0

To be an Elfling or not to be an Elfling

In my previous post, I discussed anonymous reviews from 2008 and 2010 that I decided to delete, because they felt more like attempts to flame or belittle than actual reviews. One of these reviews involved calling me out for grammar issues, but pretty much claimed one couldn’t have a good story unless the grammar was “good”. However, here is part of one of the reviews I received for my first story with chapters.

February 18, 2006 ~ Lyn ~ I wish I had your imagination and skill as a writer!

So, why bring this up?

Lyn is the person I consider to be my first Beta ever. This is only a small portion of one of her reviews. She’s the one who taught me the difference between there and their, but they were super patient with me, and took the time to explain what errors I made grammar wise. Not everything she explained to me clicked right away, but she was wonderful, and gave excellent explanations.

More important though, despite all my errors and where I was at writing, she saw beyond these errors and saw definite potential. Unlike her, I don’t critique or Beta for grammar unless it’s to point out readability issues. While it is important, it’s not the “end all”. I’ll always be thankful for her reviews.

0

Human on the Team

So, Human on the Team is one of my older stories, which means the prose is basic, and the grammar leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve come a long way since 2008. However, back then I also let through some reviews I probably shouldn’t have.

March 15, 2008 ~ army of perverts ~ surprisingly tolerable

My thoughts when I didn’t delete this anonymous review was that everybody has their right to an opinion even those who are attempting to revenge flame. However, since then I’ve also learned that sometimes people aren’t actually trying to voice an opinion, but just trying to stir up trouble. This was on the first chapter, but they also didn’t explain why the story was “surprisingly tolerable”. More specially, they didn’t explain what was almost not tolerable for them. Here though is a second review.

January 1, 2019 ~ Luiz

You should try learning the rules of grammar and using spell-check- your story needs serious editing.

If you had written better it would have had the potential to become a good story, unfortunately  in its present state it is very low-quality writing.

So, for those who don’t know, I’m dyslexic. I used to beat myself up, but also believe these kinds of reviews because I knew I stunk in regards to the grammar department. Now, Human on the Team’s not perfect, but I’m looking back at the older chapters as I’m finally back to continuing the series. I’m now at a point I can better judge my own grammar, but I found myself realizing the grammars not that bad.

By this, I mean that the grammar issues aren’t bad enough to say the story isn’t a good story. Since I got this review, I’ve come to realize – through a lot of my writing mentors offline – that while grammar is important, and that having a work that isn’t hot-off -the-press is a major goal, grammar and formatting doesn’t determine whether something is “good” or not. Minor grammar errors don’t determine whether a story becomes a good story or not.

By looking at grammar typos like this reader did, they in reality were not looking at the stories potential at all. Here in also lies the problem of specializing in grammar only. On one side, I actually eat up the reviews which are honestly meant to help me and point out specific issues. Then, you have this review where the reader determines whether the story is good or not based on grammar alone. That’s wrong.

Sure, this isn’t one of my best pieces, but that’s not the point. What does “low-quality” writing actually mean? Give me Mark Twain’s rule for writing any day, a list of rules which includes grammar, but basic technique only ends up being a small part. <– See, that’s it – that grammar and such are only a small part. Also, I’ve also discovered some of these people who profess to be good at grammar really aren’t. Sadly, one of these people was a former Beta.

There’s not point in keeping these up anymore, as they’re only padding my word count, and I’ve now got them here.

0

Silver and Gold Cracks

weeb

That’s the anonymous review I got today.

For those who don’t know, weeb is short for weeabo. As for what a weebo is, according to the current top definition at Urban Dictionary, it is…

A non japanese person who basically denounces their own culture and calls themselves japanese. They try to learn japanese through the anime they watch and usually end up pronouncing it wrong and looking like a complete idiot.

Have I ever said I’ve ever denounced my culture for the Japanese culture. Problem is, I’ve never announced my personal culture and ethnicity online ever. So, I can’t have denounced my own culture when I’ve never explicitly said I am of any given culture, yet they don’t know if I am or am not of the Japanese culture.

Well, I am American, but that doesn’t mean I’m not of Japanese decent. There is a very rich history of Japanese immigrants in this country, though some of the history is not so good. Many of those of Japanese decent were removed from their homes during WWII whether they were legal citizens or not.

