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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » We do it for the love (Alternate 1st 13)

   
Author Topic: We do it for the love (Alternate 1st 13)
imperialcancer
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Hi all,

You guys were so good to me last time I posted a beginning, I thought I might run another possible beginning to We do it for the love by you all. This might help set the stage a little better for some of you. Let me know what you like better or how I could improve this. Thanks!

Old beginning: http://www.hatrack.com/forums/writers/forum/Forum11/HTML/003758.html

It felt like the world was spinning around his head as he held his one year old daughter close to his chest. She was sleeping soundly, but Caleb knew that soon her slumber would be interrupted by the State and her vicious Athletic Industries Department. This would be the night they came to take him away to represent the Earth in the Intergalactic Games. He kissed her forehead sweetly before standing in front of the couch, turning his back to the front door to his small studio apartment. A tear ran down his cheek before traveling the long descent to the floor. As the tear struck the floor, Caleb’s front door exploded inward, sending splinters ricocheting throughout the small space. Delilah began to wail.


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monstewer
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I think the first sentence needs to be stronger. It's one of the most important sentences in your story and this one is too vague--how does it feel like the world is spinning around his head? Is he dizzy? Nauseous? Should he even be holding his daughter if he feels like this? Even if you're intent on keeping this image, I think it could be cut down a little: "It felt like the world was spinning about him as he held his daughter close to his chest." or something like that.

be interrupted by the State and her vicious Athletic Industries Department. Too vague--what are we supoposed to be picturing here? I'd rather you tell the reader what is going to happen here, such as the police would be coming to hammer on the door or whatever.

He kissed her forehead sweetly before standing in front of the couch, turning his back to the front door to his small studio apartment. the "sweetly" seems a little off as we're in his POV and so this sounds kind of like him thinking "oh, I'm so sweet" Also, do we need to know such precise movements?

A tear ran down his cheek before traveling the long descent to the floor. As the tear struck the floor Could be easily cut down: "A tear ran down his cheek. As it hit the floor..."

Good luck with it!


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mdybyu
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There's a lot of interesting information here, but it seems a bit running together.

Would the "State" really kick down the door right at first, or might they try to enter normally first? What's so bad about being sent off to "the games"? It made me think of "The Olympics" but from the sound of it, it's more like Gladiators or something. Maybe talk about the specific peril. Good luck!


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zerostone
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It felt like the world was spinning around his head as

Hi, you might want to take a look at OSC's section on Literalism in How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, p.92. (In my hardcover version) Best of luck with it.


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Devnal
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Hey imperial,

I remember your original 13, this is far superior.

great picture here for us of what is going on and of the character, I don't feel like info is being with held this time (everything makes sense). My only problem is some of the sentences are a bit run on and as mdybyu said, it seems a bit running together. MHO - cut down some of the bigger sentences, lose some of the fodder (eg - cut "interrupted by the State and her vicious athletic Industries Deparment" down to "interrupted by the Athletic Industries Department." etc.)

Good work! I would read on


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NoTimeToThink
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I like the image and feeling you're painting here, and I agree it's better than your original. Parts of it read stilted for me. I would name his daughter sooner (I stopped to figure out who Delilah was when her name finally appeared). I would tighten it up a little, something like:

quote:
Caleb held his one year old daughter close to his chest. Delilah slept soundly, but he knew this would soon be shattered by the State's viscious Athletic Industries Department.
Tonight they will take me away and force me to represent Earth.
He kissed her forehead sweetly, a tear running down his cheek. As the tear struck the floor, the front door exploded inward, sending splinters ricocheting throughout the small space. Delilah began to wail.

[This message has been edited by NoTimeToThink (edited October 09, 2009).]


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arriki
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If he KNOWS they are coming, why isn't there someone else in the room? Someone he's arranged with to care for his baby? A neighbor? A babysitter? A wife, girlfriend, the baby's mother unless she is dead.... Either that or someone from the State is with the intruders to take the baby and hold her to insure his full cooperation at the games -- that he doesn't deliberately do less than his best.

That would change the dynamic in this opening. Make it more interesting to me, at least.

[This message has been edited by arriki (edited October 10, 2009).]


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dee_boncci
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A parent being temporarily separated from a young child is a relatively common occurrence, not pleasant, but not life shattering. I'm guessing there's something more to these intergalactic olymics than meets the eye? If the reader knew why he's so averse to an athletic competition, and why the heavy-handed tactics to conscript him, the scene might not seem so melodramatic. Just the character having a simple thought about what the big deal is (it will take years to travel there and back, he's likely to get killed, the child has a medical condition that threatens her life, whatever), could go a long way to connect the reader to the character.

Just a thought.


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