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Halo Writing Workshop

OP Flugel Meister

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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.
He was talking about if the POV is written in first person ("I did this, I did that") or third person ("he did this and that") not how many POV characters there should be. And on that matter, short stories as a rule should have as few POV characters (and plot threads) as possible, else you don't get the chance to properly develop the central character.
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.
Oh, absolutely; earlier on in the story I've got Chur'R-Mat speaking (better than Dak), and Saia is amused that the Kig-Yar even try, as they can't properly form human phonetics. But at most, I've only got four to six lines of Kig-Yar English dialogue. Other than that, it's all translated Sangheili or Kig-Yar native.

But what I do have, it's not too cumbersome to read?
Are there people willing to proof read works that we have before they're submitted?
I were going to participate but it all ran out in the sand. Planning a large RPG campaign and converting some older stuff. However I did write a small piece which I thought I'd throw in as it was when I left it, not so much for the grammar and language but for the other stuff, what feedback there is for that. As I haven't proof read it at all.

Spartans Proper

A flash of purple light lit up the room as a holographic nebula slowly swirled onto the holo-table.
"Team Black has been wiped out" it stated in a low echoing voice.
Nigel stood up with such a force his chair swirled around backwards and hit the wall with a loud metallic thud.
"Intangiable, show me as I walk to command" he barely had to time tell Intangiable, the AI, as he made it through the door with haste. The AI dissapeared from the table and instead appeared right infront of Nigel, always hovering infront of him at a distance of 1 metre.
Intangiable changed shape from a nebula to what resembled a computer screen, with cloudy edges. A flat surface displayed a video recording of the last moments from the four members of Team Black. A massive silver figure with orange stripe lights tearing through them, life signals flatlining one by one, at a rapid pace.
"Looks like Team Black, Properly known as Team None, met an early doom. What's the status on Black Proper?"
Before Nigel had even finished his sentence, Intangiable had already switched video feed. Nigel observed as four human silouettes were bouncing from one floating object to another, upside down and going in all kinds of directions. Now and then a flare of light would flash for a split second on any of the silouettes and they'd change direction and orientation.
"Black Proper is currently in Zero-G training, doing additional practice to that ordered to them." Intangiable answered in a light higher pitch tone than before, just as Nigel arrived to the command room. Several others in there with red and white robes greeted Nigel and then continued with what they were doing. The hologram infront of Nigel disappeared, instead a much larger but otherwise identical hologram hovered in the center of the room.
The circular room had three floors called Tiers. The entry tier which Intangiable occupied was Tier A, it looked a lot like a circular platform with railing along the edges. Tier B which was the next floor was actually more of a lower balcony, that went around the base of Tier A. It was a deep enough balcony to allow one row of employees with workstations and a small walkway between the Tier A base and Tier B's railing. Everyone facing outwards in the circle. Tier C functioned in the same way.
The large wall everyone was facing had a large holographic display built into it, which at this point displayed what was happening in the Zero-G training room, along with vital stats, calculations and Zero-G data.
A short red headed woman who had stood at the railing of Tier A approached Nigel with a determination only she could portray.
"Professor" she started, "We've been able to determine and eliminate the uneccessary augmentation procedures for the Candidates"
"Good, what about the remaining augmentations?" Nigel responded.
She picked up a small round device from her pocket, " Here's the data" she said as she gave Nigel the device.
As he touched it he felt a slight tingle at the tips of his fingers.
Are there people willing to proof read works that we have before they're submitted?
Yeah I'm up for that.
I don't know how other people see this, but my general problem is that I write because I like to try and capture images from my head with words. That's a problem in a contest like this because you have to earn the right to the reader's time in doing that, but presenting a story that captures their attention first.

This is what happened to me in the last contest (in hindsight, of course). I had my character, storyline, plot (for what it was) all ready, a tried to paint a pretty picture, without giving the readers enough to paint the picture for themselves.

Thought I'd share as I figure this is a common way of expressing the show vs tell issue.
I don't know how other people see this, but my general problem is that I write because I like to try and capture images from my head with words. That's a problem in a contest like this because you have to earn the right to the reader's time in doing that, but presenting a story that captures their attention first.

This is what happened to me in the last contest (in hindsight, of course). I had my character, storyline, plot (for what it was) all ready, a tried to paint a pretty picture, without giving the readers enough to paint the picture for themselves.

