The Hollow Man
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Joined 06-12-11, id: 2984360, Profile Updated: 01-23-13
Author has written 2 stories for Pokémon.

Hello Readers! You have reached The Hollow Man's profile, which finally has some bloody content. Not much, I admit, but some. I don't really have much to say (I only have one fic and I'm currently thinking of making changes to it) so I figured I'd tell you all about myself. Yes, I'm boring. Deal with it.

Real Name: Squiggems B. Terwilliger. It's sort of a German/Seychellian hybrid.

Location: Well, look above. Half of me lives in Germany and the other half lives in Seychelles. We like to meet up for the weekends.

Age: Old enough to know better.

Physical Appearance: I am eight feet tall with bright pink hair. I also shoot lasers from my eyes. If you see me in a crowd, wave!

Prior Writing Experience: I actually wrote War and Peace but that was back when I was russian. You see I like to reincarnate every few hundred years- it keeps me on my toes.

If you haven't guessed yet, this entire page is a lie. However I am assuming you've read my fanfic, so you were probably expecting that. I hope everyone enjoys my fic, and please review! Given my social life, the opinions of complete strangers are important to me.

Oh, and apologies to the community that I haven't favourited anyone or reviewed yet. That will change eventually. No, I don't know why I ask for reviews considering how slow I've been in giving them.

-The Hollow Man

Update! I have a poll open now, up near the top of this page. No, the other top... to your right a bit... there! Click that. You get to vote on which pokemon Ash will get next, although a few of the answers are just there for fun. And I didn't realize that this site randomly orders the poll options so I numbered them... bah. I don't really have a preference so the numbers don't matter. Poll closes on July 15th, so vote now. If you hate the options I've put up, then please leave a poorly spelled comment full of flames and threats. Gotta love that internet, huh?

I decided to put up some tips for authors. I'm a fairly new author myself, so this is really aimed at people who are just starting, not veterans.

The Hollow Man’s Tips on How to Good Better Write:

1. Making an error is not unforgivable. Failing to learn from it is.

Listen, we all make mistakes. You do it, I do it, I can guarantee you that the smartest person on earth does it. But the fact that we all make errors does not mean that it’s okay for you to gleefully make as many as you can and not give a shit. Read over what you write, pay attention to your spell checker, and learn a few simple rules about grammar and syntax. If you’ve done all this and a few errors still slip through, then c’est la vie, non?

2. Be stubborn about word choice, not obdurate.

I love to use big words. I admit it. I say prolix or loquacious instead of talkative, and use ubiquitous instead of ever-present. But the thing is, I know what these words mean and can define them if challenged. I also try to make them fit in with the general flow of the story rather than forcing them in. The point is that you shouldn't use esoteric words just to make yourself sound smart. If you need to make yourself sound smart, then you probably aren’t and won’t know how to use these words anyway. If you try to use big words without knowing what you’re doing, it makes your story hard to read and everyone will know that you're faking. There’s nothing wrong with using complicated language, just try and use it appropriately.

3. It isn’t just girls who have periods.

Okay, look at your keyboard. You see those funny little symbols that aren’t letters or numbers? Those are called punctuation marks. Use them. Most people understand that periods are full stops, question marks indicate a question, and exclamation marks are used for exclamations (i.e. something spoken with emphasis or surprise). It is a little sad to see that that is as far as a lot of people’s understanding goes, however. What follows is a simple, not really correct but close enough guide to punctuation. I don’t really care if a few things are wrong, but try to master the basics.

NOTE: I am not a grammar Nazi. Nobody uses correct grammar and punctuation 100% of the time. There might be grammar or punctuation errors in this section devoted to grammar and punctuation. I don’t care. As long as it’s readable, go for it.

Colons are usually used to indicate that what comes after the colon is an explanation of or a list suggested by what came before the colon. I might write, for example “He wasn’t sure which he hated more: his job, his life, or himself.” I might also say “There was only one explanation for why she came back: She had loved me after all.” Colons do not technically end a sentence, but the word that first comes after the colon can be capitalized if you like. I’ve seen it both ways.

