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Fan Fick Pick of the Week - 7/17/09

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The 14th Wonder

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 35
Location: wat

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:38 am    Post subject: Fan Fick Pick of the Week - 7/17/09 Reply with quote

While our load of submissions this week is admittedly rather meh, it's still always great to see new faces coming in. So to CorruptedHalo, Rtas Vadumee, and ween14, welcome! (And welcome back, Aaron.) Glad to you see you jump into the strange and wonderful world that is HBOFF. On to the reviews.

The Know-Your-Fundamentals-before-You-Play-the-Game Section

Though it pains me to say it, all of our new guys fall into this category. I'm not playing off of some "good ol' boys" network in this week's pick (I promise); it's just that each of you have some fundamental issues with your stories. Don't be off-put by my review here, I'm trying to help Smile. (And fellow regulars, please consider this my challenge to comment. Let's see if we can't, as Major Payne would so gracefully and delicately put it, graduate these turds to maggots Wink.

First up, Through the Ship Masters eyes (Prologue) by Aaron

Through The Wonder's eyes: The best place to start here is the most glaringly obvious thing that needs fixing: grammar. Your story is riddled with grammatical (as well as spelling) errors, and the only way to really fix that is finding a good proofreader. Get a friend or relative that you know for a fact is strong in this area and get him or her to proofread with you. It will dramatically up the quality of your stories, and it will help you learn what to watch out for on your own.

I know that you're trying to create this character as a hard-ass, but the bit about beheading the escorts was totally unrealistic. Punishing an off-handed comment with death is more than tough; it's barbaric.

Final thoughts: Seeing the battle on earth from the perspective of an unknown Ship Master could be an interesting read, but whether or not it is is up to you. Start by getting your technical issues under control and then let's see if you can't begin to make a good story out of this.

Next is Battle for Tamria, Africa -Preview of Series by CorruptedHalo

The opposite of wet: While there wasn't anything flagrantly wrong in here, I felt a bit like I was listening to the five o'clock news or something. I would've liked to have seen more sentences like the second one. Colorfulness such as that was too lacking. Your dialogue was perhaps the biggest contributing factor to the overall dryness; try giving each character more personality.

One thing that would've helped is use of the code. Putting an [indent] tag at the start of each paragraph makes a story much more readable. Do that next time you submit.

There were a few GPS (grammar/punctuation/spelling) slips as well so try to keep an eye out for those.

Lastly, the bit with the plasma grenade and the banshee is bordering on something we like to call around here "super marine syndrome." While ODSTs are certainly well-trained and capable of cool stuff, things like that are a bit unrealistic. And remember, we'll always be more interested in what motivates Caleb and what goes on in his head than what he can do with a weapon.

Final thoughts: Obviously, you could go anywhere from here. Take the advice I've given, and especially try to put more work into developing characters, because that's the heart of any good story. See if you can do better with your next attempt, and I'll give it a read Wink.

This is what we get for trust Part 1 by Rtas Vadumee

I do the review and this is what I get: At first I was thinking, "Alright, somewhat interesting idea but execution is very sloppy. GPS errors, kind of humanlike Covenant. Meh." But then when you began to add more story elements, it started going from meh to ridiculous.

The "air turn" was unrealistic. The dialogue with Stacker was completely unrealistic and his inclusion in the story seemed a bit random and awkward. The poem at the end was far less than mediocre and didn't work.

I think my biggest piece of advice is simply to do your homework in regards to the game universe. If you haven't read the novels yet, do so, and if you have, look through them again. Get a better sense of what Halo fiction is supposed to look like, then give this another go.

Final thoughts: I'm not trying to sound like I'm tearing into you, but this was just badly done.

Next, Take a Breath by ween14

…and sigh: This story fell in with the great number of other stories we get here that are 95% uninteresting lists of action. I think I can pretty sum up what you need to work on in three words: show, don't tell. It's a piece of advice we give a lot here, and what it means is create a vivid picture of all the events that are taking place and the setting they're taking place in. Show us. This principle is even more important when you have no dialogue and only one character to explore. You have to put more emphasis on the scene you're creating. If you can work on that, you'll be taking your first big step forward.

You had a pretty good number of GPS errors (changing tenses stood out to me) and you didn't need to use the Covenant names of the species; from human perspective, Elite, Jackal, Grunt et cetera is fine.

The story would've seen a big improvement if you had gotten inside Eli's head and made him into an interesting character. As I said to Corrupted, characters are the key to any good story. Keep that in mind.

Final thoughts: You seem open to good criticism, which is a very good thing. Remember what I've said and try something new.

And now, for this week's Honorable Mention:

Halo Clone Wars: Epilogue by Enthrone Darkness Triumphant

Ended, the crossover has: Unfortunately, EDT, I haven't read a single chapter of your series so I'm sure I somewhat under appreciated this epilogue. Still, wasn't bad and deserves the honorable mention.

My only little issues were some GPS problems you could've picked up with a more careful proofread, and that "How in the force…" line. Perhaps that kind of thing is justified in an earlier chapter but that just seemed way out of character for a Jedi.

Your ending was definitely intriguing and I'm sure I would've appreciated it more had I read the series.

Something wasn't quite there but I definitely enjoyed the read.

Final thoughts: Good on ya for seeing a series all the way through; that's not something everyone manages.

So, finally, this week's Diamond-in-the-rough-though-still-would-have-done-well-on-its-own-merits Fan Fic Pick of the Week goes to:

Attack on Installation 06, part 24 by Jake Trommer

Murders and knockouts and coups, oh my: I think other than a couple early chapters, I haven't read any of your series and I regret that now.

This chapter was excellent. You character interplay is superb; from Parangonsky-Hood to Stacker-Dubbo your dialogue is natural and easy to read but very engaging.

The tension in that first scene was great. Since I'm not up to date with the story, I wasn't sure how expected that death in the beginning was supposed to be, but I found it shocking (I'm pretty sure an audible little "Dayum!" slipped out Razz).

Another great thing about your writing is that you are one of the select few that can properly execute the Chief. I enjoyed all of his scenes as well.

A few GPS slips, but they were forgivable. Well, all but one:
all I needed to do was inject him with an electrify the circuits in his armor's gel layer

Guess that damn morphine still tried to slip into the story anyway, huh? Wink

Final thoughts: A great read. Even though this was a bit of a disappointing week, I'm sure this still would've been a Fic Pick contender. Keep up the good work, and expect that I'll be following AOI06 until you finish it up.

That's it for me. Wonder out.
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Jake Trommer

Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 63
Location: An express elevator to Hell, going down

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few GPS slips, but they were forgivable. Well, all but one:
all I needed to do was inject him with an electrify the circuits in his armor's gel layer

Guess that damn morphine still tried to slip into the story anyway, huh? Wink

Ah, crud, I guess it did. Embarassed

Thanks for the win, Wonder. Congrats to EDT as well. Smile
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