Reviews for Advice for NewbiesPLEASE READ THIS
James Oldraven chapter 1 . 3/4/2009
Dear Mr. Wobbly,

Perhaps there is something your important message misses.

I have read several Battletech novels, particularly Merc (GDL & NH) books. I can answer many of your questions... partly. And that's the point of my review.

Reading and comparing many different Battletech authors soon makes you realize that they each have a different opinion regarding each Succesor State, and even a different vision on which Successor State should triumph and why.

By way of a for instance, compare Victor Milán's Draconis Combine, a noble and providing home for Camacho's Caballeros, with the enigmatic Combine of Andrew and Bill Keith, home of the ISF (as shown through the character of Mr. Otomi in 'Blood of Heroes), and the perseverant, honorable, yet desperate Combine suggested through Sho-sa Parkensen in Blaine Lee Pardoe's Impetus of War.

Now, compare the FedCom and Lyrans shown in each of the above.

I think my point is clear.

I agree with you in general terms when you say that aspiring Battletech authors should know the basics for each of the Succesor States, the BattleTech tech, and the Clans. The problem I have with your message is that it would seem as if the Battletech universe has one single, right answer, and there is a single 'official' story to it.

In my meager but comprehensive experience, the whole fun of the Battletech universe lies in the wheels-within-wheels sensation that comes from confronting the timelines within the different books, and realizing how, without the characters' knowledges, events in one corner of the IS impact an entire Great House (eg. the Skye Rebellions). Add to that the differring individual doctrines of each Successor State, and the result will be that each character will react differently, regardless of what the true events actually were.

I'll take your own example: The replacement of Marik's son (supposedly by Liaos). How would a Marik character react? How would a merc unit hired by the Marik? And how would the FedCom?

Take an even more compromised character, like the Northwind Highlanders' Loren Jaffray, former Death Commando. Suppose Marik were to hire the NH. Loren is now a Colonel with NH, starting his own unit and premiering in the use of anti-Clan tactics. Would he be able to oppose Colonel Hertzog and the Chancellor? Would he have the skill it takes? Would he even believe that his former Great House, to which he is indebted and sworn to, committed such a despicable act? And how would the manipulative Chancellor Sun-Tzu react? Would he continue to see Loren's allegiance with the Highlanders as a way to further his goals (see Highlander Gambit), or would Jaffray become an obstacle? If so, would Hertzog be adecuate for the removal of same, or would his emotional reaction to Jaffray's desertion cloud his judgment?

As you can see, the Battletech universe is much more complex than knowledge of the mere facts, which can be obtained through the reading of various internet sources, such as Patrick's Battletech Archive. It takes getting involved oneself; choosing a faction in both the IS and Clan, and getting committed with their respective mindsets so as to create convincing characters.

This, though apparently simple, would demand even more BT knowledge from the readers than your message.

Hope this contributes. I look forward to reading your BT work!

Best Regards,

Maxor chapter 1 . 1/15/2009
I'd also consider it fairly important to know all 20 clans, Who Kerensky (all 4 really important ones) is, and decide on which time/story arc you want to write.
ShadrachVS chapter 1 . 6/22/2006
Heh from just playing Mechwarrior2 games I know atleast the first two blocks of questions (go read all the fun stuff you can in the Clan computers and booklets that came with it) and there are great places on the Net to find more info; Patricks Battletech archive.

But I do have to agree with Angel on this one; part of fanfiction is deviation from the canon of a series... Many fanfic writers see something they think could go differently, and write stories surrounding that change (or others). Some just enjoyed the heck out of the games (PC, or the console ones, did you sir ever play MW2 on a Playstation? [PC games were more fun, but the console had it's graces]).

You offered advice, but gave only questions without answers...

Anyway, not everyone wants to go into the technical details of every aspect of the BT universe (I can not think of one writer that does Every aspect of it offhand), and in most stories a lot of these questions are not even necessary.

Though I do respect your wanting to help aspiring writers of BT fanfics understand that there is a TON (atleast) of source material, and probably 300 times that in custom material, available to assist writing a Fanfic.

"Shred the Meat, save the Can" - Deadeye from MW2:Mercs
JonWilhoit chapter 1 . 5/27/2004
Well . . . this little response is probably really late, but I don't care. I feel like I have to address some of the concerns I've noticed in these reviews. So here goes.

In my estimation, what the wobbly guy said is correct. If someone wants to write about mech-on-mech combat, they should try to know the facts first. I'm not saying we should lynch anybody who deviates from BT cannon, but I am saying that if somebody is writing a Battletech/Mechwarrior fanfic, it would just stant to reason that they would want to write their story in a way that would fit in with the genre. The whole point of writing a fanfic, to me, is putting your own ideas into the middle of this wonderfully crafted world, not making up your own details. Yes, I understand that there are some people who like to do cross-over and "what if" types of fics, but those types of stories usually have something in their general description or a disclaimer to tell you that it's a derivative of the genre, and even those try to stick to the established rules of the BT universe.

