User:Daric Gaersmith/TES Fan Fiction Collection/Reading Fan Fiction/Shakara Archives

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01:09, 27 May 2014 (GMT): I'm back playing Skyrim once again. I am not in ESO, so please don't ask.

Transparent.gif introduction  
Transparent.gif This page contains my review of The Shakara Archives by Sci Taar

The Shakara Archives

I came across this new TES fan fiction in March 2013 while I was patrolling the userspace of the wiki. This new user Sci Taar popped up in the recent changes log, and I noted that there was already a user with a similar name registered, so I took a look at the profile, and found out that this new editor is also a fan fiction writer. The introduction to the lead character in this fan-fic amused me, so I thought I'd copy it here verbatim...

Sci' Taar is a Khajiit that was abandoned by his original (unknown) parents, and raised by the Nord couple Gregor and Layma Shakara. He is the definition of "hyper". The only thing that calms him down is death, or... Whatever. He doesn't care. At all. He's already bouncing off the walls, and there's nothing in Mundus to slow him down.

This just sounds like its going to be a really fun story, so I thought I'd take a look.

Chapter 1

The very first thing I notice about this story is the font. The typeface is terrible. You can't even see the period (full-stop) mark at the end of the first sentence. It is there. I copied the text to a plain text editor and found the hidden period mark. It's just that the font or the character kerning messes with it.

In fact, I later found myself again reverting to the plain text editor, as I sought to understand that name of the "orphaned Argonian boy, Ka’ Lihlhl". I personally prefer to keep my character's names as lore-friendly as possible. I'm not sure how this author came up with this particular name for an Argonian, but I would dare say that the Lore:Argonian Names page wasn't consulted.

The structure of the dialogue sentences needs some work, in my opinion. It seems the writer is mixing the previous character's speech with the next character's actions. For instance, the line...

 “Yes, no, maybe, I don’t know. He just won’t fit in.” She was slightly annoyed, if not furious with him.

It appears to me that the quoted words are actually Gregor's words, but then the perspective jumps to "she", being Layma. The next paragraph even seems to mix dialogue from both Gregor and Layma in the same paragraph. In my own writing, I'd want to be clearer around dialogue, and make sure that I clearly identify who is speaking, following standard grammar rules for dialogue, of only one speaker per paragraph.

Over all, the chapter is short and to the point. I like how the author has jumped straight into the action, rather than giving us loads of dreary explanation and dry statistics about the characters. I assume that character development will continue to grow gradually during the following chapters. This is something I intend to emulate in my own fan-fic writing. I want the reader to get to know my characters over time, to develop a bond with them, instead of having everything thrown in their face at once. Gradual development and reinforcing of character traits should help to avoid the reader's need to "flick back" while reading.