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Longsword R: Midway

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Longsword R: Midway Reply with quote

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Longsword R: Midway
Posted by Sterfrye36 (Sterfrye36@yahoo.com)
14 August 2008, 11:23 pm

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Sterfrye360814082323521.html

Quote:
Submission Note from Sterfrye36:
The bad part about editing in Word is that I don't realize how many horizontal rules I have. Oh, dear. Confused
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Phædrus
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was a nice piece, Stir, but as was said in the Fic Pick, a bit heavy on action. A few times it was difficult to tell what was going on, but only a few. My only major complaint is that your space combat is more like aerial combat than real space combat would be, but since you're not writing hard Sci-Fi I'll let it slide. Also, your Brutes seemed a bit too human, though I do admit some comedic value in the image of a Brute, sopping wet and covered with soap suds, trying to run his ship in nothing but a towel. Laughing

Oh, one more thing, the reason for the Covenant presence in the system could have used more explanation--why a whole flotilla for magnesium mining?--but it wasn't a major flaw.

Overall a very nice piece of work. Smile
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Sterfrye36
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phædrus wrote:
This was a nice piece, Stir, but as was said in the Fic Pick, a bit heavy on action. A few times it was difficult to tell what was going on, but only a few. My only major complaint is that your space combat is more like aerial combat than real space combat would be, but since you're not writing hard Sci-Fi I'll let it slide. Also, your Brutes seemed a bit too human, though I do admit some comedic value in the image of a Brute, sopping wet and covered with soap suds, trying to run his ship in nothing but a towel. Laughing


That's mainly because the previous two chapters served to set up this one. Remember, Interlude, Sabre, and Midway were originally all one chapter until I decided to save your eyes. If I didn't go action heavy on this chapter, I'd have robbed you guys a little bit. And yeah, I know it's more like aerial combat than space, but as you and I both know, true space combat is a boring affair. Air combat's fun. :p

For that matter, I'm glad you liked the little comedic imagery. It just sort of hit me as a way to transition into the scene and I expanded on it.

Quote:
Oh, one more thing, the reason for the Covenant presence in the system could have used more explanation--why a whole flotilla for magnesium mining?--but it wasn't a major flaw.


Oh, come on, give me some credit as a writer, Phae. You don't think I know what I'm doing by dropping cryptic hints in there? :p

Quote:
Overall a very nice piece of work. Smile
Thanks, man. Smile
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Jake Trommer
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most impressive, Ster. I felt like I was reading one of Mike Stackpole's X-wing books at times, which is no small feat.
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This isn't an easy review to write. I'm used to giving balanced comments, you know, pointing out both good and bad. Dishing out all negatives makes me feel like a jerk, and gushing all positives makes me feel like some idiot fanboy. That being the case, you've got some nerve posting this chapter, Ster. I'll get you back. You'll see.

Okay, I did manage to unearth one complaint, so I'll get it out of the way right now. Cutting back to your Quarell 'Sulamee story towards the end of the chapter did not flow well with your story. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and no wonder: it represented your one and only cut away from the battle.

I would complain (along with Phædrus) about your anthropomorphic aliens, but you are only following Bungie's lead in this regard. Believe me, I wish it was a legitimate offense Wink

Now, to the hard part. Rather than torture myself by wading into this chilly water slowly, I'll jump right in and get it over with. Here goes. This was without a doubt one of the best chapters of fanfiction I have ever read, and hands down the best space battle ever posted on HBOFF. I hate space battles—the written kind, that is. It's just not an easy thing to put into words in the first place, but doing so with good flow and pacing while holding the reader's interest ... that's one of the rarest birds in fanfiction. So it is no small praise when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter and had very little problem visualizing what was going on. Phædrus was right: this chapter is heavy on action. For a story as a whole I think that would be a negative, but for a chapter within a larger story, I think it works fine.

Aside from your cut away to Quarell 'Sulamee, I thought your scene breaks were excellent. Good thing, seeing as you had a couple million of them or so. I found it interesting that a chapter of this complexity only covered about five minutes of actual story time. And believably, at that. Your command of the technology and pilot lingo was obvious and impressive. Explanations of ships and ordnance were never tiresome or boring. And, dang it all, it made sense to boot.

