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Everything posted by Tcr

  1. I, too, prefer the antagonist to be realistic. It makes it more heroic (shall we say) when the protagonist final overcomes them. I definitely have to agree that operating from the different point of view and doing what is ‘right’, a technical view that is quite subjective, thus working quite well in describing their mindset, is a good way to make them real. Real people make decisions all the time that otherwise lead to the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. An example that comes to mind for that is actually, strangely, from Star Trek. ST: Nemesis, for anyone not versed in this, has a clone of Jean-Luc Picard as the villain of the piece. While not the greatest and most powerful villain in the franchise (that, by far, has to be Khan from Wrath Of Khan… Okay, digress finished...), it does provide the example… Shinzon’s backstory falls into a series of backstories that describe his rough upbringing under horrendous conditions, thus leading him to lead a coup and murder off the government and take control… Et cetera, et cetera… Whereas Picard’s choices reflect the good within the UFP… Shinzon’s reflects the darker choices… ‘For now we see in a mirror darkly’, the view of what could have been had situations been different. To me, that’s what makes a good villain, a good opposite to the hero. The ‘what could have been if things were just a little different in the hero’s life. Those that believe they are doing right, too, make for a good antagonist, whether that comes from some deep religious beliefs, malformed opinions based of the propaganda and hate, or justice/revenge, as you’ve pointed out. It brings a human element to them, makes them relatable. And, to me, at least, a relatable villain is, by far, the better one.( (Sorry if this is rambling, disorganized, and incoherent… Maybe this is a sign not to answer after being up all night...)
  2. Tcr

    TCR's Review Response Thread

    Isn’t that what a beta’s supposed to do? Tell it as it is and find the stuff that’s wrong, whether or not it’s a pain in the ass? ;). Honestly, like I say, I don’t mind hearing an ‘impromptu beta’. Seeing what someone else might think works can improve my own writing. CR and I have different styles, different ideas of what needs to be said and what doesn’t, how to do things, et cetera. Having someone else point out something that could be made better, to me, isn’t a bad thing and I have to say that I appreciate hearing a different take on what to do and how to do it. Every bit helps in the long run. Besides, while not a regular occurrence, I have caught myself (and apparently missed), finding sections I’ve edited/changed and forgot to delete. (I’m blaming that weird looking angel on my shoulder, I’m not sure why the horns are holding up the halo, but she always says not to ask, so...) Now that I’ve rambled on, though...
  3. Tcr

    Blood and Honour

    Chapter 5 is now posted. As a bit of an aside, a review response thread has also been created, combined for both Blood and Honour and Hell Fall and I’ll answer any questions one may have about this one, or Hell Fall, on there as well.
  4. Tcr

