Poll: I decided to see how the poll tool works. And I have a question for you who came on my profile: What is your favourite way of looking for new stories? Vote Now!
Author has written 7 stories for Teen Titans, Manhwa/Korean Comics/만화, Harry Potter, and Death Note.
I don't feel like putting it only in the ranting section. I just wanted to tell anyone that may come on my profile, from wherever they are, the words that I keep repeating to myself since the night between the 13th and the 14th of November:
If France is the place the terrorists attacked, the victims were not only French. Around 20 foreigners were killed, more were hurt. People from Europe, North Africa, South America, Asia...
Enough with my self-therapy
So welcome, dear fanfic fan fellow! I don't know why you're here but please, feel at home in this humble account of mine.
If you are here to know more about me as a person, then, you're to be disappointed (try PMs). Because all you'll see is who I am as a fanfic obsessed girl! Now that you know, I'll start right away.
After giving you a fast map of my long profile, feel free to go to the one that interest you if you're looking for specific information.
Now everything is ready, let's start with presenting myself!
First, as said in the beginning, if you want to know how old I am, what's my name, if I have any pet, whether I am in the kitchen and all those questions they teach us first when learning a new language, here is not the place to look. Just try discussing with me through PMs...
As a reader, I absolutely love reading fanfictions, and I'm particularly keen on what I deem original plots or good characterisation (basically, coherence in the way characters and relations develop).
I have my periods (not those ones!) meaning that when I'm obsessed with a universe or a pairing, I'm obsessed with it and will read all the fics I can find on this fandom, whether they're good or not. (I can be that desperate!)
I should now say that I'm currently obsessed with Death Note, have been or years, really. More precisely, MattxMello (yes, yaoi!), and even more precisely Matt.
But don't worry, I don't only read yaoi or shounen ai. It's just that I'm usually more demanding with hetero pairings. For instance, I won't read any main WinryxEd because I think the author made a great job with them already! But I actually quite like MisaxMatt (when she's not an airhead, that is. For instance in Picking up the Pieces from DNAlchemist77.) However, yuri or shoujou ai is harder for me to read (though it's okay when it's not the main pairing.)
And when I read, prettyy often, I review.
(which smoothly leads us to our next point)
As a reviewer, I try to be as honest as possible. So if I say I like it or find potential in it, it means something in your story genuinely touched me, pleased me, amused me, interested me, and you should have an absurdly long review where I desperately try to explain what I loved exactly. Furthermore because I easily drift away from what I intend to say. So just be wary of my frightening parenthesis (that usually are not important at all!)
However, I don't only say what I liked in a review. Reviews are made to speak your mind. If something disturbed/annoyed me in your fic, I'll tell you. I'm always afraid to hurt the author though. It isn't my intention at all. I can spend a lot of time on a review, and I wouldn't bother if I didn't think it's worth it. So it means I think your story has potential. Anyway, if you feel hurt, be sure to tell me.
You should also know that sometimes, I review on my DS or my phone (upgrade!). Which means:
Oh! and I should have told you already that English isn't my mother tongue but maybe you could tell by now. If you didn't, wow, it means I'm good! So I speak French, English and Spanish and read, review and write in those three languages.
(which leads us not so smoothly to the third point)
As an author, well, I'm more a reviewer than an author anyway. Criticism is easy, art is difficult. (Something like that).
(which can lead us, if you look close enough, the the fourth point)
As a review receiver (which is even rarer!), I try to answer every one (it's not so hard for now! see the previous parenthesis). I respect any point of view about my stories, as long as you have arguments to claim what you say. You can always send me a "that's shit" review, I won't mind at all. But you'll be sure to receive a PM asking you what you thought was shit exactly and what you think I should have done to make it better. (See the ranting part for more precisions on my view on reviews.) If you're telling me something like "I loved it" and that's all... I'm human, of course I'll be pleased! But I'd give more importance to it if you explain why.
(which yes, I swear it does, leads us to the fifth point)
As a PM exchanger, If you have no sign from me, try a PM. When I'm busy (and it's becoming more and more common), I try to at least keep tabs with it. However, I have some conversations that can be made of very very long PMs. It takes me a long time to answer those ones, so you'll have to wait too. But if you want some news, send me a short something and I'll answer right away.
