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Review Topic -- The Destiny of Bionicle

retelling

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#1 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Feb 26 2014 - 10:19 AM

000TheDestinyofBioniclebanner.png

 
The Bionicle is the bio-chronicle, the records and legends of life of the Agori alien species and its various subspecies, and primarily the artificial sapient lifeforms known as Matoran and the other inhabitants of the Matoran Universe. One of the most important themes in the official Bionicle story is destiny. And such is the stuff of this story. I have sought to tell a brand new story with new mysteries, and yet blend this with a complete retelling of the canon story, chronologically from a point before the Core War.
 
As always, any comments, questions, constructive criticism, and favorite details you want to mention in a review would be appreciated. I'd be especially interested to hear theories about the non-canon mysteries I've included. Please note, this story is entirely a standalone, unrelated to my other fan fiction, so there is absolutely no need to read any of my other stories first.
 
For more about the story see below. First:
 
Author's Comments for Chapter 1: Without Destiny
 
The following is adapted from sidebar comments in the text file version of this story. Note that most of the present-day events of the early chapters are non-canon, but most of the locations and historical events mentioned are canon. The local places of the early chapters are unofficial. Other comments like this will clarify canonicity for major points throughout this story.
 
Note [going with the first image in Chapter 1]:

The image shown here for the green northern landscape as seen from the cliff is actually from near the end of the storyline in a totally different context. Throughout this story I will include canon images like this, often showing the same thing that is being shown in my story, but really taken from a much later time. Parts of this story are designed to actually revolve around the creative use of these images to give the reader the sensation of exploring this world from the beginning. Some other images will be edits of canon images, concept art used in different ways, or fan-made; comments will clarify whenever I am using anything but a canon image in the way the official story did.
 
Note [for image of the protagonist]:

This story's protagonist is a non-canon character. This image is my color-edit of an unnamed canon background character.
 
 
Note [for Agori image]:

This character is non-canon. Art by me.
 
 
Introduction
 
The following is adapted from the one-page intro [draft] in the text file version of this story:
 
This is a fan fiction work that retells the entire canon history that the LEGO company created for its epic adventure story, Bionicle, in chronological order. Although Bionicle was first and foremost a line of plastic “buildable action figure” toys, tons of brilliant imagination and heart was poured into the storyline that went along with it, and it quickly became known as LEGO's masterpiece.
 
This story is designed to be a fun and easily enjoyable way for someone who knows nothing at all about Bionicle to be introduced to it, as well as to clear up the early history and timeline details that have often confused even the most attentive fans. Bionicle's canon storyline, told through comics, books, movies, and even a few online games, began near the end of the timeline, and thus the details about what came before, revealed in bits and pieces along the way, were often difficult to understand in context. They have never yet been told about all in one place as an actual story.
 
Several years ago, as Reference Master for the most popular Bionicle fansite, Bionicle Zone Power (BZPower.com), I began the complex task of constructing an accurate timeline of all known events.
 
Later on our partner site, the reference wiki BIONICLEsector01, took that early skeleton and expanded on it based on countless tidbits of information given to us by the man who ended up being in charge of establishing Bionicle's official story, Greg Farshtey, who was an active member of BZP and answered thousands of fan questions there during the ten years of Bionicle. This story works right from the finished timeline on the wiki.
 
I've taken some liberties where some details were never established and where I felt for the purposes of this story it would be better this way, and there are several noncanon details and characters, especially the protagonist who I invented specifically to fulfill the needs of this story, but I've worked hard to ensure that the most important canon events and characters are included. Since I love to write “adventure mystery” stories (as I call the genre of Bionicle, and for example stories like LOST), I've created noncanon mystery revolving around the protagonist to drive the plot as well.
 
This is intended as a jumping-off-point from which a beginner, or even a longtime fan who might be rusty on some details, can go on to read the full-length official stories (which have their own subplots not included here), my other fan fiction works (written with the assumption that the readers are already familiar with Bionicle), or the works of other fans, such as the collaborative “fanon” Expanded Multiverse that Swert of Biosector01 and I created.
 
Please note that most of the images included along with the text are from Biosector01's extensive image library, most being from Bionicle's official website or similar resources. I have also included some fan-made art with permission, some of my own, and repurposed some concept images, all explained in comments... Other comments clarify what is canon, etc...
 
Some other notes
 
It's been my tradition with my Bionicle fanfiction to experiment with different approaches in different stories. This story has done some things new and also benefited much from previous experiments.
 
Never before have I done a major story in first-person. For purposes of this story it seemed especially fitting, as it flows better to say "I" instead of "he" or constantly having to refer back to his name after mentioning someone else. I normally write in third-person limited, which is essentially the same as first person but a narrator speaks instead, having only access to the thoughts and feelings of one character at a time.
 
Previous stories have always had one main protagonist (virtually an ironclad rule for modern fiction anyways) but did tend to have several side threads. Some of them I have felt wandered too far from staying focused on the protagonist's issues and mysteries, and at least some reviewers have agreed. So, absolutely everything in this story is from the protagonist's point of view, with only a handful of exceptions where he learns of a few things he could not be present to witness (even then, in-story it is all treated as his personal memoir, doubling as a cohesive record of the major events of history).
 
In some of my recent stories I have found it useful to divide the story up into ten-chapter Parts, each with their own themes and patterns, and I have continued that here.
 
I have never named chapters before, but I did so here. The text file version of this uses extra sidebar comments as a navigation system, and I tried to pick chapter titles that don't give much away but are clear enough about where the most important canon events are, so someone could use their word processing program's comment navigation sidebar to click the chapter titles to go directly to a part they wanted to review. Plus, all my Bionicle fanfic practice is aimed at developing my skills and determining strategies I like best for my own non-Bionicle fiction hopefully to actually publish someday, and I have decided to use chapter titles for that.
 
To go along with that I have also named the ten-chapter Parts. Each Part is one text file (partly because my laptop just has trouble holding open huge text files anyways so it's better to split them up in draft form whether the story actually reflects it or not).
 
I have in the past often had prologues and epilogues but I've opted not to, for this story.*
 
In terms of chapter length, my past stories have varied, usually having a maximum number of pages, but allowing chapters to be shorter. So far I have had a strict 20-page maximum per chapter, with most of the early chapters being significantly shorter (many less than 10 pages), and the average length goes steadily up later. [Since at time of posting the final ten chapters are not yet written, I can't be sure if I'll relax the rule for the last few.]
 
This story tends to expand on what the canon story didn't spend much time on (especially early history) but condense what has already been thoroughly covered in the official sources. Parts One through Four, and most of Five, focus on ancient events that the canon story barely tells at all.
 
For most of my other stories I have not worried about including images in the actual text, though twice I have done so. Here I wanted this to be a visual experience as well as written since official Bionicle has a vast array of truly wonderful imagery. Much is also lacking from canon images but sounds awesome in description, hence much of the non-canon art included as well. I applied a rule that every chapter had to have at least one image, and I have been amazed that nearly every single one has many more.
 
Because this is meant to be canon-fitting and high quality, and partly because I'm famous for theories anyways, many of my theories about various unresolved points of the story are included where they flow naturally in the story. Some popular and/or well-evidenced theories from other members are included as well (usually specific credit for this is not given as I honestly don't remember usually who originated them, and often they are developed in discussions in the Storyline & Theories forum division by many members). I have tried to make this story clearly in the science fiction side of the "science fantasy" genre that Bionicle inhabits, with a heavy emphasis on mystery, as usual for my stories.
 
That's about all I can think of to say at the moment. Again, feel free to ask anything you wonder about. :)
 
Note: "Bionicle" officially means "biological chronicle" or "biomechanical chronicle." I have shortened it to "bio" (life) in the first paragraph of this post to avoid the issue of which of those two is correct. It is an in-story official term for records of history (it'll be mentioned in this story eventually as such). So, the title means "the destiny of the history of our lives" ("our" referring to the protagonist and the other characters, both canon and non-canon). Essentially it means "the future that our experiences and choices build". I opted for this title in part to make it clear to the average fan at a glance that this is a story about Bionicle, implying about all Bionicle (or nearly so).
 
Enjoy!
 
 
[Please note: as of this posting, only 80 of the planned 90 chapters are already written, but I had set the end of February 2014 as the absolute latest time for beginning posting, and I'm now certain I know enough about the end to guarantee the early chapters are finished enough. I intend to post the first ten chapters weekly, whether I finish the writing by then or not. After that I may take a break from posting to ensure the end is fully written.
 
*It's possible I may change my mind and include a very brief epilogue. There are a few things I definitely want to mention in an epilogue sense but plan to include in the final chapter. We'll see.]
 
[Edit: Apparently the way my word processing program auto-changes a double dash into a longer dash doesn't copypaste properly to BZP. Fixed in the first chapter. Find & Replaced in the first ten chapters in the file version with double dashes. Will have to watch out for this continually.] [Edit 2: Okay, Replaced in all files, and found it in the autocorrect options and removed it, so it won't happen as I write Part Nine. Allegedly.] [Edit 3: GAH! I just noticed the same problem with the quote marks! Doing same as above to fix. (There was only one spoken line in Chapter 1 so it was hard to notice.)] [Edit 4: Testing single quotes now: 'test'] [5: Oh good, those don't mess up. All quotes fixed...]

Edited by bonesiii, Mar 03 2014 - 07:00 PM.

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#2 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Feb 26 2014 - 11:49 AM

It's finally here  :D !

 

I've been looking forward to you your retelling for a while now, and this chapter looks like a great start. Already, I'm eager to learn who or what this Matoran protagonist is. 

 

Looks like it's going to be an awesome story to follow!

 

-TLhikan


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"So I'm TL now?"
"Yeah, 'cuz if we said it the other way it'd have to be TLhiKHAAN!!"


#3 Offline JAG18

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Posted Feb 26 2014 - 12:06 PM

At first, I was like, "He's telling the story from the view of an amnesiac?"  But, then I read on and realized how great a story decision, that was.  The first person narrative is also pretty cool and how that somehow makes this almost like a Historical novel, rather than bone-shattering Historical narrative, which, I originally thought this was going to be.  So, that I also really like.  

 

Your choice of images will probably be quite important in future chapters, as they could both easily add and detract from the story's awesomeness.  Although, I think it an absolute shame that you couldn't arrange it the way you originally wanted to, with the word flowing around the images.  

