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Old 04-01-2006, 06:49 AM   #5101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James D Macdonald
So, where does your story begin?

One way to find your beginning is this: first, write your book. Now go through it to find its start.

Here's how to recognize the start: it's the point where you can no longer summarize everything that went before in a single sentence:

Nothing that Ceclia had seen at the Academy could have prepared her for the first sight of Crymble Manor.

"The appropriations bill is dead on arrival," Senator O'Connor said.

The day after the world ended, Bill got into his pickup truck and drove into town.

Another way to say this is: it's the point where the characters can't decide, To heck with this and order out for pizza. The one-way door has blown shut and they can't get back into the theatre.

Later on, as you gain experience, you can get better at avoiding false starts ("Hesitation marks," we call 'em).

Here's how I figure out where to start my story: I figure out the climax -- something that's really big, cinematic, satisfying, full of action and movement. I take the characters who are there, and back 'em off to some point before that climax, then try to get them to it.

Sometimes -- a lot of the time -- those characters never get to the climax I started with. (There's one climax I've been using for years as a starting point. One day I will get there.)

So here's another way to figure out where to start your story: Put interesting characters in an interesting place, then let them do interesting things. (What's interesting? That's the art, isn't it. Your readers will tell you what's interesting by the sound of rapidly turning pages.)

If the first two chapters of your book are backstory and exposition, and the movement of the plot starts in chapter three, the opening of your book is chapter three. Delete the first two chapters.

====

Plots start when movement starts. This movement can be physical, or it can be psychological, but it is movement. The human eye instinctivly follows a moving object. It will follow the fastest moving object if several are present. So ... make your plot move, and eyes will follow it.

A chess game doesn't start until the first piece or pawn moves.

Thank you for sharing this. A very good way to judge a beginning of a story.
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Old 04-01-2006, 06:59 AM   #5102
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Originally Posted by emeraldcite
dammit. i hate courier

but, i shall use it nonetheless....didn't know my book was going to be so long....lol
I hate curier too, but I converted all my ms's since I started reading this post.

Being a good little student.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:04 AM   #5103
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Originally Posted by James D Macdonald
"You can get farther with beautiful prose and a plot than you can with beautiful prose alone."

"Plot will get you through times with no prose better than prose will get you thorugh times with no plot."

"I am a professional writer. I tell lies to strangers for money."

"One Damn Thing After Another is a perfectly good plot."

"Anything that doesn't add to the story takes away from it."
Cool, I like that.

I was told by a crit group that plot is the strongest feature in my stories, then prose. My dialogues are weak. I'm working on that.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:06 AM   #5104
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Originally Posted by James D Macdonald
Hi, Betty.

a) I type fast.
b) I don't sleep.

Thank you, Uncle James, for all the help you give us.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:10 AM   #5105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James D Macdonald
Which leads very nicely into the next topic: Characters.

Plot isn't the whole of your novel. Plot is more like the ropes and poles that hold up the big top where the circus is going to be held. Plot provides structure, but it isn't the novel.

Nor is story the novel: story is the space inside that big top where the show is going to happen.

No, your novel is in the characters: the bareback riders, the ringmaster, the trapeze artists, the lion tamers. A novel is about people, without the people it's an empty tent.

(And you were wondering where I was going to come down on the plot-generated vice character-generated novels.)

When you are coming up with characters, I beg you make them interesting. Interesting people doing interesting things in interesting places make your novel interesting.

You need to develop characters so that they serve a purpose other than Keeping The Front Cover and Back Cover Apart. Two rules for that: Every character thinks that he's the main character in the story, and Every character thinks that he's the good guy. While you are writing the character (from the main character, to the most minor of minor characters) you're in his head, and those two things are true while you're writing from his point of view (POV).

We beat up our characters. We make them miserable. Writing is about a lot of things; being kind to your characters isn't one of them.

Generally speaking, you need at least two characters in a story; otherwise dialog is very hard to do. How many characters you can handle is a measure of your skill level and the needs of your book. Characters all serve a function in the book. If two characters are serving the same function, make them into one character.

Now, I'm going to add two more characters to your story. These have to be characters, though y'all might not have thought of them so.

First is the author. You are a character in your story. Cast yourself. Then stay in character. Are you a lecturer? Are you a genial host? Are you a salesman? Are you a stranger here yourself?

