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About Literature / Hobbyist Official Beta Tester Eddy Fettig28/Male/United States Groups :icons-r-u: S-R-U
Life happens wherever you are...
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Rokudai and SRU Art Gallery

Newest Deviations

Random from DownRight Fierce

- Original Projects -

Artwork pertaining to the upcoming original projects I'll be working on this year as I try to start getting published. You can find info on each of my original series works-in-progress at these links:

DownRight Fierce:…

- Saint Roku University -

Saint Roku University is a massive fanfiction/fanart project that could perhaps be best summarized as Avatar: TLA/LoK meets How I Met Your Mother in a college setting (though less comedy and perhaps more Gillmore Girls-like drama/friendship/feelings...?). It is NOT a retelling of any Avatar story but rather a huge love letter and narrative reply to the Avatar series, exploring themes concerning young adulthood. It is currently planned to be re-worked into an original series.
You can find the full art gallery below, and the story starts here:…


The Workbench


- DownRight Fierce -
A story inspired by the Street Fighter franchise (and fighting games in general), Scott Pilgrim, and Kill la Kill, this would follow the story of Nishiko, a rash, violent, but passionate fighter who learns about the consequences of obsession and violence, and ultimately must find ways to make right the lives of those her decisions affect.…

Currently being written out as a prose novel, I'd still like to work comic pages into the story somehow.

Chapter 7 Draft:

- What We Learned at Rokudai -
A sequential, slice-of-life young adult fiction inspired by characters and concepts from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. Currently being modified and revised from its original form as a fanfic (SRU).

Chapter 21 draft:

- Versatility - (The Walking Dead Game)
"I did it for you, Clem. For us. We're free now."

Chapter 7:

Other fandom stuff I eventually have planned:
- A Steven Universe short story about Pearl & Connie
- A sequel to 'Stop,' my Big Hero 6 short story

- The Focused / Mud, Sweat, and Tears -

A story being written as two separate stories at once. One version will follow Yatra and Kiwidinok in an original sci-fi fantasy world; their story will be inspired by AtLA, and video games like Bastion, Journey, and The Last of Us.

The fanfic version: A weary Katara and Toph travel across a world ravaged by the Phoenix King. The Battle of Sozin's Comet was lost. Avatar Aang is dead. Now the two are all each other has left in a world that has no place for them.

Both versions will contain a lot of the same text and ideas, but will be tweaked to tell two different versions: one as an original story, one as a 'fanfic AU,' thereby demonstrating how writing AU fiction can be a great creative springboard for making original works.

{On Hiatus for now / considering just going all original}
- Esteemed -
Exploring the life of Chief Toph Beifong and the weight of her responsibilities during her time in Republic City as a police officer and a mother -- as well as the life of her daughter, Lin, who grew up to follow in her mother's footsteps.

{On Hiatus for probably a long time still maybe forever I dunno I'm so mad at Legend of Korra and fandom BS and just URGH}


- Now Playing -
Metal Gear Solid V (PS4)
Steins;Gate (PC)
Splatoon (Wii U)
League of Legends (PC)
Super Smash Bros. 4 (Wii U & 3DS)
Steven Universe (TV)
Rick and Morty (TV)

Wii U ID: D3stiny_Sm4sher
PSN: D3stiny_Sm4sher-
3DS friend code: 2277-7349-8038
(let me know who you are and where I'd know you from if you want to add me)




Oct 9, 2015
2:51 pm
Oct 9, 2015
2:26 pm
Oct 9, 2015
11:58 am
Oct 9, 2015
7:27 am
Oct 9, 2015
4:10 am




Destiny-Smasher's Profile Picture
Eddy Fettig
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States

2015 or Some Such

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 30, 2015, 6:08 PM

We're a little ways into 2015, and I haven't been too busy here. People aren't as interested in my original works as my fanfictions, so there's that, but I've also just been writing less than I was earlier. I'm trying to get better about that.