 

Anyway, I think your off to a fabulous start, and I will definitely be sure to eagerly follow this story of truely epic proportions.   :)


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#4 Offline Azani

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Posted Feb 26 2014 - 03:46 PM

I've been looking forward to this for a long time, and the first chapter does a great job of establishing your character and his feelings about the situation that he or she has been placed in. (Or is it her feelings?) Telling it from the perspective of an amnesiac who has lived through all of the Biological Chronicle, and simply doesn't yet remember it, is a creative choice which also avoids any logistical issues about your character having to live through the entire story. The words which you use to describe your character's curiosity, awe, and appreciation of Spherus Magna are excellent, and appear to have been chosen carefully.

 

I do wish that you had selected a picture of Spherus Magna which better showed the fantastical, heaven-like features of the land that you described in the text. The picture that you picked includes some trees and a flower, but the flower looks a bit withered, the two trees are pretty sparse, and the sky is relatively dark. Selecting a taller picture, if possible, which contained plants and possibly a sky that looked a little more like a paradise would fully bring the art up to par with your text.

 

Also, you wrote that "plants and streams dotted the desert", though the area is, by definition, not a desert if there are plants and streams there.


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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#5 Offline Click

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Posted Feb 26 2014 - 06:23 PM

Finally, after months of hinting and anticipation! This is a great beginning, and it sets up a promising style that is both informative and interesting. I can't wait to see how it turns out.
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#6 Online Aanchir

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Posted Feb 27 2014 - 03:09 PM

Some parts of this story are appealing to me. I like the glimpses of foreshadowing at the beginning (though they are not as elegant as Kopaka's simpler statement "my dreams have been dark ones" in the first BIONICLE comic). But so far, it doesn't seem like a very good introduction to the BIONICLE story at all.

Despite very little actually happening in this chapter (which, to be fair, applied to the entirety of most of my stories back when I was a writer), it throws all sorts of technical trivia out there that I think is frankly unnecessary. Introducing Protodermis, Energized Protodermis, and Exsidian, as well as their properties, in quick succession seems a little bit overwhelming in my opinion, as a reader can't be sure which of this information they'll be expected to remember or how long it might be before it becomes important again. Likewise with the introduction of Agori and Matoran. The information that Matoran masks are magnetized or painted is not really important to the official BIONICLE story at any point, and I can't imagine how it will be considerably more important in a retelling. It just complicates the story for the reader.

The fact that the Matoran does not remember his identity is a perfectly good narrative decision, since it allows you to give the character a physical description. But his physical assessment of himself feels more like a biological textbook description, not a result of real self-analysis. If you were to awake from amnesia with no idea who or what you are, why would anything other than surface-level observations and physical sensations be among your first thoughts? It's one thing to wake up, notice the color and texture of your body, and feel pain or hunger; it's another to wake up and notice your "engineered skeleton". It's especially odd, since a real amnesiac, whether human or alien, would probably take certain things for granted. Why does the Matoran narrator think it's odd to be able to feel things through his armor? It'd be like if a person woke up and realized "oh, I can feel things through not only my fingertips, but also through the back of my head which is covered with hair. How strange". No matter what it's made of, it's his body and he should be self-aware enough to think of it as a body long before he thinks of it as parts and materials, regardless of whether he recognizes or has ever known his appearance.

Aesthetically, I like the choice to have the story illustrated at points. BIONICLE is the kind of franchise that really benefits from a visual medium, since its colorful, detailed characters and environments add a lot to its appeal. But I don't like the decision to use edited or unedited official images from various media in some places and to use hand-drawn illustrations in others. There is a huge aesthetic dissonance, and this would confuse people reading the story if they were not familiar with BIONICLE. Contrast other stories that use illustrations to enrich the narrative, like the Oz books by L. Frank Baum or many of Roald Dahl's works. They stick with the same visual style throughout the work, and this helps people to understand how the characters relate to one another. Currently, the Matoran and the Agori look incredibly different, but a new reader might have a hard time knowing how much of that is their physical difference and how much is a result of the differing aesthetic style.

Other nitpicks include the use of the word "humanoid" to describe the Agori and Matoran. For a character as new to the world as this one, it seems out-of-place, particularly as this world has never had humans. This is the kind of place where a more elaborate description would make sense. For instance: "Like me, it stood upright on two legs, and had two arms ending in hands." You could even mention the "pointed fingers with metallic claws" there, since it seems out of place in a sentence that begins by describing the face. And the mentions of "this planet" seem a bit odd — it would make sense to swap "planet" for "place", since even with uncanny premonitions it is not normal to think of the space we occupy as a planet solely from our immediate surroundings.

The official BIONICLE story was not entirely cohesive. It was spread across a range of media, and in brief installments rather than as a single work. But I think it is a much better introduction to the BIONICLE storyline than this. Part of that appeal is that it introduced information and details when and if they became important, not as a laundry list of technical jargon you might or might not need later.

Contrast this Matoran's infant-like discovery of the world (and completely incongruous textbook-style knowledge of the materials that make it up) with the very first BIONICLE comic. Kopaka doesn't spend long spans of text marveling at the materials around him, or the physical makeup of his body. He describes his body being assembled, but not as though it's something alien to him or as though the very ability to feel tactile sensations with it is highly fascinating. Instead, he gets up and starts walking around. His observations are far more enlightened and far less like a technical manual. "My mask lets me see pathways not seen before — patterns of heat — even through the rock." Or, on the same page, "Interesting. The power is in me. The sword is but the focus."

These sentences are short, elegant, and describe things that should be important, fascinating, and noteworthy to both the character and the reader. Not things that are scarcely relevant to either, like the fact that his body is made of protodermis or that protodermis has an "infinite range of powers". Those sorts of passages make as much sense in context as a human amnesiac noticing that their hair and fingernails are made of keratin, or marveling at the miraculous versatility of carbon-based compounds. A brief description is enough for readers to understand that the characters in this story are aliens. There's no sense in alienating them further with a stream of sci-fi minutiae.

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#7 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Mar 03 2014 - 06:53 PM

I'm so happy to see that you've (finally) begun posting this. And I'll get that picture of the Jellyfish to you soon.


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#8 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Mar 05 2014 - 03:32 AM

Finally! I've been waiting for this a long time.

 

While I like the first chapter though, I have to agree with Aanchir's points. The way the protagonist observes things just seems... weird and out of place. He tells about a ton of stuff he shouldn't even know about in the first place (though I know you have an explanation to that). As an introductory chapter to the Bionicle lore, this doesn't deliver at all. In fact, I don't think you can start introducing the story to a non-fan from Spherus Magna, it would have to be the 2001 saga instead.

 

Yet I still love reading this as a story and a unique take on Bionicle. Despite the criticism I will definately enjoy the chapters to come.


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#9 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 05 2014 - 05:09 PM

Author's Comments for Chapter 2: Well Met

For future reference, what comes before the first "Note:" label in all of these author comment sections is usually not present in the text file version of the story (yet -- I may edit some of them in if warranted); these are usually things that are on my mind on the week that I'm posting the next chapter. The link above will serve to announce the new chapter, and label which comments from the text file follow this paragraph.

The "Note:" that begins each comment is used in the text file to distinguish from comments that are part of the chapter navigation system, etc. Here they will mark the start of a new comment. Bracketed additions to the note labels are added if the comment itself is unclear in this version which part it goes to, and anything put in quotes there can be found using your browser's Find tool in the story itself. I may also add some comments or questions for advice beyond what was in the original notes; anything like that after the first note begins will be in brackets.

Note:

The image of the hut interior is unused concept art for a hut in a different place on the same planet. The original was monotone, tinted red, representing a hut in a fire/lava themed location. This is my color edit to make it seem more befitting to a jungle location.

Note [to section including the phrase "a lost art"]:

These details of the barter system and Metus' involvement with it are non-canon.

Note [to Zesk image]:

Original Zesk forms are not exactly known for sure; this is fan art made by Tattorack, used with permission. A comment later will clarify what is known and isn't about this form.

Note [to Glatorian images]:

Both images of this green Glatorian are fan art made by Tayanacon, used with permission.

Note also that the term "Glatorian" was almost certainly not invented yet. A comment going along with Chapter 81 will explain why more clearly. The only official term we have in this time period is "warrior class." I'm using it for simplicity's sake, since the memoir author's audience would be used to calling them that (and so is the real audience, heh). Until Chapter 81, though, the protagonist doesn't actually learn of the term. Consider his account to be using it retroactively until that point.

Note [to the obese Agori sketch]:

This is another non-canon character, art by me.



Replies to reviews:
 
In general -- Since some criticisms were already posted, first I want to let readers know in general that when I reply, out of necessity for what this story is trying to be -- character-based, mystery, and giving readers a chance to piece together clues to both of those and feel smart when they theorize, like we got to do for 10+ years with the canon :) -- I will not be 'defending' why I have done what I've done, even though I usually do have reasons the critics haven't considered.

I do reserve the right to make exceptions if I feel it's strongly warranted (I've made a few below), but I don't want to give the impression that I'm not continually re-thinking how I've done it, and taking the criticisms into account. I want this to be a positive experience for everybody, and not something to even risk arguing over. :)
 
Now, I may answer questions; I want to reward people who take the time to post here. But in general, I will not do your thinking for you; I prefer to reward someone who has thought it through and found the right answer or at least found a reasonably good theory. And of course, there is much I can't say because this is at heart a mystery; for example, you're not supposed to understand the main reason the story starts this way, not until the very end; that's always the case in my stories. ^_^
 


TL -- thanks, and glad to see you reading!
 

Jag -- yeah, glad you like the approach. That's a big part of the motivation for doing this; whereas we often just try to piece these things together in discussions in S&T, that isn't a story, so I wanted to make as much of it as I had space for "come alive".

And very wise comments about the images. (More on that in a sec.) Yeah, it's too bad about the format. On the other hand, there is one upside; the text file version has more severe image size constraints. Most of the sizes here are the same but occasionally I'm showing a larger one here where warranted. So there's that.
 

AN -- I'm very pleased you appreciated the work that went into the word choice, and that it did get across to at least you. ^_^
 
About desert, not necessarily -- I love watching things like Man vs. Wild and "desert" is often used for places that nonetheless may have the occasional stream (in fact deserts sometimes get flash floods that produce big streams, but what I meant mainly here is that he's actually in the southern border of a jungle, so it makes sense that what he can see from here to the south isn't "pure desert" yet). In other words, an oasis here and there that isn't desert, but is inside a desert. Still, the wording there could probably be improved to make that clearer.

