irrelevant... at most they are just "words."

Hannah mocks herself again as she is rather upset at Ash who lost his temper and hit Gary, while she is facing similiar problems with Ash.

Ash is again related to nature, this time talking about beling like waves.

Quote originally posted by 18:
He said I would never be a Pokemon Master. He said jerkily, a fiery passion of his usual stubborn nature in his eyes. He said he would become one before me. An angry pound collided with the soft cushion of his chair, as Hannah began scribbling furiously on her piece of paper halfway filled with notes.

So do you like Pokemon, Ash? Hannah asked nicely, receiving that same blank look. Her stress mounted then.
Ash is very coherent with the anime version of himself, which is truly nice to see (this is a *fan*fic afterall). Ash is rather being very truthful here, unlike Hannah's false face. He lets out his emotions immediately, while Hannah is suppressing them with her greatest might. Everything is natural with Ash.

A paradox is present here. Ash is described as having a blank look, but he did just expressed his opinions vividly with anger and all his emotions. Doubt arise about the reliability of the narrator, who is more associated with Hannah than with Ash... Again, we start doubting if Hannah really knows what is goiong on.

However, a change descends upon Hannah. This time, the jotting of notes occur when something did really happen. The last time this happened a little bit too... Ash did reply something that's worth recording to some degree. This time, the writing is justified. Slowly, Hannah is changing regardless of the negative buildup.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 19-21:
Yes, I want to catch them when I grow up. He said in the simplest matter, as if stating the obvious. Ignoring the fact Hannah was reaching her peak of patience, his legs began swinging under the chair again.

I see She murmured, writing down some things. So why do you like Pokemon, Ash?

Question after question. It never ended, this boring torment to answer them. Ash sighed and coughed at the same time, a chaste expression on him. His legs were still swinging. His look was so virtuous. Hannah merely kept her calm gaze.
Simplest matters, and the obvious truth... even more suggestions of no cover ups for Ash at all.

Hannah's mockery about patience continued, as she is feeling terribly upset at Ash. Often do we feel that time goes by slower then the situation is boring/frustrating, and this is true for both Hannah and Ash. Ash's legs are often swinging when the narrator mentions how one feels angry while the other one is bored.

Another theme begins, which talk of children and purity... Ash is "virtuous." The theme of the false face, and being knowledgable can add on to the fanfic's opinion about children as well. Ideas overlap to support one another, which is another reason why this fanfic is so wonderful...
  #2    
Old January 13th, 2005 (01:16 AM).
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Quote originally posted by paragraph 22:
Because theyre my friends. And I like them. He said, averting his gaze from the windows to the bare ceiling consisted of only one large fan illuminating a bright light. Why did they need it if they already had the suns power to an extent?
Cheesy lines start appearing, but no way are they faulty here. Another way of "cheesy" is to look at it as if it is naive and truthful, which further contributes to Ash's character and to all the themes... Further contrast between what is natural and unnatural occur.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 23:
Pokemon are your friends? Hannah inquired. Despite her futile effort, curiosity aroused. Of all the things to be friends with, little childrens could be the most comical relief of all. Did they never hear of brutal beasts attacking them? They mustve visited the other kind nature of them, such as frisky Sentrets and Pidgeys who wouldnt harm a single hair on anyone. Hannah frowned.
More change to Hannah as she is starting to align herself with Ash's POV. Furthermore, Hannah mocks herself one last time by giving a highly biased opinion about Pokemon. She accuses children to know little of the other side of Pokemon, but this can also apply to herself not knowing the kind sign of Pokemon, which is again a dramatic irony. Children are again considered ignorant and naive.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 24+25:
Yes, Ash said with a small smile. When I grow up, theyre going to be my best friends. And I will beat Gary with them. He stated confidently, apparently oblivious to Hannahs petulant expression.

I see. So you want to fight with them? She asked, deeply interested in this wild boys fanaticizing skills.
Waves after waves of support for the idea about children.

On top of that, Hannah now continues to transform. Now, she is deeply interested in the topic at hand instead of feeling bored/frustrated. She also recognizes Ash's dreams, instead of interrupting them like before.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 26+27:
Its what a Pokemon trainer do. You fight, train, and you take care of your Pokemon and become friends with them. He said simply, swinging his legs a bit slower.

Hannah stopped writing so rapidly anymore. Were all kids like this? Wasting their career as this so called Pokemon trainer? It was disheartening to hear this, truthfully in Hannahs eyes.
Again, more signs of Ash stating the natural and the obvious. Time also seems to go by faster too as both sides begin to be closer together. The motif of writing shows us the change in Hannah, but she continues to cling on the idea that children waste their time. A part of her remains antagonistic to Ash.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 28+29:
Gary also wants to become one, and me too. So we could fight when we both are official trainers. Ash let out a small gurgle of laugh, clapping his hands delightfully. But Ill beatim. He said mischievously, a spark flickering in his eyes like a corpulent shadow dancing.

Something about this speech swayed Hannah in a way. She stopped writing altogether, deep in thought.
We reach the concluding point. The final evidences that contribute to each seperate theme are being presented. Here I am not too thrilled to see some dark alignment with Ash, even though it is possible to push things a little to defend Ash's title of being in the light and purity... some changes can always be made even if it is an amazing fanfic.

Hannah finishes her transformation, as her writing stops.

Quote originally posted by paragraph 30-32:
So you hit Gary because you loved Pokemon?

