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 Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums

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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:22 am

Daennika wrote:
Well done on chapter 2 of Unfold! I liked it and wished it was a little longer, don't be afraid to type in more details and longer dialogues - but you like to make things short and sweet, that's fine too Very Happy

I'm still trying to find a good balance between long descriptions and not getting lengthy. But it's good to hear I need to do a little more--I felt like I was rushing a little. I'll try and slow it down in the next chapter as well as make it a little longer so I can still get to my big plot points.

Daennika wrote:
More people from FF should review that story though.

I KNOW RIGHT? :p Haha, I guess it's not what the FF.net crowd is looking for (ie, RepCom characters, Anakin on Rex action, and other random clone trooper on clone trooper action). We would all get more reviewers with some smutty slash.
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:37 pm

Chapter 3 of Unfold is posted!

"No," Jatne said, straightening in his seat. "I did not pull your ass out of a hostage situation for you to put yourself in a hole."
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:41 pm

Chapter 4, the final chapter, has been added to Order 66: Chances!

"Let's go to Mandalore."

"You'd die on Mandalore," Harsh said. He flexed his hand, wanting to insist that they should take Jatne back to the Arca Barracks. But someone had covered for him. He was a free man.

"I would so not die! I can socialize with Mandalorians just fine!"
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:00 am

Hold on to your pants, this is a long-winded one

Burdens

Finally had the chance to finish “Burdens” and oh what a good read it was.
The general premise of this first “book” is actually very interesting. It starts out rather grim as Amiel is confronted with a feeling of loss straight from the beginning of the first chapter.
It is very well paced, and I found myself actually getting to like the characters in the story. One minor “gripe” is the amount of characters. I get hopelessly lost, especially when a new character is introduced and they carry the same rank/field call such as commander/captain/lieutenant. I found myself having to re-read certain passages just to make sure that in fact that character did or said what he/she did or say. Other than that, once I got into the groove of things, I really enjoyed Naro and Sprocket, those are my favorite clones in the story so far.
I liked how Amiel’s growth spurt was described and I found her endearing, albeit clumsy at certain times. Not in the physical sense, but in the way she interacts with the soldiers and to an extent even with Signe.

There were plenty of elements that made me smile while I read Burdens, mostly because those elements reminded me of similar situations/names in my own fic, albeit treated with a different approach. The name Signe Amrun for example sounds similar to Sigis Irimund who is a male, greying, douchey Jedi character in my own story. I found it very amusing that the two characters parallel/oppose each other completely.

The characterizations are definitely believable, particularly how Sigma squad is portrayed and how the team operates during missions, and I like the fact that the protagonists don’t follow the cookie-cutter “hero” template. (Soldiers die, folks)

Certain passages did get me wondering where all this was heading, and I wish that you’d have made the question linger longer and keep me guessing. Some scenes just made me wish that it could have been developed a bit more. The relationship between Oni and Signe, I thought, was cut way too short. I didn’t have the time to feel their relationship before it was ended, abruptly.

I’m going to go back to this again, but I personally feel that there are way too many characters, and that’s probably why I felt that some things could have been developed more in terms of characters and relationships. It’s almost distracting from the main protagonists because I have to shift my attention to new characters a bit too often. And I think there are too many “couples” forming in the story to stay hidden, and it’s surprising that the GAR hasn’t figured it out. Mainly, what I’m trying to say is, the RCs have way too much contact with “outsiders”, when I personally think that they would be more disciplined and stick to their “pod”. The whole time I had to keep reminding myself that they were RCs and not just regular troopers. On a good note, it felt like reading an “adult” version of the current Clone Wars series, that’s how close to canon I felt the story was.

