OPINIONS: Wintering

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OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:54 am

Here's the first part of the series that I've been thinking (threatening) to do. I think Ned saying that all Edna left him with was a pile of ungraded papers drove me to it.

SUMMARY: When Edna is diagnosed with a terminal illness Bart goes into denial, Ned and Seymour clash and Marge starts worrying about Homer's health.
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby c_nordlander » Thu Dec 25, 2014 8:34 pm

Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about what happened to Edna on the show. I don't think that will actually affect my feelings about this fic, though.

The opening is very good. Tells you right away this isn't going to be an easy read. Very well written and realistic, and both Ned and Edna are in character.

to Ned's dismay.
I think this bit should be cut: we already know how Ned must be feeling, and any attempt to put words on it could only make it less powerful. Other than that, the opening is great.

But mostly it was business as usual; Ned could do nothing but try to live their life as normally as he could and run the Leftorium kiosk, raise the boys and pray.
A powerful sentence. The only thing I don't quite like is the repetition of "could"; it might be better if you rephrase it slightly to get rid of that. (But it's a very minor nitpick.)

He did pray constantly – for guidance, for peace, having not the courage to ask God to spare this woman’s life.
Oh man, this is beautiful. No nitpicks here.

Spelling nitpick: "trepadacion" should be "trepidation". Also, that last sentence in the first scene feels a little bit melodramatic, especially with the dash, but it's up to you whether you want to fix that. Your story, after all.

Bart is certainly in character. Marge's "wad" line is very clever and funny.

A sentence that doesn't seem to be finished:

I hope you know what you’re doing, making ‘em


"Creative truthing" is great. Another show-worthy line.

Another possible nitpick: there's a lot of unnecessarily creative dialogue words where "said" would be OK. Perhaps not enough to be annoying, but dialogue tags like "Edna patronized him" can get a bit much. Again, up to you whether you want to pare those down or not.

The bit with Ned standing ready to catch her and Edna managing not to fall is another great bit of realism.

The scene with the family watching PBBN is beautiful. Rod and Todd playing with their plastic sheep is a neat detail.

Typo: "for once not resist" should be "resisting"

The ending is very powerful and well written. Nothing to nitpick there.

To sum up, this is a very good story. It's not an easy topic, and you've given it all the gravity and taste it requires, without milking the event for cheap sentimentalism. There were actually times when I wasn't sure whether I could go on reading, and very few fanfics make me feel that way.

Everyone is in character, with especially Ned standing out and Edna as a close second. I never watched the show after they became a couple, but I like how her cynicism balances off his innocence. Bart's reaction is perfectly appropriate.

The writing is good, except for the very occasional melodramatic line.

Apart from a couple of writing nitpicks (and a typo or two), I don't have anything to critique about this chapter.

To sum up, a very good story (or start to a story; I'd be happy to see more), and possibly *the* most powerful fanfic about a character's death that I've read, completely free from clichés and melodrama. Highly recommended for everyone else.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:07 pm

Oof, I always think I've caught all of my typos and then it turns out I haven't. THANK you, Chris, will fix ASAP!
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:15 am

And here is the second chapter!
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Crack!Fic, The Marge Simpson Way: "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc.  They got married and lived in a spaceship.  The end." - Tales from the Public Domain, "Hot Child In The City"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby c_nordlander » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:01 pm

Chapter 2:

Your writing is really good (here as always), so I'm not going to bother pointing out all the great sentences.

"commenced upon" is kind of a weird expression. "Commenced at" would be better. I love the hyperbole of "as it had for millennia", though.

which lept in static The children
This is missing punctuation. Also, it should be "leapt". Great description, though. In fact, the whole description of the lazy, summery classroom is good. The construction paper tulips are a great touch.

You have a lot of spaces before the sentence beginning with "Construction".

Typo: "squiremers"

"the kid's quiet chattering" should be "kids'".

I like the detail of Edna cleaning out her desk. Also Friday School.

Capitalisation that needs fixing: "LEftorium"

who was staring at her with a hoot owl-wide eyes
Seems like this should be either "with a hoot owl's wide eyes" or "with hoot owl-wide eyes". Great description, though.

