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nicba
February 1st, 2002, 04:23 PM
Hi everyone

Since I joined this board and uploaded my first short story to the short story section, I feel that I have learned a lot. I have read a lot of articles and forum posts, critiqued some stories and in general had a lot of fun http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif.

Now I have finally finished another little short story. I have uploaded the opening of the story to my own site as of now. That way I can still edit it if anyone has some comments. I would really appreciate some critique.

The story is still in "first draft" edition. When I feel it's "good enough" I might submit it to the short story section. But I hope for some input from you before that http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif.

The story is entitled The Journal of a Traveller and is a SF (yeah sorry, I know lots of you prefer fantasy, but...oh well, I like SF). It's written in first person. The first part of the story can be found here (http://www.mip.sdu.dk/~nicba/temp/the_journal_of_a_traveller.html).

[EDIT: The Link now points to the entire story]

[This message has been edited by nicba (edited February 14, 2002).]

Erebus
February 1st, 2002, 07:15 PM
Well, Nicba, I like SF a real lot, as I guess you may already know!

As a first draft, your start was really good I thought! There were a couple of suggestions I though of whilst reading it, and I hope you don't mind if I mention them?

First off, I thought that lacking could be replaced with 'waning' in regard to the party? The word respond I think should be response, and for starred up, I think you mean stared up?

All in all, a great start Nicba! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

nicba
February 2nd, 2002, 12:19 PM
As a first draft, your start was really good I thought! There were a couple of suggestions I though of whilst reading it, and I hope you don't mind if I mention them?


No, no. Please. By all means bring them all on! That's why I put it online in the first place, after all. The more suggestions the better http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif.



First off, I thought that lacking could be replaced with 'waning' in regard to the party? The word respond I think should be response, and for starred up, I think you mean stared up?


Thanks! That was some good advice. Glad to get those errors corrected. I completely missed them myself. I've already 'implemened' your suggestions.

But really, if those (relatively) small things were the only flaws, then I guess I've been more than lucky with this one. I'm not sure that that is the case, however.
I've got a couple of questions for anyone who's willing to read the story bit:

1. I've tried to create a certain 'romantic' atmosphere. Did I succeed? Did I overdo it? Is it just too blody sentimental/romantic?

2. Is the wording too clichéd? In trying to create the atmosphere I wanted, I'm afraid that I've used quite a lot of those rather clichéd 'push button' words. Did it bother you?


[This message has been edited by nicba (edited February 02, 2002).]

Erebus
February 2nd, 2002, 01:50 PM
Well, as I mentioned, I thought it was a great first draft, but no doubt you'll go back to it and polish it a bit more after you've let it sit for a while, which is quite a good idea really.

I could see the romatic thread you were introducing, and perhaps yes, it may appear a little cliched at the moment, in parts, but as you rework and re-read, (reading out loud is great for that!) I'm sure you'll be able to smooth it out a bit. It you feel a passage or sentence sounds a bit clumsy, try reading it out a few times and you'll probably work out where it sticks, or doesn't quite flow off the tongue, quite easily. I do this a lot, especially with dialogue.

Glad my previous suggestions proved helpful. Good luck with the rest of the project - maybe we'll see it our our Story section soon? http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif


[This message has been edited by erebus (edited February 02, 2002).]

nicba
February 10th, 2002, 05:37 PM
Glad my previous suggestions proved helpful. Good luck with the rest of the project - maybe we'll see it our our Story section soon?


Nope... not soon I'm afraid. As you said, I'll let it sit a bit and then go back to it again with a (hopefully) clear mind. But any good critique will of course speed up the process http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

I only put up the opening in the hope that a short text would prompt more people to take the time to read it and give me some comments. Well, it didn't seem to work http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/frown.gif. In a renewed attempt to get a little more response I've put up the rest of the story HERE (http://www.mip.sdu.dk/~nicba/temp/the_journal_of_a_traveller.html).

I mentioned that the opening was a "first draft" and I haven't done much to the story since, so it still is. But I'm not saying this because I wish you to go easier on it. Only to let any potential readers and advice-givers know that nothing is really set in stone yet. All is open for revision still http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif.

estranghero
February 10th, 2002, 06:00 PM
Hey nicba!

Sorry if I've only posted now. Haven't had the time to go through the stories posted on this board because of work and I finally made time to do so.

