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Halo Fanon:The Weekly

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The Weekly is a community project in the form of a series of micro-fiction contests, inspired by the discontinued Community Writing Competitions on Halo Waypoint. Each week, users can challenge themselves to write a short (few hundred words, usually) prose response to a prompt chosen at the start of the week by the competition's judge. At the week's end, the judge selects a winner to receive a shiny new Weekly Winner eraicon on their entry's page, and the entry will then be displayed on Recent Changes for the next week for all to easily see and read.

The project was conceived in response to a long-standing downturn in prose writing on the site, in hopes of encouraging more prose by presenting a painless, easily-attainable length as a target instead of a hopelessly-long novel length. The ideas the writers incorporate to hone their craft under such constraints might then become the seeds for events their own characters go through, or even be worked into whole other long stories.

How To Participate

At the beginning of each week, a new prompt will be posted on this page, including a maximum word count, for users to write in response to. Working with in the length and topic restraints (which could have to do with theme, or subject, or writing style like "only dialogue"), users then write their response and create a new page on which to post it. Remember to include a Writer Template ("{{Writer|your username}}") at the top and categorize it "The Weekly" ("[[Category:The Weekly]]") at the bottom. A paragraph at the top can be added to introduce the piece and context for it without going towards the word count, so long as there's a horizontal line ("----") between to make set them apart distinctly.

Then, simply add a link to your entry's page in the scrollbox for the appropriate week for it to be counted. The judge (Either User:slowfuture or User:Lordofmonsterisland) will then read the entries, between the following Monday-Wednesday depending on availability, and pick a winner for the week. Bear in mind, the judge's decision may be based on subjective judgements, but good spelling, grammar, and punctuation go a long way towards impressing by presenting a professional and easy-to-read appearance. Winners will then be given a unique Weekly Winner eraicon and displayed on the Recent Changes page.

Users can also visit the talk page to suggest prompts and topics for future weeks.

Entries

Week 53: A New Beginning

With my year of filling the role of judge out, I now gladly hand the responsibilities of the project over to slowfuture, who has guest judged before and volunteered to take it on. May we all wish him luck, and ourselves in our responses to the prompts he designs.

I would first off like to congratulate Ahalosniper on his superlative running of the Weekly for the past year, I hope I can continue his good work.

Prompt: So, one thing I remember about the site when I first joined middle of 2008, there was a huge exploration in what happened following the post-Human-Covenant War; most of which was more warfare if my memory serves me correctly. But for my first prompt, I'm hoping to allow you to write something happy and positive, perhaps in contrast to Sniper's final post - but if I know Halo Fanon that's unlikely! In about 600 words or less, write how your characters felt as the HCW came to an end and how they hoped the future would be. Are they excited for the future? Are they distraught as they are forced to rebuild their worldview? Good luck.

