Angelsong <WWC>

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Thread: Angelsong <WWC>

  1. #1
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    Default Angelsong <WWC>

    (Hi, so I'm clearing all of my stories out for personal reasons. I have copies on my hard drive if, for legal reasons, I'm not allowed to do this, but otherwise I'd prefer for this old shame to die old shame. ._.)
    Last edited by Lurking; 2nd August 2013 at 01:27 AM.

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    no Tyranitex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Angelsong <WWC>

    Claimed.
    Like a ViiIIIiiIIrgin!!

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    Virbank Gym Leader WinterVines's Avatar
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    Default Re: Angelsong <WWC>

    Since Tex is MIA for who knows how long, I'm reclaiming this one to grade since it's like... 8 months old...

    @Kai-Mei
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    Virbank Gym Leader WinterVines's Avatar
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    Default Re: Angelsong <WWC>

    Song of Angels
    @Kai-Mei

    Yikes, that certainly took me a long time. Sorry about that ._. But you know the junk I've been doing lately, and then I was probably lazy somewhere along with being busier too. Hopefully I tell you something worthwhile. Considering this story is older and your writing's probably changed since then, it was very hard to find something to talk about D: Had to get my thinking cap and turn it up to high.

    ---

    Intro: Alright, here we go. I'm going to pretend this fic isn't eight months old for the sake of talking about it or else this grade will be pretty bare D:

    Your fic starts out with a few lines of italic poetry, and that helps sets the mood of what's going to be happening in the story. I definitely like that, and because you showed the lines right away, it sort of gives the hint that there will probably be more of them or that those lines will set the mood of the entire story. The scene you set up in the beginning displays Michael's (at this time) exact unknown pain very well, showing how something he probably liked and is good at causes him so much inner trauma. It definitely causes a reader to question what's going on, even though, from you details, it's fairly obvious that he's lost someone. The specifics aren't known though, and that helps draw the readers in for more.

    I really have no complaints about the way it begins, and I think starting somewhere in the middle of the tale is better than the beginning at times, if only because it's usually best to start at some point of conflict (inner conflict here) or interesting focus and then when you do it like this, it makes readers ask why those specific events are happening.

    I guess the only thing I really thought about was the characterization you showed Michael in at this point. Here he is still pretty sad and heartbroken, but the way you describe him as cold right away seems a little off, since in my opinion, cold is what he ended up as after his end rage. I mean he is a bit angered at the people that took him away from Mitsuki, but if he's feeling dead, I would think he'd be just more resigned and lifeless. Being cold and harsh requires a little bit of life left. Then again, that's just what I feel, and I don't see anything wrong with the way it currently stands. I really had to look for deep themes in this one.

    Plot: The plot in general is a simple one, but you make it more complex with the struggles of the characters (both inner and outer). It was fairly obvious what was going to happen in the end throughout the story, but that didn't really bother me since the real journey was following the characters and how they were dealing with it as time moved on.

    Personally, I like the character struggles more than actual physical conflict in stories, and you did this pretty well, so even though I don't like sad fics all the time, I still really enjoyed it. Going into the psyche and the individual characters' thoughts and actions really adds to their development. I like seeing their thought process and how different events are affecting them.

    The lack of a ton of outside influences also added to the light theme you had about them basically being invisible to the world. I'm not sure if that was deliberate or not, but it still rings true. Unfortunately, the world doesn't stop when someone has a crisis.

    I think if I had to ask for more on it, I would want to know what Mitsuki and Michael do when they're not together. In particular like job-wise or other hobbies that may have been stopped because she got sick. I know the fic is about how their dealing with her condition, but how is that affecting other things going on in their life? Outside of being with her, I'm not sure what Micheal really does for a living, although I would guess some sort of professional musician?

    I think ages might give readers a few more clues about what stage of life both characters are in too. You mentioned them as boy and girl when he was carrying her to the hospital, but that could be in general. I would assume they're younger, like twenties range, due to the intensity of their reactions (especially because of Mitsuki's seemingly uplifted spirits one day and then depressed on others). If they were older in life, they would probably be a bit more experienced and have dealt with similar things before (parents, friends, pets, etc), and maybe able to deal with it better (since we find out later Michael does not take it well at all).

