Firstly, today is the last day of school, my junior year. As I stated in the entry regarding the start of summer, the end of the year heralds more hours at the store (a shift this Saturday starts at store opening at 6.30 am and ends at 12.30pm) as well as a populace coming in from the mainland to sunbathe, have a go at the new arcade, and participate in the seafood and sailing contests popular all over the town. However, my predictions for having a girlfriend as stated at the start of the year have all but failed; there is a girl in Galloway Township that I may have access to if I visit my friend that lives nearby, as well as an older girl from Jersey City (remember?), but as far as the school or town goes, I'm still single. Of course, though, there's no reason for me to cry about that; what with work, another youth summit in a month (and I'll be blogging that!) and moderation duty, I can't expect to go on a full dating scheme.
Now would be the time to fill in the tiny gap between the summer post and now. Two weeks past, a group of freshmen were invited to our classes and made to follow around some sophomores and juniors. The Galloway girl I just mentioned was assigned to another person, but in my uncle's class I showed her around the problems assigned for review for the final and she decided to tail me instead without dismay from the original host. Then, the following week, the actual finals took place; I did not get my Algebra final back, I scored 90 percent in the Network+ exam, I scored 90 percent in the Physics final, and I scored 93 percent for the health final. Now we just have to amuse ourselves with Call of Duty on the Network+ course room.
And yes, there's a second institution that has yet to put me out. The thread that encapsulated Treehouse saga on Serebii.net devolved into you-know-who mentioning my name in her deviation of the topic to express her distaste for my comments on her blog.
Dragonfree: Okay, I'll admit right away that I only looked at this out of curiosity about the sex. I despised the last NC-17 fic I read here, so I thought I might as well look at this one too and see if it was any better.Case lost. I had started to realise then and there that, even if I had pushed further and had gotten small support from people like Nathan Madien and the Sunshine guy Ama failed to clarify, I now had no voice there. What with the previous blog entries against SPP, sending a spammer out, and my personal attacks on Ama, everything I had done would be grounds for a ban as there is a policy against criticism of the site in any form by members. Now, my stance has not changed — it's only now that I was forced to admit that they were not worth dealing with. I now feel sorry that I ever turned to them after leaving PUK just because there was a rivalry between the two for a copyright snafu, and I admit I was a fool for ever trying to deal with the arrogant dogs who act as mods on one front and decide to vent on others elsewhere. What's more, she persists to propose a new fic (Demons of Metropolis) that seems as if it'll reach a level rivalling that of A Day Inside May!
Now, I first looked at the first page, where you announced that there wouldn't be sex right away. I nodded to myself and flipped to the last page, but while scrolling past the comments I couldn't help being a bit interested. Hey, mysterious islands, people dying and symbolic stuff - clearly this fic had a plot. So I went back to the first page and decided to read the whole thing.And I've got to say I was pleasantly surprised. The idea was very intriguing - heck, I can just picture a good horror movie with exactly this kind of plot. And I love good ideas. As I've already said, it was what made me want to read the whole thing in the first place, and what kept me in throughout. (I had had the ending spoiled, admittedly, but I enjoyed it just the same.)The execution, however, I could pick at in many ways, and if you don't mind I think I will pick at it.
Firstly, some nasty word confusions in a couple of places - I remember a dozen "lied" instead of "lay" ("lied" always means "told a lie"), at least one "their" instead of "there" and some "breath" instead of "breathe" ("breathe" is the verb, "breath" is the noun). Maybe you should get a beta reader or something.
Secondly, I thought you overhyped the sex - not in the fic itself, but in the thread. You literally went on and on and on before and after every chapter about how there was no sex yet and how there would be sex in April and how we were all waiting for April and how you had written the first contestshipping sex at the forums and blah blah blah. It really ruined the plot when you were acting like the plot was just some sort of a frame around that April sex scene. Didn't you say yourself in the end that the sex was just to show how much they loved each other? Sure, to a point it's understandable as a joke, but sorry, I can't understand how any respectable author could write a fic with an extremely creepy, symbolic plot and then not only let the one little unimportant sex scene in the middle be hyped up like this, but in fact actively participate in the hyping and be proud of having written the first Contestshipping porn on the forums. You should never write sex and make it seem important to you that it is sex. A successful insertion of a sex scene is one that makes it seem like a natural part of the story which is not any more noteworthy than any other natural parts of the story. You did that just fine in the story, really, but it bothered me how much attention you seemed to want to draw to the fact that this fic contains sex. Sex doesn't deserve all that attention. When you draw so much attention to it, the story starts seeming like something written to turn people on, and personally I really don't have a particularly high opinion of that sort of fic in any literary context. (They're fine if you're horny and just want something to wank to, but there is no other reason for anybody to want to read them, which is why you really shouldn't want that label.)
