Subject: [FFML] Re: [OMG] Drunkard's Walk V, Chapter 2
From: Chester Castaneda
Date: 1/7/2006, 10:32 AM
To: ffml@anifics.com
CC: Christopher Angel <c_j_angel@hotmail.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. ^_^

It also occurs to me that my lexicon may not be at par with yours, so any
unfamiliar word I ask about isn't necessarily a correction but just general
ignorance on my part (as pointed out by a certain Thomas Michael Edwards). As
such, it'd be appreciated if you'd have the patience to clear up some of my
questions on those particular instances. Thanks.

And my next victims are... :P

On 9/28/05, Bob Schroeck <rms@eclipse.net> and Christopher Angel
<c_j_angel@hotmail.com> wrote:

Well, folks... it's been almost a year, and Chris and I have gone through
a couple dry spells each. But the next installment is finally done.

Suggest: a couple of dry spells each (add 'of' in between 'a couple' and 'dry
spells'
 
Here it is. Enjoy.

And here we seem to have a year's worth of fic in our hands. Wow... sixty pages
on the word processor. I haven't had this long a fic to C&C since Angus
MacSpon, Nugar, the last chapter of this series, or Aaron Peori and his
co-author. (stretchies) S'all good. After all, I was able to finish C&Cing
chapter one of Drunken Walk V, right? Yosh. Ikuze.

The big, blocky building that I couldn't get a good look at in
the dark the previous night 

Suggest: adding 'of' in between 'the dark' and 'the previous night'. Though I'm
fairly sure your version of the sentence is fairly correct, the way I usually
make prose flow compels me to suggest adding 'of'. IMO, and basically your
call.

turned out to be a Shinto temple.
And it was one of the finest examples of its kind that I'd ever
seen, too -- three hundred years old if it was a day, 

I'm confused by what 'if it was a day' refers to. Forgive my ignorance... Is it
some sort of unfamiliar idiom/saying/colloquialism? If it's not, then the
phrase doesn't make much sense.

and the politics
were different -- once again, this was a far more relaxed and
even xenophiliac 

That's a new word that's not usually used to describe 'Japan'. 'Xenophobic'
would be more like it. Hell, it's a more commonly used work that 'xenophiliac'.
Personally, I'd prefer 'hospitable' to 'xenophiliac' for the sake of common
usage.

I was a street fighter during the year or so before, when I was a
member of that Soho gang, but that was unsophisticated brawling;

Ryu: (pouts)

as I went along; near-constant mortal peril is a tremendous
incentive for learning. 

(shrugs) 'near-constant mortal peril was a tremendous incentive' may not have
the same meaning, but it'll do if you want to maintain one tense in your
first-person narrative.

But I didn't really study any particular
style. Instead, I had a collection of moves and tactics I'd
copied from the fighters I'd sparred with or gone up against in
live combat, strung together once again with my speed and luck.

So tag it as 'mixed martial arts' like the UFC guys do and then call it a day.

Obviously, I didn't know the original names for most of the moves
and combos, so I'd long ago begun making up my own. Which was
how it came to be that I was flowing smoothly from "Rabbit Flirts
With Hunter" through "Overhand Pie Smash" to "Yappy Dog Bounces".

(sweatdrop)

*Skuld? But why...* Then I shrugged to myself -- what man can
understand the ineffable whims of the gods, right? -- and went
back to my katas. 

(ahem) Plural Japanese words should not have English plural forms unless
they've been adopted into the English language (simply put 'samurais' and
'tsunamis' are grammatically correct words, 'sempais' and 'katas' are not).

With a smile, she returned the bow. "Breakfast will be ready
shortly, if you'd like to join us."

I smiled back at her as I straightened up. "Yes, thank you, I
would."

Seems to me that this fic has opted for the 'everyday life' scenario even
though there are gods and powerful, slapdash martial artist/trans-dimensional
traveler/ person human thingy in the woodworks. Or I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let's see if anything interesting actually happens soon...

An androgynous figure in tight black leather and topped by a mass

Methinks you don't need the 'and' conjunction in between 'leather' and
'topped'; too extraneous, I believe.

more than just an ordinary mortal. A magus, if I'm not mistaken.

[Soapbox: A slapdash martial artist/trans-dimensional traveler/magus,
apparently. (sighs) What's with all the super-powers? I mean, I'm not saying
he's an ANC/Author Avatar/Self Insert/Mario Sue or anything, but he might as
well be with all his Swiss-Knife abilities. Can't he just stick to one shtick?
Many a protagonist has stuck to just one shtick, why can't he? I mean, he
doesn't need all those powers, does he? He already has a well-defined
personality; no need to add flash-on-the-pan superpowers in the mix, IMO. For
my money, characterization > superpowers. Case in point -- Belldandy, Skuld,
and Urd. So I'd suggest he _just_ be a magus or a martial artist, or whatever.
IMO.]

Odd. I thought I knew who all the mages were on this mudball."

(shrugs) Suggest: mud-ball.

My katas 

kata

...Y'know why.

I took a quick glance around the table, which was 80%

Suggest: eighty percent

There's a general rule about opting to spell out numbers if the amount is low
enough and stuff: details below, on the end notes.

(Good thing that Kubrick's "2002" obviously had
existed in that universe, too, otherwise that joke would have
fallen *so* flat.) 

....

Meh.

I was still caught
somewhere between amused and bemused at the intersection of Norse
gods and Japanese food, and I think it showed in my face because
a suddenly-concerned 

In my humble opinion, 'suddenly concerned' shouldn't be hyphenated and turned
into a compound descriptor of Belldandy. I'd suggest: suddenly concerned

Why? Because an adverb-adjective combination shouldn't be hyphenated for the
simple fact that their combination won't mean that the descriptors are _both_
describing the noun. The adverb is describing the adjective, not the noun, so
it is therefore a descriptor of the descriptor and should not be combined with
the adjective it describes to further describe the noun. Simply put, hyphen
muyo on the two words.

"Some of us," Angel offered sotto voce, 

A rather strong but nitpicky opinion: So what's wrong with 'soft voice' or
'spoke under his breath'?

Except from Collier's Editorial on Author's Use of Foreign Languages:

"If the author thinks that he is paying the readers a delicate compliment by
neglecting to translate his verbal jewels cut in foreign tongues, he's
mistaken. Our own doubtless uncouth feeling is that he's merely trying to show
us how erudite he is and how dumb we are. Let's have translations, please, in
all such cases from now on, so that all the customers can tell what the author
is taking about all the time. What does a man write for, anyway, if not to get
his whole meaning across to anybody who reads anything he writes?"

