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Rusty
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Postby Rusty » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:35 pm

For your critique-ing pleasure, the beginning of the second book in the dane series. Enjoy:

Private Dane Ford stood rigidly at the position of attention. The barracks were silent save for the sound of the instructor’s boots against the polished floor. The battle hardened sergeant paced the barracks, carefully examining his fresh recruits.
“Gentlemen, welcome to Space Assault. You have all successfully completed your ‘basic’ combat training. Congratulations, that was hard. But from this point forth, consider everything you learned there and the standards that you met to be the bare minimum. Here at space assault we do things a little differently. We’re the best. And we make sure of that.
“In the coming weeks you will learn all the skills and habits necessary to orbitally assault a planet, board a space vessel, resist the boarding of a vessel, and to participate meaningfully in the daily life of a vessel of war. You will run. You will march. You will fight. You will drop. You will drop until you are tired of it. You will drop from low orbit, high orbit, deep orbit, any orbit. You will become intimately familiar with every drop pod in our arsenal, and the full range of alternatives. You will board until you are sick of it. You will board a spectrum of decommissioned and training vessels. And then you will drop some more.”
He paused. Dane had been challenged by boot camp, but at least he was in a familiar element. This was something else entirely.
“Space armor, now.”
The motionless barracks leapt into action. Space armor had been learned in basic, if only in passing. Dane scrambled to the panel by his bunk and tried to cram himself into his armor.
“God you are taking forever! MOVE!”
Dane had the legs on, but the breastplate was giving him trouble.
“Just take however long you want, everyone’s already dead.”
Dane had one of the clamps backwards, and it was caught in his BDU top.
“You! Discard that top.”
The instructor was pointing an angry finger at Dane. He tore the garment off and clamped the breastplate home. Another instructor entered, this one wearing a full set of space armor.
“FREEZE!”
Everyone stopped.
“Meet sergeant Corrian. She received the order to suit up at the same time that you did, and she’s already done. You HAVE TO GET FASTER. Now finish up.”
Minutes dragged by. Dane finally slammed his helmet home and checked his seals. Everything was green. He returned to the line. Several others were already done. The instructors watched bemusedly as the platoon fumbled into their armor. They were finally done.
“Everyone comfortable? Take enough time? In a combat situation, you would all be dead. Even the kitchen staff is faster. Space armor protects you from two things. It protects you from the vacuum of space, and from low velocity projectiles, such as the kind you are likely to encounter on board a ship. If a ship is decompressing, you will have precious little time to assemble your armor. You are the first line of defense in counter boarding, without you the crew will be slaughtered by boarders. Every man at every station in this ship is completely focused on his job. He will barely notice the boarding party that rushes through his compartment, lazing everything in sight. You have to protect the crew of your ship so that they can do their job. Corrian, they’re all yours.”
Corrian stepped forward. She activated some control on her armor. The intercom overhead sounded.
“All hands to battle stations.”
“SECOND PLATOON! FALL IN AT DOUBLETIME!”
Corian immediately broke from the room at a run. The main doors opened. Klaxons sounded. Would they be jumping now? What was going on? The platoon fell into a run behind her, confused, but operating by reflex. Running they had done. Dane tried to see what was going on. The platoon manically sprinted to keep up, unused to the bulky space armor. They filed out into a large chamber with a series of tubes at either end. A crew in space armor was standing by.
“Platoon, man your tubes!”
Everyone scrambled to find their tubes. No one really knew what they were doing.
“I SAID MAN YOUR TUBES.”
The intercom sounded again.
“Sergeant, report.”
Corrian shouted back at the ceiling.
“Loading now, Captain.”
The crew started pushing the marines into their pods. The armor interfaced with the pod and the doors eased closed. Dane was crammed into his. The space armor included some communications gear, he could hear the instructors as though they were in the room with him.
“All marines loaded, captain.”
“Standby.”
“Marines, your mission is to survive the drop, and regroup in the center of the drop zone for recovery. This will be your easiest drop.”
“Go, go, go.”
All at once the floor seemed to drop out from under Dane. He felt helpless, scared.

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Rusty
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Postby Rusty » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:04 am

So, regardless of the enthusiastic response to my previous post in this thread, I'd like to ask the lost knights for some opinions on my upcoming writing projects. I have a few ideas that excite me, for character and setting centric books, you know, like the stuff that I write, and some for content that is new to my repertoire but desirable to me to be able to write well.

