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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Possession of a Controlled Intelligence (800 Words Sci Fi)

   
Author Topic: Possession of a Controlled Intelligence (800 Words Sci Fi)
EVOC
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I just knocked this out today. I am looking for a full critique on the piece. If you want to crit the whole thing let me know. I can trade crits too. Here are the first 13 lines:

Officer Greg Holt sipped his coffee as he watched the four way stop. The smell of the fresh rain came through the open window of his patrol car. It was the quietest part of the night, no one was out, and just the sounds of the occasional drop of water could be heard.
Holt heard the sound of tires running over the wet road. A gray sedan drove through the intersection. Holt struggled to get his car in drive while putting his coffee in the cup holder. He hit the accelerator and flipped the switch activating the red and blue lights.
He caught up to the vehicle and the sedan began to pull to the side of the road. He could see two occupants in the car. As Holt put his patrol car in park, the sedan sped off.

REVISED FIRST 13
It was the quietest part of the night, no one was out, and just the sounds of the occasional drop of water could be heard. A gray sedan drove through the intersection without so much as tapping the brakes. Officer Holt struggled to put his coffee in the cup holder while he hit the accelerator and flipped on the red and blue lights.
At this time of night Holt had to assume it was another drunk driver. The sedan pulled to the side of the road and Holt could see two occupants. As Holt put his patrol car in park, the sedan sped off.
Holt radioed dispatch and gave chase. He felt his patrol car slide as he made the sharp right turn. He corrected the turn to prevent a fish tail.

Still looking for readers if anyone is interested

[ January 26, 2012, 12:45 PM: Message edited by: EVOC ]

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babooher
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I thought that most of this could be cut. Cop sipping coffee doesn't grab me. It is pretty mundane. This begins to get interesting in the last sentence. Something is happening here, but I would like to get to the action faster.

I forgot to say, I'd look it over if you care to send it.

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History
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There's a monotonous meter to most of the sentences: noun-verb, noun-verb. Where you trying to suggest the tedium of a stake-out?

The sentence I like best and establishes the setting and mood perhaps could be your first line. Otherwise, I concur with babooher that this could, if you like, be shortened. For example:

It was the quietest part of the night, no one was out, and just the sounds of the occasional drop of water could be heard. A gray sedan drove through the intersection (without stopping). (Officer Holt put) his coffee in the cup holder(,) hit the accelerator and flipped the switch activating the red and blue lights. (The) sedan (pulled) to the side of the road (and Holt)could see two occupants in the car. As Holt put his patrol car in park, the sedan sped off.

What is missing is what is going on in Holt's head or any sense of Holt's character.

Just my two skekels. Thank you for sharing.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Nick T
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Hi,

I agree with Dr. Bob and I think the most important part of his crit is

quote:
What is missing is what is going on in Holt's head or any sense of Holt's character.
I guess what I'm looking for in the 1st 13 here is "What does this story promise?" and that part isn't quite developed.

Nick

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EVOC
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Thanks guys. I'll have to see how I can imply what's to come in this. Its incredibly short but perhaps I can somehow get in Holt's head. Although he doesn't know what to expect either. Like most cops he is just doing his job and then the crap hits the fan.

Babooher, I am going to give this a look over and I will send it to you sometime tomorrow. Thanks.

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AbbyG
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I like Dr. Bob's suggestions...
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EVOC
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I revise the first 13 finally (see top post). I was so busy with my novel project that I let this slip. But, it was good because I saw this with fresh eyes.
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Wonderbus
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I'll read if you want to send it on over.
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Crank
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The only part that threw me:

quote:
A gray sedan drove through the intersection without so much as tapping the brakes.
There was no true indication that the sedan driver did anything wrong. No mention that he ran a red light. The word drove does not indicate speeding or swerving. I didn't realize anything was wrong until I read Holt's reaction...which, based on my not having picked up any sense of illegality in the prior sentence, gave me more of a "Huh?" impact instead of a sense of urgency.

If you're not pressed for time in getting a crit response, I'll take a look at it.

S!

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annepin
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EVOC, i'm happy to read, if you like.
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EVOC
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Wonderbus, babooher, and annepin I sent it. Thanks. I'd be happy to swap a short story if you want.

Crank, while I don't need an instant response I am hoping to get the third draft done by next week so I'd like to have the crits by then. I understand being busy.

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