About the first image, I'd been debating back and forth for a while whether to make a better one, but ultimately I opted to stick with the canon image because I want the comparison between it and the later awesome image of Mata Nui spreading life across the planet to make the original seem far outshone, and because this is the first thing the character (remembers) seeing with his own eyes, he's somewhat seeing it as more wondrous than it really is; through proverbial rose-tinted glasses (lush-green-tinted? lol). I actually kind of like the jarring contrast between how we see the image and how he exaggerates its beauty. :shrugs:

Also, since there's a variety of quality in canon images, I did kind of want to imply a notice off the bat to the reader that they shouldn't always expect the absolute best of the best per se for the artwork. One of my rules was to have a bias toward whatever was produced by LEGO being included, although I did put my foot down against some of them. Like Jag wisely says, it's very possible for this to be a detriment to the story. I decided that my policy would be that it's okay if my story does get taken down a notch or two in the interests of preserving the experience of re-living what is really LEGO's creation, to be honest to what it was like at the time.

I still might possibly try to make something similar to that image but a little better later for the "final" (text file) version; so far there have been other image needs that have been more pressing.
 

Click -- Thanks!
 
 
 
 
Aanchir -- I'm glad you liked parts of it. :) I just hope you keep reading and re-thinking your own assumptions. One question before I try to answer a few specifics -- did you read the introduction above?
 
I haven't spent much time focusing on proofreading that and just checking it now I've noticed some things that were in my original (but too-long) draft of it are missing that I thought were still in there. If you read that I can see how you would come away thinking the top priority is to introduce (any and every) new people to Bionicle, but that's not so. (The warning I had in the original intro draft was actually that the vast majority of people new to Bionicle should seriously consider going through the canon first. For example, this story cannot keep the giant robot a secret until 2008 plot end, so it has to spoil that. I suppose that really should be a third thing put right at the top of the story topic... Will get to that...)
 
However, I did notice several glaring logical errors and things you missed in your post. I think some of what you're aiming at is good, but I don't think (for now) that I can agree with all of it. But like I said above, I don't want to argue or be defensive. :)
 
So all I can do for most of it is ask you to please try to rethink some of your approach and ask if the reasoning you're using and the assumptions you made are really warranted, all things considered. I've been debating all week how much of your points I should let the readers find the problems with on their own, and how much I should answer so that people aren't unduly swayed by your post and start judging the story through that lens instead of the perspective I was aiming for.
 
It's a tough decision but I've chosen just two.
 
 
First, I actually agree with you a little about the lack of poetic style like Kopaka. However, there are good reasons this story doesn't have that.
 
Keep in mind that is a luxury skill; Kopaka did not have a 100% erasure of his mind (not saying this character had a mind before, but the point is he's starting from nothing). Everything he knows was given to him in the total-vision, and he experienced what you experienced; fear you might forget things that will matter later due to information overload. It was actually intentional that you would feel that -- it's part of my style to adapt the style of writing to increase the feeling of experiencing something how the character does.

(Although I would argue my use of it is much more slight here than the impression your post gives, as everything he mentions, he realistically would, IMO. Other fanfics of mine have given much more detail with no reader complaints, so I would guess this is a matter of this being a retelling bringing in readers with a wider variety of tastes than my normal fanfics.)

So, he had to choose what to keep, and he picked some key future events, basic language knowledge, and physics knowledge (a few others but those are the big ones).
 
For him to have poetic skills as you wished for, think about it -- he would have to sacrifice important knowledge that could help him save lives and stop needless suffering. That would be pretty selfish, no?

All that said, this character actually does enjoy that kind of poetic style, and the opening lines were meant to imply (partially) that he is lamenting that he couldn't hold onto any skills needed to make it. Keep in mind that to sustain a story over 90 chapters, he needs to have lots of room to grow. Kopaka was very mature, almost to the point of "Gary Stuism", with few noticeable character flaws, and could not really sustain a single story over so much time.
 
 
Your second main premise was that we can't have a version of Bionicle that is intentionally sci-fi (or that characters who think that way don't exist).
 
You may not be aware of this, but many of us were just as annoyed by Bionicle's seeming fear of expanding kids' horizons into deeper physics (even they were inconsistent; witness Pohatu's Nuva mask description), as you were by my going there. That's a matter of taste, and we were patient with the canon (we understood the reasons it felt that approach were warranted, which don't apply here), so I'd appreciate some patience too. You're talking to someone who had a somewhat different taste and didn't let it alienate me from the canon, and telling me I'm not allowed to tell a story that might be a somewhat different taste from others. Life abounds with irony. :P

I have heard countless people complain about the typical "dumbed down" storytelling that takes the approach you advise, and wish more authors had the guts to aim at the more intelligent but admittedly less numerous readers.

That resonates powerfully with me; I agree with the philosophy of the producers of LOST on that note. You may lose some close-minded people along the way, but I would rather lose them than people who enjoy a greater intellectual challenge. Those who stick with this kind of story IMO will find it far more rewarding than anybody finds the dumbed-down stories, even those they're aimed at. In general (see a clarification to Toatapio below, however, at the end of this post). :shrugs:
 
Also, actually the questions you seem to think aren't relevant are things that I have seen asked again and again in S&T.

I do think this is because Bionicle made some mistakes in over-trivializing things that readers naturally wonder and that the characters would also think about realistically, like the paint thing (or more importantly the magnetic thing).

I do think Bionicle had good reasons for most of their holding back; they let these physics details get discovered over time. But that's been done now so I can't treat well-known canon facts as mysteries all the time here (though I do treat a few that way just for variety's sake). And even that did lead to much avoidable confusion; questions that could have been answered right where they could naturally come up got pushed to unpredictable random reveals much later and many who wondered them missed the reveals.
 
As for characters not existing who would react that way, I just can't agree. I'm a case in point that real people like this do exist, and Bionicle has characters like this, like the GBs. Kopaka didn't need to know the underlying physics to have great powers (and thus feel confident enough to wax poetic). This Matoran will have to understand physics to make tools needed to accomplish what he feels is a mission he has been mysteriously given.

And knowing physics is not trivia -- even if in some cases you might not yet see how it will be relevant; ignoring physics leads to fatal mistakes and untold suffering, and that's something this character is painfully aware of.

 
I agree with some of your other points. The humanoid thing especially. I'll look it over of course to judge how much could be cut or modified accordingly. Anyways, thanks for the detailed review, disagreements notwithstanding.

I hope you understand why I am not responding to all of your points (for one thing, even just answering those two points makes this post far longer than I had wanted my replies in here to usually be). And despite my above answers trying to explain where I was coming from when I wrote it, I do want to try to find ways to improve it to appeal even more to people with tastes like yours, with edits etc. while still preserving those reasons and goals. I'll be thinking about it. Any further constructive advice you have on that would be appreciated. :)
 
 
 


MoaK -- Sounds good!
 
 
Toatapio -- Well, it's kinda supposed to be weird. It's always been striking to me, in college classes for example where multiple people give their impressions of other people's work, how the "weird" things are paradoxically some people's most favorite things, and yet the things others dislike the most. The very same things!

I've written much on why this occurs in the past if you're curious; basically it's how personal taste works. So in some cases, the existence of some strongly negative reactions may actually be evidence it was a good decision, as it will then tend to be more pleasing to people with different tastes (the tastes it is aimed for, usually similar to the author's). What those who have such reactions against such things tend to forget is that the alternative is to be bland, and then nobody's happy.
 
I somewhat agree, like I said above, about 2001; sorry again for giving a different impression in the intro, if that's where your reaction is coming from.

But been there done that (twice -- the canon did, and my Paracosmos series does too). Keep in mind all of us have a powerful nostalgia tinting how we feel about 2001. Someone new to Bionicle would not have this, so can any of you really judge reliably how they would feel about this?

Plus, you might not have noticed that 2001 may not do as good a job as we usually assume it did of introducing the full range of what Bionicle was to be. At the time nobody had thought of Spherus Magna or the Shattering, or Agori, but as it turned out those proved to be extremely central to the plot. For a chronological story, thus, I felt it was important to start by showing the reader both an Agori and (although he doesn't recall the name yet) a Matoran.


That said, I didn't want to entirely outshine the canon -- if someone does start here I wanted to preserve some better things in the canon for them to look forward to!

So I actually intentionally avoided some things I have done for the Paracosmos that have gotten comments of making people wish the canon had been as good, though obviously I can't help but improve on its weaker points as I see them. So using comparisons with the canon where you see some things the canon did better than this as an argument against how I did it is somewhat invalid by definition IMO. Does that make any sense?

For example, the canon starts out being good at poetry, but not good at physics understanding. This starts out being good at the latter and not the former -- very much on purpose. To argue then that this is worse ignores that the canon had its downsides too, and it's reasonable for an "alternate introduction" to flip such things on their head so people have options.
 
Anyways, glad you enjoyed parts of it.

Man, this post has ended up really long no matter how I edit it to trim it. My bad for that, folks; I did feel the things I included above needed to be said. Hope it helps! ^_^

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#10 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Mar 05 2014 - 08:45 PM

Spoiler

 

I'm really liking the looks into regular Agori life, and the art (both yours and guests'). 

 

-TLhikan


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#11 Online Tattorack

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Posted Mar 05 2014 - 09:00 PM

Well this is just great, you made me want to stab Metus to death all over again!

If I get this right, greengreytoran is a Matoran made by the Great Beings... before Matorans?

 

I really like the way you write the story. I'd say much better than the canon serials, but I suppose they tried to make those understandable for 6 year olds...

You've managed to add quite a bit of details in very few words.


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#12 Offline JAG18

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Posted Mar 05 2014 - 09:40 PM

I'm liking where this is going.  I also like your takes on a lot of the things we've known, but never really seen, like how Matoran absorb energy from food with their hands.  The art is cool and it's a nice touch to this chapter.

 

I wasn't expecting Metus to make an appearance, but I thought it was cool how you, in a way, highlighted a part of his character that becomes important in the canon storyline.  If you know what I mean.

 

Good chapter, bonesiii, and that cliffhanger will definitely keep me coming back for more.


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#13 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 06 2014 - 12:51 AM

Okay...I give up?
 
*looks at banner* Ice? Skrall shield? Interesting choice. 
 