Not that _I'm_ saying you're erudite; it's just that Sangnoir's little mental
note might get lost to some of your readers, and the clever little footnote he
has provided us through his POV may as well be for naught. In other words, _I_
think the 'sotto voce' is extraneous, but if you think it further shows
Sangnoir's informal yet well-versed POV, then so be it. 

"are actually very
Canadian and might like pancakes once in a while. Or waffles
and hash browns."

Chris: So it actually depends on our creator's nationality what type of
nationality we'd have, really. 

Belldandy surprised me by ignoring him, and cranked her smile to
11. 

Suggest: eleven

Same reason.

"...Or French toast. Or freakin' Cheerios..." Angel went on, his
voce a bit more sotto than before, 

O_o;

Keiichi put down his soup bowl and sighed. "I'm a member of a
racing club at school, and our clubhouse is being renovated. The
sempais 

(again) Plural Japanese words should not have English plural forms unless
they've been adopted into the English language (simply put, 'samurais' and
'tsunamis' are grammatically correct words, 'sempais' and 'katas' are not).

That said, I picked up my soup and
slurped a few spoonfuls. (Don't look at me like that. It's
*polite* to slurp in Japan. Well, most versions of it, anyway.)

(blinks) I thought it was in the Middle East where you have to slurp your soup
loudly so that your host won't be offended...

"Which reminds me -- you promised to tell us about your journeys
this morning," Belldandy interjected.

Hmmm. Well, since there's a lack of Drunkards Walk I, III, and IV, then I'd
guess it'd be necessary. :)

I moved on to the extremist attack on
Piccadilly Circus, and how I'd been bushwhacked by an enemy with
a teleport gate, then how I'd woken up in a cool green grove of
trees, surrounded by white, blue-eyed horses. 

Did the horses happen to be super-intelligent? Did you happen to meet a now
cynical, misanthropic man by the name of Lemuel?

Especially when Chris got two words of an objection out and then
yelped again. But despite this, the look in Urd's dancing eyes
said, "trust me."

Suggest: "Trust me."

"Like hell, Urd," Angel snapped back. He thrust a pointed
forefinger at her. "You. My room. *NOW.*" 

Huh. So what's Mr. Admin's Avatar's problem?

....

Come to think of it, if the little plot point about the three norns are to be
believed, then there are five of them who are avatars in this fic.

it was a completely different *class* of motion. With a
surprisingly apologetic look at me she followed.

Suggest: me, she followed (add comma)

"What is *wrong* with you?" she demanded, and was nonplussed to

As with last time: If you meant 'nonplussed' to be 'unfazed', then I highly
suggest substituting it with the word 'unfazed' (or something similar). If you
meant for it to mean 'confused', then leave 'nonplussed' there 'coz it's a
valid synonym of 'confused'.

receive a single finger held up in the air as her brother
continued to pull items from his shelf, finally dropping a huge
stack on the bed.

Urd: Yeah? Well same to you! (pulls her own finger)

"I," he began,
and then stopped and took a deep breath to begin again. "I have
accepted a lot of things in the past year or so. I've accepted
that my religious world view is wrong. 

Heh. Schyeah, that's a tough one.

I've dealt
with magic, and Yggdrasil, and technology that's impossible.
I've handled all that and more, and frankly, I think I've been
remarkably tolerant. 

W-ell, considering the basic premise of 'Oh! My Brother!', it's a simple case
of someone being careful what they wish for. You wished for it, now deal with
it.

But if you guys honestly expect me to
believe that... that... *CRAP* that guy is spouting, you don't
know me at all.

Actually, with the situation that you've gone through, I'm surprised that you
_couldn't_ believe the 'crap' that your fellow self, er, 'avatar' has gone
through. Perhaps an amnesia-mindfuck happened after Chris wished his wish to
Bell? His mind adapted to the concept that what he viewed as fiction could now
be his reality?

"Look at this," he continued, and pointed at the books and
laserdiscs on his bed. "The 'Valdemar' books by Mercedes Lackey.
The 'Bubblegum Crisis' anime. The freaking *'Adventures of
Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension'*, for Tyr's sake!"
With a wild gesture, he indicated his computer. "'Kodomo no
Omocha', his third 'jump', is some stupid kids' anime that I
can't stand, and to top it all off, his bloody supposed
*homeworld* is a sourcebook for GURPS!"

Hmmm. Great background research readings for the uninitiated in the world of
Drunkard's Walk. It's so bloody comprehensive that there currently only two
series written so far! W-ell, if it were a improfic, then maybe it could be
completed. 

....

Ah, who are we kidding? If it's an improfic, then it could either be abandoned
or be hopelessly convoluted that it can never be finished. I guess fans and
curious readers alike will just have to wait oh-so-patiently for any future
developments of the not-yet-fully-written world of DK.

*exactly* like one described in a roleplaying sourcebook? 

Suggest: role-playing

"And the Boss just *happens* to make universes that look
identical to works of fiction? 

Hey, it's happened before. It's a rather interesting concept, though I highly
doubt that there'd be a work of fiction detailing the life of the average Joe
Schmoe.

Come on, he wouldn't... okay, he
would," 

Suggest: Okay, he would," (make the independent clause into a standalone
sentence)

Urd smiled and patted him on the shoulder. "It's probably more
likely that the writers or creators of these works are somehow
tapping into those realities, anyway."

That can be formulated into a theory, actually. Everybody's a god... or at
least every writer/creator/person with an imaginary world in his head is a god
of a whole dimension. Or is it limited to really _successful_ works of
writers/creators/directors?  

With a sigh, Chris flopped down heavily onto the bed, making the
book piles collapse into disorder. "But it's just so...
*silly*," he complained as he laid back 

laid --> lay

laid = synonymous to 'put down'

lay = synonymous to 'recline'

"Can you even visit an alternate dimension within an alternate
reality? 

(blinks) There's a difference between an alternate dimension and an alternate
reality? Aren't dimensions, in essence, alternate realities by themselves? 

instability and insanity when fail-safes are destroyed... in
combat models, usually causes a rampage as threat recognition
systems malfunction..."

Ah. He's geeking out here.

"'Niichan?" Urd said hesitantly.

said --> inquired/asked/questioned/queried

'Bubblegum Crisis' and 'Buckaroo' are lower profile, but you'll
still want to make sure he doesn't catch on."

Priss Asagiri: (pouts) But we have a new TV anime out... W-ell, new-er anime,
since it's been years since its first release... 

muffled and inarticulate outbursts from behind the closed door
farther on down the hall. 

