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RECODED Genesis Opening 250 (Dani POV) Adult Social-Scifi

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#1 ryankalford

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 02:06 PM

Shifted POV to my main character. Details in post #21!

Decided to post the first 250 from Recoded's actual opening chapter, GENESIS. Features main two antagonist, but since neither are mentioned in my query, don't think it's best to use the beginning for the sample pages. Still, interested in anyone's thoughts.




Excerpt below.
_____

They walked along the steel corridors at a brisk pace, hand in hand.

“Are you sure this is going to work,” Alyssa said, more than a hint of annoyance in her voice. “I mean—concerning me and your brother?”

Archer waved at a passing couple sharing a laugh. “Oh, I have no doubts, Darling.” He noted the hard wrinkle that twisted the otherwise smooth curve of her nose. “Davey’s the type who can hardly resist a charming damsel—especially one wrapped around me.”

Alyssa’s green eyes narrowed into dangerous slits. “So now I’m your trinket to be paraded around a bunch of loathsome fools and their spoiled little bitches?”

“Only for the few minutes necessary, Darling. I promise.” He paused as he studied a gray haired man necking a much younger woman against the wall. “We’ve both handled far more dangerous opposition than large crowds of wine sippers and gossipmongers.”

“Don’t patronize me,” Alyssa snapped. “It’s bad enough playing your showcase ornament.” She scratched at the broach wrapped around her neck; a shining blood ruby clasped to its front. “All this filthy make-up those stupid chink pigs smeared on me. And these damnable high heels! I can barely keep my feet straight.”

As her tirade went on, he couldn’t help but grin. She was quite endearing when she was flustered.

“Don’t be silly, Alyssa, Darling. You look dashing.” His eyes traced over the crimson silk dress that hugged her bosom and hips. Its color complemented her flaming red hair curled back into a styled bun, anointing her like a crown.


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#2 SnowGlobe

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 02:33 PM

They walked along the steel corridors at a brisk pace, hand in hand.

“Are you sure this is going to work?” Alyssa said asked, more than a hint of annoyance in her voice. “I mean—concerning me and your brother?”

Archer waved at a passing couple sharing a laugh. “Oh, I have no doubts, Darling.” He noted the hard wrinkle that twisted the otherwise smooth curve of her nose. “Davey’s the type who can hardly resist a charming damsel—especially one wrapped around me.”

Alyssa’s green eyes narrowed into dangerous slits. “So now I’m your trinket to be paraded around a bunch of loathsome fools and their spoiled little bitches?”

“Only for the few minutes necessary, Darling. I promise.” He paused as he studied a gray haired man necking (seems odd to apply this word to the activities of a grey haired man, but I suppose that was intended) a much younger woman against the wall. “We’ve both handled far more dangerous opposition than large crowds of wine sippers and gossipmongers.”

“Don’t patronize me,” Alyssa snapped. “It’s bad enough playing your showcase ornament.” She scratched at the broach wrapped around her neck; a shining blood ruby clasped to its front. “All this filthy make-up those stupid chink (Eeek, racial slurs - The problem is that this is the opening and people are expecting the protagonists. With that expectation, the reader is going to think the MC is repugnant and maybe not want to keep reading, not understanding these are two antagonists.) pigs smeared on me. And these damnable high heels! I can barely keep my feet straight.”

As her tirade went on, he couldn’t help but grin. She was quite endearing when she was flustered. (This proves he is also repugnant, finding such behavior endearing, so the reader will be thinking these are not people they want to commit time to.)

“Don’t be silly, Alyssa, Darling. You look dashing.” His eyes traced over the crimson silk dress that hugged her bosom and hips. Its color complemented her flaming red hair curled back into a styled bun, anointing her like a crown.



#3 ryankalford

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 06:43 PM

Okay, so I've had quite a few developments since my last time posting this or my other excerpt. Tried RECODED out in about 3 writing contest, and didn't get much anywhere. Got a request from a new agent in #PitMad, but she ultimately passed (the writing didn't grab her enough despite loving the concept), but not without a revise/resubmit invitation. Sooooooooooooo, after doing some thinking about my first fifty pages given her feedback, I came to a decision about a couple of things to change--one of those being my Intro. Instead of using my antagonist POV for a 23 page opening, I've decided to try using my main character to pen the book with a scene that's about shy of 2,000 currently. So, I thought I'd post to first 250 here to get a little feel for things since I feel like taking a risk and using this for PitchWars, and to send to another agent as part of a first 1,200 word critique course I enrolled in.

