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!
Just Hang On
Just Hang On is a short, spontaneously written one-shot by Henryjh98. The plot takes place at the Ember Island beach house five years after Sozin's Comet. The story centers around Sokka's feelings towards Toph, especially the moment when they almost died on the airship. Nightmares plague him, constant reminders of just how important the Blind Bandit is in his life.
General Critique - Personally, I don't consider Sokka and Toph in a romantic light. I always thought of the two as really good buds, and I think this is made pretty clear in both the show and the comics. My memories always find their way back to the moment when Toph flicks a booger on the ceiling and it lands on Sokka's face five minutes later. You know? When he felt fancy! Even so, I am not a biased reader. I've written a fair share of backstory one-shots in my time, so I'm well acquainted with ones like this. Just Hang On makes good use of flashback and inner thoughts. The author does a solid job elaborating on the scenes we already know. Those were strong points of the story, but there were also a few spots that need work. The voices of canon characters can be so hard to replicate, but I've seen Henry do it before in my one-shot contest. I was impressed by the way he wrote a conversation between Toph and Iroh. In Just Hang On, the dialogue falls a bit short in this regard. Although Sokka is justifiably under some inner turmoil, there are ways to make his personality shine through. I would return to the way he thought about Yue. Even though he's a goofball, he does have a definite romantic side. It's subtle, and I can't really explain it, but I just didn't feel the same way about Sokka's portrayal in this one-shot. Also, I think there was something missing. The major premise was there for sure, but I just feel like there needed to be a bit more description instead of inner thoughts. I didn't feel like I was Sokka, jolting awake in complete horror from a dreadful nightmare.
Reflection - I really like it when authors challenge themselves to write outside their comfort zones. That's exactly what Henry did in this one-shot. Romance isn't exactly his forte: so what? I believe creative writing is all about pushing your skills as a writer to the limit. If you struggle with writing comedy, romance, action, or drama, then put your pen to the paper and practice until you are the best you can be. There are so many genres to explore, so many outlets to channel creativity. It wasn't Henry's greatest one-shot of all time, but I can safely say he is a better writer after trying out romance. Nah' mean?
Score 4.3/5 - A solid score for a solid one-shot. As usual, the spelling and grammar was spot-on, and the language was good as expected. All together, a strong performance. (scores don't matter here)...(even if you think they do!)