I know there are plenty of books out there with a majillion characters (Pride and prejudice comes to mind) but I think I would’ve enjoyed the story even better with less main characters. As I see it, the story is pretty much centered on Amiel, Signe and Sigma squad, and I would’ve been just fine reading about those characters. That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy Burdens at all, on the contrary, I thoroughly enjoyed this first “book” and sat through it for 2 hours straight just so I could sit down and spend more time to review it. Overall, I think it’s mostly me not being used to having a plethora of characters introduced to me in such a “short” timespan, and “losing” characters in the same timespan is what kind of “unsettles” me. I think I just like to know my characters a little longer before they’re replaced with new ones.

The action is just right, excellent use of some military terms, superb use of medical terms, which leads me to believe that you’re either studying in the medical field, or want to pursue a medical occupation. Clone banter is witty and funny and very few “earthly” words are used. You will want to tone down the text-messaging if you could, specially coming from the clones, from the Jedi it’s not too out of character but you should bear in mind that your troopers will value an actual com call rather than text messages. Open private com lines are also a big no-no while on ops (because of the distraction value). You’ve been very good in not using messaging scenes while the troopers are in a mission, but toning it down even more would give the story a more pragmatic feel and make your characters feel more “independent” as well.

Finally, I think the story is well written, with interesting characters that make me actually care about what’s going on with them and I will definitely read the other 2 parts of the story.

There you go, a nice and lengthy review of “Burdens”.
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:10 am

Thank you so much for the feedback! All of your suggestions make a lot of sense and I will definitely keep them in mind in the future (because there is a small future for Sigma squad even though that whole story line is "done"). My menagerie of characters is always a topic of debate and I'm still trying to find a happy medium. You and Daennika are definitely advocates for "NO MORE, GOD DAMN YOOOOU" but I have votes for "EH it's like Ivanhoe, leave it, it's awesome." So like I said, gotta find that happy medium.

If there were any characters I probably could have left out completely, it would probably be Captain Harsh and Avan Kaden. They come into play later, but as a whole, I probably don't really need them in this particular story. I think I was trying to cram too much stuff into Burdens when I should have kept it about the commandos.

I definitely see your point about the text messaging. I think originally I was trying to cut out conversations that would trip up the pacing, but I see what you're saying.

And yes, Sigma has waaaay too much contact with outsiders. When I started writing it, I forgot about how RCs operate basically by themselves with orders coming from Jusik or Zey, so I somewhat corrected it later. Still needed to be balanced out, though. :p

Lastly, poor Oni and Signe. Oni wasn't supposed to die there but their relationship was going to end anyway. I didn't want to get into any unsatisfying ending for their relationship so I ended up just killing him. I think that says a lot about my personality. Razz

I want to write another series of short stories just about Sigma that sort of establishes Signe and Oni, etc etc. I don't know when that will happen though.

SO! Thank you so much for the feedback! It is really helpful and I'll be keeping it in mind in the future. And I am very pleased that you thought it was close to canon, that's exactly how I wanted it. Very Happy

Thanks for reading! <3
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:11 pm

I just published a BRAND NEW FIC! It's based in the Old Republic and I don't have much in mind for it other than making it kind of romancey. But with action! Yeeeeaaahhh!

The Old Republic: Collision Theories

"Thanks. I can't say it enough. You really saved me back there."

"I've got enough thanks remembering that helpless look on your face when you were clinging to me."


EDIT: Completely rewrote the chapter. Well, mostly, and I like it a lot more.


Last edited by Catika on Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:11 pm

Catika wrote:
I just published a BRAND NEW FIC! It's based in the Old Republic and I don't have much in mind for it other than making it kind of romancey. But with action! Yeeeeaaahhh!

The Old Republic: Collision Theories

"Thanks. I can't say it enough. You really saved me back there."

"I've got enough thanks remembering that helpless look on your face when you were clinging to me."
Alright, after checking this and taking the time to read it, I'm divided about what kind of review I want to give you. Since we've talked a lot about it beforehand I kinda had my expectations up so I was left a bit unsatisfied at the end. Where is the action? So far, the main character only seems to be recovering from heavy action, someone got killed and there was a fight (from her lip wound). The thing is, that you give so very little detail that it's hard to keep up interest. Who are they exactly? What are the people wearing? Where are they exactly? When does the story take place? I know I'm really trashing your scene but I believe the pace will pick itself up on the next chapter.

