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WIP The Mind Arts by Wu Gang - T

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by Haze, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. why?

    why? Seventh Year

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    And he actually called Hermione “the brightest witch...” too, which annoyed me at first, but when he said it to Daphne after, it made me wonder how genuine he actually is. It could’ve been a mistake, but I reckon it was intentional.

    Another thing that mildly annoys me is the everything-omency and -kinetics. But I look the other way, because even if I’m not a big fan of the names, it does bring more types of magic, which I like.
     
  2. Tempestuous Ocean

    Tempestuous Ocean Third Year

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    I would give the benefit of the doubt, but honestly, Ron got stuck in "jealous of fame and pointing Harry's scar" phase too. He's not a relevant character, so I can (somewhat) tolerate him but Hermione got reasonably enough screen time for the author to present some other sides of her character. And I don't think the author plans to flesh out her either.

    She beats Harry in several subjects, talented at dueling, has an inborn talent inherited from her father (I can't recall its name)... I think Harry is genuine, and doesn't actually think anybody else can measure up to her.

    Still, while I don't like some of the characterization choices, it's not so bad that I won't read anymore.
     
  3. why?

    why? Seventh Year

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    He said it to both of them. It follows that he was lying to one. I think it was Hermione. It’s no secret that I dislike Hermione and wish she got turned into troll food, and I’m not entirely sure why the author forced that event to happen anyway. Was it just so he could make an example put of her?

    In any case, it’s a sentence I wish Lupin had never said in canon. Speaking of whom, he practically got glossed over in that story. Which is in character for him, I suppose. He only says that his door is open, should Harry change his mind about “feeling okay”, which is the absolute minimum he could’ve come up with to give himself plausible deniability that he “tried”.

    The Patronus segments weren’t very interesting here. Reckon even canon did this better. My standard for Patronus theory/learning is The Never-ending Road — although the author could do with using fewer words — and as such, everything else feels a bit meh.
     
  4. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Alchemist

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    Or if people could remember how the quote ends, "that I've met." It is annoying that a whole lot of fanon makes it universal.

    I do like that this story ran with The Boy Who Lived's theory of breaking past an age line, and that it failed spectacularly. I'm not sure if I like the opening plot threads of Harry trying to fix it, though.
     
  5. Tempestuous Ocean

    Tempestuous Ocean Third Year

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    I know. I just didn't see the need to mention it. I meant Harry genuinely sees Daphne as the brightest witch he's met. I do not think Harry ever really cared about Hermione one way or another, so it would be her Harry lied to, if I am to choose.

    So that readers can have an opportunity to see Harry doesn't see the world as black/white and Daphne can put her in her place. I love this Daphne, but I would love her even more if there were no mentions of Hermione.
     
  6. CBH

    CBH Sixth Year

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    Don't think Harry's exactly unique to be giving a good, uncommon compliment to more than one person. Haven't you ever done the same to two people? You also have to look at the context surrounding the comments about being the smartest witch of the generation. Harry didn't say that to Hermione, he said it to her mother. Was also used to tease her that she was behind him in class standing, not a genuine compliment. Loses a bit of meaning in those circumstances compared to the genuine respect he shows Daphne.

    I enjoyed the story. Bit of a rough start, but it definitely improves a few chapters in. 4/5

    One small, odd thing that I enjoyed was Neville's grandmother. Maybe I've just seen Harry allied with or taken in by the Longbottom family too many times, but I chuckled when she didn't care about what Harry was doing at all because he wasn't her grandson.
     
  7. why?

    why? Seventh Year

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    Oh right, must’ve forgotten. For some reason, I thought he told her that in his room, when she was moping. And I thought it worth mentioning because it’s something that seems to follow fanon Hermione everywhere.

    Edit:

    Regarding Daphne, I wonder how much of it is a genuine appraisal of her abilities and potential (could become a better enchanter than Dumbledore) and how much of it is him experiencing his first crush and not really knowing it. In the forum, the author literally says they’re into each other but Harry wants Daphne to show him, lmao.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  8. Wu Gang

    Wu Gang Squib

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    Hey, someone sent me a link to this thread and after reading through I wanted to say that I highly value your criticisms.

    I'll never get better without it and finding this thread is a serious boon. Even if I disagree with some of you guys' conclusions that doesn't mean I'm ignoring you.

    I just disagree about some of the problems I would say I don’t have the mind arts in the background, for example. I think it’s fairly involved.

    However, you have brought up some serious issues that need to be addressed: my adherence to canon, the Chamber of Secrets scene and, though I didn’t see it mentioned here, the Quirrell scene should be fixed.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
     
  9. vlad

    vlad Groundskeeper Prestige

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    Another writer thankful for the tough love and deep, powerful critique (much of it positive tho!) of vlad*.