(which leads us, smoothly, logically, and ain't that good when things are so smooth? to the second to last point)
Being busy, I can't review every chapter you write. But if you have no news from me, it means either that I didn't read your new chapter because I wanted to have time to savour it (and review it), or that I do read the story but have no time to review it and think that nothing urgent needs to be said. So it will never mean I decided I don't love your writings any longer. Same with the PMs. If I don't answer regularly, it doesn't mean I don't like talking with you any longer. Just that you don't find me at the best moment to answer.
(which somehow leads us to the last point, though the introduction led to it better)
Trying to be modern, I created a Facebook account especially for this identity. I don't have much on it but spy on xxBeyondxBirthdayxx as the stalker that I am. So here it is, if you're interested: Caro Tal
So here is where I'll put a summary, explanation of my published fics, or projects. To show you I'm more active than it can seem!
The Day when the tears fall: this one is very special to me. It's not my first fic (even though it's the first I've published here) but a lot of what it tells is inspired by my personal experience. The narrator is an OC but don't worry, she can't be a mary sue, this is not what the story is about. And if this IS sladin, there's absolutely nothing sexual (they don't even kiss, I think!), again, this is not what the story is about.
Little additional thing about this one, in answer to a lovely and quite interesting review from an anonymous reader, unfortunately: If this fic is in the teen titans fandom, it's because I imagined the whole thing with Slade and Robin. Those two characters have some characteristics (Unfortunately, I can't be more precise, not to spoil other people reading) that made me unable to imagine the story with any other character, other couple. However, the names aren't used much in the story, and the universe isn't so important, so you may feel that to put it under the TT fandom, and with the characters of Slade and Robin is too much. I think someone who has never watched teen titans and doesn't know about Slade and Robin would be unable to understand though. And the narrator made it impossible to use their names. But the center of this story isn't the narrator. The heroes of this OS are Slade and Robin. It's a kind of what if, if you want. Anyway, it's difficult to explain... but thank you for speaking your mind! (to other people who read that part... It's always good to speak your mind and I respect it! Don't be afraid to do so.)
And another one!
I don't think this fandom is huge but well... it should! (try it out, the plot may not seem very original, and the drawings may seem very strange -I personally love them- but it's a lot more interesting and subtle than it seems because of the psychology of the characters and the absolutely not manichean approach. This is war!)
To have it all: Spoilers! Michael's thought during his battle with Ares. one sided MichaelxAres. My way of accepting it is finished. one shot
The shadowman: Spoilers! Baroona's thought during the last battle. My tribute to this wonderful character! And an excuse to analyse the main characters! one shot.
My favorite fandom. For now, I've published 2 crack stories and a very serious one. So if you're here for a good laugh, you may try the crack, not sure you'll laugh but that's your best chance. If you're here for good literature, I think Near and Matt is the one you are more likely to find it.
Snow white: ahem. Crack? I mean total crack? I just thought it was strange I couldn't find anyone who had done it so I had to. Even if it's not good. One shot.
Near and Matt:A friendship fic between Near and Matt inspired by the plot of a movie. 4 chapters. MattxMello and NearxMello. NO LEMON
Cuddly cocky cookies fantasy: So here is how this one started.
Saved: MattxMello shounen ai. NOT A STORY. (no plot or whatsoever) Just little drabbles where something change and they are saved. One shot.
They could have been saved. This is what could have happened. Just because what happened to them is unfair, I wanted to imagine what could have saved them. Some times, you just have to wear your seat belt to survive a car crash, right?
Darkness shining in the dark: Multichaptered. Likely to be MattxMello. Some BBxA. NO LEMON.
Who will survive Whammy's monster?
Matt and Mells: another way of adapting the movie that inspired Near and Matt. One shot?
(I've not written anything for now, not sure I will ever do it actually)
Vanishing act: for now it's just an idea forming but I wanted to write about it! It would be about Matt and 1/26. It's inspired by Lou Reed's Vanishing act... but I may put it in another fic.
(I'm thinking more and more about putting it into TLT)
The language of Time: another project (I have too many of them already, I should try and finish one, just for the hell of it!) Multichaptered
Since his childhood, Matt Jeevas has been fascinated by a statue from a long time ago (period not decided yet, if you have suggestions, I'm listening!) of a man. But why does every museums seem to have a piece of art showing him now? Art from different periods of history? (or how twisted the Italian plot bunnies can be during summer!)
