Subject: [FFML] Re: [FanFic][Ranma][Divergence][Rev] Reflections Vol 1 Part 01
From: Chester Castaneda
Date: 11/9/2005, 11:27 AM
To: ffml@anifics.com


(sheepish) Sorry for the late delivery... you'll be getting your pizza free
now. (slams fist on palm) I'll finally found out what I've missed in part two!
:P

It's retro-review time. What's my excuse for this very, very late review?
W-ell... instead of whining for an update on this fic, I'd rather whine for an
update on this fic _and_ C&C the part I missed C&Cing before. I'm blaming the
blonde in me for missing this chapter, though I'm male, Asian, and I have never
bleached my hair.

Copy-Pasted Disclaimer: I reserve the right to be totally wrong, to misquote
facts and to make errors in judgment. I also C&C as I read, so what I said at
one point can easily be retracted on the next, depending on how the story
progresses. I don't claim to be the authority on fanfiction writing... Hell, I
see C&Cing as a learning experience. Agree? Disagree? Corrections on my
corrections? I'll thank you for it. Ignore all my comments in applying to your
fic? You have the right to do so. Take it with a grain of salt, use what you
can use and ignore the rest. ^_^

And my next victim is... someone I've victimized in the past. :P

On 3/7/05, A. V. Morgan <avmorgan27@comcast.net> wrote:

Part One: Three Ranmas!?

This is more common than one would suspect. I feel like I've said this before,
but just in case I am repeating myself, let it be said that it bears repeating.

(wonders if a Jim Lazar-ish Half-man-Half-woman Ranmavatar will come rampaging
in the future installments of the series)

The promise of spring hung in the air over Tokyo's Nerima Ward.

(shrugs) Ward. City. Whatever. I myself have no idea.

"Y-you� 

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Ranma did not need to open her eyes to tell he was pointing
between her and her other reflection, the duplicate of her
female side that had been created a week earlier.

(checks the chapter number again, then goes back to the story) Heh. I was
afraid that _yet again_ (like a running gag) I've missed a prologue or whatnot
of this fic. (ponders) Did I? 'Coz I'm hoping that it's not the case and you're
merely starting at the middle of things a la the epic chronicling Odysseus's
journey back home. 

Oh yeah... the mixed pronouns are having fun now in that particular sentence.
:P Good thing you haven't written yourself in a corner, or else nobody will
know who's who... The Copycat Ken Dilemma and all that. ;)

piece of fruit, skidded out of control, and crashed into the
new, warded curtain covering the cursed mirror.

Narrative Prose: To summarize it all... "See the Ranma 1/2 manga, vol. 35 for
details."

"Hey! What do you think you're doing!?" Ranma snapped, opening
her eyes to glare at her clone. "Leggo of that!?"

What's with the question mark? Ranma's not sure whether or not 'Copy' should
let go?

Suggest: "Leggo of that!"

"Wha- why� how� 

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copy, rubbing at a bruised breast. "And what the heck were you
thinkin'!?" 

Ranma: Aren't you a girl too? You should know better than to rub that hard!
THESE ARE NOT THE LIDS OF PEANUT BUTTER JARS!

Ranma and Akane had gone to several lengths to keep the two
clones separated during their return to Nerima. 

Ranma: (blinks) Hey, Akane.

Akane: What is it, Ranma?

Ranma: Why are we bringing them back with us to Nerima again when we could dump
them and not make them our problem?

Akane: (shrugs) I dunno. Plot point? Stringently sticking to canon? For the
sake of more conflict?

The
"throw yourself at someone and kiss them" tactic the girl twin
had used the week before was almost comical when doubled. It
took them a while to stop lunging at each other and banging
heads. 

(sweatdrop)

By the time they were on the train bound for Nerima, the
pair had impulsively progressed to hugging and kissing. Whenever
the image of the two making out in their seat on the train
popped into her head, shocking chills shot through her body.

Suggest: replacing 'her' in between 'chills shot through' and 'body.' with
'Ranma's'... only because you haven't mentioned her since the last paragraph.

When the girl had been chasing after him, a part of Ranma had
been flattered, but the very notion of the new male copy
pursuing Ranma with the same kind of intent made her shudder.

