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Colony Gamma 12

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:42 pm    Post subject: Colony Gamma 12 Reply with quote

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Colony Gamma 12
Posted by zomby (
8 January 2005, 8:12 PM
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay. You overall plot was descent, but there were some errors. These points are significant problems I found while reading your story:

1. Put ship names in italics (i.e. Unrequited Fury)

2. Learn the CODE; I noticed some descent formatting without it, so you have a basic grasp of paragraph and dialogue seperation, but you must add the CODE to make it formatted here at HBO.

3. Spell out all numbers unless they are part of a designation (i.e. Victor 314, M6C) or of a high, specific value (i.e. 58,965).

4. Don't abbreviate ranks. Just like numbers, spell them out.

5. The Covenant appeared surprisingly 200 clicks away (i.e. two-hundred kilometers)? That is extremely close, and a very low probability since if the Covenant had just arrived in the system, they would have no speciifc information on where the Human fleet was to exit slipspace that close. Try more like twenty-million kilometers.

6. You had the Captain save the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon for last (after the Archers), so either he's a bad Captain or you got some facts a little mixed up. Use the MAC first to take out the Covenant shields, and follow up with Archers for damage.

7. In your text you said "Many of the plasma torpedoes found their mark..." but if that were really true, that ship would be in several pieces. remember, Human's don't have shields, and those large Plasma torpedoes cut through the armor like a knife through butter. A large cruiser could only survivor three or four (maximum) in my opinion, being extremly crippled and useless at that point. When you said "Many" you infer to several, which is commonly 5-7+. Be careful.

8. Finally, you described the Covenant jumping out of the System when they were crippled. The Covenant do not run, no matter how bad the situation is. The only circumstances in which that happened were portrayed in the Halo books, and those were very special cases.

The follow are on the passage as a whole:

a. Work on descriptions. It was pretty vague throughout and you never really focused on any one area. During the Covenant-Human ship battle, you could have expounded so much more. During your passage of the ODSTs boarding and taking over the the stealth ship, you could have made that way more detailed. This two page story could have easily been ten, so work on making it descriptive.

b. Work on facts and realism. I wasn't too impressed with how you had the story play out. For one, the battle with the Covenant seemed tainted, and didn't go as I would have thought (or as I have seen by the real Halo books). The whole ODST thing with then taking over a stealth ship is competely unbelievable in that context (is it possible to do that? Yes. Is it possible in the situation they were in? No), not to mentioned only losing eight men(!). Things like that dramatically take away from your story since it just doesn't make sense or fit.

c. Work on Grammer & Punctuation. There were a few errors that could be easily caught if you proof-read more. Take the time to go over your own material, and/or send it to a friend for peer-editing. It's not hard to fix those mistakes, but requires some time. Take the time to make it right.

c. Finally, refrain from using characters such as the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Why? Because for one, you had absolutely no need for them in this story. Regular Marines could have done they same job (Note: Maybe you should find out what makes ODSTs what they really are). And second, you failed to properly portray them (I understand you added a little bio about the character basically saying that he was a "bad-ass," but that doesn't cut it). This type of character (the ODSTs) should not be tampered with unless you fully understand their duties, personalities, history, etc., and also how to write properly. My one goal in this is to retain the respect and use of these characters, and not let them get thrown around lightly. Do your backwork on the ODSTs, improve on your writing, then come back with another passage sent to me (or Helljumper, as this is really his point) so we can look it over and help you fix any mistakes.

Do Not Take This Personally.

I am not here to beat you up, insult you, or offend you. I am here to help you as a writer to improve and excel. You took the time to post here on HBO, and I will take the time to critique you. If you fell offended, then you have lost the objective view for your own story and therefor cannot improve. Take this properly, as a writer, and follow the points above.

Lastly, as MCC says, have fun with writing, but repsect the points and feedback given to you.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good imagination, but as Russ already pointed out, watch your realism. Few things will take your reader out of the story quicker than something that doesn't sound right. Your writing style is closer to newspaper reporting than storytelling, and you are not alone: that is the number one problem of new or inexperienced writers. Instead of showing the reader what is happening by utilizing action verbs and vibrant imagery, you spent the entire story telling us what happened with passive verbs and after-the-fact narration.