Second is the reader. You have to cast the reader. Picture the reader. Is she a teenage girl living in suburbia? Is she a sophisticated urban professional? Is he a business traveler looking for something to read in the airport? The reader is why you're doing this. He's a character. See him. Make him consistent.

If you want to imagine you and your reader sitting in your living room (or some other location) while you tell the story, that can work. Just be consistent! We are building a dream, here, creating an illusion. Inconsistencies are illusion killers. Don't let your reader see you palming a card.
But aren't characters generate the plot? I mean, it's from their actions and reactions where the plot comes from. Or I must be totally wrong. If I am, I have major rewrites ahead of me.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:31 AM   #5106
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You can compose in any typeface you want. When it comes time to submit, submit your work in Courier 10 or 12 (unless the guidelines explicitly say something else).

===========

Plot and character are related, and influence one another. But they are not the same.

If you happen to come first to plot, or come first to character, relax. How you create is less important than that you create. Do what works for you.

No one but you will see your first draft. Come out with a unified whole, and you will have succeeded.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:44 AM   #5107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
It's been a while since we've played "First Two Pages." So, without further ado:

They threw me off the hay truck about noon....Then I saw her. She had been out back, in the kitchen, but she came in to gather up my dishes. Except for the shape, she really wasn't any raving beauty, but she had a sulky look to her, and her lips stuck out in a way that made me want to mash them in for her.


End of page two.


How about it, folks ... turn the page?
I'd turn the page. The narrator has an interesting voice, and there's a subtle humor at play here -- I love the line about hamming it up when he gets thrown off the truck. The narrator's a con-man and realizes it. The author sets up an interesting romance, or at least possible romance right off the bat. I'm guessing it will be a quick and enjoyable read.
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:04 AM   #5108
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Yay for me!! I just ordered "The Apocolypse Door" on Amazon.com.
Can't wait to read it--it'll get here on April 4th.

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Old 04-02-2006, 05:32 AM   #5109
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Quote:
They threw me off the hay truck about noon.
Great opening line. Introduces a character ("me") with action ("threw"). A play on naivity -- where someone might say "I didn't fall off the hay wagon last night," to mean that he isn't easily fooled, our narrator was literally thrown off a hay wagon. First person, past tense.

Quote:
I had swung on the night before, down at the border, and as soon as I got up there under the canvas, I went to sleep.
A drifter. A tramp. He's getting around by informally hitching rides. Characterization, and location.

Quote:
I needed plenty of that, after three weeks in Tia Juana, and I was still getting it when they pulled off to one side to let the engine cool.
More localization, more backstory, more characterization.


Quote:
Then they saw a foot sticking out and threw me off.
He's careless. He's detected. Characterization.

Quote:
I tried some comical stuff, but all I got was a dead pan, so that gag was out.
He's self-aware, and speaks in slang.

Quote:
They gave me a cigarette, though, and I hiked down the road to find something to eat.
Characterization -- he manages to talk the unknown driver out of a cigarette. Our narrator can find a silver lining in some pretty grim circumstances. And he's an optimist. End of first paragraph. Short declarative sentences. Almost no description. The narrator doesn't care about anyone or anything but himself. Check the number of times he says "I."


Quote:
That was when I hit this Twin Oaks Tavern.
A place. Non-standard English. The preceding paragraph told us how the narrator happened to be here -- pure random chance. The main location shows up in the first sentence of the second paragraph.

Quote:
It was nothing but a roadside sandwich joint, like a million others in California.
Abbreviated description; we're in California. Probably southern California, since we know the narrator was coming up from the Mexican border.

Quote:
There was a lunchroom part, and over that a house part, where they lived, and off to one side a filling station, and out back a half dozen shacks that they called an auto court.
Physical layout of the setting. No details; the reader can fill them in since there are a million just like it. An "auto court" is another name for a motel. Tourist cabins. The impression is bleak. New characters added: "they." Who "they" are is yet to be defined.


Quote:
I blew in there in a hurry and began looking down the road. When the Greek showed, I asked if a guy had been by in a Cadillac.
The narrator is running a con. He's a natural play-actor. Who "the Greek" might be is undefined. Possibly one of the "they" from the last sentence.

