Subject: [FFML] [C&C] [Ranma]Predator and Prey Prologue
From: Chester Castaneda
Date: 11/28/2005, 8:40 PM
To: ffml@anifics.com


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. ^_^

Oh yeah... before I forget, you have the usual �smart quotes� problem. ^^;;
Well, here's a li'l tip if you're using Microsoft Word (if not, might I suggest
using a plaintext writing program?) Go to the Tools menu, click 'AutoCorrect',
then click the Autoformat tab. You'll see a checklist there. Under the
"Replace" header, uncheck "replace straight quotes with smart quotes."

Oooh, will you look at that. One of my earliest victims. ^_^

On 10/4/05, arun prabhu <arundude1@yahoo.com> wrote:

Here's something that I've cooked up. Hope you likes
it. ^_^;;

The jury is still out on that. ;)

Predator and Prey
Arun
[A Ranma One-half story]
Prologue

The girl was 20, 5�7�, fair and full-breasted with a

The girl was twenty, 5'7"

The former correction (20 --> twenty) was a correction in numerals. In general,
I've seen professional authors opt for spelling numbers out instead of writing
their numerical forms. The obvious exceptions to the rule (usually) are actual
dates (October 28, 2005), exact numbers which are large in amount
(1,234,567,890) or writing the numerical year instead of the spelled-out
version (1983, as opposed to nineteen eighty-three... though the latter is also
good, IMO). In any case, a good rule of thumb is this: if a number won't look
awkward or needlessly long when written as words, then go its worded version...
otherwise, go with its numerical form.

The latter correction (5�7� --> 5'7") is acceptable numerical use because the
alternative is not as easy to comprehend as its numerical counterpart... but
still, you're making use of 'smart quotes' for your single and double quotation
marks. The correction is on the smart quotes, not the numbers. (In any case, I
_can_ suggest the alternative, 'five feet, seven inches in height' but you can
opt not to use it)

I've already warned you early on in my C&C of Destiny Chapter Four about these
'smart' quotation marks. I hope you do find a way around them, 'coz they're bad
formatting.

studies took precedence over her running. So, at the
age of 18, 

18 --> eighteen

Y'know why.

Oh, and I must note that your writing has improved. ^_^ See how much easier
prose flows once you make use of only one-two thoughts per sentence? You've
really cleaned up your earlier tendency to make run-on sentences, my friend.

she found herself in Fatima College of Arts
for Women in the large and yet, backwater city of
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Suggest: Madurai; Tamil Nadu, India

Or: Madurai, Tamil Nadu; India

Or: Just get rid of 'Madurai', just to be specific and to get to the point. 

Or something... 'coz I'm not really all that familiar with Indian geography.
Just distribute your words accordingly so that people won't be confused whether
Madurai is a part of Tamil Nadu or Tamil Nadu is separate from Madurai or
whatever.

Like other girls her age, she was a fashion-hawk 

Hmmm. That's a new term that I'm not familiar with. Hooray for making up words!
:P

Ultimate Warrior: DESTRUCITY!

and
even though Madurai was one of the most conservative
cities in a very conservative state, 

Er... one of the most conservative cities in a very conservative state? That
sounds kind of redundant. More to the point, who can tell? It's like trying to
find out which parts of the ocean are wetter compared to all the other parts.

And since she was
forbidden to seek work by her father, she supplemented
her income by selling herself as a high-class escort
of middle aged 

middle-aged (compound descriptors should be hyphenated)

men in secret. Nobody knew about her
other life, not even her best friends. 

...Since there's redundant conservatism afoot.

Unfortunately, you only got to
be a fool once in this line of trade and as she ran
through the thick wood that grew around the base of
Alagar Malai, a hill to the north of Madurai, with not
a strip of cloth on her person but for her bra and
panties, her terrified mind wondered whether the night
would be the last one of her life.

Hmmm. I was about to say that this is one of your 'darker' stories to date, but
then I remembered somebody died in Destiny; yeah, that kind of statement begs
the question: As opposed to what? Still, this fic has gritty written all over
it... in a manner of speaking. 

The day had started well enough � as well as any day
can for a Economics student 

could for an Economics student

in a middling Arts college

Hmmm... It's nice to see that you've opted for a formal feel to your prose.
Here's hoping you don't overdo it to the point where this will be littered with
dozens upon dozens of vocabulary words. 

She had been followed by the lecherous
Math Prof. M. Kathirvel, who had as usual leered at
the whole class through his old eyes. 

So the class is full of hot babes? Or did this M. Kathirvel just generally like
any young student in general, regardless of gender?

