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Foundations from Unity

The Village

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#1 Offline Gengar

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Posted Apr 20 2013 - 11:45 PM

Foundations from Unity

The first thing I remember was waking up, in a round bed. Nothing else before, just that. I look around, seeing a large beach, filled with beings like me. There were also six others, similar, but taller than me. There were many greetings, and excitement on the beach. Then the taller beings, the ones in charge, it seemed, called us over to gather around them. We waited excitedly and eagerly for them to speak. One of them, a red and orange one, began talking."This is the island of Mata Nui, named in honor of the Great Spirit." He also went on to explaining who we are, the Tohunga, humble villages of the island. They are the Turaga, the elders of the villages which we dwelled in. He said that we didn't have villages yet, and we are to build them. This lead to a lot of questions for me. Who is the Great Spirit? How do we build the villages, and where? I was abou to find out.The Turaga separated all of us into six groups, for each village. I was disappointed, partly because I didn't have a lot of time to meet the others. However, I was also very happy to have time meeting these fellow Tohunga. Our Turaga led us in further into the island, until we stopped at a large area. It wasn't much, I tell you, but I thought it was perfect. Just perfect.We were to begin building the next day, after we gathered the materials for building today. What materials? The Turaga told is where to find the materials. On the beach, there were large pieces of scrap metal, and those could be used for building. We could also use the material around us, the natural resources that we've been provided. Around half of the Tohunga went to the beach. I stayed, and looked for plants, rocks, anything to build with. The other Tohunga came back, and we slept on the ground for the night.The next day came quickly. I got up, ready for anything, it seemed. I got to work immediately, and so did the others. As I passed on metal, patched up small gaps, and put pieces in place, I felt responsible. Responsible for the village, the construction, and my fellow villagers. Everything was going well until about noon, some of the Tohunga burst into argument. Over small things, but it still saddens me to see the lack of teamwork. Before I knew it, the day was finished and we went to sleep.Again, the sun broke through the night and we went to work along with it. Same thing as yesterday, just work. We worked faster than yesterday, just focusing on completion of it as soon as possible. Another argument. When will this stop? Never? In a minute? Only for five minutes, it seemed. At the end of the day, the Turaga talked. He explained that we were given three virtues to follow. Unity, duty, and destiny. In order to succeed in the last two, we had to be united. That means, no arguing or anything like that. I listened to his words with attention, hoping to follow them.The next few days passed with a blur. No arguments, just work. Until, finally, the village was complete and we could live in it. Every one was talking about it, bunk was thinking differently. I was thinking about the three virtues, and how we did our duty after being united. I was ready for the first night in here.When I woke up, it was dawn. No, not just any dawn, a new dawn. A new dawn in a new village, a new village in the treetops. The Turaga called the village Le-Koro. I like the sound of it, as a reminder of the Great Spirit and his virtues. As a reminder of our hard work. As a reminder of us.

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#2 Offline Torgalpif

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Posted May 02 2013 - 10:06 AM

I am trying to review one story a day, and you got chosen this morning, Takua! Now, when I review, I am going to focus on two things. The first is the Grammar as it relates to the Reader, and the second is Storytelling. So, let's jump right into it, shall we?

 

Grammar as it relates to the Reader is basically what I do to make this an unusual review. Rather then nitpick over every mistake I find, I will only discuss the mistakes that take me out of your story on my first read-through. So if I get confused by a misspelled word, if the flow of the story is interrupted by incorrect punctuation, if the tone of the story changes dramatically, etc. Basically if I get confused at any point, I will talk to you about it. 

 

Your grammar as a whole was pretty good, but there was a few annoying little mishaps throughout the story. The first one that really took me out of your story was in the first sentence. This might just be me though, but this sentence sounded off to me.

[font="'Trebuchet MS';font-size:12px;color:#000000;"]The first thing I remember was waking up, in a round bed.[/font]

That comma signifies a pause in speech, so we pause there, but it really breaks up this first sentence. I believe that it would work better without the comma, but honestly this isn't a very bad one at all. The other mistake happened right near the end.

[font="'Trebuchet MS';font-size:12px;color:#000000;"]Every one was talking about it, bunk was thinking differently.[/font]

I don't even know what this means, honestly. I think you mean "but I"? I honestly have no idea what to do here. xD

 

The other thing was your tense, because throughout the story there is a bit of "I did this and they do that." Which is honestly the hardest thing for me when I write. That wasn't immediately noticeable, but later on in the story it became so. Just reading through the story again while looking for it should make it obvious to you, and make it easy to fix.

 

Now, your grammar was really good, but what about the story? I personally liked it a lot. The story of a Matoran waking up on Mata-Nui definitely seems like something that has been done before, but it is also immensely satisfying. Maybe that is just me though, I don't know. The confusion our protagonist has at the beginning is kinda fun, and I really liked how you didn't tell us which village our protagonist would live in either. You hinted at it throughout the story though, mainly in his statement that he was sad he couldn't meet the other villagers. The fact you were able to hint at the ending like that in such a short story was marvelous. I felt like he was a Le-Matoran, even before they started building the village, and you deserve credit for that. I have no nitpicks about the story otherwise.