For now, it's in French. Just a prologue for a story that may never be completed as it was supposed to be a project with a French friend. (but avengers and Sherlock took her away from the HP fandom and I'm not as fan as she was.) But this prologue is written and I may decide to continue it. I may even try to publish it in English (thus I'm writing all that in English.)
Les poisons de l'âme -Prologue: Donc si l'anglais vous gonfle, voici l'explication française: cette oeuvre risque fort d'être l'unique rescapée d'un projet que j'avais avec une amie qui est hélas allée voir ailleurs (Avengers et Sherlock) mais ce chapitre était né d'une de mes pulsions d'écriture alors... pourquoi ne pas le poster quand même? Qui sait, je serai peut-être inspirée pour écrire la suite (et c'est même très possible! La liberté absolue maintenant... mais j'ai d'autres projets plus urgents) Pour l'instant, cela restera au stade de one shot en tant qu'ode à la timidité, aux médias, et aux secondes chances.
So, if you've been reading my account, it may be because you have nothing better to do. Or maybe you were trying to see what fic I liked after coming upon my profile. So first, here are some tips to use my two lists to the best of your ability.
To you, this rules mean that:
If you're an author:
If you're looking for suggestions:
And now, I'd like to advert some fics that I absolutely loved, and that you'll find in my favourite stories or from my favourite authors. (you can check it out again and again, it won't always be the same fics here!)
The hacker: a beautiful story about Matsuda meeting Matt, a long time before the Death Note story. It's not your usual fanfic, with action and/or romance, but it's absolutely marvellous, and very intelligent. And it's not popular enough! (maybe because of the unusual association.) So if you have enough time to read this profile, read this fic instead, I swear it's better! (though I'm honoured if you hesitated) It's the first story I favourited and has a very special place in my heart.
That is the question: Wonderful Matt x Mello, it's a canon AU of some sorts and has one of the best Death Note cast characterisation I've ever read. If you like intelligent stories that feel realistic, if you love irony and sarcasm, if you're not afraid of a Matt playing with everything, even death, if you want great first person point of views, read it, you won't regret it! Xinde did an awesome work!
Tu as gagné, je t'aime: So this one is in French but even if you're not very fluent but still know the language, you should totally try it because it's good French (so you'll practice it) and even if it can be difficult to understand (I wouldn't know) it's a very beautiful story! So I'll talk about it in French (that reminds me I should write this profile in both languages... Well, when I'm not that lazy!)
The Storm: French, by the same author as "tu as gagné, je t'aime". Cette fois c'est du MattxMello. C'est magnifique. On y voit des OC plus délirants les uns que les autres, un Matt dépressif puis luttant pour pouvoir vivre, le soldat de plomb. Dès le début (après le prologue) on est pris dans l'histoire, et on ne la lâche pas car les personnages sont si attachants! Et puis il y a cette scène absolument poignante avec Matt chantant Ne me quitte pas. Je ne sais pas pourquoi, peut-être parce que cette chanson je la connais bien, je la comprends bien, je l'adore, mais aucune autre fic de ce genre ne m'a autant touchée, toutes langues confondues. Et j'en ai lu des fics où Matt chante! Et une fois qu'on l'a lue, on est marqué pour longtemps! Vraiment, si vous ne connaissez pas encore cette fic, lancez-vous, ça vaut vraiment le coup!
Ses grâces mécaniques: French by Les Nerles, Harry Potter. Que dire? C'est incroyable à quel point Les Nerles maitrise son intrigue, ménage le suspens, les fausses pistes. En soi, il ne se passe absolument rien dans cette fic. Ce n'est qu'un dialogue. Et pourtant, on est plus suspendu à l'histoire que dans beaucoup de films d'action. Vous voyez Usual Suspect? Ben voilà, au final ce n'est qu'un dialogue. Là, c'est pareil. D'ailleurs s'en est même presque le problème. Ceci est une fic policière, chaque chapitre compte. Mais le suspens est si intense que l'on peut être tenté de tout lire d'un coup (comme je l'ai hélas fait!) et je pense qu'il vaut mieux la lire en prenant son temps, tenter de trouver la vérité, le criminel. Parce que c'est vraiment bien fait et l'annonce finale n'en devient que plus savoureuse. Si vous aimez le genre policier, lisez la. Il n'y a pas vraiment de pairing, ce n'est pas un yaoi, vous n'avez même pas à être fan de HP ou à le connaitre parfaitement mais c'est une merveille de suspens et de psychologie.
