View Full Version : Could Someone Give Me an Opinion on This Excerpt
December 14th, 2002, 09:34 AM
Jana Boyce was alone on this ship. She had many friends yes but she they sometimes were not enough to make up for the fact that since she was maybe no more then five years old her parents had ceased to exist. Oh her father was alive and well, just cryogenically frozen for thirteen years now. Sometimes she thought it would be better had he been taken away from her when she had been too young to have any memories of him. But then she thought about the few memories she had of him. He had been young when she was born, a grown man yes but still young by the standards of the City Ship. Most of the parents on this ship were at least thirty when they had their first child, it was encouraged as the common belief was the a person that age would be more able to handle a child then a younger person. In some cases Jana knew this was true but Jana knew many adults who couldnít handle the slightest problem as well as some young people. Her father had been young and a Marine, but as she remembered he had never been tough or cold like the Marines on all the videos of the Slash War. He had been loving to her and when he had been taken away to be frozen so he could fight again if the war started up again. She had cried for days and sometimes still did when she was feeling particularly down. But despite it all, despite being alone and not knowing what it felt like to have a parent scold her (although the disciplinary committees did a damn good job) she was happy. Young and happy, what more could she ask for. Well, maybe a planet to live on instead of this crowded City Ship with fifty million people. Maybe air that she hadnít sucked through her lungs a trillion times before. Maybe a life where she didnít have to wake up ever morning knowing that if the Slash ever managed to catch up they would all die. Oh well, she could wish but it wouldnít come true and there was no use wishing any ways. Doing was better, doing and making things happen.
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December 14th, 2002, 03:34 PM
Hey, I think that's great. I was locked into it untill I realized I have things to do.. But I'll read it all later. I'm no writer so sorry if you wanted criticism =) Um.. If there's more even after this page already, I'd like to read it.. Drop me mail at email@example.com if you will.
Shiva , AIM - ok1010345
December 16th, 2002, 05:01 AM
It shows some promise, but it needs work.
Is this the start of your story? If so, then you ought to think about revising it. Basically, your story should start with a bang. I don't mean explosions, a fight, or a car chase - just a scene with some narrative action, if you get my meaning.
Your scene basically consists of a girl sitting alone on a ship, followed by a huge info dump. I'm sure that there are better, more interesting ways of conveying the information than that. Perhaps as part of a conversation with another character? Also, do you really need to mention all of that info in one paragraph? It seems to me that you could drip-feed the reader most of that information through multiple chapters.
As far as your sentence construction goes: Again it shows some promise, but you need to tighten it up.
I'll try and show you what I mean.
Jana Boyce was alone on this ship. She had many friends yes but she they sometimes were not enough to make up for the fact that since she was maybe no more then five years old her parents had ceased to exist.
I might have written:
Even though hemmed in by the heaving crowd, Jana still felt alone. They were just strangers. They could not comfort her. She had many friends, but even they could not replace her parents.
Her parents. Even the memory of them made her ache inside.
Hope that helps!
December 16th, 2002, 05:42 AM
i liked the ideas of the story a lot, but that is all they really were. ideas. this seems like an outline for the story, actually mainly of the character Jana. You should use this for your own knowlege when writing the actual story.
as far as writing help, get rid of the useless yes's and just read over what you wrote and listen to what you said and try to fix what sounds awkward. pretend you didn't write it. most of what you wrote sounds good, its just not perfected, and if you're going to go through the trouble of creating a good story, you might as well tell it well. i try to focus on saying more by writing less. cut down on the useless and mundane and be original.
December 16th, 2002, 10:54 AM
No I have a prologue before this that involves a rather large rather important battle scene, I have always had a major problem with giving out to much information. I read too much Orson Scott Card, Xenocide and Children of the Mind are notorious for this. I appreciate the help and I will follow your advice. I think I'll post another part later on that I especially liked.
December 16th, 2002, 12:53 PM
Interesting sounding premise, but not really enough here to analyse in general terms.
Styllistically you show a great deal of confidence and a generally relaxed approach to story-telling (although that may of course bely the reality). However, the informal style must be handled carefully. Notice how often you make an asservation of fact and then in the next line retract it, or at least qualify it. Yes, this strategy does put the reader off-balance and holds interest, but not if it is used too often. Sometimes you have to make a definite statement.