 

All in all, this really was an enjoyable story, and well worth reading and reviewing! =D 


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#3 Offline Tolkien

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Posted May 03 2013 - 10:22 PM

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Hello there, Takua Dragonstar7. I’m from the SSCC, and this is your requested review. Enjoy![/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]First off, I’ll say that I definitely liked the ambiance of the story. It was a unique spin on the concept of how the Matoran might have reacted after waking up on Mata Nui, and how they could have adjusted to their new life, as well as an interesting exploration of how the Turaga might have (re-)introduced the Matoran to the concept of the Three Virtues. Overall, I thought the narrative was well-written, if somewhat straightforward. For the length and scope of the piece, I thought the conclusion was also satisfying. Well done on those accounts![/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Now, on to the critique. Because of the simplicity of the plot, I won’t comment much on plot-related points, and instead I’ll restrict my comments to writing-structural issues and some grammatical nitpicks.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]I think the main suggestion that I have (which was also briefly noted by Portalfig) is the inconsistency of tense-usage throughout the story. That would definitely be something to rectify on a second revision. I’ll go through several areas that could use improvement and provide suggestions for each:[/font]

 

The first thing I remember was waking up, in a round bed. Nothing else before, just that. I look around, seeing a large beach, filled with beings like me. There were also six others, similar, but taller than me. There were many greetings, and excitement on the beach. Then the taller beings, the ones in charge, it seemed, called us over to gather around them. We waited excitedly and eagerly for them to speak. One of them, a red and orange one, began talking.

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Opening passages are always important to get right. I’ve bolded some of the crucial verbs in this passage, and you should be able to pick out where the tense goes awry. You start with “was”, putting the story in past tense, but then shift to present tense with “look”, and then back to past tense with “were”. This could easily be fixed by switching “look” to “looked”, although, honestly, I think the story might actually work well if it were written in present tense. (“The first thing I remember is waking up in a round bed...”) That’s up to you though.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Also, as the previous reviewer noted, the comma in the first sentence should be dropped, as it would definitely make that opening phrase flow better.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]"This is the island of Mata Nui, named in honor of the Great Spirit." He also went on to explaining who we are, the Tohunga, humble villages of the island. They are the Turaga, the elders of the villages which we dwelled in. He said that we didn't have villages yet, and we are to build them. This lead to a lot of questions for me. Who is the Great Spirit? How do we build the villages, and where? I was abou to find out.[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Another confusion of tenses. The second sentence starts with past tense “went” followed by present tense “are”. You also have “are” (present) in the third sentence, followed by “dwelled” (past). Same pattern in the fourth and fifth sentences. Remember to keep the tense consistent throughout the narrative. In this case, once again, you could correct the present tense verbs to past tense pretty easily, but you might also consider rewriting in the present tense, since this is largely a first person story, and present tense can work well.[/font] 

The Turaga separated all of us into six groups, for each village. I was disappointed, partly because I didn't have a lot of time to meet the others. However, I was also very happy to have time meeting these fellow Tohunga. Our Turaga led us in further into the island, until we stopped at a large area.

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Just a few quibbles:[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]- You can drop the comma in the first sentence, and possibly reword to make the sentence flow more smoothly. One possibility: “The Turaga separated all of us into six groups, one for each village.”[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]- You could drop “in” in the last sentence, since “in further into” is redundant. You could also drop the comma after “island”.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]On the beach, there were large pieces of scrap metal, and those could be used for building. We could also use the material around us, the natural resources that we've been provided. Around half of the Tohunga went to the beach. I stayed, and looked for plants, rocks, anything to build with. The other Tohunga came back, and we slept on the ground for the night.[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Another issue with tense. Consider switching from present perfect “we’ve been provided” to past perfect “we’d been provided” in order to stay consistent with the overall past tense.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Everything was going well until about noon, some of the Tohunga burst into argument. Over small things, but it still saddens me to see the lack of teamwork.[/font]

Unity, duty, and destiny. In order to succeed in the last two, we had to be united. That means, no arguing or anything like that.

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Same issue with past vs. present tense in both of these passages, easily fixed by switching present tense forms to past tense.[/font]

 

When I woke up, it was dawn. No, not just any dawn, a new dawn. A new dawn in a new village, a new village in the treetops. The Turaga called the village Le-Koro. I like the sound of it, as a reminder of the Great Spirit and his virtues. As a reminder of our hard work. As a reminder of us.

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]No criticism here, just noting a simple, yet nicely-worded ending. The usage of present tense in the fifth sentence (“I like the sound of it...”) could work well, once again, if you switched to present tense throughout, although it could also work as a concluding statement capping off the past tense perspective of the story. Either way, this was a nice piece. I enjoyed it, and I look forward to more.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]JRRT[/font]


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