A response to a review

Hey guys. This might be a little weird, but I wanted to post a review I got on fanfic here that brings up a couple of things that I myself have some issues with when it comes to my story and give my response and thoughts to some things in it.

” I realy love storys that focus on how bad weiss actualy had it. I doubly love it when her team helps her become a better person. So yours definitly catches my fancy. Sadly there are some things that realy take me out of the story.

Firstly is Rubys character. Now im pretty sure that i understand what youre trying to do. Ruby is often shown as a little bit of a clutz and airhead and i agree with that mostly. What i dont agree with is when its played up to extreme degrees. Reading your story i sometimes feel like im reading about an 8 year old instead of a skilled but arkward 15 year old thats somewhat naive.

Now that isnt a constant. There are scenes where ruby seems like the social akward young leader she is in canon, but mostly i feel like you actualy want me to think shes an idiot. dont get me wrong i dont get the feeling youre delibirately trying to bash ruby or anything. Quite the opposite acutaly. But overall i feel like, as i said, im reading about a mutch younger child here.

Secondly is blake. Now the way blake acts here is in itself not wrong. She is at the end of the day a good person that wants to help others. The problem i have here is the timing. Blake came to beacon after running from anything she knew. The friend (or more or more im not sure its ever clearly stated if the 2 had a romantic relationship ) she followed for years and the mission to better the life of faunus aroudn the world. Thats all gone for her. And while i never believed that she ever realy hated weiss, she was clearly guarded and cautious around anyone. Later in the story, around volume 3 and now at the end of 6, the way blake acts here works perfectly. We are at the very beginning where blake knows nothing about her team and i think, while she wouldnt ignore weiss or not care at all, she seems way to supportive to me.

Thats brings me to the main problem i have. Time. I know time in itself is already an abstract concept. Even more so in a story where the passige of time is already abigious at best. And reading these chapters in one go, the way the characters progress isnt unrealistic expect for the things i already alked about. But if you think about how little time in universe passed, the speed of it all almost breaks my neck. They known each other for less then 4 days at this point if im not mistaken and the stuff that happens just need at least a few weeks if not month to progress like this. As i said time is difficult in storys, more so while writing since what happens does not directly translates into time passed. But i think its so extreme here that it actualy makes me stop and think ” how does this all happen so fast”.

After writing all this i want to make clear that a) this is my opinion and how i feel while reading your story. Its not fact nor do i think im some sort of expert or anything. Its just something that bothered me. And b) i do enjoy this story. if i think its bad or anything i would never take the time to write all this nor do i write reviews or comments just to talk down on someone. Aside that i myself never wrote a story and as such am in no position to think i know better, i also would never want to discorage someone from there storys.

I do look forward to more chapters and hope nothing i wrote is taken as an insult. “


Okay, so to address these points in order:

I am aware that Ruby’s character seems a bit too childish/ditzy. This was a conscious decision on my part (whether it was the right one or not, idk, but it was on purpose) to make her more fallible. In the show she is basically the perfect character–not a Mary Sue in power level, but someone with a more or less “perfect personality”. She’s adorkably awkward, funny, sweet, heroic, brave, strong, etc., etc. She spends a couple of the early episodes being a little bit of a whiny child, and then that’s it. She’s now perfect.

So here I wanted to do it a bit differently, make her a bit more immature, so that she can grow–with the influence of Weiss in particular–into the character as we know her now. One thing I wish the show had done differently is that we see Weiss change a bit from just being with her team, but Ruby, Blake, and Yang’s character development are all solely driven by the plot and not the characters around them. So here I want to Ruby to change more from Weiss, and later Blake. (Right now, she doesn’t really react to things like racism, bullying, etc. all that appropriately, thinking that the person being “mean” just needs a hug and they’ll be nice because she doesn’t really know any better. After learning more of Blake’s story, she’s going to be more ready and willing to fight the bad guys.)

Also, the reason it comes across like Ruby is a bit of an idiot is because both of the characters whose perspectives we’re sharing think she’s a bit of an idiot–yes, including Ruby. We as a society have developed a culture of quantifying intelligence through grades, which encourages the use and development of rote memorization and formulaic thinking, two things (my) Ruby is bad at. But once we get into combat situations, Ruby’s ability to improvise quickly to solve dynamic problems will get to shine. Those just aren’t abilities that are easily quantifiable or easy to observe, so she and others don’t give her credit for that kind of intelligence.

I also have very specific flaws in mind for each character, and one of Ruby’s is her immaturity and how she doesn’t have realistic expectations of being a huntress. In her head, it’s all fairy tales and super heroes, and she’s yet to be exposed to and come to terms with the harsh reality of the job and the seriousness it demands (which was why she didn’t know how to react to or think about the news of Winter and Nidas’ teams dying).

Oof. Sorry. Moving on.

Blake.

