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Halo Writing Workshop

OP Flugel Meister

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As the 4th iteration for the community contest is underway, I thought I'd impart some sage writing advice. And this will be the place for everyone to participate in discussion regarding writing elements of the Halo universe and writing in general.

First, why write Halo fan fiction?
For me, the means to improve characterisation (writing characters as authentically as possible) began with Halo, really. Here, via fan fiction, I could practice writing different characters from the universe, but I also had a frame of reference for those characters, to ensure accuracy and authenticity. That frame of reference was the canon. If writing the Arbiter character I have a frame of reference, namely Halo 2 and Halo 3. This allowed me to check and align each character's tone and inflection, the cadence of their voice and speech patterns, their movement. If a character didn't appear to be in line with the canon version, I could adjust and practice until correct. From that I can create my own characters and practice accordingly until I'm happy with the result.

Why write at all?
For me, and I hope others, too, writing is the foundation of who I am. I enjoy it, I'm compelled to do it. And it's also educational. In short, I can't imagine not writing. And if you feel the same way then you may also be a writer, and hopefully one day an author.

What advice do I need?
Many of us start off young when getting into Halo. I was in my late twenties when Halo Combat Evolved was released in 2001. And despite enjoying writing and Halo, My early writing was quite terrible. It was full of clichés and tropes, and often began slowly before rising to a crescendo. Which in writing terms is awful. But it's how a lot of young, new or inexperienced writers begin. So hopefully, this workshop will help iron out the creases of mediocrity and get us all up to a superb standard. All you need to do is read and write. In essence, just practice.

Let's start with the opening of a story. For most inexperienced writers this is the first place where you make mistakes, with long-winded, adjective-laden description, or by introducing a character who is pacing the room, lying in bed thinking or staring out of a window. It's not very exciting and doesn't really involve the reader. And without the reader your story is nothing. What you need to do is 'hook' the reader. Gain their interest.

Most published authors start with a statement of some sort or sometimes dialogue that entices the reader, so that they want to know more.

Let's take a look...

  • In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
Scott Fitzgerald, (1925) The Great Gatsby

The opening to The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite openings. The narrator is making a statement, but only by reading on do you discover what that advice is. So this in turn entices the reader, it engages them. If you try to start with simple description, the opening becomes entirely one-sided, which doesn't engage the reader. In short, it becomes boring. So start with something enticing, interesting, bold, engaging. Make a statement, both literally and figuratively. Involve the reader. Make them think.

Let's look at another...

  • “We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. “The wildlings are dead.”
George R. R. Martin, (1996) A Game of Thrones

George R. R. Martin starts off A Game of Thrones with dialogue, instead of a statement. But he still manages to grab your attention and force you to question what is happening. Here, the reader is encouraged to question why Gared is concerned and who exactly are the Wildlings. The deft inclusion of a small descriptive element, namely the woods growing dark around them paints a foreboding scene and is perhaps indicative of what might happen.

Lastly...

  • Cloud modest, the planet covers herself.
Greg Bear, (2011) Hull Three Zero

Greg Bear is well known to us Halo fans. After all, he crafted the three superb Forerunner novels. In his opening to Hull Three Zero his first sentence is short, simple but enticing. It's also a statement, of sorts. And it compels the reader to want to know more. What is the planet hiding? What's on the surface? It engages the reader. It makes them feel involved. It makes them question what is written.

Now let's look at a Halo novel opening...

  • The marines were in the air before dawn.
Joseph Staten, (2008) Contact Harvest

Joseph Staten manages to capture our attention with a very simple introduction, which begins with a statement. But this simple statement still makes the reader think that something is going to happen. There's a sense of expectation. Why are the marines in the air? What's going to happen? What are they facing? Get your readers to question what's happening.

In a way, Halo novels are both the easiest and the hardest novels to write. In truth, most Halo fans will ignore a slightly dull opening (not that any are) and read until they hit the really good stuff, the big reveals, the twists and turns. But we are also the most critical. If an author slips up and doesn't get something right, we'll be the first to point it out.

Show, don't tell
If you write or participate in the community contests, you'll be used to seeing this statement in the criteria. But what does it mean?

