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Fic Pick of the Week (October 9)
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kr1
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Fic Pick of the Week (October 9) Reply with quote

ShroudedCloud did this week's Fic Pick, but he's not gonna be able to post it and asked me to for him. So, here you go, folks!

ShroudedCloud wrote:

Well, the newbie steps up to do a review, will it turn out as horrible as his worst nightmares? It's up to you guys; love it or hate it, the Fic' Pic' o' the Week* has arrived.

The Entrants:
Jurisdiction by Codyman
Codyman's story is a small snap shot of the seriousness of the amount of work that goes into the neighborhood watch programs in the Halo-verse. In it, we follow Patrolman Zicattia's day through words that come through concisely and primarily free of error. This is a nice little fiction that can be tackled quickly for a bit of a laugh. An unabashedly cheesy story in other words.
Also by Codyman: Grunty the Grunt

So lost... prt 2 by Why do we talk?
Here, we have the story of the evacuation of Reach... Circa when Halo 3 takes place. The story is rife with canon issues (and no noticeable attempts to rectify these discrepancies), GPS errors, the formatting** is simple, and the story goes nowhere. I was turned off from the very first sentence by this piece and found it a task to make it through to the end. Why do we talk?'s got some work cut out for him.
Also by Why do we talk?: So lost...

Doctor of New Mombasa (Part 2 / 2) by Mr. AngryPants
We are presented with, from what I can recollect, events that seem to be behind the scenes of the events in Sadie's Story from ODST. The package does little to make up for the story: while the GPS is done well enough, the formatting** is simple in this story as well, barely making it above a wall of text. The story itself feels uninspired, and I found my self again struggling to reach the end of the story. Mr. AngryPants has the potential to do better, though. On to the next story.
Also by Mr. AngryPants: Doctor of New Mombasa (Part 1)

A Day in New Mombasa by Jake Trommer
A piece about what it's really like being a Brute on patrol in New Mombasa with the Rookie out there. Another in the vein of humor here, but more with the lights shut off. The writing behind the story is just as solid as the other examples I perused of Jake's material, albeit in a completely different style. This piece has little going against it.
Also by Jake Trommer: Attack on Installation 06 (Series)

Veracity: The Beginning by Shurmanator
A sci-fi horror involving a mysterious being recovered and being interrogated by ONI Section IV. If that short description isn't any clue for you, this story hardly elevates itself above the common horror clichés out there. They find something, something takes control of one, murder begins, and then they find out they have to survive through the night, wooooo. Horribly clichéd story aside, the writing is solid; the mind behind the story needed to put in a bit more thought first, though. The explanation early on felt like I was being talked down to, and the last third amounted to a re-hash of everything that had just happened... WHEN I JUST READ IT. Still, not bad.
Also by Shurmanator: Babylon High (Series)

Halo: True Sangheili (Part Three + Four) by Wolverfrog***
A fierce elite taking his first kill, then swiftly captured by the enemy. The writing for the most part is consistent. The story falls prey to word processor thesaurus however at times. Part Four dragged on and would have served better as a couple of paragraphs rather than trying to stretch what amounts to, 'I found a body' to the lengths that this was taken. Simple formatting** plagues this story as well. The story, despite promises of the future, just isn't there. Reading this, I didn't want to go back and check Wolverfrog's previous submissions, nor did I feel like he could come through on promises of it getting better if he thinks part four is something good.
Also by Wolverfrog: Halo 3: Insurrection (Series)

Halo 3: Insurrection (Part Eight + Nine) by Wolverfrog
John is captured and set for execution, but not if the combined forces of the Arbiter and Johnson/Medicant Bias can help it. Stop. Just stop. If you read that sentence, and actually want to read this story, please, go back to the forums and read it there. I don't mean to offend Wolverfrog here, but this story is just... horrible. The formatting** has improved as he learned about the markers to fix it up upon submitting this one. Too bad that by this point, I have no interest in reading this series again.
Also by Wolverfrog: Halo: True Sangheili (Series)

Fic' Pic' o' the Week
The Wang Monster award goes to... Halo 3: Insurrection (Part Eight + Nine). Not for the conventional reasons of the entire thing being so sub-par it becomes laughable, but for the consistent ludicrous-ness of it. An invisible Scarab tank going COMPLETELY unnoticed, Johnson back from the dead, John constantly cracking remarks as comedic relief, etc... It reads like a fanboy's wet-dream.

Honorable Mentions go out to... Veracity and Doctor of New Mombasa. Both stories showed promise, but didn't quite make the execution. The situation in Veracity could very well be considered a good horror story in the end, but it will be up to Shurmanator, who needs to be careful about falling too much into the horror cliches he used in this first piece. And with Doctor of New Mombasa finished, I'm hoping to see more from Mr. AngryPants... Just on a subject less, for lack of a better word, boring.

Second Place goes out to... No one, since we've got two Honorable Mentions.

Fic' Pic' o' the Week goes out to... A Day in New Mombasa. The story is well written and executed. There is little to find fault with. However, I felt that some of the events, I couldn't tell whether they were supposed to be comedy or just an action. For that reason, and that reason only, did this one lose some favor with me. It all comes down to a matter of tastes, but it is inescapable: this story is a clear cut above the rest submitted this week.

