Opener 2nd shot

Penny

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Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
169
#1
Ok, so trying to reduce info dump. I fixed up much of the grammar fail I think.
I've increased the pace a fair bit and jumped into the story much quicker going straight to the showing and not telling.

Not sure about how to go about telling Henry's side of things. He has a small paragraph or two at the start of each chapter showing what he is up to right now.
I considered making Henry nameless as his name does not come up at all. but it serves to help identify him. So I am leaning towards leaving his name, as it shows his age in a way without me needing to describe his appearance.

Title I had, found out there is another book by it... siiigh i really liked the title.

thanks in advance for your brutal honesty :)


Cyberiad (working title)


-

Boot Sequence



Chapter 1

Henry smiled as he cleaned his glasses, humming to himself as he did so. He picked up the clipboard and scribbled down some notes. The man behind him on the table sobbed and sniffled.

"Quiet yourself, young man, there will be time for crying, later when you have answered all my questions." He said as he examined the bloodstained handkerchief.

Later, when it was done, Henry sat and ate his sandwiches. Tuna and corn for today. Dusting crumbs from his pants he carefully packed his tools, then the body, and got in his car.

Henry drove into the night, the stereo playing Beethoven's 9th symphony. In the small garage blood dripped from spattered walls, a tooth lay in a crimson pool beneath the table. Upon which sat a small device; a red light blinking. It beeped and exploded. Fire washed the small garage and surrounding buildings clean. Blue lights flashed and sirens wailed in the distance across the dark rain-swept city.


* * *

Ravyn's head was pounding, feeling several sizes too small for her tortured brain. She lay squinting up at the ceiling, her mouth tasted like something had died there. With a groan she reached out, rummaging around in the storage alcove, there she found her silver flask. She took a sip and the liquid burned it's way down her throat, easing the tormented pulsing of her brain. She lay back, trying to figure out the logic of drinking that much Slab. If there was an answer, it was elusive.


There was a sudden loud shrieking alarm, Ravyn had no time to react, her capsule door irised open. She was dragged out by an armored fist, into the bright cold morning sunlight. Falling painfully onto the metal walkway, she struggled to resist, copping a hard blow to her gut. Doubling over in pain Ravyns tortured stomach gave up its content. She was grabbed by the hair, and dragged to her feet, then slammed into the wall next to the door.


Ravyn watched chaos out of the corner of her vision as. An armored police officer stood, piece of paper in hand, yelling. While police and residents struggled around him. one by one the residents were slammed up against the wall.


"Listen up citizens, this is a warrant for search and seizure."
"We will be searching your homes for items and evidence in contravention of the law. If you have done
nothing wrong there is nothing to fear. Remain calm and this will be over shortly."


Ravyn turned to watch as her belongings got dumped out onto the walkway. She felt a spark of anger flush through her when she heard glass breaking.


"Hey don't break it!" She yelled over her shoulder at the armored figure holding her arms from behind.
"Well, well, well, fancy meeting you here." Came a familiar drawl from behind her. She felt him lean uncomfortably close, his hot breath on her neck and ear. He pressed into her back suggestively.


"Ravy, I always thought you were hot, how about you and me go someplace after?" He said.
"F**k off Cameron, is your boyfriend the one breaking my s**t?"
"Hear that Tommo? Ravyn wanted to know if you were up for a three-way?"
Tommo snickered in response and continued rifling through her belongings. The pair were crooks, part of the rotten underbelly of the local police force. She had despised them both while she was with the department. The other cops called them "The Teflon Twins" because nothing stuck. Witnesses had a habit of vanishing where these two were involved.


"Did you finally get busted down to uniform? Or are you moonlighting?" She asked with annoyance.
"Hah, look what I found Cam." Called Tommo, the little slime was holding up her cred pouch.
"That's mine you a*hole!" The small pouch only held a couple of hundred credit chips, but it had to last to next month.
"Do you have a permit for it?" Said the giggling Tommo, behind her Cameron echoed with sycophantic
laughter.
"Bastards."
"Naw don't be like that, if you want to complain, you are free to come down the station, we'll be sure to give you a warm welcome." Tommo fished through her pouch and took several chips, dropping the bag in the pile with a smile. Then he sidled over and leaned on the wall, facing her.



