An Exercise in Self-Critique 4

This is the fourth post in the series where I critique the beginnings of my own stories, written long ago, and try to make them better. Here are the previous posts:

The usual method is to look at the first 250 words and examine/edit that excerpt in detail. But today I’ll do something different. I want to talk about some of the material that I cut from Thinker Traitor Soldier Spectre, the Mass Effect fanfiction novel I finished last year, and explain why it never made it into the final version.

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Destiny 2: Beyond Light

I’ve been playing Destiny 2 on a daily basis for over a year now. Needless to say, I mostly find it enjoyable. Its environments are incredibly beautiful, the movement is smooth and the combat satisfying. For the most part, it’s a rather brainless, easy game; a far cry from ME3MP, which I found (and still find) difficult and stressful, or Rocket League, with its constant pressure to get good or get lost. The challenging parts of Destiny 2 are neatly segregated away so you must opt into them if challenge is what you desire. Otherwise it’s a safe and relaxing experience that many find repetitive and boring; but I like it.

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Never Let Me Go – Book & Movie

I read the book first, then saw the movie a couple weeks later. Both were great but left entirely different and somewhat conflicting impressions. The author of the book, a Nobel prize winner, Kazuo Ishiguro, also had a hand in the making of the movie, which makes the unusual disparity even stranger.

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A New Mass Effect Fic: The Precedent

Two years before Eden Prime, Saren enlists Nihlus’s help to get an old friend out of some serious trouble. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg. How far will he go to ensure the success and secrecy of his misguided quest?

This is the story I timidly announced some time ago. I’ve been brewing the concept for it since 2013, but only dared try my hand with it now. Writing it was surprisingly smooth and easy (though it did take three months of daily work). It seems I’ve forgotten, again, what a joy it is to write new stories, compared to the struggle of continuing and/or salvaging the old. Despite the dark themes, The Precedent was a breath of fresh air.

Read it here, or on AO3.

Image: I was wrong by PaleCaesar