    TCR's Review Response Thread

    Blood and Honour: Again, thanks for the review, BW. It definitely helped lift spirits during the neverending pit I found myself in when I posted on the forum. This is off to a most intriguing start. Chapter one introduces us to the main characters, and I have to admit, Matilde is an extremely strong character, so much so she almost overshadows the others. Given that she has the greatest misgivings about the plan to hide in plain sight, I am rather glad, since I do believe she will be proved right. I'm glad to hear it's intriguing. I wasn't entirely sure how to start it originally. There were simply too many points to start. After a couple figurative and, sometimes, literal, slaps across the face, I admitted that Chapter I had become interesting. Wasn't sure if others would think so, but had to start somewhere. I did want Matilde to be the strong willed, and, indeed, strongest and most outspoken character, of the group. Whereas the rest were driven by a fear, she was supposed to be the voice of some reason. Chapter two is lovely, and quite nicely done. There's a tenderness, almost a tristesse to the couples during their lovemaking, and it lends a bittersweet charm to the chapter. For those of us who enjoy history, including the more warty bits not often showcased, knowing what could await them doubles the sense of foreboding. I'm going to admit, I wasn't sure how it would turn out. The M/M is the first attempt at writing it and I owe a lot to my betas for the chapter. They put in a lot of time, effort, sweat, possibly blood, and more frustration than I'm sure they wanted to. The F/F, while not the first, and taking less from the betas, is still not a strongpoint. That being said, I did want it to be bittersweet and the looming threat hanging over them, the fact this may be the last time they might see each other… And chapter three brings us to a glimpse of their fates. The lads will of course see combat as part of the infantry and the Panzer Corps, but it was the women's assignments which were of import, I think. Hanna will find Dachau a great trial, with her gentle nature. Nothing there will allow her to flourish. And Matilde, well. I find myself hoping she is indeed as good a shot as she claims, and perhaps she will one day use that to her advantage. But the deception of pretending to be male will be difficult. I can't help but see trouble in store for her. I saw Hanna and Matilde’s postings as the important aspect of the assignments, as well. Hanna’s assignment was intended as a foil, her gentle nature opposite to Dachau’s dark nature; her kindness a complete 180 from Dachau’s oppressive stance. Before I had written Matilde’s assignment, I had read online regarding a woman who, in World War I, had joined up, as a man, in one of the armies (forgive me, I can’t remember which right now), and served through the war. I found it remarkable and wanted to include something similar. I am definitely going to continue following this story. You have a clear and elegant style of writing, and I'm enjoying this immensely. I hope I don't disappoint. And now for the last, but not least… From Pippychick... Thank you Pippy, for your review. (And no, I didn’t mind the impromptu beta read.) This has a very intriguing premise indeed. We can only imagine how many of these sombre get togethers there were in the weeks and months following Hitler's election. I suspect there were a lot, not just between lovers, but among ordinary families and friends too. I've certainly read real life accounts of grown men literally crying over the kitchen table. You convey that atmosphere of hopeless despair well, yet the fear is present too, which of course is what leads to their agreement to join up. Of course in those circumstances it's not a silly fear at all. Soon, the light of suspicion would fall on two couples sharing living space, and suspicion in those days would be all it took to be consigned to a nasty fate. We’ve probably been reading similar accounts. I wanted to present that fear and hopeless despair as well as I could from those accounts. Suspicion was a very real chance to get back at someone. I read about people who would purposely spread lies and half-truths in order to get vengeance or political means. Even members of the General Staff were not above suspicion and persecution. But I’m rambling... Will they survive? Perhaps more pertinently, will their love survive? There's a lovely echo of Nineteen Eighty-Four about this situation. How much will it take to make the lovers renounce each other? How much will they see and do that deadens their hearts? If you or I were in that position, what would it take to turn us into informants to save our own lives? Self-preservation often conquers all, not love, sadly. I do believe you’re going to like the chapters as they keep coming. And now some concrit... I did notice you repeated yourself in the following two paragraphs… I'd also watch how many times you begin paragraphs with a character's name. Lastly, be careful of short sentences (I am terrible for using these myself) as they can kill the rhythm. If I notice I'm struggling, I'll often read my own work aloud to myself, making sure to include all commas and full stop pauses. Like I said, I don’t mind pointing out little things like what you have. Sometimes I miss things, sometimes it’s me forgetting (...YAY, forgetfulness!) to delete something after I work through it in an edit. Then I catch myself and put myself in a corner for bad behaviour… lol. Seriously, though, I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to note that there’s something wrong in there so I can go back and fix it. So, thank you for that. I’ve noticed (and I’m sure Cloverreef would like to beat me with a bat...or worse when she sees that) I have a considerable pain in the ass tendency to start with names. Been trying to break that, but apparently it’s not working too well… I’m sure CR would be the first to point at ‘read my own work aloud’ and be like ‘SEE? SEE?’ I admit, I hadn’t been doing that before, but I’ve tried in the last couple months, so hopefully there’ll be some change to be seen.
  5. Tcr

