Subject: [FFML] Re: [fanfic][draft][Ranma/MKR] Fire in the Water, chapter one
From: "The Eternal Lost Lurker" <lurkerdrome@sbcglobal.net>
Date: 2/11/2007, 10:23 PM
To: "Jorge A Pratt" <jorgepratt@prodigy.net.mx>, "FFML" <ffml@anifics.com>


One set of the bonds lashing her slim wrists to the rough bamboo were
dull
copper, and looked to be somewhat frayed, strands straying from the
braiding. A somewhat burnt ribbon was tied to the red braid.

*Tasukete...*

I'm not too sure about the close repetition of "braiding" and "braid."

Me either, but I couldn't come up with anything else that really worked
there. I'm no fan of redundancy, so I'll continue to work on that.

Knowing who the subject of the torture is, though (either from recognition
or hindsight after reading the chapter,) makes this a positively chilling
scene. This is one of those iconic characters for innocence and
naivete --even when the imagery might have been conjured up by Ranma's own
subconscious.

Yep...there's a reason this is the sole surviving piece of the original text
of this story. Quite simply, I don't think I can improve on this one scene
even after nearly ten years.

*TASUKETE!!*

This is not a gripe _against_ the use of Japanese in fics, but rather an
argument _for_ the use of English: running this scene in my mind, I feel
that --for an audience whose first or second language is English-- the
"Tasukete" removes the reader one step from the intended meaning. A
translated "Help"/"Help me" would feel much more visceral, more urgent,
and
it would draw the reader in more strongly.

I don't disagree, but this is again one of those personal style issues. When
I see this scene in my head, I don't hear English, I hear Japanese, so I
went with Japanese.

Ranma sighed, shoulders slumping. "Man, what the hell's wrong with
me...wakin' up screamin' from a damn dream..."

It's not like it's the first time. :P

:P

Deciding he wasn't going to be getting back to sleep soon, and figuring
it
was probably close enough to morning that it didn't really matter
anyway,
Ranma disentangled himself from his futon, grabbed some clothes to work
out
in, and headed down the hall.

Halfway to the bathroom, he looked at the clothes, muttered, and went back
to put Kasumi's spandex bustier, boots and cape back in their drawer.

*SNRK*

It disturbed him profoundly
that the girl in the dream had looked so much like himself--and even
more
that it had been he himself who had raped her.

No, that couldn't be right. Saotome Ranma was not that kind of person.
He
certainly would never...

What's to say that those images aren't the only way his subconscious can
express his abhorrence for his female form?

I'd rather not think about the psychological implications of that, thank
you. x.x

She ignored the spectres of the nightmare girl's eyes in her reflection
on
the water as best she could.

I'd suggest a more subtle "crimson" or "reddish eyes" instead of the
direct
reference.

Yeah, I originally had it that way, and it does work better, so I'll change
it back.

Plum removed a dirty white object from the knapsack and laid it on the
table. "It looks almost like some sort of glove," she replied. "See,
here?
It looks meant to be worn on the hand."

And the fabric it was sewn from must be extremely durable, to last _that_
long. o_O

Well, it's not so much *cloth* as it is *magical armor that just looks like
cloth*, so... ^_^

"You're right, it does resemble a warrior's glove," the Guide replied,
nodding. "It is very small, though...as though for a child, or..."

"For a woman," Plum replied.

...or a tiny, tiny woman. :P

^_^

The grimy white glove lay on the table, the dusty red stone on the back
gleaming dully in the soft lantern light of the hut. Suddenly, a bright
crimson flare illuminated the gem, pulsing three times, like a
heartbeat.
Then it was gone, and once more the glove looked simply old and dirty.

The Guide and his daughter looked at one another.

"Run?"

"Run. Run now, run fast."

XD

The short-haired girl frowned. "Maybe it's part of the curse? Maybe it
has
something to do with something that happened to the girl who drowned in
the
spring? I mean, could the curse work that way?"

Here I'll restate my suggestion from earlier: they should also consider
the
possibility that it's Ranma's own guilt and dislike for his girl side that
are playing games with his mind.

I can't realistically see that as something Akane would come up with, and it
doesn't strike me as necessary to bog the text down with something like that
when the more logical "magical side effect" rationalisation is all that's
really needed.

