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Author Topic: Opening section first 13 lines
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Member # 10256

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Hi, this is the opening to an untitled Sci Fi novel I'm working on. Early days yet, really just an introductory passage to the story, just hope it's interesting enopugh to make people want to read more. [Smile]


Soaring through space, a small probe headed far out from Earth, its destination was not one of the planets that make up the Sol system, but a different world, a 'Super-Earth' some call it. Kepler-22b an extrasolar planet that lay in orbit around a star in the constellation of Cygnus. The probe had travelled across six hundred light years of empty space since 2020AD. And now in the year 2090AD the probe had arrived at last.

The AT-Rover lay where it landed near a strange towering plant like structure that sported massive leaves splaying outward on large thick branches. After an hour a set of tracks unfolded from the underside and it rolled forward through a thick orange foliage, a couple of intelligent mechanisms on the front shifting the leafy obstructions. A single lens rose up from the top, ready to survey this strange extra-terrestrial landscape.

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Member # 1818

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My two bits:

The first paragraph is very info-dumpy, which does not catch my interest. Not that the story doesn't sound like a good one, but you're dumping a bunch of info on me that I have no reason to care about because I have no people to attach it to. Much better, I think, to find a way to SHOW me that information in a scene (i.e. specific things happening to specific characters in real time).

Like, for example, your second paragraph, which does exactly that. Maybe consider cutting that first paragraph and starting with the second, which I think would make a perfectly serviceable opening, and find ways to weave in or imply the info from that first paragraph in the course of the narrative.

That first paragraph feels to me like you have included your prewriting. Important to do it, but leave it out of your finished product.

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Member # 10234

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Hi GCanty,
Rather than wrestle with usage and grammar, as I'm sure others will do once Kathleen has moved this to Fragments and Feedback for Books, I'll mention this.

I need people. People interest me. The people I like to read about might be my species, alien, robotic or even robotic aliens. I notice that there aren't any people in the fragment you've provided.

One technical point I'm sure you've done some thinking about, but I'll bring it up anyway. The probe is faster than light, but still takes 70 years to get to its destination. Why? Seventy or seven hundred years, both are beyond the working life of a single individual.

Good luck,

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Since you say this is a novel, I'm moving it to the Fragments and Feedback for Books area.

Please look for it there.

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