Y'know, you _really_ have to do something about these shifting pronouns. Ranma
is a problem as is in written prose because of his variable genders, but now
that he has clones, the pronoun confusion has literally tripled. Who is 'he'
referring to? Ranma or his male twin? Who is 'she' referring to? Ranko or her
female twin? Very problematic and confusing for the reader, methinks. 

"I was only trying to think of your happiness!" the girl twin
protested sincerely. "I mean, a boy like a girl like you needs a
girl like me and a boy like him. How else can you fit in? 

Joey Tribiani: Huh?

@_@

Author: It's _supposed_ to be confusing! MWAHAHAHA!!!

'Kay. Fine. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's good writing, but fine.

But,
now that you mention it�"

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the girl twin put a finger to her chin
and turned to study the boy twin thoughtfully. She snapped her
fingers and smiled at Ranma. "I get it now! He's too much of a
man for you! Just like I was too much of a woman for you! This
finally explains your feelings for that macho pervert-girl!"

"Hey!" Ranma and Akane shouted in unison, fuming.

Heh. Nice one.

"So, she is� a boy?" the boy twin asked the girl twin, pointing

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"I am NOT a GIRL!" Ranma shouted, looming up on both of them.

looming upon both of them. (combine 'up' and 'on' to form 'upon')

Boy or girl,
Ranma was indistinguishable from the object of his affections.
Since SHE was a girl, then by direct association, so was Ranma.
That concluded, his brain suspended all coherent thought and
proceeded to simply enjoy the view.

Carrot/Catbert/Ryoga P. Hibiki: Yaoi. Damn yaoi.

"This is really starting to creep me out," Akane muttered.
Looking up to the side again Akane repeated her initial

Since there's no shift of POV in the paragraph (and, to avoid as much reader
confusion as possible, there shouldn't be), methinks the second 'Akane' should
be a pronoun.

girls walking hand in hand along the fence top after him. "What
is that chunky, tom-boy's problem?" 

FYI, 'tomboy' is an actual, dictionary-verifiable word. 

Ranma-chan looked at her twin, then back at the boy, and

You've only used 'Ranma-chan' now (as opposed to using 'Ranma-chan' from the
very start of the fic) to refer to Ranma's female form. Suggest: making use of
'Ranma-chan/Ranko/Ranma-onna/whatnot' from the very start of the fic to avoid
confusion. Oh, and please do pick just one name and stick with it for the sake
of your reader's sanity. Thank you.

was bothering him. "So. 

Suggest: So...

"You said that before you� changed."

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The boy tensed in alarm, "You don't mean�!? Aw, man! I'm not

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canal opposite the sidewalk. Ranma-chan plummeted toward the
water in resignation. 

Heh.

Ranma-chan: You get used to it at times. Takahashi-sensei made it into a
running gag, while fanfic authors outright abused it.

Before the boy could answer, he was launched over the fence by a
sleeper uppercut from Ranma. 

So he's 'Ranma' now? Why? The canals are inexplicably warm this time?

(That's the gender-identity confusion I was warning you about. Please revise
accordingly)

"Hey! Go hit on pervert-girl!" the girl shouted launching Ranma

shouted, launching Ranma

The girl twin had started calling
Akane "pervert- girl" 

'pervert-girl' (extra space in between 'pervert-' and 'girl')

Akane lurched forward to pound the girl into the pavement, as

You don't need the comma after 'pavement'.

stood up muttering a litany of unflattering things about Akane

stood up,

Oh, and a li'l 'Heh' for Akane's woes of having Ranma in surround sound. :D

quickly to cover her mouth. "Oh my," she murmured softly, before
composing herself. "Okeirinasai, Akane-chan, Ranma-kun," 

(shrugs) If you really want to go in the way of gratuitous Japanese, then
replace 'Oh my' with 'Ara, ara,' :P

Seriously, cut the gratuitous (i.e. needless) Japanese please... simply because
it doesn't add all that much to the fic and the Japanese version of 'Welcome
back Akane, Ranma,' isn't all that remarkable save for the fact that it's in
Japanese. 

"Oi! Akane-kun!�"

"It's about time, Boy!�"

"�Did you get rid of that menace?" they chorused.

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Akane cleared her throat as the boy mumbled in semi-conscious
confusion. "About that�" she began.

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At that moment, Ranma swept open the entry screen and leaned in
with her clone, "Akane! Wait! What are we going to tell�?"