    TCR's Review Response Thread

    Hell Fall: Thanks, BW, for the review. Ah, this is striking far too many chords with me right now. It's a terrifically written story, and one I hope won't prove prescient, but as someone who loves history, I do believe we're doomed to repeat the worst of it, over and over again. We're a thick-headed race, we humans, and haven't grasped we're all the same, despite superficial differences. I, too, love history and I do hope that shines through, if not here, definitely Blood and Honour. While this is kind of a story that is part of a larger universe, I agree that history is doomed to repeat, only to be worse as time goes along. I'm hoping that follows with how this continues. Your obvious military research and/or expertise lends a terrific air of veracity to your story, and the urgency in the pacing of the story is gripping. Many of mine are filled with military themes, which lends to research and development of this. I'm glad that it's not wasted. (And, while no one can see right now, I am smiling away.) CR has often made the same sentiments regarding that. There’s still a vast amount I do not know and probably a fair amount that I’ve made mistakes on, but I do hope they pale in comparison to what I try to portray as a realistic scene and character when it comes down to the final product. On the whole, Dawn and Roberta are well done, although I find them both a bit intolerant, perhaps because of their own struggles against prejudice. Nonetheless, they're a bit strident, something I'd have expected if they were younger and cocky. As older, more mature officers, they should be better able to deal with the merde. But that's a tiny quibble, and might be more my own personal taste and habit, so take it with a grain of salt. You are right, they are a little intolerant and strident. It was intended to be such as a foil to the racism and derogatory comments that come up and will come up. Not to mention things from Dawn’s past, as well. Admittedly, I may have overdosed on that side of them. I'm rooting for Dawn and Roberta, but I sense a great deal more grief coming down the pipe, and I can't imagine they'll be able to avoid being in the thick of it. Very well done! Glad to hear they have some cheering from the audience :).
  6. Tcr

    Blood and Honour

    Good news… I think… Chapter 4 is up and things are...somewhat back to normal.
  7. Not sure if right place, but just needed to ultimately let loose… Sorry if not... Begin questionable personal rant: Started Blood and Honour, no problem. Lately, just been lacking inspiration and almost the desire to do so. Been stuck on a scene, can't seem to think a path through the wall right now. Been feeling pretty down about that much. i guess it doesn't help not having feedback to try to improve (... should I be saying that?)... Admittedly, work doesn't let much time to do it, either... Then some personal things happened over the last week and any will to even think about it just left. So there's that to it that's sapped the will... So, I sit, staring at the screen with words typed on it and doubt everything... Damn insecurity, nerves, anxieties, and depression... (Hmmm...too personal?) And nothing gets done... All that runs through my mind is the questions of are people liking them? Pity? Are they accidentally clicking in and getting back out? Is my writing so pathetic that I should just stop entirely? Staring at the words and everything that's happened, I doubt the possibility of a positive answer to them, despite what my Beta and good friend would say… I don't know where I was going with this... Just a ramble about nothing, I guess. Result of an exceptionally terrible last couple weeks. End questionable personal rant… Anyone who reads this through to the end... what are you doing here? Go write something ;). Maybe just letting this out will help some, get back on track... Let me get back to Blood and Honour and Hell Fall so as not to disappoint adoring fans. (On a side note, if this wasn't the place... Forgive me, administration, I began mercy...) Tcr.
  8. Tcr

