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1  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Original Writings is dead! LONG LIVE ORIGINAL WRITINGS!! on: January 03, 2009, 07:58:40 am
Nope, they weren't just your imagination... it was quite strange. Why would ad bots target a dead board? Tongue
2  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Original Writings is dead! LONG LIVE ORIGINAL WRITINGS!! on: December 21, 2008, 08:23:14 am
I'm now checking for recent posts semi-regularly.
3  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Original Writings is dead! LONG LIVE ORIGINAL WRITINGS!! on: November 10, 2008, 08:01:54 pm
I've also got to apologise and offer the weak excuse that 'I was doing my homework'. I think the biggest problem here was that the entire forum relied on a few key people - and when they became inactive, due to entirely sensible reasons, everything sort of fell apart. So I think a priority for a revamp should include much more publicity or whatever (attracting new peoples!).
The concept of having a sounding-board is a great idea, and I'd agree in saying that I haven't seen it done before. And the diagnosis of needing specific critique questions is accurate - it is always kind of hard to just try and rate someone's work in general. The 'how to review fiction' link was a great help, but frankly, I often had to force most of the categories out - it's just hard to write about everything.
So just to add my two cents - I'd love a revamped OW. Whether I'd be a great contributer is another question, and th answer is 'probably no'. Partly, I have to do my homework, and partly... well, actually, that's basically the reason Tongue. Though if the activities were less time-intensive, I may contribute far more often.
4  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Welcome! on: August 23, 2008, 10:16:08 pm
...That's genius. Thanks for the idea Smiley I truly never thought of that... wow Tongue.
Let's hope I can formulate something that's not utter poppycock with all the distractions on the bus Wink...
5  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Beginnings of a short story to fit into a larger tale, need some critique on: August 23, 2008, 10:14:04 pm
That definitely caught my attention (and held it) far better than before. I like the direction you're going in, but of course, you'll still need to fill in background for the islands and stuff.
For some reason, and I mean no offence when I say this, I just don't seem to enjoy reading your prose as much as I could. Which is strange, because it's good content. I just think the way it's written turns me off. That's probably not a problem, since it's just my opinion, but hey, my opinion is all I have.
I think that the reason is you do a lot of describing actions, but not as much describing the setting, the characters, etc. It just gets a little tiring to read action, action, action. You've got to let me take a break now and then Wink. And since you're setting this on a small, remote island chain, you can leverage that setting! Small, remote islands are beautiful! You know Far Cry - they set the game on a tropical island, and took every opportunity to show it off. You've gotta do some of the same.

But anyway - I like it, and I think it's definitely improved from before Smiley
6  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: On the Bridge on: August 23, 2008, 10:09:30 pm
Not my usual choice, but I enjoyed it. It's obviously a character piece, so I overlooked the lack of concrete description of the setting. Because it's really not neccessary. Though if you really wanted to, you could do some nice metaphors linking the characters' feelings to pieces of the environment.
Okay, don't do that. That was just a wierd thought I had.

Critiques-wise, there's not much to say. Just a note when you use '.....' in that one sentrnce (several times Tongue). Before that, you always used the three-dot ellipsis, as it should be. If you add more ots, it just appears sort of... unprofessional? It's like when you use a bunch of exclamation marks, when you only ever need to use one.

The characters are strong, I guess as strong as they can be for a short story. I just have trouble seeing them as anything other than flat characters - Nathan obviously has a lot of emotional depth, but I can't really picture him at all. Whenever I try to, I see my friend Nathan, which is just wierd Tongue. Mabe a little description of the characters' appearance would help readers see the story better.
7  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: The Last Homo Sapien - Just an exercise in creative stretching on: August 22, 2008, 06:05:11 pm
I have to say I liked it overall, but I was sort of in a state of disbelief the whole way through. Though it's written very well, I'm a space nut, so the little critic in my head was jabbering away Wink
The bit that threw me off the most was the sense of scale. The battle seems to be taking place above the Earth, so why is there an enemy ship near the Sun? And how is an enemy ship possibly big enough to make the sun explode? And, given that an enemy ship is that big, how could it be damaged so badly?
Even if these questions are answered in your mind (for example, humans have some equally-big ships that were destroyed previously), they're not answered for the reader. Even though it's just a short story, it's much less satisfying than it could be if questions like these were answered. You do a good job of making the aliens mysterious, but they're just a little too mysterious Wink...

