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[2008: SEP-OCT] Feedback


FltAdml. Wolf
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This thread is ONLY for moderators to post their feedback as they write it. All other posts will be DELETED.

Remember: you are under no obligation to accept or follow the feedback provided. It is only provided as a courtesy to challenge participants, and only reflects the personal opinion of the person writing it. If you don't like the feedback, we don't want to hear about it -- just close the thread and move on.

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Dawn Breaking the Night" by Delinda Sharee

This story is just plain beautiful. I love the realism and honesty of the story. And I love the way you open it by telling us that it's the best day of your narrator's life and, by then dragging us through the hardship of it and the misery, you pull us into the same mindset of the character (insofar as that's possible for those of us who've never seen real war) so that we're fighting desperately to keep the hope alive that something good truly will come out of it and almost giving up on that hope. And then, you surprise us with the pure, indomitable joy of new life. I noticed one or two typos that slipped through the cracks, but I'm fairly convinced that there's a special demon somewhere just spreading typos through all the best writings, so I'm sure it's not your fault. Regardless, this is an astoundingly profound and powerful story that I'm glad to see was voted the best of the bunch. Well done, Delinda!

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"Grand Intervention" by Nemitor Atimen

As I recently said in a SIM on the Ronin, "The Directive is so clear cut on a PADD, but in real life... it's always a colossal mess." Ever since the invention of the Prime Directive by the Great Bird of the Galaxy, writers, actors, characters, and philosophers have been wrestling with its moral implications. So many times it's a matter of interpretation. At one and the same time it seems to affirm life and freedom and goodness as well as tragedy and hardship and death. You said well, Nemitor, in the words of your captain, that "in the end it's all the same - sentient life is to be treasured above all else, and a species is infinitely larger than a single life. One who lives should never watch idly as a civilization ceases to exist, even if it is not his own." But so often it's hard to see clearly where the line should be drawn. You explore this one man's decision on that point so poignantly. Also, I think it's so helpful to be able to see it more from the "primitive" civilization's (or individual's) viewpoint. Because we get so used to thinking about it from the perspective of Starfleet Officers, that we have a hard time putting ourselves in the shoes of the "victims" of the Prime Directive. I also love that you don't tell us whether the unnamed captain made the right choice, you just tell us what happened and how he justified that decision. You let us consider his logic and come to our own decision. I've always felt the the Prime Directive was meant to be constantly challenged, bent, banged on, and tested. Because if it's just a rule that we follow blindly, it's purpose is empty. But if it's a guideline that reminds us that we are not as powerful and all-knowing as we sometimes think we are, that there may be something we haven't considered, then it has helped us to "better ourselves," as this thing we call Star Trek has always meant us to be doing. Bravo, Nemitor. Keep making us think.

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"Vanished" by Toni Turner

Like so many of your stories, this one was filled with passion and commitment and a tone of loving sadness that's almost palpable. I deeply enjoyed it. And her undying hope imparts a quiet serenity that, despite the sadness of a lifetime set apart, brings a soft smile to my face. I'm not sure if I recommend living the way Perin did, although in some ways I do, but I tend to think that there's a... a yearning in all of us for a love as powerful as the kind that you've described in this story. It's perhaps a tad melodramatic and most would tend to think that she should probably have allowed herself to get over her loss after so many years, but... I like the way you validate her hope and counteract that "common sense" objection to it without being preachy or unbelievable. It's a truly well written and uplifting story. Thanks for sharing it with us, Toni.

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"Sokkan's Fulcrum" by Quinn Reynolds

I enjoyed the basic story, and the deception is definitely worthy of a Romulan. However I found the amount of typos a bit distracting, most notably the misspelling of both of the lead Romulans' names at a couple places. We get a lot of reminders to proof read around the fleet, but we all fail more than we'd like to. That being said, this really was a good story. I liked the quote from Marcus Aurelius as the openning. It set a good tone for the story and truly did feel more like a Romulan quotation than a Roman one. (Although I suppose that really just belies how Roman history shaped the creation of the fictional enemies of the Federation.) The piece makes me want to know what Sokkan intends to do now that he's insinuatd himself into Starfleet and I'm curious if we'll get a chance to see that in future competitions. And, as we all know, making your readers want more is always the sign of a well written story. Good job, Quinn.

