|Reviews for The Two Bays|
| Raye Silver chapter 8 . 4/14/2015
Beautiful It's hard to find good stories that respect the source material while creating a new story with it. Kudos and may you make more beautiful stories to share.
| TheWerdna chapter 8 . 1/1/2015
Wow, I have to say I really enjoyed this story. Perhaps it was because I had just sat down and rewatched the entire series recently, but I really needed this, especially the closure between Tomoya and the Ushio of the other timeline.
Overall the writting was supurb, with everyone coming across in character and all of the emotional beats hitting right in the feels with pinpoint accuracy. I honestly teared up a bit at a few points, particularly the goodbye in the beginning of the final chapter.
I will admit the very end has me wishing there was more, particularly with Tomoya opening up to Nagisa about the other timeline, since that is something I havn't seen in any other fanfic out there for the series and now I suddenly really want to see that. However, I can't exactly fault you for what you didn't write, as that would be super unreasonable of me. Plus the fact that I want more says a lot about the quality of your writing.
My one real criticism is that the first half of the story is rather slowly paced, with the those first 4-5 chapters not really getting anywhere and basically running in circles with Tomoya worrying about the fact that there is two Ushios and what this will mean, and that its bringing back memories, and so on. But when the meat of the story comes near the end, it really hits hard, so overall this is not a huge complaint. Just saying those chapters could have been tightened up a bit.
I guess that covers all the reviewy bits, so I shall now leave off with a question regarding the story. I am a bit confused with what was going on where Tomoya and the other Ushio ended up back in the original timeline. Was this a case of the wish being temporarily undone and things were reverted back? Or was this more like a small pocket in time, sorta like the scene in eps 22 where Tomoya relives meeting Nagisa (but with retained memories)? Any how exactly did they end up there, was it as a result of Ushio wishing that? Or was it an accidental thing, as they both sorta just wake up there?
| Phalanx chapter 2 . 7/19/2014
Oh now I remember reviewing the first chapter of this. I'm glad to have had a chance at the second chapter :)
She woke up, blinking at the rays of light [...]
She blinked and sat up, staring at the spots [...]
The first two paragraphs are a bit repetitive sentence structure-wise. Maybe some variation would be in order?
The jumping perspective from the strange girl to Ushio's POV after the chapter title was a bit... confusing. I would recommend some sort of divider or italics to make it clear the POV switch. There is the chapter title, but I have never seen the chapter title being used as a divider. It seems a bit strange to have it in the middle like that. I would at least at a horizontal rule to make it clear these are two separate sections and perspectives.
The introduction between Ushio and the strange girl is done well. It's exactly the kind of conversation I would expect a young kid to have with another someone they'd just met. The titbits given on where the girl came from, 'Somewhere with lots of snow,' [...] 'And no sun.' were rather intriguing.
There is another problematic and sudden shift of perspectives again:
'I'll go get Mum,' she decided, letting go of the other's hands. 'I'll be back in a sec.'
She sprinted off through the trees and the other girl watched her go and followed at her own slow pace, feeling the sun beating down more fiercely than the snow ever could. She watched Ushio vanish before her and the trees give way to a grassy backyard. She could see flowers, fresh flowers, dancing under a windowsill – flowers untouched by cold or frost, like the ones in that worn out picture book she'd found amidst scraps.
In the first 'I'll go get Mum' part you were narrating from the POV of Ushio. In the next sentence, it starts off as Ushio POV and then jumps to the other girls' POV. In this context it is confusing, especially since the other girl is not named at all and referred to only by her pronoun of 'she', which is easily confused with Ushio. Without making clear who is the POV character as a reader I feel pulled out of the narrative because I need to stop and take stock of who is narrating now, and that breaks immersion. Again, I would strongly recommend a break between perspective jumps, or starting a new paragraph, or at least some way of making it clearer the POV has shifted somehow.
There is another case of repetitive lines:
The next moment she was helping her – and the girl noted that the lady was far stronger than she looked, because she all but carried her inside, up the three stairs on the back porch and into a chair. The next moment she was guiding a cup to her lips, and the girl was drinking thirstily.
