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The Letter

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: The Letter Reply with quote

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The Letter
Posted by Sterfrye36 (Sterfrye36@yahoo.com)
7 November 2008, 7:39 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Sterfrye361107080739021.html
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Sterfrye36
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I cannot believe I screwed up the time at the end, there. What a bush league mistake.
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Last edited by Sterfrye36 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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fallschirmjager
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sterfrye36 wrote:
What a bush league mistake.


You saying there's something wrong with the bush!? *shakes fist*

Reading this at the moment, expect comments later.
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Mark25
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, love and hate in equal measure, it's rare a fiction piece does that to me these days but you got me here, Ster, got me real good.

The story begins fantastic, those first few paragraphs are so easily absorbed and understood, it's like my mind was a fcuking sponge. Heartfelt emotion, the traumatic denial coupled to the nostalgia. The idea is so simple and yet so agonisingly complex, ingrained with this slippery streak of blind optimism. I'd almost think you were religious. It suffers a lull after the paintball fade/reality dawning but comes on strong in terms of melodrama for the end.

I think, with the early sentiment conveyed and if it grips Phae the way it gripped me; you could win this week mate. I'll be honest, I haven't read the rest (other than my own -like a thousand times in rewrites) yet, but it's going to take something rich and nourishing to forget this one; I'm just glad I chose dark and fast and hope Phae's in a dark place when he reads it, because I don't think my 'good feeling' fic would compete.

Downhill, maybe a little anyways:

Your ending is ambiguous, thank you for that, from the bottom of my black heart I'm so glad you did not literally (a word so literally appropriate in literature, don't you think?! Smile ) have Brandon at that door. I think if you had gone that extra step, I would have hated this fiction piece outright; not because of its style, structure or flow, but because of its well-rounded and keeping-the-faith content.
Perhaps too well-rounded, everything seems to point to the underdog situation here while retaining that indistinct air of human faith and authenticity. I can believe their secret that they hide from the wider world, just as it happens everyday. I am with them in their pain and 'preface' of their grief (geddit? Yeah, there's a better word and you know it! Authoritarian right old tsch at your 'preface', damn right it's a 2:30am decision, brother Wink ).

It's unnerving as to the confident manner with which you morbidly carouse and skillfully unravel these people's lives: never (*hand's shaking and holding the lexicographic gun to a pedant's face* 'let the repetitive redundancy stand motherfucker!') ever stop doing that. It's well known that you should 'write what you know', let me arrogantly and obnoxiously add: keep learning and everything else will fall into place. Damn, I'm almost a bat and ball fan from reading -no, tuning in to some poor bastard's method at preserving the memory of his son!
The dog's bollocks.
You may not know what that means but let me tell you it's good; they're just so perfectly preserved and dangle there. You almost want to kiss their perfection until you realise what they are!

Alright, I better revert to type and give you a bit of a ragging; otherwise people will think I'm on too many uppers.

Man of your calibre is obviously aware of the 'Letter delivered to Mother' scene in Saving Private Ryan, it's famous many times over: fcuking brilliant and something I dare anyone to watch without denying the naturally human urge to sympathise with a woman in the mix of anguish and a 'broken' heart.
It gets me and I'm a genuine arsehole, mate!

Now I can see where this angle might inspire, I myself want to reach out and give comfort to this woman who has lost her child for a cause they do/don't (tick as appropriate) believe in that they have chosen/been drafted (alright, enough choices Jack, ya wise-ass) to spend lives.

Ooh, Lou's calling and it's only a week after her birthday, so everything else takes a backseat to this fabled QT, there's more negative stuff about the Private Ryan stuff and the analogy of the German soldier singing a lullaby as he kills the Jewish man but I figure I leave the current atmosphere with my final sentiment minus the banter:

Your ability to convey emotion in this piece does you proud, your crafting of the story is executed incredibly, the ambiguity of your chosen ending -this time, was perfect; but, will it next time?
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SeverianofUrth
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful story.

And wow, Mark, me confuse much by post you posted.
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Sterfrye36
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Sev, for taking the time to read it. I appreciate it, man.

Mark25 wrote:
Wow, love and hate in equal measure, it's rare a fiction piece does that to me these days but you got me here, Ster, got me real good.


Good, glad to hear it.

Quote:
The story begins fantastic, those first few paragraphs are so easily absorbed and understood, it's like my mind was a fcuking sponge. Heartfelt emotion, the traumatic denial coupled to the nostalgia. The idea is so simple and yet so agonisingly complex, ingrained with this slippery streak of blind optimism. I'd almost think you were religious. It suffers a lull after the paintball fade/reality dawning but comes on strong in terms of melodrama for the end.


Uh, I am, actually. Laughing

Quote:
I think, with the early sentiment conveyed and if it grips Phae the way it gripped me; you could win this week mate. I'll be honest, I haven't read the rest (other than my own -like a thousand times in rewrites) yet, but it's going to take something rich and nourishing to forget this one; I'm just glad I chose dark and fast and hope Phae's in a dark place when he reads it, because I don't think my 'good feeling' fic would compete.