"So rumour has it your some kind of peewee detective. I hope you're not getting any funny ideas about
muscling in on our action." Tommo leered at her.
"Found something Sergeant Kern?" Called the officer from down the walkway.
"No sir, just an acquaintance of ours. Nothing to report!" Called Cameron.
"See you around Ravy," He said, shoving her against the wall again. Releasing her arms. The pair wandered down the line vanishing among the mass of angry people.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
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#2
This is much better. :)

A little concerned that your first paragraph is almost all about the sensation of drinking - it still feels like a prelude before the story actually starting, which seems to be Raven grabbed from the capsule. Even still, it's far more immediate than the last version, and you're getting inside Raven's POV, which is good to see. :)

Just a heads up to take care with punctuation with dialogue - follow this format:

"[Something said]," he said.

Note the comma within the speech marks. You can end with a full stop, but in doing so whatever dialogue tag follows must be a complete sentence in itself, and not simply "He said".
 

Penny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
169
#3
I had not thought to look up how to punctuate dialog. thanks :)
your right about the drinking bit now that I look at it, I take the time to mention it (backstory stuff involved) and then I throw It away like it was never there, Ill have to call back to it I think.
 

Martin Gill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Messages
407
#4
Waaaay better.

There’s a few technical errors. I’m on an iPad now which is rubbish for editing, but I’ll happily take a look once I get my laptop on... probably tomorrow. But this is so much stronger now. You give a much more solid sense of Ravyn’s experience, and adding in the corrupt cops, the fact she’s an ex cop, etc all adds to the scene.

I’m not sure about Henry. I see what you are aiming for, but it reads a bit dry. I like the idea of him torturing someone then eating tuna sandwiches, but something, and I can’t say what (sorry) doesn’t work for me in that scene.

I’ll come back and take a deeper look when I get a better chance and have the right tools.
 

CTRandall

I have my very own plant pot!
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Messages
290
Location
North-east England
#5
You definitely need to change the title. Stanislaw Lem is far too famous for you to get away with borrowing ghat.

The jump from the threat of torture to lunch doesn't work for me. It might be that the contrast isn't strong enough. I think the opening could be much more tense (not necessarily graphic, just more frightening.). Even something as simple as having Henry move towards his victim would add tension, making the reader imagine what might be coming. Then it will be clear that the switch to lunch is coming later. As it is, Henry goes from scribbling notes to eating lunch. Not very ominous.

"Teflon Twins" sounds 20th century to me. It was used pretty often to describe politicians and criminals that always got away with stuff. Maybe that's just me but you might want to look for another nickname for them.

Much improved over the first version!
 

Penny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
169
#6
@CTRandall
yeah, actually reading some of his stuff since I found out he pre-invented it :p
I honestly came up with it on my own based on some of my worldbuilding stuff. I had heard the authors name but not read anything of his.

I think I will stick with teflon there, lubricated twins just does not have the same ring to it.

I agree about Henry, needs more intimidation and more... *clenches fist* GRRRRR. yes, it needs more GRRR!
ohhhh.. man I should totally have him ask the whimpering guy if he wants some of his sandwich.... yes... this I think could work.

Thank you. I think I know where to go with henry now :D a plan has formed.
 

VKALFIERI

From a land down under.
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
129
Location
Australia
#8
Edits within in red:

Ok, so trying to reduce info dump. I fixed up much of the grammar fail I think.
I've increased the pace a fair bit and jumped into the story much quicker going straight to the showing and not telling.

Not sure about how to go about telling Henry's side of things. He has a small paragraph or two at the start of each chapter showing what he is up to right now.
I considered making Henry nameless as his name does not come up at all. but it serves to help identify him. So I am leaning towards leaving his name, as it shows his age in a way without me needing to describe his appearance.