Now, thirdly, some style issues. In many parts the sentences seemed too simple and short - just sentence after sentence of "This was like this. This was also like this. He did this. She did that." (I'm kind of the opposite, though - my sentences tend to be overly long and complicated, so maybe I'm not the best person to judge on that.) It got on my nerves. . . .
Generally, description should be stuffed into as few sentences as grammatically possible. One of those masters of description (definitely not me, so I won't even attempt it) could probably fit more or less all that information into one sentence instead of your four. In some places, it's appropriate to have short sentences, but you did it way too often in places where it was not appropriate at all.
Fourthly (and lastly, unless I forgot something), the fic seemed a little rushed. There were just so many things I felt could have been elaborated upon. Really, this fic could have been much, much longer. For one thing, I wanted to see the beginning of May and Drew's relationship on the island, because that was probably really the most important part of it - first kiss, first "whoa-look-what-just-appeared-in-the-treehouse" moment, and the confusion of being on the island in the first place. They could have been developed a great deal better if you had just included that. Also, symbolism is generally something you either get when you read the fic or you realize when the author mentions it, "Oh, of course it meant that!" Some of the stuff you explained after finishing the story really didn't give me that sort of feeling - you didn't hint at it in the story in any way that ordinary readers could spot. For example, the thing about the island being a "state of mind" and with Drew having "offended" it and made a part of the island. It didn't make sense to me either how May was the one who burned the flowers when she was destined to live. In a way it would have been more clever if May had been the one who died because of the whole accepting and not accepting the things that happened on the island, actually - it's a bit icky to promote just accepting what's happening to you and would make more sense if she were somehow 'deceived' by the island and ended up being the one who perished while the one who was cautious and wary of what the island had to offer would have escaped from it, but meh. I think if I hadn't already found out that Drew ended up dead, I'd probably have thought something like that would happen in the end to May, exactly because she so easily accepted the strange happenings on the island. (Incidentally, their attitude towards the strange things on the island seems contradicted by how they thought of the outside world - there it was Drew who just accepted being on the island while May wanted out. That could be interpreted as irony to hint at May, the one who missed the outside world, being the one who dies, and Drew, who didn't really mind being on the island as long as he was with her, ending up alone in the real world.) You could have added many more hints and such to the story, more weird things happening on the island, etc. It would have been nice to elaborate upon whether the other people who went to the island while unconscious in the room had also experienced something with the island appearing to want to get them together (naturally, only to rip them apart again). I think the story of all the island's "victims" should have been told a little later to keep the suspense a bit longer, too.
But that being said, I did enjoy it, if just for the idea. I have a soft spot for cursed things, character deaths and mysterious forces more powerful than the main characters.
Encyclopika Quote Dragonfree:Secondly, I thought you overhyped the sex - not in the fic itself, but in the thread.
And now you know why I'm incredibly p*ssed off with people like Crystal Walrein and Sunshine188 who say they had absolutely NO warning about it before the chapter. >.> I did it so that I wouldn't run into that problem, but evidently, I was wrong. Next time, I'll just warn them on the first page and see how that goes.
I have to admit that I was also nervous and excited because I was writing about something I had never done before and based most of it on a clip from one of Jo-Jo's un-posted fics and two movies. That's not a lot, so I was anticipating myself, really while trying to strain all those who didn't want to read it, but I guess only true reviewers like yourself actually read EVERYTHING in a fic thread, so that doesn't work I've now learned. -_-
Quote Dragonfree: (They're fine if you're horny and just want something to wank to, but there is no other reason for anybody to want to read them, which is why you really shouldn't want that label.)
Ow. Okay, I'm not. And I don't want that label, I wanted to write about something I had never written before for experience. I was merely trying to warn people because I didn't want the bull I had gotten anyway from CW and Sunshine. And then afterward, I think the "good job"'s had gotten to my head, so I was proud of myself that I had pulled it off. Anyway, we're here to review the fic itself, not that things I did four months ago. I can't change the way I felt about my new accomplishment then, all I can do is change it for the better next time.
Anyway, thanks for reviewing my fic and giving me some pointers. I'll definately use them with my next fic Demons of Metropolis which I really want to be the best fic I ever wrote. And I'll take my time, only warn once about the explict content, and focus.
Dragonfree: The more I think about it, the more I think this doesn't really deserve the NC-17 rating. Yeah, there's sex in it, but it's a) not explicitly described, and b) not the main focus of the story. As far as I know, that only constitutes for an R. (There's a bunch of R-rated movies with a plot that include sex scenes without actually showing you tab A in slot B - off the top of my head, I remember The Matrix Reloaded.) I can understand Crystal Walrein's point about damaging the site's reputation when it comes to stuff like A Day Inside May because that's something you can actually call a porn fic, but this just isn't one.