Commas have over twelve different uses, none of which I’m particularly good at. I’m actually really bad with commas. I will just say here that they are usually used to separate items on a list, and can be used to indicate a minor change of direction in a sentence or the introduction of additional information. They usually come where there would naturally be a pause if you were speaking and not writing:

“I usually carried a gun, a knife, and a piano wire, which most people felt was overkill.”

“Let me introduce you to Matthew, the man who ate your car.”

Also remember that commas can come before and after non-restrictive elements (things that aren’t necessary to identify the thing they modify) but not around restrictive elements (things that are):

Correct (non-restrictive): “Stacy, the girl who could kill clowns with her mind, was not the sort to take jokes lightly.”

Incorrect (restrictive): “The man, who killed me, didn't even have the decency to make it look like an accident.”

Correct (restrictive): “The man who killed me didn't even have the decency to make it look like an accident.”

Semi-colons indicate a change in the topic or purpose of a sentence that is not large enough to warrant two sentences (i.e. a period) but is too big to be dealt with by a comma.

Incorrect: “Maria went to Jenny’s house, she was told to fuck off.”

Technically correct, but stupid sounding: “Maria went to Jenny’s house. She was told to fuck off.”

Correct: “Maria went to Jenny’s house; she was told to fuck off.”

Quotation marks are used when somebody speaks. They can also be used to indicate that something is meant to be as it is written (“i” indicates that you mean the letter and not the word).

Apostrophes are used to indicate possession or a contraction of two words. “I can not do this” becomes “I can’t do this.” “I should not be here” becomes “I shouldn’t be here.” Remember that the apostrophe takes the position of the letter or letters it replaces (“I shouldn’t” as opposed to “I should’nt). When used to indicate possession by a single party the apostrophe comes after a name or proper noun, but before the “s”.

“This is John’s cupcake.”

When indicating possession by a person or group whose name ends in an "s", place the apostrophe after the “s”.

“Has anyone found the Jones’ mailbox?”

Please do not do this:

“Has anyone seen the Jones’s mailbox?”

It isn’t technically wrong, but it looks redundant.

Brackets are used to indicate that something is a side note, that it is extra information. It can also be used to indicate that something is said surreptitiously. Please note that while the terms brackets and parentheses are synonymous, some people consider brackets to mean round brackets like this: () and parentheses to be square brackets like this: ] or curly brackets like this: {}. Use round brackets for the purposes of writing.

Ellipses are used to indicate a long pause or a trailing off. For example “I knew exactly what I wanted when I was younger, but now... well, I wasn’t so sure.” They can also be used to indicate that a word or sentence is missing (usually purposely omitted) from a quotation. Ellipses are always three dots, no more and no less. Adding more dots does not indicate a longer pause.

Hyphens can be used to connect words (“Over-ripe”) but this usage isn’t popular anymore (we used to call football foot-ball). They can also be used to indicate a breaking off (“We are going down! Mayday! Is anybody-“) and a long hyphen may sometimes be used in place of a comma or a semicolon to indicate a pause or a shift in topic (“Alice would try to deny it later-- she never was very honest.”)

4. Get off your cell phone.

You aren’t fucking texting. Do not use “u” to mean “you” or “r” to mean “are”. Not unless you’re being ironic, quoting somebody, or if your character is actually texting.

5. Handle OCs with care.

OCs can be done well (rarely) but you had better be a damn good writer before you try it. When you use an established character, it automatically provides your audience with a mental image of what they look like, a back story, some insight into character depth, and a feeling of empathy (assuming they like the character). An OC has none of these things, and you have to make your audience give a shit about them. If you find established characters constrictive, why not take one and make them OOC? You still get the sense of empathy, and can then explain what event made them OOC (Voila! Instant narrative fodder!). If you must do an OC, here are some tips:

-Don’t make them the main focus of the story. Have them be a relative or friend of a traditional character. At the very least, include an established character as an important part of the story.

-Name them normally. No one wants to read about Ravienna Eterna Blackheart the third.

-Give them foibles. Even if they’re Mary-Sues, they can still have a funny quirk or trait.