First up: I've started livestreaming games! And more recently, with commentary.
I upload some vids to YouTube right here, and I've got a Twitch channel here.
For now, the theme is Nintendo stuff, but it varies and I also livestream/record story based games, such as Life is Strange and the TellTale stuff. I'd love to hang out with some of you guys on the Twitch chat some time!

Here's some art of new characters getting added to Rokudai! Some are revamps of old characters, some are totally new.
[Rokudai] - Robin Nakashima-Gallagher by Destiny-Smasher[Rokudai] - Bella Gomez by Destiny-Smasher[Rokudai] Kylee Moretti + Indika Rabten by Destiny-Smasher[Rokudai] - Hideki Kurosawa by Destiny-Smasher[Rokudai] - The League by Destiny-Smasher

Anyway, here's a smattering of stuff. Long post to follow.
All right, this technically isn't a big deal because not much is going to change in the immediate future, BUT, I'm me, and when life realizations happen, I prefer my friends knowing. Basically, I came to a realization this past week -- I think I'm bisexual. At least, that's an easy way of putting it. A more technical term would probably be, like, demisexual.

In regards to the Kinsey Scale, I technically rank as an 'X' because I don't actually have any sexual experience and don't specifically want to have sex most of the time. This is probably strange in that I have sexual urges and experience sexual frustration all the time. Every day. But I would grade my attraction preferences more like a 2 on the Kinsey Scale, I guess?
"Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual."

I don't specifically want to have sex with men, but I don't specifically want to have sex with anyone these days. More like I want to kiss and cuddle and all that shit, and I've come to realize that, when I break down the societal bullshit and actually allow myself to dwell on such things, there are definitely dudes I would be OK with doing that sort of thing with, and that there are definitely dudes I've been attracted to personally in the past, I just didn't really associate it as attraction because I was thinking strictly in terms of intercourse. When I stop thinking in terms of technical intercourse and more in terms of physical intimacy interest, I realize I'm not strictly heterosexual, and there's a very good chance that in terms of actual intercourse I'm probably not strictly hetero, either. But my sexuality is still very adolescent, I'm still a virgin, so there's not really an easy way for me to know, nor am I the sort of person actively interested in experimentation with sex, because, well...going back to the term 'demisexual.'

Basically, my sexual attraction is probably composed in layers. The top layer is just hormonal, physical, in which I'm predominantly heterosexual. The deeper layer, the one actually involving sexual thoughts, desire for physical contact, etc., is demisexual, which basically means there has to be a strong emotional attachment, bond, connection in order for me to even think about having sex with someone. This includes fictional characters, as even in that realm my attraction is typically limited to characters I have an emotional attachment to, which is sometimes expressed in fiction I write (ex. writing a short story about GoGo Tomago and getting inside her fictional head establishes an emotional connection, elevating my attraction from basic aesthetic pleasure to 'I would want to bang this person if they were real'; same goes for characters in SRU/Rokudai, in particular, and other such things).

In terms of characters I write who share this layer of sexuality with me, Aaron Leekpai and Marisol Vargas come to mind.
In terms of actual physical beings who are male that I realize I find attractive, there is obviously Robert Downey Jr. but also Steven Yeun, Troy and Abed, Kyle Bosman, and that guy that plays Dean on Supernatural, and probably others I will realize over time as I actually allow myself to think about that. In terms of, like, fictional characters who are dudes that I'd say I'm attracted to, Bolin comes to mind, probably Dudley from SF (ironically not really any of the other dudes in SF), Iron Bull, Garrus, Varric (hey look a buncha Bioware characters FANCY THAT) and Jon Snow, actually. Maybe Tyrion, too, now that I think of it, but only when he's clean shaven.

