This is topic Quality Control - Science Fiction in forum Fragments and Feedback for Short Works at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by msgolds (Member # 8316) on :
December 10

Dear Journal,

Doc Smith took me outside today. It was snowing. I had never seen real snow before, and I thought it was beautiful. When I was in early post-production, the Docs used to read me books with pictures of little alpha and beta units playing in the snow. I couldn’t, though. The Doc has only been taking me outside since the summer. It's my reward for being a good Defect. Other Defects are bad, but I do everything the Company tells me. I am good, so I get more than I deserve. The Docs are so good to us even though we are broken. Doc Smith is my favorite.

The Doc asked me what I thought of the snow and I told him it was pretty. He laughed and agreed with me. He asked me why I

[This message has been edited by msgolds (edited November 21, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited November 21, 2008).]

Posted by kings_falcon (Member # 3261) on :
Welcome. Don't get discouraged because we've all been here and we're all trying to help.

You are well over the 13 lines so expect to get this chopped.

There are some interesting bits which might hook me if I weren't having difficulty with the way the information's presented, more accurately the voice.This is very passive and a lot of telling. Part of the difficulty is you are telling the story as a journal entry which almost requires a telling, rather than letting me experience this with the MC.

You have lots of information/names being thrown at us in this section:

1) Doc Smith
2) "early post-production"
3) the Docs
4) Defect
5) Company

My issue is I have nothing to help me figure out what you mean by "post-production," "Defect" and the "Company."

Is there a really really good reason you are doing this as a journal entry rather than "live?" If so, you might want to read the novel - Dangerous Liasons or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. Both of those novels are told through letters or journal entries but they don't "feel" this remote.

Keep working on it because there's an interesting story line.


Posted by MrsBrown (Member # 5195) on :
I usually bow before kings_falcoln's wisdom. But in this case I like the child-like view, as it is presented.

I would very much like to see a re-write of this segment in the manner kings_falcoln suggests, and compare them. I have a suspicion we will find she is right.

Posted by TaleSpinner (Member # 5638) on :
Hi Mark, and welcome to Hatrack.

As one familiar with manufacturing industry I didn't find your terminolgy confusing, and I like the clear style of writing and the child-like voice of the Defect.

Like the others I don't much care for the journal method of telling the story. It would have been far more fun, I imagine, to see the Defect getting its first taste of snow, to see and hear its reactions.

There is a hook though, for me, and it's interesting because it's implied. Will the Defect make it out of rework into normal "life"?

Hope this helps,


Posted by msgolds (Member # 8316) on :
Thank you so much for your input. I have decided to scrap the journal entry idea, although I am keeping the same syntax since the childlike tone is central to the story as it goes on. I will submit a rewrite as soon as I can... although it might take a while as I am busy with exams and papers in the upcoming couple of weeks.

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