 

Anyway, I'll shut my yap with providing contest and just let what I have so far speak for itself. Thanks. (I apologize for the roughness of the piece. Wouldn't normally post this so early)

 

__________

 

In the Nowhere All-Dark, the grey eyes watched her.

     

Vast and innumerable, their orb-shaped membranes gleamed to Dani like the stars of the universe. Immortal and everlasting, unlike her. No, she was trapped in this crud mixture of silly meat and bone matter—a pitiful thing called flesh. Oh, how she loathed it! How she longed to escape its frail limitations and rejoin her precious ones in their blissful darkness. Safe, and their collective joined with her once again.

      

Home.

     

She yearned for it. She yearned for it with every fiber of her being. All she wanted . . .

     

is my sippy cup.

     

Dani’s eyelids opened from their achy slits. Her room was dark (no grey eyes to speak of), save for the dim glow that stretched out like skeleton fingers from the living room into her opened door. She glanced at the circular wooden nightstand next to her bed. Her turquoise green sippy cup, imprinted with a determined turtle and dopy-faced hare, was beside her potted blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and reached for it before noticing it was empty.

     

She frowned.

     

“Mama?” Dani said, glancing at the doorway. She waited for an answer. There was none. She tried again. “Mama?” Her voice came out as a thin whisper this time, but the result was the same. She moaned. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch, but Dani didn’t see the faintest hint of her figure resting there. She wondered where she was; it wasn’t like her to be away.


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#4 DancesWithWords

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 11:57 AM

The idea of an alien or supernatural being of some sort inhabiting the body of a toddler is definitely intriguing. It can be hard to find the right balance between intriguing the reader and confusing him, though. The shift from Dani being in the "Nowhere All-Dark," watched by gray eyes/orbs, to her being in her room, was abrupt and confusing. I think all you need is a transition that clues the reader in just enough to maintain the intrigue without letting confusion and frustration set in. Otherwise this is a cool opening and I would read on. The unexpected absence of her mother at the end adds suspense and raises the stakes for the little girl.

 

A few other, more minor things:

 

In the Nowhere All-Dark, the gray eyes watched her. [Grey is British/Canadian spelling, typically.]

     

To Dani, the orb-shaped membranes -- vast and innumerable -- gleamed to Dani like the stars of the universe ["Gleamed to Dani" seemed awkward phrasing. Also, I could be wrong but I think of membrane as something that adheres to the shape of something else, rather than "orb-shaped" in itself. "Of the universe" seemed redundant.]. Immortal and everlasting [redundant], unlike her. No, she was trapped in this crud [cruddy?] mixture of silly meat and bone matter—a pitiful thing called flesh. Oh, how she loathed it! How she longed to escape its frail limitations and rejoin her precious ones in their blissful darkness -- safe, and their collective joined with her once again.

      

Home.

     

She yearned for it. She yearned for it With every fiber of her being. All she wanted was . . .

     

is My sippy cup.

     

Dani’s achy eyelids opened from their achy slits [It would be the eyelids themselves that ached, not the slits, right?]. Her room was dark (no grey eyes to speak of), save for the dim glow that stretched out like skeleton fingers [not sure this image works - the dim glow might be the same color as skeleton fingers but wider, hazier, less defined] from the living room into her opened door.

 

No gray eyes. [I'd emphasize this more; also it's awkward in the parenthetical in the previous sentence.]

 

She glanced at the circular wooden nightstand next to her bed. Her turquoise green sippy cup, imprinted with a determined turtle and dopey-faced hare, was beside her potted blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and reached for it before noticing it was empty.

     

She frowned.

     

“Mama?” Dani said, glancing [just used "glanced," maybe peered through?] at the doorway. She waited for an answer. There was none. She tried again. “Mama?” Her voice came out as a thin whisper this time, but the result was the same. She moaned. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch, but Dani didn’t see the faintest hint of her figure resting there. She wondered where she was; it wasn’t like her to be away.



#5 ryankalford

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 06:27 PM

Thanks DancesWithWords! I really apperciate the feedback! (And glad to know you find the idea appealing)

 

I tweaked it before submitting to PitchWars, so here's the current version. 

 

_____

 

In the Nowhere All-Dark, the gray eyes watched her.

 

To Dani, the orb-shaped spheres—vast and innumerable—gleamed like twinkling stars. Immortal, unlike her. No, she was trapped in this crude mixture of silly meat and bone matter—a pitiful thing called flesh. Oh, how she loathed it! How she longed to escape its frail limitations and rejoin her precious ones in their blissful darkness. Safe, their collective joined with her once again.

     

Home.

     

She yearned for it. With every fiber of her being. All she wanted was . . .

