"Wing Commander: Duty"

FredDude32

Commodore
Hey all!
My Name is Fred Hall..I'm From Sweden. I'm 32 years old and I've been a WC fan since around 1992-1993 (I cant remember which) when I first got my hands on Wing Commander for the Commodore Amiga 500.
I've been lurking on this website since around 1998...(I think it was 98 anyways) but just recently joined the forum for some chit-chat :)

Anyhoo! I've recently been inspired by the many Wing Commander novels out there. I've read at least two of them. One: False Colors I got via GoG Wing Commande 3..The other I got via "other" means..*cough*

Right! I have been inspired to write my own novel or at the very least a short story..And I would like very much to share my first few paragraphs to you guys here...As you are Wing Commander fanatics just like me I think this would be the perfect place to vent my more or less sad attempt at creativity :)
(I'm not even an amateur writer, this is my first attempt)

It takes place in 2632, about 2 years before the official outbreak of the Terran-Kilrathi war. It follows the life and destiny of Confed pilot Henry Sibley..A relatively fresh graduated of the Academy. As I'm writing this I have not planned his full career/destiny as of yet, but then again I'm not in a hurry so I hope you guys will feel the same :). I'm writing this here as I am in a need of encouragement..I do not wish to type much about my personal life here, but long story short: I am in need of encouragement in order to get things done! If you need more info about this then please take a look at this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome

Anyways, this quote below are the first two paragraphs I have formulated for my brief novel "Wing Commander Duty". Note that although its not much its just a very very very VERY brief tase of what I have so far..I'm writing this topic as to increase my ego/motivation to continue writing :)
Enjoy!

1st Lt Henry Sibley scanned his radar-screen: Nothing!
"Reapers" radar had produced precisely nothing for countless days before this one and he was sick of it. He had graduated from the Confederation Academy roughly two years before and he had been posted to his first assignment aboard the Heavy Fleet Carrier “Adams”.
“Reaper”, as he had been called ever since the Academy, had actually gotten his full nickname “Grim Reaper” during his Academy days. Not only because of his impressive kill-score again'st both Academy instructors and simulated opponents, but also because of his always serious and grim manner which had alienated him from his fellow Academy class-mates. Reaper had only a few friends during his training because of this, but they were loyal and they stuck by him through the hard times during the Academy.
Once he graduated, however, he didn’t have the luxury of choosing his new companions as he made his way to his new assignment on the frontier. “Reaper” graduated 5th of his class in the year 2632. Reaper was cynically predicted by his class-mates to earn the most pirate-kills but earning least friends during his career and advancing the least due to his attitude. Reaper, however, was out to prove himself and to prove his other wing mates wrong in their opinion of him, not to mention the opinions of the people he left back on Earth who thought he would never amount to nothing.
Reaper was posted at the Confederation Vega Frontier, as it was called back then, and it did not take long for him to realise he had very little chance to earn the glory which he so sought in order to prove himself. Even the pirates who nominally were fairly active at the frontiers and had no quarrels over attacking lightly defended Confed worlds had not been much active for the past year.
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
Hey there.

There's always room for fan creations in the WC universe. Thanks for wanting to add to our rich fan section, and I hope you find this creative outlet to be motivating and invigorating!
 

FredDude32

Commodore
Fankoo! :) :D

I have a fair idea of how it will go. Unlike the war-weary period of WC 1,2 and 3 this story takes place in the more or less "innocent" period where noone has known any (serious) war for several centuries. Please note I'm not including the WC movie Pilgrim story but the "regular" computer game line.
 

FredDude32

Commodore
By the way I really enjoy exploring this WC-era. After all: unlike the late-war or even mid-war, the Confederation Armed Forces in 2634 were a peace-time force with a minimum of personel who had actually been under fire, and even then only from pirates. The fleets were much smaller obviously, not only because of technological barriers (nothing evolves technology like warfare unfortunetely) but also because of peace-time requirements. Besides, up until the Kilrathi there had not been an opponent with large standing forces before.
The mentality of the population were also strictly peace-minded..The society..industry..exploration & colonisation. They were all in for a shock when the war started and later turned bloody!

Thats what I'm really excited about: To see the first baby steps of the Confederation Navy towards war and the lessons it will learn the hard way. :)

Thanks again for your encouragement!.
 

FredDude32

Commodore
Crap!
I just noticed that the novel "Action Stations" also takes place at the beginning of the war...I had no idea about that. I've obviously never read it.

I respect William R. Forstchen books and I dont want to "overwrite" anything he's put in there. I better go read "Action Stations" first and try to "write around" it.
 
Personally, if I was writing anything, I would not restrict myself rigidly to cannon. Look at all these reboot's going on, it will give you a lot more creative freedom and you are more likely to enjoy writing.
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
I don't think you have to be too concerned about cannon. The way I'd do this is simply to make sure I don't contradict cannon.
For example, you could set your story on another carrier or installation that's involved in the same end engagement as in fleet action, but the story leading up to it could completley be your own. You could even finsih by writing that battle from your characters perspectives.
Could be very interesting.
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
Having done a fair amount of creative writing in the past (100,000 words of an (of course unpublished) novel, for one thing), I'm going to critique you a bit.

I hear what you say about it being the first thing you've really written, so please look on what I say as constructive criticism and advice. You are free to ignore it if you like...