Suggest: getting rid of 'on' in between 'farther' and 'down'.

Apparently I'd upset him again. Well,
fuck. Hopefully my new status within the household would keep me
>from getting my ass handed to me a second time, 

About that... I don't see that too often. An Author Avatar's ass getting handed
to him without with the opponent getting a clean win, I mean. Granted, it was
in the hands of a self insert, but it's still a rare occurrence.

I made sure my tuneplug 

Suggest: tune-plug; tune plug

He nodded again. "I can understand that. I only wish my sempais

sempai

Or, to be clear about the number: two sempai/pair of sempai

...Just because.

I studied
the name plaque doubtfully for a few moments -- things were
getting very weirdly ecumenical around there, in my opinion.

Um, 'ecumenical' technically means 'the whole Christian Church, not only the
separate sects' or 'seeking worldwide Christian unity', so it exclusively
refers to the Christianity as a whole and not religions as a whole. That's
where the word came from, anyway. I believe the word you're looking for is
'pan-religious'. 

always seemed to lurk at the periphery of my alma mater. (No,
the University itself was surprisingly unsnobbish

Suggest: un-snobbish

, even those
parts of it which were historically considered bastions of the
so-called elite. Some *individuals*, on the other hand, could be
quite the nose-in-the-air prats. 

Did you mean nose-in-the-air 'buttocks'? (as in he's calling them, well,
asses?) If that's incorrect, then it's my pratfall to have even suggested it. 

But then, you can find them
anywhere. 

A bit cliche, I admit, but suggest:

But then again, you can find them anywhere. ('then again' is the cliche part, I
mean)

Given that this *was* a college neighborhood, the stores I passed
were an eclectic mix of traditional shops and more outre vendors.

outre --> outer

...Since it seems that you're not using Commonwealth/British spelling, correct
me if I'm wrong. If you are, then there are a whole lot of errors I've missed
in your fic.

Gothy/punk boutiques 

Suggest: not turning the word 'Gothy' into an adverb. Otherwise, if you really
want to be that loose with Sangnoir's grammar in his POV narrative, suggest
'punky' to go hand-in-hand with 'gothy'. It's consistent use of informal
grammar vs. more-or-less correct grammar.

"Filthy gaijin scum!" snapped the other half of the accident as I
turned to face him. "Why don't you watch where you're going!"

Suggest: going?" (though it's not really a question, it's technically said in
the form of a question)

example of Brattus Cashus Toomuchus -- the Spoiled Rich Kid.

Chuck Jones: (chuckles)

I'm not bulky or muscular, but I'm fit in a way that Maggie (and
Kat, and Diana, and Alison) admiringly call "hardbody".

Suggest: hard-body

(sighs) Oh well. Pointless at this point to complain about your pandering to
author avatarism, ne fic-san? (resigned grin)

I also
massed at least ten or fifteen kilos more than him, too, so the

Suggest: him too, so the (don't make the 'too' into an aside in between two
clauses)

"No?" Chris' eyebrow raised again. 

Chris' --> Chris's

The apostrophe-no-s rule only applies to possessives that are plural _and_ ends
in s.

"Him, who?" Chris asked. "Sangnoir?"

Suggest: "'Him' who?"

Skuld shook her head so rapidly that it sent her long black hair
rippling wildly up and down its length. 

Huh. The animator finally stopped being lazy and put some secondary hair motion
in his animation of Skuld.

He slid his hand off her shoulder to rub her back briefly, right
at the base of her neck between her shoulder blades. The warmth
of his large hand seemed to seep right into her and banish the
bad thoughts. 

Skuld: (incensed) 'Niichan! We're brother and sister! This is a fanfic, not
some kind of sick and perverted doujinshi!

Chris: Huh? What... (blinks, looks at the parenthesized word in Skuld's
dialogue) Ooooohhh... you were _incensed_. (sighs in relief) I thought you
meant ince...

Skuld: ONIICHAN! >_<

"It's okay. Don't worry about it," he said, and
then a moment later he added, "I think we should get moving,

Suggest: getting rid of 'he' before 'added' and after 'later'.

Chris tilted his head and raised an eyebrow. "Hey, *I* do
martial arts in the temple. 

Chris: Anime S.I. prerequisite, that... even if the anime isn't martial art
themed!

"Slick. That bothered you?" her brother asked.

"No, that wasn't it... well, not *that* exactly." Skuld stopped

Suggest: it... Well, not

A gaze combining equal parts baleful and unspeakably cute speared

Suggest: cute --> cuteness

more trouble. "So, short-'n'-cute, how come you didn't want to

Suggest: short-'n-cute

It worked. Skuld suddenly deflated, her former anger now
completely overwhelmed by a palpable embarrassment. 

Suggest: getting rid of the article 'a' before 'palpable' and after 'by'.

She stared
off into space as, quite unconsciously, she brought her
forefingers together just about chest-height and began "tenting"
them against each other; 

Ah yes. The anime cliche. Here's hoping this doesn't become a fanfic cliche
reminiscent of the nefarious 'sweatdrop'.

Chris found the odd motion of her hands
strangely engrossing.

Otakuness abounds.

smile and caught up with her again. As soon as he was at her
side once more he tried his most reassuring tone. 

Suggest: once more, he tried (add a comma in between 'more' and 'he')

"I'm not going to do anything stupid." Between his elevated
vantage point and Skuld's bowed head, Chris couldn't tell for
sure, but he'd be willing to bet she was scowling again. One of
these days he'd have to tell her how adorable it made her look.

Skuld: 'Niichan! Stop the creepy brother-sister love-love thing already!

She nodded. "Yeah." She looped a lock of ebon hair around one
finger and twirled it nervously. "We're... it's..." She

Suggest: "We're... It's..."

Or: "We're... It's...."

"Okay,
then maybe you can answer a different question."

Skuld turned to him and raised a cautious eyebrow. "Like what?"

"Like, how is it we ended up talking in Old Norse *again*?"

