Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

SWAT Kats related fan fiction can be posted here.

Choose Your 3 Stories

Poll runs till Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:56 am

The Gear of the Kat by rich-online
2
6%
The Story of Hard Drive's MO by Jiesi Ma
1
3%
A Prophecy Reclaimed by Lady Stormcrow
7
21%
SWAT KATS: CLOSING REPORT by Eric “Erico” Lawson
4
12%
Helter Shelter by Mikazo
0
No votes
An Ally On the Outside by Katney
4
12%
An Elusive Adversary by Poecat
1
3%
Chronological Redistribution by NeeKnight
3
9%
Mantra by Ty-Chou
6
18%
Expecting Better by Agracite
2
6%
The Return of The Scorpions by Serge Bahdasaryan
1
3%
Mile Ten, Let's Do it Again! by swatkatfan21
0
No votes
Complicated by AkaneKitty
3
9%
 
Total votes: 34

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MoDaD
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby MoDaD » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:38 am

An Ally On the Outside by Katney

After an accidental call on the communicator the SWAT Kats and Callie recall the circumstances that lead to their alliance.

---

I'll be posting some feedback soon SinianThisCait
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby Mikazo » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:30 pm

Got the coin and participation card thing. Thanks!
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby AkaneKitty » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:28 am

When you come up for air from your other writing career and see you only have ten days to write something

Yikes! I'm not letting a challenge I've been wanting for so long slip away. Onward to Microsoft Word!
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby MoDaD » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:09 am

Regarding An Ally On the Outside by Katney

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, the strengths of which are the perfectly depicted characters of Callie, T-Bone and Razor and their interactions with each other. Your dialog was very well put together, and highly amusing as well. I laughed numerous times reading this. The various canon elements you inserted were nice touches as well that are sure to be appreciated by any SWAT Kats fan.

The main plot for this particular origin story seems, to borrow a line from your story, “By-the-Book,” but I get the impression this was a deliberate choice in order to showcase the characters over some overly convoluted backstory. I liked the measured approach you took on this.

And, I also liked the narrative style you chose: a bookend/frame story! Your original characters were well-used and had a great presence of their own. You write children/ families in a very genuine way.

And, one of my favorite parts had to be…

Spoiler:
…the scene with Manx boasting the maritime history of his family, only to instantaneously get sea sick. From a writing/show standpoint, that was a solid 1-2-3 setup and delivery on your part.

I’m also tempted to start telling people that a donation has been made in their name to the Megakat Damage Repair Fund.

Running a little late on this...but your coin/card should be in the mail soon-ish. Thanks for your patience!
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby EricoBard » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:39 pm

So far, there have been six entrants to the "Unresolved" contest. Some have chosen to address major questions within the series, while others have chosen more obscure unanswered topics. Among the six entrants, there are three that after thorough review, I felt the need to highlight for their combination of excellence in prose, grammatical and narrative consistency, focus to the contest's intended purpose, and that most elusive quality within any fiction, be it fan-written or original works...

Heart.

Disclaimer: My own story is one of the three worth a closer examination for writing done right, but I'm not here to sing my own praises. So let's move on to the other two that I consider to be strong contenders for the top prize.

------------------------------------

A Prophecy Reclaimed by Lady Stormcrow

For as important as Megalith City and Queen Callista is to the overall plot in regards to the Pastmaster's origins and his continued motivations, the series itself was hit-and-miss with providing foundation and elaboration into the hearts and minds of the villains. In this story, we are given an in-depth look at the history of Megalith City, and the suitably tragic and hubristic origins of the Pastmaster.
Spoiler:
Stormcrow presents to us that the Pastmaster's obsession with Queen Callista is hereditary, as his mortal self, Martin, carried a flame for Queen Oriana back when they were both students under the tutelage of the Mage Council of medieval kat society. Denied her love by her sense of duty to her kingdom, he sought power as a means of ensuring he would never be denied his wants ever again. Coming to her court decades later, his lusts for Oriana were transferred to her grand-daughter, who he had been teaching the Arts at Oriana's behest. From there, the collapse is inevitable; revealed as a lich, the Pastmaster wages war against Megalith City until he is finally brought to heel by the Council of Mages. The cost is high, and Oriana is denied the chance to end his unlife then and there. Her last act of penance to her grand-daughter and her city is to bind her powers so strongly to the famed dragon sword her ancestors brought on their voyage over the seas that she creates the tool by which the Pastmaster's evil, when it will inevitably return, may be banished forever.

