On the fan-fiction balcony

edited March 2013 in Fan Fiction

Well, might as well keep this going...  :)

What?  No smilies?  Well, I guess I can do without...

Simon, will the Robin's site be affected by the change, and if so, how?  So far, I don't see a page like "The Woods" with links to related sites.  Will this or its equivalent be reinstated here?

I guess when you have all the old forums loaded in the "oldforum" I'll have to create some new links to get from here to there, or vice versa...we'll see how that goes.

Wow, such a jolt!  But I guess this is the long-promised change, so might as well deal with it.

 

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Comments

  • The balcony has re-opened =)
  • That shivermetimbers guy was such an idiot. I hope he doesn't follow us here. That way we can have our fanfiction discussion in peace. I mean, really. Seesh.
  • edited March 2013

    Well, might as well keep this going...  :)

    What?  No smilies?  Well, I guess I can do without...

    Eh... There's a smiley pack that I haven't installed. I guess I can enable it and see if it'll be as annoying as it was on the old forum.

    Simon, will the Robin's site be affected by the change, and if so, how?  So far, I don't see a page like "The Woods" with links to related sites.  Will this or its equivalent be reinstated here?

    I guess when you have all the old forums loaded in the "oldforum" I'll have to create some new links to get from here to there, or vice versa...we'll see how that goes.

    Wow, such a jolt!  But I guess this is the long-promised change, so might as well deal with it.

    The forum isn't going to replace the website. This forum just replaces the old forum. I eventually plan to migrate the rest of the site over to the shared host the forum is (and bring Robin's along for the ride as well), but that won't happen right away. The forum is basically the most decrepit part of the old site, so it really needed the refresh.

    The change in URL was necessitated by technical limitations; it's best to think of this forum as part of the Thorn Valley site than as its own thing.

  • edited April 2013
    The balcony has re-opened =)



    Yup.   :D

     

    The forum isn't going to replace the website. This forum just replaces the old forum. I eventually plan to migrate the rest of the site over to the shared host the forum is (and bring Robin's along for the ride as well), but that won't happen right away. The forum is basically the most decrepit part of the old site, so it really needed the refresh.

    The change in URL was necessitated by technical limitations; it's best to think of this forum as part of the Thorn Valley site than as its own thing.



    Thanks for clearing up my everpresent confusion. 

     

    That shivermetimbers guy was such an idiot. I hope he doesn't follow us here. That way we can have our fanfiction discussion in peace. I mean, really. Seesh.
    Simon, are you going to bring some of the Stickys over, particularly THE RULES?  Just wondering...
  • That shivermetimbers guy was such an idiot. I hope he doesn't follow us here. That way we can have our fanfiction discussion in peace. I mean, really. Seesh.

    Simon, are you going to bring some of the Stickys over, particularly THE RULES?  Just wondering...
    Hopefully you read my post on TV. My post wasn't meant to start anything negative, just insult myself. Yes, I'm shivermetimbers. I changed my name because I can. Anyone posting under the name shivermetimbers here won't be me, FYI. Yes, I should've made it more self-evident that I'm the same guy who insulted myself, hopefully you weren't offended, as that's not my intention.
  • DavidLeemhuis said:

    Simon, are you going to bring some of the Stickys over, particularly THE RULES? Just wondering...

    Ah, thanks for the reminder. Just did. n.n

  • ThePuppetMaster said:

    Hopefully you read my post on TV. My post wasn't meant to start anything negative, just insult myself. Yes, I'm shivermetimbers. I changed my name because I can. Anyone posting under the name shivermetimbers here won't be me, FYI. Yes, I should've made it more self-evident that I'm the same guy who insulted myself, hopefully you weren't offended, as that's not my intention.

    I knew that. :-\"

  • edited April 2013

    DavidLeemhuis said:

    I knew that. :-\"

    Anywho, more story updates coming soon? Perhaps do a review of Wandering Days when that's posted? Or give me feedback as I'm posting it? Or do the Boris Dance? Something?

  • edited May 2013

    Well, I can do this much. Here's the link to the old thread:

    http://www.thornvalley.com/oldforum/www.thornvalley.com/commons/forum/viewtopicb5de.html?t=965

    I should have a couple or so more chapters up very soon.

  • ||||||||||ANNOUNCEMENT TIME||||||||||

    Chapters 7 & 8 of “Out of the Mist” are now posted to Robin’s.

    http://robin.thornvalley.com/node/652

  • Okay, the Prologue to my new NIMH Unbound story "Dying Days" is now up http://forum.thornvalley.com/discussion/comment/48#Comment_48
    Again, many thanks to Simon who kindly helped me solve my posting problem before I went insane =)

    Tell me what you guys think. Love to hear feedback =)

  • ||||||||||ANNOUNCEMENT TIME||||||||||

    Chapter 9 of “Out of the Mist” is now posted to Robin’s.