But if all that's too hard, you can just use the term 'bisexual' and we'll run with that. In other words, like Korra, Nishiko, and Jane Fitzpatrick, I'm sometimes attracted to dudes, will probably have romantic interactions with dudes at some point here and there, but in the end, ultimately, prefer women to men. It's a spectrum, a scale, rather than a switch. I like ladies too much to not have a longterm desire to be with a woman, but I've realized that if I actually allow myself the thought, I can be into guys, too.
DownRight Fierce as a fighting game would be most comparable to SkullGirls -- indie, small-scale, more focused. A smaller cast of characters. The mechanic that would set it apart from most fighters would be the way that any given match would change per round.
So here's how it would work.
Round 1: You play as Act 1 versions of the characters.
Round 2: You play as Act 2 versions of the characters (5 years older)
Round 3: You'd play as 'heightened' versions of the characters.
Here's a breakdown of how that would work.
Say you pick Nishiko, player 2 picks Marisol.
Round 1 would have the two of them in their high school forms, with basic movesets. No matter who wins, Round 2 would do a time skip. They'd fight again in the same location, adjusted to reflect 5 years having passed. The characters would be five years older, so their appearances would change, but their movesets would be adjusted, as well. Basically, certain properties of their attacks would be different, and in general, they would both be more powerful. Ex. Act 1 Nishiko's basic fireball would travel faster, and/or be larger in her Act 2 varient. Act 1 Kayla's throwing knives would become multiple knives in her Act 2 varient.
IF the match lasts until Round 3, both characters would become a 'heightened' varient of themself. Nishiko would enter 'Psycho State,' Marisol would enter a 'Balanced' State, etc. Basically, it's kind of like an anime transformation. Basically, Round 3 wouldn't last long as all damage would be increased, everyone's movesets would be like a step above Act 2.
Specials: inputs for moves would stay the same across forms. Nishiko's fireball would be the same input no matter her form, it would just gain more modifiers. Potentially, there'd be a 'Ki-Control' meter, and players could burn this meter to activate elevated versions of attacks. Ex. Act 1 Nishiko could burn a bar of meter to turn her Act 1 fireball into an Act 2 fireball. Each character's meter would function differently. For ex. Act 1 Nishiko might have access to three bars, but Act 1 Seiko has a maximum of 5, and further, their meters build at different rates with different moves -- Nishiko's builds fastest when she is landing strikes, Seiko's builds fastest when she blocks attacks, etc. By the time it gets to Round 3, the meter would either not exist OR perform some other function. Ex. Nishiko can burn her meter to give a boost in speed/attack for a few seconds, whereas Seiko can burn her meter to heal some life; Marisol could burn hers to gain auto-guard for a brief time, Kayla would gain auto-evade, etc.
Music: in particular, the music would have a certain theme to it. Basically, each character would have a theme song, and each COMBINATION of two characters would have a 'combat' theme. The default setting would cycle/shuffle between these three possibilities. Ex. Nishiko vs Seiko matches would play one of three tracks: Nishiko's theme, Seiko's theme, or the Nishiko vs Seiko specific theme. Ideally, each track would have three variations -- one for each round, ramping up in intensity.

