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(L,F&E 1) Shades of Grey

kalenath's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 04:21 AM | #11
Nia Korr sat in the stateroom she had been given and tried to clear her mind. The situation wasn’t what she had expected. Well, she hadn’t exactly planned any of this and well, no…she hadn’t known WHAT to expect. But to wind up on a ship full of people who hated Force users… For good reasons, but still… Her thoughts broke off as the door opened and the huge form of a Wookiee stood framed in the light from the corridor. She smiled. Olanagychew was a good being, a kind and considerate soul. But even with him, she sensed an undercurrent of anger towards her. No, not towards her specifically, but towards Force users. She had gleaned some things by overhearing the guards who stood outside her door and knew WHY Olanagychew hated the Sith. To lose almost his whole clan so…so callously She sighed sadly, and Olanagychew came in and door hissed closed and locked behind him. Wookiee body language could be hard to read through the fur, but when he cocked his head, she was sure he was wondering why she seemed so distant. She refused to use the Force to help her. She had considered it.

Then Olanagychew had explained why it really wasn’t a good idea. Nerve amplifiers… She shuddered at the thought of trying to mind control anyone on the ship now. She recovered and smiled at Olanagychew and the Wookiee smiled back. She truly liked the Wookiee. She had met Wookiees before and knew most of them to be honorable, trustworthy, and noble. But…there were stories she had heard as a child, about a being called Hanharr. Even now, many years later, she still woke at times in a cold sweat, sure that furry arms were reaching for her to throttle the life out of her. Olanagychew looked at her and warbled a question.

“I am alright. I was just hoping you were…” She broke off. She didn’t have to continue. Olanagychew sat. She stifled a smile; the huge Wookiee looked ridiculous perched precariously on a human sized chair. Olanagychew spoke. Since he couldn’t speak Basic, it was a good thing she had learned Shirwook, the Wookiee language.

<He does not believe you.>

“I don’t blame him. I barely believe many of the things that have happened.” She smiled ruefully. Her black hair swam in currents as she shook her head.

<Have you given any thought to what you will do?> They had spoken of this. She knew she couldn’t remain here, and Olanagychew couldn’t leave. She knew the concept of Wookiee life debts. And the thought of this Wookiee breaking a vow was unthinkable.

“Yes.” Her voice was quiet but easily audible.

<What will you do?>

“I will go to Tython, to the Jedi. I will ask them to sever me from the Force.” Olanagychew’s eyes widened. That was a drastic step. And irreversible.

<Why?> He asked, incredulous. She sighed.

“I never wanted this power. And now that I have heard about what the Force has done to you and the others on this ship I kno…” She froze in mid-word as Olanagychew barked.

<You mustn’t> She looked at him, disbelief apparent in all of her body language.

“How can you say that? After what happened to your family?” Onlanagychew bowed his head, and then he raised it. He looked her straight in the eyes. His eyes were the deepest blue she had ever seen. They held her like a kath pup fixed by the stare of a kinrath.

<What happened to my family was horrible, yes. Things like that are what every member of this crew fights to stop. But…> Olanagychew broke off. <We cannot be everywhere. The Sith are growing in numbers and daring. We need all the help we can get.>

“But, from what I have heard and seen… This ship is amazing. I don’t think even a Sith fleet could beat it and her crew.” The Stormhawk was beyond state of the art. Everything about her spoke of technology and speed.

“You are wrong.” The soft voice came from behind them and they both spun to see Will sitting in a shadowed alcove. Nia felt her eyes widen so far they hurt and she was sure Olanagychew’s had grown just as large.

“How did you get in here?” She asked; her voice harsh with shock and a bit of fear. All of what her mother had told her, meshed with things she had heard on the Stormhawk, made her very cautious around this man. He could kill as easily as a Nexu and with about as much compunction.

“I helped build this ship.” He sat, deep enough in the shadows that she couldn’t see his hands. But she knew, even without using the Force, that he had a weapon out.

“I wouldn’t use the Force on you.” He was terrifying, beyond anything she had encountered. Not even the Sith Darth Harron had been so scary. She didn’t move. She barely could breath.

“You already did.” His voice held no emotion at all. She couldn’t help it, she sat back in shock.

“To save your life.”

