Project Virgo
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How do you like Project Virgo?
Absolutely Terrible
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
Very Poor
50%
 50%  [ 4 ]
Poor
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
OK/Average
25%
 25%  [ 2 ]
Above Average/Good
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Very Good/Great
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Absolutely Alpha!
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 8

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Patrick Alpha
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Joined: 13 Jul 2004
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Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just one more thing, could you give me a general list of things which were right & wrong with the story? I just want to avoid making the same mistakes, so could you list them? Be Honest, I am asking for feedback.
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katster
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Alpha wrote:
Just one more thing, could you give me a general list of things which were right & wrong with the story? I just want to avoid making the same mistakes, so could you list them? Be Honest, I am asking for feedback.


We could probably do it, just give folks a few days to read through stuff and get to it.

For the rest of the gang: Try to keep the criticism constructive, I reserve the right to disemvowel anybody that crosses that line. But I think you'll all do fine.

-kat
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Patrick Alpha
Resident bloody clueless idiot


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Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and before you call me a racist pig, NAACP was a misspelling of NAZICO. I just found out who they were yesterday. And I don't know how AFA got in there, even though I highly dislike them.
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zibblsnrt
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2004 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gotta admit, I'm curious as to how you managed to typo NAZICO into NAACP, but... *shrug*

One thing you should keep in mind is that JU writing really, really frowns upon blatantly political connections for B'harne. He's certainly not a Nazi - in the history, if you've read it, you'll find he didn't appear until the mid-1970s. Fitting him into normal politics - saying he's related to Hitler/Rush/Marx/Clinton/whoever - doesn't pass muster, because he's not originally of Earth and pretty much cares nothing for the local politics, unless he can use them to gether power, which he never does openly.

In an OOC sense, Jihad fic's highest law from near the beginning until JU3 (and so far only JU3) was that you keep the politics out of the writing entirely. This is for two reasons; first, you've got a good chance of offending someone far more than you would otherwise (as an example, Israeli Jihaddi exist), and second, it just doesn't work within the setting itself.

Events which take the notice of the mundane world are usually covered up in one way or another; that's got room for creativity galore and hasn't really been explored much yet. I'm working on one idea, which might get posted in the next day or two. You'll see it in this forum.
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katster
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2004 5:45 am    Post subject: Re: Project Virgo Reply with quote

Patrick Alpha wrote:
Project Virgo Will Be Down Until Somebody Can Read It. We Apologize For Any Inconvenience


Hey.

Okay, I know I have a copy that you gave me, but do you want other criticisms of it too? Because it's kinda hard to criticise something you can't see, and you did ask for feedback. Wink

-kat
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Patrick Alpha
Resident bloody clueless idiot


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Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, here is a list I have thought of after anaylising things a bit:
Good:
1.The title was interesting, Virgo being a constellation
2.It was appropriately (sp?) titled PROJECT Virgo, not OPERATION Virgo.
3.It was certainly quite creative in areas
4.The S'Hmurf and P'hower R'hangers references are analogically correct
5.Good Action sequences
6.Does not rely on cliches
7. Gradual Introduction Of Characters
8.Good Names (IMHO)
9.Correct reference to minions of B'Harnii as 'Spongjin'
10.Different styles of battle e.g. Melee, Siege, Retreat, Air, Sea..
11.Uses actual names of orgs, e.g. Doberman Empire
12.The spy setting has potential
Criticisms:
1.First & foremost, blatant political references (BARNAZI.)
2.Could be interpreted as blaming B'Harnii for real life tragedies (Holocaust)
3.Out of date (Praetor.)
4.Numerous Continuity errors (e.g. The base being high tech, then low tech.)
5.Some sequences a bit long, e.g. the the video training
6.TERRIBLE FORMATTING!
7.No beta reading
8.Could offend Jewish/Israeli Jihadii (no intent to however)
9.Innacurate ranking (COG has no bishops.)
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Aris_TGD
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Alpha wrote:
Okay, here is a list I have thought of after anaylising things a bit:
Good:
1.The title was interesting, Virgo being a constellation

An interesting title should be the last thing you worry about in a story. If the story itself is good, it'll carry the title; if the story doesn't work, calling it Gone with the Wind won't get people to read it.

Patrick Alpha wrote:

...

5.Good Action sequences

...

