Index The DownTime Pilot Index 3.0 - Feb/Mar Featured Fics (2/2), Rookie Challenge (2/21)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Pilot_Fic_Index, Sep 11, 2010.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Thanks for posting the intro, O4aF!

    REMINDER!

    Tomorrow is the LAST DAY to check out November's featured fics! On Wednesday we'll have a new set of fics for the month of December.

    Don't forget, we've got the Memorial Challenge running right now. No entries yet, but there's still plenty of time to submit something. If you need any help, ask away in the thread :)

    New discussion topic will be up tomorrow!
  2. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    Yay, I finally finished reviewing the featured fics from November *and* October! Just a little late there. [face_blush] I don't know how fic-spoiler-y to be or not be, so I kept some of my comments pretty generic.


    Doppleganger by CarrKicksDoor

    This was a very emotional story that really made me feel for all the characters involved, especially Hobbie. Hobbie, Wes and Jeni all had great depth to them. It explored a part of Hobbie we don't really see otherwise, and it was done very well and really felt like him the entire time. I liked seeing Wes step up and be the grounded one when he had to be, and that really emphasized for me how good of a friend he is to Hobbie.

    Jeni was only shown in Hobbie's recollections, but even that limited exposure was enough to make her an intriguing character. :) I want to know more about her... why she said what she said to Hobbie, what happened to her prior to his last flashback scene, what she was thinking about just prior to the story's present day, and more.

    I liked the alternating between the past and the present. It was a neat way to show the two sides of Hobbie as well as what happened between him and Jeni.

    I'm going to snip this together from a couple of different paragraphs, but these are my favorite lines of the story: "No one sees this side of you, Derek. They see your other side. ... No one sees that you care." I love that part. I'd never thought of Hobbie like that before, but now that I am, I think it's so dang true. I love revelations like that. :) Awesome job on this story!


    How? by talkingbanana

    I have to admit that I'm a bit of a disadvantage with this story's setting since I only know general second- and third-hand things about the LOTF arc, but I love 'nanner's writing and this is no exception. :) She writes an incredible Myn ([face_love]), and the insights in this story are great, especially, "Still, didn't they all fight so their kids wouldn't have to? Wasn't that the point?" It also fascinates me how much of this story-- especially the first part-- is told so well without using dialogue. Then when the dialogue is used, it earns its keep. Great stuff!


    Detour by InyriForge

    Inyri, you have a great story here that kept me eagerly reading to find out what would happen next, and I love your characters. You do squadron banter and character dynamics really, really well. I liked the pilots' relationships with Pash and how they interacted with him. Even when they didn't agree with his decisions or were giving him a hard time, they still respected him as a leader and were trying to watch out for him and each other. It was great seeing all the varied aspects of Pash as well as the continued fallout of and references to his "invincibility". Also for him, this was only mentioned briefly in the story but it stuck with me as being a big thing: when he realized at the landing bay that he didn't have to micromanage his pilots and they did what he asked, when he asked. He has to be able to trust his pilots back, and he did. Later on, the scene with Airen Cracken was excellent too-- I liked seeing him be a father.

    I enjoyed how the name "Kessel Junior" became a running joke among the pilots and Staci, and the term "Captain Glares" made me literally LOL in a good way. :D


    We Happy Few by frodogenic1

    This is one of my favorite stories on the boards. The descriptions just blow me away, and I love the emotion and dialogue between Wedge and Luke. They're both dealing with so much at that point, and it's sad but heartwarming at the same time to see them learning to lean on each other to get through it. Awesome story.
  3. Pilot_Fic_Index Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2005
    star 1
    One new fic by earlybird_obi_wan added to the index!

    Refer to the first page of the index for a link under "Recently Added Fics" and additional information in earlybird's index entry.
  4. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Thanks for taking the time to read and review those fics, Thumper :)

    I've gone ahead and let Inyri and Carr know you were kind enough to leave them a review, I'm sure they'll appreciate it!

    Sorry that the new discussion question didn't go up today, everyone. Things got a little hectic, I should be able to get to it tomorrow though.