     

My sippy cup.

     

Suddenly she was falling, swimming in pitch black, hurting, and so warm. Too warm. It was all wrong. No, no, not yet. Please not yet! I’ve waited so long! But her pleas went ignored. Her fleshy part was too strong. Her master beckoning her back to its wretched plane of horrifying light and visions. She screamed in agony as the veil of the flesh’s reality shattered her consciousness to pieces, assuming its impregnable control once again.

     

The Everywhere Light shining.     

     

Dani’s achy eyelids opened from their slits. Her room was dark, save for the dim glow that stretched out from the living room into her opened door, as pale as bone.

     

No gray eyes to speak of.

     

She glanced at the circular wooden nightstand next to her bed. Her turquoise green sippy cup, imprinted with a determined turtle and dopey-faced hare, was beside her potted blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and reached for it before noticing it was empty.

     

She frowned.


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#6 dizzywriter

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:43 PM

Interesting concept. Like reincarnation, or Being John Malkovich. But my only substantive comment is that you use the passive voice too much. Rewrite to get rid of "was" where you can and replace with more active verbs.



#7 lowegradefever

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 07:20 AM

Here's my shot at a critique. Keep in mind this isn't my usual genre.

 

In the Nowhere All-Dark, the gray eyes watched her. (cool opening)

 

To Dani, the orb-shaped spheres—vast and innumerable—gleamed like twinkling stars. Immortal, unlike her. No, she was trapped in this crude mixture of silly meat and bone matter (could you omit 'matter'?)—a pitiful thing called flesh. Oh, how she loathed it! (I'm not much for 'Oh' - I'd cut this sentence and get right to "she longed to escape" - this attitude is revealed very succinctly in the adjective 'pitiful') How she longed to escape its frail limitations and rejoin her precious ones in their blissful darkness. Safe, their collective joined with her once again.

     

Home.

     

She yearned for it. With every fiber of her being. All she wanted was . . .

     

My sippy cup.

     

Suddenly she was falling, swimming in pitch black, hurting, and so warm. Too warm. It was all wrong. No, no, not yet. Please not yet! I’ve waited so long! But her pleas went ignored. Her fleshy part was too strong. Her master beckoning her back to its wretched plane of horrifying (omit?) light and visions. She screamed in agony as the veil of the flesh’s reality shattered her consciousness to pieces (omit 'to pieces'), assuming its impregnable control once again.

     

The Everywhere Light shining.     

     

Dani’s achy eyelids opened from their slits. Her room was dark, save for the dim glow that stretched out from the living room into her opened door, as pale as bone. (cool line)

     

No gray eyes to speak of.

     

She glanced at the circular wooden nightstand next to her bed. Her turquoise green sippy cup, imprinted with a determined turtle and dopey-faced hare, was beside her potted blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and reached for it before noticing it was empty. (Just 'it was empty'?)

     

She frowned.

 

You've got some really neat phrases and, overall, an intriguing opening. But I feel like I get slowed down by some of the writing (or, more, the lack of editing). You have some redundant phrases and words that I think you could pare down (I tried to give you some help here). I'm ok with the disorientation at the beginning as long as it's resolved before too much further in the MS. The juxtaposition of immortal gray eyes and a sippy cup is very cool, but is the potted blue rose important? The empty sippy cup should be in the spotlight in that paragraph, instead of just part of the scenery.

 

Hope what I gave you is helpful. If you want to take a shot at mine, it's at

http://agentquerycon...t-contemporary/

 

I'm having a hard time with it. Good luck!



#8 ryankalford

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:44 PM

Hey everyone.

 

It's been a few months, eh? I'm currently working on finishing up rewrites for potential CP/beta readers in May (hopefully!), but thought I'd go ahead and post the latest version of my opening . The first 250 isn't radically different from what's posted above, but I did incorporte the advice of the agent who crtiqiued it back in August [switching two sequences around to better reflect the query], so its more . .  . straightforward, I guess you could say? Just find myself curious, I suppose, since I feel it's at least decent finally. If anyone finds their interest piqued and would like to swap first chapters for crtique/feedback, sent me a pm!

 

Enjoy.

 

 

_____

 

Home.     

     

Dani’s achy eyelids opened from their slits. Her room was dark, save for the dim glow that stretched from the living room into her opened door, as pale as bone.

     

Home again.

     

She glanced at the circular wooden nightstand next to her bed. Her turquoise green sippy cup, imprinted with a determined turtle and dopey-faced hare, rested beside her potted blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and picked it up.

     

Empty.

