star_ocean_fan: (Default)

Fanfic Writing Tip #9 - Leaving Reviews and Letting Your Work Stand on Its Own

At some point, fanfiction writers read fanfiction. In fact, reading fanfiction inspires other fanfiction writers to actually write instead of dream/daydream the scenarios in our heads. I know that's how I finally got my start as a fanfiction author.

Now, there are many things I see when browsing sites like fanfiction.net, things I don't necessarily like or think an author should be doing when writing summaries and author's notes. Things in summaries like "plz read and review" are not appealing to me, and they don't draw me in to read the story. Reading in an author's note "I'll update after I receive X number of reviews for this chapter" or "What's your excuse for not reviewing?! Review, gosh darn it!" are the kinds of things that inspire me to either not pick the story up again or leave a very harsh criticism of the work and the writer's attitude. (What one may think of as being cute and funny doesn't necessarily come across that way in black and white.)

Yes. I will admit right here, right now that reviews are gravy. They're awesome, and they go a long way in boosting a writer's confidence and inspiration. Those seeking professional publication will ask established author's for a quote to garner more sales. Book reviews either boost sales or decimate them. However, in the online world of fanfiction publishing, writers aren't paid, except in reviews, and the only things reviews are good for are pointing out where we've made mistakes and ego-boosting. To me, it's in bad form to require a reader to review your work and to require reviews in order to update. That says, in my mind, "I'm a review whore. That's the only thing I care about so that's why I'm writing this story", when that may not even be true. (These are also the kinds of writers who annoy me because I will leave a review and it isn't what they want in a review. They're also the ones that tell me "it's just for fun. Don't like it, don't read it." To that, I say, "Don't want people leaving you their honest thoughts, don't ask for reviews". Yes. I have a slight mean streak.) Readers are in no way obligated to read a person's works. They're in no way obligated to leave a review.

Let your work stand on its own. Write the story. Let your skills at summarizing and writing a compelling tale lure the reader in. Pack it with emotion. Give the reader a reason to write that review to you based on the emotions you've drawn out of that person, not because you need your ego-stoked.

Addendum to last week's writing tip.

Last week I wrote about writing in a logical order and using logic to write your story. That is something that will only go so far, and I was reminded of that when I read last week's Daily Kick by David Farland. There are times when logic will need to be thrown out the window, and it's often based on the kinds of situations the protagonists and antagonists find themselves facing . . . Unexpected reactions to conflict are good. Writing a single parent leaving his two-year-old child sleeping at home alone is still bad, though, because then the reader is expecting something bad to happen while he's gone and then nothing happens and there's a feeling of being cheated out of something really good.

Also, please note, I'm coming across as harsh, and my intentions are to actually help people with their fanfiction writing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds the behavior I've encountered in the last decade of fanfiction writing and reading to be annoying . . . I just happen to be quite outspoken on a lot of issues. So while I may sound harsh (it's the disadvantages of text-based forums and formats), it isn't my intention. Writing fanfiction may be for fun . . . but the reasons for reading don't ever change.

Next week's writing tip . . . Writing Songfic

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Halloween In the Four-Dimensional Realm

Given that the world of Star Ocean is nothing more than a fabrication, a multi-player game, the brilliant child of the brain trust at Sphere 211, it isn't too far of a stretch to think that Halloween exists in the four-dimensional realm. It isn't too hard to believe that the creators of the game implemented many holidays and traditions into the game they themselves celebrate. To do so gives the game a sense of familiarity for the players.

How do I see Halloween in the four-dimensional realm? Well, I don't see the likeliness of a real pumpkin being carved into a jack-o-lantern. Maybe there would be what we see in stores like Wal-Mart and KMart . . . ceramic, glass, plastic, plastic covered in glitter . . . If it's a "real" pumpkin, chances are it was fabricated from a replicator.

Ghosts would probably be no different than what we see . . . white sheets or ephemeral wisps depicted in paint . . . something fleeting.

Zombies, ghouls, and demons wouldn't change from what the players see in their gaming experiences. Witches would have gone from ugly old crone to cute and sexy little caster.

All of this would translate into what the worlds and cultures in the Eternal Sphere would see for their Halloween traditions.

Now, if you ask me who would celebrate Halloween out of the four-dimensional beings we encounter in Till the End of Time, I'll address that in the Halloween costumes sections.

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Halloween Costumes, Part Four, Segment One

By now, we're seven hundred plus years into the future of the Star Ocean series. Customs have been traded and upgraded, new holidays added into schedules, and more than one culture celebrates All Hallow's Eve. For this part of the Halloween Costumes segment, I'll be focusing on the following characters: Maria Traydor, Peppita Rosetti, Sophia Esteed, Lieber, and Marietta. I'm also going to toss in Belzeber and Flad, from the 4-D realm.

First up is Maria.

Of this particular group for today, I actually find her the hardest to determine the kinds of costumes she'd wear to go trick-or-treating. Her personality is far different when we first encounter her than what it was as a child. Was she the princess/ballerina type? Personally, I think her parents might have raised to be a little of both the girly type and the boyish type. Her mother is a scientist, her father a soldier . . . heck, she could have dressed up as a soldier-scientist hybrid as an homage to her parents. I do think princess and ballerina, too . . . maybe even a Featherfolk or Lesser Fellpool, too. This would, of course, continue until the destruction of her home and the deaths of her parents. I do feel that Cliff and Mirage would try their best to get Maria to go trick-or-treating once she's in their care, because it would offer up a sense of normalcy after everything she's endured. I'm just not sure Maria would go for it because of everything she's endure. Losing your parents at a young age and in a violent manner like that tends to force a child to mature emotionally in many ways than it would others who haven't lived through such trauma.

Peppita is a little easier for me to decipher. She wants to be famous, and she's learned to dance. Princess or ballerina or even dressing up as a famous dancer/singer/actress would be her style.

Sophia is also very easy for me, and I can see her insisting upon themed costumes with Fayt, much in the same way Reimi would with Edge and Crowe. Fayt would have an easier time drawing the line on what he wouldn't want to hear for costumes with Sophia. It would simply depend on what she'd want to dress up as for Halloween, and I can see her wanting to be a princess. Almost every single year. It is a fascination with her, princesses. (This is based on the kinds of responses Fayt can give her when she's joined the party and in places like Aquios and Airyglyph.) And the dress would be pink or maybe pale blue or lavender . . . but mostly pink. I'm pretty sure that's her favorite color. (She wears a lot of it.)

Lieber . . . Oh, Lieber . . . yes . . . I believe Klausians, after years of dealing with Earthlings, would celebrate Halloween. Lieber, before meeting Cliff and Mirage and falling in love with Maria, would want to be something . . . dynamic . . . heroic . . . noteworthy. He's very  much a romantic at heart. Knights, poets . . . elves . . . those would be what he'd want to dress up as for Halloween.

