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This Is What We Get For Trust | Part 3

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:13 am    Post subject: This Is What We Get For Trust | Part 3 Reply with quote

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This Is What We Get For Trust | Part 3
Posted by Rtas Vadumee (yeahyou84@yahoo.com)
2 September 2009, 12:35 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Rtas_Vadumee0902090035471.html
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kr1
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read the first two chapters, but I thought I'd jump in and give this a look. Overall, your GPS is pretty solid, which is always a good sign. A few spelling mistakes, just make sure to check that in Word or something with a spellchecker.

The author's note at the beginning was a bit of a turn-off, though. If you need to explain something like switching POV, then you haven't pulled it off well enough. There are easier ways to pull it off than what you've done. My personal favorite is italics without capitalization. If you're doing train-of-thought, removing punctuation is nifty, too.

The other problem I've got is that this goes by way too fast. We've got what seems to be a recap from Mark, but really, it doesn't help the reader understand much of anything at all. All I got is that Mark was on Reach, and now he isn't.

Your writing is decent, but the story is a bit jumbled and I'm having a hard time making sense of it. Spend a bit more time showing us what's going on next time. Wink
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eb4642
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read it, tried to write something as polite as kr's critique, and failed. So I'm going to be blunt. Normally, something's OK but with a major flaw, I'll say it's got an elephant in the room. This isn't an elephant in the room - it's practically a fucking zoo.

First of all, regardless of the author's note (which is a personal pet peeve), POV switching from first to third person and vice versa is not good. Not good at all.

Occasionally, embedding a person's stream of consciousness works well in a piece - but only if it's used sparingly. For example:

Quote:
Smith edged around the corner, peering tentatively around the brickwork.

Jesus, what the fuck is that?

His pulse quickened as the creature... no, alien... no, thing turned about and gazed at him, suspended in mid-air, its single eye gleaming, piercing, staring. Keep calm, he told himself.


You'll note that the point of view never changed, but the stream of consciousness still fitted in perfectly.

Now for Elephant Number Two. Your main character is a Mary Sue. If you don't know what one is, put simply, it's a character who is "special" and often idealised and ends up sucking the potential out of the story, voraciously. All the other characters are cardboard cutouts that move around the Sue.

Elephant #3: the narrative feels very contrived. For example, this paragraph.

Quote:
The metal clad giant hesitantly sat and began to tell an epic tale of how he came to land on the ship, "Well.. To begin with my name is Mark. I was stationed on Reach and my team and I were doing fine until they begand galssing. It was a 3 person strike team. Linsey, Jake, and I. I lost both Lindsey and Jake, but managed to escape by hiding in the back area of a Wraith, which for some reason powered up and began shooting at other Wraiths. I soon hopped out and ran for a tractor beam which brought me into a cargo ship. I began to learn that despite I weigh half a ton in the armour, I can be stealthier than most cloaked Elites. I started a one man guerilla assualt on the ship, eventually destroying the bridge. The blast sent me floting all this way because I caculated where I would go if I stood on the outside of the bridge, which ended up being you ship.."


Aside from the various typos and spelling errors, the narrative progresses far too fast and with nowhere near enough detail.

Also, the bits I've highlighted in bold at the beginning of said paragraph are extreme examples of spoon-feeding, or telling instead of showing. We already know he's a metal-clad giant, and you could have said that far more effectively with something like this:

Quote:
With a forced grunt of effort, he hesitantly raised himself on to his elbows.


Also, it's our decision to decide whether or not his tale is "epic". We don't need to be told. It sounds contrived and childish.

I'm finding very little to like about this story. You have, mercifully, avoided falling into the common trap of producing something that is complete and utter bollocks (viz. so bad, it has comic value), but this is still not particularly good. My advice to you to improve would be:

  1. Show, don't tell.
  2. Proofread.
  3. Be prepared to kill the baby - i.e. if something is turning stale, abandon it.
  4. Take your time and be more descriptive. Telling a story in five hundred words has nowhere near the impact the same story would have if it were told in five thousand.

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