Quote:
He was to pick me up here, I said, and we were to have lunch.
We have a narrator who lies fluently, naturally, as his first choice. The story is being told by this narrator. That is to say, nothing is as it seems. The readers shouldn't believe a word he says.
Quote:
Not today, said the Greek.
Indirect discourse.

Quote:
He layed a place at one of the tables and asked me what I was going to have.
The Greek is apparently a waiter, perhaps the proprietor of this rundown gas-station-motel-lunch-counter somewhere in California.


Quote:
I said orange juice, corn flakes, fried eggs and bacon, enchilada, flapjacks, and coffee.
In addition to not sleeping for three weeks, the narrator apparently didn't eat, either. Or, he asks for everything in hopes of getting something.

Quote:
Pretty soon he came out with the orange juice and the corn flakes.
Not exactly what he asked for. End of second paragraph. Again, very short, simple sentences.

Quote:
"Hold on, now. One thing I got to tell you. If this guy don't show up, you'll have to trust me for it. This was to be on him, and I'm kind of short myself."
The con is revealed. The narrator may have run this same swindle a thousand times before, at a thousand other lunch joints. First use of direct quotation in the story.


Quote:
"Hokay, fill'm up."

I saw he was on, and quit talking about the guy in the Cadillac. Pretty soon I saw he wanted something.
The Greek knows he's being conned, and doesn't care. The narrator knows he knows, and stops even pretending. This is lovely characterization for both of 'em. The Greek speaks broken English, close to dialect.


Quote:
"What you do, what kind of work, hey?"

"Oh, one thing and another, one thing and another. Why?"

"How old you?"

"Twenty-four."

"Young fellow, hey? I could use young fellow right now. In my business."

"Nice place you got here."

"Air. Is a nice. No fog, like in Los Angeles. No fog at all. Nice, a clear, all a time nice a clear."

"Must be swell at night. I can smell it now."

"Sleep fine. You understand automobile? Fix'm up?"

"Sure. I'm a born mechanic."
They're each lying to the other, for purposes unknown. I bet the Greek isn't there for the air, and I bet the narrator doesn't know the first thing about fixing cars. The narrator is a bum. The Greek is ... odd. Why does he need to expand on why he needs a young fellow? What could he possibly be talking about other than his business? Implies that the Greek is old.


Quote:
He gave me some more about the air, and how healthy he's been since he bought this place, and how he can't figure it out, why his help won't stay with him. I can figure it out, but I stay with the grub.
Just like the Greek didn't buy the story about the guy in the Cadillac, the narrator isn't buying the story about the air. The narrator detects something about the Greek that means he would be a lousy boss. The readers aren't told, exactly, just that the narrator can figure out why no one wants to work for this guy.


Quote:
"Hey? You think you like it here?"
There's the pitch. Notice that there are no dialog tags -- no "I said ... he said." No bits of business fiddling with coffee cups. No information about what the room looks like, where the door is, what color the tablecloths are (or even if there are tablecloths).


Quote:
By that time I had put down the rest of the coffee, and lit the cigar he gave me. "I tell you how it is. I got a couple of other propositions, that's my trouble. But I'll think about it. I sure will do that all right."
Our narrator accepts the free meal, accepts a cigar (he's apparently good at bumming smokes -- he got a cigarette from the truck driver), and is on the verge of turning down the job offer. You know he's going to smoke that cigar and walk out and never look back. He's lying some more, though -- he doesn't have any other propositions. He's got no future at all except bumming from town to town and running penny-ante swindles. This is pure character building.
Quote:
###
Linebreak. Change of scene. Even though we don't move an inch, and the time is about one second later.
Quote:
Then I saw her.
A very simple sentence. It leads the new scene, and adds a new character: "her." "Her" has the position of power at the end of the sentence. So far we haven't learned a single name.


Quote:
She had been out back, in the kitchen, but she came in to gather up my dishes.
Simple narration. Gives the person a job, a reason for being there. The other part of the "they" we were promised.

Quote:
Except for the shape, she really wasn't any raving beauty, but she had a sulky look to her, and her lips stuck out in a way that made me want to mash them in for her.
The longest sentence so far. A beautiful shape, a sulky look, and lips. And "mash them in for her" is ambiguous. Does he want to kiss her, or punch her in the mouth? The overtone of violence is inescapable. And we are in the classic triangle by the end of page two. Plot has just arrived. The old husband, the young wife, and the glib young stranger.