10.Different styles of battle e.g. Melee, Siege, Retreat, Air, Sea..

A good action sequence doesn't just involve using different types of battles, or lots of different tactics thrown together. For instance, in your first 'melee' combat you have a group of maybe ten Jihaddi face down a group of spoungin using bayonets, rocket launchers, shotguns, automatic rifles, and a collapsing bridge, but I still can't imagine what anyone was actually doing. Also, a creative attack doesn't always mean a useful attack. Using a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun might work against an ant colony, but not a troop of enemies armed with guns.

I started one of my JU2 stories with a shootout in a video store; it's not a good description of the battle as a whole, but hopefully you come out of it knowing what Aris went through and what kind of fighting it was. I don't understand what kind of fighting you are portraying in your story. Clarity, above all, should be your first goal when writing a story like this. Once you have clarity, you can move on to other goals like snappy titles.
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Mal-3
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Others have the first half well in hand, so I'll take a swing at the other half:

Patrick Alpha wrote:
Okay, here is a list I have thought of after Criticisms:
1.First & foremost, blatant political references (BARNAZI.)


Blatant political references are not per se a bad thing, but it depends on the content and the delivery. Here's a good rule of thumb:

Character expressing character's political opinion: GOOD

Author expressing political opinon through omnicient narration: BAD

Directly tying together RL politics with JU entities: CAN BE BAD CAN BE GOOD, MUST BE DAMN GOOD WRITER TO PULL OFF

Quote:
2.Could be interpreted as blaming B'Harnii for real life tragedies (Holocaust)


This is a big thing, yes. And I would advise thinking about dumping the Nazi fetish as well.

Quote:
5.Some sequences a bit long, e.g. the the video training


Long sequences are not necessarily a bad thing. If it's written properly and doesn't get bogged down in character soliliquies or huge data dumps of exposition, then it works.

Quote:
6.TERRIBLE FORMATTING!


Mm, yes. This is a problem. Your best bet is to dump your stuff into Notepad and make sure to remove all smartquotes, special characters and above all put blank lines between your paragraphs.

Quote:
7.No beta reading
8.Could offend Jewish/Israeli Jihadii (no intent to however)


No beta reading is generally a Bad Thing when exposing your stuff to the public for the first time, yes. At the very minimum you sould have somebody you trust not to just smile and nod give everything you read a once-over before posting.

As for the offense, see #1 and 2 above. When adding political content to a JU story, you have to be damn careful about how you do it, ere you risk the wrath of the gods - or the GM, at any rate.
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zibblsnrt
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 8:06 pm    Post subject: some comments Reply with quote

Okay.. Folks have covered it from a few angles, so I figured I'd chip in.

One of the things you want to keep in mind is that the least important part of a story is the names involved - either for the seg itself, or for the characters. As long as the chars' names make sense (ie not giving a human a Lyran name), then pretty much anything goes. Some JAOs, like the DE, have seperate naming schemes that require you to know some classical mythology and history (Danae Cassandra, Poseidon Hephaestus, etc); some, like TRES, prefer an actual name (Joseph Lacroix, Kirk Felton, etc), and some, like VR, are a bit looser and attract a combination of mundane names and aliases (Nexxus Kline, Katze Brenner, Keebler, etc). Aside from these vague rules, the names themselves are usually meaningless, unless you have some long-term plans involved with one of them, or they're important to the characters' history.

A major problem with your fic that's common in a lot of new writing - not just in Jihad fic, but in lots of peoples' earlier attempts at fiction - is a whole lot of name-dropping without much use of the names. You put a lot of references to the Dobermans, for instance, but it's just using their names, like you admit. Just mentioning the names is not a plus unless you can demonstrate that you've got an understanding of what you're referencing, how they work, etc. Check the DE references under the site's roleplaying section to get an idea of how they work, and http://de.jihad.net for an (admittedly dated) list of names for an idea of how those work. For the spongin rank and file, they usually have what you'd consider kid's-show juvenile names - Mikey, Jimmy, you know the type. Wyrm minions can of course be called anything, but the actual spongin tend to have kid-like nicknames and whatnot. Even if B'harne thinks of them as "trooper #58135," that's hidden behind his facade in an attempt to make him look more attached to them. The Jihad, of course, would never reduce its members to mere figures, as Operation Pacifica showed.

