May 23 2009

Trollitrade’s Review Forum

Published by at 6:00 am under Review Forums

Please see the comments below. Thank you.

23 responses so far

23 Responses to “Trollitrade’s Review Forum”

  1. Trollitradeon 30 May 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Hey there, I’m Trolli. I’m a girl, I’m out there doing that “college” thing, and I’m from good old southern California. Yay! Obviously I’m really new here. I’m hoping to give and recieve some handy constructive criticism and help brainstorming. 🙂 Forgive me, I can be incredibly long-winded even when I’m trying to “summarize” things!

    The work I’ll be focusing on here is a fantasy adventure called “Do Tell, Trinket”. It’s a story that my sister and I have been writing for almost six years, and now that it’s almost finished, we’re gearing up for a massive revamp and rewrite for the story. And I mean MASSIVE.

    It’s about a seventeen-year-old girl, Trinket, who wakes up in the middle of a forest with no memory of who she is or how she got there. It’s not long before she discovers she’s got incredibly destructive magic powers that she has very little control over. She could very well kill a street vendor on accident or level a house in the middle of dinner. The discovery of these unwieldly powers (and the chaos that ensues) leads Trinket on a quest across the continent with help from our hero, Matlee, a clumsy, pacificist herbs scientist who can barely hold a sword straight, and a little wizard boy named Abra whose adventurousness and cowardice are constantly in conflict. It’s discovered over time that Trinket is really tangled up in a dream world, and her wild powers stem from the fact that she is lucid dreaming. She’s not in her own dream, but in the nightmares of her friend who has been in a coma for two years, and she’s supposed wake him up in the real-world by confronting him in the dream. …Yeah, that got needlessly complicated, didn’t it?

    I wanted to go for for a 13+ age group, but people in their mid-twenties would probably think the story is too young for them.

    I can deal. ^_^ I think constructive criticism is incredibly important. If I couldn’t “take the heat”, I wouldn’t be asking for your help now. I’m really hoping that everyone is at least kind and polite with their criticism, though. Comments like “YOU SUCK, YOUR STORY SUCKS, GO KILL YOURSELF” never made anybody a better author. ^__^;; I’ll try to be good, and open-minded, and I will take every comment (positive or negative) into consideration, even if I find that I can’t act upon the advice. So please, I need a lot of help, and I’m willing to listen to anyone who can offer it.

    You will be alarmed to hear that there are nine main characters in this story, and a handful of important side-characters, plus the villain. AUGH! xD I know it’s waaay too much for a novel, but I’m really having a hard time making myself drop any of the heroes I just spent six years writing about. I’m trying to do what I can… This story was originally written to be the plot for an RPG video game, like Final Fantasy or Star Ocean the Second Story. All of these games have a large amount of characters so you have choices for battle strategy, ect. So that’s why this humongous throng of characters came about… Also, we’re having trouble revising our horrendous plot into something that people might want to read. Also, due to careless characterization, we’ve got a couple of Mary Sues to fix. And I don’t have much in terms of a manuscript for you guys to read… I’m sorry. In our lack of good judgment at fourteen years old, we threw away the hard copies of the ENTIRE first half of the story. Ahh!

    Okay, that’s about it for the introductory post. O_O;; I’ll make another one after this to start introducing characters that I need help de-Suing. ^_^;;

    Sorry this intro was so long. T___T;;

  2. Trollitradeon 30 May 2009 at 5:55 pm

    ★MISSION START – Mary Sues and Characters Fix’em’ups!★
    It’s tough to know where to start, since I’ve really never tried to ask a forum for specific assistance. But I suppose an interesting place to start would be with the eight main characters of “Do Tell, Trinket”. Ever since Shasta (my sister) and I started the “brainstorm for revision” process, I’ve been fascinated (and disheartened) by reading Mary Sue articles. In fact, that’s how I stumbled upon Superhero Nation! 😀 Anyways, umm… What are your impressions, suggestions, questions, and starting critiques for these lead characters?


    ★TRINKET HEART – Protagonist, Unwieldy Destructive Powers, Outgoing★
    Trinket has no memory at the start of the story, so she was named by the little girls in an orphanage that we have since removed from the storyline altogether. Do you think her name is a problem from the start? Anyways, she’s friendly, open-minded, and brave when she needs to be. She’s pretty and outgoing, so people find her easy to like. However, because she doesn’t understand how to use her powers, this well-intentioned heroine often ends up blowing trees down, scaring off the horses, breaking dams, and scaring the crap out of people. Naturally, some folks become a little wary of her, and she feels awful that she can’t get a grip on her powers without nearly killing anybody. She’s curious and a little innocent, and her flaws are being too impulsive, not realizing the consequences of her powers before using them, and she’s terrified of clowns and syringes. One of my main issues with her is that way too many people are attracted to her, and I’m having a hard time changing it. Two of the main heroes are in love with her (Matlee and Seath), and there’s this mysterious guy named Cress who also seems to have feelings for her, and even the villain, Zautokuken, has some weird, twisted affections for her. (And that’s excluding random bystanders and minor villains) One of the most obnoxious Mary Sue traits is that everybody on earth is in love with them. I am ashamed to have built the story this way, but I’m having trouble fixing it. It seems important for those four guys to be in love with her. My sister and I were thinking of making Cress’s love for her more like a brotherly love instead…?

    ★MATLEE CREU – Hero, Scientist/Researcher, Clumsy★
    Matlee is the hero of the story, and eventually, Trinket’s ill-fated love interest. He’s fascinated by the magical properties that grow naturally in the roots and herbs of this world, so he keeps a detailed catalogue of them, collects them, and researches their multiple uses. He’s very smart and has a keen attention for detail (spotting enemy weaknesses, etc.), but he’s insufferably clumsy. He trips and falls on himself, tree roots, small children, dogs, villains, opera women, cardboard stage scenery, dental floss… You name it. Because he’s so lame with a sword, Matlee tries to invent strategies instead of using brute force while battling monsters, but between his clumsiness and Trinket’s explosive magic, his “Plan A’s” usually go to pieces. (As for his name, I named him that before I ever heard of the band “Motley Crew”. Eek! So I think I should change the hero’s last name to something like Crow? Any suggestions?) Matlee becomes close friends with Trinket very quickly, and soon has very strong feelings for her, but is too embarrassed and awkward to do anything about it. It seems that he is somehow connected to her powers, because he’s the only one who can actually get them to STOP after she’s gone on a rampage. (Usually by slipping on a banana peel or something, crashing into her, and falling into a pond)

    ★ABRA KURIL – Seven-year-old Wizard, Adventurous yet Cowardly★
    Trinket begins her adventure with two friends that she meets in the first village – Matlee and Abra. Abra is like Matlee’s adopted brother, and he belongs to a race of magic-users called “Riuns”. (REE-oons) They are characterized by cat-like ears, bushy tails, and a star-mark on their foreheads. Abra is short but fast, and really tries hard to be an adventurer. He wants to be a brave warrior, but seems to lack the innate courage to do so. When backed up by Trinket and Matlee, he can use a variety of flame-based spells and can be very handy in combat… But he’s terrified to do anything on his own, and when he tries, it often results in screaming, running away, and giving away their position to the enemy. He’s a good-natured little boy and easy to get along with, but he can wear out easily on the trail and is often unable to do the courageous things that he’s asked to do (like distract the villain or go somewhere alone, etc.)