Lies, poverty, violence, sex ... this is a dynamite setup. I don't see a wasted word in it.
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Old 04-02-2006, 07:40 AM   #5110
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by James D Macdonald
Another thing about the characters: they don't know they're in a novel.

(Generally speaking, the characters in art don't know they're in art. That's why the lights are turned down and the audience is quiet in theatres: so the characters won't realize they're on a stage. That's why characters in the movies don't look at the camera. (Have you noticed how distracting it is, in amateur film, when an actor's eyes focus on the camera?).
My question is, how do I determine whether my characters know or don't know if they're in a novel?
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Old 04-02-2006, 07:46 AM   #5111
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[QUOTE=James D Macdonald]More advice,

Have a life. Go to interesting places, do interesting things. Observe people. You have to be the best observer around. No matter what you're doing, part of your brain should be turning the scene into descriptive prose.

Read widely. Take classes just for the heck of it. You can't know too much.

Consider joining a writers' workshop. Look for one that has at least one or two people with legitimate publishing credits in it. If workshops aren't for you, they aren't for you, but give 'em a try. You'll need a set of trusted friends who'll read your work and give you their honest opinions. No matter how much those opinions may hurt, thank your friends cheerfully and sincerely.



More good advice. Having been an artist before I became I writer, I always observed people. I just signed on for a writing worksop recently.
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Old 04-02-2006, 08:02 AM   #5112
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Lesson # 99--Other Random thoughts.

I'm going back to my stories and taking out the couple of "Somehows". I remember I have 2-3.

Thank you.
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Old 04-02-2006, 06:58 PM   #5113
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Old 04-02-2006, 08:15 PM   #5114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anya Smith
My question is, how do I determine whether my characters know or don't know if they're in a novel?
Have you tried asking them? Turn up as a character. Say, "Do you know we're characters in a novel?" to one of them. If his response is to either look at you strangely or cross over to the other side of the street then he doesn't know. If looks around nervously, he does.
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Old 04-02-2006, 09:25 PM   #5115
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Thank you for the analysis, Uncle Jim!

I would have turned the page.

I wonder -- for most people, I assume that kind of tightness happens several rounds into revision?
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:47 PM   #5116
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I write for Middle Grades, and just found the BEST job to be an observer of children that age (of course most of my characters are that age also)

Substitute teacher.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:57 AM   #5117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon
I wonder -- for most people, I assume that kind of tightness happens several rounds into revision?
Who knows? All that we know is that this is the final form.

All anyone ever sees is your last draft.

This is really a bravura example of minimalist writing. Later on, the author has pages on end of two and three person conversations, none of it with dialog tags.

It's a first novel.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:01 AM   #5118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anya Smith
My question is, how do I determine whether my characters know or don't know if they're in a novel?
If they do or say things for no other reason than that the plot requires it, or the author needs to clue in the readers -- then they know they're characters in a novel.

"Fred, when you heard the mysterious noises downstairs why didn't you just call 9-1-1?"

"Because if I did this would have been a very short book."

###

"Bob, normal household current is 120 volt, 60 cycle AC. 'Cycle' and 'Hertz' mean the same thing."

"Fred, we've both been electricians for twenty years. I know this stuff, and you know I know it. Why are you telling me?"

"Maybe you know it, but the readers don't."
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:11 PM   #5119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
If they do or say things for no other reason than that the plot requires it, or the author needs to clue in the readers -- then they know they're characters in a novel.

"Fred, when you heard the mysterious noises downstairs why didn't you just call 9-1-1?"

"Because if I did this would have been a very short book."

###

"Bob, normal household current is 120 volt, 60 cycle AC. 'Cycle' and 'Hertz' mean the same thing."

"Fred, we've both been electricians for twenty years. I know this stuff, and you know I know it. Why are you telling me?"

"Maybe you know it, but the readers don't."
Ok, that's very clear now. Thank you for the examples.

I may have one of those too, iffy though it is. I'd have to go back and check it, change it, or remove it. My head is buzzing. Where else would I insert all that info?
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:03 PM   #5120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
This is really a bravura example of minimalist writing. Later on, the author has pages on end of two and three person conversations, none of it with dialog tags.