    ~*~

    As an aside, I really would like to thank all of you for perusing and commenting here at the DT Index. When Myra and I received Maggy's blessing to bring it back, we were both concerned that there wouldn't be enough interest in the pilot fandom to keep it going. Well, since we started back up we've added over 50 fics to the index and have had some of the most spirited pilot discussion I've seen in a really long time. I've had the tremendous privileged of getting to know you all better as well.

    It's a been a long time since pilots have gotten any love in the profic universe. Thankfully, in 2012 we'll finally be getting the fix we've been craving for over a decade. It's my sincere hope that until then and long after Allston's new Wraith book releases we can keep this lovely niche of the EU alive and well. Maybe if we're lucky, we can bring some more folks in.

    Keep your eye out for good fic. If you see something that deserves attention, let us know! Point your friends in the fandom towards the wonderful profic work by Mike Stackpole and Aaron Allston.

    Thank you all for helping make this reboot of the DownTime Index so successful. Myra and I couldn't have possibly dreamed that this would have gone so well. [:D]

    ~Lane
  5. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Thanks for bringing it back. This is a thread that I check more regularly than my own fics.
  6. InyriForge Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2002
    star 5
    Thumper Thank you! You probably don't remember this, but a long, long time ago you had a challenge with the mechanic and the pilot exchanging witicisms about things that were wrong with the starfighter. I first wrote some of these characters for that challenge and this fic really is their continuing adventures. So, really, this fic is inspired by you!

    I'm so glad you liked the story. It was definitely a challenge and a joy to write. I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed the characters and their interactions. And it was definitely a great treat for me to explore Pash in detail (and also his father in less detail but as a human being). Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean a lot. :)



    ~*~

    Okay, discussion questions time!


    How do your pilots (be they your preferred canon characters or original characters) handle the loss of their comrades?
    That really depends on the character. REALLY DEPENDS. I don?t do a whole lot of killing?(and I know someone is going to yell ?Pash!? or if you?re a really oldbie ?Tycho!? at me right about now, but really, I don?t kill a whole lot!)?but when I do it really does depend on who the survivor is and also who the departed was. For example, while Wedge takes every death as a responsibility, he has also been in the business a long time, so a Red Shirt?s death, while tragic, doesn?t hit home as hard as when I possibly kill off his best friend. When I kill Red Shirts, Wedge takes time to solemnly remember and then gets back to work. When I killed Tycho, I let Wedge weep, because not even the strongest person in the universe is going to take the loss of their best friend lightly. Another example - Usually, I write Janson as someone who uses humor to cover up pain, so he might try to pretend he?s okay when a Red Shirt dies. However, when I had Janson kill Tycho (I guess I do kill Tycho a lot; sorry Tycho!), he shut down, with my thinking being this is the second time the poor guy has had to shoot a comrade in arms and we see that his personality gets quiet when he talks about killing Kell?s father in Wraith Squadron.
    Looking specifically at certain canon pilots, how do you think Wedge, Wes, Hobbie, and/or Tycho cope? (Feel free to answer for one or more of them or discuss other canon pilots)
    Hmm, I got a bit ahead of myself. Of the four of them, Wedge and Hobbie probably have the healthiest reactions; both embrace the pain, address it, and move on. Hobbie is a bit more cynical than Wedge, but for the most part, they seem to confront the loss. Tycho seems to lock it all away and not show any emotion. Janson tries to be the life of the party to hide the fact that he?s hurting.

    What profic pilot death from the EU novels or films touched you the most?
    Probably Lujayne?s. She was built up as a main character (at least at that point) and I liked her. She was positive and caring and made everyone feel welcome ? the type of person you want to be friends with. And although her death sucked, how it happened made it worse because she was murdered in her sleep.
    When writing death in your own fics, do you handle it on or off page?
    Typically off page. I have written some on page, but I don?t like writing action so writing on-page deaths is frustrating because it involves action.
    Can you offer any tips for others in regards writing fics and scenes about loss?
    It?s okay to embrace cliché? There?s a trope for that?
  7. Pilot_Fic_Index Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2005
    star 1
    18 new fics by InyriForge added to the index!

