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Victories Last Hope Ch10 Bring your own Bodybags

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:40 am    Post subject: Victories Last Hope Ch10 Bring your own Bodybags Reply with quote

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Victories Last Hope Ch10 Bring your own Bodybags
Posted by me (gumdosword@comcast.net)
21 July 2006, 7:36 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=me0721060736351.html
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me
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about hte title at the time I couldn't think of a good one. Now that I finally see it in writing Im just going thats horrible. Embarassed

Edit: *The* sorry about that
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will get to this story soon. I started to read it tonight/this morning and quickly realized that I was much too tired. But I will read this and post a review.

Soon.

C.T. Clown
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me
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh thanks I thought that my fic had been completeley forgotten. I just hope it comes within a mile of your standards.
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Chiajy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry, but since I have read little of the other episodes, it's very confusing. I think that each chapter, if picked up by a reader should give the reader some clue of what happened in the past. Try to work on it. I'm sorry to say I can't access you.
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me
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well...ya it may be hard to acess me. Plus I may need therapy after direct exposure to the master of horror. Anyway that gave me an idea which may be just....well either way Im doing it. Look out for me next chapter.
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Chiajy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

me wrote:
Sorry about hte title at the time I couldn't think of a good one. Now that I finally see it in writing Im just going thats horrible. Embarassed

Edit: *The* sorry about that

Actually, the title's really cool...Bring your own bodybags....heh
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me
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya when I was thinking of the title I heard the song B.Y.O.B. on the radio. it just sorta forced itself on me.
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Chiajy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then that's cheating isn't it? oh well, the title is good though. Try to find one as good as that. That'll be cool.
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have an excellent imagination, and certainly seem to know where you are going with the story. But you are still telling the reader too much instead of showing it.
Quote:
Okay another chapter uh after you read this if you have any tips for a protracted one on one battle please tell me

One of the pitfalls of a protracted battle is, as I said above, telling too much and showing too little. Look at the beginning of your battle:
Quote:
As he charged he activated the plasma sword in his right hand and drew a knife with his left. Immediately he had to dodge around a strike that would have opened him from shoulder to hip. His slash was similarly countered and soon both of them were dancing around each others blows. Finally he threw himself forward into a wild lunge. The Elite quickly sidestepped and whipped his sword around. Greg barely spun out of the path of the sword then planted his foot and sprung towards his opponent. The Elite instinctively brought up the Plasma sword to block.
The two swords met, for a fraction of a second they held against each other, but suddenly they melded together. They stood joined together by the plasma swords when the swords containment fields suddenly dropped. A spray of hot plasma created a cloud between the two warriors stalling any offensives attempts.
They both quickly dropped the swords and reached for other weapons they carried. With their new weapons in hand they paused for only seconds as they tried to divine their opponent's next move. When the cloud dissipated the Elite struck first. With lightning fast movements it struck twice at Greg. He responded by dodging the first slash and countering the second by stepping into the Elites dead side. From his new position he stabbed towards the base of the Elites spine using the knife in his left hand, but the Elite managed to move making the knife miss its mark and plunge into its hip instead.
Moving fast the Elite pulled itself away from the knife. Its leg collapsed as the blade cut into the muscle effectively disabling the Elites limb. As Greg lifted his blade for the final strike he sensed movement in the corner of his eye. He quickly turned his head to be greeted by a glowing bolt of plasma.

You are hindered by repetition of names and actions. Look at how many times you say "Elite". This too is a problem in one-on-one action sequences. In my series Waking the Dead I had a whole chapter that was little more than a one-on-one action sequence and I remember struggling with some of these same issues. You asked for advice on these and since it is easier to show you than to tell you, read this excerpt from that chapter. We come into the story just after Chuckles' partner (a Spartan named Caleb) has been horribly beaten by their enemy (a Spartan named Simjanes). I apologize for the length, but you did ask about protracted fights Very Happy:
Quote:
When Simjanes had finally ended the savage beating, the young Spartan's armor looked like a crushed can and the tree he'd been propped against was nearly uprooted. Caleb swayed forward and back like a drunk and then fell to his knees; smacking his bloody helmet into Simjanes' leg and leaving a red smear.

