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The Sharp Edge of a Knife: Part 1 of 3

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:56 pm    Post subject: The Sharp Edge of a Knife: Part 1 of 3 Reply with quote

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The Sharp Edge of a Knife: Part 1 of 3
Posted by Arthur Wellesley (arthur_wellesly@hotmail.com)
30 June 2006, 4:04 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Arthur_Welle0630060404341.html
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(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good, very good. It was detailed just right, with a pinch of well-placed dialogue. I did notice small, grammatical errors in the story that come with every single piece of fiction written. Good job, Arthur. You got me hooked on this.

-Also, I did like the way you diversified the Marines in this story: One white, one Arabian/Hindu. I couldn't tell offhand.-
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russ687
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job, Art. As I've seen in your previous submissions, you've got quite the talent for descriptions. You don't seem rushed when you write, which adds a lot of flavor, but you also don't linger too long and slow down. I was quite happy with the scene you portrayed, and aside from some minor things I would have added here or there to complete it, you did it all well.

There were almost no GPS errors, nice job proofreading. The only significant thing I caught were tense errors, or the occasional missing word. The flow in most places was perfect, but some sentences got a bit choppy. In some places, I felt like you used names too much, rather than other descriptive words for your characters, so keep an eye out for that in your next chapter. Lastly, the em-dashes were all incorrect. I'm sure I've bugged you about this before, but there really is one way to do them.

Quote:
"How could you—wait, what?"
"How could you – wait, what?


The first is the proper way to use them; a full em-dash (noticeably longer) with no space between the words. The second is a common misuse (and the way you did it in the story), which is usually an en-dash or mere dash with spaces around it. If you don't know how to get em-dashes in your text, just ask.

Otherwise, overall with was quite good. The ending, using the title of this series, was quite strong, and although this lacked any significant plot progress, it is a great setup for what you have to come. I'm looking forward to your next.

-R
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, Rabid_Gallagher. I intended Ahmed to be Arab, by the way. I think diversity is important, since any vast interstellar undertaking five hundred years in the future would probably include people of all racial denominations from all parts of Earth.

russ wrote:
The first is the proper way to use them; a full em-dash (noticeably longer) with no space between the words. The second is a common misuse (and the way you did it in the story), which is usually an en-dash or mere dash with spaces around it. If you don't know how to get em-dashes in your text, just ask.


Actually, I don't Smile. Help would be appreciated there.

Damn, I know exactly what you are talking about and where it happened. I noticed it too upon reading it for the first time on this site. I proofread twice, yet missed these issues. I must be in the mindset of just GPS errors when I look it over and neglect the problems with flow.

Oh well, I think it turned out all right anyway. And, as you said, this is just the intro. The meat will be coming later.

Thanks a lot for the comments, guys.

- Arthur
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russ687
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, assuming you are using MS Word, it's actually quite easy. If you're using WordPerfect or any other word processor, you're going to have to look it up in your respective program's help. For MS Word users, though, it can all be automatic.

If you have not changed any of the more advanced settings in Word, an em-dash should automatically be inserted when you type two normal dashes together with no spaces between them or the words (remember, spaces around em-dashes are not correct, so Word won't autocorrect if you put spaces in there). For example:

Quote:
"I love honey--and bees too!"

Will turn into,

"I love honey—and bees too!"


Autocorrect will not automatically turn those dashes into an em-dash if you put spaces in there, and the change only takes place after you have typed the word following the em-dash. If this does not happen when you type, see what options are checked in regards to autocorrection.
Tools > AutoCorrect Options > AutoFormat (or AutoFormat As You Type)
Make sure that you've checked the "Hyphens (--) with dash (—)" checkbox.

See if that works. There is an alternate way, as well, but I won't list it out here if that way works. Also, you may notice that there are a lot of other autocorrect options you can select (or create), so used it to your advantage.

-R
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Mark25
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was really good, you certainly worked the details of it with the devil himself. The end and closing were particularly impressive and rather succinctly put; tied into the title appropriately and very Damoclean.

The scenery was expertly created, convincing and quite the view, a visceral picture of perilous fortune. Again, job -extremely- well done.

My only concern was one of lighting and its illogical role in your tale, I'm a sucker for things that jump off the page like that, let me show you what I mean:

Quote:
Its smooth surface reflected the dull, retreating sunlight with an unnatural brilliance, its cool iridescence bathing the snow-covered ground in a soft purple hue. The exterior curved continuously, forming a bulbous bow, a wickedly pointed stern, and on either side a dizzyingly ornate series of concavities and superstructures. Even from the distance of many miles, the gentle glow of thousands of windows and elaborate symbols strewn across the surface slowly began to outshine the dying light of the sun.


Quote:
Simon finally ripped his eyes away from the alien craft and turned to face the brighter light of the town.


Quote:
The empty buildings that loomed ominously on either side of them, dark because of the ordered blackout,


Fuzzier logic than that:

Quote:
Numerous fires had sprung up around the camp, though they were all dominated by a single, large bonfire in the center of the plaza around which many people gathered and talked in hushed voices.


Kind of defeats said object of a blackout, wouldn't you say?

That was basically it, couple of odd things here and there but nothing to ruin my enjoyment of the piece, besides maybe the light thing and I'm probably only noting that out of envy of the piece overall.

Since there was nothing really of character attributes to note, I'll return to those aspects as and when you post the second piece.

Til again.
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Fuzzier logic than that:

Quote:
Numerous fires had sprung up around the camp, though they were all dominated by a single, large bonfire in the center of the plaza around which many people gathered and talked in hushed voices.


Kind of defeats said object of a blackout, wouldn't you say?


Yes, it certainly does. You see, originally, I was not going to have the blackout, but I thought patrolling the streets in darkness would make for more appropriate tension. I forgot to edit out the parts that suggested otherwise. Looking back, I should have said something about how the people of the town ignored the blackout when it came to the bonfires since people will be people.

The ship, however, remains so bright because it has no reason to hide.

I apologize for the sloppiness and thank you for your comment.

And I'll do that from now on, russ. Thanks.

- Arthur
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Johny117
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was probably one of the best Fics I've read recently. Fantastic. I can only await part two.
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