    ★DESPERADO SAYNE – Conman, Irritable and Impatient★
    Although Desperado comes from an upper-middle class family, he’s lost all contact with them and ended up supporting himself on the streets by doing “petty crime”. He’s hired to spy on people for blackmailing material, or to steal something important, “cover up” the scene of a crime, or forge false documents so people can lie, cheat, and steal their way along. Our normally “by the book” heroes have to ask for Desperado’s help making a false contract and travel papers. Although Desperado can be smooth-talking and even-tempered when he’s comfortably in control of a situation, it turns out that he’s actually loud-mouthed, grumpy, and arrogant. He has an explosive temper, doesn’t like to trust people, and constantly picks on Matlee for being a clumsy idiot. But Desperado is the sort of person who really pushes people so they’ll push back. They have to earn his respect before he’ll give it, and he’s a lot nicer once you get passed that distrustful stage. He starts the story with a curse that’s slowly killing him, and Trinket helps him search for some way to reverse it.

    ★ZIPH RYNX – Self-Appointed Monster Patrol, half-Wolf Demon, Reserved★
    Because he’s the self-appointed Monster Patrol for his village, Ziph has gotten a lot of combat experience and is one of the few characters who know how to fight when the story starts. He’s calm, quiet, reserved, solitary, dutiful, observant, and has low expectations of recieving much gratitude from anyone. He’s the result of a terrifying, unholy union between a Wolf Holiska (a “demon”) and a human, so the people in his village despise and avoid him. Some folks like his adopted parents and some friends ARE very kind to him, though, so he’s managed not to become a hateful person. Instead of hating the people that despise him, he’s always trying to prove that he’s more HUMAN than Holiska. He’s a good person, if people would only look passed his frightening race and cold exterior. He’s very strong, protective, and has a heightened sense of smell and hearing. But due to lack of practice, he doesn’t know how to handle a lot of social situations.

    ★SEATH HARVI – Self-Appointed Hero, Dragonlike Being, Enthusiastic Go-Getter★
    Seath is like the “secondary” hero of the story, after Matlee. He’s part of a small tree-house village in the woods, and his people resemble dragons in that they have scales on their faces, arms, backs, and legs, and small dragon-like wings on their heads. While most of his village is cautious, wary of strangers, and unforgiving of trespassers, Seath is very open-minded and adventurous. He’s almost always in a good mood, loves being around people, and tries his best to do heroic things. He’s athletic and daring enough to do what he needs to, but often ends up hurting himself and looking like an idiot instead of actually accomplishing something. Half of his village has fallen ill due to a Holiska Curse, so Seath chooses a path between good and evil. He strikes a shady deal with a dangerous Holiska Demon. If Seath can capture a powerful and interesting Magic-User for the demon’s collection, then the demon will use his prized White Magician to help his friends and family. So although Seath is a good-intentioned character with morals, he has to go AGAINST his own ethics. This pits him against Trinket and her friends at first, and due to being a little weak-willed and easily swayed, Seath moves between being a loyal friend and traitor throughout the story. He and Matlee both end up vying for Trinket’s affections.

    ★SAGAMI TREVE – White Magician, Mild-Mannered but Strong-Willed★
    Sagami is the prized white magician Riun (cat-like Magic-User) that belongs to the demon Seath is working for. Because she is bound to the devious Holiska by a Blood Contract, she had to do everything he says, but she is quietly defiant and determined to break free somehow. She’s not very powerful physically, but her healing powers can counter dark magic and heal wounds. She’s pretty, soft-spoken, incredibly polite even when she’s angry with a villain, and moves very gracefully. When Trinket and her friends defeat her Holiska Master, she decides to join them through gratitude. She also hopes to put her powers to good use by helping the team defeat more cruel rulers like the one who held her captive. Her healing is an important asset, but she has to be protected by stronger fighters (usually Desperado, who, to his embarrassment, finds an immediate soft-spot for her). Sagami’s personality probably needs some more work, and an extra personality flaw in there. Being “physically weak” doesn’t count, and usually people seem to like her very easily. O_o Even Desperado doesn’t pick on her, when he’s usually a blunt criticizer and bully of people he doesn’t know very well.

    ★BUZZBE OTTNER – Mechanic Girl, Partially Robotic, Spunky and High-Energy★
    In the second half of the story, the group goes to a neighboring continent called Eethi, where the people deal with magic in a very different way. Instead of depending on gifted Magic Users and plants, the people cultivate the magic energy from the earth and forge them into magic stones. Making these powerful raw materials enable them to make magic-based machinery, like in “steampunk” genres, I guess. O_o (I’m not sure about that) Buzzbe is an apprenctice “Synther” who upgrades weapons with the magic stones to make them more powerful. She has a personal connection to the magic tech, because an accident when she was younger led to her having a robotic arm and a BioMechanical replacement heart. (The arm is just used as an “arm”, though. It doesn’t lend her super strength or turn into a cannon or anything like that) Buzzbe is an energetic fifteen-year-old who throws all of her energy into living. She’s upbeat and always looks at the bright side of things. Her replacement heart is experimental, and may not last forever, so she intends to DO something with her life instead of always being afraid. So she tries to help Trinket and her friends overthrow the Holiska, who have pretty much overwhelmed the land in darkness and monsters. She ends up with a close attachment to Ziph, and scares the living daylights out of him with her social and energetic nature. Her flaws include being noisy and unreasonable when she’s upset (usually getting into very heated debates with Desperado and not making much sense), she often overestimates her abilities and gets in over her head, and she has to deal with issues of mortality and being terrified of the dangerous she’s agreed to face.

    ★KARU RIFT – Holiska/Demon, Seeks Amusement★
    Karu is a full-blooded Holiska/Demon with an interest in human emotions. She has a hard time understanding why humans get so worked up about things like murder, devastation, and destruction, even love and friendship. Due to the group’s inconsistancies (Matlee’s nervousness and embarrassment outweighing his courage to express affection for Trinket, Ziph’s willingness to fight for those who disdain him, Trinket’s apparent cluelessness about her own romantic feelings, etc.), Karu decides to tag along with them… without permission. She causes a lot of mischief in the group for her own amusement by trying to get to the ROOT of their feelings without really understanding them. She’s an ally they can’t trust, and everybody is nervous about her, but they can’t get rid of her and she manages to help them find the main villain. It’s believed that the Holiska/Demons can’t feel emotions, but when she begins to really understand and feel the pains of unrequieted love, etc., she starts to get scared of her little experiment with the team. She has a lot of helpful powers because she’s a Holiska, but she rarely uses them when asked. When she DOES help the group with her abilities, she usually gets them into MORE trouble and the situation just gets worse.

