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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

#3 Day 10K

Title: Day 10K
Genre: Science Fiction

Shushan’s eyes scanned the skies for the ship that had come to help their world, help prevent the collapse of their civilization.

She failed to spot it. Try harder.

Shushan was now fourteen in Earth years --not the stiflingly normal years of this world she had grown up in -- and could afford to risk getting yelled at. She jumped onto the steel ladder and gazed up at the clouds as she grasped the cold rungs. No one had said it was against policy to climb the housing for the emergency generator on this, her last day working here before all the banks collapsed.

She reached the top of the funny, cinder blocky little building her bank had thrown together in the parking lot in case the power failed tomorrow, and flung her backpack off. She peered at the nearby windows of her workplace, and failed to see any angry gestures for her to climb down.

She spread her arms, exultant. “Hah!” Shushan knew her world was turning -- turning into something with endless horizons and scintillating challenges that beckoned her to climb higher and higher. She was ready to burst out of everything that was known and comfortable, just as her own body had practically burst out of her old clothing in the past year and demanded things like a larger denim jacket and rougher roads to ride on.

But if the banks did fail, depositors would stampede here tomorrow, pounding the bank’s windows for their money.


Charity Bradford said...

There are some really nice things in this selection. A hint of things to come and some spunk to your MC. A little tightening for clarity and you're off to a great start.

Your first sentence feels a bit heavy. Try something like: Shushan’s eyes scanned the skies for the ship that had come to prevent the collapse of their civilization.--both phrases said the same thing so pick one of them.

Is "Try harder" internal thought? You might want to italicize it because as it is it threw me.

Paragraph 3 lets me know she is human but living on another world. I hope there will be more on how this came to be as the story progresses. I think you should drop the last sentence starting with "No one had said..." It slows the story down.

Paragraph 4 is a bit confusing. Is she just coming to work after school? Why is the power going to fail? (If you drop the last sentence in 3 you can drop the last sentence in 4--I don't think they add anything.)

Paragraph 5 shows us the spunk Shushan has, but you are telling us something is about to happen. I'd cut it and show us instead.

I'd keep reading to find out why the banks are going to fall and how the ship is supposed to help.

Brooke R. Busse said...

I agree with Charity about your first sentence. Both phrases say the same thing and just add clutter.

...not the stiflingly normal years of this world she had grown up in... This sort of threw me off. I get that you are trying to convey that she isn't from the planet she's living on, but 'stiflingly normal' doesn't give enough description and just adds confusion. Aren't Earth years normal and what makes this planet's different?

The last sentence of paragraph three, if you plan to keep it, should be shortened. It's pretty wordy. I would cut off the fact it's her last day.

The rest is excellent. It has intrigue and character development plus a lead-in to the rest of the plot.

Huntress said...

Good drama, good voice. There is a hint of the storyline that gives me location of the MC, her age, and a taste of her nature.

Some stylistic changes might improve your MS but I base this on opinion. Example: ‘gazed up at the clouds.” I think you can cut ‘up’ since looking at clouds implies looking up :)

Note the alliteration in the first sentence. Note the many descriptions that tend to slow to the mind’s eye. Example: ‘funny, cinder blocky (blocks?) little’. Try cutting all the adjectives, look the MS over, and judiciously add a few back. Note the adjectives the MS must have like ‘stifling’ (I don’t think you want ‘stiflingly’) and ‘normal’. Those are necessary because it provides voice behind the character.

Very interesting. I would read on.

L. said...

She sounds pretty certain that the bank is going to collapse -- why isn't everybody there right now to try to claim their money?

Tara Tyler said...

i like the voice and the hint of disaster. would like to know more about the problem.

i agree it's a bit confusing. you, the writer, knows all and i can tell you dont want to bore us with backstory, but we do need a little more info. i assume the ship would bring something to sustain the banks? interesting