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FRS - The Wolf, Windbag, and the Great Depression, by Ferrandor Republic

Fruipit July 14, 2014 User blog:Fruipit

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FRSimage
This review was conducted by the Fanon Review Squad and reflects our best judgment of writing and fanon authorship quality. Please don't take offense if the review wasn't positive. We always give advice!

The Wolf, Windbag, and the Great Depression


Downtown Station in Republic City

Only the Avatar can master all four elements. Unfortunately, the Avatar is never around enough and the world needs her. There is a depression ravaging civilization, leaving thousands to go hungry and go mad. The Avatar is too busy resolving international disputes and spirit conflicts to help the common man. In times like these, real heroes will rise from the ordinary folk and try to restore peace and prosperity to the world.


The Wolf, Windbag, and the Great Depression is the very first story from Ferrandor Republic. Set in Republic City only a short decade after the opening of the Spirit Portals, it follows a team of average people hit by the depression as they struggle to survive and save the city in light of an absent Avatar. Will they succeed? You'll just have to read to find out ^^"

Scores


Plot = 5.1: The general premise of this plot is an interesting one. Republic City entering a Great Depression is certainly new, and I've never seen it before. Unfortunately, the way it's strung together does make it hard to follow; aside from that theme, it's hard to tell what is going on. The characters seem only to be reacting to their surroundings (which is not a bad thing) , however it does make it difficult to give a story its own shape. There are seven chapters and thus far, I can't tell where this story is going. I don't know what Amon's end game is

Characterisation = 5.9: The characters are a major part of this story; it is filled with OCs, and thus must be recognisable and easy to relate to. It was hard to form an attachment with them. The relationships between the characters were also hard to follow—how did Meelo become affiliated with Anil in the first place? Why is Pema at the South Pole?

The sudden appearance of Meelo threw me off, as nothing had been mentioned prior to this event to suggest a connection to Aang's descendants. Even though he is aged up, and naturally he won't be the same goofy child he was in the series, his characterisation wasn't always believable. He became angry at Anil for being so apathetic about learning to use an air scooter, and actually pushed him off a roof in his anger. This does not fly with everything that is known about airbenders. It also becomes difficult to tell the characters apart; this is noticeable in the fifth chapter in particular, with the line "With his dark hair, green eyes, light skin, square jaw, and familiar complexion, there was only one person he could be". Prior to that chapter, the colour of a character's eyes was mentioned only once, and they were blue. I have absolutely no idea who this character is.

Believability = 6.5: Unfortunately, I couldn't see the basic premise (a recession, at the most simple level) happening Republic City's near future. We've seen nothing to indicate that there is even a stock market (what sort of stocks would they be), nor that humans would, within 12 years, become so obsessed with money. Another note with this is the lack of actual homelessness and difficulties that should be present in a depression. This story also raises a few other questions, like where did 'Amon' find a dark spirit, and what happened to all the other spirits that should be roaming about.

Another problem is the matter of Korra. The story makes it out as though she's too busy dealing with spirits and 'important' people to worry about the rest of the world. This point of view doesn't align with what we know about the Avatar—especially an Avatar who has had past dealings with "Amon" and the "Equalists".

Technical writing = 7.7: I noticed only a couple of spelling errors in the story, and the ones I did were not very major. There was a missing word in chapter three, but once again, these omissions didn't occur often. There was an error with an inappropriate 'there' in chapter 4, however; remember that 'there' is a place (he can be 'here', or he can be 'there'), they're is a contraction (they + are), and their is a possessive. (he is the 'heir' of 'their' estate).

I did, however, notice a number of discrepancies in the grammar and punctuation. There are cases in which the dialogue needs to have a comma at the end, not a full stop, and occasionally the following sentence is(n't) capitalised when it should(n't) be.

Non-technical writing = 7.3:This story has interesting description, however a number of the introductory sequences felt more like a documentary—the readers were being told who these people are by what makes them those people. "Even I, Anil the Airbender" is one such line. Instead of telling the readers who the characters are, show them in their actions. Show us that he's an airbender by the way he sighs, the great gust blowing away the stack of newspapers, or how he floats across the ground when he walks.

It was occasionally difficult to envision the scene or characters due to a lack of description—particularly in the action scenes. It's important to tell people not only what a character is doing, but also how they are doing it. How did they attack their opponent? How did they escape the police? This also extends to the descriptions of the scenes and characters. What does Republic City look like twelve years later? Have any more leaps in technology been made? And of the people—were those men in the room really wearing 'sort of military uniforms'? What colour were they? What made them 'sort of' military uniforms?

Organisation = 6.2: Unfortunately, the organisation isn't as clear as I know it could be. There are a number of plot holes (such as the green-eyed stranger, as mentioned above) that make it difficult to connect the story together. Another is a discrepancy with Meelo's age; in chapter four, he is 18, however in chapter seven, he's only 17. It's small facts like this that make it difficult for a reader to fully engross themselves in a story.

Total score = 6.45


My advice: The advice I can give is to read over your story, and know exactly what kind of story you want to tell. Reading over your work can pick up the technical typos, and it can also pick up the plot holes that a reader is likely to spot. Another alternative is to invest in a beta-reader/editor.

The only other thing is description. With such a new and different idea, you need to explain the hows and the whys, and for a vast majority of the time, it occurs through the use of description. The trick is to picture the scene in your mind, and when you write it out, try and make it as long as possible; you can't get all the description you need with only a few sentences.

Why I enjoyed this story: The interesting idea and character descriptions drew me in. The characters are also different to those that I had come across before, and certainly made for an interesting read ^^"

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