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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Simulacrum

   
Author Topic: The Simulacrum
wfhack
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A 7500 word short story - Thanks for your feedback.

Thirty-six hours after the Simulacrum had been sabotaged, Major Joseph Healey tensed as he watched the monitor showing the prisoner, shackled and hooded, being led into the interrogation room. The genius who had created the Simulacrum--a simulation model capable of foretelling the behavior of terror cells, armies, or whole populations--was the same bastard who had incapacitated it. The Simulacrum had become the most important predictor of military success, and now, just as bullets began to fly, his actions had left the program in shambles along with the entire U.S. military strategy for this war. Joseph, experienced as an expert interrogator and psychologist, had his orders: Use any means necessary to compel this traitor to reactivate the Simulacrum before more lives were lost.

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mayflower988
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Hi, there. I see you're new. Welcome to the treehouse; sorry if I missed your introductory post. I should warn you, I am very much an amateur writer. Take my words with a grain of salt.
I like the premise - the Simulacrum sounds like it would be an extremely helpful tool. But the name "Simulacrum" is kind of a mouthful and somewhat awkward to say.
I would like to see you more clearly identify what the Simulacrum is. A little more description might be nice.
Also, consider starting with either a little more action or more of Joseph's thoughts as he watches the prisoner. (These are things I've been learning recently.) Is the prisoner being led willingly? Your sentence makes me picture a guy wearing a hood in addition to handcuffs and leg irons, and he's just walking along calmly behind somebody leading him by the hand. If this is what you're going for, then never mind. Going back to Joseph's thoughts - are you telling the story from his point of view? If so, take us inside his mind. Share his internal monologue, use his manner of speaking. (Again, this is something a fellow Hatracker mentioned to me about my most recent story. I may not be explaining it in the best way.)
Do you need people to read the whole story or did you just want critique on the first 13 lines?

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Denevius
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My only complaint here is the title. The term is so overused now, and when it's the first thing I see of a story, I'm immediately turned off. But the story line seems compelling, and the writing in this intro is solid.

If you're looking to swap pieces for a critique, please email. I'll be happy to read.

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wfhack
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Mayflower988 and Denevius - These are good suggestions. I like the idea of putting a bit more POV into the first paragraph. I've been wondering if I should change the name from Simulacrum. I'll do that. In a couple of days I'll repost a rewrite (and new name) for the opening. thanks alot.

I would be be interested in swapping pieces for some critique. I'm new to this, but will give it a shot.

Send them over and hopefully in about a week I'll have the next draft of my story complete and will provide it.

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mayflower988
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I just sent you mine. Send me yours when you can. :)
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Bent Tree
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My opinion was the narrative was a bit dry and informative. Referring to the antagonist as a genius seemed a bit out of place.

My first thought was that I wanted to hear the interrogation, or the inner dialogue of the mental preparation of the interrogator. Either would shift the attention to characters which is what I felt was lacking.

I do not want to hear the the villain be called a genius, I want to hear it in his dialogue, feel the POV character's intimidation by it...

I also feel that i need to connect with the POV character. I want to experience it through him.

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wfhack
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Bent Tree -
Thanks for the feedback. I did a POV rewrite of the opening and you can see it as the last post on the thread called "The Construct" (a rename for this story). Actually the opening is a bit longer than 13 lines so doesn't fit.

I'm happy to send the whole story over if you have an interest and/or have anything you'd like me to review in return.

In any case - Thanks so much for your feedback - it is appreciated.

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