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Second Chance: Review Topic

Second Chance Order of Mata Nui Grant-Sud ZoTomana Dark Hunters

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#1 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Feb 08 2012 - 01:08 AM

Welcome to the Second Chance Review Topic! This is a Co-Authored epic by myself (Grant-Sud) and my very good friend Zo'Tomana. Below are a list of details and links that will help you get started on where and how to follow.This story takes place a few years before the awakening of the Toa Mata and centers around the main universe, featuring two OC characters, Tomana and Excavate. Assigned on a mission to retrieve knowledge of their common enemy, a Toa and a Dark Hunter must learn to work together in order to survive the hostile world beyond them. 

[color=#000000;]Second Chance[/color]

 

Part 1 - Recruits1. -[color=#000000;]Execution Orders: Rejected[/color]2. -[color=#000000;]Two for the Road[/color]3. -[color=#000000;]Illegible[/color][color=#696969;]Part 2 - Hidden[/color]4. -[color=#000000;]Covered by Mist[/color][color=#000000;]5. -[/color][color=#000000;]Forest of Thoughts[/color]6. -[color=#000000;]In Minutes[/color]7. -[color=#000000;]Abandoned[/color]8. -[color=#000000;]Corridors[/color][color=#808080;]Part 3 - Negotiations[/color]9. -[color=#000000;]The Ones in Command[/color][color=#000000;]10. -[/color][color=#000000;]Timing[/color]11. -[color=#000000;]A Place You Call...[/color][color=#000000;]12. -[/color][color=#000000;]Once More Into the Breach[/color][color=#000000;]13. -[/color][color=#000000;]Here and There[/color]14. -[color=#000000;]Confident Liar[/color][color=#000000;]15. -[/color][color=#000000;]These Days[/color][color=#A9A9A9;]Part 4 - Infiltrator[/color]16. -[color=#000000;]Just Business[/color]17. -[color=#000000;]The Toa of Principles[/color]18. -[color=#000000;]City of Glass[/color]19. -[color=#000000;]Dust[/color]20. -[color=#000000;]Mistaken Targets[/color][color=#000000;]21. -[/color][color=#000000;]Sit Sine Labe Decus[/color] ([color=#000000;]Let Honour Stainless Be)[/color][color=#000000;]22. -[/color][color=#000000;]Uprising[/color][color=#d3d3d3;]Part 5 - Ascension[/color][color=#000000;]23. -[/color][color=#000000;]Rest Up, Brothers[/color]

[color=#000000;]24. -[/color][color=#000000;]Deadline[/color]

[color=#000000;]25. -[/color][color=#000000;]Earlier in Time, Stronger in Law[/color]____*Bios REALLY Coming Soon*An older Short Story and based off this tale, now a prologue, What I Stand For, can be read here.Second Chance will consist of 5 or 6 parts, but won't be too long of a story. If you enjoy our epic, please feel free to leave comments and reviews below, we appreciate any criticisms and we hope you enjoy it. ^_^Updates- March 17I'm starting a new update system so that I can add notes to chapters as they are released. It's a little late to be doing so, considering we're in the third part already. But anyway the chapter "Corridors", was launched today and it fills in the ending of Part 2's "Hidden". We already have much of Part 3 written and we're just deciding when to post the next chapter. Also I know we haven't done so yet, but the Character Bios of Excavate and Tomana will be appearing soon.- March 23Following these updates, we have the newest chapter of Second Chance up and we're now starting in part 3, Negotiations. The chapter was a ton of fun to write, and Zo'Tomana added in the details for Tomana's reply to Helryx concerning Excavate. Now we're taking a new twist to this part, since it's basically a start up for the conflicts that will be happening in Part 4. One half of Part 3 will cover what happened right after the Abyss Isla, and the other will continue into the future, where T and E have located the Makuta and are searching for it. Kind of a past present timeline thing... hope you all enjoy it.- March 28Checking out the dates I'm posting these, I realize how quickly we're publishing new chapters. Anyway Timing is up, a Zo;Tomana chapter and real good one. We had a little experimentation on the sparring session, but overall I think it turned out nicely. We're still moving back and forth between the present and past so hopefully it's not confusing anyone. Be on the look out for the next chapter soon!- April 2Tomana liked this chapter, but felt it was a little slow in pace. I honestly agree. I think this Part of the epic is more for the slowness and working Character Development, but we'd love to know what you all are thinking. ^^ Newest chapter, A Place You Call... is published. (It has a hidden meaning, doubt many will figure it out.)-April 13So it's been more then a solid week since we posted our last chapter. For that we apologize, but busy life got in the way as it usually does. It took us a little time to know what we were going to do with this and the next chapter, as both deal with the histories of our two main characters. Hopefully we've done it right, and the next chapter is completed, so expect it to be published in just a few days after this one sinks in. Zo;Tomana's chapter is done well imo, and it dives into a more vulnerable look at the Toa. My friend and I would also like to point out, that again, while we know this Part 3 is probably going by a little slowly, things are going to pick up real soon. Give us your opinions when you can, and thanks for reading!-April 21Another week having gone by, and another chapter to log. Today we go Here and There, a backstory chapter, or at least an explanation as to where our two main characters are from. It was a difficult chapter to write, especially with the dialogue and such... but I got a treat for you all. Zo'Tomana and myself have both written this chapter. We wrote it out in real time, and I did Excavate's dialogue while Zo'Tom did the Detectives. :3 I hope you all enjoy it, because it was a lot of fun. Next chapter is mine, and we're nearing the end of this third part!-April 25Took a little less time to get this chapter done. Not much to say, except we've gotten on a quicker pace again and this is the penultimate chapter of Part 3!-May 9thWith Part 3 done, we are now ready to enter into Part 4: Infiltrator. Hope you all enjoy it. Just as another note, These Days was my first semi-songfic I've ever done. Hopefully you thought it was good!-May 19thWe're sorry for the long wait on the update, but it took us a little time to know where we wanted to take part 4 exactly, and we've both been a little busy. But we have the next chapter coming soon and the one right after that. I may actually be gone for a week this coming Monday, but I'll keep you all posted. Besides that, want to give a huge thanks to everyone who's read and reviewed this story. You guys make it worth it all the more. :3-June 23thIt's interesting how we've slowed a little. Since the last update we've had two chapters up: City of Glass and Dust. Hopefully you all enjoy the story so far, and while we've both been a little busy as the summer has officially set in, the story is still fresh and ready to be typed up soon! We love all your comments so keep them up if you can, and thanks again for reading!-June 30thWith a new chapter already out, we present Mistaken Targets. The chapter was written by myself and Tomana. I had the upper half with Excavate's and Joga's view point, while Tomana had "Zoxara" and Kato's view point. Hopefully you all enjoy it, and Part 4 will be coming to an end shortly. ;D Comments and criticism is great appreciated, as always!-July 7thReleasing the next chapter, Tomana provided Sit Sine Labe Decus (Let Honour Stainless Be) a couple days ago. It's quite the character inspection for our frosty friend, and one step closer to finishing up Part 4! Please enjoy and comment when you can!-July 18thWe finally present Uprising, the last chapter in the Part 4. I will say this was one of the toughest chapters I've had to write, with Tomana and I going over the plot back and forth, back and forth, neither one of us liking any of our combined ideas. Finally we did a complete rewrite of the second half of the chapter, which with a little editing, we realized was something we wanted. But let's let you guys decide that! Leave any comments you'd like and thanks for reading! Part 5 coming soon, but give us about a week probably.Influences to Second Chance

