Reviews for Foundations for Hope
Someone you know chapter 15 . 12/4/2013
I just wanted to say your stories are the biggest load of crap I've ever read :)
Noma9 chapter 2 . 6/29/2013
Oh man, this is terrific.

You have quite a way with words and they characterize Aurantha beautifully and realistically as both a Yuke and as a woman.

All in all, I am feeling this. Can't wait to read the rest!
SeoulGamer chapter 14 . 2/19/2012
It's been so long since I read this that I've forgotten much of what happened, but I'll do my best here.

First of all, I'd like to say that Aurantha's premonitions seem a little too convenient. At the very most, her visions should offer her little more than a vague, intuitive hunch at what to do. Her declarations at what is to come seem too specific and wordy at times, making it seem like she's been possessed by the spirit of the author rather than some heavenly vision from beyond. Also, it should become clear eventually where she is getting her inspiration from and why she was chosen for it. Her purpose seems too exact to be part of a chance vision. I know not everything needs to be explained, but there seems to be too few limits on her powers.

Also, looking back on previous chapters I'm not sure what I think of switching between first and third person perspectives between chapters, not to mention that you very often skip over parts that I was looking forward to reading by simply telling us what happened. I mean, it would have been pretty cool to actually see the destruction of Rebena Te Ra, not to mention what was even done with all those refugees and what the heroes did in the meantime while the world established itself. Also, there doesn't seem to be any specific enemy or main conflict hindering their progress. It feels like Aurantha just tells everyone what to do without having to do a lot of figuring out.

Plot-wise, I would have thought that the golden miasma stream was to keep invaders out, not the miasma or some other being in. But, that's just a matter of interpretation.

Right now, your writing style feels kind of disjointed, like you're not quite sure what to do with it. That isn't to say that your work isn't of a high standard, but the inconsistent style detracts from the whole thing a little. I would advise you find a beta reader who can help you sort out these issues-Sasukeblade is now a beta reader, and she is one of the most experienced writers in this section. Send her a PM, and I'm sure she'll help you out once she finds the time.

Also, don't feel discouraged by the lack of reviews-it's just a quiet time for the fandom at the moment. We've a writing challenge going at the Myrrh Tree, but not a lot of stories written, so there are not many people in circulation. I'm still reading, though!

Anyway, do keep going and try to have some idea of where you're going, plot-wise. I'm afraid no one else can really figure these things out for you, much as I'd like to help. I might not review every chapter, but I'll still be reading nonetheless.

Good luck!
ShadowKitty chapter 13 . 3/28/2011
I am SUPER SORRY! May I please say, I did not mean to write no help or constructive critism! Please forgive me. I DO love this story, and you seem to have great writing potential. However, may I please suggest a few things you may want to work on? I am SUPER SORRY if I am offending you, but you did request for constructive critism, so here I go:

Your story is far superb, but the transitioning of the characters point of view seem way to abrupt at times. For example, the third paragraph of chapter 11 just seemed to come up for no particular reason, may I please say. Was Aurantha sleeping, did she faint, blank out, doze off all of a sudden...? How did she go to that place but still be where she was before, may I please ask?

I did not really get who those voices were also. May I please say, when they came up in the story I thought, What in the world are they here for? May I please say, it would be a very nice detail if it had been explained a little bit more tactically. But in this case, it seems like such a sudden and awkward transition... ( I am SUPER SORRY if I am offending you!)

Also, for Izha Lul's first appearance in the story was a pleasure to read, but I did not really get it alot. Who ewas the one carving the letters, the seemingly deceased stonesmith or Izha Lul? Why was she/ he even engraving the message that they should go farther north and that she was the ' last one?"

May I please say, I absolutely adore the story, but you MAY want to work on writing in such a way that it is not hard for your readers to understand. Also, you may want to work on the character histroy a little also, may I please say. For example: why was Terrance exactly going to a new town? Was it ' for the scenery to inspire him to write new stories' as the story seems to suggest? Again, may I please say, I am on the topic of readers' understanding. May I please say, you seem to have a great understanding of everything else, but PLEASE try to work on the story/ background/ character transitions. They can be a grave error for a writer in so many ways, may I please say. However, if you ever get a chance to publish this story, PLEASE TAKE THE OFFER! I LOVE THIS STORY! I BET YOU WILL BECOME A GRAT AUTHOR! _
ShadowKitty chapter 1 . 3/27/2011
Wow! May I please say, the prolouge got me wanting to read more of the story, and it is not even a real chapter! Please keep writing, it souds AWESOME so far! -
NJWheeler chapter 13 . 1/13/2011
Good story. The transition from on the road and warning the city was waaay to short, though.
NotMeagain chapter 13 . 1/8/2011
The Myrrh Tree forums are like, right over there. You should totally come join!

