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We are Metru Re-Write: Review Topic


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#1 Offline Cee Matrix

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Posted Jul 17 2012 - 11:43 AM

http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=5945Link to thread. Thanks for reading.Please note this is unfinished. I actually aim for around 20 full length chapters(About 200 A5 sides)
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#2 Offline GSR

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Posted Sep 20 2012 - 11:57 PM

ECC Review

Hey Alterego! This'll be your official ECC review for this epic. I don't know if you've seen my other reviews, but there's a few things I keep in common between them: I don't like to track down every little misspelling or grammar error, so expect some more general guidelines based on select examples, and I tend to divide my reviews into two parts - one covering prose and one covering content. With that in mind, let's get this thing rolling!First off, as I'm wont to do, the prose. There's a couple large issues I'd like to go over here, so let's take them point by point. Let's start with orthography and formatting. I've noticed you have an unfortunate tendency to slip up on homonyms or similarly-spelled words - think "roll" vs. "role" for the former and "load" vs. "loud" for the latter. If I can make a guess here, this is very emblematic of letting spell check do your work for you. Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome tool, but when you're writing, you absolutely must go back and re-read with an eye out for things that a computer can't catch. This issue popped up all over the place, and it was always distracting when it did. You've also got a tendency to be a little strange with your capitalization - for instance, you'll make a comment like "He was the perfect Hero" when hero is just a plain old noun, while you'll say that many Toa "joined the dark hunters" when the Dark Hunters are an organization, and thus capitalized. Again, this is something you hopefully should be able to catch with an extra read-through and an eye out for this sort of issue.On another orthography note, be careful with how you end your dialogue. Generally speaking, dialogue ends with a comma inside the quotes if the following text is related to the dialogue taking place (eg. "This is an example," he said) but a period if it's unrelated. (He said, "This is an example." With that, he turned and left the room.) I don't think there's ever a situation where you end dialogue with no punctuation whatsoever. As an exception to the above, dialogue that asks a question always ends with a question mark ("Is this an example?" he asked; He asked, "Is this an example?" A moment later, his head exploded.), so keep an eye out for that. And also note the capitalization of whatever follows the dialogue; it's not capitalized if it's related to the dialogue, but is if it's unconnected to the dialogue.Formatting-wise, you've got a few issues as well. For starters, you're using italics for emphasis quite a bit. While this isn't a bad thing, and of course is one of the purposes of italicization, it's something best done sparingly. See, the real issue with doing that is that it limits your ability to use italics in other areas, such as in-universe documents or character thoughts. If the reader suddenly hits a passage in the narration that's in italics, they should be able to immediately know if they're reading a character's thoughts or if it's just an emphasized part of the narration. If they have to stop and figure it out, even subconsciously, it breaks the flow of the story. Which actually brings me to another formatting issue - characters' thoughts. Take a look at this passage:

"What was that?” Vakama asked, even though heard clearly what Matau had said. Well look at Vakama with his supersonic hearing. I bet Nokama digs that stuff, thought Matau thougt sarcastically.

There's two formatting issues here. First, you don't have any sort of division between Matau's thoughts and the narration. It's extremely jarring for the reader to go from narration ("[he had] heard clearly what Matau had said") to direct thoughts ("Well look at Vakama with his supersonic hearing"). At best, the reader is jolted out of the story for a moment while they figure it out; at worst, they'll be confused and unable to tell if the narrator's speaking or if the character's thinking. Unless your narration is in the first person, direct, dialogue-esque thoughts have to be set off like any other dialogue. As I mentioned above, you can use italics here to indicate thought and set it off from dialogue - just be careful you don't overuse italics for emphasis if you take this route.This passage also shows a more widespread issue I noticed. This might sound a bit harsh, but syntactically, your sentences tend to be a bit of a mess. There's words missing and words misspelled and words repeated. If I were to rewrite this passage without any changes to the content, it would look like this:

"What was that?" Vakama asked, even though he'd heard clearly what Matau had said. Well, look at Vakama with his supersonic hearing. I bet Nokama digs that stuff, thought Matau sarcastically.

