The Shadow and the Sea: Review Topic
Posted Dec 27 2012 - 03:33 AM
BZRPG: Komae · Soraya
Posted Dec 27 2012 - 11:53 PM
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]Well this was a welcome addition to the library. A story that picks up after the events of the storyline with such a smooth transition is rarity, in my experience. Shame this will only go on for three posts, it was very good. I'll say more after addressing a couple errors.[/color][/font]
[color=#000000;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]
the Matoran Mazeka was doing his best not to get involved the conversation
[color=#000000;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]involved in the[/color][/font]
[color=#000000;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]
but it still meant that scouting teams Agori and Matoran alike were coming back singed and slashed at.
[color=#000000;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]teams of Agori[/color][/font]
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]Light Teridax. A character almost as forgettable as Tuma after the whole "battle with Mata Nui" business, but you found quite a use for him here. Each of the canon entities that have shown up so far feel very aligned with what I already know of them. Mazeka might have required a bit of inspiration, but I think he was as natural as Helryx or the Toa Mahri in all this. Mainly, your Light Teridax was a real treat. The story felt a little slow to start, but it was Teridax's dialogue with Hahli that really got things going. The discussion brought up some excellent points about characters coming from separate universes, where roles are vastly different. In a world that never praised the name Mata Nui, there's this sense of "everything is okay" that Hahli has never quite had the opportunity to grow accustomed to.[/color][/font]
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]Beyond that, I really have to applaud how you've shaped your post-storyline Spherus Magna. You didn't answer all my questions, nor did you need to. You provided just enough in just the right way, to evenly run between what I need to know and where the story is headed next. Stories that try to capture what you're tackling are a dime a dozen, but to do it in a way that incorporates such seamless transitions between explanations and plot, well…I think my search through the haystack has finally brought me a nice, shiny needle.[/color][/font]
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]I'm looking forward to the remainder of this story in three parts. The title also leaves me rather suspicious of Light Teridax's true intent. Is a reference to him as the "shadow" of our story an allusion to the version from Hahli's universe, or is there an unexpected development on the horizon? Don't answer, my imagination will more than keep me sated until the next installment arrives. Fine work, GSR.[/color][/font]
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]-Ced[/color][/font]
Posted Jan 15 2013 - 10:19 AM
AT LAST this is finally finished. First off, I’m thrilled to see the polished version of this: looking at what you have here and the draft you sent me, this’ll be a fun comparison. Like Ced said, a great continuation of where the official story left off, and you do Greg justice. After procrastinating on this review, here we go:
I like the way the story is divided, for the prologue. It built up an excitement aspect, similar to the opener of Nolan’s “Batman Begins”. I love the interaction between this assortment of characters, and the references Hahli has to being brash, like she was with Hydraxon in the Pit. You cut out some excess I see, and Hahli’s opener from draft one has cleaned up nicely.
Hahli’s character is written with a great craft. Her grief is portrayed well, and her thoughts on Teridax are laid out precisely. It’s not just blind hate that you describe- there’s clear cut reasons, a really sorrowful description of how the Teridax of this universe left his impression upon the Toa of Water. She’s a pretty furious character, and seems to stay the same as of her adventures in 07. You portray her character reasonably, with all of the little quirks in your narration; through her fury of working with Teridax it seems reasonable to have some excess words here and there, a bit a of a sarcastic part of Hahli’s mind.
The dialogue between Hahli and Jaller seems very appropriate; Long memories- they sure have come a long way since the Tohunga days, and you give the Mahri a very adult, veteran like feel. They are written very humanistically, and it helps the story. With a very sophisticated narration comes very identifiable conversation.
Teridax is beautiful, I must say; the way you state his reputation gives him a mythical feel, just like 2001 presented the Toa. The mystery that surrounds him is very enticing, and I am drawn into him with his fairness, yet him being on a whole other level than Hahli. His dialogue is the exact opposite of the Jaller and Hahli convo; very very deep, despite the subject he seeks to talk about being basic. Their talk is fascinating, because of the way he’s being shown to look “through the mirror”.
One nitpick I found:
their friend the big shiny Skakdi fusion
...their Skakdi fusion friend.
You were right in breaking this up into parts, because it keeps the tension up, whereas a single story would be a little long. Tension is a big part of this, as Hahli seems to be against everyone here. I’m a big fan of it, and it’s keeping me reading.
(I'll be back with Part two in a few hours)
PM me if you're a Temple Owl!
