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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Apocalypse Cruise -- 1600 words

   
Author Topic: Apocalypse Cruise -- 1600 words
Meredith
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Well, I've finally written another short story. It's a departure for me, so I'm not sure what I think of it, yet.

quote:
Evening, December 19, 2012:

Jackie adjusted her telescope. She'd only agreed to come on this Apocalypse Party Cruise with her boyfriend for the good viewing out here away from the lights of the shore. She didn't have a chance at getting closer to a really powerful telescope since her professor had labeled her a "cryptoastronomer" as if she was just like some cryptozoologist out beating the woods for signs of Big Foot.

Studying ancient texts was a perfectly valid line of research. It had worked in other disciplines, after all. Or how else did Heinrich Schliemann find Troy and Mycenae? And the Mayans really had known a great deal about astronomy, including some things that modern science wouldn't discover for hundreds of years.

Any takers?
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C@R3Y
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Honestly, I'm not really sure what to say about these thirteen lines. I want to say it doesn't exactly hook me, but if I say that, I will need an explanation. Therefore, why don't you just send me this so that I can have a better look at it as a whole.

One small thing I guess I can mention... You seem to jump pretty quickly from telescopes at the end of the first paragraph, to "studying ancient texts" in the second. For me, it just doesn't seem like it flows very well, the jump between telescopes and ancient texts. I would try and transition that a bit better. Other than that, send it over and I will do what I can.

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rcmann
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You had me at crypto:) I love anything that includes research into ancient civilizations. And you are quite right, there is a lot of untapped knowledge there.

C@R3Y is right though. You seem to jump subjects fairly abruptly from paragraph one to paragraph two. She's looking through a telescope. Then she's looking through a telescope on an Apcolypse cruise (whatver kind that is, we are left to wonder). Then she's looking through a telescope on a cruise with her boyfriend. Then she's looking through a telescope on a cruise with her boyfriend but it's a small telescope. Then she's looking through a small telescope on an apocalyptic cruise with her boyfriend because her professor thinks she is some kind of bigfoot hunter. But no, that's wrong, she is looking through a small telescope on an apocalyptic cruise with her boyfriend because her professor won't give her a big telescope since he thinks anyone who studies old manuscripts is the same as a bigfoot hunter and doesn't appreciate how much astronomical knowledge the Mayans had.

I started to get bewildered at Apocalypse, frankly. less info maybe?

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LDWriter2
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With that title and the Mayan reference I would think it's a cruise on 12-12. Duh, just noticed the date you put on it.

But I was a tad confused with that switch also. But I got it after a moment.

I was wondering though with the double use of the root word crypto- if this was for a certain magazine that wanted a crypto something or another. I forget the magazine even though I was the one that found it.


Anyway I think it gives a nice hint of what probably is to come and tells us something about Jackie too. Over all niiice.

I should add that the title attracted my attention.

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BenjaminFarthing
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You've hooked me. I'll read.
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TempestDash
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I found the the topic jumping jarring, actually, mostly because of the number of unexplained proper nouns being used.

The initial sentence is too terse, I think, and doesn't add any greater meaning to the passage. The second sentence renders it entirely redundant. Maybe say what it is she's adjusting her telescope to see?

While I can feel Jackie's revulsion about being called a cryptoastronomer, I don't necessarily understand how the term relates to crypto-zoology. I get that cryptozoology is hunting down mythical things like Bigfoot because you give an example (and because I'm familiar with the term). But I don't see an obvious parallel with astronomy, though, and would appreciate an example. Is it the search for mythical astronomical events? Two headed white dwarf stars? Black holes with faucets above them?

My suggestion is something of the nature of: "[...] since her professor had labeled her a "cryptoastronomer", as if searching for evidence of ancient comets was just like some cryptozoologist out beating the woods for signs of Big Foot."

I also agree that the jump to talking about ancient texts is not very smooth (even though I suspect that the lines past the first 13 would make it clear why she jumped thought trains there).

Finally, I think "Apocolypse Party Cruise" is waaay too interesting to simply state and move on without explaining right away. You can maybe get around this by saying "This cruise" and then mention it's an apocolypse party cruise later. Or you can insert some terse jab at the cruise right after naming it so we can laugh and expect a fuller explanation later.

Just my thoughts on this. I'm a little interested, but it hasn't hooked me.

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MartinV
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Like the title, like the premise. Send it my way.
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babooher
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The title sounds like it should be an original Syfy channel film. Take from that what you will.

I'd read if you sent it.

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Josephine Kait
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It's funny to me that for all of the nit picking, you've still had four read offers in a relatively short space of time. Oops, make that five, because I'd love to see where you are going with this little gem. Send it my way too, please. [Wink]

-JK

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Meredith
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Hmm. From the comments I've received back, it's obvious I didn't do enough to foreshadow what the object would turn out to be. I mean I want it to come as something of a surprise, but not feel like it's coming completely out of the blue, so to speak. [Wink]

I'll have to think about that. My use of Plato's description was clearly not strong enough.

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