    Okay, those are the eight main characters in the story… I’m so sorry about the length! Ahh! I was trying to be specific… If you’ve got some spare time to read over this, please help me identify the Mary Sue traits in the characters, the cliches, things that work, things that don’t work, naming issues, possible solutions, first impressions, etc.

    I figure that as long as my sister and I are trying to fix our story, we might as well start with the characters.


  3. B. Macon 30 May 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Trinket Heart
    –I think a name change would help. Trinket is less of a problem than Heart is.
    –“she’s friendly, open-minded, and brave when she needs to be.” This sounds like a red-flag for a Mary Sue. What sort of mistakes does she make besides her powers going nuts? Hopefully she has at least one major flaw that she is responsible for.
    –She doesn’t feel like she has any distinctive traits besides uncontrollable powers. She might be a bit too generically friendly (Purity Sue). You listed outgoing as one of her major traits. I would recommend playing that up into something more noticeable, like brashness.
    –I like the premise (being in someone else’s dream world), but I think that the story will fizzle very quickly after revealing that most of the other characters are imaginary. I would recommend revealing this to readers only at the very end.
    –I would recommend cutting down the number of romances to two. Love triangles are easier to write than love pentagons. Also, like you said, another trait of Mary Sues is that everyone loves them. Also, I think that readers will care more about the romances if she gets more distinct as a character.

    Matlee Creu
    –I think it’s interesting that this character is the hero rather than an inept sidekick.
    –He seems like he has more depth than Trinket.
    –I would recommend changing his first and last name for pronouncability. What would you think about something like Monty Crow? (Also, with this many characters, I would recommend giving each character only one name).
    –Unless this is a comedy, I would not recommend caricaturing his clumsiness.

    Abra Kuril
    –If the target audience is 13-20, I’d recommend reevaluating this character. Usually, I think kid tagalongs are most appropriate when the characters are significantly older than the audience. Teens might find this character grating and overly cute, like the Ewoks. His youthfulness might be less glaring if he’s 13-15.
    –Not sure about the cat ears. The best-case scenario is that it comes off like a random bit of Inuyasha. The worst-case scenario is that the publisher thinks “furry” and concludes that serious psychological issues are involved. I don’t get that impression, though. It helps a lot that this character isn’t romantic at all.
    –Cowardice might make him hard to like, particularly running away and screaming. But I like that he is a bit uneasy.
    –He feels more like a side-kick than a main character.

    Desperado Sayne.
    –The first name is a bit cheesy but likable. I’d recommend replacing Sayne with something that is a bit more common.
    –I like this character. The rebelling middle-class angle strikes me as stylish.

    Ziph Rynx.
    –I think both names could probably be replaced by something that help develop the character.
    –He doesn’t sound very interesting. He has only positive traits, and they aren’t particularly dramatic. Any flaws?
    –I don’t feel like his racial turmoil fits in very well with the plot (or at least what I know of the plot). This character kind of feels like a distraction. I’d recommend merging him with Abra or relegating him to the status of an extra.
    –As with Abra, I think there is the potential for publishers to think “furry” and run away screaming.

    Seath Harvi.
    –If he’s the secondary hero of the story, why did you list him sixth?
    –Not fond of the names.
    –“Seath is very open-minded and adventurous. He’s almost always in a good mood, loves being around people, and tries his best to do heroic things. He’s athletic and daring enough to do what he needs to, but often ends up hurting himself and looking like an idiot instead of actually accomplishing something.” You already have characters that are open-minded, adventurous, love being around people, and try (ineptly) to be heroic. He doesn’t bring much new to the picture. I think it would help to add something distinct or downsize him.
    –I feel the character needs some distinctive flaws. Hopefully something that will underpin the betrayal angle.
    –More furry concerns. I’m a bit concerned that he’s one of the romantic interests. Any attempts by a partially reptilian character to hit on another character might feel a bit gross to readers.

    Sagami Treve.
    –There are so many minor characters bouncing around that I think that exploring the Sagami-Desperado relationship will detract from the majors.
    –I agree that a flaw would be helpful. Maybe the character is polite to the point of dishonesty/unhelpfulness because he doesn’t want to make people feel stupid. “Well, it looked like you were casting that spell horribly wrong, but I didn’t want to make you feel bad.” I know some editors that are kind of like that… too polite to be helpful.
    –You already have several characters whose personality can be summed up as “generically nice.” That’s not very interesting or dramatic. I’d recommend giving this character more spice.
    –I like Sagami’s name. I would recommend removing Treve.

    Buzzbe Ottner
    –I’m not fond of the names.
    –“she’s upbeat and always looks at the bright side of things.” This feels hard to distinguish from most of your other characters.
    –I think one way to make her more distinct would be to play up her mortality. If she intends to do something with her life and isn’t concerned about dying, she might be a martyr-in-waiting. (Her development arc could be something like realizing that she has something to live for, even if that’s only a year or two).
    –I don’t feel like being unreasonable fits into the character concept all that well, but I think it’s a good start.
    –I’m not sure what she adds.

    Karu Rift.
    –This character feels a bit too much like she’s just here to flesh out the other characters.
    –However, I find the underlying concept—a demon that’s curious about humans—to be fresh and interesting.

    Miscellaneous Tips.
    –I’d recommend cutting your core group of adventurers to 4. I think 5 is pushing it. Then I’d recommend working in the other characters as ad hoc characters that only spend a bit of the book with the group. Cutting down on the number of characters in the main group will help you develop personalities and relationships.
    –I’d recommend using only first names with a cast this big.
    –I think you’ve actually listed nine characters here.

  4. Trollitradeon 30 May 2009 at 9:22 pm

    ★To David,
    Thank you for being my first commenter, David! ^_^ I’m glad you like Abra. I think it’s nice for the “scaredy-cat” to not ALWAYS be the whiny one who wants to go home. It’s good to genuinely WANT to be brave, but you have to work for it. ^_^;; Real courage is tough to develop, but he’s got bigger dreams of being an warrior and saving people… if he could only get the nerve! ^_^;;

    ★The Rest of This is to B.Mac,
    Ahh, I’m nervous! xD I knew it was gonna be ugly. Thank you very much for taking the time to look over these characters and offer some pointers. ^_^ It’s really helpful to be able to bounce these ideas off a third party. We started writing this story before we had any real foundation of “good names”, so I think a lot of them are awkward or cheesy… I was actually worried about “Desperado”, because I realized I couldn’t justify anybody calling him that. O_o The name would normally be associated with a Wild West kinda guy with a gun, but Desperado has a distrust of the “high tech” weaponry they’re introduced to in the second half. But anyways, I think we would do fine without any last names at all. At no point was any character’s last name actually important.

