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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Tick-tock Serenasia

   
Author Topic: Tick-tock Serenasia
skadder
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I am re-doing a story I wrote about a year ago that didn't do as well as I hoped (i.e didn't sell--grrr). I recently had a new idea which I need to incorporate and so the whole thing needs to be re-written and a new beginning is required. Just thoughts on the 13 lines, please.

Jimmy had a ghost. The small girl stood in the gloom of the night market. Her pale skin was untouched by the flickering red, blues and greens of the gaudy holo-signage rotating above nearby market stalls. Her dark eyes watched him, unblinking.
Jimmy shivered and turned away. With a snap of his chopsticks, he pecked a sliver of pink meat from amongst the pile of steaming noodles and examined it.
Pink meat? He turned it--it looked vat-grown. Could be anything.
To his right there was a crash as a market vendor collapsed his origami-like stall into a two-foot cube and hefted it into the back of the skimmer.
Jimmy chewed the spicy meat and glanced at the girl again.
Weird little ghost girl. He'd stopped trying to talk to her--not because people gave him odd looks--but because she


Revised:

Jimmy eyed the ghost. The young girl stood in the gloom of the night market, her pale skin untouched by the flickering reds, blues and greens of the nearby holo-signs. She watched him with clear, unblinking eyes.
Jimmy shivered and turned away. Why had she latched onto him? With a snap of his chopsticks, he pecked a sliver of pink meat from amongst the pile of steaming noodles.
Pink meat? He turned it in the snack bar's light--it looked vat-grown. Could be anything.
Jimmy chewed the spicy meat and glanced at the girl again.
Weird little ghost girl. He'd stopped trying to talk to her--not because people gave him odd looks--but because she never answered. She just watched him.


[This message has been edited by skadder (edited October 09, 2010).]


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WouldBe
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Good world-building in a few words. I wish the first sentence (or the last) revealed a bit more about Jimmy's ghost girl. Jimmy had a ghost girl who <high concept>.

[This message has been edited by WouldBe (edited October 09, 2010).]


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Ethereon
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My first mental picture of Jimmy was as a young boy, then I re-read the openning and realised he could be any age. I think I pictured him as a child because of the diminutive name and because the young ghost had me thinking along those lines. How old is he?
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redux
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I really like your story concept - pairing a ghost with a 'Blade Runner-esque' environment.

I think if you reshuffle your sentence order the flow of the prose would improve.

Here's what I have in mind:

The small girl stood in the gloom of the night market. Her pale skin was untouched by the flickering red, blues and greens of the gaudy holo-signage rotating above nearby market stalls. Her dark eyes watched him, unblinking.

Jimmy had seen a ghost.

He shivered and turned away. With a snap of his chopsticks, he pecked at a sliver of pink meat ...nestled/wedged... in pile of steaming noodles. He examined it. Pink meat? He turned it. It looked vat-grown which meant it could be anything.

To his right there was a crash as a market vendor collapsed his origami-like stall into a two-foot cube and hefted it onto the back of his skimmer.

Jimmy chewed the spicy meat and glanced at the girl again. Weird little ghost girl. He'd stopped trying to talk to her--not because people gave him odd looks--but because she

[This message has been edited by redux (edited October 09, 2010).]


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Twiggy
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This reads a little slow which detracts from the hook.
Jimmy's ghost stood in the . . would start it quicker.

'Jimmy shivered and turned away. With a snap of his chopsticks, he pecked a sliver of pink meat from amongst the pile of steaming noodles and examined it.
Pink meat? He turned it--it looked vat-grown. Could be anything.'
This feels like it is just there to set the scene and is separate from the story. Maybe you can try connecting it to the action somehow. Or draw us into the environment through the smell of the food.

'To his right there was a crash as a market vendor collapsed his origami-like stall into a two-foot cube and hefted it into the back of the skimmer.'
This also feels like it's not part of the story.
I also think changing 'to his right' would help. The phrase adds little to the story and slows the paragraph down.

'Jimmy chewed the spicy meat and glanced at the girl again.
Weird little ghost girl. He'd stopped trying to talk to her--not because people gave him odd looks--but because she'
Now the story starts again, but have you lost some readers along the way?


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philocinemas
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I actually liked the first sentence - if I were you I wouldn't change it. It is an instant hook and immediately gets the mind of the reader working, which is the writer's goal.

I also thought about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? when I read this opening - the combination of neon lights, origami, and Chineese food will sometimes do that to you.

Here are some suggestions (take 'em or leave 'em):

quote:
Jimmy had a ghost. The small girl stood in the gloom of the night market. Her pale skin was (unneeded) untouched by the flickering reds, blues and greens of the gaudy holo-signage rotating above nearby market stalls. Her dark (would they be dark?) eyes watched him, unblinking.
Jimmy shivered (How about - A shiver crept up his spine) and he turned away. With a snap of his chopsticks, he pecked a sliver of pink meat from amongst the pile of steaming noodles and examined it.
Pink meat? He turned it--it (unneeded) looked vat-grown. Could be anything.
To his right there was a crash (maybe make the crash more immediate - There was a crash to his right) as a market vendor collapsed his origami-like stall into a two-foot cube and hefted it into the back of the a skimmer.
Jimmy chewed (perhaps - tasted) the spicy meat and glanced at the girl again.
Weird little ghost girl. He'd stopped trying to talk to her--not because people gave him from getting odd looks--but because she


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philocinemas
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It feels like the next few words in the last sentence will be important - I would try to find a way to squeeze them in.
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skadder
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I think I am going to change the venue from the night market. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
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Ethereon
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Night market... does this take place in the same world as The Quanta of Art?

[This message has been edited by Ethereon (edited October 27, 2010).]


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skadder
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Yes.
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