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. Lady_Jedi93 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2010
    star 4
    Hello people :)

    ?Who are you? Lady_Jedi93 reporting in :D Real name Naomi

    ?Where do you hail from? Washington


    ?Who's your favorite pilot? Luke! The rest of the original Rogues all tie for second. [face_love]

    ?Squadron? Rogue of course. :cool:


    ?How about your favorite starfighter? X-Wing


    ?Your favorite pilot-themed profic book? [face_thinking] I have read the X-Wing series, was a long time ago so I can't remember favorites. I don't read much profic.

    ?Your favorite pilot fanfic? If it has the Fab Four and Luke I'm in. [face_dancing]

    ?Have a pilot fic you want to promote? Not yet.
  2. -thor- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    The past gives a bunch of potential answers to this one. In history various air forces have been tempted to install the most successful fighter pilots in leadership positions regardless whether they were really able to fill that role or not. For example the most successful fighter pilot of all times, Erich Hartmann, was given command of a squadron only because there was nobody else. His CO was not thrilled with that idea, and even less so when Hartmann was elevated yet another notch a year or so later (to command a fighter group of several squadrons).
    In theory this approach (the most successful pilot leads) is a sound concept for such a leader can always inspire his subordinates and "lead by example" (and not by rank alone). On the other hand it's a dangerous thing to do since a pilot with outstanding leadership skills but less success in combat may get the boot (as did a number of fine pilots and excellent leaders in WW2 because others were better at shooting down aircraft).

    So from my POV the question is easily answered. Of the two Yavin survivors Luke was both "more successful" and he had the Jedi label to boot. Wedge never had a chance.

    No, I don't think so. Wedge was never entirely comfortable with a command role, on a very basic level, so I don't think he was angry at Luke. I even think he was rather pleased that he wasn't made Rogue Squadron CO at that point.

    I can't answer that question. I'd have to be there ... to really know both of them in everyday life.
  3. Darth McClain Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    I think that it was probably a bit of both. Luke did fire the shots that killed the Death Star, so that makes him a huge figure for the Alliance, and he's a talented pilot, too.


    Probably not...there hasn't been any mention of it that I'm aware of, and Wedge probably figured that he'd get his chance soon enough since Luke could be trained as a Jedi.



    I would have made the same choice.
  4. Thumper09 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    My mind's been a million miles away from anything fic-related recently. I hope it passes soon so I can work on the challenge and comment on the featured fics! :D

    The post-Yavin Red Squadron is something that has interested me, but I've had a hard time finding non-confusing information on it. If anyone knows, you guys will, so can someone tell me if my understanding of the basics is correct? After Yavin, Narra took over Red Squadron but retained command of his Renegade Flight. Narra made Luke (immediately or later?) the leader of Rogue Flight. So Red Squadron was made up of Renegade Flight and Rogue Flight. If Luke was Rogue Flight Leader, I interpret that as essentially being Narra's XO for Red Squadron, or at least pretty high up within the squadron hierarchy. After Narra and Renegade Flight were destroyed at Derra IV, Rogue Flight was all that was left, so Red Squadron ceases to exist and instead becomes Rogue Squadron with Luke in command. Is that close, or am I totally misinterpreting things? (See, this is why I tend to stay away from canon characters-- some of this canon stuff confuses the heck out of me. :p )

    If that's kinda sorta how it happened, Luke's promotion to Rogue Squadron leader makes sense to me based on his existing leadership position with Rogue Flight. He would have some limited command experience and would have been working closely with Narra with the squadron overall.

    But why it was Luke that got the flight lead position in the first place instead of Wedge, I agree with the others who have posted their thoughts already. I also see Luke as being more ambitious and gung-ho at that point in his life and wanting to do a lot and advance, while Wedge seemed to be more calm, steady and not very interested in command positions. Maybe Wedge was specifically kept back in order to be the steady, reliable guy who would watch Luke's back (in the air and on the ground) and therefore allow Luke to focus on the riskier stuff as the leader. Or maybe Wedge and Narra didn't get along for some reason, LOL. Not that I really believe that, but there could be a more mundane explanation for the choices made too. If Wedge was annoyed at the decision, I think it was probably more of a knee-jerk reaction than anything else and passed very quickly with no lasting effects.

    I should check the X-wing comic that the Wook said had flashbacks of Narra. I forgot what those were about and if they shed any light on this. Does anyone know what issue of the comic series "Rebellion" Narra and Luke were supposedly in? I wonder if that would explain things more too.
  5. DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    All of what I remember about Narra is the ESB radio drama in which they hear the battle of Derra IV and Leia says something like "You're Rogue Leader now, Luke."
  6. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
  7. Pilot_Fic_Index Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2005
    star 1
    Thanks Earlybird!