Ash stopped swinging his legs, but Hannah did not notice. He returned that thoughtful daze dawning onto his face before letting out one simple short word.

Maybe.
Time seems to be irrelevant (or it flies by so quickly that no one noticed how much time has gone by). This is one of the minor themes that nevertheless are mentioned in this fanfic.

What is simple, natural and naive/pure changes Hannah. Possibly, this is the central theme of the entire fanfic. Anything with these qualities within children is capable of powerful changes in our lives...

Quote originally posted by paragraph 32:
His leg began to swing again. Hannah let out an amused chuckle as she smiled. It was her real smile in a long while, as she gently set the pen and the clipboard away on her metallic gray table cluttered with random things.
Time resumes after Hannah figures out what is going on. We see the result of Hannah's transformation, similiar to Ash now. She smiles not because of her profession or demands, but out of her own heart. The writing is just casted aside, considered as random things (which supports the earlier claims that what she writes are mainly junk.) These so-called "observations" are now useless, signifying what she sees before is irrelevant or are wrong/unclear.

Quote originally posted by short paragraph chains:
Um, Miss Hannah? Ash said nervously.

Hannah tilted her head at this awkward tension in his voice, as she smiled warmly.

Yes Ash?

He fidgeted.

Recess is almost over, and I was wondering

You may, Ash.

He broke into a wide grin.
Evidence of the improved observation skills in Hannah, as she understands what Ash wants before he finished the question. Ash is also casted in a very "pure" tone of voice as well.

Quote originally posted by final paragraph:
With those words, he flung himself off the chair, took one last look at the window, and bolted to the door until his footsteps in the hallways were nothing more than a mute hum.

She sat there for a second, before grabbing her clipboard and standing up. Her high heel shoes gently padded themselves over to the window overlooking a familiar black haired boy running excitedly to the kickball field. With a smile, she crumbled up the yellow paper into a wad of ball, and tossed it in the wastebasket. Giving a content look, her gaze followed the many reflections of the window as she stood there, wondering and staring at the kickball game that had just started.
Ash is finally freed, yay~

final concluding support how the previous observations are junk, and throwing her old things into the garbage can can signify a new start. The new changed Hannah is content and happy, which is opposite to what Hannah started as. The name's meaning is now justified by what she has done as well. All of this shows the positive effect of the change. Notice how Hannah also looks out the window as well, like what Ash is doing since the beginning of the story.

All of the concluding parts of the story demonstrates why the change is for the better. It strengths the importance of the theme, and the fanfic succeeds in showing a part of human beings as well. The numerous themes support one another, and together through the change in Hannah, expresses what is truly important for ourselves.


A nicely written fanfic allows a reviewer to gain a lot of understanding about things outside of Pokemon, or whatever the fanfic is writing about. We see how a few small words, or certain literature devices, and even setting/very minor details can contribute and help us derive all of these things. This is what a powerful and well written fanfic can do.
  #3    
Old January 13th, 2005 (02:41 AM).
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wow good guide.shoulnt this be stickyed or something.
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  #4    
Old January 13th, 2005 (05:04 AM). Edited January 13th, 2005 by Dragonfree.
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Very educating for me both as a writer and a reader. It makes you think...

What's more, this is one of the most inspiring things I've ever read. *heads off to write chapter 21 of The Quest for the Legends*


EDIT: Who the heck rated this ONE FRIGGIN' STAR? *rates five to weigh against it*
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  #5    
Old January 13th, 2005 (10:39 AM).
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I did.

I agree with most of it, but there are a few problems with this example.

You have to be aware of something my English Instructors have warned me about, called Overinforming. It is where you blast out descriptions to simply make a story longer, even if they're good ones. It can make even the best stories very drawn out and boring for the audience. You can easily turn a good one-sentence description into pages of unnecessary and unbalanced text. There needs to be a balance between action and description for a truly great story to shine. Sometimes that involves more dialogue, or maybe more actions, but it should be balanced out. (There is no such thing as too much dialogue, as long as it is balanced out with everything else; it is ok to put more than one line of dialogue in a paragraph.)

Also, a big thing to avoid is Jargon, big complex words that nobody without a dictionary is going to understand. This is what dropped my semester grade from a B to a C in English Class. My instructor knew what the words meant, but the student who read the paper didn't. (Of course, I didn't know he wouldn't understand the meaning of malevolant.) This goes double for a story that might be geared toward younger audiences to begin with. (...Ahem... This is a Pokemon Site...)
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  #6    
Old January 13th, 2005 (10:49 AM).
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"A few problems" is for one thing not worth rating it one star for, and for another, you should be rating what frostweaver is saying, not Reflections. If you wanted to rate Reflections, you would click the link and actually rate the fic, not this thread.

I hate overinforming probably even more than you do and don't know the real definition of half of the words LilyPichu uses as a non-native English speaker, but that doesn't make frostweaver's points here worth any less. He isn't even telling us to describe as much as LilyPichu does or encouraging the use of extremely complicated words. He's talking about this fic and its meaning in-depth, and as such, this thread is very educating and inspiring.
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  #7    
Old January 13th, 2005 (11:40 AM).
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Who is to decide what is overinforming and what isn't? Obviously, everyone knows that there needs to be a balance on actions and descriptions, but what is the "balance" set at? Not everyone believes in 50/50, and I can even live to the extreme of 80/20, with the bigger number being description. The only thing for certain is that a story cannot be 0/100, or 100/0. Anything else being called "wrong" gets into the idea of marking subjectively, which should be reduced to a bare minimum but English teacher never seems to care about that. That is why english is the most subjective subject to study. I try my best to judge without being biased, and hence why Trial of Juno is also rewarded Standard of Excellence even though it's definitely not my personal preferred choice of reading.

