Reviews for The Return
Pryde Kitty chapter 27 . 9/4/2009
Wow! You've done it again, you've made an amazing chapter, and made me begging for the next chapter! I can't wait to see what you will do next! 3
Thomas chapter 27 . 9/1/2009
Interesting new chapter, I hope you update soon as I am really curious where this is heading especially where and how Ranma and Usagis relationship will end up.
Narsil chapter 27 . 8/31/2009
Good to see this one back, I was beginning to fear that after coming so far it had died.
Jerry Unipeg chapter 27 . 8/31/2009
GREAT CHAPTER! (*x4) Well done on information and great adding a new non-warrior family.
Dragon Man 180 chapter 27 . 8/30/2009
I love how Ceclia's brood has been offered a chance to join up. I can just see the younger succubi getting used to school and maybe working part time with WIC. I can also see Ceclia working as a secretary for WIC during the day and doing her more risque things at night. I can't wait to see what Mercury has planned
XStylus chapter 27 . 8/30/2009
Fantastic work as always. Eagerly look forward to reading more. :)
Violet Shadows chapter 27 . 8/30/2009
If I could cuddle this story I would.
Anima chapter 27 . 8/30/2009
Another good chapter, thank you :D
Annara Ren chapter 27 . 8/30/2009
What an unexpected, and yet extremely pleasant surprise!

Thank for writing this wonderful story :)

Annara
Adyen chapter 27 . 8/30/2009
Sweet! It updated!

I'm just curious, but whatever happened to the Golden Crystal? Is ChibiUsa holding onto it or something?
Phht chapter 27 . 8/30/2009
I didn't actually recognize that scene until you mentioned it in the notes. I much prefer Vir's answer to the question than Londo's rebirth of the empire answer though.

You know, as a warning that some things come at too high a price.
Grinnerz chapter 26 . 8/11/2009
Future invasion from a Far Realm -ish place? Interesting. Great story; however it, to me anyway, seems to have drifted from fan fiction to more towards being a fiction of your own with names taken from different series. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing though.
Lousy Poet Automaton chapter 26 . 7/17/2009
Yeah, I've also just noticed, on skimming through the newest chapter of "And If That Don't Work?" one more time, that you have one more writing habit that's interfering with what your stories could be.

You seem to have an ideal of what a soldier should be like, and your pushing all the main characters in both stories into that mold.

Over time, this is making all the characters in the two stories more and more alike. Some of what I thought was character growth in that the characters were maturing in how they dealt with the realities of their situations is not character growth after all - it's the characters in your stories just becoming more like the fantasy super-soldier you have in mind. They're becoming identically self-righteous, acerbic, pragmatic monomaniacs who only care about fighting.

It's not as bad in the Eva fic, but that's because it hasn't gone on for as long as this one yet. It's detectable though - your characters' personalities are bleeding into each other and they are all becoming the same. Their quirks and personalities are starting to submerge beneath the perfect soldier concept you're layering on top of them.

It could be good... if you were only doing this to a single character. But you aren't. All your the main characters in both stories are being shoe-horned into a single type.

Let me put it this way. Close to the beginning of "The Return," the main characters were all pretty different and growing in different directions.

By the time it's chapter 26 though... many of them are interchangeable. Personality-wise, there is now zero difference between Ranma and any Company guy who's been converted. Nodoka and Kasumi are now almost completely clones of each other - the only distinction is that one is in research while the other fights. In the later chapters, you can switch around the names of Akane, Kuno and Nabiki in any scene and almost NOTHING would happen differently. Ami and Setsuna are now almost alike. Hell, you could do the same with most Company persons from this story and any of the Russians in "And if that don't work,"

This is very reductionist writing, and over time, it's killing off the complexity of your characters and the variety of their responses.

Now, I still really like the Eva story. I hope that as it goes on, it doesn't become like this one.

You're an excellent fanfic writer in most ways, but I feel that this love affair you have with a certain character template is holding back your creativity.

