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kuhrii

Surface Tension - Review Topic

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Discussion place for the story Surface Tension, and a preemptive thank you for reading.

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Wow, I am glad I stumbled on this. Reading this story was a joy and I will definitely be reading the next installment.

I love the opening. Such a vivid picture of Kier is painted yet I am left so eager to learn more about him. You do an excellent job establishing an aura of faint dread. I know there's something up about what's going on even if I can't say exactly what it is. I don't know if Kier is a full-on villain or not, but man is he creepy.

The section detailing the caravan, I must admit, was not perfect. Frankly, too many characters are introduced too quickly and when the chapter ended I barely felt like I knew any of them. I am sure they all have important roles to play later on, but I feel you could have accomplished what was necessary at this point with only three or maybe even just two characters. I have been guilty of this in my writing, too; having tons of cool ideas for characters and trying to throw them all in and keeping them all distinctive, but honestly I had some trouble keeping track of who was who. I was worried that the remainder of the story would suffer from this kind of over-saturation of characters.

Fortunately, chapter 2 was excellent and new characters were slowly brought in in a way that made meeting new characters feel like a reward and not a chore. Right off the bat, I understand the two sister-girls and their supervisor. It's such a relatable human experience I forgot it was a BIONICLE story for a minute.

To comment on the mechanics of your writing for a moment, this scene in particular:

9 hours ago, kuhrii said:

The next morning, Raku wakes up in their shared domicile. It may be a bit cramped as a dwelling designed for a single resident, but to the two of them it is hardly an issue. Raku wakes Raneh briefly as she prepares to leave, and the sleepy Matoran is happy to see her face. Even though she doesn’t need to rise for another half of the day, she is drowsily content in just being in her presence. Raku finally departs for her first shift at the power plant, bidding her partner goodbye. 

It is somewhat difficult to make sense of. First, Raku wakes up (ergo the scene is from Raku's POV, and Raneh is the one asleep). However, the second-to-last sentence abruptly shifts to Raneh's POV in a way that just doesn't read that well. Finally, the final sentence shifts back to Raku's POV. Since it's only two characters, it wasn't that hard to figure out, but the way four characters are introduced in rapid succession in chapter 1 with this writing style was not a good combination.

I just want to give Kukuna a hug. She is my immediately favorite character 100% because she acts like a clumsy anime girl. And better still, she is characterized so quickly and naturally that it feels like she's in the story for longer than she is. This is the benefit of slowly adding new characters over time.

This story has a lot of potential. I can tell you've got a lot planned and you're just setting the stage now for something spectacular, and I can't wait to see it. My only constructive criticism would be regarding the amount of characters (and not even the amount really, just how quickly we meet them). Less is more and it's important to remember the reader is meeting all these people for the first time. Additionally, and this is hardly an objective criticism, present tense sounds so awkward to me. But on the whole you have a great start here. Keep it up.


"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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Thank you so much for your feedback, it really means a lot to me. I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! I do have a lot of the more major stuff already in mind, but the focus for a while is setting the scene with these more personal interactions which are kinda done on the spot. For now I'm forgoing a centralizing main cast in favor of more anecdotal stuff, but over time the focus will tighten up (assuming I let myself get that far)

I appreciate the critiques, and regarding the number of characters and I will try to keep it in mind going forward. I have this huge list of names to pick from but you're right, it's probably better to show some restraint instead of throwing in too many all at once. 

As for the tense, I'm not totally sure why I write in present tense lol. If I had to guess, it's an artifact left over from my roleplaying days. I should try writing a flashback or some other past event to get a feel for past tense, maybe.

Thanks again for reading, hopefully I have more to add soon :D

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So the new chapter is here and I also wanted to mention a few things.

1. I forgot that pasting in plain text removes italics, so that has been fixed. There was only two instances of it being used in the previous chapter though, so hopefully it wasn't too confusing without it.

2. If I neglect to mention the kanohi of a significant character, such as Tamari or Raneh, it means I apparently gave them a fanon mask initially. I find it not very useful to throw in the names of unfamiliar masks when all I'm doing is describing their appearance, so the names of them will only come up in text when their powers are used or are otherwise significant. So to put a face to the name of the star of this chapter, here's Raneh wearing her Noble Alsitu

 Raneh.png

3. Ok I know she looks like she could pass as a Ce-Matoran instead, I can explain lol. Back in the day, before Matoran of lightning were given canon colors, I decided to make mine primarily purple, yellow, and blue (and sometimes brown, for some reason...? i've dropped that color now lol). Well turns out I at least got 1 color right. I've decided to keep those colors to keep them from blending in too much with Ga-Matoran. As for Ce-Matoran, i've designated them dark blue, sand blue, and gold in my color palettes (while Vo-Matoran get "Mata" blue and yellow) and I've designated consistent eye colors to each tribe to help further tell them apart, in this case Vo-Matoran are red-eyed and Ce-Matoran are green-eyed. 

Here's the rest of my palettes if anyone's curious. I'm considering adding a 3rd color to the Ba- and Fa-Matoran's options, just to give them some variety. As it stands, Tamari could pass for either a Fe- or Fa-Matoran and I don't really like that. (Maybe I could give Fa-Matoran both red and blue eyes to reference both poles of a magnet? that could be fun)

5ENNwIR.png

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I've never read such an excellent depiction of the soul-crushing drudgery of busywork. This story gives me flashbacks of slow hours spent working at the supermarket.

Another good, character-driven episode. I still want to see my friend Kukuna again, but seeing Raneh's half of the workday was more important now that I think about it. I enjoy the slow burn of all the different character threads, and eagerly await seeing them all come together.

Your character color chart and mask explanation is quite in-depth, and I feel a little bad admitting I barely thought about things like that as I was reading the episode. The description of the mean supervisor's Kualsi as condescending was superbly bold, but it was also the first time in forever, not just with your story but BIONICLE fanfics in general, that I felt the specification of a powerless Kanohi mask was actually meaningful. So often BIONICLE fanfic writers (like me) get caught up in describing colors and Kanohi masks and it can end up feeling very much like Mad Libs. I thus far like how your actual story is not engaging in too much of that.

I am still unsure how I feel about the word "Distra." It feels silly to say out loud, but then again, the actual BIONICLE storyline gave us the brilliant Metru.


"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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