  • Promotion by DarthNicky
    • This vignette captures two things about this prompt that I had hoped to see -- one example is, albeit, only mentioned in passing -- and that is of people leaving the military after a war that raged for three decades, and of promotions in the wake of what I have always imagined to be resignations en masse. So I commend you for this. As for the content, my biggest complaint is how rushed the entire scene feels. There's very little time to allow the scene to settle - I would have liked a little more back and forth between the two before moving onto the crux of the piece. Secondly, I would have liked a little more description. Small touches like mentioned that Lucas had the patches promptly on display for O'Neil or that the datapad was next to him, highlighting that Lucas was prepared. It's a minor gripe I know, but it is important in storytelling. For example instead of 'Lucas then ushered him out of his office,' you could say. "Lucas raised his hand and swiftly waved it towards the door." It just allows for a more visual experience. A small issue, but you say 'resignation of resignation'. That aside, I'm looking forward to reading more of your entries as the weeks progress!
  • Reflection by Sierra-A143
    • Another interesting piece. It's true that for Spartans the war never really finished and likely would never really finish. The UNSC will always have those who wish to fight against it. Like above, and this is something I am going to try and impress while I'm the judge, is the importance of showing rather than telling. For the third and fourth paragraphs I would have liked to have some description of Nathaniel's body language, as opposed to the telling of the emotions that he was cycling through. Again it's small things like this that allow for your characters to come alive in your work - and you do have examples of this later in your piece. My rule of thumb is that when I go through discussing emotions my character feels I try and include one or two reference to their facial expression or stance, or something as simple as balling their hands into fists, turning their knuckles white. Regardless, I found the ending to be very touching, it's good to see that despite the despair Nathaniel feels there is some reason to feel some joy.
  • Scarred by Timothy Emeigh
    • There seems to be some contradiction between the mini blurb at the top of the piece and the actual contents of the piece, or I might simply be misunderstanding the intentions of such. Regardless this is a well-written piece but it doesn't really discuss the prompt I had in mind, instead that is relegated to the last couple of paragraphs. I feel like it might have been better to instead have the piece focus on her in the cockpit, that way it allows for a dialogue between herself and someone else. It would let you dive deeper into the recon aspect of her career and why she is so excited to return to piloting. While it might not match up perfectly with the prompt I do want to stress that this is a very well-written piece and am excited to read more of your work.
  • Something Felt Wrong. . . by Slower Than Most
    • Perhaps the darkest and most hopeless piece put forward in this weeks challenge - and a good one at that. However, my one enduring complaint with it is the telling rather than showing. This piece feels like someone is just telling me what's wrong instead of using Aylla herself to highlight the pain and loss she feels, as well as how ill at ease she feels with her replacement organs. I would have loved a description of how she looked on the bed, a mention of her face as she tries to come to terms with the anguish of losing her squad. It feels very cerebral and detached considering the depth of emotion you are dealing with in this piece, and it's especially disappointing because of how well this piece is written. I would like to see an expanded version of this piece because it has the potential to be the turning point of your character's development.
  • Someone Else's Victory by Actene
    • Ah, Stray and the Rat Pack. A criminally underused asset of yours if I may say so. I'm going to use this piece as a teaching exercise of the importance of showing rather telling. This piece is chock full of description and it is easy to visualise the entire scene and its lacklustre surroundings. The best example is that of Estebar "curled a fist around the barrel of her rifle" - this in particular informs the reader that she is angry without explicitly showing us. It allows us to imagine the tightening grip, the scowl upon her face as she hears news that she knows isn't good for her and her planet. Stray 'slunking' behind his comrades is a good word choice to end the piece on. Stray was made for one thing - war, and he contributed almost nothing to it. If I had one thing to complain about, I perhaps would have liked Stray to feature more prominently in this piece but that aside, this is my pick of the week.
  • Breath by Brodie-001
    • You know, when I came up with prompt I was imagining the Arbiter in his ship as he left Earth, and I expected to be met with a plethora of Voi pieces. Luckily enough I got a diverse list and my imagined prompt to dissect! Perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses of the Voi scene in H3 is how bereft of people the ceremony is, perhaps due to the limitations of technology in 2007 and we as a community have come together to fill in the gaps. This piece adds new vibrancy to that particular scene. The camaraderie between these Spartans is immediate and apparent, you've done an excellent job of highlighting that these men really have been fighting together for decades and for that I commend you. I have one issue and that is the small part where Marco comments on the formal dress being monkey suits and Jax's reaction to that - I would have just liked to see a small description of how stiff or awkward Marco looked in the suit. That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece.

Week 54: Betrayal

Prompt: Quick thanks to Brodie for giving me the idea for this prompt. So in Halo, each of the two warring factions has their own internal conflict - the URF and the larger Insurrection, while the Covenant has its religious heretics. While the larger halo novels has given us a series of colourful UNSC rebels they've never given us much detail why they would defect other than some throwaway corruption comment. For this prompt I would like you all to write about why someone, doesn't have to be one of your characters can be one created exclusively for this prompt, would betray their allegiance to their particular faction - whether UNSC to the URF, or a Religious Heretic coming back to the fraternity of their Covenant. 600 words or so should be enough. Have fun!


Week 54: A Moment of Doubt

Prompt: So for this prompt, I'd like you all to write about a particular part during the war, be in HCW or a post-war conflict, that one of your characters began to doubt the legitimacy of their mission - was all this really worth fighting for? By the end I'd like to see whether or not this doubt has been resolved or strengthened by the events around them. I'll give you about 1000 words - Have fun!

*Division by Brodie-001 - Winner

    • One of the most conflicting things about Humanity after the end of the HCW is how quickly that old tensions and issues resurface. Indeed these soldiers deployed here knew they were fighting for their very species existence and now that they have a reprieve they have to deal with this? It's exactly what I wanted when I asked for this prompt. However, I would have loved it if you had focused in on one of his troopers in particular, would have just heightened the human element of the piece. All in all, a good piece.
  • Faithless by Lordofmonsterisland
    • I must admit I did not expect any piece to focus on the Jiralhanae, they are not a species I often associate with empathetic emotions. This is a good emotional piece that really personalises the experience felt by our protagonist. If I had one particular criticism is that I'm not sure I understand the ending - is he going on a rampage? But it insinuates at first that he's sick of violence by going looking for more violence? Perhaps I'm misinterpreting but that's how I understood it. That aside, I enjoyed it.
  • Was it all worth it? by Coolbuddy379
    • First off I think it's important to point out that you describe the planet in a similar fashion three times within the first four paragraphs. It would be better if instead you started off with particular aspects of the planet's glassing, gradually increasing detail for very specific parts of the occurrence. I also would caution against using etc. when giving examples in fictional prose. That aside this exactly the kind of piece I was looking for and I am glad you submitted it!