Marietta is another one I'm finding a little difficulty in determining. In truth, interactions with her (and Lieber) are on the limited side. Still, I think Marietta is tough, despite some of her cringing in a crisis (but then who doesn't?) . . . a pixie or a fairy from Klausian folklore would be cool. She has the features for something so delicate (at least in modern day Disney portrayals) . . . I could also see her (or even Sophia) wanting to dress up as Raggedy Ann, if that somehow is revived after World War III . . . and I think a fighter pilot. She becomes a member of Quark and is the communications officer on The Diplo. A fighter pilot isn't too far-fetched.

Flad is still a kid so I'm sure he'd head out trick-or-treating to his neighbors' homes. He'd be dressed as either his character persona from the Eternal Sphere or some other kind of character, i.e. elf, menodix, etc . . .

Finally, the second add-in for this, Belzeber.

Out of the enemies I've encountered in Till the End of Time, Belzeber has to be one of two of the power-hungriest characters (the other being Duke Vox). I don't lump Luther, Azazer, or Berial in that category for other reasons, which will be discussed at a later date. As the child of a powerful information technology magnate, Belzeber would be the child of entitlement, and his costumes for Halloween would reflect that - corporate businessman every year. He might switch it up every now and then, depending on who his friends are (which I do see him having Blair, Luther, Azazer, and Berial for a group of friends . . . for a while) . . . he might dress up as the hero to Luther's villain . . . but I don't see him deviating away too much from what he truly wants to be in his life - a powerful businessman controlling the 4-D realm.

And thus concludes today's segment of Halloween Costumes, Part 4. Tomorrow will see Cliff, Mirage, Robert Leingod, Ryoko Leingod, Blair, Azazer, Nel Zelpher, Roger S. Huxley, Adray Lasbard, and Clair Lasbard.

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Halloween Fanfic Entries

This was written as a surprise giftfic for missnox!

Title: Halloween Culture Shock
Characters: Albel Nox, Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor, Sophia Esteed
Pairing: Albel Nox x Fayt Leingod
World: Till the End of Time
Rating: PG13
Warnings: male/male relationship, language, violent urges (It has Albel in it!)
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean - Till the End of Time. The game and the characters from the game belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively. I don't profit financially from writing this.
Summary: Albel receives a culture shock when Fayt invites him to celebrate Halloween on Earth.

Read more... )

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This was written as a surprise giftfic for Rachel Snowden on deviantart.

Title: A Trick For a Treat
World: Till the End of Time
Characters: Albel Nox, Fayt Leingod, Sophia Esteed, Maria Traydor, Lieber, Luther Lansfeld
Pairing: Albel Nox x Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor x Lieber
Rating: PG13
Warnings: Language, male/male relationship, violent tendencies
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean - Till the End of Time. The game and the characters from the game belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively. I don't profit financially from writing this.
Summary:  Albel decides what he wants the most for the Hallowed Night’s festivities.
Author’s Note: The Hallowed Night is what I’m calling Elicoor II’s Halloween-type holiday.

 

Read more... )

 

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This was written as a surprise giftfic for Charryblossom over at deviantart.com

Title: Lonely Hallow’s Night
World: Till the End of Time
Characters: Albel Nox, Nel Zelpher, Clair Lasbard, Adray Lasbard, Tynave, Farleen, Fayt Leingod
Pairing: Albel Nox x Nel Zelpher
Warnings: mild language, implied sexual situations
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I don’t own Till the End of Time or the characters of Fayt Leingod, Tynave, Farleen, Nel Zelpher, Clair Lasbard, Adray Lasbard, or Albel Nox. They belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix. I don’t profit financially from writing this story. I do profit from surprising people with these stories. XD
Author’s Note: Canon pairing. Not much else to say about it except I could have used Charry’s character, Charry, but I never asked her for permission to do so . . . plus I know from her cosplay photos, she’s an Albel x Nel fan.
Summary:  Nel and Albel stare at the moon on the Hallowed Night.

 

Read more... )


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This was written as a surprise giftfic for Kojika on deviantart.

 

Title: Carving the Pumpkin (Part Two)
World: The Last Hope
Characters: Edge Maverick, Faize Sheifa Beleth
Pairing: Edge Maverick x Faize Sheifa Beleth
Warnings: Male/male relationship, implied sexual situations

Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters of Edge Maverick and Faize Sheifa Beleth or Star Ocean: The Last Hope. They belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively. I don’t profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: Faize and Edge share some time alone on The Calnus and discuss the ways to carve a pumpkin.
Author’s Notes: Yes, I know I have a story up called Carving the Pumpkin, featuring Luther Lansfeld and Fayt Leingod from Till the End of Time. The idea of carving a pumpkin with Faize was just as appealing to me, and I’m not above rehashing story titles where appropriate.


Read more... )

 

 

(more fanfic in another entry)

 

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Halloween Reminder

Final reminder for Halloween! If you have anything Star Ocean related, Halloween themed fan art, fanfiction, and photography and you'd like to share it on this blog, please email me at luthersfayt@gmail.com. No sexual content, story ratings should be kept at PG13.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character Reminder - Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti

Second to last reminder for Ask the Star Ocean Character. I'm doing a triple threat on Ask the Star Ocean Character. Taking questions for the following characters of Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti. Questions can be submitted between now and midnight, October 31, 2012. Limit three questions per character per person, and keep the questions clean of vulgarity and sex talk. I will not use any questions submitted if the person is swearing at the character. Yes, I do realize that this is a fictional universe. There is swearing and sexual situations implied, but I do not tag very many things as containing adult content for this journal. It means anyone of any age can read it. I hate to sound mean about this, but I want to keep this as clean and inoffensive for everyone as much as possible. I don't care if you dislike the character and the question reflects that, but I do care if you use foul language to demonstrate it. I want this to be fun for everyone, not a select few.

Thank you for your understanding. As always, you can submit questions via comment, PM, or email (luthersfayt@gmail.com). The only other requirement is that you let me know what kind of name you wish for me to use or if you wish to remain anonymous. Thanks again!

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Weekly Schedule

Here's this week's schedule.

