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Comments, Critiques, Mary Sue Litmus Test

Celey Wrote://>.>\\'... Just going by the first chapter of your fic, I wouldn't say that the bread-and-butter was at all solid. But I haven't read the rest of the fic yet (I might try and read through more of it, but there was a lot of inconsistency, OOC moments, and your character is definitely a Sue.. and that kind of makes things difficult for me), so it's definitely possible that it gets on more solid ground as it goes on.

Well, that's the thing about that. The first part is more the set-up than the actual plot. The plot involves kidnapping, a crazy dude, demon possession (sort of) and a bunch of occult stuff that only Morgana knows how to deal with. And while I'm under no delusions that any of it is perfect, or ever will be, I still think it's fun. And really gory and dark at times. Which is really more of a "me" thing than anything else. I just like darker stuff.

Quote: But yeah, as time goes on... writing styles and such do change, and you do improve, especially if you're constantly looking up information about writing and/or if you're getting constructive criticism on your fic. I know, for me, I'm my own worst critic. At least, I am now... Back when I first started writing fanfic (which was... oh, I dunno, back in 2000?), I didn't know what a Mary-Sue was until a reviewer pointed it out to me. So, that reviewer was my worst critic, then, but I'm definitely my own worst critic now. It seems like it's very hard to actually get constructive criticism on FF.NET... Most of what you get is usually "Please update soon" and "This was pretty cool" or comments about what a person's favorite scene was.

Exactly. I only ever had one reviewer who actually tried to help, but it was nothing more than pointing out typos and trying to tell me that someone from Brazil can't have red hair. Which is not accurate, and is something that I researched ahead of time. So it wasn't particularly helpful.

Quote: I think it's because some people are afraid of what a writer's reaction might be if they critique their work, so they play it safe and don't give much, if any, criticism. This is definitely a legitimate fear because I've had people blow up at me before for daring to suggest that their character is a Mary-Sue or that their grammar needs work, etc. It could also be laziness or not having enough time to really get into critique or something like that.

Well, you told me, and I didn't blow up! :D But I've also accepted it and devised a way to end the series. My evil plan is well underway!

Quote: Anyway, I'm pretty well-aware of what my strengths and weaknesses are, so I'm always seeking to improve my writing, especially by reading. Reading about writing or just reading, in general. I've noticed that my strength appears to be in characterization and dialogue, but I tend to come up short when it comes to prose and establishing setting (or basically just being descriptive). I become envious of others that excel at this. I've learned that a lot of people who are artists actually tend to write really good prose... I think because they just have an eye for detail or something. I mean, that's not always the case. I've read good prose from people who aren't really good artists, and I'm sure there are artists that write really sucky just in general... But I think there is a link there.

I think that might be what my problem is... I have plenty of imagination, and I tend to think of really, big grandiose ideas... But it's the details that trip me up. That actually reminds me of another weakness I have, which is my tendency to make a plot too big and too complicated for one story. These are things I'm trying to remedy, and I'm sure, with time, I'll get better at it.

Exactly. It's so weird, though, I'm always so jealous of writers who create beautiful ambiance with their writing, and yet I've had people call my writing "poetic." I guess because it's very analytical at times? I have no idea. But I really wish I could truly set a scene the way I picture it in my imagination.

With time and practice, everyone improves in their craft. It's impossible not to. It's how anyone gets better at anything. Sadly, writing will probably always take a backseat to sewing, for me. I sew a lot more costumes than I write stories, so I guess I'm always going to be slightly better at one than the other.
I am the story that will read you real
Every memory that you hold dear...

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