Prelude to The Nobles: A Science Fiction Serial


Last Updated: 2011-07-30 12:37:11
  1. Introduction:

    This is a new story I am writing, with updates planned at least on a weekly basis. I will also be updating this on a new blog:

    The Nobles | Just another WordPress site

    As well as here. Anyway, without further ado, I present to you the prelude to The Nobles. Enjoy!

    PALUM FREIGHTER KYOCERA:

    DEE DEET! DEE DEET! DEE DEET!

    Treo grunted and stirred in his sleep. As the beeping grew louder, he lifted through the layers of his subconscious and snapped awake, looking at the controls in sudden alertness. His alertness soon turned to confusion, however, as he looked between the offending indicator light and the direct visual feed (DVF) cameras.

    He shook his head and keyed the freighter

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  2. Podivin

    Podivin VIP Member VIP Member

    It's off to an interesting start.
    Are you looking for nit-picks on syntax and punctuation - I've got a few. :)
  3. Yes, constructive criticism is always welcome! :)
  4. Podivin

    Podivin VIP Member VIP Member

    A sentence that begins 'it was bad enough' generally leads to a 'but now' or 'and now'. You lose the rhythm here.
    " It was bad enough that the Tunneler drive kept breaking down, forcing the ship into long periods of sublight travel to the nearest warp gate and parts store. Treo knew this, and would only be calling Cuesep if a new and more urgent problem arose."
    To me something along the lines of "It was bad enough...parts store, and now Cuesep wants him on the bridge ASAP - this could only be more bad news".
    Or "This trip had been plagued from the start, what with the Tunneler drive....", starting this way doesn't leave the reader looking for the 'and now' sentence.

    I believe a bulkhead is a wall, perhaps 'hatch' here instead, unless he really is sticking his head through the bulkhead. :)
    Cuesep lumbered up to the cockpit pod, insulated in the center of the ship. He had to duck to poke inside the bulkhead so Treo could address him.

    Another place where the rhythm breaks a little.
    The cockpit was cramped, occupied by a mess of controls, status lights and viewscreens. Two out of its three chairs were empty, and only meant to be occupied should the rest of the freighter be crippled, and by necessity, abandoned.
    I'm thinking ".. status lights, viewscreens and three chairs. Two OF its three chairs...."
    To ME, adding the 'and three chairs' to the previous sentence makes the following sentence flow better.

    You don't really need 'from' in this sentence.
    “We’ll break up any minute from now!”

    To 'stay his hand' really means for him to do nothing. Cuesep wants Treo to 'stay inside the cockpit'. He DID want him to help though.
    The air inside vented quickly, and Treo was strapped in, preventing him from being sucked out into the hall. He quickly put on an oxygen mask and looked out the hatch to see Cuesep and Pre dangling off the wall. Treo shook off his surprise and moved to grab Cuesep, but Cuesep shook his head violently for Treo to stay his hand.

    I believe it's Cuesep that held on here.
    Cuesep didn’t reply; instead he squeezed Treo’s hand until Treo’s bones were on the verge of breaking. Treo couldn’t stand the pain and opened his hand, jerking it back. But Treo held on, yanked up to the hatch by Treo’s response to the pain. He grabbed onto the nearest handholds and swung his bulk through the hatch, pressing the button and shutting it before helping Treo into the pilot’s chair.

    If I'm reading this exchange right, it needs to be reformatted just a little.
    “You hurtin’?” Treo nodded. “Too bad. You still need to fly us outta here, cowboy. Switch to the pod controls. The Kyocera is lost, poor girl. We don’t need to know how badly she’s ****ed up anymore.”

    “You hurtin’?”
    Treo nodded.
    “Too bad. You still need to fly us outta here, cowboy. Switch to the pod controls. The Kyocera is lost, poor girl. We don’t need to know how badly she’s ****ed up anymore.”

    If they don't know how badly damaged she is, would they be abandoning her? The first rule of pleasure boating is to stay with your boat as long as possible. Even if a boat sinks you stay near her, because few boats sink all the way to the bottom. They turtle and then float just under the surface. The hull gives you something to hang on to if you don't have a life raft, and makes a larger target for searchers to find. I would expect space flight to have a similar rule, when and if it happens.
    And you've led us to believe that the ship is collapsing in on itself (Where is the pressure coming from? Them impact is past, the ship is floating free now.)
    Either drop the last sentence, or change it to something about her being beyond repair, or beyond their ability to save.

    I would expect them to have a better way to identify the viewscreens. Perhaps 'the #3 viewscreen'.
    And rather than two sentences, this could be a compound sentence.
    Behind them, Pre cleared his throat. “Guys, look at the third viewscreen to the right. Now zoom in.” Treo turned around.
    "Guys, look at the #3 viewscreen, and zoom in".
    Treo turned to look.

    Another place where a comma would work better.
    “Uncle Cuesep,” Pre began to speak. “Palum’s not going to win against them, are we?”
    “Uncle Cuesep,” Pre began to speak, “Palum’s not going to win against them, are we?”

    Clearly most of this is personal preference. However these are the places where to ME the narrative stumbled just a little.
    NightAngel79 likes this.

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