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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » SF-Marcy's Tale, First Thirteen

   
Author Topic: SF-Marcy's Tale, First Thirteen
Jeff
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Hi, first 13 to a 120,000 word novel. It's still in the write, re-write, write phase so I'm only looking for crits on the first 13. Thanks.

John woke with a start. A loud grinding noise combined with his blinding headache was too much. He rolled over and threw up.

‘Marcy?’ John said.

‘Yes, John’ the shipboard computer replied.

‘What the Hell was that?’ he asked.

‘Please clarify the nature of your question, John.’

Confused, because he didn’t remember falling asleep, John surveyed his surroundings. He was lying on his gravity couch, in his ship, on his flight deck. It was zero gee. He knew this because his subconscious had already registered the floating globules of vomit as they performed a peculiar dance, parading their way through the haze hanging over the deck.


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Dark Warrior
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I am interested in what the sound was...so the hook seemed good for me.

You already established setting by saying "the shipboard computer replied" so the saying he was "in his ship" later is redundant.

Also, you imply the computer is sentient by naming it Marcy (like Hal, Viki, or Jane, readers are conditioned to think a named computer can think and reason) so when the computer didnt understand he was asking what the obviously foreign noise was I was a bit disappointed with the 'robotic' response.

[This message has been edited by Dark Warrior (edited October 26, 2009).]


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TaoArtGuy
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Hi,

My interest is somewhat piqued. I would think that if I were on a spaceship loud noises would be a very bad thing. That sets an immediate air of something potentially wrong.

I'm also wondering about the robot's response. Assuming the robot is the same Marcy of the title I would expect more intelligence in the reply. Granted, this could all be revealed further in.

A final quibble - how is the pilot rolling over in zero-g?


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Jeff
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@ Dark Warrior, thanks! Didn't even notice the redundancy there with the "shipboard computer" vs "in his ship" and probably never would have.

@TaoArtGuy, the loud noises are explained in line 18 and 19, and the rolling over (nice catch, by the way) is explained later as well.

I'm glad both of you nibbled on the hook. The title Marcy's Tale is a working title and will probably change someday since book one (this one) has less to do with "Marcy" than book two will.


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genevive42
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Definitely interesting.

A couple of nits.

It feels a little like a guy waking up to a jackhammer outside his window when he's hungover. There is some indication that this may be a different sort of peril but that was my first impression.

Why are the globules registered in his subconscious? Why not just have him see them?

And you have the globules floating, doing a peculiar dance and parading. None of these are bad. But, and correct me if I'm wrong about the effects of zero gee, the vomit was projected with a decent force I assume, toward the ground. Wouldn't they bounce with equal force? "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction," still applies I think. It just seems that the globules would have a little stronger action than you described.

Also, if he's on a gravity couch, wouldn't the vomit be attracted to the couch?

Just random, maybe too detailed thoughts about vomit globules.


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Jeff
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Hi genevive42, thanks!

Jackhammer out the window with a hangover. If that includes, confusion, annoyance, discomfort and an additional helping of confusion, (like a cherry on top) than that is what I was going for.

Gonna have to take a second look at the "subconscious" thing, you make a good point.

Excellent point about the vomit being drawn to the grav couch, that needs additional thought.


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SavantIdiot
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John woke with a start. A loud grinding noise combined with his blinding headache **<==and?**was too much. He rolled over and threw up. **I love this.**

‘Marcy?’ John said.

‘Yes, John’ the shipboard computer replied.

‘What the Hell was that?’ he asked.

‘Please clarify the nature of your question, John.’

Confused, because he didn’t remember falling asleep, John surveyed his surroundings. He was lying on his gravity couch, in his ship, on his flight deck. It was zero gee. He knew this because his subconscious had already registered the floating globules of vomit as they performed a peculiar dance, parading their way through the haze hanging over the deck.

I like it a lot. I think maybe you stick with the vomit globules a little more than necessary. He should get Marcy to handle that stuff right away. I am hooked, definitely.


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Jeff
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Thanks, SavantIdiot, I'm glad you're hooked. Now if I could only make chapter 2's hook work like this one did.
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insectica411
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I got an immediate sense of the character John. I picture a younger rough around the edges guy after a night of drinking. I am hooked. I would definitely turn the page.

Chris


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jezzahardin
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I like it, and I would read on...but this is yet another story that begins with a character waking. That's a cliché, I'm afraid.

Best,
Jez


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