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    ...Huh, maybe a little late to this meeting. Hi, I’m JimBob, and I’m usually a late for everything (Waves hand). To answer CloverReef’s main questions: Barring the obvious like exploiting stereotypes and fetishizing a culture, or claiming a piece of that culture as your own and ignoring the history behind it, where do you think the line in the sand is? I think that, for the most part, it is every author’s own decisions, reactions, and thoughts on that matter. I think that, as long as you attempt to be as respectful to each culture that one uses, that you take the time to research and, perhaps, add some background into it to provide that knowledge and, in a way, show that you’re not saying it’s yours, that the thin red line stops at the point where, as you put it, one exploits, claims, or otherwise fetishizes a culture. Between crafting a diverse world with fully fleshed out characters of existing cultures and appropriating and exploiting? I think that a diverse world has to have some ‘appropriation’ (as used in the term of the article) for it to be accepted. Just as with fully fleshed out characters. (Hey, hey, put those pitchforks down and hear me out before I get them rammed somewhere I don’t want them to be...) The wide range of human cultures on Earth alone, just to keep this example easy enough, cannot simply be a one dimensional stance. Good and Evil are not black and white, so to speak. A diverse world would have its history, would have its own ideas and religions. Using something that is familiar (Let’s just say a pantheon of gods, to make this easy) could be construed as appropriating, but also help to bridge the gap between the reader and the world created. (My thoughts go to the old Battlestar Galactica in this one; What? I’m not the only one who watched it... Wait, I am? Well... Anyway, I believe it was Mormon wedding ceremonies were used as a wedding tradition on there; Greek and Roman mythology was bastardized and twisted; et cetera, et cetera). How can writers avoid white-washing stories and still be 100% respectful? This one’s a tricky question to answer. No matter what, someone’s going to be offended. No matter what, someone’s going to get up in arms about how the elderly Japanese man is the mentor, ‘that’s stereotypical’. Yet, if he wasn’t the mentor, they would be up in arms about how it’s always the white American is, and ‘that’s whitewashing’. There is no way to be 100% respectful. All one can do is be as respectful as they can. As BW and DP have said, I put research into my stories as well. I like getting plausible elements within (sometimes, yes, things have to be...altered. Hell, Blood and Honour, I’ve made a...minor alteration with regards to one of my characters (though, historically, this isn’t the first time, just unheard of within the timeframe and situation of BaH). If I get the sense that someone is trying to put in an effort to be respectful towards something, then I don’t become offended. (...007 Goldeneye, one of the scenes shows a Canadian Naval Admiral being killed and his ID and et cetera stolen because of seduction and ineptitude... This was changed from the original (which was an American) because the USN was up in arms about how ‘that wouldn’t be the case’... I looked at it like ‘The guy’s human, it happens...’). Or are there certain mistakes some of us make that piss you off? When it comes to being pissed off, it’s a lot more about people making a big deal out of what could be construed as nothing. Using the example above, who cares what nationality? People are people; people f*ck up, it’s what makes us all human. When it does come down to writing, and I haven’t seen it here, but a lot of what pisses me off is a result of taking something important or sensitive in nature (i.e. rape, culture, sexuality, religion, et cetera) and turning it into nothing more than a stereotypical joke. (In this case, something like having a white guy playing a Japanese guy and going way out of the way to be insulting, including stuff like massive buck-teeth (rabbit buck teeth) and speaking gibberish (I can’t remember what movie that was, but that was like ‘Come on, give me a flocking break here!’). Or do you have tips to go by to avoid appropriating in your own stories? Like I said before, in my opinion, one has to ‘appropriate’ some aspects of a culture in order for the reader to better connect with a given world. (Okay, all of you in the back with the pitchforks still raised, calm down!) By using something familiar (maybe it’s the ancient Romans, maybe it’s magic, maybe it’s a Samurai and the Samurai code) it allows the reader an idea, something they can understand or, in the case, maybe something that they may research to better understand. (Hey, now, get the pitchforks away from me, you angry mob!) Of course, as stated, there will always be someone ready to start a mob, ready to incite some riot over what they perceive as offense. As ourselves, we don’t get to choose what someone takes offense to. BW may not care about the use of Marvel’s Thor (Sorry, if I got that wrong... Don’t hurt me please!), but the guy next to her may be sitting there going ‘Damn Hollywood and that tights wearing mockery of Thor!!!!’ Ultimately, I can’t choose for them and they can’t choose for me... All I’d be asking is not to ruin it for someone else who doesn’t get offended by something. Okay, so that was it. Anyone still there? (Tumbleweed rolls down the street for a moment before it, too, grows legs and gets the Hell out of dodge. A slow breeze whistles through the emptiness) Well, that was unexpected. My apologies for the longwinded and probably boring post, not sure if that made sense or if I was just rambling. Seventeen hours awake does nothing for logical thought. Tcr
