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Thread: [Critique Game] Post The First Three Sentences of your Short Story

  1. #1151
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seaclusion View Post
    A loud cheer echoed through the room as the man in the white shirt body-slammed the man in the blue shirt into the wall. The crowd at the bar watched intently as the fists began to fly. Both men grabbed the other by the jersey and began wailing upon each other with their free hands, slipping and sliding on the ice as they tried to remain upright.
    Reading the replies, I see what you're aiming for, but I likewise thought the fight was happening in the bar. Did you do this on purpose? Just asking, I don't mind, not my story. Strikes me as unclear though. If it's not deliberate then I'd recast for clarity, e.g.

    A loud cheer echoed through the bar as, on the big TV screen, the man in the white shirt body-slammed the man in the blue shirt into the wall. The crowd watched intently as fists began to fly. Each man grabbed the other by the jersey and they began whaling upon each other, slipping and sliding on the ice as they tried to remain upright.

    -Derek
    Last edited by dpaterso; 12-08-2017 at 08:56 PM.
    The Sunday night Flash Fiction Challenge! Write a story in 90 minutes! If you dare.
    The challenge is open all week, all writers are welcome!
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  2. #1152
    Absolute Parsley Seaclusion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaterso View Post
    Reading the replies, I see what you're aiming for, but I likewise thought the fight was happening in the bar. Did you do this on purpose? Just asking, I don't mind, not my story. Strikes me as unclear though. If it's not deliberate then I'd recast for clarity, e.g.

    A loud cheer echoed through the bar as, on the big TV screen, the man in the white shirt body-slammed the man in the blue shirt into the wall. The crowd watched intently as fists began to fly. Each man grabbed the other by the jersey and they began whaling upon each other, slipping and sliding on the ice as they tried to remain upright.

    -Derek

    I was going for the first line to seem as if it might be a bar fight, then over the next line or two for it to be realized that it was actually a fight in a hockey game on TV. The point being that the crowd of men were reacting the same way, they loved it, in either case. The next paragraph has the MC seeing this and wondering why men are drawn to violence and physical confrontation.
    <<<...ran into a bum with a bottle of chum, and we wound up drinking all night.....>>>

  3. #1153
    a rouge Omniregency's Avatar
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    Hi! I write flash fiction almost exclusively and would love to take my writing to a new level so here are the first three sentences from a short I write recently. It is a sci-fi piece - three hundred words or less, can't remember exactly.

    Thaddeus walked across the helm of his ship - The Time Traveller. Through the domed screen, he saw the Travellers luminescent sails shift as they caught the interstellar winds, driving the sleek and ancient ship through the vastness of space. Modelled after the ocean-faring frigates or ships-of-war of Old Earth the Traveller had been made by the first and greatest spacefarers known to man.
    “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
    “Sir?”
    “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
    “Sir?”
    “That’s practically zen.” ― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

  4. #1154
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omniregency View Post
    Hi! I write flash fiction almost exclusively and would love to take my writing to a new level so here are the first three sentences from a short I write recently. It is a sci-fi piece - three hundred words or less, can't remember exactly.

    Thaddeus walked across the helm of his ship - The Time Traveller. Through the domed screen, he saw the Traveller's luminescent sails shift as they caught the interstellar winds, driving the sleek and ancient ship through the vastness of space. Modelled after the ocean-faring frigates or ships-of-war of Old Earth, the Traveller had been made by the first and greatest spacefarers known to man.
    Hi Omniregency, and welcome to AW. Just as an FYI, if you put your three sentences into a quote box, they won't transfer when someone uses the "reply with quote" option to respond, forcing them to cut and paste (as I did above).

    Now, on to your opener: it's not bad, but I think you could tighten it up some, particularly if it's flash. Your reader can infer that The Time Traveller is a ship by the mention of a helm and sails, and you could lose that filtering in sentence 2 as well. The third sentence is telly backstory, and it's making me fear there's more to come.

    I'd still probably read on, because I love this kind of story.
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  5. #1155
    Resist. Love. Go outside. Marlys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omniregency View Post
    Hi! I write flash fiction almost exclusively and would love to take my writing to a new level so here are the first three sentences from a short I write recently. It is a sci-fi piece - three hundred words or less, can't remember exactly.

    Thaddeus walked across the helm of his ship comma, not dash The Time Traveller. Through the domed screen, he sawcut filtering words like 'he saw' and 'he thought,' especially in a piece this short the Traveller's luminescent sails shift as they caught the interstellar winds, driving the sleek and ancient ship through the vastness of space. Modelled after the ocean-faring frigates or ships-of-war of Old Earth the Traveller had been made by the first and greatest spacefarers known to humanity.
    Your opening seems very classic SF, which is nice, but the trouble is that it's all description. I don't know anything about Thaddeus except he has a ship. Consider adding some tension--maybe he's looking out the screen because something's odd or different, and he's worried about it. Maybe the old ship is making a weird noise that could be catastrophic. Maybe he's waiting breathlessly for the approach of his lover's ship. Just something to hook readers and make them read on to see what happens.