Mirror-Matches: The actual logo of DownRight Fierce depicts two versions of Nishiko; her younger and older self. But there's an extra layer to it. It's depicting older Nishiko mentally connected to a 'shadow' of her former self. A mental projection she grapples with in a mindscape. Mirror-matches would consist of a character fighting against a mental projection of themself, so it'd still fit within the narrative. Basically, they're fighting against their own inner demons and the battle is technically metaphorical.
In video game form, Rokudai would work best as a 'visual novel' format. The game itself is presented mostly as talking abdomens, and the player has to make choices or maybe even solve 'puzzles' to advance.
Presentation: Characters would be sprite based, essentially, but their outfits and expressions/poses would change. Basically, the art Shannon has done for me with different outfits is the best example of what I mean. Nothing too fancy, but enough to convey the passing of time and characters' emotions. Backgrounds would probably be simplistic and blurred, with occasional "cut scenes" or special shots being high res depictions of certain moments. Ideally, the game would be fully voice acted. The real focus and desire of playing the game would be to capture the feeling of being inducted into the group, getting attached to the characters.
Flow of Gameplay: The game would be laid out in one of two ways.
Either 1) The player always plays as Jane Fitzpatrick, and different choices drag the plot and character focus in different directions
2) the player plays as all 6 main characters across different parts of the timeline, and the choices affect each one sequentially
or 3) the player chooses one of the 6 main characters in any order; each character's story is stand alone and takes place some time in the timeline.
The option I like most is 1, as Jane is pansexual and technically could have a different gender as decided by the player. This would be a non-canon version of the story, taking the characters and main beats of Rokudai and creating an interactive story with them. Players could play as James, Jamie, or Jane (male, non-binary/etc., female) and depending on which identity they pick, the character's appearance and some of their interactions would be different. Ex. Jane could end up romantically involved with Coral or Siku, but not Katrina. James/Jamie could be with Coral or Katrina, but not Siku.
Alternately, to simplify things, Jane could just stay Jane and her appearance would be dictated by the player. IE her character identifies as a female but could express different ends of the gender spectrum in her choices/dialogue/clothing due to player choice; her romantic interactions would vary and the characters' default sexual orientations could be worked around in the right circumstances. Ex. Katrina is heterosexual, but if Jane makes certain choices she could still end up in a relationship with Katrina.
I think I like the latter option the most, but that's because it'd be the simplest to execute. On the one hand, I dislike the idea of romance being treated as a "reward" via manipulation, but on the other hand, I like the idea of the characters' sexualities being more fluid based on Jane, specifically, as that could be one big expression of the 'demisexual' aspect I brought up previously about myself.
How to make choices: There'd be the typical way to make choices, which is having a selection of dialogue options during conversations, which would normally be timed a la TellTale games. However, there'd be parts of the game where Jane is using her phone or laptop, and the player can make choices at their own pace. Ex. they could see Aaron post a vague status message on social media, and depending on how they respond, they could 'unlock' a side conversation where Aaron reveals some personal bit of info, which could then later be used as a dialogue option in a future conversation.
So I envision the gameplay being MOSTLY character interaction/dialogue but then breaking off into occasional "exploration" segments, where players can exoplore phone/internet stuff and/or the campus or a particular building on campus. This would be rewarded by gaining knowledge about things that could open up different dialogue options later on.
Endings/Special Scenes: Depending on choices the player makes, there are special scenes that would be unlocked that require certain conditions -- ex. romantic scenes with particular characters, or for example a different scene based on whether the player chooses to have Jane forgive or murder CJ's killer.

  • Mood: Unheard
  • Listening to: Bulby (8-Bit Themes)
  • Reading: Saga Vol. 4, Second Quest
  • Watching: Game of Thrones, The Following
  • Playing: SSB Wii U, Paper Mario, Mario Kart 8
  • Drinking: Coffee in the mornings; cocktails in the evenings

What brand new element of Rokudai so far are you most interested in? 

5 deviants said The adjustments to the main six characters' arcs
3 deviants said Jane's impending romantic situations (Katrina / Coral)
2 deviants said Ethel Roh and the revised gang war subplot
1 deviant said Maya's retooled situation and her relationship with Kylee
No deviants said Robin Nakashima-Gallagher's character arc


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fradarlin Featured By Owner May 24, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
thanks for the llama! :la:
So how're things? There don't seem to be too much going on nowadays.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner May 7, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I don't have the money to constantly commission stuff like before, and I spent a solid month and a half or so barely able to write anything -- the longest I've spent not writing since SRU started. I recently was able to start working on Rokudai again, and am going to be getting back into DownRight Fierce when I can. My work schedule keeps fluctuating and not evening out to the part time job it's SUPPOSED to be, so I keep getting stuck working full time hours at an understaffed store without receiving full time benefit. On top of all that, I just haven't been feeling as encouraged with my writing (I barely got any feedback with SRU's last stretch and it hasn't really changed since then) and I have been spending more time consuming media to try and recharge my batteries (like marathoning through all of Game of Thrones recently).

In general, I've been very frustrated regarding how to actually get my stories out there and doing something meaningful in the world, as it seems like no one cares because I can't find the right places to share them.

