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Review: Pharmakon

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#1 Offline Aderia

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Posted Oct 16 2011 - 01:37 PM

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Review Topic

EDIT: Nothing much to say here. Just move on. Thank you.

___________________________________________________________________________Summary: Pharmakon. The Greek word for a substance that is both a poison and a remedy. A poison that saves. A female Toa of Gravity with the wrong colored armor is wandering around the City of Legends. What could this stranger possibly want? Setting: Toa Metru Era


Old Chapters (Links to Forum Archive)

Story Topic

Prequel (Links to Forum Archive)

Prequel Review(Links to Forum Archive)


Okay guys, bear with me, Varia is my first and probably favorite OC, and she's been with me since my noob days, and I'm not giving up on her. I still have plans for her. You're lucky enough to be reading about her in 'Pharmakon', where she's had time to mature, along with me. If you've read the prequel, "A Poison that Saves", she's the trademark character of a new writer. But if you haven't read the prequel, don't bother. I'm not proud of my old work from middle school, but I like to keep it to motivate me to keep improving. Reviews are greatly appreciated.

Edited by Aderia, Aug 08 2012 - 10:27 AM.

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#2 Offline Steelsheen

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Posted Sep 18 2012 - 11:03 PM

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   Aderia,   First of all, as a follower of your works and a particular fan of your latest epic, Faux, I am well aware that your writing skills have increased considerably since you wrote/abandoned Pharmakon. Therefore, many of the errors I point out do not exist in your current writing and are addressed only to past Aderia. So, if you could just seal this review up and send it to yourself about a year ago, I'd be much obliged. ;) And yes, I did go back and read all the chapters you posted on the old forums - post 14 is missing, just in case you weren't aware.   Let's start with some positives. I really liked your "creation of the world" bit, and you gave us both originality and creativity in it's execution. Your MOC characters show promise with regards to originality and three-dimensionality, although they may at times lapse into acting stereotypically. You have excellent spelling throughout the whole epic and I found only one error in this latest post. Your descriptions are generally well-worded and you have better than average dialogue, although it's not stellar.   Now that I've made you at least a little sad that you abandoned this literary seedling, I need to tell you that I agree with your decision entirely. I am not a fan of taking MOCs and adding them to mainline canon plots - it almost always leads to plot holes. Your writing itself shows great promise as an author, but the story's middle was almost completely written out for you.   Having said that, it is my job to critique the past you, so on to the nitpicks! :P

... You could easily be playing me for a fool and I won't let you." She began to make her leave, her armored boots clanging rhythmically against the cold stone floor, and her distorted reflection on the polished craggy stones of the fortress wall moving with her.

She began to take her leave, not make; moved with her, not moving. And by the way, I really like the verbal picture of her reflection moving along the stones, although it may not really fit with the rest of the sentence.

"Believe what you want, sister. But your beliefs don't change the facts." Yistran called after her.Varia didn't even stop in her tracks. In midstride, she turned on her heel and was mask to mask shouting at Yistran before she could even stop to think twice.

You have Yistran's dialogue and action in one sentence, then you hit enter and have Varia's reaction just one line lower. Based on how you separate the other paragraphs in this story, you're missing a line in between the two. Also, it feels redundant to read "Varia didn't even stop in her tracks" followed immediately by "before she could even stop to think twice". You might try restructuring the sentences to be more flowing and less repetitive. One such way might run -Varia did not hesitate in her stride. In one fluid motion, she turned on her heel and was mask to mask with Yistran, shouting at him before she had time to think twice.

But in a matter of an instant, the lights went down and all three pairs of eyes were drawn to the large window...

"In a mere instant" or something like it would flow more with the rest of the sentence.

... where Varia's bursts of energy were dancing like insects around a light. But instead of insects around a light, the lights were around a tall shadowed figure.