Quote:
James, unaware of the pointless mission's length, had failed to bring along enough movies to entertain himself, and therefore spent most of his time thinking of unusual and disparaging nicknames for the AI.

This got a chuckle out of me.

Quote:
"Bring the Reaper to the front and order it to begin harvesting. We'll be done in only a few cycles if everything goes well and then we can return to Babylon."

I like how this differed with Grit's perception of the Daemon as a dedicated warship. Ditto on his confusion as to why the Covies are there at all. As in real battle, there are many things that can only be guessed at.

Quote:
Daedalus charged back onto the bridge, soaking wet and trailing water. Soap was clearly evident all over his fur and a towel was haphazardly tied around his waist. After delivering the order to begin harvesting operations, the Force Master had retired to his personal quarters to bathe. He'd been neglecting the chore because he'd secretly been hoping to run into some humans and didn't want to take the chance of being caught off guard. Of course, this was exactly what had happened, and he'd nearly been electrocuted by his bath's short-circuiting lights.

Priceless. Even if Bungie hadn't beaten you to the anthropomorphic punch with these alien creatures, this scene would have been too good to pass on. Picture it folks: a soap-covered Brute with a towel tied around his waist and suds dripping from his fur. Priceless.
Quote:
A series of explosions from deep within the ships knocked the Force Master off his feet and sent him tumbling into the wall. By some small miracle the dutiful Jiralhanae was still on his feet, bellowing information at the top of his lungs.
"Missile impacts! Damage reported on aft decks fourteen through seven. Engineering is now reporting that the engines have taken explosive damage and can only function at forty percent once they're restarted."

Ster, you're making these guys so likable that I might start rooting for them. I especially loved this sentence: By some small miracle the dutiful Jiralhanae was still on his feet, bellowing information at the top of his lungs. Vivid, effective imagery that paints a picture while simultaneously developing your characters. These two Brutes were barely in the story, but they had recognizable personalities.

Quote:
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the new Covie fighter flash past, hot on Zoe's six—but trailed closely by a Swordsman who had a comically drawn eraser on its nose.
Easley was on its tail.

This is an example of excellent story craft. We get Glenn's despairing point of view capped off by this pleasing image of the hero, against all odds, managing to give these incredible new Covie fighters a challenge. The doom and hopelessness that preceded make this small victory (that is, just being able to get into a decent firing position against a Necromancer) shine brightly. Bottom line: those last two sentences mean little and deliver a very weak punch without the despair that went before. Newer writers would do well to see and understand what you did here. It's this sort of thing that separates the men from the boys.

I liked what you did with the asteroids, which reminds me of another good line from your chapter:
Quote:
The rest of the rocks flew past in an almost comically slow fashion past the Reaper and pounded the Covenant fleet.

Your line about them being "almost comically slow" was just what I needed to picture it all in my head. Loved it.

Exceptional chapter, and the new gold standard for space battles on HBOFF. Your previous stuff has been good, but this chapter reads like a published novel. I can not believe that you've gotten so few comments. A note to everyone on this site:
READ THIS CHAPTER!

Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

C.T. Clown
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thedarkfire
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pretty much told you everything online Ster but I just thought of a good way to describe the space battle.

It felt like I was watching an episode of Battlestar Galactica.
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kr1
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took me a month, but I finally got around to reading this. Sorry it took too long, school and work's been hell, but this was first on the catch-up list.

To be honest, there's really not too much to say, though. There were a few typos, but in a chapter this abig a few will slip by. The space combat was excellently written, except for the one part near the middle written in omniscient 3rd POV. That threw me a little, and probably would've worked better had it been from the POV of one of the corvettes. My only other real complaint was the Brute dialogue. It just seemed a little off, and a little overly wordy for the comparatively simple-minded aliens. Other than that, great job.

I liked how you set up the Necromancers as rivals to your pilots, too. Looking forward to seeing how that comes in to play. Smile
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