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Thread: The Critic's 2 cents
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:22 PM   #11
Local curmudgeon
machievelli's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
Posts: 2,874
Current Game: Dungeonseige series
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Coruscant Entertainment Center

Whisper on the Wind

Set Before Phantom Menace: A Jedi must take on a new Padawan at the same time that he also accepts a new mission

The writing style is good. However in this sentence ‘The High Council requires your presence at during the next meeting, Jordan.’ the at was unnecessary.

The intro is good, and there is enough to keep the reader going. Keep it up.

The Last Line

Non-SW: In an Alternate Universe, the Invasion of the US begins

The basics need a little work, but it is going well.

Technical notes: Since it’s alternate history should I mention that Russia wasn’t invaded until 22 June 1941 in Operation Barbarossa?

Second, Historically military budgets are raised under Republican Presidents, and reduced when Democrats are in charge. The US actually had to borrow rifles from the English to arm the first troops going to France in 1917, and used a French made machinegun for the first 11 months. The US Army didn’t start it’s build up to WWII until 1939 right after the Czechs fell. We started that war with ‘modern’ equipment that was five to ten years old, and the new weapons (Garand Rifle and the Corsair for example) had been stonewalled by politicians spending money on social programs until then.

Once that war was over the government couldn’t get out of armaments fast enough. When Korea began we were caught flat footed again.

As soon as the Berlin Wall came down the Democrats in Congress began raiding the military’s budget for the ‘peace dividend’ they needed to fund more social programs.

Third: I could see us sitting out the war until Japan attacked us. But not from that point on. I would have suggested you have the Japanese negotiate the occupation of the Philippines and Guam, which would have given them the victory you describe while allowing the lackluster presidents their own petty victories.

Fourth: A president can suggest a treaty, but it has to be ratified by the Congress. Having them send the peace treaty and prepare to invade literally the same day is a good move but even if the President said yes today, it would take a day or more for Congress to vote on it. The fastest vote of that kind in history was the Declaration against Japan, with the vote to go to war in Iraq a close second.

Umbral Tide: Chapter V: Night Attack!

Fifth chapter of the series: An attack strikes down one member of the party.

The piece flowed well and while I agreed with JM12 about the last portion, I still think you did a great job.

Pick of the week

Star Wars The Old Republic

300 years after the destruction of the Jedi Temple on Dantooine: Raiders enter the old enclave, and find death

I think JM12 did a good job of pointing out all of the obvious problems with the work. Remember that a story teller must create the scenes, the characters, the situation, and create in the reader’s mind a picture. If you were trying to create a script form, you have to remember that while dialogue is done in this style you still have paragraphs of description. To show you what I mean I’ll use my own Script (About Last Knight, an Airplane Style medieval comedy)

Moose, the biggest of the three moves forward. The others laugh, but stop laughing and spin around when someone behind them speaks.


No one touches her!

Cut to: Alleyway. Scion, a well-muscled man in a full faced mask, stands cutting off the brigands' retreat.


If you want some excitement, fight me!

Cut to: Side view, Brigands. They draw short swords from sheaths, and brandish them menacingly.

Cut to: Scion looks as if bored with the whole thing. He draws his sword, (something larger than normal, but smaller that Conan's broadsword), the same one seen when he was a boy in mud, and holds it negligently at his side. The Angelic chorus sings.

Cut to Brigands. They look surprised and worried, looking around for the chorus.

Brigand #2

Hey! Wait a minute! Why is his sword so much bigger than ours?

Cut to: Medium CU, Scion. He raises sword between his face and Camera.


Everything I have, I inherited from my father.

Cut to: medium shot, Brigands. #1, obviously the leader, snorts.

Brigand #1(Waves hand)

Hey, guys, you remember what they always say about guys that carry Big weapons!

Brigands all snicker at that. Then, with a shout, they attack.

There are several cuts and shots, and the one thing that can be verified, is that the Brigands are no match for Scion. Behind Scion, a window opens.

See What I mean?

One question merely out of curiosity; Why did the character use a plasma torch to pound on the door instead of cutting it?