Chapter 1:
 
Amnesiac character recalling Bionicle history: +400 mystery
 
Display of character, revealing that he is a Matoran with a Green Kanohi: -400 Mystery
 
At this point, I'm just going to conclude that I don't like bonesiii openings. There is no other explanation that makes sense. Although this is much better than the TPC opening, maybe on par with the EB opening? I don't know - that one introduced a lot of tension that almost felt forced the first time around. This one isn't as tense, but the unusual plot element draws attention much better. (Making comparisions to the Paracosmos, especially given that this is an entirely different genre, is silly, but whatever. Frame of reference.)   
 
The amnesia thing strikes me as an opportunity for a "meta-cyclical" story, in which the character's living through this expierence contributes to the vision at the beginning of the story which starts the story over again, thus making circular time, which is somewhat common to the "retelling" genre of stories. I don't expect you to confirm or deny this, and some of your comments suggest that this is not the case, but it is something that I note. 
 
Chapter 2: 
 
Why does Metus always have to show up first? He was the first to meet Mata Nui on BM too, so his inclusion here seems odd. I'm sure there is a logical reason for it, but it bugs me.  
 
I can't relate to the main character yet. I've never experienced amnesia of any sort, and much of his mind feels alien, unlike previous fanfic protagonists where I've felt a strong connection with rather quickly. This makes this chapter feel somewhat draggy, even though a bunch of stuff happened. This really bothers me because I know most of the major events of the story, so understanding him strikes me as important.
 
On that note, not a lot to theorize about. Some of the elements so far strike me as stuff that could contribute to a theory later, like the cliff upheaval (possibly caused by EP) and the vision, but nothing else strikes me as unusual enough to point back to it yet. 
 
 
Some of the critical comments bring up a can of worms that this fanfic opens. I'm not sure how to take this - is this the "ULTIMATE introduction to Bionicle Story"? Or is it "bonesiii Silly Fanfic: Do Not Take Seriously"? 
 
Perhaps the best way to reconcile it is to say that this is bonesiii's perspective on the Bionicle story, elaborated in story form. It has its critical assets and flaws, but it isn't wrong, just different. I know that if I tried to do this, I wouldn't start the tale with an amnesiac on a cliffside - probably with a mystery-laden action sequence in whatever chronological point I felt convenient. But having the different perspective is an asset-perhaps a luxury, but one I enjoy. 
 
One of the better things I like is sharing a story - just sitting down and talking about one for awhile. It's something I don't get to do very often anymore, so I value the chance. Even more so when the other person is the writer of it, because you get to see inside their heads for a few minutes. It's probably just a preference thing, though, that some people don't have, and that's fine.         
 
Still, I find it to be a serious challenge in reviewing, one I do take seriously. Inevitably I'm going to be asked, and in fact my mind demands, that I evaluate this perspective on the Bionicle story. However, this is a story in its own right, and must be considered as such as well. So far I haven't seen too many references to canon other than mentions, and so that's the perspective I took. I hope that's clear. Hopefully I will find a way to distinguish such evaluations should they be needed. 
 
And I will stop rambling. 

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#14 Offline Exitium

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Posted Mar 11 2014 - 07:28 PM

I have to admit I was intrigued by the notion of a retelling, something I've toyed with for a long time myself.  It would certainly be interesting to see another perspective on the Bionicle story, one that emphasized aspects the canon didn't, one that could play to a more sophisticated audience, and one that could be darker or more philosophical.  In other words, a good retelling should make me think about Bionicle in a different way.  So you've got a lot of potential going in, but so far I haven't seen much come of it.

 

Despite all the hype you've been generating in S&T, I have to say that your writing style just isn't my cup of tea.  There's not a lot that's technically wrong with your story so far, I just don't agree with a lot of the stylistic choices.  A lot of what Aanchir and fishers said resonates with me: So far the reader is bombarded with a lot of details, and I'm getting the impression that much of this story is intended to be a vehicle for your theories.  That may interest some people, but personally I'm more interested in a good story, and this one is a little dull so far.

 

I understand that you want to tell a sci-fi story, and as a fan of sci-fi, I have no objections to that.  But details such as how Matoran eat and how their masks are attached to their faces really aren't that interesting, especially to someone who's familiar with the canon.  In my opinion, sci-fi elements shouldn't stand on their own, they should enrich the story or contribute to establishing the setting and characters.  Otherwise they bog down the reader and distract from what's really important, and in this case they get in the way of characterization.

 

Chapters 1 and 2 haven't done a lot to grab my attention (with the exception of chapter 2's cliff hanger).  Deciding on a central protagonist for a retelling was a good move, as was making him an amnesiac, but other than that, he's a rather bland character.  You seem to be relying on the mystery to drive his character, but other than amnesia, resourcefulness, and a deep understanding of physics, there's not much to him.  If I'm going to read pages about him struggling to survive, I want to know why I should care if he survives.  Right now he reminds me a lot of Fi from Skyward Sword: He provides a lot of technical details, but not a lot of emotion.

 

On the technical side, you make heavy use of fragments, which when used for emphasis are quite effective.  I think you've used a bit too many, but that's just my opinion.  Some of the sentences are a bit bland and seem to be heavy on description, sometimes resulting in awkward sentences like "Surprise was on my face."  In this case the old adage (which I'm sure you're familiar with), show don't tell, is particularly relevant.  One last technical nitpick: 

 

The Agori had apparently traveled in a straight line toward the cliff as soon as he saw it, after a moment when he had been laying on the ground. I concluded that I was right about there being a quake, which must have knocked him to the ground. There were also a lot of fresh treefall branches laying around on top of the ground foliage.

I believe the correct word in both cases should be lying.  In general, lying is intransitive, laying is transitive.

 

I recognize that you're only two chapters in, but I think a little more needs to be done to make the story interesting.  I would recommend livening up the prose and adding some characterization to your protagonist in addition to limiting the sci-fi details to what's necessary for characterization and the plot.  That doesn't necessarily mean dumbing it down, it just means streamlining the story to speed up its pace.  It's entirely your call, of course, and I don't want to tell you how to write your story, but I think it would benefit from some of these changes without significantly altering its essence.


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#15 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 12 2014 - 11:02 PM

Author's Comments for Chapter 3: The Danger of Misjudgment

This is the shortest chapter in Part One, roughly tied with another in Part Two, but the average lengths go steadily up from here. Update as of this post: Chapter 81 is done, and did go one page over my earlier working maximum of 20 pages. Unsure if that trend will continue through the rest of Part Nine. On to notes for Chapter 3:

Note [to image of Fire Agori with quiver and arrows]:

This Agori is also non-canon, art by me.

Note [to "in ancient times"]:

This custom [of Agori wearing masks to symbolize leaving behind a bad life] is non-canon, though it's likely that normal masks existed, as the Matoran word for them also simply means “mask”, and the Matoran language is based on the Agori one, so the word was probably borrowed or modified from a preexisting one.



Replies to reviews:

TL -- Yeah, that was what I was going for, heh.


Tattorack -- I can confirm that he's a Matoran, and clearly he is here before Matoran are supposed to exist. Where he comes from though will not be revealed until the end. :) And glad you, and apparently several others, are liking the style here. ^_^



Jag -- I think I know what you mean, yeah.



fishers -- It may help in general to compare my style of beginnings more to MNOG than a strict action-packed style. I consider it valid for a story, especially a Bionicle story, to start more quietly and build later, as long as the "inciting incident" (protagonist first aware of the trouble the story is about) is at the start. And keep in mind the Arena Method that I use to write; to others who might not have heard of this, basically I establish the world, characters, and secrets in my mind, and then what happens is what would logically happen. So, if you had thought of the same Arena for the same considerations of what this was meant to be, you very well might start the story this way because you'd know why it starts this way. :) (Of course really you'd tell your own story, but yeah.)

There's a ton I could say to explain what went into the choice of Metus there, but you're not supposed to understand it fully until Part Nine. Suffice it to say, since this happens (long) before his meeting Mata Nui, you can bet this has something to do with why he ends up playing that role too. :)

To relating, well, keep in mind he is an alien to every single human, unless you know somebody who's had a total-vision and no prior memories. That's not necessarily the goal yet. And you're not supposed to understand him completely yet -- he won't even understand himself until the very end, at least not his main destiny. That said, I personally can relate to him a lot in some ways (I tend to know a lot, but am also very forgetful, and am very physics-minded, for example). I think it goes back to something Charles Schultz once said about how there's something of himself in every character he writes.



Exitium -- First, let me acknowledge the various good points of your review, and I agree in principle with much of your writing philosophy, although it seems incomplete in places.

This time I feel that fairly a lot needs to be said here in response to the points you raised, so please consider what I'm going to say carefully. :) Again, please know I am considering possible edits to make it appeal better to tastes such as yours, although at the same time, the entire story is already built on this opening so there's not a lot of wiggle room, and reactions like yours were anticipated anyways. (It's one of the main warnings you learn in fiction courses of what to expect, heh.)

The main thing I noticed is that there seems to be a theme in most of your post that you have allowed yourself to set up a detailed preconception of what this story would be.

The problem with doing that is that statistically prior guesses of what to expect have very little chance of being right, setting you up for disappointment. I have always found that when I actively choose not to form expectations, or demands of what something must be, I tend to read more intuitively and catch the subtle clues included as to WHY something is being done in a different way from what I might have expected, and those will help me enjoy it better, perhaps even more than I would have if it had followed the prior expectations, which often if used would be unrealistic.

One of the hallmarks of the preconception style of reading (or viewing, etc.) is missing details that an intuitive reader will not.

For example, if I were to only read your paragraph where you bring up the featuring of how Matoran eat, I would walk away assuming the story merely mentioned it as an info-dump, just to include it. But the actual story did not bring this up at all until the protagonist found himself hungry, in a survival situation, and he had to follow the quintessential Bionicle storyline rule of using his brain to solve the problem, which does help establish characterization and moves the plot forward. You also didn't seem to catch that the detail about eating was then used as part of his "cover story" when Metus encountered him.

Another hallmark is seeing things that aren't necessarily there if you formed a preconceived notion that it would be bad in a certain way and hunted for evidence for this negative expectation. I got that vibe, frankly, from your comments about theories. I do not even recall including any in the first two chapters. If I did, it must have been where I felt they were warranted; by no means was I trying to force them in, and I question whether you really found anything in the story itself to make you think that or are instead misinterpreting why I mentioned later theories in S&T (which is, after all, the storyline and theories forum) and projecting that upon the story. Please judge the story by the actual story itself, not anything outside it.