I know I've been saying it a lot, but taking extra care when re-reading does wonders. Keep an eye out for redundancy or missing words when you're revising - one way to do this is to read the sentence aloud. This'll force you to hit every word of the sentence and really figure out if it sounds right or not. I'd also like to talk about formatting your paragraphs for a moment. You've got a tendency to use line breaks to separate paragraphs, which is all well and good in a book where you can use indentations to help break things up, but on BZP we unfortunately don't have that luxury. Generally speaking, it looks better to have a line of white space between paragraphs or lines of dialogue so that you don't wind up with a 'wall of text'. For larger divisions, such as a scene change, you can use multiple lines of white space or a small divider (eg. -----).Now that we've discussed syntactical and formatting stuff a bit, let's take it up a level and look at structuring, both in a sentence and out of it. I've noticed you've got a tendency to avoid commas and other 'soft' dividers, instead opting for many shorter sentences, both in dialogue and in narration. In certain situations this can work, but unfortunately when applied throughout a work it winds up feeling choppy and disconnected. This is particularly evident in exposition, as it makes the reader feel like they're listening to someone rattle off a list of facts rather than someone telling a story. Consider this example:

Traditionally, a Toa would guard a designated Metru (generally their own). They could control great amounts of elemental energy and were able to access their mask powers through the use of their Great Kanohi. They served as fighters and protectors for Metru Nui. They were typically taller than the Matoran and Turaga. Vakama wasn’t sure if it was possible to be a Toa without being a Matoran first. He wasn’t around when Toa Lhikan was a Matoran, but he had been told many stories. Toa Lhikan had been the last Toa of Metru Nui. Its last hope.

Now consider this re-write, where I've tried to keep as much of the above content the same as possible.

Traditionally, a Toa would guard a designated Metru - generally their own. Taller than Matoran and Turaga, they could control great amounts of elemental energy and were able to access mask powers through the use of their Great Kanohi, and so they served as fighters and protectors for Metru Nui. Vakama wasn't sure if it was possible to be a Toa without being a Matoran first - Toa Lhikan had been, but Vakama hadn't been around when Toa Lhikan was a Matoran, although he'd heard many stories from then. Toa Lhikan had been the last Toa of Metru Nui - its last hope.

Hopefully, you can see that that flows a little better. Here, I've also worked to better link the ideas above into more concrete, grouped ideas (Toa's traits and physical abilities let them serve as fighters and protectors, Vakama doesn't know if you can be a Toa without being a Matoran, but Lhikan was) rather than letting them stand on their own. While it can be good to have readers make their own connections between thematic or plot elements of the story, during exposition you want to make it as smooth a journey as possible for them so they can arrive at a picture of whatever you're describing as soon as possible.Speaking of keeping things going smoothly, I've noticed you've got an unfortunate tendency to have unusual sentence order. This is something best explained with an example:

They said their farewells before splitting up. Matau, Nokama and Vakama all took the left while the others took the right. The tunnel was poorly lit and had uneven ground, making it easy to trip. This part of the tunnel was dryer. It was made of a different stone to the other tunnel. This one was a shiny black, it was beautiful. Whenua had given them a torch just in case things got really hard to see. There was a gloomy haze at the end of the tunnel so it was impossible to see to the other end. As well as being uneven, this shiny black rock was slippery to walk on.

This passage is sort of jumping all over the place. In particular, you start describing the tunnel as a whole (it's uneven, it's dryer), switch to describing the stone (shiny black, beautiful), switch to the idea of lighting (Whenua's torches, the gloomy haze), then back to the stone (slippery). Again, doing this creates a very jerky effect for the reader, because they don't have any particular place to focus on. Don't make them piece together what the place looks like - give them a logical flow that's closer to what they might realize if they were there. One possible rewrite might be as follows:

They said their farewells before splitting up. Matau, Nokama, and Vakama took the left passage, while the others took the right. The tunnel was poorly lit and dry - though Whenua had given them a torch just in case things got really hard to see, a gloomy haze at the end of the tunnel made it impossible to see all the way to the other end. As they walked, they saw the tunnel was made of a different stone from the earlier passages - a sort of beautiful shining black rock. Unfortunately for them, the rock was slippery as well as uneven, and every step threatened to send them sprawling.