     

Dani frowned. “Mama?” She peered through the doorway and waited for an answer. None came. “Mama?” Her voice croaked out as a thin whisper this time, but the silence remained. Dani moaned. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch, but Dani didn’t see the faintest hint of her figure laying there. She wondered where she was; it wasn’t like Mama to be away. She thought more about it, concentrated, until her head hurt and her darkened room swam in a floating haze. Dani whimpered, at a loss. She was so sore and stiff all over she hardly ever felt comfortable, no matter what position she tried. She couldn’t even stand straight and keep her balance without Mama’s help.

      

At least I don’t have to go tinkle. Being thirsty was bad, but wetting the bed would be too embarrassing. As if being sick already isn’t. She sighed, too weary to strain her brain any further. She rolled on her side and snuggled closer to Ben-Ben, her big gray bear with small beady black eyes and faded coat of fur. 


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#9 sophlisterkated

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 02:23 AM

Hey everyone.

 

It's been a few months, eh? I'm currently working on finishing up rewrites for potential CP/beta readers in May (hopefully!), but thought I'd go ahead and post the latest version of my opening . The first 250 isn't radically different from what's posted above, but I did incorporte the advice of the agent who crtiqiued it back in August [switching two sequences around to better reflect the query], so its more . .  . straightforward, I guess you could say? Just find myself curious, I suppose, since I feel it's at least decent finally. If anyone finds their interest piqued and would like to swap first chapters for crtique/feedback, sent me a pm!

 

Enjoy.

 

 

_____

 

Home.     

     

Dani’s achy eyelids opened from their slits. This reads awkwardly to me. Maybe say her "achy eyelids opened in slits." Eyelids can make slits, but they don't come from slits, you know? Her room was dark, save for the dim glow that stretched from the living room into her opened door, as pale as bone.

     

Home again.

     

She glanced at the circular wooden nightstand next to her bed. Her turquoise green sippy cup, imprinted with a determined turtle and dopey-faced hare, rested beside her potted blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and picked it up. This is just a comment, not an emergency, but I was tripping on the "hers" in this paragraph. Maybe replace a few of them with "a" and "the" for variation?

     

Empty.

     

Dani frowned. “Mama?” She peered through the doorway and waited for an answer. None came. “Mama?” Her voice croaked out as a thin whisper this time, but the silence remained. Dani moaned. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch, but Dani didn’t see the faintest hint of her figure "faintest hint" seems a weak description of a body lying on a couch. It's either there or not. laying lying there. She wondered where she was; it wasn’t like Mama to be away. She thought more about it, concentrated, until her head hurt and her darkened room swam in a floating haze. Dani whimpered, at a loss. She was so sore and stiff all over she hardly ever felt comfortable, no matter what position she tried. She couldn’t even stand straight and keep her balance without Mama’s help.

      

At least I don’t have to go tinkle. Being thirsty was bad, but wetting the bed would be too embarrassing. As if being sick already isn’t. She sighed, too weary to strain her brain any further. She rolled on her side and snuggled closer to Ben-Ben, her big gray bear with small beady black eyes and faded coat of fur. 

 

This is intriguing so far. I have a feeling of foreboding, and I like stories told from children's perspectives, like in The Room. My comments are just suggestions, stumbling places I would want readers to tell me while reading. 



#10 ryankalford

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for the nice notes and comments, sophilisterkated. I tweaked again according to your suggestions. Glad to know it captured your attention. ;)

 

__________

 

Home.     

     

Dani’s achy eyelids opened in slits. Her room was dark, save for the dim glow that stretched from the living room into her opened door, as pale as bone.

     

Home again.

     

She glanced at the circular wooden nightstand next to her bed. A turquoise green sippy cup, imprinted with a determined turtle and dopey-faced hare, rested beside a potted blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and picked it up.

     

Empty.

     

Dani frowned. “Mama?” She peered through the doorway and waited for an answer. None came. “Mama?” Her voice croaked out as a thin whisper this time, but the silence remained. Dani moaned. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch, but Dani didn’t see her there. She wondered where she was; it wasn’t like Mama to be away. She thought more about it, concentrated, until her head hurt and her darkened room swam in a floating haze. Dani whimpered, at a loss. She was so sore and stiff all over she hardly ever felt comfortable, no matter what position she tried. She couldn’t even stand straight and keep her balance without Mama’s help.

     

At least I don’t have to go tinkle. Being thirsty was bad, but wetting the bed would be too embarrassing. As if being sick already isn’t. She sighed, too weary to strain her brain any further. She rolled on her side and snuggled closer to Ben-Ben, her big gray bear with small beady black eyes and faded coat of fur.