Robin, we're moving: more than a fic, this one is a goodbye. I'm sure everyone remember what happened not so long ago on this site (I don't know if it stopped now). Well, some authors decided to leave this site and publish on other sites. This story is one of those author's goodbye. I'd say that even if you don't know teen titans, even if you don't like sladin, you should have a look at it. Because the author showed clearly what her feelings were through Slade and Robin's words, and that's something anyone, in any fandom, could have gone through.
Last meal: An interesting take on what led to one of the most badass scenes of the anime, the death of Lind L. Tailor. Have you ever wondered about how the guy felt at that moment, or how things were explained to him? It gives a great characterization to this Lind. Tailor and to L to some extent.
Yin and Yang: One of your usual story going from Matt and Mello's childhood to their death. But it's a complete one, and the childhood part is just so good! I may think Origins is better on many aspects (check that one out as well if you want a great twisted story but still nice to read. How I wish the author had made a sequel for it!) but when it comes to depicting Matt and Mello going from childhood acquaintances to love, this one takes the price.
Then, you have great authors, as ShinigamiMailJeevas (DN): I think I loved all her fics! xxBeyondxBirthdayxx (DN), Alaena F dragonstar (detective Conan/Case closed!), well you know where to find them.
Yes, new section, if you have read this profile before (what are you doing, reading it again? Are you that much of a masochist?... though it's true some things change in it...)This is because sometimes, I need to share little stuffs I've found out. Today, I really need to rant about something... and that thing is REVIEWS. But you'll see, it's not only about that. If you're up for the challenge, then read it. If not... the only thing left is the Congratulation part and I think you already deserve it so just skip this to the last two lines (I should give a map at the beginning of the profile...)
So, many of you may know that the real world is discovering fanfictions because of a book that I won't name. It had way too much advertising already. So people are discovering this little universe and, as anything new coming out of the shadows, some are getting worried. Is this the future of our culture? Those poorly written stories that seem to only be porn in disguise? And I've read a very interesting debate over that where fanfic readers/writers defended this "new" phenomenon.
I've read interesting arguments. There are good things in here too, people have a chance to express themselves, it's a way of seeing our favourite characters a bit more when the real story is finished, a way not to tell them good bye.
And I thought there was something missing. In this site, stories are written by fans, for fans, right? It's not a site for professionals and we all know it. In this site people publish stories. But it's not really publishing. It's sharing and here we get to the important part of this rant. It's sharing with readers. Sharing what is in your imagination, your talent and your flaws. But to really have an exchange, you have to have some kind of answer. And here is where the reviews are important.
So just to tell the author you liked their job is important because you acknowledge they have worked on it and shared it with you. And it can be frightening to share a story, let me tell you. This way, you finalise the exchange, you show the author he shared his work with something other than the cyber wind.
Even better, you can point out what was particularly good, the best sentence, the last thought after reading it, something like that. And you can also tell when something wasn't good because you can like something and still see that it could be better. It's called not being blinded by love!
Here, today's rant is finished. Hope you weren't bored as hell, and if you want to react and tell me what you think (even if what you think is that I must really have nothing to do if I write this kind of thing. Which is totally false by the way) you can, there are PMs for that. What a wonderful site!
10/04/2013 (yes, I'm not using the american way of life! so guys, it's April the 10th!) So, I had something more to say about reviews. As a reviewer, I think a lot about it. This time, it will be about three things: Reviews (obviously)/ favourite list/alerts. Something we all know!
By reading stories, I've noticed authors who were asking something like this: "stop putting me in you alerts or favourite, I appreciate but I don't care. What I care for are reviews!" Objectively speaking, a review telling someone "I loved it!" or "interesting!" is quite the same as being added to someone's favourite or alert list. But well... in reality, it's not.
