Reviews for Sae's Requiem
PS chapter 1 . 7/19/2014
Ah, forgot to mention, the advice you give at the end of your review...I have implemented that in all my other stories. Please consider the age of this fic, and please take a gander at recent writing before assuming that I don't let the readers infer what they wish.

In fact, now I have the opposite problem with people whining over no warnings about pairings or other aspects of the plotline. Facficcers are a sensitive lot, and warnings are there for those few that have to be warned for every little thing. Incest is a trigger. You can't warn enough for it.

But do I do this here to an excess? No, and I don't on my recent stories. But thanks for telling me what I already know ;)

M
Maiafay chapter 1 . 7/19/2014
This is in response to the guest review.

My writing has changed dramatically since this story. It's been a good seven years? If I were to rewrite this (and I've been tempted) I would consider your thoughts on the characterization, but frankly, head canons are head canons, and this is "my" Sae. You're welcome to disagree, but I don't think Sae would be all that eager to hang without her sister. Maybe after Yae said "see ya", Sae would have second thoughts about the reason behind all this mess.

Either way, it is what it is. Not sure why you think I should be " better than that". I find that a little presumptious, but hey, to each their own.

Thanks for the thoughtful review, though. It's been a while since this old story has seen any action. Even if we disagree on canon, the compliments more than made up for it.

M
Guest chapter 1 . 7/19/2014
I actually liked this. Solid descriptions, especially in the first paragraph. First person perspective gives a decent amount of immersion into the character, which is important when you're dealing primarily with emotion and not action.

The account of their failed escape was sad, as it should be. Its one of the great tragedies of the game that Yae actually left Sae behind. They added an ending to the Xbox edition that stated Yae left part of her soul at the gate to the village and this could join with Sae at the altar. Cute, but not in line with the themes of the game.

Pacing was good. Sae's feelings of isolation from the priests and other villagers, combined with her resentment at having to go through with the ritual without Yae, and then that pervasive woe at being left behind, leading up to the inevitable moment of her hanging. A decent attempt at describing Sae's last moments (although I don't think they'd have allowed her neck to break. The ritual requires the sacrifice to be strangled).

One thing I will say is this. You have skill at description. You are good at it. Just about every description you write is vivid and strong. I cannot fault how you describe actions and sensations. Sae's characterisation is a little off and in a story that hinges on her thoughts and feelings that undermines the power of the story overall.

She was raised her whole life to be a sacrifice and she was always isolated from the villagers. That was why she loved Yae so much. It was her only connection to life. She also didn't have any cause to consider the ritual barbaric. She had no frame of reference. In fact, she wanted the ritual because she thought it would unite her with her sister for good. Most of her thoughts and feelings in this story sound more like they are from Yae's mouth.

I'm aware of your feelings on canon, but it is important to keep a character in character if you want your fan fiction to be effective. Else why write about that character and that fandom at all? If this story had been an AU in which Yae was used alone for the sacrifice, I couldn't have faulted the characterisation.

Also, why the disclaimer about the fact that Sae and Yae aren't paired? Why not just let the story speak for itself? The overtones you mentioned were almost non-existent anyway.

Let the audience read into it as we will. We're going to no matter what you say. People play Crimson Butterfly and infer (or don't infer) relationships from that, so what chance does your fan fiction have. Unless the plan was to ruffle feathers before the story even started.

I think you could be better than that.
BLANDCorporatio chapter 1 . 4/2/2013
Greetings, as you pointed out I should dip a bit outside of the Prometheus fandom. So, even though I have no idea about Fatal Frame, I decided to read this. By the look of other reviews, many reviewers had the same amount of knowledge about the source material.

One thing that struck me early on were the descriptions. Very lush. It seems like you dialed down on that for your latest fics (like BGoP). It's one of the differences in your style as you progressed. I hasten to add that the descriptions aren't anywhere bad, though I do notice a lot of heaviness going on in the first paragraph: "the air is heavy tonight" and immediately after "I feel the weight of the hour upon me".

And I do wonder whether 'honor' and 'sacrifice'- especially sacrifice- would be dismissed as an empty word by one for which it has an immediate and final meaning.

Ooh, that paragraph where she invokes Yae ("Where are you now [etc]") is brilliant. And it gets better when she sees the rafters. Funny how the most impacting part is indeed the least ornate. Though I suppose the impact of the simple "I don't want to die" is earned on the back of the careful setting of the scene done until then.

