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Author has written 14 stories for Shugo Chara!.
Table of Contents:
- ANNOUNCEMENTS -
It's been at least a year since I've come here last. Lots of things have changed. I should get to reviewing again, perhaps.
07/24/12: Profile revamped.
04/29/13: Small changes, more to come
11/29/13: Profile revamped for the most part.
12/21/13: Fucktards list edited.
08/03/14: Profile edited.
I. Critics United:
I'm a proud member of Critics United. If you want to know more about us, want to complain, or want to have someone review your story, here’s the link to our forum.
To be updated.
III. Mrs. Flamer:
A) The beta:
Writing a section like this always feels like self-gratification. Honestly, I doubt that what I do is that different from other betas. One thing I do have to note -- since I've spend a lot of time reviewing, I have quite some experience editing things. I can say for sure that I have a better eye for what can be improved than I did three years ago (or even one!).
If you don't know what a beta does: You send your story, I edit all simple mistakes (spelling mistakes, for example), and I write some extra information like "you could change this, like this" or "that's wrong, here's why" at the end of the document. I spend time on everything imaginable: grammar, spelling, punctuation, flow, pacing, plot, characterization, description... I don't overlook a single thing, you can be sure of that.
A typical 2000 word one-shot would take a day (depending on time zones) as long as I'm not busy. Typically, I'll write an announcement at the start of my profile when I'm truly unable to accept new projects, and I PM the people I beta when I have personal issues to work out, too.
If you want me to beta one of your stories, please check out the "Message me" section for more information. It makes things easier.
B) The writer:
For the moment, I'm not uploading any new stories. I've been playing around with rewriting the ones I currently have, but I'm not really in the mood for Shugo Chara! stories and I already have a lot of stories waiting on me. Yes, I have side accounts for which I still write. No, I don't give them out.
You are still welcome to review me. I've never been one to forbid this (how hypocritical would that be?). However, the main problem is that my stories are all outdated. There are plenty of things wrong with them, and I know this better than anyone else. I don't have any excuses. I was a shitty writer, plain and simple (although I liked pretending otherwise). The moment I decide to upload (or re-upload) something, I will welcome criticism from the bottom of my heart.
As a writer, there are few things I don't like. I like writing description -- knowing that others are envisioning the same things I did when writing is a wondrous feeling. I like writing dialogue -- getting into the minds of my characters and acting like them is entertaining more than anything. I like writing challenges -- who doesn't like those? Feeling accomplished when you succeed is amazing. I like writing a story and seeing that my pacing and flow are both good. It instills pride. I like thinking about new things to write about. There are few genres I don't like.
Despite my personality, I'm a spontaneous writer. I write without thinking, and only afterwards do I piece together everything to make an interesting new universe.
C) The person:
I'm currently eighteen -- I graduated high school this year (and to think I started this account during my first year. Time flies). My future plans include going off to university and studying Dutch-English and getting a teaching degree. I'm a polyglot: I'm completely fluent in three languages, almost fluent in another two, and learning an additional couple. I'm bisexual (and in a relationship). I'm an atheist. I love make-up, fashion and partying -- but I also spend a fair amount of time learning new things, reading, writing, and editing. I do not have any tattoos (yet), but I do have several piercings. As of this moment, I have sixteen piercings: two navel piercings, a septum, two stretches (in my left ear, none in my right), a helix and five lobe piercings in my left, and four lobe piercings and a rook in my right. I might be addicted.
My favorite drink is kriek. I don't care about the brand. It's cheap and tastes better than beer, and that's enough for me. I enjoy cocktails more, but my wallet does not. If we're talking non-alcoholic, it's tea. Or water.
I'm 5'2" although I like pretending I'm at least an inch taller because that makes me feel better. I weigh in between 100 and 105 lbs, depending on the season and what kind of shit I shovel into my mouth.
Have fun reading all these random facts. Oh, and if you ever visit Belgium (hell if I know why), feel free to shoot me a message. Ghent and Brussels are my cities, but I visit Antwerp quite often as well. Unless you hate my guts. In that case, enjoy your visit.
D) The critic
I am a critic -- with all the harsh edges you'd expect when hearing the word. I've never shied away from the truth and I will continue this honesty of mine. On the other hand, my reviews can still be considered constructive criticism. I break down every single bit for which I have the space (curse FanFiction's limits), but I also try to build up the foundation for good writing. You'd be surprised on how important it is to know simple things, like when to use commas, or when to limit your use of adjectives. Seriously.
My goal when reviewing will always be the same (and has been since the very start): to help.