After what had
seemed like an eternity had come lunch break. 

eternity came lunch break.

With a sunny smile, he had waved grandiosely at the
forest and answered, �This is my playground and you
are my prey. I�ll give you five minutes head start. If
you can stay out of my grasp till morning, you can
walk away. If not��

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

least, she thought they were drugs, though their
effects were like no drug she had ever heard about.
Her neck, back, her right upper tummy 

tummy --> stomach

Remember what I said about being either consistently formal or consistently
informal with your prose. Yeah, well, tummy is an informal word. It's a fish
out of water with a narrative prose that makes use of words like 'middling', if
you can catch my drift.

Now, two hours into the chase, her body, which endured
six hours runs 

six hour runs ('coz 'six hour' is a descriptor of the rate of her runs, so it
doesn't need to be pluralized)

on a regular schedule, was at the
limits of its endurance and failing fast. 

Methinks 'was at the limits of its endurance and failing fast' is as redundant
as 'I'll kill you dead'. So... yeah. Avoid redundancy. Pick: limits of its
endurance or failing fast?

�Got to keep moving. Can�t fall into his hands�� 

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

There was a rustle behind her. It was a miracle that
she heard it at all, but hear it, she did. 

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

She tried
to run, but her legs gave away underneath her 

gave way underneath her (replace 'away' with 'way')

and she
landed on her knees on acacia thorn. 

I think you meant, 'and her knees landed on acacia thorns'.

The pain made her
scream, but the scream came out as a gasp.

�Tsk, tsk, tsk� 

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

I thought you�d have more endurance
than the others, you know,� 

Suggest: You know, I thought you'd have more endurance than the others.

She tried to crawl on her knees through the thorn in
the silence. 

Ouch. 

�Don�t try to run away. It�s useless now. Your life
essence is almost completely drained and you will most
likely die if you exert yourself� 

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

Her life essence is drained? How... youma-ish (and therefore SM-ish).

Don�t cry. This was
an excellent hunt and it was really a treat to feel
and experience your terror and pain. But hunt must

But the hunt must (add 'the' in between 'But' and 'hunt')

As he spoke, he laid her on her back on the ground,
removed the thorn from her knees, stripped her
undergarments, 

Suggest: stripped her of her undergarments, (add 'of her' in between 'her' and
'undergarments')

spread-eagled her and undressed
himself. Then he got between her legs. 

Hmmm. Good use of sparse description and understatement. No need to get gross
about things, just leave the rest of the horror to the imaginations of your
readers. You're observing Grammar Rule # 25 well.

Grammar Rule #25: Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth
earth-shaking ideas

He took great
pains to ensure that his fingers were positioned
strategically over her eyes, her forehead and her
heart before forcing himself into her. She screamed in
pain 

Suggest: pain --> agony (the repetition of 'pain', to me, sounds rather
redundant)

as her dry innards tore, but he laughed at her
pain

Suggest: pain --> suffering (the repetition of 'pain', to me, sounds rather
redundant)

and thrust into her harder. He began to glow as
the union continued and she with him 

...She with him what? Was she glowing too? It's like there's something missing
in that sentence.

until his laugh
and her screams were as one. The forest lit up from
the glow and everything alive within a circle of
fifteen foot radius shriveled and died. By the time he
came and the rite ended, neither was she.

Oooohhh. Creepy.

Author�s notes:
---------------

This is something that�s been in my mind for sometime.
All my stories so far have been set in foreign locales
of whose customs I had no idea of. 

...Which is usually unsound for a writer to do, but hey... we have an English
Language Anime and Manga Fanfiction Mailing List. Obviously that's not really a
deterrent for the (mostly outside of Japan) Anime and Manga fandom.

This is one of the
reasons I�m dissatisfied with everything I write �
because nothing in them is authentic. 

(nods) It's the bane of the Non-Japanese Otaku Fanfic Writer.

Well, not
anymore. Madurai is my hometown and though this won�t
be a self-insert, all the main characters � except
Ranma � will be based on people I know well in real
life. 

Somehow I'm doubting Ranma will be very Ranma-like in this fic. Call it a gut
feeling.

Furthermore, Predator and Prey will explore some
of the myths we Indians have about martial arts 

Wouldn't be fair if you won't be exploring some of the myths Western people
have about Japanese Martial Arts or, hell, about Martial Arts as a whole.
(whistles innocently)

as
well as pit my favorite anime hero against an Indian
serial killer martial arts master. Fun, huh? 