Not bad for a 14 year old first attempt.

The Search
Da Man

Post TSL: The Ebon Hawk and her crew finally find Revan

The work is good except for the problems addressed by LOTF and two other things. First remember conversation breaks. The second sentence LOTF earmarked should have been two; one when Catrina spoke, again when Carth did.

The other is technical; you see a tracking device such as you described would be next to worthless, since as an example they could have landed in Kansas and had Revan hiding in Nepal. I would have suggested one with a limited range, say ten to 20 light minutes. Meaning you could skate through all of the planets in the Republic before coming close enough to detect the signal, which would barely reach beyond the inner solar system. Such a signal from earth would be detectable only out to just inside the orbit of Jupiter.

The work is good enough to look at as it continues.

Pick of the Week


The Best Laid Plans of the Force and Men

Post TSL: Together again, but the reunion is nothing like they had planned…

The first paragraph should have been two or perhaps 3. This is an editing problem, easily corrected.

That being said, the basis of the story, the conflict caused by one person’s memory and the other person’s lack of those memories is a well thought out premise. I had always wondered what was on the Council’s mind when they erased Revan and replaced that memory with a fabrication. Did they honestly think Revan would never meet someone from before?

Excellent premise, excellent story.

Pick of the Week.

When I Am Laid In Earth - Part One

TSL on Malachor V: With Kreia dead, the Exile ponders what to do next.

The piece is a bit of darkness in a woman’s soul that makes so much sense it is frightening. The byplay; wondering if Revan is acting as a puppet master makes the entire mission that must follow, finding Revan, a possible forlorn hope.

Excellent work

Pick of the Week

Not Her
Lady Tragic

No specific section of TSL given: Atton in an aside tells Mical that he is wrong in who he loves.

I sat for almost a minute after reading this because Atton’s argument is perfect. Mical is (according to the author) in love with the ideal of who the Exile is. Like falling in love with a picture rather than the person.

Atton on the other hand sees her soul, sees her way of dealing with life, and it resonates within him. He is in love with her, Mical with the image of her. With that difference, we know who will win her heart.

Pick of the Week

It Always Rains on Dxun

PreTSL not long after the Exile’s sentencing: On Dxun The Exile considers the bleak years ahead.

The author covered a period we usually don’t see, the direct aftermath of the exiling. I was stunned by the way this story went; I waited until almost a year later when I wrote ‘Return From Exile’ my own novel length piece.


Pick of the Week

Nar Shaddaa Night Life
Lord Zeuss

TSL on Nar Shaddaa: A desperate chase through the streets of the smuggler’s moon.

The story is interesting primarily because of the venue of the action, but also that we see a part of the Exile’s life we don’t see, her past without the Force. The scene is well set, the action truncated but well done regardless. The end is perfect, because the Exile steps back into her old persona and will not soil who she has become again with it.

According to the author this is the first work All I have to say is;

Pick of the Week

The Broken One and The Assassin Part 1
Triple E

No specific part of TSL given: The Exile reveals part of her past to Atton

There are a lot of times when I see someone’s reviews and they proceed to tear the kid apart. Usually without even bothering to say what they had done wrong.

You’ve all heard the old saw ‘those who can do, those who can’t become critics‘. When I began as the critic over at Lucasforums and Starwarsknights back in 2005 I felt everyone I reviewed deserved better.

You see regardless of your credentials, if all you are doing is tearing them down about how incompetent they are, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. As a person who as a young man got a scathing review from someone I respected I know how much than can hurt, especially if the person doing it doesn’t even bother to tell you why you’re so incompetent.

Freesourceful did such an excellent review of everything that I honestly can’t think of anything else to say except for this;

Pick of the Week

The Shadows of the Old Republic

Eight years after TSL: An ancient ship with a mystery arrives as the Exile returns.

As I commented above, I am glad that people with such acumen have been here before. Both Kiraboros, whom I have dealt with personally, and Freesourceful whom I have yet to interact with directly both gave the advice I would have. Their advice is excellent and cogent. The story has a ways to go but I expect more and better!

Pick of the Week

'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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