Emily stared at the door. Placing her hand on the transparent square the door opened. He was waiting for her. “Come in Emily. My name is Paul”, the assistant said. She glared at him. He was smiling and pointing at the examination table. She obeyed reluctantly. Emily hated the medical assistants. Male or female made no difference. They were not human (only made to look like one); their artificial emotions angered her. Though the Series Five Medical Analysis Assistant was programmed to act as a doctor but with more compassion, it could not fully duplicate the idiosyncrasies of a human doctor nor could it duplicate a human touch. Emily hated their touch. ‘They feel like cold plastic. Phony doctors. Machines playing make believe.’
[This message has been edited by Medusa (edited June 19, 2011).]
[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited June 20, 2011).]
Welcome, Medusa! As always on this site, take what I say with a grain of salt - it's not my story... I would drop the first line entirely - it adds nothing to your start. I would consider emhasizing Emily's disdain and disgust for the assistant by changing pronouns throughout to "it" rather than "he". If you are trying to emphasize that he looks male, I think the assistant's name will get that across. Try to make her feelings more immediate - if you want to tell us how she hates the touch, do it while Paul is touching her. I would also consider recombining your 3rd & 4th paragraphs to break up the 4th a bit. Something like:
quote:“Come in Emily. My name is Paul”, it said. Emily hated the medical assistant. It wasn't human; only made to look like one. It was smiling and pointing at the examination table. Though the Series Five Medical Analysis Assistant was programmed to act as a doctor but with more compassion, it could not fully duplicate the idiosyncrasies of a human doctor. She glared at it as she obeyed. “How are you feeling Emily”, the assistant asked with a look of false concern as it touched her wrist. She hated its cold, plastic touch. Phony doctors. Machines playing make believe. “Fine,” Emily said as she pulled her wrist away.
Also, you might want to give us an indication of why she's here, so we have more to care about than she hates a robot doctor.
[This message has been edited by NoTimeToThink (edited June 19, 2011).]
I think you need to give us a little more here. As I finished reading these first 13, I wondered why she would come to such a place if she hated the robot Dr. so much.
I like the idea suggested above about using "it".
The description of her dislike for these Medical Assistants gets a bit wordy for me. I think putting in "Series Five medical Analysis Assistant" slows down the entire pace of the entry. Unless there is some reason we need to know it is a Series Five Medical Analysis Assistant, there really is no reason for the formal title here. You have already made the point that these are robots by phrases such as "They were not human (only made to look tike one)" and "programed to act".
I agree with most of what NoTimeToThink commented.
But, I would start it off with something like this:
quote: "Come in Emily. Please take off your cloths. You can put on the robe that has been provided." Emily hated medical examinations especially with a Series Five Medical Analysis Assistant - the latest and greatest in cold touches and plastic pokes. ...
IMHO, if you want the machine to have a name - let Emily give it one. (If you want "Paul" - you can make it an acronym for something like "Physicians Assistant Unit Laboratory")
the only thing I have to add is that when you first introduce the assistant, it might be helpful to signal right away that we're dealing with a non-human. Even having a tag like "the automated-assistant said" after its first line of dialog would make it clearer from the get-go.
[This message has been edited by redapollo9 (edited June 24, 2011).]