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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Submission #1

From MINGLED, YA paranomal dystopian.  

Chapter One

   I wanted to be knee deep in Mr. McGrubb’s Advanced Soil Dynamics class.  Maybe detention.  Anywhere else, except where I was. I like this beginning. Mr. McGrubb's Advanced Soil Dynamics class sounds like an absolute bore and yet, our narrator wishes he/she were there.
   I let out a sigh, tucking loose strands of hair behind my ear.  My fingertips slipped over the soft Collective Communications tag looped behind my ear.  The gelatinous (ick) material was thin as a whisper and molded flush to my ear, hardly noticeable. (molded to my ear or flush to my ear would be better, I think, and I don't think you need hardly noticeable since you've already stated that it's thin as a whisper - imho)  A tiny microchip and fiber optic wiring made it possible to open a private comms with any tagged person within a ten mile radius.  Mine was the cheap kind, given to the less fortunate.  More advanced models included an extension (does that extend the range?) and a holographic eye visor that curved with the eye, alloweding the user to view the person they spoke to.  With my resident advisor (should be adviser) shrilling (does this mean she's yakking annoyingly or screaming?) away, I was thankful I couldn’t see her.   She went on about how excited I should be to finally give blood for the Collective, even if I was three years later than most girls.  That last part wasn’t necessary, but I expected no less from Whitley (the adviser, I assume?).  She frothed at the mouth that we were in a Special year, that I could be chosen, though she’d be a better choice. (There's a lot of world building stuff going on here that doesn't quite make sense yet so I wonder if going a little slower might help? Or maybe throw in some explanations.) I powered down my CCT, my ear ringing from her screeching during our private comms.  I didn’t need a lecture any more than I wanted to hand my blood over to feed some undead citizen.  And the last thing I wanted was a chance to be a Special.

The last two lines are kick-ass. This is what makes me want to read more, find out what it means to be Special. But prior to this there's a lot of stuff - description - about hardware and and I wonder if it's all necessary or if some of it can be worked in a little later or more gradually so that this new world unfolds a little more slowly. I might even actually show what Whitley is saying because dialogue here could do a couple of things: #1 is show how annoying Whitley is and why our narrator doesn't like her, #2 is give information (which is always more interesting through dialogue rather than telling), and #3 is I think those last two lines will be even more kick-ass after the mostly one way conversation. 

But that's just my opinion. What do you guys think? What would make this better? 


Charity Bradford said...

I'm going to agree and disagree with Marcy. I love the descriptions of the tech, but then again that's my sort of thing. If you added just a tiny bit to clarify what the tech is, most people would probably be fine.

I do agree that dialogue threaded through this piece would add a lot. All those things Marcy mentioned. It would give you a chance to show not tell, and immerse us deeper into your world.

Also, that would help break up the second paragraph. It has a lot going on in there. I think that's what Marcy meant by slowing down a little.

mshatch said...

I'm always kinda glad when someone disagrees with me because I think writers need to know that they shouldn't ever rely on a single opinion. Thanks, Charity :)

Brooke R. Busse said...

Yes, dialogue. Totally. I have always had a distaste for being told how the conversation is going.

I also want to point out a few line edits you could make. In the first line, I think it might flow better if you stuck an "or" in front of "maybe" or just replaced "maybe" with "or." I also suggest cutting "behind my ear" at the end of the second sentence in paragraph two since you already mentioned that. Also "during our private comms" close to the end is unnecessary and reads strange.

I do agree that your last two lines are "kick-ass."