Hatrack River
Home | About Orson Scott Card | News & Reviews | OSC Library | Forums | Contact | Links
Research Area | Writing Lessons | Writers Workshops | OSC at SVU | Calendar | Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » History's Boundries

   
Author Topic: History's Boundries
Axis Dervan
Member
Member # 9339

 - posted      Profile for Axis Dervan   Email Axis Dervan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cormack sat on his regulation bunk as he flipped through a book that was badly creased from many a read. He read about the history of earth, and marvelled at how the works of billions of individuals over thousands of years could be summed up in but a few lines. Only through the study of history Cormack remarked to himself can one feel utterly insignificant. He turned his head to his left, gazing through the window, and allowed himself a smile, Well he corrected himself the study of history and the study of the universe. He gazed out at the uncharted openness of existence and remarked upon the profound beauty of every star, every galaxy, and every tiny atom. After gazing out at the life of tomorrow, he returned to his book of the past.


[This message has been edited by Axis Dervan (edited February 06, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited February 07, 2011).]


Posts: 30 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OlsenOlsen
Member
Member # 8198

 - posted      Profile for OlsenOlsen   Email OlsenOlsen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Axis,

I found your first thirteen interesting, it makes me wonder where Cormack is going to (likely some far out planet), it seems he is one of the first to explore the universe first hand.

The first time I read it though, I struggled through the first couple of lines. The second sentence seemed to drag on a little, and then in the third it got a little choppy. The two quick pauses in the writing made me 'double take' them. I wasn't a huge fan of 'allowed himself a smile', I would prefer, a smile stretched across his face or... something else that may be better. When I read allow, I read 'gave himself permission to'

When you wrote "every star, every galaxy, and every tiny atom", I thought that you should continue to expand the last step. Instead of tiny atom, perhaps have something about the universe itself. Also, you can have an appreciation for an atom, but you can't literally see them individually by the naked eye.

It's late and my eyes are tired, so that may be why I didn't read it well the first time. I found it to flow a little better the second and third time.

Good luck and keep going!


Posts: 52 | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
FYI: I believe you are over the thirteen line limit - you may want to change your font to Courier New and the size to 12 to get the right length. KDW will edit you if you don't do it yourself.

A version of the second paragraph may be a better place to start. The first paragraph seems more like a pontification and doesn't add much to the story. The writing is clear and your sentence structure is good for the most part - there are some punctuation (comma) mistakes.

May I suggest leaving out the clause "as he read about..." and substituting the allusion to the uniqueness of the book - "[He] marvelled at how the works..."

You may also desire to strengthen your hook - that which will entice the reader/editor to continue reading.


Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I also found an inconsistency with how known history "could be summed up in but a few lines" and Alexander the Great "had been granted an entire two lines".
Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bobbyshane
Member
Member # 9394

 - posted      Profile for bobbyshane   Email bobbyshane         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A few things:

Over all I can't really tell what the hook is. As is it doesn't reel me in.

I found myself trying to figure out how he could remark "upon the profound beauty of every star, every galaxy, and every tiny atom." and literally pictured him trying to one atom at a time. Then I realized you meant that he made some statement about the general beauty of the universe basically. I would say the line is confusing as it is.

And generally to me... I can't place why exactly, but the writing is clunky.

Lastly, he does a lot of gazing and remarking for just a couple of paragraphs, you might try varying your verbs more.


Posts: 52 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
EVOC
Member
Member # 9381

 - posted      Profile for EVOC   Email EVOC         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The first paragraph is tough for me to swallow as an opening paragraph. As I read it I was expecting some info dump to come about how Earth history got him to the point of where he is now. While that info dump didn't come (yet) the dread of it turned me off as a reader.

One thing it does do is make me wonder why he is out in space.

I think you maybe building a good story here, but this may not be the way you want to start.


Posts: 724 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
babooher
Member
Member # 8617

 - posted      Profile for babooher   Email babooher         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This feels like a writer's warm up. You're stretching your mental legs and whatnot, but you're not really running the race yet. Starting off with so much reflection seems like a bad pacing decision. You have a introspection, but not much atmosphere and nothing to hook me.

On another note, does anyone else feel the book seems anachronistic with a spaceship and talking walls? You know, with e-books outselling paperbacks right now.


Posts: 725 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NoTimeToThink
Member
Member # 5174

 - posted      Profile for NoTimeToThink   Email NoTimeToThink         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I also thought the number of lines for humanity and then for Alexander was inconsistent.
Drop either "seemingly" or "always" - too clunky.
Otherwise, a nice start.

Posts: 406 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2