Spoiler


Edited by Quote (Mr. Traveler), Jan 30 2013 - 11:34 AM.

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#2 Offline Jowm

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Posted Feb 09 2012 - 02:51 AM

So far this looks great! The plot and idea of the story is very interesting and I look forward to seeing what you with it. It seems to be written well with only a few grammar mistakes, overall it looks good, one thing I think was a tad, maybe out of place, was when Helryx is thinking of how he's perfect of the job but that the situation is tragic for him because there is a great risk of dying, I didn't phrase that very well but hopefully you know why part I'm talking about, anyway, it seemed almost as if she believed that he was simple-minded, that he perhaps didn't realize the danger or something like that, I thought it would make more sense if she saw him for what he was; an equal. Anyway, beyond that bit it looks great and I can't wait to see the rest and I'm a bit disappointed that it's only gonna have-what did you say- 5 or 6 more parts.
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http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=5700 - My new epic revealing the life of the interesting character we all wish we could have known better before he left us, Karzahni.

 


#3 Offline Zox Tomana

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Posted Feb 09 2012 - 01:48 PM

I thought it would make more sense if she saw him for what he was; an equal. Anyway, beyond that bit it looks great and I can't wait to see the rest and I'm a bit disappointed that it's only gonna have-what did you say- 5 or 6 more parts.

Well, them being equals in power may be likely, but equal power does not moral, or societal equals make.And by 5 or 6 parts, we mean 5 or 6 parts to the overall arc. There will be a few chapters to each part. Don't worry, we aren't half-doing this =)

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#4 Offline Jowm

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Posted Feb 09 2012 - 07:54 PM

I thought it would make more sense if she saw him for what he was; an equal. Anyway, beyond that bit it looks great and I can't wait to see the rest and I'm a bit disappointed that it's only gonna have-what did you say- 5 or 6 more parts.

Well, them being equals in power may be likely, but equal power does not moral, or societal equals make.And by 5 or 6 parts, we mean 5 or 6 parts to the overall arc. There will be a few chapters to each part. Don't worry, we aren't half-doing this =)

Oh, I see. Glad to hear it then! My expectations are officially re-raised :) :P, can't wait to see what you guys come up with! :)

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http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=5700 - My new epic revealing the life of the interesting character we all wish we could have known better before he left us, Karzahni.

 


#5 Offline ~Mat~

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Posted Feb 15 2012 - 05:52 PM

Grant, Tom Tom, Darn both of you and your already great story. I crave to know whats next D:Both of you doing this together, what could be better? =DI really do look forward to the next chapter though. =3

Edited by ~MatoroIgnika~, Feb 15 2012 - 05:52 PM.

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#6 Offline Swert

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Posted Feb 17 2012 - 01:35 AM

I'm rather interested in this story. I'm honestly amazed when I say it's far better than I expected it to be so far, given I am familar with both of your work (GS and Tomana).By chapter one I was already introduced to Excavate and understood his character a lot faster than I would expect. However I am no fool; I sense more behind this character than let on so far.And Tomana... I'm not one for Gary Stu's, so don't make this Tomana overpowered. I'd love to see some kind of weakness develop, or something that he must overcome naturally without using any "godmode" abilities, speaking purely as a writer. But I'm intrigued with his character as much as Excavate.I will be honest, not knowing where this story is going, I think this mission is a bit too high a priority to rely on a Dark Hunter. I don't think this will go very well for either member.I kinda hope I'm right. It'd be interesting a read to see a failure.
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#7 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Feb 17 2012 - 03:45 PM

First off thanks to both for reading this. ^_^

I'm rather interested in this story. I'm honestly amazed when I say it's far better than I expected it to be so far, given I am familar with both of your work (GS and Tomana).By chapter one I was already introduced to Excavate and understood his character a lot faster than I would expect. However I am no fool; I sense more behind this character than let on so far.And Tomana... I'm not one for Gary Stu's, so don't make this Tomana overpowered. I'd love to see some kind of weakness develop, or something that he must overcome naturally without using any "godmode" abilities, speaking purely as a writer. But I'm intrigued with his character as much as Excavate.I will be honest, not knowing where this story is going, I think this mission is a bit too high a priority to rely on a Dark Hunter. I don't think this will go very well for either member.I kinda hope I'm right. It'd be interesting a read to see a failure.