Some people think I'm too harsh and should "relax my reviewing style" or "give out compliments, too". To those who were planning on telling me this or who have been thinking this: it wouldn't do much. Believe me. I've tried everything from being overly friendly to being overly brutal. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Nowadays, my reviews linger in the zone between. Depending on my mood and the story, I'm sometimes a bit more easygoing, and sometimes a bit more heavy on curses and sarcasm. Admittedly, my reviews have also evolved throughout the years. I'm never opposed to change if it means having more people listen to my advice.
One thing I'd never do is insult the author. My reviews are limited to the story.
As a last -- since it seems to need repeating sometimes -- I don't review anonymously. If you get an anonymous review, it wasn't mine. I have two side accounts I use for reviewing, but only when this account has been blocked. If you haven't blocked this account, and you get a review from someone attaching "Mrs. Flamer" to the bottom, I can assure you it wasn't me.
"Badfics" is a general term for the stories I usually review. It doesn't mean that the story in itself is bad, but it does mean that there is at least one thing glaringly wrong with it. Some of these things don't take long to fix, others are more difficult to master.
An unoriginal or non-existent plot: There is nothing wrong with rehashing a story line and twisting it around to fit your own style. Decompositions of common tropes can be amazing. What is bad is when authors pick a popular story line and write something entirely identical to previous works. Make your story stand out. Are you really going to be proud about something generic? The same goes for a non-existent plot. I don't think there is anything wrong with a simple story. However, there's a difference between writing about a character's emotions and troubles when he's going through something hard, and writing a story about a character waking up and having breakfast (well, even that could be well-executed, but I'm talking about a story without any other themes. If your character has an existential crisis while having breakfast, that could still work out).
Inconsistent (either with canon, or with the story itself) characterization: The problem with writing fanfiction is that the characters you write about aren't your own. An advantage of that is that you have ready-made characters without having to do any additional work, but the disadvantage is that you have to learn how to work between already existing lines. That does not mean it's impossible for a character to develop or change -- for example, if a normally happy-go-lucky character undergoes a traumatic experience in your story, it's understandable that they aren't the exact same person anymore. The problem is when you start your story and said happy-go-lucky character is a pessimist without any reason behind it. If you have problems fitting in your characters because your themes are completely different from canon, then it might be best to wait with your idea or to write it using original characters (and upload it on another site, of course).
Misuse of capitalization and/or punctuation: The most common example are stories without any, or where things are sporadically capitalized and/or punctuated. This one in particular is easy to fix. A sentence starts with a capital letter, as do proper nouns. A sentence ends with some sort of punctuation (usually a full stop). Occasionally, you have to use commas -- most of which can be found by reading your sentence out loud and paying attention to where you pause. If this is hard to you, then look up the grammatical rules and get someone to help you with them.
Negligence of spelling and/or grammar: Not too different from the one above. Spelling is easy to fix -- use spell-check. Grammar is more of a problem. Rereading can give you an idea of some mistakes, but if you make enough for someone like me to consider your story a badfic, then that probably means that you don't have the knowledge required to fix them. Even so, that can be fixed by getting a beta-reader (and by studying up on your grammar).
No balance between dialogue and description: In most cases, this means an overabundance of dialogue. The thing is, a story needs both. Too much description can be a strain to read, because description isn't as easy to digest, while too much dialogue can be bland -- because how am I supposed to know who or what or how if there isn't any description showing me? This is mostly a matter of having read a lot, since it's based on a "feeling" rather than a strict rule. It's a fairly common theme in my reviews to ask where the description is.
Overly purple prose, too many adjectives and adverbs, and lack of balance between "telling" and "showing": There is a lot that can go wrong with descriptions. First of all, there is the "too much" situation, where people think that by tacking on as many adjectives/adverbs as they can, their story will be better. This is not the case. Always trim your writing. Sentences like, "her blond hair flowed beautifully alongside the green leaves of the old tree" are awful. The same goes for adverbs in dialogue tags. Writing, "she said happily" is not good. Far better alternatives are letting the dialogue convey the emotion and showing that she's happy. There is also the "too much telling" situation, where people think that, "She saw a butterfly. She felt happy when she saw it" is good writing. Description is definitely not simple. Like many things in life, it takes a lot of practice to get right.
Stilted, unnatural-sounding dialogue: This doesn't come up very often, but once in a while there is a story with dialogue so unnatural that it sounds like the author has never had a conversation before. If you aren't sure whether something sounds good or not, try picturing yourself as that character in that situation.
