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8/29/2018 c1 4kingpariah
a one-shot about kurumi vs kurumi. nice. the only reason the world didnt explode/implode is because kurumi was weak, and kurumi was playing around.

okay, (grin) i'l stop with the kurumi speak.

now then, the work was good. for my critiques, well, having the conversations in the middle of paragraphs feels a bit, in my opinion, out of place.

for example, the paragraph after Rook asks about "the rats", tsuan and hibiki. the paragraph can broken into separate paragraphs, to make it easier to follow:

1) the queen's smile

2) queens reply (the reply can also be kept at the end of her smile description as long as the paragraph [ends] with the speech) (speech at the end or start of paragraph is okay, though its usually at the start.)

3) the queens action of unsheathing her sword and glaring at kurumi.

4) Rook's deranged joy at being at Queen's side.

this paragraph also serves for another example: wall of text. i'll admit, these paragraphs arent the most [packed], and honestly, they only [look] packed, again because the speech is mixed in when it doesnt have to be. the paragraphs can be appropriately spaced out to manage them.

now, nearing the final act, the writing went... smoother. you didnt stumble as much.

if i were to guess, i'd say you first wrote/came up with the end of the story, and then wrote the beginning. (grins) ive done that a few times.

for a first fic, its well done, and i think you could do well if you decide to write more fics.

now, thats about it for my review. hope i helped a bit. (smile)

signed,

kingpariah
8/25/2018 c1 5fgtdyd
Oh boy, that was quite the read. For the strange ones who read reviews before reading the story, let me warn you. If you want to understand this story, you must first read the Date a Bullet novel series or at least read a synopsis. If you don't, you will be very confused and probably disappointed. Don't worry, it is 100% worth your time because this story is pretty good. You can trust me.

As I mentioned, this story is, well... good. It packs all the emotional punches in the right places, does a surprisingly good job at describing characters in physical pain, and provides great dialogue. However, notice I said 'good' and not 'perfect.' Yes, the story is good enough to earn a pass from me, but why not work on it to make it even better? So, in my limited experience and education, let me attempt to explain why.

First thing I noticed was a lot of detailed sentences. There's nothing wrong with detail, but it's easy to lose the reader when describing every single action. Shorter sentences improve the flow, keep the reader's attention, and most importantly: lets me imagine the scene! Don't underestimate the reader's ability to imagine and fill in the gaps in my head. When you describe everything, you burden the reader by making them keep track of all the detail you just stated. This is particularly true for fight scenes, where you should be keeping the sentences as tight as possible without becoming too barebones.

For example, this sentence: "She leveled the weapon at Kurumi, a grin on her face as she gazed down the length of her sword and at her opponent." I got lost when trying to read that, and it immediately follows with another long sentence like it. You don't need to do anything fancy to fix it, either. Something like "She leveled the weapon at Kurumi, a grin spreading across her face" is fine enough! It lets me imagine her glaring past her weapon at Kurumi instead of burdening me by telling me that she's glaring past her weapon at Kurumi. There are examples like this throughout all of this story, and fixing them could really improve this story's flow. Or any other story's flow, for that matter.

Another thing I noticed was telling rather than showing. For a lot of the text, you do a fairly good job at showing the character's emotions through facial expressions or actions, but there are plenty of examples where you tell me how the characters feel. "The Rook followed suit, a gleeful, manic look on her face..." is a perfect example. Don't tell me that she looks manic. Show me! Show me how her eyes twitch, show me the quiet giggle that escapes through her parted lips. Again, you do a fairly good job at this, but there's always a little more you could do.

A quick little rule of thumb. If you can avoid an adverb, please do. They can clutter your sentences and feed into the problem of show versus tell. Don't say "she smiled slightly," say "she cracked a smile." It means the same thing and does a much better job at it. I don't remember you suffering from overusing adverbs, and I won't go back and check, but it's a good thing to keep in mind.

The story has a pretty moderate and consistent pace until the last third, where it noticeably slows down. Pacing is an interesting issue, as too slow of one can bore the reader while a pace that's too fast makes the story feel rushed and end prematurely. A pace that's fluctuating easily throws off the reader. Although, since the scene's constant was quite emotionally heavy and the context surrounding it, it gets a pass in my book.

There's one last thing I want to comment on. Not really a criticism but more like an interesting phenomenon. The story takes a noticeable shift in quality in the last third of the story. My aforementioned mistakes become very infrequent to nonexistent, and your voice becomes much stronger and clearer. This happened because you genuinely enjoyed writing the scene. You were fueled with passion while writing, and filled with inspiration. Because of that, the words just flowed and everything came together so nicely. So nicely, in fact, that I have no idea what to pick apart. It's funny how easy it is to tell when the author has a passion for what they're writing about because it comes so clearly in the writing. I seriously recommend you look for this when reading other stories. It's really cool.

And thus, my professional nitpicking is over. Remember, I genuinely enjoyed your work and I think you did a fantastic job, even if it wasn't perfect. None of us are perfect and we can all learn and improve. Especially me. I look forward to reading your future works, and I'll always be sure to leave a review when I can.

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