    +Trinket, Matlee, Abra, Desperado, Ziph, Seath, Sagami, Buzzbe, Karu.

    Um, y-yes, there are nine of these people. Ack! I said eight on accident. The reason there are so friggin’ many characters is because this story was originally developed as the plot for an RPG video game. We actually wanted to make it into an episodic TV show instead, but that’s still a long-shot. Making it work as a novel seems important, and we definitely have too many characters… But it’s so hard to cut any of them after spending six years writing about them.

    We’re gonna have to try hard, though. (We’ve learned since starting this story that five is a better number for a team – we’ve never worked with this many characters in any other story)

    Yeah, I was a bit concerned about our little protagonist… She really doesn’t seem to have flaws that she’s directly responsible for. She’s easily liked by just everybody, and has the whole “friendly and innocent” thing going for her. I’ll have to ask my sister about ways we can make her come off as “brash and reckless” instead of only “outgoing”. What kinds of things would you suggest? Is being brash like getting the whole group into trouble because she rushed into a situation thinking she could handle it, only to realize that Matlee’s strategy might’ve worked better if she’d given him a minute to tell her what it was? Like that sort of thing?

    About the Trinket romances, that’s what we thought, too – to cut it down to the love triangle between Trinket, Matlee, and Seath. I might just have to bite the bullet and change the villain, Zautokuken’s, regards to her. Maybe she just sort of amuses him, or he views her as a huge threat if he allows her to reach a certain level of control over her powers, or something? I’ll go into more detail about our poor, mangled “dreamworld” premise later on.

    Well, the story is dramatic AND comedic. The characters are generally light-hearted, though I make a point right from the beginning that this isn’t supposed to be a “happy go lucky” tale. I think it would seriously disturb people if the beginning of the story was so sweet and happy, and the characters were so kid-friendly, but then all of a sudden all the trauma and violence kicks in. It’s supposed to be comedic, but do you think making Matlee too clumsy wouldn’t fit in well with it being a sort of dramatic story and not purely a comedy? Should I tone it down a little bit while still being able to use it to mangle his battle plans?

    Also, I’m definitely dropping his last name altogether. But you think I should change his first name completely for pronouncibility? I thought Matlee looks pretty easy, and almost modern, compared to most fantasy names. I’m a little fond of his name in particular. And yeah, he’s the “hero”, though Trinket is the main character/protagonist. The two of them sort of co-lead the team, even though Desperado pushes the issue that neither of them are very qualified… Desperado SHOULD be qualified for leading the team, but he breaks under stress and doesn’t know how to manage people without stomping all over their confidence. Matlee DOES improve with his leadership abilities later, but it takes quite a lot of practice and stress to figure out how to keep everyone from getting killed. He and Trinket share this responsibility, and they depend on each other for support.

    I suppose he IS a side-kick, technically. I list all these characters as “main characters” because they’re the troupe of nine who join the group and stick with it until the end of the adventure. Wouldn’t a side-kick sort of count as a main character in that regard? Anyways, I guess the only reason he (and Sagami) have the cat-like features was because we designed them when we were fourteen, and the ears were cute. The Riun/Cat-like group is the only group of people in this imaginary world who should be able to use magic naturally, without using herbs or stones. So I thought we should make them distinct in some physical way… Do you think it would work better if they were just random “gifted” people among the regular humans, but with the star mark or something? Or should I still make them a separate race?

    And, you think I should tone down the “fear factor” with him, then? Make him uneasy and have trouble completing his solo tasks, but not actually get up and run away screaming when he’s supposed to sneak up on the villain or something?

    I’m not sure about pushing his age to thirteen instead of seven… Maybe we could work that out, though it seems strange to me to do that. xD It’s probably because my mind is wrapped up a bit in RPG games, where it’s common to have “little kid” characters, like Vivi and Eiko from Final Fantasy 9, or Leon from Star Ocean. Those game characters are all favorites of mine. ^_^;; But it would get obnoxious in a novel-type thing?

    Wow, I’m glad you liked Desperado in spite of the cheesy name. Like I said before, I thought he’d have the MOST name issues because I’m not sure how to justify his name. Obviously his parents wouldn’t have named him that. His real name is Daniel, but in the current version of the story, nobody ever calls him that except his father. I figured that because a “Desperado” is a “bold, reckless criminal or outlaw”, and he’s a conman on the street who is known to be reckless, it might work. But I only came up with that excuse a week ago.

    Although you’ve got a good first impression of him and my sis and I both enjoy the character, he still probably needs some work. I’ve been wondering if somehow he should back off and take a little less spotlight with Trinket? He’s forced to trust her at first because she’s helping him find a cure for his curse, even though he just plain doesn’t like anybody, but she does earn his trust and the two of them are brotherly/sisterly close. At one point in the story, she’s so upset over the death of another character that when Desperado tries to ask her what happened, she sets her powers off on him and injures him before leaving, maybe not quite realizing what she’d done until she’d had time to calm down, alone. So after that, Desperado builds his defenses again and becomes really hard to deal with because he’s under a lot of stress. And he takes his frustration out on the rest of the group by picking a fight with Seath (which Ziph has to break up), and yelling at Sagami, even though he’s always really nice to her. Yadda yadda…

    With some work, Desperado bounces back after all that and manages to forgive Trinket before the final battle in the end. Does any of that sound problematic while we’ve got the whole Matlee/Seath/Trinket love triangle going on at the same time? Is he too involved, or should he step back a little? I do like it the way it is, though… Desperado is one of the characters whose perspective on life changes the most over the course of the story.

    Oh nooo. Working with Ziph is going to be difficult. He’s hard to explain and definitely needs more flaws that he can be accountable for, but I love this guy. I know I haven’t explained much of the storyline yet, but he ends up being in charge of the group for awhile after they’re separated from Trinket and Matlee (the regular leaders). Under better circumstances, Seath would normally beg for the opportunity to be team captain, but he’s half the reason why the team is broken up, so he’s an emotional mess. And Desperado is having trouble controlling himself, and wouldn’t be good for the morale of an already devastated team.