EDIT: Oh yeah, and sound in space Wink Tongue
8  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Welcome! on: August 22, 2008, 05:24:05 pm
I'm going to try to increase my activity as well (right in time for school going back...). Although I seem to be in a bit of a deadzone in terms of writing my own stuff...
9  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Welcome! on: August 19, 2008, 10:47:46 am
Damn right. It's a bit sad...
10  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Beginnings of a short story to fit into a larger tale, need some critique on: August 18, 2008, 04:24:54 pm
Okay, I'm left slightly confused by the intro, but I'll have a go.

1. Is it necessary to have Sumer end in 1000BC? How about these islanders just 'escaped' before then? If it is neccessary, then I'd ask for clarification. Are you trying to fit the story into existing historical facts, or creating your own version of history? If the latter, simply decide what was the biggest factor in the downfall of Sumer, and assume it didn't happen Tongue. If the former, then you'll have a tough job. Maybe provide a reason why the event that most people regard as the end of Sumer wasn't actually the end, and then say that the Inquisition or something killed them off later, in secret, and nobody's found out about it yet.

2. The surefire answer seems to be an extremely xenophobic foreign policy on the part of the islanders. Like, a foreign traveler stumbes upon the island, and is sacrificed to the sun god. Or whatever is appropriate for Sumerians.

3. Does it matter? Where in the world are we talking about? If it's the Atlantic or Pacific, write it off to underwater vulcanism.

Some questions of my own:
-This is the modern day, right? I'm assuming so, based on the parachutes...
-Correct me if I'm wrong, but weight doesn't affect the speed at which you fall. Unless it's something special to do with parachuting, of which I have little (read: no) experience.
-Not a question, but you might want to cut down on the jargon a little, if this is going to be the opener. It sort of turned me off, since I read at a normal pace and didn't try especially hard to remember the words. New vocabulary should be introduced gradually, IMO - just use it enough so that the reader sort of absorbs th meaning by osmisis, instead of having it shoved down their throat/
11  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Welcome! on: July 22, 2008, 06:41:57 pm
Welcome, sorry the committee is a little late.

About the crimps... your best bet is ignore him.

...
12  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Deathwish Squadron (40k) on: June 01, 2008, 08:31:21 am
Looks good so far! As far as the setting goes, I can't spot any problems. Any given world in te Imperium is bound to be drastically different to any other, so you have pretty much free reign.

Quote
The ten men of Squad Ottowa were already clothed in the navy blue/white bodygloves of the Sousgrenier Arbites
Minor issue, but I don't know if blue/white is correct. Maybe stick an 'and' in.

Quote
Lieutenant Ranuel, up in the cockpit, visibly started as the Valkyrie next to his exploded.
'visibly stared' seems a little... well, the 'visibly' is unnecessary. It just doesn't strike me as the right word. Because, any staring is going to be visible, if you get what I mean... um... hmm.
I would say 'stared gaping' or something like that, describing how the character stared. 'visibly' doesn't really do that.
The shock of this is somewhat lost, and I don't know if you're going for that effect. If the Valkyrie was close to theirs, maybe you should add a little more reaction from the crew and squad. Maybe their Valkyrie is going to be hit by debris, or rocked by the explosion.