Monday:
Fanfiction Writing Tip
Conversation Topic - Halloween Costumes, Part 4, Segment 1: Maria Traydor, Sophia Esteed, Peppita Rosetti, Lieber, Marietta
Final Ask the Star Ocean Character reminder
Halloween Fanfiction entries

Tuesday:
Conversation Topic - Halloween Costumes, Part 4, Segment 2: Cliff Fittir, Mirage Kaos, Robert Leingod, Ryoko Leingod
Halloween Fanfic Entries
Albel Nox's birthday

Wednesday:
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Fanfiction entries
Halloween photos

Thursday:
First day of NaNoWriMo!
Game Talk, Part Seven
Conversation Topic
Ask the Star Ocean Character Announcement
Birthday Reminder for Myuria Tionysus

Friday:
(Three separate entries)
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Bacchus D-79
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Peppita Rosetti
Character Facts - Deputy Director Shimada
Character Facts - Bacchus D-79
Character Facts - Peppita Rosetti
Character Study - Deputy Director Shimada
Character Study - Bacchus D-79
Character Study - Peppita Rosetti
Dream Houses - Deputy Director Shimda
Dream Houses - Bacchus D-79
Dream Houses - Peppita Rosetti

Sunday:
Not Available (I will be away from a computer the entire day)

Sunday:
Weekly Schedule
Ask the Star Ocean Character Reminder
Impromptu November Birthday List

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Birthday Reminders

Celebrating Albel Nox's birthday on October 30 and Myuria's on November 5. If you'd like to submit a story, fan art, fan poem, you can email your submissions to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com. Please include the following when submitting stories:

Story Title
World (for everything but birthdays)
Rating
Pairing, ONLY if applicable
Warnings, if any
A Disclaimer
A Claimer on OCs
Author's Notes, if any

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November Announcement

I will be participating in NaNoWriMo once again this year. For those of you who don't know what that stands for, it's National Novel Writing Month. Because I will be trying to focus most of my time on writing, I'll be paring down what I do for the weekly schedules. For this year's NaNo, I plan on returning to Destinies Intertwined by Fate, which I'd started for NaNo 2010. I'll try to post the newer sections for each chapter as I get them written. There will be no one-shots, except for the birthdays.

Until tomorrow!

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Halloween Reminder

Less than a week away from Halloween. Still seeking the following from fellow Star Ocean fans:

Photos - carved pumpkins, cosplay done for Halloween
Halloween art
Halloween fanfic

All Star Ocean games welcome. Submissions must be no higher than PG13 in rating. Implied sexual content is okay but nothing explicit. Chaptered fiction will be accepted on the basis that it's complete. Fiction submissions must include the following:

Title
World
Rating
Pairing (if applicable)
Warnings
Disclaimers on the established characters
Claimers on OCs
Summary
Author's Notes (if applicable)

Submissions should be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com

Thanks!

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Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti

Three more reminders for Ask the Star Ocean Character. Taking questions for the following three characters: Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti. Limit three questions per character per person (meaning three questions for Deputy Director Shimada, three for Bacchus, and three for Peppita). No profanity, no vulgarity, or I won't use the questions, and let me know if you wish to remain anonymous or if there's a user name you'd like for me to use. Questions can be submitted to me via PM, comments, or email.

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Game Talk, Part Six - Seventy Years Before Till the End of Time

I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that this particular segment isn't about anything official from Square Enix or tri-Ace. Last I heard, there are no other Star Ocean games currently in the designing or production phases. This is merely what I'd like to see in more games in the future - wishful thinking at its best. Please don't ask me when such games will be released. Chances are, we will probably never see such games . . . not unless we start a petition going on what we'd like to see in future Star Ocean games. This is just a "for your information". It will also be vague so readers can infer their own ideas into what I'm suggesting. Thanks.

This would be a more difficult game to pull off, in my opinion. If I'm recalling correctly for Till the End of Time, the last "major" event to hit the universe was when the Twelve Wise Men set out to destroy the universe. At least, that's the summary given at Star Ocean wikia and in the strategy guide and game manual for Till the End of Time.

However, I think it could be pulled off if done correctly. The Last Hope was the universal threat never told. The same idea could apply to events taking place seventy-years before Till the End of Time and it could demonstrate whether or not changes should be made to the UP3. The pact has been in place for over seven hundred years. I personally wonder if any changes at all have been made to it or if it's been left in its original form since its inception.

A game like this would definitely give people new planets to explore, which is something Star Ocean fans adore. I know I mentioned it before, returns to Aeos and Lemuris, and, if not utilized in another game concept, the returns could happen here. I'd also like to see a break away from some of the usual cast of fighters. A swordsman is definitely in order - what would Star Ocean be without a swordsman in the group? - but a variety of swordsmen, i.e. ranger or ninja, etc . . ., would be interesting. Summoners would be a nice addition to the symbologists category. (We have Lymle in The Last Hope, but she has only one creature at her disposal.) Thieves and bards would be nice to have in the cast of playable cast. A change in how skills are learned would be unique, I like the Crystarium in Final Fantasy XIII as a new way to attain new skills and cross skill sets. That's just something in my mind, though.

While I didn't mention it in some of my other Game Talks, I'd like to see longer game play and more in-depth look at the characters. I don't like to have completed nearly 100% of my game in under thirty hours. It isn't challenging for me. I realize I'm probably one of a few people who are like that, but, as much as I love Till the End of Time and The Last Hope, a lot of my play time is from me running around, filling side quests (The Last Hope), leveling up my characters, and spending time in the optional dungeons. I don't mind new enemies appearing in the optional dungeons after defeating the game, but I don't think the challenges presented in them should be limited to those areas.

Of course, in the optional, post-game dungeons, fighting Gabriel Celesta and the Ethereal Queen are musts for the games I've mentioned in this little series of mine. I can't imagine post-game dungeons without them. Seeing Lenneth would be fun, too . . .

And that's this week's game talk. I'll try to carry it up to a total of thirteen games, to put it on par with the Final Fantasy series. We'll see what I can come up with in the process.

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Halloween and Halloween-like Holidays on Underdeveloped Planets

Halloween has been around on Earth for many centuries. It hasn't always been referred to as Halloween. When the customs surrounding the holiday began, it was referred to as All Hallow's Eve or Samhain. To this day, it's believed that, at the end of October/beginning of November, the veil between the spirit world and world of the living is at its thinnest. The souls of the dead can cross over to visit loved ones.

It isn't too far of a stretch to believe that, on an underdeveloped planet such as Elicoor II and Roak, a holiday similar to Halloween would exist. Belief in the supernatural and paranormal, especially on planets where symbology is common and used for military and healing applications, would be more than abundant among the population and respected. Even as the use of technology increases and more about the natural world is learned, it would still be hard for someone to denounce the customs that surround the Halloween-like holiday.

What such holidays would be called, I'm not entirely sure. One, it depends on the language of the culture in question and the planet as to what the holiday's name would be. How and when the holiday is observed also plays a factor as well as the beliefs surrounding what the supernatural and paranormal creatures that visit would do with the living. It could be similar to Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, or Samhain, or it could be something completely different. For this, it comes down to what the fan wants to do.

As for customs for the holiday in question, I believe there would be customs similar to carving gourds and wearing costumes in order to "confuse" the spirits of the dead and demons. That's something I feel would be universal, that fear of being snatched away in the night by some dark, evil creature . . .

It would be interesting to see how these holidays would compare, collide, mix, match, and clash with traditions we have on Earth.