First, a review is more specific to a chapter. The authors also want to know if someone keeps liking the story. Once you've added the story to your favourite list, or your alert list, how can they be sure you still like it as much as before? How do they know you're still reading? The answer is simple: they don't. The stats can't show you this. And then, chapters after, you may read a call for reviews by your favourite author. And you feel awful for them. And sometimes, you feel angry at them for using their own story to threaten you.
Second, we all have different views on what should be in our favourite list or alert list. I remember a talk I had with a great someone. That person asked me what I thought meant more between favouriting an author or following a story. We had different views on it. For said person, following a story showed you didn't want to miss a single chapter and waited for them. To favourite it was more like creating a book mark when you were trying to find the story/author again. To me, I follow a story when I don't want to miss an update. But I favourite it when I really love it! That's why I always favourite a story when it's finished. If the author creates 2 or 3 good stories, I'll put them on alert. If the author wrote 10 stories I loved, I'll favourite them. We all have different views on it. So you don't know how the author will take it when you favourite their story, and they don't know what you thought when you did. It doesn't mean much. With words in a review, you can make it clear! (and even put in the end: that's why I favourite it)
Third, it starts with a little game I've played, as an author. I had a look at the favourite list of the ones that favourited my stories. In some cases, I was honoured because I found myself being the only representant of a fandom or the list wasn't big. But when you're the favourite story of someone who is on this site since two months ago, with 300 other favourite stories from the same fandom, it doesn't mean anything anymore. And if you use favourite lists every time you like a story, then you're likely to be in that second category. I know that if I listened to myself, I could easily reach the 300 favourite stories in the MxM fandom! But with reviews, you can show what in that story is great, what you liked. Reviews are way more personal: you can tell exactly what you liked in the author's fic, and that fic only.
So try and think about it. We have alerts, we have favourites and we have reviews. We have to give everything a value and know what they represent to us. But as we're all different, we have to explain it somehow to someone, when we use it to show something. In a music score, there is a symbol in the beginning to understand if we should read this key as a G (sol) or a B(H/si). With the lists, if you want to be understood, you have to let the author know the key. Else, it doesn't mean much. Isn't it easier to simply review a few words that are more likely to be understood right away and where you can even give this key?
So today's rant will not be about reviews, for a change There is a practice I've been noticing on this site that makes no sense to me. I've been wondering for quite a long time why so many authors need to precise "Third person point of view" at the beginning of their chapters. I must say I hate it because I think it's totally useless. When the narrator is only using the third person, it's obvious the point of view is third person. We are not in a grammar lesson where you have to show you know what third person is... So when I read this, I feel the author does not expect me to be able to think and that makes me upset. Now, I wonder where this habit comes from. I understand the need to precise whose point of view you're using when using first person point of view, and when the person whose eyes you're writing through is changing along the story (because if it is always the same person, the beginning of the story should make it clear. For instance:
And paf! You know who the character is, have a name, and see that he uses anime and videogames in his thought process. No need for "Matt's PoV".
So yes, is it because someone used to writing with changing first person point of view decided to try the third person and wrote "Third person point of view" out of habit? But why is it so popular nowadays? or is it that nowadays people like to have everything handed to them right away? I just think that it is good to let readers think for themselves a bit. We are used to reading books after reading the summary first, when we go to the cinema, we saw the teaser before. When was the last time we saw a movie or a play, or read a book with absolutely no idea of what it was we were going to see?
Anyway, I'm wondering about it because someone told me they hated it when the point of view used was not written. So to you who reached this part of my profile and has obviously nothing to do right now, what do you think? Do you prefer it when it is written or do you prefer to discover it for yourself? Do you feel sometimes that too much information is made clear and that authors shold trust their readers' brain more and actually imply some things instead of writing everything explicitly? Or am I on my own with this thought?
So, I've been meaning to rant here for sometimes. I have so many things I wonder about or want to complain about on this website. So I think I'll rant again pretty soon (tomorrow soon)
But today, it won't be your usual rant in which I complain about something. No. Today, I will talk about something that is very important to me as a reader. If you've ever read one of my reviews, then you may have noticed that there's something very important to me when I read: music.
