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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Ride the Medusa (Science Fiction)

   
Author Topic: Ride the Medusa (Science Fiction)
telflonmail
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I ride the medusa like a waltz across the dance floor. We
glide, spin, and twirl through the upper atmosphere as I hang
on, latched together in promenade position, to its translucent
exoskeleton. My envirosuit is taxed to its limit as we soar and
dip through crimson and amber clouds like climbing the
mountains of sky searching for rainbow’s end.

Several kilometers toward zenith, George is monitoring my
activity from the pod. He is expecting heavy breathing,
elevated heart rate, slight vertigo and I don’t disappoint him.
I have enough self control to not scream out at every twist and
turn while keeping track of vector and altitude. The analysis
of the telemetry will have to come later; right now, the thrill
of the ride has me in its grip –- both figuratively and
literally.

======

First impressions, please
Grammatical and punctuation errors?
Do you think First-Person Protagonist Narrator is male or female? Why?
What would you expect next (dialog, action, info-dump, etc.)
Oh, and would you read on ...


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LDWriter2
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Hmmm, my first impression was that it was some form of cyberpunk filled with symbolism, and metaphors but evidently that was just the first couple of lines. I have read stories that began that way as well as the one filled with metaphors etc..

My first impression of your MC was that it is a he. Because of what they were doing and their responses. But the second paragraph made me feel the MC was female. For the same reasons. Probably just my deep seated ways of thinking because I don't think there is any real evidence either way.

Oh yes,

I would read on- over my impression of it was good- but I think the second and third sentences are a bit long and the third one is unnecessarily symbolic.

And what I think will happen next, after a bit of fun, is that they will get to doing the real purpose they are there for. Some type of test or experiment or to somehow check the atmosphere.


[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited July 03, 2011).]


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telflonmail
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In a hundred guesses, I would never have expected someone to say cycberpunk as first impression. I haven't written in that vein since before the turn of the century. Nice going in blowing my mind with the unexpected.

As for gender: the cheap truth is that it's not meant to be ambiguous -- it's only the 1st 2 paragraphs; the reader will find out soon enough! It was meant as a question to force a rereading of the passage with ab attempt to discern based on subtle clues. (There aren't any conscious clues, as far as I know.) It's a slight of hand, an illusion -- but it was to get the reader to make a comment without varnish.

You might consider "rainbow’s end" symbolic, but it was only meant to instill some fanciful thoughts attributed to the First-Person Protagonist Narrator.

Here's what to expect next: A bunch of words, connected into sentences, grouped into paragraphs, ...


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LDWriter2
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Well to me the waltz line was symbolic or could have been.

And I did say some type of cyberpunk.

But you mean we aren't going to have single words and made up words,...Aw shucks.


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tchernabyelo
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A waltz is a slow, graceful dance, but what you subsequently seem to describe is much more frenetic.
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LDWriter2
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I just came by to say that I read and critted a story on critters that was what I thought your story would be. In other words the whole thing was like the way you first couple of sentences was.
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pidream
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I ride the medusa like a waltz across the dance floor.

1.A waltz is an extremely choreographed dance and really a bit slow, but a samba on other hand looks like the dancers are about to come out of their skins as they fling each other across the floor.

We glide, spin, and twirl through the upper atmosphere as I hang on, latched together in promenade position, to its translucent exoskeleton.

2.We? This sentence is wordy, too long and your word choices are a bit jarring- to me.

My envirosuit is taxed to its limit as we soar and dip through crimson and amber clouds, climbing the mountains of sky searching for rainbow’s end.

3.Again very wordy and long- break it up. I get where you are going with mountains of sky but it just doesn’t flow.

Several kilometers toward zenith, George is monitoring my
activity from the pod.

4.Is it important that we know how far from zenith George is? Or just that George is monitoring him?

He is expecting heavy breathing, elevated heart rate, slight vertigo and I don’t disappoint him.

5.Forgive me for this: Heavy breathing, elevated heart rate and slight vertigo are expected, and I don’t disappoint. More impact- I think.

I have enough self control to not scream out at every twist and turn while keeping track of vector and altitude.

6.Good- but drop the word out it flows better.

The analysis of the telemetry will have to come later; right now, the thrill of the ride has me in its grip –- both figuratively and literally.

7.It seems your implying he should be concerned about the telemetry but is ignoring it. Why not just say- it will have to wait. Drop both figuratively and literally- we know what is happening and it is very cliché.

I like the imagery you are going for, but that is all you have going on. Danger- yes but it is obviously its controlled danger. There is no hook drawing me in and I wish I had a clue to the MC’s gender. Gook Luck.


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WakefieldMahon
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My first impression was that I was reading either poetry or literary fiction. I saw the MC as a female from the beginning. I would likely go on reading but if the tone and style changed to drastically, I would feel like a victim of bait and switch.
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Crystal Stevens
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I always tend to think of a character as male unless proven otherwise. It's just something that's me .

I usually don't read stories with the flavor of your 1st paragraph and was beginning to think it was poetry instead of prose. Then I was jolted by the abrupt change of style in your 2nd paragraph. If I had been reading your story as a whole, I would've been tempted to stop at that point and not read any further. If you continue the story by going back and forth between these two styles, I definitely would stop reading. One style or the other is fine, but both is a bit much.


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telflonmail
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The waltz I was envisioning was an international style Viennese Waltz which is about 60 measures per minute. (The dance that is popularly known in America as the waltz is actually the English or slow waltz with about 30 measures per minute.)

Thank you pidream for the sentence by sentence breakout.

The first paragraph was meant to be lyrical to a certain extent. The transisition from fun and whimsy to business and safety. Later it brings style to the character.


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axeminister
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Teflonmail,

I'm reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

It's cyberpunk. In it, a girl rides a Medusa high in the sky.

It's early in the book if you want to grab it at your library to check out any similarities.

Maybe LD read that one a while back and the cyberpunk stuck in his mind?

Axe


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