It's a first novel.
I'd turn the page. In fact, I think I did, way back in school -- is this "The Postman Always Rings Twice"?
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:31 AM   #5121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anya Smith
Where else would I insert all that info?
Ask yourself: is this information really necessary? If so, you might have a stranger who needs to have things explained as one of your characters. That's one of the functions Stephen Maturin plays in O'Brien's Aubrey novels. If he weren't there O'Brien would have needed to show 18th c. British sailors explaining rigging to one another, or left the readers hopelessly at sea.

The other problem is a bit more subtle. You need to have characters who have credible motives for everything they do. All other things being equal, your characters would rather be at home eating ice cream and watching late-night TV, rather than dangling by their thumbs over active volcanoes. It's up to you to provide that motivation, and make the readers believe it.
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:38 AM   #5122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribhneoir
I'd turn the page. In fact, I think I did, way back in school -- is this "The Postman Always Rings Twice"?
It is, indeed, The Postman Always B/r/i/n/g/s/ M/i/c/e/ Rings Twice.

(For more fun, here's a first-lines quiz (and a linked last-lines quiz).)
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:01 PM   #5123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
Ask yourself: is this information really necessary? If so, you might have a stranger who needs to have things explained as one of your characters. That's one of the functions Stephen Maturin plays in O'Brien's Aubrey novels. If he weren't there O'Brien would have needed to show 18th c. British sailors explaining rigging to one another, or left the readers hopelessly at sea.

The other problem is a bit more subtle. You need to have characters who have credible motives for everything they do. All other things being equal, your characters would rather be at home eating ice cream and watching late-night TV, rather than dangling by their thumbs over active volcanoes. It's up to you to provide that motivation, and make the readers believe it.
Thank you, I'm asking and it's still difficult to decide. I included this section because if has a twofold purpose. One is central to the setting and culture; the 'chimera', deadly senso plays, in question is used even for curse words in the 25th century. I felt it should be explained a little. The other purpose is to show how one of the MC, Eric manipulates Carlina to get himself aboard the spaccraft he wants to hijack. He's using her aversion to maya-tappers, cyberslums, and such to achieve that.


Eric shifted in the variform and tried to school his mind into constructive thinking. Slowly, a plan began to take shape. It was fraught with dangers, but if he could pull it off . . . .

"Carlina, can you get me the coordinates of those three blinking stars?"

"If Zadine makes another recording. After I ran the comparison, I left the senso cube with the PC Legislators. I didn't think to upload it to my wristcom."

Zadine gave him a sidelong glance. There was a mixture of alarm and curiosity on her face, but she nodded. She was certainly strange in some ways. She didn't seem to resent the unfair treatment of the Network. Quite the contrary, she seemed to welcome the prospect of losing her privileges. Eric had a feeling she didn't consider her psi power such a blessing. After they had wrapped up their unsuccessful venture with the authorities on Earth, Zadine planned to return home to Dawn. He would miss her very much.

Eric forced his mind back to their present problem and turned around to face Carlina. "I suppose the Phoenix is equipped with a neural interface system."

Carlina smiled. "The Phoenix is equipped with everything, all the latest technological gadgets." She crossed her long legs and stretched luxuriously, leaning back into the variform.

"Good," Eric said and grinned. He had learned at the beginning of their friendship not to take Carlina's flirting seriously, simply because she didn't mean it. It was part of her personality.



He narrowed his eyes with speculation and said, "Perhaps we should go there."

Both women and David looked at him inquiringly.

Eric shrugged and said, "Unless we want to wait around in a crowded senso theater for recording equipment. You've seen how busy the station is, and all the VR entertainers are jammed with people."

"You are cleared to exit the shuttle," the computer announced.

He lifted the crash web and stood up. "We might find an illegal senso lodge near the hub with a senso-interface system," Eric said, knowing how much Carlina detested cyberslums and cyberspace addicts.

He felt a like a chimera for manipulating her by using a traumatic experience, especially because Max's death was not her fault. But he needed all the help he could find. Eric couldn't allow decency to interfere with his purpose now. Not when the galaxy was exploding around them.