    I'd also like to know how their song was exposed so they asked him to play it in concert. This ties in to what he does in life a bit. In the beginning you mentioned that he hadn't played in a while, and after reading more of the story, the clues suggested that he hadn't played since she collapsed. That was also near when they finished the song. If he hadn't played since then, how was the tune heard for him to play it for a crowd? I suppose he could've been telling 'them' about it for a while, but that was never really said. Since 'they' were mentioned a few times and they had a somewhat significant role because they took him away from her on that night, I want to know how they got involved in the first place. If it was Mitsuki that encouraged him to show others, that could've been another scene in the fic (I know it's long already but) that showed how he was trying to do what she asked of him because he loved her and wanted to make her happy.

    I really liked the plot, though, so all is well. Like I said before, digging real deep on this one, so I can provide something useful for a future story. You said it was a different style than you normally do (which I'm assuming was because of the italics sections?), but a lot of your fics have similar themes (tragedy and dealing with/moving on), so maybe I'll say something you can use for the next one.

    The only odd thing was the way you set up your sections. There were a lot of time jumps. I agree with the introduction's time setting. Starting in the middle was the definite way to go. The next part jumps to somewhere before the intro, but after some of the stuff in the middle. The middle parts are the core of the fic, like their relationship really developing and finding out about her sickness and such. Then there's a jump to back around the time that the second section is taking place (when he's playing their song in his apartment and struggling to finish), and then we skip back to where we were in the beginning. There's another few sections that jump back to before the concert, and then we're taken to present time again. I wrote all the scenes out if you can believe that. I even numbered them according to similar time frame, and it goes something like this: 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2.5/3, 4 (with 1 being the beginning of the time line and 4 being the end).

    It's a little jumpy, which is like using flashbacks, so I don't really mind. I remember when I read it back during WWC, the jumps messed me up a little bit, but the second time it was much smoother. The jumps filled in details for gaps in what happened, like when he gave her the phone. I don't really have any complaints here, since the brain is able to rearrange the events and put them in the correct timeline order.

    I think maybe if you had to move a section at all, I would've moved the scene where he gave her the phone to after they sit together and cry at the hospital. Maybe moving the scenes where she dies to before he goes back to his apartment. The way it is right now has him telling Drifloon that she's gone, but we hadn't seen for sure that she had passed yet. The sections after shows that she passes while he's actually playing at the concert. After she dies, I think the scene where you ended it “He had failed” would fit perfectly, giving it more impact that yes, she really is gone and he's not where he wanted to be.

    Detail/Description: Your descriptions are pretty set all around. I like them. In this fic, the detail is more about what the characters are feeling rather than what they're doing in the outside world (as the interactions are mostly self-reflections and inner workings anyway), and I really like that. The character development is one of my favorite aspects of storytelling in general, and you did that well, especially with how Michael raged in his grief before and as he kicked Drifloon out. Again this was shown at the graveyard, when he became somewhat cold and angry even though he told her he would be happy when he thought of her. He goes through most of the stages of grief, so it's believable along with being described well.

    Another thing I liked was how Drifloon and Michael were similar in the fic. They were both affected by Mitsuki, and though they were both saddened by her loss, they were like opposites in how they dealt with it. Michael succumbed to his grief and lost it a bit, only able to focus on the bad (which is totally understandable since he loved her and stuff), while Drifloon was sad but in a happier angle, deciding to go to her instead (and sort of... dying, but that's besides the point). The mirror there showed two of the general ways people deal with tragedy like that, so that was pretty neat.

    I liked the italics also. I asked you about them to confirm that they were some of your old poetry. At first maybe I thought that they were lyrics of a song, since that would've made sense, but because they were your own it made it even better. The phrases fit the scenes they were put around, and the words helped set the mood for the sections. In addition, it's the song that Michael plays, so reading them in between shifting scenes is like a song is being constantly played while reading. I thought it was really neat.

