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Author Topic: Timeís Champion
ChrisOwens
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Toward the end of his life, my father composed papers that no eye has ever read. Time, he wrote, was a living entity, an endangered sentience that his trawlers would kill bit by bit. And when time died, so would all sentience, everywhere, every-when.

I never expected to have a temporal encounter, or serve as a mediator to save humanity, not to mention time itself. When my calling came, there I was, huddled in my spot, a scrap of cardboard beside the dumpster. The cardboard had made a nice box once. It didnít take long for it to fall apart, just another thing Iíd ruined.
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Okay, this was Second Options. I've gone back and redid the opening, yet again. I'm trying to show the speculative element on the first page, and it's kind of an infodump, but I'm hoping it all goes with: The first paragraph's free. Maybe not?

As I'm currently in the middle revamping this story, I'm just interesting in the opening for now...

[This message has been edited by ChrisOwens (edited February 20, 2006).]


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Marva
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Not too bad for info-dumping. It reminds me of HG Wells.

Do you mean sentients instead of sentience? First one is the noun.


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Survivor
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It's a nice effort to tie the concept to the scene, but it seems to raise an irony that you don't exploit.

His father died a bit of a marginalized nut. Here the son is living on the remains of a cardboard box by a dumpster. His father constructed a theory about the transient nature of time itself, and this guy has reason to contemplate the ephemeral nature of his own house...granted, one made of cardboard.

If you could interweave those two in a way that both starts and ends with the current conditions of the narrator, I think it would work a little smoother.


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wbriggs
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Not too bad. It doesn't grip me greatly -- of course death is inevitable -- but I'd keep reading.

Problems: if no eye has read this, how does MC know what it says?

I'm assuming MC is not a scrap of cardboard, but is _on_ one.


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Survivor
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I resisted the temptation to cite that last thing, but it got me too.
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Elan
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I was thrown off by this statement: "my father composed papers that no eye has ever read", yet your narrator goes on to describe what is IN those papers. An obvious contradiction, and one that comes across as an inaccurate choice of words rather than an intriguing mystery. It boils down to a POV violation... if no eye has ever read the papers, how would your POV character know about them?

If it's a trick, and they were somehow read WITHOUT an eye, you need to let the reader in on the joke immediately.

Don't be shy about revealing the speculative element here. You are better off hooking us earlier than you meant to, rather than risk turning us away because you aren't clear and we chalk that up to poor storytelling skills.

I sense a good hook about to happen, but it's not there yet.


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ethersong
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Maybe his father told him about them??!?!? Or perhaps he saw them with something besides his eye?!?!!

But really, perhaps he is just speaking from an older version of himself that already knows the information, which seems to be pretty clear to me. Maybe you should just make it a little clearer though. I like it personally, especially that second sentence--has a nice ring to it.


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ChrisOwens
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Thanks.

Hopefully the contradiction would be one that some would note in the back of their mind, but not stop them from reading. Thereís a truth to the statement that becomes apparent by the end of the story.


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krazykiter
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I like the tone a lot. Neat parallel between time being taken slowly apart and the cardboard box slowly falling apart.

Makes me wonder if the hero didn't destroy something else personally valuable by trying to save time. I'd read to find that out.


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Aspirations
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This really caught my interest...

"Time, he wrote, was a living entity, an endangered sentience ... And when time died, so would all sentience, everywhere, every-when."

The idea of time as a living thing that can die -- and take the universe with it -- has some very unsettling implications for me. I think it's a good hook.

The second paragraph could use a little work, as per some of the suggestions above but I feel it has potential.

Very imaginative premise. I'd read more.


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