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Introversion
12-27-2014, 07:11 PM
The folks over at the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense forums have a thread, "The Line of the Day", that I've greatly enjoyed. It's a fun way to see what others are doing.

They've been very polite and tolerant of my own posts there, despite that mine seldom have much (or any) M/T/S content in them. I didn't see anything equivalent here to use instead, or I would've.

Which leads to my current dope-slap of inspiration...

I'd like to try starting a similar thread here, for SF/F content. I hope there's some interest in it.

Like the M/T/S one, I'd like this not to be "SYW Lite". This is not for critique, but just a place to publicly share a recent bit of work, and perhaps to get some very light encouragement.

Okay comments:


nice
interesting
I like it
keep posting
<no comment>

Not okay comments:


you should think about changing it to...
this is derivative of Francis Golly Grandmaster's 1953 classic "Brain Toads in Space"
I broke out in hives after reading that
dysentery in Mexico was more fun

Like the M/T/S one has evolved into, but unlike it's namesake, I'd like this to be for sharing short bits. A couple of paragraphs at most.

This is also not a thread for asking, "Should I do...?" or saying "I have an idea." No, this is about an actual snippet of writing.

I'll go first. This is from the first scene of a space-opera short I'm working on, wherein the protagonist has come to fetch his captain from her "entertainment".



I’m not sure if her opponent understood how badly it was outclassed? Watching her strikes was a master lesson in Shar physiology. It swung, and she countered. Jabbed, and she danced under the blow and struck. Her knife point taps the center of a plate here that covers a critical nerve plexus: punch the blade through, and your foe’s mid-limbs dangle senseless. There, it pricks the membrane between plates: stab deeply and sever a main tendon of that fore-limb. Tick, tock, tap with the knife; counting out the ways to dismantle it.

WriteMinded
12-27-2014, 07:22 PM
Favorite Lines You've Written is just like this. No critting. Link for last page: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=9226705#post9226705

Introversion
12-27-2014, 07:34 PM
Favorite Lines You've Written is just like this. No critting. Link for last page: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=9226705#post9226705

Thanks! I hadn't seen that thread.

However, that's a general-interest topic. I'd prefer something SF/F-specific, unless there's no interest here at all in that sort of thing?

lizmonster
12-28-2014, 12:06 AM
I'll bite. :D

This is from a short. I think of it as SFF, but realistically it could be anything.


"I'm in fine shape," he protested. "I just don't spend all my spare time hauling dead guys."

I hadn't used to, either, but I had to admit it was a good upper body workout.

Introversion
12-28-2014, 06:38 AM
Nice! Keep posting?

A bit more from mine:



Overwhelmed by din, my translation stuttered Mandarin — enough to twig that the audience had mostly bet against the Old Lady. Hard-shell bigotry weighed edges and spikes of the Shar’s plates in one hand, her thin-skinned and smaller form in another, and predicted her blood spilled for their entertainment.

The Squill running the arena had not allowed her a warskin, so she did bleed, from cuts to arms, legs, face. But pain can be shunted aside, cuts heal quickly, and the cage is Cara’s country. So why would any but first-timers or incurable optimists bet against her? Maybe we all look alike to them.

WriteMinded
12-28-2014, 07:50 PM
Thanks! I hadn't seen that thread.

However, that's a general-interest topic. I'd prefer something SF/F-specific, unless there's no interest here at all in that sort of thing?True enough, general-interest. :) So, now I'm trying to think of even one line in my WIP that identifies it as fantasy. Maybe something about the fangs. :D

lizmonster
12-28-2014, 09:15 PM
A small bit from the current WIP.


“You broke the law.”

That was closer. “Technically, sir, yes.”

“And Foster hired you anyway?”

“Yes, sir.” Greg Foster had offered her the position, and after her enthusiastic acceptance, he had taken the discussion off the record and told her that if he ever caught her falsifying records or using privileged information for fraudulent reasons, he’d have her thrown in jail. Youth and inexperience had made her more angry than frightened. I don’t need to fake my talents, sir, she had told him stiffly; and then he had laughed.


I need to dig up some more science-fiction-y quotes. :)

Introversion
12-29-2014, 12:17 AM
WriteMinded: Yes, fangs are good! :)

Nice, lizmonster! I'll look forward to reading the finished work!

