Yo people, first post on this forum so go easy on me. I've been working on a machinima and to help define the characters I made short segments about them, gonna post them at intervals. Tell me what you think! [b]James[/b] A wave of heat shimmered against the darkening horizon. The blazing orange sun began to drop below the skyline and two black silhouettes emerged from the shadows. They moved fast and silent, like a whisper in a gust of wind. His hand shot up and they halted, fading back into the darkness they had come from. He did a quick survey of the area, this was a high risk operation and he wasn't taking any chances. He supposed everything they did was high risk but this was different. A new squad meant a new set of rules and he was well aware that the two helljumpers didn't exactly get along. That didn't bother him, what did was the one thing they had in common, overconfidence. He called it that, but he wasn't quite sure, he hadn't seen them in action enough yet. Only time would tell but that was something he didn't have a lot of. What mattered was that they were his squad now, his responsibility and it was his job to make sure they all came out in one piece. But he couldn't do his job if they didn't do theirs. He remembered his old team, the lectures he used to give them. Always an emphasis on teamwork, ODSTeam he said, told them to sort out their differences in their own time, not in his and certainly not in the missions. In the end his priorities boiled down into two things, his squad and the mission, in that order. He knew his limits but they needed to know theirs. He knew a man who could take on a hunter single-handed, but that didn't mean he should try taking on two. Those who pushed their boundaries ended up dead, and this war had enough dead heroes. "Everything good sir?" Asked Adam, sensing something was wrong. "Never better." Replied James. He unclipped a grenade from his belt, pulled the pin and all hell broke loose. ____________________________________________________________ [b]Craig[/b] The rattling tremor of a warthog's chaingun, the piercing scream of a banshee overhead. He covered his ears and ducked as a fuel rod exploded mere metres from his position. Despite the mayhem he was surprisingly calm. He grunted and looked up at the rain of plasma falling from the sky. He was an ODST, this was what he was made for. He casually lifted his rocket launcher and fired a shot at the nearest banshee, blowing it into an assortment of shiny purple pieces. More orders came down the comm line, something about securing a tier 2 asset. He glanced back at the fortified ONI bunker shimmering in the distance and chuckled, realising the irony that the commanding officer in their 'huge ass bunker', was likely to die before he was. Suddenly a hail of spikes flew past him, one carving a neat gash on his left arm. He dove to the side as the hulking form of a brute slammed into the ground where he had just been standing, the sheer force of the impact shaking the ground beneath him. He struggled to a stand and fumbled with his rocket launcher, fresh blood oozing from the open wound on his arm. As the brute sized him up he tried to steady his aim, he only had one shot and he had to make it count. The rocket ignited and flew over the brutes shoulder, close enough to singe its matted brown fur. As it realised the shot had missed, the brute chuckled malevolently, it's mouth spreading into a wide toothy grin. It hit him across the head, knocking off his helmet and sending him sprawling into the dirt. He drew his pistol but the brute pinned him down with its right foot, keen to prolong his suffering. The brute glared at him with hungry eyes, licking its lips in anticipation but he simply looked past the hulking monster and smiled. The brute, confused by his behaviour turned to see what he was looking at, realising too late it had been tricked as the pieces of a wrecked phantom crashed into it, pinning it to the floor. Craig got up slowly, letting the world come into focus before turning to the wounded brute struggling to free itself from the debris. He picked up his magnum and walked gleefully up to the brute, a big cheesy smile on his face just to rub it in further. The brute roared at him defiantly and he roared back before head-butting it in the face and emptying a magazine into its chest. As he picked up his helmet another figure emerged from the wreckage, clad in a familiar set of gear. He smiled and waved, recognising his squad leader, his friend. "Having fun?" Asked James jokingly as he loaded another round into his shotgun. "Are you kidding me, this -blam!