Poll: With a new Star Fox Wii U game confirmed for production in the near future, which of these pitches would you be most likely to buy? Please note that this is not asking which option you think is most likely, but rather which one you'd be the most interested in. You can make 2 selections. Vote Now!
Author has written 9 stories for Star Fox, and Super Smash Brothers.
Hello, and welcome to my "new and abridged" profile page! (Version 3.5)
Name: Call me K.S. or Reynard. Both are fine by me.
Age: Maturity is more important than age. Judge me by that.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Disposition/Personality: Myers-Briggs ISTP (Introverted, Observant, Thinking, Prospecting)
Religion: Christian Humanism
Hobbies: Guitar, musical recording/production, writing (well, that was obvious)
Parallax - On hiatus. I'm not sure I'll ever finish it, but I don't think I'm going to can it, either.
Nexus Three - Sequel to The Oasis. Currently active.
The Oasis - My most widely read and appreciated story. If you don't mind the sprawling length of it all, it's probably your best bet as far as reading my stories goes.
Escape to Cerinia - Complete. Thanks for the support for the tragedy that was 6:23, people.
Could Have Said No - Technically not my story. This one was a gift work from Emile the Watcher as a reward for winning the 2013 Christmas One-shot Contest. It's written in his style with a slight bit of editing on my part.
6 Days and 23 Hours - Complete. Read it and weep - literally.
Regret and Resolution - Although I suppose I could theoretically add something to this collection of stories, I'm pretty much finished writing the sort of fluff that made it into the three oneshots contained within the larger body of work. So, you might say that it's finished.
On Broken Wings - Winning entry for the 2013 Star Fox Holiday One-Shot Contest (It was technically called the Christmas contest, but Elarix's entry was New Years' themed, so...)
Beer Run - My one foray outside the Star Fox fanfiction universe, written in the Super Smash Bros. category. Finished shortly after 6:23, it was never meant to be taken seriously. Considering that, I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Falcon Punch!
Delta-Zero - Discarded for personal reasons. This story was written at a very dark point in my life where paranoia was a bigger problem for me than usual, and the underlying political conspiracy themes coupled with the dark and brooding atmosphere of the work did not do good things for me.
Star Fox - The Iridium Chronicle - Discarded to lack of quality compared to my other works. It's unfortunate, but I simply could not bring myself to work on it. Therefore, the project is now dead. Its spirit, however, lives on in several of my other works.
No, I haven't abandoned my stories...
...It's just that recently, I've been hit with the combination of heavier than usual musical pursuits and a persistent lack of desire to write. Also, this current Nexus Three chapter is really, really long. I'll get there eventually. Hang in there!
The Strange Case of "Cerinian Idealism"
I think this is kind of funny in a way, but it's something that I've noticed a bit of. Although there are - of course - exceptions, many authors tend to depict the destroyed planet of Cerinia (Krystal's homeworld) in a way that makes it look like their version of heaven on earth, so to speak. I've seen it done where all love is free and acceptable regardless of which genders are involved, and I've also seen versions like my own where it's centered on a form of theocracy that permeates the entire culture and defines it more than anything else, other than blue fur and loincloths. However, for the most part, depictions of Cerinia are normally intended to suggest that the location is the best place in existence. I say that quite a bit can be learned about the author who describes Cerinia this way, as it often reveals a bit about the way they think.
Q: How did you end up here to begin with?
A: My writing 'career' (if you will) started when I finally decided to put my long-held idea for a Star Fox plotline into written form. I honestly expected it to be terrible, but it actually turned out much better than I thought it would. At the time, I was unaware of this website and didn't know that there was even the remotest amount of interest in fan fiction. The catalyst that got me writing was reading Kit-Karamak's stories "Reflections of Krystal" and "Reflections of the Future." I read over them and thought to myself, "I think I can do this."
Q: What do you focus on most while writing?
