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  1. #1
    Redeemer
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    Gamertag: Croswynd

    Default Monthly Writing Assignment (April Edition)

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    Beware, these stories may contain spoilers on Gears fiction and game. Please DO NOT USE THIS THREAD AS A CONVERSATION THREAD, as this will be used for entries only. Conversation thread can be found here: http://forums.epicgames.com/threads/...ary-Edition%29

    This is the Monthly Assignment, April Edition. We are continuing again, because the turn out last month was pretty good. Now, on to my regular spiel. I wonder if anyone reads this anymore? Ah, well, nothing new til right above the topic, so you can skip this if you read it last month. Enjoy. I lied: Bananans. That's new! Also, bacon. Mmm... Another edit: Ponies!

    Writing is why most of you may have clicked on this thread. Boredom may be another factor, but the point remains. As of late, there has been a distinct lack of writing on this forum. Whether that be because people are bored with their stories, want a break from the forum, or just because they don't write in the first place, I have a solution.

    The Monthly Writing Assignment.

    Originally developed on another writing forum, I've noticed great success in its functions and capabilities. Writers from all over the forum all come to one thread, ready to duke it out to see who can craft the best story, judge the stories, or just to look for some feedback on their writing skill. That last part's the important bit for most of us, I'd bet.

    Usually three judges are the norm for this assignment, but since we have a shortage of any regular attendees of the forum, I will take it upon myself to be the constant judge for these Assignments, until we find someone who would like to judge with me. If such a case arises, I may trade in for being an entrant. We'll see. However, should you wish to nominate yourself for judging, please say so. The more the merrier and I'm absolutely sure people want as many views on their work as possible.

    Rule Time:

    Now, each monthly assignment will be based around a single topic, such as vague topics like "Survival", or even specific ones such as "Stranded". As a rule, you must conform to the month's topic in order to have a valid entry. Being a judge, I will see how well you conformed to the topic and rate your score accordingly.

    ANY WRITER IS FREE TO SUBMIT ONE ENTRY, BUT NO MORE THAN ONE. That said, I hope many of you decide to submit something. Writing is fun, trust me! And don't feel as though you're not good enough for this. Anyone can enter!

    YOU CAN NO LONGER EDIT ONCE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED. MAKE SURE YOU FINISH ALL EDITING BEFORE POSTING. Anyone with an edit tag beneath their entry will be disqualified. This is to teach you to edit before posting anything, and if you have something wrong, you must live with it.

    At the end of the month, the winner will be decided based on how good her/his score is and will be able to pick from a pool of suggestions the topic of the next month. The reward for winning is to pick the next topic! So try your best, guys! Also, thanks to a generous Flak and Epic Games, winners receive a signed Gears of War novel.

    This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version
    Now, for some guidelines, which have been changed. Be sure to read them.

    - Must be prose. Recommended to be above 1000 words and below 10,000 words.
    - Must be based around the month's topic.
    - Must be in before the deadline, which is the end of the month. (April 30th, in this case)
    Simple enough, eh? Just write, make it something good, since you're going to be spending a month on it. Make it the best thing you've ever written, even! Still, if you just want to shove something in at the last second, I'll still grade it to tell you how you did.

    Speaking of grading, here's the template I'll use when judging your entries, which has been modified to make it easier on the judges:




    Grading guidelines:

    Spelling & Grammar - /2
    Ease of Read - /2
    Use of Topic - /1
    Entertainment - /5
    Originality - /5
    Quality - /5

    Total -- /20

    Judges:
    Croswynd
    So there you have it. If you have any questions at all about the assignment, please feel free to send me a private message or post in the Discussion thread. Again, please DO NOT USE THIS THREAD AS A CONVERSATION THREAD, as this will be used for entries only.

    Got all that? Good, now let's get some entries on the following topic!