It's not perfect, but I think it manages to group things a little better and paint a better picture for the reader.The last big point I want to hit is structure, particularly in terms of POV and exposition. You've opted for third-person omniscient POV here, where the reader has access to all the characters' thoughts and feelings. While this is a stylistic choice, I will warn you that it can be difficult to keep the reader engaged in these sorts of stories, especially when you have six main characters. Constantly jumping around the characters' heads can get a little dizzying to the reader; we don't really have time to latch on with a character and start sympathizing with them if you switch too often. As for exposition, particularly character exposition, you sort of drop it in here-and-there; coupled with the rapidly switching viewpoints, you risk alienating the reader further. Nuju's thoughts on Keerahk, for instance, get dropped in the middle of an exposition block on Onewa that itself is in the middle of a segment otherwise generally evenly split between Nuju, Onewa, and Whenua.Oh, and just a quick comment about word choice: vary it up a bit. While you don't need to bust out a thesaurus for every word, consider some more interesting ways of describing actions - like changing "making it easy to trip" to "threatening to send them sprawling".Finally, before we move onto content, I just wanted to say that though it might be rough right now, I do appreciate your taking the time to provide exposition and description of the setting and characters. It's a common pitfall with fanfic that that sort of description gets skipped over under the assumption the reader will already know what's going on. This is true sometimes, but if it's your story, it's your responsibility to set up the world.Now let's talk about content - plot, characters, what have you. While I must admit I'm rather fuzzy on 2004, I can tell this is meant to be a rather darker retelling of the Toa Metru story, with some significant deviations from the original plot, such as the Vahki being pared down to six almost Toa-like individuals. I'm going to start with a pretty large plot element you've introduced that wasn't (explicitly) present in the original story - the romantic aspect of things. You've got the Vakama/Matau/Nokama triangle going from scene one with the three of them, you've got Onewa as homosexual, and you've got Nuju harboring unrequited love for Keerahk. All I can say is - slow down there, partner. Romance is definitely a way to add extra dimensions to characters and their relations, but you've got to be careful you don't overdo it. Vakama and Matau seem to spend most of their time silently or not-so-silently bickering over Nokama, and Nuju's thoughts on Keerahk were dropped into the narrative with all the subtlety of a boot to the head. Characters aren't just who they love! Let the romantic aspect sit in the background of the story and stew a bit. If, say, Nuju became a Toa and immediately ran off to show Keerahk he was a Toa now in the hopes she'd immediately fall for him, you'd basically be saying their relationship is the most important aspect of his character. If instead you had him run into her later after other events, and then worked in the realization that they're on 'equal footing', that would feel a little more real. That's a hypothetical scenario, but I hope you get what I'm saying here. As for Onewa, I've got no objections to homosexual characters, in Bionicle or elsewhere - but don't let it be all that defines Onewa's character. Make him a headstrong Toa of Stone who happens to be homosexual, not a homosexual who happens to be a headstrong Toa of Stone.I've also got to say, if you're going to have romance, you've got to show us why there's an attraction and really get us to believe it. Vakama and Matau are apparently charmed by Nokama, but it seems to be coasting more on the fact there were hints of it back in the original story than anything here. And Nuju and Keerahk - well, we literally know nothing about Keerahk other than she's a friendly Vahki who sees Nuju as "Little Nuju" and that Nuju loves her. At the moment he may as well be loving a brick from all we know of the two of them - you can say he loves it, but we're not going to be convinced just yet.And in all of these cases, just ask yourself: does a romantic angle really help the characters? Or does it not really add anything? That's up to you to decide, of course, but it's a good rule of thumb for any character facet, including romance.And on the issue of characters... I'm sorry, but the main six are coming off as very unlikeable right now. In particular, Matau and Onewa spend so much time shooting venom at the others that it's a wonder Lhikan ever came to like them. I realize that you can't start with perfect characters if you want them to develop (well, actually you can, but if the only place they can go is down it's going to be a very dark fic), but you've got to help your reader sympathize with them at least a bit. To tie this back up to the POV issues I mentioned above, you might try spending a little more time focusing on each of the Metru in turn, like you did with Vakama at the start. That'll let the reader get a larger picture of the character and come to sympathize with them better, as well as help you organize exposition better.Plot-wise, I haven't got too much to say, as it's largely been a darker retelling of the start of '04 thus far. I will say the idea of the Vahki being drawn down to six and becoming almost Toa-like figures is an interesting one, as it sets up the Metru to have direct antagonistic counterparts and gives you essentially six new characters to work with. In terms of other content, I know you're aiming for a darker tone here, but there's darker and then there's excessive. You haven't broken any BZP rules, I don't believe, but finger-crushing machines and keys hidden in smashed-up brains are more Saw than Bionicle. A dark tone is fine, but it need not be brought on by direct violence. I realize this is a lot I've gone over here, and that it can be intimidating and even frustrating to have so much to work on. But that's sort of the paradox of this sort of critique - I can show you all these issues at once, but you can't fix them instantly. I'm sure you've heard this sort of advice before, but practice really does make perfect. The more you write, the more these issues will begin to resolve themselves. But you need to be proactive - if this seems like too much all at once, pick out a couple while you're writing your next chapter and really focus on improving in those aspects. Re-read and ask for advice until you're sure you've got those down pat, and with time you'll stop having trouble with them altogether - and from there you can of course move onto other issues. If nothing else, this is a unique take on 2004, and from what I saw on your blog post on the story it'll only deviate further (Piraka, anyone?) - just be aware that there's work to be done here, and it's up to you to do it. Good luck!