  • ||||||||||ANNOUNCEMENT TIME||||||||||

    Chapter 10 of “Out of the Mist” is now posted to Robin’s.

  • ||||||||||ANNOUNCEMENT TIME||||||||||

    Chapters 11, 12 & 13 of “Out of the Mist” are now posted to Robin’s.

  • edited April 2013

    So Nicodemus is alive, I predicted that a long time ago. I feel smart.

  • No, you didn't. [-X Okay, maybe you did. :-B Anyway...

    ||||||||||ANNOUNCEMENT TIME||||||||||

    Chapter 14 of “Out of the Mist” is now posted to Robin’s.

  • DavidLeemhuis said:

    No, you didn't. [-X Okay, maybe you did. :-B Anyway...

    ||||||||||ANNOUNCEMENT TIME||||||||||

    Chapter 14 of “Out of the Mist” is now posted to Robin’s.

    I'm no longer really looking forward to the rest of your stories. You peaked with CPCL, but I think your stories have become way too convoluted. I'm lost. My main gripe, and why I compared your Johnathan with Gibbs' Jonathan is that your version of the character is much too perfect. He's been the hero far too many times in your stories and barely has anything to show for it. Part of the reason I fell in love with NIMH is that the main character earned her hero status by beating the odds stacked against her. Johnathan just seemed to be at the right place at the right time or used a magic stone which required little effort. I'm not saying heroes need to go through hell to get their hero status, but in fiction, it's just not that interesting to see a hero go through little effort.

    Also did I mention your story is way too convoluted? You used the stone as a 'this is why it happened' card WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too many times. It's like the force in "Star Wars" or Adam in "Bioshock" except even more convoluted than the both of them combined.

  • edited May 2013

    I should probably elaborate more on my post...When you have something like the force in Star Wars, a magical force that can allow many things to happen conveniently, it gets to be boring. Why does this happen? The force made it possible! Yawn...

    Similarly, when you have a magic trinket that's able to be God and summon a hooker made out of grilled cheese sandwiches out of mid air, it's not really an accomplishment. A real story would be about the journey of making a hooker made entirely out of grilled cheese sandwiches and the hardships and frustrations of not having unlimited bread and cheese.

    To your credit, when the characters don't have the stone at their disposal and they must rely on their wits, like Martin and Lambert, or even Johnathan in the beginning of CP;CL, it actually gets me interested and excited for what's going to happen. But no, the stone comes in, Johnathan saves the day with little effort, they go to Freethorn.

    I haven't begun my long term critique of your work yet, but needless to say, I think things would've been better without the stone.

  • I should also mention that the reason I'm not excited for the rest of your stories is that I'm lost, too many magic elements have been introduced. It's not like I think your stories are 'bad', it's just that I don't really understand them, if you catch me.

  • edited May 2013

    Wow, I feel like I just got a Dear John letter. =(( Seriously, I know this is the kind of thing that’s been your main criticism from the beginning. Too many magic elements? Maybe, but you can blame that on Bluth for adding them. Okay, I could have made my stories book-based instead of movie-based, but what can I say? I just found that the addition of them made the movie that much more engaging to me and sparked my own imagination that much more. If they weren’t there and the movie was more like the book, I honestly can’t say if it would have had the same effect. But there it is.

    As to your point about the Stone: Yes, there are magical elements, but they’re not all directly connected to the Stone. I do get what you’re saying, though. Way back when, I believed I was taking those elements from the film one step further, and for better or worse it’s just grown from there. I personally don’t think it’s too convoluted, but I guess it’s just as well that I made the changes that I did from the first-tier stories, including cutting one story entirely. I cut it because I thought it would simplify and streamline the storyline overall. Not enough? Well, that’s up to the reader to decide.

    I hope this doesn’t mean you won’t check out the succeeding chapters at all, at the risk of sounding egotistical, because I think you may find at least some upcoming developments to be unexpected and possibly even interesting. The emphasis, in this story perhaps more than the previous ones, is on the interpersonal relationships of the characters.

    I’m still trying to picture a hooker made out of grilled cheese sandwiches. :-S

    Is that you in the blue shirt and glasses?

  • I didn't mean to break my Grandpa Leemy's heart, I just have to be upfront and say that I'm not looking forward to your stories anymore. I'll read them, sure, but I won't be as excited as I once was.

    The force in Star Wars, before those godawful prequels came along, did have a certain kind of magic and awe to it. The force felt like it took honest effort to use; and with the power, do you choose to be corrupt or just? It was interesting and complimented the story well.

    Hell, even with NIMH, the stone felt like one needed a certain kind of power in order to operate it. I do address the stone in Wondering Days, and I make sure not to have the magic overpower the story.