    [Respite]
    Last edited by Croswynd; 04-01-2012 at 07:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Veteran
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    Gamertag: Dragonzzilla

    Default Gears of War: Epic Stories - Prolonging

    GEARS OF WAR: EPIC STORIES
    PROLONGING


    Augustus Cole’s eyes flickered to life. The former Thrashball-star found himself laying on the ground with his back to a wall, covered in a coat of dark blood and surrounded by several dead Locust Drones; Cole didn’t know if it was his blood or the Locusts’ but either way, there was alot of it. The gear then remembered he brought a Lancer with him and cocked his head to see his Lancer with its chainsaw bayonet imbedded in the torso of a dead drone. Cole tugged on the rifle’s handle, pulling it out of the dead locust. Sound slowly returned to Augustus Cole’s ears.

    “Cole? Cole, where the hell are you? Cole!”

    Cole rose to his feet, feeling his balance returning. Once he could stand up without losing balance, he rose his hand to his earpiece. “Damn, Damon baby. You can wake the dead doing that!”

    Baird sighed in relief, “Where the hell did you go, Cole?” Cole observed his surroundings - he was in a dimly-lit alley in between two damaged buildings. Cole began walking toward the street but not before accidently kicking something hard; Cole looked down to see a deceased Theron Guard riddled with bullet holes. Even though Theron Guards were the cream of the crop when it came to Locust in both intelligence and brawn, they were as much flesh and blood as the next grub. If you shot one enough, it would die just like another other Locust. This unlucky bastard chose the wrong day to lead the local monster mash. Cole finally responded, “There was a major league player on the field, baby. A Theron,”

    “Dammit, Cole… you could’ve gotten yourself killed,” Baird seemed to have his own version of gratitude –no matter how uncaring he sounded. “No grub is worth your life,” Baird stated. “Maybe Damon… but I’m not gonna stop until we finish this game. Right, Damon?” There was a pause, as if Baird was busy doing something else. “Yeah, Cole… we’ll finish the game… but only if these assholes allow us on the field. Transmit your coordinates so I can get Hoffman to send you a truck.” Baird responded seconds later.

    Once Cole left the alley, he found himself in a former-city plaza. The orange hue of the falling sun painted the building a hauntingly beautiful scene. Cole couldn’t help to realize it reminded him of his hometown. Ghosts seemed to begin drifting between the streets… people who were never there and people who were never going to leave. Cole shook his head, clearing away the images. “Why don’t you just swing over and pick me up? Does Hoffman still have you on time-out?” Cole managed to get out.

    “Hoffman’s got me repairing sh*t. After the last raid, the Locust did a number on our equipment and- no, no, no!” Baird said; Cole could hear frustration in his friend’s voice. “Bailey, scrap the Armadillo! It’ll be more useful as sheet metal now…” Cole heard Baird whisper under his breath, Idiots… I am surrounded by idiots. Of course a Boomshot to the grill wouldn’t blow an APC to hell… no, of course not and Damon Baird is obviously the only competent man on the planet. Cole smiled, “Careful, Baird. There aren’t that many left so don’t blow your head off just ‘cause you’re lonely.”

    “Pft. If my intelligence defined my loneliness, I’ve been on some deserted island all my life. Transmit those codes already, we’re burning daylight.” Baird’s reasoning wasn’t an empty one; ever since E-Day, the Kryll ruled the nights on Sera. The Kryll were highly aggressive, flight-capable animals that were capable of ripping a fully-armored Gear down to the bone in seconds. It wasn’t what they were that intimidated Cole… it was what they could do that scared him the most.

    In recognition of Baird’s request, Cole observed his surroundings once more, trying to find his bearings. When he joined the army, Cole -like all Gears- had to learn the basics and one of the most important skills was how to learn where you were. Without that, you’re as good as dead if separated from your team. “Two-six-ten by four-oh-eight; south of the plaza,” Cole said. Baird confirmed the numbers and turned his ear-piece off, leaving Cole to the silence.