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"Well, this is hardly a surprise," Nabiki commented, appearing
in the hall behind Soun and Genma. With a mischievous grin, she
cleared her throat and said loudly, "Will the REAL Ranma Saotome
please stand up?"

(facefault)

Y'know, any semblance of 'Japanity' in this fic was ruined by that borderline
fourth-wall-shattering comment. Seems to me that this chapter is suffering from
an identity crisis. Does it want to convey an anime feel? A manga feel? Right
now it's conveying a fanfic cliche feel, methinks.

Nabiki: Don't have a cow. The Japanese know who Eminem is. Chill, dawg.

Akane grabbed the girl twin and pushed her forward, clearing her
throat, "Actually, um� This is mostly her fault."

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"What? You mean you actually want him?"

"N� No!" Akane blushed and growled, "That doesn't have anything
to do with it! You can't just kidnap people like that!"

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Oh, and very good. Instead of becoming fic Akane, you've again recaptured canon
Akane's essence with that girlish hesitance in her dialogue. 

Ranma and Akane marched the clones through the living room, and
out onto the patio. Ranma picked up a hot teakettle from the
table as she passed, 

Suggest: 'passed' --> 'passed it by'

"Alright, pay attention. I'm not gonna explain this twice," she

All right, pay attention.

began, explaining how her father took her to Jusenkyo and
knocked her, at the time him, into the Nyanniichuan. Using half
the water in the kettle, he restored himself to normal, and as
expected, the boy twin instantly produced cold water to test the
curse. Ranma fumed, but recalled how others had reacted to the
same story. Ukyo had spent hours pouring hot and cold water over
her, out of sheer amusement. Ranma, using the last of the hot
water, warned the couple that the curse was the only problem in
his life they were spared from. He then took a moment to try to
convince them that it was in their own best interest to avoid
contact with anyone outside the dojo. Not that he believed he
could truly keep the two from bring new chaos to his life, but
it was worth a try.

Y'know, you don't need that paragraph. It's a waste of fic space, IMO. The mere
fact that Ranma took the kettle to explain his curse to his 'twins' should be
enough for an FFML reader. Really. I'm sure nearly everybody is familiar with
the concept by now, so no more further expositions in regards to that, please.

had been freed from the mirror, Nabiki turned to collect a
handful of yen from her father and Genma. She then took a third
of the pile of cash and handed it over to Kasumi. 

(sweatdrop) I should have seen that coming... though the Kasumi bit was quite
entertaining.

"You are so cute!" the boy declared, taking the girl's hands in
his.

"You are more handsome!" she protested modestly, her eyes
twinkling.

Awkward phrasing... suggest: "So are you!" or: "You're so much cuter!"

Yes, I _know_ you took it out of the ending of the original arc in the manga. I
still think the translation was a bit off in proper language... but it may just
be me. (shrug)

"They're so alike too�" Nabiki deadpanned.

Heh.

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Akane just sat there with her eyes narrowing, pretending to
complete indifference to the situation. 

Suggest replacing 'pretending to' with 'feigning' because it goes better with
'complete indifference'.

"I guess this is sort of like a honeymoon for them," Kasumi put
in thoughtfully, after a moment. Tea sprayed forth from Akane
and Genma. Ranma jerked as if he'd just been hit by lightening,

lightening --> lightning

Proofread these pesky unintentional puns. Proofreading, after all, is >
spell-check.

Ranma and Akane flinched away as lurid images of boy-type Ranma
molesting girl-type Ranma danced through the minds of everyone
but Kasumi.

...Literally everyone except Kasumi. (whistles)

Soun, who had never bothered to mentally distinguish Ranma from
his clones, came out onto the balcony and protested, "Ranma! How
could you cheat on my daughter this way!?" Shifting an accusing
finger from the boy to the girl, he commanded. "I forbid you to
sleep with Ranma under my roof!"

:P

"Ranma no HENTAI! Don't you have ANY restraint or morals!!?"
Akane advanced on her fiance, mallet-sama in hand, amidst a
pillar of blue flames.

(sighs) No one else but fandom would come up with the name 'mallet-sama.'
'Mallet-sama' = fic Akane. Which is too bad, since your Akane had been more
manga-like than fic-like.

(ahem)

[Soapbox: I can take 'Ranma no HENTAI,' (even though it's shamelessly cliche,
it _is_ still canon). She does call him that when she's about to smack him,
even though she does this less times that what fandom thinks. But
'mallet-sama'? Come on, there's no need to ruin a perfectly good fic concept by
making use of fanon cliche like that. Please revise. Your second chapter was
virtually free of this cliche, that's why it read so well.]