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Birthday Reminders

October 27 (assigned by me) - Stephen D. Kenny
October 30 (assigned by me) - Albel Nox
November 5 (official) - Myuria Tionysus

Accepting fan art, fanfiction, and poetry for these characters. Please submit everything to me by midnight the previous nights via email: luthersfayt@gmail.com

And that's all for this Thursday. Until tomorrow . . .
star_ocean_fan: (ocean view)
Halloween Costumes, ,Part Three - Claude C. Kenny and Bowman Jeane

Okay, I admit. I only know about Bowman because of Star Ocean wikia. Still, he's human, and he's part of the Star Ocean 2 cast. I'd like to include him.

First up is Bowman. From what I've learned of him on the Star Ocean wikia, he's generally a nice guy, and he's intelligent. He runs the pharmacy that Claude and company can use so that gives me a fair idea of what, as a child, he'd dress up as for Halloween. I personally believe that most children, if they, at an early enough of age, show an interest in certain fields, it is what they grow up to be as adults. I can see Bowman trick-or-treating as a doctor or many variations of a doctor, i.e. vampire doctor, zombie doctor, dead doctor, etc . . . He's relatively easy for me since I'm running with what I've learned from one website and not from playing the game (yet).

Second is Claude. As the son of a well respected, heroic captain, Claude would either want to emulate that for trick-or-treating . . . or he' d want to steer clear of such an image entirely. Vampires, zombies, ninjas, samurai, cowboys . . . those are the kinds of costumes I can see Claude wanting to be for Halloween.

By the time Claude and Bowman are born, I can see candy companies making a return. Theoretically, as was mentioned in The Last Hope segment, we might not see a return to the Nestle, Hershey's, M&Ms/Mars, Brach's, Reese's, Russel Stover, and whatever major candy companies exist in Asia and Europe. However, I believe we definitely would see the return of manufactured candies and chocolates for mass consumption. I believe the characters would even see candies that don't even exist right now. (Chocolate covered mixed berry cremes? Citrus delights? Mocha chocolate mints? Sounds delicious to me! Yes. I invented those right off the top of my head.)

Tomorrow, when it comes to Halloween, I'll be discussing the kinds of treat bags people could be using in the Star Ocean universe as well as the conditions our chibi heroes and heroines would encounter in their neighborhoods. For the next Halloween Costumes segment, I'll break it into smaller sections and focus more on the individual characters.

Thus concludes today's entry on Halloween costumes.

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Dream Houses, Part 4 - Meracle Chamlotte

Here is the final, solo installation of Dream Houses. The next three segments will coincide with the Ask the Star Ocean Character, Facts about the Character, and Character Study segments scheduled for Fridays.

Meracle is actually fairly easy for me to figure out when it comes to what she'd want in her own home. It wouldn't be an overly elaborate place to live, but it wouldn't be overly small, either. Meracle's home would be quite simple in design, perhaps in homage to her time living with Eleyna Farrence.

I also think Meracle would like for her home to either be a boat on the ocean with glass plating at the bottom of one section of the ship . . . or able to be under water. Meracle likes fish. I think she'd have fun just sitting there, watching the fish as they swam by her. If not on the water, then she'd definitely have several chicken coops in the yard. She likes chicken as much as she does fish. Her home would reflect her ability to fish/be a chicken farmer in that respect.

Meracle's home would also be rather standard . . . a few bedrooms, a kitchen, a place for her to groom herself like a shower or something with a sink, and a room for her to play around in with her guests and her family. The walls would have paintings of fish and chickens . . . and Lady Eleyna and Edge, whom Meracle just absolutely adores.

Yes. Meracle is quite the simple Fellpool when it comes to what kind of dream home she'd want . . .

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Fanfic: Destinies Intertwined by Fate
Chapter Three of Twenty, Part 1
Chapter Title: Bittersweet Reunions
Pairings: Luther Lansfeld x Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor x Lieber, Albel Nox x Mirage Kaos, Cliff Fittir x Nel Zelpher, one-sided Fayt Leingod x Maria Traydor
Summary: For Fayt Leingod and Luther Lansfeld, the end of the final battle is only the beginning. Worlds collide as the rebuilding begins.
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean 3 or the characters from the game. They belong to Square Enix and Tri-Ace. I do not profit from the writing of this story. All OCs presented within belong to me, and I will protect them zealously from any and all unauthorized use. Please ask me first before writing them into your stories. Thank you.

Warnings: Some chapters will contain adult content and adult themes. Other warnings include yaoi, or, for the anime-lacking in their lives, at least one male/male relationship, some language (Fayt is no saint), implied torture and hints of sexual assault, science fiction and fantasy elements, momentary scenes of intense and graphic violence, and potential character deaths, be they of the original character or main game character variety. Also, Albel and Luther can both be dickheads when the mood strikes them.
Author's Note: I'm going to treat this like I'm at fanfiction.net . . . there will be implied adult content as opposed to actual adult content. Not that there isn't any adult content in the story itself . . . I'm just covering my behind when it comes to potential minors finding this journal and reading something that perhaps their parents don't want them to read. :) That's all.

 

Read more... )

 


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Birthday Wishes - Robert Leingod

Happy birthday to Robert Leingod!

I know, I know. I assigned today to him for the celebration. It could very well be wrong but I'll take my chances. Here are some ficlets for everyone's reading pleasure.

Read more... )
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The Life of a Famous Symbological Geneticist

Read more... )

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Halloween Reminder

I'm still  seeking Halloween themed Star Ocean artwork, photography, and fanfiction to celebrate the holiday. Figures next to Halloween decorations, characters in costumes, and people dressed in cosplay with Halloween decorations in the mix are definitely welcome. Fanfiction should be kept to drabbles, short stories, and vignettes. Chaptered fiction will be accepted ONLY if the story is completed. Everything should be kept at the PG-13 level. No nudity at all, and sexual situations MUST BE IMPLIED. I will not accept anything with explicit material. All games are welcome!

All submissions can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com, and your help is greatly appreciated!!

Please, when submitting any Star Ocean fiction of any kind, include the following:
Story Title
World (for everything but birthdays)
Rating
Pairing, ONLY if applicable
Warnings, if any
A Disclaimer
A Claimer on OCs
Author's Notes, if any

Thanks!

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Halloween Costumes, Part Two - Ronyx J. Kenny and Illia Silvestri

Here's where I'll be having a bit of fun since I don't know the characters all that well.

It has returned, the Halloween costumes discussion. Yay! 

By the time the events of First Departure roll around, I'm going to guess that, where Halloween is concerned, either nothing has changed in how the day is celebrated or traditions have evolved based on the number of alien races encountered over three hundred years. Either way, I can imagine that the custom of dressing up for Halloween remains intact.

However, with the introduction of alien cultures and customs, the kinds of costumes available to Ronyx and Illia as children would be far greater in variety. Not only would there be the options of wearing alien costumes but the kinds of creatures from ancient folklore as well. I'm given to understand that both Ronyx and Illia are quite intelligent (my First Departure manual says Illia has a Ph.D) so experimenting with costumes seems like, to me, something they'd do. However, for this entry, I'll stick with traditional Earth costumes.