    Best of luck with it. And if you're interested in some extra flash practice, check out the December challenge linked in my sig line.

  6. #1156
    a rouge Omniregency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlys View Post
    Your opening seems very classic SF, which is nice, but the trouble is that it's all description. I don't know anything about Thaddeus except he has a ship. Consider adding some tension--maybe he's looking out the screen because something's odd or different, and he's worried about it. Maybe the old ship is making a weird noise that could be catastrophic. Maybe he's waiting breathlessly for the approach of his lover's ship. Just something to hook readers and make them read on to see what happens.

    Best of luck with it. And if you're interested in some extra flash practice, check out the December challenge linked in my sig line.
    Sorry but without reading the whole piece how can you suggest plot ideas? You don't know what the next line is, all you really can say is that it lacks a suitable hook which is fair enough but to then go and say it is also lacking in plot before you have read the whole of the piece is a little over-reactive.

    So if I may - rather than doing this in the future say something like - good sounding start, classic sci-fi but you need more of the plot of the piece to show in the first few lines as a hook for a reader.

    Much better and more of the point that you were trying to make.
    “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
    “Sir?”
    “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
    “Sir?”
    “That’s practically zen.” ― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

  7. #1157
    a rouge Omniregency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmig View Post
    Hi Omniregency, and welcome to AW. Just as an FYI, if you put your three sentences into a quote box, they won't transfer when someone uses the "reply with quote" option to respond, forcing them to cut and paste (as I did above).

    Now, on to your opener: it's not bad, but I think you could tighten it up some, particularly if it's flash. Your reader can infer that The Time Traveller is a ship by the mention of a helm and sails, and you could lose that filtering in sentence 2 as well. The third sentence is telly backstory, and it's making me fear there's more to come.

    I'd still probably read on, because I love this kind of story.
    I know that there is backstory with the ship, but due to the fact that the ship is the driving point of the plot I need the reader to know why the ship is important. So I am stuck with having some backstory as it is needed for things to make sense. One can't write something without context or utterly devoid of backstory and the start was the best place to do that as anywhere else and it felt added and forced.
    “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
    “Sir?”
    “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
    “Sir?”
    “That’s practically zen.” ― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

  8. #1158
    Resist. Love. Go outside. Marlys's Avatar
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    Another suggestion:
    Quote Originally Posted by Omniregency View Post
    Sorry but without reading the whole piece how can you suggest plot ideas? You don't know what the next line is, all you really can say is that it lacks a suitable hook which is fair enough but to then go and say it is also lacking in plot before you have read the whole of the piece is a little over-reactive.

    So if I may - rather than doing this in the future say something like - good sounding start, classic sci-fi but you need more of the plot of the piece to show in the first few lines as a hook for a reader.

    Much better and more of the point that you were trying to make
    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my opening..

  9. #1159
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omniregency View Post
    Thaddeus walked across the helm of his ship - The Time Traveller. Through the domed screen, he saw the Traveller's luminescent sails shift as they caught the interstellar winds, driving the sleek and ancient ship through the vastness of space. Modelled after the ocean-faring frigates or ships-of-war of Old Earth, the Traveller had been made by the first and greatest spacefarers known to man.
    I'm okay with this and would read on. The ship's name made me think it's a time machine, the description says it's a space ship. Is it both?

    After this set-up opening, I'd hope something goes clunk! in the next couple of lines -- i.e. something happens, a problem occurs and must be dealt with.

    Sometimes readers are going to suggest things in the hope that something might fit your story and help it along, that's the nature of this thread and other feedback threads. Use whatever thoughts you happen to find useful. Even if you don't, always remember to say thanks.

    -Derek
    The Sunday night Flash Fiction Challenge! Write a story in 90 minutes! If you dare.
    The challenge is open all week, all writers are welcome!
    Check out FFC forum (password=flashed)


    My web page! Published short stories & novellas,
flash stories, Sci-Fi webcomics, omg screenplays too, lol
Does the excitement never end?!

  10. #1160
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omniregency View Post
    Sorry but without reading the whole piece how can you suggest plot ideas? You don't know what the next line is, all you really can say is that it lacks a suitable hook which is fair enough but to then go and say it is also lacking in plot before you have read the whole of the piece is a little over-reactive.

    So if I may - rather than doing this in the future say something like - good sounding start, classic sci-fi but you need more of the plot of the piece to show in the first few lines as a hook for a reader.

    Much better and more of the point that you were trying to make.
    Quote Originally Posted by Omniregency View Post
    I know that there is backstory with the ship, but due to the fact that the ship is the driving point of the plot I need the reader to know why the ship is important. So I am stuck with having some backstory as it is needed for things to make sense. One can't write something without context or utterly devoid of backstory and the start was the best place to do that as anywhere else and it felt added and forced.
    One of the primary rules of the Share Your Work forums is that if you don't agree with the crits you were given, then simply say "thank you" and move on. Making excuses, arguing and being snarky when someone offers a crit - a crit you requested - is simply rude.
    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    FISKUR: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    STONEKING: Releasing February 20, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing






    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





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