Now, I don't mean to suggest that we should bar "uninformed" writers from posting or writing, but just saying that a well-informed person makes a better writer on the subject. The battletech world is so rich with information that it's nearly impossible to know everything, but the more you know, the better you can turn out a solid story. Wobbly's advice may have come off a little harsh at first, but it's something to take to heart
Dark Paladin Shadower Trakand chapter 1 . 11/9/2003
You recently reviewed my work, so I felt I should return the favor. Your essay is quite impressive. And, I must admit, you made some very good points. However, I ask that, while you may want to judge someone explicitly, you be aware of the context. You told me that I knew nothing about Battletech. I disagree. I have read over one and a half dozen Battletech books in my time, and I decided to put my own twist on things in my own work. You can read an explanation in my reviews for my story. Also, you failed to mention the difference between an XL engine, and a standard. Those, and various other differences between OmniMechs and BattleMechs.
Duette Maxwell chapter 1 . 11/8/2003
Thank you so much for your guide! I wasn't sure if I knew enough yet or not. Time for me to dig in and do alittle more research!

P.S. Toasters are SO outdated. Now it's sporks of doom!
yadzker sabdani chapter 1 . 10/19/2003
hi, im new to CBT, ive only read 3 novels i bought in a used books center, wolf pack by charrete, double-blind by loren and way of the clans by thurstons,im a police officer by profession, 23 yrs of age. im from the Philippines, they dnt sell any CBT novels or books here, but a few Mech games though. ive read most of your work esp. NWO, ATSOS and Seeker. its a fine work much like the novels ive read,except for the alien thing but very creative . hope u e-mail me, i will like that much. tnx
Mauler5150 chapter 1 . 8/7/2003
You want a MW movie, Nice Guy? Aren't you kind of worried about Hollywood interpretations?

CBT/MW fans see: a rich, detailed universe of political intrigue where every battle could ruin you.

Hollywood sees: hot, scantily clad chicks in giant robots. Oh, and explosions. 10 million dollars worth of explosions.

Let's wait before they turn it into Wing Commander, mmkay?
Desparado2K5 chapter 1 . 8/4/2003
Actually you guys I just nmade the first two chapters of my first Fic and though I knew roughly everything on the list (More or less) I found this helpful. and I can understand why he would write this, how ridiculous would I look to have somebody with a Fic about Mechs with tank treads instead on legs that can talk on their own and joind togatrer to form one Giant mech? He just wants people to research before they post something stupid.
Triptych chapter 1 . 7/10/2003
Although I am not religious I do have to agree with "god" on this one.

I never base my critiques on how technically accurate any story is based on canon. Rather if the writing is good, the characters are real and the themes presented are interesting then I would consider it a good story. Everything else is just a matter of opinion since canon of every kind is interpreted in so many different ways.

Don't expect everyone to be a die-hard fanboi who will buy every single sourcebook and stick to every single detail- there must be room for creativity- otherwise you are stuck with a lifeless mock pseudo-historical documentary. I am a CBT fan but it doesn't rule my life and I will take liberties with the source material.

Thats why its called fanfiction after all.

GOD chapter 1 . 6/20/2003
What are you thinking? People here may be just start to learn about battletech, and may not know EVERYTHING. They do not need to anyway. this is Fan FICTION so it doesn't have to be right or the way YOU want it! you are so arrogantly shunning other aspiring writers that could have good work just because the technical parts of their stories are wrong! They have a right to stretch the facts and will learn as they go. If you want to be of assistance and not be an %$ about it, politely tell them that what they are doing is wrong. Your works are true but not everyone studies battletech like a school subject! You can be kind to other writers and still get your point across.
Pat Rich chapter 1 . 5/24/2003
how about the reasons behind the FedCom Civil war? or the Word of Blake? As for the novels, I would recommend the Twilight of the Clans series as well.

Jade Falcons kick!
Aeain chapter 1 . 5/9/2003
Great Idea Wobbly Guy. Injust hate it when newbies write about the Battletech universe and do not care to research it. Thank Kerensky we have you. )
TheWobblyGuy chapter 1 . 5/8/2003
All very true. Everything said here was correct. However, this is only advice, and they'll be more than welcome to ignore it.;)

The thing is, a better BT fic does require a lot of prior groundwork beforehand, unlike movie fics where little or no background was required. Blame it on the extensive background.

Besides, I was also trying to drum up more support for Battletech in the form of sales. Books, novels, sourcebooks, minis etc. It's not just CBT, but MW:DA as well. More salesmore productsmore fanspossible movie in future!


The Wobbly Guy

PS. I don't want ANYBODY to drop BTech if possible. I'm just, what's that term in economics? Ah yes, 'lowering the barriers to entry'!;)
Angel.Unit.2 chapter 1 . 5/7/2003
BTW, I did not mean you should not flame aspiring authors. That is totally up to you...

If an author wants to write something, and everyone flames his/her work... well, too bad! Authors should know that their work would be criticized. But doing it in their upload is more personal, and it goes both ways, either into motivating the author into reading their BT, or simply droping BT completely. Either way, doesn't that satisfy you?


Minnesota Tribe

"We are no one."
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