New Forum Writings: A Warning Flare Island Boy New Sheets The Water Stays the Same Through the Mirror Unpopular A Cry Ignored Solid Ground Slipping Through One People Tahu's Nightmare/Dreams of Darkness
Part Element, Part Legend, Review- Newest Chapter- "Through the Storm" Posted 9/16/12
Archived Stories: Island of Danger Karzahni's Escape Battle of the Manas Shut Up and Drive Matoro and the Land of the Dead Matoro and the Camp of the Living Mistika Rap Across the Galaxy The Theif The Last Horcrux A Day in the Dark Misplaced in the Hamper Fall Night Lighthouse for the Lost Step of the Tides
Posted Jan 20 2013 - 06:03 PM
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]The story is staying consistent in terms of your description of the environment, and I really love the relationship you've continued to build between Light Teridax and Toa Hahli. The tension and slight discomfort between them feels very natural, but they make a great team as well. I only found one error in the second chapter:[/color][/font]
Hahli’s kept her eyes moving constantly,
[font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"][color=#000080;]Hahli kept[/color][/font]
Variety is the spice of life, after all.”
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]Intended or not (and I hope it was intended), I love that Light Teridax brought up this parallel to Antroz's musing (variety is the spice of destruction). It further establishes the variance between Hahli's companion and the entities that turned their back on Mata Nui.[/color][/font]
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]It feels like a true staple of Bionicle canon, really, the way this whole story is turning out. I eagerly await the conclusion to your tale, GSR. Wonderful as ever.[/color][/font]
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]-Ced[/color][/font]
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]UPDATE...Chapter 3 was outstanding and a perfect way to wrap the story up. In particular, that paragraph where Light Teridax talks about the danger of going down a road of darkness and Hahli's realization that she could never forgive what his other self had done, that was such a well-done passage. Let me just run through a few errors and then...more good news.[/color][/font]
“I don’t see your Teridax anywhere, Hahli. Or your Takanuva.“So you cry, and shout, and nobody comes.
And then all you feel is the pain.“When you wake up, you truly have nothing.
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]In both quotes, the first line ending is missing an end quotation mark, but the second line has one. Pretty sure that's not okay, but there could also be so obscure grammar rule I forgot about. I don't know. [/color][/font]
and before she could protest he grabbed her bodily and slung her over one shoulder.
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]"grabbed her body"[/color][/font]
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]Being such a pleasure to read, I took a moment to [/color][/font][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"][color=#000000;]advertise your epic on my blog[/color][/font][color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]--not something I do often, I'll have you know, but this was really great, GSR.[/color][/font]
[color=#000080;][font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"]-Ced[/color][/font]
Edited by Cederak, Jan 23 2013 - 04:04 PM.
Posted Jan 24 2013 - 02:12 PM
My Library: The Esoteric Athenaeum
Member of the Epic Critics' Club
Posted Jan 24 2013 - 11:31 PM
And here is the real genius of this story: Teridax himself. Like Hahli, I always think of him as "the Makuta", the archnemesis and antagonist of every matoran. He's a villian, and he'll always be a villian... But what if he wasn't? What if he had the same grandiose style, the same narcissistic and cunning personality, but he never turned evil? This "Light Teridax", as Cederak calls him, is one of the best examples I've seen on BZP of character developement. He's got a slightly philosophical bent in his speech, which makes him seem less dangerous than he is at times. He has a control over shadow despite the fact that he eagerly serves the light. But he's not a Toa; he doesn't have the mercy that Hahli shows. He's just enough like his darker self that I can imagine they are one and the same.I'm glad this is the feeling you got from him, because it was definitely what I was going for. I've never really been satisfied by the comic trope of "character X's [good/evil] counterpart", because too often it feels like "generically [good/evil] character who looks like X". The thing about this alternate Teridax is that I think he works because his world is, in some ways, what the main-universe Teridax was going for. It's one where the Makuta are respected and well-known, and recognized as deliverers of justice. True, the Great Beings there spent quite a lot of time making sure the Makuta wouldn't turn evil, but even still there's just not much reason for him to break bad in the first place. And even if he disdains the main-universe's Teridax's plotting and cruelty, he's still a very cunning, very forceful individual very dedicated to his goals, and not above withholding information or acting without consulting others if he thinks it's necessary.Incidentally, I felt writing an 'evil' Takanuva was much more difficult and didn't go quite as well.