Ranma backed up slowly, hands out in warding gestures. "W- wait!

Extra space in between 'W-' and 'wait!'

Are you insane? Do you ever hear what I am saying?"

(shrugs) Though I think you meant to type "Did you even hear what I was
saying?", maybe I'm wrong. The judgment call is yours; to revise or not to
revise.

Ranma hung her head, while Akane closed the distance menacingly.
On an instinctive level, the redhead estimated the power and
intent of the other girl's rage. By that analysis, Akane had
truly snapped. 

(yawn) Oh yeah... the fic is dragging during these parts. Ranma's little
introspective analysis on Akane's rage sounds rather iffy and extraneous to me.

If she ran, Akane would charge and probably kill
her. If she stood her ground, Akane would charge and probably
kill her. If she wanted to live, it might be a good idea to
defend herself this time. 

I'm of the opinion that Ranma won't think that Akane will kill his twin. Even
in a humor setting, I don't accept the exaggeration. It is acceptable for Ranma
to fear that Akane will probably do something rash or violent, but this is a
bit much. Suggest: not using 'kill', but perhaps 'maim' or 'assault'... or get
rid of this statement altogether, 'coz the exaggeration seems OOC to me, IMO.

But even in deadly peril, such as her
keenly honed instincts assured her she was in, she didn't want
to raise a hand against Akane. 

This part need not be said. Common knowledge.

ain't nothin' wrong with a guy sleepin' by himself. It ain't
like I've got any other option�"

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wall and out of sight. Akane stood there, meeting Ranma's eyes,
for several long breaths. "Did� did you say� b- by yourself?"

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Ranma scowled, "What didja think I was sayin'?"

9_9

"You don't want sleep with one of THEM?" The raven haired girl's

raven-haired (compound descriptors should be hyphenated)

"Do you think I am some kind of pervert!?" Ranma roared in
outraged disbelief.

"Geez, Ranma-kun! Get a clue!" Nabiki shook her head.

(eyes half-lidded) This 'confrontation', to me, looks like a step back. I don't
see the point in it. It's not funny, it doesn't contribute all that much to the
overall framework of the story, it's not dramatic, no _new_ character insights
is given to the reader, and (most of all) the reader has already seen this a
bazillion times before in many a crappy fic.

crashing to Earth with a skull ringing clunk, followed shortly
by a distant bellow, "Raaaaanmaaaaaa! This is All YOUR FAULT!!!"

Heh. 

Kasumi broke into the silence to muse aloud, "Having three
Ranma's in the house could get confusing. Maybe we should come
up with some different names so there are no misunderstandings."

Thank you, Kasumi-sama. (worships Kasumi)

CORK: (approves)

"Oh, yes. If Auntie Nodoka were to show up, it would be a lot
easier for us if Copy-chan was used to being called Ranko. Why,
Copy- no-Ranko 

extra (and needless) spacing in between 'Copy-' and 'no-'

Giving Nabiki a desperate, determined look, she finally
relented, "Alright, we can do that last one."

"All right, we can..."

"I don't know, it IS quite a mouthful�" 

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Nabiki nodded in Akane's
directions.

direction. (Akane only has one 'direction' for Nabiki to nod to)

"Hmmm� We could DO that, but," 

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twins. By eaves dropping, 

eavesdropping ('coz it's an actual, dictionary-verifiable word... no need to
separate the two words in it)

made fine beads of sweat pop out over his brow. Since there were
no cats around, he decided a lethal dose of curiosity was not

What do cats have to do with his lethal dose of curiosity?

needed at the moment, and forced himself to ignore the couple.
His mind strayed off on a tangent, though, as he wondered how to
harness the "curiosity killed the cat" technique. 

I'm sorry I asked. 9_9

[Soapbox: Nothing blows the believability of fanfic, for me, than English
sayings and puns used in a fanfic based on a Japanese series. If you have to
use humor there, how about a universal-type humor instead of a region-specific
joke that blows out the believability? Onegai?]  

Akane and Ranma jumped up to clear the table and put their
schoolwork away. It was left to them to help set the table, as
Nabiki continued to lounge in front of the television, spying on
the clones, and Genma and Soun remained glued to their game of
Shogi. Neither of them dared turn to acknowledge Kasumi with a
look, or the other would swiftly rearrange the board.