Haha thanks for the honesty bossman. :PFor Excavate and Tomana they are going to have flaws, no doubt. And neither are going to be portrayed as overpowering, or at least that's what we're shying away from. Though they are considered elite at their skills, Tomana's powers are basic for a Toa of Ice, and Excavate's inner power is less then a Toa's. Thanks for that comment though, because I'm not the biggest fan of perfect characters either.I will be honest though, that while my last few stories have been on the darker side, this one isn't going to be as much. Excavate is a Dark Hunter, but hopefully this will stay as well rounded story that everyone can read. The plot is pretty straight forward, though expect to be wondering about things till the last chapter with clues along the way. =D

Grant, Tom Tom, Darn both of you and your already great story. I crave to know whats next D:Both of you doing this together, what could be better? =DI really do look forward to the next chapter though. =3

Thanks bro, you totally rock for reading this! Hope you stay with it. :3

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#8 Offline Jowm

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Posted Feb 18 2012 - 07:18 PM

I am impressed with this sso far, you did an interesting job of introducing Tomana, and I look forward to see how he plays his part int he plan, his personality is an interesting one for the job. The two characters are interesting, and I now am rather impatient for the enxt chapter :P.
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http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=5700 - My new epic revealing the life of the interesting character we all wish we could have known better before he left us, Karzahni.

 


#9 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Feb 18 2012 - 08:42 PM

Thanks a lot. The next chapter will be published (and written) by Tomana. It will be out shortly. :)
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#10 Offline Chols

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Posted Feb 19 2012 - 12:37 AM

Not bad, you two. I'm impressed =)I think the premise so far is very interesting. Excavate is a great character, and his mission with Tomana certainly seems promising.There's some things I thought could use improvement though. Some wording sounds off to me ("As a Servant of the Order, Tomana was just that" sounds unnecessarily redundant), and some choices of diction could be better (human titles such as "ma'am" don't really fit well in the universe your story is situated in). Those are only small complaints though; they don't detract from the overall story, but they did stick out a lot to me.I don't regularly read epics, but I'm interested in seeing how this one turns out.
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#11 Offline Aderia

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Posted Feb 19 2012 - 10:10 PM

Hey, guess what! It's confession time. So I confess that I actually like it when stories have lots of spelling and grammar mistakes. I think its awesome when there are awkwardly worded sentences that interrupt the flow of the story. And yes, I admit, when there are potential Mary Sue's and Gary Stu's to nitpick at, I don't even mind. And do you wanna know why? When I review, it's nice and long and it looks awesome.Am I a horrible person or what?And so when I can't actually find anything wrong with a story, that's a problem, because I tend to ramble in my reviews. (have you noticed?)But anyways, I really do find this story intriguing. I went and read ‘What I Stand For’ before I started on the actual epic, and I really love Excavate’s character. I think one of my favorite things about him is that he’s the total embodiment of a Dark Hunter (as I picture them), but he’s not a cliché. And the opening few lines in “What I Stand For”, or whenever Excavate is narrating are simply poetic and amazing. I can’t wait to see where you plan to take him.As for Tomana, I don't have much to say at this point, outside the fact that I love how much potential he has and I can't wait to see how he and Excavate interact. That last line from Helyrx in the second chapter, “[...] he doesn’t talk much and he isn’t thrilled about meeting you at all.” totally set the stage. Speaking of Helryx, its really amazing how in-character she seemed to me. Kudos there.I don't think I've ever read a collab before that I've actually liked. But I have no doubt that this will be the exception. Prove me right, and keep up the good work!
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#12 Offline Zox Tomana

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Posted Feb 19 2012 - 10:59 PM

As for Tomana, I don't have much to say at this point, outside the fact that I love how much potential he has and I can't wait to see how he and Excavate interact. That last line from Helyrx in the second chapter, “[...] he doesn’t talk much and he isn’t thrilled about meeting you at all.” totally set the stage.

Hooray! My character has potential!

Speaking of Helryx, its really amazing how in-character she seemed to me. Kudos there.

*significant look at Grant*

I don't think I've ever read a collab before that I've actually liked. But I have no doubt that this will be the exception. Prove me right, and keep up the good work!

Whoop! Thanks, I hope I can write up to your expectations!
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#13 Offline Shadow Kurahk

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 02:51 AM

I've only read the first chapter so far, and I'll say it's intriguing, and right off the bat, too--good, strong start. I like that.I will remark about the fact that Helryx was so quick to settle on rewarding Excavate more than giving him his freedom, clearing his slate, and saving his life. I expected her to negotiate a little. Even a Dark Hunter would be humble, at least at first, to start building the peoples' trust, so realistically he wouldn't have asked for more, even knowing that they needed him direly.I also think Axonn's interference was totally awkward and honestly a little random. :PI also mentioned this to you in chat, GS, but I'll say it here for reference. I get a more democratic feel from the OOMN--as in, one person can't make decisions without the input of the whole. So with this in mind, it was a bit strange for Helryx to so easily make a significant decision on behalf of the other members uncontested. Given the structure of the Order, there should be some process for major decisions like the one she made.Otherwise, looking good. There are some spaces missing here and there, unnecessary commas, grammar/spelling errors, but of course, those are minor and easy to get past. (It would be nice to eventually fix them though :D). Great work! I'll try and continue when I can.-SK
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#14 Offline Aderia

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 10:18 AM

Hey, I've gotta keep this breif, I'm in a hurry.@Zo'Tomana: Aha, no worries, you didn't disappoint me! I like how you brought up the topic of Tomana's gift. Its like an enhanced version of the visions Vakama had, or at least that's how I think of it. It'll be cool to see how his gift plays a part in future chapters.@Grant: So you opened your latest chapter, "Covered by Mist" by saying "They had been on the skiff for days", but a bit later on, Excavate was thinking "He was supposed to have died yesterday". I'm not sure if that's something you overlooked, or if your yesterday is just different than mine, which has happened before.Otherwise, and this is speaking for both chapters, I didn't really spot anything else to fix. Keep up the good work :)
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#15 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 07:25 PM