Hm. "If I favor him with even the smallest glance, I might see the tears staining his veil. But, I do not." looks like a POV lapse to me, but easy to fix- just remove 'the' from in front of tears.

On the other hand, the way the ending is handled is superb. Way to go doing death, 1st person POV, and not breaking it. Beautiful writing.
Zaedah chapter 1 . 8/2/2009
Gorgeous in its richness. The prose isn't forced as so many in this category tend to be, taking us on the journey in a smooth flow that aches all the way down to the distant snapping sound.
odalys-ortiz chapter 1 . 7/7/2008
I feel so bad for Sae but she is one crazy bitch with that laugh of hers. I like this story because I would love to have imagined her emotions before she was killed, not by her sister but her father and the priests.
The Sugarfaerie chapter 1 . 9/1/2007
I thought, since you were kind enough to read fics in an unknown fandom to concrit me, it was only fair that I return the favour.

Not that there's much to criticise here. Hell, there's almost nothing. This is a beautiful piece, I am in awe of your talent. I know absolutely nothing about the canon this is based on, and yet I still felt compelled to read on. You really create tension well, and I felt for Sae and her horrible situation. Her distress at losing her sister was really well written, I can almost feel her pain as I read.

Basically, it's gorgeous in a tragic, horrific way. The only thing I could possible criticise is the ending, there are a lot of italics in short succession so they lose some (but certainly not all!) of their impact. But that's all I can find.
AC2 chapter 1 . 8/25/2007
My goodness, I can't breathe either! I was walking along that hostile line, feeling the hurt, experiencng the compounded sense of betrayal, feeling the terror, hearing the howling. You have this gift of bringing the reader into the world you are describing, and it doesn't matter whether or not we are familiar with this fandom - I am not - we are still drawn in anyway. If I closed my eyes and you read this to me, I would feel like I was watching a movie. This is where I want to be - at this level.

Added to my favourite authors list - I only do this for those authors who can write at a level I want to reach, either in technical proficiency, storytelling ability or prosaic excellence - and you, in this tale, fall into all three criteria. I never do it just because I like the author personally, and I do like you. You are also listed on the "Roll of Honour: The Great Prose Writers" thread in my forum, so that others will see the standard they ought to aim for. Congratulations!
fabulous1 chapter 1 . 7/10/2007
I am sorry I took so long to review something of yours.

This was an extremely dark powerful story for me, I am a twin, and for other reasons that I can't reveal.

You have a flowing prose and style that I found both disturbing and captivating (and I am a bit envious;))on so many levels. I could see myself getting lost in it at 2:00AM unable to put it down. It happened to me once...an author made me feel like I was really there, my heart pounded and I had to stop reading.

I don't know anything about this fandom, but had it been novel length, I probably would have been reading all night.

I don't mean for this to sound like false flattery, but truth is truth, and I am extremely honest.

Nothing could compare to losing a twin. Nothing.

So Bravo to you Maiafay.
Nihongi chapter 1 . 6/21/2007
I've never played the Fatal Frame games and only have a brief understanding of the story, but this was a beautifully written fic. It also shares some parallels with a story I wrote, "Judgement", and by parallels, I mean a little girl being hung. :)
JayRain chapter 1 . 4/24/2007
I wish I had something constructive to offer, but your immense skill with words has made that impossible. I will say what works, though.

First off, I was hooked from beginning to end. The way you set up Sae's impending sacrifice draws the reader in and keeps his/her attentions to the finish. You skillfully weave in past and present, and at the very end, in the brief, poignant conversation with Sae's father, one almost thinks that she will be spared. However, 'duty' triumphs over compassion.

I particularly liked your reflections on duty. You used a short piece of fiction to wax philosophical, and the effect was not lost on this reader. Who better to cynically question duty than one who is about to die in a ritualistic, dutiful sacrifice? Along with that, Sae's emotions come across clearly and visibly. She is easy to sympathize with.

One other thing that makes this piece so very effective, I believe, is your use of present tense. It keeps the reader in the moment with the character. We think as she thinks, and we feel as she feels. Present tense narrative is tricky, and very few authors maintain it consistently. You have kept it consistent and done a fantastic job of using it to its fullest extent.