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"Beware the Quiet One" --- Lance Firestarter

Beware the Quiet One was my favorite entry this month. I really appreciated the narrative structure and focalization. The juxtaposition between a town under attack and the descriptions of childhood were perfect and I appreciated the lyrical/poetic interludes. A beautiful and powerful piece of writing -I’m not sure how this piece could be improved; I wish I had written it. Keep writing like this.

Edited by Rocar Drawoh
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"In a Wink of an Eye"

This is a most intriguing story. I like your choice of setting (both in terms of location and time period). There were one or two areas where the writing could have benefited from a grammar checker or proof-reader on past tenses etc, however, the reader still gets a good connection with the characters and their situation. Well done.

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"Grand Intervention" by Nemitor Atimen

This was a deeply moving story and the reader instantly feels sympathy with the protagonist and his plight. Perhaps the story could have benefited from a slight dénouement revealing more about the aliens’ race and the location of/ motives for these events. That said, the fact that this isn’t clear from the start is very gripping and draws the reader in to reading onwards. Well done.

Edited by Rocar Drawoh
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"A Klingon Fairy Tale" Tal Tel-ar

I thought the idea of a Klingon Fairy Tale was an interesting one and liked the way it ends by introducing the reader to the storyteller and his current situation. Certainly a sad end for a Klingon! This entry could, however, have benefited from a spell checker or a proof-reader. Watch out particularly when you come to writing words that are spelt differently but sound the same (e.g. their/ there) as these errors do crop up occasionally. Nonetheless, I thought this was a good story and explored this month’s theme nicely. Well done.

Edited by Rocar Drawoh
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"Instant Eternal/Eternal Instant" - Idril Mar

Another tour de force from one of my favourite UFoP writers. We can all learn a lot about how to write when we read this piece. Take for example the powerful descriptions throughout the story and the images they evoke. For example, the opening line alone: “A scream of pain, not physical but just as harsh, crawled up his throat and burst from his lips like a Gnenllian heart worm.” The story evokes a traumatic event and this, by its very nature, must be dependent on the role of memory. This is caught here perfectly by the narrative point and jumps and added to further by the poignant use of repetition (look for that opening line again later in the short story). If I was to make a criticism? Well, for me, this piece does not quite capture the same “something” as when this writer writes stories about Trills on the trill homeworld. Unfortunately, I am afraid that I can’t quite say what that “something” is! Nonetheless, anyone looking to try some trauma writing would do well to use this piece as a good example of where to start in terms of structure and content. Moreover, we should all strive to work such vivid descriptions into our sims. Well done.

Edited by Rocar Drawoh
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"Final Flight" -Della Vetri

This story was well deserving of being this month’s runner-up. It has a nice balance between action / Star Trek battle scenario and the telling of a good people-story. The story manages to build up pace (which is quite hard to do in creative writing) and we, therefore, form a sympathy with the characters very quickly. However, this piece is heavily based on dialogue and I would perhaps advise including more description around what the characters are saying (e.g. how their voices sound/ what they’re doing as they speak etc). Nonetheless, we form a firm bond with the characters in a very short space and the story, therefore, succeeds in being deeply moving as it reaches its climax. Well done.

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"Stimulus & Response" --- Iolo Llewellyn

An excellent first time entry and good telling of the classic Human-Vulcan interaction story. It was nice to see a story set at Starfleet Academy and I quickly warmed to how these two characters came to be friends. I particularly enjoyed the way Brian Kernan sets T’Lar up for an amusing encounter with the wink and think this a very apt way to address this month’s theme. I noticed the inclusion of “© 2008, all rights reserved” in the title of the entry and feel everyone should be aware of the UFoP Starbase 118 Terms of Services and familiar with the way any creative work connected to this group is protected by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license (see: http://www.starbase118.net/members/constitution/tos/) This writer has a clear strength in characterization and I look forward to reading more engaging stories in future. Well done.

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