    The only weird describing thing I'll point out is during the second section of the fic. Since it's after the intro, there's a time jump, and you have a bit of different style of storytelling in this one section by saying it's six months prior and that Michael had not changed yet. In a way, this mode sort of gives spoilers to the rest of it. Like I mentioned, it's still fairly obvious what's going to happen, but it's a little ... omniscient I guess, for lack of a better word. The other sections are limited point of view as far as I can tell, and having the different mode in the second rather than the beginning is a little off.

    It's not really noticeable though, and I don't really think it affects the story too much. It's mostly seen by certain lines and phrases, like when you said Michael's soul still had time to die. It's also showing when you say he was playing the notes into the coldness of the world. At the beginning of that section, you say the sun shone into the room and gave it a Springtime glow. That kind of suggests a happier, warmer feeling. The coldness comment is a bit of the narrator voice, since at that time Michael wasn't as cold as he ends up (though he was still sad, since that's after he learns about the illness, which readers don't know at that time). It makes the two feelings conflict a little, and although it's not really bad, it's just interesting that this one would be sort of foretelling while the rest aren't.

    All in all looks good though, so I can't really complain. You described what settings needed describing (like the stage, hospital, his apartment), and stuck to the mental stuff (what the beef of the story was about) for the rest. Thumbs up.

    Grammar: I never have any complaints there, which is so relieving. I can focus on more important things then, and I dislike being nitpicky anyway. There were a couple typos, like putting -ing on a word or adding an s, but there wasn't anything major at all, at least as far as I could tell. I will point out this sentence though, just because I giggled a little bit since I do stuff like this all the time:
    [quote]She jabbed her pen at her words again, and slight frown on her face.

    You still know how to end sections with powerful lines (or I suppose, since this fic is old, it came before the others I graded? ._.), so that's something I really enjoy. There were a couple sections where there was a lot of one-liners, and in some places it fit, but some were a little choppy, like it interrupted the flow a little bit. The one where you said 'in death, she truly looked like an angel' I'm thinking of in particular. I like one-liners, but I guess for future sake just be wary of overkill. I don't think you went overboard at all here, but just something to think about. As long as the last couple of lines (unless emphasis of everything is best, like when he found her note; I liked that) are powerful endings, some of the rest can be condensed a little.

    The only other thing is to watch repeating words and phrases. I know you've heard that before and this fic is old, so it's not really a big deal. There were just a few times that it happened, so thought I'd say something (because I'm pretending this fic isn't months old). In the intro you had 'but he knew all too well' decently close to each other and in the middle 'knew what was about to come', for particulars. But no worries, like I said, not a big deal and it didn't affect my decision at all.

    Length: Drifloon is Complex rank, and you went for two, so the estimated range is 60-80k. I counted 62,676, and even though you said it was a little short for you liking, I'm not really fussed about it due to your content. Even if you leave out the italics (which I wouldn't anyway since they add to the story), it's still a few hundred over the base 60k, so you're definitely good.

    Reality/Miscellaneous: Not too much here, just a few housekeeping things and general questions.

    The first one is when Mitsuki collapses and Michael runs her to the hospital. He didn't have a phone? Later it's shown that he had one, and one would think the ambulance would be faster than him carrying her. I know that when people panic in situations like that, but I guess it could've been mentioned or something. It's not a big deal, as the scene was used to display the invisible theme again, but just something I wondered about, since the phone was a bigger deal at the end.

    The other was during the battle Drifloon had. The pen cap fell and broke, and that was symbolic. Then, she dropped the other part of the pen, and that was symbolic too. I'm not sure if that half broke though, since later you show the ghost having it. That would say that she picked it up after, but since the first part broke, I guess I just assumed the second half did too.

    The only other thing is swapping she and it for Drifloon a few times that were closer together, after you had already established her as a girl. Otherwise, it's all good.

    Result:
    ChainReaction 6:09 pm
    I quickly slammed the palm of my hand onto a butt
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