    * and some guys he knows
     
  10. Sey

    Sey Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    If you wish, throw some of your future stuff in the WbA. You'll get a lot more quality feedback there as compared to fanfiction.net.
     
  11. TMD

    TMD Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    Thanks for making an account here. To echo Seyllian, the review board is the place where people will dissect it into good and bad elements to determine a score. By reading the reviews, you might agree or disagree with some of the things people say isn't good and work on improving it - however the criticism is quite superficial. I really like this story, and would hope you put some of your future chapters/writing in WbA, because the focus there is on giving the writer very detailed constructive criticism and potential solutions. As some others have said, with a bit of polish I think this could be a 5/5 story.
     
    Jax
  12. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Unspeakable

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    He updated a day or so ago. The new chapter's mostly a filler: we don't get a lot of development in this one. Some of the older chapters will be revised, according to the A/N there, so I suppose the next update might require a re-read.
     
  13. Wu Gang

    Wu Gang Squib

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    I'm going through and rereading this now that I'm starting the process of rewriting and I saw quite a few of you mention that the Mind Arts haven't been a focus or hasn't been explored.

    I was hoping you could expand on that. What would you see that would make you think that I was exploring it? What seems to be the focus of the story instead?

    Thanks.
     
  14. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Unspeakable

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    I'll give you a longer reply later, when I have more time to consider it, but I suppose there's two things. One of them is that there's not much showing as much as there is telling how good Harry is. I know Harry is getting better at the mind arts: your story makes that amply clear. But I don't live his journey with him. Where is the sense of achievement? Where is that fucking satisfaction after plowing through some technique he seemed to be at an impasse with? Where's that sense of confusion about random emotions? Where's that final "aha!" when things suddenly click? It's just not there. As an example, when your Harry

    starts to magically heal Ms. Malachite (like, really? Malachite Green is used for assays in chemistry, I was so surprised at that name at first), he just does it. Dumbledore isn't surprised at all at that he's able to do it. But we're given no indication that Harry has studied anything about magical healing. REM cycles and eye movements aren't taught at Hogwarts. How did Harry start looking at them? Why did Harry start looking at this at all? How did he realise they're one of the hallmarks of someone conscious? You can't have Harry become a genius in mental medicine without him at least trying for it. We haven't seen him read anything on this, we don't see his character develop along those lines at all, he just does it.

    Another example would be the interest in wandlore. I would bet you a hundred dollars you cannot identify a stick of wood at first glace without years and years of experience. Harry identifying Gabrielle's wand nearly immediately after meeting her is, well, insane. He's probably read a few books. Are you telling me your Harry actually spent hundreds of hours trying to identify wands? It doesn't gel with him; he has a nearly Sherlock Holmes-style attitude towards knowledge: something you built using Hermione's obsession with random books.

    Another is that there's no real development of Harry's moral system. If your Harry is amoral, you'd have him at least try to control someone with his powers. You've made him give people headaches and make them afraid of him, sure. But that's hardly a gross violation of power. Understand that Harry is a (pre-)teen. Biologically, his pre-frontal cortex isn't developed at all. He's supposed to be a bad decision-maker. You've got to show that somewhere. But your Harry doesn't make mistakes at all. He wishes to be an adult and be right all the time, which is understandable, but giving him that is just bad character development.

    I hope this is enough to get you started. I'll probably need another read-through (this time very critically) to point out other things.

    Edit: I just remembered. Complex linear equations? Really? At the age of 13/14? With seemingly no interest in math? Even magic can't make someone do that. Give him development. Your Harry is in terrible need of it.
     
  15. KingRoger

    KingRoger Second Year

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    Please forgive typos, im using my phone.

    I’m loving this fic. Truly. But this last chapter really cemented the fact that the author really needs to think about how to represent people talking in different languages, thoughts, and telepathy. Because they’re using italics for everything that isn’t spoken English, and the whole chapter is in FRANCE. Whole blocks of text are in italics and at one point even square brackets were used. Square brackets!

    If we’re told what language a character speaks, or that they’re somewhere they’d probably use a different language, you can trust us to figure out what language they’re speaking, if it even matters. They’re in France, and it’s been made very clear that they were going to be speaking french. We can make the connection ourselves. If you want us to know they’ve changed language, think about why it matters. If I remember correctly, JKR used italics exclusively for parseltongue, memories/images, and incantations. That’s it. Any more than that can be messy, and this latest chapter is beyond messy.

    I desperately want this fic to develop, it has good foundations, and has huge potential to keep building. Please don’t let poor formatting be its standout point. It deserves better.
     
