1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Something feels wrong here.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alesia, Jul 3, 2013.

    I pulled this from a Fallout based fanfiction (yes I'm aware most of them are poorly written at best) and something is bothering me. Aside from the fact it's just cuts and splices from the various game intros, the bolded statements seem like a direct contradiction to one another. Do you see the same thing, or is this more a figurative speech issue?

     
  2. michaelj
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    michaelj Senior Member

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    I think you're trying too hard to nitpick. It obviously doesn't mean literally but as in mankind is doomed but there's still hope.

    I also don't know why you care, it's s fan fiction... Absolutely hate fan fictions.
     
  3. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    Yes, I think it is a bit confusing. It was the predicted end of the world, but it wasn't the predicted end of the world.

    On the other hand, like michaelj says, you'll probably find heaps of things like that all over, and not just in fanfiction. You could spend your whole life finding "mistakes" everywhere.
     
  4. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    It may seem like a contradiction, but it could still stand. The end of the world was predicted to happen...x, y and z made it so.

    However, it was not the end of the world. Leaving off the predict there may be more effective, but using the same word again kind of makes it wacky, but may be purposeful?

    Using the terms
    and
    gives some leeway out of the contradiction status.
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, I find this an intriguing opening, not contradictory. Or, rather, the contradiction is intentional

    The writer does state that Humanity was 'almost' extinguished. This means there were still some humans left—the end of the world as we know it. I think that leads very well into the second half of this 'contradiction.'

    So: But it was not, as some had predicted, the end of the world.

    What I don't like is what follows:
    That's knocking us over the head, isn't it? I'd much rather the writer then got on with the story, and told us what the remaining humans did.
     
  6. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    War, war never changes. The best line from the series.
     
  7. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    I would have preferred:

    The end of the world occurred pretty much as we had predicted ...

    But it was not, as some had predicted, the end of mankind.

    I think that's really what is being said here, especially if the author is presenting that mankind and war are so intertwined.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think as another has said, you're trying too hard to nitpick. It's deliberately contradictory - we THINK it's the end of the world, but actually, it isn't. That's the surprise, and he's using the device of repetition to get it across - trying to be clever, as it were.

    Now whether it WORKS or not, that's a whole different issue.

    Personally, I think it's all right. Not spectacular - the deliberate contradiction is a little clumsy, but not badly so. The device of deliberate contradictions is common.

    I also don't agree with Peanut - changing it to "mankind" wouldn't make it better, it'd make it fail even more because then it's even lost the poetry of repetition.

    I read the blurb of Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart recently, and it's got something similar, I've included it below:

    Sanderson is doing exactly the same thing - "It is impossible to injure Steelheart... I've seen Steelheart injured." It's a deliberate contradiction to rouse intrigue.

    However, Sanderson built his up way way better than your fanfic fella, that's all. The fanfic did it clumsily, but not horribly so in my opinion - it's just average. I can see what he's trying to do, it sounds all right, I get it, but it does not heighten the tension like it should.

    Sanderson's, on the other hand, had me going "ooooh" when I read the last line. That's the difference.
     
  9. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    I think they are using "end of the world" to mean a dramatic change in civilization. Maybe.
     
  10. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ya, this one has the similar issues x

    Galactic Prince

    An Armageddon plunged world, a wasteland of throttled wildlife and carbonized mammalian existence -a planet wiped clean of heartbeats. Only the brave people of newly re-instated planet Pluto might save the universe.

    ‘Ah ha ha , oh the irony,’ chuckled Eros, the valiant commander of the Plutonium interplanetary navy seals.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's simply ham-fisted, is what it is. Whoever wrote this (did you get permission to repost?) has learned a few literary devices and wants you to know it. There is heavy tautology throughout. If your goal is to write a fan-fiction in this universe, this is not what I would consider to be a good reference piece.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    whose work are you quoting?... if it's not your own, why isn't the author/source cited and do you have the author's permission to post it here for critique?
     
  13. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was wondering the same thing as Wrey and Maia. Has there been any discussion of this on the site where this was posted?
     
  14. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    Mckk, the blurb is fine. It makes a difference between the two claims. It is said that... but I have seen (that it is not true). You can imagine them both true - they just say something that is not true / that is not confirmed by eyewitnesses.

    The one in the first post claims two exactly opposite things. Leaves no room for any way out. If one of the versions was a little different, something like The Peanut Monster has suggested, then it would work well. But that little detail is missing.
     
