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Author Topic: Comments for Fanfiction: Part 1 (and all the rest of the story...)  (Read 35172 times)
Oxanna
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2007, 04:35:15 AM »

You're right about all the comments for To Kidnap A Human.

For The Landing:
1) Although the reactor's explosion aimed away, it still exploded. It could have been aimed away from the cockpit but still explode the whole ship. Jarmen wasn't found too far from the ship; he was simply hidden behind a boulder.

2) I would be able to concoct some lame excuse for this, featuring contained explosions and such, but I'm pretty sure they'd contradict some of my other lame excuses.  smiley
Yup, I overlooked that.
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cairn destop
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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2007, 04:47:58 AM »

I have been on vacation for the last week and have been away from my computer.  Talk about having withdrawal pains.  So I might be slow, but I will get through this story with comments on each chapter.




THE MOUNTAIN WOLVES

said Faraday, the largest Wolf, who was also the head Wolf = Two things to note here.  Since the animal term “wolf” does not identify either the tribe or a specific individual, don’t capitalize.  Same thing should be done with the other animal species.  Second point is that the leader of a wolf pack is known as the “alpha male” or “alpha female.”

One thing hits me as out of character.  If the morphs consider the humans some higher and more powerful form, why do they act so calmly around the injured human?  The three travelers and now the rest of the pack should be in a frenzy.

I am so dead, he thought = This might be stronger as a spoken line.

said Faraday's mother, Giaffen = This line has a way of reducing Faraday from the pack’s alpha, to a cub.  You need more of a leading for this character to establish her old age.  For example, you could start by saying something about a grey furred female approaching walking with a stiff gait.  The “grey” would show age as would the “stiff gait.”  You could then have her sit and winch at some joint pain.

The segment regarding the pursuit is good, but should either be expanded into another chapter where you can get something of a feel for the other family or moved to the end of this segment.  Why disturb the flow of your story?  (Hedgehog raises paw and points to self, did that too in my first long story.)

The ending exchange between the merchant and the human was very good, but too short.  It would be interesting having the mouse show off one or two other items first, and then a discussion about the two making a trade.  Very nice touch there at the end, having both sides think they had gotten the better of the deal.

THE HUNTERS OF THE DARK CLAW

The opening two lines caused me a bit of confusion.  First I was in space and then back in the cave.  Remember where I said you should expand the space pursuit in the prior chapter by making it a separate chapter?  The opening line about them being but a half hour out would be an excellent cliffhanger for that chapter.  (You should always try ending a chapter with a cliffhanger, something that draws the reader to the next chapter.  It need not be dramatic, but it could be a hint of something about to happen.  Look at what that line does, it lets the readers know Jamie’s parents are near, so the question comes up, what happens next, which is the very definition of a chapter hook or cliffhanger.)

The Honeyfoot segment seems out of place.  It infers it happened much later.  Think you may need work on the timing of the action in this chapter.

The Hunters of the Dark Claw came in range and stopped. "Fire your tranquilliser!" = I don’t think that is possible, unless the morphs have “modern” technology.  Yes, I know the humans said this, but as it is written, it is the wolves that fired the tranquilizers.

Another logic problem has cropped up.  Since they know Jamie has been here exposed for some time, and since the humans should know this world has breathable air, why the environmental suits? 
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"The only definitions of the word 'fair' is in reference to the weather and a carnival, any other meaning is strictly a product of your imagination."
Oxanna
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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2007, 01:13:17 PM »

wolf = wolf
Wolf = Morph wolf
It's just my style, I guess...

Oops.

You're right there.

Once again, you are right... Wink

See previous comment.

H'm. Yes, I could have made Kyle show off some stuff like a needle and thread...  cheesy



(Jamie)-- Jarmen. I didn't mention it in the story, but he's actually an Arab - I got the name from a special unit in a Command and Conquer game. Yuh, you're right about the cliffhangers.

Ja.

LOL! I can just see some Morph trying to figure out a tranquilliser gun and shooting themselves in the face... thanks, I'll edit that.

They know the air is breathable, but have no way of knowing whether there are pathogens in the air they are not immune against. They might just take off their suits to breathe the fresh air and find themselves dying of some or other incurable sickness five minutes later.
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WyrmMaster
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« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2007, 01:18:12 PM »

Referring to a Morph as a "Wolf" instead of a "wolf" (capitalizing the tribe name) is fairly common rule that I use when writing the comments about classic sketches. I always capitalize "Morph" also.
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cairn destop
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« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2007, 04:30:23 PM »

A RESCUE AND A FAREWELL

Tyrus explained what he had discovered. = This can be a dangerous line.  If you explored this question in the prior chapter, you could get away with this, but it might be better reworded. --- Tyrus summarized his assumptions about the number of wolves and their direction of travel. --- It said the same thing, but it also lets you know what Tyrus learned from the tracks, yet it is brief.  If your readers have been following the story, that line will jog their memories.