Thanks, good luck to you, too.

Quote:
Downhill, maybe a little anyways:

Your ending is ambiguous, thank you for that, from the bottom of my black heart I'm so glad you did not literally (a word so literally appropriate in literature, don't you think?! Smile ) have Brandon at that door. I think if you had gone that extra step, I would have hated this fiction piece outright; not because of its style, structure or flow, but because of its well-rounded and keeping-the-faith content.
Perhaps too well-rounded, everything seems to point to the underdog situation here while retaining that indistinct air of human faith and authenticity. I can believe their secret that they hide from the wider world, just as it happens everyday. I am with them in their pain and 'preface' of their grief (geddit? Yeah, there's a better word and you know it! Authoritarian right old tsch at your 'preface', d*mn right it's a 2:30am decision, brother Wink ).


Yeah, I realized that I wanted to go ambiguous and leave it open to interpretation. I considered doing an Occurence at Owl Creek type of ending, but I didn't feel like writing a downer.

I can't believe I actually wrote "preface" in that story. I shouldn't write that late.

Quote:
It's unnerving as to the confident manner with which you morbidly carouse and skillfully unravel these people's lives: never (*hand's shaking and holding the lexicographic gun to a pedant's face* 'let the repetitive redundancy stand motherfucker!') ever stop doing that. It's well known that you should 'write what you know', let me arrogantly and obnoxiously add: keep learning and everything else will fall into place. d*mn, I'm almost a bat and ball fan from reading -no, tuning in to some poor b*stard's method at preserving the memory of his son!


Thanks, but I'm still nowhere near the level of, say, Chuckles.

And what on earth are you talking about with repetitive redundancy?

Quote:
The dog's b*ll*cks.


I...thanks?

Quote:
You may not know what that means but let me tell you it's good; they're just so perfectly preserved and dangle there. You almost want to kiss their perfection until you realise what they are!

Alright, I better revert to type and give you a bit of a ragging; otherwise people will think I'm on too many uppers.


No offense, but I've kind of always pictured you on uppers, bud. Razz

Quote:
Man of your calibre is obviously aware of the 'Letter delivered to Mother' scene in Saving Private Ryan, it's famous many times over: fcuking brilliant and something I dare anyone to watch without denying the naturally human urge to sympathise with a woman in the mix of anguish and a 'broken' heart.
It gets me and I'm a genuine arsehole, mate!


Actually, I've not seen that part of the movie.

Quote:
Now I can see where this angle might inspire, I myself want to reach out and give comfort to this woman who has lost her child for a cause they do/don't (tick as appropriate) believe in that they have chosen/been drafted (alright, enough choices Jack, ya wise-ass) to spend lives.

Ooh, Lou's calling and it's only a week after her birthday, so everything else takes a backseat to this fabled QT, there's more negative stuff about the Private Ryan stuff and the analogy of the German soldier singing a lullaby as he kills the Jewish man but I figure I leave the current atmosphere with my final sentiment minus the banter:

Your ability to convey emotion in this piece does you proud, your crafting of the story is executed incredibly, the ambiguity of your chosen ending -this time, was perfect; but, will it next time?


I understand the first and third paragraphs, but I must admit that the third has me thoroughly baffled. Wink
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"I...have...power issues." -Phae
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fallschirmjager
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sterfrye36 wrote:
I understand the first and third paragraphs, but I must admit that the third has me thoroughly baffled. Wink


He's basically telling you you're great at conveying emotion, the way you shaped the story arc is brilliant and the fact your ending offered little sense of closure was well chosen. It really pulls on the heart strings

And you know what? I fucking agree.

Outstanding job.

I can really relate to that sense of not wanting to accept the loss. When the hospital rang at three in the morning telling me my father had died, I stood at the phone for nearly half an hour before I finally had the nerve to go in to the hospital to see him one last time.

Thus is life and all that jazz.

Mark25 wrote:
It gets me and I'm a genuine arsehole, mate!


You sound a lot like me. I'm a sucker for a sad ending.
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Mark25
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And what on earth are you talking about with repetitive redundancy?


Never ever is a repetitive redundancy because the meaning of ever is covered in 'never'. That's called a repetitive redundancy, to repeat a word that has already been inferred by the previous word and therefore redundant.

Never ever: Never means it won't happen like, er, ever!
Added bonus: A bonus is an addition!
Advance preview: the preview says it all: pre, pre, it's in the syllable. In front: advance!
Armed gunman: He's a gunman, of course he's fcuking armed he's got a gun!
Awkward predicament: by their very definition, predicaments are awkward. Ad nauseam and interchangeable: crisis situation, difficult dilemma.

Check here for more examples.

Quote:
Wonderful story.

And wow, Mark, me confuse much by post you posted.