Right now I'm looking for opinions based on short summaries of the general book. Imagine if you please that someone you know whose literary interests in some instances have intersected with yours has essentially related the following summaries or descriptions.

I'd like to know if:

A: This sounds interesting enough for you to read, on a rating of 0-5 with 0 being no interest, 1 being "I'll take a look at it whenever you're done with it" clear up to 5 being "I'm on my way to the bookstore now, what's the title again?"

B: You'd like to know more before making an opinion, and if so, what?


C: What do you hope or assume about the story?


D: If it isn't interesting by itself, what tweaks, changes, or such would bridge the gap?

Now without further ado, my current percolating ideas, including some I've already started.

DABDA (Literary Fiction - drama)
A teenager in high school who is a social outcast and generally miserable learns he has an incurable cancer, and struggles to accept it. Also, his family, however damaged, try to come to terms with it each in their own way.

Buoyancy of the Human Heart (Starling Series) (Literary Fiction - Drama)
John Starling is a high schooler who finds his first love, then gets his heart broken, entirely his own fault, but eventually rebounds. Later books in the series explore how he gives himself over to love more, and feels more himself, and the ways in which those we love can change the way we live life in dramatic and insane ways.

Wastelander series (Sci-fi / Space Opera)
We follow young Dane through his escape from the post-apocalyptic wastelands of earth into the trials of battle, where he eventually becomes the champion of the galaxy and faces off with an ancient threat of mysterious origins. In turns the series is gritty post apocalyptic, social exploration of space cultures but still gritty, science fiction warfare, high science fiction spy intrigue, and space naval battle punctuated with guerilla warfare and super tech exploration. A decent chunk of this is already written.

The Bird and The Silence (Erotic Sci-Fi)
This story depicts a distant future in which mankind has become immortal and near-symbiotic with their technology, and society as a concept has degenerated. We follow Shai, a woman who lives in and as part of her winged ship and feeds herself and her ship on solar energy. She struggles to find the rumored Sisterhood where she can be safe from the sexual predators that troll the darkness of space in search of women like her to exploit, force to carry their children, and abandon.

Firmament Falling (Fantasy)
This is the tale of the rise and fall of the Zodiac Gods, and the heroes who rose from the ashes to destroy them.

Horizon (Modern/Sci Fi/Young Adult)
We follow a foster kid entering high school who learns that his real mother was a robot, a descendant of an ancient race of artificial beings that made themselves compatible with humans when they visited earth, so they could guide and protect mankind through the ages, and that he is in fact a half-robot. He struggles to cope with this and with the hidden world of alien visitors and strange powers that exists within normal society. The story follows his struggles with coming of age, dealing with his bizarre heritage, and avoiding the nefarious elements within this new, secret world he has become a part of.

Becoming Darkness (Modern Gothic Horror)
This story follows Jordan, a dark minded young man, into a hidden world of supernatural creatures, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, zombies, and things even more terrifying from beyond our dimension. (Based in the Gothic: 100 setting.)

System 21 (Sci Fi)
We follow the struggles of several characters in a techno-pocalyptic near future, where identity is effaced and society stands on the brink of collapse.

Immortal Man (Historical-Modern-Sci Fi/Fantasy)
This story is about the very first Homo Sapiens, whose genetic strength is such that they do not endure old age, and can live forever as long as disease and injury can be held at bay. As time waned on they became divided, and, fearing injury, avoid confrontation with eachother but freely engage in it through intermediaries, in modern times the nations of the world, and essentially form secret cabals of immortals manipulating the rest of mankind from behind the scenes. We follow several of the immortals that favor a world in which mankind is prosperous, and who oppose the use of innocent men, all of them descendants of the immortals, as weapons or tools.

Geek (Literary Fiction)
This story is about a geek, whose disinterest in high school and devotion to role playing games sets him as a social outcast, but whose imaginary adventures give his life meaning.

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angelicyokai
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Postby angelicyokai » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:03 pm

I like the story you posted giving it about a 3, I'd likely read it if it was around, but wouldn't beat people in the Barnes and Noble to get ahold of it. Militaresque stories don't do much for me, so that could be the lack of enthusiasm. I like your writing style it manages to be intelligent without needing overgrandized vocabulary. I'm a bit put off my the curt dialogue, but again that might be due to the screaming military scene that unfolds.

