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Fan Fiction

Beating a dead pony; and no its not your mom this time.
Posted By: Mainevent
Date: 16 July 2004, 6:01 AM

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      Many of you probably came here because you know my name. Others probably thought the title was kind of odd. There's a purpose for that. A method to the madness if you will.

      Over the past few months, there've been an influx of newbs, and an even larger influx of n00bs. I'm not sure if Louis is importing them here as a way to get his family around those tricky Mexican immigration laws, but its disturbing nonetheless.

      Rather than just tell any newb or n00b that may or may not be reading this how to use the code, ridicule them, or degrade them by pointing obvious flaws in grammar and spelling, I've decided to give them some general pointers.

Skip if you know how to use the pseudocode!

      I said I wouldn't JUST tell you how to use the code. I didn't say I wouldn't. The code is not a reference to the Pirates of the Carribean movie. Its not "More of a set of suggestions than an actual code". This is it people. Learn it or leave it.

-NOTICE! All { and } Below should be replaced with [ and ] whilst actually trying to implement said tags below. Do NOT try to put {b} in your story. You will only get {b} back, and not the bold you'd hoped for.--

{b}This here makes your typing nice and bold-like. Useful for parts of the story that aren't supposed to be passively read. (IE Time stamps, Locations, Titles) But don't forget to add the closing tag.

(/b} Will end whatever you want boldened. As with almost all of the pseudocode tags, there is a beginning and an ending tag. You place the beginning tag before whatever you are going to bolden, italicize, etc. Then you write what you want after that. When you are finished making your text bold, or whatnot, then add the closing tag.

This: {b}My mom eats pudding. {/b}

Will become this: My mom eats pudding.

Its the same with italicizing.


Always italicize the name of a ship. (IE: Pillar of Autumn)

Now what's a page break you fancy people always be talking about? Fancy you ask that. A page break is a line that goes across the entire page. It breaks up one scene from another. Hence the name. Already figured that out? Bonus points to the kid in front! You get said pagebreak by typing: {hr}

Below is a page break.

Neat huh!

Now what keeps my story from being a huge blob of bold and italicized crap separated politely by page breaks? That's simple!

The very handy {indent} takes care of that. It takes the place of a TAB in Microsoft Word. (Here's a quick tip for those of you who use Microsoft Word. Write out your story as you normally would, with Tabs included. When you're done, click on Edit. Scroll down to replace. In the "find" box, insert ^t. In the "replace with" box, insert       . Now you're ready to put it on HBO without mindless and constant indent tags.

Now the newbs and n00bs may continue reading.

The most common problem I see on here is speech in a story.

Do not write like this.

"Sarge, they're here!" "Damnit, that sucks balls." "Yessiree sir. We just ate all the pudding."

Instead, write speech like this. Putting each speaker's dialogue in a different sentence. (Remember to preface these new lines with the indent tag)

"Sarge, they're here!"
"Damnit, that sucks balls."
"Yessiree sir. We just ate all the pudding."

Works great doesn't it!

-Don't forget: Two spaces after a period. One after a comma.

On to spelling!

Spelling mistakes are almost unavoidable. I've probably made several in this very document. Word processors such as Microsoft Word do a good job with most basic words, but don't catch all of them. If you have a word you're just not sure of, head on over to dictionary.com!

If you feel your story is getting repetitive, and want to liven it up with some fancy college-boy words, then go over to thesaurus.com. It'll replace words like "run" with:

abscond, amble, barrel, beat it, bolt, bound, bustle, canter, career, clear out, course, dart, dash, decamp, depart, dog it, escape, flee, flit, fly, gallop, hasten, hie, hotfoot, hurry, hustle, jog, leg it, light out, lope, make off, make tracks, pace, race, rush, scamper, scoot, scorch, scramble, scud, scurry, shag, shoot, skedaddle, skip, skitter, smoke, speed, spring, sprint, spurt, take flight, take off, tear, tear out, travel, trot, whisk.


We're done with the basics. I know this stuff. Now you do too. Or do you? Quiz time!

What did Jack do to the bastard Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk?
a) Rob him blind
b) Kill him.
c) Help his wife carry out an elaborate assassination plot
d) All of the above.

If you said D) All of the above, you are absolutely right. Not only did Jack help portray poverty as an overly helpless problem, it showed theft and murder in a positive light. A sign of society's apathy for the younger generation.

Onward ho! (No, that's not a "Your Mamma" joke.)

Story Elements

This is the meat and potatos of my rant. I mean story. I could only come up with three parts, but they are very important. This is where newbs and n00bs will benefit the most. If you learn nothing more in all of this, than learn one thing...you're mom's a crackwhore, and you're unloved. Moving on.

      The plot is the bare bones of your story. Nobody on this site gives a damn about another Master Chief and Cortana rescue some generic city from Covenant story. Think about your story before you write. You have what I like to call an Artistic License. That means you can write whatever you want. If you want to write about a Spartan nobody's ever heard of, than you do that! But do it well.
      Just make sure whatever is happening in your story follows a steady flow of progress, and isn't incoherent jumbles of fighting pushed together for the sake of it. If that's the case, just read it yourself.
      Though be warned. If your story does appear, or seems to appear, as though it is following or furthering already confirmed Halo plot. Then do it well. Read all three books (The Fall of Reach, The Flood, and First Strike). They provide incalculable facts and hints at how people should act and maneuver.

      Characters are a make or break item. Not all characters should be good. Indeed, the true measure of success in a character, is how well a person hates or loves that character. But how do you make a character interesting? First off, don't always just tell the reader what the character is like.

IE: John likes to be adventurous. He is never afraid of anything. He has a lot of luck.

      Instead, let those traits show themselves as your story goes on. Also, throw a series of hidden questions at your character. Questions of morality, faith, and religion. (Not the same thing). The reader will decide for themselves what they would do. Don't always have the character follow the right choice though. That's a big problem. Your character is not perfect. They have flaws. That's what makes them human.
      You want the reader to feel for their protagonist. To hope that he or she doesn't get hurt; or if its a bad guy, does get hurt. People hating a character isn't a sign of failure, its a sign of success.

      This is where you have the most leeway. Go freaky here. Description! Description! Description! As the reader, you want to know what the character is doing. Form a mental image. If its dark, musty, and cramped, then tell me that! Don't just say "He entered a room." This could be Michael Jackson's bedroom for all we know. Do not slack in description here. Describe everything for that matter. Adjectives are your friend!

      Many people have said they are just writing their story for the hell of it. They don't care what people think. They wanted to write, and they wrote.


      Wanna know something though? I don't care. I want to read good literature. Not some half-assed attempt at Halo meets Pokemon. If your only entertaining yourself, then save it in Word. Here, you're entertaining your audience. If you write a poor story, and nobody responds, that is not anyone's fault but your own.
      Writing is an artform, and we are artists. Everyone can write, but not everyone can write well. Hell! I can paint, but not worth a shit. That's why I took up writing.
      Criticism is the key to progress. Don't let anyone who gives you shit get you down. Take advice for what its worth. If they tell you specific problems in your story, listen, and accept it. Not accepting advice will turn off more and more people.
      Impersonation is the lowest form of flattery, and the least tolerated here. Do not impersonate anyone, or you will be humiliated Lindie England style. (AOL Keyword: Abu Graihb)

Senility is the rarest of all attractions.

PS: Tell your mom I want my underwear back!