Encyclopika: I know, good point. But before I started writing it, Kiori and I discussed it and she and I agreed that we should put it at NC17, as I'll do again for Demons of Metropolis. It's just safer and easier I find. =\ Though you're right.
Nathan Madien: I agree with you on that. Ama's fanfic had sex, but A.) it was very soft and B.) it didn't drown the rest of the story. I've read A Day Inside May, and I felt it would've been better posted on MediaMiner than in the Serebiiforum. I mean, it was okay but it went overboard a bit and just drowned the rest of the story.
Me: That's quite enough.
Following my rendezvous with Torched Chicken in which he says he posted a thread about porn tolerance on this board in your mod discussion area, I asked him to convey to those reading my apology for mishandling the situation.
I do realise that there is a sharp contrast between A Day Inside May and Treehouse Saga. The former was dedicated most of the way to a graphic depiction of a sexual encounter between Ash and May and, from what I recall, an attempt to cover it up from her parents. That was something that, even if it was well written, as I must admit it was from reading it myself, was not something that I would personally like to see my younger siblings or, in future, my own children reading out of curiosity. I do give credit to him, however, for signifying in the thread title that it was an NC17 fic, yet the fact remains that sex was essentially what it was. As for Treehouse Saga, things were not as severe, seeing as the actual sex encompassed one chapter and there were instead some playful banter and an emergency room drama scene occupying the rest of the story. I admit that from the first post of this thread I was looking for a point in which I would be able to report this as evidence that there still existed blatant tolerance of pornography in this forum, and I jumped at Drew and May being bare-chested in February (save for her bra) and reported it on my blog accordingly.
With that distinction being made, I want to repeat my apology to Encyclopika for orchestrating the row on her own blog, which started when the ________ administrator ________ wrote an attack on her presonal response to my review of Treehouse Saga. Although my act there was immature and miscalculated, I still am fearful that you're using the very attitude you have on your blog — even if it's to vent on others, which is actually a violation of Freewebs' terms of service — to deal with miscreants in this forum or wherever else you have such power; do you really expect me to respect a moderator that would tell someone to kill him or herself if he or she could not handle a situation, rather than just go up to that person and set things straight?
Looking back at the fic itself and what Dragonfree said — she's read my blog, she can tell you how livid I was — I realise that I misjudged you as far as the content of the fic goes. However, I will never forgive you, myself, for your reaction. You devolved into one of the flamers that you, as a moderator here, are expected to defend the forums against. You insulted me, as well as my friends, and made a bare attempt meanwhile to reiterate the outline of the story. Still stuck in your head was the knowledge, which I regret to admit, that the forum can't necessarily be held liable for what's posted. Next to this, though, you and the moderators that support showing porn fics here are taking advantage of the fact with blatant disregard for the visitors. Tell me, how many will read any precautions you may have before they move onto the story? And tell me, if the slogan for this place is 'The Place For Everyone', is it limited to those that are mature enough to handle material like this? I surely hope not. This forum is to be as open to younger audiences as much as they are to people your age, and you must respect that fact.
Encyclopika: Crystal Walrein - I'm fine with you not respecting me for what I posted at my site, but at my site I'm not a mod, I'm regular old me...so having respect for me as a mod here has nothing to do with it. And even though you didn't go as far as I did, you still weren't too nice and very judgemental to something you didn't look further into, which had me loose my temper since I waste plenty of space warning people about things, only to end up with this problem. =
. . . . Yes...HERE... [sic] which I do no matter what character, person, or ship/idea is being flamed, even if I myself agree with the flamage. I do my job, so what I do somewhere else has no connection here at all except it's about it.
. . . . Actually, we all said tough nugs to those people, to tell you the blunt truth. ^^;; No one can be responsible for that except the reader him or herself. We mods and admins expect everyone to read and follow rules and precautions so that we don't have to deal with stuff like this...we can't help it if some person is too lazy to read the warnings. Next time, I'll only warn once since it only gives respectable readers like Dragonfree the wrong impression.
And anyway, this is no place to discuss what happened at my rants section or the general posting of explict romance...you're supposed to be discussing the fic at hand. So, stop going off-topic with this. Really. As I said in the rants section I don't want any emails, PMs, emails, or posts about it. How I was is how I was, but if you'd like, I'll move the personal ones onto Xanga or something and keep the rants for and about the general public.
Oh goodie, I can't WAIT for Demons of Metropolis to come out.
As a result, I've decided to turn in everything I ever said about them here, as well as bring back my affiliation with the spammer, and have a mod liaise to ban me from there. It's been no use arguing — why should I step into the way of rabid bulldogs that are out to attack anyone who opposes them? I've been mauled, my reputation ruined there if ever I had one. All because social skills count zero there, just the mechanical process of closing and locking threads.