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Author Topic: Wellness Camp 44, SF (6500 words)
alan1701
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Looking for readers:

Harold Brumley stepped out of his climate controlled dormitory and into the October air. The wind ruffled his thinning hair and the t-shirt which disguised his protruding belly. The weather had turned; he could feel it in his hands. His sight and hearing could be fooled, but not his hands. They were honest. Even though the leaves and grass were still a vibrant green, his handsí cracking skin and aching bones told him that fall had begun today.
Brumley started down the cement path toward the nourishment hall of Wellness Camp 44. He passed the same tree stumps every day, the same fence, the same unused horseshoes court. It had been his routine for the last two months. With any luck he would be back home before another passed. He would have to pick

Thanks for getting this far!

Alan


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jayazman
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This is a hard one for me. The writing seems fine, I don't see any obvious problems, yet I don't see anything that hooks me. I would keep reading for a while to see if anything interesting happens.
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hyoussef
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I agree - there isn't a hook.
This is good descriptive writing, but it doesn't belong on the first page. The first sentence should grab the reader.
"Harold Brumley stepped out of his climate controlled dormitory and into the October air." This does introduce the character and the time of year, but doesn't imply something is about to happen. Give a hint about what is to come, or the reader won't keep reading.
"Harold Brumley stepped out of his climate controlled dormitory and into the October air, unaware of the trouble brewing in the nourishment hall..." or whatever
I really like this line: "His sight and hearing could be fooled, but not his hands. They were honest."
There is a bit of repetition - opening paragraph should be really tight.
I like the style of the writing. You need a good hook at the beginning and end of each chapter and the reader will want to keep reading.

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Zack Zyder
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I liked the part about the hands too. Regarding a hook: How about a passing, cryptic reference to something sinister--make this some kind of foreshadowing.
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tchernabyelo
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It's hard to start a story without a moment of change, and despite the switch from summer to fall, it seems the MC's routine remains exactly the same. Presumably, somethingis actually going to happen that is NOT normal - so why not start when it does?

Just my opinion. Feel free to reject it.

[This message has been edited by tchernabyelo (edited July 22, 2010).]


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InarticulateBabbler
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Until I got to the second paragraph, I thought Harold was flying. The first sentence put me there, and nothing dispelled it:

quote:

Harold Brumley stepped out of his climate controlled dormitory and into the October air. The wind ruffled his thinning hair and the t-shirt which disguised his protruding belly. The weather had turned; he could feel it in his hands. His sight and hearing could be fooled, but not his hands.

I thought: "Cool. This is a refreshing beginning. We've got a speculative element right off."

Then, I found out that there was not only NOT a speculative element, there was no sense of where this was going. I agree with tchern about starting with something ruining his sense of routine or security, but I would add to drop in enough to know whether this is sci-fi/fantasy/horror or other.

I have no idea of time (now, recent past/future, 100 years past/future). How old is he? (I know a few guys who have male pattern baldness, and they have had it from their high school days.)

For me, three mentions of his hands not being fooled, with no reference as to why, is too much.

Also, if this is his POV--and there is nothing to indicate anything else--would he be thinking of his hair thinning or his belly as protruding?

What I DO know:
Harold hands know its fall before his brain puts "October" and "Autumn" together. He lives in a dormitory. He either frequents "Wellness Camp 44" or is a ward of the state at that location--the later is a guess.

If I knew he was a ward of the state, it might be a subtle hook for me. If not, there is nothing I'm curious enough about to read on.

I hope this helps.


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NoTimeToThink
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I like your writing.
I agree about needing a hook, and a little more of a hint of where you're going - it's developing just a little too slow. Maybe you are going to be there by line 20? I would probably read that far because of the writing.
Consider being a little less subtle in the 2nd paragraph. Is he being held prisoner because of the health police? Right now I'm picturing some mixture of nursing home, diet boot camp and concentration camp. Instead of the passive "With any luck", let us know why he has failed to be released for 2 months (the Snickers bar that was smuggled in), or a ridiculously low BMI he has to reach, or how he dreams of freedom, or something else that gives us a more direct understanding of what to expect.

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thomaskcarpenter
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Like the others, I thought the writing was smooth but nothing hooked me in those first thirteen. If it'd been longer, I might have read more and decided then.
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