Okay, so this is an intro I found to a dream I had actually that I had always wanted to turn into a novel...but never got around to it... it's very raw.
Triy sat on his bunk, head in his hands. Decisions to make. And he couldnít bring himself to make them. Who was he? Sure, he was born on Earth, his motherís home, but that didnít make him human and it certainly hadnít helped him to be accepted. And did it give him the right to lead the army that would obliterate his fatherís home planet? Even if they threw the stone at us first. Us, he even talked as if he belonged here. It was ridiculous, really, the question of nationality when even his genetic make-up was split half and half. You couldnít be a half Artho, half Human, though. Not in this universe. No matter what mess your DNA spelled out on paper. This was war and nobody was going to
okay here is my second go at it:
Triy sat on his bunk, head in his hands. Decisions to make. And he couldnít bring himself to make them. Staring out the viewing bay Artho toyed with him as he set his eyes on the blue planet for the first time. The half-breed that obliterated his fatherís home world? Is this how the history books would tell his story? Earth was gone. It no longer mattered who started the war. Somebody had to finish it. And the remaining population of Earth seemed to think that man was him. Who was he to disagree? He wasnít a dirty half-breed anymore. He was Captain Triy Xton II. People still stared when he entered a room but now it was with the utmost admiration. The humans had made their choice, now it was about time he made his. He could not be half Artho, half Human, not in this universe, not anymore. It did not matter what mess his DNA spelled out. This was war and there were only two sides. And Triy knew which side was his.
[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited January 21, 2010).]
[This message has been edited by Parkek (edited January 21, 2010).]
This isn't exactly working for me. Let me see if I can help.
quote: Triy sat on his bunk, head in his hands. Decisions to make. And he couldnít bring himself to make them.
You don't need the lines in italics because in the next paragraph you get into the decisions he has to make.
Who was he? Sure, he was born on Earth, his motherís home, but that didnít make him human and it certainly hadnít helped him to be accepted. And did it give him the right to lead the army that would obliterate his fatherís home planet? Even if they threw the stone at us first.
This whole paragraph doesn't feel right to me. Given his dilemma is whether or not to destroy his father's home planet. It seems strange to me that he would be thinking about who he was. Maybe it is just me but I would start with 'how could he lead the attack on his father's home planet.' We will figure it out in the next paragraph that he is half-human.
Us, he even talked as if he belonged here. It was ridiculous, really, the question of nationality (nationality don't you mean species?)) when even his genetic make-up was split half and half. You couldnít be a half Artho, half Human, though. Not in this universe. No matter what mess your DNA spelled out on paper (I don't get how DNA is spelled out on paper). This was war and nobody was going to wait for your emotions to make peace with themselves. How could he save his people, when he didnít even know who they were?
That is my take on it, remember this is only my opinion, so take it or leave it.
[This message has been edited by MAP (edited January 21, 2010).]
I like the choppiness that the short sentence fragments provide. It makes it a little harder to read, but it conveys a sense of turbulence in the narrator's thinking.
Leading the army to obliterate his father's home planet seems to come from left field. I can see that his questioning his loyalties is strongly related, but I agree with MAP that you should introduce the obliterating issue first.
I also agree that "nationality" is problematic, though there isn't really a good corresponding word for species. You might try something like "loyalty." When you say you can't be half human and half Artho, I assume you're referring to loyalty.
It doesn't bother me that you begin the story this way, but I'm assuming you'll be doing some flashbacks. I could see people following a "half-breed," but I can't see them following someone who is so indecisive. Like Emily, I wonder how he could have gotten into such a leadership position in the first place, given this glimpse into his thinking.
Okay, I am working on revising the first thirteen and I will post it as soon as I finish. to answer the question of 'nationality" i did mean species, but I couldn't find a word that sounded right like Nagrom said. I'm toying with loyalties or maybe something else I'll have to break out the thesaurus.
As far as how he got into the position he's in, there are a lot flashbacks throughout the story. I've been alternating every chapter between present and flashback.
He hasn't always been quite so indecisive. Triy has always been a wonderful leader, and as far as half-breeds being unaccepted, he is the first to be promoted to a leadership position. There is a lot of back story later on that shows examples of the kind of man he is that allowed him to excel where no one else has.
I should have the revised version up today yet. Thanks for the feedback...its great Please let me know what you think of the revised version as well!
Actually, I liked the first three sentences. Short and to the point and conveys some essential conflict, etc, etc. I probably wouldn't do it as three paragraphs though, and perhaps join them with ellipses to suggest he is musing over these thoughts (or maybe that's just a style thing, in which case, just ignore me). Maybe: Triy sat on his bunk, head in his hands ... Decisions to make ... And he couldnít bring himself to make them.
After that, I'm not so sure. It seems there are a lot of important points about a war, DNA, leadership, doubts etc. But we're flitting over them very quickly, which seems to devalue their importance. Perhaps spelling out the essential details a little more would work better. we're also in a bit of a scene vacuum and I'm having trouble visualising what's happening. I know he's sitting on a bunk, but is he on a spaceship with no gravity, in a military base, in a bedroom overlooking a scenic garden?
I agree with you Dropbear, I don't really know how to build on the scene though, i tried a little with my revision but its still not really where I see him. Because there is the conflict that I want to get in those first thirteen lines.
Perhaps after the thirteen lines I can edit a bit more of the room we are in.
I don't think you need to do a lot of scene setting. A single sentence, or even a few adjectives, stating where the bunk is and any critical surroundings will do the trick.
The main thrust of your opening is with Triy's internal conflict, so I can understand why you want to concentrate on that. Given that (assuming) the thrust of your story is with that conflict and not with the bunk's smelly sheets, or the snores of the other occupants, or whatever, then it makes sense to put your words where the story needs to go.
It's just that most readers are disorientated when they first start reading a book. You know in your head where the scene is taking place, but the reader is at a loss.
[This message has been edited by Dropbear (edited January 21, 2010).]
I like the second revision. Triy sounds "reasonably indecisive." That is, he's questioning himself, but given he's been asked to destroy a world in response to their destroying Earth, that makes sense.
I agree with Dropbear in that I think the first three sentences would go better as a single paragraph, but that's no biggy either way.
The sentence where Triy's staring at Arthos is a little awkward - a dangling participle. Also, there's nothing to connect the sentence to the indecision of the first three sentences until several sentences later in the following paragraph.