Out of this was born the one thing I take issue with in your story: personal choice. Teridax tells Hahli at one point that he and Dark Teridax are different merely because they come from different worlds. Does he mean to imply that he didn't consciously reject the dark? That it was just random chance that he had not ended up the same way as the Teridax Hahli knew? If so, wouldn't there be some world out there where Hahli herself is the dark tyrant, and it was mere luck that it wasn't in this reality? Because Teridax doesn't go into the subject much deeper, I'm inclined to believe that is just his viewpoint, not the true nature of reality, but I'd like to pick your brain on the subject.Good question. This was actually something that, looking back, I probably should've worked in a bit more during one of their conversations.Part of what made me write it like this was a brief exchange between Teridax and Mazeka in "Reign of Shadows":
"Now you sound like our Teridax," said Mazeka. "I guess you two aren't as far apart as I'd like to think."Teridax shook his head. "A turn to the left instead of the right, a wound received or avoided, rising from slumber an hour too early or too late ... these are the little things lifetimes hinge on, Mazeka. Your Teridax took a step on a path that circumstances allowed me to avoid. If circumstances had been different, who knows?""Meaning that if you took control of this universe instead of him ...?""I might be just as wicked," Teridax answered. "It is always a possibility."Teridax is acutely aware that in this world - and quite possibly a lot of others - he's a psychopathic tyrant. In his world, for a variety of reasons, he isn't. He's not saying he had nothing to do with his rejecting the dark - as he says to Hahli, "we live and die by our choices" - but he's also very aware of the influence factors beyond our control have on us.
I also have a question concerning the ending - Hahli clearly believes that people can change (unless they're Teridax) and she proves it by saving Dark Takanuva. But to do so, she had to give up some of her own light. Does this make her evil now? Is the only way to redeem someone else to plunge yourself into the dark?In canon, the whole 'light/shadow' thing always seemed to be an analog deal - that is, you could have all of your light, or most of it, or very little, or none, etc. What happened here was that Hahli gave up part of her own to Takanuva. She's not going to turn evil as a result, but it'll probably result in her being a little rougher around the edges in the future. That said, the Kraahkan is a pretty strong tool, so if Teridax hadn't shown up when he did she would've wound up giving most or all of her light to him - and then she'd probably have caught a bad case of the crazy.And it's probably not the only way to redeem someone who's lost their light - if you could make leeches that suck up light, maybe you could make ones that do the same to shadow - but it was the only one available to her then and there. That said, Takanuva had no light at all, so I'm not sure he'd have been able to fix that on his own. Of course, they never really defined how spiritual light and shadow work (or what they even are) tremendously precisely in Bionicle anyways, so who knows?In any event, the effect this had on Hahli is actually something I originally meant to clear up a little more in another scene at the end - I'd planned to show the aftermath of Hahli returning home, including another conversation with Jaller - but when I got to that final line it felt like a good stopping point. I might still write that epilogue some time and put it on my blog if I'm feeling particularly motivated.Once again, thank you guys so much for reading and for giving feedback. This was my first story longer than a couple thousand words, so this is definitely a learning experience for me. With uni starting back up it might be a bit before I have a chance to write anything significant again, but I'll take these comments to heart when I do. And who knows - there's still a good amount of ground waiting to be covered with these characters, I think...
BZRPG: Komae · Soraya
Posted Jan 27 2013 - 01:54 AM
Well I read this a little while again (more specifically I just finished the third chapter on Thursday), and I'll be honest. I love it, I love it so much that I want to leave a review. It deserves praise, it deserves attention, it deserves to be noticed. The only problem being--I don't genuinely know what to write. I've wracked my brain a thousand different ways trying to figure out what to say, and have come up bare. So we're just trying the good old 'brute force method'
First off. Like Hahli Historian before me--I loathe canon (as you might remember from when we did the Olympics) I think that the name Teridax is one of the biggest mistakes ever made, and giant space robot makes me cry tears of blood. The second I read "Spherus Magna" I deeply considered pressing that back button and abandoning ship.
But I'll admit there were two things that kept me drawn in. One is rather shallow--I love the title, it's evocative and intriguing and just draws me in. The second reason is that I admit, I enjoyed your writing up until that point, and I figured "Eh, it's only two chapters so far. Why not?"