Skuld: (shrugs) Because of foreshadowing? Plot point? Plot progression? The
inserting of a token "~dun-dun-DUN!~" moment?

the rings. Naturally, you want to make bullseyes 

Suggest: bullseyes --> bull's-eyes

they cheered with every bullseye and groaned the few times I

Suggest: bull's-eye

...The anti-traditional-SI readers, otoh, did the exact opposite of what the
crowd was doing.

over her robe, either. After a few moments of trading items back
and forth between hands, though, 

Suggest: getting rid of the extraneous 'though,' aside altogether or simply
getting rid of the comma before 'though,'

Tarikihonganji Temple, Saturday, May 10, 1997, 11:14 AM

The 'Settings Announcer': (pants and wheezes after saying the
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious name of the temple, then promptly faints)

desktop computer, piles of engineering texts, random electronic
and mechanical kipple, 

Electric Sheep: (boggles)

Philip K. Dick: (approves)

When that was done, I paused, thought for a moment, then dug out
the little maintenance kit that Buckaroo had given me with the
sword. I sat Indian-style on the tatami-mat floor with the kit
in front of me and the still-sheathed sword across my knees. Then
I drew the katana and began to clean the blade, even though it
really had no need of it.

If this were an anime...

Animation Director: What's with this cheap cycle of Sangnoir cleaning a blade
that's doesn't even need cleaning? 

Animator: I get paid by the foot, I've got five extra feet worth of footage
left, a sore drawing hand, and a wife and kids. You do the math.

I was humming quietly to myself and still polishing it when Urd
poked her head in.

Animator: See? I even added a bit of humming on the separate mouth as a
secondary action so it won't look so stiff. Cut me some slack.

into the house, paying little attention when she kicked her shoes
off and almost sending one through a window. 

Suggest: off, almost sending

Or: off and almost sent one flying (the addition of 'flying' is a bit cliche, I
admit, but sounds better to my ears, IMO)

The near-accident
made her growl louder as she gathered them up and threw them
roughly into their cubbyhole.

Um, she gathered the near-accident up? 

Suggest: improving sentence structure or reusing 'shoes' to describe just what
she threw into the cubbyhole. Though doesn't she follow the Japanese way of
leaving the shoes in the front porch or something?

Belldandy smiled indulgently and ran her fingers through Skuld's
hair. "He is, little sister, he is. But he's happier when he
has friends he's made himself, not had forced upon him." 

The 'had forced upon him' sounds awkward. Suggest getting rid of 'had'.

She
brushed the trailing ends of the younger goddess' 

younger goddess's

"'kay."

Suggest: "'Kay."

Juhachi laughed. "Compared to your grand-dad, 

Suggest: granddad (dictionary-verifiable word)

reassure him that Chris's outburst over breakfast wasn't really
his fault.

O_o

You got the apostrophe-s rule right. Will miracles ever cease?

"You'll never know when you're going to need it," Tyr had said
once over a post-training mug of mead, "even if it's just for a
nice showpiece you pick up somewhere." 

Excalipur?

lifting an Abrams tank the wrong way and ended up dropping it on
himself.) Getting a good grip on the box, I grunted and stood
up. "Those sempai of yours sound like real winners, Keiichi,"

(blinks) Hah. And here we have 'sempai' instead of 'sempais'. Are you editing
my copy of your fic before I even sent you this C&C? Is that even possible?

"Hey!" a newly-familiar 

Combining an adverb and an adjective into a hyphenated compound descriptor
isn't kosher. Suggest getting rid of the hyphen. 

*Christ on a hand truck.* 

...is the design on the bumper sticker of a passing redneck trucker's truck?

Angel trotted out into the yard and over to the shed, where he
stopped and stood, half in shadow and half in sunlight, with one
hand rubbing the back of his neck. 

Animation Director: Well, the special effects are okay. Since we're cheap
bastards, have the camera zoom on his face for a little bit. Hey, that's six
feet of footage we're saving!

I blinked, momentarily struck dumb by the complete turnaround in
attitude, from divine badass to aw-shucks foot-shuffling. 

Kenshin: Aw, shucks. (shuffles foot)

stuck out my hand. "I've also been more than my share of asshole
over the past 24 hours, 

Suggest: twenty-four hours

You might as well spell it out, since it's such a piddly numerical amount.

Angel looked at me, then at my hand, then at me. Then a smile
slowly broke across his freckled mug. He grabbed my hand in his
own and pumped it. 

*gag* Well, the ever-so-cliche reconciliation was to be expected. Not _every_
SI fic can be like Carrot's (with its 'me against the whole mother-fucking
world' shtick, et al.), or else Carrot's fics would be the cliche instead of
the other way around.

sitcom prying-the-fingers-apart schtick, 

shtick

really ought to see a doctor.) I ignored them both. "... And I
am currently oathbound 

oath-bound (the hyphen's there because 'oathbound' isn't as
dictionary-verifiable as its hyphenated counterpart) 

"Huh." I looked him up and down. "Can't you just, you know..."
I mimed a pseudomystic 

Suggest: pseudo-mystic

Chris gave me a flat look. "You don't want me to try to cast a
spell to change my clothes. Really."

"I don't?"

Chris: It's like a Sailor Senshi transformation, except I'm doing the twirling.

Sangnoir: (shudders)

As Chris vanished into the house I turned to Keiichi. "Bad at
spellcraft, is he?" Keiichi just shuddered, which I took as an
emphatic "yes".

Suggest: emphatic 'yes'.

Or: emphatic "Yes."

A few minutes later, Chris came back out in a faded blue T-shirt
and a slightly ragged pair of jeans. 

See, _here_ you didn't hyphenate the adverb 'slightly' and the adjective
'ragged'. Keep this up on all other instances, I strongly suggest.

Without a word he joined
the two of us in the slow process of moving metal from the yard
and into the shed.

Suggest: Without a word, he joined ('coz methinks 'without a word' is a
separate clause to the 'he joined...' clause)

Silently I debated the merits of backing away from the suddenly
very disturbing (and/or disturbed) person. But then he turned
back to me with a broad grin. "Never heard of 'The Hitchhiker's
Guide To The Galaxy', I take it?" he asked.

Um, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is the proper title case. Articles
and some such like 'to' and 'the' shouldn't be capitalized along with the nouns
and verbs. 

Also, Sangnoir and Keiichi's reactions are pretty much the same way most
readers would react to your fic's various references, I gather. :)

She looked down
at her older sister, the slightest wrinkle of her forehead
betraying a faint disapproval at the other goddess' sloth. 

goddess's sloth.

Before she was quite aware of it she found the temple stairs in

of it, she found

front of her, and with a odd sense of mixed trepidation and
anticipation, she mounted them. 

Temple Stairs: (blushies)

....and into fairyland. As the gate slammed shut behind her,
Megumi's carefully-constructed 

carefully constructed (hyphen muyo)

glowing red light shot from it to a pile of engine blocks that
floated, quite unlike engine blocks ought to, a meter or so off
the ground. With tiny movements of the box she seemed to be

box, she seemed

"Well!" Belldandy's announcement from the shed door captured
Megumi's attention before she could boggle any further. "Now
that Megumi's here I do believe it's time for lunch." 