Thanks for asking.
davegilpin Featured By Owner Edited May 20, 2015
I feel the low feed back is due to your attitude to SRU and your own project, which you kept on talking about quite a lot towards the last 20-30 chapters of SRU.
If you gave the last part of SRU to someone to read and then the first, they would probably say it was a different writer. Your love of wanting to bring SRU to people seemed to get lost in "I want to finish this so i can redo it better".
Which isn't a bad thing, Rokudai so far is great, but it did feel SRU was just a chore, something you had to do rather than doing it because you loved doing it.
Plus personally i didn't find the last few chapters went well with SRU, felt they were more written for Rokudai.
Like no offence but what was up with the last chapter? Katara back story, hasn't learned anything..... Wasn't the best way to end it in my opinion.
Liked the book thing at the end. Liked the Toph song for katara.... but the last few chapters made me dislike katara.
Anyway, why don't i comment on Rokudai.... well is great, no real improvements i can see so why comment on something i think doesn't need changing.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Not quite sure what you mean with Katara not learning anything. She learned a lot -- everyone did. That's kind of the whole point of the story. It's in the title. Learning something and changing are different things, and there are some parts of everyone that will never be able to change. At any given point of the story, everyone who reads is going to be annoyed with someone. That's just life. People have a tendency to be very picky and judgmental, I've found, easily writing off and dismissing others. A huge motivating factor with SRU and in turn Rokudai was the intent of creating a story which encouraged the idea of viewing different kinds of people through different angles.

By its end, I realized SRU was already its own thing. Forcing an ending into it was frustrating because all of the story's weak points (all of its big ones, anyway) revolved around me trying to force it as a fanfic rather than just writing my own things. Likewise, it's fucking annoying as shit to have written as much as I have, invented as much as I have, and the vast majority of people who bother to look into my work do so not because of my writing but because it's fanfiction. In that way, yes, SRU eventually became a chore, especially as feedback dwindled. I very much doubt feedback dwindled due to my talking about Rokudai. But even if so, all the more reason for me to look at SRU as a chore: it would mean people were only reading because of Avatar, not because of anything I did. Which, yes, after writing fanfiction for two decades, has made it a bit of a chore that I now only do in short bursts.

But yes, by the end of SRU I was annoyed because, well, I'd been posting my first draft of a story online every time I finished a chunk of it. This meant that by the time I'd really gotten to know the characters and figured out their arcs, I'd already dug holes that I couldn't dig out of. Ex. Coral and Jane should've become a couple but I felt too tied to canon-based shipping concepts where it'd have been too sudden and forced to suddenly slap them together and ignore other stuff. Now that I actually know those two develop feelings for each other, I can fix the draft and ensure their relationship is built up to and developed the way I did with SRU!Kataang/Tokka. I can have more personal motivations for gang stuff in the town instead of trying to force a connection to the Fire Nation royal family. I can get rid of characters who were there just because it was an Avatar fic and replace them with characters who are there because I have something to express about being a human.

SRU started as an experimental just-for-shits story and evolved into the first draft of something quite altogether different from Avatar: The Last Airbender while still carrying flames of inspiration from it, which I have no intention of hiding. This will both be a double-edged thing with it, as I can ensure an element of homage remains in tact as a love letter to ATLA (and the parts of LoK I like) and yet some will view it as uninspired that I've taken personalities and concepts from the show and modified them -- no matter how much I modify them, there will still be some who feel it's "unoriginal," when the only difference between Rokudai and most other stories are that most aren't quite so blunt and open with where their inspiration is drawn from. And they don't post the first draft online as a fanfic. :P

So far, reception to Rokudai has been excellent but not nearly as frequent as SRU -- the only negative feedback I've gotten so far was simply a matter of taste (someone who hated slice-of-life fiction complaining about how it was slice-of-life fiction).