    So because he’s the most level-headed person left and he’s used to dealing with a lot of stress, Ziph ends up taking care of everybody until Trinket comes back. He’s learned more about team dynamics from traveling with everyone thus far, but it’s still a challenge because he’s really never been directly responsible for the lives of a group. He’s gotta make the switch from “lone wolf” to “pack leader”, and it’s disorienting… We really do love Ziph, but I think he definitely needs a lot of work if there’s any chance that we can keep him in the story. Any idea how we could save our half-Holiska? And you said we could try to merge him with Abra? Like, make it one character and mix their traits, and make this demon guy into a more uneasy, fearful type character instead of being strong and experienced? Hmm… That could be a tough one to swallow. Do you think dumping some flaws onto Ziph could save the character? I need to think pretty hard about this one…

    I had to laugh about the “partly reptilian guy hitting on another character” thing. That was hilarious. Ahh, you’re right, though. I guess technically, there’s no reason for him to be reptilian. He’s been written that way for six years, so it’s weird to think of changing him to just being a regular human-type guy from a secluded village… But it’s feasible. Being dragon-like didn’t really impact his character too dramatically. There was this little backstory thing going about his people being persecuted due to resembling Dragon Holiska/Demons, but I think the story could get along without that. There are probably other good reasons why a group of people would seclude themselves in the forest. Maybe to hide from the Holiska in general, except then one came by and cursed everybody? *ponders*

    Some of his biggest personality issues is that he’s gullible, susceptible to manipulation, and I guess competitive… After the first half of the story, he gets dead-set on not letting evil people trick him into doing their dirty work anymore. And he has to work pretty hard for it, but he finally gets Matlee to trust him after the whole “betrayal” thing before. But Seath is also competitive, and he and Matlee end up realizing they’re both after the same girl. So then Seath is stuck finding a balance between being in love with this girl, and risking being viewed as a bad person again. He’s often in conflict, and when the main villain, Zautokuken, picks up on Seath as the “weak link” in the team, he’s able to use Seath’s jealousy of Matlee to actually get the poor guy killed. >_> …And, he was listed “sixth” because he’s the sixth character who joined the group. I’m used to writing them in recruitment order…

    Okay… I wonder if we can handle cutting out Desperado and Sagami’s little romance thing? It’s fun to work with, but I guess those two aren’t supposed to snag too much spotlight… I think I read once that the side characters are mostly there to interact with the hero and heroine, to flesh out THEIR personalities, and not really go off stealing the show for themselves…? Is that the right way to think about things, or no? I think maybe we could work with the “unhelpfully polite” angle, where she would notice that something is going horribly wrong, but only mention it after its too late because she didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. So maybe she’s overcompensating for them rescuing her before or something? It’s kind of odd for her to be that way after spending some time as the prized slave of a flamboyant evil dude.

    Buzzbe is one of my favorites, and definitely needs some work. I think my sister and I made the mistake of deciding we needed lots of characters for this to work as an “RPG storyline” (most Final Fantasy games have between 7 and 9 playable characters, I think), so we developed characters to interact with the other SIDE-MAIN characters… To be perfectly honest, I think Buzzbe was invented so she could make Ziph’s life more complicated. But she’s also the only character they meet when they go to the Tech-Magic continent, and they’re all so confused and disoriented that they really need somebody to guide them.

    We’ve been working on a better recruitment for Buzzbe, though, because her original one was awful. It involved there being a giant poisonous blanket of fog over her hometown (put there by the villain’s henchmen to lure Trinket’s group into the open), and she was the only one they managed to find alive… It didn’t make a lot of sense. But the Martyr-in-waiting idea could be interesting. She might feel that if her days are numbered, she wants to die doing something that somebody’s going to benefit from, or remember. Except that after traveling with the group and getting so attached to them (and finding out things about herself), she’d realize that she wants to live, and she’s not nearly as ready to die as she made herself think…

    And if the Desperado/Sagami relationship is too distracting, then maybe we should lay off Buzzbe having a crush on Ziph? She’s fifteen, by the way… And I guess with the whole “mortality” thing going on, maybe she wouldn’t try to get attached to these guys so easily? Er… I dunno… Ahh, this is hard! But I’m really trying to think things through.

    She was originally a treasure hunter that forced herself into the team as a double-agent for the main evil guy… But we made her into an independent Holiska with an interest in studying emotions ’cause we thought it was more unique. We were on the verge of moving Karu out of the storyline altogether because she’s the only one we thought we could force ourselves to lose. So I don’t know…

    Do you think she brings enough to the plot for us to keep her as the curious Holiska, or would we benefit from really making her a minor character, or have her replace one of the villain’s henchmen? She’s not meant to travel with the group ALL the time, though, so she shows up here and there… Usually not “in the nick of time” to save anybody, though. If she shows up, she won’t help, and when she does, she tends to make things exponentially worse. She might work well as a messenger for the villain, though, instead of a completely unrelated character… So she’d be watching their actions more than they think, and becomes interested in studying the emotions of these people she’s been watching? They would have to KNOW she was working for the villain to begin with, though. I don’t want another “good-side-bad-side” character like Seath. Desperado would wring somebody’s neck for letting TWO treason-inclined people on the team. One is bad enough!


    Oh good lord, I’m sorry for writing so much. This is the equivalent of about five pages in Microsoft Word. Please let me know if I should tone down the length a little… In other forums, people have found my lengthy posts tedious and refuse to read them!

  5. Wingson 30 May 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Wow, another girl from southern California! Hi!

    Just looking at the names:

    Likes (pronuncability, originality, etc): Sagami, Karu, Abra, Desperado

    Dislikes: Matlee, Buzzbe, Ziph (pronunciation, kinda), Seath (see Ziph) and, to an extent (okay, but only that) Trinket.

    Was that everyone I hope?

    And honestly, I had over 15 characters just on the good side in my novel How to Save the World. Now (with the help of P, fellow SN reviewer and good friend) I’ve trimmed it down to my six, and feel great.

    Hope I wasn’t insulting or anything,

    – Wings

  6. B. Macon 30 May 2009 at 11:06 pm

    The length of the post probably isn’t an issue. I review a lot of novels, so 2000 or 3000 words is not a big deal. However, I notice that your paragraphs are very long and winding. It would probably help to split up each paragraph after 4-5 sentences.

    “I’ll have to ask my sister about ways we can make her come off as “brash and reckless” instead of only “outgoing”. What kinds of things would you suggest? Is being brash like getting the whole group into trouble because she rushed into a situation thinking she could handle it, only to realize that Matlee’s strategy might’ve worked better if she’d given him a minute to tell her what it was? Like that sort of thing?”

    Well, I was thinking that a really, really outgoing person might come across as tactless, pushy, nosy, blunt, etc. Not everyone likes outgoing people, so I imagine she’ll encounter a few of them during her travels. Additionally, I hope she gets into a few troublesome situations because she spoke up when a quieter character would not have.

    Rushing into a situation is impulsive. I didn’t get the feeling that she was very impulsive. However, impulsiveness is an interesting way to make something like quick-mindedness into an asset and a flaw.

    “It’s supposed to be comedic, but do you think making Matlee too clumsy wouldn’t fit in well with it being a sort of dramatic story and not purely a comedy?” It depends how clumsy you make him, I think. So far, I get the feeling that he is so cartoonishly klutzy that he will feel like a Scooby Doo character that accidentally stumbles into a secret passage. (Lucky break!) For example, his clumsiness helps him save Trinket when her powers go crazy.