I've only read the first chapter so far, and I'll say it's intriguing, and right off the bat, too--good, strong start. I like that.I will remark about the fact that Helryx was so quick to settle on rewarding Excavate more than giving him his freedom, clearing his slate, and saving his life. I expected her to negotiate a little. Even a Dark Hunter would be humble, at least at first, to start building the peoples' trust, so realistically he wouldn't have asked for more, even knowing that they needed him direly.I also think Axonn's interference was totally awkward and honestly a little random. :PI also mentioned this to you in chat, GS, but I'll say it here for reference. I get a more democratic feel from the OOMN--as in, one person can't make decisions without the input of the whole. So with this in mind, it was a bit strange for Helryx to so easily make a significant decision on behalf of the other members uncontested. Given the structure of the Order, there should be some process for major decisions like the one she made.Otherwise, looking good. There are some spaces missing here and there, unnecessary commas, grammar/spelling errors, but of course, those are minor and easy to get past. (It would be nice to eventually fix them though :biggrin:). Great work! I'll try and continue when I can.-SK

Got ya, and thanks for the very specific and examined review, because we look out for those. =D I wanted Excavate's pay order to be somewhat of a mystery at first, and the fact that they need his help gives him an advantage in negotiations ... but I can see what you mean and the OoMN is more of a democratic organization. Also I agree Axonn's statement is a little awkward. lolHopefully you can stay with it, and thanks for the positive feedback and suggestions SK. :3

Hey, I've gotta keep this breif, I'm in a hurry.@Zo'Tomana: Aha, no worries, you didn't disappoint me! I like how you brought up the topic of Tomana's gift. Its like an enhanced version of the visions Vakama had, or at least that's how I think of it. It'll be cool to see how his gift plays a part in future chapters.@Grant: So you opened your latest chapter, "Covered by Mist" by saying "They had been on the skiff for days", but a bit later on, Excavate was thinking "He was supposed to have died yesterday". I'm not sure if that's something you overlooked, or if your yesterday is just different than mine, which has happened before.Otherwise, and this is speaking for both chapters, I didn't really spot anything else to fix. Keep up the good work :)

Awesome, Tomana will be happy to see that. ^_^ Also that was a mistake on my part, and a major one. Thanks for pointing that out and I've corrected it.

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#16 Offline ~Mat~

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Posted Mar 04 2012 - 02:28 AM

Mhmm, latest chapter was, to say the least, interesting. :3I particularly like where you're taking the character of Excavate, as well as I am looking forward to seeing more of the matoran. The strange little rugrats that they seem to be. :P
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#17 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Mar 10 2012 - 02:26 AM

Thanks MI. And in this chapter you will see who they are, or a least a little more detail.
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#18 Offline Jowm

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Posted Mar 15 2012 - 02:09 PM

I really am enjoying this story, and I like seeing how the characters react to situations, their personalities are displayed well, which I like. I have seen that excavate, in the last chapter, has fallen out of his normal emotionless state once or twice, is he going to lose that part of his personality? Anyway, I look forward to seeing what you do with this, there are still so many ways you could go, and yet you have not been progressing with unrealistly slow speed, the pace is actually quite realistic and works well. Hope to see the next chapter soon!
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http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=5700 - My new epic revealing the life of the interesting character we all wish we could have known better before he left us, Karzahni.

 


#19 Offline Steelsheen

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Posted Mar 20 2012 - 09:09 PM

ECC Review

Great Grant and Zo' Tomana,C. S. Lewis once said, "Literature adds to reality; it does not simply describe it." And I was so blown away by the thoughtfulness and flow of this story that I firmly believe you two have added something to reality. Seriously, the caliber of this fanfic is something I have only rarely seen. Your characters are well-developed in your heads, which shows when you write. Even though I don't know much about their backstories (as it should be at this point in the tale), I can instantly tell that you two do. The dialogue, especially between Excavate and Tomana, is generally well written, easy to follow and natural. Knowing your characters has given such a life and a believability to Second Chance.I did notice a few errors, mostly in the narration, and they're nothing too big. Actually, considering the length of this epic, you guys have very few mistakes. :)From chapter 1 -

It’s was a very slow, easy walk.

Corrected - It was a very slow, easy walk.From chapter 1 -

The prisoner, Dark Hunter subject and codenamed “Excavate”, nationality of the Northern Continent and from the large City of Sol, approached before the Toa of Water.

Corrected - The prisoner, a Dark Hunter codenamed "Excavate" who came from the city of Sol on the Northern Continent, approached the Toa of Water. From chapter 1 -

... just a protective steel helmet which hadspiked...

Corrected - ... just a protective steel helmet which had spiked... From chapter 1 -

“You said you’d make it short.” Finally the Dark Hunter looked upward with crystal blue eyes, they gleamed brightly, a dark blue in color. “What am I here for?”

Corrected - "You said you'd make it short." Finally, the Dark Hunter looked up, his eyes gleaming a dark blue. "What am I here for?"From chapter 3 -

When they were out into deeper water, not that such a thing mattered to the hovercraft, Tomana set a course, Excavate trimmed the sails, and the ship picked up a breeze that carried it northwest toward the Southern Continent.

Corrected - When they got out into deeper water - not that such a thing really mattered in a hovercraft - Tomana set a course and locked the rudder. Excavate trimmed the sails, catching a northwest breeze. (The mention of the Southern Continent was only cut from this correction because Tomana and Excavate argue about the direction later)From chapter 3 -

“Let me see one of those,” Tomana held out his for a knife.

Corrected - "Let me see one of those." Tomana held out his hand for a knife.From chapter 4 -

Eyes slowly dimming, Excavate found it amusing how at time like this the calm before the storm, he enjoyed being a ghost to the world.

Corrected - Eyes slowly dimming, Excavate found it amusing how at times like this - the calm before the storm - he enjoyed being a ghost to the world.From chapter 6 -

A thick fog covered his sight, but a constant soft downpour old debris fell like snow.

Not sure exactly what this means - it almost sounds like two sentences mixed together.From chapter 7 -

Marow suddenly looked sad and he couldn’t believe it, she was pitying him.

