OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

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OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by Nidotamer » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:56 am

Welp I have been working on this for far too long. Seriously not used to doing stuff with actual, like, plots and stuff. So half worried I did everything horribly wrong.

In a typical bid to save her half-dead social life, Lisa invites a few other kids to a sleepover but, well if everything worked out fine it'd be a pretty boring story wouldn't it?
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"Harry tore his eyes from his head and threw them into the forest. Voldemort raised his eyebrows at Harry, who could not see anything at the moment."
---- Harry Potter and the Portrait of what Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by gkscotty » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:06 pm

Not really my kind of story, but you've done everything right on a technical level as far as I can see. I do fear Lisa is a bit OOC, especially
Spoiler
but the ending is sweet for both Marge and Lisa. Well done.
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It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do bad things. - Jingo, Terry Pratchett
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by Nidotamer » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:40 pm

Yeah I certainly see the issue with that bit...
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by SirMustapha » Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:58 pm

I don't know if the OOC-ness is really an issue here; at least it didn't break the story for me. On the other hand, the story itself never clicked with me at all, and this sense of humour doesn't sit well for me. It's essentially a set-up without a punchline, and a pretty mean spirited one too, in which you're left expecting the worst. It's a perfectly valid kind of storytelling, but when it comes to the Simpsons, I feel the characters are too good to be used mostly as pawns. I missed the humane touch, basically. I think this would work a lot better if it weren't a fanfic.

Other than that, the story was well told, and I think the details and the psychological bits were well used. Only the modern day references were pretty distracting, but I'm fussy when it come to that stuff. I caught just a few language problems ("The phone went went off, it's annoying tone being more than enough to wake everybody up."), no big deal. Yeah, I guess this wasn't the most constructive criticism you could get, but if anything, I read the story all the way and I don't regret it.
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by Nidotamer » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:55 pm

Nono, it was plenty constructive. Very 'ouch' but constructive and true... especially the pawns bit...

I'd ask if there was any particular advice on how to avoid that but I'm pretty sure I have no ideas anyway.
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---- Harry Potter and the Portrait of what Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by SirMustapha » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:20 pm

I feel it would be very presumptuous of me to give advice here; maybe I just happen not to be the best audience for that kind of storytelling, and I wouldn't expect you to go changing your style because of the personal perceptions of one specific guy. Besides, even I may not exactly "liked" the story, it still got to me. I couldn't feel indifferent to the story if I tried.

But alright, I'll try to share some advice. I think most here would agree that The Simpsons is very character-oriented, and most stories feel more effective if we feel we have learned a bit more about how the characters think, act and feel, and that, no matter how surprised we may feel, we still think their actions were justified.
Spoiler
I hope that's a little more substantial. :)

EDIT: whoops.
Last edited by SirMustapha on Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by Nidotamer » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:56 pm

Sounds helpful! buuut might wanna fic the spoiler tag there!

Maybe I should stick to more fluff-level things till I get that down proper.
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by c_nordlander » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:29 pm

Note: this is just the first part of my comments. It might take me a while to comment on the whole story, so have patience.

I think the plot is great. The first few pages were kind of slow and didn't stand out as a story, but then you turned my expectations on their head.
Spoiler
Unlike Fernando, I don't think the ending was that cruel:
Spoiler
I don't think Lisa is out of character.
Spoiler
In terms of writing, this is good, certainly a darn sight better than my writing was when I started out. However, there are some sentences that feel wordy. This is the kind of thing that you'll get rid of with practice and as you read more.

More specific points. Note, most of the negative stuff here is things like typoes and punctuation mistakes, which will be easy enough to fix.

"Lisa froze, partway in the middle of a particularly invigorated sax session she just faintly heard something that brought a sense of dread." "partway in the middle" doesn't work; it should be either "partway through" or "in the middle of". Also, this would read a lot better if you split it into two sentences with a full stop after "froze".

Lisa's narrative voice feels very in-character throughout. Maybe one or two sentences don't work (more on that later), but you've achieved a good balance of childishness and intelligence. In fact, everyone in this story seems to be in character. (If there are times when they're not, I'll address that.)

Her panicking at the start of the story is hilarious.

"Only four of them turned up." "had turned up" would be better.

"Janey Henderson and making her sleepover debut, Allison Taylor." Needs a comma after "and".

"Allison was looking especially alert, peering around while Janey had returned Marge’s enthusiastic greeting with a more half-hearted reply." The "had" isn't really necessary here (since what Janey's doing seems to take place at the same time as everything else), and also, the second half of the sentence feels a bit wordy. Maybe it need rewording or even splitting up into two sentences.

Don't have a problem with the description of how Lisa gets along with Janey and Allison. (Well, Janey being said to be rich took me aback a bit, but then again, I've never seen any evidence to the contrary, either.) Especially the bit about how something seems off in her relationship with Allison is interesting, if sad.
“Hi Lisa,” Allison spoke up, waving to her “Alex wanted to say she was sorry she couldn’t be here.
Needs punctuation after the dialogue tag.

