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WIP Rough Around the Edges by WickedTruthVirtuousLies - M - Naruto

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by CheddarTrek, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Title: Rough Around the Edges
    Author: WickedTruthVirtuousLies
    Rating: M
    Genre: Adventure/Friendship
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: Naruto
    Pairings: N/A
    Summary: A story in which the members of Team 7 are the most dysfunctional group of orphans Iruka has ever laid eyes on.

    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12090857/1/Rough-Around-the-Edges
    Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/9447584/chapters/21375152

    I spent entirely too long looking for this on DLP because I just assumed it was here already... couldn't find it. Fuck me if it's somewhere obvious.

    So from what I can tell this is going to be more of a "Team 7" fic than a fic with a focus on pairings. Author posted 56k words in August/September of this year but nothing since. Story is currently in their first C-rank (not Wave). I had trouble getting into it for the first chapter or three... not because they're bad but because I wanted to hurry up and see where the story was going. But once I got a few chapters in I started to enjoy myself.

    So... essentially this is a "What if all three members of Team 7 started out more as equals who hated each other?" concept.

    Sasuke is top of the class just as in canon. He wants to kill Itachi. He is convinced that whoever he gets as team mates will just hold him back and he's pissed about it. But then it turns out that they're on the same level he is.

    Naruto is similar to canon except he's smarter and has been studying sealing. He has known about the kyuubi for years. This story paints him as the sole heir to the Uzumaki legacy, much as Sasuke is the last Uchiha and...

    Senju Sakura is the only Senju left in Konoha, given that her Aunt Tsunade left the village years ago and Sakura has never met her. She's reviled almost as much as Naruto is in the village because her father, Nawaki, was a traitor. She's got abilities that hint at her older canon self, wearing training weights for taijutsu and having excellent chakra control.

    But in terms of skills... they're all three very different but still more or less equal.

    Where the story shines though is in their snarky conversations with each other. The author has a gift for dialogue and these three are antagonistic towards each other in hilarious ways - it starts off as genuine antagonism and then shifts into something more teasing as they develop camaraderie.

    It's not 5/5 material, but I think it's worth a 4/5... maybe just 3.5, but I'd round up ESPECIALLY if the author manages to finish the current arc for their C-rank without messing anything up. As it is the story feels a hair short in terms of plot movement but at 56k it should be able to stand on its own for the library, imo.



    Edit by Minion, February 15, 2017
    Apparently the author deleted the story on ff.net and started reposting it on AO3
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2017
  2. Zel

    Zel Professor

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    The initial concept was something I had thought of before, but never seen executed. It sent some warning flags like the off-handed mention of drunken mobs going after Naruto, but I kept reading and was pleasantly surprised. The dialogue was a strong point and didn't get repetitive like I feared it would. Team 7's interactions were good, Kakashi too was a joy to read with all his...not indecision, but confusion on how to deal with his dysfunctional team. Also, the prodigies part is played straight, they are very much above average and it shows.

    It's worth a 4/5, but I'm kind of frustrated with the pre-Chunin Exams C-ranks, I wish most fics would just get on with the plot.
     
  3. Darth Disaster

    Darth Disaster The Waking Sith Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Going to back the 4/5 rating here. The author has a good grasp of syntax and spelling but not perfect. I'm not sure if this is an example of English as a second language or not, but the efforts of a competent editor would go a long way towards pushing this towards 5/5.

    Sakura, Sasuke, and Naruto are all very much their canon selves at their core, but each is different in believable-enough fashions due to the differences of this world.

    Sasuke is, if possible, even more off balance than in canon and it shows in the (semi-permanent) murderboner he carries around with him everywhere. Sasuke's internal monologue is possibly my favorite, actually. His view of the world and everything in it that relates to him is perhaps even narrower than canon. Most fics I read struggle to properly express his arrogance, apathy, disdain, and hair-trigger temper without turning him into a bitchface but the author manages to do so without making me want to slit his hateful little throat every other sentence (like most versions of him do).

    Naruto the
    public Uzumaki heir
    is a new experience here. At first it felt to me like he wasn't quite himself, but then I realized that was because his 'mistreatment' and thus resulting utter social (and scholastic) ignorance isn't as ridiculously overdone as it is in canon. Both characteristics are still there but not to the levels which made his early-canon self unbelievably retarded and endlessly childish at the same time.

    Sakura is definitely the least like her canon self. Every moment of her POV is an engaging balancing act between genius scholar, insecure little girl, and utterly ruthless kunoichi badass is endearing and the way the author has elevated her to a similar level as Naruto and Sasuke profits from this well-executed dynamic. Instead of a barely-addressed hanger-on she is a vital, equal, and respected member of their trio and neither Sasuke nor Naruto dare take her lightly.


    Appropriately, Kakashi is both bullshit overpowered and a complete fucking mess. He's got all of the knowledge but none of the techniques required to be a good instructor and only T7's exceptional nature keeps him from fucking it all up in spectacularly tragic fashions. Eventually, he starts to get his feet under him a bit, but as always it is when Kakashi sheds the mantle of Sensei and dons that of Jounin Commander that he truly shines.