Two "the next moment" in a row is a bit much, maybe some more variation?
You know you really have a gift for description. The way you describe surroundings is very vivid and poetic. I particularly liked this line:
The water was lukewarm, warmer than anything she remembered tasting – because all too often the water she'd find would be frozen over by a winter that grew longer and longer each year, until it had become never-ending.
It gives away so much in an organic, natural way. Way to put in background infromation without info-dumping! I do worry about being overly flowery but I think you're not there yet and I could still following the description of the surroundings and such without being sidetracked from the story. Good job on that.
I really really like to the hook at the end of the 2nd chapter. It nicely drops in the revelation that the strange girl is a mirror version of Ushio, and the reason why she has only ever been referred to as pronoun thus far. The relevation does create room for more confusion though. For example, I have no idea which Ushio is speaking in this line:
'Daddy's home!' the little Ushio squealed.
Oh, and watch out for said-bookisms:
'Run along to get him then,' her mother smiled
should probably be
'Run along to get him then,' her mother said, smiling.
'Run along to get him then,' her mother said with a smile.
Looks like the story is getting into its stride. It does look very interesting thus far.
| Feeling-Grand chapter 1 . 6/23/2014
Fandom Blind, but here goes.
I'm surprised this story doesn't have more reviews, it is so well written! I thought Ushio was a darling character and her parents seemed well characterized as well. Also the writing was just superb, it was so light and fluffy and warm. A nice easy read. I don't know if this story will get any darker but I really enjoyed just reading your descriptions. They were so nice and felt like I was being hugged as the words came through my ears. I don't know if the robot is important in the fandom but I did feel Ushio's bond to it and thought the beginning of her and it walking through the snow was a great way to start off a fic. I could just feel the sun shining on me in the story, it was just so beautifully written. If you haven't written original fiction I urge you to do it. I definitely felt like reading on even though I didn't know the characters. It just had a way of pulling me forward as I read. I also thought the finishing line was very impacting as it made me interested in the next chapter but also scaring me as I don't won't any harm to come to this girl or family. I didn't know what age Ushio was meant to be but she seemed like she was six or seven from the way you wrote her. Also was this a flashback? I wasn't sure. I definitely would recommend this story to people who like this fandom but I usually swear off animes or mangas and I got the sense this was one with the Japanese like names. But this story again was just beautiful, the best thing going for it I would say being the writing style. Not much happened but at the same time I feel satisfied with what did.
I hope this review helped.
| DrummerDancer chapter 1 . 6/15/2014
Alright, starting off: not familiar with Clannad, but I’ll do my best!
I really like the opening line [There was no snow in this world] because I’m immediately intrigued as to why this is. It’s not a boring opening. The second line, though [The sun instead shone, bright and true, in the sky] doesn’t actually follow that up—the sun would still shine in the sky in a normal world, on a normal sunny day, so it doesn’t really back up this great idea that this world is different. I expect to read something validating or supporting this idea that there’s no snow in this world immediately after the idea is introduced to keep me hooked and from clicking the back button. So, maybe some more exposition about this new world needs to follow the opening line?
Second paragraph, first line: [Its people sparkled as well…It was like…] I believe ‘it was like’ should be ‘they were like’ because the protagonist is still thinking about the people as a ‘group’ in the plural sense and ‘it’ refers to a singular something (plus, ‘it’ isn’t very descriptive).
Also second paragraph, we have this phrase […distant stars in the night sky…] that I find to be a bit cliché. Can you find a different, more unique way to describe this?
Third paragraph, first line: [Sometimes, she could even catch them with the snowflakes that constantly fell] Okay now I’m confused. I thought it didn’t snow here? Now it does, constantly? As a reader who’s canon blind, this doesn’t make the least bit of sense. Some elaboration/re-wording is recommended here.