Typo: "in fairly entertaining world"

Another: "anything he could do drown out"

You have Bart's narrative voice refer to Edna as both "Mrs. K" and "Missus K". Might be worth making it consistent, unless that was intentional.

Typo: "teacher's lounge" should be "teachers'".

Typo: "senority"

"the siege that had stated their relationship": surely that should be "started"?

Skinner is awesomely written in this. You've really got his character down in such few strokes.

This bit made me laugh:

“I think I’m going to miss this dump.”

“This dump is going to miss you,” he replied.


Her eldest daughter was one of those happy, promise-laden people, but even still she dotted every I and crossed every t.
Great sentence, but "even still" sounds off. Also, "a's" (as in the grades) should be a capital A.

Miscapitalisation: "BArty"

I like the mention of Marge's trademark growl.

Typo: "flouride" should be "fluoride". (But that bit made me laugh.)

"well spent" doesn't need a hyphen.

Shouldn't it be "Miss Hoover"? (I know she was referred to as "Mrs." in "Moanin' Lisa".) Of course, that might be Bart's mistake.

Very good writing in the last few paragraphs.

Nice reference back to the anti-fluoride play.

Interesting ending to the chapter. Though..

Spoiler


This is very good. It didn't touch me as much as the first chapter, but that's only to be expected, since this chapter doesn't deal so much with Edna's illness and her family. Everyone is in character, Edna feels very true to form, and like I said, Skinner is perfect. The brief mention of their past relationship does a great job providing a background to his feelings.You have some good, low-key jokes as well, which don't detract from the drama.

Keep it up; this story is emotional, well-written, and I want to find out where it goes. (I know it's not going to go anywhere particularly good, but that's all the more reason to want to find out what happens.)
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:23 am

Thank you so much, Chris! Will make note of and fix typos.

RE spoilertexted stuff; it's going to work out in a different way than Marge anticipates (and hopefully the reader).

Have started work on chapter 3, and will post it soon!
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Crack!Fic, The Marge Simpson Way: "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc.  They got married and lived in a spaceship.  The end." - Tales from the Public Domain, "Hot Child In The City"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Mon May 30, 2016 2:15 am

Annd here's the next chapter!
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Now known as Lisabella! (Or Missy.  Missy's good.)

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Crack!Fic, The Marge Simpson Way: "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc.  They got married and lived in a spaceship.  The end." - Tales from the Public Domain, "Hot Child In The City"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby c_nordlander » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:12 pm

I can't read as much as I used to due to my new job, but here are my comments on the new chapter:

Heh, learnt a new word: "sham" (as in a pillow covering). Cool.

Slight nitpick: "some mild curse" and "a mild fuss" in the same sentence feels a (tiny) bit repetitive, and the sentence itself is a bit long and shapeless. No big issues, it's obviously up to you whether to change it.

Lisa reading Proust is very much in character.

Skinner is perfect. The whole scene has a very good feel of the show's humour.

And heh, I see I made a stupid assumption when reviewing the previous chapter.
Spoiler
If we ever meet, I'll treat you to a beverage of your choice.

“Dude, this blows,” Bart complained.
I think "complained" is kind of superfluous. Just "said", or even just leaving out the dialogue tag, makes it funnier. (The line itself is perfectly in character for Bart, of course.)

The last few lines of the scene is great, both Bart's dialogue and the ending description.

A technical issue: after the scene break, the story is in a larger font. Don't know whether it's just my computer being screwy, though.

The whole scene at the dinner table is great, too. I particularly like Bart licking the book clean and Homer's line (the latter is one of the funniest things I've read in a fanfic).

Spoiler


Great chapter: it advances the story at exactly the right pace, not one word too much or too little. The jokes are great, and I like the slight hint of symbolism in making Charlotte's Web the book Bart has to read. It would have been easy to put too much weight on the parallels between the story and the current situation with Mrs. Krabappel, but you let it stay just a hint. The chapter ending is suspenseful.

So yes, still enjoying this a lot, and looking forward to the next instalment.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:10 am

Thank you so much, Chris!

Heh, I have to admit that this is fun to write; difficult too; the next chapter will

Spoiler


So that would be fun.