From the very beginning of the story, our attention is captured. We begin with the funeral of the king; Oriana's son, Callista's father. We learn that the Pastmaster is responsible for it. Oriana reflects on the past, and the choices and decisions that led to the ongoing crisis. There are moments in which we feel sympathetic for Martin, because every villain who isn't off-the-rails schizophrenic feels that he is the hero of his own story; the definition of megalomania given form. Any sympathy we might feel for Martin the mage is quickly blasted away when the Pastmaster takes hold, and he throws lives away heedlessly in his quest to sate his illicit desires.

I could find no fault in Stormcrow's style, nor in her interpretation of the Pastmaster. In suitably Greek fashion, we can see the tragedy coming a mile away, and yet like the heroes of old, there is nothing that we, or the protagonists here, can do to change it. Fate and destiny are set in stone, and it all ties to the prophecy Oriana gave her withering life to empower.

Coming full circle, we are witness to the Pastmaster's defeat in Megalith City, courtesy of the SWAT Kats and a dragon sword delivered via plain old missile. In the ending of her story, we are given the mechanism by which we next see him. Banished from Megalith City and the time period he hails from due to the dragon sword's blow, the Pastmaster is not destroyed. He merely finds every door into the past closed to him; he can no longer interfere with what has been. Any other person might use that as an opportunity to move forward, rebuild, and try to find a semblance of a peaceable life. Not so with the Pastmaster, who decides to look instead to the future as a means of exacting his revenge. Thus, "A Prophecy Fulfilled" not only addresses the time before Queen Callista, but it also gives us a brief look into the grieving madness which causes the Pastmaster to set in motion the events seen in "A Bright and Shiny Future."


This story runs decidedly on the longer side of the word maximums, coming close but just barely squeaking in under the word limit of 8,500. Regardless of the contest, it is a piece which can stand proudly on its own, and should be uploaded separately to SK Fanfic and FF.net after the contest's end. There is much here to take note of, to applaud, and to find examples of good writing in.

---------------------------------------------

An Ally on the Outside by Katney

Katney's entry is also one of the longer works in the contest coming in at 8,100 words. It is one of the stories that tries to answer the age-old question; how did Deputy Mayor Briggs get her hand on the over-large triangular communicator she uses to get in touch with the SWAT Kats?

Spoiler:
Others have attempted to answer this question in their own fashion over the years; I can recall one story where the masked vigilantes (sans uniforms, only masks) handed one to her during a random encounter in a Megakat City diner late one evening. My attempt in "Foundation of Trust" said that following a foiled attempt to blow up City Hall and everyone in it on the part of Dark Kat, the duo recognized her natural ability to keep a cool head in the middle of a crisis and took a chance...with the caveat that they'd already met her before in the process of fixing up her dad's car. Oddly enough, Katney's tale offers up a similar path; that she first met Chance and Jake because they had to give her gullwing doored green sedan a tow.

Katney's story fixes this "How did they..." moment firmly in a flashback provided by the means of a couple of teenaged Briggs nieces who stumble across the communicator while roughhousing at her place, and then pester her for the story. Katney's story suggests that Callie Briggs developed her trust of the SWAT Kats by launching enough fireworks off of a casino ship in the middle of a robbery to get the attention of the pair on patrol in a newly minted Turbokat. Following a (Perhaps far too timely) rescue on the part of the pair, the robbery is foiled, the lives of the kats on board are saved, and Deputy Mayor Briggs gets herself the famous triangular "That Was Easy" button seen throughout the course of the show, along with the respect for the two vigilantes she is famous for.

