Just a day ago, on FFN I received an anonymous critique, the lengthiest I ever encountered since I first wrote down the fic. Now let me quote first the full commentary (and my original response is in Evageeks.org)…
Congratulations on your fic.
Let me start by saying I’m a Kaworu/Rei fan and enjoy every fic with those two in it whether they be portrayed as lovers, simple friends or even enemies as the character interactions between someone “who to know a lot about life and enjoys every thing about it” (Kaworu) and “an individual who hasn’t really lived, merely existing for a purpose” (Rei) are bound to get interesting
so it should come as no surprise that I believe I owe you a debt of gratitude creating this piece of yours, especially with the lack of fics with these two in them. 😀
On to my opinions then:
The pace and the flow of the story weren’t bad although perhaps using a segment or two to give readers a chance to take a breather from the main conflict would’ve helped prevent them from feeling that the story was dragging at certain points. I suppose, however, that this was unavoidable since you’d chosen a timeline near the end of the series wherein things were pretty bleak so perhaps in your next work/works?
I also enjoyed the concept of having Kaworu play a psychologist to the rest of the cast after becoming friends with them because that seems in line with how he was portrayed by Ano. I could see Kaworu doing it in the series canon if only Evangelion’s author hadn’t limited his interactions to being with Shinji alone.
He is, after all mature, has deep insight and capable of great empathy (enough empathy to decide it’d be best for Shinji to end his life for humanity’s continued survival) and I could see you definitely tried to show that in your fic…
Thank you. That was very much incisive and thorough.
(almost to the point that he’d become a Mary-Sue but it is an author’s right to portray characters however they wish in order to better serve the story.) Link below in case you don’t know what a Sue is.
I know what a Mary Sue is – a pluperfect character without defect nor weakness. Kaworu’s upbringing and training under SEELE tutelage has made him close enough to that trope, however.
To be blunt however, your grammar needs work. I’m not saying this just for the sake of being a GRAMMAR-NAZI as this isn’t really a “YURUSANAI!/unforgivable!11”. I realize that English isn’t your primary language (you are Filipino, yes?) but I believe that the quality of your story telling can improve by leaps and bounds by becoming more familiar with English (aside from avoiding awkward sentence construction/subj-verb agreement etc).
Actually, Filipino is my second language, with English predominating within the household because me and my sister (both of us are US Navy brats and proud of it) and her family are all English speakers. I know my own style of English, I read the usual stuff, like Strunk’s guide and Stephen King’s On Writing… But to be honest, King wants an aspiring writer to develop his or her own style over time.
Though I do double-check every chapter before submitting, the last thing I want, however, is to go check over the whole thing all too often, and I don’t want to bother too much with formalities of structure, as I have so little time for myself (being an assistant home manager).
Have you considered asking your fellow FF.net authors to proof read? People here are generally approachable and pleasantly helpful.
Time is a problem for me, and I wonder if there are people who would do checking for me in less than a week, as I’ve experienced pre-readers who went over the allotted time (one pre-reader took about three weeks before he was able to return to me with a checked chapter).
By an improvement of your storytelling of course, I meant that a better command of the language would’ve allowed you to portray the characters’ unique personalities simply from the words they used for conversations.
As it is, there were times I got confused with who was actually talking at the time even with the speaker cues (ex Shinji said” etc.) because it felt as though everyone had the same personality template. (With the exception of Gendo, who seemed to be talking in an irritated voice all the time, and Rei)
You may be right, but when I first set out to write L&W, I studied many of the conventions required to keep them in-character, and to avoid any possibility of OOC. I also wanted to get the flow and conversation right as much as I could, especially when there’s more than two characters engaged in a conversation.
It’s hard, really, to maintain the balance as I put myself into the character’s shoes and look through their eyes, and of course, dialogue must be carefully crafted according to each character’s idiosyncrasies.
For a start, I suggest checking out the anime in Japanese with English subs or English dub and give more attention to how characters construct their sentences i.e. who uses more formal words, who goes through the trouble of using lengthy sentences to explain and who gets straight to the point of what they want to say. http://onepieceofbleach.com/neon-genesis-evangelion-1/
The Filipino dub didn’t really do a good job of bringing out the character’s personalities by using anything other than voice tone/tempo.
Knowing Eva’s difficult nature, I’ve went through the script and the synopses many times all over, all the while summoning my memories of the show (for I admit I do not own a copy of the TV series), frame by frame, scene by scene. You may be correct in saying that it’s an imperfect dub, but IMHO, the Philippine adaptation packed more punch and sounds less annoying (Lucky Mark Santos’ rendition of Shinji was more convincing than Spike Spencer’s, for example).
To be sure, as part of character studies I already watched some YouTube clips on how Shinji and Asuka are talking and interacting with each other (the best being the now-famous kissing scene).
Or if you don’t have time for that, you could go to more extreme personifications via written conversation and attempt something similar to what authors like Gregg Landsman had done with his eva fics.
That said, not bad for your first epic. Kudos and more power to you. Hopefully, with a bit of practice, people start posting your fics to other sites (see link below) like the fic I shared above.
I beg to digress; Though I have some respect for him, due to critical acclaim and the length of his comedic work that continues to entertain fans, Landsman has his own style and tastes, an admiring audience he must serve, and a creation that he must attend to and nurture, for it is his own child.
But I apologize that I cannot be Landsman, and I will not be like him, for we are very different authors, with different views, styles and objectives to fulfill.
Though I was flattered to see that Light and Water has an entry in TVTropes’ Eva fanfiction recommendations (inserted by an anonymous admirer), I humbly came to write, but not to turn my fic into a lengthy approximation of Naruto or Bleach, nor for the sake of popularity.
Instead I write this fic from out of my head and heart. Light and Water stands as it is.
But thanks for the C&C, anyway. 🙂