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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Return of the Gods

   
Author Topic: Return of the Gods
Jed Anderson
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His name is Orion Samson. His birth is unnatural, for he was born of parents that were stolen by the Gods and then caste way.

In this post-apocalyptic world where man fights for survival against the Gods that have come down from the stars in their great ships and brought with them beasts from other worlds, Orion joins others in the hope of defeating those beings that steal children and turn them into a weapons for their army.

-----
“We've got Demons coming in,” Uther's voice crackles in Orion's ear piece.

“Damn,” Orion says. He looks at the time piece on his left wrist, its glass face scratched from years of use. They got here a a lot quicker than they should have, he thinks to himself. Orion clicks the button on his mic, “Can you make it to the check point, Uther?”

“No chance,” is the response.

“Damn,” Orion says again, and clicks on his mic. “Get them to the intersection, and we'll be waiting.”

“Copy that.”

“Time?”

“About fifteen mikes,” Uther says.

[ January 18, 2013, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Is that first part going to be at the beginning, or is it just explanatory for readers here?
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JSchuler
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I like it. It gets me right into the action. I'm not too thrilled about the present tense.

My main complaints are with the second paragraph, as it seems like a missed opportunity. What is Orion doing at the time? What are the implications of the Demon's early arrival? Consider the information given with the following:

"Damn." Orion rips out the nozzle and calls for the next Jeep. Its rusted frame lurches into his station and groans to a halt. Half the convoy will be running on fumes by the time they make the rendezvous, and that's only if nothing else goes wrong. "Can you make it to the check point?"

The description of the watch is nice (I do think you could lose "he thinks to himself"), but I'm expecting more information.

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Jed Anderson
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@Kathleen; These are the opening 13 lines to my novel. I was told that the best way to start/sell your work is to make the reader want to read more. I figured the best way to do this is to just throw them into the middle of a scene.

@JS: You'll have to read a page or two more to get that wanted information. Can't let everything be known right away. Gotta keep the reader needing/wanting to read more.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Okay, I guess my question wasn't very clear.

Is this

quote:
His name is Orion Samson. His birth is unnatural, for he was born of parents that were stolen by the Gods and then caste way.

In this post-apocalyptic world where man fights for survival against the Gods that have come down from the stars in their great ships and brought with them beasts from other worlds, Orion joins others in the hope of defeating those beings that steal children and turn them into a weapons for their army.

-----

supposed to be part of your first 13 lines?

If it is, you've run WAY too long. If not, then the part after the ----- is now the correct length.

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MattLeo
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Well, I think from a mechanical standpoint the opening is impeccable. I'm not a huge fan of present tense, but that's a bias on my part and I manage to get over it these days.

The main question I have is how you're going to carry forward the energy of the scene opening. There's nothing wrong with starting off with a taut, exciting scene, but it often presents a major problem as an author shifts gears to handling the background briefing, world building and characterization he thinks he needs before getting into the meat of the story.

If you start the way you have here, you need to be prepared to keep the energy up through the entire first chapter (if not further), parceling out tiny bits information as you go, not breaking the story's forward momentum until your readers need a break. If you can manage that, you've got a winner. If you don't do that, any drop in energy level will be exaggerated. It's a mistake to think you can use an exciting opening to propel a reader through a subsequent dull stretch. The result is more like crashing him into a wall.

So if I were you I'd look further into the story, say through the first 3000-5000 words. If you shift gears to explaining, then this opening doesn't work. If you can put out a solid first chapter that maintains this atmosphere and ends in a satisfying place, then this opening does work.

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Jed Anderson
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Sorry Kathleen miss read that. And no, it's not. It's just a synopsis of the story. The 13 lines starts after the ---

Matt, I agree that some stories are better told in past tense than present, and vice versa. In this one, I think having it in present works better to pull the reader in. If you want to know if I can keep up the energy, I'll let you read the first 3,000 words and let you judge for yourself, and then let me know what you think.

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