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#11 xkime

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 08:30 AM

Home.     

     

Dani’s achy eyelids opened from their slits. (I'm not fond of this sentence, but that's just me. Something as simple as "Dani opened her eyes" would work just fine) Her room was dark, save for the dim glow that stretched from the living room into her opened door, as pale as bone. What is "pale as bone?" 

     

Home again.

     

She glanced at the circular wooden nightstand next to her bed. Her turquoise green sippy cup, imprinted with a determined turtle and dopey-faced hare, rested beside her potted blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and picked it up. Oh. Gives me the impression she is young, which is good to get done right away in the first 250. Nice job. 

     

Empty.

     

Dani frowned. “Mama?” She peered through the doorway and waited for an answer. None came. “Mama?” Her voice croaked out as a thin whisper this time, but the silence remained. Dani moaned. Gives the impression that she is talking when this is a thought. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch, but Dani didn’t see the faintest hint of her figure laying there. She wondered where she was; it wasn’t like Mama to be away. She thought more about it, concentrated, until her head hurt and her darkened room swam in a floating haze. Dani whimpered, at a loss. She was so sore and stiff all over she hardly ever felt comfortable, no matter what position she tried. She couldn’t even stand straight and keep her balance without Mama’s help.

      

At least I don’t have to go tinkle. Being thirsty was bad, but wetting the bed would be too embarrassing. As if being sick already isn’t. She sighed, too weary to strain her brain any further. She rolled on her side and snuggled closer to Ben-Ben, her big gray bear with small beady black eyes and faded coat of fur. I have the impression that Dani is young based on her sippy cup and other clues you give us, but her thoughts are a little mature for the age you're targeting, leaving me confused. I know my cousins that are the age I think you are targeting do not say things like that yet. 

 

Other than those few comments, I do like your intro. It hooked me enough to make me want to read more! Good luck!! 

My First 250: RECODED: GENESIS



#12 ryankalford

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 04:11 AM

Hey everyone.

 

Thought I'd post the latest version of this. Hard to believe it's already been a year, but I think it's turned out well (in no small part to everyone's help!). I'm pretty happy with it at this point . . . I think.

 

__________

 

Home.     

 

Dani’s achy eyes opened in slits. Her room was dark save for the dim glow that stretched from the living room into her opened door, as pale as bone.

 

Home again.

 

She glanced at the circular wooden nightstand next to her bed. A turquoise green sippy cup, imprinted with a determined turtle and dopey-faced hare, rested beside her potted blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and picked it up.

 
Empty.
 

Dani frowned. “Mama?” She peered through the doorway and waited for an answer. None came. “Mama?” Her voice croaked out as a thin whisper, barely above the click of a swallow. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch; it wasn’t like her to be away. At least I don’t have to go tinkle. Being thirsty was bad, but wetting the bed would be embarrassing. As if being sick already isn’t.

 

Dani sighed, too weary to strain her brain any further. She rolled on her side and snuggled closer to Ben-Ben, her big gray bear with small beady black eyes and faded coat of fur. He stared back at her, as solemn as ever. She wrapped her arms around him and clutched him and closed her eyes, trying not to focus on how hot the fever was burning her up.

 

Better to go to the beach and see the ocean again.

 
"I'm a little teapot," she sang through a mumble. "Short and spout."

RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#13 ryankalford

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 08:35 PM

Hello everyone.

 

After getting a great critique from fellow AQ member BumbleBee in my 250 thread for the 1st chapter, I decided to take what I learned and apply my new-found knowledge over my acutal opening with Dani here. Not much to say, other than *snip* *snip* and more *snips*

 

(Glancing over this thead--it sure has come a long way, hasn't it?)

 

 

__________

 

Home.

 

Dani’s achy eyes opened in slits. Her room was dark save for the dim glow that stretched from the living room into her opened door, as pale as bone.

     

Home again.

     

She glanced at the circular nightstand next to her bed. A turquoise sippy cup, imprinted with a turtle and dopey-faced hare, rested beside her blue rose. She uncovered an arm from her blankets and picked it up.

     

Empty.

     

“Mama?” Dani peered through the doorway, and waited for an answer. None came. “Mama?” Her voice croaked out as a whisper, barely above the click of a swallow. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch. It wasn’t like her to be away. At least I don’t have to tinkle.

     

Dani sighed, too weary to strain her brain any further. She rolled on her side and snuggled closer to Ben-Ben, her big gray bear. He stared, beady black eyes solemn as ever. She clutched him and closed her own, trying not to focus on how hot her fever blazed.

     

Wanna see the ocean again.

