Author has written 19 stories for xxxHOLiC, Advance Wars, Legend of Zelda, Mabinogi, Animorphs, World Only God Knows/神のみぞ知るセカイ, Sword Art Online/ソードアート・オンライン, One Piece, Campione!/カンピオーネ!, Date A Live/デート・ア・ライブ, Warriors, Black Cat, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, D.Gray-Man, Familiar of Zero, and Nisekoi/ニセコイ.
I've pretty much officially started to get really into manga again. So, yeah, it's going to be slow (if any) updates. Thanks for checking this page out though.
Just to let you know, I'm a much better reviewer than a writer. All the more so because I consider myself just a little bit more a reader than a storyteller. Unfortunately, that just contributes to my stagnant updates...
is where my A/Ns and various thoughts will be going, if they're not gone already.
Oh, and please note that I consider only the manga(s) canon, unless I say so. That applies to my stories, as well.
If you're my reviewee who stumbled here after clicking my name's hyperlink, well, hopefully this should help you see what perspective I judge from. If you're my potential reviewer (or any potential reviewer, for that matter), well, hopefully this should help you think up of what to put in those blasted boxes.
"Review" is used rather erroneously on this site. A review is an assessment made by the reader, that tells other people how good this object is. More often than not, on FFnet people use the review button to give feedback, in other words, what the writer could have done better and what the writer has done well. From here on out, in this section, I am referring predominantly to feedback.
The problem with both feedback and review is that they're completely opiniated. That is, what one person thinks is good and bad, another person might think is bad and good respectively.
I, myself, don't read stories for the romance, or the drama, or the comedy (well, not mostly, anyways...), but instead I judge a story first by the both the complexity and completeness of its plot. Basically, are all major loose ends tied up? Do all the threads that don't promise to be finished in a later installment? Do deviations fit neatly with the main problem? Do main problems get good enough to branch off into multiple problems? Does it paint a whole picture? For a real-world example, Maximum Ride series by James Patterson is what I think is not the way to go. It's a thriller, and it's aimed at kids, so perhaps it was just as carefully crafted as the next book, but any half-baked author can pull a random twist at the end to make it all work out; what really takes brilliant skill, like the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, is crafting a perfect end out of pieces that are already given.
And from then on, I also consider as the good points of a story its realisticness. For example, a story's conversion integrations, how well it translates game mechanics (or similar devices that just don't work in written format, and even some that do) to an entertaining story form. For a real-world model, Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan usually modernizes myths - Amazon the tribe into Amazon the company, the Lightning Bolt into a nuclear(ish) weapon, the Sea of Monsters into the Bermuda Triangle, etc.. The issue of realisticness doesn't end there, though; this is one of those things that apply to everything else as well. Description of an environment, plot holes, character build hiccups, and even just plain science; those thing you'll have to watch out for.
Another point I look for is how good the action is, if it follows a logical sequence that is conveyed concisely yet fully. I haven't met an example that could do it perfectly yet, but in my opinion the later chapters of StarLion's Of Friends and Dragons does this pretty well.
One more thing that I personally love to see is an intriguing idea. ShaperV's Time Braid, for example, has characters that keep looping and looping through time; Time Record, by xmystorytime, is also another time-oriented one in which a desperate attempt pulls protagonists from one world into the minds of the protagonists from another world; and her heart beats with the ticking clock, by sunflowerb, is three moments with three heroines whose very existences are placed in quite the question. All these theoretical fields, all the complexity of its intricacies, those are what really makes my mind dance. (Though, for the record, I never dance. Guy thing.)
But there's still some other criteria that's heavy as well, though I personally don't place as much importance in them.
Character is definitely one. They're the people that run your story, and if you don't build them right, they're going to burn and crash. The first thing to address are self-inserts, Mary-Sues, and its variants. Unlike some other people, I won't mind a Mary-Sue and its variants by itself, they're exactly what you intended them to be (read the audience section later), but all the same, I will caution against using them. It would be great if there really were as perfect people as dear Mary; but I believe I already addressed realisticness in a section above. Self-inserts aren't always Mary-Sues, and seeing as I already don't mind Mary-Sues too much, of course I'm fine with a self-replication into a book; though on principle, I don't really like people who erase their shortcomings in fictional format rather than acknowledging them. And of course, the criteria for all stories, it just has to be interesting.
Character's big enough to devote a second section; what I also look for is, just like with plot, the simple logical thought processes that brings the reader through ups and downs, twists and turns, forward and stop right at a satisfying conclusion. Just like a roller coaster. And so long as the conclusion is not as illogical as, say a dumpster. I seem to see a lot of really good writers for these (that may just be me being pitiful at it, or it just being unnaturally easy to others), though most are one-shots; some of my favorite ones include Nate Grey, Luc Court, and peroxidepest17. Authors with longer stories that concentrate on character include LobaLu and capnnerefir.
Next up on my checklist is details. I don't mean the quantity of it, though if you make a whole page of details that are simultaneously entertaining, you get three thumbs up. My emphasis is more on the latter part of that last sentence: entertaining. This is usually to do with which of the details and what rhetorical devices you use. They don't always have to seem relevant - like what someone's T-shirt says, how well something can hold up to a superheated iron, the many different semantics of the verbal confusion in to, too, and two, little stuff like that that can get a little giggle out of someone, and make them memorable, if it's used right.
