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Leo
May 21st, 2007, 08:59 PM
Hello everyone well i am back, and here asking that you critique, and give your thoughts on the story. I would like you to give me your oppinions I spent the past few months working out alot of the bugs in this story, and i know its not totally ready, but without your thoughts i cant go further

so with out further a do here is my story. Here is the short version its a war between an Asia alliance, and Western Alliance

The Third War


http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/2293p0.html

James Carmack
May 22nd, 2007, 02:00 AM
You sitting down? Good, 'cause you're about to get a heapin' helpin' of tough love.

Your premise is fine. It's your typical war drama. I've got no beef with that. If you fumbled on general concept, I'd send you back to the drawing board, but at least you've got something to stand on. However, on this foundation you've built not a skyscraper but a house of cards.

Your narrative is tangled, your characterization strained and your dialog awkward. However, your gravest sin is a glaring lack of research. Anyone who knows anything about international politics, the military, weapons systems, and just about anything else will crucify you.

Let's break it down, one page at a time.

Page 1
"Our reporter": What news service introduces its correspondents as "our reporter"? I realize that I sword of TV news years ago, but this usage sounds incredibly off. Turn on CNN and learn some of the lingo.

UNaction: Was the US going to the UN with any hope of serious action? I would hope not. The only organ who can take any meaningful countermeasures is the Security Council and as a permanent member, China can veto any move to check it. Of course, the Russians are likely to stick with them and, depending on how their bread is buttered at the moment, the French, too. That leaves the General Assembly, which can only pass nonbinding resolutions. Also, most of the nations in the General Assembly would block the US on general principle. If it was just a symbolic gesture, that's one thing, but I can't think of anyone who'd expect even the possibility of a positive outcome (from the American perspective, at least).

Maffison: Where did you get this name from? I hope you didn't think it was cute to take "Madison" and replace the d with double f's.

Mr. Speaker: And who would this "Mr. Speaker" be? This isn't the House. Now, there's a President of the General Assembly. Is that who you meant, perhaps? And, no, you wouldn't address the Secretary-General at a convention of the General Assembly. The Secretariat is a different organ of the beast.

Vote or Die: The Chinese ambassador claims that Southeast Asian nations voted to fall under the aegis of fair Cathay. Do you have any idea how much the Chinese are hated there? Yes, the Vietnamese Communists gladly took Chinese weapons during the Vietnam War, but there are ancient animosities there that'd come out in a heartbeat if the Chinese put boots on the ground. The Burmese dictatorship wouldn't take too kindly to it either. Let's not even speak of Malaysia and Indonesia. If the Chinese thought the Uighurs were a pain... Now, you might say that the Chinese are brutal enough to stomp any resistance. Oh, I have no doubt of their brutality, but there'd be violence on such a scale that the pretty fiction of a "vote" would sound even emptier than it does already.

Page 2
Life's a Beach: The Japanese ambassador accuses the Chinese of massing troops along the "coastline nearest to Japan". Care to name that coastline? Where? Manchuria? I'm sure the Japanese would be feeling the irony there, though the only coastline associated with Manchuria is in Outer Manchuria, and that's been in Russian hands since 1858. I don't think the Russkies would take kindly to the Chicoms pushin' in on their turf. The closest coastline to Japan is along the Korean Peninsula. Did the Chinese take over Korea? I suppose the North Koreans would allow their benefactors free movement, maybe, but I hope you don't mean to say the Chinese conquered the peninsula. Even with the impending drawdown, there are still plenty of US troops there. Any action against them would be an acto of war that would bring swift retribution. Since you talk about SE Asian states "voting" to become Chinese protectorates, maybe the Koreans did the same and severed ties with the US, thus forcing a withdrawal. Highly unlikely, but so is most of the storyline.

Not Secret Agent: The NSA monitors communications. They don't do HUMINT (human intelligence). They wouldn't have agents in the field on foreign soil. That's the CIA's job. Now, could the NSA have picked up communications on the troop movements? Sure. All in a day's work.

Walkout: Why do the Chinese and their supporters walk out before the vote? They know they're going to win, so why not have their victory on the books? You walk out in protest when things aren't going your way. The Chinese had it in the bag.

No Vote: How come none of the remaining members voted? What about the US and its allies? If all the neutral states are abstaining and the opposition has walked out, what's to stop the US and its allies from passing the resolution? Not that it means anything, but in international politics, people love to cling to the resolutions, except for when it's inconvenient, that is.

At War: How can the President say they're at war? I mean, for all intents and purposes, it's true, but in the legal sense, the President doesn't have the authority to declare war. That's Congress' job. Of course, we don't need a declared war to deploy, but you're stretching a bit to say they're at war before a single shot's been fired.

Number Two: The President refers to his second in command... Who's that? The VP? Not someone I'd turn to to debrief fellow heads of state. Did you perhaps mean the National Security Adviser?

Page 3
Viva America: A "united" Latin America? On the US' side? Do you have any idea of the political situation south of the border? Unless Chavez fever has died down by 2030, most of Latin America would be backing China as China's been working on them for a while now. Maybe we'd have Costa Rica, Columbia and Brazil in our corner, but Costa Rica doesn't have a military, Columbia will still be mired in rebellion and the Brazilians aren't likely to do anything substantial. Now, Latin America tends to sit out the big global wars, so maybe we can hope for neutrality. While they may not launch any attacks on us, there's little to no help to be found there.

Daitouryou: President and Prime Minister, though similar, are two comletely different things. The chief executive of Japan is a Prime Minister and is addressed as such. There would be no "President" Tanaka unless you're talking about the head of Toyota or something. (And then, no one would confuse "shachou" with "daitouryou". Well, not in the Japanese translation at least.)