The 'Neither of them' part of the last sentence is confusing, considering the
fact that it could refer the three sets of 'them' from the previous sentence
(Genma and Soun, Anma and Anko, Ranma and Akane). I suggest separating the
'Genma and Soun remained glued...' part of the second to the last sentence and
combining it with the 'Neither of them...' last sentence... like so:

Akane and Ranma jumped up to clear the table and put their schoolwork away. It
was left to them to help set the table, as Nabiki continued to lounge in front
of the television, spying on the clones. On the other hand, Genma and Soun
remained glued to their game of Shogi; neither of them dared turn to
acknowledge Kasumi with a look, or the other would swiftly rearrange the board.

"Itedakimasu!" 

Methinks the commonly-used romanji for that should be "Itadakimasu!"

Suggest: "Let's eat!"

stand. They were in silent agreement. No one particularly cared
about them fawning over each other, but� 

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the thought of where
that might escalate to brought on all sorts of twitching and
shuddering.

Suggest: adding a 'to all concerned' after 'twitching and shuddering'

"Are you sure it's a good idea to put those boys together,
Oneechan? I mean, one little splash of water and�" Nabiki held
up her hands and shrugged. It need not be said that chaos would
ensue.

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The mere idea that this was a way to get Ranma and Akane
together was enough to get Soun and Genma to their feet, pushing
the clones together, "That's right! What a perfect solution!"

LOL.

Ranma cut in, mockingly, 

I don't think you need the comma after 'in'.

"Oh? You mean you're volunteering to
sleep outside then, Old Man?"

"Er� 

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"But, Father� 

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Genma looked over and opened his mouth, "As their effective
father, I�"

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Ranma lay twitching, sprawled across the porch threshold.
Looking up, he found himself taking special note of the fact
that the sky above the Tendo home was a deep, velvety blue. He
found it quite mesmerizing.

The pacing of your fic is constantly ruined by the character's digressive focus
on trivialities for the sake of 'humor'. 

Happosai dumped a bulging bag of lingerie on the floor and
quickly reached for a bowl full of food. While the diminutive
old man was rapidly stuffing his face, Anko leaned over in
curiosity and pulled out a few pieces of lingerie. Her eyes
widened with delight as she recognized the opportunity before
her. Snatching up the bag, she sprinted upstairs crying,
"Kyaaaaa! I have to try these on!"

(sweatdrop) That's not a normal reaction by any stretch of the imagination.
^^;; Takahashi-sensei created a _really_ whacked out character in the form of
mirror Ranko.

Ranma stopped twitching and blinked, as his rattled brain

blinked as his rattled brain

suddenly rebooted. 

Um, do you _really_ have to describe Ranma regaining his bearings that way?
'Rebooted', I mean? -_- Sounds a bit too geeky and extraneous (not to mention
it sticks out like a sore thumb)

Sitting up, he slapped his fist into his
palm. "Happosai!" he growled, automatically seeking out the
miniature master of panty pilfering. He quickly spotted the old
man chasing Anko out of the room. 

'chasing Anko out of the room' connotes that Happosai chasing Anko was the
reason why Anko left the room (which isn't the case). Suggest: getting rid of
'out of the room' before 'chasing Anko'.

"What luck!" Ranma declared and picked up his bowl to resume
eating, delighted to be spared molestation for once.

Heh.

"It's not my problem! Why don't you drag him�" Ranma trailed

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"Hey! That's my line!"

You can do without that running gag, really. Or, if you really want to keep it,
use it just once.

"Don't get so excited! I'm pretty damn familiar with�" the words

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"I knew there were two of you running around!" Happosai had
blundered into the middle of Anko's campaign to capture Ranma
the week before, but had yet to learn how or why the kami had
blessed him with multiple Ranmas. As far as he was concerned,
there could never be too many of his favorite student! Always
quick to exploit said favorite, 

Suggest: replacing 'said favorite' with 'the situation' (just so the prose
won't sound awkward)

Ranma caught this out of the corner of her eye, her gaze
hardened in response to Anma's declaration. While muttering
about the "girlfriend" comment, she appraised the situation.