    Refer to the first page for links to the fics and more information under Inyri's spot in the index.
  8. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    I would like to point out that 'Ri is the one responsible for me thinking that Pash Cracken was dead in canon. Yes, her writing is that good. If you enjoyed Detour, you should check out more of her stuff.

    Oh Lujayne :(

    I may have cried a bit at her death when I re-read Rogue Squadron a few months ago. I wonder, did Astro ever post that Lujayne lives story here? I may need to strongarm her into doing that if she hasn't :D

    I'm sure there is. We'll sic Trope Girl (AKA Myra) on it.

    ~*~

    Okay guys, I know I promised there would be a new discussion topic today after I promised I would have one up yesterday. Unfortunately, I completely forgot that today is December 1st, which means it's Featured Fic time!

    Featured Longfic

    Talon Intelligence Squadron: Not Always As They Seem - by the Talon Intelligence Squad
    Informal Title: TIS: Book One
    Summary: New Republic Intelligence throws together a group of misfits under the command of a disgraced officer. What ensues is nothing short of hilarious, and what becomes of them is nothing short of extraordinary.
    Timeframe: 11 Years After the Battle of Yavin
    Characters: Original Characters from Various Authors
    Genre: squadfic action/humor/drama
    Keywords: squadfic, OCs, EU, round robin, action/adventure, humor

    Featured Shortfic

    Wedge Antilles? Guide to Improvisational Parenting - by SweetPea
    Summary: Wedge?s parenting skills are put to the test when Syal asks him for advice.
    Timeframe: Syal?s eight so...NJO?
    Characters: Wedge, Syal
    Genre: Humor, fluff, vignette

    ~*~

    And as some incentive to get me to actually write up the kriffing discussion topic, if I don't have one posted by Saturday, someone here gets a free 1000 word vignette from me. Hold me to it, folks :p
  9. Overboard4aFel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 2

    Hehe... don't tempt me... [face_devil]

    Don't worry too hard-- I'm sure we're all just as crazy busy... At least that's my excuse for not being able to write an answer to that challenge up.... [face_tired]

    [:D]
  10. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Wonderful picks. :) Looking forward to a new discussion topic. I need one to give me my second wind for my pilot tale. I also need to work on the latest challenge.
  11. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    I certainly approve of the long fic selection. :p

    I'll be sure to check out the short fic once, too.


    I've got an idea going for the challenge, but it's got some TIS Book 5 "spoilers" involved, so it'll probably be a while until it gets posted.
  12. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    So why the hell haven't I heard of this, DMC?! :p

    I noticed TIS got the nod for featured long-fic, also. Wonderful! The JC thread that is linked is a great resource for other links and things to help out readers, too, since our story is pretty big to digest at a first glance. If you like what you all read and think you'd enjoy goofing off with a bunch of weirdos on a regular basis, check out our thread here in fan fic resource or check out our official home on the WWW. :) We're always looking for a few new faces to goof off with us on the Nest and who love pilots, OCs, pranks, and ultimately, melodrama! :p

    As a side note, I finished the October Challenge... in November. lol. You can find it on the Saga board, if you're interested. It actually makes for a great short prequel to the TIS series, if anyone would like a TIS read that's easy on the eyes! :)
  13. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    I've told you that I had an idea for this challenge, just no specifics yet. That'll come with time. :p
  14. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I've been keenly interested in joining TIS for a while, but have no idea really how to do it. You guys make it sound simple, but it's so far into it...
  15. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    It sounds simple because it is. :p


    Best way to know what we're all about is to read our stuff; there are links to the "books" in my profile, as well as Trika's. If you like what you see, just stop over at the Nest and we can get you caught up and answer any questions that you might have.
  16. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Yes, but once we've read all of the fics as I'm about halfway done with, do we have a waiting period before a feasible storyline comes along?
  17. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Ish, believe us when we say we've had a lot of folks say that exact same thing! TIS is a big story with a lot of history, and most folks who look at the crew feel intimidated at the size and scope of it all.