  9. Well now, thank you all for your words of support. I do have to say that I agree with DP. Just using the ‘like’/’dislike’ button would make it easier to, for lack of a better word, attack anonymously. Much like a rating system could be, as DP stated, abused. Sometimes, I think, it’s just that people sit there and don’t want to put something like ‘I like this’ or ‘I can’t wait to read more’, or, on occasion, it is possible that someone else has stated something similar and that individual doesn’t feel like repeating it. Could just be that they don’t like being in the spotlight with a review... (I’m the latter, admittedly… Just doing this, starting this thread, opening up and letting go, it terrified the Hell out of me about what I was going to get back and, ultimately, being in the spotlight makes me nervous and, when nervous, I go on a long winded, nervous ramble…. Like I’m doing now...) This kind of falls into what you were saying, too, DG. (Admittedly, I probably just repeated everything stated before… Sorry, lack of sleep and after work I don’t think does any favours right now. (Forgive my rambling and likely rephrasing of things...) CL: Thanks for your words. At lot of mine is self doubt. I always look at my own writing and doubt my abilities. Seeing the lack of reviews, coupled with the week’s disasters, and the doubt, it only seemed to reaffirm my writing not so good. I admit, I’ve been reading some of the forums and seeing that it is as you’ve said, there’s a fair amount of complaints about the lack of reviews. Definitely push through. Someone is more than likely enjoying it . But, being down about the lack of reviews, that won’t happen. (Okay, so… Random rambling now done. Good thing I have a beta to go over the writing, lol.) But, thanks for the support. It’s nice to have been subtly prodded (thanks CloverReef ) to join a site where people show support and help. Tcr
  10. Well, this is quite a few more replies than I expected to see. :). So, thanks :). First off, in alphabetical order, because… A little OCD or something, maybe… Maybe I’m just a little nuts… lol. BW: I can hardly argue the supportive side :). After I posted, I took the advice of my beta and went looking through to see the reviews, better understand, and I notice that there are a lot of ones, at least in the F/F side (which is mostly what I write) are lacking. So that did help to ease some. I think a lot of the lack of motivation that I have right now is just everything piling up and burying me below stress, which will, hopefully, disappear after Christmas. That stress, the addition of anxiety and a touch of depression are enough to ruin anyone. (I think it doesn’t help when I’m ramming head against wall trying to get over the wall blocking the other side of a chapter, either ;), lol). DP: Thanks for the advice. I’ll have to start keeping track of the prints. I always notice that there’s a few people (between five and ten) that seem to spike it within the first few days after putting a new thing up, but maybe I’ll have to keep track a little closer and see what that says. It sounds like a contradiction, I know, when I say now that I know people are reading it (the prints alone are enough to say that there is, for sure, one person reading it), so I’m guessing someone out there likes it… For now. The self-doubt that I have just reared its ugly head in light of personal situations and stresses. George: Well, been on here for seven months, yes. Only posted my first (that is Blood and Honour (BaH)) within the last month (after about a year of subtle pushing from my beta). I do agree, the fanfic side definitely has the advantages of having that built in audience and, certainly, because of that is likely to get both positive and negative reviews on a much larger scale. The universe for a fanfic has been set, whereas one has to be developed for the original. Thinking somewhat logically now and distanced from the overwhelmed feeling of yesterday, you make that excellent point. Not to mention that, right now, (and, once again thinking logically) it’s the early chapters and the development is only just starting. So, people may well be hesitant to want to review because of that, as well. All in all, thank you all. The inspiration and motivation is still below normal, but at least it’s there again. I guess I just needed to let everything out.
  11. Thanks for the reply, DemonGoddess. The self doubt has always been there, nibbling at the ear, whispering the bad. Most of the time, they could be deftly silenced. Sometimes not so much. This past week, it just seems nothing has gone right. Everything bad just forming a party with everything invited, except the good essentials. But I'm rambling again. Anyway, just thought maybe throwing it out there might help.
  12. Tcr

    Blood and Honour

    Chapter 3 is posted. My apologies to those who are reading it, I’m uncertain when the next chapter will be posted.