Week 55: Fly Me to the Moon

Quick update! LOMI and I have agreed to rotate judging duties on a tri-weekly basis. I'm currently too busy with work to really devote time to this exclusively -- as you can see by my late judging. In order to ensure this competition continues we've decided to work together. Anyway, I'll see you all in a few weeks - now LOMI, over to you!

Prompt: For this week, I'll give you a short and sweet prompt with a lot of creative freedom: give me something involve anti-gravity, real or simulated. Doesn't matter how, just be creative with the idea. Evokes those same feelings of "wow" and "this is pretty cool" we felt doing outer space firefights in Halo 2 and Halo 4, or the cinematic rush down a Guardian from Halo 5. Around 600 words should be sufficient, so good luck!

  • Derelict by Brodie-001
    • I like how you use this to hint at the possibility of the Banished without stating it outright - the subtle hints work well. I also like how there's emphasis placed on the fireteam working together to clear the ship. Perhaps it's just me, but it always seems like we, as fanfiction writers, forget to show the Spartan-III's team efforts or have them running solo. There was nice focus on the differences in combat that anti-gravity presents, though nothing particularly eye-popping. As for technical notes, I would say there are just a handful of things that could've been worded different: leaving out the last sentence of the highly descriptive fifth paragraph, or changing the phrase "and began the slow journey" to "trudged" or "slogged". Just small things here and there. Overall, a very solid piece.

Week 56: Know Your Enemy

Hey there, LOMI still here! I'll let it slide if you need a little more time to finish a submission for last week's prompt, but now it's time for me to get the next prompt started promptly. Ha! Yeah, I'll show myself out after this...

Prompt: Halo Wars 2 is coming up on us fast, so let's celebrate shall we? In about 500 words or so, give me a piece about a commanding officer trying to take control of the battlefield. Are they fretting over the situation from a UNSC outpost, watching monitors and unit statistics to determine their next move? Could they be a Covenant warrior, charging the frontlines alongside their finest warriors? Or is it something more shadowy, like ONI or the Created manipulating things from afar? Show me what you've got, ladies and gents


  • Unexpected Resistance by Minuteman 2492
    • Definitely a very brief scene, which brings to mind my first note: I'm not really getting a big picture here. By the end of the piece, I've come to realize that this is some form of rebel attack against the academy. However, I wish this had been made more clear at the start. At first I thought it was a live-fire test for the cadets, then a battle with the Covenant, before it all cleared up at the end. I believe the concept makes for something unique to this piece, but the execution is a little bit of a "text wall clump." The very first paragraph suffers a bit in formatting: periods, colons and semi-colons would've been useful to you, breaking up the orders more efficiently. Similarly, the last two paragraphs mix dialogue and prose in ways that don't work well. In the future, consider breaking the paragraph into smaller pieces, usually starting with the various dialogue lines. However, in the grand scope of things, it does give us a good view of a commander working to keep his troops together despite difficulties, and that's why I named it this week's winner.
  • Painful Silence by Sierra-A143
    • A lot of dialogue in this piece, which keeps telling us what's going on. Normally, I'd say the dialogue adds flavor to a piece, but here it's almost too much. I would've liked to have seen more descriptors in the story: the words are being said, but how? And when a description was given, it was detached from the dialogue, making it feel like an unrelated detail. For the first few paragraphs, there's no context given for who's speaking since everything is in pronouns. I'm not sure if you were trying to create mystery, but I only saw confusion. Giving names up front to associate dialogue to helps keep things flowing without needless overthinking. Finally, while some of the details are nice, they seem to be said then glossed over: someone fired a nuked at Spartans? There is a fireteam of Spartans working for ONI? Why is CHANCELLOR confused by the number of friendlies at first? A nice piece, but further clarification would've been helpful.

Week 57: LvUrFR3NZ

Prompt: This week is pretty simple, ladies and gents: it's Valentines Day this week, so give me your best shorts on love, loss and the feels. All in good taste though, please. Keep it around 600 words or less, and good luck!

Behind the Scenes

  • Each of the first year's challenge titles are named after an online credits challenge from one of the Halo games.

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