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Author Topic: Illegal Aliens
AmieeRock
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This is just something I've had thrashing around in my brain for awhile, and I've just pounded it out for the heck of it. The premise of teh story is that the main character discovers that all good sci-fi is really all true. It is intended to be very light and humorous. What I want to know is, does it work? Is the basic plotline way over done? Should I bother to invest my time in it? And of course the usual critiques and comments relative to hookiness, grammar, etc.

The day that Jason discovered that his washer and dryer were being slowly and inexorably pulled toward the center of a tiny black hole in his basement was the day he decided to give up writing science fiction. It wasn’t just the black hole. It was also the werewolf who had showed up on his doorstep looking for a place to crash for the weekend. That was six months ago. Guess who hadn’t left. The “illegal aliens” who were hiding in his attic certainly had their part in his decision. They kept sneaking out to draw crop circles on his neighbor’s lawn and were responsible for at least 4 local cat abductions and subsequent dissections. And Jason could trace everything back to the day his short story first appeared in a popular science fiction pulp magazine.

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Okay, in version number two, I've simply shortened the first sentence. I am hoping that shortening that up my clear up any confusion about why he decides to give up sci fi. If it doesn't then tell me how to fix it. So here it is!!

The day that Jason discovered a tiny black hole in his basement was the day he decided to give up writing science fiction. It wasn’t just the black hole. It was also the werewolf who had showed up on his doorstep looking for a place to crash for the weekend. That was six months ago. He hadn’t left. The “illegal aliens” who were hiding in his attic certainly had their part in his decision. They kept sneaking out to draw crop circles on his neighbor’s lawn and were responsible for at least 4 local cat abductions and subsequent dissections. And Jason could trace everything back to the day his short story first appeared in a popular science fiction pulp magazine. He really should have listened when his professor warned him against the genre.

[This message has been edited by AmieeRock (edited March 18, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by AmieeRock (edited March 18, 2009).]


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mommiller
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I love humorous sci-fi. I can't write it, but LOVE to read it.

quote:
The day that Jason discovered that his washer and dryer were being slowly and inexorably pulled toward the center of a tiny black hole in his basement was the day he decided to give up writing science fiction.
This is very long and contradicts what you say next.

quote:
It wasn’t just the black hole. It was also the werewolf who had showed up on his doorstep looking for a place to crash for the weekend.

So was it the black hole, or all these other things that contributed to it?

quote:
Guess who hadn’t left.
Needs to have a question mark.

Anyway, Jason seems to be leading an interesting life, one that I wouldn't mind reading more of.

[This message has been edited by mommiller (edited March 18, 2009).]


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Bycin
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Aimee,

I think you have a great premise here and a strong start. I generally read more fantasy than sci-fi, but I like where you are going with this. Mommiller makes some good points, which really cover the nits that I had with the opening.

My only other thought is that I'm not sure how long of a piece this premise could sustain. It seems better suited for something on the shorter side, as the jokes could get stale and contrived after too long. If you can hone it into something tight, I think it would really be a great piece.


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akeenedesign
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Hehe, you've got an entertaining idea in there with the potential for a fun story, but it's getting a little lost in the wordiness. The first sentence especially is a tough one to swallow because of how much is going on. The following sentences are nice and short and have a bite of sarcasm and wit. And I understand them, which is nice.

"Jason watched his washer and dryer disappear into a black hole in his basement. That was when he decided to give up writing science fiction."

To me, those are easier sentences to understand in the precarious "first impression" phase of the story.

Hope that helps!


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BenM
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writing science fiction... werewolf I worry that for some readers, werewolf is not part of the domain of science fiction.

cat abductions and subsequent dissections. The cat dissections gave me a mental image that was a bit 'eww'. Maybe it's just an indicator that it won't be my kind of story (which is fine), but then maybe if it had been more ambiguous (ie, 'subsequent unspeakable horrors' or something) I'd have been happier to keep going.

All in all I liked it as a start. The only nagging worry I have is if your market will consider the premise of a writer's fiction coming alive being too cliched. I hope not, though, because sometimes those stories can be simply good fun.


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skadder
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I wrote a story about a writer's imaginings coming to life; it was/is a great story, IMO, but a really hard sell, and not sold yet.

Editors consider it a cliched plot; apparently only Stephen King is allowed to write stories about writers (which he does a lot!).

I would consider the fact it will be a difficult sale, even if it is a great story. Factor in the time and effort required to write it and you may feel it's worth writing something else instead and leaving this story until you are rich and famous and they buy anything you produce.

Or you may decide that the story has to be written--in which case do so.

Just a thought. Sorry.


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AmieeRock
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Actually, the story isn't about his stories coming to life at all. None of his stories come to life. Like I said in my intro, all good science fiction is really true. Once Jason begins writing speculative fiction, he discovers this. I guess it's a what came first, the chicken or the egg, kind of thing. The aliens did't poof into being cause he wrote about them. He wrote about them because they showed up.

I note your advice, Skadder and BenM. I appreciate it. I've actually dedicated about 10 minutes to actual writing time on the story. I think I've put more time into the critiques of it than actual writing time!!! Since I shall never be famous enough to publish what I like, then I fear I shall have to delete it. Oh well.


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