In the same manner, description cannot be called "unnecessary" or "unbalanced" because as long as the description contributes one way or another, it will become "necessary" to someone out there. Perhaps it's not you, but someone out there will like it. Just because you as the reader do not like it, that doesn't mean you should cast it aside...

Amount of description, or the significance of the description is also part of writing style... In Ernest Hemmingway's book, usually things are very explicit, and it is easy to read. This is because it is Hemmingway's writing style to remain simple and highly readable. I doubt that The Old Man and the Sea even got any words that are longer than 8 letters... On the other hand, Ray Bradbury's books pack meaning in every choice of words. Without analysing the living daylight out of everything, some meanings are just lost to the point that the plot goes beyond understanding... who will imagine that the paragraph in Fahrenhait 451 packs so much meaning, hinting that the world is a dytopia by saying the "minimum" speed limit instead of "maximum" speed limit? Writing style cannot be "wrong" unless we're in a world where a teacher has the right to say "you must be thinking like this, not that!" To me or my marking system, any description is considered relevant as long as they are explainable in ANY POSSIBLE way and can contibute in ANY POSSIBLE manner.

Nowhere did the idea of "Pokemon site" or a place that has a brilliant reputation for being suitable for "kids" enforce the rule that the intended audience must be kids around the age of 10. In fact, let's turn your own example at you. The name of the villain in Disney (a famous "kids" film maker) named the witch in the Sleeping Beauty (but then in Kingdom Heart Malevolent appears in Beauty and the Beast instead... not sure if KH is right or my memory that's right this time) Malevolent, a word which your english teacher do not know according to your story. So I wonder how come the story is still so beloved by the little kids even though they have no idea what the word means at all. Just *perhaps* it's not the problem of Jargon, but it's time to expand your vocabulary. Once again, this is a highly subjective atitude in reading.

Are we to say that the work of a 12 year old must be pointed at fellow 12 year olds? Certainly not true! C.S. Lewis's famous Chronicles of Narnia is one of the most welcomed Children's novel. It is an enjoyable read with a good plot. However, secretly attached underneath is also the complete parable of the Christian Bible. Can little kids understand this? No... only the (most likely christian or scholars of the Bible) adults can. If you are "too young" to understand these deep meanings, then just read the story and enjoy what is going on. If you can understand these deeper meanings, then good for you.

Also, some of the things written in this tutorial won't be written down anywhere else unless it's a tutorial. Anything about tone will be picked up naturally once you've learned the concept. We don't need extra time to figure out the tone once we learn it. The meaning of the tone comes to us naturally, in a blink of a second. However, before we learn the effect of tone, the tutorial (or your "english textbook") will have to write out what would soon to become natural instincts in vivid detail in order to take a shot for the readers to understand the concept of tone.

Indeed it is terrible to try to twist out so many themes out of the same short work, but is it my right to decide? My goal is to show people how to analysis, and therefore should write down any possibility that an observation can be made. Let's learn how to analyze first before we get to when or how much should we analyze.

Such is my 2 cents to try to help the community, along with trying my very hardest to rate a fanfic without any sense of biased views... certainly it is impossible for me to give completely fairly, but I do try to... There are times where I do have to force myself to grudge through the fanfic. Not that the fanfic is "bad", just that it is completely opposite to my own reading style; being "bad" in *my* book.
  #8    
Old January 13th, 2005 (05:48 PM).
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Well...Dragonfree/Frostweaver pretty much explained it all...thank you.

Frostweaver- Your analysis even helped me. I feel strange, considering I feel you know the story better than the writer. o.o; Ah, well. Perhaps it's just the excellent analysis you had the time to type. I thank you tremendously. ><


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Old January 13th, 2005 (06:59 PM).
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o.o Sugoi~!

Frosty explained everything so well; clear, helpful and thorough, and even used Lileh's ficcy [yay =3]!

The way you analyzed Reflections paragraph to paragraph was really amazing; it take a lot of time doing it, after all. And plus, everything in your analysis were helpful and really taught me so much. You even showed all the good points in it and the bad, which are not that much, making it far more uderstandable~

In short; great analysis. Educational, clear, and just plain great. X3~
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Old January 13th, 2005 (07:49 PM).
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Wow, very in-depth! I had not read that fanfic until now, actually, having silly chosen not to click on it due to the name (which for some reason impressed upon me memories of overdramaticized/cliche epic/dark Pokemon fanfics), so I am glad you chose to cover it; very nice and fun work. And whoa, are you certain (i.e. you've spoken to LilyPichu about all of these) that your intepretations of themes and symbolism is how LilyPichu wrote it? Seems like a great deal of it would be, but if all of it, then, just, wow...
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Old January 16th, 2005 (04:14 AM).
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*sweatdrop* Wow! That's some analysis! Hmmm... you couldn't possibly do that for every SoE fanfic could you? XD *could just copy Lily's technique *
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Old January 16th, 2005 (05:21 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Dragonfree:
"A few problems" is for one thing not worth rating it one star for, and for another, you should be rating what frostweaver is saying, not Reflections. If you wanted to rate Reflections, you would click the link and actually rate the fic, not this thread.