Corrected - Marow suddenly looked sad. Excavate couldn't believe it; she was pitying him.Kudos to you guys for taking the time to include your excellent vocabularies and realistic slang in the story. You do seem to cut your paragraphs very short, although that may just be your style. Generally, though, a paragraph contains at least five or six sentences; cutting the same thought or idea into two or three paragraphs can get confusing after a while. Also, be wary of using commas all the time. Sometimes, a sentence break ( - ) or a semi-colon works better.On a separate note, I was a little confused by this one part.From chapter 2 -

Tomana was a rare case. The Toa had no home and was considered a wanderer ever since an incident involving the betrayal of his entire team occurred years before. When a Member had stumbled upon him by accident during a mission, his cooperation and impressive skills as a Toa, had allowed him to become a candidate.

I'm not sure if Tomana betrayed his team or was betrayed. Considering what I see of his character later in the story, I'm pretty sure it's not the first option. But I'm still not quite clear.Overall, I am incredibly impressed with this creative outpouring. You guys have done a great job of crafting the story of a Dark Hunter spared seemingly by chance and a Toa of Ice with Jedi-like powers. So far, my favorite part was Tomana tracking Excavate through the woods, and the ensuing fight with the matoran. I will definitely be reading to the end!-HH

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#20 Offline Zox Tomana

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Posted Mar 21 2012 - 01:15 AM

C. S. Lewis once said, "Literature adds to reality; it does not simply describe it." And I was so blown away by the thoughtfulness and flow of this story that I firmly believe you two have added something to reality. Seriously, the caliber of this fanfic is something I have only rarely seen. Your characters are well-developed in your heads, which shows when you write. Even though I don't know much about their backstories (as it should be at this point in the tale), I can instantly tell that you two do. The dialogue, especially between Excavate and Tomana, is generally well written, easy to follow and natural. Knowing your characters has given such a life and a believability to Second Chance.

First off, let me get out the Aggie response I have to this....A! WHOOP!Now that that is over....Thank you very, very kindly HH for this great compliment. As someone who is taking a writing course in college, the idea that something I'm writing is believable, and has naturalness to it is AMAZING to hear. I promise you'll hear more about the backstories as the stories (past and present) of characters are, to Grant and I at least, a highly indispensable part of the future of this Epic.

On a separate note, I was a little confused by this one part.From chapter 2 -

Tomana was a rare case. The Toa had no home and was considered a wanderer ever since an incident involving the betrayal of his entire team occurred years before. When a Member had stumbled upon him by accident during a mission, his cooperation and impressive skills as a Toa, had allowed him to become a candidate.

I'm not sure if Tomana betrayed his team or was betrayed. Considering what I see of his character later in the story, I'm pretty sure it's not the first option. But I'm still not quite clear.

Ah yes. Well, let me repeat you'll hear more about the backstory of Tomana! You're right to say the former is not an option. If it was, he'd be a Dark Hunter... no offense to Grant and his Character of course ;D

Overall, I am incredibly impressed with this creative outpouring. You guys have done a great job of crafting the story of a Dark Hunter spared seemingly by chance and a Toa of Ice with Jedi-like powers. So far, my favorite part was Tomana tracking Excavate through the woods, and the ensuing fight with the matoran. I will definitely be reading to the end!-HH

These are not the Matoran you are looking for.... I may actually have to use that now >>May I say thank you again, and again. Tomana tracking and generally everything to do with Insight is very fun to write for me. I'm happy you're hooked to Second Chance and hope you're line and sinker with us all the way!

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~~-BS01 Histories-~~
by Zox Tomana


#21 Offline Project Nightfall

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Posted Apr 02 2012 - 06:45 PM

I will say, this is trully impressive. You guys managed to combine an amazing setting with spectacular characters and a bloody topnotch story. I will say that this is a work of art. Sure, there are a few things I don't like, like the writing in some cases. But it's more a nitpick of mines. Overall, I'm amazed with how good this story is. Congratulations Grant and Tomana for doing this wonderful story! I'll keep an eye on more charapters.Keep up the good work gentlemen. ;)
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#22 Offline Naina

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Posted Apr 05 2012 - 11:41 PM

The writing style is crisp and no less than what I'd expect from you two. It holds the reader hanging and in anticipation of the next chapter. I really like how you're dealing with insight. Then again, Tomana has it in real life so he knows exactly what it's like. :PCan't wait to see how the Tomana-Excavate relations progress. Marow seems interesting: I'd like to see more of her. Please do write her in, in future chapters. :DAlso, Tomana in black armor? Seriously? :P I'd expect more a shade of gold, but whatever works.Keep writing, keep the good work up. Go Aggies and... whatever you call southies. :P
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I'll take your part

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I will lay me down


#23 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Apr 13 2012 - 02:07 AM

Creep and KH, thanks a lot for reading the story whether it was in parts or the entire thing.Creep if you could tell me what those nitpicks are, that'd be great and we'll be sure to look into that for ya. =) And thanks again, we'll try to do so.And KH, Marow was actually just going to be a character set for one or two chapters, but I have to admit she's been getting a lot more appearance time then expected. She's a fun character to write about, and we'll show her more, at the very least two or three more scenes.Thanks guys, again we appreciate the reviews!
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#24 Offline Peach 00

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Posted Apr 13 2012 - 11:51 PM

The only word that can possibly describe this story is amazing. I'm thoroughly impressed with the job you two have done on this, it's far better than anything I could have written by myself. Combined efforts in writing are difficult to do, but because both your writing styles share many similarities, it's very difficult to feel like the writing clashes a little too harshly. It mixes quite well and ends with a wonderful result.Although I've only read into halfway through Part 2 of this, it has been good so far. Tomana and Excavate's relationship throughout the story will obviously be rocky and full of witty and sarcastic comments, but that's what interests me most of all, not just the actual mission. I can already see they share similarities but differ quite a lot.Despite the fact this is not a rather long review, I have definitely enjoyed this so far. You both have done a tremendous job on this, I cannot wait to read more chapters (currently reading it right now, actually, I just felt the need to review it now because I've been dying to since I saw it posted).Great job, guys. :)
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On the day the wall came down / They threw the locks onto the ground
And with glasses high / We raised a cry / For freedom had arrived
 
On the day the wall came down / The ship of fools had finally run aground
Promises lit up the night / Like paper doves in flight
 
I dreamed you had left my side / No warmth, not even pride remained
And even though you needed me / It was clear that I could not do a thing for you
 
Now life devalues day by day / As friends and neighbors turn away
And there's a change that even with regret / Cannot be undone
 
Now frontiers shift like desert sands / While nations wash their bloodied hands
Of loyalty, of history / In shades of grey
 
I woke to the sound of drums / The music played, the morning sun streamed in
I turned and I looked at you / And all but the bitter residues slipped away
 
slipped away...
 