Quote
It had taken a missile directly to its crew compartment, and had been utterly gutted, cockpit to drop-ramp.
This is probably just personal preference, but I would say 'been gutted ccokpit to drop-ramp'. But that's just me

Quote
The tall, gangly Saall pitched forward and smacked his head on Brejís knee, who was sitting opposite him. He got up, grumbling sourly, and armed his autorifle.
The action here is good, but it doesn't feel as if the Valkyrie is spinning over and over. The fact that Saall's grumbles are mentioned... sort o influences the reader into hearing them, if you see what I mean. So all the noise associated with large vehicles rolling is lost, and all the reader hears is grumbling. Plus, the fact that he arms his gun seems to imply he's not that interested in clinging to the ship for dear life.
Maybe the Valkyrie has stopped rolling at this point, but it may be good to mention that. If not, I would suggest something like 'He forced himself back up, adding sour grumbles to the chaotic noise of the passenger compartment'.
I would also question the necessity of putting the Valkyrie's signifier here. It breaks up the action a bit. Maybe move it to a less intense part of the story.

Quote
Ranuel banked hard to the right. At his side, Hommus was firing the transportís lascannon, cracking off shots at the rapidly closing harvester. One round hit a long-barrelled autocannon the rebels had set up on the roof of the hump-backed harvester. Hommus fired again, at a gun near the massive threshing blades at the front of the goliath, but missed.
Again, nothing too wrong, but, IMO, the general chaotic nature of an air battle is lost when the reader get's crystal-clear descriptions of what happens. It's cool to mention whether the gunner's hitting or not, and what he hit - it helps the reader visualise the scene immensely. But they're not visualising the gunner desperately drawing a bead on anything that looks gun-shaped, seeing the crosshairs jitter and shake as he tries to line them up - they're visualising a lascannon shot destroying an autocannon.
I would change the focus to the gunner, rather than the targets.
13  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Welcome! on: May 20, 2008, 07:55:07 pm
Yeah, we're a pretty slow bunch, especially right now. Maybe YOU are the spark of adrenaline we need. We'll see, eh? Wink
Love the avatar, by the way.

Oh yeah, welcome!
14  Original Writings / Creative Discussion / Re: Best way out of a slump? on: April 20, 2008, 08:23:31 am
I've found, for me, the best way to get started again is to do something completely different. That may be a me thing - I always find it difficult to stick with a project to completion. I grind to a halt, then have a refresher by writing something completely different. Then eventually I can resume work on whatever I stopped before.
As for writing in general... I really can't help you, there Tongue.
15  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Knowledge (trippy combat sci-fi) on: April 19, 2008, 07:44:18 am
So, time to start writing stuff again. I really should get on with SaC, but I've just had so many other ideas rattling around in my head. I guess it's short story time for now... Tongue
I am going somewhere with this one - it's just the first part. I think there's enough confusing stuff that needs to be explained later on Tongue