It's not a bad installment for a new story, it's just not giving enough to make me relate to the character. At the end of the page I'm still left wondering what Cal does to earn her keep, clues hint toward Bounty Hunter but that's none sense because they don't get to work for the Republic. All in all, I'm really just confused.

The pluses now! Because you need it to keep working and give this story a chance to live on. The characters seem authentic and real, not the usual aggravating Star Wars type who are so driven by faith and purpose that it's hard to care for them.

Row is very lovable as Cal seems to feel about him, somehow the idea of a veteran Republic Trooper is appealing. At least it's not a clone, which is always a good thing in my opinon =P I'm guessing he is a Smuggler now, which is cool. Also very cool how he just dumps the girl on Ord Mantell and not letting the plot turn into a male/female double team privateering thing.

Cal on the other hand is a bit more blurry for the reasons I told before, the upside to that is that I'm curious what she's got up her sleeve now that she has to move on in life. If only she'd been given some more backstory to her, additional details on her life would bring a lot to work with like, for example family ties. I really want to know what happens to her next and how she can deal with difficulties I just don't find myself caring enough about her at this point. By the way, red is a MarySueish color for hair, just sayin'.

I hope you bring us more exciting details and facts to help us put the pieces together. This could be a really good crime/mystery fic.
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:36 pm

Everything you said is exactly how I feel. Right after I published it I was like "Well this isn't the start I'm used to"--you know, with wars and characters shouting at each other and lightsabers EVERYWHERE. And it bothers me as much as it bothers you!

I've obviously failed at my hook--your interest lies in future things I've told you. I'm thinking I'll have to rework this first chapter and see if I can't spruce it up. A lot. I can't let this story fail because no one wants to read further after the first chapter, and that would be my fault for throwing my hands up and saying "blargh I just want to post it!!" Laughing

As for Cal, she's been a constant thorn in my side since I created her last year. So I'm trying to make a simple decision of what class she would be in TOR, and since she's not a Jedi (whoops there go half of my options!), that makes her either a Trooper or a Smuggler. Uhh. Right now she's technically just part of an investigation team for the Republic, so some sort of security task force, which puts her somewhere near Trooper--until she's fired. Smuggler it is then? Smile

So step two is actually defining her personality. ... I'm literally going to have to outline something for her, because every time I try to throw dialogue or situations at her, she goes amorphously polite and generic on me. (By the way the red hair STAYS because that's Row's nickname for her, nyaah!)

ANYWAY as you know I have lots of fun things planned for the future of this story, but it looks like I need to work on this first chapter to make it live up to the expectations a little better. Thanks for the review and letting me know everything! Very Happy

PS - Row is one of my favorite characters and he always behaves himself and sometimes does unexpected things for me. Yayyy! Oh and yes he's a smuggler.
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:17 pm

d-d-d-d-double post!

I completely rewrote the chapter, it's now about 3,000 words and I hope it works a little better. Let me know what you guys think!!
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Catika's Catastrophic Character Conundrums   Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:41 pm

UNFOLD CHAPTER 4: ISOLATION

"Dad says you need to be reconditioned."

"You know what that means, Tracyn?"

"No. I guess I don't. What does it mean?"

"Training. Lots of training."

"That doesn't seem fair."

Jaro tilted his head at her.

"I need more training than you do. And besides, what's a bunch of training going to do? You need to relax."

When Jaro swallowed there was a lump in his throat. The swell in his chest came suddenly and he had to turn away from Tracyn. "Sergeant Meshkad knows what he's doing."

"He's Dad now, Jaro." Her hand took his. "Let's get something to eat."
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