Opening paragraph for story I'm writting...

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kxmode
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13 Jul 2009, 5:00 pm

THE GRAYISH-WHITE, CIRRUS CLOUDS rolled through the sky in droves falling over each other as they collectively tackled the tall peaks of Shi’gralash. The tall mountains, birthed in the dawn, became fully erect towards the dusk to create a wonderfully scenic view that completed the dawnscape. Talag was at its most beautiful in this narrow stretch of land that spread from northern to southern hemispheres. It was in this narrow area neither day nor night existed but a gorgeous blend of both.

This is one of many hobbies I have. But I hope to actually complete this one. Time and patience, that's all I need. :)


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13 Jul 2009, 9:11 pm

Interesting, only cirrus clouds are some of the highest clouds there are. But they could be really tall mountains, I suppose.

What kind of story are we going for here? You're establishing a scene, which is good. It's only a personal opinion, but maybe you can tie it into the character, who's looking at all this scenery, and how it makes them feel.

The first paragraph usually is painting broad strokes, yet is trying to draw the reader into the 2nd and further paragraphs. Sometimes a hook sentence in the beginning might establish the scene.

Of course, you can take it too far the other way, like this.

All week it had been a circus; Jackie Parnassus, the last Baby Boomer, lay on her deathbed. Over a century before, in 1963, she hadn't been the last one born, just the last one living. With the Interworld, people could keep up with crazy statistics like this, but only a few people who were in their 80s were paying much attention. Interest share was only about 7%, but 7% of 8 billion people is still a lot.

All character, no setting. It starts with a hook, but gets caught up in a bunch of irrelevant detail.

You have very good descriptions, and this shows a lot of promise. Hope this hasn't been to boring, just an impression.



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13 Jul 2009, 10:15 pm

pakled wrote:
Interesting, only cirrus clouds are some of the highest clouds there are. But they could be really tall mountains, I suppose.


Or a landmass with a high elevation, but not as high as the mountains those clouds are tackling. :)

pakled wrote:
What kind of story are we going for here? You're establishing a scene, which is good.


I would rather not reveal that right now. I'm sure you understand.

pakled wrote:
It's only a personal opinion, but maybe you can tie it into the character, who's looking at all this scenery, and how it makes them feel.


In the story. Fifth paragraph. :)

pakled wrote:
The first paragraph usually is painting broad strokes, yet is trying to draw the reader into the 2nd and further paragraphs. Sometimes a hook sentence in the beginning might establish the scene.


My favorite books to read are those with opening paragraphs like this. The ones that create such vivid imagery in my mind that it's hard not to "see" the world.

pakled wrote:
Of course, you can take it too far the other way, like this.

All week it had been a circus; Jackie Parnassus, the last Baby Boomer, lay on her deathbed. Over a century before, in 1963, she hadn't been the last one born, just the last one living. With the Interworld, people could keep up with crazy statistics like this, but only a few people who were in their 80s were paying much attention. Interest share was only about 7%, but 7% of 8 billion people is still a lot.

All character, no setting. It starts with a hook, but gets caught up in a bunch of irrelevant detail.


Hmm... well that might be great for a non-fiction novel that's trying to convey a certain piece of information up-front then spend a great deal of time going into the minutiae.

pakled wrote:
You have very good descriptions, and this shows a lot of promise. Hope this hasn't been to boring, just an impression.


No, never. Thank you for your feedback :)


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Prof_Pretorius
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15 Jul 2009, 11:55 pm

How about "the rain came down like snot"?


