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Old 07-01-2009, 12:15 AM   #1
JediAthos
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Wrong Place, Wrong Time, Wrong Place

Wrong Place, Wrong Time, Wrong Place.


The Tarisian Dream shook slightly as she came out of hyperspace. Tarrex Jien entered the cockpit of the freighter and sat down in the co-pilot seat next to his brother and partner Koros.

“Are we at Tatooine?”

Koros for his part didn't answer his brother's question. His eyes were locked straight ahead and staring out the Dream's viewport.

“Koros..are we there?!”

“Umm....not exactly.”

“What do you mean not...” Tarrex voice trailed off as he followed his brother's gaze and finally saw what Koros was staring at. No less than eight Imperial Star Destroyers hung a mere five thousand yards directly in front of the Dream.

“Koros! Where the hell are we? There's no Imperial fleet this big in the Tatooine system!”

Koros stopped staring at the Star Destroyers and checked the Dream's sensors. He didn't have any idea what had happened, but this definitely wasn't Tatooine.

“The senors say we're...in the Naboo system.”

“Naboo! The Emperor's home planet?! How did we get here!”

“Give me a minute Tarrex, I'm checking the navicomputer.”

“A minute?! Koros, do you see those?” Tarrex said pointing “Those are Imperial Star Destroyers, we are flying a freighter, a freighter carrying five hundred pounds of illegal spice! If you don't figure out what happened and get us the hell out of here we're either going to be dead or captured by the Empire. I'm not sure which would be worse!”

“I'm looking, I'm looking..it looks like there's an error in the navicomputer Tarrex. The hyperspace coordinates are off by a lot...where did you buy this damn thing from?”

“From a guy I know on Nar Shaddaa, he's never let me down before.”

“Yeah well you stepped in the bantha poo-doo this time.”

“We don't have time to discuss it now! Can you compensate for the deviation?”

“I don't know.”

“We're in trouble aren't we?” Tarrex asked

“I think so.”

***

On the bridge of the Imperial Star Destroyer Accipiter Captain Voren Senn looked out the viewport and addressed his second in command.

“Commander Selanno, what is that ship out there?”

“We've identified it as the Tarisian Dream Sir, a stock freighter registered out of Taris.”

“What is it doing there?”

“We're not sure Sir, it just popped out of hyperspace.”

“Have you hailed them yet?”

“No Sir.”

“Captain, there's something else.”

“Yes Lieutenant?” Senn said addressing the Accipiter's operations officer.

“The ship Sir, I got a hit in the database, she's a known smuggling vessel.”

“Helm, move to intercept,” Seen ordered “Communications, order that vessel to hold it's position.”

“Aye aye Sir.”

The Accipiter's engines kicked in and the enormous destroyer began to break formation with the rest of the Imperial Fleet.

***

“Koros, we definitely have a problem, that ship is moving!”

Koros jumped out of the pilot's seat “Fly the ship, I've got the deviation figured out but I need time to do the calculations!”

Tarrex switched positions with his brother, and as he did the ship's communication system crackled to life.

“Tarisian Dream, heave to and hold your position. You are under arrest in the name of the Galactic Empire, prepare to be boarded.”

“Over my dead body,” Tarrex muttered

He fired the Dream's engines and turned the ship on it's axis. “Koros hurry up, I'm charging our weapons and raising our shields but we're sure as hell no match for that!”

“You don't have to tell me!”

Tarrex slammed the Dream's engines to full as they sped away from the Destroyer. He shifted as much power to the rear deflector shield as he could manage, and hoped he could keep his distance from the Imperial ship long enough for Koros to calculate their hyperspace jump.

***

“They're running Sir.” Selanno said

“I see that Commander,” Captain Senn replied “Weapons, open fire on that ship, and launch a fighter squadron.”

The Accipiter's guns began blazing away spewing turbolaser fire at the freighter, and at the same time TIE Interceptors launched from the hangar bay and streaked toward the fleeing smugglers. Captain Senn watched out the viewport with satisfaction as his ship prepared to take down the freighter. He would surely be rewarded with a commendation for bringing in this known smuggler.

***

Tarrex for his part was doing everything he could to buy his brother the time he needed. The Dream's quad laser cannons blasted away at the TIE fighters that buzzed around the larger ship. He'd already downed one, but that still left seven of them and they were peppering the Dream's shields. The shields were holding, but the fire from the destroyer was getting closer and more accurate. It was a good thing for Tarrex that the Empire's gunners weren't that good or the Dream would be dust by now.

“Koros, that destroyer is getting closer! Now would be a good time!”

“I'm working as fast as I can! I'm almost done, give me three more minutes!”

Tarrex rolled the dream went into a steep dive hoping that his evasive maneuvers weren't jostling the glitterstim tied down in the cargo hold. His buyer wouldn't want damaged goods, but the buyer was the least of his troubles at the moment. The Dream shook as one of the shots from the Imperial destroyer hit home. He checked his shields, damaged, but holding for the moment.

“Koros, they must have put better shots at those guns!”

“Well we're not sticking around to find out! Calculations complete, punch it and let's get the hell out of here!”

“About time!” Tannex reached forward and activated the Dream's hyperdrive. The ship rocketed into hyperspace leaving behind the destroyer and its TIE fighters. Tannex slumped back in the pilot's seat and looked over at his brother with a smile.

“That, was closer than I ever wanted to be to one of those things.”

“We should be happy we didn't get the grand tour.”

“Yeah, right, well I'm setting the autopilot and getting some rest.”

“Sounds like a good idea.”

Tannex set the autopilot to warn them when they were coming up on their destination and both men kicked back in their chairs and fell sound asleep. The didn't wake up until the autopilot began beeping loudly at them. Tannex looked and saw they were approaching their target system.

