Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Absence of Soul

   
Author Topic: Absence of Soul
Twiggy
Member
Member # 9209

 - posted      Profile for Twiggy   Email Twiggy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I left this one so long I had to post it again to bring it to the top. Any better?

Attempt 2
Milandra shut the training cubicle door and locked it. Her brother hurtled into the waiting room beyond, his gold-flecked eyes flaring with temper. “Come out now!” The transparent panel separating them brightened and Milandra configured the grid for a standard training run.
“Father will be furious,” Dannet said. “This was my turn.” He plucked a knife from the weapon’s rack and launched it at the screen in temper. “If you’re so eager to be Chief Warrior, just take his shelking knife.” Desire to earn the Collector by reaching the blade championships rushed the blood through Milandra’s veins in a way Dannet could never understand. The target score of seventy-five blinked from the wall and she responded with an unbidden smile.

Attempt 1
Milandra shut the training cubicle door and locked it. Her brother hurtled into the waiting room beyond, his gold-flecked eyes flaring with temper. “Come out now!” The transparent panel separating them brightened and Milandra configured the grid for a standard training run.
“Father will be furious,” Dannet said. “This was my turn.” He plucked a knife from the weapon’s rack and launched it at the screen. “If it's Father's knife you want, just take it.”
Desire dried Milandra’s throat. Her passion to reach the blade championships raced the blood through her veins in a way Dannet could never understand. Father’s knife, the Collector, was her promised reward for success, and the next step to fulfilling her destiny of succeeding him as Chief Warrior.


Posts: 84 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jennywinnie
Member
Member # 8510

 - posted      Profile for Jennywinnie   Email Jennywinnie         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Let's see what I can do...

Milandra shut the training cubicle door and locked it. [good]Her brother hurtled [hurtled confused me for some reason, I'm thinking anything from run to throw... maybe stormed would be better. This is more about fury than speed right?]into the waiting room beyond, his gold-flecked eyes flaring with temper. “Come out now!” The transparent panel separating them brightened and Milandra configured the grid for a standard training run.
“Father will be furious,” Dannet said. “ [It's] my turn.” He plucked a knife from the weapon’s rack [on the wall near him] and launched it at the screen in temper. “If you’re so eager to be Chief Warrior, just take his shelking knife.” [/cut some stuff here, it's too much info at once in my opinion] [As she viewed the token hot desire flooded her.] [R]eaching the blade championships [was all she thought about.] [It] rushed [/cut the blood] through Milandra’s veins in a way Dannet could never understand. The target score of seventy-five blinked from the wall and she responded with an unbidden smile.

So there's a lot of info here, and it sort of comes at me all at once. I think sometimes to help us get into the story it's OK to sort of take your time explaining. I don't mean exposition or anything. You just don't have to pack everything into one sentence. I've found that one or at most two "new" terms is all that should really go in a sentence at a time. Give us sometime to digest this world you're creating. Mix them in evenly with things, and descriptions that we can understand to help us along.

For instance, you might add an extra sentence or phrase describing in more detail what that weapons console looks like. It lights up yes, but what does she see? "Vivid colors flashed indicating the start up sequence for the game...." or "It's cool hue lit up the room, blocking her view of he fuming brother...' That might give me a little more to hold on to in my mind for a mental image of it. Also I think you can use a couple sentences to describe the feeling she has for the game. We are getting to know her character, so you don't have to cram everything into a long complex sentence there.
Weave in some short elegant sentences that also help the understandability along with the longer ones. It gives us something that's easy to understand, when maybe you have a lot of new terms, and a new environment that we are going to have to negotiate as a reader.

That's my opinion of course. I've also read and loved a lot of Sci-fi books that don't do that, but I tend to find it's easier to get into the ones that do. I'd be happy to read anything you have. This seems like a promising story.

-Jenny


Posts: 70 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MAP
Member
Member # 8631

 - posted      Profile for MAP           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Honestly this beginning didn't capture my interest. I do like your world building mixing futuristic technology with a warrior-oriented culture, but I wonder if there is a better place to begin.

All I get characterwise is an ambitious girl with sibling rivalry issues with her brother which really isn't all that unusual. I am not really feeling any tension which usually is what makes me want to read more. Maybe you need to up the stakes.

The passage is well-written but I do agree with Jenny that you introduce a few too many unfamilar terms in thirteen lines. That is a lot for a reader to take in.

Here are my nits.

quote:
Milandra shut the training cubicle door and locked it. Her brother hurtled into the waiting room beyond, his gold-flecked (would she really notice the color of her brother's eyes?) eyes flaring with temper (cut "with temper" you have clearly shown that). “Come out now!” The transparent panel separating them brightened(comma) and Milandra configured the grid for a standard training run.

In that last sentence the two independent clauses are not connected. I think they should be in separate sentences and need a transition between them, like: "Milandra refused to look at him and configured the grid....' Otherwise the flow is disrupted. Does that made sense.

“Father will be furious,” Dannet said. “This was my turn.” He plucked a knife from the weapon’s rack and launched it at the screen in temper (Once again cut in temper; it is not needed. You have clearly shown us how angry he is). “If you’re so eager to be Chief Warrior, just take his shelking knife.” Desire to earn the Collector by reaching the blade championships (This is a mouthful and a little confusing. How about choose one or the other, either she wants the Collector (whatever that is) or to reach the blade championship? Clearly they are connected, but which of them does she want more) rushed the blood through Milandra’s veins in a way Dannet could never understand. The target score of seventy-five blinked from the wall and she responded with an unbidden smile.



JMO. Good luck with this.

[This message has been edited by MAP (edited November 08, 2010).]


Posts: 1081 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Twiggy
Member
Member # 9209

 - posted      Profile for Twiggy   Email Twiggy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for those comments.
I can see how trying to twist the start around clogged it up in places. I will simplify certain parts that you have highlighted.

Whether this will entice readers to continue reading is a more major problem for me. I wrote this novel long before I discovered Hatrack or any other forum, and the entire novel depends on the juxtoposition of the first chapter with the rest of the novel.
If I can't make this work, I may need to do a complete overhaul on the entire plot.
I am interested to know how other people feel about the start before I hack apart my 130,000 word story.
The feedback I have had so far is really valuable. Thank you.



Posts: 84 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2