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THE PARADOX GAMBIT (Adult Science Fiction)


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#1 RobotKitten

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 04:47 PM

The opening paragraphs of my first ever book, a humorous science fiction novel.

 

----

 

A million glints of sunlight danced like glittering stars off the ocean's rippling surface, playing havoc with Lieutenant Commander Candace Kumari's depth perception. Bony fingers of coral poked up through the waves, painting the South Pacific with blotches of blinding white. Candace reached for the aviator sunglasses perched on her black buzz-cut hair and tilted them over her eyes. She glided toward the towers rising over the horizon, the first heralds of the Mackay Starforce Base.

 

Candace engaged the landing thrusters and swept the shuttle closer to the water. Four grueling years, and after just a few more hours of "yes sirs" and "thank you, ma'ams," Candace could declare herself free of the whole rotten system -- Earth, the military, the beehives -- all of it. Her heart soared higher than any starship she'd piloted.

 

Through the years of early-early morning drills, early morning training sessions, morning work shifts, mid morning drills, afternoon work shifts, late-afternoon briefings, late-late-afternoon work shifts, with a little time to cram some Nutrisoy slush from the galley in between, Candace had endured only by keeping her eye on the prize: a one-way ticket off Earth and some experience to start a career of her own.

 

She could have done without the dramatics, though. The recruiter, a beefcake with a weather-forecaster smile, actually used the words, "The adventure of a lifetime!" Gag. After her first assignment, Candace had learned that this grand adventure mostly involved protecting trade routes, first for corporates, later for the Za'toon. Candace wondered if Beefcake's latest propaganda videos included the valor and honor of being security goons for the only other intelligent species in the galaxy.



#2 lnloft

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:18 PM

The opening paragraphs of my first ever book, a humorous science fiction novel.

 

----

 

A million glints of sunlight danced like glittering stars off the ocean's rippling surface, playing havoc with Lieutenant Commander Candace Kumari's depth perception. Bony fingers of coral poked up through the waves, painting the South Pacific with blotches of blinding white. Candace reached for the aviator sunglasses perched on her black buzz-cut hair and tilted them over her eyes. She glided toward the towers rising over the horizon, the first heralds of the Mackay Starforce Base. This whole paragraph, but especially the first sentence, is overwritten. That first sentence is just too overwhelming for an intro.

 

Candace engaged the landing thrusters and swept the shuttle closer to the water. Four grueling years, and after just a few more hours of "yes, [comma] sirs" and "thank you, ma'ams," Candace could declare herself free of the whole rotten system -- Earth, the military, the beehives -- all of it. Her heart soared higher than any starship she'd piloted.

 

Through the years of early-early morning drills, early morning training sessions, morning work shifts, mid morning drills, afternoon work shifts, late-afternoon briefings, late-late-afternoon work shifts, I like the idea of what you're trying to do here, but it's easy to get a little lost in it. with a little time to cram some Nutrisoy slush from the galley in between, Candace had endured only by keeping her eye on the prize: a one-way ticket off Earth and some experience to start a career of her own. Wait, this doesn't make sense to me. She's a lieutenant commander but she doesn't feel like she's started her career?

 

She could have done without the dramatics, though. The recruiter, a beefcake with a weather-forecaster smile, actually used the words, "The adventure of a lifetime!" Gag. After her first assignment, Candace had learned that this grand adventure mostly involved protecting trade routes, first for corporates, later for the Za'toon. Candace wondered if Beefcake's latest propaganda videos included the valor and honor of being security goons for the only other intelligent species in the galaxy.

The biggest problem I see here is that nothing really has happened. There's good characterization and background, but the only action happens in the first paragraph. I would think about moving the exposition further back and maybe spreading it out a little. It's a fine line to dance at the beginning of too much versus too little exposition, but what you've got right now is too much telling. If maybe you show us something about Candace, we'll also connect a bit better with what we're told. Good luck.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#3 RobotKitten

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 09:46 AM

Hrm about the rank. I wanted to show that despite Candace using the military solely as a means to an end, that she was competent and driven nonetheless. It fleshes out more later, but maybe I should lower the rank to not confuse the reader.

 

Going to have to ponder some on how to do more showing about Candace. 

 

Thanks for the excellent feedback. :)






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