Title I had, found out there is another book by it... siiigh i really liked the title.

thanks in advance for your brutal honesty :)


Cyberiad (working title)


Boot Sequence

Chapter 1

Henry smiled, humming to himself as he cleaned his glasses. He picked up the clipboard and scribbled down some notes. The man behind him on the table sobbed and sniffled.

"Quiet yourself, young man, there will be time for crying, later when you have answered all my questions," he said, as he examined the bloodstained handkerchief.

Later, when it was done, Henry sat and ate his sandwiches. Tuna and corn for today. Dusting crumbs from his pants, he carefully packed his tools, then the body, and got in his car.

Henry drove into the night, the stereo playing Beethoven's 9th symphony. In the small garage, blood dripped from spattered walls; a tooth lay in a crimson pool beneath the table, upon which sat a small device; a red light blinking. It beeped and exploded. Fire washed the small garage and surrounding buildings clean. Blue lights flashed and sirens wailed in the distance across the dark rain-swept city.

* * *

Ravyn's head was pounding, feeling several sizes too small for her tortured brain. She lay squinting up at the ceiling, her mouth tasted like something had died there. With a groan, she reached out, rummaging around in the storage alcove, there she found her silver flask. She took a sip and the liquid burned it's way down her throat, easing the tormented pulsing of her brain. She lay back, trying to figure out the logic of drinking that much Slab. If there was an answer, it was elusive.

There was a sudden loud shrieking alarm, Ravyn had no time to react, her capsule door irised open. She was dragged out by an armored fist, into the cold, bright morning sunlight. Falling painfully onto the metal walkway, she struggled to resist, copping a hard blow to her gut. Doubling over in pain Ravyns tortured stomach gave up its contents. She was grabbed by the hair, and dragged to her feet, then slammed into the wall next to the door.

Ravyn watched (the) chaos out of the corner of her vision as an armored police officer stood, piece of paper in hand, yelling; while police and residents struggled around him. One by one the residents were slammed up against the wall.

"Listen up citizens, this is a warrant for search and seizure."

"We will be searching your homes for items and evidence in contravention of the law. If you have done
nothing wrong there is nothing to fear. Remain calm and this will be over shortly." Is this one person talking, or two? If it's only one, then just remove the quotation mark before 'We'.


Ravyn turned to watch as her belongings got dumped out onto the walkway. She felt a spark of anger flush through her when she heard glass breaking.

"Hey don't break it!" She yelled over her shoulder at the armored figure holding her arms from behind.

"Well, well, well, fancy meeting you here." Came a familiar drawl from behind her. She felt him lean uncomfortably close, his hot breath on her neck and ear. He pressed into her back suggestively.

"Ravy, I always thought you were hot, how about you and me go someplace after?" he said. (asked makes more sense than said.)

"F**k off Cameron, is your boyfriend the one breaking my s**t?"

"Hear that Tommo? Ravyn wanted to know if you were up for a three-way?"

Tommo snickered in response and continued rifling through her belongings. The pair were crooks, part of the rotten underbelly of the local police force. She had despised them both while she was with the department. The other cops called them "The Teflon Twins" because nothing stuck. Witnesses had a habit of vanishing where these two were involved.


"Did you finally get busted down to uniform? Or are you moonlighting?" She asked with annoyance.

"Hah, look what I found Cam." Called Tommo, the little slime was holding up her cred pouch.

"That's mine you a*hole!" The small pouch only held a couple of hundred credit chips, but it had to last to next month.

"Do you have a permit for it?" Said the giggling Tommo, behind her Cameron echoed (him) with sycophantic laughter.

"Bastards."

"Naw don't be like that! If you want to complain, you are free to come down the station. We'll be sure to give you a warm welcome," Tommo fished through her pouch and took several chips, dropping the bag in the pile with a smile. Then he sidled over and leaned on the wall, facing her.

"So, rumour has it you're some kind of peewee detective. I hope you're not getting any funny ideas about muscling in on our action," Tommo leered at her.

"Found something Sergeant Kern?" Called the officer from down the walkway.

"No sir, just an acquaintance of ours. Nothing to report!" Called Cameron.