#25 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Apr 25 2012 - 03:33 PM

Oh thank you very much Peach. ^^ I'm glad you found time to read it, really appreciate it and AWESOMELY glad you're gonna try to keep up with it!
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#26 Offline Steelsheen

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Posted Apr 25 2012 - 07:51 PM

Hey, guys! Just wanted to say, I'm keeping up with the recent chapters and the development of Tomana's and Excavate's characters. Really liked that flashback of Tomana's team - it showed a lot of what motivates him. Two things I noticed in the last chapter:

Tomana had stopped using his ice powers long ago, in fear of deplenishing his energies. Excavate’s cloak no longer helped at all.

I think you mean "depleting".

As you both know, the Makuta of the Storms, as she titles herself, has been advancing throughout the Northern Continent with her armies, leading a conquest for years now. I of course oppose to such malice behavior.

"Malicious behavior". Great job, and keep it up, guys!-HH

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#27 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted May 09 2012 - 10:23 AM

Hey thank you very much HH! Glad you're staying with it and we totally appreciate that feedback! :3 Also yal, with the end of Part 3, we're heading into Part 4, which will be considerably shorter in length.
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#28 Offline Aderia

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Posted May 10 2012 - 06:33 PM

Hey, I reallized I haven't dropped you guys a review in a while. I just thought I'd let you know, I spent about three of my study halls catching up on Excavate and Tomana's story. best three study halls in my life ;)Anyways, I really don't have any nitpicks for you. The story is coming along wonderfully, I really like where you've taken it. The fact that you're telling the characters' pasts intermittently really keeps me reading. You're very crafty. Keep up the great work, both of you!
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#29 Offline Athmos

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Posted May 18 2012 - 08:01 PM

I just read the entire story up to date and all I'm feeling is...... Wow. Wow. Holy Wow. Holy Fricking Wow.
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WIP


#30 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted May 19 2012 - 02:12 PM

Hey, I reallized I haven't dropped you guys a review in a while. I just thought I'd let you know, I spent about three of my study halls catching up on Excavate and Tomana's story. best three study halls in my life ;)Anyways, I really don't have any nitpicks for you. The story is coming along wonderfully, I really like where you've taken it. The fact that you're telling the characters' pasts intermittently really keeps me reading. You're very crafty. Keep up the great work, both of you!

Thanks Aderia! Glad we're keeping up the good work and glad you're still interested. :3

I just read the entire story up to date and all I'm feeling is......Wow. Wow. Holy Wow. Holy Fricking Wow.

Lol, I'll tell ya those kind of comments are awesome to get. ^_^ Thanks!

Edited by The Great Grant in the Sky, May 19 2012 - 02:13 PM.

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#31 Offline Zox Tomana

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Posted Jul 05 2012 - 04:35 PM

Just thought I'd come on here and do a review... not of my writing, that's way too narcissistic :P after this good long while of writing with GS, I'm going to review him, because I think the public ought to know that Grant is...1. An awesome person to write alongside of. We've been doing this in Google Docs, his edits in red, mine in blue, and I would love to have shown the colors on some of these chapters. It has been great working with him on this.2. An obsessive planner. This can be a little annoying, but it is very much needed. I don't plan a lot, I tend to just write, so the structure that Grant has brought to the party is really what has made this Epic possible. If it was just me, you'd be waiting about a month or so for each chapter. Grant has had this planned out from the beginning.3. A good guy. This goes back to #1, but if you can't really get along with your writing buddy, stories fail. GS has not only been fun to work with, but someone you are able to work with, someone you can sit down (screen to screen lol) and talk about what is happening, and what needs to happen without being a complete Piraka about sticking to the letter of the original intention. I've changed a few of his things, he's changed a few of mine, and the story got better.Thanks for asking me to write with you, Grant. Can't wait to finish out the Epic!
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~~-BS01 Histories-~~
by Zox Tomana


#32 Offline GSR

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Posted Jul 29 2012 - 10:22 PM

ECC Review, Redux

G'day Grant, Zo,First things first: I hold a policy when it comes to reviews that a critique that goes through every single quibble or issue isn't nearly as helpful as one that looks for trends. So I'm afraid if you're expecting a line-by-line breakdown here, you're going to be disappointed: instead, I'm going to give you two my larger thoughts, with some selected examples, and leave you to do the line-by-line. Best way to learn. I'll also be focusing on stuff from chapter 7 on, as it was up to there that Hahli Historian reviewed if I'm not mistaken.So! First impressions, after reading through: really actually quite good. Yes, I know that's not as stunningly positive as HH was; don't worry, that's just my critiquing style. Focusing on a pair of characters rather than an ensemble group has strengthened the fic quite a bit, I think, and both of you seem to know quite well where you're going with them. (Don't worry if you don't in reality - the whole point is to make the reader think you do, and in this case you have.) Prose-wise, things are a little rockier, but still good; that said, there are a few issues here and there. As there's more to discuss prose-wise, and because I like to think I'm better at reviewing prose than I am plot, we'll begin there.First, an observation: it is pretty clear to me through the prose when Grant is writing and when Zo is writing. I'm taking a look at the review topic now, and I see you two already do some direct collaboration through Google Docs; that's good, but there's still a pretty notable difference. In a collaborative work like this, I'm of the opinion that it can be beneficial to have the two authors' styles blend, as it creates a better flow for the reader. Of course, that's just my opinion, and of course I understand if you prefer to keep the two styles fairly distinct. Now, onto the fun bit: the issues. I'm sorry to single someone out like this, but the segregated nature of the fic means it'll (hopefully) be helpful to do so: Grant, I tended to find more issues with flow and prose in your sections. Zo, don't think you can skip this paragraph because of that, because the advice I'll be giving should be helpful to anyone - and since you mentioned you two both work on each chapter, you could be running into the same issues as well. Anyways, I'd say your biggest issue is sentence structure - you have a tendency to write sentences that aren't quite ungrammatical, but are still somewhat unusual or unclear. One big part of this I've found is your tendency to switch subjects within a sentence. Here's an example:

Entering the cave systems, the heated atmosphere cooled almost instantly and the sandy winds were blocked.