I'll confess it was a bit of a slog in the beginning, and I was a little put off by the strangely modern dialogue in places. (Not really something I can pinpoint, just some things the characters said that I didn't feel they would) but the overall world building started to suck me in, and by the time we got to Gold Teridax (BLUGH) I was pretty much hooked. I blew through the rest of the chapter and into the second pretty quickly, even going so far as to link a friend of mine (who was also enraptured)
But that all pales in comparison to how I feel about the third chapter. The way you resolved this story was nothing short of astounding. And the paraphrase of Hahli Historian "In order to bring someone into the light, you have to step in the shadow" I think was beautiful. Darkness may be able to overcome by light, but darkness takes a toll on anyone who steps into it.
Also the final conversation between Gold Teridax (UGH) and Hahli was pretty amazing.
Seriously, this is pretty much the only thing I've ever found that relates to recent canon that I like, nay, love.
Thanks for writing this story, man. You made my day.
You misunderstood me
You didn't hear what I said
You're not listening LIKE MOST AMERICANS
Posted Jan 27 2013 - 02:49 PM
I'll confess it was a bit of a slog in the beginning, and I was a little put off by the strangely modern dialogue in places. (Not really something I can pinpoint, just some things the characters said that I didn't feel they would)I think I know what you mean on both counts. The beginning with Hahli's musings on the way home, her conversation with Jaller, and the flashed-back-to conversation with Vakama could have used some compression and rewriting, I think, especially since (as mentioned above) there was originally going to be an ending scene with Jaller, but without that his appearance is just sort of dangling there.As for the characters' dialogue feeling a little too modern, I kind of get that vibe a bit too. I tried to make the conversations flow naturally, but 'flowing naturally' is from the viewpoint of a guy living in 2013 who's watched a lot of Joss Whedon. :PThe rest, though... thanks a ton. Believe me when I say you made my day with that review. (And yeah, Teridax is... not the name I'd have given him. My rule of thumb is that if you have an 'x' in your name and you're not Chinese, that's probably not going to be a very good name.)
BZRPG: Komae · Soraya
Posted Feb 21 2013 - 01:47 AM
Well anyways, this is an overdue ECC commentary. I’ve already been talked to by the Head of Internal Affairs and was thoroughly lambasted for this lack of punctuality, although we have since hugged and made up, thankfully.
Now that’s out of the way, we can get to the good stuff. Like, literally what was good about your epic. There was a lot of that, which made me really glad. Hopefully this won’t be too redundant redundant.
After a bit of thought, I picked one word I would use, if I only had one word to use here – reliable. I know that part of it may come from being familiar with your writing and you as a person outside this epic and the Library, but you never have disappointed. This is the first Epic in a long while (since Cenotaphs, I believe) that I’ve been able to sit back and enjoy the ride.
So now fun stuff, basically just categories of notes and things to cover. Here we go!
No abrasive grammar, spelling, formatting, or other superficial hiccups. Two thumbs up.
While you didn’t exactly hit the ground running, the exposition effectively drew me in as a reader.
When Toa Hahli heard who her partner was to be on this mission, her response was simple: “Not in a thousand years, you psychotic old seashell.” Somewhere, Turaga Nokama winced.
This line was like an old friend, and it got a chuckle out of me. Always a good way to start off. =)
One thing that I did jot down on my print-off was your setting. Kudos for tackling Reformed Sphereus Magna. I’ve only seen it done successfully once before. Most of the other Reformation stories I’ve tried to get through were bogged down with intricate, (sometimes) intriguing descriptions of the new society, but little to no action for long periods of time. In large part because of where your plot leads, this wasn’t a problem with your story. The environment was believable, not overwhelming, and just smooth, for lack of better word. Commendations.
The characters, whom I will address more in depth shortly, really are the heart and soul of this tale, driving the plot forward with admirable determination. Even during the long spiels of thought from the characters, I never found the story dull. It may have just been me, since I really like that kind of psychological stuff, or just the way your writing flows, or perhaps a mix of both. I’d actually venture so far to say that some of my favorite parts were the glimpses into the minds of your characters.
Which leads nicely to my next point:
Definitely my favorite part of your story. I’m very glad you expanded this from a long short story into an epic. I’ve noticed this before in your writing, but I doubt I’ve said so before, but the one thing that really helps your stories to stand out is the way you take the canon characters and give them your own unique twist. Very masterful.
Now, over Skype, I know I’ve mentioned parallels I found in your characters and those from the musical ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. These really only came out in one particular scene, but I still think it’s worth mentioning. At the end of Phantom, there is one final confrontation between the heroine, Christine, and Erik, the Phantom .
