Monday, February 15, 2010

Entry 25


Hot air scalds my cheeks, flinging dirt across me. The stars stand out stark against velvet black. There’s a heavy thrumming, like a swarm of bugs. My dazed eyes look around, confused. No bug here is big enough. The sky melds into trees that dissolve into the melted remains of the colony. Steel and wood stand eerily in the first planet’s orange glow. Suddenly I can’t see. Everything is gone in a wash of white light, disturbing in its brilliance. The grass flattens and dries up, three circles for three VTOL engines. The sides are dull, silver pockmarked with black debris. I suddenly can’t breathe. Eight years of waiting, wondering if they would ever come back for me, dissolve in a heartbeat. They can’t be here. This is my home. My place. They would never understand its fragility. The bright light dims slightly and I can just make out the flashing red bulb before metal slides into earth, obscuring it from view. The forest is silent around me. All the animals had the common sense to leave, something I seem desperately to be lacking. I crouch behind a tree, nails digging into the soft blue bark, careful of the thorns. A shadow, a footstep…they were coming.


  1. A little too vague, but if there was a bit of explanation in the next few sentences, I'd probably read on.

  2. The writing is solid with some excellent images, but I have to say I am totally confused about what's happening. I think you're trying to do too much in too few words. It feels like it's not the beginning of a piece, which is fine of course, but it needs to be a little more organized/clear, going from point A to point B to point C.

    Really love the images, though.

  3. I don't have a clue if this is human, or something else, or what in the world, or another world, is going on.

    Sorry, but I'm not quite hooked yet.

  4. Cue X-files theme song, and Enter Skully!

    I'll need more to be hooked by this one.. World building, Character, and history. The writing is pretty solid, though there are a couple of logic concerns I have..

    I.E. The sku being clear enough to see all the stars, but wind whipping dirt around seems like it would be stirring up dust clouds, and .. thus obscuring the sky.. The VTOL engines flatten and dry up the grass on this scalding hot night, but don't seem to start any fires.

    I find myself needing to know a LOT more about the world before interest will blossom. Perhaps give us an earlier view of the VTOL, flash back a touch to describe the world, and then BOOM .. landing.

  5. If they are blinded by the light, how do they know about the grass and what I'm assuming is a ship coming to a landing?

    I have to say it just didn't really hook me.

  6. I agree with others in that it's too vague. We don't know enough about the character yet in order to care about how his(?) world is turning upside down. We need to see how much he loves this colony in order to feel sympathy that it's being ripped away from him. I think this scene would be extremely powerful after we've already established a connection to the character.

    I also think you use too many words to get your point across. And you've got some telling phrases that repeat your showing phrases, or that convey information that is already implied. It makes the passage feel a bit heavy handed. For example:
    "My dazed eyes look around, confused. No bug here is big enough."
    "Suddenly I can’t see."
    "I suddenly can’t breathe."
    "All the animals had the common sense to leave, something I seem desperately to be lacking."

    The last thing is the present tense. This passage has the feel of someone looking back on events, not someone experiencing them in the moment. His fear/frustration/sorrow would be palpable, and I don't really feel it. It feels more like a memory. If that's how you want the story to be told, that's fine. But, for me, the present tense didn't work.

  7. I'm not a big fan of present tense either. You use lots of good images, but I need more of an anchor.


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