    I think one of the differences between novels/TV shows and video games is that novel readers and TV audiences tend to expect a lot more character depth. Novel characters also interact a lot more than VG characters do, so adding characters tends to force authors to skimp on each relationship. When a novel has a troupe of heroes that travel from place to place, the troupe almost always has 2-5 characters (often 3-4). Introducing a troupe of 8+ heroes in a single novel is going to be very difficult, if not impossible.

    It might help you to limit the roles of 3-6 of these 9 characters to a particular length of time in the book. For example, if you couldn’t countenance getting rid of Buzzbe, what would you think about making her a prominent character for ~5 chapters and then having her go her separate way as the heroes continue on their quest?

    How many romances are we looking at? By my count, we have at least four candidates (Trinket-Matlee, Trinket-Seath, Desperado-Sagami, Buzzbe-Ziph). As a rule, I wouldn’t recommend doing romance between minor characters. Will readers feel that Desperado, Sagami, Buzzbe and Ziph are important enough to justify their own romantic angles? I get the impression they’re probably not among the three most important protagonists, so I suspect that readers might get annoyed when the story takes a tangent on their romance.

    I’m not sure about the angle where Trinket and Matlee fall out of the picture and Ziph has to hold the team together. I could very easily see readers asking themselves something along the lines of “Where did T&M go? They’re my favorite characters by far!” I don’t feel like Ziph is a major presence.

  7. Tomon 31 May 2009 at 3:24 am

    I can’t really think of anything that hasn’t been said, except for one thing that might just apply to me only. I really can’t read ‘Abra’ without thinking of- you guessed it- the Pokemon. This may be more to do with the fact that Pokemon=my childhood and it’s pretty much etched into my brain, but I imagine that Abra looks like this:

    Again, probably just me. So yeah, feel free to ignore this.

  8. Trollitradeon 31 May 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Woohoo, Southern California! xD *high-fives* No worries, you weren’t insulting at all. Thank you for letting me know what your impression of the names are! I’m surprised that half of the times might have “pronouncibility” issues. O_o They all look simple enough to me, but it’s probably only because I’ve been with these characters for six years. xD Do you think any of the names would benefit from just re-spelling them, or should I really look into changing them?

    Matlee is pronounced like (MAWT-lee) or rhymes with “Hotly”.
    Buzzbe is pronounced like (BUZZ-bee), or maybe could be spelled Busby?
    Ziph is like (ZIFF), rhyming with “Biff”, “Kiff”, or “If”.
    Seath is (SEE-th), rhyming with “Teeth”.

    I HAVE been investigating into some name changes, though… I could use some more suggestions. ^_^ I want their names to sound lively and specific, and not incredibly “ordinary’. They do come from a sort of surrealistic dream world setting. How do these following names sound as possible changes?

    For MATLEE, the herbs-scientist-gone-swordsman, I thought maybe something like “Reed” could be interesting. Maybe somehow give him a subtle plant-reference in his name. (Otherwise, something that still SOUNDS remotely like “Matlee” would be nice… Anthony, Corey, Mauro, Noah…?)

    For TRINKET, I only had one new idea… >_> Since she can’t remember her name when the story starts, and the first people she befriends is Matlee, and his main passion is plants, then maybe he could nickname her “Clover” until her memory returns?

    For Abra, Karu, and Sagami, I really didn’t think anything up… So far, Desperado’s name seemed to get passing marks from you guys inspite of cheesiness, but do you think he’d benefit from a name like Diego or Deon?

    For our dashing and “good and evil” conflicted Seath, I thought may I could simplify his name in “Seth”, or call him “Sash” or “Chase” or something lively like that.

    For Buzzbe, she still needs a young, lively sort of name with that “ie” sound at the end. So maybe “Jessie”, “Busby”, “Hailey”, “Holly”, or “Renee”?

    For Ziph, I couldn’t think of anything. O_o B. Mac suggested a name that applies to his personality better, but I’m not sure what that could be… I got “Shadow”, and that’s a terrible name. xD His adopted parents would’ve wanted to call him something NICE, maybe even normal, so at least he’d fit in with other people NAME WISE or something. O_o I think he needs a more redeeming sort of name than something socially distancing like “Shadow”. xD

    ★To Tom,
    LOL, Abra from Pokemon. xDDD That’s definitely not what I was going for. Obviously, it’s more of an “Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam, Hocus, Pocus” sort of name, but now that I think of it, Pokemon DO have half of those names. xD Friggin’ Pokemon. (Hugs Meowth and Chikorita)

    ★To B. Mac,
    Heya, B.Mac! I tried to us the “br” page break command throughout this entire post, but I don’t know if it’s going to work. O_o I’m really sorry if it doesn’t. Anyways, about Trinket being “brazen/brash” to the point of actually being nosy or pushy sounds odd to me. Since she’s lost, confused, and in a strange situation, I’m not sure if she’d run around being arrogant about it. O_O But maybe I’m just not thinking of it right. I’m sure there’s a good way to pull off that kind of brazenness while still making it fit in with her character. I’ll have to think even harder about a personality flaw that might work for a character who’s causing a great deal of chaos and should be really concerned about it… *ponders*

    Okay, so I should tone down Matlee’s clumsiness a little so he doesn’t end up like Shaggy from “Scooby Doo”. xD Gotcha. I suppose I should be aiming at more realistic clumsiness? I kind of imagine this a little like an animated show, ’cause we’ve got an interest in television, but a novel-version should be more toned down. You don’t usually READ about a guy having lifethreatening confrontations with loose banana peels. xD

    About limiting some of the characters to “temporary adventurer” roles, that might be doable… I’ll have to brainstorm some ways, and talk it over with my sis. ^_^ Ziph is her favorite (and one of mine, too), so it could be challenging to really demote him. ^_^;; But it’s something that deserves serious consideration.

    About the mass of romances, we should lean away from that, then? ^_^;; I’ll put my mind towards how to do it right. I do agree that too many love stories amongst the characters might seem confusing or tedious. In Final Fantasy games, in spite of the large amount of characters, usually only the hero and heroine are having an “on screen” romance. For other characters, they’re usually not in love with another travelling companion, so it’s really not “in your face”. Is it mostly problematic because there’s a great, big team of travellers and EVERYBODY’S got their separate little thing going on? I suppose my sister and I should focus on getting the characters to interact with each other more equally, and pull the focus onto Trinket/Matlee/Seath as much as possible.

    About the “furry” issue, I’m investigating into removing all the animal features from the characters. O_o I realized that when I designed these characters (so, so many years ago…), I was new on the “anime” scene. Sagami and Abra have cat ears because it looked cool. O_o Technically, their animal features aren’t functional… They don’t ever act like cats in any way except to “twitch their ears curiously”, which serves a needless purpose of being “cute”. Same goes for Seath. He doesn’t do anything even remotely dragon-like… In fact, one of his talents is swimming, not flying or breathing fire or hoarding treasure. O_o And he’s not even designed like a “water serpent”. But it’s tough to consider removing these features completely, because then I’m not sure what makes the Magician race (the Riuns) more distinct from other, regular folks.

