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Project PEGASUS: Intermission: The Origin of Hatred

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Project PEGASUS: Intermission: The Origin of Hatred Reply with quote

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Project PEGASUS: Intermission: The Origin of Hatred
Posted by (ENS) Rabid_Gallagher (rabid_masterchief@hotmail.com)
17 April 2009, 6:02 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=ENS_Rabid_Ga0417090602141.html
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SeverianofUrth
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely liked it, but I had a few small problems with your story.

Quote:
The Marine Lieutenant, identified as Lieutenant Gallagher, was clean-shaven and had no scars. He had a young face, but a serious one. His hazel eyes were much different; they seemed to glow bright, very bright, almost in contrast with Vaezís dark, demoneqse glow of hellfire.


What on earth made you decide that self-insertion would be a good idea? Most people familiar with fanfiction are also familiar with Mary-Sue's, and if there's one thing that turns me off from reading a story, if would be that.

It's not like you decided to go for some self-deprecation and made him a clown or something. I just think this was a huge mistake on your part.

Quote:
His were more haunting, a very colorful arrangement of blue and sapphire, a unique preset to the optics of man. His face was muscled, defined, like a real man.


A cliche particularly prevalent in 'high' fantasy is the obsession with which authors detail the color of their characters' eyes. Blue and green and every shade of purple; the color is supposed to be a character trait, somehow. Also, 'unique preset to the optics of man'? WUT?

The part that I bolded is just ridiculous. 'Like a real man'? Dude, what the fuck? You just keep stepping into holes left and right.

That said, it looks like you proof-read (which is something I was stupid enough not to do well, this week) and there certainly aren't many laughable lines. The writing was tighter than your last submission and the plot, from what I understood, was certainly interesting. I wasn't a big fan of Ackerson's rant to the Commodore; although I understand that he was frustrated and needed to vent a bit, he's always been portrayed as a calculating individual, and raging about his true feelings to an outside individual just seemed out of character. Also, I think that the gunshot at the end could have been handled better.

I enjoyed the story near the end, but why did you feel the need to name your protagonist 'Gallagher'? It's one thing to have supremely capable heroes (we deal with that shit all the time, after all); it is another to name them after your own (screen)name. (because it makes it obvious, obviously)
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(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He was never the protagonist. I named my screename after that character when I wrote my first story detailing a commando unit attacking xenomorphs, since deleted. The real protagonists are the SPECTRE commandos and Ackerson, albiet that might not seem like the case yet. And that scene that you bolded; I was trying to make him seem more innocent than he does right now. The glow, I could of replaced with spark. I should of, since Vaez lacks that with his years of combat.

And it's not self-insertion, even though there is a character in there that I think I resemble in terms of personality and build, but it's not Gallagher.

And the muscle thing. Yup, you're right. That was a mistake on my part. I'll try and knit those holes up with the next one.

The Ackerson thing: -Shrug- I think I'm portraying that scene with him before he really developed that calculating prospect, since in this universe-o-mine he didn't have a lot of reason to be watchful as an Intel Officer up until that point when he lost command of his program. But, again, to each his own.

But, thank you. You're one of two to be commenting on my stories in the past few submissions, and your insight is giving me a new look on this series, and rather the whole SPECTRE universe as well. I'll try to do better by you next time, Sev.
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kr1
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry, Gallagher, you and CoLd are all that's left in the queue. I'll get to this. Wink
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SeverianofUrth
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I apologize for being a bit blunt; that said, I still think that it was a mistake to name Gallagher, well, Gallagher. Although you said that he's not the protagonist, certainly, much attention has been given to him--but I suppose the story will begin to focus on the commandos more.

Quote:
And that scene that you bolded; I was trying to make him seem more innocent than he does right now. The glow, I could of replaced with spark. I should of, since Vaez lacks that with his years of combat.


I think anything that has to do with glowing, sparking, sparkling, or shining eyes should be avoided. That's just a personal opinion. But trying to define a character with traits that are not easily definable--because when was the last time you could detect a 'healthy glow' in someone's eyes?--is, again, in my opinion a mistake.

I hope I'm being helpful; sorry if I seem like a asshole. Just remember that if I hated your story, I wouldn't bother commenting on it.
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(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know, Sev. I geniunely meant it when I said thank you.
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You gotta appreciate Sev's reviewing style: he says what he means. Which makes his gripes hard to hear, but his compliments all the more gratifying.

I must agree with his assessment of the opening descriptive passage, but perhaps for slightly different reasons. I wasn't put of so much by the particulars of the description, but rather how it fit with the rest of the story. The scenes were all very brief and sparse, "moment in time" type vignettes that catalogue the progression of SPECTRE. They were mostly dialogue or quick blocking descriptions. Thus, we are given one style at the end and then a sudden cut to a whole new style. It didn't work too well. Seems both me and Sev would have been quieted if that section had been removed altogether.

On the bright side: I enjoyed reading this. After the introduction, we got to see all sorts of intrigue and drama in just a short read. People in defeat, people in triumph, people dying. While this was all cut together rather roughly, I sensed this was the point. You very effectively captured each moment in a minimalist style that was oddly satisfying. I myself liked Ackerson's scene (caps notwithstanding--remember, don't use caps for yelling). Calmly asking the Commodore to leave and then tearing the office apart almost had an element of dark humor, and highlighted the nature of his character.

That said, there's still room for improvement. You need more polish to your writing. While obviously some of this can be fixed by proofreading at the end, there something else you must do: slow down a little bit. You are clearly capable of some great writing and are adept at conveying emotion, as I saw in your "Letters of a Corpsman" series. Sometimes it seems like you get a little tripped up. After each sentence, spare a thought for the words you just wrote, quite apart from GPS considerations. Do they convey what I wish to convey? Do they sound good when I read them? Are they in keeping with the words I wrote earlier?

Gallagher, I've liked just about everything I've read from you, including this piece. I just know they can be better.

Keep it up. Looking forward to more.

- Arthur
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hm. I thought I typed this up on Monday. Some of what I want to say has already been said, but whatever. Anyway-

First things first: I really like this story. I like the storyline, and politicking drama is a fresh change of pace from the usual run-and-gun stuff on hboff (hypocrisy on my part, sry), and I like seeing how you write characters from your previous stuff ("Letters" especially), even if the Uprising comic bitch-slapped your take on Ackerson's canon Razz What jumped out at me, though, is that you seem to descend into somewhat labored metaphor when talking about, er, yourself, as people here have mentioned. I'm all for anthropomorphism and unusual simile, but be careful. Bits that stuck out:
Quote:
His hands typed as he sent another letter

That just seems kind of awkward.
Quote:
This is it, Gallagher. I swear, Iíll get my program back. Iíll do everything in my power to get it back. I promise you.

Seems a little melodramatic (and self-indulgent), but that's just my opinion.

And, of course, the business with describing eyes, as a few people have mentioned. At least you describe your characters, I've kind of forgotten to Embarassed

I am definitely following this series (I have some catching up to do), but take it easy on the metaphor. Smile

Note: It's really late (early?) right now, so I apologize if I wake up and realize that my post is completely incoherent or something
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry it took so long for me to get to this, Gallagher. You've got a lot of interesting backstory here. I really can't comment much because I haven't been following your stuff, but it's definitely intriguing, the stuff with Romanov in particular. My only real complaint was that the time jumps seemed to happen too fast, and a timestamp, even with just the year, would have made it easier to keep up. Anyways, nice work.
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(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

-Shrug- At least you've read it. Very Happy

I'll fix that problem with the next installment.
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