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21 Jul 2009, 9:47 pm

Random snippet.

~~~

Ten cycles ago Boldai was out playing near his home. On the dusk horizon Dunkil noticed flashing lights. He wasn’t sure if these lights were related to farming or equipment malfunctions. Cautiously he tapped a small triangular device attached to his shoulder. The greenish light began to change to blue and intermittently blip.

“Banar is everything okay?”

No response.

He waited a few moments and tried again. As before his inquiry was met with static. He was slightly worried but thought nothing of it.

Odd, Dunkil wasn’t one to be hasty with irrational thoughts. “Boldai play here. I need to grab something out of the crate.”

Dunkil tapped his shoulder communicator and the color changed back to solid green. He circled and walked toward the front door. Off to the right side was a large metallic box a meter in size on all sides. The edges of the crate were wrapped in material that seemed to protect the crate from minor damage. A small device of lights, buttons, and alien pictograms existed on top. To the left of the device was a small slot.

Dunkil reached in his pocket and pulled out a small rectangular card. He gently slid it in the device slot, pressed a few pictograms in a certain order, and with a muted hiss the lock mechanism inside released. The crate quickly, and smoothly, slid open up to reveal all sorts of tools and equipment. None of which Dunkil had any interest in at the moment. He instead reached for a compact viewer located in a small pocket off to the left. The device was tuned to the DNA of the owner so that upon touch, it was available for immediate use. Dunkil held up the device in the direction he last noticed the flashing lights. The current magnification was not suitable. He thumbed the zoom-in button, on the side, a few times. The views began showing blurry flashes. Dunkil thumbed the focus button. The imager began to slowly focus a distance four and half kilometers away.

Please no.

Dunkil hoped his worse suspicions had not come to pass. He slowly walked back to Boldai, who was by now thoroughly enjoying his play toy in the soil. The level of dirt in Boldai’s clothes would have normally irked Dunkil but this situation was different.

“Boldai please go inside the house.” Dunkil said forcefully without trying to agitate his son.

“Dai can I play with Calif?”

“Yes. Inside Boldai.”

Boldai was a little miffed but his father taught him to listen. In this somewhat harsh land listening could mean the difference between life and death and at Boldai’s age he knew this. Boldai stood up and began pacing towards the house, but somehow forgot his toy.

“Boldai.”

“Yes dai.” Boldai turned to see his father reaching out Boldai’s dirty toy. Boldai cheerfully grabbed the toy and swiftly paced towards the house leaving a small dust trail. Dunkil had bought the toy when Boldai was seven cycles old. When Dunkil decided to maintain the farmstead the toy became a blessing. In an isolated place like farmstead 165 it gave Boldai a friend. As most children Boldai’s age do he would misplace his friend, and every time Dunkil was there to bring child and toy back together. Boldai reached the front of the house believing this was inside as Dunkil requested.

“Go inside Boldai. I’ll be in soon.” Dunkil smiled, but the smile was a front for fear. As soon as Dunkil was sure Boldai was inside the home he wheeled back towards the flashes and brought up the viewer.


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computerlove
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21 Jul 2009, 10:59 pm

Quote:
“Boldai.”

“Yes dai.” Boldai turned to see his father reaching out Boldai’s dirty toy. Boldai cheerfully grabbed the toy and swiftly paced towards the house leaving a small dust trail. Dunkil had bought the toy when Boldai was seven cycles old. When Dunkil decided to maintain the farmstead the toy became a blessing. In an isolated place like farmstead 165 it gave Boldai a friend. As most children Boldai’s age do he would misplace his friend, and every time Dunkil was there to bring child and toy back together. Boldai reached the front of the house believing this was inside as Dunkil requested.

“Go inside Boldai. I’ll be in soon.” Dunkil smiled, but the smile was a front for fear. As soon as Dunkil was sure Boldai was inside the home he wheeled back towards the flashes and brought up the viewer.

nice man, I like it (:
critique: there's a lot of repetition, check how many times the names are on these paragraphs.
another critique: the way of telling it is very god-like, I mean, not very into the characters, but more of a far view from them. suggestion: add something like "he scrachted his nose", some actions tom make them more human(likable), they seem cold.
Read "the island at noon"(cortazar), it's a two pages story told in kind of the same perspective, or "night upside down", also by him.
Honestly, great effort, hope to see something more (:




Prof_Pretorius wrote:
How about "the rain came down like snot"?

interesting :lol:


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Prof_Pretorius
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21 Jul 2009, 11:44 pm

They need to live on a planet named North Australia where the sheep have become ill and produce a life extending elixir called 'stroon.'


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kxmode
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22 Jul 2009, 12:17 am

computerlove wrote:
Quote:
“Boldai.”

“Yes dai.” Boldai turned to see his father reaching out Boldai’s dirty toy. Boldai cheerfully grabbed the toy and swiftly paced towards the house leaving a small dust trail. Dunkil had bought the toy when Boldai was seven cycles old. When Dunkil decided to maintain the farmstead the toy became a blessing. In an isolated place like farmstead 165 it gave Boldai a friend. As most children Boldai’s age do he would misplace his friend, and every time Dunkil was there to bring child and toy back together. Boldai reached the front of the house believing this was inside as Dunkil requested.

“Go inside Boldai. I’ll be in soon.” Dunkil smiled, but the smile was a front for fear. As soon as Dunkil was sure Boldai was inside the home he wheeled back towards the flashes and brought up the viewer.

nice man, I like it (:
critique: there's a lot of repetition, check how many times the names are on these paragraphs.
another critique: the way of telling it is very god-like, I mean, not very into the characters, but more of a far view from them. suggestion: add something like "he scrachted his nose", some actions tom make them more human(likable), they seem cold.
Read "the island at noon"(cortazar), it's a two pages story told in kind of the same perspective, or "night upside down", also by him.
Honestly, great effort, hope to see something more (:


The feeling of coldness is partly my fault. This snippet is an intro into a back-story about Boldai, that I had inserted into chapter one. I'm trying to develop the back-story, and the characters, while figuring out how he got to the place he's at. I have notes on the character, but transforming those notes into a three-dimensional character is two different things.

Yes you're right. I need to figure out a way to revise it. Perhaps make this the opening scene so that the pacing changes from a back-story to part of the main story in chronological order. I'll need to play with that idea.

Nothing is worse for me than reading a book where I don't know who is doing what (I stopped reading Neuromancer because of this). However you're right! if I've established the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and whens with a few characters then it's better to use "he" and "she". I'll need to put that into action.

Something like this...
Quote:
“Go inside son. I’ll be in soon.” Dunkil smiled, but the smile was a front for fear. As soon as he was sure Boldai was inside the home he wheeled back towards the flashes and brought up the viewer


Thanks for both ideas computerlove! :)


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computerlove
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22 Jul 2009, 1:11 am

if the "coldness" is intended it's fine then (:

I read this some time ago, maybe it'll give you some ideas


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just-me
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22 Jul 2009, 6:36 am

WOW ! I REALLY LIKE THIS!! !! It reminds me of star trek voyager novels. If you published? Where can i buy a copy?
I mean this is really good stuff!



kxmode wrote:
Random snippet.