So, the Phantom is this really tortured guy. The world hates him, or so he thinks. He is convinced that he is past the point of no return, and doomed to his own delirium. His only solace is his music and his sadistic mind games. I saw a bit of that in the Shadow Takanuva, paranoid into isolation with shadows and twisted thoughts as his companions. Oh, and Rahkshi. But that doesn’t fit into my metaphor. And then you have Christine, a young soprano who gives him something to live for; his candle on the water, his mask, the beauty to his beast, etc. Enter Hahli. Disregard the fact that Takanuva wants to kill her. The point is that after she understands what she is up against, she becomes determined to change him for the better, no matter what the stakes. Can you see where I drew the parallel there? Spoiler alert, Christine wins in the end, she changes the Phantom for the better. Happy ending. (Movie/theater version, naturally).
So yes, that is one bit about character I wanted to touch upon. Other reviewers have already praised Light Teridax, and I want to echo those here (echooo). Regrettably, I can’t say anything about him that hasn’t already been said.
And before you get too puffed up ( =P ), I want to bring to your attention one thing that I think you could have taken better advantage of – the vast, vast, vaaaaaaast arrangement of Makuta powers. I’m not entirely sure what the differences between Light Teridax’s powers would be, in comparison to the Makuta of the primary reality. I was actually working on an epic, a while back, that let me explore the Rahkshi abilities crowded into one being, and let me tell you, there is a whole boatload of creative potential there. Especially in combat scenes. Just something to chew on.
Anyways, this is a bit abrupt, but you’d be surprised how quickly you run out of thoughts sometimes. I might come back and expound a bit sometime that is not 2 a.m.
I hope you’re proud of this, because it really was impressive, and a great read.
Edited by Aderia, Feb 21 2013 - 01:48 AM.
"Pip, Flitter, and Flap landed gracefully on a branch.
Stellaluna tried to do the same. But she was not as graceful. How embarrassing!
"I will fly all day, Then no one will see how clumsy I am." ~Janelle Cannon
Posted Nov 04 2013 - 09:54 AM
Amazing! That was a great epic you wrote. It was an absolute pleasure reading it. It was so good that I could hardly put down my tablet. I love the way your stories incorporate canon events into something that can be truly possible. It seems as if these things were real and actually canon. And, not to mention that I have a thing for these kinds of stories.
Your way of writing is so good that it pulls the reader into the story. I believe that the mark of a great author is the ability to create an imaginary world in the mind of the reader, which proves an excellent strategy in making them read more. Another thing is the way you emphasize character development. Despite the characters being canon, your epic truly captures the essence of the character perfectly. Take Hahli for example. From reading the books and comics, and all the little tidbits about her in the serials and so on, you start to develop an understanding for her character. What you did was that you took that understanding and put much more meaning to it, thus enriching the quality of the story. Everything played out perfectly.
The dialogue and rapport between the characters was splendid. This was a truly enriching read and I hope to read more from you.
Posted Nov 05 2013 - 05:06 PM
No, thank you for enjoying it and leaving your thoughts! :)I'm very happy to hear the world pulled you in - I've always found world-building and setting a scene to be difficult, and it's something I'm still working on. Similarly, I'm really glad to hear that the characters worked well for you - I try to put emphasis on character in my writing, and it's always encouraging when it works for people.This also seems like an appropriate place to say - I'm working on the sequel to this story for NaNoWriMo this year. Because it's rather larger in scope and length than any of my previous work, it's going to need a lot of revision, but I'm hopeful I can start posting it either at year's end or early next year. So I'd be honored if you (and anyone else who's read this) give that a look when it's ready.
Amazing! That was a great epic you wrote. It was an absolute pleasure reading it. It was so good that I could hardly put down my tablet. I love the way your stories incorporate canon events into something that can be truly possible. It seems as if these things were real and actually canon. And, not to mention that I have a thing for these kinds of stories. Your way of writing is so good that it pulls the reader into the story. I believe that the mark of a great author is the ability to create an imaginary world in the mind of the reader, which proves an excellent strategy in making them read more. Another thing is the way you emphasize character development. Despite the characters being canon, your epic truly captures the essence of the character perfectly. Take Hahli for example. From reading the books and comics, and all the little tidbits about her in the serials and so on, you start to develop an understanding for her character. What you did was that you took that understanding and put much more meaning to it, thus enriching the quality of the story. Everything played out perfectly. The dialogue and rapport between the characters was splendid. This was a truly enriching read and I hope to read more from you. Thank you.
BZRPG: Komae · Soraya
0 user(s) are browsing this forum
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users