"I don't see why the Coalition allows these senso lodges to operate," Carlina said with a distasteful expression.

Eric snorted. "It all goes back to three, four centuries, when the World Government not only encouraged, but financed the Death Chambers. They have been abolished when the government realized that low-income elderly citizens who practiced dying became addicted. Even though the addiction was not fatal, obviously, for those were not chimera senso plays, it was embarrassing for the government. Simply because in those days, full medical that included the once a year cleansing treatment to extend an average citizen's life was very expensive. Nanotechnology was in its infancy, and it took much time and tinkering to tailor the nano-scale biobots to a person's genetic code. A Death Chamber for the poor, however, was affordable," Eric explained as they slowly moved towards the airlock. They were almost the last ones to exit.

"Yeah, and it was much later that someone invented the chimera, adding the dying of animals to those senso plays," David said. "Hence the name chimera: human and animals."

"But it was after the Venusians discovered the biocrystals that things evolved from bad to worse," Eric continued. "Due to the emotive quality of biocrystals, the sensorium of the chimera is so intense that the human brain experiences a minor sensory overload each time. In defense, it starts shutting off certain areas, which causes the Alternate Reality Syndrome. And the maya-tappers, the illusion junkies, keep going back for more. That's what makes the chimera so deadly."

"We all know that, you two." Carlina glared at them. "We didn't ask for a history lecture, Professors," she added in a sarcastic tone.

"All I'm saying is that chimera senso plays evolved from economic pressures of our past," Eric explained. "One thing led to another."

"That's like piling new mistakes upon the old ones and just let them fester. Just because Earth Government made a mistake centuries ago, it doesn't mean the Coalition should tolerate crimes," Carlina argued in a heated tone.

"Governments make many mistakes, but that one wasn't," Eric declared. "I've read some scientific publications of the era that proved that the chimera senso plays were a convenient and humane way of culling the weak and undesirables from the Human gene pool. If that was the case and I believe it was, the Government needed only to stand aside and allow the cyber slums to operate. Remember your history; back then, the population pressures were tremendous. Besides, cyberspace addicts are not criminals, despite how Coalition citizens regard them. They're slowly committing suicide while they enjoy themselves. It is their choice," he said with emphasis.

"Yeah, well, call it whatever you want," Carlina said. "I'd rather not bump into maya-tappers." Her eyes flashed and her lips tightened, but then she turned away.

"Lead the way then." Eric felt a mixture of relief and shame.

"The Phoenix docks at port eighty-seven," Carlina said and stepped onto the dock.

If this sounds like the characters realize they're in a story, then I have to remove it. Gosh, I'd hate to do that.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:34 PM   #5124
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>>>
"We all know that, you two." Carlina glared at them. "We didn't ask for a history lecture, Professors," she added in a sarcastic tone.
<<<

This in particular stands out as the characters knowing they're in a novel. The preceding lecture leads up to this, "As you know, Bob," and as a Bob myself, I tend to resent being told things I already know (or even ought to already know.)

How much of the lecture the characters 'all know' would be a guess on my part, so I have no idea what deserves to stay here and what should be worked in elsewhere. You could use what's known as an 'ignorant device' to convey the info. Barry Longyear, author of Science Fiction Writers Workshop I: An Introduction to Fiction Mechanics, defines an ignorant device as:

>>>
Any passive device (recorders, transmitters, rocks, amulets, gods, etc.) that a character can talk to, conveying information the author wishes to pass on to the reader.
<<<

Excerpts from fictitious sources like the Encyclopedia Galactica or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are found throughout science fiction. They're ignorant devices, too.

Barry's book discusses various backfill methods, with examples of how he handled it in his own fiction. The book is packed with useful stuff, and still in print.



 
Old 04-05-2006, 03:43 PM   #5125
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Wow, this is such a looong thread! It'd take me at least a year to make my way till the middle of it, I'm sure. Still, this newbie to writing hopes "it" will make it till the end!

I've got a question, though and if any won't answer, it's all fine by me. ^^;;

Since a few months back, I've tried learning British punctuation and spelling(no, not much yet). And now, I'm not sure if I ought to stick to British or change to American. *totally and utterly confused*

Last edited by Lucifiel; 04-05-2006 at 04:07 PM.
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