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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » After

   
Author Topic: After
shimiqua
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Dark SciFi 1659 words (Looking for readers as well comments on the first thirteen)

There was still laundry to do. Mouths to feed. Radioactive bugs to squash with the bottom of the Husbandís shoe. Life goes on. For some people, anyway.
Miley checked with her eyes that the lock on the front door was still red. She walked down the vinyl stairs with a laundry basket in one arm, and the Baby in the other. The lights didnít turn on, but she had been down here a hundred times before. The Baby whimpered in the darkness. She pressed a button, which lit the room with a small green light.
She sure was a beautiful baby, not scratched at all. Miley wondered what her name was. She looked like a Carol to her, or maybe a Lilith. Miley slide the basket against the concrete floor and under the washbasin. The clothes vacuumed up to the spinner,

[This message has been edited by shimiqua (edited November 10, 2009).]


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NoTimeToThink
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Nice feel so far.

You are obviously doing something with the lack of names (Husband, Baby), but I'm not sure it works. Miley does have a name, and although it sounds like she doesn't know the Baby's name because it isn't hers, it makes me wonder why she doesn't use the Husband's name in her POV.

The wording:

quote:
Miley checked with her eyes that the lock on the front door was still red.

is awkward. It might read better as:
quote:
Miley looked to make sure the lock on the front door was still red.

So far you have me curious about where the Baby came from, whether the Husband is still alive, and whether the fact that she looked at the lock rather than physically checking is a hint that the door isn't really locked. Not strong hooks, but enough to get me to continue.


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satate
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I'll read Sheena.
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BoredCrow
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I think the first paragraph has too many short sentences, making it a little choppy. Also, it feels a bit like a forced intro/summary, rather than the start to the story. I think the story would start nicely at "Miley checked..."

And NttT makes a good point about that sentence. As written, it made me wonder what else she might check locks with. Her nose? Her tongue? Her right elbow?

I'll read the whole thing.


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shimiqua
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Thanks guys for your help. I'm sending it to satate and Bored Crow now. Any more takers?
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ScardeyDog
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I'd love too, but it might take a while since I'm in the middle of Nano. Are you in a hurry?
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andersonmcdonald
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Meant to do this a while back. I love this opening.

And this:

"She sure was a beautiful baby, not scratched at all."

Very intriguing. There's some real Heinlein "door dilated" stuff in here. I'd love to give it a read. Send it out if you want.


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shimiqua
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Hey thanks people. Scardey Dog, are you Nano'ed out? I'll send it to you if you'r ready.
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adamatom
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I'm curious why the bugs are radioactive, where she got the baby, whether she has any children of her own, whether she's doomed and just going through the motions, if and how her husband fits into the story, and why the lock is so important. The writing is smooth and clear, the intro hooks. I'd read on.
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skadder
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While there are things I quite like about the opening, I have issue with the fact that of first five sentences, only three actually qualify to be called that--one and four.

I get what you are trying to do (I think) but I reckon you could do it with it punctuation other than full stops (or periods...)

-There was still laundry to do, mouths to feed and radioactive bugs to squash with the bottom of the Husbandís shoe. Life goes on--for some people, anyway.

Isn't '...checking with [your] eyes' called 'looking' or simply 'checking'. It feels clunky and redundant. SImpler to say:

She glanced at the front door. The lock was still red.

-The lights didnít turn on, but she had been down here a hundred times before.

...so, she wasn't scared? She wouldn't hurt herself? The lights never turn on?

- She pressed a button, which lit the room with a small green light.

Suggestion: She clicked on a small green light.

The button doesn't light the room, the light does. Also since you down't state where the button is (wall, unit in her pocket, freestanding light) it is indistinct. The sentence also feels passive (...which lit the room).

I like her not knowing the baby--I'm getting an impersonal, objective view of the child.

Not sure about '...clothes vacuumed up to the spinner' is all about. I thought the clothes were under the washbasin. Is this a sci-fi element?

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited December 04, 2009).]


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ScardeyDog
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Yes, I'm ready. Send it along.
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LlessurNire
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I don't like "checked with her eyes," as others have commented.

I am intrigued with Baby, why she doesn't know its name and why the fact that it is not scratched is significant. Very well written and good hook.

I would read on, and I offer to read it if you don't mind me taking a few days, possibly until the end of the week to get back to you, as I have a lot going on right now....


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