Author has written 43 stories for StarTrek: The Next Generation, Blade Runner, Dawn of the Dead, Treasure Planet, Sharpe Series, Dresden Files, Pirates of the Caribbean, Misc. Books, Sherlock Holmes, X-overs, and Aliens/Predator.
It has been quite a while since I read through this and I think it's about time to update it a bit. First things first: My old computer died unexpectedly taking all of my notes, incomplete stories and a lot of other things with it. In several cases I'm starting from scratch while in others I've got some hand written notes and other sources to build from. It may be some time before I get anything new posted, but never fear, I will be continuing with the various projects already underway.
A brief note on me: I'm a native of Kentucky and thanks to my fourth grade teacher, Sr. Thereasa Margaret, I learned to enjoy reading. I've read some of the greats and some of the pulp. Both can be fun. I like to read adventure stories but I have discovered that I like to listen to mysteries while I work. Don't ask why because I don't know. I'm also a fan of movies. I like adventures. Drama usually leaves me flat.
Favorite authors: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rex Stout, Bernard Cornwell, Alexandre Dumas, Rudyard Kipling, C. S. Forester, Douglas Adams, David Drake, Harry Turtledove, Jim Butcher. There are others but my fingers are getting tired.
I took my "Pen Name" from an old movie called The Eagle Has Landed. It has one of the best casts I have ever seen. A very unusual group of excellent actors that take an unremarkable plot and turn the movie into a slice of fried gold. At least I think so.
It was recently pointed out to me that I spelled my pen name wrong. Very embarrassing as you can imagine. However, since I've got a few stories out there now and a few friends who like them, I'm not going to change it. Take that, Reality! You and your inconvenient facts!
Now and then I have noticed a few of my reviewers attempting to influence my plot lines. There is an old saying: "Nothing quite so much like God on Earth as a general on a battlefield." The same could be said of authors and their stories. My suggestion to anyone reviewing any story is to enjoy what the author writes and if you have an idea you think is better, write it yourself. Personally, I will not be dictated to. If I begin writing your plot line then the story is no longer my story. Additionally, I'm older than most of the people on this site and I resent the hell out of someone trying to push me in a direction they think I should go, especially when they are younger than me. I can be a grumpy old cuss sometimes.
"My kids are starting to notice I'm a little different from the other dads. "Why don't you have a straight job like everyone else?" they asked me the other day. I told them this story: In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, "Look at me...I'm tall, and I'm straight, and I'm handsome. Look at you...you're all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you." And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, "Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest." So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day." -Tom Waits
"Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts."
These are a few authors I think are worth having a look at. Like the rest of us they would all be glad for a review. Also, they each make a point of saying thanks when they have a free moment. Who knows? They might even return the favor.
I'm Not what I Look Like by Pirate-on-fleet-street -- http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5138055/1/Im_Not_What_I_Look_Like
A Study in Rum by Nytd
One wicked and clever pirate. One singular and brilliant detective. One hundred and fifty years apart. An impossible meeting? Perhaps just improbable... Crossover with Pirates of the Caribbean.
POTC and Sherlock Holmes. An excellent crossover with enough of both worlds to keep fans of either story entertained.
Moor Verse by mrspencil
A slightly different approach to "The Hound of the Baskervilles". Chapter 13: A little moor verse.A drabble from the point of view of the escaped convict.
I am not a poet. I simply don't have the interest needed to write verse and yet I can appreciate a well written piece when I read one. I appreciated this a great deal.
I have a basic policy on reviews.
If you ask me to review you will get my opinion. This doesn't mean that I'm going to verbally rip your head off. It means that you should be careful of what you ask for. If possible I will PM the review to you and allow you to make the call on whether or not I post the review. I reserve the right to decline such a request. DO NOT pester me. I have a life.
When someone creates a beta profile it means they have succeeded in meeting the minimum requirements of FFnet. It doesn't mean they are any good at being a beta. I have often observed that betas on this site will have statements in their profile indicating that they will drop any author who does not take their advice about whatever story the author is writing. This should be a warning bell for you. It doesn't mean they will not do a good job but it should put you in mind of asking questions before agreeing to use their services.