"Careful kid, these suits are hard to clean." A merciless hand yanked Caleb off the ground and removed his battered helmet. Glassy, unfocused eyes darted this way and that; looking at everything and seeing nothing. Simjanes' chuckled. "Still alive? I'm impressed." One of the combat knives lay in the grass a couple meters away. Dragging Caleb along, he walked over, snatched it off the ground and placed its razor edge against the young Spartan's throat—and froze as a familiar sound grew loud in his ears. Suddenly a Pelican cleared the nearest building at terrific speed and roared into the park like a comet. Before the ship even touched the ground, the ramp fell open and a huge figure jumped out, carrying a massive shotgun.

The Clown had come.

Somewhere deep in his twisted brain, Simjanes acknowledged a measure of defeat. Caleb's only goal had been to keep him in the park until Chuckles arrived and he had done just that. To make matters worse, Sim was armed with only a combat knife and had no time to locate his pistol. The young Spartan had, however, made one crucial mistake: he had stayed alive too long.

Jarred from their sleep by the thundering engines, people living in nearby buildings began peeking out windows and spilling into the streets to see what was happening. As the crowds neared the park, eyes went wide and mouths dropped open. They'd all seen Spartans during the UNSC's propaganda blitz, but that was on a video screen—this was in person. Supposedly these mysterious super-soldiers were almost single-handedly turning the tide of the war. What was about to take place under the haunting yellow glow of the park lights, however, was not a battle against the Covenant, but rather an old fashioned show down—and from the looks of things, it was going to be good.

Ignoring everything but the two figures standing near the tree, Chuckles lifted the six-gauge cannon to firing position and walked slowly across the grass. At first he was relieved to see that Caleb was still alive, but as he came nearer and saw the full extent of the damage, a lump formed in his throat. Blood streaked down the young Spartan's sleepy face like tiny red rivers and the eyes—the eyes told the rest of the story. The kid was fading fast. More than anything, Chuckles wanted to pull the trigger and blow Simjanes' head off, but the white-armored demon had placed himself directly behind Caleb, making the shot impossible. Coward. The Clown stopped about five meters in front of them and gestured towards the young Spartan with a slight dip of the shotgun.

"Get a little carried away, Sim?" His voice was pure poison. "I've gotta hand it to you; you're Hell on wheels against rookies and little girls."

"At least I don't leave my partners alone and overmatched. Did you send him to soften me up a little? I'm a bit surprised to see you here at all. I sort of figured you'd cut and run like you did the night I killed Lexicus." Time to twist the knife. "It's strange: you're never around when your partners are getting slaughtered. What was it this time? You have a girlfriend on this planet or something? I guess it doesn't matter whether they live or die, just so long as you get away."

The shotgun almost broke in Chuckles' grip. "Drop the knife and set the kid down now!" Simjanes laughed.

"Or what? You can't kill me without blasting a hole in Caleb."

Chuckles replied in a voice that chilled the air. "He's as good as dead anyway, and like you said; I don't really care if he lives or dies. Drop the weapon and back away!" The crowd around them, which now numbered in the hundreds, fell silent. This was better than a movie.

"I don't think so. If you had the resolve to do something like that, I'd be dead already. Here's my deal—and I'll only offer it once. Toss that shotgun into the bushes and pull out your knife. You do that and I'll let the kid go. If you don't, I'll slit his throat and take my chances." Pulling Caleb even closer, Simjanes pressed the blade hard into his neck. "I'll give you ten seconds to decide."

A dark red sky now loomed overhead and somewhere in the city a clock began striking five in the morning. Dawn was nearly upon them. But as precious seconds ticked away, Neither Spartan flinched. Seven . . . eight . . . nine . . .

Moving so fast that the entire crowd jumped, Chuckles tossed the shotgun and palmed his knife. Simjanes leapt forward like a spirit, attacking the Clown as he had attacked Caleb earlier; spinning and slashing faster than the eye can follow. In all his years as a soldier, Sim had never met his equal with a knife.

But he had never fought Chuckles.

