Forums / Community / Halo Universe

[Locked] 4th Community Writing Contest

OP Flugel Meister

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Waypoint Community Contest 4 The whole story. Use what you have learned to craft a complete story

What have you got to do?
Write a story of no more than 10,000 words. The only rule is that you must write a Halo story and keep it under 10,000 words. The rest is up to you.
  • Word length: no more than 10,000 words.
  • Top 3 entries will receive a forum badge
  • There is no need to title your story, but feel free. The title will not count towards your word length.
  • 1 entry per person
  • The entry must be written by the person submitting it.
  • Entries must be in English
  • Prose entries only. No poems. Sorry.
  • The contest will run until April 10th 2017
  • Late entries or those not in line with the listed criteria will be disqualified.
  • Long entries should be posted elsewhere and linked via here. Try Wordpress. Insert the opening paragraph on here and link to the full thing on FF.net.
  • Use paragraphs
Visit the Community Writing Workshop

Advice:
10,000 words is a lot. Don't feel you have to make it that long. If you can craft a good Halo story of just 1,500 words then do that. But the story must grab the reader in the opening paragraph, don't waste time with floral introductions filled with endless description, or boring introductions involving sitting, walking or staring out of a window.

The real test here, especially if the story is long, is to get me to read all the way to the end. Remember, your characters are the most important part, use them well.

Sage Advice:
  1. Use a computer, not a phone. (if you have to ask why then clearly you're insane).
  2. Don't submit your first draft, it won't be good enough.
  3. Proof read your entry multiple times. Put it away for a few days and then proof read again. Did I mention proof reading?
  4. Start with a bold, engaging opening. Don't start with a character pacing the room, or sitting lost in thought.
  5. Show, don't tell. This is important. Very important. I can tell the difference.
  6. Write what you know. If you're a paramedic then include that perspective, or whatever you are most familiar or comfortable with.
  7. The characters are the crux of your story, not the background fiction, or the Forerunners, or a startling reveal. I can't relate to a Forerunner structure, but I can relate to a character.
  8. If writing about Spartans, don't resort to clichés and tropes.
Visit the Community Writing Workshop
Revising
James-0322 put a few more rounds downrange. 3 of them caught an Unggoy square in the face and left his head a twitching pile of flesh and bone as the small creatures body slumped to the floor. James entered cover, releasing his spent magazine and letting it clang against the metal deck. He slipped a fresh one into the magazine compartment and racked the slide, chambering a round. He glanced over at Carson, or what was left of him.

Just a moment before, Carson's M395 was ringing out with shot after shot. But now, he was separated. A plasma grenade must have gotten to him. His midsection was torn open to reveal his internal organs. Some of them spilled out onto the metal floor, which was now sticky with stomach bile and blood. His legs were nowhere to be found, until James looked over the spasming body of his fallen comrade. One was a few feet next to him. The other was nothing but a piece of swisted metal and bone.

(Gonna finish. Switching Classes. Hold Up.)
Only post complete entries here or link to them elsewhere.
James-0322 put a few more rounds downrange. 3 of them caught an Unggoy square in the face and left his head a twitching pile of flesh and bone as the small creatures body slumped to the floor. James entered cover, releasing his spent magazine and letting it clang against the metal deck. He slipped a fresh one into the magazine compartment and racked the slide, chambering a round. He glanced over at Carson, or what was left of him.

Just a moment before, Carson's M395 was ringing out with shot after shot. But now, he was separated. A plasma grenade must have gotten to him. His midsection was torn open to reveal his internal organs. Some of them spilled out onto the metal floor, which was now sticky with stomach bile and blood. His legs were nowhere to be found, until James looked over the spasming body of his fallen comrade. One was a few feet next to him. The other was nothing but a piece of swisted metal and bone.

(Gonna finish. Switching Classes. Hold Up.)
Only post complete entries here or link to them elsewhere.
Alright. Noted. Im back, anyways. Gonna work for a couple hours.
Everlasting

Halcyon, an AI responsible for weapons research aboard a UNSC space station orbitting Reach, recovers memories from another life as she enters the later stages of rampancy. Within her mind she uncovers a tragic story of love, loss, sacrifice and regret.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12258207/1/Everlasting

ETA: The story is split across five short chapters which you can switch through using the tab at the top and bottom of the page.
Please note, this an excerpt from a larger story in process, the spoiler tab is just to shorten the story, I hope you enjoy.