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#3 Offline Cee Matrix

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Posted Sep 21 2012 - 10:23 AM

Hi GSR. I just want to say thanks. I have already PM'ed you but I thought I should reply to this properly."I've noticed you have an unfortunate tendency to slip up on homonyms or similarly-spelled words - think "roll" vs. "role" for the former and "load" vs. "loud" for the latter." Yes, Im terrible for this. I type pretty fast and end up miss-spelling words. "Generally speaking, dialogue ends with a comma inside the quotes if the following text is related to the dialogue taking place (eg. "This is an example," he said) but a period if it's unrelated"dont quote me on this, but I think putting the commar after the speech marks is the British way." For starters, you're using italics for emphasis quite a bit."I agree this is an issue, but Im not sure on how to really resolve it."I know I've been saying it a lot, but taking extra care when re-reading does wonders. Keep an eye out for redundancy or missing words when you're revising - one way to do this is to read the sentence aloud. This'll force you to hit every word of the sentence and really figure out if it sounds right or not."I couldn't agree with you more on this point. As for the romance side of things, I do agree with you, it is moving a little to fast. Its the first time i have tried writting a big novel like this, so the pacing may be a little strange at times. "And in all of these cases, just ask yourself: does a romantic angle really help the characters? Or does it not really add anything? That's up to you to decide, of course, but it's a good rule of thumb for any character facet, including romance.", I think it does. Personally, I think my main flaw was getting this review so early. I should have finished the novel before, so you can really understand whats going on a little better " I can tell this is meant to be a rather darker retelling of the Toa Metru story" Maybe a little, although, as the plot goes on, it will really start to change."If, say, Nuju became a Toa and immediately ran off to show Keerahk he was a Toa now in the hopes she'd immediately fall for him, you'd basically be saying their relationship is the most important aspect of his character."Actually the story was going to go, with her not being able to accept he is a Toa. I was going to try and make The Toa Metru mature through the series."As for Onewa, I've got no objections to homosexual characters, in Bionicle or elsewhere - but don't let it be all that defines Onewa's character. Make him a headstrong Toa of Stone who happens to be homosexual, not a homosexual who happens to be a headstrong Toa of Stone"I was never ever planning on doing the former. Onewa was alway meant to be the polar opposite of stereotype homosexuals. I hope it didnt come off as this."Finally, before we move onto content, I just wanted to say that though it might be rough right now, I do appreciate your taking the time to provide exposition and description of the setting and characters. It's a common pitfall with fanfic that that sort of description gets skipped over under the assumption the reader will already know what's going on. This is true sometimes, but if it's your story, it's your responsibility to set up the world."Thanks for one complement :/"If nothing else, this is a unique take on 2004, and from what I saw on your blog post on the story it'll only deviate further (Piraka, anyone?) - just be aware that there's work to be done here, and it's up to you to do it. Good luck!" ​Hey, instead of changing the chapters right away, do you think it would be best to finish the book and then change the chapters or vice versa.About the Piraka, they do come into the story, but I have plans for them, that I hope doesnt ruin their characters.The series of books will be going through the entire Bionicle tiem line, but with a lot of devations.I just wanted to leave this point to last. "And on the issue of characters... I'm sorry, but the main six are coming off as very unlikeable right nowYou dont know how much that hurts. Becuase honestly, I really dont know how to change it. I really wanted people to like the characters and I honestly dont know what to do. Is there nothing you like about the characters?As for the shooting venom part, thats really just meant to be part of who they are. Im hoping I can change something to make them more likable, but the fact is,is at the moment, Onewa is meant to be a prat/bully, and Matau is just immature. A large part of the story revolves around the Toa Metru "Growing up" so to speak, but i dont want them to come off as unlikable.I am a bit disheartened that you dont like the story, but I cant do much about the story itself. I wouldn't write a story that I think is rubbish, so I guess its down to opinion, no matter what the scale of how many people like it/ don't like it(More the latter :/).I really appreciate the review and will work on a lot of thing you taught me. I owe you one

