about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Top Ten Mistakes in Fiction

10. It’s the middle of a war and your characters refer to the border (as in “we must get back to the border”). Guys, the border became irrelevant when the invasion started. It’s the front line you want. Of course, if you’re talking about pushing the enemy back to the original border, then border is the correct word.

9. Using the word it’s as a possessive. The possessive form is simply "its." It’s" means "it is."

8. Be careful using dashes. Any time a dash can be used, another punctuation mark would work, but there are rare cases when it makes sense — such as a pause in the conversation.

7. It seems that grammar schools no longer teach people how to punctuate or capitalize dialogue.
Wrong: “Take the ship to the left helmsman.” Said the captain. “And bring us behind them.”
Right: “Take the ship to port, helmsman,” said the captain, “and bring us behind them.”

6. Klingons, more than anyone else, avoid being chatty in combat. When writing Klingon dialogue, go back and see how many words you can delete. Consider:
Chatty Human: “The warp power is at maximum. Engines are running within acceptable parameters. That new flux coupler Korik-than installed seems to be hanging in there. The batteries are at 100% status.”
Terse Klingon: “Warp power max, parameters acceptable, new coupler stable, batteries 100%.”

5. Write a story about a great, anguished, heart-rending debate about something every SFB player knows the result of.

4. Fight the entire battle without launching a drone from your racks. In fact, totally ignore the fact that the ship in your story even has drone racks. Alternately, ignore reserve power.

3. Be sure to get the year wrong. Pick a year for your story when the two empire were not at war, or when the ship you are using had not been built, or when the situation your story presents could not have happened.

2. Give the hero of your story your own name.

1. Have the ship’s crew do something that makes no sense, such as stopping in enemy territory without charging the phasers.

(c) 2005 Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc. Captain's Log #31.