Suggest: replacing 'appraised' with 'analyzed', 'coz 'appraised' connotes to a
person appraising the value/price of an object (i.e. to appraise the value of a
gold ring would mean to analyze just how much it costs or how many carats it
contains), while 'analyzed' connotes to what you had in mind (to
'asses/evaluate' the situation)

While the boy kept Happosai distracted, Ranma darted past Akane,
snatching a blanket to cover the girl up.

Replace: 'the boy' with 'Anma' and 'the girl' with 'Anko', just to be clear.

Akane had finally
noticed the other red-head 

FYI, redhead is a dictionary-verifiable word. No need to hyphenate it.

"Don't mind me!" Anko pulled down her eyelid and stuck out her
tongue, as Ranma wrestled 

tongue as Ranma wrestled

with the writhing mass of Akane in the
blanket. 

It's nice to see 'writhing mass of Akane' not written within the context of a
lemon scene or a character bash fic. :P

"You go, girl! Smile!" and Anko dutifully posed for the camera.
"Marvelous, now, turn to the side. What can I say, Anko, you are
a natural!"

Suggest: What can I say, Anko? You're a natural!"

Happi fumed, realizing that he was being forced to divert his
attention from Anko's display in order to dodge ahead of Anma's
attacks.

Okay, so after Happi realized what he realized, what did he do?

Grammar Rule #41: In writing, it�s important to remember that dangling
sentences.

Considering where Anko
came from, Akane found it hard to credit her with possessing any
instinct or intention to preserve her modesty. 

Granted, Akane doesn't have a very good impression of Ranma... but isn't this a
bit too much? Akane is someone who _reacts_ to what she sees. She presumes the
worst after _seeing_ something which proves her presumption correct, not
before. Simply put, her finding it hard to 'credit Anko's modesty to Ranma' is
a bit of a stretch in believability.

she starts the cycle again," Nabiki appraised 

appraised --> assess/something else.

See above.

admiringly. She
saw no need to mention that this strategy had not foiled her
camera. As Anko evaded a hammer strike from Ranma, 

Ah. There we go. Finally. More manga canon and less fanon. _Other_ characters
summoning the oft-called-upon 'mallet-sama'.

"Where do you think you're going like that!?"

"I gotta take a bath, you idiot! What do you think?"

"You freak! Put some clothes on!"

Anko: And rid the readers of fanservice? I think not!

Author: (whistles an impressive two part harmony)

For an instant, the two unwittingly cornered Ranma. "N-now, hold
on a sec�" 

Formatting errors from (presumably) MS Word's autocorrect feature. Please
replace Word's version of ellipsis '�' with the plaintext, three-dotted
ellipsis '...'

"Good work, Ranma my boy. Now, just hold her still for me�"

Formatting errors from (presumably) MS Word's autocorrect feature. Please
replace Word's version of ellipsis '�' with the plaintext, three-dotted
ellipsis '...'

Happosai laughed, still flying right at him.

As the boy opened up with his amaguriken attack, 

Suggest: Amaguriken

Akane appeared just in time to join Ranma in pounding the boy
senseless. "Bakahentai!" they chorused, stomping the poor boy
underfoot.

If you insist on the Japanese, how about, 'Bakayaro'? Not because it's cliche,
but because it's more commonly used than, AFAIK, 'Bakahentai'.

her out of commission. Unable to conclude that he had done
either the right or wrong thing, she simply helped drag the girl
to her room.

Really, in contrast to your portrayal in part 2, I simply loathe your portrayal
of Akane in part 1. Perhaps what goes on in Akane's mind is open to debate, but
for my money she's a reactive and impulsive type of person that doesn't hold a
grudge (otherwise, Ranma would have been out of her life way, waaaaay before)

Author's Note: I have been an avid fan of Ranma 1/2 manga, anime
and fan fiction for years. 

Which explains the fusion of all three in this one fic, hmmm?

I am also a writer and artist. 

Heh. Get in line. So are about nearly half (or even more than that) of fandom.
I, for one, am also a writer and an artist. IMO, it's a bit presumptuous to
claim such, but what the hell... I'm a writer and an artist! :P

In
spite of these two things, I did not seriously consider creating
any of my own fan fiction until now. Before addressing the story
I chose to write, I want to comment on why I chose to write it.

Ah, author notes. Readers be damned, this is where authors can relax, unwind,
and rant like hell. ^_^

Joem: (nods sagely)

Piro: (nods sagely)

people's toes, to explore the ideas inspired by their additions
to Ranma ?.