Thought I'd share as I figure this is a common way of expressing the show vs tell issue.
He's a quick example of show and tell:

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.
Yeah I'm up for that.
EDIT: Disregard all the messages; I posted what I have thus far to FF.net here.
Naqser wrote:
I were going to participate but it all ran out in the sand. Planning a large RPG campaign and converting some older stuff. However I did write a small piece which I thought I'd throw in as it was when I left it, not so much for the grammar and language but for the other stuff, what feedback there is for that. As I haven't proof read it at all.

Spartans Proper

A flash of purple light lit up the room as a holographic nebula slowly swirled onto the holo-table.
"Team Black has been wiped out" it stated in a low echoing voice.
Nigel stood up with such a force his chair swirled around backwards and hit the wall with a loud metallic thud.
"Intangiable, show me as I walk to command" he barely had to time tell Intangiable, the AI, as he made it through the door with haste. The AI dissapeared from the table and instead appeared right infront of Nigel, always hovering infront of him at a distance of 1 metre.
Intangiable changed shape from a nebula to what resembled a computer screen, with cloudy edges. A flat surface displayed a video recording of the last moments from the four members of Team Black. A massive silver figure with orange stripe lights tearing through them, life signals flatlining one by one, at a rapid pace.
"Looks like Team Black, Properly known as Team None, met an early doom. What's the status on Black Proper?"
Before Nigel had even finished his sentence, Intangiable had already switched video feed. Nigel observed as four human silouettes were bouncing from one floating object to another, upside down and going in all kinds of directions. Now and then a flare of light would flash for a split second on any of the silouettes and they'd change direction and orientation.
"Black Proper is currently in Zero-G training, doing additional practice to that ordered to them." Intangiable answered in a light higher pitch tone than before, just as Nigel arrived to the command room. Several others in there with red and white robes greeted Nigel and then continued with what they were doing. The hologram infront of Nigel disappeared, instead a much larger but otherwise identical hologram hovered in the center of the room.
The circular room had three floors called Tiers. The entry tier which Intangiable occupied was Tier A, it looked a lot like a circular platform with railing along the edges. Tier B which was the next floor was actually more of a lower balcony, that went around the base of Tier A. It was a deep enough balcony to allow one row of employees with workstations and a small walkway between the Tier A base and Tier B's railing. Everyone facing outwards in the circle. Tier C functioned in the same way.
The large wall everyone was facing had a large holographic display built into it, which at this point displayed what was happening in the Zero-G training room, along with vital stats, calculations and Zero-G data.
A short red headed woman who had stood at the railing of Tier A approached Nigel with a determination only she could portray.
"Professor" she started, "We've been able to determine and eliminate the uneccessary augmentation procedures for the Candidates"
"Good, what about the remaining augmentations?" Nigel responded.
She picked up a small round device from her pocket, " Here's the data" she said as she gave Nigel the device.
As he touched it he felt a slight tingle at the tips of his fingers.
Thanks for writing this out.

First off, remember to use paragraphs on here. You can't indent like you would in conventional prose.

Anyway, the critique. There seems to be a running theme with a lot of the stuff I've been reading lately. And by that I don't mean the story itself, but rather the pace at which it is delivered. Again, like most I've read here, this is delivered in a somewhat relaxed manner. Unfortunately this affects the story and subsequently it never develops any tension. It's all very casual. But don't let that put you off.

The first thing to address is the opening. NEVER start a story with adjective-laden description. Always start with a statement or dialogue. After that, you can weave in description here and there.

There's also no indication of who Nigel actually is. is he a Captain, a Spartan? There's no way to tell. If he's a Spartan then you should introduce him using his Spartan ID, such as Nigel-238. If he's the Captain then use his surname and rank to create an air of authority, but demonstrate his humanity with displays of emotion, without him being reduced to tears, of course.

So I would have started with:

"Black Team has been wiped out."

It's a bold piece of dialogue that makes the reader sit up. But you need to follow it up with something that makes the reader connect with the character.

EXAMPLE: Captain Drake sank back into his chair and sighed. "Damn," he whispered. He glanced over to the far side of the observation deck. Outside, the thin sliver of the Halo could be made out in the vacuum of space, slowly rotating in the partial shadow of the colony. "What happened?"

Intangible, the ship's A.I., swirled into life as a pulsing blue-green nebula of gas and dust.Her words seemed to spark motes of drifting light outside of her avatar. "according to the local scans at the time," she began, "a Promethean signature was detected."

The screen activated and Captain Drake was suddenly facing an unfamiliar sight: a large figure covered in armour that mirrored the Forerunner design aesthetic. He peered at the unusual alien. "What is this?"

Intangible's gaseous form seemed to shrink and dim. "Black Team's last moments, Sir. I should advise you, Captain, that what follows isn't pretty."