However, there is also this note on the definition.

KEEP IN MIND: that a non-japanese person can like the culture, watch anime, speak the language and RESPECT THE CULTURE, while still keeping in touch with there own. Which keeps them from being a Weeaboo, japanophile, ect.

If I’m not of Japanese decent, I can still enjoy their own culture. Actually, I’ve found learning about other cultures helps a person to become better in touch with their own culture. I’ve not just delved into the Japanese culture, but I’ve learned things about Native American cultures, various European cultures, and Asian cultures.

What bothers me about this one though is, I actually did careful research for the contest piece I wrote. I spent time researching the art technique I was supposed to include, but also the elements the contest wished for me to include. At least one of the characters is also of Japanese decent, if not both for this fanfic. If it is the character’s culture, how can I not delve into it? If it is a required part for the contest, how can I not include it?

If you’re going to call someone a weeb, actually back it up.

This said, I may have misspelled some Japanese words. My doing so is not a sign of disrespect. I’m dyslexic, so even though I do try to get the words spelled right, I may make mistakes. That’s not a reason to call me a weeb though.

0

Awaited

You do know the ninja call their planet Earth, right?

So, I’m writing a story where the Voltron: Legendary Defender characters landed on the world of Naruto. I’m thinking the writer was trying to correct me on what they perceive as a mistake.

First, let’s start off with the fact there is a reason we call our planet Earth. At least, that’s what we call the planet in the English language. Other languages use some form of Terra for the name. In Japan, the word is Chikyu. All of these words mean earth, or land. Planets often have their name derived from the people who live there, or the word in a given language which means Earth.

Second, the characters don’t really call their planet Earth, as they don’t speak English but Japanese instead. Sure, in the English version they speak English and they call the planet Earth, but there again, they’re speaking English and not Japanese. In this world, they supposedly had no contact with the western world, so why would they call their planet Earth? Now, I’m not familiar with the words used in the Japanese version, so if Kishimoto used Earth instead of his own language, it’s something I’d chalk up to another one of the things he didn’t think through.

Third, this is an AU where the characters of Naruto aren’t on Earth. However, their culture derives from Earth culture, and they think the planet they originated on is their home planet. I mentioned taking inspiration from Stargate, where people of Earth were relocated, but thought the planet they were on was actually Earth. However, this isn’t a trope which shows up in just Stargate, where the people and culture are displaced like this.

The main point is, this isn’t a mistake on my part. I actually thought it out quite a bit.

0

Beyond the Night: Beyond Justice

Sometimes people baffle me. I received the following review for a one-shot collection I’m working on which amounts to an AU for both Teen Titans/Young Justice.

Are the teen titans going to be involved at all?

So far, I’ve only published four one-shots.

  • The first one takes place in Titan Tower and mostly involves Speedy, and setting his character up for later one-shots, but also how he ends up interacting with the Teen Titans in later one-shots. However, had the person actually read the one-shot, they would know that Starfire showed up in that particular one-shot.
  • The second one involves Robin visiting a recuperating Cyborg, but also some discussion of what’s going on with the other Titans.
  • The third one is about Robin forming a friendship with Wally after the disbanding of Teen Titans.
  • The forth one is about Robin revealing his identity to Wally. Originally, the third and forth one-shot were going to be one single one-shot, but together these two one-shots total over 10k, and each stood on their own.

Truth of the matter is, a former Titan has been involved in every single one-shot so far, although Robin is a character that belongs in both continuities. Starfire shows up in the first chapter, Cyborg shows up in the second, and Raven is marked as one of the character tags for this particular fic. There is also a mentioning of the group every chapter so far. Sure, they’re indirect references, but that doesn’t mean the Titans aren’t involved with the story.

I decided to delete this one. My reason for deleting comes down to the fact I am suspicious the reader didn’t bother reading anything I wrote, but may think I’m going to jump right into one-shots where the Titans are a part of the team despite not having done proper set up.

One-Shots I’ve Written

  1. Circus Freaks – Roy’s not to impressed with the Teen Titans.
  2. What Adults Do – Robin is visiting Cyborg, and also what happens to the Titans.
  3. Playdate – First playdate between Wally and Robin.
  4. Identity – Robin reveals his identity to Wally.
  5. I am Batman Quoth the Raven – Very random one-shot involving a Teen Titans era sleepover between Robin and Raven where they drive Batman and Batgirl up the wall with some surprising twists. Still working on writing this one.

