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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » F16

   
Author Topic: F16
starsin
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This is a small idea I had, and I just started it pretty recently. It is based on real events, something that really happened. I'm not sure which way I will take this just yet though, whether it'll be a short story, or if I'll flesh it out into something a bit bigger. But, without further adieu, here is the first handful of lines...let me know if anybody's hooked, or what tweaks I might could possibly make to make it better:


The paperwork I received the afternoon of the first day of my preparation read: “Congratulations! you have been selected for the uncommon honor of a familiarization flight.” That was what the flight doctor gave me after he declared me “medically cleared for flying”. Sorry, I should back up a little and introduce the scenario a little bit, shouldn’t I?

I’m Airman Thompson, a mere E3 in the United States Air Force. I have just barely over a year in service, making me, quite literally, one of the luckiest members of the Air Force right now. This afternoon, I began the process of preparing myself for the unique, and rather rare, opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to fly in the cockpit of an F16 fighter. I was probably even more excited than a small child who was told that he was


Thoughts, tips, advice...?

[ April 20, 2015, 09:08 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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Denevius
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The language keeps me at a pretty big distance. Very passive and full of backstory. Actually, as of yet, I don't think we've seen the present moment. The paperwork was received earlier, the doctor cleared the narrator earlier, and then we enter back-backstory.

What sentence in this opening would you say is the most compelling one?

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Grumpy old guy
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Kill the first paragraph and work on tweaking the second to incite curiosity; some sort of off-beat hook.

Phil.

PS. Sorry to be so brusque, am battling the flu, so don't have time to be nice between shivers.

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starsin
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So tweak it to make it less past tense and more present more or less. Give it more of a "hook".

This is all doable. I shall work on doing that after getting the rest of the story.

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dkr
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I may have started with the first time his eyes were seeing the bird he was going to fly, touching on his internal emotions and the dynamic visual aspects of the plane, then catching up to that point with a short back story. For me personally it would connect me to both the man and the plane.
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Grumpy old guy
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The problem with back-story is that it usually moves the story backwards. For me, best practice is to reveal a character's back-story through their actions in the 'now' of the story as it moves forward. This can be done through actions/reactions, dialogue, or internal monologue.

Phil.

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dkr
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Sir Grumpy, I agree that doing the "48 hours earlier" crawl back to the original action point has been done, done and done. I may approach such a situation with the MC reflecting on what brought him to this point as he walks toward the plane/object of interest/etc. I would probably try to break it up with the 'now', i.e. - hot wind on his face, roar of a fellow Flyboy blasting skyward. Back-story is tough to pull off.

and - hope you are feeling better Phil.

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Bent Tree
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The voice was unappealing to me. In a way it sounded like a blog entry with no clue of speculative event or real conflict. The selection seems to be the inciting even but it holds no power as a hook to me. It feels a bit mundane in that sense as though it could be a modern air force pilot blog.

Advice…

Hmm, look at it from another angle perhaps. try writing it in the third and see what happens. Try to find the character and conflict.

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