You are much too in love with the coolness of your concept of a good soldier.
Lousy Poet Automaton chapter 25 . 7/16/2009
Hrrm... The story has gotten better in some ways, but it's also gotten worse in others.

It's better in that there's a lighter touch with the emotions of the characters. The angst is more spread out so that it's more effective and there's a good sense of your characters growing.

There's also improvement in the military type details, where it feels like you've steadily put more thought into that aspect of the story. There's almost too much of this - it has grown to completely dominate the story, and we as readers no longer have a sense of your characters as anything other than soldiers. They have no other lives or hobbies. The minor non-military things that happen are almost all meetings between characters trying to be mysterious with each others' plans... about military matters.

Professional soldiers in real life are mostly like everyone else except for their job. Outside of their job, they play video games like World of Warcraft, root passionately for their sports teams, complain endlessly about politics, and so on. It would be good to show your characters still doing other things - you've completely ignored school and dating, movies, school trips, cars, any number of activities they ought to be doing when they're not training or fighting.

This is not bad. It's good in that you've developed that aspect of your story a lot. The thing is that you haven't put as much effort into the other parts of your story.

As a comparison with network TV shows. I like the original CSI series, the one in Las Vegas, the best, while I loathe CSI: Miami. The characters of CSI: Las Vegas are quirky and fallible. They do things outside of work, one had a gambling problem before he died, there was a slow development of a romance, one character loves bugs, another used to be a stripper, two have problems with their daughters etc. The characters of CSI: Miami are irritating and over the top. They are way too good and are Hollywood cops that do everything well, are good scientists and also crack marksmen, and they are all intense, brooding copies of characters from NYPD Blue.

Don't let yourself get caught up in just the parts that feel cool to you. It will hamper your development as a writer.

Oh, minor quibble of an error that's showed up more than once - you have used 'physiological' when what you seem to mean is 'psychological.' There are a couple of scenes, I can no longer remember in which chapters, where you described emotional and mental stress being inflicted on people and described it as physiological. Since it's repeated, it's not a typo.

Physiological means that something is with respect to the functional understanding of biological structure. The physiology of the kidney involves how the structures of the kidney function, the way membranes and cells are arranged to do the jobs that are required, etc.

Emotions and mental stress? That's psychological - having to do with the psyche.

Okay, so, again, that one's minor.

Where you've gotten slightly worse in some ways is the dialogue. There are chapters where explicit dialogue goes on for too long between minor characters and it starts to drag because they're not talking about anything important.

This sometimes happens because the dialogue is *technically* well done, and the characters are being clever as they talk to each other - but it's very difficult to make readers interested in the clever repartee between characters that have little impact on the story.

This also sometimes happens with your exposition - there are some places where it goes on for too long. It sometimes starts to feel like an author tract. When you as the author start to explain your reasoning in the story using the mouths of some of the characters or directly in the narration, it has to be in small doses or it gets boring. Like minor dialogue that can go on for too long, this can mess up the pacing.

Don't leave stuff in there just because your first impulse is that it was cool. Many times, dialogue can be summarized, with only the best lines kept in, so that the entire passage is shorter, faster-paced, and so that what spoken lines are left are more memorable.

The same thing with passages that are about author's reasoning. Judicious injections of superfluous background detail can be good and enrich the depth of the story, but space it out with action that shows how the reasoning applies through events. If events cannot be used to demonstrate what you were going to say in terms of explanation... then your explanation doesn't matter anyway, because it's background detail that doesn't affect the plot.
Lousy Poet Automaton chapter 3 . 7/13/2009
It's pretty good.

To improve from top quality fanfic level writing to professional/publishable writing:

1) A little more effort on engaging the senses (touch, smell, etc), details of the environment so it's more distinct.

2) This is a story that takes itself just a bit too seriously. There are moments where a lighter touch would make it a better read.

Also, you still have a few (very few) spelling errors. It's the Bering Strait, for example, and you have one place where you use shear (to cut) instead of sheer (one of the meanings of which is complete/without exception). It's well within tolerable for fanfics - your typo rate is actually much better than the average.
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