Here, 'entering' is the action of the group, but the rest of the sentence focuses on the 'action' of ambient atmosphere. A better way to write it might be like this: "Entering the cave systems, Tomana and Excavate found that the heated atmosphere cooled almost instantly and the sandy winds were blocked." This issue can also occur within a whole paragraph; consider this (bad) substitution for that sentence.

Down the corridors of the stone hallways, the Dark Hunter and Toa were led in silence to the main room. Entering the cave systems, one found that the heated atmosphere cooled almost instantly and the sandy winds were blocked. They had been led through stairways, hallways, opening assembly rooms and much more. The Mountain was a fortress and the Skakdi society was, surprisingly, sophisticated.

See the issue there? Something like that would attach the action of 'entering' to an anonymous third party, only for the subject to suddenly switch back to the solidified personae of Tomana's group. While I can't recall if this larger sort of example reared its head, keep an eye out for it. This passage also provides another issue you seem to have trouble with: voice and tense continuity. Consider that you have "were led", "entering", and then "had been led" in succession. The first suggests that the action of them being led is in progress; the second suggests they are in the process of entering the caves (which should have been before the action of being led down the hallways), and the last suggests that the action of them being led is now over, and had been for some time. This sort of rapid switching can be jarring to the reader. Again, consider this possible rewrite:

As they entered the cave systems, the Dark Hunter and Toa found that the heated atmosphere cooled almost instantly and the sandy winds were blocked. Silently they were led to the main room, through stairways, hallways, assembly rooms, and much more. The mountain was truly a fortress, and the Skakdi society was surprisingly sophisticated.

Of course, this is just a suggestion, but hopefully you can see what I mean.Another issue with sentence structure and flow is that you tend to overuse commas. Here's an example:

"Only a short way from here, to the north, is the city known as The Coral, your mission is to infiltrate this city, and destroy the shields that protect it."

Commas should be used to make conceptually small breaks in the sentence. In a sentence like this, that provides both exposition and orders, it's probably a better idea to separate the sentence into two either through a semicolon or a period after "The Coral" (probably a period). The former half could also avoid the commas by some slight rewording, eg. "A short ways north of here is the city known as The Coral. Your mission is to infiltrate this city and destroy the shields that protect it." You should be especially careful with commas in dialogue; there they represent a pause in the speaker's words, and it can be very unnatural in excess. (Read the original sentence out loud, with pauses for every comma. You'll see what I mean.)Also, I would suggest giving your sentences once-overs to make sure there aren't any errors that slipped in through rewriting or anything like that. For instance, consider this sentence:

It was early, very early, in the morning, and the last thing he wanted to see to his rising was the hideous face of a Skakdi.

Here, 'to his' just doesn't really work syntactically - it looks to me at least like you maybe tried a few ways of writing this sentence and accidentally left a few bits from earlier attempts in. Something like "upon rising" is much more natural.And finally, keep one eye out for turns of phrase that aren't really appropriate in a Bionicle story. At one point Tomana makes a crack about 'poor reception' - I admit I'm never 100% clear on the tech level present in the MU, but that seems like a phrase brought about by the proliferation of cell phones.Zo, your prose tends to be somewhat better flowing, but I have noticed you have a tendency for the occasional malapropism - for instance, at one point the narration notes that the transport "had been abandoned on the side of Rekken’s mountain complex a millennia hence". Hence is used with events that take place in the future, not the past. I'm also going to break my policy up above and single out a particular sentence of yours that bugged me:

“Insight,” Tomana replied shortly. The name of the power would mean nothing to Excavate, he knew, but he didn’t feel like explaining his psychometric/telepathic/clairvoyant/sheer instinctual ability. Not to a reprobate.

The use of slashes here just rubs me the wrong way. It's an unnatural way of presenting the different interpretations of his power, and makes it just feel unclear in the end.All that said, I do have to commend the two of you on your action scenes. They're generally quite fun to read, and except in occasional cases where the above issues appeared, they were easy to follow along. And please don't be discouraged by all the stuff listed above: overall your prose is perfectly readable. I'm just pointing out ways I think it could be made even better.All right, so that was the prose side of things. I know it's a lot, but I critique because I care. So onto the other side of things, the actual content of the story. And here you'll find I simply don't have nearly as much to say, because there's simply not as much to critique, and I mean that in a good way. As I mentioned in my leadup up there, the choice to focus on this pair of characters has grounded the fic well and helps the reader to make a connection. I get the impression that Bionicle stories tend to have a fairly large cast, due to the canon story, so it's nice to see a story with a smaller main crew. Really, the simplest way I can think to put it is that you've got me interested in the characters. This is pretty important, so give yourselves a pat on the back for that. Both Tomana and Excavate are fun to read and get into the head of, and the way they play off of each other and at times parallel or contrast each other is always interesting. I also have to commend you for the roles of the other Toa at Coral; getting to see the two go up against a more straight-laced enemy was a good move to force their conflicts to the forefront, and I enjoyed that entire part quite a lot. Let me summarize: Plot and character wise, you two are doing a bang-up job. Prose-wise, there's some issues here and there, but actually I'd say the two of you are in a better position than most to work on such issues - the fact you're working on it collaboratively means you have the opportunity to be each others' editors. Take that opportunity! Make your story better than the sum of its authors.There's one compliment I'd like to pay before we conclude: at the time I reviewed this fic, it wasn't yet done, with only 4 parts of 5 or 6 concluded. I will be keeping an eye out for parts 5 or 6, just as a member, not an ECC critic. And that is praise you can take to the bank.