I was hoping the Charlotte's Web element wasn't too heavy-handed! Glad it wasn't!
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Crack!Fic, The Marge Simpson Way: "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc.  They got married and lived in a spaceship.  The end." - Tales from the Public Domain, "Hot Child In The City"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:12 am

Next chapter!!
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Now known as Lisabella! (Or Missy.  Missy's good.)

Creator of the Waving Universe

Crack!Fic, The Marge Simpson Way: "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc.  They got married and lived in a spaceship.  The end." - Tales from the Public Domain, "Hot Child In The City"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby c_nordlander » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:12 pm

Typo/grammar stuff: Moe's last name should be spelled "Szyslak" (and no, no-one will judge you for that one)

"Marge pressed her palm against the door, gently, carefully, she rapped her fist against the heavy wooden exterior." I'd make this into two sentences (cut off after "door").

Not much to say about this part. Not because it's bad in any way, just because the plot doesn't progress much. That's perfectly okay: a story needs some quiet moments to pace it out. The long dialogue with Moe at the bar might be a bit long, but it has funny moments, and Ned is well-written (more about that below).

The slightly raunchy joke at the start is well-written, if a bit old. I can't help but feel that it would have been more funny in script format, though.

I like
Spoiler


You've written Ned very well: he has excellent lines (especially the response to Moe's sympathies), and you've written him as religious and uptight but not in the... oh well... Flanderised way of later seasons. He's subtle, I think that's what I'm trying to say. On the other hand, Homer comes off as a bit shallow. It might be because he's forced to hang out with Flanders, and it's not like the chapter gives him a lot of space to show character. I'm not sure how to describe it. He's not coming off as a jerkass, just a bit flat. Either way, it's a minuscule problem, if it's even there.

Good ending to the chapter. The contrast between Ned's and Seymour's reactions to what's happening is nice.

So yeah, not a very memorable chapter, but it advances the story and has good writing, with good characterisation of Ned in particular.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:40 am

I'm definitely planning on deepening Homer's reactions in the next chapter; he's more here to provide comic relief at the moment but pretty soon there's going to be a bit of action on the Ned and Seymour front that's going to force him to soften his position toward Ned, Seymour and even Bart!

And ugh I thought I googled Moe's last name before I posted this; oops -
Now known as Lisabella! (Or Missy.  Missy's good.)

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Crack!Fic, The Marge Simpson Way: "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc.  They got married and lived in a spaceship.  The end." - Tales from the Public Domain, "Hot Child In The City"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:50 am

Another one!
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Now known as Lisabella! (Or Missy.  Missy's good.)

Creator of the Waving Universe

Crack!Fic, The Marge Simpson Way: "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc.  They got married and lived in a spaceship.  The end." - Tales from the Public Domain, "Hot Child In The City"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby c_nordlander » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:51 pm

Typo: "beguin"

Oh, this is marvellous. Both Ned and Skinner are perfectly in character here: I may be most impressed with Skinner, since it strikes me as fairly difficult to get his tone right, but Ned is awesome as well. He's showing all his best sides in this part, but not in an exaggerated way.

The joke about "taking to confession" is funny, but feels a bit odd since Ned (and Reverend Lovejoy) are Protestants. But that's a minuscule nitpick.

I like the little reference to his parents. Nice bit of comic relief in an otherwise dark section.

If I have one minor nitpick, it's that Skinner's description of his feelings about Edna's illness feels a bit inadequate... but then, words *are* inadequate in those situations, so that's not anything you need to change. And his still being jealous of Ned, even though he recognises it's wrong, is a realistic touch.

“Of course you don’t understand,” he said bitterly. “You <I>won</i>.”
I'm in a bit of two minds about the "bitterly". It feels a bit like telling instead of showing, but on the other hand, it might be necessary. Up to you, I guess.

A short scene, but gives an important part of the story. All very well-written, and like I said, the characterisation shines. As always, I'm looking forward to more.
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"
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Re: OPINIONS: Wintering

Postby missy_misery » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:59 pm

Ahh, thank you so much, Chris! I'm probably going to combine everything into a longer chapter because my momentum RE this fic is finally starting to pick up!
Now known as Lisabella! (Or Missy.  Missy's good.)

Creator of the Waving Universe

Crack!Fic, The Marge Simpson Way: "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc.  They got married and lived in a spaceship.  The end." - Tales from the Public Domain, "Hot Child In The City"

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