Ronyx, in my researching, seems like a very straight-forward, honorable, noble guy, and is an archer/long-distance fighter. Because of my researching into his character, I can see him dressing up as a samurai or medieval bowman. He might actually deviate away from something noble because it would be predictable. I'm thinking zombie captain for Ronyx or perhaps vampire - something that would let him be bad for the times he can't be bad: a shake-up to his routine, if you will.

As an adult, he might just pay homage to Roddick (Ratyx) by dressing up as a Fellpool or something themed with Illia.

Illia, on the other hand, is presenting more of a challenge for me in terms of costumes. She's an intelligent woman, was probably quite intelligent as a child. She'd want to dress up as something fun, in my mind's eye, like something out of a beloved book or perhaps something to reflect her intellect. Of course, I haven't had the chance to play First Departure so I just don't know how "girly" she is in terms of personality. Dressing up as a classical witch might be her style, too. One can never tell.

As an adult, I can see her dressing up as a sexy nerd or a seductress. Whatever happens to tickle her fancy at the time.

** This was written based off what I learned about the characters at Star Ocean wikia . . . probably not the best I can come up with, all things considered, but I wanted to write about First Departure for a change over The Last Hope and Till the End of Time (despite how much I love both games). Feel free to offer up thoughts on how you think Ronyx and Illia would dress for Halloween.

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Fanfic: Carving the Pumpkin
Status: One-shot
World: Till the End of Time
Pairing: Luther Lansfeld x Fayt Leingod
Rating: PG-ish.
Warnings: pointless story, some fluff, male/male situations. Nothing sexual, no language
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean - Till the End of Time nor the characters of Fayt Leingod and Luther Lansfeld. They belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix. I do not profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: Luther faces one of his greatest challenges yet - carving a pumpkin for Halloween.

 

Read more... )
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And that kind of does it for today. I hoped to have more, but it just didn't pan out so . . . Have a good Tuesday!
star_ocean_fan: (ocean view)
Halloween Reminder

Here it is, the 20th of October, and that means Halloween is just eleven days away!! Starting on the 24th (this upcoming Wednesday), I'll be counting down the days until Halloween, but I need help from my fellow Star Ocean fans! I'm seeking the following:

I'm seeking Halloween themed Star Ocean artwork, photography, and fanfiction to celebrate the holiday. Figures next to Halloween decorations, characters in costumes, and people dressed in cosplay with Halloween decorations in the mix are definitely welcome. Fanfiction should be kept to drabbles, short stories, and vignettes. Chaptered fiction will be accepted ONLY if the story is completed. I've failed to mention but everything should be kept at the PG-13 level. No nudity at all, and sexual situations MUST BE IMPLIED. I will not accept anything with explicit material. All games are welcome!

All submissions can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com, and your help is greatly appreciated!!

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Star Ocean Event

It's been since June for me mentioning this, but I'm interested in knowing how many people would be interested in attending a Star Ocean only themed event. To repeat what I originally wrote back in June: the idea came to me thanks to my friend Rose (yes, my dear, if you see this, I'm blaming you ;)), I'm going to look into holding a Star Ocean cosplay, arts, and crafts faire/Star Ocean convention. This year, it just isn't financially possible (though I'm looking at attending NMACon, YoumaCon, and Anime Apocalypse), plus I want to be living in the city where I'd like to hold the event. This kind of an event won't be just for the games Till the End of Time and The Last Hope, but for all Star Ocean games, including any that might appear in the next two years. HOWEVER, in order for me to make this event a reality, I will need to know exactly how many people are interested. If it's only going to be about ten people maximum or less, I'll just hold a Star Ocean gathering in my apartment or home, whichever I happen to land in first. Fifteen or more, I'll book a couple of hotel rooms. If it gets to be about twenty-five or more, I'll hold it as a faire/convention sometime in May or June . . . I'll be keeping an eye on certain conventions so it doesn't become a choice of which to attend because I'd love for the Star Ocean fans to come to my event and meet up with them at others. ;)

So . . . to my fellow Star Ocean fans, I ask this of you:

1 - Would you like to see an event dedicated solely to Star Ocean as I've described it?
2 - Would you attend it?
3 - Will you please help me not only spread the word but find out from other Star Ocean fans that you know and relay what they think back to me?

Here are the tentative plans.

1 - to be held in either May or June of 2014. This gives me to time to not only research a potential venue but to drum up interest in other Star Ocean fans. It will also give me a chance, in case it could turn into a convention-like event, to possibly drum up guests and to either commission someone to make contest prizes for me, buy them, make them, or a combination of all of the above. If enough people are interested and attend, I do have some ideas as to what everyone can do, but, to go back to what I've said before, it depends on the number of people in attendance. (I'll still be happy with a 5-15 people gathering, though. :))

2 - Location will definitely be in Philadelphia, one way or another. I'm choosing Philadelphia over someplace in the Great Lakes Region (I did think of the Fort Wayne Convention Center) mostly because it's where I want to live and I plan to move there as soon as is financially possible. Plus, for people flying, it is a great hub to stop at because it allows for a more direct flight than someplace in Michigan. (Speaking with a friend who lives in Washington has told me as much.)

3 - It's a tentative 3 day event. I honestly can't expect people to fly or drive to someplace like Philadelphia for a day when it would take them longer than that to get there and cost more than that to attend.

Naturally, this is still just in the tentative idea phase. I will need to do a lot of research first into this to determine which would be more feasible, based on the number of people interested and able to attend. If it gets to faire status for sure, I'll book a conference center and get group rates for hotel stays. Convention status (meaning one hundred people are more interested), I'll send out inquiries about guests. The overall idea is to unite Star Ocean fans in one place for one weekend and to show off our geeky, craftiness in the form of cosplay, art, and the making of things such as plushies, blankets, ducky bombs . . . (added just for you, Charry!) I think it would also be nice to do some silly things, like roam around Philadelphia in costume, have a Star Ocean cake, and just enjoy everything that we love so much about Star Ocean.

Please let me know your thoughts on this! I really do want to hold some kind of a Star Ocean gathering event and try to make it a yearly thing, but I need to know for sure how many people would be interested in attending. Availability, I know, is based upon when something like this can be held.

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Gaming Tip - Utilizing the Heroes of the Star Ocean Universe Wisely

Okay, I'm one of those people who, when I find a character I like in a game, I tend to play as that character. It doesn't matter if it's Star Ocean, Final Fantasy, or Dragon Quest, if I like the character, that's who I stick with as much as possible.

However, there does come a time or two when I need to switch characters. In The Last Hope, the creators did the absolute craziest thing ever: they gave each character the ability to earn battle trophies. And not just a handful of battle trophies per character. Every playable character in the game has one hundred battle trophies a player can earn. It's made the game more complex than the first three Star Ocean games. That means for people like me, who control Edge for most of the game play, if we want all of the battle trophies, we learn to play as the other characters.