I sat in the room, waiting, listening only to here dead silence, but the chamber was being panned with cameras. A faint sound grew larger, I was then met face to face with
Dr. Nami, scientist and specialist on determining stability in a soldier. "Good evening.", she spoke in a tone which eased tension within me. "I hear this is your sixth day aboard Infinity, glad to know you haven't collapsed from the fact you're separated from the vacuum of space by a few inches of glass in your chamber, I'm Dr. Nami.". She held her hand towards me, naturally I took it. "I'm-" "Sanzon Parker, Senior Marine number 110086.", she interrupted, "I know who you are." She swiped through her tablet, there was nothing but silence, and she spoke, "It says you are here you requested to be recruited for the Spartan IV program, I have to say your physical tests have provided high results, considering that you are slightly overage for recruitment." She looked at me and stated, "But physical attributes are only 50% of information needed to confirm you for recruitment, your mentality remains in question." I inquired how she planned to do that, and she replied, "Backstories explain a soldier, I use stories to evaluate soldiers, weak minded can't handle the assignments a Spartan is given, take MasterChief Petty Officer John-117 for example." I have heard stories of him, he's a legend compared to the ranks of Spartan, I couldn't figure out how he did it. "117 had something other Spartans didn't, and Dr. Hasley saw it, and being a follower of her work, I hope to find the same attributes in you as well, so..." She activated a recorder. "Let's start from the beginning."

Spoiler:
Show
Just to get the rules clear; point 4, does there have to be a battle and Spartans?
Here is my concept for a new team of Spartan II's. Enjoy!
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12430218/1/Halo-Echo-Chapter-1
Just to get the rules clear; point 4, does there have to be a battle and Spartans?
Ignore. I thought I'd removed that.

Rules are now correct. See above. But the basics are: less than 10,000 words, and it's a Halo story.
Please note, this an excerpt from a larger story in process, the spoiler tab is just to shorten the story, I hope you enjoy.I sat in the room, waiting, listening only to here dead silence, but the chamber was being panned with cameras. A faint sound grew larger, I was then met face to face with
Dr. Nami, scientist and specialist on determining stability in a soldier. "Good evening.", she spoke in a tone which eased tension within me. "I hear this is your sixth day aboard Infinity, glad to know you haven't collapsed from the fact you're separated from the vacuum of space by a few inches of glass in your chamber, I'm Dr. Nami.". She held her hand towards me, naturally I took it. "I'm-" "Sanzon Parker, Senior Marine number 110086.", she interrupted, "I know who you are." She swiped through her tablet, there was nothing but silence, and she spoke, "It says you are here you requested to be recruited for the Spartan IV program, I have to say your physical tests have provided high results, considering that you are slightly overage for recruitment." She looked at me and stated, "But physical attributes are only 50% of information needed to confirm you for recruitment, your mentality remains in question." I inquired how she planned to do that, and she replied, "Backstories explain a soldier, I use stories to evaluate soldiers, weak minded can't handle the assignments a Spartan is given, take MasterChief Petty Officer John-117 for example." I have heard stories of him, he's a legend compared to the ranks of Spartan, I couldn't figure out how he did it. "117 had something other Spartans didn't, and Dr. Hasley saw it, and being a follower of her work, I hope to find the same attributes in you as well, so..." She activated a recorder. "Let's start from the beginning."

Spoiler:
Show
Read the criteria for the competition. Don't begin with a character sitting, pondering his life. It's not an engaging way to start off.

And use paragraphs. You've made this almost unreadable by having a wall of text. I'll have a lot of large entries to read, try and make it easier for me, otherwise I might not make it to the end of your story.
Just to get the rules clear; point 4, does there have to be a battle and Spartans?
Rules were totally open on content and characters. Inclusion of a battle is a way to try and drive a pacey and engaging story.

I'd originally gone for something that started a bit more sedate, but reading feedback on the last competition, and the fact that our man the OP is going to have a lot of reading on his hands, gotta make sure the opening is a grabber.

Good of practice in trying to write for an audience.
Just to get the rules clear; point 4, does there have to be a battle and Spartans?
Rules were totally open on content and characters. Inclusion of a battle is a way to try and drive a pacey and engaging story.

I'd originally gone for something that started a bit more sedate, but reading feedback on the last competition, and the fact that our man the OP is going to have a lot of reading on his hands, gotta make sure the opening is a grabber.

Good of practice in trying to write for an audience.
Appreciated. And as I've stated above, point 4 has been deleted. As long as it's a Halo story and under 10,000 words, it qualifies.
Revising
Just to get the rules clear; point 4, does there have to be a battle and Spartans?
Ignore. I thought I'd removed that.

Rules are now correct. See above. But the basics are: less than 10,000 words, and it's a Halo story.
Quick question mate: you mentioned workshops.
I think these would be great for me to help tailor my style to a difference audience from the one I'm used to. As such, I'm minded to hold back my submission until I've learned a bit through them.
Minded that you've got a whole bunch of your own stuff going on, up and down, but do you know when these might kick off?
Just to get the rules clear; point 4, does there have to be a battle and Spartans?
Ignore. I thought I'd removed that.