 

“I’m a little teapot,” she sang through a mumble. “Short and spout.” She drifted between awareness and sweet dreamlands. “Here is my handle.” Murmurs rustled against the thin veil of her teetering consciousness. “Here is . . . my spout.” Whispers burdened by great worry and doubt.

 

When I . . .

 

"What do you mean I'm the reason she's sick?" Mama stood in her bedroom with Daddy, still dressed in her untidy yellow blouse and maroon shorts.


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#14 Nonicks

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 11:10 AM

The first two paragraphs didn't grab my attention. You describe her bedroom, which is nice, but I'm not sure it's really interesting (for me). Your first paragraph is hard to read and although I might've asked myself what made her eyes ache, I was more thinking about why this first sentence is so complicated. I don't think this is what you would want your readers to think. Since your second paragraph is a description, it didn't bring any new questions either. I was hooked only when Dani started calling her mom. That was interesting. I started wondering where is her mother, and wanted to read more to find out the answer.



#15 ryankalford

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 03:01 PM

Hey Nonicks!

 

I think you raised a pretty astute point. So I decided to junk the 70+ words before "Mama?" as suggested, and give it a shot starting from there. Hope it's an improvement. I'm very much trying to get this to be as enticing as possible, so I don't mind being utterly ruthless (since that's the only way it ever will).

 

Thanks for the input!

 

 

 

__________

 

 

Dani peered through the doorway from her bed. A dim glow crept from the living room, pale as bone. "Mama?" She waited. No answer. “Mama?” Her voice croaked out as a whisper, barely above the click of a swallow. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch. It wasn’t like her to be away. At least I don’t have to tinkle.

     

Dani sighed, too weary to strain her brain any further. She rolled on her side and snuggled closer to Ben-Ben, her big gray bear. He stared, beady black eyes solemn. She clutched him and closed her own, ignoring the fiery ache of her fever.

     

Wanna see the ocean again.

 

“I’m a little teapot,” she sang through a mumble. “Short and stout.” She drifted between awareness and sweet dreamlands. “Here is my handle.” Murmurs rustled against the thin veil of her teetering consciousness. “Here is . . . my spout.” Whispers burdened by great worry and doubt.

 

When I . . .

 

“What do you mean I’m the reason she’s sick?” Mama stood in her bedroom with Daddy, still dressed in her untidy yellow blouse and maroon shorts. Her long black hair clutched in a loose pony tail.

 

“I know this isn’t easy to hear,” Daddy said. He leaned against their cherry oak dresser wearing the same lab coat, black shirt and slacks from the previous morning. Hairs bristled under his chin while dark circles haunted his blue eyes.

 

"How?" Mama asked.


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#16 Navin

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 09:13 PM

Dani peered through the doorway from her bed. A dim glow crept from the living room, pale as bone. "Mama?"  ( Something  can shine pale as bone; for example, the moon shines pale as bone. But is it okay to compare  a glow with a pale bone? One is tangible , another intangible. I'm not sure about. Just a thought)  

 

She waited. No answer. “Mama?” Her voice croaked out as a whisper, barely above the click of a swallow. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch. It wasn’t like her to be away. At least I don’t have to tinkle.

     

Dani sighed, too weary to strain her brain any further. She rolled on her side and snuggled closer to Ben-Ben, her big gray bear. He stared, beady black eyes solemn. She clutched him and closed her own, ignoring the fiery ache of her fever.

     

Wanna see the ocean again. ( lovely)

 

“I’m a little teapot,” she sang through a mumble. “Short and stout.” She drifted between awareness and sweet dreamlands. “Here is my handle.” Murmurs rustled against the thin veil of her teetering consciousness. “Here is . . . my spout.” Whispers burdened by great worry and doubt. ( you really have great imagination and you make things so vivid)  

 

When I . . .

 

“What do you mean I’m the reason she’s sick?” Mama stood in her bedroom with Daddy, still dressed in her untidy yellow blouse and maroon shorts. Her long black hair clutched in a loose pony tail. ( loose pony tail-- this is a  slightly overused expression. Sort of stereotyping  a personality.  May be you should try to  use something original that fits in with your overall style)

 

I know this isn’t easy to hear,” Daddy said. He leaned against their cherry oak dresser wearing the same lab coat, black shirt and slacks from the previous morning. Hairs bristled under his chin while dark circles haunted his blue eyes.

 

"How?" Mama asked.

 

 

Everything is shown here, nothing told. Excellent piece of writing. Best of luck. Navin

 

Here is my revised version of the THE MESSENGER: http://agentquerycon...-the-messenger/



#17 BWretched

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 08:51 AM

Hey Nonicks!