    Ghoul Disguise by earlybird_obi_wan has been added to the index and the Challenge Response section on the first page! Go check it out :D
  8. -thor- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    *cough* Just posted the latest part of my current story. Link can be found in signature ... This week on DonoSlane Excursions ... You always meet twice in life ... [face_mischief]

    *tiptoes away after leaving ads and flyers all over the place* [face_devil]
  9. DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I am going to be starting a very farcical fic called The Recruiters. If you've seen The Producers, it's like that, except it's two people in search of the worst pilots they can find so they can recruit a squadron that will wash out. There will be filks and prose.
  10. Jade_Pilot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Great premise! Almost like the wraiths, but Wedge did hope they would succeed. I'll be looking forwar to it, Ish.
  11. DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Yes, like the Wraiths, but this CO thinks she was Palpatine in a past life. :p
  12. Lane_Winree Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Lady_Jedi93 - Welcome to the DT Index. Always nice to run into another Washington native ;)

    -thor- Thanks for the update on your fic! For everyone else, feel free to advertise in here when you've got something new :)

    Ish - Ooh, I dig the sounds of that premise :D

    Good answers on the discussion questions, everyone!

    REMINDER!

    Be sure to check out October's Featured Fics and take part in the Ghost Stories Challenge. We got our first entry from Earlybird yesterday :D
  13. Darth McClain Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    o_O Now that sounds like it's got some potential. :p
  14. Darth McClain Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    So, new discussion topic?
  15. Lane_Winree Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Discussion #5: Dogfights

    One element that's very prominent in pilot-themed profic is dogfighting. With that topic in mind, here are a few questions:

  16. Do you enjoy reading scenes with dogfights?

  17. Have you written dogfight scenes in your fics?

  18. What tips and tricks do you have for others who are looking to write those kind of action scenes?


  19. Sort of a general, open-ended topic, but a fun one for me. I've always had a good time writing starfighter combat. :D

    REMINDER!

    We've got a few things going on now! There's the October Ghost Stories Challenge as well as this month's featured fics, Detour and We Happy Few.

    So far we've got one entry for the October challenge. I've got my own entry that I'm working on and will hopefully have that ready to go next week. Remember, entries are due on the 25th!

    For more information about the challenge and the featured fics, check out the first page of the index.
  20. Pilot_Fic_Index Jedi Youngling

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

    For more information, refer to the first page of the index to see a listing of fics added over the last month and change!
  21. Trika_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Dogfighting... yikes. Let's just say if I've got writing talent, you definitely won't find it in dogfighting!

    I think, to date, I've probably written one dogfighting scene for Talon Intelligence Squadron, and while it was fun, I find that I struggle to make the scene as interesting as they are to read about in profic most times. When I get tied up in the technical aspect of the machines in the scene, I try to get back to the pilots... what they're thinking and feeling... but sometimes the combination seems forced to me. "I meant to continue on with the scene, but that chase was dry as hell, and I need something to spice it up... oh, good! Some pilot can think here and break it up." lol

    So I suppose it's the technical aspect that hurts me a bit... trying to not sound robotic talking about robots and machines and whatnot. To me it all winds up being such a severely weird combination of writing once I'm done with it that I just hope that the rest of the TIS crew doesn't cringe every time they think about it. :p

    So, yes, my name is Trikes, and I've got a dogfighting writing problem.
    "Hi, Trikes!"
  22. Darth McClain Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    I don't know if I've ever tried a dogfight scene. [face_thinking] I think that I wrote one or two about a decade ago, but not any time in the past few years. I love reading them, but I don't think that I'm good at describing what's happening during the fight. I prefer banter, briefings, and ground missions when writing.
  23. Lilith Demodae Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    I quite like reading dogfights, provided they're more about the action and less about the technology involved. I know that might sound strange coming from an engineer, but I don't need to know that he flipped a switch or mashed a pedal more than once or twice in the whole scene I'd much rather know what he was thinking or feeling and what the physical result of mechanics are, rather than the mechanics themselves.

    I've written several dogfights, and they were fun to do.

    For those who feel they need help: It's a fight scene, like any other. Forget about the technical names (etheric rudder, right cross, who cares), just give us the broad strokes, describe what's happening, and keep it moving, don't let the descriptions and fancy names bog things down. Action should feel fast, read fast, not like a vehicle user's manual.
  24. DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I remember writing dogfights when I was much younger and my escape for everything was "I don't know how to do this, so my character will let the Force guide her in this scene and have no idea how she vaped Vader later." It really sucked. Most of my dogfight stuff I learned how to do from Mike and Aaron, but I try to focus on one character at a time and not get too terribly technical about it.
  25. Trika_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    [face_laugh] That is too awesome a description.