--------------------------------

That's it. As always, if you don't agree, feel free to make yourself heard in this thread here. Until the next group of submissions are approved on 16/10, see ya!

--------------------------------
*ShroudedCloud edition!
**A note on formatting: I do hope all of you will check this out. It shouldn't take more than five minutes of your time to read that and add the necessary tags to your submission. It may not seem like much, but often times it is small things like a properly formatted submission that can make the case.
*** Please refer to the comments for the Fic' Pick preceding this one, found here, if you would like to know more about the history of this series.

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The 14th Wonder
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, Shroud!
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(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woah, wait, we're doing a 'worst-of-the-week' now too? Is that really what the Wang Monster award is?

Don't you guys think that's a little too far?
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kr1
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it really wasn't intended as a worst of the week, just bits that made the writer laugh, good or bad. It's not Shroud's fault, we've all been doing it. From now on, though, maybe a good idea to cool it.
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eb4642
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher wrote:
Woah, wait, we're doing a 'worst-of-the-week' now too? Is that really what the Wang Monster award is?

Don't you guys think that's a little too far?


Well, when I instigated the WM award it was intended to be awarded only to the worst of the worst, the ones that are so terrible they make you spurt coffee all over your desk. That is, the ones so bad they're entertaining.

That said, it's Shroud's choice.
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(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, but the author might not think that, and that's very wrong to call them out in a manner that is rather down-putting, especially if the author hasn't attacked or said anything rudely against another author or reviewer on this site.

EDIT: It's not Cloud's pick or usage of it, since this is a 2 week trend that I've noticed.
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would be a mistake to start anything resembling a "worst of the week" category. That isn't what Fic Pick is about. Heck, it's the opposite of what it's about. I am aware that some authors turn in bad work because they're apathetic, but most people are trying to do a good job. This isn't junior high, guys. Let's recognize what is good, encourage those who are trying get better and ignore the authors who just don't care. I'm pretty sure that was what Azrael had in mind when he started this thing.

C.T. Clown
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Wolverfrog
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just forget it then. If you're doing a worst fic of the week, then that's just horrible, and uncalled for. I'm upset now, you just insulted me without giving any advice. Was that what this forum had in mind when they start FFPOTW?

http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=35203356&viewreplies=true&postRepeater1-p=4#37970850

Read that. It's my latest work I did just yesterday. If you think it's too terrible to even consider reading, then I'll just give up posting here; you're all obviously a lot older and more experienced than me.
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SYSTEM
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright.

Shroud and Wolverfrog, both of you and I need to talk.

First off, Shroud, there will be times when you will want to use that tone of voice, but this isn't one. Chuckles and ENS said it best; this isn't junior high and the attitudes we shared back then - mind you, when you weren't around - we've gotten over. You're new here, but I don't care whether you're an old hat or a green rook, I do not tolerate shitting on the rookies at this stage of the game, especially when much of the site's public perception hinges on the FFPOTW. This kind of thing happened before, the site's paid for it and we don't need to pay for it again. Know your place. You are not Yahtzee and if you are trying to be him you're doing a pretty poor job of it anyways.

Secondly, Wolverfrog, I don't appreciate drama unless it's in fiction. You need to consider three things: A) You are not god's gift to Halo fiction, B), only Shroud has attacked you so far, and C), if he continues to do so, I will deal with him myself. I don't appreciate it when rookies get uppity and protective about their work and threaten to march off in a huff, because if they don't have the guts to stay here, admit they could do better, and start working harder, I wouldn't want them around anyways. You will need to get used to criticism; accept it and welcome it. It's a sign that people believe you can improve. If you feel you don't need to, wake up and smell the coffee. If it's just blind insults, that's another matter, but I will deal with it then.
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Wolverfrog
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I'm not "God's gift to fan fiction", there are many people better than me, but I don't think I'm so terrible as to warrant receiving what is effectively the "Worst fic of the week award," especially if you take my age and the time I've been writing into consideration.

Insurrection can be ludicrous sometimes, the whole Johnson thing is a bit far fetched, but he was a Spartan I, as confirmed by Staten, and Mendicant Bias did promise John he would do what he could to help him. Saving Johnson, who in turns saves the Chief was part of this help. The real reason I did it though was because I loved the character of Johnson, and so thought of a way he could come back. But yes, Insurrection can be over the top at times, and if you people dislike things like that in a fan fiction (Which seems a bit silly, considering a fan fiction usually contains things the author wishes were in the actual series, rather than an exact clone of a Nylund book), then I'll stop posting it here.

I'm disappointed you don't like True Sangheili; it's a series I'm enjoying writing, and thus I'd appreciate it if you'd actually give advice rather than merely trashing it. Is it the plot that's lacking? The characterisation? You didn't say, Shroud.

Anyway, I might just leave; maybe come back in a few months when I've got more experience under my belt and I have a better story plot. I'm considering a story about the early days of the Covenant which seems original and interesting plot wise.