Overall the best part of this piece is that it works as a story, rather than a piece of fanfiction. There are a lot of fanfics here on this site, but few actually good, decent stories with character development, plot, description, and the like. I'm not familiar with "Fatal Frame" at all, yet I was able to enter into the mind of Sae and feel the emotional burdens and enjoy the piece because it wasn't just a good fanfic: it was a good story.

Best of luck with your future endeavors writing; you are a talented writer. ~TDF
ignoblebard chapter 1 . 4/8/2007
Just for the record, I was asked by the author for concrit on this story. I'm not familiar with the fandom so I did a general beta.

First, the story is fairly well written and has some nice imagery: "My kimono flutters in stale wind and the crimson sash around my waist dances behind me." "an empty shell, painted and pretty, but as brittle as dry clay; as weathered and fragile as ancient wood." etc. Despite this, I didn't get the sense of urgency or sadness that I wanted to feel from Sae. Also, there were a few technical difficulties:

"Duty is a scapegoat to point fingers toward…" This should read, "Duty is a scapegoat to point our fingers at, something to blame besides ourselves." But actually, I don't like the word "scapegoat" here. The metaphor doesn't really work since duty is not something on which one lays blame, but is rather something one takes upon oneself.

"Duty is an oath, duty is ideals…" This should read, "…. duty is an ideal." Duty is singular so it can't be more than one thing.

"duty is the shield from which my Father…" Take out the "from".

"clinging the rope they will soon..." Put "to" after "clinging".

"I don’t look at anyone. I don’t want too." Improper "too". "I don't want to."

"They surround me but they mean nothing to me." This might work better as, "They surround me, but I feel no connection with them; this sea of pointed hats and white veils..."

"They do not love me, nor I love them." "They do not love me, nor I them."

"I had loved only one other…but she has left me alone…and to die alone." "I had loved only one other… but she left me alone… to die alone."

"The priests shuffle with and uneasy gait." "an uneasy gait."

"Is my weakness that abhorring…" "Is my weakness so abhorrent no one will console me?"

"more than once an unkind hand has pushed me when I have hesitated" Tense error - "more than once an unkind hand pushes me when I hesitate; prodding me forward as if I am some witless dog." (witless" was the author's correction)

"I can’t help but feel disgusted.." Tense error - "feel disgust"

"I thought my people were strong once…but now I know they are cowards." "I thought once my people were strong, but now I know they are cowards."

“It will never be appeased…no matter what they do, it’s too late Sae, we must leave the village, leave this place forever…this is the only way we can be free,” said Yae just days before our foolish attempt to flee. "It will never be appeased…no matter what they do, it's too late, Sae, we must leave the village, leave this place forever. This is the only way we can be free," said Yae, just days before our foolish attempt to flee."

"There is only minutes…" "There are only minutes…"

"…and deep in woods and on the mountain path" "…and deep in the woods and on the mountain path."

"Yae kept going and going and going and going…" The author knows my opinion of this one. lol

"her kimono only flash of white between the trees." "only a flash of white…"

“It is time Sae…” Comma after "time".

"nothing to anchor me and the cavern" Comma after "me".

"the cavern spins like a drunken top." Since a top is an inanimate object it can't be drunken, so the metaphor is not valid here.

"the wake of its breath, every hair on my flesh rising and my eyes widen like a startled doe." Comma after "rising".

"muttering and muttering like a restless old men." Either, "like a restless old man" or "like restless old men".

"an oval face with the palest skin and lips smiling." Comma after "skin".

"thing and yet still, I stare at that stairway" Take out the comma after "still".
Dr. Noah Fairchild chapter 1 . 4/1/2007
Congratulations, you wonderful little author!

Your story has been selected for addition into the C2 archive “Polished and Shining”.

Listing in this archive not only determines your knack of storytelling and innate talent for the written craft, but may give you the recognition you deserve. Your hard work and determination has paid off, and your story is not only compelling, but shines as one of those rare gems that readers often search for in vain.

I humbly wish you the best of luck in all your future written endeavors.

We, the readers, thank you for this unexpected pleasure!
decrepitude.x.13 chapter 1 . 3/30/2007
That fic was absolutely brilliant and tragic.

I loved it, especially the last paragraph (the one with those I can't things.) ;
SageoWind218 chapter 1 . 3/27/2007
This was very eloquent and sad.

I loved it.