A: They say that the devil's in the details; and that's how I approach it. I try to avoid overloading the reader with useless information; but in my mind, the more I can put in to help describe what's going on, the better I can convey the story to them. I'm also a self-professed Grammar Nazi, so I'm always on the lookout for grammatical and formatting errors as I write. It's actually convenient for me because I catch most of my errors before the editing stage. The other thing I find important is the emotional connection with the reader. Physical description is only one part of the equation. Getting into the minds and hearts of the characters is extremely important to the story, because that's what keeps the readers glued to the page…er…screen. As far as writing goes, I try to write my stories as if I'm directing a movie. Everything that I'm seeing in my mind (at least what's important) gets transferred to the story.
Q: Who are your influences as a writer?
A: I'm really old school. Modern fiction never really made it into my childhood and teenage years; and most of what I read was written a very long time ago. At least to me, modern literature seems to lack a certain 'polish' that the old books have in spades. Nowadays, the trend is to eliminate adverbs and to strip down/simplify the work to make it more 'palatable' to the readers. I strongly dislike this approach—not because I'm a cork-sniffing, old-timey reader; but because I think that when you throw out some of the details that aren't entirely necessary, it causes the story to lose a bit of its soul, if you will.
As far as authors that have influenced me over the years, I'd have to list C.S. Lewis, Edgar Allen Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and to a lesser degree, George Orwell.
Q: What motivates you to write?
A: I used to be driven by recognition, but I don't care as much about that now. Now, I simply get joy out of finishing chapters and stories. It's a good thing too, because not very many people seem to care about my most recent project Parallax (at least compared to The Oasis, which garnered over 20,000 views over the year and two months that it took me to write it).
Q: How does your faith affect your writing?
A: If you were thinking that my beliefs would cause all my stories to read like the plotline for a stereotypical Christian movie, you'd be dead wrong. I have absolutely no problems with writing in characters who don't adhere to the Christian mold, such as Oasis Fox, who (while not expressly stated as such) is portrayed as an agnostic the entire way through. However, if you know your religious lore, you'll be much more likely to pick up on some of the subtle references and Easter eggs that I like to hide in my stories.
Q: Will you beta my story?
A: Unfortunately, probably not. As it is, I rarely find the time for my own stories; and reading/proofing for others is not something that I can simply do on command. However, if you've managed to make it onto my Favorite Authors list or are someone who writes stories that I frequently read/review, then perhaps I might be willing to beta your story.
Q: I'm guessing that you consider yourself a gamer of some sort, considering that you've played all the post-SNES Star Fox games and whatnot. What are your favorite games or game franchises?
A: I don't play video games much these days, although I used to play them quite a bit. Actually, I sold my xBox 360 some time ago. However, there are still a few games that bring joy to me. Some of those include the Sly Cooper and Ace Combat franchises, Star Fox, Halo, Call of Duty, and Metal Gear Solid—specifically MGS4: Guns of the Patriots, which is on the road to becoming my favorite game of all time simply because it is less of a game and more of a cinematic experience. It goes much, much deeper than most other games that I'm familiar with and puts most of the movies that I've seen to shame in terms of depth and character development. It is also philosophically rich in ways that most video games can't compare with; and in a very poignant way, it convinces you to sympathize with the rapidly-aging protagonist Solid Snake, who knows that MGS4 is his last ride.
Q: Do you have any tips for your readers as far as writing goes?
A: Actually, yes. I have quite a few pieces of advice, but to cut down on space, I’ll stick to the non-technical aspects of writing for now. If you’d like a run-down of the grammatical rules of writing, perhaps Order and Chaos - Qui Iudicant's profile page could help you. Near the bottom of the page (which has gotten to be almost painfully long), he’ll have several of the most important grammatical rules outlined for your viewing pleasure.
However, almost anyone who paid attention in senior high English can outline a few basic rules in grammar. That is why I’m not going to spend much time on that. Since we’re on that topic right now though, I’ll address one of the most persistent errors that I come across when reading fan fiction. That would be errors with apostrophes, especially when placed on the end of possessive words such as ‘your’, ‘it’, etc.