"Noted." Drake slowly nodded and then leaned forward in the chair, his eyes fixated on the Forerunner. "Show me."

The above example allows the reader to get to know 'Nigel'. I'm immediately informing the reader that he's a Captain and that he's a man with a conscience. he doesn't come across as a Captain who simply dismisses what has happened, and he doesn't react explosively. He comes across as measured, but human. And that we can relate to.

Nigel standing up is clearly intended to display his surprise and shock and anger at the news, but it comes over a tad over dramatic. Individuals who suddenly get angry will often come across as childish. Have him slump with disappointment.

Conversely, after Nigel stands up with enough force to send his chair flying, he seems to casually stroll to Command. Both lines serve to confuse the situation instead of working together to bolster the scene and draw the reader in. Additionally, there's no real personality to Nigel. I don't know how he feels, other than angry. And then after that we learn that Black Team weren't the real black team, which seems like a cheap parlour trick.

The best way to draw the reader in is to get them onside, get them to feel for your characters, but don't just resort to anger as it's very hard to relate to unless there's enough of a lead up to him/her getting to that.

The main piece of good news that I can give is that you haven't resorted to using a big info dump at the start to bring the reader up to speed. You get to the point fairly quickly. probably a little too quickly for my liking as there's no means of connecting with the character of Nigel. And this screams of first draft. Write it out a few times and then submit. It'll do your writing a lot of good.

Sorry this isn't filled with praise, but you have a direction. You just need to guide yourself there, with some practice.
Naqser wrote:
Thanks for writing this out.

First off, remember to use paragraphs on here. You can't indent like you would in conventional prose.Anyway, the critique. There seems to be a running theme with a lot of the stuff I've been reading lately. And by that I don't mean the story itself, but rather the pace at which it is delivered. Again, like most I've read here, this is delivered in a somewhat relaxed manner. Unfortunately this affects the story and subsequently it never develops any tension. It's all very casual. But don't let that put you off.

The first thing to address is the opening. NEVER start a story with adjective-laden description. Always start with a statement or dialogue. After that, you can weave in description here and there.

There's also no indication of who Nigel actually is. is he a Captain, a Spartan? There's no way to tell. If he's a Spartan then you should introduce him using his Spartan ID, such as Nigel-238. If he's the Captain then use his surname and rank to create an air of authority, but demonstrate his humanity with displays of emotion, without him being reduced to tears, of course.

So I would have started with:

"Black Team has been wiped out."

It's a bold piece of dialogue that makes the reader sit up. But you need to follow it up with something that makes the reader connect with the character.

EXAMPLE: Captain Drake sank back into his chair and sighed. "Damn," he whispered. He glanced over to the far side of the observation deck. Outside, the thin sliver of the Halo could be made out in the vacuum of space, slowly rotating in the partial shadow of the colony. "What happened?"

Intangible, the ship's A.I., swirled into life as a pulsing blue-green nebula of gas and dust.Her words seemed to spark motes of drifting light outside of her avatar. "according to the local scans at the time," she began, "a Promethean signature was detected."

The screen activated and Captain Drake was suddenly facing an unfamiliar sight: a large figure covered in armour that mirrored the Forerunner design aesthetic. He peered at the unusual alien. "What is this?"

Intangible's gaseous form seemed to shrink and dim. "Black Team's last moments, Sir. I should advise you, Captain, that what follows isn't pretty."

"Noted." Drake slowly nodded and then leaned forward in the chair, his eyes fixated on the Forerunner. "Show me."

The above example allows the reader to get to know 'Nigel'. I'm immediately informing the reader that he's a Captain and that he's a man with a conscience. he doesn't come across as a Captain who simply dismisses what has happened, and he doesn't react explosively. He comes across as measured, but human. And that we can relate to.

Nigel standing up is clearly intended to display his surprise and shock and anger at the news, but it comes over a tad over dramatic. Individuals who suddenly get angry will often come across as childish. Have him slump with disappointment.

Conversely, after Nigel stands up with enough force to send his chair flying, he seems to casually stroll to Command. Both lines serve to confuse the situation instead of working together to bolster the scene and draw the reader in. Additionally, there's no real personality to Nigel. I don't know how he feels, other than angry. And then after that we learn that Black Team weren't the real black team, which seems like a cheap parlour trick.

The best way to draw the reader in is to get them onside, get them to feel for your characters, but don't just resort to anger as it's very hard to relate to unless there's enough of a lead up to him/her getting to that.

The main piece of good news that I can give is that you haven't resorted to using a big info dump at the start to bring the reader up to speed. You get to the point fairly quickly. probably a little too quickly for my liking as there's no means of connecting with the character of Nigel. And this screams of first draft. Write it out a few times and then submit. It'll do your writing a lot of good.