Foreign languages (usually Japanese) and anime actions: Yes, there are cases where using a foreign language is a good thing. It can build up suspense, and it can bring up emotions like loneliness and hopelessness (for example when the character is in a country where they can't understand anybody). What I'm talking about here are sentences like, "You're so kawaii!" which is plain wrong on all levels. Don't do this. The same goes for things like, "she sweatdropped". There is a difference between animation and writing. They are two different media, and there are different "do's" and "don't's" for both. Anime often focuses on overdoing actions and emotions, because it makes better television. Writing is more realistic in its approach to describe these things.
There are more, but I'll see about adding them. In any case -- these are the most important.
A) Reviews by Me:
All of my reviews are honest, and for the most part they are objective. The things I talk about stem from experience (as a reader, writer, beta-reader, and critic) and research. Plenty of published authors have their own books and blogs whereon they give advice. Plenty of editors do, too. Whenever I'm not completely sure about something, I look it up -- I will never post something I'm not completely sure about.
I tend to use keywords and often tell people general advice like, "look this up" or "read and pay attention to what the author does". This is not out of laziness, but out of a lack of space. Unfortunately, there is a lot I can talk about, but not nearly enough space to do so in detail. (This is also why I really don't mind people asking me for a more detailed explanation through PMs).
My reviewing style has mellowed down throughout the years. My explanations are more in-depth. My tone is generally softer than it used to be. Those are natural changes -- I've become a calmer person with the years, and it reflects in my reviews. Still, there are plenty of similarities.
I'd prefer no half-assed advice like, "you should try to compliment, too, that'll make people friendlier towards your advice!" because it's not helpful. If that were the truth, if people truly changed their stance towards criticism because of a compliment, I'd change in a heartbeat. It doesn't. Some people do react better to it, but most still react aggressively. My current reviewing style angers many people, but there are also plenty who react better to it (some see it as a wake-up slap, others simply realize years later that I was trying to help).
B) Reviewing Me:
In the past, I would write that constructive criticism is always welcome. I still stand behind that ideology (of course!), but it doesn't really hold true for my stories anymore. Let's face it, I haven't uploaded anything in over a year. Whatever you say, I probably already know about. That doesn't mean you aren't allowed to give me criticism anymore; I'll still thank you for it and I'll still read it to see if there's anything new, but it's not very useful. In fact, you could use that time to give someone who needs it more some criticism. (If I ever do upload something new on this account, then by all means, jump on it! I'd love feedback on that work!).
Flaming me has more downsides than you might realize. 1) I don't really care. That's why there are so many flames on my stories; because I can't be bothered deleting them. I actually like reading them. 2) It doesn't hurt me. I'm not going to stop reviewing because you wrote a scathing reply. 3) If you're logged in, it paints a clear picture of your attitude. Do you really want people to look up your account and see how you told someone to kill themselves? That's not a thing to be proud of, is it?
Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not keeping you guys from reviewing me; you're allowed to do so and I'll even answer if you wish me to. It simply doesn't have many uses since I'm not an active writer (on this account) anymore.
VI. Message Me:
A) After a Review:
The first emotion most people feel when they get criticism is anger (alongside others such as confusion and even sadness, but let's focus on anger first). This is normal. It's your work, which is something you spend time on, and something you obviously want others to like. There's nothing wrong with feeling proud about something you made. However, stop yourself from going on a tirade. It isn't the right thing to do.
1. It's not personal. It's never personal. You are not your story. View your story objectively -- not as a work you're proud of, but as someone else's work. Would you still think it was amazing if you weren't the one to write it? Would you be okay with reading a story like that in a book? The same goes for my review. View it objectively. Do the things I wrote make sense? If I write that "I" should always be capitalized, was that a mistake? You don't have to like the review, but understand the reasoning behind it.
The same goes if you aren't particularly angry, but you have questions. I guess you can understand it's a bit tiring to answer the same things over and over again, so read it first, but remember that this doesn't mean I won't give you a clear answer.
If you want to thank me for reviewing, feel free to do so. I might not remember the story, but I still appreciate knowing that what I said helped you.
I accept review requests, but for the sake of both of us, read this to make sure everything goes smooth.
1. Don't ask me to review multiple stories. It's useless to review more than one of your stories because I'll undoubtedly have the same commentary for them. You can ask me to review another story afterwards, but don't do it right away if you don't want to get similar advice several times. It's better for you to let the previous advice sink in, take it into consideration when writing a new chapter/story, and ask me to review that somewhere down the line.
I don't always accept requests. It depends on how much you want me to beta, how much time I have, and so on.
My main, and only, condition is this: be clear. Give me all the information I need. How many stories do you want me to beta? Multiple chapters? How long is one of your chapters averagely? How do you want to send your documents (FanFiction's DocX or email)? It doesn't require much of you to type this up immediately, but it makes things a lot easier.
