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Judas Martel's latest writing project!~:

Accelolita's Butler
Check out this new writing project I'm undertaking!

Enjoy!~

Chapter 1: Frankly, it lacks punch for a first chapter. Your writing style is enough to convey your story but not enough to sell it (apart from the usual spelling and diction errors). My primary suggestion would be to lessen the infodump:

Sakura Minamimoto stands at 183cm (6 feet) at a very young age of 15. The average Japanese woman stands at 158cm (5-foot-2). Her default facial expression shows that she's not very happy about this. Her unusual size made her life uneasy.

People stare at her every morning on her way to school, choosing clothes was very difficult since most of them were made for smaller girls, classmates tease her mercilessly about her size, calling her names like "Giant" or "Amazoness", and the guys are rather scared instead of smitten at her so she's having difficulty finding dates.

As a result, she tends to space out by herself, avoiding social contact whenever possible. But social interaction isn’t really avoidable when you have such a rowdy group as Class 1-7. Of course, they don’t show it off right now because the teacher will get mad and the lesson was rather interesting, if only quite difficult.

Apply "show, don't tell" here. Don't tell us what her issues are; show them, have some classmates whisper about how big she is, or how intimidating they find her. Don't say she avoids social contact, show how she does so. Stuff like that.

I could criticize this sentence per sentence, if you'd like. As with all the other chapters.
Chapter 2: Better, though the writing still lacks punch. It could flow more naturally. Nothing in particular to point out, but could use quite a bit of reworking. Also, again, the infodumps. At least segue them in naturally. For example, have Hazuki act in an airheaded manner, and then let Sakura comment on it.
Chapter 3: Same deal as the previous chapters. Needs a lot of reworking to make it flow better and be more interesting to read.

edited 27th Jan '13 6:07:41 AM by fillerdude

Accelolita's Butler
Hmm, "show don't tell", huh? I admit though, I'm bad at details, and I'm afraid I might include too many details just to "show" something, and I don't want that in my story.

You're right, I might rework these chapters for the final copy. You could say it's rushed, because I wanted to write something before it disappears in my mind. Ideas slip through my mind rather quickly.

I'm still looking for the writing style that fits me the most, so I don't want to worry too much about it if I can help it. The way I am now, I would rather take it slow than use all the big guns right at the first chapter. Of course, it's not the best way to write something.

So before I write the first basketball game in the story, I would like to know which is the better way to depict my games.

KnB didn't get a lot of love from me because I found many of the moves unrealistic. Kuroko's "punch pass" and Midorima's 100% accurate jump shots from the FREAKING HALFCOURT (bonus points for doing it like a regular jump shot instead of throwing it like a Hail Mary prayer) are the worst offenders in my book, but Kuroko's other passes get a pass from me because NBA point guards do that regularly.

Another issue that concerns me is that generally, people find women's basketball boring because it's not as flashy as the men's game but is more fundamental in nature. Only four women were able to pull off a slam dunk in an actual game, whereas slam dunks are very common in the men's game. So, should I take the KnB route, should I create a female character who can dunk consistently? Even though science has shown that women are four to eight times more likely to get knee injuries from making the landing than the men.

edited 27th Jan '13 6:33:33 AM by judasmartel

[up] It's a good thing you're writing. Actually writing things is the best way to improve writing ability. Hope you find your style.

As for Ro-Kyu-Bu or Kuroko...

You dislike the supernatural moves, so are you confident in your ability to write about them? If not, then don't. From my perspective, as someone who isn't all that interested in basketball, the supernatural moves are a big deal. They're a good hook for people who aren't all into basketball.

Furthermore, there is no need to choose character development over supernatural powers or vice versa. Indeed, Kuroko has good character development (though admittedly not from the main characters Kuroko and Taiga) so... yeah. Go for both, though character development is more important than supernatural powers.

Re: other issue It's simply a matter of "do you want to be realistic or not?" Which one do you think will be more interesting?

Accelolita's Butler
Hmm... When I think about it, I would like to be as realistic as possible, because I don't want to make readers who are more knowledgeable about basketball than I do to think I'm blatantly ignoring the laws of physics. RKB didn't have any super moves and yet I have enjoyed it just fine.

However, it's a nice thing to go outside the line of reality once in a while, if only to spice up the story a little. I just don't like abilities that exist for no reason other than Rule of Cool. If I'm going to write one, I would at least make sure that it requires superhuman capabilities to pull it off in real life.

Slam Dunk characters usually have Charles Atlas Superpowers under their belt, and I still enjoyed it much more than RKB or even Kuroko (again, physics-defying moves killed my interest of it).