Suggest: here, I do 

"Okay," Megumi said as she lowered her tea cup, "having had my
nose rubbed in the greater reality twice in two days, I'd just
like to ask one more time -- whyinhell 

Suggest: Why in hell

Doug grinned, coughed and tried to slide surreptitiously back
>from the table. 

How does one slide back 'surreptitiously'? Inch by inch in a shaky, repetitive
manner? That isn't very, um, 'slide'-like, methinks.

He gave her a sickly grin and rubbed the back of his neck with
his left hand. "Well, it wasn't so much that we didn't *trust*
you... it's just that, well, it was all so new, and Belldandy

Suggest: you... It's just

Or: you; it's just that

Also: you, it's just that

"Urd," Paradox interrupted, giving her a flat stare. "Takeshi is
Futsu-no-kami's grandson, and Louis is a servitor of the
Archangel of Lightning, Jean. Hiroshi is the High Priest of
Heimdall, and Juhachi is the older mortal brother of Indra's
current incarnation. 

Chris: Well, there you go! All of the _other_ extra characters that are the
creation of the SI author are somehow connected to gods and aren't normal,
everyday incidental characters at all. It's not a case of mistrust, it's just a
case of bad writing!

Megumi: ('nonplussed') U-huh. Riiiight.

Wide-eyed, Skuld looked at Belldandy and then back to Chris.
"Kind of, yeah," she replied.

Chris' face 

Chris's face

"I'm an engineer!" Megumi protested, as if that explained
everything. 

Megumi: ...I even read the Da Vinci Code! Hell, that work of fiction makes more
sense than what's going on around me right now!

A poleaxed 

Suggest: pole-axed

Doug was still guffawing, his eyes squeezed shut and leaking
tears. With one hand he tried in vain to wipe away the moisture

Suggest: With one hand, he tried

"'Sokay," the god replied. 

Suggest: "S'okay,"

"Laugh it up, Blueboy," 

Suggest: Blue-boy,"

The two of them had headed out to the shed directly from the
house in near-identical 

Suggest: nearly identical

with a sigh. "It's a jury-rigged mess that takes way too much
power to do way too little. 

Sangnoir: Seeing that cars are only 30% or so efficient with fuel, then even
cars can also be described that way. Gimme a break with the negativism!

"I thought you went *boy-watching* with her," Skuld accused.
"When *Urd* boywatches, 

(shrugs) 'boy-watches', since she was 'boy-watching'.

"This is your life, Megumi. Well, the next fifteen minutes or so
of it," Skuld continued, in something akin to her usual voice.
"If I wanted, I could show you the most likely end of your
thread, but..." she stopped, and swallowed, and Megumi felt a
moment of unreasoning fear. "I'm not going to do that. If I
did, then I'd know when... when I'll probably have to cut it
off. I don't have to know that until I actually do it, and I
*don't* want to know it. So I won't." The young goddess
drooped.

Ah sou. Cool insight into the three sister's legendary origins (as opposed to
canon AMG's used of Meta-Christian-lore) It's very cool, especially since the
prose is kind of dragging at this point with all the slow pacing, IMO. It
certainly piqued my interest.

There was a "Hmph!" and a metallic squeak, and when I looked up
again Skuld had swung her stool around and was glaring balefully
at me. "I'll have you know, Mister Douglas Sangnoir," she
declared primly, "that angels do *not* get hor-"

"'Bye, all!" Urd's voice suddenly rang out. I turned around
just in time to catch her as she slinked past the shed door, clad
in skin-tight bits of silk, fur and leather. "I'm off on a hot
date! Don't expect me home until tomorrow... say, around
lunchtime!"

"-ny... Oh, never mind!" Skuld finished with a snarl, then spun
around violently to return to whatever was on the bench behind
her.

Heh. Bad example.

"Works for me," she said with a smile and stepped up to the bench
on the other side of Skuld. I grinned at her over the little
goddess' head, 

goddess's head,

After an extended discussion on the ultimate purpose and fate of
the green 1959 Prefect in the yard, Chris and Keiichi finally
rejoined the others. Venturing into the shop, they found Doug,
Skuld and Megumi clustered around one end of the workbench and
chattering energetically. Technobabble

Suggest: Techno-babble

 phrases like "graviton
flux", "controlled local space-time deformations", and
"metastable 

Suggest: meta-stable

Behind him Skuld snorted. 

Suggest: him, Skuld snorted.

Doug, still grinning, rolled his eyes, then turned back to the
two girls and wagged his forefinger at them. "No comments from
the peanut gallery, please. Not all of us get our toys factory

Suggest: getting rid of 'factory' or changing 'toys' to 'toy'.

direct from Heaven." He turned back to Keiichi and Chris.
"We've been bringing Megumi here up to speed on everything that
doesn't need a couple of Ph.Ds 

PhDs (no need for the period)

in math and physics, so you can
just jump in on the class if you want. I've got a lot of hands-
on experience I'm sharing, and Skuld... well, based on what I've
heard in the last few minutes, if she doesn't know it, it's not
worth knowing."

This has got to be the geekiest discussion ever.

Skuld rolled her eyes and blew a raspberry at the back of his
head, prompting Megumi to give up and dissolve into a fit of
giggles. Doug grinned and waggled his blond eyebrows
outrageously at Chris and Keiichi before turning back and
scruffling Skuld's cowlick.

Hmmm. Now here's a commonly used word in the net that's not recognized as an
actual word by MS Word, my handy-dandy thesaurus (the both of 'em), and
dictionary.com... 'scruffling'. Hardly a valid gerund, since there's no such
word as 'scruffle' (which may be a erroneous combination of 'scruff' from 'by
the scruff of her neck' and 'scuffling' which pertains to 'scuffle' or a
'fight'). To hell with common use; 'irregardless' of how many people use it,
it's not a word, plain and simple.

"So." Doug frowned as he studied the sketchpad's screen. "Shall
we sit on it for a while and see if we get any more ideas? I'd
hate to rush into an implementation only to realize we could have
come up something better when we're half-done with it. 

come up with something better (add 'with' in between 'come up' and 'something
better')

Keiichi glanced at the others. "The frame," he declared, glad
finally to have something to contribute from *his* area of

Suggest: finally glad (so that the descriptor is placed before the noun it's
supposed to describe)

Fortunately, Keiichi and Chris were able to talk her down from
yet another fit of temper, and even got her to conjure up the
boxes for us -- neat trick, that, I might add. 

