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Monday, August 22, 2011

Hero Games

Today we have the first page from the second chapter of Hero Games. But before we get to it I'd like to remind everyone I still have one slot open. If you have something else you'd like critiqued, by all means send it along and I'll post it on Friday. Also, don't forget the Star Trek blogfest which you can access through my blog (the link is at the very top of the page) in which Star Trek lovers post their five faves. It should be lots of fun so check it out!



Hero Games – YA scifi

Paul let the door hiss shut behind him as he looked around the Hero Headquarters. It was an oddly shaped, angular room, bulging out at the near end and narrowing toward the far end. There was another pit of the silvery-blue liquid in the center. On the edge of the metal that rimmed the pool was inscribed "Hero Portal." (In the sentence before you used the word pit, but now you use the word pool. There is definitely a difference between a pit and a pool - at least in my my mind - just sayin') The right hand wall, from his perspective in front of the Training Room archway, was covered in a huge map of the city. In front of the map was a pedestal, similar to those in the Hero Creation Chamber. There were several lighted points on the map. The opposite wall, on Paul's left, held a computer station with a large, dark monitor and various high-tech looking apparatus. The section of wall that angled away from the computer was a giant mirror. It ran from floor to ceiling and was several feet wide. Immediately to Paul's right, in the angled wall section between the Training Room archway and the City Grid Map was an ornate oak door labeled "Arcane Item Store." On his right side, in the wall section before the computer station, was a shiny silver door labeled "Tech Item Store.." (Both these doors seem to be in the same place, to Paul's right.) Beyond the mirror and map, the room angled in and then continued into another, smaller section. I think you could shorten this description up a little and get rid of some of the 'map' words, maybe something like this:

Paul let the door hiss shut behind him and looked around the Hero Headquarters. It was oddly shaped, wide at the near end and narrow toward the far end. There was another pool of the silvery-blue liquid in the center and the words "Hero Portal" had been inscribed on the rim. In front of the Training Room archway, a huge map of the city covered the wall. There were several lighted points on the map and in front of it, a pedestal, similar to those in the Hero Creation Chamber. To the left was a computer station with a large, dark monitor and various high-tech looking apparatuses. The section of wall that angled away from the computer was a giant mirror, which ran from floor to ceiling. To the right, in the angled wall section between the Training Room archway and the City Grid Map was an ornate oak door labeled "Arcane Item Store." Opposite this, in the wall section before the computer station, was a shiny silver door labeled "Tech Item Store.." of course, I haven't read what came before so this might not work...

Curious, Paul stepped to the silver door. His boots clomped a little on the metal floor as he walked. Under the sign beside the door was a microphone set into the wall. The screen above it read "Voice Recognition Lock" with a sound modulation display below.
    "Paul Granados."

The screen buzzed and read "VOICE-PRINT NOT RECOGNIZED."
    Oh, of course. Paul straightened his shoulders and raised his chin. He cleared his throat.

"I am the Peace Keeper." His voice was firmer, deeper, more commanding. Or at least he tried his best to make it sound that way.
    The screen blinked colors and changed its script. "PEACE KEEPER RECOGNIZED. HERO LEVEL 5 REQUIRED FOR ENTRY TO ITEM STORE." Interesting.

"Oh." Paul's shoulders dropped slightly, disappointed, but hardly discouraged. He'd get to level 5 and then check out the Item Store. It shouldn't take that long. He walked past the computer to the mirror and looked again at his reflection, still amazed by it. The blue and green armor covered him completely. Even his face was hidden by the dark full-face visor. This was the visage of The Peace Keeper. His form was athletic and a little on the tall side. He carried his quarterstaff casually in one hand. Paul grinned. He was certainly enjoying this game and he had only just gotten out of the tutorial! He used both hands to collapse the quarterstaff down into a foot long shaft and then clapped it onto his right forearm, where it stuck as if magnetized. Who knows, maybe it was magnetized. Trainer wasn't very detailed on that part. Paul struck a couple of daunting poses, trying them out. He put his hands on his hips, facing the mirror. He dropped his hands casually to the side and turned slightly away. He crouched down and brought up his fists. He laughed at himself in the mirror, stood up, and shrugged. Ha! I can imagine myself doing the same thing.

Overall, interesting, although like I said, I think that first paragraph could be shorter and more succinct. And I'm very curious as to whether this is just a game (and what kind, exactly)...or something more.  

Now it's your turn to offer the author your comments and suggestions on how this passage might be improved.

7 comments:

Tara Tyler said...

i agree, shorten and consolidate the opening room description. off to a great start. makes me want to read on =)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Great piece! When you say "daunting poses", as a reader, I want to know what the author means by daunting...

Sounds like a great read! :)

♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥
Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

Brooke R. Busse said...

I want to know why the section with the door is brought up. Is that room important later on?

Daina Rustin said...

Hi, I'm just passing through, thought I might give my two cents while I'm here :)

I've noticed in the last chapter that most of the sentences start with "He" - He'd get, He walked, He carried, He was, He used... It's repetitive and it doesn't flow well. Maybe you could rearrange the sentences a bit to lose that repetitive feel, for example: "Facing the mirror, he put his hands on his hips" - same sentence, but doesn't stress the "He" so much. Or: "Dropping his hands casually to the side, he turned slightly away." Variation creates dynamics, like altering between short and long sentences, short and long chapters and things like that...

All in all, I'm intrigued to know more, and that's what matters the most, so good work :)

Huntress said...

Paul let the door hiss shut behind him as he looked around the Hero Headquarters.

Simplify this sentence. Unless there is a reason that Paul ‘let the door’ hiss, edit this to “The door hissed shut behind Paul as he…”
******
It was an oddly shaped, angular room, bulging out at the near end and narrowing toward the far end. There was another pit of the silvery-blue liquid in the center. On the edge of the metal that rimmed the pool was inscribed "Hero Portal." The right hand wall, from his perspective in front of the Training Room archway, was covered in a huge map of the city. In front of the map was a pedestal, similar to those in the Hero Creation Chamber. There were several lighted points on the map.

Note the use of ‘There was”, “There were”. Edit the verb to make it stronger. Example: “Points of light signaled destinations” or “Yellow lights highlighted points on the map at junctures.”
********

“…various high-tech looking apparatus…"

Is this his opinion or yours? Think of it this way, you want the scene to have ‘various high tech’ stuff, so your fingers type this. If you want the reader to ‘see’ this, you must describe it or delete it to simplify.
************
The section of wall that angled away from the computer was a giant mirror. It ran from floor to ceiling and was several feet wide.

Easy fix here. “A giant mirror ran from floor to ceiling on the wall that angled away from the computer.”
************

Curious, Paul stepped to the silver door. His boots clomped a little on the metal floor as he walked. Under the sign beside the door was a microphone set into the wall. The screen above it read "Voice Recognition Lock" with a sound modulation display below.

Use care when ‘explaining’ tech. Example: “He stepped to the silver door the metal floor ringing under his boots and spoke into the voice recognition lock.

****
Use stronger verbs and nouns. Note the use of the 'to be' verbs. Watch the pronouns and 'ing' and 'ed' words especially at the beginning of a sentence.

David Jace said...

Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I hadn't even realized this had gone up. (First week of school is always a bit frazzled.)

This story is still in first draft mode, so it has some polishing ahead of it!

Charity Bradford said...

Not much to add to everyone else's comments, but I had to chime in and say I LOVE the posing in the mirror bit. Great flavor to the character there.