Hi All, Here's the first paragraph from a short story THE LANDING (working title about 3100 words) that I'm working on. I would love to have some input and if anyone would be interested in reading the whole thing please let me know. The way it's structured a full 13 lines didn't quite work.
DIRECTIVE: ERROR GEN319 crossed out of the continuance field only three meters off course but it was enough to put him directly into the path of oncoming satellite debris. Entering the final layers of the atmosphere isnít the problem; the landing rods will not deploy and the mother is approaching fast.
Although survival is not a priority, it is preferred.
I can only echo what's been said: the almost-instant tense shift is a huge distraction in what is otherwise competent and a decent in media res opening (nothing outstandingly originaly, but you give us so litttle that I wouldn't necessarily expect that).
If the tense shift weren't there, I'd read on for a bit more context at the very least. But the tense shift seems to have no purpose and makes me very wary.
I've been struggling with the tense issue, I did it on purpose for what is hopefully consistent and explained as the story goes along so I think technically it is correct. However if I turns readers off at the beginning and they stop reading it may not be worth it. Any thoughts?
Posts: 48 | Registered: Jan 2009
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I think it's helpful to try to imagine a slush pile reader's reaction, which I think would be, "Inconsistent tense, new writer. Move on--because there would be too much editorial work in correcting the story even if the concept of a robot negotiating satellite debris is topical and therefore maybe interesting." Posts: 1796 | Registered: Jun 2007
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