So all in all, I would still like to give my characters Charles Atlas Superpowers.

Anyways, thanks for the review. I should be able to write the next chapters anytime soon.

edited 27th Jan '13 8:00:42 AM by judasmartel

Accelolita's Butler
Writer's rendition of the following characters:

Accelolita's Butler
Okay, so I have written an outline building to the first game of the story, then a full dialogue version of the Training Montage before the game. Everything was fine until the part where the "trainer" teaches the heroes how to do defense (rebounding and shot-blocking). Somehow, the MC was able to learn how to post up her mark rather quickly, with guidance from the "trainer" of course.

I wanted to show the MC to be a natural, gifted with a body perfectly suited for the game and potential to become a great player if she works hard for it (kinda like Dennis Rodman, minus the crazy antics, or Dwight Howard, only with the potential), but is still a beginner in the game so she still needs to be trained in the basics.

But somehow, my last scene before the pick-up game came off as a Deus ex Machina or an Ass Pull.

Any suggestions?

edited 28th Jan '13 7:38:21 PM by judasmartel

Can you describe that scene in more detail?

Generally, when it comes to showing rough talent, people usually show a more experienced player get surprised, even impressed at what the supposed newbie can do.

Accelolita's Butler
After a little research, I have decided to expand the Training Montage to include one final drill before the match. I guessed it could still show the MC's rough talents that way.

[up] Should be fine.

Accelolita's Butler
Chapter 4 is out!~

Enjoy!~

At least two chapters away from the first ball game of the story, though my pacing right now is so slow it's unbelievable. I am hoping to finish the introductory arc before we move out to a new home. After that, I could start with the Training Arc.

edited 31st Jan '13 7:36:26 AM by judasmartel

Chapter 4:

  • First two paragraphs: basically fat. Trim it. You can also use the narration to show the perspective of certain characters.
  • The dialogue and narration is too stiff at the moment. The interactions need to feel more natural, and the narration needs to flow better.

Hmmm... that's it in general. I'll point out a few parts so I can be specific:

“Let’s check out the new open court outside of town. It’s near the park. Kocchan is also coming with us. I’m looking forward to see it.”

It's too narration-like. Use exclamation points, give some feeling into what they say:

"Sacchan! You know about that new open court? It's just outside of town, near the park. I thought you might want to come with me and Kocchan and check it out."

He looks on the trees around the road, thinking to himself as he goes
Better said as "He looks at the trees along the road, deep in thought.

The boy hides himself behind a tree near a lamp post to avoid being seen.
You can scrap "near a lamp post". It's unnecessary detail.

Also, for that entire stalking segment, you should start from the guy's perspective. Describe walking down the road, trying to mask his presence, and only then say that he's following someone. That's much easier to follow.

It might also be a good idea to intersperse his actions with his thoughts on what he overheard at the faculty room. That way you can get rid of the slow-paced stalking and the rather awkward block-of-text flashback.

Sakura and Kotori blushed upon hearing the compliment, albeit in embarassment.
Scrap "albeit in embarassment". Your next line

"H-huh, really? But it's kind of embarassing. Our arms and legs are exposed, " says Sakura.

mentions it anyway.

"Y-Yeah. Even our undersides are exposed too. I'm quite ashamed. I've put on quite some weight recently, " adds Kotori.

No need to say the third sentence; Kotori already said "Yeah" which means that she agreed with Sakura about the whole thing being embarassing. The second sentence can also be scrapped in favor of describing an action such as trying to stretch the clothes in order to cover more of the underside. The fourth sentence is too formal; "I've gotten fatter" or "I've put on some weight..." should suffice.

"That's true! I think basketball players are strong! I think it's not only a boys' game. Even us girls can do it, too! I believe our girls' team can win it all! I truly believe it!", encouraged the taller girl.

Instead of saying "encouraged the taller girl", have this taller girl do some sort of encouraging gesture: pat on the back, loud, clear voice, whatever.

(Tip: Cool lines sound better when they're the last thing you hear. You want to say, "this girl is encouraging that girl— Bam! Cool line!" not "Cool line! Yes that was this girl encouraging that girl")

"Eh. Since when you have been qualified to teach basketball?"

Better said as "Eh, since when were you qualified to teach basketball?"

"Mi-Mizunomachi? The middle school Prefectural Champions, the team that made it to the National Finals. It's no mistake. It's her! Ryoko Ichinose!"

Ah, this is a particularly important part. Say we change that to:

"Huh? You— you're Ryoko Ichinose!"