(shrugs) Personally, I could care less because of my, um, unfamiliarity and
therefore non-existent knowledge of Indian serial killing martial artists.
Yeah. But I guess what's important is that at least _you're_ having fun... I
guess. 

As to how
I plan to bring Ranma into the story, that�s for me to
know and you to find out in the chapters to come.

Just as long as you don't bait and switch the readers with the promise of Ranma
and the presentation of something else.
*coughcoughasaotomeinsmallvillecoughcough*

PS � Destiny and all my other projects are coming
along. Slowly.

Heh. Oh, I know how _that_ feels. My willingness to finish my own stories has
itself abated, with the way my creative juices has been... _trickling_ lately.
Again, I must take my sledgehammer of compulsiveness to chip away at the
writer's block that has my muse captive. Que cera cera... 

Okay, let's move on to the general comments I have of this fic. 

Formatting: Find a way to get this fic in plain text. You have the word
wrapping thing taken care of, but you still have smart quotes and special
character ellipses to fix. Those things won't be recognized in other systems,
so your readership kind of suffers. Other than that, they're annoying. Might I
suggest using the plain text reformatting program Mr. Thomas Michael Edwards
advertised not so long ago? 

Spelling out numbers as words instead of, well, numbers: Let's review. In
general, I've seen professional authors opt for spelling numbers out instead of
using their numerical forms. The obvious exceptions to the rule (usually) are
actual dates (October 28, 2005), exact numbers reaching the millions or even
billions (1,234,567,890) or writing the numerical year instead of the
spelled-out version (1983, as opposed to nineteen eighty-three... though the
latter is also good, IMO). 

Punctuation: Just minor stuff, like stray commas that shouldn't be there. It
can be easily fixed by reading your fic aloud. If the sentence sounds William
Shatner-esque (i.e. with awkward and unnecessary pauses), then fix its
punctuation. Which leads us to...

Proofreading: It's a very powerful tool, more powerful than a spellchecker
(though, thankfully, this fic doesn't need further spellchecking with the way
you've edited it's FFML post version). It also gets rid of brain-fart mistakes
(like using the fish-out-of-water word 'tummy' in a mostly formal prose). To
ensure the best type of proofreading, I'd again 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. Make use of a thesaurus instead of a computer
spellchecker to check the proper spelling of words. Also, let your fic
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 Writing Fanfics for Dummies)

Plot: This is a very... well, original-ish fic. The good news is that you
really are making use of familiar ground, since writers are _supposed_ to be
writing about things that they are familiar with, IMO. Besides, writing stuff
that's close to the kind of setting you're familiar with brings it more, oh I
dunno, authenticity, ne? The bad news is that, well, are you _sure_ this story
belongs to the FFML? I mean, c'mon, aside form a rather flimsy premise of the
serial killer being a martial artist and an even vaguer promise of Ranma going
to India (for some reason or the other) to whoop serial killer martial artists
in the later chapters, this doesn't read like a fanfic at all. It's like the
fic should be archived in Fiction Press.net instead of Fanfiction.net, if you
know what I mean.

General meanderings: I hope that someday the Ranma 1/2 anime is shown wherever
you live as of now; I also hope that you can someday get access to the Ranma
1/2 manga. Man, since you were able to (somewhat) wing it (Ranma fanfiction) by
only having secondhand fanfic knowledge of the series you're writing about,
then what more if you _do_ know what you're writing about? ;) Seriously,
dude... find a FAQ at least, or try to find a way to watch Ranma 1/2. A little
research goes a long way. Creativeness is one thing, but keeping it 'real' is
another. Now I won't rant about people writing things they know nothing about
(somebody already had... repeatedly), but it wouldn't hurt to watch the anime
you write about someday, right? And even if you opt not to and would go with
the fanonity of it all, then... yeah. Make use of your creativity and stuff to
yet again wing it, 'coz it's your fic and you can do whatever you want with it.

Finally, congratulations. Your writing has somewhat improved since Destiny
Chapter 4. (applauds) That's always good, and that's good news 'coz, as you've
mentioned, that's the whole point of you writing fanfics about anime/manga
series you know nothing about, ne? I mean, it's nice to see that the run-on
sentences are virtually gone, your prose is more or less consistent (and it
flowed well, to boot), and your fic isn't begging for a much-needed spellcheck.
If anything, this improvement really does make me want to read more of your
fics, even though you can care less about canon and research. ;) Kudos. I hope
to see you improve some more in your writing, particularly on the more
aesthetic side of it. 

In any case, ignore my purist-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.


		
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