Stray question mark after 'Ranma' and the period.

Revision Note: This is the first installment of the new, revised
version of Ranma Nibunnoichi - Reflections retitled Reflections
V.1 - Stuck in the Middle With You. This story has been evolving
>from day one. By the time I finished Reflections, I had produced
enough material for three complete volumes and the story was
still evolving in new directions. It had taken on a life of its
own at some point. 

Yeah. It's the same way with some of the fics I've written.

will be screamingly obvious. For example, the reflections will
no longer be identified as Copy-chan and Copy-kun. The suffixes
-chan and -kun, by which the copies were previously
distinguished from each other, were not really suitable. 

So that's why the scene where they were debating what to call the two and the
twin copies' eventual picking of their _own_ names seemed incongruous to each
other. IMO, the fact that you simply wrote in that 'Anko and Anma chose their
own names' after the debate seems more like a copout than anything else, and it
makes the debate seem like a waste of time.

Comments and Criticism
are welcome as always. 

Well, you asked for it. Don't whine and complain about getting it. :P

This is still my first fan fic, after
all. My only request is that my readers offer examples or
explanations to ensure that their suggestions will enable me to
improve the story. Comments and Criticism are welcome as always.

Redundancy on the C&C request thingy. Makes you sound desperate, IMO.

This is still my first fan fic, after all. My only request is
that my readers offer examples or explanations to ensure that
their suggestions will enable me to improve the story.

Ah, so that's why. You copy-pasted twice. Just a head's up.

couldn't or wouldn't go there� it was just that going there

Formatting errors from (presumably) MS Word's autocorrect feature. Please
replace Word's version of ellipsis '�' with the plaintext, three-dotted
ellipsis '...'

act and interact in intimate circumstances is as important as
how they conduct themselves in other circumstances.

Gotcha, capt'n.

General comments: Quite a bit this time around. Let me elaborate.

Fandom conventions: Minimize their use. I'm okay with their use, but like vocab
words, they shouldn't be overused. If you really have to make use of fandom
conventions, I suggest using them in a fresh manner or not giving them cutesy
fandom names. Simply put... 'mallet-sama' is a no-no. The use of the mallet is
canon, referring to it with its fandom name is cliche. _Yes_, Akane does use a
mallet which she grabs seemingly out of nowhere, but can you please not call it
'mallet-sama'? It's almost as bad reading about the 'Hentai Horde' or the
"Nerima Wrecking Crew' in the actual narrative of a fanfic. I mean, it's okay
if you use these terms to comment on a story or to talk to a forum, but to use
them on the actual story? I think not.

The ellipsis: If you _are_ using MS Word, then do the 'unclick Autocorrect
options' thingy. Otherwise, why not use a plain text program and then simply
use a spellchecker afterwards?

Commas: I neglected to tell you in chapter two to learn to use commas properly.
Good thing, 'coz now I realize that _that's_ just one part of the problem. The
main problem is, of course, learning to punctuate properly. As a general rule,
sentences which use 'as' ("She said this as she did something else") don't need
to be punctuated with commas (She said this, as she did something else"). On
the other hand, sentences that don't use 'as' ("She said this, feeling regret")
should have proper punctuation 'coz otherwise they'd look weird otherwise ("She
said this feeling regret.")

Proofread: It's a very powerful tool, more powerful than a spellchecker. It
also gets rid of brain-fart mistakes like the surprisingly common apostrophe
--> apostrophe-s errors. To ensure the best type of proofreading, I'd suggest
you read your dialogue out loud. This is the best indication you'll ever have
of if it sounds right, makes sense, and flows properly. If it feels weird to
say it, chances are that it'll feel very weird to read it. Also, let it
percolate. If you have time, let it sit for a few weeks, then read it over.
Without what you think you wrote in fresh in your mind, you'll have a much
better chance of catching strange misspellings, nonsensical sentences, and
other problems. If you've just written the story, it's very difficult to edit
it yourself because you know exactly what it should say; so you read what you
think you wrote, rather than what you actually wrote. (paraphrased from Katsu
no Miko's guide to proper fanfic writing)

As for the content, let's go 'back in time' and copy-paste my earlier review of
the chapter that follows this one, Reflections Chapter Two...