  15. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    The story writer of the video game Fallout 2 game wrote those words, which I think was released in 1996 or 1997 by BlackIsle Studios. If that is from a 'fanfic' then the writer has lifted that entire thing from the introductory video to that game, horrible game-developer English and all. I'm actually positive that is violating copyright.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't "game" so I have no frame of reference, but that's surprising to hear. As much money as goes into the development of those things, you would think they could get someone who could at least pass a writing forum critique, aye? I mean, that little extract is just abysmal. :)
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I stopped 'gaming' back in the early 2000s, and now only play the occasional one. I have to say, things have progressed a long way since the output of the 1990s, but as you can see that's not saying a whole lot. I played Fallout 2 when I was about eight years old, and I have a very good memory. Reading those words I practically sang along to them I played it so often at that age. :p
     
  18. michaelj
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    michaelj Senior Member

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    Most people read it and it seems normal, even good as they're reading a story. Sure, a writer might nitpick words and sentences that didn't work for them. But let's be honest, the above-average player will read it and be interested in what they read. 50 shades of grey is evidence of this. I still get my female friends who've never even attempted a book tell me how much they loved it.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't even know what seems normal means as regards the quality of writing in a piece. Please explain your terminology. And frankly, good is not a word I would apply to this piece. It's not nitpicking to point out some very sophomoric problems in an item like blatant tautology. It's poorly written.
     
  20. michaelj
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    michaelj Senior Member

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    I'm saying the average person will read it and won't find problems. I never said that piece was good but the average person wants to read a story and if they like it then they will read it. Hell, if everyone nitpicked the opening chapter on preview on amazon, then 50 shades of grey, twilight, eragon etc would have flopped big time. (as in nobody would buy today's copies) in the olden days they wouldn't have got past the first page.

    You're free to use fancy words I've never heard of before to strengthen your point but that doesn't change the fact that the average person only wants a story.
     
  21. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    In the long run, Black Isle and Bethesda game studios. In the fanfiction realm it's hard to say because more than one person has spliced this statement together exactly the same way.
    It's also not 100% original Fallout 2. I did state in the opening post that it was splices of two game intros. What was bothering me was the WAY it was put together. It's my curse, I nitpick too much and find stupid little things like this. Maybe it's my OCD coming out.
    Fallout 2
    Fallout 3
    Anyway, Fallout intro's seem to beat points into your head like that alot. 2 emphasizes the word humanity, human, etc... 3 does the same thing, except it states multiple times about "the destructive nature of man" Fallout uses the word "would" three times in a single info dump sentence and beats the point into your head that the war was over resources.

     
  22. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LOL :D This isn't OCD; this is you developing a writer's ear, which is a good thing! You're listening to things outside your writing realm and applying the dynamics of writing to them, critiquing them, thinking about how you would have worded things differently to flow better. All of that is good stuff. ;)
     
  23. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    You are right, to be fair to me, this was a game I last played in 1998, my memory isn't going to be exact. But still, the main point of my post stands, I'm sure such a thing is infringing copyright. But I'm not a legal expert, so I don't actually know.
     
  24. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Technically yes, but Black Isle/Bethesda/Obsidian have stated in numerous places that they don't mind as long as it's restricted to non-profit fanfics. artwork, things like that.
     
  25. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fallout is an awesome game series, love it. I have mixed feelings about fan fiction, a lot of it is abysmal, but people are trying to be creative and it promotes writing so I approve of it.

    It seems to borrow very heavily from the game mythos and into - and yes the wording is stilted and kind of sloppy/wordy. When people speak we often make slip-ups, use colloquialisms, idioms, and just plain old mistakes. Our ears only pick up some of it, when writing we should really try to work on that because it makes reading difficult and can be confusing.


    War, war never changes...

    The end of the world occurred pretty much as we had predicted: too many humans, not enough space or resources to go around. The details are trivial and pointless, the reasons, as always, were purely human ones. ??? In the year 2077, after millennia of armed conflict, the destructive nature of man could sustain itself no longer. The earth was nearly wiped clean of life in a great cleansing, an atomic spark struck by human hands that quickly raged out of control. Spears of nuclear fire rained from the skies. Continents were swallowed in flames and fell beneath the boiling oceans. Humanity was almost extinguished, their spirits becoming part of the background radiation that blanketed the earth.

    But it was not, as some had predicted, the end of the world. Instead, the apocalypse was simply the prologue to another bloody chapter of human history.

    For man had succeeded in destroying the world, but war? War never changes.

    Kind of a contradiction when they say the details are meaningless and then almost gives a detailed description. If end of the world is meant to be a euphemism instead of literally it should really be clarified better, since we're talking about a nuclear holocaust type event and such.

    One of the main problems is wordiness. The word had is one of the most overrated words in the English lexicon and can be removed 90% of the time for better flow. The word human was used a few times too many, some things were redundant or already implied, so superfluous.

    A lot of writers tend to overwrite, when we're in the flow the words just come During editing we can pare down on descriptions and narrative, be more economical. It's something I'm still working on myself, kind of an ongoing development thing.

    And another common problem is switching from past to present tense. I also catch myself doing that, but during editing that kind of thing needs to be consistent.
     

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