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  1. #1
    Aspiring Writer

    Thoughts? Advice?

    I have a hard time thinking of introductions to a story. Do I build up to the action? Or just sling the reader into the heat of the action?

    Introduction 1.)

    Tall mammals resembling white deer grazed peacefully in the sun kissed meadows of region 305-CGZ-7705. The cool morning breeze swept over the meadow as the dew, on the tall blades of grass, sparkled like diamonds in the rising sun. A few members of the herd would occasionally look up and scan their surrounding for any signs or danger while the others grazed.

    A rumbling sound that grew louder and louder caused all the graceful animals to look and scan their surrounding. The noise became so intense it frightened them and caused them run for shelter within the forest Ö.


    Introduction 2.)

    Auto cannons provided covering fire while hundreds of Keylorian soldiers disembarked the landing crafts that brought them to region 305-CGZ-7705. In a matter of seconds hell broke loose as the enemy engaged them. Shells exploded all around them and bullets wisped past them. The flight of LC-247s quickly lifted off, their roar of their engines temporarily drained out the sound of the battlefield, and headed back to their ships holding high orbit above Planet 3078.

    A lone LC-247 arrived in the LZ, it bears the Knightís, an elite Keylorian Military unit, insignia, and touched down. The loading ramp opened and a lone knight strolled onto the battlefield. Bright blue ripples cold be seen as the enemy bullets attempted to penetrate his personal shielding system, even if the bullets managed to bypass the shields they would still have penetrate his armor. The knight looked at the tree line for a moment and unhooked a weapon, hanging on the side of left leg, targeted the tree line and fired a few high explosive rounds into itÖ..

  2. #2
    mar quesa

    Re: Thoughts? Advice?

    Aspiring Writer,

    I have problems with story openings too. It takes me a while to come up with one because the opening isn't just something that you write to hook a reader.

    There are many writing elements to take into consideration before starting a story, characterization, for instance. You need to have a good idea of what kind of person your character is before writing the piece because the characterization will affect other writing elements such as: POV, Setting and Plot.

    My biggest problem with both intros is that I don't know who your MC is.

    In your first intro, the mention of "tall mammals" baffled me. I think it's better to give specific names e.g. giraffes. Even in is sci-fi, you can name exotic animals from other planets, provided the MC and POV warrants it, of course, e.g. When the shooting started, the hulky cendupeans grazing by the lake stampeded toward Lieutenant Syler and his men, forcing them to run like the zinos of Planet X. (not a good sentence, just an example).

    The long serial numbers were off-putting too, especially so early in the piece.

    I wouldn't start with the first intro at all. It doesn't seem to serve any kind of purpose in relation to plot or setting, and there's no characterization.

    The second intro comes across as convoluted. The POV is awkward. Even if you're writing this as omniscient narrator with no specific MC, just describing an event, you'd still have to follow the events in a logical way. There's no focus here whatsoever. One minute you're describing the fight and the next, you're talking about a ship carrying some "elite" group of fighters.

    I'd say, start by establishing an MC and POV. Then work on a scene that will showcase his/her personality and help to move the story forward at the same time. The setting is a big part of the scene so make sure that your setting is the best place for your character and plot. In other words, make sure that you don't set your scene in Planet X because it sounds good but because the character has some business there.

    I hope this helps

  3. #3
    Sam Fletcher

    Re: Thoughts? Advice?


    1. Why don't you give us a better idea of the importance of this event? How does this lead to the development of everything else that happens?

    2. Neither example is what I would do. If the tall mammals are intelligent I would tell it from their point of view. Even if they're not intelligent they could see the big danger in the sky approaching and could feel the fear and pain of the bullets.

    Or, you could tell it from the viewpoint of one of the men on the LC-247. Are they hunting for pelts? Are they hunting for meat? Are the clearing the land of dangerous predators? Are they rich sportsmen transported to this planet so they can kill something? Seeing it through their eyes can add emotional impact.

    Or, you could tell it from the viewpoint of a spectator. Is there an old prospector on the planet who could see what was going on? Is there hidden alien watching the carnage? I like stories that start with somebody seeing or doing. Itís not necessary and some writers donít do it, but I think itís a better starting place for a newbie.

    3. I also would be careful with extended sets of numbers. You have a number for the region, a number for the planet, and a number for the ship. As mar quesa said I would start naming things. The ship could be a Sparhawk or a Dark comet or some other dangerous sounding moniker. The men could give the number first and then the name of the planet. It was 123-45-678 but they called it Spindizzy.

