Ryan the Critic
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Joined 11-20-08, id: 1747143, Profile Updated: 08-25-09

Well, if you found my profile, it is likely that I have sent you a harsh critique of your story. I am not a beta reader, I am not here to work with you. I am also not flamer who's there to run you down and tell you to never write again. However, I am going to critique you and point our where you've gone wrong if I feel your writing is substandard or even just plain awful. So you know, I hold back nothing in my reviews. You may think of me as rude, cantankerous, or just a mean jerk, but there's nothing I can do. If your writing sucks, then you will criticized for it. Therefor, all I can say is, "Deal with it." I even review good stories and will suggest ways the author can improve. There are a select few on this site who have the potential to be great authors, more are simply good writers, most are okay, but some are a disgrace to creative writing. It's the sad truth. You will most likely find me reviewing fanfiction in the following categories: Avatar: The Last Airbender, any Disney movie of the 1930's-1990's, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, Final fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X, Chrono Trigger, Mario, the Legend of Zelda, Contra, Victor Hugo novels, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, 1984, Brave New World, and Star Wars. Why am I doing this? Well, as to that I have no answer. Maybe I genuinely think certain things should be pointed out, or I'm just looking for kicks on a Friday night. That's for you to decide.

Name: Ryan

Sex: Male

Age: 38

Marital Status: Married

Children: Three children; a son (12) and two daughters (10 and 5)

Pets: Two dogs, seven cats, five horses, ten chickens, ten cows, and a pig.

Nationality: American

Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian, Irish descent

Religion: Catholic

Occupation: High school English teacher and a Sunday school teacher

Political Affiliation: Moderate with left wing leanings

Favorite Pastimes

Spending time with my family

Reading books (nothing beats lounging on the beach with a good book)

The beach

Going to musicals

Traveling to other countries or states

Hanging out in New York City or Philly with my family or friends

Motorcycling with my church buddies

Listening to music (oldies, classical, some heavy metal, and soundtracks)

Watching sports, old cartoons, and Disney movies

Watching Avatar and some good anime

Playing video games

Camping, fishing, and hunting with my kids

Working on my farm

Organizing in-class debates with my students in both the high school and Sunday school

Acting in local plays

The shooting range

Basketball

Making fun of movies

Working out (mostly running, weightlifting, and swimming)

Going to church

Playing sports (not organized)

Reasons you might have been given a negative review (list may be subject to change)

1. Making no effort to correct spelling or grammar mistakes: Most word processors come equipped with a spell checker, and if they don't have one, use one on the Internet. If your word processor doesn't have a grammar checking device, get someone to check it for you.

2. Character Rape: You could deviate a bit with the canon characters, but drastically changing their personalities is just wrong, and I won't let it slide.

3. Violations of the Terms of Service: This site has rules, and you would do well to abide by them or you will be reported.

4. Having songs take up the majority of the story, and writing little dialog.

5. Writing whole chapters in bold or italicized text: These are only used to place emphasis on one or a few words, not the whole fucking chapter. If the chapter is a memory, then the italics can be forgiven.

6. Begging not to be flamed: You know what? By saying that, you're exposing yourself to flamers. You might as well waltz into the mountains of Afghanistan or a crowded street in one of the Palestinian territories wearing pro-America or pro-Zionism clothing while carrying a big sign asking the terrorists not to target you.

7. Overly long author's notes that take up more space on the page than the chapter.

8. Inserting author's notes into the main body of the story: We don't care about your opinion, we care about the characters' opinions on what was said or done.

9. Plagiarism: There is a fine line between paying homage and blatant plagiarism. This includes taking a movie, play, musical, etc. and using characters from another thing to reenact it in order to justify your wet dream pairing. This example coincides with #2.

10. Novelizations that add nothing to the plot of the game/movie/TV show/manga/comic: Yes, you are writing a novelization of something that already exists, and you have the plot, setting, and characters laid out for you; but you're not off the hook. Your readers would've played or watched what you're novelizing and don't want to read the script in novel form. You must add as much originality as possible.