“No one asked you to.” Olanagychew looked from one to the other then quickly left the stateroom. The door hissed closed and locked behind him. He looked at the guards and shook his head. One of them looked at him and he barked commands. Everyone onboard spoke some Shirwook. Lots of Wookiees called the Stormhawk at least a temporary home. So all of the personnel understood a few things. Like:

<Do not enter, family discussion in progress.>
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 04:22 AM | #12
((And so it begins. Comments or suggestions always welcome. Flames might wind up facing and angry Wookiee.))
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

Nyxian's Avatar

12.28.2011 , 09:08 AM | #13
I hope you wont take any of my comments personally. While I have a fair amount of criticism to make, I have taken care to do so honestly and constructively. (Well ok maybe there is a slight egde to it at times, but I hope you will accept that this part of my passion for storytelling shinning through, but where I point out a flaw I will struggle to point out how this can be improved). And as always, take this critique for what its worth. If you enjoy writing this way, don't let me stop you.

Firstly, I have to be honest, I couldn't finish reading this one. I got to reading Olana's back story in the Dxun mine before I stopped. Perhaps the following critique is only valid up until that point. However I suspect that some of the flaws I am about to point out persisted

My main problem with the story would have to be the characters, especially Will. All of them have the whiff of Mary Sue about them. Take greater care to create more balanced characters - its the flaws that make people relatable and interesting. Will in particular. Seriously, I want to smack him. On the first page of posts alone, the word 'grin' appears 14 times. 14. Fourteen. Seriously. Aside from that he manages to fight like no one else can, and survive injuries that should of killed god knows how many time, even in the short few posts that I read. Whenever this sort of improbable thing happened I mentally yawned

Beyond the Mary Sue issues, or perhaps because of them, the characters seemed a bit wooden. It seems like the characters are serving the plot, rather than the plot arising naturally from the characters. All the dialogue is so functional, with characters ping-poning information. I'd advise you to have a look here at an interview with Russel T Davis in which he talks about how to create good dialogue

There was also a fair bit of deus ex machina at times. I think the biggest example would be the artifact Will pulls out that stops all force powers working. What? Where did that come from? If you're going to pull such devices out on us, then you're going to have to foreshadow them a bit. If he seems to just pull it from nowhere it tends to make the reader feel like the author is cheating - isn't taking responsibility for their plot.

Another important point is to show not tell. You do do this to some degree, but not a strongly as you could. You rattle off things happening, but dont care to explain what it feels like. I want you to tell me how the air feels in their lungs and what the grit feels like between their toes!

Relatedly, think carefully about how you use language. Words don't just have meaning, but they are also sounds, and therefore they have the qualities of music. Good prose positively hums with the joy of language. Alas, I don't know how to give you practical advice in this regard. I can make no other suggestion that go and read some poetry, and to think when writing about the sheer joy of one word placed after another.

Hope you find some of these comments illuminating. And as always, keep writing
"Words are such poor receipts for what time has taken away"

kalenath's Avatar

12.29.2011 , 03:28 AM | #14
This was my very first foray into fan fiction in 2008. I agree it is pretty horrendous. Some people say I got better since then, but I dunno.

I will be posting the next stories as I have time.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

KivanSane's Avatar

01.17.2012 , 02:13 AM | #15
A good first effort. You have the ability to write.

But you seem to have no "inner voice" or at least you are hiding it.

On to the critique.

You must pay attention to your audience. Who is reading this ? Make a charactar they can identify with. I'm Mr Toughie Technician with the Invincible Hardware isn't going to appeal to anyone.

Mrs I Got The Force Without Training I'm So Special ... same deal. And the part where she's a heavy force user ... how was she ever enslaved in the first place ? Credibility issues all over the place. Why wasn't she shipped off to Korriban / Tython ? How did she slip thorugh the cracks ?

Also , the artifact to rip the force out of force users... very unbalancing. You will have a hard time dealing with that artifact in a believable way. Sooner or later you're going to be tripping over why your main force user doesn't get hit by it , or why she's immune , etc etc.

The nerve thingy to make them immune to mental suggestion thingy is a good idea. But you should play up the part where it doesn't protect him from non-mental attacks (ie: lightning / telekinesis) . Otherwise you've gutted george lucas's work and rendered the force users useless against the latest technology.

just my opinion ... just my opinon
Survey says : need more story....but we already have more story than anyone else ! ... too bad. need more story.