Reviews for Rules for Writers
cocopops1995 chapter 15 . 3/8/2014
Can't help thinking of Batman here... He's far from nice, he doesn't take crap and he's not afraid to beat information out of 'informants' but he's far from evil too...
i'm sherlock chapter 15 . 3/2/2014
You did very nicely with this, though I have noticed several minor spelling and grammar mistakes as well as a few missing words. But your points and arguments remain clear and are very interesting and thought-provoking.

I've encountered many of these mistakes that you have mentioned before. A good example of Deus ex Machina that I've read would be the character Tom Bombadil in the LoTR books; also how the falling of Sauron's empire caused a crack in the earth that swallowed up all of the orcs and spared the lives of the armies of Gondor? and Rohan? in the final LoTR movie. (I haven't watched the movies in a while.) And I believe Gandalf was a bit of a Deus ex Machina himself, seeing as he always managed to turn up just when things started to look grim for our protagonists.

I'm not sure if you've seen or read LoTR, but it definitely is a good example of what you discussed in Rule Six.

And Rule Eight! Gosh, that was a breath of fresh air for me. I'm so tired of writers making these mistakes. Again, not sure if you read this series, but I think the "Heroes of Olympus" series by Rick Riordan is a fantastic demonstration of how focusing on relationships can completely ruin a story.

Not only does Rick cross the line of Rule Two, but his horrendous focus on relationships and love triangles completely rips realism to pieces. The world is going to be destroyed and overrun with Gaea's demonic spawn and yet the main concern of the seven demigods setting off to save the world is: "Doth he/she love me?" It is ridiculous and makes me want to pull my hair out.

And the cliche view of villains! Oh yes. I'm tired of shifty-eyed men with small amounts of facial hair getting shipped off as villains. I'm tired of the main characters picking out the bad guys in a crowd and disliking them instantly and I hate it when the villains do vice versa. I'm tired of seeing the bald rich guy in the black tux with the cold, sarcastic tone plan world domination. I'm tired of the villain being portrayed as incompetent. And—you know what? I'm exhausted.

Anyway, terrific points you made here! Needs a little grammatical editing, but it's very good all the same. In fact, I'm writing a guide of sorts myself; I'm nowhere near done with it, but would it be all right if I recommended this essay in my "guide's" conclusion?

Carlee Tobin
Guest chapter 14 . 2/26/2014
It's good to know some people do at least see this.
Guest chapter 13 . 2/26/2014
While it's true that experience is a factor in modern militaries, there was a time when command could be given by virtue of birthright (medieval) or bought with money (Georgian England, aka Jane Austen era). While even those armies generally had age limits of some loose description, it was usually below 20.

However while I don't entirely agree with your example, I do agree with your point, older characters can be fun, and are heinously underused.
Cocopops1995 chapter 14 . 2/22/2014
And inducing Stockholm Syndrome is not love either! I read a fanfic with that in and was thoroughly creeped out...
cocopops1995 chapter 11 . 2/19/2014
I see your point on this and agree... but I must disagree on your use of the Hunger Games for shortcut villains. The characters from the richer districts were not all seen as evil. Even if we only focus on the first movie/book. Katniss's designer was of the 'upper class' but he was not seen as evil in any way, the same goes for the lady who pulled out the names, he make-up was way over the top but she wasn't evil, she was only doing her job. The only obviously evil person is President Snow. If you haven't read all three books yet then I suggest giving it a go. Though I will complain that Katniss's character is worse than Bella from Twilight...
Sammyjon123 chapter 12 . 2/16/2014
I would add a chapter about spelling/grammar/formatting. For me, and most people I know, it is extremely difficult to tolerate a work riddled with typos and grammatical errors, primarily the latter. In the case of this essay, I don't really mind the typos because I do not have to work to understand what you are trying to say (and I don't mean in a metaphorical sense, I mean what you're LITERALLY trying to say). I have issues with this site because it does not allow for an indent at the start of paragraphs.
In general, I hate reading things that are filled with errors like that. Anyways, that's a fairly lengthy way to make a suggestion, so I'll cut it off now.
I really like that you made this. Having one place to go to for all (or at least most) of the things I constantly see people mess up is nice. I can point people to this and just say, "Read chapter six, your fight scene needs to be gutted."
I did feel kind of on-edge through the entire read though, because the essay takes a fairly passive-aggressive tone. It doesn't say anything rude or dismissive, you speak very fairly about works that it's clear you dislike, but something about it just seems over-archingly judgmental. I have no clue if that was intentional at all, and it's highly likely it's just my perception being skewed by living in the most passive-aggressive city in the US, but it's something to think about.
This taught me about several things I never knew to avoid. Granted, I don't believe I've ever failed to avoid them, but consciously knowing it is always helpful.
Thanks for posting this!
For All That Remains chapter 6 . 1/21/2014
This is a point that I feel isn't addressed nearly as often as it should be. I often read stories involving the military, and as such, many of them involve the use of firearms. Most people I've seen don't seem to understand exactly how firearms work or what a bullet even does to a human upon impact. So, then I'm left explaining exactly how they messed up a fight scene, which is something I should never have to do, considering it takes about ten minutes of research total to understand completely, and is not that hard. I can think of one story that I feel got firearms "right", and that's just because their character ended up having to deal with bad aim, recoil, messed up sights, and a ruptured eardrum from firing a surplus .303 Lee-Enfield multiple times without hearing protection. I don't know what it is people have against simple research (or even just admitting that they're wrong, or being wildly unrealistic), but it seriously gets on my nerves.
Wendy Thompson135th chapter 6 . 1/21/2014
Are you implying we really know WHY any religion works? I'm anti-all-organized-religions myself, but I'm curious why other people aren't.
Wendy Thompson135th chapter 4 . 1/15/2014
Rough, but interesting. I especially like the rants on character death and villains.