I love listening to music when I read. When I read, I want authors to make me feel things. Music is another great way to give an emotion (and I will not start talking about the hierarchy of arts according to Schopenhauer... "Music could exist even if the world didn't" or about Hegel... a real philosopher could come down here and have an attack because of the bullshit I'd make those two guys say...). So when the emotion of the text fit the one coming from what is in your ears, it just makes you go even deeper into the situation and the emotions of the scene.
I love using music when reviewing because I always have a music in my mind. Even when I'm not listening to music as I read, if I get into it well enough, then it is likely I will have a somewhat fitting music in my mind. And sometimes, I feel that a music will be the best way to express the emotions a story made me go through, because I'm not as great as you guys, and I often find myself stuck for words to really express my feelings.
I know I'm not the only one to love mixing both though. Many authors use music for inspiration, or when they write. You have song fics, you even have authors who make playlists for their stories. I'm not exactly sure about those. I think there're an interesting way to understand the author, what they thought about when writing, and discover music. But at the same time, the balance when listening to music while reading is hard to find. Because both are activities that could retain your whole focus. If you don't know the songs, you may end up just listening to the music and not pay attention to the text you're trying to read. That, and music is pretty personal. Or better said, music is universal and individual. It's universal because it can speak to everybody (well, as long as your ears works of course. How I'd hate not to be able to hear...) but it's personal because we can all have a different understanding of it. So what fits for an author may not fit the understanding of their readers. For instance, one could hear Misirlou and think of it as epic music, perfect to building suspense. Another can listen to it as a song meant for routine because it's kind of repetitive.
But that's not the only thing about music and texts. Music and words fit so well together... I won't quote a famous poet, but words are music. Writing can be music. There's rhythm in a text. Sometimes it will go fast, sometimes it will slowdown, and as a Chopin lover, I strive in those rhythm variations. Finding the right word is like finding the right key, the right note to create a good memory. So when something feels so right in a text, I find that the best way to express it is to say that it's "in tune". In tune with the characters, in tune with the emotion. At school, when I was younger, we had to analyse texts a lot. And I always thought we were overanalyzing them. I found the exercice interesting but isn't it a bit too much to assume that every thing, every effect was planned? Maybe that's why we had to import "serendipity" in our language... But I'm drifting out of the subject. But those analysis were interesting still, because even if it's serendipity, it helps you understand where the emotions of the text may come from. And one of the things we studied a lot was the music of the sentences. How a sentence may contain a lot of "s" as if mimicking snakes. There's so much subtlety in language, and finding the right word means finding the one word that will express best what the situation is, what emotion the character is feeling, what action he is doing. But it also means finding the right music to the text, the one music that will help create a velvety atmosphere or a violent one. (I have this thing with Ls and Vs. There's something so suave in those letters. "I savor this lovely velvet" sounds so good in my mind with my fucked accent! That's why I think "love" is really a wonderful word!)
All that to say something, and if you want to take something from this, here is the lesson of the day: if you feel there's something strange about your text, try reading it aloud. Not only will it help you find mistakes such as missing comas, where you put natural pauses, missing words, grammar mistakes, and so on... but it will help you see where the words make things awkward in the end. Because sometimes, the problem is not that the sentence structure is bad, the problem only comes from the music of the text, making this particular moment too long, or too short, or too clear, or too vague.
Okay, that's all for this rant. It was so long, sorry. I just have more to say about things I love than when I complain!
15/11/2015 updated on the 17/11/2015
So, this rant will be solely about humility, understanding reality, oneself and knowing the meaning of things. This rant is about opinions.
As someone who likes to review, I'm often wondering about what giving your opinion entails, and how it's going to be received. I also wonder if this is one of the reasons not so many people like to say what they think here. I've been witness of a fight because of a negative though constructive review, between the one who wrote it and fans of the one who received it. I still don't understand why those people didn't target me as well as I said pretty much the same as what was written in that review, I guess I'm lucky and they didn't wan to read my long long paragraph. Lucky me! But yeah, when we publish our opinion, we know it can receive negative criticism as well, all the more if you're not just saying you love something. And that's alright. That's where debate comes. We wouldn't be able to go forward if we all thought the same way or if we didn't voice our opinion. However, I can't help thinking some people are forgetting what an opinion is. In particular, one criticism, or sentence about the coming review, makes me want to rant endlessly.