With advice I don't mean, "could you review my story, but do it through PM, please!" because I'm not doing that. My reviews are always public. You will not be an exception. If you want to know something (related to writing), feel free to ask. Depending on the subject, I might just give you a link, though. That's not me being lazy, that's me knowing that someone else has a better explanation to something.
I'm (usually) up to talk about anything. The only thing you should pay attention to is your English. I don't require you to reread and edit your PMs, but make sure that (at least) your sentences start with a capital letter and they end with some kind of punctuation.
If you’re thinking about trolling my inbox, then know that there’s a huge chance that I won’t even read what you have to say. Deleting and blocking is one of the easiest things to do on FFN.
Do not confuse this with the rules of this site (which is section VII); these rules are only to make conversations more pleasant. If you follow this, then you will only see the nice side of me. Of course, respect is a two-way road. If you’re not respectful towards me, then you can’t expect me to be even somewhat respectful towards you.
- Always use proper spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation.
In general, have respect towards the English language and me.
As a last, remember that anything you say or do is public property. I can (and will) use anything remotely funny to place on my profile or use in upcoming parodies. Messaging me means that you agree to all the terms I've said before.
VII. The rules:
You can find these rules under ‘Publish – Rules & Guidelines’ if you fail to believe me. However, seeing as how you have probably made an account, you should’ve read them already.
List of conducts that should be observed:
1. Spell check all story and poetry. There is no excuse for not performing this duty. If you do not have a word processor that has the spell checking feature, use a search engine such as Google.com to find one.
Entries not allowed:
1. Non-stories: lists, bloopers, polls, previews, challenges, author notes, and etc.
Actions not allowed:
1. Multiple entries of the same material. There can only be one copy of any unique story on the entire site. No exceptions.
1. Entry title and summary must be rated K for all audience. No exceptions.
Before you go and call me inhuman, everyone who ended up in this list has acted disrespectfully. Comprehend the tiny fact that private does not mean private if it ends up in someone else’s hands. You messaged me, thus it belongs to me. Simple as that. For the ones who want to get off, if you can prove that you changed your ways and that you will no longer act like a child, you can always message me, and depending on what I can see, you might get off.
Note: the complete Fucktards list is no longer on this site. There will only be one person (although that might indicate several responses) at a time. I’ve decided to just put it up on my blog. This makes it easier to handle. As of the moment, none of this is up-and-running yet.
Author: Hikari ima
Context: Simple constructive review left on this story. The author deleted the story to get rid of my review and re-uploaded it later; I left another review and that sparked a whole lot of replies. To understand their PMs better, you may want to check out my second and third reviews and the story. I have no access to my own replies since she blocked me afterwards.
Message(1/13): well sorry I write properly I have no idea MR story perfect
Message (2/13): well MR story perfect I deleted my story So SHUT UP AND DON'T COMPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At this point, I think I asked what "MR" meant. Also note how they mentioned they deleted the story -- as said earlier, they re-uploaded it perhaps five minutes (!) after sending me this PM.
Message (3/13): But sorry to be rude its just that...its my first story
Message (4/13): I DON'T CARE WHAT IT IS JUST SHUT UP WILL YA,I DON'T WANT TO BE A WRITER AND MR MEANS MISTER.!!!!!!!LIKE I SAID I AM SORRY!
Yup, "MR" apparently means "mister"... And it seems like I was supposed to know they would butcher "Mr.".
Message (5/13): AND STOP WITH THE "Dear" THING!!!
Message (6/13): STOP BUTTING IN MY STORY WILL YA AND FOR THE RECORD I GOT 100 FOR ENGLISH
Message (7/13): I AM NOT A SELFISH BRAT YOU DAMN GIRL AND I DON'T WANT PRAISES
Message (8/13): Let's just forget this and stop talking u with ur life and mine is mine ok?
Message (9/13): Ima means now u stupid jerk!
Note that I never complained about the name "Ima". In the original version of the story, it said that her name was Ima and that it was later changed to Hinamori Ima, and then to Hikari Ima to avoid confusion with "Amu". I mentioned how it's pretty much impossible to change a last name out of the random and how "Ima" is not similiar to "Amu" at all, and how I didn't see how changing her last name would clear the so-called confusion up. Due to her changing the last names, I didn't understand that her name was "Amu" at first, too (pretty logical, considering it wasn't mentioned in the original version). This is her reply to all that. She ignored all my points and complained about a non-issue (considering I never said "Ima" was a bad name).