If a writer tells the reader everything, leaving nothing for the reader to interpret, then the story becomes very, very dull. Unfortunately a lot of inexperienced writers start off with telling, usually because they feel they need to inform the audience/reader on what is happening and who the character is. This is telling. Showing is the art of crafting a similar scene but indirectly, using subtext, description and dialogue. This allows the reader to come to their own conclusions, making them feel valued and included.

EXAMPLE:
Telling sentence: It was an unusual cat.

Showing sentence: With yellow eyes glowing red, long, black fur that stood on end, a mouth full of sharp pointed teeth that emitted a yowl like a tiger, I knew that the small animal before me was no ordinary cat.

I'm sure you'll agree that the telling sentence is fairly boring. The writer immediately spoils the experience by telling us everything about the cat. The showing example, however, is different, and involves the reader, by allowing them to paint a mental picture. They can see the cat, and it looks far from ordinary.

Obviously, the showing sentence involves description, and we generally avoid lots of description with the opening of a novel. This is because it usually becomes one-sided and descriptive heavy. But an experienced writer will use it wisely, weaving it in here and there. But use the showing method as often as possible.

Other points to note:
  1. Word limits are a common factor in the literary world. Whether you’re writing reviews, short stories, novels or copywriting material for a business, word length is always under scrutiny. Adhere to them.
  2. Creating ‘the hook’ as it’s termed in literary circles, can be difficult. Often, writers fall into the habit of starting with description, or background information. For an agent or publisher this is the quickest way to throw your hard work into the nearest bin/trashcan. Draw the reader in, keep them engaged, give them something they never expected.
  3. Be succinct. Get to the point. Do you really need to use 4,000 words or can you say it in 400?
More to come. Please feel free to comment, ask questions or offer advice to other writing fans of Halo.
Good advice! It would be nice if some people who did the writings heeded it haha. As always, appreciate what you do here!
The conflict of the story is always the most challenging part in my opinion. If someone were to write a conflict with little to no violence how would they go around doing that? Is there in specific advice anyone can give to keep a constant tension during a combat-free period?

EDIT: Also, could the story for the writing contest take place as a news article?
The conflict of the story is always the most challenging part in my opinion. If someone were to write a conflict with little to no violence how would they go around doing that? Is there in specific advice anyone can give to keep a constant tension during a combat-free period?

EDIT: Also, could the story for the writing contest take place as a news article?
If it's tension you're going for then use short paragraphs, intertwined with indications of enemy movement or a possible threat, such as semi-distant sounds or finding a dead sentry or members of a platoon simply going missing. Tension usually develops through mistrust or intent. try and convey that. Though gory, think of the film The Thing and the tension and mistrust that develops in that film, or in Aliens. There's a build up in Aliens, no real gore as such, but there's a sense of anticipation.

Other elements could involve PTSD or the aftermath of a battle or the rush before a battle - quickly trying to fill magazines before the next attack etc.

As for the question regarding the contest, the entry is to be delivered in prose, so in this case, no.
Hi I am busy writing a Halo story and wanted some feedback on it. Just a WIP, its basically setting the stage for when the Prometheans start attacking everyone. Sorry about the multiple posts, it wouldn't let me post it as one thing.

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So I just had a question: how could I possibly give my character non-lethal yet substantial damage in a firefight? I don't want him losing limbs or anything. He's a much bigger S-IV, 7 foot 9 inches outside of armor. He can take punishment, but I was wanting something more. But like I said, non-lethal and no dismemberment.
So I just had a question: how could I possibly give my character non-lethal yet substantial damage in a firefight? I don't want him losing limbs or anything. He's a much bigger S-IV, 7 foot 9 inches outside of armor. He can take punishment, but I was wanting something more. But like I said, non-lethal and no dismemberment.
Make him consistently be the sole survivor of his team, a lone wolf whose tactics keep stealing the rest of the team their lives. He gets the job done, but at what cost? Spice it up with some guilt and self-hatred, maybe PTSD.

And still, don't make him one-on-one a Scarab or anything like that.
So I just had a question: how could I possibly give my character non-lethal yet substantial damage in a firefight? I don't want him losing limbs or anything. He's a much bigger S-IV, 7 foot 9 inches outside of armor. He can take punishment, but I was wanting something more. But like I said, non-lethal and no dismemberment.
Make him consistently be the sole survivor of his team, a lone wolf who's tactics keep stealing the rest of the team their lives. He gets the job done, but at what cost? Spice it up with some guilt and self-hatred, maybe PTSD.