    Well, about Trinket and Matlee dropping out of the plot for a little while… Technically, Matlee IS gone because something horrendous happens to him, but it’s not the last we see of him. He remains a prominent character through to the ending of the book, it’s just that he’s unable to travel with the group. He’s part of the whole “realizing the dreamworld” sequence. And Trinket isn’t just “gone”. While the rest of the group is continuing the quest, we’re still with HER in separate chapters/scenes, seeing what she’s doing as she learns some very critical things about her powers and narrowly avoids getting eliminated by the evil guy. Then she has to find her friends again to help them… So Trinket and Matlee both remain central to the plot, but the rest of the team are completing a separate task.

    Since it’s established that Seath is a “secondary hero”, and ranks as the third most important character in the story, do you think it’d be plausible to focus on his POV during the scenes when Trinket and Matlee are away? Or would Trinket, Matlee, AND Seath’s third-person POV’s be too overwhelming for the audience?

    I really hope my paragraphs decided to separate themselves properly. xD I really try to make my posts organized, and readable, but its tough when I don’t understand how to use the HTML properly. xD Thank you for baring with me!

  9. Ragged Boyon 31 May 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Wow, you are long-winded, but that’s cool. Looks like I joined the party a little too late. I mostly just agree with what is already posted. I have to ask, exactly how much of this have you written? I’m interested in reading the work and seeing if you pulled this cast off.

    It reminds me of Final Fantasy with its cast. What are their powers and abilities?

  10. Trollitradeon 31 May 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Heya, Ragged Boy! ^_^ You’re not too late to the party. xD I’d love some input! And yup, this is Trolli the windbad speaking. O_O
    The story is almost entirely written… We’re writing the last three episodes right now. ^_^ Unfortunately, it’s completely unreadable. O_O;; Against my better judgement, I threw away the hard copies of the whole first half of the story YEARS ago! ^___^;; Apparently, to “make space” on my computer. O_o *facepalm* Part of the reason why we’re reworking the story is because it was written very badly, AND half of it is actually GONE. ^_^;;
    About whether we pulled off this cast very well, no, we did not. xD Only in the last two years (out of six) have we really paid attention to what we were writing. Quieter characters like Abra and Sagami got pushed into the background a lot, while Ziph apparently got an inordinate amont of spotlight and Desperado was often the center of attention because he’s the only member of the team who seems to cause any conflict with the others. ^__^;; At one point, when the full team of nine got together, we had the villains defeat and capture half the team, so Trinket/Matlee/Seath/Ziph/Buzzbe had to go on a full-scale rescue mission. O_O
    It was a complete circus. ^_^;; That’s why I completely agree that we need to find ways to downsize the cast. But I’m gonna have to see how my sis feels about it. ^_^;;
    About their powers, lemme see…
    Actually, this is going to get ugly. Part of my intentions are to rework the characters to be more distinct, lively, and interesting. ^_^;; I’ve gotta get back to my classwork, so I’ll try to be pretty brief about their specific abilities…
    ★Trinket’s powers are supposed to be used for “creation”, to change things in the dreamworld in a positive way. But because she has no idea how to use them, and they get wildly out of hand, she and her friends assume these are powers of “destruction”.
    ★Matlee’s a pretty lame excuse for a warrior until he gets more practice in, around the late-middle of the story. Instead, his useful skills are that he’s very knowledgeable about the magic properties in herbs (and how to use them advantageously for healing and practical uses). He’s got an eye for detail, so by observing an enemy’s attack patterns, he can often spot a weakness.
    ★Abra has mostly flame based magic, which he can use without the aid of herbs or magic stones. But he’s still young and learning, so the variety and strength of his powers improve over time. Later, he can do things like acid rain and firestorms, but these spells are beyond his capabilities. He can also do wind based spells… (Originally, he could do all variety of spells like Vivi from FF9, but I’ve been thinking we should focus his element to just one or two related things)
    ★Desperado fights with double swords, so he’s mostly a melee fighter. But his out-of-battle skill set is based upon his “petty crime” skills. He can forge false documents, including travel papers and train tickets, etc. He’s also familiar with spying on people, so if the group needs to know more about a stranger, he might be the one who can uncover handy information.
    ★Ziph’s fighting skills are mostly based on his speed. He’s quick on his feet and best with dodging or outrunning enemies. He got the claws to fight with, though, and some Holiska/Demon strength. Senses like smell and hearing are heightened, but incredibly loud sounds can give him an incapaciting migraine, and really strong smells like perfume (or a cloud of smoke) are incredibly distracting to him.
    ★Seath fights with a boomerang, which is later upgraded by Buzzbe to have wind properties. Yay, magic boomerang! He’s a melee fighter, too, but not as strong as Desperado or Ziph. Outside of battle, he a very strong swimmer and has an interest in cooking, with mixed results.
    ★Sagami’s main power is her white magic. She’s able to heal people who have been cursed by the Holiska/Demons, but there are restraints on her magic. She can’t simply reverse a curse in one sitting. Usually, to do that, you have to kill the Holiska who did the cursing. But over time (in several sittings), she able to reverse the effects of the poison that was killing Desperado. While fighting, she just uses a staff for defense, or to thwack people with. She also knows how to sew because she makes her own clothing.
    ★Buzzbe’s handiest skill is that she’s an apprentice Synther, meaning she can upgrade weapons to have stronger magic capabilities (using magic stones). She’s good with mechanics and weaponry in general, so she can fix broken weapons and improve them. She’s also the only group member who knows how things work in the “Magic/Tech” continent. In spite of having a robot arm, it doesn’t enable her to have “super strength” of any kind. In battle, she uses a chakram made out of a car-jack. (A chakram is like what Axel in Kingdom Hearts uses)
    That’s it for now. O_o Any thoughts on the “naming ideas” I wrote in my previous post? It was somewhat addressed to Wings, as well as anybody else who read it. ^_^
    Thanks, Ragged Boy and everybody! 😀

  11. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I’m confused. Are you doing this as a novel or a TV series? I had assumed this was a novel, but you said you’re working on the last three episodes now…

  12. Trollitradeon 31 May 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Eek, sorry! ^_^;; Short version, we’re working on a novel. (No need to read further if that’s all you need to know)
    The current version of the story (with all its horrific randomness and confusion) was being written as a video game or television series plot. It’s actually written in “script” style, even, which will not be the case when I develop it into a novel.
    I said “episodes” out of a matter of habit. ^_^;; I’m sorry about that… Shasta and I have referred to each “chapter” as an episode, though realistically, these chunks of the adventure are too long to be a chapter OR an episode. They’re roughly between 100 and 200 pages long, and I’ve learned since that a fifteen page script makes 30-or-40 minutes. In the novel version, these “episodes” would be broken up into many chapters.
    But yes, we’re working on a novel. O_O I am sorry for the confusion. I’m not sure how to refer to the chunks of adventure instead… The last few events in the book, I suppose? O_O

  13. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Chapters? Or, if we’re talking about parts of a chapter, probably scenes.