Edited by Alterego, Sep 21 2012 - 10:25 AM.

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#4 Offline GSR

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Posted Sep 21 2012 - 05:59 PM

Here, let me respond to your concerns.

"Generally speaking, dialogue ends with a comma inside the quotes if the following text is related to the dialogue taking place (eg. "This is an example," he said) but a period if it's unrelated"dont quote me on this, but I think putting the commar after the speech marks is the British way.

Well, you'd know better than I would. Crack open a book and check for both of us, would you?

" For starters, you're using italics for emphasis quite a bit."I agree this is an issue, but Im not sure on how to really resolve it.

Yeah, I should've been a little more constructive there. Consider just using more vivid vocabulary when you want to emphasize things in exposition, or wording your sentences in dialogue to naturally suggest emphasis. Eg. "Yeah, but he ran!" becomes "Yeah, but he was tearing it up out there!" or something like that.

As for the romance side of things, I do agree with you, it is moving a little to fast. Its the first time i have tried writting a big novel like this, so the pacing may be a little strange at times. "And in all of these cases, just ask yourself: does a romantic angle really help the characters? Or does it not really add anything? That's up to you to decide, of course, but it's a good rule of thumb for any character facet, including romance.", I think it does. Personally, I think my main flaw was getting this review so early. I should have finished the novel before, so you can really understand whats going on a little better

Romance is tough to write. On the one hand, you've got the idea of love at first sight, or inexplicable attraction, but on the other you've got to present that in a way that it doesn't seem corny, rushed, or overly much of the characters' personalities. Easier said than done, I know, so all I can recommend is that you don't focus on it too much. Make sure that Vakama and Matau interact with Nokama in ways that don't directly discuss how they feel about her, for instance. I agree that this might have been a little early for a review, because it hasn't given you much time to flesh out the characters or the plot. But hey, you can always get another review down the line per ECC policy once you've put more work in.As for if the romance adds to the characters, that's your prerogative, like I said. Just make sure you convince the reader as much. :P

"If, say, Nuju became a Toa and immediately ran off to show Keerahk he was a Toa now in the hopes she'd immediately fall for him, you'd basically be saying their relationship is the most important aspect of his character."Actually the story was going to go, with her not being able to accept he is a Toa. I was going to try and make The Toa Metru mature through the series.

Let me just say that this was an example, so don't worry too much about it - I wasn't trying to tell you what to write, just make a point about balancing the importance of romance in a character's makeup.

"As for Onewa, I've got no objections to homosexual characters, in Bionicle or elsewhere - but don't let it be all that defines Onewa's character. Make him a headstrong Toa of Stone who happens to be homosexual, not a homosexual who happens to be a headstrong Toa of Stone"I was never ever planning on doing the former. Onewa was alway meant to be the polar opposite of stereotype homosexuals. I hope it didnt come off as this.

Sorry, I seem to have given the wrong impression here. Thus far, Onewa hasn't been stereotypical or camp; I'm just saying that like the romantic aspect you're describing for some of the other Toa, you should tread carefully. Even if Onewa doesn't act stereotypical, if you were to put too much focus on his homosexuality, it would start to elbow out other character traits. I'm not saying he can't have a character arc related to it, but just be careful that you don't make it too much of his character.

