|Reviews for The Aves of Maria|
| Guest 5/17/11 . chapter 5
I read your story when it was a Desu Noto fic. I'm not sure why you feel so discouraged about it now that you've decided to use original characters. I think it's good, actually.
I'll admit I didn't like the ending from when you posted it as a Light-OC fic. I feel like his general disillusionment was believable, and the disgust he felt toward her was surprising but not inappropriate considering he was more in love with an ideal than a person. However, I didn't think the story should have had such a dramatic conclusion. I may be wrong; it could be that readers enjoy the shock that comes at the end, but I felt discontent after I finished reading, and I don't think you should feel that way after you've read something. Well, I don't like to, anyway!
The characterisation seems satisfactory to me. The only other thing I'm a bit wary of is the use of Japan for the setting. Yes, I know you're a Japanophile and that the culture fascinates you. However, they say you write best when you write what you know (or even when you create your own reality). I don't know how well anyone can really know another culture. Japanese culture is very different from that of America in significant ways. It's difficult for a gaijin to fully grasp the subtleties of Japanese culture. No, I'm not saying it's impossible or that you can't write something about Japan. I'm merely suggesting that you need a LOT of research and real life experience to convincingly write about another place or culture, or even to write from the perspective of someone who is very different from you. You may want to talk to some Japanese people in order to develop a more authentic "voice" in your story (not the main character's voice, but just to get an idea of what being in Japan is actually like).
Ah, and some people may not like your use of the term "half-breed." I don't know if a Westernized audience would understand how the Japanese regard people of mixed racial background or foreigners. Some readers might even think your main character is misrepresenting Japanese people as racist or that you are being intentionally offensive when you're just using the character's voice. Just a thought.
So I'm not saying you should change the setting, but I do think you should put in extra work to make sure you describe it properly. There are tons of American girls who dream of moving to Japan and integrating into the culture, so you need to set yourself apart from them in your writing.
I really hope that you publish something original at some point. There really isn't any rush, so if you find yourself too dissatisfied with The Aves of Maria, you can always try again. Starting from the beginning can be daunting or frustrating, but it can also be freeing. You could also wait to write a novel about Japanese characters until after you've experienced Japan firsthand.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do! You're an excellent writer, and I have the utmost faith in you! :)