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Author Topic: "The Gravity Engine" sci-fantasy, 13 rewrite
xardoz
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This is the previously untitled space opera I posted before. I've been doing a lot of research and world building in the meantime, and realized my approach was wrong for this story. Feeling a bit put off, I consulted the guru, via his book "Characters and Viewpoint," and OSC has pulled me out of the pit again. He suggests starting a character story as close to the point where the character decides to change his life as possible.

I'll be damned if it doesn't seem to be working. I'm starting the story about two months before my previously posted excerpt. The previous material will survive, with minor tweaks to fit later in the story. I am not offering to email additional material at this time, as I'm still filling the void between the two sections.

In particular, I'm wondering if I'm managing to keep the same atmosphere and style as the previous excerpt. Does Kerm seem like the same character? Any logical, plausibility, grammatical, spelling or other errors?

Thanks!

quote:
No one would ever mistake Kermit Gode for a Belter. He was too short, too beefy, and too dark. On Earth, hed be just another generic American-stock mutt lost in the crowd, but he hadnt been dirtside since he was five.

The kid facing him had generations of Belters in his blood, and it showed. He was pale, long and lean, and he moved with the easy grace of someone born to light gravity. He had the attitude, too, smiling around his mouth guard like hed already won. It was that sneer, that damned smirk that pissed Kerm off the most. Hed make the kid eat it, just like the last guy.

The bell clanged and the kid danced out, punching the air. Kerm leapt out of his corner and was inside the kids reach before he could react, smashing the kids nose with a jab. The

[This message has been edited by xardoz (edited January 14, 2007).]


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Survivor
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You need to transpose the first two paragraphs (rewriting the new first line, of course) to maintain POV and frame the importance of the information properly. I'd also suggest using "kid" less often, half the number of instances would still be a lot.

More generally, Kerm has attitude, but lacks interest for me. The previous opening scene featured action that was necessary in a larger context. Nothing about this opening suggests it's anything other than an exercise in pointless violence. Not that this lacks any appeal...but I was thinking about why Tanaka Punie is so much cooler than Dokuro-chan, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Punie has to be violent, she's not just screwing around and beating people to death for no good reason.

On that note, it seems a little implausible that a Belter, facing a physical confrontation with somebody that looks like a dirt-sider, isn't going to be very cautious. Perhaps confident about his ability to out maneuver his opponent, but seriously aware of the difference in raw strength. He might feel the way you would about wrestling an alligator, pretty sure of winning (presuming that you knew what to do, that is), but very wary of screwing up.


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xardoz
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quote:
You need to transpose the first two paragraphs (rewriting the new first line, of course) to maintain POV and frame the importance of the information properly. I'd also suggest using "kid" less often, half the number of instances would still be a lot.

Good points, especially the POV. Kerm's calling him "the kid" because he's arrogant in his own way and doesn't care what his name is. It is awkward to read, though.

quote:
More generally, Kerm has attitude, but lacks interest for me. The previous opening scene featured action that was necessary in a larger context. Nothing about this opening suggests it's anything other than an exercise in pointless violence.

Not hard to clarify, I think.


quote:
Not that this lacks any appeal...but I was thinking about why Tanaka Punie is so much cooler than Dokuro-chan, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Punie has to be violent, she's not just screwing around and beating people to death for no good reason.

I know those are anime references, but they're outside my experience. I get what you mean, though.

quote:
On that note, it seems a little implausible that a Belter, facing a physical confrontation with somebody that looks like a dirt-sider, isn't going to be very cautious. Perhaps confident about his ability to out maneuver his opponent, but seriously aware of the difference in raw strength. He might feel the way you would about wrestling an alligator, pretty sure of winning (presuming that you knew what to do, that is), but very wary of screwing up.

I can see that. I think the revise may clarify both his attitude and Kerm's.


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xardoz
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quote:
The kid called himself The Whip. He had generations of Belters in his blood, and it showed. He was pale, long and lean, and he moved with the easy grace of someone born to light gravity. He had the attitude, too, smiling around his mouth guard like hed already won. It was that sneer, that damned smirk that pissed Kerm off the most.

No one would ever mistake Kermit Gode for a Belter. He was too dark, too short and too beefy. On Earth, hed be just another generic American-stock mutt in the crowd, but he hadnt been dirtside since he was five.

The bell clanged and The Whip danced out, smirking and punching the air. Take a dive for this punk? Kerm thought. Screw that. He leapt out of his corner and was inside the kids


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trailmix
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I'm interested. You assert a bias towards "Belters" pretty quick. I know, not only the physical characteristics of Belters but that they are cocky. I also have a picture of what a typical earthborn person would be without it feeling like an infodump. You sneak some slang in there pretty seamlessly (Dirtside). It works for me.
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thecox
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Very well done. Just like trailmix said, you put alot of essential information in there without plopping it all in the middle somewhere. And the slang dirtside is actually pretty catchy.

Moving on, in the final version, the portion where Kermit is thinking "Take a dive for this punk...Screw that," kind of threw me off. For some reason, those don't seem to fit as seamlessly as the rest of the intro. Something to think about.


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Survivor
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It's a good hook, but it is poorly integrated right now.
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xardoz
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quote:
They called him The Whip, because he liked to hurt his opponents before finishing them. He had generations of Belters in his blood, and it showed. He was pale, long and lean, and he moved with the easy grace of someone born to light gravity. He had the attitude, too, smiling like hed already won. It was that sneer, that damned smirk that pissed Kerm off the most.

No one would ever mistake Kermit Gode for a Belter. He was too dark, too short and too beefy. On Earth, hed be just another generic American-stock mutt lost in the crowd, but he hadnt been dirtside since he was five. Not that the mob around the ring would have cared if theyd known. They were there to drink and watch a mudfoot get pulped.

Kerm made his decision. Screw it, he thought. Im gonna wreck him.



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xardoz
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Thanks, gang. The contempt between the Belters and Kerm is pretty much mutual.
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Survivor
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Hmm, you got rid of that hook...whatever. It isn't bad.
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apeiron
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When Survivor first said to switch the first two paragraphs, I didn't think it was a good idea. But I think I like the second rewrite best of all. The third did lose something--perhaps it was overkill on what the second conveyed so well? I don't know. But I would definitely throw in the bit about the crowd later on in the scene--just maybe not in the first 13.
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