(And "hype" was not my goal. I have explained elsewhere why I mentioned what I did in S&T; it would be off-topic to repeat that here. And there too, someone understanding intuitively can probably figure it out easily on their own anyways.)


From various hints in your wording like "dull," I get the impression you were expecting a totally action-packed story from the start (at least for a while).

I can like those (though I like a variety on this issue), but that is not really true to how Bionicle stories usually begin and I honestly did not feel it was right for this. The conflict being focused on at the start is about this character's love of the quiet he's largely seeing around him and the natural beauty, contrasted with the barren land being stomped by war that he foresees. Given that, it's hard to see how artificially throwing in tons of action and melodrama just for the heck of it would be wise. He sees value in appreciating peace and calm; evidently you did not catch that, as you didn't include it in your list of "all" you've seen about him, which is puzzling since this is right at the very start. Once again this just makes me suspect you may not have been paying as close attention as I would prefer readers to do.

I could have spelled it out directly, but that is telling, not showing. It's a case of "be careful what you wish for" -- you want more showing, but that means the reader has to pay even closer attention than you evidently did. One of the things you may learn if you take more advanced fiction writing course is that it's actually a common misconception that telling is never warranted in quality fiction.

There are times when it makes more sense, and those who read with a strict "show only" attitude will tend to miss that. It's one of those interesting cases where "a little knowledge [may be a bad] thing"; you might hear in early fiction writing courses or the like that it's best to show things instead of telling, and assume this is the all in all, when it's not; it's one good goal among many that must be carefully balanced. (Though generally it's the top priority and I have treated it as such in this story.) Most readers who don't take any fiction-writing courses will not be reading with that bias and will accept a more balanced story more easily.


Most of your other style disagreements are things I've gotten praise for by others in the past so I can only chalk this up to taste, etc. And much of it is answered already in my replies to others here (see my reply to Aanchir especially about details you assume all/most old fans know). :)

All that said, it's certainly always possible there's room for improvement, and I am considering these things and may make some edits eventually if I end up deciding they're warranted. Just keep in mind that just as a writer of a story can learn from constructive advice, so can a writer of a review (or readers in general). =)

Hope this helps. :)

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#16 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 13 2014 - 08:32 PM

Chapter 3 (it's all sort of blended together, but don't read if you haven't read):

 

I don't know - but I come from a writing background where "unrelatable characters" is a big no-no, right up there with "underdeveloped ideas." :P

 
I wouldn't say "action packed" automatically makes for a good opening. I have read many stories where there wasn't an action-packed opening, yet I liked the story anyway. Even Amethyst wasn't technically an action-packed opening ( :shrugs:), just some guy, bored, looking through a bunch of vaults. If the reviews are anything to go by though, it worked. :shrugs: I do want the opening to introduce some emotion or some sort of tension and stuff going on, though, so I have a reason to drive on through the text (better yet, a mystery...). To be fair, this does introduce the mild emotions of confusion and desperation, but it seems really shallow. 
 
However, after I've read though the story once, I can return to a bonesiii opening, and the new understanding and stuff makes it better. Gives the text reread value. I've learned over time that one can plow on from a bad opening to start and still be satisfied with the story at the end, and sometimes it's totally worth it. (Frequently, I've found with a bonesiii epic, it is. ;) Just me though.)

 
Part of this reaction to the opening, it being so negative and all, is because that if I were in this character's shoes, I would be so incredibly angry. You have no idea. This is the "running around and screaming my living head off and smashing literally everything in sight" level. There are things that are just beyond reason, and since all the logic is a higher-level function coming from my memory which I had to learn, it wouldn't be there anyway. Further, the thought of having to relearn all the information that I had lost would flare up my impatience to the point of me being absolutely catatonic. Throw in the hint of some distant tragedy in the future and a murder accusation - I don't think there would be much more than a gibbering vegetable really. 
 
And yet this character just blindly accepts it all. No sense of loss. "Really?" I want to yell at him. "You just lost 94.2% of your memories, and you don't feel ANYTHING?! What is wrong with you, you SOULESS UNFEELING ROBOT?!"
 
Oh wait. 
 
Theory: The character's lack of emotional reaction to his situation is because he is a Matoran. Since Matoran have not developed strong emotional stuff and culture yet, this character is consistent with this lack of sapient development. 
 
Here I go again. 


Edited by fishers64, Mar 13 2014 - 11:58 PM.

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#17 Offline Yaldabaoth

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Posted Mar 14 2014 - 11:46 AM

I don't have a lot to say here that hasn't already been said by fishers, but I do have one thing about Chapter 3: "I would have been suspicious of me if I was in his foot armor." I'm not sure if you were trying to be funny here, but this is seriously the most cumbersome wording you could have chosen. "Boots" or simply "armor" would have made perfect sense, but "foot armor" just breaks all suspension of disbelief, by merit of how ridiculous it sounds. XD If it was meant as a joke, I guess it succeeded, but I have this nagging feeling it wasn't.

 

Like fishers, I'm a little put off by the narration -- it's too matter-of-fact, sometimes to a ludicrous point. For example: "Finally, an idea occurred to me from my rich knowledge of physics. Friction could make heat" (Chapter 2). A, it doesn't take all that great knowledge of physics to know that rubbing things together makes them warmer; B, this makes your narrator seem a lot more full of himself than he appears to be in the rest of his dialogue. Like the "foot armor" comment, this one was so funny as to break suspension of disbelief, and I can only assume it wasn't intentional.

 

Otherwise, it's an interesting story, if a little slow-paced. I'm not sure where the "retelling" aspect of this epic comes in -- so far, it's mostly an original story, with original characters -- but I'll continue to follow it, because it's not horrid, and I do wonder how you'll try to encompass all the simultaneous convoluted plots that characterize BIONICLE.


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#18 Online Tattorack

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Posted Mar 14 2014 - 09:32 PM

Part of this reaction to the opening, it being so negative and all, is because that if I were in this character's shoes, I would be so incredibly angry. You have no idea. This is the "running around and screaming my living head off and smashing literally everything in sight" level. There are things that are just beyond reason, and since all the logic is a higher-level function coming from my memory which I had to learn, it wouldn't be there anyway. Further, the thought of having to relearn all the information that I had lost would flare up my impatience to the point of me being absolutely catatonic. Throw in the hint of some distant tragedy in the future and a murder accusation - I don't think there would be much more than a gibbering vegetable really.

 

Hmm... I dunno. Sure, its how you would react, but that is because of your personality. Me, I wouldn't get angry; I'd be too curious for my own good (and probably die from touching the EP anyway XD ) and some frustration about not having answers served on platters. But that would only drive my curiosity and I'd probably stay quite and silently observe when I would come in contact with another individual.

 

Theory: The character's lack of emotional reaction to his situation is because he is a Matoran. Since Matoran have not developed strong emotional stuff and culture yet, this character is consistent with this lack of sapient development.

 

Could very well be. Its what I thought at least (that, besides the fact that he could be from an undefined element that doesn't display emotions as much as other like Ko-Matoran).

 

Personally I'm liking it so far, and this turn of event is actually to be expected when Metus comes in the mix....


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#19 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Mar 18 2014 - 11:42 AM

Good chapter. The ruse of confessing to the crime was pretty clever of our protagonist.

 

Of course, we know how this is going to end...  :ninja: 

I will say that some of the details are a bit on the heavy side; for example, I feel like we get told that the sheriff is obese quite a lot :P. But all in all, I like you writing style. 


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#20 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 19 2014 - 12:25 PM

Author's Comments for Chapter 4: Recurring Dreams

Well, it looks like the code problem with quote tags and auto-transformed dashes is not entirely fixed; some of them are still getting removed when I copypaste from the file version to BZP. I'm having to check each one individually, and one or two have slipped through, so I've had to edit them after posting. If anyone sees a place where something seems to be missing please let me know. :)

Note [to section starting with "We encountered" and ending with "do not hide these"]:

Events described in the first four sentences of the judge's statement in this paragraph are official.

Note:

Non-canon Glatorian image by NuvaTube, used with permission (answered an open request for artists to draw this character).

Note:

No canon images of Annona exist; this is fan art made by Tattorack (answering a request). Annona may not have a discernible head, but this need not be taken as her actual form; she could create psionic illusions of herself.



Replies to reviews:

fishers -- The point is that relatability is subjective (not that it's not a goal; notice the "not necessarily" in how I worded that), so it's impossible to apply as well to everybody equally, much like general likes and dislikes, while character-based realism is (ideally) objective. The advantage of my approach is that in addition to the goal of direct relatability for those similar to the character, those who are very different can at least appreciate it for the integrity of its realism. :)

You're correct that he is behaving as an "early Matoran" rather than a developed one, right now. =) But you may have missed some of the clues in the opening chapter as to other (not classified) reasons he isn't behaving in the way you describe that you (think you) would, and isn't really being unfeeling at all. There are actually well-known reasons in psychology why even you probably wouldn't behave as you suggested, such as trauma-induced amnesia. That sort of thing is part of why modern fiction tries to avoid melodrama in favor of more realistic subtleties, or so I was taught; in other words I see how I did it as deeper than what you depicted there. But he'll have some moments like that as life keeps throwing new challenges at him. You just don't want to "spend" them all too early, you know?



Angel Bob -- Well, people's moods do vary and different events can bring a flaw out more obviously. But it looks like you thought describing a collection of physics knowledge as "rich" means that every bit of knowledge in it is really impressive to know -- actually, something that's "richly detailed" tends to have a lot of little details that aren't by themselves that complex (but by their sheer number may be difficult to find the one you need). Think of it like having no education except reading English, and being stranded in the wild with nothing but an advanced physics textbook.

To foot armor, actually, such things can help suspend disbelief, depending on your tastes. Even Tolkien himself did this, but in a way you might find more appealing -- he "partially translated" things meant to be in the "Westron" language (actually Aduni). This is one thing I leave up to interpretation, at least for this story -- did the memoir author really use a coincidental variant on the human idiom or is that "partially translated"? That's up to you. :)



Tattorack -- Much thanks for giving some positive feedback on something somebody else gave negative on -- that is always very helpful. ^_^

Also helpful to see that you had already noticed that about his Matoran behavior. :) Can't comment on the element, but that might be a factor.



