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  1. #1
    The Pseudonym

    "This is where we find ourselves..."

    I apologize if the posting of random material to the forum is frowned upon- I'm simply looking for some comments or opinions. Nothing specific- just curious. This particular selection isn't very long. Thank you.

    >>>>>>>>“This is where we find ourselves, gentlemen…” Laerin announced, as various auditory alarms and warnings began to sound.
    >>>>>>>>“Quite frankly, I’m more concerned with whether they’ll be able to find us in a week’s time- when the search parties arrive.” Doc Kuffman was his usual droll self.
    >>>>>>>>“Haha- not one for self-discovery, Doctor Kuffman? I suppose at your age, there’s little left to be discovered,” Laerin replied.
    >>>>>>>>“Always the jovial one, Captain Laerin.” Kuffman had to raise his voice to be heard above the wail of several additional sirens that had just sprung to life. “I’m surprised that you’re still with us- I’d have thought that your carefree attitude would have ended your pained existence long before now.”
    >>>>>>>>“On the contrary, my good doctor- high spirits are as good a preserver of life as gun and blade. Perhaps even more-so.”
    >>>>>>>>Some of the others were becoming physically sick, the rising g-forces playing cruel games with their internal organs. Others were only sick with worry. Even the eternally stoic Kashar had a funny look on his face, small beads of sweat forming on his brow. One hand gripped the base of the bench, knuckles white. The other, in a position of anguish, held his belly.
    >>>>>>>>Only Mivvec was unaffected. He sat in the corner, alone- a sly grin on his face, as always. Kashar contemplated whether he was crazy, or just simple. He then wondered the same about himself for being where he was without protest.
    >>>>>>>>“How is everyone doing?” Laerin queried, his eyes not shifting for even an instant from the display panel.
    >>>>>>>>One of the hired workers keeled over with a groan, hitting the cold metallic floor of the claustrophobic vessel with a thud. Laerin wasn’t at all distracted by the sound, nor was he bothered by the lack of response to his question. Most of the crew looked on with concern, but seemed too startled to do anything.
    >>>>>>>>“Planning your course of action, Doc?” the wiry Mivvec asked in a mocking tone, staring blankly yet amusedly at Kuffman.
    >>>>>>>>“What?” he replied sharply, snapping back to his senses.
    >>>>>>>>“One of the crew appears to have, em, ‘taken ill.’ Isn’t that your specialty? A one Mr. Vega, I believe it is, who has ‘hit the deck’.”
    >>>>>>>>Everyone watched in silence, too concerned with their own anxiety to speak or to take action.
    >>>>>>>>“I’m not that kind of Doctor!” he replied, a look of bewilderment crossing his white-bearded face.
    >>>>>>>>Mivvec just continued his ambiguous stare, silently. This seemed to fluster Kuffman considerably. It was as if Mivvec’s gaze had the power to drive a man mad.
    >>>>>>>>“I’ll see what I can do,” Kuffman reluctantly conceded, huffing and puffing.
    >>>>>>>>He stumbled over to where the man had fallen, and went to his knees. Turning him onto his back, the doctor first checked for a pulse. Not entirely sure what he was doing, it took him a few attempts- this did not serve to ease his frustration with the situation. The leathery consistency of Vega’s skin was no boon to the task.
    >>>>>>>>Kashar looked on as Kuffman checked the man for signs of trauma. He puzzled over the chubby little fluffy-haired “doctor”, who was feverishly trying to find a cause for the Mr. Vega’s plight. Obviously not medically inclined, Kashar supposed he must have been a “scientist doctor”. At one point, Kuffman was moving so frantically that it looked as if he were a crazed lunatic attacking the fallen man. This brought a small smirk to Kashar’s face, but was quickly forgotten as the throes of his stomach once again overtook him.
    >>>>>>>>Doc Kuffman finally threw up his arms in confoundment. He was now sweating profusely, his typically unkempt hair even messier than normal.
    >>>>>>>>“He’s fine as near as I can tell! He’s breathing. Must’ve just lost consciousness. Nerves, I suppose.”
    >>>>>>>>Mivvec seemed content with this diagnosis. The burly Kashar went over and helped the doctor prop Vega up against a bare portion of the wall. They then staggered back to their seats on the bench. The comatose Mr. Vega slumped forward, as if trying to hear better an invisible man’s tale.
    >>>>>>>>“Look, we’re almost through!” Laerin cheered, ecstatically motioning toward the display screen. Giddily pleased with himself, he was completely oblivious to what had just occurred.

  2. #2
    Bob Kellogg

    Re: "This is where we find ourselves..."

    Once I got past the odd formatting, and it wasn't easy, I liked the dialogue.

    A couple of comments:

    "Doc Kuffman was his usual droll self." This isn't needed. A mistake I frequently make, too; the author commenting on what was just said. What was droll about what he said? Didn't seem droll to me, so that comment pulled me out of the story. If you're doing dialogue, let the dialogue speak for itself, so to speak.

    "Kashar had a funny look on his face" I suggest replacing "funny" with something. A reader could interpret it as meaning comical. "An odd look" would work, or "stange" or "unusual." Don't use words with contrary double meanings unless it's clear which meaning you meant. The later sentences told me it wasn't comical, but that was

    "staring blankly yet amusedly" Hmm. Which is it? I maintain that no one can look amused and blank at the same time. "Blankly" is okay, but try to avoid two adverbs together, especially if they're contradictory. IMO. it's smoother to say something like "he stared with amusement."

    But these are just details. The scene moves well and seems coherent.

    Bob K.

  3. #3
    Bob Kellogg

    Formatting suggestion

    If you're not going to format the text for HTML, with block paragraphs separated by a blank line, please replace the tab with something other than arrows. Very distracting. Maybe two or three dots.

    The last thing you want is to make it difficult for someone to read it.

    Bob K.

  4. #4

    Re: Formatting suggestion

    As someone suggested on another thread, count your adverbs. I think you'll be surprised.

  5. #5
    The Pseudonym

    Re: Formatting suggestion

    Thank you very much for the suggestions, opinions, and advice, Bill.

    As per your second post, I've re-posted the thread <A HREF=http://www.writers.net/forum/read/12/25507/25507>here</A>. I was dissatisfied at the time of posting, but unfortunately, the forum lacks an "edit" feature. I'm not that familiar with HTML, but hopefully it will do the trick. Others should now have an easier time reading. As for your other comments, I will quote and respond to them in the new thread. Thanks!

    Update: I just noticed your post, Debra- I will respond to it in the new thread, as well. Thanks!

    To any forum moderators or administrators- I apologize for any clutter caused by the posting of the second thread. Feel free to remove this one, should it suit you.

  6. #6
    The Pseudonym

    Re: Formatting suggestion

    Arg! Sorry, I meant Bob, not Bill. I apologize, Bob.

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