One Shots I Plan to Write

  1. Beast Boy hates his new mentor.
  2. Starfire hates her new mentor.
  3. Raven has no new mentor, but is worried about Robin.
  4. Robin reflects on his own secrets, and Roy rants about the stupidity of the Teen Titans and how he hopes they’ll never be a part of the team. Teen Titans is an off topic subject, yet Wally’s figured out Robin is the former leader even though the other guys don’t know. Instead of getting a girl right away, it takes time. Miss Martian is being introduced another way as well. Her introduction is meant to occur during BtC.
  5. Roy hates their mentor Zartana. (No, I’m not making her the same age as Robin. She’s actually the oldest, and already a member of the JL.)
  6. Raven shows up, Roy leaves because of her past. This ties into number five.
  7. Cyborg eventually does show back up, but I want to do some one-shots before that.
  8. Robin’s birthday for appearances, inspired by one-shot number four.
  9. Robin and Wally get to go snowboarding.
  10. More one-shots involving James Gordon, but Robin and Raven talking about the bullying. Nash (who is the father of Nash from Batman Beyond) is there as is Andy Mallory, borrowing from other continuims.)
  11. Koldur being asked to look over the Teen Titans records to find out Ray’s judgement was off, but his was spot on for someone else.
  12. An alternative first mission where Robin decides he doesn’t want to be leader before Raven which may end up being a one-shot that is just LJ with references to the Teen Titans.
  13. An AU to the “just Koldur” involving … well, spoils if I go into that. 🙂
  14. Artimus and Raven bonding.
  15. AU to how Roy finds out he is a clone.
  16. And others as I come up with ideas. Mostly, these are a few to set up the AU setting so I can write BtT and BtJ which turned out to be more integral to BtC, which is integral to BtN.

Longer Series

  1. Beyond the Night – Terry’s time frame.
  2. Beyond the Night: Beyond the Cave – Terry’s alternate history.
  3. Beyodn the Night: Beyond the Grave – Terry’s little brother’s alternate history.
  4. Beyond the Night: Beyond the Talons – A story with an AU version of Talon and League of Owls, but also Dick’s process of becoming Nightwing.
  5. Beyond the Night: Beyond the Joker – A story involving Jason Todd’s death for this particular continuum.
  6. Beyond the Night: Beyond the Dream – Something I realized wouldn’t work as a one-shot.

This isn’t some simple idea in my head. Then again, when have I ever done simple.

 

0

Please Learn to Check Publication Dates

Today I received an anonymous review from someone using the name Shadoriune5123.

Not to be rude, but Pidge didn’t even go into all the possibilities that open up…

I thought at first I was actually getting a legit critique from someone, but the more I read the review, the more I want to slam my head against my computer keyboard. I wrote “Aliens Among Us” before season two, so why is the reader bringing up information that is not only revealed during season two, but is information Pidge still does not possess to make a deduction from? That’s not the only things though.

…when you think about the fact that there are co-dominant genes, and those could affect whether the camouflage gene shows up in Galra.

Why would Pidge think that the traits are co-dominant? Yes, co-dominant genes do exist, but there is no reason for her to believe with the information she has that the genes are co-dominant. Keep in mind, in this fic the team is specifically arguing hypothetically whether Keith, with Galra blood in him would have purple skin. For him to be Galra, Pidge has already come to the conclusion the purple skin would not be a dominant feature, which led to the debate about whether they were the same species. Pidge mocks this idea by pointing out that camouflage would be a non-dominant trait, as they would have seen Galra with this trait, which they have not.

Then you have the fact that there are also gene mutations that affect our chromosones and their genes, and that opens up even more possibilities for the Galra and Alteans to be the same race.

I’m honestly still trying to figure out what this has to do with anything. Throwing around big words doesn’t actually make you smart, and one needs to make ones point a whole lot clearer than just saying something exists. They never get into what they meant by gene mutations specifically, just said it is possible. However, to use it theoretically, you need to back it up with more than “it’s possible”.

Besides, Haggar is Altean and she’s BLUE. I know the Alteans have camouflage capabilities, but really, she is BLUE.Besides, Haggar is Altean and she’s BLUE. I know the Alteans have camouflage capabilities, but really, she is BLUE.