TL -- That seems reasonable; maybe reminding of things already said too often? I'll look it over. At first the repetition was because there was no other clear label to use for him; the protagonist hadn't realized yet that he was a sheriff for example. Anywho, I'll see about that...

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#21 Offline JAG18

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Posted Mar 19 2014 - 03:07 PM

I never got around to writing something for the third chapter so I'll talk about that one and the new one here.

 

I'm liking the change of pace; the interrogation scene I thought was cool and taking the story to the GB fortress I liked.  I was not expecting an encounter with Annona, nor a. what seems to be, prediction of the rise of Teridax.  That was kind of cool.

 

So, both chapters were well written and overall I'm liking where the story seems to be headed, bonesiii.   :)


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#22 Online Tattorack

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Posted Mar 19 2014 - 03:43 PM

Wow wow wow! Three years!?! By gods, don't they have a faster means of transport!?!

... Ok... on second thought, three years is probably nothing to somebody who lives for a million or so years (yeah, Homo Sapiens are a rather... fast race).

 

So... he could likely be a Bo-Matoran... or whatever prototype comes before the Bo-Matoran.

Actually, scratch that. Takua was the first 'modern' Matoran, whatever the GB made before that turned into the Zyglak. And that was after the war and the Shattering, and since that didn't happen yet... I'd have to say this one particular Matoran is a victim of a temporal anomaly. (Don't mind me, just brain storming a bit).

 

I was going to comment on the missing " symboles, but then I read your post.

All of the "s are missing except on one point.

 

My intention with Annona was that since she/it energy, she/it doesn't exactly have any real shape. It appears the only two consistant things about her are that she glows blindingly like a sun and that she has tentacles. But the illusions thing can also make sense. A Human's mind deliberately "builds" an image of something it cannot understand in the hope to make it more understandable, the shape I drew her in could be the result of the abserver's conception.


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#23 Offline Yaldabaoth

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Posted Mar 24 2014 - 12:54 PM

Well, well. I am intrigued by the involvement of Annona; I've always been fascinated with Spherus Magna's most ancient and Lovecraftian entity. I had never considered that she might have been responsible for introducing the Agori to energized protodermis, but now that you've spelled it out, I can't see it any other way. Annona seems to have some control over the earth beneath Spherus Magna's surface -- how else could she yank people down into her lair and leave only a triangular mark? -- and it makes complete sense that she would force energized protodermis to the surface, perhaps hoping the ensuing conflict would destroy the Great Beings. It's a brilliant theory and I wholeheartedly support it.

 

That said, you haven't convinced me on the use of "my rich knowledge of physics" and "foot armor", but I'll let that slide. :P There's no point squabbling over word choice; in this kind of fanfic, it's the ideas that matter.


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Short Stories:
DESCENDANT, starring Kraata-Kal and Makuta Teridax
AN EVEN EXCHANGE, starring the Makuta of Stelt
THE END OF THE BROTHERHOOD, starring Tobduk and Makuta Chirox

#24 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 12:21 AM

fishers -- The point is that relatability is subjective (not that it's not a goal; notice the "not necessarily" in how I worded that), so it's impossible to apply as well to everybody equally, much like general likes and dislikes, while character-based realism is (ideally) objective. The advantage of my approach is that in addition to the goal of direct relatability for those similar to the character, those who are very different can at least appreciate it for the integrity of its realism. :)

Agreed - and interesting point. I shall consider zee myth debunked.

If it zero relatability for anyone, it would be in error, but Tattorack just went and disproved that one. :P It's just me.
 

You're correct that he is behaving as an "early Matoran" rather than a developed one, right now. =) But you may have missed some of the clues in the opening chapter as to other (not classified) reasons he isn't behaving in the way you describe that you (think you) would, and isn't really being unfeeling at all. [...] But he'll have some moments like that as life keeps throwing new challenges at him. You just don't want to "spend" them all too early, you know?

I hope I do... :shrugs:. *rereads opening through this chapter* Yes, okay. Fair point.

One of the things that I'm fuzzy on here is how much is vision and how much is amnesia. Or whether the things that he's forgetting comprise the "vision". He describes himself just "coming into being" on the cliffside, yet he remembers things...which are in the future, thus making them a vision? So he has no memory - since he was just born - and all vision of the future, but it's a memory? (And if he goes back in time, thus forgetting the future, he has time to write his memoirs? Huh?) I want to go with the "time loop" theory myself, and say that he has time to write it all down before the loop happens, but I'm on the fence - this seems too obvious now. :shrugs: 

He also says that he wants to forget it all. But it's in the future - if he wants to fix the future, why doesn't he want to retain the knowledge that will help him fix it? Though he does retain some things.
 

There are actually well-known reasons in psychology why even you probably wouldn't behave as you suggested, such as trauma-induced amnesia.

Er, I'm not sure on this for me. Previous experiences of that near-sort have increased my desire to acquire and retain knowledge, not throw it away. The additional pain of the experience, plus the pain of not knowing on top of that? My brain doesn't usually select for more pain unless it doesn't know that it is. 

 

Also, to be fair, I said that exact experience. Not selective forgetting of traumatic events. More like watching all of my memories play out in front of my eyes and fade away - that would be traumatic. But anyway, It'm getting off-topic and into unproven theory. It's clear that you were going into a bit of traumatic memory loss here with the beginning, but it's clearly more, as the trauma-loss hits as the memories replay and dissolve. (Obviously I shouldn't expect all characters in stories I read to be carbon-copies of my expieriances lol - that would be ridiculous.)

 

Chapter 4:

 

Wow wow wow! Three years!?! By gods, don't they have a faster means of transport!?!

... Ok... on second thought, three years is probably nothing to somebody who lives for a million or so years (yeah, Homo Sapiens are a rather... fast race).

They probably do. But remember, Spherus Magna is a ginormous planet, and the account makes it sound like they were traveling on foot. 

 

Momentarily I thought this might have to do with the time the sheriff took to decide what to do with him too, and for the Great Beings to approve the appeal (reluctantly) and tell them to send him up. That would make more sense, because it would take three trips (sheriff-->GBs for appeal, GBs with approval --> sheriff, sheriff party w/Koroga --> GBs). That's not including the time for an investigation to bring in all the data the GBs would want. Considering all that, three years is cheesecake and ice cream. :) I'm not sure that's what bones had in mind, though...:shrugs:

 

Interesting that the GB statement about Annona is official. Also very interesting is Annona's statement about the hidden enemy - although it seems like Annona is either talking about a timeless being or time itself.

 

Theory: Since this being could very well be on a time loop, and thereby timeless - this could be a "we have met the enemy and he is us!" moment - our main character is the enemy. 

 

Also interesting is the "vision overlay" thing going on with the maze, etc. It's more than memory - something is up with this Matoran.


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#25 Online Tattorack

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 05:51 AM

They probably do. But remember, Spherus Magna is a ginormous planet, and the account makes it sound like they were traveling on foot.

 

What I was thinking... well... besides riding some animals.

 

Theory: Since this being could very well be on a time loop, and thereby timeless - this could be a "we have met the enemy and he is us!" moment - our main character is the enemy. 

 

Also interesting is the "vision overlay" thing going on with the maze, etc. It's more than memory - something is up with this Matoran.

 

Star Trek: The Next Generation, All Good Things... (final episode of the series) :P


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#26 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 01:59 PM

Author's Comments for Chapter 5: Warrior's Pride

This chapter transitions into the "present-day" (the protagonist's present) canon events, or just before them.

Note [to image of giant stumps (Tesara)]:

The image shown here, and most canon art, only shows two giant stumps, but the official map shows a third smaller one off a distance to the southeast.

Image is from much later in the story when the Great Barren was much more barren; imagine more small-scale greenery around at this time.

Explanation of the stumps is non-canon.

Note [image of pre-alteration Vorox]:

Voskoa is not a canon character. There is only one known named Vorox, but I decided against including him here as he is playing a major role in a canon story that is currently unfinished, and too little is known about him. Art by me. See comment in an upcoming chapter about the appearances of Vorox (and Zesk).

Explanation for the mandibles is non-canon.

Note:

Image of jungle Vorox is non-canon art by me. To be clear, all Vorox are still of the Sand Tribe; the jungle Vorox should not be confused with the Jungle Tribe of Agori and Glatorian. The green armor parts in this image are my interpretation; it may be that jungle Vorox have normal sand-only colors.

Note [large image of a Skrall, set form]:

The maze pattern on this Skrall's shield is almost certainly not yet in existence. It's presumed to be inspired by the Valley of the Maze which isn't built yet. Consider it symbolic of some generic decorative pattern in earlier culture. [This point I'm really not sure of.]

Note ["they would only ordain leaders from the everyday warrior class"]:

I'm not 100% certain this is accurate; it may be the leader [Element Lord] was selected from the giant Skrall, but the general statement was that they came from the warrior class of each Tribe, so I think my interpretation is right. Either way the reasoning Koronga is about to use could work with just a little adjusting.

Note ["not shield them"]:

In fact it is not directly this war that ends up wiping out most of the Skrall titans, but exactly how it happens won't be known by the protagonist until near the end of this story.



Replies to reviews:

Jag -- Thanks (I should just give a blanket-thanks to everybody from now on so I don't keep repeating myself like this, huh? :lol:) -- also very helpful to know what you weren't expecting. I sort of wondered if Annona's role (so far as the reader knows now) would be too obvious.


Tat -- Agori do have faster transport -- the vehicles we saw in the 2008 storyline, but this village is remote, and too poor to afford them for the guards traveling with the caravan, at least at this early time. But yeah, I wanted to emphasize what it would be like to live on a planet so vast. Considering it dwarfs Earth, three years may actually be pretty fast.

There may be some disagreement between my interpretation of travel times and the canon, and here the reader is meant to have some freedom of interpretation as well -- maybe this trade caravan they were traveling with had to make many stops along the way, for example. But I think in general long trips should be the case, unless someone has a fast vehicle, and even then it should take a while.

Yeah, sorry about the quote marks. Apparently previewing the post doesn't remove them, it's just posting, so I can't be sure until it's already public (and didn't have time to re-read right away). Annoying... I'm gonna see if I can get around the glitch some other way. For now... gotta reread everything just after posting. :|

And yeah, that's possible about Annona.



