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Halo 2: Defense and Offense - Chapter 5

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:42 pm    Post subject: Halo 2: Defense and Offense - Chapter 5 Reply with quote

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Halo 2: Defense and Offense - Chapter 5
Posted by Dagorath (
12 August 2005, 6:28 am
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mean to be harsh, but sometimes constructive criticism, especially mine, can be blunt. I'm just being thorough.


1205 hours, October 20, 2552 (Mombassa Military Calendar)Sol System, East African Protectorate, planet Earth

We know Earth is a planet, so that part isn't necessary. It sticks out like something that shouldn't be there. I think just 'Earth' would be better.


The Master Chief groaned. Something large and heavy seemed to be slamming itself repeatedly into the inside of his skull.
It seemed to change shape periodically. In the beginning, it was a large, heavy pike. A few minutes later, it was more like a knobbly iron ball. Now, it was a round, smooth rock.

Watch your continuity. Later in the text you say he had a quick recovery, but I wouldn't call something that took longer than 'a few minutes' quick, especially for a Spartan who myabe got thrown into a wall or two.


And he had the horrifying thought that it was Cortana's head that was kneading his brain into dough.

Dough is already dough before it starts to get kneaded, so the description is not quite accurate. Try turning it into a simile and saying she was kneading it like dough.


The Chief heaved his body up like a labourer hauling a sack of lead.

This one isn't quite right either; it gives the wrong image. Heave is ont a bad word to use in this case (although it's not perfect), but the sack of lead part throws it away. The laborer is standing and hauling something else; the MC is just getting himself up. At first it gave me the impression that the Chief was picking up a Marine.


Perhaps it was the Flood DNA that Dr Halsey had found in his bloodstream.

Cannon or no?


The Chief stood up, but his fingers felt like hard sticks, and he couldn't pick up his SMG to clip onto his belt, so he grabbed his battle rifle by the stock and cradled a few grenades in his arms, which felt like they had been stepped upon.

That's a pretty big run-on. There are too many commas and clauses in there - split them up. There are some other issue too. For example, why was the Chief able to pick up the Battle Rifle but not the SMG?

Also, the grenades. Since he's cradling them, presumably with his forearms, they shouldn't feel. The forearm is probably not very sensitive under his armor, so they should look.


Some Marines were stirring, but a few, he was sad to see, did not.

You changed tense slightly; the sentence went from a past participle to past tense in an awkward way. If you want to keep the were stirring part, you should replace did with were. I recommend reworking that sentence completely, though. The appositive breaks up the paragraph's flow too much.

There's also an unrelated issue created by the fact that you used the MC. He's a great deal more complex than 'sad'; you won't get away with pinning simple emotional tags on him because he's an established character, and people who've read the books expect him to be more than that.


Johnson walked forwards

No s.


he asked by way of greeting.

That's a bit of a cliche.


Obviously, he could not see through the Chief's visor and assumed that he was fine. "Let's go, Chief. I have a feeling we're going to get a warm welcome."

The obviously is unnecessary, and not true either. You haven't described the MC enough to make anything like that obvious to the reader. It doesn't matter that we know what he looks like from playing the game. Assume we don't.


The Chief started walking towards a doorway, trying to work his limbs without appearing to,while Cortana ran minor electric currents through his primary muscles to stimulate them. Feeling better now, he managed to clip his grenades onto his belt and heft his battle rifle better. Thinking about his SMG, he decided not to bother.

1. No s.
2. I'm not sure what you mean by that. Is he trying to look like he's fine, or is he not very successful? Rephrase it so it makes more sense.


The courtyard they emerged onto was fairly spacious, and someone had the good sense to set up a turret on top of the second floor. After clearing the Covenant soldiers running down the stairs (had they set the turret up?), the Chief directed his considerable energies to repelling the waves of Covenant warriors swarming in from left, right and centre. After directing the Marines to several fortified positions (namely places where they wouldn't be able to cause any trouble), he proceeded to warm his muscles up with some hard-core killing.

1. That's past tense, so you make it seem like someone is setting up the turret as the Chief makes his way into the courtyard. We know the turret is already set up, though, and you say so yourself a little later. You need another had.

2. I don't think parenthesis work there. I don't like them in that kind of writing, so I'm a little biased, but I'd recommed em dashes instead. They just look better.