    This is going on my watch list, there's lots of potential here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  4. Palindrome

    Palindrome Magma Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I'm eight chapters in and I hate this story. I don't understand why any of you can tolerate it because there doesn't seem to be enough good to make up for all the bad.

    The overall writing is clumsy, right from the clunky, rambling prose to the way the premise dissolves almost immediately after the story starts. The most aggravating thing by far, however, is that the author overuses italics to the point where they're stripped of all meaning. Take a look at this typical paragraph from later in the story:

    Quoted from Chapter 7:
    "Kakashi had to admit that the individual skill set of his genin hopefuls had surprised him, mostly because the files he had received on all three of his students were complete shit. There had been no mention, at all, of the various techniques which he had seen them whip seemingly out of nowhere and actually use proficiently. It had started when Naruto had easily summoned forth twenty shadow clones and Kakashi was pretty sure that 'knowledge of a forbidden jutsu' should have at least been in the side notes. And then the boy had worked in coordination with his clones in to herd Kakashi towards a wire trap that the jounin himself had set up. Using an enemies trap against them and actually expecting them to fall for it was a stupid move, but Naruto had choreographed his moves in such a way that Kakashi had actually found himself exerting effort, minimal at best but still he was a jounin, in order to avoid it. And the fact that the orange clad menace had even noticed the trap-wire? In a matter of five minutes, Naruto had managed to display a level of strategic thinking that had not been mentioned in the file, a hyper-awareness of his surrounding that had not been mentioned in the file, and his skill in the art of traps was at least equal to those of a newly promoted chunin. He had known from his experience in the classroom that one of his students was talented in that area but he had assumed it had been Sasuke."​

    ...Yup, that's twelve times in one paragraph. Jesus. I feel like I'm being assaulted. Nearly every paragraph is like this and it makes for miserable reading. Sorry, I mean nearly every paragraph is like this and it makes for miserable reading!

    I had to resort to copy and pasting the story into word in order to get rid of the italics, and after doing that you can really see just how sloppy and incoherent the rambling sentences are. Both the sentences and the paragraphs are far too long and unstructured.

    The characterisation lacks a lot of finesse and generally feels one-dimensional:

    • Sakura is secretly strong, tragic, and full of snark and street-smarts to the point where she comes off as a self-insert.
    • Sasuke is your typical condescending fanon 'hn' machine, unable to comprehend that anyone could match up to him.
    • Naruto is the stereotypical hidden savant, only in this story he also has an obnoxious written accent.
    I see where it's going with it, and the concept isn't bad. This story pivots around developing the characters, but they're just not done well enough for it to work. Not when the conflict is written like this:

    Quoted from chapter one:
    "What! How come an awesome shinobi such as myself has to get stuck on a team with that-that-that bastard! And who is that Sakura Senju person, huh?"​

    The dialogue doesn't get any better from there. And while the writing claims they hate each other, you won't find them having any difficulty actually getting along at any given point. Hell, they're better friends than they were in canon by chapter two.

    I think I'm done rambling about this for now. I really don't like this story. It gets a 1/5 from me.
     
  5. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Really Drome, a 1/5? :awesome

    To answer your question though - I'm probably more lenient towards the problems of the story because parts of it hit the right buttons for me. Pre-timeskip with all members of Team 7 working together sans some of their typical stereotypes. Some of the problems (such as quotes like yours from Ch1) felt like they lessened in later chapters, but it's possible I was just ignoring them.
     
  6. kinetique

    kinetique Groundskeeper

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    I agree, maybe not a 1/5 but it's pretty close. Another fantastic high point in this is the constantly changing character perspective, complete with pointless filler scenes from random characters doing nothing but preach to the world how great the character really is.

    I had a read through the other works this author put out which does not lead me to believe it's going to get better.

    2/5
     
  7. Palindrome

    Palindrome Magma Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Rofl, 'fraid so. I can't point to a single thing I liked and the prose literally gave me a headache. It's a choice between the story being bad and terrible and I know how I feel about it. :p
     
  8. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    So here is the thing, I kinda felt both while reading this. The ideas presented, as Cheddar and Disaster have presented, are actually rather compelling. The takes on the characters are well thought out and interesting. Conceptually, the story works and is engaging.

    However, on a writing sense, the first 11 chapters are very, very clunky. The dialogue is wooden, you are at all times aware that you are reading a story because every few sentences something will take you out of the story. What is said isn't bad but the way it is written is just too awkward.

    At chapter 11 something changes though, for the better. I am not sure if my weird brain just acclimated to the rather off-putting technical writing in favor of the story it was telling or if the author genuinely improved after that, but the story stepped up quite a bit for me at that point.

    Character interaction wise, yeah, it's pretty fun and interesting. My complaints, next to the writing and dialogue in the earlier chapters, is that I feel that once again this will be a fic where Team 7 is going to completely leave everyone behind in the dust to the point of making them irrelevant except Shikamaru.