Suggest: neat trick, that. (get rid of 'I might add')

Or: neat trick, might I add (get rid of 'that' and rearrange 'I might add')

I have to admit
that Chris had far more effect on her than Keiichi did, 

Suggest: more of an effect on her than Keiichi did,

but I
supposed that that was the big brother thing kicking in.

...Or a typical SI charisma complex going on.

I put that on my mental "to-do"
list while Megumi and I finished up the last of the clean-up.

cleanup (dictionary-verifiable word, no need for the hyphen)

there'd been no evidence of any drippage 

But lots of evidence of suckage... since it's clean and dry and shit.

anywhere. There'd been
no evidence of *fluid* anywhere -- in the process of
disassembling it, Skuld had somehow drained and steamcleaned

Suggest: stream-cleaned (A compound descriptor that should be hyphenated, 'coz
'steamcleaned' isn't really, um, dictionary-verifiable. Try and verify it... I
dare you.)

Once we'd laid out all the pieces of the frame, Keiichi, Megumi
and I stepped back to let Skuld handle the rest of the process.
Up until this point the work had been split pretty evenly between

Suggest: Up until this point, the work

Skuld's eyes lit up like a radio station switchboard during a
ticket giveaway. 

What a... mechanical description.

Like as not, Skuld would take his advice, but not without an

Um... nani? 'Like as not'? What do you mean by that?

I didn't see what she was doing on it, but she poked
at the screen a lot, and at one point laid it across her knees
and actually did a furious spate of touchtyping on it.

Suggest: touch-typing

Megumi was there. "Relax," she said, and that was when I
realized that I had leapt to my feet. "It's just the sempais."

Please don't pluralize the Japanese words, even if it's for revenge against
SNK's butchering of the English Language in its past games. 

Suggest: the two sempai.

I cocked an eyebrow at my host. "They *do* sound like a couple
of bullies, sempais or not."

Same here. Sempai shouldn't be pluralized.

"Here, sempais," 

Ditto.

My first look at the sempais 

Same here.

did nothing to reassure me. Based
on what little I'd heard, I *had* been expecting a couple of
grease monkeys in dirty coveralls. Instead, I found a pair of
thuggish goons. One was punked out 

Huh. It's just 1997 and Sangnoir somehow knows about the rather recent slang
word? Did he incidentally meet up with the spastic Ashton Koosh-whoever during
his travels or is it just a gag saying that I just don't find all that funny?

in black leather and
sunglasses, topped off with an improbably and enthusiastically
vertical bleach-blond hairdo that defied both description and
gravity. The other was a musclebound 

muscle-bound

block in khakis and a
wifebeater 

Suggest: wife-beater

T-shirt with short dark hair and a thin little
mustache; my first thought on seeing *him* was that he looked
like a psychotic Freddie Mercury on steroids.

...Or Darun from the Street Fighter EX games... or Dudley from Street Fighter
III...

Leatherboy wore a manic grin but the Freddie Mercury clone looked
to be in a towering rage. Despite the earlier assurances, I eyed
him suspiciously. On general principles I ran a tactical on him,
then followed it with one on his companion. Just a couple big
crunchies, I decided after a moment -- I could take care of both
the psycho and El Punko Loco with my eyes closed.

(groan) Whatever. It's not as if the reader needs to know if Sangnoir can take
out a couple of generic punks or not.

Oh, joy. A giant economy-sized drama queen. King. Whatever. A
two-for-one deal, too -- loud *and* pompous. And *valuable*?
Got some bad news for you, guy... I've *looked* at those parts.
I rolled my eyes at the overblown hyperbole and decided that
*this* pair desperately needed a reality check.

@_@ So many asterisks for emphasis...

"Like, Keiichi, dude," Leatherboy piped up. It was the first
thing he'd said in my presence, and it stopped me cold for a
moment. I had never heard the essence of California surferboy
expressed in pure native Japanese before, but as J. Random God is
my witness, that's what he sounded like. "Who's the new guy?"

Must be the damn dub's fault.

I blinked. "They're complete idiots, aren't they?" I muttered
under my breath to Chris.

"How'd you guess?" he whispered back.

"Metahuman levels of perception and intelligence," I replied.
"They *do* come in handy once in a while."

"You don't say."

Heh.

Meanwhile, Keiichi was trying to disabuse them of the notion.
"No, sempais, 

sempai

Hey, just because MS Word accepts 'sempai' as a word (which is weird, since it
doesn't seem to recognize the word 'vanishingly' as a word... even though it is
a word) doesn't mean that 'sempais' is acceptable; it's simply inappropriate to
pluralize Japanese words like they're English words. Because they're Japanese
words, plain and simple. 

At this, Musclebound perked up, his eyes widening. 

No correction this time... for the simple fact that 'Musclebound' is used as a
name substitute for Tamiya. In all other instances, my suggestion stands
true... 
'musclebound' should be a hyphenated descriptor.

I couldn't abort the strike, not
without hurting one or the other of us; the best I could was pull
the blow as much as I could -- which probably saved his life.

(sigh) SIs/Avatars got to show off sometime, right?

As it was, he still went flying backwards from the force of the
blow. As Musclebound landed on his back a couple meters away,

Suggest: a couple of meters away, (because my ears are more used to that
sentence pattern) 

Chris had only come out to see Doug's reaction to the sempais.

sempai.

Otherwise, as far as he was concerned, this was just one more
repeat of Ootaki and Tamiya's usual dog-and-pony show, which
under any other circumstances he would gladly do without. 

Suggest: could gladly do without (would -- could)

Well, this time was anything but annoying or tedious. 

I disagree for the simple fact that SI showoffs and the Tamiya/Ootaki tandem as
equal on that regard.

brushed the dust off his trousers. He had better things to worry
about than Tamiya's ire. Things like... Doug Sangnoir. Chris
was rapidly coming to the conclusion that anything Doug touched,
any situation the blond man entered, was destined to degenerate
almost immediately into the most spectacular chaos possible.

Ranma: (harrumphs) Yeah, w-ell... I've seen better.

In this case, though, watching Tamiya's impromptu demonstration
of ballistic motion was something Chris wouldn't have missed for
the world. Maybe now the musclebound 

muscle-bound (as noted before... when not used as a name substitute, compound
descriptors such as these should be hyphenated, not combined)

Belldandy's call to dinner not only interrupted their aggravating
micromanagement, it probably saved the musclebound moron's life.

muscle-bound (as noted before... when not used as a name substitute, compound
descriptors such as these should be hyphenated, not combined)

"Well, I guess that's good news, of a sort." 

