PDA

View Full Version : Soldiers of the Galaxy -- I need help with the start...


NoahS
03-16-2010, 07:40 PM
This is technically sci-fi as it has pew-pew and spaceships, but I don't consider if sci-fi at all. I think it's more about the war than the pew-pew. Anyway, is this any interesting?


Soldiers of the Galaxy


The mechs were closing in. Jessica McIntyre tried her best to dodge the shrapnel as it flew past her, but every now and then one hit the dirt just inches from her. She felt the hot air around her left ear as one passed too close, and she really wished she hadn’t lost her helmet. Fortunately the mechs chasing her weren’t designed to kill infantry, but they were all the more devastating against stationary targets like building, and even large vehicles that were easy to hit could be taken down in short time. That was probably the only reason why she was still alive. Unlike the small Minion mechs that usually followed them, the Overlords weren’t equipped with weaponry to hit small, moving targets. Oh, sure, the crew were armed with pistols and grenades, and she knew most mechs had at least a few rifles ready if needed. But it was hard to aim with a rifle from this range, and especially as the mechs ran at full speed after her. Their main weapons were large flak-cannons, a big cannon in front that took a long time to calibrate and re-load. It could take up to fifteen seconds to reload after each shot, and at least thirty seconds to aim from far left to the far right. Way too long to hit a small, moving target like her. Not that they needed it, though. The flak-cannon only needed to hit somewhere near her, and the explosion would take care of the rest. Shrapnel flew everywhere when the blast hit, and it was pure luck she hadn’t got hit more than she already had.

“Jess, over here!” Chloe Martins yelled from somewhere, and Jessica quickly looked around. A blast hit the ground too close to her, and she felt the blast knock her off her feet. Shrapnel buried itself in her leg and thigh, and she clinched her teeth in pain.

“Got… to… get… up…” she said to herself, and pushed with all her might. She made it up to a kneeling position, but no more. Her body refused to move.

“Jess, move!” she heard someone yell from somewhere, but she was too tired to care. The blood running down her body from several wounds made her feel dizzy from blood loss, and she leaned forward on her hands and knees. She started coughing, then threw up.

“Move, dammit!” someone yelled in her ear, and she registered strong hands taking hold of her shoulders and dragging her up to her feet.

“Tha… thanks,” she told Chloe, and felt she got a bit strength back.

“You can thank me when we get out of here!” Chloe said angrily and started dragging her towards a foxhole. Jessica did her best to follow, but her feet threatened to give in. Another large blast hit close to them, and Chloe quickly tried to cover Jessica with her own body. Her armor took care of most of it, but Jessica could tell some of it had gotten through.

“Down!” Chloe pushed Jessica towards the foxhole, and Jessica fell head first down the hole. She heard more than she felt her right arm break, but she was too tired to care. If they somehow survived this, she was going to take Chloe out and paint the town red and spend more money than she could afford in a year all on one night. If they survived… Another blast hit the ground above her, and Chloe came almost literally flying into the hole just as it caved in.

“Guess we’re staying,” Chloe sighed. They were safe for now, at least. If you could count being stuck underground in unknown tunnels behind enemy lines with no weapons and badly injured as safe.

Ambri
03-18-2010, 08:14 AM
Well, what's the plot, exactly? Puts me in mind of Starship Troopers, ie space infantry. I think my biggest gripe with that story/ movie was, space INFANTRY? When we got tanks, and war planes, and nukes, guided missiles and (feasibly) air-to-space weapons, and . . . well you get the point. I think you'd have a better chance of making it convincing if they were part of a special spy or saboteur network, or something other than "cannon fodder." And, speaking as someone who's first name is Jessica (and I have ALWAYS been one of many Jessica's in my class/ at work, etc) PLEASE PLEASE for the love of Buddha, find another name for the MC! I cannot tell you how many Jessica's I've seen on TV and in the movies. They've always been mean and bitchy . . . well except for Dune ;)

Sorry, hope that doesn't come across as too harsh. ;)

The Black Ghost
03-23-2010, 07:48 PM
Regarding your opening paragraph (which is arguably the most important of the entire book) I would save the extreme description of the mechs and their weaponry for later on. Keep in the action, you can justify or explain later, but the opening is about catching the reader. Think of it like a movie, the opening scene isnt going to be two people talking about the science in the aerodynamics of a plane, its going to be a scene OF a plane doing something.

So I would lose the intricate descriptions until later, stick with WHAT is happening. WHEN, HOW, WHERE can be addressed later once the reader is brought into the story.

Liosse de Velishaf
03-23-2010, 08:30 PM
Regarding your opening paragraph (which is arguably the most important of the entire book) I would save the extreme description of the mechs and their weaponry for later on. Keep in the action, you can justify or explain later, but the opening is about catching the reader. Think of it like a movie, the opening scene isnt going to be two people talking about the science in the aerodynamics of a plane, its going to be a scene OF a plane doing something.

So I would lose the intricate descriptions until later, stick with WHAT is happening. WHEN, HOW, WHERE can be addressed later once the reader is brought into the story.

Hooks are not necessary and sufficient for a good opening. If you know how to write really fascinating discussions on aerodynamics, that can work. However, the opening paragraph is not a fascinating description of mecha models, so maybe the author could cut down a little on the info-dumping.

I would also like to say that the opening comment is rather insulting to me as an SFF writer. Even more so because it has no relevance at all to your critique request. Why did you feel it necessary to say that? *scratches head*

Finally, this needs to be moved to SFF SYW. This here is the Interstices discussion area, so it's the wrong place for two reasons.

TheCouncilofEvil
03-02-2011, 09:20 AM
. . . I think you'd have a better chance of making it convincing if they were part of a special spy or saboteur network, or something other than "cannon fodder."

I think I agree here. Infantry vs Mechanized Units results in massive casualties for the ground unit. The only hope of survival without substantial casualty rates (and that's being optimistic) is to withdraw to terrain that will provide for better cover, camouflage, and a superior firing position. If your talking Mech, than none of those apply to an infantry unit. I like Ambri's idea regarding making your characters a specialized combat unit.

It's a little tough to make a call without knowing why they were there. If it's a ground war and the Mechs were called in as a function like calling a mortar strike or for air support I'd say lead in with moments before the Mechs showed up to emphasize the panic of withdrawal and getting trapped in the field.

Or... they are in fact a specialized unit. What if they were a psionics unit, in order to bring their abilities to bear they have to get in close. A three member fire team deployed for rapid response in lieu of having an ally Mech unit readily available. Perhaps a standardized adjutant to any infantry company. Two of the three specialized in direct combat telekinesis, one for support with a broader array of bio-kinetics. A Mech would be an expensive machine, harder to replace than a human given some dangerously inexpensive implants and minimal training.


I'm sorry if this is ridiculous. I'm new here though that's a lame excuse.

richcapo
03-03-2011, 04:18 AM
What's "pew-pew"?

_Richard

ironmikezero
06-26-2011, 10:03 AM
The sound of an energy weapon discharge?

I'd hate to think of its more... um, potential colloquial references...

bearilou
06-27-2011, 06:28 PM
What's "pew-pew"?

_Richard

Usually derogatory term to indicate the sounds of lasers, as far as I know.

I've also seen it in reference to the hunter class in World of Warcraft to indicate the player is a 'loser'.

Cranky
06-28-2011, 09:30 AM
Closing this now. When you've gotten to 50 posts, feel free to post your work in the Interstitial SYW subforum for critique, NoahS.

Until then, hang out, ask some questions, maybe answer some others may have, and "Welcome!". :)