And of course the ending parts of SRU were so different from the start. What else would you expect? It was a million words later, posted as it was written, barely edited, and certainly not edited by a professional editor but just by myself. Three and a half years, a divorce, a move across the country, a complete shift in life, an evolution of style as I learned things as I went. Take any indie visual artist and look at their art from three and a half years back and it's also quite obvious how much has changed.

"Anyway, why don't i comment on Rokudai.... well is great, no real improvements i can see so why comment on something i think doesn't need changing."
This is also probably why no one really comments on much of what I write anymore. I'm not writing so much fanfiction so people can't bitch about fandom nonsense, for one. Even toward the end of SRU people likely didn't have much to say because they'd already said it. They just wanted to follow the story to its ending.

Although it's ironic you feel the ending of SRU was written for Rokudai. This is true in a handful of references (SRU!Borra having an uncertain future, a couple of flashback scenes specifically for Rokudai), but by and large the last portions of SRU were written for SRU's sake -- as an emotional release. It was damned hard to let go of that version of that world, and at the time I couldn't yet see what it was I was letting go of. That's why the end stalled for a good while, as I tried to find conclusions and resolutions to whatever felt noteworthy. Something that pisses me off with most longer stories is how they lack proper resolution, how they don't take time to "say good bye" to the characters, and I wanted to make sure that regardless of any other problems SRU had, it wouldn't have that one.

I'm glad the Toph singing for Katara part struck a chord, at least. That scene doubled as a tribute to one of the two real life people whose actions made SRU what it was and, in turn, what Rokudai will become. Without her, I might never have finished the project, and I have no idea where I'd be now.

Now I'm rambling, because I haven't really openly discussed this subject with people in the year since SRU concluded.

"I want to finish this so i can redo it better"
Yes. That is in fact what happened. It was a strange tug of war between part of myself (the Avatar fan) not wanting to let go of the story, and another part of myself (the Storyteller) wanting to correct everything I'd done wrong but didn't realize was wrong until I could look back at the whole damned thing.

All I can do is just keep writing and eventually, when my blacksmithing skills are finally decent enough to start selling swords, try sending some of my work into battle and see what happens (not that I have any idea how to get traveling warriors to visit my smithy in the first place just yet).

In short, I've grown a bit of bitterness toward writing fanfiction and thus the attention my fanfiction gets, because now I see more plainly that it's not actually ME or any talent on my part that people come for, and that finding success will be harder for me than a visual artist just due to how the medium works. Such is the internet.

Anyway, thanks for taking some time to share your thoughts. Hopefully in all of this rambling you might understand a bit more of where I'm coming from.
(1 Reply)
I find your work to be very aspiring and lovely. Maybe you should take this to and get your stories there as well to expand. Literature exists on Deviantart but many think its sole purpose is illustration and visual spectacle. Fanfic to READ. Oh and I have a small request. I was slowly being eaten away by such inspirational work and ideas flowing in my head that i finally compelled to get into writing. The critique of a true master would mean a lot. You don't have to.
I find your work to be the most meaningful. SRU definitely was the largest and remarkable piece of reading material i have ever read. And i find the prospect of successful non-shipping story to be very impressive. So anyway, good luck with whats going. And... about what I said earlier…

Name's kind of stupid, I know. But if you're so inclined...
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, and thanks a lot for your words of support, by the way. I was having a particularly shitty week when you posted that and it helped a little bit.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Looks like a few elements of SRU inspired of what you're working on. Good luck with Malu -- you can see how Jane quickly became her own person. I'm sure the same will happen with Malu for you if you work at it. TBH I'm not really sure how to critique something like that. I'm so used to critiquing "professional" stories in mass media that trying to critique something from a writer still learning stuff leaves me unsure of what to say.

One thing I would recommend is to approach any given scene with the question, "Why does this scene exist?"
Not every scene in a story needs to have a "point," exactly, but it should have a purpose. Maybe that purpose is developing a character's backstory, creating conflict between two characters, offering insight into someone we don't know much about...or maybe it's simply about reflecting on small graces of day to day life, and how the characters in the world approach every day things differently than each other.