And still, don't make him one-on-one a Scarab or anything like that.
Wholeheartedly agree. No one-on-one trashing of scarabs, or killing multiple Hunters, or mowing through elites like a hot knife through butter.

Remember, despite a Spartan's proficiency in combat, once facing multiple threats, thy become less effective, unless they are supported or highly creative. But that must clearly show in your writing. Even the Chief kept things covert in the novels, and you spend a good chunk of most of the games with marines or ODSTs as support.

But yeah, don't turn him into a one man army. The entry should be more about him as a character than what he can do as a Spartan. Sure, the battles are fun. But if he comes across as superman, it won't be an engaging read.

Here's an example of a Spartan psych profile I did a while back:

Age: REDACTED
Service ID: B128
Rank: Petty Officer 2nd Class
Preferred Weapons: M8 Hybrid SMGs; Modified M90 shotgun
Armour Variant: Ad-Hoc/Hayabusa Japanese PBAPsychological Assessment:Li-B128 is a troubled individual with a long and detailed history of egotistical intentions and their resultant actions, particularly when it comes to the Covenant. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary he continues to deny his involvement in the theft of several Covenant close quarter weapons from the secure storage facility in the Hashva Valley on Onyx. Efforts to repatriate these items have thus far failed.

Li often exhibits a disregard for authority and finds it hard to mix with other team members – preferring, instead, to work alone. A result of his abandonment, no doubt. As of late, B128 has expressed an interest in improving his communications and technical relay training, perhaps with the actual intention of qualifying this time, though I have my doubts.
I recommend a remedial phase of team-orientated training and assignments so that he may prove himself useful in larger engagements, and with larger squads.

As you can see, Li is a Spartan III. SO he's not Superman. He's human, but a skilled and determined one with several personal issues.

He's not a team player. But he's in a team. That'll create friction and issues will develop etc. He's also not a high ranking official, unlike how some fan fictions visualise Spartans, particularly if the writer is projecting themselves into the Spartan fantasy. When that happens, the story turns into an incoherent ramble, as the writer embarks a fantasy-laden journey where they are the Spartan.
So I just had a question: how could I possibly give my character non-lethal yet substantial damage in a firefight? I don't want him losing limbs or anything. He's a much bigger S-IV, 7 foot 9 inches outside of armor. He can take punishment, but I was wanting something more. But like I said, non-lethal and no dismemberment.
Make him consistently be the sole survivor of his team, a lone wolf who's tactics keep stealing the rest of the team their lives. He gets the job done, but at what cost? Spice it up with some guilt and self-hatred, maybe PTSD.

And still, don't make him one-on-one a Scarab or anything like that.
Wholeheartedly agree. No one-on-one trashing of scarabs, or killing multiple Hunters, or mowing through elites like a hot knife through butter.

Remember, despite a Spartan's proficiency in combat, once facing multiple threats, thy become less effective, unless they are supported or highly creative. But that must clearly show in your writing. Even the Chief kept things covert in the novels, and you spend a good chunk of most of the games with marines or ODSTs as support.

But yeah, don't turn him into a one man army. The entry should be more about him as a character than what he can do as a Spartan. Sure, the battles are fun. But if he comes across as superman, it won't be an engaging read.

Here's an example of a Spartan psych profile I did a while back:

Age: REDACTED
Service ID: B128
Rank: Petty Officer 2nd Class
Preferred Weapons: M8 Hybrid SMGs; Modified M90 shotgun
Armour Variant: Ad-Hoc/Hayabusa Japanese PBAPsychological Assessment:Li-B128 is a troubled individual with a long and detailed history of egotistical intentions and their resultant actions, particularly when it comes to the Covenant. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary he continues to deny his involvement in the theft of several Covenant close quarter weapons from the secure storage facility in the Hashva Valley on Onyx. Efforts to repatriate these items have thus far failed.

Li often exhibits a disregard for authority and finds it hard to mix with other team members – preferring, instead, to work alone. A result of his abandonment, no doubt. As of late, B128 has expressed an interest in improving his communications and technical relay training, perhaps with the actual intention of qualifying this time, though I have my doubts.
I recommend a remedial phase of team-orientated training and assignments so that he may prove himself useful in larger engagements, and with larger squads. As you can see, Li is a Spartan III. So he's not Superman. He's human, but a skilled and determine done with several personal issues.

