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Miburo signing on. First of all, I'd like to wish all of you Americans a happy Fourth of July. Or, if you prefer, happy "Sexy, Free & Single"* MV release, or happy full moon**.
Today I'm reviewing a fanon with a very visually appealing main page: Avatar: The Sole Woodbender by Henryjh98. First, I must begin by switching to Chemistry History mode (cue dramatic reading voice): Wood is the combination of all the elements: it creates the air, it is fed by the water and the earth, and it feeds the fire. Or, at least, that's what the people back in the day thought. Anyways, the story follows a kid with the power to bend wood, and who will apparently save the world at some point?
- Mistakes/Grammar: 9.0 There were a couple of distracting homophone mix-ups, but for the most part the grammar was very solid. The score might have ended up higher had their been purely more writing, but with only one chapter and a prologue, the grammar score was lowered a tad (as there was simply not enough content for more goods to outweigh the few mistakes).
- General Writing: 8.3 At first, there were a lot less sentences that did not start with subjects, which made me happy. But later... yeah. Once again, broken record starting sentences with subjects. It's very easy to fall into, and is the greatest downfall of any writer. One of the only reasons I notice it so much is because I had an English teacher who was CRAZY about making sure people didn't start sentences with subjects. I also took a creative writing course from her, and... yeah. More importantly, my biggest problem with the writing was that it often sounded listy. Like it was simply going from event to event to event, especially in the prologue. I would mostly attribute this to a slight overuse of "list" words such as "then" and "next", etc. Another thing I noticed was that at times, the writing was really drawn out and wordy, almost making it a tad repetitive.
Writing Score: 8.7... B+
- Story: 7.8 I think it's a decent story. I was a bit confused as to what was happening, and I had to go back and re-read the first chapter, but that could also just be because I was reading it sort of late at night. I like the idea of having a Woodbender, but it just seems like a bit of a cliche to have an orphan who is the bender of a new and unknown element and is being hunted. But that's going more into creativity than story. Other than that, the story just kind of hasn't been developed yet, and it seemed like it rushed into things pretty quickly. I would have liked another chapter to get eased into the world before spoilers***.
- Characters/Character Development: 6.4 Once again, they just haven't had enough time to be developed. I mean, we know that his love interest is pretty, but that's about it. I honestly would have liked to review this later in the plot, because I think that this score would have gotten a lot better over time. And with the little amount of character development the characters had thus far, they also seemed a tad bit cliche.
- Genre (Adventure): 5.0 There just hasn't been any real adventure yet. Period. I don't know how else to put it, but thus far there has been some action, some development, but they haven't really started adventuring at all.
Content Score: 6.4... D****
Content Quality Categories
- Creativity: 8.6 As I mentioned above, the whole idea seems like a bit of a cliche. Of course, it's a cliche I haven't seen done identically, so I have to give it some credit. This idea has a lot of creative potential, and I hope to see Henry use the potential to its fullest.
- Believability: 9.0 I truly think that if there were a new element, this would be exactly what would happen. Nicely done there. Not much else to say.
Content Quality Score: 8.8... B+
Overall Score: 8.0... B-
My advice for Henry: Well, I actually have a piece of advice that I couldn't find a category to fit into. It starts with a question: are you basing Woodbending off of any specific martial arts form? If not, I would highly recommend doing so. When I was writing my fanon, I watched a ton of videos of forms of the different martial arts forms that the elements are based off of. Seeing the moves helps you as a writer to better understand what you're writing. I have a hunch that if you take a bit of time to study a martial arts style for Woodbending, it'll help your writing to sound less repetitive in those sequences. Other than that, I'd recommend taking some time to develop your characters. You introduced several, but I felt they were all just grazed over rather than developed at all in the first chapter. I'd like to do another review once you write more, that is if you'd like another one. I really think it has potential and I'd like to see where it's going (it would be unofficial, of course, since you can't submit it twice to the same reviewer). But yeah. I felt that it just wasn't "done" enough in just the first chapter for a review.
What sort of person would enjoy The Sole Woodbender? Anyone looking for a new idea and a break from the LoK craze. A different sort of Avatar fanon, but different in a good way. A new fanon that I smell has a lot of potential.
*Sorry if some of my comments are random and off topic, but I had to. Sometimes I'm just super (junior) ADHD. Super Junior's new music video <3
**It was a mighty fine day for bloodbending. Well, if you're Amon I suppose every day is a good day for bloodbending. Can't say the same about his pa or bro, though! (Get it, because they can't bend anymore?)
***SPOILER: Before they were ambushed. I mean, it'd be nice to get a bit better idea of the world before launched into the action.
****Yeah, this number is definitely the outlier here.