I hate overinforming probably even more than you do and don't know the real definition of half of the words LilyPichu uses as a non-native English speaker, but that doesn't make frostweaver's points here worth any less. He isn't even telling us to describe as much as LilyPichu does or encouraging the use of extremely complicated words. He's talking about this fic and its meaning in-depth, and as such, this thread is very educating and inspiring.
First of all, I'm glad somebody stickied this.

If it's any consolation, I didn't put 1 star as my rating. (I actually had it as a 3, my favorite number.) That just means that more than one person rated this. (I thought you were asking who all rated it.)

I actually agree with most of what you said and would have only rated it a 1 if I didn't.

My biggest pet peeve is Jargon. Especially in a place that deals with Pokemon (where people of diverse ages will be as well.). Unfortunately, I have to admit, I am guilty of the Jargon thing as well. My problem is that I forget to explain what the words mean...

As for the balance, it doesn't have to be a perfect 50/50. It could be really offset in some areas. I just mean that you don't necessarily need a paragraph of descriptive text following a two-word line of dialogue. Of course, ultimately this is up to the judgement of the writer.
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  #13    
Old January 17th, 2005 (02:17 PM).
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You rated it one star. It was ONE rating, and that ONE rating was ONE star. Then I myself rated it five stars to balance it afterwards. I don't know why you're lying about this, but I do know what I saw.
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  #14    
Old January 17th, 2005 (07:05 PM).
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Wow. That was one great analysis. =3 And with Lily's fanfictions, there's not much big words that one who doesn't know them couldn't guess the meaning of; but there's enough to make the whole piece seem sophisticated.

It just rocks. xD
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Old January 18th, 2005 (12:02 PM).
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If there was one rating then mine didn't go through (there was already one when I rated it). I DO have a very dinosaur computer so that IS possible (PII, Gateway, Dial-Up, 12GB Hard-Drive). I won't post anymore in response to talk about ratings on this topic, since that's not what this was about in the first place. There's a whole topic that was already made for that kind of thing.


Anyway, to get back on topic, I will follow this format when making my Fan Fics from now on, since I would like to actually get in that spot at some point... in the not so near future... (I'm totally ambitious and hope to rule the world one day! He he he he hee!!!)
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  #16    
Old March 12th, 2005 (04:09 PM). Edited March 13th, 2005 by Frostweaver.
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Trials of Reluctance Complete Analysis

This will be done chapter by chapter, first with a quick chapter summary, then the details about what the chapter has provided us with. Hopefully within every 2 to 3 day, a chapter analysis for this fanfic will be done.



Ch. 1 Summary

May Hiromi moved in to Littleroot Town of Hoenn from Violet City, due to her father Normans new job as a gym leader. However, the main reason was because of Mays terrible and numerous amounts of fights in school, according to her mother, Lanette Hiromi. When May tried to travel to Oldale Town for some supplies, she was stopped by Max and the twins, Suzie and Sally. Max started a quarrel with May regarding Pokemon and the origin of Pokemon battles, and it turned out to be a tense situation. However, the scene was resolved when Brendan Birch appeared as a negotiator between the two sides. Brendan remembered of a new neighbor moving in to Littleroot Town when he met his friend Laurel and Mays mother earlier, and wondered if May was his new neighbor.

Ch. 1 analysis

Basically, just an introductory chapter, but already some layouts are made for the story

-The beginning scene of a moving truck is obvious that it is a striking allusion to the Pokemon Gameboy. The story remains very consistent with many events and places in the game as well.

-
Quote:
So many memories, so little timeAll my life I lived not knowing who I was, who my friends were and even if the people who I lived with were really my familyIt never matter me I just kept livingNothing really mattered
Perhaps the entire summary of Mays earlier life is summed up here, which is done very nicely the mysterious and dark mood struck by this famous quote definitely succeeds in attracting readers to read beyond the short prequel.

-During Mays talk with Mrs. Hiromi, Mays character is already partially revealed to the readers. Through Mays tone, we can see her rebellious nature with a feeling of dissatisfaction. Mays relationship with her mother may not be the best either, as she constantly and dryly disobeys and rebukes her mother

-When May confronts Sally, Suzie and Max, we further realize that May is perhaps even a dangerous character, as she strikes fear into the twins heart and shakes their confidence. This is further confirmed by Mays encounter with Brendan, saying that
Quote:
she was used to the whole Oh Ill be good act.
Her natural fighting reflexes are just many of other supporting evidences. Notice that were only talking about one trait of Mays character, yet the story so early on has already provided so many evidences.

-Brendan is portrayed as a weak willed, softhearted hero at this point of the story. Instead of standing firm against May when May picks up Max by the collar, he chooses to beg his way out of the tense situation, saying
Quote:
Um, please?
. Not a trait of the role of the stereotypical male character, who is confident, strong and powerful in spirit perhaps its even the complete opposite.

-A character foil (2 characters set side by side by the author in order to contrast the 2 characters dramatic differences) is struck on May and Brendan. May has little to no friends in her past, and lives a very unstable life moving from places to places,
Quote:
when I finally thought Id get my life together.
On the other hand, Brendan has lived in Little Root all his life, with all of the towns children being his friends. One is having trouble staying in school, while Brendan goes to school and is getting good grades. The two characters mothers also act completely different to their respective child. Mrs. Hiromi cares for May passionately and publicly, while Mrs. Birch would rather watch soap opera and didnt even remember that she has sent her son off to the Pokemon Academy in Rustboro.