Just a helpful hint, avoid the “ly” adverbs as much as possible.  They tend to weaken the verbs.  Some people suggest a total purge.  I prefer limiting them to about one for every hundred words.  (Dialogue doesn’t count)  And if you were wondering, my first long story averaged one adverb per thirty-five words.  Heavy editing reduced it to one per five hundred words.

They peeled out of their mangled spacesuits, grabbed a moderately large bag each, and raced outside to take samples of everything and anything they could find. = A bit illogical here.  If the scientist were on Earth studying this world, why exaggerate their curiosity?  The mad dash to gain samples might be acceptable, but I would think the humans are more concerned about Jarmen and returning home.

Jarmen's family were very happy to see Jarmen and, rather shamefacedly, Tyrus told Jarmen's parents what he had done. It was from that moment on that Jarmen's mother took a very dim view of the Wolf. = Overuse of the name, reword. --- Jarmen's family was very happy to see their son.  A rather shamefaced Tyrus told the humans what he had done. It was from that moment on that (use mother’s name) took a very dim view of the Wolf.

"I'm hardly evil," answered Nessie with a sniff. = And she isn’t “people.”  Nessie is the sister of Tyrus and is a wolf.  The previous sentence makes the inference that Nessie is human.

The segment about the humans establishing a base was a bit weak.  Somebody should have realized how dangerous the morphs could be if they ever acquired “modern” technology.  If anything, a responsible scientist would withdraw.
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Oxanna
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« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2007, 09:15:04 PM »

Good idea, thanks.

Heh, yes - that would make it more readable.

They're scientists. They were very excited about exploring and taking samples; and after all, they couldn't pilot. They knew they would be more hindrance than help in the cave.

H'm. That is one of my biggest problems.

The word "people" applies to any sapient being. Seeing as Humans are the only ones we know of, this hasn't been used for anything else yet.

Yuh. I desperately needed a reason for them to want to stay in any case and didn't think it through properly.
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WolfieInu
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« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2007, 11:32:36 PM »

Quote from: cairn destop
The segment about the humans establishing a base was a bit weak.  Somebody should have realized how dangerous the morphs could be if they ever acquired “modern” technology.  If anything, a responsible scientist would withdraw.

Ja hey, it doesn't look like these guys are big on the Prime Directive.

Captain: "Come, Mr. Spock, let us interfere with the politics of this planet and irrevocably change the course of their history beyond all recognition."

Mr. Spock: "Actually, Captain... the Prime Directive..."

Captain: "Drat. Oh well, then I guess it's time to break out the fursuits. We're travelling incognito..."
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cairn destop
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« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2007, 07:11:16 AM »

Oh I can see the scientists remaining or establishing some form of observation, but they would be a lot more careful.  They might set their base on an uninhabited island and use drone recon aircraft to monitor a Morph villiage.  (Right now, the military has such craft, though they are about six feet in size and recognizable.  If the humans are advanced enough for space flight, those same drones could be the size of a bird.  At that size, the Morphs wouldn't notice them and with advanced optics, they can keep out of any weapon range.)

As to the "prime directive," I do believe the Captain broke that on almost every show.  (grin)

And to Oxanna, the overuse of the adverb is so common that any writing course worthy of the name will tell you to eliminate all of them and then reread your material.  In most cases, nothing has been changed and if you need emphasis, a different verb might give it to you.  I find having the adverbs there in my first draft helps me find stronger verbs.  For example, instead of saying "The boy ran quickly through the forest," I would edit that to read "The boy darted through the forest."  Admit it, "darted" is a lot stronger verb than "ran quickly."  Learn to use a thesaurus, it's a writer's second best friend.  Your first is the dictionary.
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"The only definitions of the word 'fair' is in reference to the weather and a carnival, any other meaning is strictly a product of your imagination."
Oxanna
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« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2007, 09:41:39 AM »

Acutally, my imagination is my best friend...  rolleyes
My second best friend is experience.

Then come the dictionary and theusaurus.
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cairn destop
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« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2007, 04:09:44 AM »

I'll get to that epilogue later.  Real life has me in a whirl.  Just announced my retirement from work after 31 years and am eagerly awaiting a call that will start me on another job.  As I tell my coworkers, "For more than thirty years I worked because I had to, now I have a chance to work because I want to.  Believe me, there is a difference."

