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Author Topic: Politikill (Sci-fi)
Bent Tree
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This may end up being more a long novella, I have the first few chapters done. I'll take crit on the intro, and if anyone would read the first chapter(aprox.1500 wd), I would love to see if this is going anywhere.


Matteo stepped through jumble of half dressed dopers—almost a dozen passed out on the floor on the floor. Raabl—what a waste. His repulsion worsened when he tried to wake his once brilliant cousin.
“Wake up Paoulo” he shouted shaking him.
“Paoulo get up!” he shook harder.
Paoulo stirred then sat up. Barely appearing conscious, he rubbed his eyes then reached for the vaporizer on the table, bringing it to his mouth.
“Essence?” he offered it to Matteo after taking his hit.
“No. Patron is going to obliterate your glials if you don’t have those spores ready. Where are they?” How had his cousin gotten to this level? Matteo had once looked up to him.


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Christian
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Hi Bent Tree.
I thought it was pretty nice and it had me up until the very last sentence/paragraph.

quote:
“No. Patron is going to obliterate your glials if you don’t have those spores ready. Where are they?” How had his cousin gotten to this level? Matteo had once looked up to him.

As soon as I saw 'glials' it took me out of the story because...what is a glial? I also thought the questions at the end seemed a bit forced. Maybe if Matteo uttered the words: "Cousin, how could you let yourself go like this" while doing something (wiping drool from his face, or stepping over pizza crusts or whatever these people [aliens??? because...again, what is a glial? ] eat.

All in all, fairly interesting and I would definitely read on. I could definitely read what you have so far if you're interested in sharing.

~Christian


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Bent Tree
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Glials are the most common type of brain cells. I am trying to work a slang dialect.

I'll sent you the first 1500


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rickfisher
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quote:
Matteo stepped through the jumble of [half dressed]-->half-dressed dopers—<hyphen><hyphen>, not em-dash, for proper MS format almost a dozen comma, with optional "of them" (not strictly necessary, but it reads more smoothly to me). But the comma is necessary; without it the upcoming "passed" sounds like a verb instead of an adjective passed out on the floor[ on the floor]-->omit. Raabl—what a waste. No need for italics here. "Raabl" doesn't work for me. His repulsion worsened--> grew when he tried to wake his once brilliant cousin.
“Wake up comma Paoulo!” he shouted comma shaking him. No paragraph break here.
“Paoulo comma get up!” he-->He shook harder.
Paoulo stirred comma then sat up. Barely appearing drop "appearing" conscious, he rubbed his eyes comma then reached for the vaporizer on the table, bringing it to his mouth.
[“Essence?” he offered it to Matteo after taking his hit.]-->After taking his hit, he offered it to Matteo. "Essence?" You want to narrate things in the order they happen.
“No. Patron is going to obliterate your glials if you don’t have those spores ready. Where are they?” How had his cousin gotten choose a more specific verb to this level? Matteo had once looked up to him.


The only thing I know about Matteo is that he feels his cousin Paoulo has fallen in the world, so that he no longer looks up to him. But that's not enough to make me identify with him. It sounds like Matteo, instead of being a user like Paoulo, is merely a pusher.

Sorry, for me that's not an improvement. The fact is, I don't like either of the characters introduced so far. As a result, I have no interest in the (minor in any case) hook of the possibility of Paulo having his glials obliterated. When a story starts with a nasty, underbelly-of-society opening, the only thing that will draw me in is a character who I feel doesn't belong. I don't get that feeling from this.

As a slush-pile editor, the punctuation would make me set this aside. If that were fixed, I might give this one more page to see if you can interest me more in one of the characters, because the initial situation has potential, and the writing (aside from punctuation) is decent (though it could be tightened). But it would be a close call. Provide a reason to care about Matteo in the first 13, and I think you'd really improve your odds.

[This message has been edited by rickfisher (edited March 11, 2008).]


