January 20th, 2001, 01:48 AM
Hello everyone, I guess you could say I'm new here... I've been to the page often over the last few months although I havent posted here before. A month or so ago I posted a short SF story called "Forged Genesis". Yes, I'm the one responsible for that pile of would-be Sci-fi trash that been the wasting file space of this fine website...
Oh by the way if you have read it and have any comments about it plz let me know. Don't be too harsh though, as it was originally a rushed Grade 10 school assignment. Actually it hasnt undergone any changes so I guess it still is. Has anyone read "The Redemption of Althalus" by David and Leigh Eddings? C'ya later...
January 20th, 2001, 08:01 AM
Solero, I read your story and Iíll try to be gentle. This is turning out to be a little long, oh well, you are forwarned.
As you said it does read as a though itís a first (or thereabouts) draft. There was a lot of information squeezed into two pages. No offense, Iíve done the same thing on a number of occasions. When you first draft a story you try to get all the information down. But when you revise it, thatís when you take some of that information out or stretch out the story or rearrange the delivery of the information. With a bit of practice you will get a feel for the things you need to look for when you do revisions. We all have different weaknesses in our stories, it just a matter of realizing what they are and keeping an eye out for them.
A few hints, one of my weaknesses is dialogue. It helps to say the dialogue out loud. It helps to hear what you are having your characters say. Also, itís a fine line gauging what the reader needs to know. You have to give them enough information so they arenít confused by what is happening in your story but at the same time, not give them too much information. The reader doesnít need to know everything that is going on in your head and sometimes, it is good for them to figure out something for themselves. Now, like I said, I myself have done this before so no offense intended. I usually have to do a specific review of my stories to check myself for this. If you set the story aside for a week or a month or so then reread it, you will often catch a lot of this, or at least it helps me. One last thing, take a look at what you are attempting to evoke in the reader, sympathy for your character or contempt for the antagonist. What in your story helps evoke those emotions. This is all part of fine tunning your story.
Now, to the good points. It is an interesting plot and honestly a good overall first draft. Iím interested in what grade you received and what was the actual assignment. The conclusion, though not entirely unexpected, is a nice turn of events. Good luck.
January 20th, 2001, 04:40 PM
Thanks for the reply KATS, you made some very interesting observations... You were right about it being a lot of information in 2 pages. This was the main problem when writing it, as the actual assignment was a sci-fi short story with a 500 word limit. You can see the result was a story which was compressed down to 1000 words or so, when in all rights it should have been double that in length.
Thanks for the advice regarding dialogue and emotional response from the reader. What you say is very true, and these are a few things that I can work on. Don't worry, criticism is not offensive, it's really quite helpful! After all, thats the only real reason I posted it here. Oh and by the way I got an A for the story (probably a bit overrated but hey, I'm not complaining...) I've now started a short sci-fi novel, which I kind of prefer over short stories. Thanks again!
January 21st, 2001, 03:14 AM
Holy cow!! 500 word limit? Iíd never make it. As you can see from my earlier response, I write long stories. My first short story was over 5000 words and 8 pages single spaced. The shortest story I wrote is over 1000 words and I really donít consider it a story, more an exercise in descriptive writing. Congrats on the A, and good luck with the novel.
January 27th, 2001, 09:36 PM
I reckon' hey?!
By the way, if you don't have a clue what I'm going on about...what's with the word limits on essays and competitions? Talk about stifling creativity. I generally go over the limit in essays, but in comps. you can't! There are 2 comps. I'm trying to write stories for. One's a short story (limit of 1000 words) and the other's a novel (limit of 20 000). Please pray for me!
January 27th, 2001, 10:05 PM
Jeez, those are quite harsh limitations you have there! The redeeming factor in essays is that you can usually push the word limit a little, given the relevance of the content. The limits sure do sacrifice a little room for creativity but on the other hand it sometimes can result in more effective. The bad thing is that when I write stories, they tend to develop and complicate themselves in the process. I usually push a 500 word limit to about 1000-1200. Most of the time I get away with it...
