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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Finding the lost--SF first 13

   
Author Topic: Finding the lost--SF first 13
tripper
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The title is a work in progress. From a story I started a while back, I know it needs some work, so please help:

Cursing the messenger (as usual), I picked up the drone that had just crashed through my front window. One of these days maybe he’d learn to hit the tube as he flew past. I’d been dreading this message for days. While the secretary droned on about the details of my mission, I called Rinna.

“Looks like I’m leaving again.”

“Seriously, Joshua? This is getting a little old.” I could always count on her to make me feel better.

“I promise I’ll make it up to you. Bring you a piece of the rock I’m headed to, or something like that.”

“Whatever. You owe me dinner and a flight.” I picked up my always-packed bag from the bedroom and made a mental note to buy Rinna something special this time around. She was a nice girl, and I should probably try to make this one work.


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Brendan
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Hey tripper

I like the voice in this - it keeps you moving and doesn't bog you down, yet it displays a real insight into the MC. This opening, however, has a weak hook, and I believe that it is an issue with hidden information. I have two questions, at least one I think should be involved in the hook. The first is where is he going? More importantly, why is he going? The answer to this is critical for hooking me - if I like the idea, I would read on, if not, shrug - the voice itself is not enough to hook me.

The critical sentence that led to the above is "I’d been dreading this message for days." There is no indication why, which makes the information feel hidden.

A couple of minor points. "the secretary droned..." Drone had been used earlier in the paragraph, so it is too early to describe something else with a different meaning for the word.

"She was a nice girl, and I should probably try to make this one work." She is a nice girl. Otherwise you are saying she is dead, which doesn't make sense with the future tense of the rest of the sentence.


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tripper
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Thanks for the great feedback, Brendan!
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MattJ
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Hi tripper!

As a reader, I was left wondering what I was supposed to be seeing. Messenger, drone, tube are such general terms that I feel I'm reading about these things rather than experiencing them with your VC.

It's like the "The man walked into a bar." This could be any man, any bar, in any time or place.

Re: Rinna, I had to reread the opening as I thought Rinna WAS the secretary!



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