    More important than anything we've put together or anything we do, we're just a fun writing crew! One you get the gist of what we're about and where the story is going, I highly encourage new Talons to move forward and just write! All of us Talons are there to assist, answer questions, and help to edit and form all of our writing into the cohesive product that is the final books. We have great writers, but no one's perfect or has the perfect idea of where to go with it all... we all have our preferences and opinions, but together, we make fantastic stories. Again, I encourage folks to jump right in there once they're caught up with it all... we'll work together to make it happen, and sooner than you think, you'll probably feel right at home! :)

    Of course, goofing off at the Nest with us is always a good first step. I need someone to feed me easy lines in the movie quote thread so I can win. :p I'm always available there and by private message. I can talk TIS all day, so feel free to bombard me with questions if you're interested! :D


    EDIT: I'm all about folks jumping in there, so when you're ready to write, you can feel free to steal a scene away and run with it! We rotate new characters into the story as slots in the roster become available, so while you'll immediately be ready for writing about the current crew, new characters, including ones that new Talons will create, will be rotated in systematically. :)
  18. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    Inyri, that's pretty cool! Unfortunately I'm drawing a blank on the challenge you mentioned, but I'm glad it ultimately led to something as awesome as your fic. :D I need to get my reading in gear and check out more of your stories.

    Ah, featured fic will give me an excuse to reread TIS 1. :cool: And I have a possible idea for the challenge rattling around in my head. I need to do some research for it first though. [face_thinking]

    My personal experience with joining TIS (though I've been such a slacker, not their fault :( ) is that it is simple to do. And keep in mind that this is coming from someone who 1) was not involved in the original postings and group here; 2) has very, very, very limited experience in writing characters belonging to anyone else (including canon characters); 3) was wondering if my writing style would mesh with a collaborative story that already had an existing style; 4) is by default a shy lurker online. Despite all this, they roped me in and I've had a blast with it. It's a great, open, supportive, fun group. And there are other activities and projects available in addition to writing as well.
  19. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Loved SweetPea and his tale about Wedge and Syal. A nice little piece=D==D=
  20. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Better late than never!


    For this discussion, we're going to get back into the nuts and bolts of writing!

    ~*~
    Discussion Topic #8: Literary Tropes and You

    Out there in the vast wastelands of the interwebs lies a real gem and a rather useful resource to fic writers like you and me. I speak, of course, of TV Tropes. What is TV Tropes and why is it useful to you, the writer? I'll let them explain.

    Tropes are a valuable resource to writers that allows you to tap into the reader's mind to find a way to touch them on an emotional level, be it appealing to their sense of humor or to try and play on their heartstrings.

    To see just what I'm talking about, here's the trope page for the X-Wing novels. Go ahead, scan it over!

    Checked out that page? Great! Let's get to some guiding questions. Feel free to discuss anything on that page or whatever else catches your fancy while you're link chasing at TV tropes.


  21. What are some of your favorite literary tropes and why?

  22. What tropes do you use in your writing (feel free to post excerpts and links)?

  23. What tropes do you try to avoid while writing?



  24. As always, feel free to answer all, some, or none of these questions. If you've got any thoughts about tropes, feel free to share them!

    WARNING! TV Tropes may consume all free time and productivity in your life and may result in terrifying death by web browser Tab Explosion
  25. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    This is a little tricky for me because I generally don't think of different storytelling techniques in terms of labeled tropes, if that makes sense. I'll give it a shot though, and hopefully this isn't too far away from the intent of the discussion. :)

    When I'm writing and want to incorporate a general theme, purpose or idea, I'm more inclined to try to avoid what I consider to be cliches, which I know are different from tropes. Looking through the X-wing Trope list, there aren't many tropes that I consciously try to include. They're included more as a fallout of broader aspects and ideas that I like.

    Wow, I'm rereading what I just wrote, and even though I'm the one who wrote it I don't even understand what the heck I'm saying. :p I'll try to use a few examples. These are all taken from the X-wing Trope list.

    Ones I really enjoy seeing the X-wing series use:

    "Rag Tag Bunch of Misfits." I just love that kind of stuff. I'm drawn to it. When the misfits and screw-ups manage to save the day, it makes me feel like there could be some hope for me yet. :p That's a big reason I like the Wraiths, as well as other groups like Black Sheep Squadron.