Of the stories you've listed; I did and do like wastelander and think it has merit, and becoming darkness. The summary of it caught my attention. I am most interested in it of the ones you've listed. I think all of your ideas sound interesting, but are you wanting to write them for your personal enjoyment or to move into professional writing? Because I think some of your plots and character development will be too deep for most sellers to be attracted. Most people read books that lean toward the shallow side of liturature, usually because they are just enjoying the escapsim of fantasy or scifi. while your plots will probably draw in deeper people, it might not pull a lot of profit, which is what a publisher is looking for. Those are just my two bits, hopefully helpful.
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― Marcus Aurelius

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Rusty
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Postby Rusty » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:28 pm

angelicyokai wrote:I like the story you posted giving it about a 3, I'd likely read it if it was around, but wouldn't beat people in the Barnes and Noble to get ahold of it. Militaresque stories don't do much for me, so that could be the lack of enthusiasm. I like your writing style it manages to be intelligent without needing overgrandized vocabulary. I'm a bit put off my the curt dialogue, but again that might be due to the screaming military scene that unfolds.

Of the stories you've listed; I did and do like wastelander and think it has merit, and becoming darkness. The summary of it caught my attention. I am most interested in it of the ones you've listed. I think all of your ideas sound interesting, but are you wanting to write them for your personal enjoyment or to move into professional writing? Because I think some of your plots and character development will be too deep for most sellers to be attracted. Most people read books that lean toward the shallow side of liturature, usually because they are just enjoying the escapsim of fantasy or scifi. while your plots will probably draw in deeper people, it might not pull a lot of profit, which is what a publisher is looking for. Those are just my two bits, hopefully helpful.


Thanks a bunch ang, I'll have to look closely at what I'm really doing. I do want to sell my books and have them sell well, so with those in the 'mainstream' branches of their genres I should err on the side of shallow, right?

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Postby angelicyokai » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:58 pm

pretty much, yeah. I hated finding out that my writing wouldn't attract people, but once your famous you can force your exposition on others!
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“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

― Marcus Aurelius

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Postby Galahad » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:26 am

Wow, I wish I'd seen this thread a long time ago...I love writing, and I think I do moderately well sometimes, but I really suck at coming up with story ideas.

OK, critique, way late so it may be irrelavent: the Wastelander vignette really caught my attention and made me want to know more. Two things: let's hear just a little more about what's going on with Dane early on so we have an emotional context to empathize with in the scene, and your drill intructor sounds too much like a college professor and not enough like a military instructor.

Other ideas:
DABDA: 1, the synopsis sounds like the promo for something on the Hallmark Channel, is there something to set it apart?

Buoyancy of the Human Heart: 0, call me broken, but I can't summon up a lot of interest in a multi-volume emotional exploration.

Wastelander series: 3 maybe 4, space opera, however, definately is my cup of tea. With all the elements you listed, I just hope you can keep the story focused.

The Bird and the Silence: 0, I hope you can understand why

Firmament Falling: ?, don't know enough about it, it sounds like an intriguing seed though.

Horizon: 1 or 2, this one, despite its unique racial twist, risks disappearing behind Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, et al.

Becoming Darkness: 2-3, not my favorite genre but the twist of having the hero drag himself into the darkness rather than the tired trope of the surprised innocent dragged unwillingly in...the sub-plot could be Jordan (with or without the help of someone special) having to find a way to put the brakes on his express train to destruction, etc. etc.

System 21: 1, not much interest...maybe with more details

Immortal Man: 2, this idea might fly, if you can establish some good characters on both sides

If any of this sounds too harsh, I apologize. These are all my opinion.
The Light Side is Calling! . . . . . . . . . . .it's lonely...

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Rusty
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Postby Rusty » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:48 am

Galahad wrote:Wow, I wish I'd seen this thread a long time ago...I love writing, and I think I do moderately well sometimes, but I really suck at coming up with story ideas.

OK, critique, way late so it may be irrelavent: the Wastelander vignette really caught my attention and made me want to know more. Two things: let's hear just a little more about what's going on with Dane early on so we have an emotional context to empathize with in the scene, and your drill intructor sounds too much like a college professor and not enough like a military instructor.

Other ideas:
DABDA: 1, the synopsis sounds like the promo for something on the Hallmark Channel, is there something to set it apart?

Buoyancy of the Human Heart: 0, call me broken, but I can't summon up a lot of interest in a multi-volume emotional exploration.

Wastelander series: 3 maybe 4, space opera, however, definately is my cup of tea. With all the elements you listed, I just hope you can keep the story focused.