And now on to the chapter's comments.



Slowly, it rose. Up, up, up. The waving Wolves grew smaller and smaller. = Yes, I know the “it” refers to the spaceship, but you should avoid opening a chapter with pronouns.  In this case, your sentence should read “Slowly, the space ship rose.”  As it is written, it is the wolves that left because they are growing smaller.

At last they were completely gone from sight and all of North Island seemed to shrink on the surface of the ocean. = A good example of head hopping.  The first part’s POV is from the ground observers while the second part is from the POV of the spaceship.  Either settle for one POV or make a transitional paragraph for the switch.

Jarmen's mother = use the character’s name (same with the father)
and doctor Jacobs's = and Doctor Jacobs's (proper title)

(They had another feast that night.) = a redundancy, eliminate this line as it could also come across as lazy.  (Why didn’t you write about the one feast and not the other?)  Since any write-up would be a duplication, in order not to bore your readers, best to leave it our.  I have run into an author on the bookshelves that got into this trap, and her works were a best seller, which is why I stopped reading her books.

They finally discovered a cure for the freckles and they could go to and fro whenever it was needed. = This is too much of a wham-bam, and thank-you-ma’am styled line.  Best if you fleshed it out more. --- It took another six months discovering the cause of the freckles, but that discovery led to an eventual cure.

I can assure you, Kyle Honeyfood did find a way to make money out of it... = Since I am unfamiliar with the game, the line holds no significance. 




There is one possible logic error.  The inference is that this is a parasite that somehow infected the others, which is reasonable.  However, such a parasite should have been present in the other Morphs.  That begs the question, why didn’t the wolves suffer when they left Earth?  If the wolves had a natural immunity, logical, the next question is why didn’t the scientist examine the pups for such parasites when they got to the other world?
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"The only definitions of the word 'fair' is in reference to the weather and a carnival, any other meaning is strictly a product of your imagination."
Oxanna
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« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2007, 08:21:01 AM »

Originally this wasn't cut up into chapters. I only did it because the maximum characters per post was 10 000 - so 'it' might have made sense.

I agree on comments 2-5. But what does "wham-bam and thank-you-ma'am" mean?  huh 

Remember the piece of story where he wondered how to make money out of it? Seeing as Kyle Honeyfoot is only a descendant of the actual game character, I wouldn't want to make it necessary to have played the game to understand him.

The scientists didn't find any trace of the parasite on the Wolves because they are part-Wolf after all; the parasite only finds appeal to Humans. (Don't ask me why! smiley) The possibility of such a parasite was what made the Humans wear the suits in the first place, but since they had been punctured they were of no use anyway.

Good luck with the new job! Wink
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cairn destop
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2007, 10:38:35 AM »

But what does "wham-bam and thank-you-ma'am" mean?


It means too fast, it happens so quick that you don't have a chance to understand or savor the moment.
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"The only definitions of the word 'fair' is in reference to the weather and a carnival, any other meaning is strictly a product of your imagination."
Oxanna
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« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2007, 09:47:54 PM »

Ja, I see what you mean. I got the impression it meant that, but wasn't sure.  smiley
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cairn destop
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« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2007, 09:53:14 AM »

And so the epilogue comes and goes.  Perhaps I missed an earlier installment, one not connected to the other thread, but the interjection of a narrator did come as a bit of a jolt.  Think you ended your story better with the previous segment.  The "what happened after" is more of an overview of later history.  It has no relevance to the current tale.

I will say I have run into stories that open and close with a narrator.  For obvious reasons, my favorite of these is Brian Jaques and his Redwall series.  His stories normally open with a quick summation by a "Recorder" and will then close with an even faster fairwell. 



Just wanted to comment about not knowing where to add chapter breaks since this was one continual write.  Coming up with a chapter break is the same as coming up with a paragraph break.  You want to reach some specific conclusion.  This is another idea why I emphasis the use of an outline.  (Hey, I'm a school of hard knocks guy on this.)

Even after writing the story, you can do an outline.  That will help define the flow of your story and identify possible breaks and improvements.  I did my outline for "The New Arrivals" after writing half of it in the NaNoWriMo style, which is how you did yours.



Overall, a worthy effort at a fan fiction that appears to adhere to the cannons of the creator, which is something my Redwall stories violate.
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"The only definitions of the word 'fair' is in reference to the weather and a carnival, any other meaning is strictly a product of your imagination."
Oxanna
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« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2007, 09:44:14 PM »

Well, the epilogue, was actually a bit of a joke. It parodies the prologue for "Freelancer", which starts like, "It was the 23d century: mankind's darkest hour".
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