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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Alien World Mk3

   
Author Topic: Alien World Mk3
pdm_joker
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I know it ain't perfect, but I think it's a little better than the original.

Mk3: Jim Clarkson skilfully landed his ship on the Lower Plane and announced “Welcome to Paxon!” as he hit the door-release. He watched as the four members of the Landing Party disembarked and made their way to the waiting speeder. It set off for the Local Ministry for a routine Inspection Visit and Jim couldn’t help thinking “… and Good Riddance!”
“Yet another perfect landing” he thought and sighed. Clarkson had been Top Cadet at Deep Space Flight School until the War started. Then anyone who could fly was transferred to combat or freighter missions and all thoughts of exploring Deep Space were dropped from the political agenda. “Boy I miss

Mk1: They stood blinking in the sunlight as the bay door slowly dropped open and became a ramp leading downwards. The Landing Party looked like four businessmen who had just travelled six floors in a lift, rather than halfway across a galaxy. They stepped out into the sunshine and made for the speeder that was ready to take them to the Local Ministry. Its doors hissed shut and off they went, almost silently. This was the planet Paxon, and the Inspection Visit was supposed to be merely routine.


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shevivya
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So is Jim your main character?

In my opinion this is better as it took me right into the story. The first version was too didactic. I have this problem right now with my own writing and I'm trying to break the habit.

There was more life breathed into this version. Nothing groundshaking is happening and I think it would be too easy to put this story down.

I like to try and come up with a strong sentence that raises a question in the reader's mind or hints of a greater conflict to come. What is your conflict? Try and get it in the first line if you can or at least by the end of the first short paragraph.

Something that will grab the editor by the throat.


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Susannaj4
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I like it, content wise, but then again, I have issues with creating that conflict in the first paragraph. But it's a little wordy. Yes, better than the first, picking up from a beginning point, instead of the middle. I get that Jim really disliked his passengers and that he was an excellent pilot. Are these two paragraphs on the same page and close proximity to one another? You stated where they were in both. I like that first sentence. Should he state that they were making their way to the speeder and then in the next paragragh say that they were waiting for the bay door to slide down or are these different people? Can you combine the two? Begin with Jim, say the not liking them stuff, the stuff about his piloting and the war and then have him state that he was bringing them there for the Inspection Visit and that would lead into a specific person in the landing party making a record log or having these feelings?
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pdm_joker
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Thanks for the feedback: very helpful indeed.

Yes, Jim is the main character.
Susj4: The 'second paragraph' is the 1st paragraph of the Mk1 version. The second paragraph begins
“Yet another perfect landing” he thought and sighed.

Thanks again for helpful feedback.

Phil

[This message has been edited by pdm_joker (edited January 28, 2006).]


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Jaina
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There are an awful lot of capital letters in there: Jim Clarkson... Lower Plane... Welcome... Paxon... Landing Party... Local Ministry... Inspection Visit... Good Riddance... Top Cadet... Deep Space Flight School...War...Deep Space... see what I mean? It was rather distracting.

I like Jim. He's already got a strong character and I'm starting to care about him, which is more than I can say for the first try.

I wonder if the landing party will be important later on? Because it seems like you're about to just take off with Jim - he's done his job - and leave the landing party to do their thing. That would be very disappointing, since now I'm interested in what they were going to be doing on their routine inspection visit. And if their routine inspection visit is just that, and nothing important, maybe you could downplay their role in the first paragraph and play up Jim's thoughts.


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pdm_joker
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Excellent comments again.

The Inspection Visit and Landing Party do figure through the story. We don't takeoff (literally or story-wise) and leave them behind.

Yes, a couple too many capitals...

Thanks, Phil


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Hendrik Boom
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Quote:

Jim couldn’t help thinking “… and Good Riddance!”
“Yet another perfect landing” he thought and sighed.

Although he couldn't help thinking "Good Riddane", what he actually thought was "Yet another perfect landing"

Doesn't work for me -- the change of thought is too abrupt. Maybe

Jim couldn’t help thinking “… and Good Riddance!”

He sighed. Yet another perfect landing.


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