AB -- Well, just to be clear, this story implies Annona gave up on introducing EP to the surface world after this non-canon incident. Of course, she might have changed her mind and had something to do with the later canon incident after all, so I guess another thing you're free to interpret how you like. :) What I had in mind is that the EP was already being pushed up slowly in various places, and she found one that needed help to get to the top, while the canon one at the north pole (essentially) was later able to reach the surface without help.


fishers -- All I can say to all the opening stuff is that people can be self-contradictory; do some things because they know they should but at the same time do other things selfishly even though they know they shouldn't. :)

I would also leave that interpretation about the sheriff sending early messengers open to the reader. It's not what I had in mind but I wouldn't rule it out. If three years feels too long to you, anything like that could be invoked. If it feels crazy short, imagine they "rode like the wind!!!11!" :P But they definitely did have to stop and make camp "many" times at night. Also: Oregon Trail. :lol:

Annona doesn't actually know what she's talking about except the appearance of things. She doesn't know what's causing those nightmares. I can confirm one part of it -- that I meant to imply that Makuta (Teridax) will be such an enemy, as he's the main villain of this story, yet doesn't actually exist yet. So, I looked for ways to make his role in this story felt even in Part One.



Tat's second post -- Yeah, it's all Q's fault probably. XD

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#27 Offline JAG18

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 02:58 PM

Even though I've now come to expect--for better or worse--that ever new chapter will better than the last, I really liked Chapter 5.  

 

First thing that struck me while I was reading: Agori take vacation time?  Did not know that.   :P 

I like the fact that the story has moved along the timeline enough to be at the selection of the Element Lords.  Coincidence with a canon event and--more importantly, perhaps--fleshing out of said canon event. made for a great chapter IMO.  

 

The appearance of THE MIGHTY TUMA was real nice; I actually like his portrayal (or rather your portrayal of him) here more than the one in "The Legend Reborn".  I was at first a bit unsure of the inclusion of the Skrall, but I think it worked out pretty well.  Made me dust off my old 2010 Skrall and put him on my desk.  

 

In all, a very enjoyable chapter, bones.  


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#28 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 27 2014 - 03:42 PM

fishers -- All I can say to all the opening stuff is that people can be self-contradictory; do some things because they know they should but at the same time do other things selfishly even though they know they shouldn't. :)

Okay, agreed.

What you are implying seems to be that this character is selfishly motivated to shut out the future-memory in order to enjoy the present moment. This definately seems evident here in the latest chapter. :shrugs:
 

I would also leave that interpretation about the sheriff sending early messengers open to the reader. It's not what I had in mind but I wouldn't rule it out. If three years feels too long to you, anything like that could be invoked. If it feels crazy short, imagine they "rode like the wind!!!11!" :P But they definitely did have to stop and make camp "many" times at night. Also: Oregon Trail. :lol:


:shrugs: I think the Oregon Trail analogy might break down a little, seeing as they were on foot (?), although if it was a trade caravan they might have have had wagons.

It doesn't work for the trip in this chapter that took 5 years, though. Right now I'm writing it off as "the Skrall fortress was really far away to avoid conflict with the GBs." It feels kind of weird that to investigate the prototype and visit the Skrall would take that the same amount of time though, and also that the GBs would wait that long for the Skrall to show. Couldn't they have afforded better transport lol? Although I suppose they wouldn't want such tech to fall into Skrall hands, but still...

 

Annona doesn't actually know what she's talking about except the appearance of things. She doesn't know what's causing those nightmares. I can confirm one part of it -- that I meant to imply that Makuta (Teridax) will be such an enemy, as he's the main villain of this story, yet doesn't actually exist yet. So, I looked for ways to make his role in this story felt even in Part One.

I just thought that predicting everyone's moves with 100% accuracy is beyond what even Teridax is capable of. Although dreams sometimes exaggerate and distort.

Still, I can see that you have dodged confirming or denying my theory. :P

Chapter 5:

I kept my job at the tower, however, because I felt that it would be important someday, and I only used my vacation time.

Lol.

Also lol to the image of the "living boat" thing. Wonder which comic that's from. :P

Like the "deal" thing going on with Tuma. Nice explanation for why he's the surviving ruler/titan. Koronga is quite clever, possibly too much for his own good.

Overall, agreed with JAG18 - this chapter is just plain fun. :)


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#29 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Mar 31 2014 - 10:25 PM

Finally got caught up (Spring break and all that :P). The story really seems to be picking up, I like it. The scene where our now-named hero convinces Tuma to go along with the GB's plan was really interesting.

 

I'm kind of spotty on some of the story elements that where revealed in the later serials, so I'm sort of going with what ever your story says on those :P. Still, I liked the scene with Annoa. 

 

Keep it up!

-TLhikan


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#30 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Apr 02 2014 - 04:26 PM

Author's Comments for Chapter 6: Lords of the Elements

This is another short chapter I probably would have followed by posting the next sooner than usual, but if I'll be taking a break from posting after 10 or whatnot anyways to finish the end that would seem rather silly. And update on that -- preparations for the doomed tournament at Atero are underway. That's as far as I've gotten in canon events in part because I discovered that apparently I have lost my copies of all but three of the Bara Magna comics... So I'm having to go with what little is online for them and summaries on BS01 etc. Slowing me down even more... Not sure what to expect now, so bear with me folks. :)

Note:

Non-canon interpretation of the Element Lord of Jungle [first image] by Vrahno, used with permission. It is canon that the Element Lords can change their forms as one was seen doing so much later on, but they probably usually stayed in the forms shown in the canon images coming up shortly.

Note:

Image of the Dune Chariot with rider slightly edited so the face of the person inside is green.

Note [to "What had happened?"]:

What we know for sure of the alterations is that the Vorox and Zesk both gained mechanical tails, and began turning more animalistic. The four eyes of the Zesk could be natural but it's at least confirmed they gained improved eyesight, so I believe they are additions. As mentioned before, the canon origin of the mandibles on the helmets is unknown. The timing of the change to their minds is not so clear either; it was apparently gradual and worsened in response to the major upheaval featured in Chapter 10 here, but it was caused by the alterations that began here, so early signs of it were probably present already. It's also canon that the Great Beings did this with the intention of helping the Vorox out. The other details I've mentioned are unofficial.

Note ["genetics-rewriting virus"]:

The specific mechanism of this gradual transformation is not known (at least to me). Also (again, so far as I know), it isn't confirmed they actually have “genetics”; these are totally alien beings, but they must have some equivalent, which could be considered 'translated' here.



Replies to reviews:

Jag -- Yeah, the vacation thing was what came to mind as a plot vehicle to explain how he could be a traveler, but also how he couldn't just up and leave; he'd have to financially support it somehow. And I've used the same later for Matoran work (to some extent). I suppose we shouldn't assume that they did take long vacations, but I would think so. It would basically be an option as I picture it -- you could take frequent short local vacations, or work for a really long time (far longer than we could because of our puny lifespans) and then take multi-year vacations. He adds overtime to this to shorten the time between long vacations.

Also, to be fair, the canon portrayal of Tuma (in TLR at least) isn't exactly a high mark to beat. But thanks anyways. :P


fishers -- The idea was that most of the Vorox were going by foot, and no, they didn't really want to rush into Skrall territory with noisy vehicles. Not so much out of keeping them out of Skrall hands (the Skrall might have some, I don't know), but as it might seem too confrontational, like a scouting party for a coming invasion by war vehicles. Plus, it's a jungle, it's questionable whether vehicles could make it through that well enough (and both will be slowed down by a less direct route).

But I did notice in proofreading that five seemed a bit much. I went with it on the grounds that it's implied later by Koronga that the GBs wanted them to take their time, to ensure that faster messengers to the other tribes could already get where they were going. So as to not give the Skrall any chance to learn of this early, and then perhaps prevent the messengers from getting to the others or the chosen ones from getting to the secret location. By the time Koronga delivers the message, the Skrall have no choice but to accept that Element Lords are inevitable -- the question is if the Earth Tribe will be onboard. I don't mind clarifying this one here, as it seemed a bad idea to interrupt the flow of the chapter as it is to explain this. Still considering an edit, but unsure.

And glad you brought it up too because here's my opportunity to mention that as seen in Chapter 6, whenever I confirm that vehicles are involved in the travel on Spherus/Bara Magna, I avoid mentioning how long it took. I wanted to balance emphasizing the jarring immensity of the planet with the impression given in the canon later that somehow they could cross the distances in a matter of perhaps days or weeks. (There's also another possible answer going along with Part Nine in a comment but I'll leave that to that.)

To predicting moves 100% right -- notice that in the confrontation with Annona it's actually mentioned that this isn't necessarily the case.


TL -- Well, I would recommend (re?-)reading Sahmad's tale to get some of the most crucial basics if you do want to review (and have fun doing so :P ). It's pretty short and an easy read, and Annona covers the basic history of the Great Beings there, albeit vaguely. But yeah, that's part of the point of this. :)

Edited by bonesiii, Apr 02 2014 - 04:29 PM.

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#31 Offline JAG18

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Posted Apr 02 2014 - 07:32 PM

First, my reply to your reply...to my reply:

Also, to be fair, the canon portrayal of Tuma (in TLR at least) isn't exactly a high mark to beat. But thanks anyways.  :P

Huh, thought I made a joke to that effect in my post, but I see now that I didn't.  Oh well.

 

Now, about chapter six.

 

The surprise in this chapter (for me anyway) was that the Jungle Glatorian from the previous chapters turned out to be the Glatorian chosen to be the Jungle Lord and not just some random character that I thought we would never see again.

Not a lot to this shorter chapter, even though a lot of canon events are touched upon in it.  The increased division of the tribes by element (as a result of the rise of the EL) and the savagery of the Vorox not being a total side effect of The Scattering are both interesting story ideas. The former sounds very logical to me; however I'm not too sure I'm completely sold on the latter, but I suppose I can accept it.

 

So yeah, good chapter and I'm quite excited that the story appears to be on the eve of (Core) war.


Edited by JAG18, Apr 11 2014 - 09:37 PM.

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#32 Online Tattorack

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Posted Apr 03 2014 - 05:50 AM

That was...a........ sad chapter.

The interaction between Koronga and Voskoa was done really well.

 

There's one thing I don't quite understand; didn't the Great Beings start building giant robots after the core war? (to fly around and find a solution).

 

Art note: I'm currently concentrating on my comic, so I wont be doing the Karzahni until needed. If you need anything before that, feel free to ask ;)


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#33 Offline NuvaTube

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Posted Apr 05 2014 - 04:17 PM

I'm sorry but I don't have enough time to go into depth although I'd love to.