Sorry this isn't filled with praise, but you have a direction. You just need to guide yourself there, with some practice.
First bold:

Yeah, in the original file there are paragraphs, but the copy paste wouldn't properly do it, and for some reason trying to edit it then just made it look even more horrible.
Don't worry, I'm a paragraph man.

Second bold:
No need for praise, wasn't looking for it. My English writing skills have deteriorated lately, as has my vocabulary. I was really disappointed after having written that text as the words used in many cases weren't, varied or, in lack of better terms, fancy, enough for my taste.

Yeah, it's a first draft, not even a completed one. As I mentioned in the opening of my post, it was as far as I got before it all ran out in the sand. Got kind of overwhelmed with other projects of mine. While I intended to pick it up again, I felt like I lost the motivation when I looked at it.

Yeah, I can see that there needs to be more "flare" to the text regarding Nigel's body language and the actual emotions he's going through. I easily get lost in the fact that I have everything in my head but the reader can't access anything other than what I write, thank you for reminding me about it.
Then again, perhaps I'll work on it some more, improve the existing text and continue on the story, that text there is, not the whole story.
Thank you for the input, I appreciate the time you took to read and formulate the odds and poorer quality of my text in your post. Keep up the good work.
I don't know how other people see this, but my general problem is that I write because I like to try and capture images from my head with words. That's a problem in a contest like this because you have to earn the right to the reader's time in doing that, but presenting a story that captures their attention first.

This is what happened to me in the last contest (in hindsight, of course). I had my character, storyline, plot (for what it was) all ready, a tried to paint a pretty picture, without giving the readers enough to paint the picture for themselves.

Thought I'd share as I figure this is a common way of expressing the show vs tell issue.
He's a quick example of show and tell:

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.
Right. I need to find the space between depiction and description I guess.
I don't know how other people see this, but my general problem is that I write because I like to try and capture images from my head with words. That's a problem in a contest like this because you have to earn the right to the reader's time in doing that, but presenting a story that captures their attention first.

This is what happened to me in the last contest (in hindsight, of course). I had my character, storyline, plot (for what it was) all ready, a tried to paint a pretty picture, without giving the readers enough to paint the picture for themselves.

Thought I'd share as I figure this is a common way of expressing the show vs tell issue.
He's a quick example of show and tell:

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.
Right. I need to find the space between depiction and description I guess.
There are other ways to apply description. When using a person's point of view you can have them interpret what they are seeing, instead of the author providing a definitive line on what's happening etc.

EXAMPLE:

She reached out for his hand on the bed. It felt cold, but he left it there, limp, as though oblivious of her touch. ‘I know what mum would say,’ she started.

That seemed to shift his attention. He looked around the room and then at her grasping hand, gripped tightly around his. He braved a smiled.

‘You have her temperament,’ he replied.

The parts in bold indicate where the woman in this piece (Jennifer) is interpreting the actions of her father. It's an alternate way of describing what's going on in a story. But mix it up with description and dialogue so it paints a complete picture that the reader can draw their own conclusions to.
Thank you so much I have been waiting for this, with the link where should it be linked too? Do I use Word, or is there a special website I should use?
piperlewis wrote:
Thank you so much I have been waiting for this, with the link where should it be linked too? Do I use Word, or is there a special website I should use?
The best option, if writing a story that's too long for a single Waypoint post, is to use FanFiction.net.

Once finished, simply post a reply on the contest thread with a brief introduction and a link to the story at FF.net
Ok just a heads up I have completed my first draft. Now I'm waiting for FF to allow me to publish some works.
Ok here it is - the name of the story is pretty lame but I didn't know what to call it
Is this an entry? If it is you need to post it in the contest thread.
Ok here it is - the name of the story is pretty lame but I didn't know what to call it
Is this an entry? If it is you need to post it in the contest thread.
Oh ok, I thought I needed feedback. I will post it there now.
Ok here it is - the name of the story is pretty lame but I didn't know what to call it
Is this an entry? If it is you need to post it in the contest thread.
Oh ok, I thought I needed feedback. I will post it there now.
I can provide feedback to specific sections but not an entire fic. I'd be here all day.
Ok here it is - the name of the story is pretty lame but I didn't know what to call it
Is this an entry? If it is you need to post it in the contest thread.
Oh ok, I thought I needed feedback. I will post it there now.
I can provide feedback to specific sections but not an entire fic. I'd be here all day.
Cool. So how many entries do you usually receive?
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