-The theme of Tools has started already in this chapter. As May and Max argues about Pokemon and its role in Pokemon Battles, it strikes a very similar relationship regarding May and her past. The entire argument is a dramatic irony on May, who has unknowingly supported her bitterest enemies who haunted her past.

-Now the flashback regarding Brendan blushing at Mrs. Hiromi is rather misleading if anything doesnt contribute to the story at all, except for some possible humor which isnt hard to be redirected by May instead (and in fact, it will be even more appropriate if the opposite sex joke was made when May is present instead of Mrs. Hiromi, as this further strengthens May and Brendans relationship)

-It is unknown whether Mrs. Hiromi is purposely named Lanette after the Pokemon Professor Lanette in the game who invented the Pokemon Storage System in Hoenn in the gameboy. In the story, she is a former Pokemon nurse, which makes this rather unclear
  #17    
Old March 13th, 2005 (08:13 PM).
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(blinks) err... I never really took the bulk of what you said to heart myself when I was originally doing all that... (feels a little out of place)
  #18    
Old March 25th, 2005 (06:02 PM).
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Ch. 2 Summary

Brendan got a bruise from May because he caught her changing. While May is attending his bruise, Brendan finally confirms Mays identity. After a short awkward moment, Brendan gives May Alia, the latest Pokedex from Pro. Birch. Soon Brendan asks of Mays Torchic. May told Brendan that she was blockaded by Max again at the town entrance that she entered a quarrel with until they saw Pro. Birch being chased by a Poochyena. May was forced into a Pokemon battle and defeated Poochyena using a Torchic, which she later named Tsunami. Later in Oldale, a rumor spreads about a Pokemon trainer nicknamed the Crimson Fighter, which is May herself. Alia warns May regarding her terrible relationship with Tsunami, but May claims that she has everything planned out.

Ch. 2 Analysis

-In the short prologue, Brendan foreshadows May being more than what meets the eye. Slightly clichd, but it worked pretty well with all of the supporting evidences being given earlier, such as Tsu (Tsunami) running around. These evidences buffer the clich a bit

-Brendan didnt knock and instead caught May changing after her shower. This acted as humor, but also another character foil in comparison to May who knocked on the open door at Brendans house in the flashback. This shows consistency within the story, and contrasts the twos differences even more.

Quote:
May, who knew what she was going to say to Brendan would make her look like the immature one chose to say nothing.
A possibly tricky sentence for readers who just skim, or is just not paying attention. What is the immature line that May chose not to say? Given the context, readers can easily figure out that it is Brendan, are you ok? A normal line of kindness is regarded as immature, which further shows Mays personality. Why she didnt say it is also important. You can say that May is uncaring and cold, or is trying to hide that she is caring for Brendan either way, a short line that is rich in details.

Quote:
I hit you pretty hard, and falling on your head didnt help you much eitheryou might wanna take it easy, and- May suddenly halts in her sentence, then throws Brendan an arrogant shrug and leans back on the chair again. What am I saying... your health isnt my concern.
Ooo May slipped shows quite a bit without the narrator saying it directly, which is a lot of what fanfics do nowadays. The narrator always says everything so bluntly which kind of lower the literacy level of your own fanfic if it is done excessively. A writer has to let the tone of voice do the speaking once in awhile.

-More hints of our protagonists having a crush on each other all those blushing and flushing

Quote:
Heheh. I have time to spare. I dont mind hearing Ah! That is if you dont mind I mean.
nothing too important just another demonstration of how the hidden voice and tone is telling us something about the character instead of the narrator or the character saying everything so bluntly.

Quote:
Upon arriving there May realizes that the door is wide open and sees a woman watching TV oblivious to the world around her. Being a girl raised in the city May knew that was perhaps the stupidest thing to do and the most obvious trap so she knocks on the door while entering.
Again, a character foil with Brendan One is much more keen, while the other is much more nave With May being the center of the POV, narration is much more keen on details, seeing traps and making comments along the way. When it was Brendan being the center of the focus, things are of a much shallow end. Even the narration is speaking in a certain tone that is aligned with its perspective focus at the time. May sees Mrs. Birchs trap and safely disarms it, while Brendan disregards the obvious that a closed door probably requests a knock.

-Mrs. Birchs reference of May being like herself when she was younger can be interpreted as possible comedy Pro. Birch and Brendan are linked together, while Mrs. Birch and May are linked together possibly a little tease at Brendan and Mays relationship

Quote:
The guy didnt seem to be the type that could defend himself The girl mentally mused. But looks can be deceiving.
More nave vs. cunning quotes earlier Brendan continues to trip, stereotyping May, but here May is already assuming her senses to lie to her, which is the opposite to Brendan who believed everything he first sees out of May.

-The entire quarrel between Max and May shows some values of the typical people (represented by Max) vs. Mays beliefs. It reveals some relevant, key components in the story to come, fueling some of the major theme of the story. It is also an ironic statement, as May accuses Max of fearing what he accuses May of, yet it is also true for Mays situation- fearing that having friends will result in her friends suffering due to her past, May chooses to plunge herself into loneliness instead. This is truly a key component within the entire story, which lasts on even up to the late chapters.
  #19    
Old March 30th, 2005 (04:07 PM).
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Chapter 3 Summary

After a short recap of what has happened in the previous chapters, Brendan talks of his life at the Pokemon Boarding School in Rustboro and his views about it. Brendan is starting his Pokemon journey the next morning, and May hands over what is left of her necklace to Brendan as a good luck charm. Though upset at her loss of her first best friend, May continues on as the Crimson Fighter only to have her identity discovered by Max. Max delivers the message that Brendan wants to have a talk with May with Tsunami too. Brendan figures out that May is the Crimson Fighter and persuades her to stop. As Brendan has predicted, May refuses and he challenges her to a Pokemon battle.