-----------------------------

   It wasn't always like this.
   The air shimmered with heat, the telltale, traitorous sign of a harmonic forming. It was the one warning the enemy got. If they stayed, they would die. With a hiss like a snake about to strike, the air exploded. Trees, the dense forest, ignited, not even catching fire before they burst into shoals of light and fire. The grass withered for a thousand years, died, evaporated, and the soil melted, all in an instant. Tiny creatures, thousands of them, busy with their tiny existences, burned into purgatory. A rabbit, burrowing near the surface, writhed in pain before its flesh was charred off the bone. The protection of the earth had granted it a moment longer to live - only for it to suffer.
   This was too real.
   The harmonic disappeared. The ripples in the air were no longer artificial, the product of cunning manipulation of energy; they were the blood and tears of the forest, whose heart had been pierced, reduced to wind and ash. But the destruction continued. A gale rushed outwards, blowing a breath of hell through the foliage. Plants combusted, tree-trunks charred and smoke started to curl from their bark. Fire spread outwards from the wound, a glowing corona, but then the wind reversed, extinguishing all but the largest flames.
   In the centre of the wound, the enemy crouched. It was not dead. It was a blasphemy, that it still lived - as if it did not appreciate the sacrifice that had been made. The forest wept, sending heat into the sky. Around the enemy, an impossible bubble of sanity remained. Untouched grass, unspoiled air. The bubble reflected invisible colours of the sun, twisting the light as it passed through the barrier in the air. It had foiled the harmonic; the enemy was untouched.
   Now we know where it is, we can kill it.
   It barely deserved the name missile. It was a tiny black bulb, with a fluted body and bloated head. It was smaller than the rabbit that had died paving the way for this most deadly of weapons. The missile hung in the air, slow and inefficient. The enemy saw it, and started. What it started did not matter. It could have done anything, but nothing would save it. It ceased to exist as soon as the missile was fired. The perfect parabola paused. The missile looked down at the forest, at the black burn which had been made for it, like an animal's hair is shaved before surgery. It fired.
In the forest, a new firestorm erupted. The blossom started in front of the enemy, and expanded into a flower of pure light, purple and mostly white, glowing brighter than the sun. Shadows leaped away from it, ignoring the far-off star for now. The blossom expanded, drilling into the ground, reaching deeper than the harmonic ever could, burning. It reached into the enemy, peeling off layers of armour that the planets themselves coveted. The air was scoured painfully, every impurity burned away. Blue and green lights flickered in the blossom, gas in the air igniting, sizzling away like air trapped in old firewood. The blossom ended, exhausted itself. Fire retreated into the forest, taking care to pass around the husks of trees that were still destroying themselves. In an instant, the blossom was gone. The shadows returned. The trees finished disintegrating. The storm of wooden shards in the air burned from the new heat, fireflies dispersing into the dark, and vanished.
   The enemy was dead. Its body was dispersed in the air; it had become the air. The perfect bubble of protection was gone, too.
   Now we know where it is, we can kill it.
   The vital links to the world of knowledge, that expanded universe, were cut off by means civilised and humane, and the knowledge receded like the tide as Mathias unplugged the armour's elink from the back of his neck.
   Though the link never came inside him - the contact was made by magnets and wireless signals - he somehow felt invaded whenever he was connected to the armour. It put him in the mind of some ancient and evil spirit. But he mostly ignored the feeling. Quite apart from his squadmates' ridicule, feeling that your own armour, your livelihood, was going to suck the soul from your corpse was never a good mentality in a combat situation. They were trained to trust the armour, nurtured to succumb to its power and the amazing sensory extrapolation that its elink provided.
The armour disappeared back into its berth, a flayed black outline. Dormant, it was nothing more vicious-looking than a black body suit, tight-fitting, but with bulges in odd locations - the shoulders and shoulder blades, the small of the back, fronts of the thighs and shins, rear of the head. Its soles were toughened and thick, ready to provide traction on every surface. But active, it was transformed into the deadliest killer. Jagged protuberances grew from its hide, designed with only efficiency in mind but still evoking terror. Dark wings, the focusing equipment for the harmonic weapon, gave the armour the appearance of an ungodly apparition; the defensive flip-side of the same technology distorted the air around the wearer, forcing the viewer to question whether this hellish vision was really a thing of the world, not an escaped nightmare. Unreal muscles flowed artificially beneath the surface, and the movements of even the most ungraceful wearers were coaxed and coerced into becoming lithe and fluent.
   Mathias called it the devil-incarnate-suit, mostly jokingly.
16  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Welcome! on: March 29, 2008, 09:06:04 am
You made my day Smiley
17  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Welcome! on: March 28, 2008, 08:16:09 am
How far south? Tell me you're not from Tasmania... Wink

And even if you are, welcome to the site Smiley
18  Original Writings / Suggestions, Questions & Comments / Re: Looking for people seeking Asylum. on: March 23, 2008, 08:23:41 pm
The banner at the top of the forum might be one to use. In the past, we've just used our own banners (sometimes linking to specific stories in progress). Or, I should say, we've used Makenshi's banners Wink
19  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Untitled Short Story on: March 01, 2008, 09:18:50 pm
Well, you could always just patch it up to be a stand-alone story. Then you can at least have something coherent and well-written that's a credit to you, whether or not you intended it to be longer.