    All the magic elements in your story are just made for wish-fulfilment. Wanna resurrect a character? There's a magic power for that! Wanna do inter-dimensional travel? There's a magic power for that! I can go on forever.... Wanna control someone's mind? There's a magic power for that!

    Wish-fulfilment stories don't have to be bad, but I can't be as excited when I can see that your exploration of these magic powers is just so that characters can be godlike. It's boring. I want to open you up to this so that you can become a better writer. And I know this is coming from someone who can't write for crap, but I know a thing or two about story telling.

  • edited May 2013

    I haven't been keeping up on fanfiction lately, so I haven't read the story in question, but I am somewhat sympathetic to ThePuppetMaster's complaint about easy magic. Even if the readers feel that the magic is a mysterious force that is not well-explained, the author must know the limits of the magic, and there must be a cost or down-side or rules regarding its use, otherwise you end up with a lot of "a wizard did it" explanations.

    The Stone was problematic from the moment Bluth & co. introduced it to the plot of the movie; all it required was someone "with a courageous heart" to come along and trigger it... somehow. No real explanation was ever given, though as mentioned in the John Cawley letter the general idea was to make the Stone a visual representation of the "internal power" of Mrs. Brisby. Which isn't really an explanation either. There is a hint of cost at the end of the sequence where Mrs. Brisby faints, suggesting that using the Stone was draining, but again, this is not really explained either. Honestly, I think the big reason fans give the stone a pass is because the scene is so visually impressive, which really isn't a crutch you can fall back on when writing.

    So, if you use the stone and justify its use by saying "well, it was in the movie", then you get to inherit all of the weak storytelling that accompanies it. I'm not saying that it can't be done well. There are a few stories that the Stone features in where it doesn't quite feel like it can just solve any given problem, the Secret of the Stone being one; in that one, the Stone seems like it may have some sort of darker aspect to it that would caution its use. However, in a lot of stories that incorporate it, the author never rises beyond the movie in trying to understand how it works, and end up mishandling it for the reasons I describe, which cheapens the experience. Or they generally ignore its existence, which is also a very valid strategy; the Stone complicates more than it simplifies in storytelling. The Stone's absence from the books is one of the big reasons that I chose to base my fanfic (back when I was still writing it) more closely on the book's version of events.

    Anyway, that's my rant on magic and the Stone in particular. I should go and read the stories I haven't been keeping up on lately, though; perhaps I could give more specific feedback then.

  • ChrisS said:

    Okay, the Prologue to my new NIMH Unbound story "Dying Days" is now up http://forum.thornvalley.com/discussion/comment/48#Comment_48
    Again, many thanks to Simon who kindly helped me solve my posting problem before I went insane =)

    Tell me what you guys think. Love to hear feedback =)

    Great nightmare sequence at the beginning. I won't try to guess who that was experiencing it, but since he goes unnamed I'll assume it's a familiar character. Yesno? Since there's just this much so far, it's hard to get a handle on what will follow, but I'm looking forward to seeing more all the same. %%-

  • Thank you David.

    Yes it is a familiar character who is in the first part of prologue. The story has mixture of characters from the film, original ones and quite a few from the Gibbs universe. In fact the setting is pretty much the Gibbs version of Thorn Valley although this is set many, many years after the events of the film so the rats at this point have advanced technology.

    I now have some free time so the next chapter will (hopefully) be up soon.

  • And so, undaunted...

    ||||||||||ANNOUNCEMENT TIME||||||||||

    Chapters 15 thru 17 of “Out of the Mist” are now posted to Robin’s.

  • DavidLeemhuis said:

    And so, undaunted...

    ||||||||||ANNOUNCEMENT TIME||||||||||

    Chapters 15 thru 17 of “Out of the Mist” are now posted to Robin’s.

    Well to your credit, you do make sense of some of Nicodemus' reasoning from the movie. I did kinda wonder why he would force Mrs. Brisby to visit the great owl when he knew of her needs.

    On the other hand, I think there's too much exposition here and with all the magic elements and plot reveals concerning magic it becomes a chore to read. I would either try and space out the exposition a bit or let the reader come to their own conclusions a bit. Was it really necessary to explain why Nicodemus didn't write much about the Stone in his journal? We've already established that his mind was altered by Ushtetsgdjskagsakdgaskgdfsakgs or whatever. Seriously, how do you pronounce these Lakeshihe names? Anyway...

    I think you could've done a better job with regards to feeding information to the reader. I also think you should've fleshed out Uhrstegg(UH-rust-egg?) as a character a bit better considering he's the one that causes a lot of this mess. Your story could use with a conflicted character. You created such great tension at the beginning of CP;CL; now it's just exposition and magic plot twists. It's just not interesting to me. Where's the character development? Where's the pacing? Hell, where's the plot? Three chapters of exposition about magic stuff that just ruins the pacing.

