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Battle of New Alexandria Part 3

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Battle of New Alexandria Part 3 Reply with quote

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Battle of New Alexandria Part 3
Posted by Matt Mills (
8 June 2012, 7:59 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All right, read through the series. The first thing you need to work on is formatting. At the moment it's just a giant wall of text, which makes it very difficult to read. If you don't want to do indents, then at the very least you should use block formatting. (That's every paragraph is separated from the others by a space. If you're doing a section break, use the "[hr]" code.)

You've got decent grammar, which is good. But it's difficult to tell who's saying what in dialogue. Fixing your fomatting could help with that; walls of text tend to make readers skim, rather than hang on every word, which is what you want.

The story itself, though, is kind of flat. You haven't made us care about the characters, they seem to utterly lack personality, and the pacing is almost impossible to follow. You jump across gaps in time with little preamble. Example:

Battle of New Alexandria wrote:
"The entire platoon is accounted for, sir," Jack informed, "Objective is an estimated two and a half kilometers north, with a believed heavy enemy presence." Cap nodded and goaded his men on. They reached the boundaries of the city. Cap held his hand up, and the platoon came to a stop.

First of all, to goad someone on is to provoke them to get a response, usually by annoying or insulting them. If that's what the captain is doing, show it happening, don't just tell us.

Second, their two kilometer hike isn't even given a sentence of its own. Two and a half thousand meters across open terrain? I would've imagined it was a bloody struggle to get through a mortar rain, strafing runs from air support. Even if nothing happened, you could raise the tension of the story by describing their approach. I mean, they're moving into an enemy-occupied city on foot, and all the while they can see the looming shapes of Covenant ships that, if they were to be noticed, could vaporize them all in an instant.

Maybe one of the biggest problems is there's no stated objective. They're trying to get into the city to do... what? Help evacuate the civilians? Take out Covenant targets of opportunity? We don't know what they want, so we have no idea if they're succeeding or failing. Without that, we have no interest in following their story.

All in all, you just need to keep writing. And reading, since it's by reading the work of people who have years of experience that you'll know what to do in order to better your own writing.
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