    Also, can I just say, that even though it is kinda canon (as really minor gag at the beginning), I really, really loathe the "all girls who are not Tenten and sometimes Sakura/Hinata are completely worthless Sasuke fangirls" trope? Because I do. I really, really do. Maybe it's my triggered tumblr side, but why doesn't that just die? Is it really so necessary to the worldbuilding of Naruto? Does it really fit that well into that setting that it is so indispensable? Is it truly that funny and hilarious that so many authors feel the need to include that, just so that we can have the prominent female character say "I'm not like other girls, I take this shit seriously"? Is that the only way to develop the girl in the main cast?

    Connected to that, after seeing three kids completely slaughter a group of bandits, would you really bully them and make loud snide comments about them? Would rather think they would be intimidated and avoid them if anything. Feels incredibly contrived that that happens later on, but hey, shallow concubines, amirite?

    Rant over.

    There were some other minor things, Kakashi immediately going into papa bear mode twenty minutes after passing was a bit weird, I am not too crazy on the fact that this might easily become a Team 7 wank story with them outshining everyone else, being constantly praised, fawned over and others dealing with petty jealously and stuff. Maybe the story will avoid that but I could just as easily see it going down that path.

    But yeah, it definitely has some flaws and if you manage to hold on until chapter 11, I think, the story will be somewhat rewarding.

    3-3.5/5
     
  9. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    To be honest I'd also assumed that Team 7 would leave their peers in the dust - and that didn't bother me. Also sort of canon? Most of their peers have the potential to be powerful Jonin, but Naruto and Sasuke are on another level with Kage level potential. Sakura too probably, possibly even in canon since it was implied she could surpass Tsunade.

    I don't feel a pressing need for stories try to tamp that down in a universe full of impressive child prodigies like Itachi and Kakashi.

    I can see why the technical writing bothers people but I think I've become inured to that in fanfiction, at least to an extent. I noticed that it wasn't good (at all) but I didn't notice that it was horrible, just stereotypically poor fanfiction prose in places.

    As for the fangirls I agree that it's irritating, but it's also (sort of) canon early on. Doesn't mean I like it or want to see it in as many fics as we do, but it's another thing that doesn't bother me overmuch. I do wish we'd see more authors step away from it though.

    What tends to bother me in fanfiction is the insistence of authors to add pairings to everything, everywhere, all the time. No one else ever seems to mind though. Hopefully this fic will stay pairing-free for the most part, but we'll see.
     
  10. serpentguy

    serpentguy Second Year

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    It's pretty decent.

    I do agree that the beginning is rough and the writing needs polishing. It does a good job of avoiding a few fanon clich├ęs (Sakura has a personality, fairer portrayals, Team 7 has a dynamic, spreading the perspectives around), but it also lands right smackdab in the middle of some other pits (Sasuke's 'Hn's, obnoxiously super-gifted Naruto, constant annoying scene shifts). It does make me feel a lot like - yep, let's just boost all members of Team 7 up to what the author wants them to - powerful best buds dream team - but also does makes them feel more one-dimensional too.

    Still, it does smooth out quite a bit, and it seems to have grown as it goes on. The best bit of the story is definitely the character interactions, and it becomes quite engaging and fun. The development of the team is very much at the core, and once it picks up pace it does handle it pretty well.

    If there was an editor to go through and just sort out chunks of technical faults - over use of italics, sentence structure, word mistakes - then that would cut out a huge chunk of the problems that readers have to push through.

    For me, I'd say 3.5/5 - although I can totally understand if it would vary wildly person to person.
     
  11. dinsteho2

    dinsteho2 Squib

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    So ummmmmm, this just got deleted. No clue why. Authors profile is blank and I cant it anywhere else. I had gotten an update saying it had a new chapter so I went to read the first to try an' remember what story it was and after I tried to move to chapter 2 it told me the story couldn't be found. The author page is empty and idk what happened. Anyone got any ideas?
     
  12. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Yeah I just noticed that - I saw it update earlier tonight, and I opened the tab to read it later. I grabbed a snack and took a nap, and woke up just now (with it still open in firefox) to see that it only has 3 chapters now (pretty sure it had more), and when I try to navigate anywhere in it I can't.

    That's a shame, there aren't a ton of updating stories that I like. Maybe they're going to rewrite it? /shrug
     
  13. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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  14. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Interesting - the version that I had open on ffnet (before it was deleted) was also down to three chapters.

    Oh well, this might sound callous but... as much as I enjoyed reading this fic, it wasn't 5/5 material. We'll live until we know.
     
  15. fire

    fire High Inquisitor

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    The author probably got too much criticism and took it down, either permanently or for serious revision.

    I find them that this is not uncommon for AO3 authors - and not to be sexist or anything (n.b. a disclaimer that is always followed by sexism anyway, I know), but it probably does have something to do with the fact that the vast majority of AO3 authors are teenaged girls/YA females, who tend to take criticism more personally.

    The guys on the other hand tend to respond to criticism by defiantly and bloody mindedly churning out more the same shit (best example is probably the legendary Perfect Lionheart of Chunin Exam Day infamy).
     
  16. Dark Minion

    Dark Minion Bright Henchman Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Chapter 4 is now up on AO3. It seems as if the author is reposting his stories there.
    The link is now up in the first post.