The other type of namedropping seems to be an attempt to reference as many things as possible - getting the Smurfs, Power Rangers, Teletubbies, and a number of other critters all dropped in at once. This has two downsides - it gets confusing to keep track of them all, and the involvement of them in Jihad settings isn't canon and largely hasn't been since JU2 entered the design phases. Besides, I kinda like the Smurfs. ;)

Basically, my main complaint is that you need to get a better idea of the groups you're referencing; having an understanding of the setting means that you don't need to create new orgs like JIIA all over the place, and it also makes for writing that's easier to read. The setting's there, but I'm not getting the impression that you've made use of it yet. Once you do that, you'll be able to get some stuff written that's clearer and easier both to read and plan. It's better to make a more streamlined story that talks about one aspect of things than it is to make a story that encompasses the entire Jihaddiverse; that scale's best reserved for multi-writer Operations.
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Patrick Alpha
Resident bloody clueless idiot


Joined: 13 Jul 2004
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Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:21 am    Post subject: Re: Project Virgo Reply with quote

Other, more specific criticisms:

''Project Virgo: Part One: Revenge of BJ

A Short Story By Patrick

For indeed it was, for at that moment, the sergeant…. No the director! ‘What the! Must be pretty special assignment!’ Ja’laarm thought.’ As the elevator cycled up again, the director, Morgan Ormsby, began his speech. ‘Ladies, and gentlemen of the JIIA (Jihad Intelligence International Alpha.) I have brought you together today for yet another risky assignment in B’Harnii Territory. You see, the B’Harnii forces in Greendale ,Germany have been fairly active recently. As you may already know, B’Harnii is an old member of the Nazi Party.’ He then pulled up a file photo & a recoloured photo
(Kudos to Satan Of The Week+Armory for the pictures.)''

First off, the picture doesn't show, and as we already discussed, linking Barney with the Nazis and expressing the authors political opinion through narration is a bad idea


''The small alien like, tubby creatures, were in fact,
Professional Teletubby Snipers. The shooting elite. Only they could sneak so quietly and stealthily.
‘The Teletubby Snipers!’ Exclaimed the Jihad. Even Rachel was impressed. It was rare to see them out in the open, if at all. The Snipers then jumped down in unison and began to talk to the Jihad ‘Eh-Oh, B’Harnii troops attack you. B’Harnii enemy Teletubbies too. We Unite?
‘Sounds like a good proposal, Rachel.’ Said the Jihad
‘Well fine. We’re almost allies anyway, according to The Alpha Praetor.’
The Jihad and the Teletubbies party continued towards their destination. ‘Ah, zat is true. But let me show you some top secret German intelligence files of the victims interrogation.''

The Teletubbies aren't even remotely canon, plus the office of the Praetor no longer exists, and besides, he was never known as The ALPHA Praetor', just 'The Praetor'
Not trying to over emphasize names but there you go.


''Note: Here is a definition for the ‘Stage Terms used in this installment and beyond:
Prelude Stage 0: Subject is not aware of B’Harnii in any nature, e.g. doesn’t have feelings on the colour purple.
Prelude Stage 1: Subject has feelings towards purple or dinosaurs, but not both.
Prelude Stage 2: Subject has feelings towards both purple and dinosaurs
Prelude Stage 3: Caught Drawing Purple Dinosaurs in class/work
Intro Stage 1: Has seen a B’Harnii Commercial, and liked it
Intro Stage 2: Has close relative watch B’Harnii at friends house
Intro Stage 3: Has seen 5 Minutes of B’Harnii
Viewer Stage 1: Has seen a whole episode and liked it
Viewer Stage 2: Has seen half a season and liked it
Viewer Stage 3: Has seen a season and liked it
Viewer Stage 4: Owns small B’Harnii Merchandise Set
Viewer Stage 5: Has seen two to 4 seasons
Fan Stage 1: Has seen 4+ seasons
Fan Stage 2: Has seen any B’Harnii Films
Fan Stage 3: Has moderate set of B’Harnii Merchandise
Fan Stage 4: Is a member of any B’Harnii Fan Club
Fan Stage 5: Has founded a B’Harnii Fan Club
Join Stage 1: Has joined and found out about B’Harnii Military
Join Stage 2: Has complete B’Harnii Clothing set as only clothes
Join Stage 3: Has IQ lowered by 10-20
Melt Stage 1: Has IQ lowered by 20-50
Melt Stage 2: Talks in unison with others in common conversation
Melt Stage 3: Has IQ lowered by 50+
Melt Stage 4: Has conformed to B’Harnii Completely''

There is no official scale for Barnification, and even if there was it would probably be shorter than this.