"In terms of plot, I'm a bit divided. On one hand, this fic had its moments,
especially with the special breed of chaos Anma and Anko brings into Ranma's
world. Akane's shortcomings were highlighted here, but not in an Akane-basher
kind of way. Akane was presented that way because that's Akane's tendency, and
I'm cool with that. That kind of writing style, IMO, is indicative of good,
un-biased writing. The plot is superb, solid and believable as an episode of
Ranma had it been more slapstick and comedic. As a fanfic drama piece, it
succeeds. It's the really good plot that supports the average way it was
presented. On the other hand... the writing leaves much to be desired. In terms
of grammar quality, the writing was inconsistent with the IMO superb plot.

There were parts of the story where the narrative was trying too hard to sound
important, when it doesn't have to. All it has to do is present the plot. No
need to 'flower' up the language to show off how one should construct compound
and complex sentences. You're telling an already great and well-plotted story,
so no need to make car-wreck narratives, ambitious run-on and multiple-thought
sentences. Simplify it so your great story shines through. Still, it's not the
worst fic that I've read in terms of spelling and sentence construction."
 
Okay... now onto the general comments of Chapter one's content. _This_ time
around, Akane acts rather... ficcish for my taste. Don't get me wrong, it's
obvious that you've done your best to base her characterization closely on
canon-manga Akane (complete with insecurities and all). The _main_ problem I
have with the Akane in chapter one of your fic is her lingering angst towards
Ranma during those introspective moments. Canon Akane is more of a reactive
type who only acts after she _sees_ proof of a great wrong done by Ranma
(whether it's only in her head or not). _Otherwise_, she won't have any
lingering hatred for, or bad impression of, Ranma. She doesn't presume the
worst from the get-go... she sees something first (clone hugging Ranma, for
example) _then_ goes ballistic by presuming the worst. For example:

Ranma simply enters Akane's room without leave and Akane immediately presumes
in her mind that Ranma's there to pilfer her underwear and do perverted stuff =
OOC.

Ranma's mirror clone enters Akane's room and pilfers her underwear to try on,
Akane immediately presumes (and with good reason) that it's _Ranma_ who's
pilfering her underwear and doing perverted stuff = IC.

(It's also of note that while most people in fandom will think that Akane will
get mad at Ranma for every little thing preemptively, in the next story of the
very same volume of the twin Ranma story [vol 35, Part 5], Akane didn't get mad
at Ranma after seeing Nabiki 'model' some clothes 'for' him because she was
genuinely worried for his safety after he angered her sister)

Other than that (and the 'mallet-sama' cliche), I have no problems with your
characterization of Akane.

Then there's that little 'Will the real Ranma please stand up" crack. It's your
jurisdiction. I've already explained why I found it dubious. (and, as a btw, I
didn't particularly like the Westernization of the ancestors in 'Mulan' either)
For me, putting western references in an eastern-based story is like using
chocolate ice cream as a topping in fish casserole... Blecch.

This time around, there were digressive parts of the narrative where it's
trying to hard to sound funny and fails miserably (as opposed to the flowery
prose of chapter two). I'd suggest... not trying so hard to be funny and
concentrating more on telling the story. The story is the best thing that's
going on in this fic, so don't spoil it by making the fic into something that
it's not.

Other than that, this first chapter (like the chapter that follows it)
definitely had its moments. Despite several botched-up attempts at humor, I
still got to get a chuckle or four out of some of the jokes presented here. It
probably has to do with the fact that it is still anchored closely to the canon
source, and it hadn't diverged all that much yet (your attempts at humor,
though hit and miss, is definitely a reflection of the canon origins of
'Reflection'). 

Summary: This little rewrite of this fic of yours has gained you a new reader.
Kudos. ;) Can't wait for more. Well, look at the time... It's standard
disclaimer time!

In any case, ignore my "loved the story, hated the myriad of technical problems
and fanon cliches littering the fic"-type comments if you'd like. I'm only
"keeping it real" and telling you straight out what I found wrong in the fic.
If you want to keep your fic as is (though really, please proofread first
before making that judgment call), good. If you found my comments helpful in
some level, even better.  The best advice I could give you that you needn't
take with a grain of salt is to keep on writing. Make use of whatever
corrections suits your fancy and ignore the rest... It's your fic. I also
apologize for any spelling and grammar mistake my C&C has made. It'd be ironic
for a correction to need a correction, but we're all only human, after all.

Keep on writing,
Abdiel

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