For instance, “your’s” isn’t even a word! In this case, “yours” would be correct. It needs no apostrophe. Another common error is the confusion between “its” and “it’s.” The first example, “its” is another way of saying that an item belongs to ‘it’. It would seem to make more sense to say “it’s” in this case, but the reality is that “it’s” is another way of saying “it is.” You wouldn’t say, “Give the dog it is bone.” That’s nonsense. The same thing applies to “their” and “they’re.” “They’re” is another term for “they are,” while “their” applies possession to two or more people or things.
Great! Now that’s all the grammar I’m going to bother with. The rest will all be application.
Part 1. Make it Unique
Part of me wonders why I’m even bothering with this when I get the feeling not a great deal of people are even going to care. Anyhow, the summary here is that if you are going to write fan fiction, please dare to be different in some way. There are simply way too many stories like “Fox and Krystal fall in love and get involved in some kind of generic conflict that threatens to tear them apart.” Please, do something different. Generally speaking, if you do something many people have done before and you do it badly, no one will care about what you wrote. On the flip side, if you create a well-written derivative piece, you’ll probably get a middling response.
In contrast, if you create a highly original piece and do it well, you’ll either end up creating a powerfully successful story, or you’ll wind up with a ‘cult favorite’ that’s not widely read but is fiercely liked by a small group of dedicated fans. If you take a look at the most favorited stories in the archive, you’ll notice most of them are more likely to have spawned imitators than imitating someone else’s work. In fact, with the exception of the lemon-y top fic, almost all of the stories in the top 25 have a unique premise that separates them from the flock of derivative works. So, unless you’d rather blend in with the crowd and create yet another generic Fox/Krystal fic, make an effort to do something that no one else has done before. Even if your premise is similar to the other stories, throw in a surprise that will change it from being another lookalike story to being one that will stand out from miles away. However, the trick is to mix originality with familiarity. There is a certain amount of familiarity that your readers are expecting. Make it completely unrecognizable, and you’re likely to struggle. However, if you play it right, great things may be in your future.
Part 2. No conflict = No Purpose
I’ll make a concession here before I say anything more; and that is that sometimes, it really is nice not having the pressure of conflict weighing on the plotline. However, nine times out of ten, it is an absolute must for story progression. For some reason, literature is defined by conflict - probably because human history itself is a story of conflict of man vs. man, man vs. God, man vs. nature etc.
So, what that means if you’re not writing an action-based story such as a romance is that it would be to your advantage to throw in some difficulties or internal struggles - preferably ones that aren’t seen in all the other romance stories such as Fox struggling with his stupid nervousness around Krystal (Can’t you tell how cynical I am about those two now?). The conflict needs to resolve in some way at the end, even if the conflict is simply replaced with a different conflict. It’s how the story is driven forwards. Without conflict, the story more or less becomes a diary of events. Those can be nice sometimes, but if you want to create a real story, there needs to be some real conflict in there.
Part 3. No One Wants to Hear About Your Religion or Political Views
As a person who would be considered religious by almost everyone except himself (there’s a long story there), I found it much less difficult to write this than you’d probably think. If you were writing your own original novel, what I’m about to say could be happily disregarded; but since you’re probably into writing fan fiction in this particular genre, I’d advise that you pay attention to what I’m about to say. And that is this: no one wants to hear you preach a sermon or listen to your critique of consumerist capitalism. Since this is a sci-fi genre, I’d wager that a large number of your readers are trying to escape from the woes of politics and religion in the real world. By bringing up the same issues in your story, you may be effectively driving many prospective readers away.
As a general rule of thumb, especially in this archive, it is wise to keep references to the real world as minimal as possible. Even if you’re writing one of those “Star Fox meets the humans” stories that I despise ever so much, you’d be wise to keep modern day references a to minimum. As it is though, you should know that ff.net has rules about putting non-historical real life figures in stories.
Part 4. Purple and Beige Prose
Have you ever read a story where the author positively slathered the virtual parchment with a cornucopia of loquacious terminology that prompted your cranium to gyrate in befuddlement and mystification? You just did, and it’s called Purple Prose. Best known for being widely used before the mid 1900s, Purple Prose can be found in many of the great classics in history. Considering that those were the books I read when I was younger, it makes sense that I used to rely on an excessive use of advanced words to get my point across.
