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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Untitled, sci fi, 9,600 words

   
Author Topic: Untitled, sci fi, 9,600 words
annepin
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Looking for comments on the first 13 as well as crits for the whole thing. I'd be happy to swap manuscripts.

Thank you!

==========
Calder noted his commanding officer was stumbling. He’d noted a good deal of things the past few days since they had ejected from their transport, seconds before it blew to bits. He noted they had they had ten hours at least till sunset, and there was nothing - no shade, no remains of their crashed vessel - visible in the vast expanse of desert before them. He noted they had only a couple days' worth of water left. In short, he noted they were screwed.

Ahead of him, Hazrel collapsed in a small cloud of dust.

Calder knelt beside his commander. The wound on Hazrel’s side oozed blood despite the trauma gel he’d packed in there. He draped the remains of their parachute over him. The light material offered little shade, but it was something, at least.
=========

[ December 05, 2011, 01:21 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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telflonmail
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Calder notes too much. It's an info dump.

IMHO, I would start with the third paragraph. Combine the first and second sentence of that paragraph. You can bring the information from the first paragraph into the story as Calder cares for his commander trying to get him up on his feet again.

It's good a start for a marooned on a planet story. The interaction between Calder and his commander will be the most important part. Elaborating on their past interactions will make the story interesting and show how the current interactions changes them.

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Dame
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I think I agree on starting somewhere near the third para. The story is quite long, so there is ample opportunity to get that info across as we go. I felt it especially with the info "seconds before..."

But he was hot, and tired, so tired. - This seemed to need an aim before it to counter the "but." Something along the lines of Calder needing to find shade, or get his commander up again.

What colour is the sand? is there sand? Are there dunes? Is the sand packed or loose? I could do with a few setting details apart from the heat.

The opening as it is isn't quite confident enough. You seem to be trying to get as much info over as quick as you can, rather than letting it flow into the action. I like Calder noting things as it implies things about his character - that he shouldn't speak out of turn, that he is observant, that he sees more than he should etc. Maybe there is a way to get that across a little more smoothly?

It seems straightforward. Maybe too straightforward for me. Is there anything special about Calder that you can use to pull us in?

Hope this helps a little.

D

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Denevius
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hey, i enjoyed this. i'm willing to read more if you're looking for readers.
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stutson
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Seemed disjointed referring to formal "my commanding officer" and then as just Hazrel. Maybe transition with "Commander Hazrel" if the hierarchy is important. It sounds like just his first name would be too informal. How he refers to him could indicate why he feels so concerned about his commander. (Or in spite of him being his commander?)

"trauma gel he'd packed in there" -- "in there" didn't feel right -- too off-hand. "into the wound"? "into the deep tear"?

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InarticulateBabbler
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Anne, I'm willing to trade, if you like.

Addressing the "noted" comments: I get what you're doing, but maybe after "He noted a good deal of things..." you could just tick them of after a colon, or with numbers.

One thing I thought you may have slipped on was:
quote:

. He noted they had they had ten hours at least till sunset, and there was nothing - no shade, no remains of their crashed vessel - visible in the vast expanse of desert before them.

Why would they need shade after sunset?

If you're going to go into rank for the commander often, would the PoV just think of him as "Commander Hazrel?"

On a side note, I like the voice. I also like that you're immediately creating a sense of urgency and problem. But for a couple of aforementioned nits, you've hooked me.

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annepin
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Thanks for your comments all. IB, I'd be happy to swap stories. Go ahead and send me your story, but would you mind waiting a couple weeks for me to send you mine? I'd like to do some revising before I get more crits.
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InarticulateBabbler
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Wouldn't hurt my feelings at all, Anne. Be glad to crit something for you.
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