Okay, let's give this community a trial run. Here's a link to a story I've started working on.
The Shadows' Four Corners
(Posted in my other LJ, btw -- it's still me!)
Fandom -- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
Please critique all aspects, grammar, spelling, characterization, tone -- everything. I'm a bit concerned about the chunk of exposition at the start, since I normally handle exposition within the story, usually in dialogue. Is what I have too much like boring info-dumping? Or is it okay? Any suggestions?
Since the Yu-Gi-Oh canon didn't give us much information on how the Shadow Realm works, this story should be in fairly good agreement with canon.
I'd rather not walk away from a critique wounded and bleeding, but I think my tolerance for honest and helpful criticisms is pretty high. Let's give it a try!
Since this concrit request is something of a trial run for the community, please leave any critiques in the thread here.
In-depth con-crit is always treasured, but even a one line comment pointing out a mispelled word is valuable, too. ^_^
Thanks, in advance, for any critiques!
I can't speak to characterization, as you know (since I know very little about the YGO-verse). But, I'm happy to give it a whirl for everything else.
First off, I liked this bit quite a lot. I like the mood, tone, and pace you set for the story with the first bit of prose. I feel it is a story that will, at first, unfold in a languid manner that will be quite enjoyable to the reader. I have a sense the pace will, likely, pick up quite a bit along the way, which will be fun to watch. (I could be totally wrong about that, tho -- just a guess on my part.)
I liked the exposition at the beginning. As I said, I feel like it sets a nice pace and tone for the story to come. Plus, it draws the reader into the story. At least, it did that for me, which is nice, since I don't normally read YGO fic. But, I did find it a bit jarring to jump from the expository paragraphs right into the "meat" of the story, where Mahaad is talking with Mahes. If this is to be a multi-chapter work, you might want to make the exposition into a separate prologue. I think it would work perfectly like that. Or, if it is to be a one-shot, you might want to think of a way to more easily transition the reader from it into the dialogue that comes at the beginning of the next section.
I liked the dialogue between Mahaad and Mahes. It was a bit formal and stilted ... but I think that is exactly how it should be for a being talking to his god. I mean, if there was ever a time for formality, that's it! So, I think it fits in perfectly with the tone of the story, flows well, and does exactly what you wanted it to do.
I didn't notice any grammatical errors or misspelled words. But, I also read this at a time when I was a bit upset, in general. (You know what's going on with me at the moment, so no explanation needed there, I think.) So, I might not have had my "thinking cap" on properly for the more technical aspects of the piece.
Overall, I think it's a very nice, solid beginning. Great job!
Thank you so much for the critique! ^_^
You're right, I'm trying for a certain pace to this story. It is going to hopefully whirl the main character, and the readers, up into a series of unbelievable events rather quickly. (This story is somewhat in the same vein as 'Alucard in Wonderland' just so you know ^_~).
Hmm, the expository bit should only be in the beginning of the story, I think the rest of it I can handle in my usual way through dialog. Would it make it less jarring to label that part 'Introduction' and then the next part as 'Chapter One'? I'm having a rough time coming up with any other segue that doesn't make me want to tear my hair out.
It's funny, Mahes (in my other story he's appeared in with Mahaad) is actually warm and almost, well, 'fluffy'. He likes Mahaad quite a lot. Mahaad is always the stiff and formal one (but that's what makes sense to me) and Mahes has sort of yelled at him once before for it. Still, Mahes is a god, so it's right for Mahaad to be formal. I think Mahes just wants Mahaad's formality to be a touch 'warmer' toward him than the other deities, because of what he did for him (in one of my other stories). That's why he didn't want Mahaad to stay in full obeisance to him in that scene. Anyway, formal is what I'm trying to achieve in that. I have to imply that the conversation is longer (and out of the readers' 'earshot' so to speak) for later exposition. Mahaad, as usual, is going to be my deus ex machina in this story.