''A similar routine was going one with the B’Harnii Infantry, which looked like The Hell Wyrm en miniature. ''

Doesn't exist either. There are no 'mini barneys' that I am aware of, except perhaps Son Of Barney (which is external from the JU anyway)





''The Unofficial Tech Level
TL 00-Stone Age 500000 BC-100000 BC
TL 0.5-Ancient Age 100000 BC-2500 BC
TL 1-Bronze Age 2500 BC-700 BC
TL 2-Iron Age 700 BC-0 AD
TL 3-Dark Age 0 AD-900 AD
TL 4-Medievel Age 900 AD-1600 AD
TL 5- Renaissance Age 1600 AD-1800 AD
TL 6- Industrial Age 1800 AD-1920 AD
TL 7- 20Th Century Tech 1920 AD-1950 AD
TL 8- Modern Tech 1950 AD-1990
TL 9-Present Day/21st Century 1900 AD-2050 AD
TL 10- Early Space Projects Unknown
TL 11- Star Trek Level Tech Unknown
TL 12- Early Solar Travel Unknown
TL 13- Futurama Level Tech Unknown
TL 14-BiGalactic Expansion Level Tech Unknown
TL 15- Warhammer 40K Tech-Unknown AD
TL 16- Clarke’s Law Level Tech UnknownD''

Ditto as the other 'scale' comment, with an added mention that there is a official scale that is much easier to remember
-


''However the long lost photos proving Gerry ‘Mikey’ Crawford’s Real Identity have been lost. All we know is that is was a student at McGill University. No records exist in our database, or in any other JAO, of his true identity. It is rumoured that only the Pentagon and Highest ranking B’Harnii Lords know the truth. And the Illuminati of course. There are lots of theories going around the Doberman Empire, but we tend not to get involved in outside speculation.’ ‘Now the debate among the board is whether to employ a McDaniel Unionist and kill all the Spongin in Nechwitz, or despongify.''



Gerry and Mikey Crawford are two different people. And very few in the Jihad even know about the Illuminatis existence. And if the Pentagon knew about the Barney incidents, then it would be doubtless that they would investigate.

And finally, there are no 'McDanielist' groups in the JU.





''As he continued, a Jihadii Soldier heard a slight bump, he continued to follow the sounds, and then he saw a strange object, and then a syringe incapacitated him. A man clad in Nazi Clothing continued to syringe patrolling guards, until he was met by a squad. Even though they were well equipped, and he was only a Former Secret Police Agent, he surprised them with a Reich Knife, dipped in flame and poison. It was quite high tech, scoring in at a mature TL-12, but being TL-7 in appearance. In other words, it was a 1920 design, but of advanced properties. The soldiers died quickly, and he proceeded to call in at the tower after slaughtering the staff. ‘This is Mr Y666, calling in. I have dispatched the patrol on the wall and in the tower, initiate Manoeuvre Cane, over.’''
The Nazis weren't even in power until 1933, and the SS/Gestapo was created later.

''Meanwhile in the directors office, he had just signed a treaty with The Nu-Nu Union, and The Teletubby Military, who agreed to send him aid in return for Sticky Shakes and celery, courtesy of The Church Of Grimace. The Cardinal Bishop Lukwitz had just come in to sign.''
The church of Grimace is not the Roman Catholic Church. It has no Bishops or cardinals or anytihng else.

'' The Teletubby Navy was arriving too. So was the Doberman Navy, even though they weren’t called, they were investigating some islands and saw B’Harnii activity in Germany, and have launched a new campaign. ''
How the *censored* could there be islands in Germany? There are none nearby


''Jihamir Base was an old one, dating back to the 1940s. It was build by Sanders Jihamir, a great architect. Thankfully the base would be rebuilt. As Sanders said ‘All things come to an end, and another beginning starts. The world is a recycling machination’. The Jihadii were defending the walls heroically. However, Agent Mr Y666 had successfully managed to call in assistance. Thousands of Neo-Nazi and KKK troops were coming in. Even some old Nazi Tanks from the Third Reich had formed a wall to attack the wall. ''

Okay, working in the Nazis not good enough for ya? The KKK with Barney?

