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

   
Author Topic: The Eye
skadder
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For two hundred and forty-six thousand orbits of the star I dozed. Occasionally, I listened to the immutable silence of the system. Nothing. Would anyone come? I pulsed a signal again--an elegant series of primes that interwove in complex patterns.
Twelve hundred turns later, a ship slid into the system; an ugly, black craft sheathed in weapons and shrouded in layers of deceit.
Yet, they came so silently to find me--almost invisible, they'd thought. There was nothing beautiful in their actions, no consideration for the aesthetic. It pained me to see.
They sniffed and scanned the system as they hunted me down. Silently, I probed their ship's innermost secrets. Four years later they focused on the rings of the gas giant and found me entombed in The Eye.

Revised:

For two hundred and forty-six thousand orbits of the star, I dozed. At times, I listened to the immutable silence of the system--nothing. Would anything come? I pulsed a signal again, an elegant series of primes that interwove in complex patterns.
Twelve hundred turns later, a ship slid into the system--an ugly, black craft sheathed in weapons and shrouded in deceit.
So silently they came to find me--so hidden from my gaze, they must have thought. There was nothing beautiful in their actions, no consideration for the aesthetic. Even their deceleration was a simple linear affair that pained me to watch.
They sniffed and scanned the system as they searched. Silently, I probed their ship's innermost secrets. Four turns later they focused on the rings of the gas giant and found me entombed in The Eye.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited October 02, 2010).]


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Twiggy
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Skadder,
This is you at your best. If there are any faults with the thirteen lines I choose not to see them because I am lost in the story. Please let me read this when it is finished.

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Brendan
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Definitely would keep me reading.

"They sniffed and scanned the system as they hunted me down." You could possibly cut "me down" as you have already established that they had come to find "me" in the previous paragraph. Adding "me down" sounds a little repetitive, (although it does establish that they are enemies, not rescuers).

"Four years later they focused on the rings of the gas giant and found me entombed in The Eye." This is a lot of new information to focus on in a single sentence, and some guidance to the reader may be helpful. An em dash, between "entombed" and "me" may slow the reader enough to heighten the significance of The Eye and allow the reader to change focus from where they looked for him to what his state was when they found him.


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snapper
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Hard to find flaws in your work, my friend, but I found some anyway.

quote:
Yet, they came so silently to find me--almost invisible, they'd thought.

I'd cut to find me. I think the ambiance of mystery on why the ship is there, would add to the appeal of this opening.
Also, considering adding a 'so'

almost invisible, so they'd thought.

just sounds better to me.

quote:
They sniffed and scanned the system as they hunted me down.

I half agree with Brendan. Cut the 'down' but the without the 'me', it could be anything the ship would be hunting.

Nice work. I'm jealous.


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Osiris
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I do like the tone and feel of this, as well as the voice of the narrator. You draw a nice juxtaposition between the sense of elegance the narrator has and the crudeness of the ship that enters the system.

I do have a couple of questions that may need addressing somehow in the text. I am a bit confused as to tense of the narration, is it supposed to be simple past or past perfect?

quote:

For two hundred and forty-six thousand orbits of the star I dozed. Occasionally, I listened to the immutable silence of the system. Nothing. Would anyone come? I pulsed a signal again--an elegant series of primes that interwove in complex patterns.
Twelve hundred turns later, a ship slid into the system; an ugly, black craft sheathed in weapons and shrouded in layers of deceit.

The above reads to me as simple past.

quote:

Yet, they came so silently to find me--almost invisible, they'd thought. There was nothing beautiful in their actions, no consideration for the aesthetic. It pained me to see.

Yet it feels like you have past perfect with "they'd" mixed in with the simple past. So this left me confused as to whether or not the narrator is reflecting back on events of the past. If this is not the case, then how would the narrator know they thought they were invisible? Does it know after probing the innermost secrets? If so, perhaps the part about them thinking they were invisible should come after the line about probing their innermost secrets.

I also felt the jump from the search to the four years later was a bit sudden and jarring. Perhaps another sentence or two detailing the search or cat and mouse game (if there is one) would serve to make this transition more smoothly.


