1. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice

WIP Four Deadly Secrets by OneirosTheWriter - M - RWBY

Discussion in 'Anime, Cartoons, and Comics' started by Jarik, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,077
    Location:
    The Evergreen State
    Yeah, not to pile on, but I'm with Nuhuh here. Verbose writing is a stylistic thing, you can either like it or not, it can work in any given story or not. Faulkner and Hemingway, both good. What I was talking about in my review is redundancy.

    Fic would immediately spike about 50% in quality if the author went through and purged 90-95% of the adverbs.

    Excess words killing the pace in action scenes:

    "Ineffable" - no place here

    "guessing" / "scrambling" / trying to "pick through" - all convey the same beat, pick one.

    "that Ruby presented him with" - cut entirely, superfluous.

    "terrifying whistle and a gust of wind" - pick one, we got it.

    "even rattled with the speed of some blows" - we get it, it's fast, cut this.

    ... you get the idea.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  2. OneirosTheWriter

    OneirosTheWriter Second Year

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Perth
    "[A]dverbs" tag, hey?
     
  3. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,077
    Location:
    The Evergreen State
  4. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,077
    Location:
    The Evergreen State
    Updated.

    Still very much enjoying this. I don't remember being put off by adverb abuse in this last chapter, so that probably got tightened up - it's one of those things you don't really notice at all unless it's bad.

    I really should hate Weiss and Alice in Society Girl Mode - I mean, on paper, it's like Mean Girls but people take it seriously and they all have weapons. No, hang on, wait, I get why I like it now. There are a few great Weiss lines, such as:
    Earlier in the story, I feel like the author would have tacked on a second sentence that was a quick rehash of the smile/biting comment thing explaining Weiss's attitude here. Love the fact that it's left as-is for the reader to pick up. There are other moments like this in the latest chapter, so I'd say the quality trend arrow is still pointing up.
    Interesting information about Ruby this chapter.
    I had her pegged as some kind of illegal pit fighter, but it sounds like she was a straight-up assassin, possibly for the company that makes her weapon parts.
    Junior drunkenly threatening people seemed like a bit of a contrivance, but it didn't bother me too much.

    Like the author mentioned in the RWBY thread, this is kind of a transitional chapter, but it wasn't boring or badly paced.

    Still really enjoying this.
     
  5. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,077
    Location:
    The Evergreen State
    This updated.

    Still enjoying this. I actually read this a couple days ago and forgot to write a review, so I'll just jot down a few quick thoughts.

    - I think the fight scenes are getting a bit better. Couldn't say for sure without a full re-read, but I'm less tempted to skim.

    - Perception of Ruby is fun - as kind of a dork but also a badass.

    - It seemed like the whole Junior thing was shoved into a corner - as I remember, planning and talking about it took up a bunch of the last chapter, and it's barely mentioned here. Seemed off.

    -Still having some trouble with the characterization. Example:
    No one actually talks like that - listing their character flaws and development straight out in dialogue.

    Plus, when you tell vs. show, you run the risk of underwhelming when you actually do show. For example, here and elsewhere, Weiss is said to be this incredibly cutting Queen Bitch of the Universe. Throughout the fic it's like 80/20 "talking about Weiss being a society queen" and "showing her actually doing that." So, when we do get an example:
    ... it's really underwhelming. I mean, for someone who's been hyped up as being incredibly clever and cutting, this is like Draco Malfoy-level stuff - Potter / Potty. In other words, pretty lame.

    - I liked the slow build and tension of the Blake reveal. Some good beats there. Looking forward to the inevitable fallout.

    Lol. I know, right? Nice little meta-jab at the fic's premise.
     
  6. OneirosTheWriter

    OneirosTheWriter Second Year

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Perth
    Thanks for the continued feedback.

    With regards to the stuff with Junior, the final scenes of the chapter were originally going to be the planned stuff at Junior's club. But then the chapter hit 15k words as is and one of my proof-readers kinda rebelled. So they got pushed back.

    I kind of forgot weasel was going to come across as playing with the name; it was actually supposed to reflect the fact Venus was a bet-welcher and Weiss had been pulling some of the strings in the background to make sure she paid for weaseling out on Ruby. Hence the, "you actually showed". So that was a bit of a screw-up on my part.

    I've had some good responses to that line by Saffron, actually - I suppose sometimes you just have to hang a lampshade on a story's silly points!
     
  7. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Delayed response to the chapter, been overseas in Europe. Read the chapter the moment I saw it come out in a taxi to the airport - was too excited not to. Especially since it feels like we're building to a climax at this point.