1st Lt Henry Sibley scanned his radar-screen: Nothing!
"Reapers" radar had produced precisely nothing for countless days before this one and he was sick of it. He had graduated from the Confederation Academy roughly two years before and he had been posted to his first assignment aboard the Heavy Fleet Carrier “Adams”.
“Reaper”, as he had been called ever since the Academy, had actually gotten his full nickname “Grim Reaper” during his Academy days. Not only because of his impressive kill-score again'st both Academy instructors and simulated opponents, but also because of his always serious and grim manner which had alienated him from his fellow Academy class-mates. Reaper had only a few friends during his training because of this, but they were loyal and they stuck by him through the hard times during the Academy.
Once he graduated, however, he didn’t have the luxury of choosing his new companions as he made his way to his new assignment on the frontier. “Reaper” graduated 5th of his class in the year 2632. Reaper was cynically predicted by his class-mates to earn the most pirate-kills but earning least friends during his career and advancing the least due to his attitude. Reaper, however, was out to prove himself and to prove his other wing mates wrong in their opinion of him, not to mention the opinions of the people he left back on Earth who thought he would never amount to nothing.
Reaper was posted at the Confederation Vega Frontier, as it was called back then, and it did not take long for him to realise he had very little chance to earn the glory which he so sought in order to prove himself. Even the pirates who nominally were fairly active at the frontiers and had no quarrels over attacking lightly defended Confed worlds had not been much active for the past year.
Ok, first off: Use of an apostrophe...
If his call sign is 'Reaper' then unless there are many reapers, it should be Reaper's. Sounds like a minor quibble, but many people who know the difference will read it as a plural of reaper and this makes it difficult to read. I'd also suggest italicising the callsign, rather than putting it in quotes.
Same with other common mistakes like its and it's, there, their and they're, your and you're. I know you've not done that yet, but while on the subject of apostrophes, I thought I'd throw it in, as it's the sort of mistake I see a lot and again, it makes it harder for people to read and thus less enjoyable.
Try not to over complicate your sentences. The last one is a good example '...Even the pirates who nominally were fairly active at the frontiers and had no quarrels over attacking lightly defended Confed worlds had not been much active for the past year.'

Firstly 'had not been much active', is clunky and should probably be something like 'hadn't been very active', 'had been surprisingly inactive' or 'had been unusually quiet'. I prefer one of the last two as it stands to reason the guy has been posted here for something. I'm assuming it's pirates as there has been no mention of another foe, so if he's been posted here to deal with a problem that then just goes away, it suggests very neatly to the reader that this is not normal. It gives them the idea that something is not right.
Shorter, simpler sentences make reading easier (a criticism leveled at myself a lot in the past).

It's not something I can judge on this piece you've submitted, but if and when it comes up, I have always been told that you should show and not tell.
What is meant by this is that rather than doing, say a few paragraphs (or pages) about the situation in your characters world and his immediate place in that world (telling the reader), try and do this through conversation with other characters (showing the reader), as it gives you much more scope for show your characters and who they are.
For example, there's been no activity in this sector for a while. You could carry this on by telling the reader that like this (and forgive the arbitary, made up pilots names) ...Sundown was just as eager as Reaper to meet the enemy once more, while Tailpipe was glad of the quiet. She had no qualms with the fighting, but had no particular blood lust. Thunderchild was another story. He was the kind of old grizzled veteran who would put you in your place with stories of his mates fried alive in combat, any time he heard Reaper or Sundown itching for action...
Where it could be better to have a scene in the pilots area or bar or wotnot, where Reaper and Sundown are talking about their eagerness for combat, when Tailpipe sits down with them and says her bit about killing people. Then Thunderchild could be sitting at another table, over hear and then slap the two hot heads down with a blood curdling tale.

Anyway, I feel like I'm lecturing, so I'll stop.
Looking forward to reading more of this :)
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Might I suggest writing and releasing this in chapters. It will make it easier to drum up interest, get feedback, and increase motivation for continuing.

Also, feel free to ask another to proofread your work. I don't mind doing it and I think several others here would mind either.
 

FredDude32

Commodore
Hey all!
I'm a bit stressed for time as I'm writing this but first of all thanks again for the support. I think I'll do what Flashpoint says and not completely go outside the parameters as set by Action Stations, eventhough it will mean greater creative freedom, but simply reroute it a little. I knew before, for instance, that Geoffry Tolwyn was involved in the early years of the war but I have never had any real plans of including him. In my mind as of this writing I do not feel this story will benefit from the involvement of the higher-ups of the Terran Confederation & Kilrathi. A few will of course be included but not many. I dont want a new Christopher Blair or Bear Bondarevsky.

Second: Thanks for the critique: I havent read through it all yet but I'll examine and learn from it. By the way ever since I posted the above "snippet" I've rearranged and added a bit more stuff to it. I may take you guys up on the offer of posting maybe a chapter at a time for proofreading and feedback. Though at the same time I do not of course wish to remove the mystique of the story....I find I enjoy a movie far less if I watch the "Behind the scenes"-material before the actual movie. :)

As an example of the "new" version of the intro:
1st Lt Henry “Reaper” Sibley scanned his radar-screen: Nothing!
His radar had produced precisely nothing for countless days, each one as boring as this one and he was sick of it. The past week his normally cool temper had been strained and with every pointless patrol he was finding it more and more difficult to control it. He looked out the window of his Wildcat fighter and saw his wingman out of place.
“Green two! Wake up and get the hell back in close formation!” Reaper barked over the com-channel. He could almost see his wingman jump out of her pilot seat at the loud and unexpected rebuke. His wingman, 2nd LT Jane “Freya” Doe, had drifted only a few meters out of formation but that was enough for his hair-triggered temper to snap.
Note I havent gotten a name for Green Two yet so she is named "Jane Doe" for the time being. Anyways, thats all for now. Thanks again for your input and critique.
 
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