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Of Opiates and Octopi - Bad Days, Chapter 4

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:45 pm    Post subject: Of Opiates and Octopi - Bad Days, Chapter 4 Reply with quote

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Of Opiates and Octopi - Bad Days, Chapter 4
Posted by kabu (will36@gmail.com)
29 November 2008, 6:08 pm

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=kabu1129081808441.html

kabu wrote:
I know this one is very short, but it serves more as a setup for the next story (which is about twice as long) than as a standalone. Rodriguez is going to be a major character in the rest of the "Bad Days" series.
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great piece, kabu. Reminds me a little bit of Catch-22, both the style and the plot. The insane, dysfunctional military bureaucracy is contrasted with a main character who seems downtrodden with resignation. The scene with the medic was classic. I could totally see that happening; both characters seemed right.

The final scene with Meyers detoxing in his bed was very well executed. We've all experienced sensations like you described: the confusion, the misperception of time, the mixing of reality with hallucinations. Your writing conveyed this warped state of mind wonderfully. The enduring fear of fire is also a great touch, adding a sense of continuity within the series which, as you said last time, is mostly a collection of vignettes, while at the same time giving Meyers a slightly humorous complex.

In my opinion, it would be best to keep it so. This is a dry, funny, offbeat character study that I'm not sure would be well served by delving too deeply into any plot arch. Maybe you can make it work, but all I'm saying is that it is working right now. And, as they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I do have a complaint, however. At times, your writing style is inconsistent. It is at its best when its dry and understated. A few times, though, you veered:

Quote:
I thought about pointing this out to the medic, but the sheer mass of this guy's biceps changed my mind. Seriously, you could stuff a melon into my sleeve and I would still look wimpy by comparison.


I didn't think this fit too well, and in any case wasn't necessary for the scene.

Also, once or twice the narration got a little wonky. For instance:

Quote:
For those of you unfamiliar with the process, when you suddenly cut off access to an opiate, bad things happen.


Most of it seems like a running dialogue, but here he addresses the reader. I didn't find it worked too well, and it distracted me from the story a little bit.

For the most part, though, this was great. Congrats on another win.

- Arthur
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kabu
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Joined: 18 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arthur Wellesley wrote:
Another great piece, kabu. Reminds me a little bit of Catch-22, both the style and the plot.


You're not the first to make the comparison. I actually haven't read that book, maybe I should. Great minds think alike, I guess.

Thanks for the advice on the narration, I'll try to keep from directly addressing the reader. I think I might want to add a teeny bit of a plot to this - maybe there's a Forerunner thing on the planet - but I will definitely be keeping the stories only loosely connected.

This story served a dual purpose - I wanted to write this story (which may or may not be based on personal experience), and I also wanted to introduce Rodriguez as another personality for Isaac to interact with. He's big in this week's coming piece.
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