Chapter 3 Analysis

Shortest chapter of the series, but it still has a bit of goodies

Quote:
May was also pleased to know that Brendan no longer stuttered around her
He, as she quickly learned was actually quite boastful and competitive when you get to know him well enough.

Though she told Brendan a lot of things, most topics like her past or the fact at night she plays vigilante as the Crimson Fighter were some things she could never reveal to him.
A little ironic statement, as May is pleased to know that Brendan is no longer nervous in front of her as a sign that their friendship has been strengthened and is now closer to each other. Yet May refuses to contribute to this relationship by hiding these matters from Brendan. The statement shows Mays selfish attitude, which demands others of things that she wants; yet she will never contribute anything to it.

Quote:
Ugh, Why cant you just admit youre happy?
Possibly an explanation to Mays attitude above, and even if it isnt, its still quite an important quote. May rejects all of her positive emotions in order to maintain the unbreakable composure she once had before Brendan came along and softened her. The theme of rejection runs constantly throughout the entire story.

An interesting point is how the story always relate May to the blue color (especially her eyes) when Brendan is present, and then back to red (or even blood red from her scarf) when Brendan is absent. This would have been a very nice motif that would be very powerful in the story as its highly symbolic, but then this point dies when May parts Littleroot Town later so too bad
  #20    
Old March 31st, 2005 (03:23 PM).
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*chuckles* You do indeed live up to your reputation, weaver of frost. I never really looked at reviewing quite that intensely, but watching you made me realise I owe it to the author to at least make a passing good review. *nods* Good going. SB
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  #21    
Old March 31st, 2005 (05:41 PM).
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Chapter 4 Part 1 Summary

May and Brendan starts a Pokemon battle with Mays Tsunami and Brendans Mudkip, Ragnarok. May can easily win the match but let it easy on Brendan and she forfeits. When Brendan mentions Mays father, May is outraged by the Crop Kids event as Max enters. May was expected to be a trainer since she was young and was sent to a trainers camp. However, it turned out to be the Ciphers plan to train up merciless Pokemon and Pokemon trainers as assassins. There May was mistreated and like all other children there, May was used to test the effect of the serum made by Cipher scientists. Eventually May was rescued with the other children, but she was changed into a monster. Though Norman injected an antidote into May, it was unknown rather when will the antidote take effect. May suffered greatly, and very slowly did she become closer to an ordinary child. Mays parents also realized their mistakes and loved May dearly. Now that Mays friends know of this secret, May expects the worst out of them and even tries to strangle Brendan. To Mays surprise, Brendan and her friends remain faithful to her and continue to remain at her side.

Chapter 4 Part 1 Analysis

One of the most informative and important chapter

-The battle further amplifies the weakness of pure studying and Pokemon data mentioned in the last chapter. Brendans battling skills are rather pathetic as demonstrated in the chapter. One chapter supports the point of view of another, showing coherences within the story.

-A minor note, but notice how Brendan and Ragnarok both stutter when Tsunami is using Scratch attack. Its a good demonstration of how tone is used at times, and this one isnt too difficult to learn either.

Quote:
Yeahlets thank the man whos responsible for making me the way I am! Forcing me into crap that I refused. Hoping hed be enough of a supporting person to understand my hopes and dreamsHa! He never caredHes the one that causes me to be this wayhes the one that turned me into a monster
More example of a bitter tone, mixed with sarcasm to further boost the effect. Also notice how the use of ellipses as pauses

-Notice how theres actually multiple flashbacks to support the same idea of how unsupportive Mays parents are for her Examples such as flashbacks are always very supportive and can strengthen your own point. Dont try to just mention something once and expect your readers to remember at times use examples to reinforce a point.

-Again the same technique is demonstrated later with the Eevee event most stories will continue on with Mays narrative alone, but here the author chose to insert a flashback to reinforce the situation and seriousness of the event.

-As for Sheepy the Mareep, Eevee and the teddy bear in the prison, both of them serve some purposes to show how May and anyone involved with the Crop Kids incident are really demented 3 usually related to cute (especially the Eevee) are associated with blood and murder, which has created an excellent atmosphere of death and complete fear.

-Later when Mrs. Hiromi tried to comfort May, the theme of rejection appears once again, along with the theme of acceptance. The teddy bear scene shows how her cellmates have left her, leaving her alone. This left May in rage. This childhood terror continues on until finally the loneliness leaves as her family is back, yet May is so accustomed to being alone that she tried to attack those who got near her (Sheepy and Mrs. Hiromi.) Later on, May continued to remain alone after shes rescued, and only when she feels that shes finally accepted did her rage leave her. Another thing that this part mentioned is how May never talked if she tried to befriend the others after the incident (including her parents). This continued the idea of selfishness started from the earlier chapters. May ultimately want to be accepted for who she is all her life, and is furious not only because of the serum but also because of herself when others around her reject her. Seems that although May ultimately looks for complete acceptance, she will rather prefer to maintain the status quo of being alone, afraid of being disappointed again and again like what have happened before in her earlier life (with Norman, and with the townspeople dubbing her the Demon Child.)

