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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Music of the Spheres first 13

   
Author Topic: Music of the Spheres first 13
Jason R. Peters
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These are the first thireen lines of a far-future science fiction.

--

Sergeant Stephen Balance was about to commit mutiny, an act which he had never before considered possible.

It was not in his nature. You received you orders and carried them out; leave the second-guessing to officers and civilians. Yet for once, Balance was troubled to find himself hesitant to complete a mission, contemplating disobedience and rebellion. His orders were clear, precise. Even easy.

But they were wrong.

It wasn’t fear. The battered hulk of the enemy spacecraft before him was as devoid of risk as it was – almost – of life. His visor showed heat and radiation levels both WNL – potentially deadly to the naked skin, but no danger in combat gear. Balance wondered how much exposure his target faced. The

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited October 12, 2010).]

[This message has been edited by Jason R. Peters (edited October 13, 2010).]


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MrsBrown
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Interesting tension, but it falls flat with too much explaining. Also, this opening has Point of View (POV) issues; you narrate from outside of him, then dip into his head, and then pull back out again. While that can be an appropriate technique, it needs to be done more seamlessly. Here is my rough suggestion:
quote:
Sergeant Stephen Balance was about to commit mutiny [cut--> , an act which he had never before considered possible]. It was not in his nature. Orders were meant to be carried out; leave the second-guessing to officers and civilians. [Cut--> Yet for once, Balance was troubled to find himself hesitant to complete a mission, contemplating disobedience and rebellion.] This mission’s orders were clear, precise--even easy--but they were wrong.

At this point I want to believe that we are heading toward the reason why the orders are wrong. “It wasn’t fear” is an unnecessary distraction/diversion.

I want to know more about the lingering life. The phrase “ was as devoid of risk as it was – almost – of life” is awkward. Can these two ideas be separated?

I’m not clear on where he is. At first I assumed he’s inside a spacecraft, looking out the front window, but the visor and combat gear makes me think he’s outside his craft. Can the setting be clearer? How close is he (still distant or right next to it)?

What is WNL? That completely lost me.

[This message has been edited by MrsBrown (edited October 13, 2010).]


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WouldBe
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I think this has potential, which would be strengthened by generally tightening it up. The MC is a military guy; they must think quickly, sometimes, and get to the point. Perhaps this opening should reflect that atmosphere.

Just as an example: Sergeant Stephen Balance was about to commit mutiny, an act alien to him.

I guess WNL is 'within normal limits.'

I too thought this was awkward: ...it was – almost – of life.

On re-reading, I didn't know why I tripped on this, but on first reading, I was wondering who was wrong: 'But they were wrong.' Maybe: 'But wrong.' Perhaps join it with the previous paragraph where the 'Even easy' sentence has the same beat.

Good luck with it.


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Jennywinnie
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Hey I liked the first few lines a lot, but then the WNL thing kind of bumped me out of the story. I wouldn't mind taking a look at a chapter or two, if you need reader on something.

Cheers.


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