Notice how I removed practically everything else. Why is that?
  • First off, this sort of thing is perfect for a cliffhanger, isn't it? It's a bigger hook for your readers.
  • Second, that infodump is awkward. Leave it for the next chapter. You can relay the information with a line like:
    • Hazuki looked like she saw a ghost. Her eyes rested on the name printed on Ryoko's shirt. "Mizunomachi..." she mutters. What's an ex-member of the former Prefectural Champions doing in this place?

Hope this helps!

edited 1st Feb '13 8:53:36 AM by fillerdude

 13 judasmartel, Fri, 1st Feb '13 5:07:49 AM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
[awesome] Wow, that's real hard work there! You're so cool!

Thanks a great deal for your reviews. These really helped me out. I feel like I could really learn how to write from you!

Hm, I wonder, what is an ex-Prefectural Champion doing in a place like that? I want to know what you think while I'm prepping myself for the next chapter.

Many thanks!~

edited 1st Feb '13 5:15:44 AM by judasmartel

Personally, I think she's just there to play ball.

 15 judasmartel, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 7:18:14 AM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
While I was researching again for heights in the professional game, I went Oh Crap when I realized my hero team seems to be a really small one (I wanted to field in a balanced team, with a bench composed of more Elite Mooks than Red Shirts).

But given that Shohoku isn't really any taller compared to even the likes of Shoyo (famous for its 6-3 minimum height requirement) and Kainan (even more balanced than Shohoku)...

Say, the smallest player on the hero team is at 5-1 (intended to be an Allen Iverson clone), the tallest at 6-0 (she starts out as a typical Mighty Glacier Center player, but becomes a Lightning Bruiser over time thanks to training).

So, what do you think? Is my hero team really that small or is it just fine?

 16 judasmartel, Mon, 4th Feb '13 1:29:22 AM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
Chapter 1 Rewrite

Enjoy!~

edited 4th Feb '13 1:30:09 AM by judasmartel

I don't know much about heights, so I have no comment.

As for the Chapter 1 rewrite:

It’s a sunny morning in Seijou Private Academy. Class 1-7 is paying close attention to the teacher as he carefully explains the Mathematics lesson for that day.
A bit too basic. It does its job, but only just.

At the same time, a particularly huge girl is observing carefully how the teacher solves the sample problem, but she’s somehow feeling uncomfortable. It's as if everyone in class is looking through her soul. She stands out too much.
You can shorten this to:
The girl tried to focus on the blackboard, but it was no use. "Th-they're staring at me..."
That summarizes her discomfort. As for the "particularly huge" part, you can show that with the wonderful plot device of "whispering classmates".

Brown hair, black eyes, and shoulder length hair. She actually has a pretty cute face but with her massive body she just looks like a really huge teddy bear.
Don't just dole out her physical profile in one go. You can say all those other things later on: what you want to focus on here is her height. If you want to say that stuff about hair and eyes and the cute face, you can have one of her friends comfort her later on by pointing out those characteristics.

She responds shyly with her head slightly down. She stands up and stops to see her classmates staring at her like paper sticking to glue. She feels rather embarrased, but in resignment she still went to the blackboard and tried to solve the equation as the teacher requested.
Not "resignment". "Resignation". You can say this line like:
"Y-yes, " the girl softly responds, her head slightly down. Reluctantly, she stands up, and immediately felt the eyes of her classmates stick to her like glue. Every step towards the blackboard, weighed down by their stares.

It was an ordinary day for Sakura Minamimoto, but she does have unusual circumstances.

Sakura Minamimoto stands at 183cm (6 feet) at a very young age of 15. The average Japanese woman stands at 158cm (5-foot-2). Her default facial expression shows that she's not very happy about this. Her unusual size made her life uneasy.

People stare at her every morning on her way to school, choosing clothes was very difficult since most of them were made for smaller girls, classmates tease her mercilessly about her size, calling her names like "Giant" or "Amazoness", and the guys are rather scared instead of smitten at her so she's having difficulty finding dates.

As a result, she tends to space out by herself, avoiding social contact whenever possible. But social interaction isn’t really avoidable when you have such a rowdy group as Class 1-7. Of course, they don’t show it off right now because the teacher will get mad and the lesson was rather interesting, if only quite difficult.

This is the infodump I previously talked about. Show, don't tell!

The bell rang, which meant that the Math period is over. So the students gave their usual farewells to the teacher. The class representative proceeds to give the order to her classmates.

“Stand!”

Everyone stood up.

“Bow!”