(shrugs) Suggest: good news... sort of.

Dinner was magnificent -- sirloin steaks, baked potatoes, green
beans with toasted slivered almonds, and salad, with bread
pudding for dessert. Belldandy declared that she had prepared a
classic American meal in my honor, for which I thanked her,
naturally. 

Sangnoir: It's also a rather convenient instance, but I digress.

(I'd calmed down a bit about his fit of laughter earlier, mostly;
after spending the afternoon with those two, I probably would
have laughed to see their comeuppance myself. And I suppose it
did look pretty funny from the outside, to someone who didn't
know how close I'd come to actually killing the moron.)

Right now, as well written as your fic is, to me Sangoir sounds very much like
that guy Roy from the movie, 'Mystery Men'... Roy, the Ultimate Poseur. If he
can do the stuff he thinks he is capable of doing, it'd be better for him to
show it. If the situation doesn't call for his uber-abilities, then clue the
reader in about them through subtler means than Sangoir's constant internals of
'if I hadn't held back, I might have killed the idiot'.

Chris' casual mention 

Chris's casual mention

drowsiness began to fuzz my mind, I wondered if all the other
Celestials in this timeline were as personable, as *human*, the

as *human*, as (add 'as' after '*human*')

Grammar Rule #38. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

...Not that your proofreading style is flawed. Actually, your fic is
well-proofread by quite a number of people, co-authors and admirers alike.
'Sides, this is just a small boo-boo anyway.

In the final moments before sleep claimed me, I looked over at
the photo in its frame on the dresser (still visible in the dim
light of the room), and my last thoughts of the day were, as
always, of Maggie.

Maggie: (suckles her pacifier lovingly)

Chris smiled wryly. You could always tell how worked up
Belldandy about something was by how much of your name she used.

Nice touch. It's a very IC portrayal of Bell, considering her nurturing and
motherly character.

"No," Belldandy said gently standing and walking towards him,

Suggest: said gently, standing and walking towards him,

First off: when does one use 'towards' and when does one 'toward'? Nobody's
given me a satisfactory answer for that as of yet.

Secondly: I think that adding the comma after 'gently' adds a bit more cadence
to the sentence... but of course, it might just be me.

"I know," Chris sighed, and smiled as Belldandy patted his hand.
"But I need to know *why* it happens -- why sometimes it's just a
bad feeling, or yesterday it was a full 'uh-oh', or the first
time when it was 'Danger Will Robinson!' That's why I'm asking."

Hmmm. This scene (in comparison to Sangnoir's eye-roll inducing 'I feel so
guilty about being powerful enough to kill Tamiya with a simple palm-strike, oh
woe is me') is very well executed in terms of believability _even though_ it's
yet another 'manifestation of SI uber-ness' going on. I guess Urd and
Belldandy's carefully weighed-in reactions give mroe weight to Chris's
concerns. In other words, this scene _shows_ more than tells by the way the
characters are reacting to Chris's guilt (as opposed to Sangnoir's internals
about his 'uber-ness' where, really, the reader has to take _his_ word for it).
Simply put... 'Show, not tell' rules. Kudos.

"Christopher James Angel," Belldandy hissed, offended, 

Suggest: admonished/reproved/scolded, offended

... 'coz that sounds more like what a distressed Bell would do.

"It's not
funny." A strangled squawk came from the other side of the room,
and she whirled to glare at Keiichi, who struggling to not laugh
himself. "Keiichi! Not you, too!" she exclaimed, and he too
began to laugh. "It's not funny!" she insisted, and then looked
helplessly at Urd, who was shaking with repressed hilarity
herself.

Awwww... poor Bell. Nevertheless, great execution on regards to the hilarity of
the moment. I particularly liked the part where she looked pleadingly and
helplessly at her sister. Tsk... her own boyfriend and her own siblings... :)

"You have to admit," Urd chuckled, "Of all the people in the
world to call a bitch, you?"

Indeed.

"I'm going to the kitchen," Belldandy replied with a huff, and
looked pointedly at her brother. "See if I make Arabic food for
you again anytime soon," she said primly, and swept out of the
room to the sounds of her family's laughter behind her.

Heh. Cute scene.

Pok.

Pok pok.

Pok-pok.

Pok.

Pok-pok-pok.

Swish.

Wow. Onomatopoeias. I haven't seen this type of writing style since,
admittedly, the last spamfic I read/written. ^^;; Take that as you will.

"Damn."

The young sarariman 

I am familiar with the fact that 'salary man', like the words 'print club' and
'office lady', is purely of Japanese origin despite the fact that they are
technically 'in English'. Nevertheless, there's no need to spell them out in
phonetic Japanese/romanji. Sounds redundant to me, like a gratuitous
ping-pong-ing of translation (i.e. coined 'English' words of Japanese Origin
spelled out in phonetic katakana/hiragana Japanese and then 'retranslated' via
romanji).

"Sorry, Jiro-kun," she smiled, trailing the fingertips of one
slender and tapering hand along his cheek. Their touch left a
trail of fire along the lines of his face. "Business calls.
Some other time." She withdrew her hand and stepped toward the
game room door, then paused and looked back at him. "You'll just
have to go back to your room and think about your wife tonight,"
she added with a sardony that was anything but gentle. "Ta!"

'Sardony', huh? What's that? Sardines? A sardonic
gesture/smile/laugh/gaze/whatever?

*He fought Paradox to a standstill for almost three minutes?*
Mara marveled. *If Paradox was in his battle form, that would
make Sangnoir one of the most powerful mages on this mudball.*

Suggest: mud ball

She didn't have the choice to avoid him; a new, powerful mage
staying with the Norns? 

Mara: Two SIs with oh-so-powerful Norns? The balance between good and evil will
be disrupted! We need neutral ground...

Carver: (Self-Extraction) ...You called?

Mara was all but compelled to drive a
wedge between them, and then do her best to turn Sangnoir. If
there were going to be that major a shift in the balance of power
between Heaven and Hell on this planet,

Hah. Got it in one.

But to do it right, she had to know everything about him -- his
weak points, his fears, his hopes, his dreams. 

Carver: (Self-Extraction) Hmmm... Look for the file, "Drunkard's Walk."

Hale: (Self-Extraction) Carver, there are whole parts of this file that's
missing! Only his visit to the BGC Universe is documented and available.

Carver: ...Damn. Abort mission. We've been found out.

Mara's demon marks blazed an incandescent red as she fought the
urge to howl like a hellhound and rage through the room.