Anyway. I didn't think the meteorite would come so soon, but I can see how it could help speed things up. I'm more intrigued about what happens after (if?) they survive it, because it's going to shatter the great crystal and disrupt the natural flow of things, as Mio said in the game. There are so many elements mixing together -the people, the great crystal, Mio and Raem, etc.- that I think it's a good idea to focus on the main characters alone and not go into too much detail about the city. As fo rwhy Leuda, I'd say the same: it's better to show that it was Aurantha's and the other's reasoning to go there, even if there were also other good places to hide the unknown element. Maybe others would have chosen another place that would have been just as valid, but *they* chose Leuda. It doesn't have to be an airtight reason either.

The next chapter sounds exciting; I really liked the image of how Shella defended itself in the war, and the idea of all these ordinary people making a stand (it was a really good bit how Terrand just threw doubt to the wind) is...well, yeah, it'd fill anyone with hope.
SeoulGamer chapter 12 . 9/20/2010
Your use of perspective in this chapter is very interesting. Normally an author would use the third person to describe the behaviour and activities of a group, but you use the first person to give us Aurantha's personal insight into the situation without forgetting about the others. It's a refreshing way to tell a story, and it is one of the things I enjoy most about your writing.

The fight scene was also tastefully written, giving readers the impression of the brief and violent scuffle that it was. However, be careful not to use that style of writing fight scenes to avoid injuring your characters. In this scene, the only one who even appeared to have been struck by the monsters was Aurantha, so the reader is left with the strange feeling that they weren't in any real danger despite the tension of the surprise attack.

The last time you messaged me, you mentioned that you weren't sure of how your characters would end up at the Lynari Desert. Though I'm sure you're aware of the importance of planning ahead, you must be careful not to make the team's arrival at Lynari seem like an excuse. It should be inevitable that they turn to the Lynari Desert to hide the mystery element/achieve their goals.

To me, it seems like the mystery element was deliberately concealed in the Lynari Desert to stop anyone getting into the Abyss. Was this to protect the precious element from monsters that might destroy it? Or was it to prevent anyone from reaching the Abyss until the time was right? In fact, was the Golden Miasma put in place to prevent someone from getting in to the Abyss, or to prevent something else from getting out?

Perhaps you have pondered such questions already, but the reason I am encouraging you to revisit them is to ensure that Aurantha’s quest is eventually revealed to be truly purposeful rather than a contrived excuse to visit certain parts of the world to put the Mystery Element in place. Not that I really think you’d be so careless, but since the nature of Aurantha’s quest is still uncertain even to herself, a strong, dramatic resolution will be vital as the mystery is revealed.

The interlude chapter, in which Aurantha awakens screaming from a nightmare, seems to hint at utter destruction-an oblivion in which not even memories of the world remain. Could Aurantha’s quest be not just to secure the destruction of Raem for future generations, but to ensure the survival of the world through discovery of the Myrrh’s restorative powers? And why was the Meteor Parasite not hunted down immediately and destroyed, rather than left alone to pollute the word for thousands of years?

Perhaps you could answer some of these questions through your story. I hope that my musings have been of some help to you.

As always, I wish you the best of luck with this project!
SeoulGamer chapter 11 . 7/31/2010
One of the most interesting chapters so far-I was curious to see what Aurantha and Geirr Ruadd would make of Izha Lul. I do have a few questions, though.

First of all, Ring of Fates is set before the meteor impact. We know this because the Great Crystal of Rebena Te Ra is still intact and there is no miasma in the world. At the end of Ring of Fates, Yuri and Chelinka permanently alter their world using the power of the Great Crystal, and the blood moon no longer shines red, but instead shines a harmless white. Now, if the Blood Moon exists in your fanfiction, then it must be set either before or during the events of Ring of Fates. Yet, you state that it is set in the time of the Meteor impact in the second chapter, so it would have to be set after Ring of Fates, since the meteor impact did not happen during the events of Ring of Fates. So, the Blood Moon should no longer exist if this fanfiction is about the meteor impact.