 

I think you raised a pretty astute point. So I decided to junk the 70+ words before "Mama?" as suggested, and give it a shot starting from there. Hope it's an improvement. I'm very much trying to get this to be as enticing as possible, so I don't mind being utterly ruthless (since that's the only way it ever will).

 

Thanks for the input!

 

 

 

__________

 

 

Dani peered through the doorway from her bed. A dim glow crept from the living room, pale as bone. "Mama?" She waited. No answer. “Mama?” Her voice croaked out as a whisper, barely above the click of a swallow. I want some water. Mama was supposed to be sleeping on the couch. It wasn’t like her to be away. At least I don’t have to tinkle.

     

Dani sighed, too weary to strain her brain any further. She rolled on her side and snuggled closer to Ben-Ben, her big gray bear. He stared, beady black eyes solemn. She clutched him and closed her own, ignoring the fiery ache of her fever.

     

Wanna see the ocean again.

 

“I’m a little teapot,” she sang through a mumble. “Short and stout.” She drifted between awareness and sweet dreamlands. “Here is my handle.” Murmurs rustled against the thin veil of her teetering consciousness. “Here is . . . my spout.” Whispers burdened by great worry and doubt.

 

When I . . .

 

“What do you mean I’m the reason she’s sick?” Mama stood in her bedroom with Daddy, still dressed in her untidy yellow blouse and maroon shorts. Her long black hair clutched in a loose pony tail.

 

“I know this isn’t easy to hear,” Daddy said. He leaned against their cherry oak dresser wearing the same lab coat, black shirt and slacks from the previous morning. Hairs bristled under his chin while dark circles haunted his blue eyes.

 

"How?" Mama asked.

I have no suggestions that wouldn't be just me writing as me, meaning this was effing great. Amazing voice. Very eerie. It's telling when something is written so well you get sucked in and forget to critique. Your opening post had said go to three, I had a lot to say about that edit. Seeing where you've gone makes me very happy for you. I hope you've fine tuned the entire novel in this way, if so, I think an agent will scoop this up. Fantastic work. Your progress is perfect to show how much work goes into novel writing throughout months.


❤️

 


#18 ryankalford

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 07:49 AM

Hey, everyone. We meet yet again, it seems.

 

Sooooooo . . . I ended up running into a bit of an issue. Mainly, my opening didn't work. Like . .. . at all, despite how apperciated the writing came off. So, I'm redrafting the opening from scratch again based on a suggestion of using the First Act Climax as the opening itself, before jumping back to show how everything unfolded to arrive at that point.

 

So what's below is literally all I have at-the-moment. But since I"m dead set on getting this right finally, I fiugred I might as well throw the new 250 straight to the wolves here and see how well it hits or not instead of waiting. 

 

Thanks!

 

_____

 

The white room was cold.

     

Dani shivered as she squeezed Ben-Ben, her big gray bear, tighter. Gooseflesh tingled underneath her twinkle-star jammies. The clingy wet chill of pee aching sorely against her thighs. I want Mama and Daddy back. Fresh tears dripped. I want them now. She trembled. Saw the scary men in space-suits barge into her home again. Slamming Mama against the wall. Dragging her away. Over and over. Stupid, dumb bear. Nothing but cheap stuffing and fake fur. Yet Dani held on. Too afraid of losing him the same.

     

Stupid, dumb me.

     

She stared wet-eyed around the neatly divided tiles padding the walls. Reminded of the toy blocks she used to play with. Their joyful colors now cruelly scrubbed clean and sanitized. Quarantined . . . just like me. Her reflection from the large rectangular mirror on her right gazed pitifully. All melted blue eyes and fiery hair tangled in fits. I didn’t mean to get sick. I didn’t. She peered down at the maroon Doctor’s table she sat on. But my beach dreams . .  The Everywhere Light had tempted her far too easily. Its tranquil prettiness as pristine and lulling as the sweet voice that soothed her there. Making her a docile puppet to its whims far too often. It’s all my fault. I should’ve stayed away. I shouldn’t have listened. Now Mama and Daddy are—

 

A muffled click and whirl of a hidden gear turning scattered her thoughts. The lone door slid open, 


RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/


#19 Nonicks

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 03:36 PM

Hey, everyone. We meet yet again, it seems.

 

Sooooooo . . . I ended up running into a bit of an issue. Mainly, my opening didn't work. Like . .. . at all, despite how apperciated the writing came off. So, I'm redrafting the opening from scratch again based on a suggestion of using the First Act Climax as the opening itself, before jumping back to show how everything unfolded to arrive at that point.