A bit more from the opening scene of my WIP short:



Bored at last, she went Quick to end it. I knew what she was feeling: both hearts hammering, blood afire with a cocktail of hormones and accelerants, ears roaring with the wind of her own passage, swimming through gelid air, limbs heavy, weapons ponderous in the hand, the world around gone grey and glacial. It’s ruinous to be Quick for even twenty seconds without a warskin’s aid. More than enough time.

I didn’t wince when her opponent died. This wasn’t officially a death-match, but the Old Lady’s favorite statement is don’t fuck with humanity. She left Quick and the cage before the Shar’s body hit the floor. Like I said, first-timers or incurable optimists.

jamesfinegan
12-29-2014, 12:44 AM
Alright, this looks like fun :)

Here, a line (the first line?) from a book I don't plan on writing for quite a few years yet.

---

It started, as most things often did - with a story from the Grim Reaper.

Shirokirie
12-29-2014, 02:10 AM
Here, a line (the first line?) from a book I don't plan on writing for quite a few years yet.

---

It started, as most things often did - with a story from the Grim Reaper.
This reminds me of the beginning of one of Terry Pratchett's stories wherein it begins with Death telling the tale. I'd be interested to see how that pans out in your words, though. :)


Hm... I'm certain this counts as sci-fi-ish - Sci-fish? :D


In other words, they had come into one of the entry gates of a place called Ryf'tuin: a mixed-species metropolis that was nearly planet-encompassing. It was a secret place dominated by the Xei, a three-sexed species that came in humanoid and beast-y kinds.

And the tall one who Ielase first saw was called an O'renn. Neither male or female, yet encompassing some functions of both, the O'renn appeared hermaphroditic at first. But as she looked directly at it, she assumed it an effeminate male, because that's the sex she was strongly attracted to.

CAMueller
12-29-2014, 04:38 AM
I'll give this a go. :D From my current WIP:


She didn't immediately follow when he began shuffling toward the back room. He held the curtain open, but didn't repeat his request. Callie met his gaze. Those beady eyes weren't cloudy with cataracts. His pupils were onyx blades that left her resolve in tatters.

S. Eli
12-29-2014, 06:04 AM
Ooh, I like this! It's like you get to skip to everyone's super cool line that made them go "hell yeah."


It started, as most things often did - with a story from the Grim Reaper. I like it--I love subversion openings.

Mine:
One had a crooked bowl cut and ears like car doors. The other had a patched eye, and was missing a few fingers--it made her wonder if maybe he was cutting Dumbo's hair.

PeteMC
12-29-2014, 01:59 PM
Oh go on then, I'll bite, so to speak - opening para of the WIP:



The boy was dead of course. Although, looking at it now with the calm eyes of morning, dead hardly seemed enough of a word to describe it. Destroyed might cover it, Pippa thought. Or half eaten, perhaps, although as things stood it was hard to judge the exact amount of him she’d actually consumed.

Introversion
12-30-2014, 07:05 AM
This is awesome! Great stuff, everyone! Nice to see the contributions on this thread.

Mine for the day, continuing from the last snip:



Ignoring the squalls and insults of outraged bettors, I waded through the audience to intercept. We licensed Mandarin to the Squill for translation, but English is for ourselves, and I used it now deliberately.

“We have a customer.”

Introversion
12-30-2014, 09:35 PM
A bit further into my WIP:



She walked slowly around it. It stood still, not turning. “The sum you’re offering is more than sufficient to buy a ship. Why hire one?”

“There is risk.”

She glanced at me, and I suppressed a smile. Duh, indeed.

Verbal
12-30-2014, 11:48 PM
I'll bite. :D

This is from a short. I think of it as SFF, but realistically it could be anything.

That's awesome! Gruesome to think of working out with dead bodies; those suckers ARE heavy.

Here's a first line of a short story I wrote:

You're reading this, so I must be dead.

Introversion
01-01-2015, 04:59 AM
Nice, Verbal!



About that, Echo would say only that there were three objects, which were small, rugged, impossible to mistake for anything else, and not dangerous to us.

Shut up and take the money, I said to my suspicions.

RikWriter
01-01-2015, 06:08 AM
I gripped the control sticks tightly, trying to stay focused, trying to keep from fading out again. I had some things to do before I could let myself deal with this. Deep inside of me, the Killing Machine that hadn't seen the light of day since the war was screaming to life, and someone was going to regret it.
Because more than anything else in my life, there was one thing I was sure of---I was one of the deadliest human beings that ever lived.

