This is still a WIP, but I hope to get it done by the end of the month. I want it to be my next WoTF submission. It's changed significantly, so I thought I'd just post it anew. The italics part would be underline, of course.
It took six months to get there, and now Mars loomed above them, just out of reach. Commander Thomas Merritt, Jr. peered out the thick window and studied the massive red orb. Olympus Mons, the tallest mountain in the solar system, seemed to stare back at him like the dilated pupil of an angry god. He thought back to his first sight of Mars as a child. “Daddy, what’s that star?” “Tommy, that’s not a star; that’s a planet. You see how all the other lights twinkle? That one doesn’t. Its light always has the same bright red glow.” “No twinkle in that eye,” Tom said to himself. They were 50 million miles from Earth and the main comm was down. Without it, they could not land. It would be like orbiting Hell in a tin can
I agree with Snapper about here, versus there. But I like the first line, but think it might flow better as the second line.
quote:Commander Thomas Merritt, Jr. peered out the thick window at Mars. It had taken six months to get here, but now the massive red orb loomed above him, just out of his reach. Olympus Mons...
The last paragrpah, the twinkle in that eye. If I am reading it right. He is angry/stressed over the situation, his impatientence shows. I am not a fan of dialogue tags so I might suggest losing it, and replacing in with a beat. A soft whistle, or something similar to show his emotion.
"Olympus Mons, the tallest mountain in the solar system"
This might be too nit-picky, but since it's common knowledge that Olympus Mons is the tallest mountain, I would leave that part out unless it's critical to the story. Something like "The peak of Olympus Mons..." would flow a little better, I think.
It seems that you've completely redone your First 13. I recall that your first post mentioned faster-than-light comms and a spacewalk, two elements that you've since discarded (at least in the First 13).
I'm not sure they were any more effective hooks than what you have now, but I did like your first efforts a little more than this one.
Have you written the entire story yet? From the changing First 13, it seems that you're focusing entirely on a good hook up front and perhaps sacrificing your story as a result. That may not be the case, but since your story will flow from the First 13, changing the first paragraph too drastically may force you to alter the following one too much.
In all honesty, I haven't had much time to write at all; so the answer is "no" to whether I've already written the story. I do have the story mapped out, and yes it is still about faster than light communication, and about a son's relationship with his father, and about the first manned mission to Mars.
I am ever so slightly OCD, and aside from the fact that I was working 10-15 hours a day up until December 24 and have been running from one gathering to another eversince, I am having difficulty finding the right starting point. I don't know if you have any acquaintances with OCD, but "moving on" is not typically a strong point.
I am at the "screw-it" stage with the first 13, and my plan is to write the %@#! thing and maybe have somebody look at it when I am done.