    I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude, it's just I was so enthusiastic about your stories at first, but now I feel just kinda let down. Your stories are well written and I respect that you're actually going through with them. Will continue reading and checking in from time to time.

  • Sorry for being harsh about your stories both on the old forum and the new one. I feel as though I'm trolling rather than being constructive and supportive. Part of it is due to my personal life and constantly dealing with mental health issues both from myself and others. And well, I'd prefer not to get into it. I just need an outlet for imagination, that's why I come and read the stories here. I wouldn't have even came into the fandom if I wasn't forced into watching the movie over two years ago. It struck me as being a very adult animated film that wasn't perfect, but still caught my eye. And in the beginning, I enjoyed the stories. Since your first story, The Brisby Beginning was the first one on the home page, it was the first fanfiction I read (SON related). And I enjoyed it. I thought the romance was stellar, the development with Mrs. And Mr. Brisby was well done, characters retained their personalities from the film, etc. I'll admit that I thought it was a little /too/ perfect of a relationship, but that's a small nitpick. When you first introduced magic, I thought it was great, the idea of an inter-dimensional world was a great idea and it complimented the story well. And the majority of CP;CL was great, probably your best.

    Recently, I just haven't been getting into it. The stories are well written, it's just you've introduced a bit too much magic and not enough character development for my liking. Maybe this will change with the proceeding chapters, but I don't know.

    Anyway, that doesn't excuse being harsh to your work for the sake of it. Saying "I'm not looking forward to your work" sounds a bit too mean-spirited. When I'm critical to someone's work it usually means I really like like it. I wouldn't have spent god knows how many hours of my life typing (albeit poorly) about your work If I didn't think you were a good writer.

    So the TL;DR version is: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be so harsh to your work over the years. I've been dealing with a lot with mental health issues that I forget that I have to respect people and their work over the internet. There's just a lot of layers to your story now that don't interest me, but maybe I'll be surprised later on. XD

    Keep up the good work,

    ThePuppetMaster

    I sent this as a PM, but considering that can get a little buggy, I decided this can be posted here.

  • edited May 2013

    Well, once again, I thought it’d be a good idea to hold off on rebuttal. By now I’m quite aware of your issues and that things may get slightly out of control occasionally, and that you may fire off things that you may regret later. That’s why I don’t get angry about it, even though I do believe some of your criticisms are unfair. You’re still a long ways from trolling, though, so don't worry.

    That said, I will admit that some of your criticisms are valid, especially in the areas of character development and especially in regard to original characters, and my descriptive powers fall a bit short sometimes. And yeah, exposition. I knew those chapters would be a chore for some to get through. I guess my main defense is that since he’s back among his people after such a long time, he wanted to make things as clear as possible to them about what happened to him, and that would almost inevitably involve lotsa ‘splaining. It was impossible to avoid completely, and I’ll admit that I found that whole section a bit of a chore to write originally, but I felt and still feel it was necessary.

    Don’t want to say too much more about what’s coming but I think you’ll find some of it surprising. I said way back when I was posting "Search" that your and others' criticisms stemmed largely from impatience, and there's still a long ways to go on this one, so stay tuned.

    BTW, I got your PM with no bugginess, easier in fact than before, since the new setup puts the entire message into an email.

    (^Simon) I’m prejudiced, of course, but I don’t think I’ve used magic as a crutch all that much, or as an easy out of bad situations. And I have attempted to explain its nature and origins and, I hope, its limitations. Whether I’ve done it well is up to the reader, of course. Considering how long I’ve been at this, and posting a good chunk of it, it’s a little surprising that you haven’t read any of my stuff yet, but as usual I’ll be looking forward to feedback from you or anyone else.

  • DavidLeemhuis said:

    (^Simon) I’m prejudiced, of course, but I don’t think I’ve used magic as a crutch all that much, or as an easy out of bad situations. And I have attempted to explain its nature and origins and, I hope, its limitations. Whether I’ve done it well is up to the reader, of course. Considering how long I’ve been at this, and posting a good chunk of it, it’s a little surprising that you haven’t read any of my stuff yet, but as usual I’ll be looking forward to feedback from you or anyone else.

    Which is why I included the caveat that I hadn't read it yet; the Stone is a difficult element to incorporate into any story, and while I have my opinions about it, it wouldn't be fair to your story if I implied that I had read it.

    But yeah, at some point, I should read them; I don't really have a good excuse other than laziness. Frankly, my time spent reading at all has gone way down since college. I think part of it is that NIMH fanfiction in general hasn't excited me in a while; I haven't read any fics in any real detail for a while now, not just yours.

  • I personally enjoyed the recent chapters of Out of the Mist, heck I've enjoyed the whole thing. I don't know why, but I have. I should get better at explaining things so my own fanfic can get out of my head @-) . Keep up the good work!

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