I'm not going to stop True Sangheili or Insurrection by any means over a few people's opinions, I've got dozens of readers at other sites; I just won't post them here.

*Twirls cape and avaunts*
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stepping in a bit here to say a few things.

Wolverfrog, I see you're excited about writing and striving to do this business well, and I naturally identify with your sentiment because I was feeling the exact same thing when I came here some years ago.

This is the internet. With a few clicks and typing performed by people holding the right powers, the entry in Shrouded's review can be changed from "Wang Monster Award" to "Nobel Award for Literary Genius." That said, the sort of criticism Shroud's been exposing (or any sort of criticism not backed by hard explanations) doesn't warrant any sentimentalist reaction other than motivation (and/or ignorance, if you feel the respective criticism is utter bullshit) and perseverance to further your own goals. I'm not a liberal or an individualist, but if you think seriously and lovingly of your writing, you should be selective about absorbing things people say on the internet and pick the good of the pile (that is, criticism that is actually helpful) and head on the individualist road to hard work and success. Because there simply is no other way to progress.

Hope my rambling wasn't too annoying.
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SYSTEM
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it isn't getting through to you.

Wolverfrog wrote:
I know I'm not "God's gift to fan fiction", there are many people better than me, but I don't think I'm so terrible as to warrant receiving what is effectively the "Worst fic of the week award," especially if you take my age and the time I've been writing into consideration.

If you read the general consensus of this thread, most of the members (apparently) were not in favour of Shroud's handing you the Wang Monster award of the week and made their concerns known. I have already spoken to him over it privately and either this will not occur again, or it will become more than just a talking-to matter.

Quote:
Insurrection can be ludicrous sometimes, the whole Johnson thing is a bit far fetched, but he was a Spartan I, as confirmed by Staten, and Mendicant Bias did promise John he would do what he could to help him. Saving Johnson, who in turns saves the Chief was part of this help. The real reason I did it though was because I loved the character of Johnson, and so thought of a way he could come back. But yes, Insurrection can be over the top at times, and if you people dislike things like that in a fan fiction (Which seems a bit silly, considering a fan fiction usually contains things the author wishes were in the actual series, rather than an exact clone of a Nylund book), then I'll stop posting it here.

Believability, integrity of a storyline, and how it affects the audience's ability to suspend disbelief, and "What the author wants" are not two opposite ends of a sliding scale, yet they are related. Read up on the notion of wish fulfillment; every aspiring writer, ranging from those who want to make it big, and hobbyists should.

Quote:
I'm disappointed you don't like True Sangheili; it's a series I'm enjoying writing, and thus I'd appreciate it if you'd actually give advice rather than merely trashing it. Is it the plot that's lacking? The characterisation? You didn't say, Shroud.

He will A) say it next time, or B) have to deal with me.

Quote:
Anyway, I might just leave; maybe come back in a few months when I've got more experience under my belt and I have a better story plot. I'm considering a story about the early days of the Covenant which seems original and interesting plot wise.

It's best to set your own schedule; I do so as well.

Quote:
I'm not going to stop True Sangheili or Insurrection by any means over a few people's opinions, I've got dozens of readers at other sites; I just won't post them here.

It sounds like because you aren't receiving glowing reviews, you are going to retreat to a place where you know you'll get them. This does not reflect positively on you or your attitude.

Other members brought up some valid points at various points, I can name eb4642, Kr-1464, and Kabu off the top of my head, and they backed it up. I also gave you some advice last time, even if it was a simple tip and I avoided saying anything about your work itself.

Writing skill, and building it is not a matter of an audience taking to your literature and liking it immediately. Writing skill is a matter of getting humbled, being forced to see the flaws in your own work, and building up patience and experience through experimentation and trial and error. This is all part of an experiment, and experiments fail from time to time, but this does not mean you have. Take it in stride and find something else that works. You will need to learn to "kill the baby" if a project has soured and start new with ideas that don't hold you back. It is not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. You have to keep trying, keep finding out what works and what doesn't.

You won't learn anything from flattery.

Quote:
*Twirls cape and avaunts*

Copping out is a sure-fire way not to impress anyone here, and it certainly won't impress me, no matter how you try to disguise it as a grand exit.

If you do want to make a big impression, come back here and start listening, instead of posturing like it's all some kind of screenplay.
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The 14th Wonder
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record, that comment above was to commend Shroud for doing a pick as a new guy. No personal stake here, but I also don't condone the use of the WM award this week (or most weeks, really). That's not what the pick is all about. (Nothing personal, Shroud, but the consensus obviously is that that wasn't a good call and I agree.)
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(ENS) Rabid_Gallagher
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all agree never to use the WM, or anything such to denote the worst of the week, again?
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two controversial fic picks in a row. I believe that's a record of sorts.

I hope you don't get discouraged too much by this, Shroud. I can certainly appreciate a newcomer who takes the time to do a fic pick. It takes some initiative to volunteer yourself in a new community, and some guts to review some veterans. And the "wang master" business was following previous examples...

Anyway, let's all agree not to do that again, and move on. Cool

- Arthur
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