Also, weren’t all the crystals once part of the Great Crystal? I understood from the game that Alfitaria and Shella were founded around shards of the Great Crystal, which hasn’t yet been shattered by the meteor impact. This means...that Shella and Alfitaria shouldn’t exist yet. Then again you did state that this Shella was a different one from the game.

But that raises the question of why Shella and Alfitaria exist as separate entities when the four tribes are supposed to be united under one king in the city of Rebena Te Ra. Then again, even in Ring of Fates we can see that other settlements exist besides Rebena Te Ra, contradicting what was said about that place in the original game.

Forgive me for rambling on a bit-I do love to speculate. I rather liked how Aurantha got the best of Izha Lul using her magic. And I see that you’ve taken NotMeagain’s advice about how Aurantha should be aware of Geirr Ruadd’s disdain towards her. Now that the four are together at last, I’ve come to realise that I have absolutely no idea about where this story is going. That’s the fun part about avoiding the typical “caravan gathers Myrrh” story-you get to have a proper saving the world plot. Of course, I’m sure there’s more to this story than that alone. I’m glad you decided to have a go at this idea-just as NotMeagain told the story of an often ignored part of the Crystal Chronicles story in her story “Letters”, so you are telling the story of the meteor impact that everyone else has ignored. This story has something unique to contribute to the Crystal Chronicles fanfiction archive, and I hope you get more reviewers soon. Incidentally, I’m glad that my advice seems to have worked for you. Your hard work is paying off, and I’m always excited to see another new chapter.

Personally, I would like to see how you handle these four characters as a team in the coming trials that await them. There’s no doubting that you’ve brought together a set of four interesting and unique individuals, each of which has their own part to play in the prophecy. The Prophetess, the Mercenary, the Survivor and the Poet...it sounds like the cast of a classic story from Greek mythology. I’d like to see as much conflict between them as there is co-operation, and even in the midst of a crisis these characters will surely change and grow as individuals to rise to the challenge of preserving the world for the future.

I want you to bring out the greatest strengths and weaknesses of the four tribes in the coming adventure-Ihza Lul and Aurantha are awesome characters already, Geirr Ruadd could be a great way of introducing conflict into the team, and don’t forget about Terrand the poet. Even considering that he’s a “boring Clavat”, be sure not to miss out on the opportunity to develop him into an awesome Clavat character as well.

Getting back to the chapter, your characterisation was spot on for Izha Lul. I own a pet cat in real life and I can say that your description of her as a wild, tough survivor was just right-a ragged thief ready to turn tail at the slightest opportunity when confronted. Aurantha may have a hard time earning her trust, but being a mature Yuke woman, she’ll surely have the wisdom and the confidence to convince Izha Lul of the vital role she is to play in the coming disaster. And as for the spell she cast...I presume that in this story that Yukes are capable of casting magic without the use of magicite, being a magical race. I doubt Aurantha would have happened to have had a ball of magicite handy when she woke up. It always annoyed me the way Yukes couldn’t cast magic without magicite in the game, resulting in the tendency for writers to always describe their Yukes as wearing multiple magicite rings in order to justify their use of magic outside a dungeon level. There is just one typo I feel you should correct:

“He struck Aurantha as having excellent instincts. Still, he nodded and chose to accept my explanation – for now.”

You slipped into the first person viewpoint there. You mean to say “chose to accept her explanation” not “chose to accept my explanation”. It may seem trivial, but that particular typo is rather jarring. You should fix it before moving on.

At any rate, that’s all I have to say about this particular chapter. I’ve no complaints about your writing style, so keep the chapters coming. Good luck!
SeoulGamer chapter 10 . 7/18/2010
Interesting...I didn't realise that Auruntha was actually aware of the fact that she would meet the other characters. It must be stressful having to trust a vision. Although shouldn't you insert paragraphs and the like before you upload the story to Document Manager? I've never tried it, so I wouldn't know. If you find that the Document manager won't keep your formatting, then you might want to try using a different document format such as Docx.

Anyway, it's good to see you keeping up with updating this story. I feared that you had become discouraged after losing your computer. I'm looking forward to seeing chapter nine soon!
SeoulGamer chapter 9 . 6/29/2010
Ah yes, the computer crash...that must surely be one of the two greatest enemies of any fanfic writer, the other one being college. Trinity Tree suffered a laptop crash that has put her story on hiatus for almost a full year now. Though it must be said, you rock for having the good sense to back up your files.