Yes, Blake here is very different. To be perfectly honest, I just couldn’t fucking stand Blake for the first four and a half seasons and wanted to do something different with her. I especially hate V1 and 2 Blake. She basically just paced around in circles and whined about how edgy she was[n’t]. I didn’t want to do that here. Idk. Maybe that’s a mistake. I just wouldn’t have enjoyed writing her at all if I’d made her like she was in the show.

As for her and Weiss, that one moment of showing support isn’t going to be indicative of a consistent behavioural pattern. It was mostly just a result of her seeing how vicious Yang was in that moment and how hurt Weiss was, and feeling obligated to try to help her teammate. It was also an opportunity for me to start developing the Weiss/Blake friendship early so that the “surprise, I have cat ears” reveal is more jarring for Weiss later on.

Which brings me to the final point:

Time.

I have no defense here. This is actually an issue I’m acutely aware of and have been berating myself for for weeks. I’m just a bad writer.

Yes, their relationships are developing way too quickly. It’s hella hard to reconcile the fact that it’s only been a few days for them but I’ve been writing for 10-11ish weeks. I also didn’t like writing the issues/flaws without presenting the development of resolution, even though realistically and logically that resolution should be a long way off. And now I feel like if I slow things down it will feel like character stagnation.

Idk. I don’t know what to say except I’m sorry and I should have done this better.

Thank you for the thorough review, Alucard. I appreciate the candidness and I actually agree with many of your points. The issues you have with Ruby were intentional on my part, though that doesn’t mean it was the right decision, and I may need to look at changing it. I’m also really glad you like the story and care so much! :3 ❤

Sorry for the wall of text everyone. I hope this offered some insight into how I write and what I’m trying to do with this story.

2 thoughts on “A response to a review

  1. I actually don’t see much of a problem with the time thing, considering the environment and situation they’re in. Ruby binds quickly, Weiss has been sheltered and starved of affection, Blake defaults to polite (she doesn’t hate humans after all, she left the WF out of guilt) and Yang is being Yang. And they’re a combat team, and that kind of stressor amplifies EVERYTHING. People who fight together can form powerful bonds very quickly.

    I disagree heavily with your impression of canon Ruby, though. She’s an idealist but not naive; her mother died at a young age. She aggressively pursues the career path that killed her mother. People that sign up for combat jobs usually have either serious aggression, limited empathy or a tendency towards suicidal ideation, or a mix of any two or all three. Ruby clearly doesn’t have the second but likely does have the third (she wants the same job that shattered her world) and possibly the first, considering how happy she gets during a fight (see trailer, vs paladin and her antics in vol6 especially vs the robot), she’s a battle maniac in the way Yang only pretends to be in Vol2.
    She also puts on a mask of cheer in volume 4 and 5 with an ease that speaks of practice.

    I think the bit when Blake and Ruby talk shows pretty clearly that she’s an idealist, not naive, and as much as people say the songs aren’t confirmed 100% canon they’re pretty darn accurate and I don’t think the first big song about the MC would have gotten a pass if it was off, that’s the worst song to make that claim on. Even her sikver eyes power backs this up – desire to protect stems from knowing / fearing the pain of loss.

    To expand further, Blake’s suicidal tendencies manifest with her guilt /redemption complex, Yang is aggression and low self-worth, and one of the reasons I like your work so much is because Weiss’ is fear-based aggression and you capture that well. Both her and Blake are escaping negatve situations, but while Blake wants to leave her past behind and give her life for those she’s taken, Weiss wants power to go back and defeat her demons, at least in Vol1-3.

    P.S. I’m still working on a bit of writing about the percieved skill difference between trailer Ruby and show Ruby, though there’s a lot to say about that. TLDR version is that she really isn’t stronger there than in the show, but parts of Vol4 and 5 were just such a colossal failure in animation / choreography. Her red trailer skill is fairly consistent with V1-3 and 6. I’ll post that in the other thread we were talking in when I figure out what all I want to say about it.

    Also, there’s really no need to apologize for your walls of text on your own site, we’re here for your writing after all. Heck most of the time when I’m thinking about this stuff I just keep it to myself instead of posting anywhere, you just seem to pull it out.

    Like

  2. xD
    Okay, thank you. I’ll try to stop apologizing. I’m a bit of an apologist and used to people wanting me to shut up, sorry.

    And in regards to Ruby, I didn’t mean to imply she doesn’t have personal issues, just that she’s a perfect person/character in terms of likability. I guess I don’t know how to explain it, but she’s kinda like “There is nothing about this character that would make me not want to be friends with her”. Idk.

    All of your points about the team are points/motivations that I do agree with, though, and I AM planning to expand on each of them (Weiss and Ruby to more extent because I’m writing from their PoV).

    For the power level thing… Eh. Idk. I feel like trailer Ruby would have trashed Tyrian. And ESPECIALLY Mercury. *shrug*.But I do agree the choreography and fight direction in the middle of the show (I think V3 was pretty abysmal too) is probably to blame, at least a bit.

    Like

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