  16. Hymsicality

    Hymsicality Third Year

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    It's rather forgettable tbh, it doesn't seem like it has anything new to say about anything really. Everyone's written how I've seen them written a hundred times before and the plot is neither particularly interesting or horrible. Competently written enough, but not excellent in any discernible way.

    2/5
     
  17. A Lizard By

    A Lizard By Any Other Name

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    I like the interesting direction the author decided to take the story, adding small mixups to an otherwise canon plot fic. It's fun to read about things that aren't usually written about and the author does a good job of keeping me interested in all of the magical explanations and tech so to speak. Some very cool ideas in here.

    That being said, there are a few things that bother me. One being Harry's interactions with his friends. I get that he basically has aspergers but for someone who is supposed to be an empath, I never get the feeling Harry is anything but highly clinical and cold to his friends. I can't remember feeling any emotion or any particular way about any single interaction between Harry and another character. Even his discussions with Dumbledore who he claims to love like a grandfather are more akin to two coworkers discussing an interest in academics or next week's weather. I almost want to gloss over any section with his friends in it because they just feel so damn disposable.

    Probably the other biggest issue for me is that the power scale seems to be completely fucked. Harry is a genius level intellect who considers the greatest Wizards in the world his peers and often performs miraculous feats of magic, but often talks about how he'd most likely get trounced by a competent fifth year. I get the author wants to give the illusion that Harry really isn't that OP, promise, but like really he is that OP. He's practically a master legilimens, he's shooting lightning from his fingers, creating spells willy nilly, rotting shit with dementor powers, etc.

    Compare that to a Harry in 6th year in canon who is supposed to be an excellent spellcaster and beyond his peers in defense. He could cast a few harmless disarming and stunning spells and like a blasting curse and probably a shield charm and that was basically it.

    Why are we trying to pretend that this kid isn't already a god among men?
     
  18. vlad

    vlad Groundskeeper Prestige

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    As someone who knows a thing or two about starting a story, then getting caught up in past revisions of stuff I've already published, then having the whole thing come to a grinding halt...

    Get yourself a beta and let them deal with the first seven chapters. It's clear that your writing has improved and you are on a roll with the story you want to tell - I don't think it's a coincidence that the back story is the worst part and it picks up big time once we get into the real divergence.

    Keep your energies on telling the story. Rightly or wrongly you've already published what you've published, and spending time now going back and heavily redrafting the first chunk will only sap your energy and enthusiasm for what you really want to tell, especially as you won't get any feedback from readers. A beta can help editing out the spelling/grammar, as well as ensure you focus on the specific weaknesses in the storytelling that readers actually notice or care about.

    Your time is limited and it's simply not worth the costs to focus your effort on the early stuff singlehandedly. If you can't find a beta and it still bothers you, then keep writing and go back to polish once the story is done; the understanding being you're doing it to improve your craft and product, for you.

    Given the serial nature of fanfiction, this is the nature of things. Going back over stuff once you've hit publish is a constant temptation - and perhaps justified - but it's death on the storytelling aspect nine times out of ten, and good storytelling is what readers want.
     
  19. CleanRag

    CleanRag Groundskeeper

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    In year three Peter Petegrew escapes from Azkaban, Harry is crippled by the dementors, Dumbledore starts to mentor him, and we find out that the Triwizard Tournament will take place in Beauxbatons. The first two years were essentially a canon rehash with a more competant Harry who is bffs with Daphne Greengrass.

    The first two years weren't bad, they just weren't compelling to veterans of the fandom. No amount of beta work or tweaking how the canon climaxes get resolved is going to fix that. Once the canon universe is taken out back and choped into tiny pieces the story became much more interesting. So if you do decide to do a rewrite, you need to find a way to change everything much earlier on.

    For the record, I agree with Vlad, rewrites always seem to be the death knell for a story and should be avoided. If you can manage it, an action prologue that is set in the future and shows off just how different your AU is going to be could help. But they can be pretty difficult to pull off.

    4/5

    Once the third year begins the story gets pretty awesome very quickly. My rating could easily go up if the quality set in year four continues.
     
  20. Uppsala

    Uppsala Muggle

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    New poster, but I've been lurking on this forum since Jezza was posting updates here before ff.net in '09.

    I read fanfiction for enjoyment; to be immersed once again in the world and characters that blew my mind when I was a child. A story that can summon some of that clear-eyed joy in a compelling manner is even better.
    I really like this story, this is some of the best writing I've had the pleasure to read in a while. 5/5.

    P.S. Does anyone else get flashes of Fractal by OnTheImportanceOfLungs here?