-Again, the idea of selfishness is shown again when May attacks Brendan. She didnt contribute or try to bring her relationship with anybody closer, but instead distant it. However, Brendan gave May want she ultimately looked for: total acceptance

Quote:
II dont deserve you
Such a cute quote its so touching also shows how May realizes her own mistakes as well. This quote along with Brendans reply also got a romantic connotation, even though the denotation seems to be talking about Brendans support of May regardless of her past. It fuels the romance too
  #22    
Old April 2nd, 2005 (05:38 PM).
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Chapter 4 Part 2 Summary

May departs Littleroot Town to go on her own Pokemon Journey, accompanied by Laurel who is going to go with May as far as Oldale Town. In Oldale, the people accuse May and Laurel of being a thief despite of Officer Jennys protest. The townspeople accuse each other and everyone else of being a thief for their own benefits. Though jailed, May and Laurel (along with the camera man Ty) are rescued by the reporter Gabby and Officer Jenny. However, a Zigzagoon comes to steal Alia, and the combined effort of Laurel and May quickly defeats the true criminal. May captures Zigzagoon and nicknames it Whirlpool, then part ways with Laurel to continue her journey.

Chapter 4 Part 2 Analysis

Doesnt this part of the chapter remind you of the anime so much? Its written like those filler episodes from the anime! Talks of the capture of Whirlpool, and the introduction of Ty and Gabby, and otherwise its pretty much ignorable. If its filler, than that means there arent much to say There's nothing worth quoting, but there are some things worth commenting.

-Regarding the great prelude of this chapter, it works as a great foreshadow about the adventure to come before May. However, Mrs. Hiromis cry is rather arguable the more obvious reason is that Mrs. Hiromi feels that something bad is going to happen to May in her upcoming journey, yet dont know what it is. Another way to look at it is that Mrs. Hiromi is still feeling guilty about Mays decision on going off on a Pokemon journey, which is something May clearly dislikes according to Mays youth. May is forced to go on a Pokemon journey in order to follow the wishes of her parents, similar to how she was once forced to go to the Pokemon camp, which turns out to be part of Ciphers evil scheme. The juxtaposition and the similarities between these two scenarios is also a plausible reason to why Mrs. Hiromi is crying, as it was never revealed clearly why May departs on a Pokemon Journey.

-May travels in her Crimson Fighter uniform for her Pokemon journey, but without the blood red scarf (quote from Chapter 3.) Again, it would have been such an interesting symbol to see Brendans effect on May through the color of blue and red. Too bad, this idea dies very quickly However, there are a few remnants of the leftover surviving evidences, such as this one.

-The selfish, hypocritical townspeople of Oldale are pretty interesting definitely very usable and malleable to fit into too many themes to count, but too bad the author never relates to this chapter ever again in the future chapters. Ahh waste of some plausible support if you ever need to talk about the theme of selfishness and hypocrisy.
  #23    
Old July 10th, 2005 (10:05 AM).
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Quote originally posted by frostweaver:
[/i][/b]Before the fanfic starts, a good reviewer should pause to think about the title. The title got no sign of title characters so we can set that worry aside. Reflections suggest thoughts and metacognition (meaning to think about thinking), or a character looking back on a past event (which means that the story maybe written in past narrative form then.) If the story doesn't turn out to show these 2 traits, then the title is most likely an ineffective title because it doesn't show the ideas of the story. However, this oneshot does talk about thoughts so the title is good. Also, the title reveals a little about the theme, yet hardly anything about the plot (it's not explicit at all), so this title is considered a good title.


A rather effective opening as a question creates mystery, and brings the reader to read on forward. Shows the setting of a dialogue as well.
I won't comment on every paragraph, but the beginning is not as effective as you described it.

"Reflections," implying introspection and memories, sounds like some poem, not a fanfic, and is not catching.

To start the the story with "What is your name?" and end the paragraph like that is not effective. Where's the setting? This question leave the fanfic rather blank in content so far. Also, there is not much mystery, since almost nothing has been presented yet. We do not even know if this person asking the question is really curious about something.

Also, I don't mind having dark descriptions earlier in the fanfic, but why so psychologically? Isn't that slightly boring reading a deep descripition of the state of an idiot? Leave the psychology for the lighter parts, it's worth more there.

HOWEVER, I liked the beginning's simplicity, just the lack of content sucks.

Another thing I want to warn about is be careful about not to use irrelevent adjectives..... they'll weary the reader I assure you.

This is from the perspective of someone who dislikes reading almost everybody's work, btw
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  #24    
Old July 10th, 2005 (10:47 AM).
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*sighs* I'd rather wait for frostweaver or somebody to come here, but I have little to do and am in a rather intellectual mood at the moment blablablah.


Quote:
"Reflections," implying introspection and memories, sounds like some poem, not a fanfic, and is not catching.
I don't think it was meant to be catching, rather to be reflective of the rest of the story. 'Catching' is also relative.

Also, a reflection is what you see when you look in a mirroring surface, such as a calm lake or, say, a window.

Quote:
To start the the story with "What is your name?" and end the paragraph like that is not effective. Where's the setting?
Interrogative, it is. We are viewing a scene already in progress, and this line gives us that impression. It is setting the stage, sorta.
Quote:
Also, there is not much mystery, since almost nothing has been presented yet.
If you seek mystery, read TLC, or WSBB. Again, this is setting you up for the rest of the story.
Quote:
We do not even know if this person asking the question is really curious about something.
Really, let's review the possibilities.