 

So what's below is literally all I have at-the-moment. But since I"m dead set on getting this right finally, I fiugred I might as well throw the new 250 straight to the wolves here and see how well it hits or not instead of waiting. 

 

Thanks!

 

_____

 

The white room was cold.

     

Dani shivered as she squeezed Ben-Ben, her big gray bear, tighter. Gooseflesh tingled underneath her twinkle-star jammies. The clingy wet chill of pee aching sorely against her thighs. I want Mama and Daddy back. Fresh tears dripped. I want them now. She trembled. Saw the scary men in space-suits barge into her home again. Slamming Mama against the wall. Dragging her away. Over and over. Stupid, dumb bear. Nothing but cheap stuffing and fake fur. Yet Dani held on. Too afraid of losing him the same.

     

Stupid, dumb me.

     

She stared wet-eyed around the neatly divided tiles padding the walls. Reminded of the toy blocks she used to play with. Their joyful colors now cruelly scrubbed clean and sanitized. Quarantined . . . just like me. Her reflection from the large rectangular mirror on her right gazed pitifully. All melted blue eyes and fiery hair tangled in fits. I didn’t mean to get sick. I didn’t. She peered down at the maroon Doctor’s table she sat on. But my beach dreams . .  The Everywhere Light had tempted her far too easily. Its tranquil prettiness as pristine and lulling as the sweet voice that soothed her there. Making her a docile puppet to its whims far too often. It’s all my fault. I should’ve stayed away. I shouldn’t have listened. Now Mama and Daddy are—

 

A muffled click and whirl of a hidden gear turning scattered her thoughts. The lone door slid open, 

 

Hi! I remember you! (actually, that just means we've been here too long and haven't found an agent yet...)

 

P1: everything was okay until: "Saw the scary men..." because this reveals the mystery. I was intrigued and thought, what happened to her parents? But a sentence later you told me what happened. You didn't tell everything, but now part of the mystery is gone. 

 

P2: a character describing herself in a mirror is a bit of a cliche. But why do you need to describe it here? As a reader, I was thinking about her parents, and now you jump to describing the MC, the walls, and the room. That threw me a bit. It got back to be interesting at the very end: "A muffled click...." - This is good, it's action. Why don't you skip the second paragraph and let the reader wonder a bit more, and describe the action that will happen when the door will open?

 

 

I hope I was able to help. If you have time, please take a look at my hook here:

this is the problem!



#20 ryankalford

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 09:31 PM

So after a couple months of gridlock, it seems my faucet is flowing again. I took as much of Nonicks suggestions to heart (150 words cut) as i saw fit, but I'm afraid I had to leave the mirror part in (Sorry nonicks!). It's actually quite pivotal to the scene, but I think all the other cuts make up for it. Otherwise, everything after the first paragraph is new and freshly minted this evening. So, without further ado . . .

__________

The white room was cold.

Dani shivered as she squeezed Ben-Ben, her big gray bear, tighter. Gooseflesh tingled underneath her twinkle-star jammies. The clingy wet chill of pee aching sorely against her thighs. I want Mama and Daddy back. Fresh tears dripped. I want them now. Her reflection gazed pitifully from the rectangular mirror embedded in the right wall. All melted blue eyes and fiery hair tangled in fits. I didn’t mean to get sick. I didn’t. She peered down at the maroon Doctor’s table she sat on. But my beach dreams . . .

A muffled click scattered her thoughts. The lone door slid open, two women filing in. “Dani?” The lady in front hurried forward, high heels clicking frantically against the tile. “Dear?” Her brunette hair bobbed in a loosely clipped bush, wispy strands sticking out like morning hair licks from a pillow. “Are you all right?” The jet black of her pencil skirt and nylon stockings accentuated the silky gleam of her purple blouse. It was Ms. Savonna, the Director of her school. "Dani?”

Her voice held the same kindling warmth Dani remembered from her yearly auditorium addresses. The kind that brightened Dani’s face with such ease. No more. She stared at Ms. Savonna. You took Mama and Daddy away too.

A worry glazed over Ms. Savonna’s deep-set teal eyes. “I’m—I’m sorry we have to trouble you . . . like this.

RECODED <250 EDITING FEEDBACK + ADVICE

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 

RECODED QUERY (FINISHED???)

http://agentquerycon...scifi/?p=250665

 

RECODED: GENESIS (Dani POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/

 
RECODED: Chapter 1 (Lillian POV) 250

http://agentquerycon...-social-sci-fi/

 

RECODED Synopsis (REWRITING SOON)

http://agentquerycon...t-social-scifi/






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