Rules are now correct. See above. But the basics are: less than 10,000 words, and it's a Halo story.
Quick question mate: you mentioned workshops.
I think these would be great for me to help tailor my style to a difference audience from the one I'm used to. As such, I'm minded to hold back my submission until I've learned a bit through them.
Minded that you've got a whole bunch of your own stuff going on, up and down, but do you know when these might kick off?
There's a link at the bottom of the original thread: Visit the Community Writing Workshop
Please note, this an excerpt from a larger story in process, the spoiler tab is just to shorten the story, I hope you enjoy.I sat in the room, waiting, listening only to here dead silence, but the chamber was being panned with cameras. A faint sound grew larger, I was then met face to face with
Dr. Nami, scientist and specialist on determining stability in a soldier. "Good evening.", she spoke in a tone which eased tension within me. "I hear this is your sixth day aboard Infinity, glad to know you haven't collapsed from the fact you're separated from the vacuum of space by a few inches of glass in your chamber, I'm Dr. Nami.". She held her hand towards me, naturally I took it. "I'm-" "Sanzon Parker, Senior Marine number 110086.", she interrupted, "I know who you are." She swiped through her tablet, there was nothing but silence, and she spoke, "It says you are here you requested to be recruited for the Spartan IV program, I have to say your physical tests have provided high results, considering that you are slightly overage for recruitment." She looked at me and stated, "But physical attributes are only 50% of information needed to confirm you for recruitment, your mentality remains in question." I inquired how she planned to do that, and she replied, "Backstories explain a soldier, I use stories to evaluate soldiers, weak minded can't handle the assignments a Spartan is given, take MasterChief Petty Officer John-117 for example." I have heard stories of him, he's a legend compared to the ranks of Spartan, I couldn't figure out how he did it. "117 had something other Spartans didn't, and Dr. Hasley saw it, and being a follower of her work, I hope to find the same attributes in you as well, so..." She activated a recorder. "Let's start from the beginning."

Spoiler:
Show
Read the criteria for the competition. Don't begin with a character sitting, pondering his life. It's not an engaging way to start off.

And use paragraphs. You've made this almost unreadable by having a wall of text. I'll have a lot of large entries to read, try and make it easier for me, otherwise I might not make it to the end of your story.
Thank you for the feedback and reminder, I will revise and post a link.
If I am writing a story and want to get some feedback or outside input before I submit it then where should I do that?
If I am writing a story and want to get some feedback or outside input before I submit it then where should I do that?
Here: Community Writing Workshop Thread
Like the other competitions before this one, do the characters and events have to be original that we ourselves create? Or this time, considering its an open competition about anything Halo, can we use established characters, events, and locations if we choose to do so?

I'm asking because there are so many unexplained questions about the Halo universe, and instead of writing drawn out theories essentially telling people the theory itself and how it could make sense, why not make a story out of it? As if its an in-universe document like a data drop, or Dr. Halsey's personal Journal. Or simply in a chapter like style that takes place during a set time period before a well known event, explaining a crucial unexplored element of the larger Halo narrative?

Or, it doesn't have to be a crucial unexplored element of the larger narrative. It could simply be a story about an original Elite character on Argent Moon while Blue Team was investigating, explaining what and why exactly the Covenant were doing there in the first place. It still explains something, but that something isn't like a grand explanation to a persisting mystery throughout the community.

I've been digging through the Halo lore recently again, and I think I've come to solution that that solves one the largest mysteries among the die-hard lore community, like myself. I won't say what it is though, because even if you won't allow what I am proposing, I'll still present it to the community one way or another. I just see this competition as an effective catalyst to get what I have out.
Like the other competitions before this one, do the characters and events have to be original that we ourselves create? Or this time, considering its an open competition about anything Halo, can we use established characters, events, and locations if we choose to do so?

I'm asking because there are so many unexplained questions about the Halo universe, and instead of writing drawn out theories essentially telling people the theory itself and how it could make sense, why not make a story out of it? As if its an in-universe document like a data drop, or Dr. Halsey's personal Journal. Or simply in a chapter like style that takes place during a set time period before a well known event, explaining a crucial unexplored element of the larger Halo narrative?

Or, it doesn't have to be a crucial unexplored element of the larger narrative. It could simply be a story about an original Elite character on Argent Moon while Blue Team was investigating, explaining what and why exactly the Covenant were doing there in the first place. It still explains something, but that something isn't like a grand explanation to a persisting mystery throughout the community.

I've been digging through the Halo lore recently again, and I think I've come to solution that that solves one the largest mysteries among the die-hard lore community, like myself. I won't say what it is though, because even if you won't allow what I am proposing, I'll still present it to the community one way or another. I just see this competition as an effective catalyst to get what I have out.
There's no restriction on what you can write, as long as it's a Halo story and under 10,000 words.

For a developing writer, though, it's beneficial for you to use your own characters. This means you have to develop and evolve your own characters and create their role in the story, or the story around them. It's a great way of developing.

Put it this way, if everyone who enters the contest were to write about the Master Chief it would be a little boring and repetitive. Alternatively, include known Halo characters as supporting characters. But don't have them saying your characters are amazing and helped them out several times. That's considered clichéd.
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