When considering someone for a beta I strongly suggest you read a couple of chapters in several of their stories. If their style is not a match for yours or if you pick up on aspects of their writing you don't like, steer clear of them. A couple of years ago I had a beta tell me that I had a lot of work to do on how I was depicting two of the main characters in my story. I asked a friend about this and she pointed out that my beta had done a very poor job of depicting the same two characters. I read through the first chapter of the beta's story and decided to no longer use her services. Keep in mind, her profile sounded very good, very reasonable and had excellent spelling and grammar. She just couldn't write. You want to find someone who is at least as good as you are when it comes to things like plot, characterizations and continuity. If they are missing it in their own work they'll miss it in yours.
The difference between a review and a critique.
A review is a simple statement of how well a person liked a story, poem, song, or any work of art. There may be a few particulars thrown in, but over all, it is only meant as a general statement of an opinion. Reviews should be done politely.
A critique is a detailed examination of a work. It should be done dispassionately. It should contain both the good and the bad points. It should also contain ways that improvement could be made. It should cover the entire work, or at least as much as is available. In my opinion a critique should be reserved for a Private Message not the review pages that will be read by anyone scrolling through. Leave it to the author to make the call on posting it.
Most people don't leave reviews. As I explained above, I have a standard to govern when and why I leave a review. For those of you who do not feel up to the task of reviewing an author's work I ask you to consider the following: As fan writers we get no reward for our efforts save the satisfaction and enjoyment of writing. There is no money and precious little fame. When a reader chooses to leave a review it is a boost to the morale. Reviews provide encouragement and fuel the enthusiasm of the author. Even a brief statement can lift an author's spirits enough to keep them going. Simply saying 'thanks' is more than what most readers do. So, if you like a story and want to encourage the author to continue writing, leave them a little something. Say thanks to them and if you're up to it, tell them what you liked about the story. It only takes a minute and it can make a big difference in someone's day.
Favorites are not reviews. For myself, I find them less than inspiring. I find it irritating when someone adds one of my stories to a list of favorites several hundred long. It disgusts me when one is added to a list of over a thousand favorites. I understand that many people use the favorite tool as a sort of bookmark. Very well. When you are done reading, why not take the story off your favorites list if it is not actually a favorite story? I would much rather get a review of only a few words than to have a story added to ten favorites lists. Favorites should be just that; Your FAVORITE stories. The ones you go back to time and again to enjoy. Please don't favorite any of my stories unless you mean it. And if you do favorite a story, any story, then leave a little review to say thanks to the author. It is only polite.
On Mary-Sue and Harry-Stu and being clever
For those who are not familiar with the terms Mary-Sue and Harry-Stu they simply refer to an unbelievable main character. In fan fiction this is almost always an OC. Just as often this is a self-insert of some sort. Or it can be the insertion of an entire group of characters based on the friends of the writer. Mary-Sue is far more common than her male counterpart. Both are equally damaging to a story. There are many tools you can use to determine if your character is a Sue/Stu. I suggest punching the term into your search engine of choice and finding a site with a "Sue Test". Usually these sites also have suggestions for modifying your character to prevent the undesirable Sue/Stu condition.
Aside from the Sue/Stu mistake I find the biggest problem fan writers run into is attempting to be more clever than the creator of whatever story-verse they are writing in. I don't mean they come up with characters that are more clever than the canon characters. I mean they write the canon characters as caricatures, focusing on one or two aspects of the characters and blowing them out of proportion. They create situations that are improbable or impossible in the canon story-verse. In short, they overdo things and try too hard. It's like trying to put a three inch ball into a two inch hole. It doesn't matter which way you turn it, it won't fit.
Brief Example: I once read a Dresden Files story in which the author described the main character waking in the morning to the sound of his Mickey Mouse alarm clock. Aside from the overdone description of Dresden's state of mind on waking, the author has him overreact to the alarm by smashing the clock. The creator of the series, Jim Butcher, explicitly states in at least one story that Dresden would never do this. In fact, he likes the clock very much and grieves at its loss in a much later book in the series.
How do you avoid this sort of thing? Get familiar with the story-verse you are writing in. Become as conscious as you possibly can of the details of the characters you are including. Don't try to include more characters in a story than the creator normally would. Keep things as simple for yourself as possible. I'm not saying you should not write a complex plot. I am saying you should make it easy for yourself to write by planning ahead. Know how the characters involved will react to everything you are going to put them through. Plan it out and make plenty of notes. If you aren't sure about something, look up similar situations in the canon. Get used to doing research if you want to write well. If you have aspirations of writing a novel, these habits will come in handy when you start it. Research is the key to making a plot believable. Know the limits of the characters and the environment in which they exist. Research is your friend.
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