Here is an example of passive narration:
The men charged, but Lexicus was not armed and did not know what to do, so he ran for the Pelican.

Here it is again, but this time I am showing the action, instead of telling:
Like a spooked herd, the men charged forward, clawing the ground with fury. Looking down at his hands as if waking from a dream, Lexicus suddenly remembered: he was unarmed. There was a time to fight, and there was a time to run.

Lexicus ran!

Tearing through the trees, death a footstep behind, he knew that the Pelican was his only hope.

See the difference? Your story had some pretty decent detail, but it could not make up for your passive voice. Try reading some good action writers like Clancy or Ludlum, and learn from their example.

Good luck. I'll be looking for your next submission.

C.T. Clown
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MC's Cousin
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. Looks like russ did a good job here already. But, I will offer my advice. I might repeat some stuff, but, that's never a bad thing.

Okay. The first thing I would work on would be your formatting. You had some rudimentary paragraphing, but you didn't seem to split up the text in an efficient matter.
Paragraphing includes making sure your structure is intact and as coherent as possible. That means organizing your material in a way that aids the reader in understanding it. To see what I mean, just go read a good book and see how they use paragraphs to make things better.

Now, on the same subject, you do indeed need to learn how to use the Code. Coding is what lets you use text effects and formatting effects(ie- horizontal rules and indents). These things just make a story easier to read; not to mention adding an extra element that makes a story just plain better.

Yeah; spell out those minor numbers. All those little digits sitting around in the text just looks funny. Now, when you do this when in reference to a planet, use Roman numerals (ie- Signa Octanus IV).
There are small exceptions. Like years, gun references (like SRS99C-S2 AM Sniper Rifle), and those nifty unit designations.
Same goes for ranks. For one, it is easier to read when spelled out. And two (something that I am more frequently getting at), I, for the life of me, have never ever ever heard Lieutenant, Sergeant, or Corporal pronounced "Lt.", "Sgt.", or "Cpl." Nope. The only time you abbreviate a rank is when it is more than one word; such as PFC (Private First Class), or LTC (Lietenant Colonel).

Watch your flow and grammar. You were going through things as if from a distance. Sentenses ran on, and they didn't sound very good together.
Flow is how it sounds. It includes your structure and your wording. And it is important to get flow right if you want a reader to enjoy a story at all.
Grammar is pretty self explanitory.

Details, too. Like Chuck said, you did tend to tell us everything. You explained it all, told us what was happening as if in a history book or something. That is not the kind of view you want to be going for. You want to show us, describe your characters, personalities, settings, environments, and everything else. Otherwise we will not be able to understand it.

Overall, I could go on, but I think you have been given enough advice for the time being. So, just work hard to improve; and yeah, as russ did refer: have fun writing. Good luck.
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Rebirth Shadow

Joined: 30 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, not a bad story. The others covered most of the other stuff. I believe that such basic things as grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure are all amendable. These are things that can concievably be fixed with reading through your piece numerous times and having a solid understanding of writing in general. These are minor things that are not of much concern. What I found most astoundingly lacking in this piece was how much happened in such a short passage. To be honest, this felt something like a historical narrative one might find in a textbook. Space battle realism aside, you took absolutely no time to develop characters beyond a few sentences and you gave them no personalities. Your characters had little dialogue, and what little they did have was unrevealing towards their nature. A major problem I have with your story is that there are so many events and so little writing. You could have easily broken this story into at least a 3-5 chapter series if you were willing to detail things to their greatest extent. Minimialist writing is commendable, but not to the scale in which you are employing it. Each little detail must be blown up into something more, each shot from a covenant cruiser has to have some description. Of greatest imporance in this "thing" for detail, is the fact that you develop your characters. I cannot stress this more. With the environments and general overarching storylines already in place from the Halo games and books, the most important part of any series becomes the characters. I can see that you put some amount of effort into this piece, and I congratulate you for that. If you keep up the work, you'll be sure to make progress.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I doubt if there is anything left to say about this story here, that hasn't already been said. You made some spelling mistakes and grammer mistakes here and there. It was a good story line though. You need to add some detail with your next story. I will refrain from repeating anything that someone else has already said. So that just about sums it up for me. Just please take in mind what the others said about this story, and apply them to your next story, and it will be a great one.
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