When you look at comments, on YouTube (always a source of fun), or here, sometimes, you may encounter someone saying "I'll try to be as objective as possible" or someone complain by saying "you're not being objective enough, if you were, you'd see how crappy or good this is!". I may even have done it sometimes! Sometimes, you just can't find the right word. Still, every time I read this, I don't know if I want to talk some sense into those people or if I should just laugh at them... An objective opinion...
Let's start with two definitions from the Collins dictionary.
via Old French from Latin opīniō belief, from opīnārī to think.
See the paradox here?
So here I state, there is no such thing as an objective opinion.
People pretending their judgement is objective are either extremely delusional about what it means to judge something, or they're just very vain and think they hold the one truth (or that they're experts).
Even in court, the judge can't be objective. Even if you look for the one truth as hard as you can, as if you were in a Phoenix Wright game, once that truth is found out, you may still not pronounce the same sentence as another judge would. Thankfully, I believe that to prevent too much variation between judgements, there is the law. And the law is the one bringing in some sense of objectivity. And even with the rules given by the objective law, you have different ways of choosing the deserved sentence for someone. The difference may come from the life the judge has, that may relate to what is happening or has happened in your life. If you're a very involved Feminist and you have to judge a conflict between an employee and her male boss, the outcome may be very different than if you are a macho man.
So when it comes to judging writings, art, food... When you don't have as many rules as there's in the law, how could you have an objective opinion? I believe you can't.
So, and that's my subjective conclusion, you can't have an objective opinion. However, you can have a credible opinion. I think the trials are not meant to be completely objective. We'd have to let a robot say the final word for it to work. They're meant to be fair, and to make sense. As much as possible. So judges are provided guidelines and then, they're free to judge.
By reviewing, I'm appointing myself to be the judge to your writing. I have some implacable rules. How good the grammar is, how coherent things are... and already, we may not have the same understanding of what is coherent and what isn't. I have questions that I always try to answer. Originality of the plot, good characterization and character development, nice to read style, conveys emotions,... I think about them and tick or not the boxes. The questions I ask about my reviews are always the same, and this structure may give my review a credibility that some would call "objective". It's not.
Whether I tick the box is a subjective choice. I have my own story, my own taboos and my own expectations. They're mine, and are bound to bring differences in the way I judge some things. But still, they help back up my opinion. Because there's not such thing as a bad opinion but there are poor opinions. The ones that can't be asked up with anything. And this maybe a political sentence here more than one about reviews. You can have any opinion you want, but once you state them, you have to be able to back them up because this is your opinion and you should have reasons for them. If those reasons come from ignorance of reality, then you'll have a hard time doing so without being seen as an idiot. Poor opinions are made while being ignorant of reality. On this website, the reality is your humility, that you don't hold the one truth of the story and can only speak for yourself. Once you know that, once you take that into account, there's no reason for anyone to blame you for your opinion on the story. I believe that a humble review is usually a fair review. And humble doesn't mean that your opinion is worth nothing or that you should minimize your thoughts. It means you know you're not better than others. Neither are you worse.
In general, checking out in the dictionary what a word means is an interesting thing to do. And checking out some facts before stating them (and I say facts, for instance, if you think something is not physically possible) can help.
So I try to be fair, I tick my boxes, I try to give advices on the points that weren't ticked. I sometimes provide some unrelated facts, about my life, about what I like, about philosophy... Because in those are one thing that makes me and motivates the opinion I'm giving in my review. And as I struggle to always express credible opinions, I'm only trying to define and refine my opinion, understand what it is that echoed with myself to feel the way I did about the story I just read.
But yeah, I'd be happy if someone read a review of mine, disagreed with something, and told me, with arguments to bak them off, why they don't agree. I think it would be interesting!
I'm on a ranting spree! (I have a year of rants to get back after all) Just to let you know, I think the ,ext several rants will be much more about writing than reviewing. I do write sometimes
So, now, let me tell you about an exchange I had with an author, some months ago. I won't name anyone or any story. I won't put the whole talk, but here is the idea behind it.
It started with a review, in which I complained about (but I'm not sure I named it as such, I should have if I didn't) the shallowness of the characters. My point (among others) was that the characters were doing morally questionable things, without any question from any characters.
