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Fanon Review: The Legend of Lan Se by Weilai

Minnichi January 25, 2015 User blog:Minnichi

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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!

Yo, I'm still alive! And I'm here to do what I've always done since the day I joined the wiki: Ramble about others' writing, whoo! Today I return to give you guys a breakdown of Avatar Lan Se's story. This tale features a twist in domination: the Fire Nation running from the Earth Kingdom, imagine that! Yes, the earthbenders have gone wild and it's up to Avatar Lan Se to stop them. Come check it out!


Cover art "The Legend of Lan Se"

The Legend of Lan Se by Weilai

The young Avatar Lan Se is the only survivor of an attack from the Earth King. When everyone is struggling to decide who will win the war between earth and fire, Lan Se must master all the elements before it is too late. But he cannot even bend his home element, fire...

Weilai has a simple but sweet writing style, with neat ideas and lots of wit within his characters. Let's see what Lan Se is all about, shall we?
The Scores

  • Plot - 8.0: I like the plot a lot, actually. It talks about Earth Kingdom domination, but not in the Kuvira-esque way. They're actually very much like the Fire Nation during the 100-year war. Now, what I would add to make the plot more complete is to go into further detail about what's going on in the enemy side. I also think that too much of what happened in the world is left to what feels like a brief "history lesson" told by the characters. The setting would feel more natural if you let the characters dwell more on what happened before their time, as well as their personal thoughts on it. That aside, I believe this story has a very nice premise with lots of potential!
  • Organization - 6.5: The choppiness of this fanon is what makes the reading experience more difficult than necessary. What sticks out most to me is the stand-alone dialogue, in which the quotations often - heh, stand alone with no indicator of the speaker until the next or previous paragraphs. This is fine every now and then, but when you have long and deep conversations between a large group, it can be very difficult to keep track of who's talking. Aside from the dialogue, a reader needs more time to take in major events, which in this fanon tend to fly by rather quickly without elaboration. Make sure you develop each scene thoroughly and give us a good feel of it before moving onto the next. I believe that the organization in this fanon simply needs some more sit-down-and-elaborate time from the author, and it could go a long way!
  • Creativity - 8.4: Like I said before, I'm loving the idea of making the earthbenders the dominating bad guys. However, this may seem unoriginal if you don't take the time to show us how they're any different from the Fire Nation's dominance during Aang's time as well as how their motives might differ. From what readers can see, they seem to be out to dominate for the sake of domination. To create a less stereotypical antagonist requires more insight into their mind and their ambitions. Vagueness takes away from creativity, and I advise the author to keep this in mind!
  • Writing – 7.0 (x3): The writing is simple but sweet, as I said. There are times that even too much elaboration can deter from the reading experience, but this is not the case. Since too much of anything is bad, however, I would advise the author to avoid sounding too simple at times. Simplicity is subjective depending on the reader, but for me it's a lack of detail. I believe that readers will gain more from this fanon if you were to work on bringing the dialogue to life, Weilai. We like to see emotion, expressions, and really hear someone's voice the best we can over text. Just as you would agree that a face-to-face conversation feels much more meaningful than a text message, we authors must work to make our dialogue feel as "real" as said face-to-face conversation to avoid the text-message effect. Dialogue aside, the setting and timeline could be further clarified in several instances. It would help readers a lot to make it very clear what year everything takes place in, or at least gives stronger hints. Also work on bringing the history of the past to life; the past is what shapes the present and should not be overlooked. Overall, the writing is enjoyable, don't get me wrong, but I'd love to see more detail to really deliver the feels!
  • Character Development - 6.2 (x2): This is an area perhaps most affected by the lack of elaboration. For starters, I'd advise the author not to hesitate to go all out with physical descriptions; the sooner you can let a reader "see" who you're talking about, the sooner you can make them attached to the character. Secondly, a person's character could go so much further with, again, more dialogue elaboration. How one speaks is as unique to that person as his/her own personality, and aside from that it saves you the time of going off on a ramble about their personality if you can cleverly portray it through their speech. Try to establish an "attitude identity" for each character and ask yourself, would you be able to tell who's speaking based on the dialogue alone? We often are able to recognize people in real life from this, and so it's our challenge as authors to make characters equally unique. Finally, I believe the friendships and interactions should be given lots of detail; as of now the way people feel about each other isn't developed, particularly when it comes to romantic interactions. A good idea would be to focus on what someone likes/dislikes about another and what makes anyone special to them. So to finish off this section, I'm loving the characters but encourage them to have a bigger voice!
  • Action – 5.7: I like the ideas of the fights in this fanon... But the fights themselves feel missing sometimes. They're presented to the readers, I believe, more of a quick summary of what happened before the scene moves on. The most important thing is for us to see how it happened - especially when you write that someone "waterbended" an attack. Remember that bending takes all shapes and sizes and movements, and these details are critical when bringing a battle to life. Don't forget about the unique kinds of movements that create every element's attack. Also, I would like to hear more about the fire-breathing phenomenon that Lan Se experiences in his sleep, such as an explanation why he does this and not other firebenders nor Avatars before him. The fight scenes in this fanon have lots and lots of potential, and I would love more than anything for the author to consider giving them more detail.
  • Believability – 8.0: We've seen enough bizarre things happen in LoK to know that any kind of domination is possible, including that from the Earth Kingdom. As I said before though, the antagonists have a sort of vagueness about them that makes it harder for readers to grasp their believability. I would also like to see more elaboration on why the spirits eventually destroyed Republic City or how the previous Avatar managed to separate them again. I could see this all happening but could definitely use more "why." Other than that, nice!


Overall Score: 7.0

My advice for Weilai: More elaboration is key! Keep your creativity but slow down a bit to really embellish each idea.

Who should read The Legend of Lan Se? Anyone looking for an Avatar Adventure they won't forget.

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