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Brother Emund 04-05-16 05:41 PM

BL submission 2016 'Rejects'
 
Boy are they tough up there at BL.

Well I submitted my bits for the BL to be a budding author. Unfortunately, I got this:

"Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm in writing for Games Workshop.

Unfortunately, your submission has not reached required standards, and therefore we will not be taking your current application any further. We appreciate that you may want feedback, however due to the volume of applications we cannot provide specific feedback at this time.

We wish you every success in your future writing endeavours.

Kind Regards,

The Black Library Author Team"

How did the rest of you do?

How about putting YOUR (rejected) submission here and let US decide if it had a future. All just a bit of fun. You have to be very good to be up there with the Thorpes and Abnetts!

Anyway, here was mine:

Summary Justice
By
Craig Willcox



As Janów Hive is wracked by riots and civil unrest, an Arbitrator, a tough, twenty-five-year veteran called Dieter Keplar, is sent out onto the streets to dispense justice in the name of the Emperor. When a routine vehicle stop goes wrong, he finds himself facing Ahum-Waqar and his Alpha Legion operatives who appear to be responsible for the upheaval in the city. This is the beginning of a full-scale invasion by the profane forces of Chaos. Keplar tries to thwart their efforts and tries desperately to contact his superiors before it is too late. His superiors are not convinced…

* * *

He that digs a pit shall fall into it; and he who disturbs the grass, a serpent shall bite him.

Ancient Terran Saying


……

It was a classic ambush if observed in military terms, and they had blundered right into it. The signs had been there but Ahum-Waqar chose to ignore them.

Tactical error. Focus


“The mission is compromised. Anti-ambush protocol.”
The only way to survive is withdrawal from the killing zone the way you entered it.

The six-wheeler, heavy transport was designed for freight and not for speed. As it turned the corner and into the next street it was already trapped. A rhino armoured vehicle blocked the way ahead and a hidden Chimera was positioned to their rear.
“Reverse. Full speed. Maximum firepower.”

The first Arbitrator stepped forward waving an illuminated wand at the driver. The signal was clear. Pull to the side of the road and await inspection.
Ahum-Waqar fired two rounds through the windscreen shattering his chest, knocking him back hard against the Rhino’s side-skirt.

Keplar recognised the sound immediately.

Boltgun. Space Marine issue.

The machine spirit in the Chimera quickly activated the Tarantula Sentry gun in the cupola and it swivelled towards the sound.
The six-wheeler was already reversing, its powerful engine screaming with torment at the sudden change in direction.

A series of Bolter rounds bracketed the Rhino and Keplar saw his colleagues diving for cover. The sound was incredible, even through his helmet.
“Oh no you don’t.” He found himself roaring.

Two, maybe three seconds had passed but it seemed like an eternity.

Crack-Thump. Crack-Thump.

Another Arbitrator tumbled to the ground, his face a bloody, open wound.

Keplar was now level with the driver.

Male, Caucasian, age undetermined.

A pair of pale blue eyes stared back at him. They were devoid of emotion, the eyes of a seasoned killer.
A Bolter round struck the lower part of Keplar’s helmet and tore his vox piece away along with his re-breather. The second round clipped his shoulder guard.
He was now working beyond his body and purely on instinct. Years of gutter fighting gave him a slight edge over his larger adversary. It was a tiny, infinitesimal moment in time.
But he had the edge.

He pumped a single round from his shotgun into the drivers face and saw a satisfying cloud of blood and gore. It was at point-blank range and would have killed a normal perpetrator, but this adversary was different, and far-more deadly.

Keplar wracked another round into the chamber.

The vehicle immediately curved backwards and to the left and came to grinding halt against the corner stone of an Administratum building. Black smoke began to tumble from underneath the vehicles bonnet as the engine rattled and died. Keplar Pumped another round into the front wheel shredding what remained of its tyre.

The driver’s door exploded outwards and catapulted towards him like a child’s toy in the wind. The dead-eyed driver jumped down onto the road surface. His face was a bloody…


.