~~~

Ten cycles ago Boldai was out playing near his home. On the dusk horizon Dunkil noticed flashing lights. He wasn’t sure if these lights were related to farming or equipment malfunctions. Cautiously he tapped a small triangular device attached to his shoulder. The greenish light began to change to blue and intermittently blip.

“Banar is everything okay?”

No response.

He waited a few moments and tried again. As before his inquiry was met with static. He was slightly worried but thought nothing of it.

Odd, Dunkil wasn’t one to be hasty with irrational thoughts. “Boldai play here. I need to grab something out of the crate.”

Dunkil tapped his shoulder communicator and the color changed back to solid green. He circled and walked toward the front door. Off to the right side was a large metallic box a meter in size on all sides. The edges of the crate were wrapped in material that seemed to protect the crate from minor damage. A small device of lights, buttons, and alien pictograms existed on top. To the left of the device was a small slot.

Dunkil reached in his pocket and pulled out a small rectangular card. He gently slid it in the device slot, pressed a few pictograms in a certain order, and with a muted hiss the lock mechanism inside released. The crate quickly, and smoothly, slid open up to reveal all sorts of tools and equipment. None of which Dunkil had any interest in at the moment. He instead reached for a compact viewer located in a small pocket off to the left. The device was tuned to the DNA of the owner so that upon touch, it was available for immediate use. Dunkil held up the device in the direction he last noticed the flashing lights. The current magnification was not suitable. He thumbed the zoom-in button, on the side, a few times. The views began showing blurry flashes. Dunkil thumbed the focus button. The imager began to slowly focus a distance four and half kilometers away.

