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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The War of the Squids/ flash/ sci -fi/ first 13

   
Author Topic: The War of the Squids/ flash/ sci -fi/ first 13
honu
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ver 1 ... crits on 13 lines please
quote:
A squid regarded me with curiosity only a few days after the war broke out. We encountered one another in the warm, shallow waters just off Nuku'alofa, Tonga,.
A sub-adult, about as big as me, no less dangerous from my point of view, because the closest earth parallel was the ping-pong-ball sized blue-ringed octopus that held enough venom to kill 26 humans. This interstellar traveler was far deadlier.
I tried to calm my breathing, the snorkel echoed with my gasps and sputters, as I thought about what I knew about them.
# At first they'd broad casted polite messages from their mother ship, circling the moon, notifying Earth that they needed the oceans,


ver 2 ...
quote:
A squid regarded me with curiosity only a few days after the war broke out. We encountered one another in the warm, shallow waters just off Nuku'alofa, Tonga,.
Dad told me not to call them squids like everyone else did. Now that I was looking at one face to face, I could see why.
Dad's a marine biologist specializing in cephalapoda so he should know, and I'd helped him collect enough octopus specimens that even I could see that this creature was more akin to them than a squid.
From what I had seen on the web, this one was a sub-adult, about as big as me, no less dangerous from my point of view. The closest earth parallel to it was the ping-pong-ball sized blue-ringed octopus that held enough venom to kill 26 humans. This interstellar traveler was far deadlier.


[This message has been edited by honu (edited December 12, 2008).]


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aspirit
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Hi, honu! I'm guessing you want crits of these lines.

What concerns me most is that the action isn't clear. I read these lines multiple times to gain a basic understanding of what might be happening. What I determined is that the POV character, who is snorkeling in waters he knows to be dangerous, is looking at a young squid-like creature from space that is probably part of an invading force. What slowed down my understanding: The alien creature is identified as a familiar earth animal sentences before any hint otherwise; the connection between a squid and war seemed random at first; the earth parallel reference makes no sense to me at all; and the octopus reference does not seem to advance plot or add to characterization.

I do like the concept that has been presented. What do you have for version 2?


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Brendan
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What I liked:

You started at some action (not strong action, but action still) before you went to (important) backstory.

Your sentence structure, for the most part, was ok.

The concept of a war with a sea creature is ok, and would keep me reading for a while.

What I disliked:

You share intimate details that the POV character cannot know. How can he know that the motive of the look was curiosity? How can he know, just hours after war broke out, that it was sub-adult? Don't tell us that he knew a lot about them, tell us why he did.

Squid and octopi are very different natured creatures. Squid a build for speed, octopi for ambush, squid are sleek, octopi are sneaky. They conjure up very different images of the creature, which contradict each other.


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honu
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thanks aspirit and Brendan...clarity and brevity are what I'm working on...I didn't pull it off (esp for first 13 ) Ver...2 has the info shuttled up from the body of the story into first 13...(See I was going to get to it.... lol) thanks again...

[This message has been edited by honu (edited December 12, 2008).]


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Yufae
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I think it's pretty easy to see that the squids are the invading aliens. I like the first option better, though if your narrator is a child, the second option better captures the character's voice. I agree that the narrator probably wouldn't know at this point that it's a subadult. But I would definitely keep reading.
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honu
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thanks yufae...I can see that the subadult thing is problematic from your and Brendan's comments .... ...I'll make the time different and clean it up

[This message has been edited by honu (edited December 12, 2008).]


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