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Fic Pic of the Week (2/6/09)

 
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baneofdeath
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:15 am    Post subject: Fic Pic of the Week (2/6/09) Reply with quote

I may or may not have messed up the date in the topic name. Anywho...

Hello everyone, four submissions this week. With only two of these submissions being any good at all, my job is pretty much done for me. I’ll offer some advice to the authors of the not-so-stellar stories (say that five times fast).

I like to rank every story to give authors an idea of where they stand.

In 4th place we have, The Arbiter-Alone Forever, by John Smicht

Well, to be honest, this story seemed like you were just try to be funny. Half way through the story I became even more confused. You tried to throw in some drama, and action. I’m not sure if you took this seriously, but if there weren’t only a few submissions this week then I would not have even taken the time to comment on this. I’m sorry for being harsh, but if you are going to seriously try your hand at writing then you need to take a serious look at your work.
In the effort of at least trying to be helpful, here you go. First of all, this story contains more GPS errors then I could have ever guessed there would be. This problem is fixed by a simple Spell-check, but you have to pay attention while you write. Some of the mistakes that were made stick out like a sore thumb. “Chief” is not spelled “Cheif” that error drove me mad. This story was far too short to go into any meaningful plot development; you need to slow your writing down a ton if you ever intend to have your characters taken seriously. The transitions between scenes with the Master Chief, Johnson, and the Arbiter have to be clearer, make a large paragraph break, include a timestamp, or something. Look at other stories on this site, look up the authors Azrael, Jillybean, and others, their stories go at a nice and easy pace, you really start to care about the characters.

In 3rd place we have Halo Clone Wars, by Enthrone Darkness

This piece was nearly tied for last with the last one. Darkness, I felt that you took this piece of work a bit more seriously then the last guy. But, you really have to slow your writing down.
You jumped into combat without giving a report on the situation, a character history, or anything that would let the reader know what is going on. Your character speeches seemed fake, like they were really third graders in funny halo costumes.

One example…

Quote:
"SHIPMASTER! One of the unknown ships has a massive energy buildup, take a look," interjected the Shangelii tactical officer.


First of all you misspelled Sangheili, second off this speech is awkward when read aloud. By the way, reading aloud is the best thing you can do to help catch mistakes like these, I recommend doing this a lot. The purpose of an exclamation, and capitol letters, is to attract the readers attention. But, with all caps, it seems like cheating. Never let font do the work for you, let your word choice establish the tone. You want to have the Exclamation points attract attention, and spark the reader’s interest; the awkwardness of this sentence makes it really hard for anyone to be impacted by this. Luckily, these mistakes are very easy to fix once caught. Slowing down the pace of this sentence by adding details on the speaker’s feelings is a great way to get the reader to feel the words.

“Shipmaster,” came the cry of a crimson armored Elite, his voice riddled with anticipation. “We have a new contact; it seems to be of an unknown classification.” His eyes trailed back to his monitor. His eyes widened, his previously stoic look replaced with one of pure shock. “It is building up a massive energy charge, far larger then anything we have seen from a human ship.”

This may have flaws itself, but you get the idea. You have to take the time to set the scene for the reader. What are the characters thinking? What can be done to show that through physical motions, or through speech?

In general, you need to back up your dialogue with insight into the characters thoughts. Also, descriptions of things such as, when the giant energy wave erupts from the Human ship should be elaborated on.

This story went by too quick and was way too short, you’ll need to work on your writing and slow the pace of your stories way down.

Now for 2nd place, Castle, By UNSC Trooper

I must admit that I was getting settled in for another combat Fic, with a clear objective, and the routine problems that go along with such missions. You obviously had something else up your sleeve.

Trust me, the race between Castle, and We lucky few was a close one. Both of these stories were very well done. Feeling, emotion, and well written combat scenes were weaved in with a very good plot which deviated from the norm. In the end, I liked we lucky few simply because I could not stop laughing.

Trooper, there are only two concerns I have. I’m pretty sure that Jai is the name of a Spartan in The Cole Protocol, so how does he die in this Fic and live in the book? Correct me if I am wrong. Also, the idea of marines firing on Spartans, with live ammo that could potentially kill them, did not sit right with me. I am aware that the UNSC is not above testing their subjects with live fire, such as in The Fall of Reach. But, the rotary cannon felt like a step over the line, it seems odd that the UNSC would risk the lives of four future Spartans when they were highlighted as “Humanities only hope.”

Other then that, all I can say is that the ending was very well done; I stared at my screen stunned for a few minutes. I hope that there is some kind of sequel.

Finally, the winner is, We Lucky Few, By Kabu

Man, you have a gift; I don’t know how you do it. But, when I read your stories, I just want to read them over and over for the comedic effect.

I haven’t seen how your style transitions into combat scenes so I was a bit concerned as to how it would go down. But, under the stress of combat your characters still manage to act like jackasses. The whole accidental hero thing was just very well done.

I will say that of all the funny lines, this one happen to stick out.

Quote:
“Several thoughts ran through my head, stopping to wave hello as they jogged by.”


To anyone who reads this review, “We Unlucky Few” is a must read.
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kabu
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! Though I don't think of Isaac as a jerkass so much as a wiseass... he always tries to help, even when it makes him pass out. Remember, fire is serious business.

I really enjoyed Castle as well, especially the ending, but I think the training seemed a little harsh. I know how hard it is to write good action, and it was marvelous.
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baneofdeath
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both of you guys wrote amazing Fics, its was very hard for me to choose the best one.
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