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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Amnesia (a.k.a The boy who Sold his Memories)

   
Author Topic: Amnesia (a.k.a The boy who Sold his Memories)
JohnMac
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Just a little something I've been kicking around in my head for a while and thought I'd get some input on...any takers?


The girl was as dirty and looked twice as hungry as Jack had been in his first month on the streets. She worked hard at hiding in the shadows and lurking through the rotting refuse and burnt-out vehicle frames; but he could hear her eager panting, see her tattered clothing, and he smelled her weeks-old unwashed body from this distance. He stopped moving down the alley to see if she was smart enough to halt her pursuit.

She was. He grinned. He dropped his hand to the side of his trousers holding a hunk of bread. His last piece of bread. Jack was saving it for when the hunger overtook his sensibilities; and maybe this was that moment.

She was obviously hungrier than he, and not able to forge for herself yet in the daunting city streets.

[ April 04, 2012, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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enigmaticuser
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Looks like a little more than 13 lines, but I'd keep reading for what it is. I have to say the title swayed me some, a very interesting premise. And the character interaction makes me want to keep going because I want to know if the boy is gonna be a good guy or a jerk.

One thing that stuck out was whether or not while running (it sounds like they're running), whether he could smell her. I do question his level of introspection.

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Shaygirl
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I would keep reading though I agree with engimaticuser that it looks a little long for the 13.

One thing I would change is in the second paragraph when you're describing her. "...but he could hear her eager panting, see her tattered clothing, and he smelled her..." you change tenses with "smelled".

I'd suggest:

"...but he could hear her eager panting, see her tattered clothing and smell her..." then you're still ending your list, and it's in the right tense.

Shay

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JohnMac
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"You got me, dead bang." Yes, it's a little longer than 13 lines. I'm sorry.

I see I had the wrong font size. *sigh* I'm used to working in 10pt for work lately and really should get back into the groove of 11/12 pt. for the creative endeavors. According to Word when I apply a more appropriate font size it ended further down than where Kathleen so kindly edited me back to; but, I'll not argue with the Lady.

I'll have to go digging for that sticky/post that showed just how long it's supposed to be.

You both have good points. I'll make changes appropriately. I just wanted to see if I had gotten any better over these last couple years of practice in solitude. It seems that I have. Thanks! (But more comments are welcome, of course.)

Changes: "hiding in the shadows" looks like it's going over to "skulking in the shadows" to slow down the perceived rate of speed of the characters. I didn't envision them running...and "skulking" and "lurking" pair up fairly well too, in my humble opinion -though I'm ready and willing to debate almost any point.

Great catch on the tense shift! Since "could" is one of my words to watch out for (due to overuse) I'll restructure to cut it. So, the senetence becomes:

"She worked hard at skulking in shadows and lurking through the rotting refuse and burnt-out vehicles; but he heard her hushed breaths, saw her tattered clothes, and he smelled her weeks-old unwashed body."

As to the smelling part...well I'm hoping it reads credibly enough that the reader will permit me some time before explaining the how for that. If not, well...that's easy enough to change even though I really like how the sentence sounds.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by JohnMac:
I'll have to go digging for that sticky/post that showed just how long it's supposed to be.

Try this topic, JohnMac.
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redux
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It's definitely a promising beginning. Just a quick nitpick:

quote:
and he smelled her weeks-old unwashed body
The way it is written makes it seem like the girl's body is only weeks old but I think what you meant is that the smell is weeks old. It seems to be missing a noun like "odor, stench, stink," etc. to make that sentence clearer (Ex. weeks old stench of her unwashed body).
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micmcd
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I only read the title of this thread before posting and purposefully commented without reading because... the title "The Boy Who Sold His Memories" is really, really damn good. Please, please, whatever else you do, call it that.

Ok. Time to go read the first 13.

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Osiris
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Like other said, the title shows you know how to lay down a hook. Well done.

Mostly, I think what needs work are technique issues. Other than the sentences others have already mentioned, this following sentence has problems (actually the same problem redux mentioned).

quote:
He dropped his hand to the side of his trousers holding a hunk of bread.
As written, it suggests the trousers are holding a hunk of bread. The proper structure would be:

quote:
He dropped his hand holding a hunk of bread to the side of his trousers.

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JohnMac
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You are each right in your own ways - superb! I'm glad I asked. As soon as I get done doing the character bibles and outline, I'd be interested in putting the characters up for an "interview." We still do that here, right? I'd be interested in seeing what sort of questions you all come up with...

This novel does fall in the cyberpunk genre. I plan on writing it in "microchapters" - that is no more than 4k words in length per chapter is the target,so expect high numbers as I slog through this. Of course, my job threw me a hook - I just got back from Afghanistan a few months ago and now they want me elsewhere in the Middle East, so at least the long flights (and long battery time on the netbook) will give me time to write. [Smile]

(edit: clarity on length)

[ April 16, 2012, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: JohnMac ]

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