As for the chapter...it’s very good! The heroes and heroines of the story are finally coming together! The ironic point of view change worked pretty well, but I wouldn’t recommend its use in later chapters because it can make for a jarring and difficult transition from one character to another. If you’d like to experiment with different writing styles, then it might be a good idea to write some oneshots for that particular purpose.

I like that we got to see Izha Lul again in this chapter, as it’s been a while since she last showed up. On that note, I’d like to see the characters all get together soon and see what the main part of this story will be like.

All in all, it’s a good chapter, and I’ll be looking forward to the next one.
NotMeagain chapter 9 . 6/27/2010
I think it fits to say again that this really is one of the most interesting stories I've read in this section; Aurantha's thoughts at the end of chapter 6 and Izha Lul's sensing the slight change of something in the air really create a sense of foreboding for the world and the characters. I can't wait to see what it is that Aurantha plans to do, and what the fate of the charcaters will be at the end. Not to mention that it's gotten even more interesting now that the characters have met; Surely Aurantha's not oblivious to Geirr's disdain?
SeoulGamer chapter 8 . 6/7/2010
Terrand's showing a lot more depth to him in this chapter, and we can see that for all his whining about being tired, he still has the nerve to actually get out there on the road and challenge himself. I like the fact that you didn't just attribute Aruntha's knowledge of his ambitions to "oh, she's a Yuke so she just knows these things", you show that she is incredibly observant and intuitive when it comes to judging other people. It's good to see that the characters are meeting up with one another at last, as that way the quest can properly begin. It's an all round well written chapter, and I have no complaints-other than that it's a bit short, but that's to be expected considering that the only thing that happens is that two of your characters meet. Oh, and you're a good poet too, which helps lend some credibility to Terrand's profession as a poet.

However, I do have a few things to say about your claim that “it will be finished…no matter how long it takes”. Sorry, but I’ve heard that claim too many times before from authors who never did finish their stories. I think that the longer you leave it between updates, the less likely you are to ever actually finish, no matter how good your intentions.

There is a particular story in my “Favourites” list called “Pokemon Colosseum”. A great story, one of the best I’ve ever read. At the time of the last update four years ago, the author promised “I will finish this story, even if it takes me the rest of my life!” Four years later, she left an anouncement on her deviant art account that she had lost interest in the project and didn’t want to work on it anymore. Now, when I see you making the same claim, I can’t help but be a little sceptical.

I’m sorry if you’re feeling under attack from my statements, but I’m trying to make a point. That point is…you need to work consistently at your story if it is ever to go anywhere. That means that you must set aside some time to work on your story every day. Now, I know that you’re often busy. Of course you are! You’ve probably spent most of the past six months trying to pass your final year of high school, and of course that has to come first. But even on a busy day, you could set aside fifteen minutes in the evening to some writing of your next chapter. Learning to do this is important, because your life probably isn’t going to get any less busy, especially since you are probably entering college next year.

Even if you feel that what you write isn’t quite good enough, and you’d rather spend all the time you’d like to perfect it, I’d rather see more regular updates than one perfect chapter every six months. This is a great story, and I’d like to see it reach its full potential. Now that it’s summer time, you should have enough time in your day that it shouldn’t be too hard to find a spare 15 minutes in the morning or evening to work on your story, even if you’re meeting friends, watching anime or doing something else with your day. If you go on vacation with your family you could write it on paper until you get back.

And really, should this fanfiction really drag on for years and years of your life? I think it would be more enjoyable for both you and your readers to have a more frequently updated, faster paced story to enjoy thant a masterpiece that comes in six month installments. I think a reasonable pace would be to try and complete one chapter per month-at least for the summer months. If you aren’t happy with the chapter after that time, just move on to the next one and return to the chapter to improve it later.

Of course, when you’re in college there will be times when you have to devote every free moment of your time to your work, and that’s fine. But really, saying that you could well be another six months without an update, as if it’s something you can’t help…well sorry, but that is just making excuses. Like I’ve said, sometimes there really are things that crop up in real life that you just have to deal with, like a tough exam or a family crisis. But you shouldn’t let things slide when you can set aside some time to work on your story.

