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Finally got there

Discussion in 'Critiques' started by Mr Orange, Jan 2, 2017.

  1.  
    Mr Orange

    Mr Orange Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb...

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    so i reached quadruple digits late last year. it was a bit later than it should have been as i was holding off in fear of a 1000 post critique... then i did this. it was done by 1000 posts i promise, but christmas got in the way.

    it is very Drafty McDraftface, hasn't been edited apart from a quick once over, and does not form a part of anything. i wrote it with only the first line and phrase "fat man-caterpillar" in my mind. but, i am trying to get my writing going again and figured the 1000 critique was as good a place as any to start.

    it's only 400 or so words, but i may just add another instalment some time

    ___________________________________________

    Space Caterpillars


    "You know, you really do stink."

    Flex tried to make his voice sound nonchalant, but the gagging stench and his missing ring finger made that hard. Not that the bloody stump hurt (his neurals had cut in hours ago and he felt no pain), but there was a nagging sense of loss. Which was unexpected.

    "I said, you stink," He called across the dim stone room again, louder this time. He rattled the chains that held him to the wall for good measure.

    The fat man-caterpillar that was consulting something on a table swivelled one of his eye bulbs and what Flex guessed was a frown crossed its gelatinous, cauliflower face. It waddled across the room, the faecal odour strengthening as it approached.

    "Mr Hampshire, you really should save your strength." The mucous-lined mouthpiece of the Kardako stretched wide, revealing yellow serrations, in what Flex knew was their version of a grin. For the first time, Flex picked up a faint, Southern American twang in the Kardako's speech, not quite hidden by its attempts to mask it.

    "Ahhh, American schooling then?" Flex asked amiably, "And Southern too. Couldn't afford the cost of going to ESA Central, or even NASA eh? Some shitty Confederate college in the outer planets I bet. And here I was thinking I was dealing with one of the grand families, not some two-bit slug from the back of beyond."

    The Kardako hissed and lunged at Flex, his front legs gripping Flex's shoulders hard, pincers drawing blood. The stench almost made Flex retch.

    "You are dealing with me, you dirt-monkey!" The American accent was strong in the Kardako's rage, and mucous sprayed over Flex's face. "And you will give me the information I want. Then we shall see the arrogant grand families turned to dust!"

    Commander Flexor Forthright Hampshire smiled inwardly. So that was it. This whole thing was just some lower level Kardako plot to rise up through the ranks and take care of the hated upper families. Disappointing, really; he had been hoping for a conspiracy. He hadn't had to deal with a galactic conspiracy for a long time. Too long; he was beginning to think he might not see another one before he retired.

    Flex sighed in disappointment. Now all that remained was to get out of his current predicament and report to HQ.
     
  2.  
    Andrew Lambert

    Andrew Lambert Well-Known Member

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    Awaiting the next installment. I'll leave it to other more knowledgeable folk to critique in depth.
    To me, it sounded great, and my interest is sparked already.
     
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  3.  
    Toby Frost

    Toby Frost Well-Known Member

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    I think it works well and sets the tone for exciting space adventure. The only thing that really jarred for me was the stuff about the accent: partly because I'm not sure what a South American accent is (Deep South, or sort of Spanish?) and partly because there is so much about it at this early stage that it feels like you're lining up an important plot point rather than a small detail. Others will no doubt be able to go through it in more detail, but I think as an opening it works fine. However, given that Flex is (here at least) the hero, I would expect him to try to escape soon.
     
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  4.  
    Mr Orange

    Mr Orange Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb...

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    thanks for the comments @Andrew Lambert, glad you liked it

    and thanks @Toby Frost too, chuffed to see you think it works well. i agree that the bit about the accent isn't written quite right - it jarred a bit for me with the re-read too. Southern American was meant to relate to the South of the US. as there is no plot yet, i couldn't tell you if this will become a plot point!
     
  5.  
    tinkerdan

    tinkerdan candycane shrimp

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    Either I'm dense or this interface doesn't like me
    This has a good feel to it and I would likely continue reading from here to see where things go.

    So keep in mind that what I have to add might be mostly personal opinion.

    While I made my comments and reread this it really has tickled my fancy so please write-on.

    If it helps you might localize the accent by specifying which state since the accent can vary from each. Something like Texan or Georgian of West Virginian. Also on the third read I realized that Confederate does help a bit as far as localizing the accent so maybe the next time you might use Confederate accent which might push boundaries but seems creative enough to stamp the image.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
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  6.  
    J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    You abbreviated mister to MR and forgot the period. And Aaah, maybe try aaaaaah, or just ah. * ) Oho works good too. That's a in-depth as it gets here today. GJ>*
     
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  7.  
    Coast

    Coast Well-Known Member

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    Nothing to fear here, Mr Orange, I like it too!

    I like(?) your use of smells in the description.

    The only thing that jumped out at me was what Tinkerdan has touched on,
    As for the southern accent, I also assumed it must have some importance to the plot. If it isn't important, then it's probably standing out too much. I could only suggest having Flex notice a slight accent but not being able to place it, until it slips through in the caterpillars rage. That way, you only need mention it as southern or confederate once, which might take out some of the jarring of describing it as southern multiple times. Anyway, just food for thought.
     
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  8.  
    Mr Orange

    Mr Orange Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb...

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    thanks for the comments @J Riff and @Coast.

    @tinkerdan, thanks especially for the in-depth mark-up.

    i'm really not sure if the accent is going to be a big thing yet, but i have a feeling it might. otherwise why would Flex have noticed it? i trust him so think it may form part of the conspiracy.

    how about this for the accent bit:

    Not entirely happy with that either but will tinker with it some more in a rewrite...
     
  9.  
    StuartSuffers

    StuartSuffers The Truth shall set you "Weeeee!"

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    AS others have said, good feel to this. Needs a bit of tightening, but, otherwise... Can't really offer more until I see more... :)
     
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  10.  
    Mr Orange

    Mr Orange Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb...

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    so, have had a bit of a rewrite, hopefully this tightens it up a bit. i also added a bit at the end to help Flex with his escape

     
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