There's just one problem with playing the game as the other characters. If you're not wise about spell-casting heroes, like Edge and Fayt, they use their magic or magic-based attacks almost exclusively, unless their tactics are set to "don't use magic". In the games where 0 MP means incapacitation, I've found it to be quite annoying to be constantly throwing MP-restoring items at characters for "wasteful" magical practices.

When you're not controlling the heroes of the game, do the same thing with your symbological-casting heroes that you would with your annoying healer characters who cast offensive spells instead of the healing symbols: shut all spells off. In my opinion, if you're controlling the best healer in the game (like Sarah or Sophia), there is no reason to keep the healing spells active for the heroes. If you're controlling the best offensive caster in the game, the same rule applies. Remember, when you're exploring, you're not always close to the nearest city or village. Your restorative items won't last forever when you can't get back to The Calnus or Peterny or wherever you happen to be in whichever game you're playing. Either put their tactics to don't use MP or shut off the symbols you don't want them using. Don't annoy yourself over what the heroes are doing when you're not controlling them.

That's all for today. Hope Saturday is treating everyone well!

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Today's going to be a short entry since the next Ask the Star Ocean character segments won't be ready until November 2.

Explaining the Concept of Halloween

I think it can be agreed upon that all cultures have myths, folklores, holidays and traditions that surround such events. Oral story-telling has kept alive many traditions from the ancient worlds of Rome, Greece, Egypt, Celt, and Norse worlds. As more people learned how to write, the traditions were kept alive in the form of books. As long as we have those written texts available to us in case we wonder how come such traditions exist.

In the Star Ocean universe, most of the books no longer exist. Because they no longer exist, the characters may not completely understand why some holidays and traditions are still celebrated. They'll know what they're told by their parents, who will know what they were told by their parents. How many will know the reasons for the celebration of Halloween, or Samhain, would remain to be seen. This is, so everyone knows, is speculation on my part because we don't get to see holiday celebrations in the games, and we're left to write and draw our own fan works. Also, I don't know how many people in real life know why we have the Halloween traditions that we do. If you don't know but want to, please send me a PM, and I'll be happy to talk to you about it.

Anyway, this brings me to Edge and Reimi trying to describe the holiday of Halloween to Faize and Lymle and everyone else in their crew. How does one explain why humans dress up on Halloween? How does one explain why people give out treats? I imagine the conversation would be awkward at first, depending on how many of the people are recruited. Faize, Myuria, and Bacchus, I can see asking the hard questions of "Why" and "When" and "how come". Lymle and Meracle would be more interested in wanting to get the treats. (Who can blame them, really?) As for Sarah . . . she is the tricky one. Out of the entire recruitable cast, I think she would actually be the one to know because it might sound like something similar to a holiday on Roak. Lymle might actually get why, too, and I say that because they're both from underdeveloped planets. The notion of spirits walking with the living wouldn't be too farfetched to them.

This, of course, goes without saying when it comes to encountering cultures that are different from our own. The ones I see having the most difficulty in explaining the traditions and concepts behind Halloween are, of course, The Last Hope cast. However, Ronyx J. Kenny and his son Claude would have troubles explaining it to alien races, depending on how advanced the civilization is compared to the likes of Roak and Expel. The only one who might not have any troubles at all would be Fayt, from Till the End of Time, and that's because I feel he could ask Blair the same questions Bacchus, Myuria, and Faize would ask Edge and Reimi.

Ah, the joys of Halloween! :)

That's all for today. I'll be back on Saturday with more! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend!

star_ocean_fan: (lutherxfayt)
Ask the Star Ocean Character update:

As of today, I've posted the first four segments to fanfiction.net. It's under my current fanfiction pen name of Dragonfly Moonlight. So don't freak out if you're there and you see it in the Star Ocean fanfiction section. It's done intentionally to try and get more Star Ocean fans to the blogs. Help promoting the blog is greatly appreciated!

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Halloween Reminder

I'm seeking Halloween themed Star Ocean artwork, photography, and fanfiction to celebrate the holiday. Figures next to Halloween decorations, characters in costumes, and people dressed in cosplay with Halloween decorations in the mix are definitely welcome. Fanfiction should be kept to drabbles, short stories, and vignettes. Chaptered fiction will be accepted ONLY if the story is completed. I've failed to mention but everything should be kept at the PG-13 level. No nudity and sexual situations MUST BE IMPLIED.

All submissions can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com

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The Environmental Clean-up of Earth

Since there are only four games for Star Ocean, the next Halloween costumes discussion will take place next week with the final two taking place the week of Halloween. To keep the Star Ocean conversations going, I'm going to jump to post-game The Last Hope.

Cut for game spoilers )
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Game Talk, Part 5 - Star Ocean War of the Worlds

This is a game that would be set some years after Blue Sphere. I got the idea for this when I wrote about Universal Economics.

I know that there's always some kind of universal threat in the Star Ocean games. That's always the driving force behind each game, and, I know for sure in Till the End of Time there's a conflict between the Pangalactic Federation and the Aldian Empire as well as the Federation and the Vendeen. But why not see a game where many world economies are suffering from a recession, and tensions have risen so high and fierce that war has already erupted.

Imagine it: the intrepid hero is a simple fighter pilot who has to make an emergency landing on some underdeveloped planet or face a fiery, explosive death. Knowing s/he is on an underdeveloped planet, s/he takes great lengths to hide the damaged ship while it emits an emergency beacon and is forced to learn how to wield a sword and survive in a harsh environment.

This would definitely be another opportunity for the Star Ocean creators to come up with new alien races, because we don't get a lot in Till the End of Time (Cliff, MIrage, Albel, Nel, Adray, and Peppita are very decidedly human-looking in appearances) while there are a slightly larger variety of alien species in The Last Hope, First Departure, and Second Story/Second Evolution. Yes, we see the blue Dolphins, some Featherfolk, a two-tailed fox girl, the Menodix and some fairies as well as the Vendeeni, but no one who really becomes a member of the party or remains a long-term threat. (I don't count the 4-D beings as aliens. They, too, are very human in appearance.)

This would also be a great opportunity to increase the symbology arsenal and enemy lists. There were some neat ones that appeared in The Last Hope that we never saw in the other games. Having the same arsenal against the same enemies becomes quite boring after a while.

I'd like to see a five-party fighting system with a ten-slot party. Mix it up with symbologists, martial artists, archers, and swordsmen. Give us a variety of character to play.

And that concludes it for today. Hope everyone's having a good Thursday.
star_ocean_fan: (Immoral Feather)
I apologize for that. I've had a lot on my mind lately, most of it centering on writing original material, some health issues, and searching for work. I don't like being limited to talking about two games for Star Ocean when there are four major games and one side game (Blue Sphere for the Gameboy). Oddly enough, for me to be able to talk about the first two games (and possibly Blue Sphere), to start on the cosplay, ball-joined doll, and crafts I want to do, collect the merchandise and doujinshi . . .  all of this requires money, of which I have very little right now.