Brobaddon 04-05-16 08:17 PM

Not too bad, but I wanna point out few things that caught my eye. ( Sorry if I'll sound dick-ish )

Why is a 25 year old guy considered a veteran? 40k humans have a well expanded life-span compared to ours and even people of 50-60 years are considered relatively young. Not that it matters that much, but just pointing it out.

The ambush in start, does it happen at the beggining of the short story or middle? Somehow I find it hard to swallow that Infilitration experts like Alpha legion would get caught so easily in an trap sprung no less by mere Arbites. The way they fight back also suggests gun blazing all over the place, instead of trying to silently dispatch the arbites? maybe silenced bolters, etc? To fit with the theme of secrecy?

Second thing is your main character catching a bolter round with the lower part of his helmet. Im pretty sure that would have completely blown up a part of his head, unless that helmet is made of starship armour.

As for my story, I've yet to submit it.

Third, for some reason everybody wants to write Arbites? Why? Im genuinely interested as to why. Are they that interesting?

Tyriks 04-05-16 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brobaddon (Post 2320162)
Not too bad, but I wanna point out few things that caught my eye. ( Sorry if I'll sound dick-ish )

Why is a 25 year old guy considered a veteran? 40k humans have a well expanded life-span compared to ours and even people of 50-60 years are considered relatively young. Not that it matters that much, but just pointing it out.

It says he is a 25 year veteran, not a 25 year old veteran. So, he's been an Arbiter for 25 years.

Brobaddon 04-05-16 08:46 PM

Ah I see. Alright, my mistake.

Brother Emund 04-05-16 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brobaddon (Post 2320162)
The ambush in start, does it happen at the beggining of the short story or middle? Somehow I find it hard to swallow that Infilitration experts like Alpha legion would get caught so easily in an trap sprung no less by mere Arbites. The way they fight back also suggests gun blazing all over the place, instead of trying to silently dispatch the arbites? maybe silenced bolters, etc? To fit with the theme of secrecy?

It was just a small 500 paragraph (as requested by BL). I wanted to get into a bit of action so chose this tiny bit. Hence you are right at the begining of the ambush.

I would never consider them mere Arbites... these guys are tough hombres. My character is a 25-year (service) street veteran. Trust me, they would not die easily.

The Alpha unit was caught because the Arbite road block was not expected, it was random and just set up. They (the Arbites) were not aware that Alpha Legion were operating, remember, no one at that stage knew why all the trouble was breaking out thoughout the city. My main character would spend the rest of the story trying to convince his bosses what was happening.
The smashed face piece meant he could not contact them right away. That is why I did not want the bolter round to kill him!!

Quote:

Third, for some reason everybody wants to write Arbites? Why? Im genuinely interested as to why. Are they that interesting?
God yes! Having speant 25 years as a 21st century equivalent to an Arbite, I think they are very interesting indeed!!

Hope that clears up the points you raised? Thanks for the feed back.

.

Squire 04-06-16 09:13 AM

I quite like your submission. Maybe they get too much Alpha Legion stuff? Or maybe the standard expected is just really high and they're getting a lot of submissions from people who always write as their vocation

Regarding the bolter thing, presumably the bolter rounds that tore away his vox and clipped his shoulder didn't detonate on impact? Bolters in the fluff are far more lethal than they would appear in the game, there's no way a human getting hit anywhere near the face would survive it- their head and most of their torso would be obliterated. Even a round clipping a shoulder guard would tear away the shoulder guard or throw the arbite backwards a few metres.

Brother Emund 04-06-16 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squire (Post 2320426)
Regarding the bolter thing, presumably the bolter rounds that tore away his vox and clipped his shoulder didn't detonate on impact? Bolters in the fluff are far more lethal than they would appear in the game, there's no way a human getting hit anywhere near the face would survive it- their head and most of their torso would be obliterated. Even a round clipping a shoulder guard would tear away the shoulder guard or throw the arbite backwards a few metres.

I think it was just for dramatic effect! Maybe, if the story was allowed to run, I could have shown my Arbite as being seriously injured as well!
Never got the chance unfortunately.