I like that you mention Allison's pendant.
“Good afternoon, Mrs Simpson!” Two voices greeted in a overly cheery sing-song tone.
"two" shouldn't be capitalised, since it's a dialogue tag. Nice description, though. (You might want to make a new paragraph after "tone".)
“Oh hello girls, you both look so precious!” Marge replied “are those new hair bows?”
Needs a full stop after "replied", and "are" should be capitalised, since it's a new sentence.
“Ohoh, they are,” one of the sisters lied “thank you for noticing, Mrs Simpson!”
Needs a comma after "lied".

The twins' interaction with Lisa when they show up is very well-written.

"Had they noticed the venomous glare She gave them?" "she" shouldn't be capitalised.

Missing word: "it would nice"

The bit where Marge asks if she didn't send out more invitations is nice comedy.
“Nope! Just these four!” Lisa cut in, not wanting to look like a total loser.
I think this is even funnier if you cut the bit after the comma, since the reader can easily figure out how she's feeling. But that's more of a matter of taste than anything that needs changing, and it doesn't make much of a different.

"nor did she really get kicked all that hard." There should be a comma before this bit (otherwise the clause gets very long), and it should be "nor had she really got kicked" etc. (Remember, use the pluperfect ["she had done something"] for things that are set before the "current time" in writing.)

To be continued.
Last edited by c_nordlander on Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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: The Slumber Party

Post by Nidotamer » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:35 am

Heh, I didn't really notice how long it really was... reminder to self, upload in chunks next time... maybe. I did try and keep an eye out for those common issues (wordiness and lack of "had"s) and... yet I still made them. Must be a force of habit.

RE: Janey's financial status: Admittedly, it's never something that really came up on the show itself but there seems to be some implications. That huge TV from "Itchy and Scratchy and Marge" being one and in the Lisa Book (library of wisdom) she's referred to as an 'Upper Crust Flake'. Basically for certain characters I'll mostly be picking and choosing bits and pieces from other media too, there's lots of stuff that I can use...
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by Nidotamer » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:47 am

Not sure which of these things I'll use though, I mean a lot of the... character establishment(?) is still an 'in progress' thing.

I mean this might up either perfect or too much for instance:
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by c_nordlander » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:59 pm

Look, the story is a good length. It's not your fault that I'm short on time.

And you've got a lot of knowledge about minor characters. I was mostly worried that Janey's financial situation was something that had been addressed in some recent episode I hadn't seen. However, what you say checks out.
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: The Slumber Party

Post by Nidotamer » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:44 pm

To my knowlege, nah. In fact, I don't think there's really been anything on Janey as of late outside of Tapped Out (apparently, father's a counterfeiter or some other manner of crook and that's why she's had so many last names). If anything the only ideas for now and future writings I've pulled from later episodes so far are:
Spoiler
I don't think there's really been anything else worth pulling from since Season 17 and that was just the twin language.


(okay so I went a little bit off my own topic but hey, I like talking about these things!)
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by c_nordlander » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:08 pm

Continuing my in-depth comments:

“Lisa, don't kick Janey,” Marge said “it's not very nice of you.” This needs a comma after "said". Remember, you need to have some sort of punctuation before the dialogue continues after a dialogue tag (a comma if the sentence continues, a full stop if not). It's a very funny line, though.
“You really should be nice to your friends, Lisa Simpson.” Sherri butted in.
You should have a comma before dialogue tag, not full stop.
“Well… sure.” Marge answered
Again, this should be a comma, not a full stop.
“Yeah, just a second.” Lisa replied
And again.

You have a lot of "justs" in these couple of paragraphs, and some of them aren't necessary (in "She just decided it would be best to just leave them to it for now", the first "just" could be cut with no loss).

"However the orderly arrangement of books, sheet music and stationery was more or less the natural state of her room." Needs a comma after "however". However, the whole description feels very in character for Lisa.

Everything about "Rodeo and Muliette" is great.
“We should probably wait a little,” Lisa replied “since the gruesome twosome haven’t shown up yet…”
Needs a comma after the dialogue tag.

Janey's kind of a jerk in this story. I'm not saying she's out of character (she's always been depicted as a fairweather friend on the show), but she's nearly as mean as the twins. Makes me wonder why Lisa even bothers to hang out with her.

"At the very least their time with Maggie lifted her mood a little." Should be "had lifted", since it's in the past.
“Yeah, just ignore us.” Sherri sneered
Should be a comma.

Typo: the quote mark is missing after "Well, now everyone's here, let's get started!"

I like the little mention of Bart having escaped to Milhouse's place.

"After struggling with a convoluted menu and an unresponsive remote, Rodeo and Muliette finally started." This is kind of nitpicky, but the subject of the second part of the sentence needs to be the same as the first, or it comes off as a bit odd. So maybe change it to something like "she finally got 'Rodeo and Muliette' to start."

I like the way you've characterised Allison in this. Her characterisation was always kind of sketchy on the show: it was very little except "like Lisa, only better at everything". You've fleshed her out, including giving her some flaws that go well with her smarts. This is good.

Her rant about the film is very well-written, and the very ending made me chuckle.

I've probably said this before, but the narrative voice is very in character for Lisa. That's not an easy feat to do.