So some updates on me:

1 - I'm obviously still broke so that takes YoumaCon out of the picture for me this year and possibly Anime Apocalypse in December. Anime Apocalypse is going to be on a "maybe" list - it depends on what happens between now and the first of December in terms of a cash flow. I really do want to get back into the convention circuits so I can meet new people and catch up with friends. However, the lack of cash coming in is hindering that, and there are some other things taking priority over heading out to conventions. That could be changing soon. I received a phone call for a job interview today so I'm crossing my fingers!

2 - Health status: I'm still alive, still relatively healthy. I just now have to watch my caffeine intake and take a water pill due to my blood pressure running on the high side. I really should start taking my healthy living cues from Fayt. He's such a healthy, albeit fictional character. I think we could learn a thing or two from some of our favorite characters . . .

3 - There has been some tragedy in my family. I'm not going into details about it. Just know it was a sad time for one of my family members, and it's the kind of thing I don't ever wish on anyone.

4 - Writing progress is questionable. It depends on the story. That could change, depending on how the job interview for tomorrow goes. Yes. I am crossing my fingers that this pans out for me. The heavens above know I could use something to keep myself going. (Not working sucks. I realize I'm looking at a minimum wage job, but I don't care. Work is work.)

Beyond that, not much is new. I have no other reasons for not updating this journal regularly.

So onward with the entry! 

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Writing Conversation - What Would Everyone Dress Up as For Halloween? Part One

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday of Halloween, I'll be writing a four-part series on what I think the humans of the Star Ocean universe would dress up as to go trick-or-treating. Some of it will be guesswork, since I still haven't played First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution, but I will pose the question to Kojika, who has played the games. If you have thoughts, please feel free to leave me a comment on what you think and why.

First of all, I'd like to say that, on the subject of Halloween, it is a holiday I think would survive in a post-apocalyptic world. It's something that, by this point in time, people will have celebrated for at least a century and more than a few decades. It would bring about a sense of normalcy after such a great deal of catastrophic destruction. Whether people would remember why the holiday is celebrated is another subject entirely.

To start, I'll be writing in the series' timeline chronological order, not in publishing chronological order. (This gives me something to actually start with since I'm familiar with the characters of The Last Hope.)

Halloween would be, in the future, like it is now - a fun time of the year that signifies change and is one of the few times where it's socially acceptable to dress up as something else. (Conventions are excluded because not all people believe it's okay to dress up for such a thing. I know a couple of people who are like that. Only the dedicated dress up year-round.) It would also be the one time of the year where people could forget about their troubles.

Since they grew up together, it isn't hard to imagine Crowe, Edge, and Reimi along with her brother trick-or-treating as a group. What would be interesting to see is if they would be coordinated in their costumes. Would Reimi insist upon a theme or would they be random? I can't see Crowe and Edge (mostly Edge) always agreeing to be what Reimi wants them to be for Halloween.

And just what do I think Reimi would want to dress up as for Halloween? A couple of costumes come to mind. If any of the Disney movies are still available, I can see Reimi wanting to be one of the many princesses, from Snow White to Ariel, from Aurora to Belle, and everyone else who she would see as beautiful, strong, independent, and pure. (Remember fellow fans, she thinks she's a monster because she knows what she is.) If not a Disney princess, then a fairy tale princess of some kind. Anything that would make her feel beautiful about herself, albeit if only temporarily.

Heading down the non-princess route, there are also the bride, bridesmaid, flower girl, housewife, chef, and maybe a delicate fairy or a ballerina. Reimi is quite the girl - feminine, pink, frilly, cute - and, as I said before, it would come down to her wanting to feel beautiful about herself. Costumes at Halloween would reflect that.

Between Edge and Crowe, I feel like Crowe would be the one more likely to accommodate Reimi in her requests for themed trick-or-treating. In my mind, it would depend on how soon he knows about being a Seed of Hope and if he knows. That's the one thing, for me, that remains up in the air, only because Crowe remained as an NPC throughout the whole game. I'm leaning towards "yes" because he's got such an excellent poker face, but it'll be unclear  and up to the player in that regard. However, I think he'd only accommodate Reimi so far based upon what he knows. Crowe is very much a leader-type character, and it would most definitely reflect in his Halloween costumes. With dreams of heading into space, that, too, would play a factor in the kinds of costumes Crowe (and Edge). Crowe definitely sees himself as some kind of a hero, but he's also quite modest about it.

Both Edge and Crowe would be Reimi's knights in the times they accommodate her for themed Halloween costumes. I can also imagine both of them dressing up as ninjas, samurai, archeologists, adventurers, pirates (what little boy doesn't want to be a pirate for Halloween? What little girl, for that matter, too?), and any kind of modern military soldier (including rank). There might be some of the cutesy stuff in there because of their parents - pumpkins, ghosts . . . typical Halloween fare - but, of the two, I think the only one who would want to dress up as something "evil", for the fun of it, would be Crowe. He's got vampire written all over him!

So what would our intrepid heroes and heroine receive as Halloween treats? Companies like Hershey's, Nestle', M&M/Mars, and Brach's are no longer in business. What would people hand out for the youngsters out and about on Halloween night? Well, if the building in Antarctica survives (it contains the seeds for all fruits and vegetables as well as herbs, grasses, and the like), I can see people giving out fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and plums. There would also be homemade caramel corn, popcorn, popcorn balls in a variety of flavors, cookies, cupcakes, and homemade candies.

As for the non-human characters, if they were to visit Earth, they wouldn't need to dress up for Halloween because everyone would think they were already in costume. The discussion for how Edge and Reimi would explain the concept of Halloween will be another entry.

Kinds of costumes and treats are definitely open to discussion. Feel free to leave me a comment on what you think.

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Writing Fanfiction Tip #7 - Write in a Logical Order And Use Logic

I recently wrote a review on a story where certain events didn't follow in a logical order. In the story, a new parent, a recently divorced dad, has moved, with his two-year-old son, to a new town. While the dad is trying to cook Ragu and pasta, the son goes outside to play, and he finds a kitten. Like a two-year-old, the boy takes the kitten back into the house, and the dad wonders where his son found the critter. This, naturally, leads to the dad asking the boy where the kitten was found and to the discovery of a dead mother cat with the rest of the litter still alive. Concerned over the kittens, the dad takes them to a local vet to find out what he needs to do in order to keep them alive. Cue the dad heading home, finishing dinner, giving his son a bath, putting the child to bed, and then heading to the pet store with the two-year-old left home alone.