Yeesh

Not to mention that The Prophet did not receive his messages until the mid 1980s

''What followed the oh wasn’t ‘dearie me’ that’s for sure. When the Director finished his expletive, he issued an Evacuation and called in the Air Head. One effect of Spongification is that the sky was a lot darker. ‘By the next week, it would be darker than a republican’s brain area.’ One of the most powerful had
Main Window at the front made out of Jihadium. The strength and value of Jihadium was second only to the mysterious material used in The B’Harnii Slayer, and other famous swords, such as Excalibur.''

Rip off of artemis fowl, and VERY obvious political bias. And there is no physcial effects of Barnification on an area.

Jihadium doesn't exist



''There were cheers among the crowd as he spoke. The leaders of B’Harnii, and it’s associated organisations, e.g. Nazi, KKK, Smurf Commune, Power Rangers Alliance, AFA etc, were trained in rousing the mind. It was almost an art among politicians and hypnotists.
‘Now we begin our conquest, of Germany. Now get your B’Harnii Toys here, courtesy of Lyons Group!’ He began throwing out merchandise and began a frenzious carnival of violence. Children and Troopers alike were pushing in to get to the pile. It is indeed ironic that Papa Smurf was a better figure than B’Harnii was. At least he taught competition.''
Again, political bias, this time from both the left and right.

1:30 PM
''They were members of The Church Of Grimace. Of course the policy of McDonalds was to stamp out unions, but it wasn’t a union. The employers didn’t know much about the church anyway, and these were the knowledgeable ones. ''

Political Bias AGAIN

''Ja’laarm lay comfortably in his cockpit.
It had been a quiet but hasty journey through the clouds.
The sun was gradually setting. Even at this height Ja’laarm could tell the time of day. Of course he didn’t need to, thanks to his Universal Time Clock. But you could never be too careful. Often devices from S.T.I.M.P.Y. were in their early beta stages, just waiting to go bust. S.T.I.M.P.Y. was Oxford compared to MSFABT, which was Mad Scientists For A Better Tomorrow. They were mercenary and unreliable.''

That is an insult to all (former) Evil Scientists for a Better Tomorrow members, many who gave their lives for the Cause


''2:17 PM
The Debate was raging in the offices of The Doberman. A heated argument had begun near the beginning with Chancellor Lee and Commander Yi. The debate was on action. To launch or not to launch.
‘I call for affirmative action!’ shouted Lee. ‘We need to take those Spongjin down, and fast!''

REALLY bad choice of words there


''The Key
G=German Beach
I=Islands
BB=B’Harnii Base
DB=Doberman Base
B=B’Harnii Fleet
D=Doberman Fleet
Size of Fleet: 1-15''

The diagram looks like crap, and doesn't show anyway[quote][/quote]
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katster
the so-called admin


Joined: 08 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As this topic is bordering more into writing, i moved it into a more appropriate forum.

I'll have more to say on the undead thread later.

-kat
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"et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt" --John 1:5
"these are the days of miracle and wonder" -Paul Simon, "The Boy in the Bubble"
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katster
the so-called admin


Joined: 08 Apr 2004
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Location: California, the land of fruits and nuts

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Project Virgo Reply with quote

Patrick Alpha wrote:
Other, more specific criticisms:


For the most part, you see a lot of flaws here. I'm going to pick at a couple, but for the most part, you got a lot of them.


Quote:
How the *censored* could there be islands in Germany? There are none nearby


Actually, take a closer look at your maps. You'll see Germany's bordered by the North Sea to the north. There might be a few islands there.


Quote:
Jihadium doesn't exist


To be fair, I *think* it does, it's just very hard to make and thus would be very rare. Thus it tends to be used for ornamental things like higher-ranked officers swords. Not likely to be used for decoration, though.


Very minor, in all retrospect. But I figured I'd point them out.

The bigger point is, can you see why this had people wincing a bit when you first posted it? (And how it doesn't quite fit in the world we're writing now?)

-kat
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she who wears too many hats
"et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt" --John 1:5
"these are the days of miracle and wonder" -Paul Simon, "The Boy in the Bubble"
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