"See you around Ravy," he said, shoving her against the wall again, releasing her arms. The pair wandered down the line, vanishing among the mass of angry people.
I did a quick readability edit, going through grammar errors.

I think this reads well, other than the few errors I pointed out above. I think the part with Henry should be slightly longer; as it doesn't really give the reader much of an idea of what is happening in the scene. And, as others have mentioned, it jumps from torture to lunch a little too abruptly.

I like it, and would read more, it just needs a little work. I think (and I do this too) that you're too focused on the opening. Just bang out the story and come back to it later.
 

Penny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
169
#9
:D thanks, I have increased Henry's story by about half again and now it covers a little about how he tortures people and what he got out of this one.


Just focusing on the opening here, It's my first attempt at anything more than a bare-bones outline, I have never written dialogue or much of anything before. there is plenty more written down. 20k+ words so far but I needed something to shoot for in terms of style and quality as I have no benchmark for what I can do yet. A lot of firsts for me with this story. So yeah bear with me. :D
You probably won't see anything other than this first couple of pages from the intro from me in critiques. I don't want to spoil it for anyone. :)


Thank you for the help :)

Moving on to other scenes for now I am fairly happy with it.
Heres the current version:
Digital Drift:

Boot Sequence

Chapter 1



Henry surveyed his tools. They glittered in their brutal perfection. Knives, scalpels, retractors, saws and many different pliers, hooks and wires. Lovingly his fingers danced across them, trying to choose. The beginning was important. It set the scene for the entire conversation, if he started incorrectly, he might never get what he needed.



From behind a soft whimper grabbed Henry's attention. Turning, he smiled down at the man, “Ahh you are awake,” he murmured.

“I guess we had better get started,” Henry said as he picked up his clipboard, taking a pen from his shirt pocket.

“Are you allergic to anything?” he waited for a response.

“Mhhmn,” the man groaned through the gag.

“A joke, to break the ice,” he grinned. They never seemed to have a sense of humour at this point, but it was still a good joke.

“Let's begin, shall we? Or we'll be here all night,”



Carefully Henry plugged his neural jack into the man's neck port. Shuddering as the link established. He could now feel the man, his bindings. That itch on his nose. All overlayed upon his own. With a shrug, he scratched the itch for the man. A small mercy despite what was soon to come.



Selecting a small scalpel from his kit. He grasped the man's arm, the sensation felt strange, disconnected.

“Now, this next bit is really going to hurt.” The man's eyes widened in fear, and he moaned through the gag. Henry gritted his teeth, as he started cutting.



Much pain and many questions later. Henry disconnected, he picked up the paper bag containing his sandwiches. He placed it on the man's chest and unwrapped them. He took a large bite, savouring the taste. Looking down at the panting sobbing man on the table. He realised he had forgotten his manners.

“Oh sorry, would you like some?” he asked. “It's corn and tuna,”

The man just shuddered, his bloody body wracked with pain.

“Guess you're not a tuna man, shame, they are delicious.”

Finishing his sandwiches he sighed “No rest for the wicked, let's get back to it.”



The screams were much quieter this time.



When it was over, the bleeding thing on the table scarcely resembled anything human. Henry twitched, nerves convulsing from the neural feedback of the death. Quietly he packed his tools. Tonight had given him much to think about, the man had given him answers. The answers enlightened a path to the truth.

One he must follow.



* * *



Ravyn's head was pounding, feeling several sizes too small for her tortured brain. She lay squinting up at the ceiling, her mouth tasted like something had died there. With a groan she reached out, rummaging around in the storage alcove, there she found her silver flask. She took a sip and the liquid burned its way down her throat, easing the tormented pulsing of her brain. She lay back, trying to figure out the logic of drinking that much Slab. If there was an answer, it was elusive.



There was a sudden loud shrieking alarm, Ravyn had no time to react, her capsule door irised open. She was dragged out by an armoured fist, into the cold, bright morning sunlight. Falling painfully onto the metal walkway, she struggled to resist, copping a hard blow to her gut. Doubling over in pain Ravyns tortured stomach gave up its content. She was grabbed by the hair, and dragged to her feet, then slammed into the wall next to the door.