    Twenty minutes later, Cole heard the familiar roar of an engine; an Armadillo Armored Personnel Carrier soon appeared from around a corner. The APC stopped several meters ahead of Cole; an armored gear wearing a black do-rag emerged from the pod. “Cole,” the man said. His voice lacked emotion but that was normal for this guy. “The last raid was disorganized and sloppy. I bet it was your handy work since Baird told me you went off playing follow the leader. Good job,” Cole thought Marcus would be angry at him since he broke rank; since he abandoned everyone in a systematically-besieged stronghold. Cole expected something but nothing came. “Thanks, Marcus. I’m ready to head back, if you are…” Marcus nodded and suggested, “Yah… let’s.”
    I currently have one infraction. It expires May 31st, 2013.

  3. #3
    MSgt. Shooter Person
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    Gamertag: N1SSASSA

    Default

    He paced up and down the ranks of drones standing at attention, insuring each of them were properly equipped for the next day's invasion. His keen red eyes checked for any sign of disarray; any strap out of place, any weapon not properly cleaned. Tomorrow would mark the beginning of a new era for their species; RAAM would leave nothing to chance. He had personally overseen the feeding and care of the Corpsers, and insured they were prepared for the dig to the surface. He had made the harrowing climb up to the Brumak pits to insure all his artillery was prepared and loaded. He was ready.

    The final check was done, he and his two theron escorts left the barracks in silence. As he left, he could hear the clatter of the drones scurrying to and fro to store their equipment and get a few hours of sleep before their officers awoke them for the next day's battle. He let a hint of a smile creep onto the side of his mouth. His men were ready and eager. Tomorrow, the blood of the ground walkers would stain the surface above them. He arrived at his chamber, signaling his guards that they need not follow him in. He was no pampered infant, he could remove his own robes and armor. Leave the pampering to the queen's pet Kantus, he thought to himself.

    He unbuckled the leather straps that secured his jet-black carapace, thinking of the glory held by the day to come.What color do they bleed?, he wondered. He'd never killed a human before, never felt their soft butter-hued flesh separate under the blade of his favorite serrated knife. He wondered if it would be a strong dark red like the blood of his hearty race, or would it be a color that would more suit their feeble physiology, light blue perhaps? After all, that was the color of the armor they gave their soldiers. He knew their armor would do nothing against the power of a hammerburst shell, or the accuracy of a locust sniper's bullet. His people were industrious, the engineering of their weapons more rugged, but far superior to the weaker species walking above them.

    RAAM removed his robes, and stood before his polished bronze mirror, staring straight into his own blood-red eyes. He was ready for the coming battle. He had been tried and tested, and he had found his opponents wanting. He looked himself up and down, pausing for a moment to admire his powerful muscular arms; the sinews pushing at the skin, bulging as if they would tear free. Yes, he told himself reassuringly, I am ready. I am the closest thing to a god. These weak humans will flee before me, and cower in my presence. He knew he was arrogant, but he had shown many times that this arrogance was founded on action and unparalleled power. After all, no one could name any other warrior in the locust horde capable of wielding a troika without a mount, much less with one hand as he could.

    He lay down in his bed, the soft sheets of tanned wretch-hide welcoming him into their warm embrace. He let his head sink into the plush pillow, stuffed with the finest kryll down available. He was the kryll master, after all. He deserved the best. His thoughts wondered to the fine cities above, glimmering in the sunlight, that would soon hail their new conquerer as he paraded down their streets. That sun, too, was quite a cause for excitement to him. He could hardly wait to feel it's warm rays beaming down upon his tough, leathery skin. His reptilian, crimson eyes closed slowly, and he allowed himself to drift to sleep, dreaming of bathing in the blue blood of the ground walkers.
    [Gears of War: The Journey] - Fan Fiction Short Story, any feedback appreciated"
    [Gears of War: The Onyx Platoon] - Fan Fic
    Don't care about KD, winning, or anything else. All I care about is playing as RAAM and pissing people off with my SAWED OFF YEAHHHH.

