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  1. #1
    RM Stanberry
    Guest

    Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    Based on the group's input, I've reworked the opening sequence. In particular, beginning with action and (hopefully) a sense of menace. The old impending doom ploy, but subtle. The Kevlar's ready, so take your best shots.


    On a summit above a village called Zibak, the concussive thump of a big helicopter jerked Sam Colton from that state between asleep and awake. The sound faded, overridden by Snapper’s incessant bitching. Too hot, too many bugs. Especially the biting flies that swarmed up from the valley below as soon as the morning frost evaporated. For the hundredth, or maybe the thousandth, time, Snapper told everyone this was his last trip, life’s too short for this crap. On the last point, Sam heartily agreed. Life’s too short to have to listen to this crap.
    Adrenalin-pumped, Sam took Yoyo’s place at the spotting scope. As he scanned the canyon to the northeast, he growled, “Shut the hell up, Snapper.” Ignoring Snapper’s petulant mumble, along with the cloud of flies that carved chunks from exposed skin, Sam swung the scope to the village.
    Zibak lay abandoned to the heat. Even the gaunt, scabrous village dogs had disappeared. In the fields, robed men laid down their scythes and sought shade under the trees along the river. Scattered flocks of sheep grazed, keeping to the shadows of the mountain walls surrounding the village.
    Spectacular, these layered red-orange walls rising a thousand meters or more to bare summits above a green valley nourished by a braided, glacier-fed river. Higher still, the Pamirs and Hindu Kush, serious mountains all, dominated the skyline from the north around to the southwest, snowfields and glaciers shining in the summer sun. But the view had become commonplace and the days interminable for the men roasting under the camo tarps and netting.
    From his position on the north side of the hide, Bagman watched the western and northern approaches to the village. He whispered, “Chopper incoming, Whambam.”



  2. #2
    RM Stanberry
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    Dunno what happened. Was trying to format the thing when it went away and came back looking like that. I'll try again.

    On a summit above a village called Zibak, the concussive thump of a big helicopter jerked Sam Colton from that state between asleep and awake. The sound faded, overridden by Snapper’s incessant bitching. Too hot, too many bugs. Especially the biting flies that swarmed up from the valley below as soon as the morning frost evaporated. For the hundredth, or maybe the thousandth, time, Snapper told everyone this was his last trip, life’s too short for this crap. On the last point, Sam heartily agreed. Life’s too short to have to listen to this crap.

    Adrenalin-pumped, Sam took Yoyo’s place at the spotting scope. As he scanned the canyon to the northeast, he growled, “Shut the hell up, Snapper.” Ignoring Snapper’s petulant mumble, along with the cloud of flies that carved chunks from exposed skin, Sam swung the scope to the village.

    Zibak lay abandoned to the heat. Even the gaunt, scabrous village dogs had disappeared. In the fields, robed men laid down their scythes and sought shade under the trees along the river. Scattered flocks of sheep grazed, keeping to the shadows of the mountain walls surrounding the village.

    Spectacular, these layered red-orange walls rising a thousand meters or more to bare summits above a green valley nourished by a braided, glacier-fed river. Higher still, the Pamirs and Hindu Kush, serious mountains all, dominated the skyline from the north around to the southwest, snowfields and glaciers shining in the summer sun. But the view had become commonplace and the days interminable for the men roasting under the camo tarps and netting.

    From his position on the north side of the hide, Bagman watched the western and northern approaches to the village. He whispered, “Chopper incoming, Whambam.”

  3. #3
    martin shaw
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    Hi; carved chunks from exposed skin doesn't really make me automatically identify with fly's. They are more surface bites if you dont mind me saying. Oops, just read the second post.

    No it's still there. Not a bad read all in all though.

  4. #4
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    Ditto what he said. "Carved chunks from"...bad use of hyperbole. Maybe "feasted on", or something like that.

    "Life’s too short to have to listen to this crap."
    Life’s too short to listen to this crap.

    "Spectacular, these layered red-orange walls rising a thousand meters or more to bare summits above a green valley nourished by a braided, glacier-fed river."
    Use "rose" instead of "rising".

    Eliminate "serious mountains all".

    Otherwise, pretty darn good, I thought.

  5. #5
    Chris Anderson
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    On a summit above a village called Zibak....
    On a summit above Zibak... (You say village enough later on that I don't think it's necessary at the start)

    For the hundredth, or maybe the thousandth, time, Snapper
    For the hundredth time, or maybe the thousandth, Snapper (Just comma cleanup)

    Adrenalin-pumped, Sam took Yoyo’s place at the spotting scope.
    Adrenalin-pumped as Sam took Yoyo’s place at the spotting scope. (again, comma not really correct there)

    As he scanned the canyon to the northeast, he growled, “Shut the hell up, Snapper.”
    He scanned the canyon to the northeast and growled. “Shut the hell up, Snapper.”

    I think it's much more engaging now, well done. There were a lot of well written parts I liked in the original that I hope you can add back in in some form, but this is so much better as a begining. Good work in my opinion.

  6. #6
    RM Stanberry
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    Thanks all. Appreciate the cleanup. And those other parts are still in there, just further into the chapter now.

    I am pleased to award Platinum Attaboys to each of you.

  7. #7
    RM Stanberry
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    By the way, the flies carving chunks from exposed skin stays as-is. There is a large fly in that part of the world that literally does cut through the skin, leaving a small hole that fills with blood. After several hours, your skin is covered with red dots. Besides, it ties to a plot twist later in the story.

  8. #8
    martin shaw
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    I don't think many would know of the fly; so maybe a small explanation as it does stand out. You can still use it without it looking a mistake.

  9. #9
    Karen Campbell
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    Hey, RM--

    I like this rewrite but now have questions. If the whomp of the chopper pumped Sam's adrenalin, why is Snapper still bitching? Didn't he hear it too? Or is that just the way the guy is? And why is Bagman whispering? Surely he can't think the approaching chopper would hear him. Or did I miss something?

    Also, I love the more character-driven descriptions of Sam's view: "Spectacular, these layered red-orange walls" and "serious mountains all" but wish the first descriptive line could be trimmed further. Do I need to know the river is glacier-fed when you mention glaciers in the next line? I keep wanting to nudge that line into something more descriptive of the view, and verbs like "nourish" don't really show me the valley. I can watch a river snake through a valley or plunge through it, but I can't watch it nourish. Of course, that's only my opinion and others may disagree.

    Great muscle to your work.

    Karen

  10. #10
    junel ;-)
    Guest

    Re: Feedback, Please, Version 2.0

    "By the way, the flies carving chunks from exposed skin stays as-is. There is a large fly in that part of the world that literally does cut through the skin, leaving a small hole that fills with blood. After several hours, your skin is covered with red dots. Besides, it ties to a plot twist later in the story."

    Then surely you should name this species of fly. Rather that just call it a fly. And it would lend authenticity to your work.

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