Hey, instead of changing the chapters right away, do you think it would be best to finish the book and then change the chapters or vice versa.About the Piraka, they do come into the story, but I have plans for them, that I hope doesnt ruin their characters.The series of books will be going through the entire Bionicle tiem line, but with a lot of devations.

That one's up to you, but let me say this: while it's tempting to go back and try and fix everything up immediately, you'll never get anywhere if you do. If you don't intend to change the content of these two chapters (eg. plot, characterization), then just press forward for the moment and work to make your newer chapters better. You can always go back and revise later.

I just wanted to leave this point to last. "And on the issue of characters... I'm sorry, but the main six are coming off as very unlikeable right nowYou dont know how much that hurts. Becuase honestly, I really dont know how to change it. I really wanted people to like the characters and I honestly dont know what to do. Is there nothing you like about the characters?As for the shooting venom part, thats really just meant to be part of who they are. Im hoping I can change something to make them more likable, but the fact is,is at the moment, Onewa is meant to be a prat/bully, and Matau is just immature. A large part of the story revolves around the Toa Metru "Growing up" so to speak, but i dont want them to come off as unlikable.I am a bit disheartened that you dont like the story, but I cant do much about the story itself. I wouldn't write a story that I think is rubbish, so I guess its down to opinion, no matter what the scale of how many people like it/ don't like it(More the latter :/).

I'm sorry if that came off as hurtful, and I probably should've tried and searched for some more positive points on the characters - I was quite busy yesterday, so the review wound up a little more harsh than usual. But I think it's important that you see that I walked away with a gut feeling of dislike for many of the characters. Your readers shouldn't have to play needle-in-a-haystack for reasons to like a character, especially a protagonist. It's harder to write a character to be a bully or immature and still be enjoyable, but it can be done - you just need to make sure you're hitting the right balance of likeable and unlikeable.One suggestion: like I mentioned above, it may help to limit your POV a little bit more. Spend more time focusing on the thoughts of each character, rather than jumping around so frequently. Let us get a little better picture of your protagonists' motivations and feelings. If you had a chapter or even half a chapter focusing just on Onewa, for instance, that'd let you show us why he bullies Nuju so harshly, and might help soften that harshness for us. That's just a possible method of tackling it, though - it's your story, and your style.Hope this helps - let me know if you have any more questions.

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#5 Offline Cee Matrix

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Posted Sep 21 2012 - 07:13 PM

Here, let me respond to your concerns.

"Generally speaking, dialogue ends with a comma inside the quotes if the following text is related to the dialogue taking place (eg. "This is an example," he said) but a period if it's unrelated"dont quote me on this, but I think putting the commar after the speech marks is the British way.

Well, you'd know better than I would. Crack open a book and check for both of us, would you?

" For starters, you're using italics for emphasis quite a bit."I agree this is an issue, but Im not sure on how to really resolve it.

Yeah, I should've been a little more constructive there. Consider just using more vivid vocabulary when you want to emphasize things in exposition, or wording your sentences in dialogue to naturally suggest emphasis. Eg. "Yeah, but he ran!" becomes "Yeah, but he was tearing it up out there!" or something like that.

As for the romance side of things, I do agree with you, it is moving a little to fast. Its the first time i have tried writting a big novel like this, so the pacing may be a little strange at times. "And in all of these cases, just ask yourself: does a romantic angle really help the characters? Or does it not really add anything? That's up to you to decide, of course, but it's a good rule of thumb for any character facet, including romance.", I think it does. Personally, I think my main flaw was getting this review so early. I should have finished the novel before, so you can really understand whats going on a little better

Romance is tough to write. On the one hand, you've got the idea of love at first sight, or inexplicable attraction, but on the other you've got to present that in a way that it doesn't seem corny, rushed, or overly much of the characters' personalities. Easier said than done, I know, so all I can recommend is that you don't focus on it too much. Make sure that Vakama and Matau interact with Nokama in ways that don't directly discuss how they feel about her, for instance.I agree that this might have been a little early for a review, because it hasn't given you much time to flesh out the characters or the plot. But hey, you can always get another review down the line per ECC policy once you've put more work in.As for if the romance adds to the characters, that's your prerogative, like I said. Just make sure you convince the reader as much. :P

"If, say, Nuju became a Toa and immediately ran off to show Keerahk he was a Toa now in the hopes she'd immediately fall for him, you'd basically be saying their relationship is the most important aspect of his character."Actually the story was going to go, with her not being able to accept he is a Toa. I was going to try and make The Toa Metru mature through the series.