But with competitions I guess the limit is enforced strongly, that be a hassle! I've never entered a comp, but it sounds demanding!
January 27th, 2001, 10:11 PM
"result in more effective" - more effective WRITING.
"that be a hassle" - that WOULD be a hassle.
I leave words out at random. Man I'm dumb...
January 28th, 2001, 09:49 AM
don't bash yourself! and I look forward to reading the finished product of your story. Like KATS said, you've got some great material there.
I've discovered that i can comb through my stories and shave off several pages' worth of words. my last novel got like 10 pages shorter after final edit, and that was in spite of adding a few extra scenes.
However I've never entered competitions because I could never write a short story. They all end up long and the shortest thing I wrote was 65 typed pages. This chronic "long story" illness of mine is getting worse too, my stories have crept up in length until my current project is too long, with no way to split it up into two books.
Chalanie: Correct me if I'm wrong, but 20,000 words seems short for a novel. Would that even be a novella? Or did you mean to say 200,000? That is more the typical novel length.
January 29th, 2001, 03:25 AM
Your basic concept for the story is good, but there are a few things I would work on.
First, if this man is a new-born clone, why does he know how to speak, and seem at least partially familiar with some technology, yet totally dumbfounded by others? It seems that if he was born with the ability to speak and comprehend many forms of technology, he has some memory of his maker, yet not hte most basic (i.e. his name, etc.)
Why would the year 2029 mean anything to him? He doesn't have any reference to time since he's only been alive a short while.
Third, like a bad James Bond movie, your villain just pops off with his own life story, including saying things no person in their right mind would say.
He continued on. "We here at DeltaCo have a special use for this technology. You see, DeltaCo is just a front for one of the worldís largest underground crime syndicates and you my friend, are the successful clone of our leader, Kaso Solero. He is a rather ruthless man, behind more killings and illegal activities than you could imagine. He has an interesting use for you..." The scientist chuckled softly
Would any true criminal just "spill it all" to the guy they're about to kill?
Once again, I like the concept. But rather than have the doctor and his assistant just spell everythign out for the clone, why not let him discover it in the process of his short life? there's a difference between spoon-feeding the reader and presenting him with a story that reveals facts throughout.
Anyway, I like your concept, and I think that given more time and a longer version, you can make a really good piece out of it. You're right about the length, it needs to be about 8-10 pages. Great start though.
January 29th, 2001, 05:50 PM
Yes, your right about most if not all of the above. Someone else I have shown the story to pointed out the exact same thing you did, in regard to the man's knowledge of language etc. I guess I should have explained this in more depth but as you know, I had a pretty demanding word limit. You see, I was trying to show that the character already had this kind of knowledge which was kept in the cloning process. He was basically in a state similar to amnesia. When you have amnesia, you can still speak your known language, operate things, etc. However, he had no recollection of his former self, his name, his appearance, and his life. Yes, I would have liked to have had he (and the reader) discover these things for themselves, but again the word limit kind of prevented that. Instead, I decided to write in this anonymous scientist fellow to give a run down on the evil doings at DeltaCo. It was quite lame but oh well.
I must say that I only really put the story on here to test the water, so to speak, and see if it was worth expanding on the idea. I think I will go ahead and write a better, longer version and I'd like to thank everyone who read and criticised the story, you are all a great help. I will post the story when its finally done! Thanx all
February 2nd, 2001, 11:06 AM
Wynnyelle - What you wrote got me thinking, so I e-mailed the competition's organisers, and guess what! The second batch of phamplets advertising it had a misprint so it read novell instead of novella. The sent me another phamplet, and guess what it says... 'ten to fifteen thousand words would be adequate and recommended, with the maximum being tewnty thousand'. But I guess I feel better now, writing a novella with 20,000 words is a lot easier than writing a novel.