Another thing I'd suggest is trying to balance your characters with a soft rule -- always keep in mind one thing they excel at, and one thing they suck at. Not something too specific, but rather a general personality trait. It's even better when both are the same thing. For example, Katrina is very stubborn. This stubbornness means she sticks with people to the end, even when they've hurt her, but it also means she can cling too hard and get too controlling. Jane doesn't have as much to say sometimes and is more reserved, but this means that she tends to think about things before she speaks. The more important a character is, the more traits like this you'll find, which makes sense, because a real life human person is often built from an intricacy of traits, which all have a time a place where they helpful or hurtful. Lead your characters into situations where we get to see how those traits are helpful, when they are hurtful, and how/why the characters might change those things over time.

For me, specifically, I will take any recurring character and find at least one anchor point with which I can relate to them, and at least one thing where I can't relate to them at all. One trait we share in common which I think is a strength, and another which I think is a weakness. A Mary Sue is born when someone tries too hard to put everything they admire into one person, but putting PIECES of yourself into individual characters isn't a bad thing. It helps make them more like your children, carrying a piece of your DNA with them. It helps you write with some truth and personal experience, but also with some self-reflection and self-critique.

Anyway, I'm not the best person to ask for feedback, but from what I read I can offer one critique.
A lot of the dialogue feels a little stiff -- it doesn't quite feel like real people talking. Like the scene where they're reminiscing about embarrassing stories. The dialogue in that scene has a tendency to come across as characters saying things for the audience rather than for each other or for themselves. In real life, people rarely speak their full mind, and especially younger folks in a campus setting would likely speak in informal terms. Like, when Suki is talking about their traits, the way she says it...doesn't feel like a real person talking. Not until the very end, when she says, "Either she has a blushing problem, or she's an alcoholic." Or when Ty remarks, "Tough as she is she can seem to be too easily flattered." That line isn't phrase in a way that rolls off the tongue too well. But the purpose of it being there, to draw a comparison between Ty and Terra in this way, that is great. As you get to know your characters, always be on the lookout for connections and comparisons/contrasts like that, and think of ways to express them organically. Once you get far enough into the story, I'd recommend coming up with reasons to have characters who normally wouldn't interact have a scene together to compare/contrast them as people. You never know which connections like these could become meaningful or evolve into roots of the story's tree (like the friendship between SRU!Aang & Mai, which will be even more important this time with Aaron/Maya, despite something I never planned on in the first place).

My solution for the stiff dialogue thing would be to try and envision the characters' voices in your head. Re-read your dialogue when you've finished a scene, and imagine real life voices speaking the lines. Say them out loud or have someone else say them out loud for you if you need to. If something sounds off or weird, it probably needs to be edited. In this regard, I'd also recommend thinking of ways the characters speak -- little things that are unique to them. They should have a reason for being there, of course, not just something to be quirk. For example, Jane Fitzpatrick has a tendency to start sentences improperly -- she avoids using the word 'I' a lot of the time. She'll say things like "Dunno" or "Shoulda figured that ___" instead of "I don't know" or "I should've figured that ____". She speaks less formally than other characters, but she also doesn't like drawing attention to herself, and subconsciously she thinks less of herself than most others, so the word 'I' feels unimportant in her vocabulary.

In general, soft rules are a good way to go -- hard rules can be too strict and sometimes defeat the purpose of their existence, but soft rules (ie rules you try to follow but not strictly) can serve as guidelines while you figure out your own unique writing style.

And lastly? Everything I've said here is unimportant. What matters is if it leads you to think about what YOU have to say, what YOU want to express, and HOW you decide to express it.

Write stories you enjoy reading, stories you WANT to exist. Don't write for other people. It's not about being selfish, it's about ensuring that what you write comes to exist because you, yourself, specifically, had something you wanted to express. There's only one of you, after all.
ThoughtsandWonders Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015
Hey, it's your birthday? Hope this account page updated.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Yup, it's still updated. I'm not posting as much lately but things should still be up to date.
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