    I can see where Newcomb is coming from regarding Junior. There was a two chapter build up, and I was getting quite excited to see that happen. Events in this chapter - both the fight with the jaws and Blake's outing - do completely steal the audience's attention away from that and detract from that build up. It's not a huge problem though, since that focus has been replaced by something bigger.

    The writing style is improving a lot. Again, repeating Newcomb, in the fight scenes there feels like a lot more show, less tell. But I will second his comment on Weiss' insult feeling more Draco Malfoy-ish than what all the rumours about Weiss have implied. Nicknames like Weasel just seem really low on wit. I get what you were going for, but Weiss seems more the type to manipulates others to make those sort of direct insults, while keeping herself a lot more subtle than that.

    Anyway, apart from that, another good chapter. Really enjoyed Ruby's flirting with Sara and the way that meeting about Blake ran. Really enjoyed Saffron's character and how she reacted in that.

    Can't wait for the next one!
     
  8. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Update.

    I love the way this fic manages somehow manages to make every single person ridiculously badass, without having to bash someone else down to do it. It was a bit weird to get used to Neo's character (which is very different to the typical fandom characterizations of her - still not sure whether I like her like that or not), but between seeing how Miltia, Ruby and Yang reacted to her, she seems epic.

    Miltia and Ruby still have ridiculous amounts of chemistry for what is not even the main pairing. Funny to see where Coco ended up since she was not on Velvet's team.

    The whole Society scenes were really well done. They didn't go overboard or feel forced, but nonetheless managed to maintain a high level of tension throughout. I actually really enjoyed reading Pyrrha through that (and I usually find her a pretty dull character). Weiss was spot on too.

    Liked the tidbit of Yang's backstory we saw. I love that image of a rebellious Yang suddenly realizing just who she's becoming as she stares down at her Dad she just blasted with a shotgun, with Ruby watching on.

    Quality of writing feels like it's improved a lot too. Good work @OneirosTheWriter.

    Hope the next update isn't too far off! =)


    Edit:

    Thought I'd one criticism.

    Please, please tone down the awful Scroll messaging chat speak. Blake is an awesome, kickass ex-White Fang trigger agent for most of the story, but the moment she types a message she becomes an annoying 13 year old girl in my head.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  9. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,362
    Location:
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    2,101
    Don't really have much to add, I loved the tension and uncomfortableness of the whole high society scene. Weiss is just amazing in this story. I also quite like her friendship with Alice that has this delicate and unusual balance.

    Neo, I am honestly not that fond off. Sure, she seems badass and dangerous, but, I kinda like her as a mute more. Dunno if that will stick in canon but I always liked that.

    Exploring Yang's past was amazing, and I love the juxtaposition of the normality of her room and her lifestyle in that world, both as a vanguard against soulless monsters and a terrorist/freedom fighter.

    One piece of criticism, this:

    is the least Blake thing I have ever read. It doesn't feel a bit like her. Yang, I can see using chatspeak like that, both for the perceived convenience and the novelty/annoying factor, but Blake? That just took me out of the story.

    Agree that Ruby and Militia have a crazy chemistry and I loved their banter.

    So, yeah, thank you so much for sharing that Oneiros. Story is still my favourite RWBY one and it's always a blast to see it updated.
     
  10. OneirosTheWriter

    OneirosTheWriter Second Year

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Perth
    Thanks for the feedback, guys.

    Glad to see the society scenes hit the mark. I worked hard to try to make sure the dialogue matched up to hype!

    The rationale behind the Blake chatspeak is actually pretty simple: she has a great interest in reading, yes, but in terms of formal education, English Lit was not on the White Fang curriculum. So I have a suspicion that as much as she loves reading, she'd have a hard time putting together text properly herself. She also grew up using shorthand to get messages out faster in crunch-time situations, and not typing out full names due to OpSec. So although on the face of it, Blake doesn't seem like the type to produce near-gibberish messages, I suspect deep down there's habit and learning shortfalls at play.

    Neo is scary as a mute but they've apparently hired a voice actress for her so her scary muteness may simply have been an anomaly born of not having a voice actress available for the last volume. Also, I started writing her as talking before it looked like she might be a mute, so ... kinda hoping canon bails me out there.
     
  11. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I can see your justification and it makes sense, but I still think it hurts her image from reader point of view. Like, I'm sure there's some shorthand that special ops guys use - but it feels more like teenage internet speak than that. Can you imagine someone like Darth Vader or Voldemort sending out orders like that, even under the guise of efficiency? I'm sure she still had a reputation to uphold with her comrades.
     