“Thank you, sir!”
This is actually okay, but you can cut it down to: "The bell rang; that meant lunch break."

Break time has begun, so everyone went on their way, some went outside to get some food from the High School Department’s famous cafeteria, others stayed inside the classroom and chatted to each other about the latest thing.
Again, does its job, but could use more punch. Why not have her classmates talk about Sakura?

Earlier this morning, she looked around as she walked her way to school, only to see people stare at her like she’s some sort of a strange person. She could only blush and shiver in embarrassment while some of them whisper something to each other as she went. This time, however, she was already used to it that she just walked straight ahead right after this happened, with eyes focused on the road.
It's better to make Sakura sulk, and have her mutter or think, "They were staring at me... just like this morning while walking to school... I mean, I'm used to it but..." yadda yadda.

<flashback about clothing store>
Scrap it. It's irrelevant and you have other ways to get your points across.

Too long. The flashback itself is awkwardly placed.

<flashback about heartwarming incident>
Don't say it's a heartwarming incident. Show, don't tell!

The content of the flashback itself is okay, but, again, could use more punch.

She turned around to see where the voice came from, only to see two of her female classmates: one is red-haired in twintails, the other has a short, brown hair.
Typo. Furthermore, it can be simply said as "she turned around and saw her friends, Hazuki and Kotori". You can insert their physical appearance here or leave them for later.

"Mmm, yeah. I'm fine, Hazuki, Kotori. Thank you for your concern."

"Ne, ne, Sacchan, let's go to the cafeteria. Food seems to be interesting today."

"Okay."

Sakura stood up and went outside the classroom with both girls.
Purple portion: "let's go eat! The cafeteria food seems to be interesting today."
Red portion: can be omitted. Since Sakura already said yeah, we already know they're heading to the cafeteria. Of course, you can leave it there for color text. Either way works, really.

edited 4th Feb '13 3:19:26 AM by fillerdude

 18 Archereon, Mon, 4th Feb '13 6:23:37 PM from Everywhere.
Ave Imperator
Uh, I just skimmed your writing a bit, and I have to ask: Why is it written in the present tense? It just seems odd to have a story narrated from what appears to be a third person omniscient perspective to use the present tense for its narrative. It's alright if that's what you like, but I also noticed parts of it that were written in the more frequently used past tense; is there a reason for that?

edited 4th Feb '13 6:25:11 PM by Archereon

This is a signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
 19 judasmartel, Mon, 4th Feb '13 6:26:48 PM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
[up] Is it the rule "Always use the present tense when telling a story"?

I'm having trouble using the right tenses since following that rule.

My memory is a bit fuzzy anyway, so I might as well ask when and where does that "always use the present tense" rule apply? Or is there even such a rule when writing fiction?

edited 4th Feb '13 6:29:48 PM by judasmartel

 20 Archereon, Mon, 4th Feb '13 6:52:45 PM from Everywhere.
Ave Imperator
[up] Most fictional stories I know of are narrated in the past tense if they're told from a third person perspective (I know of a few first person narratives told primarily in the present tense), and I don't know of many if any examples of writing that switches between the two in its top level narration. It's not a rule so much as it is a convention of fiction, one that can very easily sound awkward if it's broken. But if you, for whatever reason, just prefer narrating in the present tense, don't use the past tense unless you're talking about events that occurred prior to the current point in the narrative.

Are you getting confused by the general rule of using the present tense when writing about literature?

edited 4th Feb '13 6:59:57 PM by Archereon

This is a signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
 21 judasmartel, Mon, 4th Feb '13 7:06:19 PM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
[up]Yeah. I thought it's "always use the present tense". Though I would really prefer to use the correct tense for the situation.

 22 chihuahua 0, Mon, 4th Feb '13 7:14:10 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Yeah, past tense is the default when writing fiction, but present tense when writing about fiction.

Doesn't mean present tense is barred (it's a trend in YA fiction, probably because of The Hunger Games, and it's often seen as literary), but keep note that people can be unusually passionate about its use.

I personally don't mind (sometimes going half the book before realizing the tense) but authors like Philip Pullman have written about their distaste of fictitious present tense.

edited 4th Feb '13 7:15:05 PM by chihuahua0

 23 judasmartel, Mon, 4th Feb '13 7:26:17 PM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
All right, I'll just use the correct tense depending on the situation, then. Though it might take a while to shake it off.