You might be right about Alpha's. I suppose I could have used another bad guy!!

.

Squire 04-06-16 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brother Emund (Post 2320434)
I think it was just for dramatic effect! Maybe, if the story was allowed to run, I could have shown my Arbite as being seriously injured as well!
Never got the chance unfortunately.

You might be right about Alpha's. I suppose I could have used another bad guy!!

.

To be honest you should take everything I say with a pinch of salt because I'm no writer and I have no idea what BL want in these submissions. In retrospect maybe a fighting scene was a bit ambitious? By describing a lot of action happening you could have been forfeiting the ability to really set a scene and create a distinctive tone to the piece that would grab the attention of the person reading. Perhaps writing the aftermath of the event or moments before it began could have been more effective- when I read BL stuff the fighting parts aren't what I enjoy reading, it's usually the rest of the book that's memorable.

Again, I'd try to emphasize the huge gulf in abilities between an Astartes and a human. Maybe have the human survive purely because the marine didn't turn his attention to him, or let it be freak luck the guy survived the encounter rather than the marine missing his shots.

I can't stress enough that I have zero expertise in these things and am only throwing out suggestions. I respect that you took a shot at it and I'm sure every unsuccessful attempt at getting something published will improve your chances next time. Apparently that Stephen King book 'On Writing' is great for anybody looking to get into the craft, if you haven't read it you might find it useful next time around. Stick at it!

Brother Emund 04-06-16 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squire (Post 2320562)
Stick at it!

Thank you for the kind words. I think all the points you have made are absolutely right.

.

Xenocide 05-02-16 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brother Emund (Post 2320034)
Boy are they tough up there at BL.

:cray:

Editors man. You must ensure that your prose is as pure as an Adepta Sororitas sister's devotion to Him on Terra. One mistake maybe forgiven, two mistakes may raise an eyebrow, but more will invoke exterminatus. Inevitably many will fault the hand that felled so much prose: the Ordo Editorialis. But the Black Library editors merely perform the duty of their office. To further fear them is redundant. To hate them – heretical.


The signs had been there but Ahum-Waqar chose to ignore them.
The signs had been there, but Ahum-Waqar chose to ignore them.

Two, maybe three seconds had passed but it seemed like an eternity.
Two, maybe three, seconds had passed, but it seemed like an eternity.

A Rhino armoured vehicle blocked the way ahead and a hidden Chimera ...
A Rhino armoured vehicle blocked the way ahead, and a hidden Chimera ...

… Chimera quickly activated the Tarantula Sentry gun in the cupola and it swivelled towards the sound.
… Chimera quickly activated the Tarantula Sentry gun in the cupola, and it swivelled towards the sound.

A series of Bolter rounds bracketed the Rhino and Keplar saw his colleagues diving for cover.
A series of bolter rounds bracketed the Rhino, and Keplar saw his colleagues diving for cover.

Two, maybe three seconds had passed but it seemed like an eternity.
Two, maybe three, seconds had passed, but it seemed like an eternity.

With two independent clauses a comma is required before the coordinating conjunction.


… but this adversary was different, and far-more deadly.
… but this adversary was different and far-more deadly.

And this is the opposite problem. Dependent clauses don't take a comma before the conjunction.


The only way to survive is withdrawal from the killing zone the way you entered it.

This is a PoV switch from third person to second person, or maybe it's dialogue but the quotation marks are missing.


The signal was clear. Pull to the side of the road and await inspection.
The signal was clear: pull to the side of the road and await inspection (or ...was clear: Pull to the … depending on the editor)


Some other typos:

A Bolter round struck the lower part of ...
A bolter round struck the lower part of ...

He pumped a single round from his shotgun into the drivers face ...
He pumped a single round from his shotgun into the driver's face ...

Black smoke began to tumble from underneath the vehicles bonnet ...
Black smoke began to tumble from underneath the vehicle's bonnet ...

Keplar wracked another round into the chamber.
Keplar racked another round into the chamber.

Keplar Pumped another round
Keplar pumped another round


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