11. Using technical aspects of games or stage shows: They don't work in written form. Come on, do people have an HP/MP meter over them in real fights? Do you break into a dance and a song in a serious moment or when trying to explain something to someone. I and everyone I know who does sing outside of musicals or professionally, does so out of nowhere and does not make it an elaborate number, they sing in an undertone. Then again, it all depends on what you're writing. If you're writing a musical, then it's only right that they sing, but you still have to write it like a story. Use description, show us what you see in your mind so we can get into it. Always remember: show, don't tell.

12. Unrealistic pairings: These are the types of pairings that if you would even suggest them to the character, they would give you a disgusted look at best and kill you at worst. Examples would include Zuko/Katara from Avatar: Katara hated Zuko until almost the end of the series. Then they became comrades-in-arms; fellow 'soldiers' fighting together against a common enemy. When you serve in war together for a long time, you form a bond that is stronger than friendship, but is not usually romance. Maybe if Zuko hadn't joined Azula in Ba Sing Se, it might have happened, but it would still be a small chance. However, I am more lenient with Zutara and will only criticize it under the worst of circumstances. In most cases, I'll avoid it. Azula/Anyone from Avatar: Azula is a sociopath, she is incapable of loving anyone, or touching another human being (unless it's to harm them). Ginny/Draco from Harry Potter: She said eight words to him throughout the books, and it was in disdain for him. Draco's a Nazi-inspired, cowardly vermin who hates her family for not conforming to his family's ideology of pureblood supremacy. Ginny would never want someone like him. Ginny/Tom Riddle from Harry Potter: Are you fucking serious? Cloud or Tifa with Sephiroth, Any FFIX character shacking up with Kuja, Harry and Hermione: I'm sorry, no, these two are just close friends, and no romance was ever possible between them.

13. Not doing any research on the cultures and tradition in which the original canon is set or based on: Okay, you can call me picky here, but I just hate it when I see people Westernizing (especially Americanizing) the average lives of the character of say, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The cultures are based on Northeast Asia and the Inuits, especially when it comes to holidays. Christmas or Thanksgiving in the Avatar world? What. The. Hell. Also, in Harry potter stories, I expect the characters to use the British pronunciations and words in their common conversations. The cultures in Lord of the Rings and Star Wars are all made up, but again, keep the modern West culture out of it if it's not like it at all. You may think it weird for a man my age to read fanfiction for Disney movies, but yes, I still watch them and enjoy them. Call it a guilty pleasure, I blame my dear wife for that. However, I still have a set of standards for fanfiction based on those movies. Westernizing an Aladdin fanfic just pisses me off. I am sucker for both Middle-Eastern and Far Eastern cultures. I don't want to feel like I'm reading something that takes place in Manchester, England or some suburban town in Illinois, I want it to feel like they're taking place in the countries and the time that they are set in. Fanfiction based on dystopian novels only need to have the feeling of oppression. If you intend to overthrow the dictatorship in your story (and it remained in power by the end of the book), it has to be realistic. Especially with 1984.

There we go, all nice and clarified for you. Remember, if you want to be a good writer, you must accept constructive or harsh criticism and understand that it won't always be in a nice way. I find the blunt, honest truth to yield better results than white lies. Also, you lose a lot of credibility as a writer if you say, "If you don't like it, don't read it." My response to that is, "If you can't take negative comments, don't post your work online, or better yet, don't write at all.". If you want to confront me about my reviews, well, there's a nice PM option on my profile, and I'll be happy to discuss it in deeper depth. So, on that note, happy writing, ladies and gentlemen.

Over and out.

Avatar: The Fall of the Fire Empire by MasterGhandalf reviews
A hundred years ago, the Fire Nation conquered the world after Prince Zuko captured Avatar Aang. Now the Fire Empire under the ancient Dragon Empress Azula rules with an iron fist, but new heroes must arise to challenge tyranny.
Avatar: Last Airbender - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 60 - Words: 164,572 - Reviews: 254 - Favs: 166 - Follows: 72 - Updated: 11/10/2010 - Published: 5/18/2009 - Azula - Complete