Let me just say that this was an example, so don't worry too much about it - I wasn't trying to tell you what to write, just make a point about balancing the importance of romance in a character's makeup.

"As for Onewa, I've got no objections to homosexual characters, in Bionicle or elsewhere - but don't let it be all that defines Onewa's character. Make him a headstrong Toa of Stone who happens to be homosexual, not a homosexual who happens to be a headstrong Toa of Stone"I was never ever planning on doing the former. Onewa was alway meant to be the polar opposite of stereotype homosexuals. I hope it didnt come off as this.

Sorry, I seem to have given the wrong impression here. Thus far, Onewa hasn't been stereotypical or camp; I'm just saying that like the romantic aspect you're describing for some of the other Toa, you should tread carefully. Even if Onewa doesn't act stereotypical, if you were to put too much focus on his homosexuality, it would start to elbow out other character traits. I'm not saying he can't have a character arc related to it, but just be careful that you don't make it too much of his character.

Hey, instead of changing the chapters right away, do you think it would be best to finish the book and then change the chapters or vice versa.About the Piraka, they do come into the story, but I have plans for them, that I hope doesnt ruin their characters.The series of books will be going through the entire Bionicle tiem line, but with a lot of devations.

That one's up to you, but let me say this: while it's tempting to go back and try and fix everything up immediately, you'll never get anywhere if you do. If you don't intend to change the content of these two chapters (eg. plot, characterization), then just press forward for the moment and work to make your newer chapters better. You can always go back and revise later.

I just wanted to leave this point to last. "And on the issue of characters... I'm sorry, but the main six are coming off as very unlikeable right nowYou dont know how much that hurts. Becuase honestly, I really dont know how to change it. I really wanted people to like the characters and I honestly dont know what to do. Is there nothing you like about the characters?As for the shooting venom part, thats really just meant to be part of who they are. Im hoping I can change something to make them more likable, but the fact is,is at the moment, Onewa is meant to be a prat/bully, and Matau is just immature. A large part of the story revolves around the Toa Metru "Growing up" so to speak, but i dont want them to come off as unlikable.I am a bit disheartened that you dont like the story, but I cant do much about the story itself. I wouldn't write a story that I think is rubbish, so I guess its down to opinion, no matter what the scale of how many people like it/ don't like it(More the latter :/).

I'm sorry if that came off as hurtful, and I probably should've tried and searched for some more positive points on the characters - I was quite busy yesterday, so the review wound up a little more harsh than usual. But I think it's important that you see that I walked away with a gut feeling of dislike for many of the characters. Your readers shouldn't have to play needle-in-a-haystack for reasons to like a character, especially a protagonist. It's harder to write a character to be a bully or immature and still be enjoyable, but it can be done - you just need to make sure you're hitting the right balance of likeable and unlikeable.One suggestion: like I mentioned above, it may help to limit your POV a little bit more. Spend more time focusing on the thoughts of each character, rather than jumping around so frequently. Let us get a little better picture of your protagonists' motivations and feelings. If you had a chapter or even half a chapter focusing just on Onewa, for instance, that'd let you show us why he bullies Nuju so harshly, and might help soften that harshness for us. That's just a possible method of tackling it, though - it's your story, and your style.Hope this helps - let me know if you have any more questions.

Ah yes, thank you. This clears things up a lot. I was originally going to do a different POV a chapter, as you can see a little at the start of the first chapter with Vakama. I think I might go onto this. TBH, I was trying to make Onewa come off a quite witty, but looks like a failed http://www.bzpower.c...tyle_emoticons/default/embarassed.gif . You know like the character that comes off with the witty remarks, that make people laugh(Inside, not out loud)I think your review is great and I will take this on board for the next half of chapter 3 and the next 15 or so

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