Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Concept, Sci Fi - first 12.

   
Author Topic: Concept, Sci Fi - first 12.
Mecopitch
Member
Member # 10173

 - posted      Profile for Mecopitch           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've a few thousand words at the moment, no title.
There are two central characters and therefore two potential places to start the story. Here's # 1

Rook powered down the Sim after he crashed his Sweetstar again. The antiquated computer core wasn’t able to provide the resources the game demanded of it. The resulting lag occasionally placed obstacles like asteroids or debris in his way with no time to avoid them. But it was just a game. If Dad ever bought a real Sweetstar he'd have had plenty of practice with the simulator, and real life had no lag. There was the additional detail that he’d never actually need to fly through an asteroid field. Stupid game.
His real ship, or Dad’s ship, was a light supply freighter from the Long Thaw Colonie. Her name was Mara and she was the oldest vessel of her class, still in service.

Posts: 68 | Registered: Nov 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jennica Dotson
Member
Member # 10221

 - posted      Profile for Jennica Dotson   Email Jennica Dotson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I quite like this, actually. I'm not sure what I'd change, other than a couple very minor word/grammar choices, and those are more to do with my own opinion than any real problems.

I'm interested! If you ever feel like sending your story along, I'd be happy to critique for you.

Posts: 27 | Registered: Feb 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mecopitch
Member
Member # 10173

 - posted      Profile for Mecopitch           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you, Jennica.
I'm not set on the grammar yet, just trying to write in the way a kid thinks.
I'd love to send it along. I'm finishing up a few bits here and there, but I could send you some when I'm at a good place.

Posts: 68 | Registered: Nov 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bent Tree
Member
Member # 7777

 - posted      Profile for Bent Tree   Email Bent Tree         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm in. I really liked this. Good writing. You had me hooked at "Sweetstar". Don't know what it is, but I want to find out. And that's what its all about.

I like the tension and characterdevelopment. I think you are on the money. I'll give this a read if you need a reader.

Posts: 1860 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd probably give this story a couple of more paragraphs before deciding to keep reading or not. The prose is a bit on the telly side, with explanations being given to the reader. And a lot is introduced: Rook, Sim, Sweetstar, Dad, Long Thaw Colonie, Mara. But none of it is particularly interesting. It's not exactly uninteresting, but not exactly interesting either.

Overall, I'm left with a feeling of 'Meh'.The only line that really stood out was "If Dad ever brought...and real life had no lag". That last part is well-phrased.

Posts: 1103 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mecopitch
Member
Member # 10173

 - posted      Profile for Mecopitch           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@Denevius
I toyed with the idea of the Sim (flight simulator, if you didn't catch that) being the introduction to the story, but it came off like "waking up from a dream" when I went into his turning it off going into the rest of his day.

Nothing ruins a story for me like getting immersed in a visually stunning world and being ripped out of it just when you're getting comfortable.

I'm a big fan of show>tell as well. Just not in every instance.

@Bent Tree, I'd be happy to have you as a reader.

You too, Devenius, always good to have someone on the other side.

Posts: 68 | Registered: Nov 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There's enough there for me to keep reading, for now. Personally, I found the prose a little too dense (packed with detail), but the freshness and anarchy of youth is clear and present.

One thing, though. I'd wouldn't capitalise sim.

I haven't commented further on your use of grammar because you said you haven't finished tweaking it; the other reason being I pay people to check my grammar 'cos I'm lousy at it most times.

Phil.

Posts: 1285 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mecopitch
Member
Member # 10173

 - posted      Profile for Mecopitch           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@Grumpy

I'm definitely not married to the capital S, and grammar isn't my highest skill, either.

Posts: 68 | Registered: Nov 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JSchuler
Member
Member # 8970

 - posted      Profile for JSchuler   Email JSchuler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My fight or flight reflex is triggered in this opening. Asteroids and debris aren't things that should be popping out of nowhere, even in a laggy space simulator. If you're going for a Flash Gordon/Star Wars-like setting for your story, this is part of the genre. If you're trying for any type of hard sci-fi, it's an issue.

Consider that, in space, there's really no limit to your relative velocity. By the time you could visually identify an asteroid, it could be too late to avoid it. Not that it would be a common occurrence: fly across our local asteroid belt a couple hundred times and you might see one. A realistic simulator would have those asteroids appearing well outside visual range, and wouldn't waste a whole lot of processing power on them. A desktop from the late 90's wouldn't have the problems your sim is having... if you're going for realism. If not, ignore this, but I would play up the genre more in the opening.

Posts: 388 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mecopitch
Member
Member # 10173

 - posted      Profile for Mecopitch           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@JSchuler
I'm using the idea of a lagging "gaming console" because I know it happens.

You can reach a point in script where a switch or variable is triggered, but the triggered event doesn't activate immediately. The game will freeze or stutter, and when it's done "buffering" the event initializes and you're left with a new sprite where you didn't expect it... In this case, an asteroid, or debris...

I just didn't feel like using a technical breakdown of basic game design as part of my intro. Instead, I called it the way a 14 year old kid might see it.

Posts: 68 | Registered: Nov 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JSchuler
Member
Member # 8970

 - posted      Profile for JSchuler   Email JSchuler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mecopitch, my point is that if you're piloting a spacecraft in a hard sci-fi universe, you aren't going to be dodging asteroids or debris in the way described. You will be doing all of the maneuvering to avoid the threat when it is tens of thousands or even millions of miles away. By the time it would be close enough for the computer to worry about creating a sprite, it's too late.

Again, though, if your story is more Star Wars than 2001, that's not an issue.

If, however, you want it hard sci-fi and need an issue where the described lag would come into play, a manual docking would be a good candidate. Anything where the computer glitches and so delays your input by a half-second could turn a successful dock into a complete disaster.

Posts: 388 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bent Tree
Member
Member # 7777

 - posted      Profile for Bent Tree   Email Bent Tree         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wasn't put off by any lack of plausibility. I consider myself really sensitive to suspension of disbelief. Even if there were any impossibilities, which I didn't see, the terms "sim" "Stupid game" indicate that this isn't necessarily patterned on logic, perhaps even designed not to be.

Just my thoughts

Posts: 1860 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mecopitch
Member
Member # 10173

 - posted      Profile for Mecopitch           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Based on your definitions, it'd be more Star Wars than 2001.

But Bent Tree has it right, flight simulators are just that, games. As a measure of difficulty, the game might add additional obstacles one wouldn't normally expect.

Or Rook could just be a hot shot pilot looking for a challenge.

Posts: 68 | Registered: Nov 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MiggsEye
Member
Member # 10400

 - posted      Profile for MiggsEye   Email MiggsEye         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I enjoyed this and I would read further. I think the writing has a natural flow and feel. Nothing forced. I like all the names you've selected in particular. The are unique and distinct from each other and don't resort to strange etherial names that so many SF or fantasy fiction stories adopt.

Cheers, looking forward to reading more.

Posts: 15 | Registered: Mar 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mecopitch
Member
Member # 10173

 - posted      Profile for Mecopitch           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Miggs.
I try to use words in English that can translate to a name or nickname. I love names like "Th'um and "T'pol" as much as anyone, but it's a pain having to figure out what the ' is for.

Posts: 68 | Registered: Nov 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2