He's not a team player. But he's in a team. That'll create friction and issues will develop etc. He's also not a high ranking official, unlike how some fan fictions visualise Spartans, particularly if the writer is projecting themselves into the Spartan fantasy. When that happens, the story turns into an incoherent ramble, as the writer embarks a fantasy-laden journey where they are the Spartan.
That sounds good. I'm still only 1/4 of the way complete. Ill try to actually let people get to know him as a person when the dust settles. I appreciate it. Also, don't worry about Scarabs :)
So I've got the first 1000 words or so down, and I'm a bit worried that the opening might just come across as an unstructured pseudophilosophical rambling mess followed by a really dull introduction to all of the characters. I'm also concerned that the protagonist is completely unlikable; they're either -Yoinking!- at others for not following their exact orders or falling into an amoral mess and cheating on their husband. They DO try to save Russo later, so hopefully that will make them a bit more likable.

Here's the opening. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Spoiler:
Show
So I just had a question: how could I possibly give my character non-lethal yet substantial damage in a firefight? I don't want him losing limbs or anything. He's a much bigger S-IV, 7 foot 9 inches outside of armor. He can take punishment, but I was wanting something more.
Not sure if you've got multiple people, but let me show you a couple segments of one of my fanfictions that might give you something - NOTE: This is not my submission to Contest #4

Quote:
“Excellency!” One of the Grunts chirped excitedly. “The monument! We here!” Though they still had several miles to go, the Grunt continued to rejoice only because it could see the shining silver arch. Its jubilation was cut short as a light blue beam lanced through the creature’s skull. The Grunt yelped, falling to the side as it clenched the plasma pistol in its fist. As it struck the pavement, its fingers released the trigger, a blob of green plasma bursting forward.

The shot struck the back of Yakushev’s leg. The plasma burned through her battledress, scorching her skin and melting her calf muscle to the bone. She collapsed against the wall of the building, screaming in pain as the rest of the squad scrambled for cover.
Now, granted this is about an ODST squad. Yakushev is given a biofoam splint, which serves to keep her going, but also breaks down a little bit, further on in the story. To add to it, there's the following:

Quote:
Richards stopped after opening the Cathedral door, turning to cover the squad as the Covenant quickly followed them. Hackett continued to help Yakushev run, her leg now seeping blood through the biofoam. As they made it up the Cathedral steps, a blob of blue plasma hit her in the side, knocking her to the right.

“[REDACTED]!” Hackett swore as she caught Maria, helping her friend through the doors. They made their way down the aisle, Yakushev slumping into a pew towards the front.

...

“Report!” Eric shouted when everything went still. He didn’t need to; he knew the squad’s status, it was just an old habit that died hard. He cringed, seeing a squad mate’s orange indicator blinking slowly.

“Gods-[REDACTED].” Yakushev growled from the floor, pulling her helmet off and dropping it to the side. The Russian’s face was slick with perspiration, and blood seeped thicker from her leg.

Corporal Hackett crawled to the wounded Helljumper, pulling her second and last can of MedGel from her pack to patch up the cast. “Aw, hell, Rusty…” She chuckled, seeing the large, melted patch of armor on Yakushev’s left side - a close shot.

The Corporal shook her head, knowing it could have been much worse. “Yeah,” she smirked, “guess I’m one lucky [REDACTED].”

Hackett nodded, replacing the Optican in her pack. “I suppose I still gotta help you walk.” She said, motioning to Maria’s seriously wounded leg. “We’ll get that fix’d up when we get to a base.”

Yakushev nodded, taking a deep breath before sitting up, her hand clutching Hackett’s shoulder.

Eric moved over to the wounded Helljumper. “This isn’t over yet, Corporal.” He said grimly. “You think you can still fight?”

Yakushev smirked. “You bet your [REDACTED], sir.”
Something I'd like to get some feedback on is some dialogue, specifically Kig-Yar dialogue. While writing it, I kept in mind that they have no lips, that their native speech is birdlike and screeching. As such, they wouldn't be able to pronounce several words. I've chosen an excerpt of my submission that has a Kig-Yar who doesn't speak English well at all - significant names and plot might be redacted out.

Quote:
[REDACTED] cracked her knuckles. “Y’know, holding out? Only makes this worse for you.”