Off topic: what, by the grand shiny axe of Thor is wrong with your name?! Keep it. It's unique, quirky and reminds me of you. Conan the Libertarian has all the humour of dried-white plastic dog poo, the joke's old.

You haven't seen Saving Private Ryan?! It's a right-on moral crusade through the Second World War. Not as good as Malick's Thin Red Line in terms of a thought-provoking experience (Jim Caviezel and Sean Penn's turns of a deserter and his CO really bring the film to life). Caviezel, well, I won't ruin it but at the end of his journey, where he finds himself. It's really something. A single act defines the scene and then he gets...
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice. I felt the emotion, or at least a distant echo of what it might be like. Never lost a kid, so let's hope that's as close as I get. The tone and shape of this story reminded me of The Monkey's Paw for obvious reasons. There's something scary and gripping about good people sitting in a suddenly empty home while trying to deal with a truth too ugly to face. I guess that "something" is reality. It happens every day in real life. Nobody on this forum has ever been attacked by an Elite or dodged plasma fire, but most if not all of us have either dealt with grief or watched helplessly as someone close to us has. And, of course, we live in a time when people are getting letters telling them that someone they love has died in a place that, as far as they are concerned, is as distant and alien as the planet mentioned in your story. Good stuff, Ster.

Showing the parents going through the motions after their insides have been kicked out was very effective. Rather than spelling out the relationship they had formerly enjoyed with their son, you showed us all the right clues. He'd had a happy childhood and spent hours with his dad, even though the man was a lawyer. Talk about fiction!

I really enjoy these personal, gut-wrenching stories. I've often been asked why my fanfics are so dark (especially by family members) and I always reply that Halo is about war, and war is dark. When I think about armed conflict, the second thing to come to mind is action on the battlefield. The first is the effect it has on loved ones at home. Dying for a good cause is courageous and honorable. Living without that husband or wife or father or son or mother or daughter for the rest of your life is something else entirely.

You know how I feel about Longsword, but I have to say that I was glad to see you post something fresh. Every now and again it's nice to be free from the baggage and constraints of a series and just write. Oh, and speaking of constraints, I've heard of war-time promotions, but draftee to non-com-Lieutenant in two years ... Smile

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Sterfrye36
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chuckles wrote:
The tone and shape of this story reminded me of The Monkey's Paw for obvious reasons.


Yeah, I admit that I took direct inspiration from that and An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge. Good writers originate, great writers steal, right?


Quote:
Good stuff, Ster.


Gracias, senor.

Quote:
Showing the parents going through the motions after their insides have been kicked out was very effective. Rather than spelling out the relationship they had formerly enjoyed with their son, you showed us all the right clues. He'd had a happy childhood and spent hours with his dad, even though the man was a lawyer. Talk about fiction!



Not really. My Dad's an attorney, too, and he always managed to find time to spend with me and my brother. I've always admired him for that. Best Dad I could've asked for.


Quote:
I really enjoy these personal, gut-wrenching stories. I've often been asked why my fanfics are so dark (especially by family members) and I always reply that Halo is about war, and war is dark. When I think about armed conflict, the second thing to come to mind is action on the battlefield. The first is the effect it has on loved ones at home. Dying for a good cause is courageous and honorable. Living without that husband or wife or father or son or mother or daughter for the rest of your life is something else entirely.


So, you show your fics to your family? I learned not to do that after the chapter where Marcus tells McCall about Nix. Yeah, my parents got concerned that I had been abused by someone and not told them. Sign of good writing, right?

Quote:
You know how I feel about Longsword, but I have to say that I was glad to see you post something fresh. Every now and again it's nice to be free from the baggage and constraints of a series and just write. Oh, and speaking of constraints, I've heard of war-time promotions, but draftee to non-com-Lieutenant in two years ... Smile

C.T. Clown


Thanks, I was glad to break away from LR for a while myself (not that I have any bloody time to write it during school, mind you), but it was nice to try something different for a change.

And yes, the promotions may have been pushing it, but we know how horridly the UNSC military sucks without the Spartans. Razz

Thanks for reading, man.
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fallschirmjager
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wouldn't be that uncommon in a time of total war for recruits with leadership properties being rushed through OTS courses in a matter of months and sent to the front line.
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ster wrote:
Quote:
My Dad's an attorney, too, and he always managed to find time to spend with me and my brother. I've always admired him for that. Best Dad I could've asked for.

I was just making a joke, although there is obviously some reality involved; as there would be with any job as potentially consuming as that. Funny thing: it actually occurred to me that your father might have been an attorney so I initially deleted that sentence, but then put it back in. Gotta trust your gut.

Quote:
So, you show your fics to your family?

My older sister is my biggest fan. My dad intended on reading a little of Ghosts of Erebus during a New Year's party, but ended up reading the whole thing while the party continued around him. I was surprised that either of them liked it. But, yeah, I'm sure my dad probably worried a little during parts of that series Smile

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