When I asked them to explain their PM, they responded with this:
Message (10/13): Just shut up man
Message (11/13): I created the name dummy mister story perfect
Yes... That's their best attempt at insulting me. I don't know either. This PM was in reaction to my third (well, second still visible) review, in which I explained how "Blossom", "Buttercup", "Bubbles" (yes, those are the names of the Power Puff Girls...), "Lightning", "Devil", "Angel", "Darkness", and "Kira" are not original or even good names, and how 8 (!!!) charas is completely overkill.
Message (12/13): F* WILL YA
Message (13/13): FYI moronic is not a word dumb
Take note, everyone, "moronic" is now not a word anymore. In case you're wondering, I did not censor their PM -- they actually wrote those asterisks themselves.
This is a general list of "arguments" I've come across and my standard answers to them. For those wondering what use this section serves, take it as a warning that using any of these excuses really won't help you along. Despite being called a FAQ, most of them aren't really questions and more like excuses disguised as statements. Nevertheless, I've been calling this section "FAQ" since the very first version of my profile and I'm keeping it that way.
Q: Why are you so mean? I'm only writing for fun!
If you're only writing for your own fun, then why are you uploading it? If you're writing for others' enjoyment, then why aren't you trying your utmost best to make your story memorable?
Q: Have you got nothing better to spend your time on?
Q: Why aren't you nicer in your reviews? (Positive aspects, wording things gentler, etc).
Please note that I do give praise sometimes. If an author has an extremely good story but they keep making a certain "mistake" (could be an actual mistake like wrong punctuation in dialogue, or could be something like that they rely too much on adjectives and adverbs when it isn't needed, etc), then I - obviously - have enough space left to tell them something I really did like. I do believe that praise should be given when deserved, so I do give it when possible.
Q: Well, I like my stories and my reviewers seem to like them, too. Why should I listen to you?
Q: Why don't you annoy someone else?
Q: A lot of people break the rules. Why are you targeting me?
Q: Aren't you simply jealous?
Q: I'm only [insert age under 13]
Q: I'm only [insert age between 13 and 18, are you expecting me to be a professional?
Q: English is not my first language, okay?
Q: Why don't you kindly fuck off, then?
Even without that, you shouldn't live in a bubble. Prove yourself by improving.
Q: Who says I'm a bad writer? I just don't have the time to edit and all that shmancy stuff.
Q: Why don't you stop flaming people?
Q: This is my first story, why are you doing this?
Q: Why do you think you can do this? Isn't this something you should leave to the admins?
Q: Leave me alone. I do what I want to do.
Q: Thanks to you, I'll stop writing. Are you happy now?
Q: My life sucks and thanks to you, I'll commit suicide.
Q: I saw you reviewing my friend/sister/cousin and she's sad about your review. She doesn't deserve that! * Note: I'm using "she" because it's the most common and "they" sounds awkward, but this holds true as much for girls as for boys.
To be updated.
This is a section with everything I think of that doesn't fit anywhere else for some dubious reason. Don't question my logic.
"Then again, I'm not sure if writing plots are in your range - no offense meant." -- Criticism on Because of You.
For some reason, this sentence (no matter how many times I read it.) sounds quite awkward, as if writing means making a list of different plotlines and nothing else is important. Now, it was obviously not meant to come across that way, so let's ignore it and go over to my actual comments.
The thing is - I'm not interested in writing something with a real plot here. See the length of my stories? See the rate at which I update them? Actually, make that a "no". I don't update, at all. All of my multi-chaptered stories are left to gather dust and look pretty because, hey, at least it seems like I write more with fourteen stories on my list.
I'll be blunt: I grew out of SC! years ago. That happens when you discover a fandom at age ten. You grow older, and sometimes, the things you loved back then just don't seem right anymore. That happened to me. SC!, and its characters, still hold a place in me - like every character from fandoms I've left. However, I don't love them anymore. In this case, I find it hard to even like the series for what it is.
Like I said before, I still like the characters. I know all of them as if they were my family - that happens to a writer when you write about the same characters over and over. I'm still fond of them, and when I feel like writing, they are the ones I use to write about.
When it comes to writing full-length pieces, however? No. It just wouldn't feel right to write about the SC! cast.
For those who say "well, you're lying. You just can't take the heat of receiving criticism", I want to ask you one, simple question: why am I only uploading one story every so often, then? It's clear to anyone who talks to me even one minute that I love writing. In Dutch, we'd say this that I "draag het in een hoog vaandel"; I think highly of it. The reason is that I have multiple accounts. My main fandom isn't SC!.
Aside from that, I also write on FictionPress. Don't just limit your opinion to what you see; that's one of the worst mistakes to make.