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Christian
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ahh...so that's what a glial is. I read the story...and at first I thought these were some kind of plant people. C'mon, glial sounds like it would be part of a plant, right? Right? Anyone?
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StephenMC
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I assumed having one's glials obliterated was tantamount to having one's ass kicked--a slang expression. Apparently it's intended literally?
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Bent Tree
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Yeah...messy process I might add.
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jcc2k4
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I'm currently going to school for psychology and upon reading glial i immediatly thought of the brain cell, the only problem is i thought that Patron was a drug and it was actually going to kill off his glial cells.

Just a heads up


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chimpwithpencil
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Hello Bent Tree.

I just read your 13 and the comments thereafter.

I like this Matteo character. The fact that he'd go into a drug house full of dopers shows he really cares about his cousin. And maybe because I read old pulps, starting the story in a drug house didn't bother me at all.

If I might make a suggestion, it would be to up the intensity a bit. What if when Paoulo reaches for his inhaler, Matteo slaps it out of his hand? Or when he tells him about Patron, what if Patron (or his hired thugs) are on the way there? Maybe even outside and coming up the stairs? Just to make it more urgent.

The future slang and the glials are fine. Everyone from William Gibson to Alan Dean Foster uses future slang, and I assume there will be words in a science fiction story I don't understand but will learn about later.

I'd keep at the story. It sounds like something that's fun to write.


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JustInProse
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First to the glials. I like the word and it's slang usuage. I don't like obliterate. If you are going for slang here, especially in a house of dopers, it seems too much. Trying to imagine this "kid?", and after him shouting and slapping paoulo, I would see the conversation going more like this:

"Wake up Paoulo" he shouted shaking him.
"Pauolo get up!" he shook harder.
Paoulo stirred then sat up. Barely appearing conscious, he rubbed his eyes then reached for the vaporizer. Matteo grabbed him again.
"Get off!" Paoulo shouted, pushing his cousin away.
"No! I'm not gettin' off, you're comin' with me! Patron's gonna fry your glials if you don't have those spores ready! Where are they?"
Etc.

By all means, I could be completely misunderstanding your slang, and I would love to read the first chapter. One thing that could hook me a little more is maybe an explanation or mention of some effect of one of the drugs.

They are all doped up, but what is going on? When you say -almost a dozen passed out on the floor-, is this all of them passed out, or are there a jumble of them, with almost a dozen OF them passed out on the floor.


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Acriter
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I hope these comments aren't too late, but here are my thoughts. You could show us his disgust in the beginning if he stands at the edge of this jumble of humanity with his hands on his hips (some type of body language) and surveys the faces and bodies, looking for his cousin. He could pick his way through the group, stepping over and around them. What does he hear as he makes his way through the group? Snoring? What does he smell? Unwashed bodies? The people are half-dressed. What does Matteo see? (If the drug isn't a part of the story, I wouldn't go into a lot of detail about its affects on people.) Providing the reader with Matteo's sensations willl help us become disgusted right along with him. You could tell us that he once admired Paoulo at this point too. I don't know what follows the last lines, but telling us how Matteo feels about Paoulo there takes us away from the action.
There is a "rule" called FAD; feeling, action, dialogue. Using this method helps you drop dialogue tags. We know who's talking because of the action beforehand. Example: He shook his cousin. "Wake up, Paoulo." Paoulo did not stir, so he shook him harder. "Paoulo, get up." (Probably not the best way to write it, it's just an example.)
Try to avoid using words that end in 'ly' and 'ing'. When you edit your work, see if you can write the sentence with an 'ed' word instead. You said: "Barely appearing conscious . . . ." This implies that Paoulo barely appeared when I think you meant that he appeared to be barely conscious.
Chimpwithpencil's suggestion to have Matteo appeal to his cousin to give up the drug will help us get an idea of his character. How passionate is he about getting his cousin to stop? Show us Matteo so we start to care about him.
To hook a reader, you have to make them ask question. I would keep reading to find out what a glial is. What are the spores and what are they used for? Where are they? Did Paoulo get them ready? What will happen to Matteo if the spores aren't ready? Why did Matteo come looking for his cousin if there are no consequences to himself?
Good start. Hope this helps.

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