The Kig-Yar spat at [REDACTED]’s feet, hissing in defiance. “Iy ssay no word! Yuu no—no see tell!”

Saia growled in annoyance. “The Kig-Yar barely has grasp of your language, Agent [REDACTED]; worse than their queen.” She loomed over the pirate. [REDACTED]’s comm translator kicked in as the Sangheili spoke to the Jackal in her native language. “Your lance—what do you unbury here? You work as though the coin of the San’Shyuum fills your coffers once more.”

She slammed both hands on the arms of the chair. Her face loomed but inches from the birdlike alien, who shrunk from her presence. “But it does not. You scavenge and steal, piecing together ragged ships barely worth calling a fleet.”

The Kig-Yar snarled. “And you are so mighty, ‘warrior’? You are a mercenary, no different from us. You have no Prophet-coin; you do not even have Sangheili-coin! What do you think you can buy us with?”

‘Vusan glanced back to [REDACTED]. The human gave a small shrug, as if to tell her Make something up. She returned her glare to the Kig-Yar. “For starters, I will not break every bone in your body. Then – if you aid us – we will give you a ship.”

The Kig-Yar’s eyes gleamed jealously, darting from Saia to [REDACTED]. “Nuu ship!? Sshiney sship! Yuu give to Dak, Chur’R-Maat maayk Dak maayt!”

Saia snatched the Kig-Yar’s neck in her hand, prying his attention back to her. After you tell us what you are doing here.”
So I've got the first 1000 words or so down, and I'm a bit worried that the opening might just come across as an unstructured pseudophilosophical rambling mess followed by a really dull introduction to all of the characters. I'm also concerned that the protagonist is completely unlikable; they're either -Yoinking!- at others for not following their exact orders or falling into an amoral mess and cheating on their husband. They DO try to save Russo later, so hopefully that will make them a bit more likable.

Here's the opening. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Spoiler:
Show
I like the introduction. Though it does come across as a little vague at times, even though I have a good idea of what's coming. I'd probably get rid of the first two lines and have it begin with 'Wishes are cruel things...'.

The whole piece has character and the dialogue is good, though I'd probably reduce the swearing, mainly because the use of 'Yoink' on Waypoint is distracting.

Also, try not to repeat phrases in the same paragraph. Example: 'Current casualties exceed 10,000 in less than a day. Latest reports position a Covenant army of over 100,000 less than forty miles from our location'. Try alternatives, such as fewer than, or under or within etc.

lastly, remember that when submitting, each new entry of dialogue or each new paragraph should be placed as a new paragraph on here. Though if your piece is too long when complete for Waypoint you should post on Fanfiction.net and link to it.
Something I'd like to get some feedback on is some dialogue, specifically Kig-Yar dialogue. While writing it, I kept in mind that they have no lips, that their native speech is birdlike and screeching. As such, they wouldn't be able to pronounce several words. I've chosen an excerpt of my submission that has a Kig-Yar who doesn't speak English well at all - significant names and plot might be redacted out.

Quote:
[REDACTED] cracked her knuckles. “Y’know, holding out? Only makes this worse for you.”

The Kig-Yar spat at [REDACTED]’s feet, hissing in defiance. “Iy ssay no word! Yuu no—no see tell!”

Saia growled in annoyance. “The Kig-Yar barely has grasp of your language, Agent [REDACTED]; worse than their queen.” She loomed over the pirate. [REDACTED]’s comm translator kicked in as the Sangheili spoke to the Jackal in her native language. “Your lance—what do you unbury here? You work as though the coin of the San’Shyuum fills your coffers once more.” She slammed both hands on the arms of the chair. Her face loomed but inches from the birdlike alien, who shrunk from her presence. “But it does not. You scavenge and steal, piecing together ragged ships barely worth calling a fleet.”The Kig-Yar snarled. “And you are so mighty, ‘warrior’? You are a mercenary, no different from us. You have no Prophet-coin; you do not even have Sangheili-coin! What do you think you can buy us with?”‘Vusan glanced back to [REDACTED]. The human gave a small shrug, as if to tell her Make something up. She returned her glare to the Kig-Yar. “For starters, I will not break every bone in your body. Then – if you aid us – we will give you a ship.” The Kig-Yar’s eyes gleamed jealously, darting from Saia to [REDACTED]. “Nuu ship!? Sshiney sship! Yuu give to Dak, Chur’R-Maat maayk Dak maayt!”