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#33 Offline Zox Tomana

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Posted Jul 30 2012 - 12:39 AM

G'day Grant, Zo,

Grant. He called me Zo :(

Now, onto the fun bit: the issues. I'm sorry to single someone out like this, but the segregated nature of the fic means it'll (hopefully) be helpful to do so: Grant, I tended to find more issues with flow and prose in your sections. Zo, don't think you can skip this paragraph because of that, because the advice I'll be giving should be helpful to anyone - and since you mentioned you two both work on each chapter, you could be running into the same issues as well.

Oh, I hold no illusions about my writing. I need as much help as anybody.

And finally, keep one eye out for turns of phrase that aren't really appropriate in a Bionicle story. At one point Tomana makes a crack about 'poor reception' - I admit I'm never 100% clear on the tech level present in the MU, but that seems like a phrase brought about by the proliferation of cell phones.

Eh.... whoops =D I figure that the tech level varies from place to place, but I totally get your point about invading BIONICLE with our world. Noted for the future.

Zo, your prose tends to be somewhat better flowing, but I have noticed you have a tendency for the occasional malapropism - for instance, at one point the narration notes that the transport "had been abandoned on the side of Rekken’s mountain complex a millennia hence". Hence is used with events that take place in the future, not the past. I'm also going to break my policy up above and single out a particular sentence of yours that bugged me:

“Insight,” Tomana replied shortly. The name of the power would mean nothing to Excavate, he knew, but he didn’t feel like explaining his psychometric/telepathic/clairvoyant/sheer instinctual ability. Not to a reprobate.

The use of slashes here just rubs me the wrong way. It's an unnatural way of presenting the different interpretations of his power, and makes it just feel unclear in the end.

That particular malapropism has been taken care of. Thanks for pointing it out.I'll keep the slashes thing in mind, and I'll try and look for ways to remedy that for future readers.Thank you for the compliment about my prose, but the persons you should be thanking are my English Teachers XD

Really, the simplest way I can think to put it is that you've got me interested in the characters. This is pretty important, so give yourselves a pat on the back for that. Both Tomana and Excavate are fun to read and get into the head of, and the way they play off of each other and at times parallel or contrast each other is always interesting. I also have to commend you for the roles of the other Toa at Coral; getting to see the two go up against a more straight-laced enemy was a good move to force their conflicts to the forefront, and I enjoyed that entire part quite a lot.

Yay! Tomana is still interesting!Grant gets all the credit for the Toa Coral. His creations, and his ideas on how to proceed with them.

First, an observation: it is pretty clear to me through the prose when Grant is writing and when Zo is writing. I'm taking a look at the review topic now, and I see you two already do some direct collaboration through Google Docs; that's good, but there's still a pretty notable difference. In a collaborative work like this, I'm of the opinion that it can be beneficial to have the two authors' styles blend, as it creates a better flow for the reader. Of course, that's just my opinion, and of course I understand if you prefer to keep the two styles fairly distinct. -*-*-*-*-Let me summarize: Plot and character wise, you two are doing a bang-up job. Prose-wise, there's some issues here and there, but actually I'd say the two of you are in a better position than most to work on such issues - the fact you're working on it collaboratively means you have the opportunity to be each others' editors. Take that opportunity! Make your story better than the sum of its authors.

We do try and edit each other, and we will try and be a bit more vigilant about how we can improve each other for this last stretch. Our styles do tend to be separate, and I have a feeling that writing 'closer together' will only come with practice, as does most of this art and skill.Also, Grant....he's still calling me Zo :(

There's one compliment I'd like to pay before we conclude: at the time I reviewed this fic, it wasn't yet done, with only 4 parts of 5 or 6 concluded. I will be keeping an eye out for parts 5 or 6, just as a member, not an ECC critic. And that is praise you can take to the bank.

I think I can speak for Grant in saying we humbly thank you for this review, and that we are estatic to have captured the attention of another reader. I might not have said much in my reply, but I really do appreciate the time you've taken with this. Thank you again and again.

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~~-BS01 Histories-~~
by Zox Tomana


#34 Offline GSR

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Posted Jul 30 2012 - 01:27 AM

Sorry about using the wrong nickname up there - shortening to the start is usually safe. :P What should I call you?And in any event, glad to be of help. You're quite right that a blending of styles is something that comes with experience, but practice certainly helps things along.
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#35 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Sep 06 2012 - 12:26 PM

Hey I'm sorry for not replying to this soon enough. Just wanted to say thank you so much for the review you gave us GSR, and I really appreciate the comments to my writing. I've been told I have trouble in that before. :/ Hopefully I'll be able to catch myself with it, and improve on that.Seriously getting a full review like that, with honest corrections is what I look for and thanks for taking the time on it. As for the story, I'm glad you like it and the characters who we've been working hard to get just right. (And don't worry we do have an ending direction for both of them! :D) I'm also really pleased you enjoyed Part 4, because both Zo;Tomana and I weren't sure if that area was going correctly and wanted an opinion on it.As for Part 5, which is the final part, hopefully you'll find some time to finish up on it, and though we've been a little busy, we should be finishing the epic real soon. Thanks again!
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#36 Offline light Laser

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Posted Sep 23 2012 - 03:41 PM

I read your epic and I would like to say I thought it was pretty good. I might be able to suggest improvements but I don't think I could right nearly as good so it might not improve anything.Good epic. :fonz:
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If wise man uses words, and strong man hits things, a wise strong man hits words.
Wait that doesn't seem right.


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#37 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Sep 25 2012 - 11:54 PM

Hey thanks a ton, reading this whole epic must have taken you a little time, and it's awesome you did! Hopefully you enjoyed and if you have suggestions please feel free to let us know! :D
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