    "Continuity Nod" and "Defictionalization". I'm putting these together because they do something of the same thing for me: they make the world and characters seem real. Characters seem connected to their surroundings and their history, even more so when what's fake to them can become real for them. Plus the continuity nods can make fun little in-jokes.

    "Bad Boss" and "Worthy Opponent". The X-wing books are great at having strong antagonists and long-term, epic missions. That's something I've always really struggled with, and as such I'm jealous of how well they do it and how engaging it is.


    These tropes are ones both the X-wing novels and I use:

    Gonna combine a group of related ones: "Dramatis Personae", "Loads and Loads of Characters", "Only Known By Their Nickname", "You Are Number Six." They mention this on the Tropes page, but squadfics can get huge numbers of characters running around. A Dramatis Personae really helps me when reading them, and I post one for my own characters after getting the idea from the X-wing books. I'm guilty of having some main characters fade into the background during a story, but it's so dang hard to give them all equal parts without turning it into choppy five-minute snippets like "Heroes" did that sometimes focusing only on a few overall seems like the lesser of two evils.

    Add to that big group of characters the sheer number of ways each can be called or referred to, and it gets even messier. Each of my main characters has a rank, first name, last name, call sign, and number designation. Five different ways to refer to one person. I know I started confusing readers so now I try to keep the referrals relatively consistent throughout the story, and when I add variety or when a character addresses another differently by default, I try to specify who is being referred to. This is another reason the Dramatis Personae comes in handy.

    I sometimes wonder why the Rogues and Wraiths didn't have more pilots with callsigns like Runt and Piggy did. Maybe because it would be too many names being thrown around. But like Wedge, Wes, Tycho... I wonder what their callsigns would have been. :cool: Or maybe they have them and I just don't know what they are.

    "Wingman." I use this one tons, and I originally learned a lot about it from the X-wing novels.

    "Mildly Military." Sometimes this is more of a requirement for me simply because I'm not knowledgeable enough to write about a strict, detailed military environment, but it serves me well, especially when I can excuse it with the more ragtag, scrappy nature of the Rebellion. Imperial stories are harder.

    "Space Is Cold." I like geeking out with space environment stuff. Seeing the similar instances in the X-wing novels only encouraged me. :p

    "Crazy Cultural Comparison." This can be really fun when I read it and when I remember to use it. :p It adds to the sense of vastness of the
  26. Pilot_Fic_Index Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2005
    star 1
    One new fic by Thumper added to the index!

    Check the first page of the index for a link and more information.
  27. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Question for you all!

    Myra and I are still getting the hang of running an index, so we're looking for some input. In regards to the writing challenges, what's a good amount of time to offer?

    I've seen other indexes offer closer to 3 months per challenge, where we're running at a tick under two. Would extending this challenge (and all subsequent challenges) from 7 weeks to 12 weeks result in more entries? We want to make sure that everyone who wants to participate can participate.

    Thanks!
  28. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    An extension for this one would probably help me a bit, mainly due to the holidays. For other challenges overall I could probably work with either 7 or 12 weeks. That's not much help, I know, but my procrastination tendencies expand to fill whatever timeframe is available. :p

    You guys are doing a great job with the hosting. :)
  29. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Personally, doing challenges depends on many factors including other writing, my muse, and real life stuff. If you gave five months for a challenge I realize that sometimes it's just not happening. Other times just the idea will spur instant writing a week later... just add water! That said, a slight extension might work for most folks, I reckon, especially around these dern holidays. :p I concur with Thumps... y'all are doing just fine! No worries!

    I'd like to slip a brief mention of a Talon crew idea in here since Talon Intelligence Squadron's first book, Not Always as They Seem, is the longfic of the month. If you've taken in the size and scope of the saga, you know it's pretty big... we've decided to go ahead and re-post the book on the Nest, our super-cool hangout, from the beginning for new and old readers alike. We're starting this Wednesday, December 15th, and we'll post a chapter every few days just like we're posting it for the first time! It's a good pace for folks looking to get started on the series, and honestly, there's never been a better time for getting into the saga! If you're looking to catch the longfic of the month and want it in sizable chunks, hop over to the Nest and check us out! :)
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