    4. Okay, thatís it. Iím done.

  4. #4
    Debra Storky

    Re: Thoughts? Advice?

    I agree. Give us a main character and a point of view upfront so we can start rooting for someone and be rooted in the story. Focus less on putting together interesting descriptions and more on getting the reader into the story.

  5. #5
    Aspiring Writer

    Re: Thoughts? Advice?

    The ramp of the LC-247, which is the new and improved landing craft in the Keylorian Imperial Military, lowered and revealed a very tense battle between the Keylorian Imperial Military and the enemy, the Dulvaxx, to the lone Knight, Jason McAdams, standing inside the cargo bay of the landing craft. He watched, for a brief moment, as the 151st Black Vipers engaged the enemy before he strolled down the ramp, which closed behind him once he was a few feet away from the LC-247.

    Even though Jasonís objectives, which are to gather information from and destroy a nearby enemy fortress, do not concern the 151st he decided to lend them a hand by taking out the enemy that is pinning them down. The enemy is positioned in a fortress, much smaller than the one he has to destroy, that overlooks the meadow the soldiers have been dropped in. He pulled out a very small and very light rocket launcher and loaded it with a round that should cause significant damage the fort, that according to intelligence doesnít existÖÖ

  6. #6

    Re: Thoughts? Advice?

    Stop worrying about the opening scene and just go with the flow. Develop the character and the villain (you have one, don't you?). Get the story on its feet. You can write--and rewrite--the beginning later.

    My advice. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Smiling Curmudgeon

    Re: Thoughts? Advice?


    I agree with the other comments you've received.

    Some specific thoughts. They may seem to be nits. In fact, they may be. Nits are to successful writing as sand is to a successful beach people will enjoy.

    The first line of your revision just above this post is a mouthful. Consider breaking it up into two or more sentences.

    Other questions/comments---

    Is it important for your reader to know the LC-247 is the new improved version? If so, why?

    "...revealed a very tense battle..." is kinda flat. And you're telling instead of showing. Consider inserting a sentence or three showing the battle.

    When possible, avoid words like "very."

    McAdams sees a very intense battle and "strolls" down the ramp? The guy's got the cojones of a mountain goat. Or terminally bad judgment. Maybe he's wearing armor that assures him he won't get blown right off the ramp.

    Consider deleting "brief." There's every chance your reader knows a moment is brief.

    The first sentence of the second paragraph is another mouthful.

    Would a military commander really would drop the 151st into a meadow beneath an enemy fortress? Would she/he be more likely to land them far enough away that they'd have a chance to try to approach undetected?

    Why do you switch back and forth between present and past tense?

    "...very small and very light rocket launcher..." Look for ways to eliminate "very."

    Okay, that's enough nitpicking.

    Something to work toward is being at least as nitpicky yourself as your reader will be.

    Read like crazy. Two reasons. You'll absorb some things by osmosis. And if you pay particular attention to how published authors do things you can learn a lot.

    Hope this helps.

    Feel free to ignore.


  8. #8
    Aspiring Writer

    Re: Thoughts? Advice?

    Thank you everyone for taking the time giving me your valuable input.

    The solider,McAdams, that is strolling down the ramp into the tense battle is wearing armor that is integrated with energy shields(you're right, I've mentioned that he was wearing this armor which would explain why he's strolling into a tense fire fight). Even an MI-A1 Abrams tank would have a hard time killing a target that is wearing the type of armor McAdams is wearing.

    I will think of some names for the planet and the landing crafts.

    Also, in addition to shorting some sentences, I need to move the "that according to intelligence doesn't exist" line right behind be the "the enemy is postitioned in a fortress" line and delete "much smaller than the one he has to destroy" line. This would, hopefully, let the reader know that a grave mistake has been made, which would explain why the commanders dropped their soldiers beneath the enemy fortress.

    Then, later on, I will answer the question: Why did intelligence not know about the fort?

    Lastly, Jayce, I do have a villian...

    Once again thank you:
    Mar Quesa
    Sam Fletcher
    Debra Storky
    Smiling Crmudgeon

    for giving me your advice.

    And thanks in advance to others as well.

  9. #9
    Aspiring Writer

    Re: Thoughts? Advice?

    I meant: you're right, I should have mentioned that he was wearing this armor....

    Once again thank you everyone.

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