1. passenger
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    passenger Member

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    First attempt at a story… Giving the reader a historical account of events. Is this interesting?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by passenger, Oct 21, 2014.

    I've never written before, so I will most likely have many grammar errors, all of which would be a great help point out. This is a sci-fi story I'm trying to write it is literally the first thing I've written.

    I'm not trying to set the mood just yet, just trying to give a historical account of events to the reader. Is this gripping enough? How can I make it more appealing?


    In 2041 a NASA space probe discovered a planet very similar to our own in a neighboring galaxy. Through a joint effort between the U.S. Government and a privately funded space exploration agency, a mission was set out to explore the new world. What they found astonished everyone as they realized the planet had been, at one time, inhabited by a human race with advanced weaponry. The most advanced weapon in their arsenal had been biomechanical suits, which had the capability of metamorphosis around the individuals who wore them. it was later discovered that a vast majority of the planet's natural resources had been consumed far too quickly, destroying the planets ecosystem altogether, which led to the demise of the previously advanced human race. Since there the planet's natural resources had been blighted, the space agency left the planet, declaring it uninhabitable and returned to Earth bringing the l suits back with them.
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    There don't seem to be major grammatical issues, but what is this? If it's the first paragraph of your novel/short story, it's tedious and nothing much happens...or what does happen is recounted flatly...and I would struggle to read on. If it's an author's note to himself about the back-story for the plot, it's a decent start that can be tweaked later as you realize what you've omitted. Do you need to give the back-story at the start? It's usually better to start with something a little more gripping, and then only feed in back-story as necessary.

    What's the story? Is it about what happens to the biomechanical suit once it gets back to Earth? Does the suit confer great power upon the wearer, but come at some sort of cost (a bit like the One ring in Lord of the Rings)? That's got legs.
     
  3. Lancie
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    Lancie Contributing Member

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    It almost seems like the blurb. If you want to set the history of what brought characters to a certain point, perhaps you could follow a conversation between two characters as they wander through somewhere or perform a task, perhaps a more experienced person explaining something to their junior. Is it critical to give this away right at the beginning? For me personally, with science fiction type plots I don't want to be thrown in at the deep end.
     
  4. passenger
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    I'm thinking it's going to be a multi-series novel.

    So the suits link to the humans, using the humans senses. Basically sight, sound, emotion, etc... The suits then fight for the individual wearing them. The individual really doesn't have to do anything. The suits can morph into almost anything, creating their own weapons/shields at will.
    But there's a secret to them (Which makes them even more powerful, invisibility, sonic speed and more) that we don't find out about until accidentally midway through the story. After the suits get back to earth, the Russians steal the suits from us and take over the world with them. Seven suits are accidentally left behind by the Russians and forgotten about. It's not until many years later (which will be the start of the story) that seven ordinary individuals, all of which are somewhat dreamers/social outcasts in character, i.e. a female librarian, Ia male gamer, who works as a barista at a coffee shop. A high school drama teacher, a male movie buff, who works at a movie theater. (Still need three more characters) all of whom accidentally discover the seven suits left behind. (which I still need a name for, because I'm tired of saying suits).
     
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  5. passenger
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    I replied, but forgot to click on Reply to this. My reply is one above. Thanks again
     
  6. passenger
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    Interestingly enough it is a blurb. I know some people in the entertainment industry who take movie ideas create a bigger story and even sketch out characters and scenes, but I think it would be great to read a book as well.
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think you have a very interesting plot premise, but now you need to make it into a story. At the moment, it's just a snippet of history, told at a dry distance. What you need to do is open up. Who discovers the use of this suit? Is it odd that it's the same size as a human being? Or is it smaller, larger? Two heads? Five arms? Let's see this suit, and feel what it's like to wear it. How does it feel to step inside it? Does a simple thought from the wearer trigger the suit to do something? Is that how humans figure out what the suit is for?

    I'd maybe put somebody, one of your characters who has a name inside the suit. Initially he doesn't have a clue, then the suit starts to DO stuff. And you're off with a story...

    It's not a story till it gets personal and sucks us in. Make it personal.
     
  8. passenger
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    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, sounds fun i'll get right on it!
     
  9. passenger
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    How much dialogue is too much dialogue? I've got for young men talking with each other some in short sentences some in simple paragraphs. It's the way I've decided to reveal the suits special abilities.
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I feel you're trying to set yourself too many rules to follow just now. How much dialogue is too much dialogue, etc. What should I say? Never write more than a page of dialogue. Never write more than two lines of dialogue. Never use long paragraphs, always use short sentences. Never write more than a chapter of dialogue? There is no 'never.' Only what works for you. And you won't know what works till you get your story written.

    Your primary task, now that you've come up with your basic story idea, is to envision your story as vividly as you can—as if you were watching a movie, or it was happening in your own life. Let it develop. Write what you're actually seeing as the main POV character. Let us know what you're feeling. Show us what other characters are doing, and let us draw our own conclusions about what they think and feel.

    Worry a LOT less about the writing mechanics themselves, and just get your story down. You can worry about paring dialogue, etc, later on. Just give yourself permission to make mistakes, and get cracking. Write what creates the truest picture of your characters, your plot and your settings. Don't try to get too many opinions at this stage, or seek approval from us. This is YOUR baby. Just create what you would enjoy reading yourself. Editing, shaping, and cutting (and opinion from others) comes later.
     
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  11. passenger
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    Well I haven't gotten to the point where they try on the suits just yet, because I felt I needed to set the stage a little better and build a few characters,I would like some opinion on whether or not it's becoming personal enough, only problem is It's 934 words at this point, so I'm not sure where to paste it. Do I just pasted here?
     
  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    No, not in this thread. If you want your work to be critiqued, you need to paste it into the appropriate thread in the Workshop. However, you also need to fulfill the requirements for doing at least two critiques of other people's stuff, as well as being a member for two weeks and making the required number of posts. (I don't know if you've done that yet ...if not, check out the New Member guide on the second line of the menu at the top of the page.)

    However, I would strongly suggest that you get on and keep writing instead. Don't get bogged down in seeking other people's opinions of your work at this stage! If you start writing by committee it won't be your story. Get your story written THEN seek opinions. You can make changes then. Don't think of it as wasting time. You will learn MUCH MUCH more by actually writing than you will by asking about it, and looking for constant monitoring of every couple of pages from people on the forum.

    It won't become personal enough to anybody until it's personal enough for you. Until you see your scenes clearly and write them out, they won't be personal at all.

    If you don't see them clearly, and your story is still just an idea or two, you need to dig into your own head and really get going. Spend some time with your characters, until you can see and hear them talking. When that happens, write your scene, record what they say and how they say it. How do they interact with each other? Is one of them angry? Is the other one soothing? Are they both scared? Does one of them have a sense of humor that the other one doesn't get? And so on....

    Don't worry about whether the first scene you write is an opening scene or not. Just get the vivid bits written. You will find the more you write, the more vivid your story becomes TO YOU. You aren't really going to get anywhere at this stage by relying on other people to keep you right. Just have confidence, but realise there aren't any shortcuts. Pick a scene ...any scene ...get yourself into it, and get it written. Trust me, the penny will drop! And you will have SO much fun, I guarantee.

    It's like cooking a meal and showing everybody the onions you're frying up for your stew, and asking if they think the stew is going to be any good. Nobody is going to know what the stew will be like until all the ingredients have been added, and it's had time to cook until it's done.
     
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