"And did you HAVE to kancho that poor kid?"

"HE HAD IT COMIN'!"

"Saotome School Final Attack! Thousand Years of Potty!"

Hee.

She cast an annoyed glance at the heads which were popping out of
windows
all over the school building, but her annoyance was overshadowed by
worry.

*Ranma, what's going on with you?* The sight of the smaller girl
collapsed
on the ground sobbing, rather than being her usual brash, energetic
self,
troubled Akane deeply. What could possibly have happened to have such a
terrifying effect on Ranma literally overnight?

Suggest reversing the order of these paragraphs. Since Akane's more
familiar
dealing with a loud, violent Ranma, she should be distraught over her
sudden
weakness _before_ trying to comfort her, and even then said comfort would
probably be awkward or hesitant.

I played with it, and you're right, it does work better slightly rearranged.
Good call. :)

He prayed his mother and father didn't learn of the incident. He could
ignore the old man's rantings about acting like a girl, but his mother
was
sure to give him a stern, disappointed look, and he didn't think he
could
stomach that.

Timeline set: post-reunion with Nodoka, at least. Still vague about the
Mt.
Phoenix frame of reference.

Will be addressed in a later chapter.

Akane had found him an hour and a
half later, in Minato-ku, sitting on a bench about five blocks from
Tokyo
Tower

You know, that's absolutely heartbreaking right there. ;_;

A bit, yes.

He especially didn't want Mousse to know about it. Two of his lapses had
resulted in his development of some unexplainable injuries, and he would
rather not have it known he was periodically vulnerable, lest one of his
adversaries decide to take advantage of the situation.

Hmm. Post-Nodoka, both Mousse and Ryouga have pretty much buried the
hatchet
with Ranma as far as outright rivalries were concerned. Maybe he's more
worried about the scorn and the teasing? He does have the ego for it, and
he
_has_ had similar thoughts throughout the series.

OK, I made some minor adjustments to that paragraph to eliminate Mousse
specific and make it more of a general concern.

Ryouga had found out--by virtue of being P-chan--but rather than using
it
against Ranma, he seemed oddly thoughtful about it all. Ranma didn't
confront him about it, but he assumed that the lost boy was probably
wondering whether or not a similar effect would happen to him.

Nah, he already winds up in odd parts of Japan with no idea how he got
there.

Heh.

Ranma grumbled as she adjusted the embarassingly short, tight bloomers
she'd
been forced into wearing. "This bites," she groused.

"It can't be helped, Ranma," Akane explained apologetically. "We were
short
one girl for the opposing-sexes kibasen, and as a girl, you're light
enough
that you make a perfect rider."

"No, I meant this BITES! As in, up my butt! Oww!"

H_H

(And I was about to suggest something, but I don't know if it'd be
appropriate to have Ranma retort with a slight about Akane's weight. While
it feels like the sort of thing she'd do --especially while on a bad
mood-- 
it'd break the flow something fierce. Your call if you want to include
something like that.)

It's cliche and unnecessary, so no.

The fire hadn't burned her, hadn't hurt anyone save her tormentor; while
her
mind was so clouded she couldn't even remember who she was, she did at
least
know she didn't want to hurt anyone.

Not anyone who didn't cling to her chest like months-old mold, leastwise.

Exactly.

This...was HER grave...?

Unable to cope with this newest traumatic shock in what had been an
overwhelmingly trying day, she collapsed in a dead faint.

Hrm. I dunno, I'd make this a BIT less explicit. Something like "This...
this grave was..." and cutting off before her observation states it to the
reader.

I figure that, by this point, the reader has MORE than enough information to
know what's going on, so there's really no point in beating around the bush.
It's like that Vonnegut thing--I took that to heart while writing this.

Of course, you DO raise a valid point, and it's not like it would really
damage the story to prevaricate a little more in the narrative, so...changed
it is.

Otherwise, it's excellent! Much more dramatic and suspenseful than the
original ORS, with deeper characterization to boot. Can't wait to read the
slow reveal of the reason behind Ranma's condition this time around.

Glad you enjoyed it. I'll try to be timely with the second chapter (less
than a year). ^_^

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

================================
Did you hear about the impotent robot?
Turns out he had a missing fux capacitor.
              ~~*~~
The Eternal Lost Lurker
www.lurkerdrome.com



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