Jiro: Kinky. So about your proposition...

Mara: (eats Jiro)

Just what in Hild's name was "Error 0808: Unresolved External
Reference" supposed to *mean*?

Narrative Prose: (howls in laughter, winks and nudges the reader)

Reader: ...Huh?

A feral growl escaped her throat. Sangnoir wasn't going to get
away from her *that* easily. Powerful, so powerful he could
blank his Yggdrasil entry. 

Actually, it's comprehensive. His adventures are so comprehensive that most of
them haven't even been written yet, though they've already happened.

She had to get him for Hell. She
would see him broken and fallen to the Dark. It was a personal
challenge now, and Mara would *not* fail, Stormsdaughter or
no.

Cool. I hate the fact that Sangnoir didn't get some sort of comeuppance to keep
the conflict in this fic balanced, but Mara's bookend presence in the beginning
and end of the fic somewhat makes up for it.


END OF CHAPTER TWO

------------------------------------

This work of fiction is copyright (C) 2005, by Robert M. Schroeck
and Christopher Angel.


<<snip credits>>

Wow. Just... wow. It's like a movie production, this fic.

Many thanks to our prereaders on this chapter: Kathleen Avins,
Nathan Baxter, Ed Becerra, Andrew Carr, Kevin Cody, Logan
Darklighter, Helen Imre, Josh Megerman, Berg Oswell, and Peggy
Schroeck.

Ah... yet again long, yet again involved, and yet again well-written. Let's
elaborate on that, shall we?

As to be expected with work receiving that much feedback, comments, and
constructive criticisms from message boards, the FFML and prereaders alike,
this chapter is by no means a draft copy. In any case, here are a couple of
grammatical nitpicks, queries, and corrections:

Spelling out numbers as words instead of, well, numbers: 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).

Plural Japanese Words: should not have English plural forms unless they've been
adopted into the English language ('samurais' and 'tsunamis' are grammatically
correct words... any other Japanese word adopted into the prose will probably
not have plural forms)

Punctuation: Decent, needs a bit of work on the comma and prose flow department
but it could just be me merely nitpicking. Good.

Misuse of word meanings and other fun stuff: 'xenophiliac', I can live with...
coinage of viable words is a prerequisite for the English language to evolve.
Even 'Sotto voce' I can let slide... though I personally would advice against
it. Hell, putting in 'kipple' as a nod to Dick's work was kind of clever, even.

Nevertheless, up until the time when Webster lists 'nonplussed' as
'unimpressed', then it will remain to mean 'confused' to me. Please stop making
the readers nonplussed on the real meaning of nonplussed. Same with
'sarariman'; that's just gratuitous Japanese creeping in. Ditto with
'scruffling', though there's a growing number of you... people actually using
this non-word.

Dictionary-verifiable words: ...My new hobby. Derived from Mr. MacSpon's
near-constant hyphenation of compound words that can do without the hyphen in
his fic 'SM 4200', it's my ever-constant, er, correction nowadays. People tend
to hypehnate words that shouldn't be hyphenated and combine words that should
be hyphenated. Sheesh. Well, there _are_ times when either form is correct, so
use my so-called corrections at your own risk. :P

BTW: I never did know what you meant by 'sardony'... 

C&C gratefully accepted.

Well, I hope you won't eat your words on that. :P

Speaking of eating words... Hehehe. Well slap me silly and call me pink cheeks!
I'm so embarrassed... #^_^# In my previous little review of "Drunkard's Walk V,
Chapter 1", I presumed (rather erroneously) that D.W. is merely a continuation
of Oh! My Brother! (instead, D.W. _V_ is a crossover of one SI story to
another). I also presumed that Sangnoir just another newly introduced,
catalyst-type of person that entered the lives of the godly SI Chris Angel and
co. Boy, was I wrong! He's actually a protagonist of the series D.W. entering
the universe of O.M.B., so in hindsight my little chidings of him being always
being the center of attention seems silly now; he is, after all, the title
character.

Indeed, as Mr. Brian Welch had noted, "That's something I've noticed about this
series. There's a significant threshold for the uninitiated, even for those
very familiar with AMG. Of course, that may just make the whole thing all the
more satisfying once you've 'paid the membership dues' as it were." It's still
a long time coming before I pay my supposed dues, but I'm willing to pay them
given the chance.

Also, about the whole 'explaining the various in-jokes and hidden messages
within the fic' thing you did on your website... my two cents on that is,
we-ll... doesn't explaining the joke and the reference defeat the purpose of
making all those references and in-jokes in the first place? I'm not against
trivia, but wouldn't it be better for the reader to be able to glean for
himself the trivia and have him share his discovered knowledge to his fellow
man instead of you simply posting a link _explaining_ yourself and your little
jibes and referential humor? I'm just sayin'.

As for the plot... Hmmm. To be frank, I don't quite like the pacing. Too much
fluff, and too much 'filler episode'-ish scenes for my taste. Of course, I'm a
straightforward guy, and this sort of storytelling isn't necessarily bad per
se. This chapter was just too... generic in terms of being the usual
getting-to-know-each-other type of chapter. The plot point of Skuld promising
to fix Sangnoir's bike after she took it apart has done its part in furthering
the story... meh. THe interest subplot of the reason why the Norns aren't
acting very traditionally Norn-like was also quite interesting to me; it helped
me get through the parts which I felt drag, mostly. And sure, we have the usual
SI showing-off of strength typical of SI fics going on, but it didn't irritate
me so much as to stop me from reading altogether. Finally, the presence of Mara
and the promise of the plot finally moving to more, um, exciting ventures had
me hooked; it certainly helped improve the rating of this chapter in my eyes. I
give this chapter a six out of ten... pretty high, considering the fact that I
normally couldn't stand the traditional uber-SI's running amuck in a fic while
the rest of the cast is relegated to the background. (that's not to say that
your fic is like that... far from it; this fic was well-written and the SI's
merely stand on equal ground with the more 'popular' and 'commercially
successful' characters. That's a good thing, btw.

Before I forget, let me say thank you. Thank you for keeping the AMG characters
mostly IC and well-portrayed to boot. That's definitely a plus on my book,
canonnitpicker that I am.

All in all? The latest chapter was quite a nice read. Truth be told, I've read
better, but this fic ain't half-bad. And so I have nothing more to say. Keep on
writing, the both of you. ;)

Ja!
Abdiel



"English: A language that lurks in dark alleys, beats up other languages, and
rifles through their pockets for spare vocabulary."


		
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