Oh, by the way, now that I remember it, I have three questions:

  • The hero team is a Japanese girls HS team, the average is 5-6, the tallest is at 6-foot (should have made her 1-2 inches taller, but I guess it's okay to give room for the opposing teams), the shortest is at 5-1. So is it really small or is it just fine? I wanted my hero team to be a balanced one so they don't have to rely on run-and-gun all the time. (The run-and-gun is notorious for its fast-paced offense at the cost of the team using it not having enough energy to play defense, so it's not capable of producing championships on a more consistent basis than a defense-oriented team).
  • I have an idea for a male supporting character. Now the problem people have with it is that they tend to dislike this type of character because "it's uninteresting". So I tried to come up with ways to make him interesting, but it could end up in him stealing the spotlight from the all-female cast. So how do I make a male character in an all-female cast interesting without him stealing the spotlight from the female main character/s? I don't like making him Darker and Edgier because I consider it a cheap way to make him interesting.
  • I have decided on him being a former ace player who got cut from varsity teams due to his injury holding him back. What type of injury do you think could significantly decrease his ability to play without necessarily crippling him?

Many thanks!~

edited 4th Feb '13 7:34:36 PM by judasmartel

 24 Oh So Into Cats, Tue, 5th Feb '13 2:34:48 AM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
There is no "correct" tense. It's a choice.
"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
 25 judasmartel, Wed, 6th Feb '13 6:41:52 PM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
Since I can't seem to motivate myself to write the next chapter (I'm still halfway through last night, had to sleep before the laptop destroys my health), let's discuss something I'm having trouble getting around with.

The Balance Between Boring but Realistic Games and Awesome but Unrealistic Games in Sports Stories

As You Know, not a lot of people are really into Sports Stories, presumably because if I want to "experience the feeling" first-hand, I might as well watch real games instead of reading stories about these.

Also, sports story tropes such as Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, Down to the Last Play and Miracle Rally have been abused to hell and back that people go all "Seen It a Million Times". It may seem like Strictly Formula is the only way to present a sports story, especially those based in real life (see The Mighty Macs), but of course it isn't.

However, the problem with the alternative is that I find over-the-top Super Moves (like in Prince of Tennis and Kuroko No Basuke) a cheap way to make a sports story interesting. But as fillerdude pointed out, they are a big deal to people who are not really into that particular sport.

But this story element rears its ugly head when somebody who happens to know that particular sport (whether by watching games on TV or by playing the sport itself) reads it and finds it not realistic enough so s/he drops it. Of course, I recognize that some people who do play the sport are capable of forgiving these deviations from reality because it's fiction, and it's not even supposed to resemble reality at all.

As stated above, "If I want to know more about the sport, I don't need to read any sports story, I would rather watch actual games or play the sport itself." But what really annoyed me is the mentality above combined with, "Make the moves physics-defying or I won't read it."

But what actually makes sports stories sell IMO is inspiration. Most if not all sports stories are written to inspire readers to win the game of Real Life, overcome their own differences and unite with people from different backgrounds and characteristics for a common cause.

The only compromise I could think of so far is to make the moves realistic, but give the characters Charles Atlas Superpowers. That means, the moves may seem impossible to do, but it actually is possible, but it requires physical abilities comparable to that of a real life professional athlete.

But before you say, "Oh, Kn B did just that!", take for example Kuroko's misdirection and Midorima's full court shot. Kuroko's passes are at the level of an NBA point guard, but it's not really physically possible to literally disappear in front of everyone in the court as advertised in the show.

A possible explanation is that opposing players tend to ignore him because he's not a real threat on offense. Out of sight, out of mind. Then Kuroko cuts through the defense by suddenly appearing behind them when they least expect it.

So while it's not physically possible to literally disappear in thin air, it IS possible to disappear by making everyone not focus on you. Again, out of sight, out of mind. It could be defeated by focusing solely on that player, so "misdirection" could not work. Of course, that could still leave some other holes on the defense, but it's better than being sneaked at from behind.

In the real game, Robert Horry is well known for making clutch shots without anyone but the Genre Savvy expecting it. During the final seconds of a playoff game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings, the other players were so absorbed into getting the ball that it landed in his hand just in time for him to make the game-winning shot when they least expect it.

Midorima's full court shot... well, not even NBA players could do that! When NBA players do full court shots, they throw it like a baseball instead of shooting it like a regular jump shot! Although, it IS possible for NBA players to make shots from way outside the three-point line like a regular jump shot, just not shots from outside the half-court line.

So that ends my discourse. I would like to know what do you think about the balance between making games realistic enough for readers who know the sport and making them interesting for readers who don't.

edited 6th Feb '13 6:44:43 PM by judasmartel

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