Ravyn watched chaos erupting out of the corner of her vision as an armoured police officer stood, piece of paper in hand, yelling. While police and residents struggled around him. One by one the residents were slammed up against the wall.



“Listen up citizens, this is a warrant for search and seizure. We will be searching your homes for items and evidence in contravention of the law. If you have done nothing wrong there is nothing to fear. Remain calm and this will be over shortly.”



Ravyn turned to watch as her belongings got dumped out onto the walkway. She felt a spark of anger flush through her when she heard glass breaking.

“Hey don't break it!” She yelled over her shoulder at the armoured figure holding her arms from behind.

“Well, well, well, fancy meeting you here.” Came a familiar drawl from behind her.

She felt him lean uncomfortably close, his hot breath on her neck and ear. He pressed into her back suggestively.

“Ravy, I always thought you were hot, how about you and me go someplace after?” He asked.

“f*ck off Cameron, is your boyfriend the one breaking my sh*t?”

“Hear that Tommo? Ravyn wanted to know if you were up for a threeway?”

Tommo snickered in response and continued rifling through her belongings. The pair were crooks, part of the rotten underbelly of the local police force. She had despised them both while she was with the department. The other cops called them “The Teflon Twins” because nothing stuck. Witnesses had a habit of vanishing where these two were involved.



“Did you finally get busted down to uniform? Or are you moonlighting?” She asked with annoyance.

“Hah, look what I found Cam.” Called Tommo, the little slime was holding up her cred pouch.

“That's mine you asshole!” The small pouch only held a couple of hundred credit chips, but it had to last to next month.

“Do you have a permit for it?” said the giggling Tommo, behind her Cameron echoed him with sycophantic laughter.

“Bastards.”

“Naw don't be like that!, If you want to complain, you are free to come down the station. We'll be sure to give you a warm welcome.” Tommo fished through her pouch and took several chips, dropping the bag in the pile with a smile. Then he sidled over and leaned on the wall, facing her.

“So rumour has it you’re some kind of peewee detective. I hope you're not getting any funny ideas about muscling in on our action.” Tommo leered at her.

“Found something Sergeant Kern?” Called the officer from down the walkway.

“No sir, just an acquaintance of ours. Nothing to report!” Called Cameron.

“See you around Ravy,” he said, shoving her against the wall again. Releasing her arms. The pair wandered down the line disappearing amongst the mass of angry people. The police soon finished up, dragging a number of swearing residents away as they left.
 

Martin Gill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Messages
407
#10
I needed something to shoot for in terms of style
This is exactly how I started as well. "just write" is good advice, but I also found abut 20k words was enough for me to know I was going in a direction I liked, and to loop back to the start and nail down a style, which meant getting feedback on my style, rethinking things, etc. Yes you CAN do that after you write a first draft, or you can do what you are doing now, iterate, and write a stringer first draft. I'm a string believer in agile dev, design thinking, etc, which are all processes that say continually test what you are doing and pivot or refactor if you need to while the cost to pivot is still low (i.e. you have to edit 20k, not 100k words).
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
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Messages
9,614
Location
nearly the New Forest
#12
Just to confirm, before posting this Penny asked for advice about using swear words in Critiques. Since the software will **** out some words on a banned list, which can make for hard-to-read pieces if it's not clear what word has been *'d out, I advised her to use asterisks judiciously herself eg as in "sh*t" to avoid the problem. So, it's diluting for the forum.
 

Penny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
169
#13
yeah I did it manually on the first one, spoiler one got bleeped by big brother :p, I forgot to check that one >.>

I am an australian, many of us say good morning with the F word >.> and possibly the C word if you are a builder or tradie. So they would be uncensored in the book
 

Droflet

I don't teach chickens how to dance.
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Australia
#14
I've got heaps of swearing in my books, Penny. I just edit them back when I was posting here. Yeah, I'm an Aussie too.
 

Penny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
169
#17
he might have a flaccid time of things if he tries after what I just wrote >.>
Revenge is so fun to write.
 

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