Thrasops
01-01-2015, 08:15 PM
First couple of paragraphs for a novel:



‘I can’t hold them off!’ Alejandro screamed over his shoulder. He threw himself against the door as another violent impact shook it on its hinges, pressing his whole body against it, bracing his legs against the stonework. ‘I can't hold them off! Run, my lady! Get away!’

The wood shuddered and cracked. In her arms, Cheyenne began to cry. Lady Amara rocked her baby daughter as she frantically cast her eye about for Saoshyant. Her son had followed Alejandro and was now trying to help the soldier hold the door firm.

‘Saoshyant, get away from there!’ she cried, as another impact splintered the wood. An axe-head appeared in a shower of splinters not six inches above the five-year-old’s head and was wrenched from side-to-side to widen the gap. He screamed and ran back to her.

The axe was not well crafted; nothing more than a lump of metal, really, so crudely bludgeoned into shape that Amara could see the indentations where its creator’s hammer had struck it. Then the hand that wielded the axe became visible. Like the axe there was nothing human about it. It was gnarled with great scales and dirty yellow in colour. It was built differently to a man’s hand, too – there were four digits instead of five, and they were arranged strangely, in an “x” shape. Each was tipped not with a fingernail but a shiny black claw encrusted in dirt and blood. Most disturbingly of all, though, the hand bore two thumbs instead of one.

Orns, here in Jeréz. Until this morning it hadn’t seemed possible. She’d thought that she was finally safe here within the walls, yet now here she was, trapped in little more than a broom cupboard amid a city in flames while the door was broken down.

Introversion
01-03-2015, 07:04 AM
Nice, RikWriter and Thrasops! Post more, please?


I whiled away off-duty hours playing splat with other bored and nervous people. Nothing like cuts, bruises and the odd broken bone to take the mind off.

Introversion
01-06-2015, 05:19 AM
Fresh Catch. Anyone else willing to share theirs?



“You think we’re wrong to attempt this. Don’t you?” said the Old Lady to me in a quiet moment with no others in earshot.

“I voted for it, didn’t I?”

“That’s not an answer.”

Correct on both scores. She’s often right. That’s why I’m usually pleased to call her my captain. That’s why the other ships usually fall in line behind her.

But when she’s wrong, when she bets big because she feels wall at her back, and loses… Well. It can be a breathtaking, gobsmacking thing. I didn’t remind her how we lost the Art of War, and why. What good of it? Most credit her for saving the rest of us that time, while conveniently forgetting why we needed to be saved. People go stupid in her presence. I still don’t understand it.

RikWriter
01-06-2015, 06:56 AM
Even over the howl of the wind, he could hear the metal of the hull pinging and creaking as it cooled. But beyond those sounds, he could hear the light, graceful steps behind him as Kara followed him down the ramp and stopped beside him. He winced. The flight here had been…well, tense would have been an understatement. He still wasn’t happy about being forced into this whole thing and she had been decidedly unapologetic.

“Are there cars for hire,” she asked, fastening her flight jacket, “or do we have to walk in this shit?”

“There are cars,” Deke allowed, “but the drivers all report to the Sung Cartel enforcers that run this city. They already know we landed, but if we take a hired car, they’ll know exactly where we’re going.”

“Damn,” she muttered, pulling up her collar. “Let’s go, then.”

He ordered the ship’s hatched closed using his neurolink and led her off toward the spaceport’s exit, grinning. He had, perhaps, exaggerated the possibility of the hack drivers’ reporting them, but if it made her more miserable, it was worth the walk in the cold.

Twick
01-08-2015, 06:35 PM
This is from the second in my unpublished series. The protagonist is 15 years old, working with an 18 year old agent of the king to save the crown prince from kidnappers.

Is this the right place to tell her how I feel about her? It’s private. We’re not likely to be interrupted, or overheard. A far better setting than Lirendun.

Would speaking now be fair to her? If my declaration offends her, she can’t leave, with Wulfsethen still in enemy hands. She has a mission, and must carry on. It would be horribly embarrassing for us both, to have to continue searching with that hanging over us.

But if I don’t say anything–who knows what’s going to happen? This might be my only opportunity. I think she likes me. But is that simply her natural kindness, or something more? I don’t know anything about romance. I never thought it would be this complicated.