Though I'm primarily a fantasy-reader, I also read some science-fiction stories and I find your story intriguing. Actually, it reminds me of that short story by Robert Heinlein or was it Arthur C. Clarke (about a exploding star and a Jesuit priest?).

Anyway, good set-up on the story's feeling of optimism and adventure of the first space travelers. And then as as the journal progresses, the feeling of dismay, fear, and paranoia is also evident that it raises good questions on how people would react to such a situation.

My only statement is that-- aside from editorial cleaning-- is that the ending was kinda abrupt. From being the last man on the station and then to the last entry? But I can see your point. More entries would be nice as I really found it a good story-telling device.

Let's see, what else. I see your attempt for a romantic atmosphere. Mebbe a little details on the relationship of the couple would be nice to relate to the reader on how deep their feelings are and so let the reader know how much the guy misses the wife in the ending. But it's okay I guess since I'm not much writing romance atmosphere also.

Well, that's it at the moment, straight from the top of my head... http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

Alucard
February 10th, 2002, 08:57 PM
Hey nicba.

I like what you've got so far. I like the atmosphere a lot. The setting is very peaceful and already the reader can understand the relationship between the two characters (perfect setup if you want to throw in a disaster http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif. but of course that's just my litle cynical opinion).

I do have suggestion as well. This is, of course, just my opinion on the matter, but I think that sentences should always have a sense of flow. That the ideas should roll smoothly and logically from one to the next so that the reader is "pulled" along while reading.

Here's an example:

At first I didn't see anything but treetops and dark sky. I adjusted my aim a little and suddenly it leapt into view.

I think that these two sentences would work better together. Something like . . .

At first I didn't see anything but treetops and the dark sky, but as I adjusted my aim a little, it suddenly leapt into view.

It's just a very minor change, but since the two sentences were running on the same theme, I thought it would flow a little better if you lopped them together. I'm not sure if it matters much, but it might be something to think about whenever you edit (which is when I reccomend making these kind of corrections. I wouldn't bother with the first time around. It'll just bog you down.).

But I like your style. Something I've always liked in people's writing is short sentences used effectively. You do this very well. For me, the strongest statements, the ones that really stick out in your mind, are usually the concise ones. The way you use those kind of sentences is very effective. Keep it up.

So, good job! Post when you've got some more.

nicba
February 12th, 2002, 03:45 AM
Hey! A little whining certainly helped http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif. Thank you very much for the feedback. It really is much appreciated.



My only statement is that-- aside from editorial cleaning-- is that the ending was kinda abrupt. From being the last man on the station and then to the last entry? But I can see your point. More entries would be nice as I really found it a good story-telling device.


Yeah, I see what you mean. The ending was by far the hardest part of this story. I actually considered a bunch of other endings too and wasn't sure which one to choose. Primarily, I was a little afraid that this ending would seems too much Deus Ex Machina, with the sudden appearance of faster-than-light traveling rescuers and such. Maybe I'll try to re-write it with one or two of the other possible endings and compare them.



Mebbe a little details on the relationship of the couple would be nice to relate to the reader on how deep their feelings are and so let the reader know how much the guy misses the wife in the ending.


But on the other hand, I wouldn't want to have an info-dump with background history on the characters. Maybe I'll get a tip on how to do that stuff gracefully in Bardos's info-dumping thread?



...perfect setup if you want to throw in a disaster . but of course that's just my litle cynical opinion...


Well, Alucard, I did throw in a disaster. More or less http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif. Didn't you see the rest of the story?

Again, thank you very much for the feedback to both of you!

Alucard
February 12th, 2002, 08:07 AM
I guess I didn't. Hmmm. Try the link there and tell me how much I should be getting (in pages). I don't think I read it all.

nicba
February 12th, 2002, 12:44 PM
Alucard, it's all one big HTML file so the actual page count is a little uncertain. I think it would amount to around 3 or 4 pages, all in all.

But I've posted two links: The link in my first post (posted February 01) points to the intro only. The one in my second post (posted February 10) points to the whole story, all 8 journal entries.

So the entire story, including the ending, can be found HERE (http://www.mip.sdu.dk/~nicba/temp/the_journal_of_a_traveller.html).

Sorry about the confusion http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/frown.gif.