Katney's story does have a few glaring problems in it: for one, the SWAT Kats are able to get in close and launch a web-netting spider missile on a line to save her from even getting wet...without being detected. Given the sheer volume that a jet in flight has, for this rescue to be feasible, the bad guys would have heard them coming long before they shoved her off the side of the boat, and Razor would have had to have fired the tow missile before she even left the deck. (I will give her props for having the pirate leader be named Lynx, in reference to the Red Lynx most likely.)

There are two other things which are more flavor decisions on her part that may be off-putting. For one, Callie Briggs' nieces. There is nothing within the show itself to suggest what kind of family situation the deputy mayor has, or if she even has any living relatives. In my own work, I used this empty void as a means of explaining her status as an only child with both parents dead. Someone reading this story may argue over the presence of the Briggs nieces, as they exist solely as a means of exposition, and the question comes if the story could have been told without their interference, perhaps with Callie Briggs drinking a cup of coffee one Sunday morning while staring at the device, and thinking back on the occasion. The backstory portion of Katney's tale reads perfectly fine; it is the mechanism by which it is delivered that invites raised eyebrows, although this is more a matter of personal interpretation. Just as there is nothing in the show to indicate that she has any family living, there is nothing there to suggest that she does not.

Secondly, the SWAT Kats are remarkably relaxed about having the communicator being used in a butt-dial and having their connection to the deputy mayor being laid bare. Razor merely laughs it off and says he'll tweak the sensitivity, but to do so would require him to physically take Callie's communicator back to make the adjustment, or provide some means of a safety on it ala a flip-cover over the button (such as the sort famously seen over 'LAUNCH' buttons on nuclear missile consoles in films) or a toggle that locks it until switched. In "Foundation of Trust", I had Razor and T-Bone explicitly warn her only to ever use it in the case of an emergency, and in the course of the show, she takes great pains to keep it hidden from view, stepping out of rooms before using it. In addition, every time that there is voice communication, she has it raised up to her head, suggesting that she has to key in a second button or switch to talk, and that the center button is merely a panic switch, as seen in "The Origin of Dr. Viper." For her to leave it unguarded in her purse, even around family members, is foolish on her part and a significant lapse in her vigilance. If a family member can find and activate it, then so could a purse snatcher...and a device like that could easily find its way into the hands of a worse nasty like Dark Kat, were that to happen. Or worst of all, as another story has done...Feral could find it instead.


In spite of these few points which physics invalidates or I personally disagree with, Katney's take on "How Callie got the communicator" is nonetheless constructed with care and thought. I found no glaring errors in her writing style, and she keeps the SWAT Kats and Callie well in character for the most part. The story fits within the parameters of the writing challenge, and while portions of it are questionable at more than first glance, there is heart that suggests this is a labor of love worth notice and praise.

-Erico
Last edited by MoDaD on Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added spoiler tags
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby Ty-Chou » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:47 pm

AkaneKitty wrote:When you come up for air from your other writing career and see you only have ten days to write something

Yikes! I'm not letting a challenge I've been wanting for so long slip away. Onward to Microsoft Word!



Dang, AkaneK! You are a brave soul! A short story in 10 days is definitely doable, but it's going to be tough. I wish you the best of luck and look forward to what you come up with. You can do it!
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby Katney » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:02 pm

MoDaD wrote:Running a little late on this...but your coin/card should be in the mail soon-ish. Thanks for your patience!


Got it ^^
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby Ty-Chou » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:35 pm

Paws up, who besides Akane Kitty and myself are feeling the crunch of that looming deadline? Anyone else still hoping to get an entry finished in time for the contest?
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby NeeKnight » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:50 am

::raises a paw:: Every time I start a groove, something in RL crops up!!! ManxScared
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Re: Writing Challenge - UNRESOLVED

Postby Poecat » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:21 am

::waves paw:: I may not make it in time ... I got the same prob Nee has XD
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