Why is that bad, though? Didn’t your school training suggest that using advanced words was the way to go? Well, unfortunately, people in the real world prefer brevity and conciseness over pomp and splendor. This does not mean that you need to dumb down your writing to a high school level, but it does mean that you need to keep your writing on a level where your average reader will be able to read it without being discouraged or frustrated with a sea of excessive words that neither he nor anyone he knows uses in the real world. Purple Prose is a rarity in fan fiction writing, but it’s worth mentioning anyway.
On the other hand, Beige Prose is the act of stripping down a piece of work to the point where it is downright minimalistic. Compare, for example, my example of Purple Prose (see above) with this example of Beige Prose.
“Have you ever read a story where the author put in too many big words?”
The vast majority of the time, ’tis better to be brief. However, when you’re tasked with describing a vast natural scene or a cityscape that isn’t based on anything in the real world, you cannot afford to keep things to a bare minimum. These are great opportunities to focus on world-building, and you are definitely excused for rambling a little bit. Just make sure to avoid the infamous info-dump. Very few things kill a story’s momentum more effectively than those. The challenge is to convey the most information in the smallest, most easily readable package possible. And please, don’t use advanced words just to make yourself look educated. I used to do that, and it’s honestly quite embarrassing to me now that I realize that it doesn’t matter one bit.
Oh - and one small thing that doesn’t really fit into any of these categories: don’t EVER use an exclamation mark outside of dialogue. It looks ridiculously juvenile in context, and as one writer (whose name I have forgotten) said, “It’s like laughing at your own joke.”
There will definitely be more of this to come in the future, but that’s all for now…
Various interesting quotes
"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence." -George Washington
"Failure is always an option!" -Adam Savage
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." -Søren Kierkegaard
"Das Beste oder nichts." (The best or nothing at all) - Gottlieb Diamler
"You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world - that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature; but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid." -Franz Kafka
"Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us." -Stephen Colbert
"To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless." -G.K. Chesterton
"Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and, most easily of all, the gate of fear." -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
"The answer to life, the universe, and everything is... 42." -Deep Thought
"It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure." -Albert Einstein
"Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day." -Jesus Christ
"The most powerful people on the face of the earth are those who have no fear of death." -Bill Gothard
"Great minds think alike, but extraordinary minds rarely ever do." -K.S. Reynard
"We ought not to look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience." -George Washington
"Hope can be a shadow fleeting - I would rather die believing." -Dream Theater, Illumination Theory
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong." -Mahatma Gandhi
"Be who you are, because the people who mind don't matter and the people who matter don't mind!" -Dr. Seuss
"What the mind can conceive, and believe, it can achieve." -Napoleon Hill
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr
"If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort, you will not get either comfort or truth - only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair." -C.S. Lewis
"Remember, heroes are never as polished as the legends that surround them." -Naked Snake, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." -A.G. Sertillanges
The Oasis Character List (Beware of Spoilers)
Serves as the story’s focal character. Is mostly in it for the money, but begins to change his focus as his situation begins to change.
Cynthia “Shaiyau” Altruis (a.k.a. Scarlet)
First encountered by Fox on Tehraia, Scarlet is an infamous bounty huntress from the planet Skallis who is known for her improbable success at her career and her ‘devil-may-care’ attitude towards most things.
Scarlet’s employer and former lover who still holds strong feelings towards her, Felix is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Gaia Corporation - one of the two major mega-corporations on the dystopian planet Skallis.
Hanson serves as Felix Sparta’s head of security, as well as acting as the manager of the Gaia Corporation’s massive private army.
One of the Gaia Corporation’s most notorious mercenaries, he is responsible for providing Felix with protection as he meets with mob boss Salvatore Pietro.
Antoine Carache’s former secretary, responsible for alerting Felix Sparta to the presence of a malevolent third party working inside Asgard Industries.