3. That phrase isn't consistent with the rest of your tone; it detracts from the consistency, realism, and suspension of disbelief you want to create.


What broke the monotony was what looked like a purple blob floating over the courtyard. On closer observation, the Chief saw that it was in fact a Covenant dropship of some kind, armed with three plasma cannons.

You won't get away with skimping on description here either, especially since you imply the dropship is unfamiliar with some kind of. Of course, the reader probably knows it's a Phantom from playing the game, but that doesn't mean you don't have to describe it. It's unfamiliar and different, so you have to give us an image. What does it look like? What sound does it make? How does it fly? All of that is important.


The obligatory Grunts and blue-armoured Elites were being dropped upon the centre of the courtyard from what looked like a mini gravity lift on the dropship, which the Marines called a "Phantom". What did interest him, however, was an Elite in gold, holding an energy sword.
Over the COM channel, he told the Marines to stay put. No point in getting them slashed apart by the Elite.
The Chief crept behind some bushes and leaned his battle rifle on a branch. There was a loud gunshot, and one of the Elites crumpled, probably courtesy of Sergeant Johnson's sniper rifle.

Your contradict yourself with your tone several times: obligatory Grunts, mini, courtesy of. Those all lead me to take the text as humorous, while in other places you seem to be serious. You can do both, but you have to balance it and create transitions so the changes don't seem so abrupt. Such changes create awkwardness, and you definitely don't want that.

And I don't think the Chief would think Mmmm. He is an established character, and therefore easy to break. Be careful with him.


The gold Elite started, peering around the courtyard, but the Marines, camouflaged by their armour, were not discovered.

That, first comma is out of place. Get rid of it.


The Chief pressed his visor onto the scope. Very carefully, he fired three-round bursts into the Grunts' heads.

Scoping is doe through the MJOLNIR HUD and magical linking between the gun and the helmet. He doesn't actually have to use the scope on the rifle.


He picked up a plasma pistol nearby and overcharged it at the second blue-armoured Elite, who was turning his way. When it hit, he saw the telltale crackle of electricity.

1. That sentence needs rephrasing; the clause in bold sticks out and breaks up the flow.

2. That's a cliche.


All of a sudden, he was completely and utterly alone. He had a strong desire to take out his temper on someone.

All of a sudden doesn't work there either; it's too casual. Just suddenly would be better.


To the Elite's eyes, it looked like a plasma grenade.
Plasma grenade.
Plasma grenade.

Repeating plasma grenade there is a little weird. I don't think it creates the effect you wanted.


a Hunter could quash a whole platoon of Marines with relative ease. The addition of its enormous shield and fuel rod gun made it near invincible. Even the Chief paled slightly inside his helmet.

I take issue with your use of quash. And near should be an adverb - nearly.


This is the way, the Chief thought. Climbing up to the turret, he fired repeatedly at the Hunters until even their hard armour gave way. Orange blood spattered all over the courtyard to the applause of the Marines.

That was a little too easy. He may be a supersoldier, but the turret doesn't become more powerful with him behind it.


"Yes, well done," said Cortana sourly inside his head.

Why is she sour?


The Chief and his Marines moved through the demolished door towards the LZ the pilot had indicated. They rushed through dark alleys and small courtyards. As he rounded a corner, however, there was a flash of purple light and something hit him hard in the chest. The force blew him bodily backwards into a Marine, and both men hit the ground.

That paragraph was a little like stop-and-go traffic in terms of flow. It wasn't smooth.


The Chief got up quickly and helped the Marine up. The Marine was bruised from his hard landing, and the Chief helped him into some cover.

With a sniper on them, the Cheif would probably roll off the Marine and yank him back around the corner before being nice. If he stops to be nice he and the Marine are going to get sniped. The way you have it now implies a slow pace, where the chief gets up nice and slowly and takes the Marine's hand and pulls him up. Then they exchange greetings and look for a water cooler to talk around.

It needs to be quicker and more frantic. Make us believe they're getting sniped at.


"I want one of those," he said to Johnson, and mowed down the other Jackals that were flocking to the sniper's body.

I haven't read the books so I'm not the OOC police, but that doesn't sound like the Chief either.


After they had cleared the area, the Chief went to retrieve the "beam rifle" from the dead sniper.

Get rid of the quotes.


When you have skills, you don't need luck.

You want the singular - skill - in this case.


finally arrived at a derelict hotel, the Hotel Zanzibar.