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skadder
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Thanks for reading, guys, and taking the time to comment.
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XD3V0NX
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Oh, wow. Yes, I really liked this, and your style of writing. Nicely done. I'm hooked. Oh, and I like your title choice. It caught my attention.
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MrsBrown
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Awesome.
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SolomonSpecies
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For two hundred and forty-six thousand orbits of the star I dozed. Occasionally, I listened to the immutable silence of the system. Nothing. Would anyone come? I pulsed a signal again--an elegant series of primes that interwove in complex patterns.
Twelve hundred turns later, a ship slid into the system; an ugly, black craft sheathed in weapons and shrouded in layers of deceit.
Yet, they came so silently to find me--almost invisible, they'd thought. There was nothing beautiful in their actions, no consideration for the aesthetic. It pained me to see.
They sniffed and scanned the system as they hunted me down. Silently, I probed their ship's innermost secrets. Four years later they focused on the rings of the gas giant and found me entombed in The Eye.

I enjoyed it. Space and mystery.

The only that caught me was the introduction of the star. Does this star have a particular name? Or is this going to be introduced into the story after the finite 13 lines? I'm sure it will be. As I can tell this story has layers constructed within it.

I like your number choice. 2-46. 23 is the number each parent gives in the DNA Chromosomes. Reminds me of the 'Tool' song "46 and two" about reaching Christ Consciousness.

Great start!

SS


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jazzknits
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I love this beginning. I have one minor comment. I had a problem going from the narrator probing the ship to the time shifting suddenly to four years later. Is it necessary to establish that it was four years later in that sentence? I almost think it would be better just to leave out the number if that's possible.

The setup is great. I would definitely keep reading the story.


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philocinemas
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I liked this, skadder.

Areas of concern:

Orbits/Years -
"...two hundred and forty-six thousand orbits of the star..." - an orbit is typically considered a YEAR.

"Twelve hundred turns later..." - is this 1200 more orbits - unclear

"Four years later..." - uncertain what your standard for a year is. Also, the timeline is a bit unclear.

Semicolon/Dash -
Don't know if it matters much, but in the second paragraph, the semicolon would be better served with a dash, since the second part is a fragment. And in the third, you could use a comma instead of a dash. I doubt it would make much difference to an editor. Just a thought.

Otherwise, excellent start!


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Antisuji
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Definitely an interesting image, like a spider in a web perhaps. Some nits:

quote:
Twelve hundred turns later, a ship slid into the system; an ugly, black craft sheathed in weapons and shrouded in layers of deceit. Yet, they came so silently to find me--almost invisible, they'd thought.

I'm not sure I understand the "yet" here. What is their silent approach in contrast to?

quote:
... no consideration for the aesthetic

It took several readings to parse this as you intended — I kept reading "aesthetic" as an adjective and expecting it to be followed by some noun. You could write "no consideration for aesthetics" to be clearer, but I'll admit that doesn't really set the right tone.

quote:
They sniffed and scanned the system as they hunted me down. Silently, I probed their ship's innermost secrets.

The change of subjects without a conjunction is somehow jarring here. Perhaps it would work if the subjects of all sentences in the paragraph alternated (I, they, I, they, etc.), but as it is I'd prefer something like "They sniffed and scanned the system to hunt me down while I silently probed their ship's innermost secrets."

quote:
Four years later they focused on the rings of the gas giant and found me entombed in The Eye.

This is interesting and makes me want to read more, for a couple of reasons. First, ring systems generally have spiral structures, not anything that would be described as an eye. Second, when I hear "eye" and "gas giant" in the same sentence I think of the eye of Jupiter, but why then focus on the rings? I want to know how you'll reconcile these issues.


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skadder
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A mildly revised version above. Thanks for the comments.
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WouldBe
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quote:
They sniffed and scanned the system as they searched.

I liked the revision. The quoted bit lost its clarity, I think. Consider dropping as they searched, since it seems to deflect attention from the MC's ship, which is the object of the sniffing and scanning, towards something else.


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philocinemas
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I like the changes - by limiting the terms you are using for orbit, it made it more clear. Also, at first read, I didn't sense the predatory nature of the MC, and now that stands out more. Nit-pick - I liked the period between "...system. Nothing." better.

I have a good feeling about this one - would like to read it when your done.


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