  14. Ragged Boyon 31 May 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Chakrams used to be my favorite bladed weapon, but then I found the Tiger Claw/Iron Claw/Bagh Nakh (It had many names) and I’ve been in love ever since. I only love them so much because I love Vega from Street Fighter.

    I can tell you were heavily inspired by RPG games, particularly Final Fantasy (love the series). The powers seem okay, although I don’t really understand Trinket’s.

    By episodes you probably mean events. Events are broken down into chapters which are broken into scenes.

  15. Wingson 31 May 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Abra = Pokemon

    How did I forget that?!?

    If Buzzbe is a mechanic (what was that word you used? *short term memory*), the name seems off. Buzzbe makes me think of bees and flowers and nature…

    I don’t know why, but I dislike Matlee’s name.

    Congrats, you’re popular!

    – Wings

  16. Ragged Boyon 31 May 2009 at 6:01 pm

    If you ask me Buzzbe seems an awful lot like Riku from FFX. I don’t really like Matlee’s name either.

  17. Trollitradeon 31 May 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Erm, I’m not surprised that you’re confused, Ragged. ^_^;; The reason I’m so vague about Trinket’s powers is that I haven’t reinvented the details yet. We really, REALLY didn’t think this story through when we started writing it, so we have to revise and change almost EVERYTHING in order to make it worth reading.
    Her original powers were ridiculous, and mostly just caused random events to occur. Like one time, she was having a premonition/nightmare and a magic wind-energy thing just burst around her like an aura when she was still sleeping, and she woke up to find she’d destroyed all the fine china in Seath’s living room, and everybody was quite disturbed. O_O
    The powers are SUPPOSED to be used for creation and “rearranging” or “reinventing” elements of the dreamworld she’s lost in. But because she doesn’t know how they work, she only ends up destroying things… >_> And sometimes glowing writing shows up on her body, so Matlee copies it down onto a piece of paper to be translated and this turns out to be instructions that Trinket encoded on herself (before losing her memories) on how to save the world… >_>
    It sounds insane. ^_^;; So of course, I’m trying to revise the specifics (or maybe even the fundamental basics) of her unweildly powers. I don’t know what to do yet, or what would be most effective for an updated version of the story. That’s why I’m so vague with what she does. ^_^;; It’s a little embarassing… But that’s what a solid revision/revamp/rewrite is for, I guess.

  18. Trollitradeon 31 May 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Oh! Hello again, Wings! xD
    I’m getting the picture that Matlee’s name is pretty unpopular. ^_^;; What would you suggest for an herbalist’s name change? I thought maybe Reed would be interesting. Or something similar in sound to Matlee, like Corey, Anthony, or Rory. But it’d be nice if he had a subtle plant reference…?
    And I see what you mean about “Buzzbe” sounding too natury for a mechanic girl. Did any of my other suggestions for her name sound better? Hailey, Holly, Renee…? Or should I look into some tech-sounding names?
    Ragged Boy, I suppose I can see the Buzzbe-Rikku similarities… I didn’t play much FFX, but I know who Rikku is. >_> I don’t get the impression that the two are TOO similar, though, even though both are upbeat girls with mechanic skills… I’ll keep that in mind though, and make SURE they’re not dangerously similar when we do the rewrite. O_O;; Thank you for pointing it out for me. ^_^

  19. Wingson 31 May 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Go with something fantasty-ish for both new names. Just try to mesh with the others.

    *looks through the Trash Can of Knowledge*

    For Matlee:

    Demen? (Greek goddess of plants was Demeter, it could work)

    Regan? (oregano without the o’s!)

    Toris? (vitisatoris is Latin for some word that’s vine-related)

    For Buzzbe:

    Phae? (Greek-ness again, for Hephaestus)

    Sorry, I’m blank for Buzzbe…

    – Wings

  20. Trollitradeon 03 Jun 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions, Wings! ^_^ I’m not sure if any of those sound quite right, but it’ll help put me in the right direction. It’s really helpful. ^_^

    By the way, if anybody’s wondering, I need some time to gather my thoughts before asking more questions about the “Do Tell Trinket” story. xD I majorly appreciate the suggestions, and they’ve already given me a lot to think about.

    It’s altogether possible that this story is beyond saving due to crippling foundational problems, but instead of getting discouraged, I’m gonna sit back for a bit and really think about plot issues and character solutions before asking more questions about this particular story. ^_^

    Thanks again, guys! n__n

  21. B. Macon 03 Jun 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I don’t think that your story has crippling structural problems. Well, except for possibly one. It is phenomenally difficult to co-author a novel, particularly if both the authors are rookies.

    Aside from that, I think that it sounds promising. The characterization problems– which are the main issue– seem pretty easy to fix. More character development, more interesting relationships between the teammates, less generic niceness, more conflict, etc. Very fixable.

    Nothing here suggests to me that this is already doomed. In contrast, we had a guest earlier this month that wanted our help pitching a TV series with 400 episodes, even after I pointed out that 400 episodes is about 15-20 seasons worth. “But it worked for Dragonball Z!” Ban.

  22. Trollitradeon 03 Jun 2009 at 5:38 pm

    400 Episodes!!? xD Ahhh, wow! That’d be like the Simpsons! And probably nobody could follow a storyline for that long. O_O;; At least with long-running shows like the Simpsons, it doesn’t matter if you’ve missed half the episodes. >_>
    Anyways, thank you for the encouragement, B. Mac. ^_^ I really appreciate it.
    The storyline for “Do Tell Trinket” was pretty interesting, but ALSO hugely flawed.
    We’ve got our work cut out for us just fixing the travelling team! xD
    Co-Writing a novel is pretty complicated. Technically, though, my sis and I write script-style stories, and I’ve always sort of intended to take those finished-but-in-desperate-need-of-revision “scripts” and make novel versions out of them.
    So I think for the novel version, it would be just ME writing it, but with my sister’s input. ^_^
    I’d never get a whole “first draft” of a story done without working with her. O_O
    But this has all been very intriguing, and it’s got me thinking about how to fix character and plot issues for stories we HAVEN’T started yet. xD

  23. Wingson 03 Jun 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Just glad I could help. P and myself are trying to post more often (That is, I’m trying while dragging P along).

    Cursed finals. Every time the computers finally boot up at our school, the bell rings for class. We had half a post, and then had to leave…

    – Wings (Curse Kentucky for being forgettable!)

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