  4. #4
    Redeemer
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    Dragon
    Spelling & Grammar - 1/2
    Ease of Read - 1/2
    Use of Topic - 1/1
    Entertainment - 3/5
    Originality - 2/5
    Quality - 3/5

    Total -- 11/20
    “The former Thrashball-star found himself laying on the ground with his back to a wall, covered in a coat of dark blood and surrounded by several dead Locust Drones; Cole didn’t know if it was his blood or the Locusts’ but either way, there was alot of it.”

    This is a long sentence. I admire that you tried to make connect it with the semicolon, but sometimes it’s okay to split sentences up. This is one of those cases. Also, ‘alot’ should be ‘a lot’.

    Alright, first off, your dialogue is good. Great, even. Very in character. Unfortunately, your prose all around it wasn’t up to snuff. On to the review.

    Spelling and Grammar took a hit early on and kept on keeping on throughout the story. You’ve got a few spelling errors here and there, but nothing major. Grammar, however, got a ton of points on you. For every new line of dialogue from another character, you have to make a new paragraph. That’s a rule for a reason and the reason is the reader won’t know who’s talking if it doesn’t alternate somehow. Also, when someone sighs, end that with a period, not a comma. Sighing isn’t speaking. Stuttering, bellowing, wheezing – all that can be talked through, that can use a comma. Sighing, coughing, etc, shouldn’t be comma’d.

    Ease of Read suffered due to the above. At one point, I was honestly confused who was speaking. Then, too, your descriptions weren’t all that perfect – in fact, it was mostly because of repetitive wording. You re-used a lot of the same words in the same sentence, which made the descriptions less interesting as a whole. Gotta work on that.

    Entertainment was given a 3 only because I have a vivid imagination enough to recognize what you’re trying to convey. That, and the dialogue was great itself, if not how it was spaced out through the story.

    Originality I gave a 2 because this is Cole. We’ve already had a respite for him, in Gears of War 3. It’s too close to use him as a main character. Plus, the only one he really talked to was Baird, another suffering originality point. If he had talked to Dom or Marcus, it would have got you some more points. I did like, however, that he was all alone.

    Quality was summed up above. You really need to go through your story over and over again until you’re sick of it and then get right back into the mix. Make sure you’ve caught everything. Sound it out aloud if you have to. Get someone else to look at it to check for mistakes. These are all part of editing you need to understand. Overall, not great, but good for you. A little bit less than your normal quality, however, with the repeat words everywhere.

    N1
    Spelling & Grammar - 1/2
    Ease of Read - 2/2
    Use of Topic - 1/1
    Entertainment - 4/5
    Originality - 5/5
    Quality - 4/5

    Total -- 17/20
    Okay, right off, ‘insured’ should be ‘ensured’. Heh. Now to the nitty gritty.

    Spelling and Grammar can’t be perfect because of the above. Even so, there was a misused comma and a sentence fragment, as well. Other than that, it was pretty nice.

    Use of Topic worked out, in a way. It was a respite from all the rigors of preparing for war, I suppose. That’s how I chose to look at it, anyway.

    Entertainment was great! I enjoyed this, especially your descriptions. On the other hand, you went overboard just the –tiniest- bit by using description descriptors three times in a row in three separate sentences. But it was only minor. Keep in mind when you’re describing not to go that far.

    Originality: I really didn’t expect a RAAM fic. You get 5 points, the full shebang. I should have expected it from you, I guess, but I didn’t, so your originality hit perfectly with me. Honestly, I never thought to think about how the Horde prepared for war. I don’t think of Locust much at all, aside from Jay’s stuff. So good job.

    Quality suffered a bit from not being perfect, but it was solid all the way through. I’ll give you the same advice I gave Dragon; get someone to look over your story before you turn it in. Editors are lovely to have. Enslave them if you have to. Then, you’ll probably get near-perfection. Also, I'd like your stories to be longer, but that's just opinion. Keep it up.
    Low showing this month, hope that’s not a sign of things to come. Come back next month, along with any of you others out there!


 

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