 

I thought the first chapter was interesting, but that idea that you had about his writing being not so eloquent because he wasn't focusing on keeping those skills, rather focusing on remember science...well, I don't quite think it worked. For a first chapter, I think it's really important to make scruffy writing the last of a new reader's worries. There are other ways this effect could have been achieved.

 

I think it's important to consider in some detail, within the first chapter, the morality that Koronga has. Sure, I reckon most people find his morals perfectly agreeable, but like how he should be considering why he thinks some things are "right" and others "wrong", and whether he is fit to make such judgements -- I mean, maybe make him consider why he assumes the sanctity of life etc.

 

Although the idea of coming into the world with Koronga (new to it as we are) is nice, I don't quite think it worked as well as it could have; I think it would benefit greatly from a prologue, maybe him in New Atero setting a city scene and maybe sitting down and starting a big project: the book/his memoirs.

 

I really liked the vision of the future, with the battle of the robots. Really interesting and mysterious for a new reader and mega exciting for a fan :D

 

 

 

Second chapter was much better IMO. LOVED the cliffhanger -- you pulled of making the reader feel certain ways really well. Nice to see Metus, and to hate him all over again XD

 

I'm pretty sure "anyways" is grammatically incorrect and it should be "anyway" since it's already plural or somethin'. I get that you may have included it to make the writing sound more colloquial so that's up to you, but I dunno if it bothered anyone else: something about a grammatical error translating directly into Agori (only sort of course)  :L XD

 

 

Chapters 3-5 were good, getting into it now :D Tuma's plot was genius, absolutely fantastic.

 

I gotta say though that I really find it strange how many male characters there are. Like seriously. It's not even the MU yet, is there a massive gender disbalance on SM too? If not, maybe consider changing some future characters to women: it's kinda bugging me and should surely be 50/50. Of course, you could make sexism part of the story and culture, but if you don't wanna do that I think it should be equal.

 

 

Chapter 6 is good, looking forward to 7 now! I wish we could have known the Vorox guy better (Voskoa was it? The fact I'm not sure isn't a good sign lol) because I only felt a little sad about him. I know you put word constraints on chapters so that's fair enough, but I'm just saying it would have been more powerful with more development of course.

 

 

Logic felt nice and tight throughout, which I like -- your analytical skills shine through indeed (:

 

 

Although a little rough around some edges, definitely enjoying this and engaged: looking forward to where this goes: you've got me hooked Bones :D


Edited by NuvaTube, Apr 05 2014 - 04:23 PM.

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#34 Offline Iron_Man5

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Posted Apr 05 2014 - 10:10 PM

I'm liking it so far. :) And the Vorox are by far one of my favs as far as Glatorian species go, so I was glad to see how they're going on, (even though it is sad that they got tampered with). And I did find it interesting that you made their digression to primal state a side effect of the Great Beings tampering, but I must ask, do you plan to keep Kabrua and his "jungle" band of Vorox who kept their intelligence? Or have you gotten that far yet? Just curious about it all, I am hoping there's a small remnant of them who "survive" it. :)


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#35 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Apr 07 2014 - 04:41 PM

Wow, I never even knew there where comics with drawings of the Element Lords (shows you how out of the loop I've been). 

The Vorox are pretty sad; these are people, people Koronga knows and has befriended, and they know what's going to happen to them. I wonder if that will affect the way the Sand tribe fights the War: They want EP to change themselves back/get the GBs to fix them.

 

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#36 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Apr 09 2014 - 04:03 PM

Author's Comments for Chapter 7: A Vital Mission

Note:

Non-canon interpretation of the Fire Lord by Brave_Dragon, used with permission.

Note ["such as ceratopsians"]:

Exact details of these creatures are unconfirmed. Likewise with the geographical details of the Northern Frost two paragraphs down. Ceratopsian interpretation by Vrahno, used with permission; cropped version of this:

http://fc00.devianta...hno-d3bun89.png

Note:

Non-canon version of the Rock Lord by Tattorack, used with permission.

Note:

Fan interpretation of the Ice Lord by Brave_Dragon, used with permission.

Note:

Image is of one version of this [Energized Protodermis] Entity in a later portrayal; this sighting is of course non-canon. Most of the events of this chapter are non-canon expansions of a basic canon event; the start of war between the Element Lords over the protodermis.




Replies to reviews:

Jag -- Yeah, I think one of the author's comments mentions it's not crystal clear the GBs started that or that it was already manifesting slightly at the time. The main reason I did it this way was that my protagonist isn't going to be present for the 100,000 years after the Shattering on Bara Magna to witness the most obvious psychological transformation, so I needed to make it plain early on.

Also, it's stated that the Great Beings "experimented on them", but the only directly confirmed result of the experiments is stinger tails. Well, the GBs also give lots of mechanical implants to everybody so if that was all they did this would seem rather strange. And everybody experienced the Shattering, not just the Vorox, yet only they suffered this effect. So I think it has to have been a delayed result of the GBs' experiments and the stress and harsh resulting conditions of the Shattering simply sped it up.

The main stretch here is that the Vorox had any scientists to confirm this; we don't know that, but it's possible. If not, it's just one line that doesn't affect the rest of the story. The rest, about them already being somewhat animalistic, could be taken as behavioral alone here in response to the scorpion-like body form they were forced to have, and is meant only as one possibility. :)


Tat -- Glad you liked the Voskoa bit. I was a little worried it might be too minimalistic. (But more about Voskoa in a bit.) The Great Spirit robot was made during the Core War, yes, but the non-protodermic prototype robot was made (and fell to pieces) before this story starts. At least according to the BS01 timeline, which I went by.


NT -- To the start, I don't have much to add beyond what I said before (especially that there's more going on with him than meets the eye, and you're not supposed to know it yet, although you could deduce it possibly), and keep in mind edits are still on the table. Everything I'm posting to BZP may still be considered a draft; the "final" version is meant to be the text files version as it will be whenever I release those. I do have to say that once he made the decision to try to save the Agori's life, slowing his thoughts down with a philosophical analysis wouldn't be realistic IMO. And in general, the characters in my stories "write themselves", and I do feel confident that Chapter 1 is essentially what Koronga really would do/think/write. :) But things often seem different on a later (very later) re-read, so we'll see.

As for your prologue idea, I have recently actually come up with an idea along those lines because I have further defined now what's happening in New Atero as he writes this, but I'm not sure if I'll actually do it or not. It might not be wise as it would delay getting to the actual story, and his quick aside about where he is now does get across the basic idea. I think I wouldn't actually do a prologue but I might slightly modify that paragraph. But probably not until I've written the end.

Yeah, "anyways" is one of those things I'm aware of but it's a habit that slips through inevitably still, and usually when I'm totally done (as in final draft, so nothing's missed) I'll do a find-and-replace on that and a few other common remaining typo-habits I have. If a few slipped through in this version just ignore them for now. (It's actually not "incorrect" -- just a different dialect, but since most people don't seem to mind "anyway" as much I do prefer to use that, and Koronga of course doesn't speak English at all so yeah.)

The gender thing was given to us by LEGO unfortunately. I do start to get it more balanced later but there wasn't really an opportunity for it early on. Of course, Annona is female, so there's that. It's probably best to just acknowledge that it was a line aimed mostly at young boys and that no offense toward females is intended. I could have had a statistically higher number of the non-canon characters be female but then I would feel it was too obviously meant to counteract LEGO's portrayal and seem too unrealistic itself. There's no law of nature that says events a particular person witnesses have to be accompanied by an even mixture of genders; in fact statistics actually tends not to do that. :shrugs:

I agree about Voskoa; I thought of that on proofreading but was way too swamped to do an addition justice. Nothing specific has come to mind still, so unsure if I'll add to it or not. You're right about the length limits; I wanted the early chapters to not require unusual commitment on the reader's part so kept them short. So, we'll see...


Iron_Man -- If you're asking if the jungle Vorox were left alone by the Great Beings, correct. BS01 mentions that somewhere, if badmem serves. If asking if I plan to feature them, I haven't mentioned them as of yet, but in hindsight, there is an opportunity in Chapter 8; I could edit in a brief mention that they're unaffected, but no room for much detail. I don't yet know if I'll mention them in Part Nine, but I tend to doubt it except in passing that they survive the Reforming.


TL -- Yeah, it was a graphic novel exclusive, as I understand it. I haven't seen directly it myself but those images are from BS01. Here's the page that summarizes its events, and a searchlink showing all BS01's images from it:

http://biosector01.c...Sins_Remembered
http://biosector01.c...ges&search=AOSR

Edited by bonesiii, Apr 09 2014 - 07:07 PM.

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#37 Online Tattorack

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Posted Apr 09 2014 - 06:21 PM

Well, now we know where Strakk gets it from...

I considered there would've been a whole bunch of years of political wrangling before the lords started throwing threats at eachother.

But I suppose the Lords are also very eager to try their powers out on... somebody.

 

Where did you get the image of the EP Entity?? I never knew there was an official description of it.

Gosh... been missing out some...


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#38 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Apr 10 2014 - 09:31 AM

Nice chapter. I like the excuse Koronga has for the way he eats as a Matoran :P

 

One thing I didn't understand: Why did he have to remove his mask to fit through the cave entrance the EP made for him? Is his mask that big compared to his body?

 

TL -- Yeah, it was a graphic novel exclusive, as I understand it. I haven't seen directly it myself but those images are from BS01. Here's the page that summarizes its events, and a searchlink showing all BS01's images from it:

http://biosector01.c...Sins_Remembered
http://biosector01.c...ges&search=AOSR

 

Cool, thanks. 

-TLhikan


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#39 Offline JAG18

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Posted Apr 11 2014 - 09:37 PM

Hmm, not the best chapter, but not too bad either.  I do, however, really like how you managed to write Koronga and the Elements Lords into the same chapter together.  That was cool.

 

Looking forward to the next chapter.  


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#40 Offline NuvaTube

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Posted Apr 12 2014 - 03:22 PM

Whoa? Koronga says that his eating power is from his heart. Is that literally his heart of metaphorically? And how would he know it comes from deep within him? I don't think we've seen any evidence yet that would make him think so? Was it just something from his Knowledge Library, because I didn't get that, o.O

 

Exciting chapter, not the best but not the worst as JAG says


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