Subject: Well, that makes this harder.
Posted on: 2021-06-20 06:06:56 UTC

I was hoping the answer was no, and I could ask you to get it beta'd and then look at it again afterward. Since that's not the case, I'm afraid I have to say Permission Denied for now, and I have some notes for you. I know it's a lot of text, but don't be scared! I ask a lot of questions I want you to think about as practice for asking similar questions and thinking about things on your own, and I try to explain my points clearly, that's all.

I skipped the bios, because I like to see how well the stories, or story, in this case, establishes the characters without them, so I'm just commenting on the writing. There are a couple of fairly large technical errors that a beta should ideally have caught, such as the dialogue formatting issue Nova mentioned. Additionally, the second sentence is incomplete:

> If it wasn’t bad enough that she was being reassigned because of Bragnard grumbling about her cat, Onions, destroying his furniture, her mini-Balrog, Thraindul, digging mini-abysses under his bed and messing with his Exosuit.

Not to get too technical, an "if" phrase must be followed by a "then" phrase, which this sentence doesn't have. I'm left wondering "if all that wasn't bad enough, then... what was?"

And there's a period where there should be a comma at the end of a speech before a dialogue tag in a few places:

> Also, the Sue doesn’t seem to have a name.” she said
> besides my throwing knives.” she said
> “You’re awake.” Rebecca said to her.

More important than that, though, there were several things I felt needed to be thought through a bit more.

For one, you describe Rebecca's bookshelf and the cart it's on together as being too wide to fit through the door. If this is a normal bookshelf, why not just turn it longwise to the door instead of width-wise? Surely the cart can also be aligned longwise, and you'd want as much of the shelf as possible on the cart, parallel not perpendicular? If it's not a normal bookshelf, what sort of bookshelf is it? Also, if it's so heavy and full of books that Rebecca and Deirdre had to unload the books to move it, how did Rebecca get it on the cart with all the books on it in the first place? I didn't get the impression her previous partner was inclined to be helpful. If he was, why wouldn't he come along?

Next: I picked up below that Rebecca is basically you, yes? I wonder, do you know how to use a sword properly? I mean, my brother learned fencing starting in high school, and I know people who did mock-battles with padded PVC "weapons" and/or learned stage combat, but none of those are the same thing as wielding your standard Western medieval longsword (my default assumption when you saw "sword") in actual combat. I have serious doubts about the average fifteen-year-old from World One being able to just pick this up. I glanced at the bio and I saw you have a line there about her practicing sword-fighting, but that still doesn't explain how she learns what to practice. Does she have a teacher? Where do you find one of those in this day and age? Are such niche lessons and equipment within her family's means?

On a related note, Deirdre not only parrying the Sue's sword with a knife but actually making the Sue drop her sword with a knife beggars belief. I'm not an expert myself, but unless Deirdre is very, very strong and probably very lucky, too, I don't think physics allows that; and that's before you add in the nature of Suvians to be the best at everything they do without trying.

And after that, the Sue conveniently hits her head on a rock and passes out, and later she conveniently wakes up when it's time to charge her. That's too much convenience.

Also, I think Nova touched on this, but jumping into a fight where you know there are Nazgûl is just not smart. They didn't even try to get the Sue away by stealth. That is very poor planning—in fact, looking over it again, there was zero planning. They're lucky they got off with a non-fatal stabbing.

Speaking of which: they took the Witch-king's knife. Doesn't he need that? Plus, since Deirdre was stabbed in pretty much the same way as Frodo, and on the same clock toward turning into a wraith, it seems to me the point must have broken off inside her instead of Frodo. That's mucking with the canon as surely as anything.

And anyway, leaving the Sue within the continuum as a wraith is still leaving the Sue active in the continuum. Sues are quite capable of corrupting the forces of evil as well as good.

Finally, re. the fic you've chosen for sporking, I disagree with your assessment. I read the fic, since it's short, and I don't think Aragorn is badly OOC. He could be written better, with more wariness, yes—he could at least have asked exactly where McCoy came from and what he was doing in that place of all places—but remember that he is wary because he is wise. He's a good judge of character, and as a healer himself, he would know Boromir was beyond his own skill to save. Given the choice between letting a stranger try to save him or letting him die without trying, I think Aragorn would give the stranger a chance. The worst that could happen is that Boromir dies anyway. And if the stranger does turn out to be evil, then Aragorn can chop his head off.

I also agree with Nova that there isn't much there to make jokes out of, and I note that the author is aware that Boromir not dying would change the course of the story; they just chose not to explore the AU beyond the one scene they wanted to write. There's nothing wrong with that.

That said, it's not all bad news! There were some moments I really liked, such as Rebecca reacting to seeing Frodo vanish in real life for the first time and being frozen with fear before the Witch-king, Deirdre leaping to her rescue, and the two of them checking in on a future point in the story to see if their intervention worked. They seem like decent people. I'd like to see more in the way of banter between the two of them and see more of their personalities outside of a combat situation (which they shouldn't have been in to start with). They didn't really talk to each other much in this story, just exchanged facts. (And, side note: Do you really talk like Rebecca does? Do you know anyone who talks like that in real life?)

So, for next time: Take more time. Think things through. Research things you're not familiar with, including PPC things. Double-check your canon sources for details. Focus on showing us who your agents are. And consider getting an extra beta who is familiar with the PPC and isn't related to you. {= )


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