-'s better than Arcadia boss." Said Craig as he re-adjusted the seals on his helmet. "Right behind you knucklehead" Came a third voice as Adam decloaked behind James. Craig snorted in amusement and turned towards the raging battle taking place beyond the wreckage of the downed phantom. "I'll try leavin' a few of 'em for ya crack-shot" He replied, loading another rocket into his launcher. Then he ignited the thrusters in his jetpack and sped forward, grinning madly with a war cry bellowing from his lungs. He was a helljumper. He was Craig. And he always had the last laugh. ____________________________________________________________ [b]Adam[/b] His fingers twitched lightly on the knob on the side of his sniper rifle, the gun clicking softly in response. As the sights came into focus he smiled menacingly, observing the assemblage of covenant forces surrounding the landing pad. He disengaged the safety catch and shuffled forward slightly, moving into optimal position for the upcoming shot. This was a once in a lifetime chance, he couldn't miss. The thought lingered on the edge of his consciousness, prying for his attention. He ignored it and focused on lining up his sights, the thought didn't bother him, he never missed. A rustle of leaves and he froze, every muscle in his body going rigid at the sight of the hulking zealot immediately to his left. He had to give those ONI technicians credit, any other sniper would by lying dead on the floor with an energy sword through their chest by now and this wasn't the first time their active camouflage prototype had saved his life. That didn't mean he could be careless though. One deep breath, one twitch of a muscle could give him away. As the great saurian turned to move away he unsheathed his combat knife, stabbing the elite through the back of the head before it had time to react. He struggled to hold the body up, aware that the sound of it dropping to the floor would alert the nearby jackal snipers. As he led it gently down on the ground a voice came crackling through his comm systems. "Everything good up there?" Asked James, concerned at the recent commotion with the zealot. "I'm fine sir, you ready for this?" Replied Adam, settling carefully back into his sniping spot. "If you make that shot we won't have to be." Said James, Adam could sense the anxiety in his voice. "Yeah, you seen how many there are down there, I don't think I brought enough rockets." Came another voice, one noticeably less worried than James. Adam sighed in frustration and angrily whispered. "If you wanna take 'em on Craig, be my guest. If not then shut up and let me do my job." James interrupted before things escalated. "Concentrate boys, we've all got a lot to lose if this thing goes to -blam!-. Talk all you want in debrief but this is mission time, focus on the job." The resulting silence was welcome for Adam as he finished up the final adjustments on his sniper rifle. Drums banged in the distance with the roar of a hundred covenant. He held his breath and pulled the trigger, his expression blank as the bullet flew from his gun at supersonic speeds towards the mass of alien flesh. The sound of the shot echoed in the air and everything fell silent as two kilometres from the barrel of his sniper rifle, the bullet found its target. [Edited on 10.12.2012 5:51 AM PDT]
10/12/2012 1:53:31 PM Permalink[quote][b]Posted by:[/b] MaxRealflugel If you want your character to evolve in the first instance, put them in a situation where no one else is included. That way the reader can focus on just them with no distractions. [/quote] I put in the opening scene because the key to James's character is that it's never about him. It's about his squad or the mission but never him, he leaves no time for himself.
10/10/2012 3:05:55 PM PermalinkI don't want this to sound patronising but your writing is actually quite good. But it could improve significantly. One of the best ways to define a character isn't to put them in a stressful situation. And don't start a fic with description. Start with a situation. A question. A statement. Back to the character: describe a mundane setting, such as counting ammo, making lunch, looking for somewhere to take a crap without stepping on a landmine. These initially mundane situations are made stressful by including other, more difficult elements. The 'going for a dump' in a mine field is one good example. If you want your character to evolve in the first instance, put them in a situation where no one else is included. That way the reader can focus on just them with no distractions. I'll use the toilet break as an example: [i] Every step was a gamble, a chance to meet with the Almighty in the most unusual circumstances: with your trousers round your ankles. James carefully picked his way through the nearby undergrowth, avoiding stinging nettles, barbed wire and, of course, freshly dug sections of earth that the engineers had churned up when laying a mine field. His stomach cramped again. "Not yet," he whispered, clenching in desperation. "We don't hit camp for another two weeks." James found an ideal spot, surrounded by three hawthorne bushes and in the shade of a large oak tree. [/i] This is just one example. But get some practice and keep it up.
10/10/2012 11:03:38 AM PermalinkYour writing is impeccable if you ask me. Put this much though into each character and odds are you'll have a fantastic finished project! I look forward to reading more of your work! Thanks for sharing.