After ‘The Two Bays, Chapter 1’ break:
Line one: [Ushio blinked lazily…] I’m a stickler about adverbs, so I must put my two cents in: in my creative writing class, my professor always said, “Don’t use an adverb; find a better verb instead.” I’ve found this to be so enlightening and true: for instance, instead of saying “the boy walked quickly,” would it not make more sense to say, “the boy sprinted”? Clean and effective, no adverb needed.
That being said, I would simply cut ‘lazily’—it doesn’t add anything and frankly drives some of us who are a little unhinged about adverbs up the wall. And, as a general rule; if you’re going to use an adverb, fine, have at it. Just don’t put one in the hook, which this part is, quite frankly, part of.
/end rant. Haha.
Second paragraph: […boyish toy…] I love that description. Also second paragraph: […she had plenty other cheap plastic toys…] ‘of’ is missing between ‘plenty’ and ‘other’.
Third paragraph: […Dango was fabric; it would get wet…] ‘it’ feels almost too impersonal here. Wouldn’t the protagonist think of the doll like a person, like a ‘she’ perhaps? And same for the line following it; the robot would perhaps be a ‘he’ to her, not an ‘it’.
Fifth paragraph: […glistening in the rays of the afternoon sun…] Again, kind of cliché. Describe how they look using words that are off the wall and hard to think of.
[‘You’re getting too old to be carried around,’] I’m assuming the single quotes are intentional and that you’re following the British publishing guidelines…but in case you AREN’T—your dialogue is framed by single quotes.
[‘Or the snow.’] Yep, I still don’t understand what’s happening with the weather.
[‘Hmm…let’s see…’ Nagisa counted thoughtfully. ‘At least another nine years..’] First off, I see an adverb that can be cut. Secondly, is this ‘nine years’ timeline related in part to the canon? ‘Cause nine years seems excessive to wait for schooling (of course, I’m thinking of regular schooling so this comment might be null).
[‘School will be just like kindergarden,’] Wait, so maybe this IS about regular schooling. So why does she have to wait nine years? If she’s old enough, shouldn’t she be enrolled right now?
Last line: [It was like the girl didn’t absorb any light at all.] *chills* Epic last line. Did NOT see that coming.
Okay, overall thoughts: I understand the beginning is meant to be a dream sequence, but man did that ‘no snow’ thing throw me for a loop! I spent the whole rest of the piece trying to figure that out but never could, and I have no idea how much that part relies on canon. Adding in more exposition would perhaps help, though this might all, in fact, be reader error. Otherwise, I really love where this is going. I’m hooked, beginning to end, and that last line was the cherry on top. Excellent, excellent opening—great work!
| Phalanx chapter 1 . 2/26/2014
Fandom blind, but I did a quick lookup on wikipedia for this series to get the general idea of what it was about.
It seems a little strange that you are writing this piece from the perspective of Ushio, the daughter, but in her narrative she refers to her parents by their given names instead of 'father' and 'mother'. I don't think this is natural for most Asian families to do, and especially since this series is set in Japan, I found that a little jarring.
I think you might benefit from looking up and reading about third person narrative modes. Right now you seem to be going for third person subjective but occasionally you switch to omniscient.
This phrase sounds off:
Nagisa stood at the door and waved her off, and Ushio kept glancing behind her until she'd shrunk.
Unless Nagisa is a shape shifter, which I didn't see any mention of, 'she shrunk' would imply she physically changes in size. I can guess what you meant, that what Ushio could see of her shrunk into the distance, but you might need to rephrase that sentence.
The ending to the first chapter was a bit abrupt. It was all building up very nicely, especially the bit about the light not being absorbed and therefore there was something unnatural about this other girl. In fact I was expecting some reaction from Ushio to the other girl but instead the chapter just cut off there. To be honest I felt a little disappointed, it just sort of ruined the set-up.
I have no SPAG complaints and you certainly have a knack for writing description. The flowof languagewas good and I liked the family character building bias. There were occasions when I felt it was getting borderline wordy, but it wasn't too the point of being a bad thing yet, though I would be careful not to go overboard there for future chapters. Overall, I do think your writing is pretty good, and your premise sounds promising. It could use s bit more polishing but you've got the basics down for a good set up first chapter.