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41  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Sorry to drop this on you on: January 06, 2008, 06:58:43 am

*Door slams*

Okay, okay, at least it was well-written Roll Eyes. Kudos for making my involvement in the story such that I got angry when you used the 'and then I woke up' ending...
42  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Sorry to drop this on you on: December 19, 2007, 03:56:17 pm
The thing is, grammar is designed to emulate speech. Commas represent a natural pause; full stops, colons, semicolons and dashes are different kinds of pauses. Speech without grammar is just a sort of wave of words. Imagine someone speaking with no pauses - totally unnatural. Grammar is just the written form of all that.

Nice new section - now I'm really interested. I predict that the train crash blew them forwards in time when the entire population of earth are just drug junkies and machines do all the real work. I like that you recognised that robots don't need to blink Wink
43  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Sorry to drop this on you on: December 16, 2007, 08:28:04 am
A pretty good start. Smiley
The beginning doesn't seem very interesting, but it drew me in anyway, doing its job well, as did the description of Richard. Maybe that says more about me, though Roll Eyes
The dialogue all seems a bit unnatural - you seem to forget your grammar when other people are talking Tongue. Even adding more commas would give a better sense of how the speech flows, rather than it just looking like bad actors blurting lines.
Aside from that, I want to read more, now Tongue. You picked a great place to stop...

Minor errors and other things:
as the train grinded to a halt
Should be ground to a halt, methinks.

the pseudo modern looking station
Instinct tells me pseudo-modern should be hyphenated, but it may be personal preference. I got that feeling a bit throughout the first three paragraphs, then it went away... Tongue

turning it into a trust fun
Anoher lost consonant...

'You okay? Not ill are you? The last person I talked to on the train had chicken pox.'
When I first read this it was unclear who was speaking.

another screech rang out
That's the second time in three sentences you use a screech ringing out. A bit unwieldy.

Another shattering noise blared out
To me, blaring is something that describes a foghorn or an abnormally loud bout of flatulence, not a shattering noise. Maybe just me.

Richard groaned, his right arm felt like it had been wrenched off.
Technically that comma should be a semicolon.

44  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Out of boredom... on: December 14, 2007, 09:44:13 pm
That's sheer brilliance, if you ask me. How do you come up with this stuff? [need a jealousy emo] Undecided
45  Original Writings / Announcements / Re: Welcome! on: December 12, 2007, 02:53:29 pm
Yay, a spy! Never had one of those before. Enjoy your stay.
46  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Fringe (aka LX is back, alive and kickin') on: December 11, 2007, 06:44:35 pm
I'll read chapter II when I can - I'm being sat upon by many exams at the moment.

The 'tangible present' reference... think of the very first thing that ever happened in a Star Wars movie (not the credits...).

Okay, okay - your situation, old, battered freighter being pulled inside a large enemy starship... Tantive IV? And the confrontation with someone who cut his arm off seems to ring of Luke/Vader...

Whoah... that was rather Christmassy. Anyway, highlight to see the spoiler Roll Eyes
47  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Fringe (aka LX is back, alive and kickin') on: December 08, 2007, 10:25:55 am
Gld to see you back! How are your rocks going? Wink (Just teasing...)

Reeks pleasantly of Star Wars, not just in Joshua's character, but in the settings, situations, interactions, and especially the tangible present part. I mean, really Azn... Still, it's early days yet. Anyway, the Star Wars reminiscences aren't necessarily a bad thing - just be aware that, while this is your work, some people are going to read it as a cheap rip-off. You have to do everything to encourage them otherwise, if this is going to be read by the 'general public' (whoever that is).

I'm looking forward to reading more - hopefully then I'll be able to give you some more constructive crits Smiley
48  Original Writings / Creative Discussion / Re: One Man, One Return, and Something to do with Writing on: November 13, 2007, 06:13:45 pm
It's great to get new members, especially if they're old members. Welcome home, many happy returns, merry Easter, you know the deal.

Thud! was the first Discworld book I read, so it's probably my favourite. However, every other Sam Vimes book comes in equal second. I just read Jingo and loved it. Especially all the Klatchian jokes Roll Eyes
Haven't read Making Money yet - I need to read Going Postal first. I actually bought it in an airport in Sweden a year ago, but, typically, I lost it before I got on the plane. After I've acquired and read it, Making Money will probably be out in paperback, and will be my next purchase. Goody.
The Fnac here has basically a whole shelf full of Discworld. It's really, really tempting just to stretch my arms out, grab the whole row off the shelf, and plonk it on the counter Wink It'd save me a few trips into the city, for sure...
49  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Sol and Centauri (all new!) [light language] on: October 30, 2007, 07:00:58 pm
No worries about reply time. I'm terrible for that myself Tongue.
Glad that it at least appeared s if the pace sped up a little Wink. I think you were right last time, the pacing is a little off with my long-winded descriptions. I guess I'll need to revise that.
Speaking of the description, yeah, I noticed yesterday that I used 'each' a little too much, when I reread the scene before doing some writing. I fixed it, but I was too lazy to edit my post Tongue. Coming soon...
50  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Sol and Centauri (all new!) [light language] on: October 29, 2007, 09:43:50 am
Yay, I'm back! Sort of. I've been pretty busy lately, but there's a week's holiday now.
A question: would anyone object to me putting up my plot summary for SaC on the blackboard? Basically, I think it would help people get a better idea of what the hell I'm writing about, and I'd really like to see if people think my story makes sense. Though it would sortof spoil it for everyone Tongue.