It's perfectly fine to combine information. In this case, you could say the derelict Hotel Zanzibar and get rid of a whole clause and comma. I don['t think derelict is the right adjective though.


The hotel was horribly dark. Whenever he passed rooms, he could see unmade bed sheets, strewn paper, and bloodstains, some small, some large. Many times, he thought he heard voices: grunts, screams, whimpers. It spooked him. Veteran of a hundred battles indeed. Perhaps, if
Two Elites loomed up out of the darkness in front of the Chief, and the Marine behind him jumped. "Argh!" he yelled.

1. Tone.

2. There you go - that's what others around here call meat and potatoes. That kiind of desription is what you need to give the reader an understanding of what's going on. You could tell us that it was all scary and stuff and the Covenant were not very nice, or you could show us what they did and let us decide. Showing writing is much easier for people to relate to.

3. The dialogue there is unnecessary. If he's doing something as simple as yelling (and isn't yelling anything coherent), you can just say he yelled.


"Oh, nice work, sir," said the Marine faintly.

Good detail.


Without further ado

If you absolutely must say something like this to transition, use presently.


With the obvious advantage of not needing to reload, he sniped down the Grunts and did the Elites in with his energy sword.

It does overheat, though.


The driver showed the Chief his driving license and grinned.
"No," said the Chief, and pushed him onto the passenger's seat.

That gave me a pretty funny image. Smile


little sniping platforms and Ghosts with a new "boosting" ability.

Watch the word choice and the quotes. Little is rarely a good adjective; be more specific.


When the Warthog approached, with huge tires, headlights, blaring horn and gigantic LAAG, every single Covenant soldier turned tail, jumping with surprising agility onto the curb as the Warthog with the whooping gunner sped through the blockade.

The sentence may be a run-on, but the description was good.


They drove past a few more Ghosts, another blockade and through the central arc of a Shadow before going uphill into the afternoon light and the center of New Mombassa.

They rode off into the sunset? Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure we're all glad to know that people like sdn here care. Decent writing, try not to stay totally linear to the game so we can't imagine ourselves playing as we read, if you know what I mean.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, sdn, you're really good at editing! Yes, the marines and the Chief rode off into the sunset. Then they got blown up by a wraith. Then the Chief respawned. The cycle is an endless loop!!! Razz Very Happy Razz
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for going off topic there... Crying or Very sad Sad
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, sdn. That is very detailed. Here's my responses to your advice, and most if it concurs.

Quote 1: Not true. They do all the times like that in the novels, so I did it as well (like 1308 hours, April 20, 1993 (ONI Research Station)\Sigma Octanus, planet Reach) so you can't tell me off. Of course, the time thing I mentioned above isn't correct. In fact, I dropped the times altogether in the next chapter, which I haven't published yet.

Quote 2: Yeah, that's true.

Quote 3: Mmmm.

Quote 4: Maybe.

Quote 5: Canon. Johnson has flood DNA and it's cool.

Quote 6: He could have picked up the SMG, but his fingers hadn't recovered enough to let him clip it onto his belt, so he just took the battle rifle, sinc ethe battle rifle is better. He should bve able to feel the grenades weighing down on his forearm as he cradled them.

Quote 7: True, but I don't like the MC in the novels. He was too much of a soldier, and too much of an idiot (he liked the assault rifle, for god's sake!). So I've changed his character quite alot.

Quote 8: Fine

Quote 9: OK

Quote 10: Not sure: normally, you can't see well through a visor.

Quote 11: He's trying to make himself feel less stiff.

Quote 12: First one: not sure. Second one: No one likes parenthesis. I've been trying to iron them out, but sometimes it's fun. Third one: Whatever.

Quote 13: True. Although yoru darling Dietz/Nylund didn't describe the U-shaped dropship in Halo 1 very well either.

Quote 14: Mmm. Maybe. As to the Chief's character, see Quote 7 above.

Quote 15: No it's not.

Quote 16: Not sure.

Quote 17: Not sure. And second point, not true.

Quote 18: True.

Quote 19: It worked in my mind, but I dunno. Maybe I should've made the second Plasma grenade in bold, so it's like his slow brain.

Quote 20: Quash is just funny. But nearly is true.

Quote 21: You bust the Hunters like that in Legendary. It happens. What do you want me to do, give him a shotgun and let him shoot the guys in the orange?

More later.
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