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).]
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.
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.
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 |
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.
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.
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.
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 |