    I luff you, Lilith. Too perfect... that's my exact worry, that my writing comes off like some sort of user's manual for the dern fighter. lol... "blah, blah, blah... hard to starboard... and crash into exhausted technical jargon!" "Oh noes!" :p
  26. Thumper09 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    I love reading dogfights. :)

    I've written several. I think just about every squadfic story I have that's long enough to be broken into chapters has at least one dogfight scene, whether it's a simulator run or a real fight.

    I have two big things that I struggle with each time I write one. First is the visualization. Second is the uniqueness.

    If I can't visualize the movements or actions of the characters or vehicles in my head, whether it's a dogfight, ground combat, landspeeder chase, etc., I can't write the scene. Dogfights make this even harder because the third dimension gets thrown in there. So a lot of times after I finish yelling at my helpless computer and the blank word processing screen on it, I'll grab my toy X-wings and TIEs and "fly" them around to act it out and see how they move, what's possible, what's not feasible, and so on. For big fights I'll draw the movements out on paper like football TV commentators. :p

    The uniqueness factor tends to stump me more than anything else. Each dogfight's surrounding situation will always be different, but finding a way to keep the movements and actions *inside* the dogfight fresh and interesting is very hard for me. I don't want all my dogfights to read the same, and using the same characters each time makes me much more paranoid of that. But on the other hand, how many odd or different dogfighting methods or maneuvers are there? My NaNo piece from two years ago (still not finished... :rolleyes:) really drove me crazy with this. One of the foundations of the story was that the squadron was dealing with having fight after fight thrown at them in quick succession. After the first few dogfights I was out of ideas. So I stopped showing all the action and in one case didn't show the fight at all. By that time the fight itself wasn't adding anything new to the story in terms of either the plot or characters, and I focused on the aftermath instead. Later on when the details of a fight became important again, I wrote out the fight scene like normal.

    Dogfights are easiest for me when I focus on only one character at a time, with scene breaks for POV swapping if really needed, though I try to minimize that. I tend to not describe maneuvers beyond the basic loops, rolls, turns, etc. It makes it tricky sometimes: I'd love to try using a few things like a Cuban Eight, but the name sounds too Earthy for my tastes and I don't know if the reader would be familiar with the names (either the Earth names or the in-universe names). On the other hand, some special maneuvers are hard things to describe in general terms. I haven't found a good balance yet.
  27. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Discussion #5: Dogfights



    # Do you enjoy reading scenes with dogfights?
    I love them and all action scenes

    # Have you written dogfight scenes in your fics?
    I have written one in DNA ID (my first:)) and that was fun to write and one with the aftermath of a fight.

    # What tips and tricks do you have for others who are looking to write those kind of action scenes?
    I did that fight from the pilots POV
  28. Lane_Winree Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Good answers all around!

    I do enjoy writing dogfight scenes myself, but I've got a couple guidelines I stick to to keep things coherent.

    I do talk about the technical aspects but I try to keep the scope limited. I'll briefly mention sensor readings, X-Wing laser cannon configurations, etheric rudder controls, and shield layouts, but that's about as deep as I get into the nuts and bolts of flying. The majority of my dogfight scenes is devoted to describing the action.

    I tend to keep dogfights locked into the perspective of a single character. If I do jump around, there will always be a scene break. Mostly this is due to my preference for writing in third-person limited. In addition, I keep my scenes focused to a wing-pair to cut down on confusion. If the character I'm writing about is communicating with anyone, it's mostly their assigned wingman. For the most part, though, my dogfights are mostly narrative from one pilot's POV. Here's an excerpt from one of my longfics:

    Finally, dogfights are usually limited to longfics for me.
  29. -thor- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    Being an avid flight simulation fan and having played X-Wing, TIE Fighter and the likes until my brain melted I do have some insight into dogfighting and the tactics (and dynamics) involved. I am not necessarily a fan of dogfight scenes, though, since it is very hard to describe what really happens without getting carried away. There is so much happening in such a short amount of time that it is IMO totally impossible to produce a really consistent picture just with words.

    But there are a few things that I'd really recommend warmly to any writer attempting dogfight scenes:

    1.) Have your technical facts straight. Nothing's worse than reading a scene based on totally wrong technical specs. For example having an X-Wing run rings around a TIE Fighter is hardly believable (a TIE is incredibly maneuverable, just a bit vulnerable because of the lack of shields). If a snubfighter rolls like a dozing walrus then it shouldn't roll like mad in a scene.

    2.) Remember air/space combat is a 3D thingy. Meaning there isn't only left and right, but also above and below.
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