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June 12th, 2003, 04:27 PM
Hello Wesleycl!

Owing to 'computer operator error' (that's me):( your thread was removed whilst being transferred to the writing thread.

Big apologies!

What I have done is retrieved your comments and put them in this thread. Hope this still says what you meant to convey.

From Wesleycl:


I have submitted a number of stories to you site and have left details for people to give feedback but as yet have had no response.

I enjoy writing sci fi stories but I would love to get some pointers, advice or criticism.

I don't know how to get people to read them so I ask for a few people with a bit of time for some help and/or suggestions

Many Thanks

Wes is my author name

Links to stories below:

Return to Kaluna (http://www.sffworld.com/authors/w/wes/fiction/returnfromkaluna1.html)

The Encounter (http://www.sffworld.com/authors/w/wes/fiction/encounter1.html)

Return of the Morags (http://www.sffworld.com/authors/w/wes/fiction/returnofmorags1.html)

The Final Stand (http://www.sffworld.com/authors/w/wes/fiction/finalstand1.html)

Wastra replied:

I read "The Encounter."

It reads kinda like a Star Trek episode would appear on TV. That's either bad or good depending on your preferences.

Aside from that, I'd go back and look at every comma in the story and check it for run-on sentences, because this baby is loaded up with them.

After a short time the emergency lighting came on, Egals opened his eyes, the automatic sprinkler system was not operating he thought, a number of small fires raged on the Bridge.

This one sentence should be several sentences. After a short time the emergency lighting came on. Egals opened his eyes. the automatic sprinkler system was not operating, he thought. A number of small fires raged on the Bridge.

Of course, you could re-write it to something like:

After a short time, the emergency lighting came on, revealling a number of small fires raging on the bridge. (BTW- why would he need emergency lighting to see fires raging? They ARE lighting.) Egals blinked and looked around. The automatic sprinkler system must not be working, he thought to himself.
and Hungry Jo then replied:

Ok I've read through "Return From Kaluna".

First a few spellings and stuff (which I'm not really very good at picking out if I'm honest).

"Course laded in sir." Smith answered.

Laroun started to walk to the large domes what housed the millions of inhabitants that dwelled there.

Also your kind of repeating yourself there, if they are housed in the domes, then of course they dwelled there.

A short time later all the lights had been reactervating and the artificial air had begun to circulate, Laroun removed his helmet and took a deep breath of stall air, he coughed a little bit and then sat down at the computer controls,

The five men breathed out for the first time in as many minutes.

not really wrong here, it just sounds odd, maybe I'm wrong, after all it's just syle I guess but it just doesn't sound right to me.

Anyway, it's not badly written at all. But as this is a critique I'll focus mostly on negatives, it's easier that way

Firstly I didn't quite get the story. What happened to the one guy they left behind? Maybe I just missed it. Was he killed when the holes were made in the glass (presumably by asteriods or whatever). It also seems a little unlikely that they'd leave just one guy, especially if it was at risk. And why did the defence shield thing have to be on the moon in the first place? Anyway, with a bit more explanation of these things you'd certainly make the story a bit less confusing. Also it would be nice to have some slightly different charecters amongst the crew, none of them eally stand out, but I know it's difficult to do charecter development in a short story, particularly when you've got a whole crew to deal with. Oh, and try and do a few less exclamation marks

Well that's my 2 cents anyway, but I'm know literary genius. If you want more comments it to might be worth going the writing forum.


Rocket Sheep
June 16th, 2003, 04:15 AM
There are sites on the net where you can get critiques of your stories by participating in a workshop. You usually pay with two crits of someone elses work to submit one for critique. There are workshops dedicated to the speculative fiction genre and I've found that some of the feedback is quite good. It allieviates the problem of trying to find people to read your work and the critiques at workshops usually follow some kind of format encompassing plot and pacing as well as line by line critiquing.

June 19th, 2003, 12:14 PM
Seeing as 'The Encounter' and 'Return to Kaluna' have been covered, I read 'Return of the Morags.'
You have a good sense of story telling, keeping a decent balance between dialog and description. The usual criticism, which can be made of the majority of peoples work, is that careful proof reading would have allowed your narrative to flow even better; a number of grammatical errors jar the reader from the pathos of the story.
Also, you might be more adventurous. Many of the elements of your SF world have been plainly culled from Star Trek, with allusions to Star Wars. There is nothing wrong with this per se, these are dominant paradigms and many SF writers follow them. However, I would suggest that you should try reading other SF works (see the SF forum on this site) to broaden the scope, and indeed read non-SF; remember that Star Trek itself draws heavily on naval concepts, particularly submarines.
Finally, you might spend more time on developing characterisation. We are introduced to a number of characters with no more information than their names. Building a sense of a person in a short piece is not easy - but few of the important skills are.
Sorry that this has been a rather long response and I hope you don't consider it an outright attack on your work, which I genuinely enjoyed.