“Taking us out of hyperspace.”

The Dream reverted to real space and Tannex looked out the viewport and couldn't believe his eyes.

“Koros, that's not Tatooine either.”

JediAthos has requested a fanfic review for this thread.

"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 07-15-2009, 10:31 AM   #2
Darth InSidious
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I'm going to be blunt and potentially very upsetting in this review. I think I should warn you here.

The best thing about this piece is the title, and it's really rather a pity the rest doesn't live up to that opening. One of the most trivial but most grating irritations with this fic is the one I'm going to tackle first, which is the punctuation and the ship names.

There are a lot of places where you haven't divided sentences properly. As an example:

“From a guy I know on Nar Shaddaa, he's never let me down before.”

This should really be two distinct sentences, IMO, since these are two distinct, although linked concepts.

“From a guy I know on Nar Shaddaa. He's never let me down before.”
Or even
“From a guy I know on Nar Shaddaa - he's never let me down before.”

has a much better flow to it, and reduces the peculiarity of the syntactic juxtaposition.

Similarly, it's something of a convention that a ship's name is italicised, so for "The Tarisian Dream", you would have the Tarisian Dream. It's not a major point, but in a text in which you've repeated the name and at times shortened this particular example, it is helpful to visually distinguish it in this way.

Another point is the use of ellipsis. Take this sentence:

“That, was closer than I ever wanted to be to one of those things.”

It's clear what you intend, but a comma isn't the best way to go about it. An ellipsis is more generally used for that purpose:

“That... was closer than I ever wanted to be to one of those things.”

You also used rather too many exclamations for my taste.

Now that these are out of the way, there are some more serious problems with the fic that I have. To be blunt, the description is banal, and often seems to go in for pointless and clumsy extra information.

His eyes were locked straight ahead and staring out the Dream's viewport.

Why "his eyes"? It detaches the action from him, and the conjunction and second verb make the whole sentence feel unwieldy. You've then cut the "of" from between "out" and "the", which further confuses the style - are leaning toward minimalism or maximalism? There are ways to rectify this.

His eyes were locked straight ahead, and he was staring out the Dream's viewport.

Or

He was straight staring ahead and out of the Dream's viewport.

Or

He was straight staring ahead, out of the Dream's viewport.

All of these make the action more directly connected to Koros, and make the sentence flow better.

Similarly, why is it that Koros for his part didn't answer his brother's question? It's a totally unnecessary addition that feels inappropriate for the sentence and, again, seres to divorce the action from the actor.

Also, if an action is ordered by the captain of an ISD, I'm not sure you need to then describe it happening, and this brings me on to another point: the mode of description. An awful lot of you description falls into either cliché or is simply unengaging.

“I see that Commander,” Captain Senn replied
Grammatical issues aside, how did the Captain reply? Was he annoyed at his subordinate's obvious comment? Amused? You've given a description that doesn't actually describe.

Things are a little better with
The Accipiter's guns began blazing away , but this sentence feels clichéd, as do a lot of the ship-to-ship sequences and the dialogue surrounding these seems to have been culled for the main part from Episodes IV, V and VI.

While there's nothing wrong with those films, you really want to come up with your own narrative voice, and give your characters distinct modes of speech, too.

Which brings me onto another problem: the dialogue. I don't think there's a single character in your fic. There's a fair amount of dialogue, but none of it has any life to it.

Partly this is because of the description, but also there's a degree to which none of your characters feel particularly different from one another. If we re-set these characters around a poker table and took away the quote tags, would we actually be able to tell them apart?

To sum up, you need less filler text, more actual and vivid description and to invest your characters with more personality. At the moment, what could be a vivid and exciting sequence seems dull, clichéd, repetitive and much too long.

There's no particular problem with your theme, but the way you've covered it is uninteresting and it feels like a rather tired pastiche of various sequences from the films. Sorry. It's for this reason I'm going to give this fic a 5/10. There's not a lot specifically wrong with it, but there's also not a lot that's right, either.



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Old 07-15-2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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Truth be told I don't really think I've ever had something I've written be completely ripped to shreds like that.

I won't disagree with you on your evaluation of my descriptive writing as it is a known weakness, and one I do try to work on, but it's an ongoing project.

As far as sentence structure in the dialog goes...I kind of think you're nitpicking a little bit. Separating the "From a guy I know.." sentence could have worked but as far as I know there's nothing grammatically incorrect about using a comma there either. When I write dialog I don't necessarily look to be grammatically perfect because no one that I know talks that way, but I try not leave glaring errors either.

For the "That, was closer than I ever..." sentence if it was clear what I intended then why make the change?

Finally, am I upset at such a scathing review? Not particularly. Will I take some of your points into consideration in my writing? Sure.


"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 07-16-2009, 08:20 AM   #4
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I laughed. Nice ending.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:48 PM   #5
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'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?

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Old 07-22-2009, 07:03 AM   #6
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Personally I liked it


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Old 07-26-2009, 04:25 AM   #7
Bee Hoon
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JediAthos, I salute your attitude Imho, DI put a lot of effort into writing such an indepth review, but it's very helpful DI's pretty said all that needs saying. The story fits the theme perfectly, although it's somewhat predictable as a result. I find it a bit hard to believe that a freighter could withstand a destroyer for that long, but with some funky piloting, maybe? As for descriptions, you could perhaps try describing the ship shuddering as each bolt hit them, and alarms going off, perhaps further distracting Koros. Besides that, after such an, uh, excitement, it's usually pretty hard to sleep with all the adrenaline (or epinephrine, as you Americanos would say ;D) coursing through your system. You could have one of them mulling over what just happened.

All in all, a good effort although it still needs work and a more original spin



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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