By the time the Pavane and Portsmouth launched their first salvo of ordnance, the Ardennes was five hundred kilometres behind them. The two leading ships shuddered, axial jets firing to keep them aligned on correct courses. Since the aggressors’ guns were fixed facing forwards, the ships themselves had rotated to line up their fire, letting momentum carry them forwards while they fired downwards at the Careworn. Two electronic warfare modules and six disruption boats activated their processors, generating an invisible hailstorm of radiation throughout an area of space the size of a small country.
Aboard the Careworn, Simon’s sensor display went dim, then lit up with a thousand false signals. Alarms pinged, trying to warn him that everything from weather satellites to space stations to skyscrapers were floating in the vacuum around the little ship. He grunted with amusement and, flying blind for now, adjusted the Careworn’s course, pushing it closer to Jupiter. Hull sensors, fouled by the dirge of hostile radiation, reported a sudden drop and increase in pressure, and he shut them down. There was a sound, just on the edge of hearing, lower than the whine of the fusion engines. Guttural, almost. It was the sound of the Careworn entering Jupiter’s atmosphere, the sound that would save them or destroy them.

   “They’ve reached the atmosphere.” Constantin glanced at the sensor display, then looked back at his simplified coordinate graph. He had manoeuvred the three ships into a perfect triangle, a hundred kilometres above the diving Careworn and moving at the same lateral speed. Each aggressor faced the runner, ready to fire. The first wave of munitions, their work complete, had fallen into Jupiter’s atmosphere, and the distortion cloud they had generated was far behind. The Ardennes was pumping out a steady stream of EW pods, creating a moving fog bank around the Careworn, keeping it in the dark.
   “Clever of them. Now they’re faced with atmospheric pressure, on top of all their… other troubles.” He couldn’t resist a small smile.

   “Come on, come on…” Simon had activated the special sensor network. He didn’t want to have to do it – he had hoped the electronic disruption would be light enough that conventional systems would function.
   “You’re really, really sure we had to use the special sensors?” Terry always had been the cautious one, Simon reflected. He’ll probably live longer than me.
   “Look, our conventional sensors are like a bag of peanuts.” Terry considered.
   “How so?”
   “Hit them hard enough with a hammer, and they’ll turn to peanut butter.”
   “I don’t know what you’re insinuating, but-” Simon shunted the output from the special sensors into Terry’s corneo display. A hemispherical universe showed the Careworn, the three Fleet ships, vector lines showing velocity and acceleration, tags showing the thickness of Jupiter’s atmosphere and recommended escape vectors, and a large hazy area that was the centre of the disruption caused by the Ardennes.
   “See that? Now…” He switched to the conventional sensor display, and the image turned into the equivalent of a nuclear explosion in reverse. Over and over again. In a hailstorm.
   “Fine, I see your point.”
   “But they’re not taking the bait.” The three Fleet ships were keeping a perfect triangular formation, outside the loose horizon where a ship would start to be seriously affected by Jupiter’s atmosphere. Simon willed a slight bulge to appear in their trajectories, something telling him that they were beginning to dive. But they kept their orbit, waiting for the Careworn to make a move. Well, that was their mistake.
51  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Atrophy (WIP) (Post 2) on: October 26, 2007, 09:43:02 pm
A nice continuation to your story, but the lack of dialogue is a little worrying. On the bright side, however, it adds a dreamy sort of style, at least for me - I can't remember a single dream where people have talked to me, so maybe it's just a personal thing. But anyway, like I said before, you've got some explaining to do Wink.
52  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Atrophy (WIP) [Slight Swearing] on: October 26, 2007, 09:40:41 pm
Well, I have to be another voice in the chorus and say that all's well. You do use the cliches a bit, but there's enough in there that tells the reader you know it's a cliche ("Zombies. I should have known.").
The change in setting from the city to the house is dramatic, and better have some good explaining Tongue. I can just tell this is leading up to something big, though, so lead on!
53  Original Writings / Creative Discussion / Re: Quotes on: October 15, 2007, 08:50:16 pm
Some of those are brilliant Smiley
I especially like the Goethe one...
54  Original Writings / Creative Discussion / Re: A new form of challenge... on: October 12, 2007, 03:38:27 pm
Kentai, you make me jealous. I'm going to sit this one out, though I look forward to seeing what comes of it!
55  Off Topic / The Lounge / Re: Science fiction books and the government? on: October 06, 2007, 06:42:06 am
modern sci-fi doesn't really look at society and government in the same way as older stuff
Yeah, I'm sort of finding that out Tongue. Thanks for the reference.