To that, the author told me "I'm trying to show the dark side of humanity". And I bugged. "the dark side of humanity". What an ambitious project! And it got me to think about it. How do you show "the dark side of humanity"? Did this author manage to do that in their story, and I'm just too ignorant, narrow-minded to take it as such? What story do I know in which I saw the dark side of humanity? Or what other art work?
And let's start like last time. What is "the dark side of humanity"? When I read this, I think about the bad side of humans. What leads us to murder, rape, war, harassment, discrimination,... what makes it possible that someone knowingly make someone suffer. But no, it's not only that. I also think about drugs and prostitution. But what is annoying me in prostitution is that misery would bring someone to leave the control of their own body to someone else for money. What annoys me in drugs is that it can make people commit horrible things to other, make their family suffer, and that someone is getting money from it. And yeah, I may sound like a prude christian right now: the dark side of humanity is also greed.
I think the one time I saw the worst side of humanity was when I saw the administrative paper for the killing of a Jew man who was in a camp. This paper show some awfully cold and unfeeling process to the killing. When you read "over numbered" for the reason why he is killed. Written and signed by a government. Yeah, that's the most awful thing I saw to illustrate this.
But now, what about art? What art work got me to think about the dark side of humanity? Short answer is, some art work that show those things. Obviously, Guernica where you see the horror of war. Most of the paintings where you see war actually (I remember those paintings in Vietnam about the war there...)
50 shades? Now, that's a question. I never read this book, didn't go to see the movie. But that's a question I have to ask. Because I wonder if the way this author wanted to "show the dark side of humanity" is inspired by the way some would say 50 shades showed it.
So yeah, the dark side of humanity, to me, is that some people can, knowingly so and with a level head, decide to cause harm to other people for their own interest. That we may take pleasure in hurting others.
And here is the thing. Contrary to a song or a picture, novels and even theatre plays and movies have more time to develop an atmosphere, a universe with different sets of social rules. A picture can just show you a moment, one thing, and it's the way you interpret it, find how it resonates with your world, that makes you able to give it a deeper meaning. Guernica is dark because you put yourself in the scene it depicts, you think about the war, you see the fragmented screaming bodies, it's horrible, it's violent, it's tragic, and it's our own world. Same with a song. As they don't last much, a song will rarely expand on a whole new universe. So you know the value of the word in which the lyrics or a music are made to be seen.
However, in a movie, a novel, a play,... the world in which things happen is not necessarily ours. So what is normal in one universe may not be in another one. Which means that I can't project my own values so easily on the characters. Or more precisely, I will, until I'm given some signs I shouldn't because that's obviously not how they work. So if I see something awful happen to a character, I will feel awful for them. If I see them doing awful things, I will blame them. Unless I see it seems completely normal and accepted by the other characters. Then, I will try to understand why. The character is not bad in fact, it should be the way the world works that is different. And I may end up wondering if this text I'm reading is trying to advocate for a different vision of the world, one in which some things may not be as bad as they are here. It may be very hard to think so for a text about murdering your own mother who saved you, took care of you, loved you... in that case, it's hard to imagine any one wanting to say "hey guys, it may not be that much of a bad thing, you know?" but for some other things, such as slight abusive relationships, machism, objectifying others, having an affair... We don't have the same sensibility and what may be awful for me may not be so for the author. So, if they want to denounce something, they have to show me that it is wrong. And to show it, they have to, somehow, show what should be right, show in what way it makes others suffer, show people fighting it, complain about it, or at least question it.
And that is why I believe that to show the dark side of humanity, you have to show the light side of humanity. Don't focus on the dark side, show us everything, show us Humanity, plain simple humanity with the dark and the light side, always battling, always trying to find the right balance between our selfishness and laziness and our will to be better and hold true to our values. Show us fight of those temptations, give in to them, regret them, bask in them, hurt others, help others,... But overall, let us relate with your characters, so that we share their pain, their regrets, and their joys.
Totally Random, but no one will read it anyway:
xxbeyondxbirthdayxx is my Statler! XD
Bravo! you've reached the end of this profile. I don't know if this was useful to you but I have to say something not to let this page desperately empty, don't I?