-Make people care. Give us a reason to love/hate/sympathize with your OC.

-If you’re going to use your OC to take shots at the actual show (or book or whatever), make sure you know what you’re doing. Nothing says sad like a parody that isn’t as good as what it parodies (I’m looking at you Epic Movie).

-Try not to introduce more than one or two OCs. Providing enough information to make one character entertaining is hard enough. I really don’t like fics that are essentially: “Watch as me and Ben and Sue and Greg and Amy and everyone else that I know are teleported to the world of [insert fandom here]”.

I’m not saying that you should never use OCs, I’m just saying that you have to be aware of the risks. If you write well, then feel free to develop your OC however you like.

6. Nobody loves you.

Do not self insert. Ever. Please. You aren’t Marcel Proust, and nobody wants to read thousands of words describing every opinion you’ve ever had. The only time that it’s even remotely entertaining is when it breaks the fourth wall, and even then it’s dangerous. If I were writing a Pokemon fanfic, for example:

“Ash, let me spell this out for you.” Misty sighed, aggravated. “I. Want. To. Fuck.”

“You wanna do what? What kind of Pokemon is that?” said Ash, cocking his head in confusion. Suddenly the fanfic gods tore open the sky and the author dropped in.

“Arghhhhhh!” screamed The HollowMan, bitch slapping Ash. “I can’t write this shit anymore! Next chapter you’re going to be crossdressing!”

“Crossdressing? What kind of Pokemon is- ow!”

7. Beware ye the curse of the Mary-Sue.

If there is one thing on this list I have no right to complain about, it’s probably this. Those of you who have read my work know that I have problems with this, but here’s why: I don’t consider a character being Mary Sue to automatically be a flaw. For those of you who don’t know, Mary Sues are characters who are overly perfect. They’re the best and brightest, always win, and tend to have an overly tragic past. The reason that I don’t like the Mary Sue label is that it’s applied to such a vast range of characterizations. You’re protagonist is, hopefully, better than other characters at some things. This is presumably why they are the protagonist. It does not mean that you’re character is a Mary Sue. Even if he or she is a Mary Sue, I don’t consider that a problem unless it interferes with someone’s enjoyment of the story. If you’re character is Mary Sue, then it’s okay as long as everyone is still having fun. I will warn new authors to be careful though. If a character is overly Mary Sue then it becomes hard to ignore and will distract from the story.

8. You need thick skin to deal with reviewers, not a thick head.

This is important, so listen: read every review. Good or bad, long or short. Reviews provide feedback on your story, and they’re pretty much the only way you have to know how people are reacting to your work (some things can be implied from a story's stats, but not enough to be useful). Even if the review is a simple “good job” or “you suck” just read it. It still gives you a general idea of whether the reaction is positive or negative. If you get a lot of negative reviews, calm down. Don’t despair. Make some changes, maybe start anew, but don’t just give up. Do not reply angrily to negative reviewers- a calm, well written put-down is much more effective than a poorly written slur of pejoratives. Whatever you do, do not beg for reviews or withhold chapters until you get them. Doing these things indicates you are either an asshole or are desperate. Everyone likes feedback, but you put your story up in a public space. Nobody has to review just because they read it, and nobody “owes” you reviews.

9. A flame by any other name...

Please understand the definition of a flame before you complain about getting them. A negative review is not equivalent to a flame. A flame (to me, anyway) must satisfy two general rules. It must be an overall negative review with little or no constructive criticism, and it must be worded so that its primary goal is not to provide feedback on the work but to cause distress to the writer. Therefore “This story is terrible” is not really a flame so much as it is a strongly negative opinion, especially if the reviewer then goes on to back up their statement with examples (the characters are flat, etc.). “You suck and should never write again” is a flame. It is negative, does not suggest any improvements to the work, and is obviously intended to wound the author rather than help them get better. Telling someone their story is awful is fine if their story really is awful and you just want to help them improve as a writer. It is not fine if you just like to hurt people.

