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Most Sincere Apologies - Bad Days, Chapter 5

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: Most Sincere Apologies - Bad Days, Chapter 5 Reply with quote

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Most Sincere Apologies - Bad Days, Chapter 5
Posted by kabu (
10 December 2008, 9:21 pm
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Joined: 29 Jul 2004
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Location: Grand Rapids MI

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks as if you first posted in October and I believe this is the first chapter of yours that I've read. If you are indeed new here, I'd like to give you a belated welcome to HBOFF. If this chapter is any indication, it's going to be nice having you around. As should be plain by now, I haven't read the previous four chapters of your story. I thought I'd check this out first (since I generally try and read what I can of the stories that are posted with my latest submission) and if I liked it I'd read the rest. I will read the rest.

I like the tone of your humor, and your timing is excellent. This is good, since timing is the joke. I was about a third of the way through this chapter and still not quite sold on your writing or your humor when I read this:
"Fire is very dangerous, Rodri- uh, Gabe. This body armor?" I tapped my shin guard to illustrate. "At high temperatures it'll burn like kerosene. That's why I, you know, flipped-"

That closed the deal. The dialogue is perfect. You have him say it in such a natural and humorous way that I could almost hear it. Then you immediately kicked the humor up a notch:
I had to pause for a minute when the Banshee's wail drowned out my voice as streams of blue plasma strafed our position.

Phrasing is everything and you nailed it, understating the situation and getting the best comedic punch with the first six words: "I had to pause for a minute ..." The rest of the paragraph is fairly normal (the sort of stuff we read in fanfiction all the time) but putting those six words out front sets the whole situation on its ear: these two aren't interrupting the battle with their comparatively mundane conversation, but rather the battle is interrupting them. Nicely done.

I Liked this too:
Looking at the blast, I was struck once again by the perfect elegance that the Covenant had incorporated into their machines of war. I had done quite a bit of research on the subject of explosions, and I can tell you that bright blue flame like that is harder to achieve than it looks.
Wonderfully laid back observation. Fits the tone like a glove.

No real gripes. You did a great job of weaving humor into a chaotic situation. If I could suggest one thing, it would be to make your chapters longer. Yeah, you don't want them to be so long that you scare people away, but you also want to cover enough story to get the reader hooked. That would also give you a better shot at ending with a dang-it-I'm-gonna-have-to-read-the-next-chapter-of-this-fic-or-I'll-die-of-curiosity hook. Getting and keeping regular readers is not easy. You've got to grab their attention early, write with consistent quality AND give them a compelling reason to look for your next chapter. Otherwise, people forget quickly.

Once again, nicely done. Hope you stick around.

C.T. Clown
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. It's good to know that there are people out there who like my stuff.

And this chapter makes a lot more sense in the context of the previous chapters. The very first story establishes Meyers' crippling fear of fire, and the previous two set up the whole "morphine withdrawal/break Rodriguez's arm" thing.

This one was (in my opinion) the weakest of the series. It's too easy to miss the humor in favor of the action. I actually started writing this series as a standalone (not so) slight parody of typical "hoo-rah" military gun-wank übermarine fanfic. The point is that Isaac simply doesn't register the impending doom, he's just anxious to finish his explanation.[/i]
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