Of course, I’m lecturing you about all this and I haven’t even written anything myself! But I lectured you because I want to see this story succeed, and I think it would be a pity to let it go. Don’t try to apologise to your readers for letting things slide. If you’ve left it a long time since your last update, don’t worry about it-despite everything I’ve just said, just about every fanfic author leaves long gaps in their update times-we all do it. But don’t offer excuses or promise “It will get done someday…” because that just leaves me feeling like this story will just get infinitely get put off, until eventually you lose your motivation to keep writing. I’m sorry if I sound like I’m bossing you around, telling you to commit yourself to writing a bit of your story every day, but that really is the only way it’ll ever get done. Dark Amphitere is a good example of an author who keeps his updates coming, and I know that even when things are quiet on , I can still count on him providing a new chapter of his story sooner or later-and it’s usually sooner. I don’t forget about his characters, or have to go back reading through the chapters to remind myself of what happened last time. A little consistency goes a long way!

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with this story.
SeoulGamer chapter 7 . 2/13/2010
Turnip the Scintillating,

I have to say, I'm impressed by this story. By choosing to set your tale in a totally different era to the main game, you've successfully avoided the standard Crystal Caravanner style of story, and instead we readers are getting an insight into the most important event in the Crystal Chronicles timeline; the time of the meteor impact. Your characters seem ideally suited to their roles in the story; I am particularly impressed by your Yuke character. Yukes are darn hard work to write, and you've done very well in capturing the essence of how a Yuke would think-serious, contemplative and troubled by how best to use her wisdom and knowledge of what is to come to prevent the world's destruction. Also, I honestly envy you for the Lilty character you've come up with. He's a hardened veteran; grumpy, cynical and always complaining about how things were better in the good old days. He's already my favourite character out of the four.

You've already made it clear in your comments that you don't like Clavats, because of how boring they are...I have a couple of things to say about , just because the stereotypical Clavat is a harmless, kind-hearted old dullard doesn't mean your Clavat poet has to fit those stereotypes.

To me, he seems most like Gurdy, and he ends up being a rather silly character. I think that dismissing the Clavats as just not being as interesting and unique as the other tribes is a waste of their potential. To give an example of what I mean, take a look at Layle form the Crystal Bearers. He's wild, reckless, irresponsible, loves fighting his way through dangerous situations and has little respect for the authority of the Lilty Kingdom. Does he sound like a stereotypical boring nice guy to you? And I should mention Sasukeblade's creation Alain Calvier, the character she plays as in Angelic Sword's Crystal Chronicles roleplay-in her own words, "a fun mix of a capable man, a budding warrior, and a skeptical dreamer".

Of course, I don't mean to dictate to you how you should write your Clavat characters. I simply wanted to point out to you that there is more to Clavats than you give them credit for. As it happens, not having a clavat warrior hero like most fanficitons do is another of your story's original features, but don't be afraid to liven up Terrand's personality in later chapters beyond his silly quirks.

It's very interesting getting to see events mentioned in the game being described as recent events, such as the Selkie's journey through Conall Curach and the fall of the Lilty Empire. And of course the existence of the unknown element and the author of the poems that lead the player to it are never explanied, so your story fills in a number of plot holes very nicely. I’m also curious as to how your characters are going to meet up. Aurantha and Geirr Ruad have already being brought together ( a brilliant opportunity for confrontation), but I wonder how Terrand and Izha Lul are going to join the party. Now that I think of it, I can really imagine Izha getting really annoyed by Terrand’s naivety.

Another thing I want to mention is that you are quite a good poet. The poem in your first chapter that serves as the introduction is a refreshing from those authors who just paste in the prologue from the instruction booklet, which I think is just lazy.

Since your story is set a few thousand years before the beginning of the main Crystal Chronicles storyline, you should make it clear what's different about this world from the main story. At the moment, it isn't particularly clear that this is supposed to be the distant past. You should include the existece of locations which no longer exist in the main Crystal Chronicles story, as well as emphasise that locations like Shella and Alfitaira are ancient versions of their in-game conterparts.

Overall, I am thoroughly enjoying this fanficiton so far, and it is a particularly exciting read because it is so original and different to all the other stories out there at the moment. I'll be looking forward to this story being updated again.
NotMeagain chapter 5 . 9/13/2009
They're all pretty good and interesting characters, but I gotta say the Yuke steals the spotlight. She's regal and she's down to earth at the same time, and it really shows in the writing. The Clavat takes second spot for me now, though. He's just a dude in the world- I find that kind of endearing about him, and Clavats in general.

Expostion may be tedious to write, but it's important and I, personally, don't mind. Better to explain where the story stands and stablish the characters since the beginning. Specially since it takes place so long before actual game. I...never really paid much attention to the time when the meteor fell. I just thought 'well, the meteor fell and they dealt with it, then it got worse', so I find the idea very interesting.
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