Fueled by a bottomless rage, the Clown sprung to life, matching Sim blow for blow and pushing his surprised foe backwards. As their knives clanged together like high-pitched thunder, Simjanes pulled out every trick he knew in an effort to turn the tide. But Chuckles advanced with the relentless fury of a hurricane, crashing into his enemy with unstoppable power and hitting harder with each successive blow. Sim felt his back bump into something and realized too late that he had backed straight into the Prowler. He was literally against the wall—and Chuckles didn't even slow down. Simjanes jabbed desperately, but the Clown swatted the knife from his hand and sent it flying into the predawn darkness.

Chuckles lifted his blade.

Simjanes lifted his arms.

The Crowd lifted a cheer.

They didn't know that Sim had slaughtered Chuckles' lifelong friend Lexicus. They didn't know that he had broken the arm of five year-old Ellen Cutlass. They didn't even know that he had beaten Caleb so viciously that the young Spartan lay dying in the grass. They didn't know . . . but Chuckles did, and as he lowered his knife for the killing stroke, all of his anger came down with it.

At the last possible instant, Simjanes spun sideways and the blade struck the Prowler's hull and snapped off at the hilt. Before Chuckles even realized what had happened, an armored uppercut smashed into his chin so hard that he flew backwards three meters and landed on his back with a thud.

Chuckles tried to stand to his feet, but his limbs refused to obey. Something slammed painfully into his side and sent him flying across the park. Again, he tried to move, but he no longer had control.

"You know," Simjanes laughed as he gestured to the crowd surrounding them, "this really isn't fair to the paying customers." He began to walk slowly towards the fallen Spartan. "That thing with the knives was pretty good, but I never figured you for a glass jaw. Too bad they weren't here to see me fight the kid. Now that was entertainment—especially the ending when I beat his organs into soup." A tingling sensation went through Chuckles body like electricity and once again he was its master. He slowly stood to his feet.

"I think you're right, Sim; it just ain't fair." He began to walk forward. "Come on. Let's give the people their money's worth." Odds were given and money changed hands while the two unarmed behemoths neared each other. As the system's star threatened to peek over the horizon and illuminate the filthy city of Seleucia, both Spartans knew that, one way or another, this was the end. One of them would walk away from this fight; one of them would be dead by dawn. As to who the winner would be, nobody knew for sure—but the crowd was giving even money.

The two Spartans met in the middle of the park and fought toe-to-toe; swinging, ducking and blocking like prizefighters from Mount Olympus. Neither of them backed away and neither of them advanced, but both leaned in, absorbing and dishing out punishment that would have killed a normal man many times over. Amidst the flurry of punches, the Clown suddenly landed a vicious left, and the crowd gasped as Simjanes head snapped backward and—for only a moment—the Spartan froze. Chuckles' huge right fist blurred forward, smashing through Simjanes' face-shield and popping his nose like a ripe tomato. Sim staggered backward, tried to regain his balance, and finally dropped to the ground.

The crowd watched breathlessly as the huge Spartan dug his big shotgun out of the bushes and then returned to his white armored foe. He removed the broken helmet and then spoke in a voice that caused those standing nearest to shudder.

"Open your mouth." Blood bubbling from his broken nose, Simjanes smiled in defiance of the order. Chuckles grunted. "Have it your way." Without warning, he plunged the six-gauge cannon into Sim's face, pulverizing lips and shattering teeth as he forced it deep into the Spartan's mouth. By the time the Clown finished, Simjanes' smile was halfway down his throat. "You should've stuck to five year-olds and rookies." He pulled the trigger, the gun thundered and his enemy was no more. Chuckles pulled off his helmet and spat on the corpse.

I hope that helps. If I learned one thing about protracted fights when I wrote that chapter (the above exerpt was only part of a much larger chapter) it was that writing them is hard. I had to go through it over and over again to rid it of redundancies and improve the flow--and flow is everything in this kind of scene. I had to remember to use different words to refer to my combatants so that I didn't overuse their names. I had to make sure I wasn't having them do the same thing over and over again. And, most of all, I had to keep the reader on the edge of his seat.

This might be a little too far back for you, but have you ever heard of Louis L'amour? He wrote dozens of short western novels and he always ended them with a knock down drag out brawl between the hero and the antagonist. When I first started writing fanfiction, I took a look at some of those fights he wrote and they were a big help. If you can get your hands on any of his books, you might give it a try.

Good luck. I'll be looking for your next one.

C.T. Clown
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