Ready or Not: The Japanese are ready to make war? ^o^ Do you realize that war is illegal according to the Japanese Constitution? Article 9. Yes, there's talk of repealing it and they recently upgraded the Defense Agency to a proper Ministry of Defense, but the Japanese are still paranoid about any semblance of the old wartime militarism. No Japanese politician is going to speak of being ready to make war. They will couch it in the language of self-defense. I can't see the tides turning so dramatically in a mere 23 years.

The Roof is on Fire: Why did someone say the UN Headquarters is gone when it's simply on fire? I understand the tendency for hyperbole when something big happens. On 9/11, the first thing I heard was "They took out Manhattan!" But we're not talking about IET soldiers cut off from the rest of the world. The POTUS is going to get something a little more accurate.

Nya-nya: Where exactly are the Chinese ambassador and his ally ambassadors? Are they still on US soil making their little boast? Are they foolish enough to think diplomatic immunity would save them after arranging the destruction of the UN HQ? Even at the risk of retaliatory action, I have a hard time believing they wouldn't be seized. And if they aren't on US soil, where did they get to and exactly how long was it between the end of the session and the meeting of the allies?

Page 4
Ohera: I can't help but wonder if you meant "O'Hara". They sound similar and given your "Maffison", I had to wonder.

Port City: You say the landing team isn't even off the coast but then talk about soldiers dying in the streets? Did they come into a frickin' port? An amphibious assault in a populated area? Don't you know that urban warfare favors the defender? And where's the frickin' air support? The naval bombardment? The whole point is to get as close to sterilizing the beach head before the boots hit the ground. Also, you say "soldiers". Do you mean that the Army is involved in a landing a la D-Day? In China? From where? Wouldn't it make more sense to move in by land via our semi-allies in Central Asia, air drop in the sparsely populated West (where we could utilize the Uighurs as allies)? An amphibious assault makes more sense if you're using Marines, but you'd better address them as such. They're particular about that. Call a Devil Dog a "soldier" and you're liable to get beat for it. And make sure you capitalize "Marines". They deserve it.

Tap to the Head: When Jessica's fiance is killed, what exactly are the circumstances? I mean, so they're embedded reporters, right? Short of the coalition position being overrun, how's that officer going to have the liesure to cap a frickin' journalist while the bullets are flying? Does the officer actually walk up to the guy to finish him off, out in the open in the middle of a firefight? Not bloody likely. Now, if Jessica, her fiance and their crew aren't embedded, I could see them getting overrrun, but there'd be some deliberation before people started getting shot.

XM8: How exactly does Jessica get her hands on a frickin' OICW? Is that supposed to be one of the weapons used by the coalition? Not the States. The thing was cancelled back in '05. Even if it was, it wouldn't be designated "XM8". The "X" stands for "experimental" and is dropped once a weapon is adopted. Yeah, the OICWs look kinda cool, but there are a lot slicker toys on the block these days.

Pinch: What's with Jessica pinching the trigger? Who "pinches" the trigger? The layman pulls, the professional squeezes, but no one pinches. Not to shoot anybody, at any rate.

Fall Back: You've got a botched landing and you think you can evac via the landing craft? You ever heard the term "fish in a barrel". The Chinese'd be firing off TOWs and laughing as each one popped. I suppose one or two might get away and the success of a helicopter extraction aren't that great either. Frankly, if they're as outgunned and outmaneuvered as you make it appear, they're dogmeat. The only survivors would be PWs. The thing about amphibious assaults is that you either make your beach head or you don't make it. Not much hope of retreat.

Cappy: You describe a captain who's lost his squad. Might I ask what kind of captain is a squad leader? At that rank, you're commanding company-sized elements. Maybe if you're SOF... Maybe.

Page 5
Ol' Getty: Why are the ragged survivors of our landing team on the Gettysburg? You later say it was "the closest ship", but I fail to see why a guided missile cruiser would be closer than the amphibious assault ships. They've got to send choppers back and forth to support the landing team, you know. Why waste more fuel than you have to. It's not like they can't defend themselves.

Strafer: Why is a supposed stealth fighter strafing a cruiser with its vulcans? What's the point in stealth if you're going to get within 200 yards of your target? What's more, what meaningful damage are you plannin' to do with a frickin 40mm cannon? This isn't WWII. Modern fighters kill without even seeing their prey, and you kill ships with AShMs (like the how the Argentines took down the Sheffield).

Captain, It Won't Shoot!: The CIWS doesn't just use radar. It also uses infrared. Now, you might say that the stealth fighters used by the Chinese have heat signature masking. Maybe. Maybe even enough to confound the CIWS, but what makes you think a guy on a fifty-cal stand any chance of hitting a bird that's zippin' by at a good 700mph? Once again, this isn't WWII.

Wrong Bird: What's a VTOL doing on a cruiser? The Gettysburg has two Seahawks. That's it. If you actually put us on an amphibious assault craft, that'd be another story. What's more, why are you dumping a frickin' bird when it ought to be in the air supporting the mission?

What You're Collar Can Afford: Exactly what is Rio's rank? I realize it's a tense situation, but you'd better hope your collar can afford to address an officer like he does.

And there you go. I'm not going to say you can't make a good story out of this, but you've got a lot of work ahead of you. I suggest you start by hitting the books. If you're going to get this deep into the workings of the conflict, you better know your stuff. Good luck.

James Carmack
May 22nd, 2007, 02:02 AM
Huh... Double post. Well, I can get in one last thing.

Why exactly is the Admiral ordering a general recall? The heating elements in the toasters bad? "General recall" isn't a term used for retreats. Maybe they soften it by using the term "withdrawal", but a general recall is what companies do for defective products.