As for believability - you're the God of your story, so really, people who tell you 'half-vampires should fear the light' should take a flying **** at a rolling doughnut and stop being so traditional. Unless, of course, it's you who's telling you that, in which case you'd better sort out that schitzophrenia. Seriously, I'd say it doesn't matter. It's kind of refreshing to read something that doesn't adhere to the usual expectations, that breaks from the fold, whether intentionally or not. It stops your character from becoming a stereotype, and also makes her more human and 'likeable'. I mean, you could do some awesome characterisation stuff with fear of the light in a 'normal' setting, but it's something most people can't relate to, so it distances the character from them.
Meh. I'm raving now.
20  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Untitled Short Story on: February 18, 2008, 08:20:07 pm
All right, here we go Smiley

Opening
Fairly grabbing. I confess I did have a bit of a chuckle when the 'moooommmy' came out. I guess it wasn't meant to be that funny, but I'm cool that way. (Ignore me, please... Roll Eyes) It's good that you introduce the sense of smell here, 'cause it's important.

Conflict
The constant internal struggle is portrayed very well, and you keep on with it. I have to say that the kitchen with the kids actually got me feeling faint - really good stuff. Not much inter-character conflice, but the mum-dad-child relationship is done really well. It was a nice way to introduce the blood thing, among others.

Plot
Well, it wasn't Tom Clancy, but then, it wasn't meant to be. If you'd stuck a Tom Clancy plot in two pages of writing, you'd be either a llama or in an asylum. Huh. Or both. Anyway, my one criticism of the story would have to be the plot. Nothing much happens. I can see that that's deliberate - this isn't an action story. But the problem is that the story gears towards the jolt in the last sentence/paragraph, right? When you discover the narrator is a vampire. However, by that time, the reader pretty much has guessed that - you make it pretty clear. So once they've figured out tht the protagonist is a vampire (or a werewolf, I was thinking), they're waiting for something else to happen. And they reach the end and it's kind of like 'well... yeah.'

Setting
Um... nohing much to say here, but I'm doing a cookie-cutter review. Good job.

Characterisation
I sort of covered this already, but I'll mention that the kid and dad were rather flat. It doesn't detract from the story, because all the attention is on the narrator anyway. Just saying.

Dialogue
No comment. It doesn't sparkle with wit and humour, but again, it's not meant to and doesn't have to. Sorry these sections are all getting so short Tongue

Point of view
Oh goodness. I'm not going to criticise your use of third-person limited perspective because, honestly, I like third-person limited.

Show versus tell
Aha. You show the narrator's thoughts/feelings beautifully. Since the PoV is limited, you don't need to show the feelings of th other characters, though a little more telling might be welcome. Like when the kid asks for the Dorsey band-aid, what's he acting like? Some kids would be pleading (spoiled brats... I never got Dorsey band-aids), some would be focused on the band-aids as if the choise will determine who they get to marry, etcetera. Of course, it's unnecessary detail - but that may spark some ideas.
Oh, shoot. I just looked back and you did describe the Dorsey thing - perfectly. Well, it was a silly random example. I tried.

Format of the text
*Sigh*

Grammar an
Oh, wait. I had something to say about format. I like it. It's almost like my formatting Roll Eyes

Grammar and spelling
Pretty much flawless as far as I could see, but I didn't really focus on that. Certainly nothing major.

Style
Well, I've nothing much to say here either. You're no Garcia Marquez, thankfully. However, the snappy-ish sentences and clear way of saying things somehow remind me of suburban life, so it fits pretty well with your content. That, or I'm tripping again.
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