This isn't a logical procession in events. Everything is okay until the dad returns home, finishes preparing dinner, and gives his child a bath so he can go to bed. It's after the child is in bed that he realizes he needs supplies for the cats in his care. Of course, my biggest problem with the procession of events is the fact a two-year-old is left unattended for at least twenty minutes as the parent rushes to the pet store with one of the kittens in tow. For someone who is a parent or who has helped to take care of young children, this is a major no-no and likely to offend and anger the person reading. It's also going to have the reader scratching his/her head, saying, "This doesn't make sense. No parent would leave a two-year-old, even sleeping, home alone. Too much can go wrong in a short amount of time". It doesn't matter if a person can be scatter-brained at times. People in real life have those moments, but I can speak with authority that a "new" parent or a single parent isn't going to leave any child under the age of 12 home alone.

And that's something a writer, any writer, must always be aware of whenever starting a story. What kind of a logical order will events take place? In the story I reviewed, for me, the logical order of events, after the trip to the vet, the dad should have gone to the pet store to get the necessary supplies, with his son in tow, after the trip to the vet or at least take his sleeping son with him when he left to get the supplies. What this tells me, as a reader and as someone who's lived with a two-year-old, that the writer of the story doesn't know what she's talking about when it comes to children and the various things that can go wrong if a parent takes his eyes off his son for a scant minute. (Note: a two-year-old can drown in a bucket of water only a quarter filled in under two minutes.)

Now, it might seem mundane and more than a little nitpicky on a logical procession of events, especially over something as simple as heading to the store. Sometimes authors will try to do something that will create a conflict or add to a conflict, but it comes at the wrong point in the story or it isn't exactly true to how a person in a similar, real life situation might behave.

Here are two examples.

Character A is an experienced bank robber and is planning his next heist. Like anyone who's attempting or has attempted the same thing, he doesn't want to get caught, and he takes the necessary precautions he's always taken before. The character in question isn't going to walk into the bank, guns ablazing and then remember to put the mask on his face to conceal his identity in the middle of the crime. Yes, doing such a thing would create a problem for him, but it would be more interesting if he happened to walk into the bank for some other reason than robbery and be caught in the middle of another robbery.

Character B is a firefighter and needs to check her equipment to be sure it's functioning properly. She isn't going to gear up, run into a place that's on fire, and then stop to ask herself if she's got enough oxygen in her tank onceshe's entered a burning building.

If you've never been in a particular situation before but want to write about it, start asking questions. If you're writing about a man who's married, a parent, but is going through a divorce, ask someone who's gone through a divorce what it was like. If you're curious about police procedures, ask your local cops or utilize a search engine. Fanfiction is something that's free for anyone who has internet access to read. If you're not getting it right, you're going to lose a reader and end up with the kind of review that I left for the author of the story with the dad and the son and the new acquisition of kittens - not a very nice one.

It's just something to think about when you start writing.

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Halloween

I'm looking for Halloween photos, artwork, fanfiction, and fan poetry for display. Photos can be of Star Ocean carved pumpkins, figures with Halloween decorations, and the like. Cosplay is definitely welcome. The only requirements are the works must be themed for Halloween and must be related to Star Ocean (obviously). Fanfiction should be limited to one-shots and vignettes, but I will accept multi-chaptered stories so long as they're complete. They can be submitted to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com and I'll accept submissions until October 30th.

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Doujinshi Call Out

Looking for doujinshi titles. Pairings doesn't matter. Rating doesn't matter. I'm trying to compile a list of all Star Ocean doujinshi. Any and all help is appreciated. You can PM me, leave me a comment, or email me what you've got.

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Convention Talk - Creating Your Cosplay

Finally! The long-awaited topic of how to create your cosplay is finally here! I know. It took me long enough, didn't it?

First of all and foremost, to start with, the most obvious thing to do if you're going to create your own cosplay is pick your character. The type of character you choose, from what I've been able to discern from others, will determine the the type and costs of materials you'll need in order to create the costume. Are you choosing Sophia? Albel? Nel? Reimi? Claude? Crowe? Arumat? Bacchus?

Once you've answered that question (and, chances are, you already know this in advance), then you can answer the question of what kinds of materials do I need to buy or will I need to buy? Will I need to find a sewing pattern? Naturally, if you're going to be sewing, you'll need fabric and thread to match the color. Other materials include vinyl (or leather, though it was recommended to me to avoid leather), plastic canvas, craft foam, paint, paint brushes, sewing needles, yarn, knitting needles or a knitting loom, embroidery thread, and maybe an empty two-liter bottle. This last item is completely dependent upon which character you intend to cosplay, and everything listed is just for the outfits of the characters. If you plan on creating the weapons to go with your cosplay, you'll definitely need additional materials, i.e. wood, sand paper, maybe cardboard, and additional paint, perhaps even craft foam and plastic canvas. (Wood and cardboard are tricky to work with because, once you screw up, you have to buy more and start from scratch.)

Please remember to take caution when you're buying the materials to craft your cosplay. The overall idea is to make something that you can wear more than once and maybe outside of conventions, too. When it comes to materials, you get what you pay for in terms of quality, and I'm not talking about the vinyl or the plastic canvas. I'm talking about the fabric and thread used to create the base of the outfit. Keep an eye out for sales at your local fabrics store. Yes, for many Americans, it's cheaper to go to Wal-Mart than to some place that actually sells a larger (and decidedly more expensive) selection of fabric, but your local fabric stores do have sales. They do also offer up coupons and additional percentages off. Be smart about buying your materials. Go for quality but get it as cheaply as you can, when you can. If you plan on creating more than just one cosplay, it isn't a bad idea to stock up on materials

Now there are some things you may not or just won't be able to make. For example, let's say you're creating Albel Nox (once again). You've bought the wig and the right kind of foot wear, have the materials to sew his outfit, it's done, but you don't have the materials for his gauntlet (nor the time, the money, or maybe even the know-how to fashion them before the convention). How do you come up with that one crucial element that separates Albel from the rest of the Star Ocean gang?

You can start by checking your local boutiques for arm-length gloves either white or violet. If you can find a white pair that covers as much of your arm as needed, you can find the right color dye so that it looks appropriate. And don't forget that, for Albel and Sophia, thigh-length stockings are in order, too. Kojika, for her Claude cosplay, found moon shoes to fit her for an appropriate look.

All of this, of course, is only necessary if you plan making your own cosplay for your next convention and is what I've learned in talking with the experienced cosplayers I know (whom I'm also very proud to call my friends). If you're buying the materials so someone else can create the costume for you, talk to that person and find out what they need and how much of it so they can do just that for you. If you plan on heading to one of the many cosplay costume sights on the web, then the best advice I can give to you is to do your research on customer satisfaction. How well did the company craft the cosplay for others? Would the customers recommend the site again? Remember, it's your money that you're spending, and I guarantee that you'll have a ball at your next convention.

Next convention talk . . . to be determined.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character Call Out, Triple the Fun: Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti

Taking questions for the following characters: Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti. Questions can be submitted via PM, comment or email. The only rules are a limit of three questions per character, keep it clean and "polite", and the questions must be submitted by PM, comment, or email. I'll be taking questions until midnight of October 31, 2012.

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