10. Have fun.

This isn’t really a tip on how to improve as a writer, but I feel it needs to be said. The purpose of fanfiction was, is, and always will be to have fun. I once saw a post on that suggested was a site for idiots and hormonal teenage girls. Look, I will be the first to admit that a lot of fics are crap, but that doesn’t change the fact that whoever made the “teenage girls” comment had a stick shoved so far up their ass that they vomited toothpicks. There’s this idea that fanfiction is a juvenile fixation, and that those who write it are pathetic. I feel that part of the response to this has been “Alright, we’ll write boring, depressing fics and cut down anything silly”. It smacks of an inferiority complex, it really does. I’m not saying that serious fics are bad- they can be awesome too! That’s the point, really. Write your serious fic. Write a kinky lemon. Write a story where Gandalf and Harry Potter play croquet on the moon for all I give a damn, but have fun with it. I compiled this list in the hopes that by being better writers, the fanfiction experience would be enhanced for all. But what do I know? If your fic is a badly written, jumbled Mary Sue nightmare, then who cares? As long as you had fun writing it and others had fun reading it, who gives a shit? You don’t have to be perfect. All you have to do is enjoy yourself, and try to ensure that others do the same.

It’s just fanfiction people. Relax.


Update, October 1st, 2011: Chapter 15 is now written, and it's a big one- about 9000 words. I'm going to wait until 16 is written to publish though, and next week is midterm week, so expect the new material in mid to late October.

November 29th, 2011: Something came up. There's no way I'm going to be able to publish in November now. Expect two more chapters of "Angel" in early December. I don't know when more "Old Wounds" will be up.

Many thanks to Russell B. T. Kirkpatrick who gave some great advice on Chapter 17. I think his rewrite of the first chapter of "Choice and Destiny" is up, so go give it a read. The original was one of my biggest inspirations for Angel, and without it I may never have taken up fanfiction myself.

March 3rd, 2012: Currently working on the next two chapters of "Angel", but have only gotten through about half of chapter 19. Crazy busy. Update... god knows when. Sorry guys, doing my best. I would love to have so much time on my hands that I could update often, but it ain't in the cards.

Alright people, explanation time.

Firstly, let me say that everyone's been very good to me. No one has badgered me about updates, but I felt I should explain myself nonetheless. So, down to business: Why do I update so slowly?

I thought earlier in the year that I would have more time in the summer. Unfortunately, however, I have recently taken on another job. This means that I have very limited time, most of which I try to use for sleep. I realize that other people have problems to contend with as well, but please consider the following:

1. I try to write quality work when I can.- I can't publish a 'gurrr, pokeship luuvvvvvvv' fic and expect to get away with it.

2. My chapters range between 8,000 and 20,000 words now.

3. In the ten or eleven months since I started writing, I have published about 185,000 words between two fics. This is the equivalent of writing a paperback that is roughly 528 pages long.

4. I'm sleep deprived as hell, my immune system is shot, and my new job involves handling cancerous and explosive chemicals, something I don't like doing while tired.

I know, I never update now and when I do the quality is shit. Unfortunately I don't see many ways around this. The only two viable options seem to be cutting back on sleep even further or putting a .45 caliber antidepressant in my cerebellum. Neither option seems particularly attractive, so I think I'll let update times slide rather than trying to work harder and less effectively.

Your patience is greatly appreciated.

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Angel In the Machine reviews
Ash has spent his entire life suffering from oppression and intolerance. Unable to use spiritual energy and lacking a family, he spends his days trying to get by. But after discovering the world of aura, he may not even survive... AshxHarem
Pokémon - Rated: M - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 20 - Words: 151,950 - Reviews: 249 - Favs: 510 - Follows: 445 - Updated: 5/21/2012 - Published: 6/14/2011 - Ash K./Satoshi
Old Wounds reviews
After love there was hatred. After hatred there was vengeance. But when even vengeance is sated, will there be anything left? Can love save Ash, or is he lost to his own darkness? AshxHarem rated M for good reasons.
Pokémon - Rated: M - English - Angst/Romance - Chapters: 5 - Words: 34,497 - Reviews: 109 - Favs: 229 - Follows: 240 - Updated: 1/30/2012 - Published: 10/10/2011 - Ash K./Satoshi