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Heartfelt · She-Ra Minific ·
Organised by QuillScratch
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#1 ·
Hey everyone! This minific round I've extended the writing time slightly, because 4th July is a date I recognise, and I'm not even American 😛 Hopefully that'll give people a bit more time on what would otherwise be a potentially busy weekend.

As always: good luck, stay anonymous, and have fun x
#2 ·
· · >>Pascoite
A shame there was only one entry.

I really wanted to participate, but...well, life got in the way
#3 ·
· · >>devas
It's the third straight She-Ra event with only one entry, and they're all by QuillScratch. I have to think time's running out on opportunities to participate in this.
#4 · 1
· on Eternally Insincere
I'll deal with the mundane things first. Maybe you wrote this in a bit of a hurry just so there would be an entry, and if so, of course you're not going to be that careful, but I'll point out a couple persistent problems in case they are something that you don't notice about your own writing.

I pretty often see authors overuse direct address. They want to make it sound like the characters are really engaging with each other or something, and it just comes across as unnatural, because people don't speak that way in real life. Furthermore, authors often do it in situations where it doesn't even make sense to, like here. There are three things that direct address can be used for. One, to get someone's attention; two, to disambiguate who someone is talking to; and three, to add emphasis. The second one is never necessary when only two people are present, and the first one rarely is either. That leaves the third, and overusing emphasis defeats its purpose. There is a hidden fourth reason, and it's that direct address can be another tool to indicating which character speaks which line of dialogue.

About those tools: one of the most-often used ones is obviously speech tags, so look at how you use yours here. You have five speech tags, and every one of them is "said." That might not be so noticeable, except that those five speech tags are in five consecutive paragraphs, so they're all crammed together where the repetition is most apparent. "Said" is a fine verb to use, as it blends in and lets the speech get the spotlight, but a little variety helps a lot. The other thing is that you structure those paragraphs very similarly. Two of them start with "'Speech,' she said," while the other three precede that same phrasing with a short narrative sentence, so in five paragraphs, you use only two structures that are very similar. Mix that up a little more as well.

Did you write part of this directly on the write-off site? The last few paragraphs have the curly quotation marks, but the rest has the straight ones, so it looks like it was edited in two different places.

So, to the story. It did seem odd to me that the show never really dealt with Shadow Weaver's end. She just kind of goes off camera to fight and is presumed dead. Removing her mask, I guess, was just meant to symbolize she didn't feel the need to keep up a facade in front of Catra anymore, but it left me wondering if there was supposed to be more. A reveal that the shape of her ears had a resemblance to Catra? Except Catra had seen her face once before, and everyone in Mysticor would have known what she looked like long ago. Curious that she looked that different from the rest of them.

Anyway. Here, we get some closure as to what Shadow Weaver's sacrifice meant, which is pretty bluntly defined for her as nothing. I feel like a little denouement might have helped this. It stops right at the shock value, but it can be a tricky thing to decide whether that's the most important part of the story. When it's obvious how things will play out after that, it can be a good effect to end right on the climax, but here, I think this is one of those situations where the aftermath is where the real story begins. How Shadow Weaver deals with this will be the real defining mark of what the story's meaning is. Not that we have to see that to its conclusion, but at least indicating what direction she starts off in might help. The rules are a bit different for flash fiction, though, where a striking moment can be enough to carry a story, and you definitely have that.

I do think there's a lot of implied world-building here that raises more questions than it answers. I took the implication of Angella's fate as being eternally trapped somewhere, and Shadow Weaver's death isn't something that would transport her to that same place. Unless it is possible for Angella to have somehow died, but then why do this to Shadow Weaver? Seems kind of a low blow to twist that knife just to get in one last zinger against her, especially when it's too late for it to change anything for either one of them. Or that Angella would even have the ability to do this—that's what led me to think Angella was just a construction of Shadow Weaver's own mind, but that's a pretty jarring observation for her to make about herself in that case. Almost like it would take a split personality to have such a bleak division between what she wants to be true and what she knows is. It also makes me wonder what her purpose was in finally telling Catra she was proud of her. To inspire a little more hero worship at the end? Maybe, but her act of sacrifice would have done the job anyway. That might have been an interesting point to address, unless it did just end up being dismissed as another grab for attention.

I also think Angella is being uncharacteristically unkind here. Whether or not Shadow Weaver had the most honorable intentions, she did make a difference. She handled that monster better than Catra was doing, and freeing Catra up to go help Adora was a rather crucial piece to everything working out, so credit where credit is due.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm being overly critical here. With only one entry, I can afford the time to go way more in depth than I normally would, but overall, I did like this. The writing quality was up there, and it was nice to see a follow-up to Shadow Weaver's fate that the show never gave us.
#5 ·
Do you have an idea on when/if the next one is going to be?
#6 ·
It's one of the mainstream events, so just click the schedule link at the top, and it'll show you when the She-Ra events are coming.