  12. OneirosTheWriter

    OneirosTheWriter Second Year

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Perth
    Weiss will have to stage an intervention when they get back to Beacon.
     
  13. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,362
    Location:
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    2,101
    Huh, looking forward to that particular conversation.

    As to Neo, it works, though. Just talking from a personal preference. I do hope Neo stays mute in canon as well, though xD
     
  14. Nazgus

    Nazgus Headmaster

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    USA
    Just blitzed through RWBY in the past few days and then through this last night.

    I can definitely say that I skimmed less and less as the story went on, which is a really good sign.

    Fights are awesome, and you managed to make everyone badass without making it feel like constant escalation which is a great achievement.

    Only real complaint that comes to mind is that it seems at times that everyone and their sister is lesbian. It's not bad per say, but just a bit odd just how many of them we seem to be seeing.

    Really looking forward to the Blake conversation, and to Neo boiling over. Especially since Neo seems very well informed about what Ruby used to get up to. Speaking of, I'm curious about how she got away with having such a ridiculously pricy weapon without anyone noticing for so long. I get the students not realizing anything, but her dad and uncle are faculty members. You'd think they'd be a little concerned with where she gets that kind of cash.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
  15. OneirosTheWriter

    OneirosTheWriter Second Year

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Perth
    Thanks for the feedback there and glad you seemed to enjoy it!

    The lesbians thing... Yeah. I'm very, very ... very aware of that. :( It has a couple reasons, personal gratification shockingly not one of them. Decent chunk of it has to do simply with Ruby being the main character gravitating towards people that share her orientation. There's still a number of hetero pairings bubbling away in the background, though, PyrrhaxJaune progressing, NoraxRen, VelvetxYatsuhashi. There's another one I'm starting up next chapter involving Melanie. I'd hoped to include it in Ch15 but it fell afoul of the chopping block.

    I'd probably like to have a gay pair in there to even up the ledger a little, but I haven't been able to find guys I didn't need in other pairings or that didn't scream bad stereotype to me.

    Regarding the fights, I just try to give everyone their chance to shine when in a battle, while not letting any character bashing urges get the better of me. Also while keeping an eye out for Worf Effect silliness.
     
  16. Nazgus

    Nazgus Headmaster

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    USA
    I understand that, but while there's nothing wrong with being lesbian, the percentage of them isn't as large as the characters here would indicate. I get what you mean about her gravitating towards them, but a good portion of the ones she interacts with aren't necessarily by choice, they're on her team/class.

    Biggest stretch for me was Yang/Blake. I feel they could've been a really nice platonic friendship to round out the cast, but they got paired off too. Most of what's happened as a result of them getting together could've happened as they became closer and closer friends. You don't have to be dating someone to spill your secrets.
     
  17. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    Location:
    Melbourne
    It'd be a bit weird to pair them with people outside of the team, given the significance of the team bonds in RWBY. Giving them stronger relationships outside the team would probably limit that. It's either lesbians everywhere or platonic friendships with no romance outside of the team.

    The series is full of well developed, interesting and diverse female characters. In comparison, there's few male characters who are as interesting. Seems natural to pair interesting characters with other interesting characters. Especially in FDS - which male characters would you pair up with the main characters?

    It can feel forced in a lot of fandoms, but for RWBY, I don't really find it that forced at all. FDS also deals with it well, where it's normal and no one really bats an eyelid. It feels more awkward in fics where they try to turn it into a plot point (you know, Weiss's father discriminatory against it in a world where it's so common).
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  18. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,482
    You say that like it's a bad thing. Not every story needs romance, especially not for every character. It's kinda silly to insist otherwise.
     
  19. Nazgus

    Nazgus Headmaster

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    USA
    Pretty much this. I'm not saying they should've been paired off with someone outside, I'm saying they shouldn't have been paired up with anyone at all. Everything their relationship brought forward (the double WF reveals) could've come about as a result of a really close friendship just as easily.
     
  20. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Yeah, I'd agree that no pairings actually work better in a lot of fics (as they can feel forced). Didn't mean to imply it was a bad thing to just keep it platonic.

    In FDS I'd say that Ruby's romances with both Weiss and Miltia are a feature though, and work really well. For me, it added a lot to the situations, character interactions and characters themselves. I think FDS would lose something without it.

    I'll grant that YangBlake didn't need to be romantic though.