Reviews for LeFire’s Basic Military FanFiction Writing Guide
1cepick chapter 1 . 6/22/2013
14.) Breakdowns and accidents

I can't agree enough with this.

My dad in the 1980s was a tank commander stationed in West Germany. He kept telling me how the image of the tank as an unstoppable juggernaut, breaking through walls and climbing mountains is not at all grounded in realism. They were slightly less reliable than a windows computer, and you couldn't afford to go cowboy at the driver's seat.

Then again the Canadian Military is less then a well-oiled fighting force...

Still, nothing ever working when you need it is a part of the military experience.
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lucidscreamer chapter 1 . 3/1/2004
Thanks for this; it's very helpful!
DPTRM chapter 1 . 2/29/2004
thanks for the help. I'll try to use some of it.
RokettmanX chapter 1 . 12/2/2003
This is the best guide i have read. I have to disagree with Admiral here, because he is being very stubborn. Like here, Admiral says "You broke the number one rule of fanfiction when you said you wouldn't include details about writing military fiction because you figured everybody reading it would already know about them. You have to assume there will be readers who don't know, but might want to, and will look to your guide for instruction."
Admiral, in this guide he basicly shows you how to write an average military story.
And in his book, Transient, Admiral, "LeFire is former Army, with a limited knowledge of American and Soviet Naval hardware, and the story reflects that. That didn't stop him from writing it."
It didnt stop him, because, if you at least read the guide, which i think you did not at all, you would have read, that you dont need all the detail in the world to write a good story.
And, "However, also remember that you are writing fanfic, not a Tom Clancy novel..."
One more thing, Admiral, Tom Clancy books should be written by "Tom Clancy",
because he is the mastermind behind the books. No offense. I still might check it out.
Keep it up LeFire! It was very good guide and i hope you post more C&C storys.
RokettmanX
C Shot chapter 1 . 6/26/2003
Well you answered one of my few questions I had about the military ranks, or at least the armies...

Well I am gonna have to make some napalm and through it at invading pinko cumi fools... (just j/k)

C Shot- 'Those who dont remember the past are codemned to repeat it'
Admiral chapter 1 . 6/25/2003
I know LeFire didn't want to turn this into a review debate, but I have to respond to James Jago because, frankly, some things just set me off.

If you go to the fanfiction site, James, You'll notice that LeFire has a Command And Conquer fic titled "Transient" that depicts a battle where a Soviet sub ambushes an American Task Force. LeFire is former Army, with a limited knowledge of American and Soviet Naval hardware, and the story reflects that. That didn't stop him from writing it. Conversely, what first brought him to my attention was his review of my Tom Clancy fanfic "Rainbow Six: SPECWAR". Until that fic I was never really into small unit action and thus my knowledge of it was rudimentary at best, and that is reflected in the fic. And while I knew little about small unit action, I knew even less about the ports, police forces and military of Singapore, where LeFire is from, and he pointed that out in his review. None of that lack of knowledge stopped me from writing a story about a small unit action set in and around Singapore. And if you look on my favorite stories page on this site you should see one called "Spacers", written by Maharanjoni. This story is more of a dramatic piece, but part of the drama is the fact that her main character is in her world's military. Maharanjoni admits she knows little about military hardware and procedures, but she found them compelling enough to include them in the plot anyway. Bottom line, James, there actually are people in the world who might know jack about a subject, like military hardware, and yet want to write about it anyway. Stephen King says you should worry about getting things write after you've finished the piece, but whenever you do it you compensate for the lack of knowledge by conducting research.

That was my point. It isn't just whether or not the writer knows about military hardware. It's my contention that if you want to write a good war story you have to have at least a beginner's knowledge of strategy, tactics, technology and politics to go along with your knowledge of plotting, timing, pacing, characterization, resolution, etc., because the two knowledge sets should complement each other. There are plenty of people who write military fiction because they're interested in military hardware, but there are others who want to write it for other reasons. They're the ones who need a more comprehensive guide. I wouldn't mind reading one myself. That's what I was hoping this essay would be, but LeFire was right to point out that I shouldn't have expected that in an essay this short, and I know from his bio that he really doesn't have time to write one. Too bad, but I stand by my review.
James Jago chapter 1 . 6/25/2003
Thank you for taking my recommendation to heart. This is extremely useful for me, as I can rattle off statistics but don't know a thinmg about how the stuff actually works.

Admiral: If one does not know anything about military hardware, why would one write military fiction? If you knew nothing about, say, railways you wouldn't write a story about an engine driver. Or would you?

If people want weapons specifications they ought to buy a hardback on them.
LeFire chapter 1 . 6/24/2003
Thanks for the review Admiral...

It took me three years of hands-on training to fully understand the way a modern military works. To understand its technology, its quirks, its perks, and its occasional idiocy. And that's just the army.

So, what makes you think that I can effectively convey that information in a single essay this short?

That's why I placed the term "basic" in the title. If you take a little trip down to the fanfiction section reading the works of new authors, you will realize that it is writing skills that the new authors need the most... Not military knowledge.

These people (new mil-fanfic authors) will have no problem learning military knowledge (as opposed to writing skills)... Hell, its their *interest*! They will learn more as they go along. Trust me on that.

But are these guys going to read an essay that screams "high-school writing lecture inside"? Nope. That's why this essay deals out a small dose of military knowledge together with a larger dose of writing techniques and skills. And guess what? I acknowledged that in the beginning of this essay with a warning that 'hard info' will be excluded.

I have to say this: To criticise me for not providing that info is like reading a microwave instruction manual and sueing the company for not providing enough recipes.

Anyway, feel free to email me for any replies and such. I feel that bloating the review section with conversation and debate isn't the way.
Admiral chapter 1 . 6/24/2003
This wasn't a military writing guide. It was a writing guide, sure, because it was concerned mainly with the techniques of writing stories in general, but if the idea was to convey how to write a military story, it's severely lacking.

You broke the number one rule of fanfiction when you said you wouldn't include details about writing military fiction because you figured everybody reading it would already know about them. You have to assume there will be readers who don't know, but might want to, and will look to your guide for instruction. This should be a lot more comprehensive a piece. Just mentioning a few tidbits about rank structure and friendly fire aren't enough.

You seem to concentrate on how the characters should react in the story, but you can't assume the readers, who have the benefit of omniscience and distance, would react the same way. For instance, you say it would be bad to overwhelm them with numbers and details, but new readers may not know offhand the make-up of a fire team, squad, platoon, company, battalion, etc., and as such have no reference to understand what a "handful" of infantry would look like. You have to at least start them off with a baseline structure so they learn to understand the consequences when these forces start to attrit. Same with details. If you're using real world technology, some people might be curious to find out where you get your information from, and, let's be honest, there are probably some good old fashioned "gun nuts" out there who really do want to know if you used a Heckler & Koch MP-5 or a Colt AR-15. You can't assume that you're giving the reader too much detail to follow. You just have to work the text well enough to make it understandable no matter how much detail you include.

I was kind of disappointed with this. I was hoping for a true guide to writing military fiction, but most of the stuff that's here I learned in my creative writing class in High School.