I like the bit about her many pastel green nightgowns.

"it didn’t feel any different either way but she knew Janey would probably pick up on it." Needs a comma after "way". Nice sentence, though.

"a film she loved since she was just two" needs a "had". (And "just" isn't really necessary, but that's up to you.)

I like how Lisa realises that Sherri and Terri never left the room. The bit where she rushes back feels a bit neurotic to me, but she's acted like that on the show before, and besides it's funny. Her finding the pillow fort is high comedy.

"Bart’s mattress and even using pillow cases as makeshift banners." Needs a comma after "mattress". Great description, though. The whole scene with the pillow fort is great.

"how much work went into" should be "had gone into".
“Very funny, guys,” Lisa sighed “now can I please have my pillows…
Needs a comma after the dialogue tag.

"she pointed an accusatory finger" "She" should be capitalised, since it's in a separate sentence, not a dialogue tag.
“Of course they are,” Terri protested
Needs a comma after the dialogue tag.

I laughed out loud at "we lost two imaginary friends in our perilous mission".

Again, a couple of lines where the dialogue tag is capitalised. It shouldn't be.
“Okay, okay!” Lisa yelled before Sherri could turn on the waterworks “just have the stupid cookies!
Needs a full stop after the dialogue tag, and the next sentence needs to be capitalised.

I really hate how the twins are treating Lisa in this scene. Which means you're doing something right, to make me care. Also, the name of the fortress is pretty hilarious, especially the "it was from a more innocent time".
“We need to rework that last part, it was from a more innocent time.” Terri continued “But don’t take it personally, Lisa Simpson. We haven’t invited anybody else.”
You should have a comma before the dialogue tag, and a full stop after "continued".

More to come.
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: The Slumber Party

Post by Nidotamer » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:38 am

Whoo! More reviewish things!

Pretty sure the 'justs' are mostly like a written verbal tic for me. Kinda like... well, "kinda" or other uncertain words.

Janey definitely is a jerk. Really the few actions she gets and a fair bit of side material point to that. Like mentioning one of her favourite things to do it "befriend new kids... so she can exclude them later", going out of her way to hit Bart with a lunchbox (pretty sure it wasn't a plastic one either) when the other kids brushed past him in "Diggs" and despite joining in the "Lisa has a big butt" chant in "Sleeping With The Enemy" at the end she completely turned on Sherri & Terri without any word of apology to Lisa or any sort of punishment whatsoever. So it's not like the "fair weather" thing is an trait exclusive to Lisa. Or her quest in Tapped Out where Lisa gets her help to start a channel on a youtube knockoff... only for Janey to hijack it and with a few words from Bart they kick Lisa off entirely, again Janey faces no real repercussions outside of their videos getting disliked.

So yeah, kinda was going for someone who (transparently) toes the most popular side. When everything's fine, she is too and should the twins not have been invited (or at least never found out why they were) then she probably wouldn't have caused a problem either. It's sometimes easy for people to forget how awful others can be if they're okay most of the time.

(I'd probably say some more buuuuuuut I've got some college work that really needs doing... but thanks for continuing anyway, 'twas a nice surprise!)
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Re: OPINIONS: The Slumber Party

Post by c_nordlander » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:31 pm

Regarding Janey: you're right, I don't think she's out of character in this story. I'm more wondering why Lisa even hangs out with her, given that she's such a jerk. (Depressingly enough, I guess she might not have any better friends.)

Continuing with my read-through:

I like the little mention of Janey walking into Bart's room by mistake. Realistic.

Lisa's internal voice continues very good.

“tackier looking” would be better with a hyphen.

I like the bit about Legend of the Lunchroom. Lisa mixing up the twins is funny.
“It's okay, Lisa,” Allison said “maybe it will actually be pretty enjoyable?
Needs a comma after “said”. Also, you've put two spaces after “they're” in the same line. (Very in character for Allison, though.)

Typo: “begrudingingly” should be “begrudgingly”.

I love the bit where they watch the film. It might have been painful for Lisa, but it's certainly funny to read about.

I've no idea whether “Basements and Baddies” is your own joke or from the show, but either way it's brilliant.

The bit with Sherri looking at her phone is nicely written and sets up the whole thunderstorm element.
Lisa could have swore she heard something along the lines of 'they said it would be clear tonight' coming from Sherri.
Not a bad line, but a couple of problems. Firstly, it should be “sworn” (“swore” is past tense, “sworn” is the perfect). Secondly, “coming from Sherri” feels slightly verbose. Personally, I would just write something like “she heard Sherri murmur something along the lines of 'they said it would be clear tonight'.”

Terri's sudden fear is very well written. Lisa's reaction is quite realistic (though the sentence beginning “Of course it was impossible” is kind of lacking in commas; at least it definitely needs one after “impossible”).

The way you build up to the bad weather is pretty much perfect.

I like how you introduce the new name of the fortress without drawing attention to it. Now that's how you write good comedy: by being subtle. I also like “still looking strangely edgy and not the 'New Poochie' kind of edgy”.

To be concluded.
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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