The Bird and the Silence: 0, I hope you can understand why

Firmament Falling: ?, don't know enough about it, it sounds like an intriguing seed though.

Horizon: 1 or 2, this one, despite its unique racial twist, risks disappearing behind Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, et al.

Becoming Darkness: 2-3, not my favorite genre but the twist of having the hero drag himself into the darkness rather than the tired trope of the surprised innocent dragged unwillingly in...the sub-plot could be Jordan (with or without the help of someone special) having to find a way to put the brakes on his express train to destruction, etc. etc.

System 21: 1, not much interest...maybe with more details

Immortal Man: 2, this idea might fly, if you can establish some good characters on both sides

If any of this sounds too harsh, I apologize. These are all my opinion.


Hey thanks chet! I appreciate the feedback. I don't get a lot of it anymore, hence the thread and attempt to troll for critiques. If you'd like to read more of the wastelander stuff, the first novel is more or less done and fairly readable, I'd be happy to send it to you, and there's two other partially complete books in that series. The vignette is intended to be the beginning of another book in the series, the first book, in which we meet Dane, is already "done," insofar as I haven't torn it apart again in a while and could send it to an agent or publisher without blushing to death. I still want it to be better.

Feel free to post your own vignettes and so on here, I don't think this thread gets a lot of readership, but I know that Angelicyokai and I would each give you something valuable.

Thanks again, and, long time no see!

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Postby jimreaper » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:23 am

I wish to join! Although I have the same restrictions as SH Ae 'Ne. I will do my best to offer advice. However, I doubt I will be able to post stories of my own as often as I would like. Also, goats with lasers.
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Postby rydi » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:17 pm

Your participation is certainly welcome.

I've been useless here. Academic writing has sapped my will to write for fun. The most I get are games, but even that is spotty due to running an online game elsewhere. I hope to eventually get back to doing the dirty job of compiling crap for some of our houserules and indie game systems soonish, and that's about all I have in me.
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jimreaper
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Postby jimreaper » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:09 am

DABDA (Literary Fiction - drama)
1 (mostly for emotional value)
I imagine people who consume such books could like it. I would bet its success would increase as the recognition of the authors name increased. 1:1 or more.
(don't like the cancer topic though)

Buoyancy of the Human Heart (Starling Series) (Literary Fiction - Drama)
0 (given that you do not change the story to be unique)
The world is full of boy who is sad because of girl (and followed troubles). The style/genre adapts by adding (in space) or (with magic). If you do something like that (but less lame), then I believe the rating will increase.

Wastelander series (Sci-fi / Space Opera)
2
This character (dane) reminds me of Ender (in the ender's game series). What Ender has over Dane, is an extensive past (as depicted by the author), and a specific set of character traits/flaws that are expressed and addressed throughout the series.

Make sure not to just let Dane = Masterchief also. Give him feelings, fears, a past, a future. When this is done, you might be able to draw me into this world of yours.
Successful books of fantastic (non-present day fantasy) settings need either to construct a completely new world, or a completely new people (or person) to capture its readers.

The Bird and The Silence (Erotic Sci-Fi)
1
Good idea (for the genre)
It does not sound any worse than any other "erotic sci-fi".
Not sure I'd care to read it though. Just not a lot of personal interest in that "style" of book.


Firmament Falling (Fantasy)
2-3
The idea is tasty and new in my mouth. But the flavor faded too fast. With more candy (information) I will make a more accurate judgment.

Horizon (Modern/Sci Fi/Young Adult)
3+
to avoid other popular fictions like HP et al. you should revolutionize this idea. No religious themes, easily identified father figures, shitty step parents, etc.

My idea (besides being way out there) is to combine the genres. Future and fantasy. Mother was of an ancient race of AI, in a fantasy (or present time) setting. This idea could crash though. More thought, more time, more goats.

Becoming Darkness (Modern Gothic Horror)
2
Not big into gothic horror, however the idea seems... the most apply able without being redundant. Your "horrors" better not suck though. If they do, game over.


System 21 (Sci Fi)
2-4
2 if this is Neuromancer for teens.
4 if this book is used to express abstract philosophic thought. An exploration of the rotting corpse of society, as seen through this group of techno-gurus. Explore new things. The future gives you the power of complete control.


Immortal Man (Historical-Modern-Sci Fi/Fantasy)
3-4
I like the idea. It does not taste old, or re-hashed. Show me good character dynamics and/or interesting group dynamics and I will be sold.