Saia snatched the Kig-Yar’s neck in her hand, prying his attention back to her. After you tell us what you are doing here.”
If I remember correctly, Karen Traviss had the Kig-Yar use an excessive amount of the letter 's' when speaking, which you seem to have implemented. Or should I say ssspeaking? There's no need to quote each and every phrase said by the Kig-Yar in a story, especially if it's more difficult to read because of the language etc. Try and provide a mix of dialogue and some exposition for levity.
Hi I am busy writing a Halo story and wanted some feedback on it. Just a WIP, its basically setting the stage for when the Prometheans start attacking everyone. Sorry about the multiple posts, it wouldn't let me post it as one thing.

Spoiler:
Show
It's probably best if you ask a specific question on a specific aspect of your writing. What you're requesting is more of a full blown critique.
Hi I am busy writing a Halo story and wanted some feedback on it. Just a WIP, its basically setting the stage for when the Prometheans start attacking everyone. Sorry about the multiple posts, it wouldn't let me post it as one thing.
It's probably best if you ask a specific question on a specific aspect of your writing. What you're requesting is more of a full blown critique.
Basically, I had a few problems with describing whats happening from a point of view. Normally I would have had the commander at his holodesk so that he would be able say whats going on in the base when the Guardian strikes and later in the Promethean attack. So, "The Commander watched in horror as the hanger bay was overrun and he heard the desperate cries of his men". But because of the Guardian strike, everyone is blinded, isolated and doesn't really know whats going on. Which was why I had to create a separate POV with the downed Pelican pilot simply so he could see the Guardian show up and cut Luna Base out of its protective shell. Basically the Guardian limits what my POV can be aware of. Which is going to be a bigger problem once the Prometheans attack. Is it fine in these instances just to narrate what's happening before returning to our POV? Or should the reader not know more than our POV characters?
Hi I am busy writing a Halo story and wanted some feedback on it. Just a WIP, its basically setting the stage for when the Prometheans start attacking everyone. Sorry about the multiple posts, it wouldn't let me post it as one thing.
It's probably best if you ask a specific question on a specific aspect of your writing. What you're requesting is more of a full blown critique.
Basically, I had a few problems with describing whats happening from a point of view. Normally I would have had the commander at his holodesk so that he would be able say whats going on in the base when the Guardian strikes and later in the Promethean attack. So, "The Commander watched in horror as the hanger bay was overrun and he heard the desperate cries of his men". But because of the Guardian strike, everyone is blinded, isolated and doesn't really know whats going on. Which was why I had to create a separate POV with the downed Pelican pilot simply so he could see the Guardian show up and cut Luna Base out of its protective shell. Basically the Guardian limits what my POV can be aware of. Which is going to be a bigger problem once the Prometheans attack. Is it fine in these instances just to narrate what's happening before returning to our POV? Or should the reader not know more than our POV characters?
My quick response:

  • It all depends on what POV you're going for in the end. 3rd person or 1st person. Ad how many POVs will you have in total throughout? Based upon your previous post I presume it's 3rd person.
  • The example that you posted is quite passive. Lots of telling. Instead, have the commander experience the event, instead of simply conveying the event.
  • Blinded in what way, literally or electronically?
Hi I am busy writing a Halo story and wanted some feedback on it. Just a WIP, its basically setting the stage for when the Prometheans start attacking everyone. Sorry about the multiple posts, it wouldn't let me post it as one thing.
My quick response:

  • It all depends on what POV you're going for in the end. 3rd person or 1st person. Ad how many POVs will you have in total throughout? Based upon your previous post I presume it's 3rd person.
  • The example that you posted is quite passive. Lots of telling. Instead, have the commander experience the event, instead of simply conveying the event.
  • Blinded in what way, literally or electronically?
As in the Guardians EMP has shorted out all of the power in the base. Normally he would be at the command center directing operations but he has to resort to sending runners.

But what if you're, say, doing Napoleons perspective of Waterloo and hes at the back on his horse directing the Old Guard attack? Won't a general be somewhat detached from whats going on? Ideally I didn't want the Prometheans getting near the general himself until the story ends.

I'd say 3 POV at the absolute max.
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