Karen Altruis is Scarlet’s mother. In spite of the damage Scarlet has done to her family’s name through her actions as a bounty huntress, Karen still manages to love her. Also of interest is that she is related to Vixy Reinard McCloud.
Antagonists (Arc I and II)
The owner and CEO of Asgard Industries, as well as Felix Sparta’s mortal enemy and chief business rival. Carache holds very little respect for personal rights, with the stance that his financial gain will justify everything in the end.
The mastermind of the Skallisian mob in District 7, Pietro holds significant control of the Skallisian puppet government and has many operatives in both major corporations on the planet. However, as Felix Sparta’s godfather, he holds respect for him and treats him with far more courtesy than Felix’s rival Antoine Carache. He also has three sons - Damien, Leonardo, and Eduardo.
Krystal first enters the story after her ship crashes on Tehraia. With her closest friend Jasmine killed in the crash, she comes to rely on Fox for both comfort and protection and quickly falls in love with him. Although she behaves with more maturity than would be expected from her for her age, she is still lacking experience in many fields of life. Her last name is never mentioned, and there is a very good reason for her reluctance to state it.
A friend of Karen Altruis, Hyacinth acts as Fox’s ‘tour guide’ when he arrives on Cerinia early in Arc III. She also knows Krystal from when she was younger, as she acted as Krystal’s surrogate parent when her mother and father had business to attend to and were therefore unable to care for their daughter.
Revealed to be the main antagonist in Chapter 15, Neron is a former member of the Cerinian High Council who was expelled from the Order for his radical views. Long thought to have been killed by order of the Council, he survived - albeit with a mostly-mechanical body - and has returned to enact his vengeance on the Council and to accomplish his plan.
First seen in Chapter 8 in the Tehraian warehouse, this unnamed soldier functions as Neron Taero’s highest ranking officer and the commander of his army.
The Cerinian High Council
Bio: The Cerinian High Council is the ruling body on the planet Cerinia, based on a combination of the 1st-Century Sanhedrin Court and the Jedi Council from the Star Wars universe. Has been in control of the planet for several millennia, but the order has begun to show signs of corruption of late...
Generalissimo S.M. Farris/Supreme Commander of Ichtos
The initial antagonist of the scrapped Iridium Chronicle, the Supreme Commander functions as the fascist dictator of the planet Ichtos in the neighboring planetary system. Despite his position’s inherent potential for tyrannical behavior, he is well liked by his people mostly due to his efforts in uniting the planet and reinvigorating the main civilization’s waning national pride and industrial might. Also, if the Iridium storyline is anything to go by, he is Fox’s half-brother. However, this is never brought up in-story and has no relevance in it, as the two never meet.
One of Supreme Commander Farris’s closest allies, Kato presides over the largely volcanic world of Mortora, a major exporter of valuable metals and industrial components.
Prime Minister Lago
As the leader of the Cornerian Progressive Party and the current (as of the story) Prime Minister, Lago is responsible for a significant number of the Cornerian Federation’s crucial decisions - a task he feels somewhat incapable of handling. An idealistic politician rather than a firm leader, he reveals his weaknesses when confronted with a major decision with the potential to affect life in more than just the Lylat System.
A brigadier general in the Ichtosian military and her Supreme Commander’s love interest, Irena is assigned with the command over the Cerinian campaign forces near the end of Arc III. Despite being generally level-headed, she can be prone to anger due to her own misgivings about her self-image and the way she is perceived by her forces.
The highest-ranking general within the Cornerian military organization, Pepper has lived and served through several major conflicts. A capable (if somewhat heavy-handed) leader, his strategic knowledge and keen decision-making skills have made him a hero to not only his subordinates, but also to the people of Corneria itself.
Archetype of High Iridium
A carryover character from The Iridium Chronicle, the Archetype reprises his role from that story, although in a subtler way. Not much is stated about him in The Oasis and he never announces his name, although it is hinted that Cerinians who are aware of his true nature are terrified of him.
On another (Star Fox-related) note: if you don't find this to be completely adorable; well - I'm sorry, but there's just no hope for you.
Unsafe External Link