Geek (Literary Fiction)
2+
They are popular right now (those two geek actors with curly hair)
Be careful not to become standard.
Also, D&D turns the populous off. So, pretend it is not D&D, mystify it or something.

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Postby jimreaper » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:26 am

Poetry counts right >.>..?
If not, just flame me and I will retreat.

This is something I submitted to an online poetry forum two years ago.

Title: A place to leave

Where you begin.
A place, a time, a rhyme.
What purpose lies within?
Does it really matter
in the end?

Who you are.
A state, mental or physical.
Sometimes both, none.
Is there something more?
It is certainly more than nothing in belief.
This is a place that thought can linger to words relief.
A senseless rhyme through the struggle of time.

The lack of mind.

One question though,
for notations sake.
Was this notation a right mistake?

Here is a better one perhaps.
Who will be the home for those whose knowledge of the present
lies sleeping in the past?
Where does Tuesday lie, if Thursday tells the truth?
That is to say-
Where was the day that already was in our future?
When is the time that ticked with a chime on a clock - that has yet been constructed?
Whether this time, this place, this rhyme was,
or has yet to be.
Its newborn eyes will not remember me.

Who and where you are,
through the eyes of time
and the lies of rhyme,
carries less weight than a grain of salt on the wind.
This place is an understanding, above all.
The path to such a thought is unpaved you see?
There are no roads to travel, and no signs to read.
This is the journey through which we must take,
this is the dream from which we must wake.
Perhaps then we will bring reverence to regard,
and remember to wipe our feet as we leave the yard.
Perhaps then.
-J(r)
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jimreaper
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Postby jimreaper » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:32 am

(the other poem-ish-thingy I posted on the forum)

(for clarification I seek critique to the utmost degree. No prisoners.)
“Between a Saint and a Difficult Circumstance”


(Who am I?)

Saint: Hello, I am
who I am.

Young boy: Are you?
Perhaps so, but then why?

He spends a moment of reflecting before he responds.
Saint: In the end what matters is what people are,
not the treasons that they lead,
(or) the books that they read.

Young boy: Okay then
if the soul has a scribe
then how could you describe it
to me?
Is there a place where I can be
me?
Be, free of this tree, of this leaf, and of this stain.
How can I be free of this plane?

A notion of motion and unease takes hold of his face before he speaks.
Saint: In the beginning what matters is not the start.
But the heart, ever working to maintain a sense of complex simplicity…

Young boy: False me not! He interrupts with a sense of naïve passion.
With the mis-notion I desire anatomical analogies.
I am here to learn!
How must I earn the trust you desire of me?
The heart?
As mine beats so does yours in kind.
And what of freedom, what of time?

The sage begins to pack his things and leave the stage.
Saint: In this sky you pretend to seek truth.
But in its face you run scared.
A scar that, for all our sakes, will heal soon.
Freedom!? Time?
Those questions alone rival the ridiculous overuse of notation found in poetry.
The choice remains, as it always has.
Left or right
or wrong.
The lemon is,
as it always has been,
a lime in disguise.

(The next segment of words blurred.
But rest assured, the medium is insured.)
-J(r)
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Postby angelicyokai » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:00 pm

Prepare yourselves, fellow writers....Its almost time for NaNoWriMo!!!!!!!

::cricket chirp::

What you've never heard of the supergroovcoolerific writing challenge? Well let me enlighten you, friend!

You see, November is NAtionalNOvelWRItingMOnth. And the goal is to write an entire novel (50k+ words) between November 1st, and November 30th.

Now you might have questions:

NOOB 1:"OOh Ang, what do I win if I finish?"

Ang: "Not a damned thing, noob, just the honor and glory of calling yourself a novelist."

NOOB 2 aka Newb: "Is this like, a contest or something, where we get published and, like, stuff?"

Ang: "Of course not! Then you would actually gain some kind of benefit from your writing, which would give you completely unrealistic expectations for entering the actual world of publication. I'd never do that to you."

NOOB 3: "But what's the point then ::sniffle:: no one would care or even know that I wrote a novel. That sucks!"

Ang: "Okay okay, out of the 'goodness' of my black, reptilian heart I bequeath you with secret information. At this locale you can submit your novel and though only a machine will ever do a word count and check that you have, in fact, finished a novel, you can have a small glimmer of accomplishment. There."
http://www.nanowrimo.org/

With this site of unparalleled excellence I hope that you too can embrace the realm of liturature. The power is yours!!!
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“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

― Marcus Aurelius


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