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The Heretic Zealot

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:19 am    Post subject: The Heretic Zealot Reply with quote

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The Heretic Zealot
Posted by JsW116 (JsW116)
3 September 2007, 4:49 am
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Mr. 1337

Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 2142
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know not whether you are new to writing here, but I didn't see you in the member list here at the forum. Regardless, welcome. If you have visited the forums before, then I have yet to meet you, and if you have not, then I hope this can be a good start for you.

The Story:

The Good:

You have a grasp on formatting, which is, quite obviously, a very good thing. It was nicely paragraphed and broken up. Makes it a lot easier to read. However, there was on thing missing: the Code. Coding is what you can use with the submission form to add such things as indenting, italics, and horizontal rules. Not absolutely essential to writing, but it certainly adds a lot to presentation, and gives you valuable tools to use when you are going through the submission process.

The choice of words you used in your dialogue between Elites was pretty good. It was that structured and formal diction that we always hear (and read) them speaking in. A lot of people don't stick to that with Covenant speech. Good job there.

The Bad:

You had more than one small mistake throughout your submission. Small mistakes being GPS (a wonderful short form of Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling). Not too big of an issue, perhaps, but most certainly still an important one. The elements of GPS are the basic fundamentals to writing, and getting those down will sure up your writing a great degree.

Now, those little mistakes might be the result of accident. And in that case, there is a simple solution: Proofreading. First of all, writing your submission in a word processing program helps more than anything else; but in addition to that, re-reading your work will help you catch those small little mistakes. It's easy to miss a piece of punctuation or use the wrong word when your creating your fiction, it happens quite frequently to everyone. What makes a better writer is those that realize that, and take the time to correct them later to improve the writing and perfect the overall quality.

(And plus, proofreading is also a great change to beef up your story, change wording that you think can be improved, add new material, remove material you don't really like, and so on. Proofread.)

Another simple little thing that I noticed - again, not too big of a deal, but still something that would be proper to address in future writing - was the lack of emphasis on some of your proper nouns. Words like Elite, Jackal, and Grunt. Simple words, but still proper nouns, which means that they should be capitalized. Same goes with words like Marine, Pelican, Ghost... You get the picture. Easy thing to correct, but it makes a difference, and makes the writing seem more professional.

Detail. The scenario and events of what you described were there, but they passed very quickly as I read through the material. I understand that part of this was a scene from the game; however, that is still not reason enough not to describe it in vivid detail.

Now, while different writers use different kinds and amounts of detail in their pieces, it is still important, no matter what style you choose to adopt and make your own, to put enough detail into your writing. In this case, the details were a little scarce. You told the reader what was going on, instead of showing them.

The difference is: Telling is explaining and just basically letting the reader know what is going on. Showing is using details and descriptions to paint a picture in the reader's mind. You have a good explanatory outline of all your events and settings, but if I hadn't seen that cut scene, I wouldn't have been able to picture at all where and how all that happened was taking place. Never rely on the assumption that the reader has seen something similar to what you are writing about to provide details - include them yourself (simple details are fine to omit [say the color of a Scorpion tank], but even going so far as to use those details can do wonders to a well organized description). Even though I have seen that cut scene, I would have still very much liked to have read it in detail.

I'm not telling you that you need to throw in adjectives and drawn out descriptions between every other word. What I am suggesting is that you use more imagery, and generally slow down the pace of your writing with more bits of description. It takes practice, of course, to really nail a style of describing [showing], but to get there you have to practice and find what works best for you. Picture what you are writing about in your mind, and then when you put finger to key (or pen to paper, if you like drafting by hand first) use your language and your diction to present that scene in a manner that makes it vivid in the mind of the reader.

The Other:

The length was a bit short for my taste. The minimum is 750 words, but that doesn't mean you can't do more. Details do wonders in adding length, but besides that, just take some extra time to flesh out more elements and reveal more of the story your are presenting. I, personally, very much enjoy a few (or more) pages of good story; long reads aren't bad ones if done right.

Overall, this wasn't bad. A short piece, but I liked the content. Another view on the persecution of the Arbiter from the perspective of another Elite. Very nice. Keep it up.
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