Further (and I would stress these are my subjective opinions), this seems a rather long exposition without really setting it in context. Whilst an impression of where your character is situated and her life, we get relativly little sense of the actual place in any tangible sense. You may want to inter-twine the memories with immediate actions, thus:
'...Well, maybe a planet to live on instead of this crowded City Ship with fifty million people. She closed her eyes and reclined into the leather folds of her chair. The air filter thrummed with a monotonous rythmn above her; ceaselessly sucking in the stale air and returning it: purified, sterile. Taking a deep breath of the machines odourless product, Jana opened her eyes and stared into the neon brightness of the strip lights above her. Maybe a life where she didnít have to wake up ever morning knowing that if the Slash ever managed to catch up they would all die.'
Yeah okay, so maybe the wording isn't great (I tend to write fantasy so this sci-fi stuff is unaccostomed) but I hope you get the general idea.
All that said, for what its worth, I think this piece shows promise and I look forward to seeing more of it (posted in the appropriate section of course.;) ).
December 16th, 2002, 03:29 PM
I enjoyed reading your peice but it does need a little style work.
For example you use the word 'yes' far too much and in the wrong way.
e.g. She had many friends yes...
Also, try not to use () in your narrative writing, it is distracting to the reader.
Try not to say 'Oh' or 'Oh, well' at the begining of a narrative sentence. You can use it in dialogue all you want but sometimes it is little too informal for narrative.
I really enjoyed the following excerpt:
Maybe air that she hadn't sucked though her lungs a trillion times before. Maybe a life where she didn't have to wake up every morning knowing that if the Slash every managed to catch up they would all die. Oh well, she could wish but it wouldn't come true and there was no use wishing any ways. Doing was better, doing and making things happen.
I liked how you began both sentences with 'Maybe'. The last sentence is very affective and thought provoking.
This isn't quite publishable material yet but, like the others mentioned, it does have promise.
Good luck on this peice!
December 16th, 2002, 06:44 PM
To be brief:
- Take out every "yes".
- Don't use "oh" unless someone is talking, ie. as part of speech
- Grab a good grammar book and read up on sentence construction. You use a lot of sentence fragments, which can be effective, but only if used consciously and sparingly.
Your ideas are interesting, and I'd like to read more about this world, but you need to hone the craft of writing. My key recommendation would be - read, read, read, and write, write, write!
December 16th, 2002, 10:05 PM
"Know no fear but fear of failure. No hatred by hatred of thy enemy. No love but of battle. No innocence but of those you defend and no guilt but of those you kill." Jay'Son said. Sam'Son had heard these words many times before. It was the code of the Crossblade Zealot. The words that were spoken after one woke up and before one slept. The words uttered in the silent expanses in the mind of each and every Zealot as he reaks death upon his enemies. The words Sam'Son was now intoning as his teacher spoke them. For today was the day that Sam'Son was ready, today he had been judged worthy by the last remnants of his race to join the honored ranks of the ancient ranks of the Zealots. Ever since the days of Quan'Don Kelhai son of Jen'Don Kelhai and father to Op'Son Kelhai who ended the bloodline when he gave no child and remained Son, ther had been Zealots. Quan'Don had been the first, and these had been the days when Crossblade still fought with Crossblade. The Zealots had been unrivalled in their valiant efforts and through their victories wiped clean the stains of dishonor the weaker clans had brought to Ten'Dai.
Do I suffer from same problem here?
December 16th, 2002, 11:27 PM
This excerpt is much better. There are a few sentences that feel a little too long. Try not to repeat the same word in your sentences.
e.g. ...he had been judged worthy by the last remnants of his race to join the honored RANKS of the ancient RANKS of the Zealots.
I enjoyed this peice a lot more than the one you orginally posted. It has more spice and life to it. I love the names that you have chosen for your characters. Sam'Son...that's the coolest name! I also enjoyed the code of the Crossblade Zealot. It had quite a big impact on my imagination.
Are these excerpts part of a short story or a novel? I would like to hear more about it. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or Tcollings@cc.usu.edu. Please email me if you have the time!
Keep up the good work!
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