Please no.

Dunkil hoped his worse suspicions had not come to pass. He slowly walked back to Boldai, who was by now thoroughly enjoying his play toy in the soil. The level of dirt in Boldai’s clothes would have normally irked Dunkil but this situation was different.

“Boldai please go inside the house.” Dunkil said forcefully without trying to agitate his son.

“Dai can I play with Calif?”

“Yes. Inside Boldai.”

Boldai was a little miffed but his father taught him to listen. In this somewhat harsh land listening could mean the difference between life and death and at Boldai’s age he knew this. Boldai stood up and began pacing towards the house, but somehow forgot his toy.

“Boldai.”

“Yes dai.” Boldai turned to see his father reaching out Boldai’s dirty toy. Boldai cheerfully grabbed the toy and swiftly paced towards the house leaving a small dust trail. Dunkil had bought the toy when Boldai was seven cycles old. When Dunkil decided to maintain the farmstead the toy became a blessing. In an isolated place like farmstead 165 it gave Boldai a friend. As most children Boldai’s age do he would misplace his friend, and every time Dunkil was there to bring child and toy back together. Boldai reached the front of the house believing this was inside as Dunkil requested.

“Go inside Boldai. I’ll be in soon.” Dunkil smiled, but the smile was a front for fear. As soon as Dunkil was sure Boldai was inside the home he wheeled back towards the flashes and brought up the viewer.



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23 Jul 2009, 1:28 am


...

As the image came into focus Dunkil’s hand began to tremble. It was a long time since he last experienced this. He was generally not superstitious but, like an oracle, bad things seemed to precede hand tremblings. To make the situation even more precarious the viewer revealed a two meter tall metallic pole. The pulsating flashes he had thought native to the farmstead instead emanated from the pole that Dunkil could only mentally describe as a beacon. He had seen plenty of scientific and farming equipment, but none quite like this beacon, and in actuality the technology looked reasonably alien. The Governing Body had produced many beacons but the technology, no matter how contemporary and revolutionary, always followed a certain signature design: round and organic (something that seemed to contradict the established aesthetics of farmsteads through out the region).

He thought about attempting to contact Banar once more but was interrupted by something new on the viewer. Shapes behind the beacon began moving harmoniously. The close proximity to Shi’gralash blanketed the land surrounding the beacon in dusk that blurred details, even at the close viewing distances Dunkil’s viewer provided. As he continued peering one of the shapes produced a new shape. The new shape was large, rectangular, and otherwise foreign to the shape’s organic silhouette form.

“Dai?!”

“In a few Bol! Be patient son!” Dunkil yelled while turning his head, instinctively knowing the distance from his location to the house would require such an action. “Keep playing with Calif.” Please no, he thought as he brought the viewer back into focus on the distant beacon. What was occurring on the viewer was enough to make him appear as though he had seen ghosts. While his son was the sort to easily become agitated from worrisome expressions on his father’s face something about what was occurring told him, like his trembling hand, for Bol’s safety keep him inside.

Then it happened.


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27 Jul 2009, 5:51 am

"It was a dark and stormy night"

That was a good opening for Snoopy the dog. The trouble was he never got past that point.



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27 Jul 2009, 6:20 am

your writing style reminds me of mine, so... i like it :D

i cannot write dialogue without telling who said who, only in a VERY few instances do i write a quote without "said" whoever, and then only as an effect

in norwegian "said" is "sa" and takes very little space, and you can also use it to vary the dialogue mood
"yes" he sighed, "yes" he laughed, "yes" he groaned, etc


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31 Jul 2009, 6:02 pm

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kxmode
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04 Aug 2009, 1:07 am

So happy with myself. I finished 4 pages tonight! :)


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