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SubZero61992
January 2nd, 2006, 02:28 PM
I have submitted the first two chapters of my new story about undercover soldiers here:http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/1166p0.html
This is basically the prologue to the story.

Expendable
January 2nd, 2006, 03:02 PM
For now, cut "And that's where our story begins".

It's a good solid begining with good pacing, but you still have some minor grammar errors showing up.


"I think I'll go to the restroom for a second? Ok?" Lana said walking away after Earl pointed her in the right direction. Marvin sat still, daring not to look at Earl. But soon enough, Earl spoke to him in a kind, low voice.

I don't understand the first question-mark here - is there some doubt the restaurant has a restroom? Also, you'll want a comma after "Lana said".


"I think I'll go to the restroom for a second. Ok?" Lana said, walking away after Earl pointed her in the right direction.

I'll pick this apart further later. But it's mostly small stuff. Don't let it keep you from writing more.

*cracks whip*

-Ex.

SubZero61992
January 2nd, 2006, 03:04 PM
You're scaring me...I know there is bigger problems with both chapters, and it won't be long before someone else picks it apart...Im still writing though.

Expendable
January 2nd, 2006, 05:13 PM
"Mom! The tree is sick!" he claimed. His mother's eyes opened slowly and she attempted to roll on her back but immediately retreated to her former position under terrible pain.
"Oh Marv..." she groaned and her eyes were watering again.

What does terrible pain look like? Does she stiffen, wince, cry out?


His mother stood up and the smile disappeared. It was the way someone would look if they were informed their parents had died, just a slow spreading frown without the tears.

This is distracting from Marvin’s POV – at three it’s unlikely he knows how someone might respond to news like this.


His mother came out of the bathroom, already dried and with the need for no make up at all, was ready for work.

From Marvin’s POV, how does he know she needs no make up?


"I love you mom, bye!" he waved gallantly. She smiled and walked out of the house. Marvin, as normal on a work day, went to the couch and switched the television to a military channel. It was his hobby, learning about warfare. Even if he couldn't understand it, he loved it.

“A military channel” – what military channel? Be specific. Is this the Pentagon channel? (http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/pcindex.aspx ) The Military Channel? (http://military.discovery.com/ ) Armed Forces Radio and Television Service? (http://www.afrts.osd.mil/ )


However, Marvin couldn't know what would happen at ten forty tonight when there would be a knock on the door, that will change his life forever.

you’re foreshadowing. Personally I think you should avoid it, it distracts from your story.


"Well, let's go, champ." Earl said in a tone like a lying child.
can you describe this better?


Now if you knew what Earl ate at restaurants, you'd never, ever say that, especially if you like meat. And of course, Earl knew this.
Foreshadowing again.


"That's alright, I already know who you are by how you look at me. Marvin has seen many men come in through that door and has seen all of them leave.

I don’t understand this line – “I already know who you are by how you look at me.” And in chapter 1, Marvin states the men are usually gone by the time he wakes up.


But soon enough, Earl spoke to him in a kind, low voice.
"Your mother flinched when I touched her back, what happened?" he asked.
Marvin shrugged his shoulders as his mind carried back to the alien who hit his mother. Earl asked him again in a kind voice so Marvin answered.
"An alien punched and kicked her. And he took our food." he said. Earl remained unmoved, however. He sighed as if thinking heavily but said nothing. Lana came back and sat down.

This bit I think you did extremely well. Instead of telling us, you showed us.

SubZero61992
January 2nd, 2006, 05:20 PM
Thats all? These chapters are ready for print once I change what people think I should write and delete?
I like how you paid attention to that detail about the men leaving before Marvin wakes up.

BTW; What do you people think of AUEL's?

Expendable
January 2nd, 2006, 06:06 PM
Thats all? These chapters are ready for print once I change what people think I should write and delete?
I like how you paid attention to that detail about the men leaving before Marvin wakes up.

BTW; What do you people think of AUEL's?

First - it's your story. You don't have to change anything if you don't want to, no matter what anyone says. The points I raised are the points I want you to think about.

Continunity is important. That's why I mentioned Marvin usually being asleep when the men leave.

Are you going to set up a COMPASS database to draw your automated unit equipment lists out of?

AUELs are what the Army is using now. It makes sense to use it if you're in an Army unit and are planning a unit movement.

Seeing how someone else does something helps you make it more real - but you don't want to have it distract from the story. How many are going to know what an AUEL is?

What's your character's operational responsibilities and unit table of equipment?

SubZero61992
January 2nd, 2006, 06:10 PM
Expendable: I made up AUEL, and in the story and title it tells you what it is, are you saying that they already exist or am I not getting your point?

Expendable
January 2nd, 2006, 06:28 PM
Expendable: I made up AUEL, and in the story and title it tells you what it is, are you saying that they already exist or am I not getting your point?

Sorry, I thought you were getting technical. AUEL is army newspeak for an Automated Unit Equipment List.

American Elite Underground Legion. Hate it. But great confusion value.

How can it underground if we know it's American? And if it's elite, why is it underground?

If this is a black ops crew, it's going to have two names - a classified name used rarely by those persons who have the clearances to talk about it, and a code name to be used in unclassified documents, like 'Keyhole' for the CIA/National Reconnaissance Office reconnaissance satellites

SubZero61992
January 2nd, 2006, 06:31 PM
Sorry, I thought you were getting technical. AUEL is army newspeak for an Automated Unit Equipment List.

American Elite Underground Legion. Hate it. But great confusion value.

How can it underground if we know it's American? And if it's elite, why is it underground?

If this is a black ops crew, it's going to have two names - a classified name used rarely by those persons who have the clearances to talk about it, and a code name to be used in unclassified documents, like 'Keyhole' for the CIA/National Reconnaissance Office reconnaissance satellites

Its Americas Elite Undercover Legion.
So what do you suggest?

Expendable
January 2nd, 2006, 07:12 PM
Black Ops exist for deniability. Nobody knows who they are or how big they are. They sneak in, do a job, and then sneak out again, hopefully without anyone being aware that anything's happened - until it's too late. If a team member gets killed or captured, nobody knows who he is or where he's from. His uniform won't have any name tags or unit designation, there'll be no ID in his wallet - and if there is, it's fake.

They may know the guy's American, but they won't be able to prove it.

Look at the Mission Impossible and Borne Identity movies - good examples of black op crews. So is the strike team that goes in for the first Preditor movie.

You want to be patriotic, fine. So go with an image or American emblem. Look at the Navy SEAL teams - SEAL is an acrynym for SEa, Air, Land - and suggests a sea-going mammal. You could try EAGLE - Elite American Ghost LEgion.