She happens to look up from the fire and smiles at me, making my decision easy. I’m not going to be a coward this time. I’m going to tell her.

“Naoma?” I say.

“Mmmph, yes?” she responds through a mouthful of bread.

“I ... I ...” My mouth goes dry. “I have to go relieve myself. Be right back.”

She laughs. “I’ll still be here.”

Oh, I am the most shameful, craven coward.

Twick
01-08-2015, 06:55 PM
First couple of paragraphs for a novel:



‘I can’t hold them off!’ Alejandro screamed over his shoulder. He threw himself against the door as another violent impact shook it on its hinges, pressing his whole body against it, bracing his legs against the stonework. ‘I can't hold them off! Run, my lady! Get away!’

The wood shuddered and cracked. In her arms, Cheyenne began to cry. Lady Amara rocked her baby daughter as she frantically cast her eye about for Saoshyant. Her son had followed Alejandro and was now trying to help the soldier hold the door firm.

‘Saoshyant, get away from there!’ she cried, as another impact splintered the wood. An axe-head appeared in a shower of splinters not six inches above the five-year-old’s head and was wrenched from side-to-side to widen the gap. He screamed and ran back to her.

The axe was not well crafted; nothing more than a lump of metal, really, so crudely bludgeoned into shape that Amara could see the indentations where its creator’s hammer had struck it. Then the hand that wielded the axe became visible. Like the axe there was nothing human about it. It was gnarled with great scales and dirty yellow in colour. It was built differently to a man’s hand, too – there were four digits instead of five, and they were arranged strangely, in an “x” shape. Each was tipped not with a fingernail but a shiny black claw encrusted in dirt and blood. Most disturbingly of all, though, the hand bore two thumbs instead of one.

Orns, here in Jeréz. Until this morning it hadn’t seemed possible. She’d thought that she was finally safe here within the walls, yet now here she was, trapped in little more than a broom cupboard amid a city in flames while the door was broken down.

This is really good. Would love to hear how it resolves.

RikWriter
01-08-2015, 07:58 PM
This is really good. Would love to hear how it resolves.

Yes, I'd be relieved to find out what happens...


:D

Cavetraveller
01-09-2015, 02:58 PM
Fresh catch. Sounds good, so here goes. Last few lines of my first chapter - would you want to read on from here?


…“Got you,” a voice said, the slither of reptilian skin on stone. Behind the beam a pair of eyes gleamed triumphant in a skull-like face. A hand came towards me, reaching claw-like in the shadows and I panicked, scrabbling backwards to get away, every hair on my body standing up on end.
Behind me, something shifted and gave. With a jolt I began to fall, flinging my arms out to save myself, but they found no purchase. The swooping sensation of falling left my stomach behind. The horror-mask face shrank as I fell away, his expression one of satisfaction. A cloud of dust and stinging stone-chips made me close my eyes.
As the dark enveloped me, I stopped fighting. 

Thrasops
01-11-2015, 06:36 AM
This is really good. Would love to hear how it resolves.


Yes, I'd be relieved to find out what happens...


:D

Thank you! Glad you liked it. I will put up the entire Prologue once I reach my fiftieth post.

Shirokirie
01-14-2015, 02:39 AM
I've been working on this one.

Instead, blood crept over him in jellied clots. The blood represented the fleeting power of the Forsaken Spirit. It touched and melded into him, draining the rich brown of Rylieq's skin until he was pale white, as snow. The waves of his hair straightened and descended around his shoulders, from reddish-brown to stringy black. The last aspect of him to go was the color of his eyes. How the ivory hue peeled away like old, cracked paint, revealing the gilded luster of Mokallai underneath.

Twick
01-16-2015, 07:36 PM
This is interesting, although I have little idea what exactly is going on. I like the line "The last aspect of him to go was the color of his eyes" a lot.

Shirokirie
01-16-2015, 08:03 PM
Yeah I guess it wouldn't be all that obvious without the rest of it. :)

So anyone else have something to add?

ETA: to the thread as their 'Fresh Catch', I mean.

amergina
01-16-2015, 08:27 PM
Yeah I guess it wouldn't be all that obvious without the rest of it. :)

So anyone else have something to add?

Mod note: This isn't a thread for critting. (hence the NO CRITTING in the thread title.)

If it turns into a thread for critting, I will move it to SYW.