1. Wants to know(curious): not likely, as you see once you read further
2. Is trying to start conversation(interrogative): more likely, as she wants to learn something from him
3. Is saying something she has no idea she's saying(absent-mindedness): possible but unlikely. Her attention at the moment is focused on the little boy in front of her, nothing else.
Quote:
Also, I don't mind having dark descriptions earlier in the fanfic, but why so psychologically?
What dark descriptions?
Quote:
Isn't that slightly boring reading a deep descripition of the state of an idiot?
What idiot? Ash? Or Hannah?

Quote:
Leave the psychology for the lighter parts, it's worth more there.
By that philosophy, we should only turn lights on during the day.
Quote:
HOWEVER, I liked the beginning's simplicity, just the lack of content sucks.
What do you mean, 'lack of content'?
Quote:
Another thing I want to warn about is be careful about not to use irrelevent adjectives..... they'll weary the reader I assure you.
Eh, no idea what you mean here.

Oh, and the remark about 'wearying the reader' is untrue, for it is relative.

For example, you may dislike reading two hundred-year-old-stories and call them 'boring', while I may like said stories and call them 'fun' or 'exciting'.

Quote:
This is from the perspective of someone who dislikes reading almost everybody's work, btw
Obvious. A lotta other people liked 'Reflections', sooo...

Whee, I've probably made a fool of myself. Oh, well.

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  #25    
Old October 14th, 2005 (03:26 PM). Edited October 16th, 2005 by GVG.
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Frostweaver, you have undertaken quite a time-consuming and challenging task by trying to analyse the fanfics people have written. I don't think, however, that the majority will agree with your diligent attempt at describing what a "good" fanfic ought to look like. Some apropos comments here and there, but unless you've perused a considerable amount of books having literary criticism as their main subject and you have an even more impressive record of books you've read already, I think your attempt at scrutinizing a "good" fanfic will fail miserably.

My stumbling upon this thread was entirely fortuitious, I can assure you. Meanwhile I will try (as I don't have enough time) to point out some statements of yours which will only coerce a derisive laughter out of a reader instead of providing some useful information. And now, the game of big words is over - instead I will try to use as simple language as possible to explain what I don't agree with.

1. Your favourite story and a good fanfic are not two terms which can coexist together during most of the time. Need I elaborate on this further?

2. "What is your name?" creates mystery?! Maybe it contains more suspence than the faint hum of my laptop, but nothing more. Too trite an opening to begin with. Naive, almost childlike opening, which is effective to the point of getting the reader acclimatized to the ambiance of the story - no suspence, whatsoever. It is clear and succinct and that's what an opening should be like, but such a banal question is not a good opening at all. Originality, when it comes to opening sentences or even paragraphs, is not an infinite universe teeming with sparkling stars. On the contrary - as much as I like to think of it that way, just as our universe is slowly cooling and expanding (which will inevitably lead to an end), so is originality. Thinking of a highly original opening that grips the attention of the reader right from the beginning is a very, very long process. Nothing original here, anyway.

3. I'll go back to the title, where you say that a "good" reviewer - How do you manage to think of so subjective terms? What defines a good reviewer? - has to think about the title first. Thinking about the title is not necessarily a step that should go before reading the story. In some cases a title is unclear, but evokes interest just by a single word or phrase. There are other cases where a title can be fully understood only when you've read the whole story - what do you think of the title "The Flowers of Algernon"? At first glance what do you think the story would be about? It's about a mentally retarded man and Algernon is the name of the mouse. It's not clear from the title that Algernon is a mouse, neither is it clear that the main character is mentally retarded. Therefore don't pay too much attention to the title unless you've already finished reading the story.

4. I'll continue tomorrow because there are too many things to mention. Feel free to criticize or disagree with anything I've written. Relying only on Frostweaver to tell you what a "good" fanfic should read like, however, is not an option which will give you a lot of insight into writing a fanfic. Read most of the things that are published on the net and try to read some literary criticism. Good night for now; I'll continue tomorrow.

5. Here I am again. Second paragraph of the fanfic - Overabundant description, redundant epithets which hamper the action instead of giving any more insight into the characterization. While your comment about the name of the character maybe cogent, it is again subjective. Why not give the character a name which doesn't reflect his/her personality at all?

Foreshadowing finds a way into the story throught description and dialogue, not through names.

Lowering the glasses is a symbol of analyzing? Since when? Have you never seen a doctor operating with his/her glasses on? It may be a sign of mild interest, but nothing more. You become too carried away when analyzing something. Analysis is not a flight of imagination. Analysis is more like taking the context and relating it to something from the real world. Philosophy plays a role as well, albeit not as major as I'd like to think. Therefore, don't let your imagination run wild when analyzing something. The piece is not as deep as you perceive it. If it were, then LilyPichu would have already published a book.

6. No fanfic is flawless. Depending from the point of view there will always be something which will not appeal to the taste of some people. Think of the fic as of a living, breathing creature with all of its innate imperfections.

7. I don't like the word "eccentric" there. Bizarre or outlandish would do much better job since eccentric is used when describing the manner or the character of someone.

8. The fourth paragraph deviates from the narrative and vacillates between third person omniscient and third person limited. This disrupts both the flow of the story and the verisimiltude when portraying the character. Veracious portrayal cannot be achieved if you jump between the narrative styles in such a manner.

9. "heard vividly"? - a really strange choice of word. How can you hear something vividly? Clearly - yes, but vividly?

10. Next installment - tomorrow.
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