Not only is this second season information that Pidge still doesn’t have, Haggar is purple, not blue. This is also based around the idea that purple is Haggar’s natural skin color rather than her doing exactly what Allura says her species were known for, infiltration. Don’t argue that her skin color is something when we actually do not know.

Besides, how many Alteans do you think have solid yellow eyes.

How do we know this isn’t part of the camouflauge capabilities, one that Allura in her young age does not have as a skill, but an older Altean like Haggar would have? Let us also not forget when this was published.

I think that Haggar could possibly be a bridge between the two. And maybe they’re separate races, sort of like how you have lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, caracals, and servals all on the same continent. They’re all pretty different, but in essence they are the same. They’re all a kind of big cat, so I think that the Alteans and Galra and humans aren’t that far apart, otherwise you couldn’t have a viable hybrid such as Keith. For instance, tigers and lions can interbreed, but a fox and a coyote cannot.

Good grief.

First, if she is a bridge between the two, she is a hybrid, which I won’t argue against. But then this person brings up hybrids but doesn’t use that in reference to Haggar. Again, this fic was written before this particular reveal as well.

Second, the “race” thing is complicated. There is a big debate about whether the Vulcans and Romulans are the same species or not. Genetically, they are the same species, but in regards to race, it’s been discovered that only a select few genes are linked to true racial differences genetically. Race is instead a contrived idea. However, they are referred to as different species because they see themselves that way.

However, the problem comes up when the writer of this referred to animal species as races when there is no such thing as race among animals. It’s that they are of differing species. Add to this, Pidge wasn’t debating with people whether a hybrid between any of these species was possible or not. What she was arguing was whether or not the purple skin trait was something which could be passed on genetically to the hybrid, with Keith being what they based their hypothesis around. In other words, this wasn’t a debate about whether Keith was Galra or not, but a debate about whether his skin was actually purple if he so happened to be part Galra.

That, and a debate about the logic Lance used to joke about Keith being Galra. They were having a major joke at the expense of Keith, utterly mortifying the poor guy, who at this point in time is horrified by the idea of possibly being part Galra, and they’ve not yet gotten to him seeing the blade. Lance just randomly brought the idea up.

Anyways, that’s my take, but I think it’s a great story and you did awesome!

Thanks, but I can’t help but think you missed the point of my story.

Anyways, while I don’t agree with the logic the reader used, I’m letting this one through. While I don’t see the critique as legit because of logic fallacies, it is still a valid opinion and they did attempt to use logic in their analysis of what I wrote. Thus, it isn’t a flame. And, it did mean my fic did provoke some kind of thought with them.

0

Black Dream

What the fuck do you know about writing? Fuck all is the answer. So who do you think you are?

I got this as an anonymous review today on this particular one-shot.

I get the fact someone is likely mad at a review I left, but if there was something wrong with the actual review, why not counter it? If I am wrong, and don’t know what I’m talking about, then prove it rather than just saying I don’t.

On an added note, I’ve revisited a few stories I’ve reviewed in the past, and one of the reviews left in response to a review I left said they agreed with the review, except for the fact the “theory” wasn’t “presented as a theory” by the writer, so I couldn’t argue whether the theory was valid or not. However, the problem with this argument comes down to the fact said “theory” isn’t canon fact, but also, what does presenting something as a theory mean? Is it really true that one has to say they are presenting a theory in their author’s note for someone to be presenting a theory?
As a theoretical writer, the answer is no. As a writer, you’re either presenting your work as canon fact or theoretical. There is no in-between. In other words, this is an attempt to try and deflect a legit criticism. It attempts to ignore what they’re working with isn’t fact, but also tries to skirt the concept willing suspense of disbelief. If something isn’t fact, it is the job of the writer to make it believable. In fact, if you are choosing to write an AU, you are creating a theoretical piece, and AUs aren’t something one can do whatever one wants without critical thought.As for the theory, it can’t be considered an AU, for while the “theory” they were working with is now canon fact, there were parts which contradicted canon simply because the writer couldn’t care to to think about what they were doing critically. Should a writer want to explore things that contradict canon, they NEED to note the contradictions, and why they are choosing to explore it.