All of these are devices that, if done right, I personally like, and give points for, though there's probably other writing quirks that I missed as well. But the thing is, one has to recognize none of this actually matters at all if they're not communicated right.
Which means, back to the basics.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuations are the foundation of writing, for which I'm pretty surprised at the number of people who actually don't have it down as solidly as they should. I'm generous with most spelling mistakes, so long as it's not as frequent as every other word, and as long as there's no bad habits like constantly confusing homophones. Grammar and punctuation, I'm tighter on; I personally find clause confusions to be much more difficult to extract than spelling mistakes. People also commonly err on dialogue punctuations, and ironically enough, I have to actively search them out now because they're so frequent they grew on me: that is just a plain no. People already call the English language "the meeting room for the verbally insane". Let's not prove them right.
A slight step above the foundation is syntax and semantics, which are the ordering of words and the meaning of a sentence, respectively. The only indicator I really have (considering I tend to put one or three words too much, myself) is an instinctive feeling. Language is pretty flexible; one can say a sentence in some numbers of different ordering of clauses, so even if the syntax may be right its semantics might not be, or vice-versa, though the latter is usually more easier to tell in my opinion. So if I say "I think something's off with your writing style...", it's probably the syntax/semantics issue. On the other hand, I've noticed that syntax can also be used as a psychological accent; ordering the important clauses at the beginning or end of a paragraph, for example. I don't tend to notice these things, but by its nature it is pretty subliminal, and if you nicely and dramatically emphasize an excellent point enough to dent my skull, you'll definitely earn some praise from me, even while I have no idea I've been mentally manipulated, heh.
And finally, something I recently started to think of as what should be really basic: the intended audience. It's as simple as, if one writes a parody it's for people who wants quick laughs, if one writes romance it's for people who's looking for heartwarming moments, and if you write drama it's for people susceptible to times in tears. Audiences blend, of course, just as much as genres do, and I try to respect the intended audience as much as I can. For example, take soccerstar7's fictions, which are admittedly Mary-Sue based parodies, and xo.Kyorii's Teenage Wasteland, which is a pretty good blend of comedy, romance and drama. Can't say I always stuck to the same method before, but I try to judge them based on what effect they're supposed to give, for the readers who wants to read them. And I try to ignore whatever rages my plot-loving brain is having at the moment, comment solely on the laughs, the deepness of emotion, etc., because that's what they want to write, and that's who they want to write for, and who am I to tell them otherwise?
There used to be a whole section here basically saying that if there's one thing I hate, it's wasted potential. But that, too, is up to each readers' preferences.
Here's a little secret: I've built this from ideas bouncing in my head, but I've only wrote on two different days, motivated by two different flashes of inspiration. That should tell you a little about me: I tend to be impulsive. In which case, maybe you can tell I don't actually keep all of this in my mind whenever I review, though it seems now I've built a decent base for both me and you in that department. But it does just boil down to this: the only things necessary in a review is an honest indicator of what one likes and what one dislikes.
All of the above paragraphs should give both you and I some good ideas what to say, but that's the job of an editor, the job of a feedback giver, the job of a beta reader. As a reader, the only obligation I really have have is to vote for what's good and what's bad, totally in my own opinion, and leave it to the author to decide what to do with that comment. As an author, too, that's the most I'll really request out of a reader; I'm pretty sure I said it before, but an author's story belongs to the author, so of course it's up to the author to build their own story the way the like, and hopefully, the way readers will like too.
One more thing: I have submitted a total of 413 signed feedbacks, not including the ones on stories that may have been deleted. And I don't always comment on every chapter, either. And, and, a lotta my ramblings can get pretty long. And, and...well, anyways, anyone wanna try and beat that?
Comments, questions, suggestions, or just simple reviews? I'm only a PM away, and after reading all that surely you must have some point to pick up on.
Written by AKAAkira
Number of revisions: 4
Additional readings (that are not so essay-like, and infinitely more entertaining):
Those Lacking Spines, a Kingdom Hearts fanfiction by Organization VI.
List of Manga Read
Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka
List of Book (Series) Read
List of Manga Reading
17-sai Degrees Celcius
List of Book (Series) Reading
List of Manga Want-to-Read
List of Book Want-to-Read
None so far!
Will update (I hope)
All of the manga should be found in Mangafox, Mangahere or Batoto. Recently I've been reading to actually try to study them, rather than for entertainment, though I've a feeling it's not too effective by myself...
Female, 12 years old, height 153 cm.
Male, 13 years old (mentally), height 169 cm.
My Works So Far:
End Dimensions (series)
1. The Black Cat, a xXxHoLic and Warriors crossover
?. La Forza Della Luce, a Katekyo Hitman Reborn and Legend of Zelda crossover
To Each Their Own (series)
1. Advent of the Chosen, a Mabinogi fanfiction
Blinding Fragrance, a Mabinogi fanfiction (and a birthday fic for a guildmate, animejenn)