You really don't need to spoil your metaphor by telling us that the lights were not really how you described them. When you liken one thing to another, it's pretty clear that's not what's actually happening. One way to re-write it would be -"... where Varia's bursts of energy were dancing like insects around a light. As the lights moved and flickered, Varia could see a tall shadowed figure standing in their midst."

"Even after all these years," She began. Her voice was young, almost naïve...

Quite honestly, I can only guess at what word you meant to type there. Naive, perhaps? Also, after using a comma to break your quotation marks, "she" should not be capitalized, and the next sentence should not be it's own entity. One way you could fix it would be something like -"Even after all these years," she began, her voice young, almost naive (?)...

Out of all the things running through Varia's mind, the fact that Yistran had been telling the truth was what kept her attention. But the newcomer continued.

Again, paragraphs not completely separated. And "but" does not really belong in this sentence, because there is no surprise in the stranger continuing to talk. Nothing Varia has done or thought so far should prevent it.

"Since Yistran's allusion to me and my workings didn't seem to go over all that well, I'm here to back him up. You may call me Kellium."

Nothing to correct here; I just like how you implied that Kellium is not her true name.

"You three have a lot to learn. I can teach you." She replied without skipping a beat.

Change the period at the end of her speech to a comma and don't capitalize "she". ;)

Why?" Came Varia's demanding question.

"Came" should not be capitalized. Sometimes a question mark or even an exclamation point do not mark the end of a sentence so much as give you an indication of how the sentence was spoken. For example -"Mark rode my horse!" Caroline yelled, "without even asking me!"All one sentence, but two exclamation marks because of the break in dialogue.

"Of course we were afraid we might have created more corruption and evil that the world didn't need, but you have proven us wrong. You deserve to live a normal life, become part of a society. And with my help, that can happen." Kellium smiled, satisfied, and folded her hands in front of her as she took a seat at the table.

So, to the Great Beings, the Matoran Universe is detention? Kellium basically put them there to prove that they were worthy companions of their creators? This image is a bit in conflict with the beginning chapters on the old forums. Of course, this may simply be how Kellium is spinning it to her, um, old... pals?

"Look," She said, resisting the urge to tag on a slightly mocking "Ma'am" afterwards. "All this you talk about sounds great. But, to quote on quote, I hardly live a life of seclusion, and I am very much a part of a society, thank you."

"She" should not be capitalized, and the period following "afterwards" should be changed to a comma; it's all one continuous sentence. I was at first confused by the phrase "to quote on quote", but after reading it through a few times, I realized it was a typo for "to quote-un-quote". However, that doesn't really fit grammatically with the sentence, or - what is more important - resemble how someone would really talk. I think if I unscramble your sentence, what you meant was -"All this stuff you talk about sounds great. But I hardly live a life of quote-un-quote 'seclusion', and I am very much a part of a society, thank you."

"I need time to think things over. I need time to wrap up loose ends. I need time to organize myself. And most of all, I need to get back to that society I left, they'll be missing me." Varia rattled off, keeping count of what she needed with her fingers.

To keep the sentence more concise, you could just say "keeping count with her fingers". Also, just wanted to point out that this is a rare occasion where repetition of a phrase (specifically "I need time") is a good thing. When talking, people sometimes repeat themselves to make a point and it's good that you used this here.

"You need more time, is what you're saying." Kellium shot back. It wasn't a question.

This is in line with Kellium's character as I understand it, so this is not a correction, just a reaction. "Thank you, Captain Obvious!" ;)

"Thank you." Varia said, nodding her acknowledgement. She turned on her heel, caught Vorx's eye and said, "I'll talk to you soon,"Took three strides and flashed out of one existence and into another.

The punctuation after "soon" should be a period, not a comma, and I think you forgot to insert "she" at the beginning of the next sentence.In summation, I see the value of what this experience did for you as a writer, and you did show us some neat and creative characters and scenes. But on the whole, this story should be viewed as a marker for how much you've grown in the past year, and you have gotten better by leaps and bounds since then. I'm really proud of how far you've come!-Hahli Historian

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