Tau: Thanks, and thanks for thinking about it Wink.
56  Off Topic / The Lounge / Science fiction books and the government? on: October 01, 2007, 08:01:37 pm
I'm looking for some good modern SF books that deal with the government or what the government could turn into. I just started doing some research for my extended essay (needed to pass the IB), and decided that I'd do it in English and do a comparison of something and Starship Troopers. I eventually decided on doing a comparison of the government as portrayed and used in ST and another book. I tentatively wrote 1984, but my supervisor is a harsh man. He wants something more modern, and I agree. 1984 has probably been beaten to death by extended essay-writers.
So I'm asking whether anybody knows a modern work of science fiction that somehow uses or comments on the government. By 'modern' I'm thinking 90s 'till now. 80s are iffy, but I'll see what my supervisor says.
I've already got a few links to where I might find some stuff, and I'm thinking of doing Armor (John Steakley), as it's military SF similar to Starship Troopers, but portrays the government very differently.
Anyway, thanks in advance...
57  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: Jack Nelson on: September 29, 2007, 05:50:03 pm
Now there's a change Wink. I like this second beginning a lot better, mainly because there's more conflict, more character development, and the writing is less dull. I guess the kids are still going west? If so, this opening has led the reader ino that far more convincingly and meaningfully than before - when I read your first post, I didn't really care for the character much. However, this second time around, I want to know what happens to him.

"Stretcher-barrier!" Yelled someone in the distance.
Should be 'stretcher-bearer'.

"Move FORWARD! WE HAVE TO TAKE THIS BEACH!" Yelled another soldier.
Just strikes me as a bit... tacky. You can surely do better than that to get across the point that it's a beach landing...

I wanted to scream, but what good would that be.
Question mark.

I told you to stand you.
Um? Maybe lose the second 'you'.

“Jack Nelson, why I am not surprised. So let me guess, hiding from that maniac again?”
'That maniac' doesn't strike me as something a reverend (I presume he's some sort of church leader) would say. I guess it adds to the character, but without more to go on, it just makes him confusing.

You have a good head on, Jack, and besides I’m sure you’ll do great things. You just got to find the path that leads you there.
I'm not going to argue, but I'll say that this struck me as pretty overtly trying to move the story/protagonist forward, but not actually doing anything.

this house somewhat pleasant image as perfect as possible.
Probably should be 'house's'.

Just a note - Claire and her mother struck me as a bit wooden, without much to really make them stand out. I guess there's still plenty of time for characterisation, but first impressions are everything...
58  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: The Better Life on: September 26, 2007, 05:37:06 pm
Maybe changing it to line-up or lineup would avoid this.
59  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: The Better Life on: September 25, 2007, 07:41:51 pm
Just stepping in here to defend Insomniac Wink
After scanning the line up, he strode over to the bouncer and nodded.
scanning the line up? Scanning up the line might read better.
'Line up' is an expression in itself, referring to an arrangement of people. For example, you have 'the starting line up' for a sports team, referring to the members of the team that start on the field/whatever. In this case, it isn't referring to scaning 'up the line' but scanning the individuals that make up the line.
60  Creative Writing / Critiques Corner / Re: The Better Life on: September 24, 2007, 08:04:32 pm
A nice little piece you got. It's good you're writing often, even with time and motivation issues (haven't we all...). I should probably be doing that. Meh.

Anyway, you have a pretty good knack for pulling the reader one way, then the other, which should really be the essence of short stories (especially ones this short). It reads like a pretty typical story up until the twist (but don't get me wrong - it's enjoyable and a good enogh read). The ending was nice, but I didn't realy connect his desire to be famous with the fantasy he was immersed in. It just seemed like a sort of generic 'I'm rich and hot' sort of scenario, rather than somebody who was famous and widely known. I shouldn't be criticising, though, because that's how I would have portrayed somebody famous. Maybe some little detail like having him walk past a billboard with his face on or something. You'd be able to do that better in a screenplay, though.

So, down to the gritty bits.

After scanning the line up, he strode up to the bouncer and nodded.
The repetition of  'up' just jars me a bit. Maybe the second one is unnecessary. But not a major issue.

As he slid through, people parted to let him through.
Same issue, but more serious. I'd suggest changing the second 'through' to 'pass'.

And that's about it, really. Congratulations. For some reason.
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