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Ramen 6378
September 2nd, 2010, 03:55 AM
Hey, guys. I'm new here, as you can probably tell. This is my first ever story to be of this length. This chapter, however, is from a few months ago; I already have several others in store. I'll release them one at a time if there's enough positive feedback on this one. So please criticize, comment, and enjoy!

Chapter 1: Desperate Attempts
January 18, 2040

Blast this snow, I thought as I struggled through the blizzard. Behind me was a long line of survivors of the plague, walking desperately to the capital in hopes of refuge. The snow was falling by the second, the piercing wind whipping my hair in every direction.

Suddenly, a particularly strong gust of wind rushed toward me, causing me to trip onto the ice. I landed with an audible thud and had all the wind knocked out of me. A man extended a hand. "Thanks," I said quietly, wiping some snow off of my face.

"When are we going to get to the capital?" another man nearby croaked out. "The snow will bury us soon, if we don't reach it quick enough."

True enough, I thought. It should take at least another day.

At this point, the group was passing through a ravine, long frozen by the ice. If there was one good thing about the ravine, it was that it protected us from the majority of the cold winds. This was offset, however, by the long, sharp icicles that hung, ready to drop at the slightest touch.

Roughly halfway through the ravine, I felt a tremble in the earth. I hurriedly looked up and saw a mass of snow tumbling down from the ravine's top. People started looking up; screaming ensued. The mass hurtled downwards and slammed down onto the ground.

There was a stunned moment of silence. The snow had engulfed a group of people unlucky enough to stand underneath it. Pitiful cries from inside the mass were heard. Already several people had climbed up onto the mound to help them out. I hurriedly joined them.

As I got to the mound, several hands had already managed to dig themselves out. Several people were already halfway out, thanks to the people who helped them. I grabbed the nearest hand and gradually got him out. The man was pale, his leg in an awkward position.

"It's all right," I said, examining his leg. I was a doctor before the plague had started. During the early days of the plague, the hospital had treated many cases before it overflowed with patients. "Your leg seems fine, just broken," I told the man, "Nothing that can't be fixed." He smiled uncertainly and nodded.

Suddenly, a whistling noise could be heard. I looked up and saw the icicles hurtling down towards us. The tremor earlier must have weakened their supports, causing them to inevitably fall. Once again, screams were heard. People dived towards the snow pile, trying to dig themselves underneath it. Others ran towards either end of the ravine. I quickly shoved the man with the broken leg into the snow pile. I then ran as fast as I could to what seemed like to closest end of the ravine. I had almost made it, luck seemed to be on my side, when I felt a sudden, burning pain in my leg. I fell to the ground and blacked out.

***

I felt a piercing pain in my arm. My eyes flew open, taking in the hospital room and the doctor inserting the needle into my arm. He looked surprised as he said, "Oh, good, you're awake."

I looked down and saw that my left leg was gone. The doctor followed my startled look and said in a more soothing voice, "You remember what happened before?" I shook my head. Even that small action amplified my existing headache tenfold.

"Well," the doctor continued, "you were part of a large group that passed through an ice ravine. A small earthquake caused ice to fall. Unfortunately, one of them pierced your left leg. It was a serious wound. We had to amputate, else you would have died."

I took this all in, but my mind was still in turmoil. "But, but..." I stuttered, "don't you guys have, uh, prosthetic limbs? We had them at my hospital..."

"Yes, we do, but it is being reserved for people who really need it, people who will die without one."

I nodded.

"Anyway," the doctor said, turning back to the computer, "we will give you a pair of crutches, although I highly doubt you'll be needing them for long."

"Why not?"

The doctor glanced back at me, "You don't know? According to your records here, your name is Matthew Evert, yes?"

"Yes..."

"Well, a surgeon will definitely be useful. You see, the government has prepared a plan for the future. The plague will not go away anytime soon, so they've built a massive room underground, filled with cryogenic pods. Only the best and most accomplished can go into there, and you definitely qualify for one of the best. A computer artificial intelligence will watch over the pods, and set a time for when the human population should come back up to the surface."

Suddenly, an alarm began ringing shrilly.

The doctor glanced at the door and started pulling needles out of my body. He hurriedly said, "That's the bell for delivering the people to the pods."

I said, wincing, "Wait, so how long are we supposed to stay in these pods?"

"No worries, you won't even realize that you're in them. The pods have a program, called Dream World. While you're in the pods, the program will generate alternate lives for you to live fully, hence the name. Once the pods open, you will be free to go out into the real world." The doctor finished pulling out the needles and tubes. He opened the door and gestured to someone. Several guards walked in.

The doctor looked at me and said, "The guards here will escort you to your pod. Unfortunately, I have to sedate you in case you do anything stupid. Say goodbye to the world as you know it."

"Wait..." I couldn't finish, for a sedative was sticking out of his arm. "No!" I cried, but the room was already fading. "No..." I murmured. And then everything turned black.

Asrialnorton
September 5th, 2010, 05:17 AM
Wow, what an exciting opening. You have me hooked. Im a little confused how the guy got to the hospital, Im assuming he was carried. The caring nature of his traveling companions has me wondering about their fates. This is a book I would definitely purchase, based on this opening, to read in its entirety. Please post more!

ArcThomas
September 5th, 2010, 05:42 AM
poor dialog.
decent concept.
Hope you can work out the some gripping writing.

Ramen 6378
September 5th, 2010, 04:44 PM
poor dialog.
decent concept.
Hope you can work out the some gripping writing.
Suggestions as to improving dialogue?

Olly Buckle
September 5th, 2010, 05:52 PM
A lot of my comments are matters of style and only represent an opinion, for example I have Bolded some words which could be left out without changing the meaning.

Blast this snow, I thought as I struggled through the blizzard. Behind me was a long line of survivors of the plague, Of one thing, then of another, it might flow better if you used a construction like “a long line of plague survivors” walking desperately to the capital in hopes of refuge. I really can’t imagine how you walk desperately; I would put the desperate after the walking to the capital, so it applies to the hope of refuge The snow was falling by the second, the piercing wind whipping my hair in every direction.

Suddenly, a particularly strong gust of wind rushed toward me, causing me to trip onto onto implies from something, perhaps “slip on” the ice. I landed with an audible thud and had all the wind knocked out of me. A man extended a hand. "Thanks," I said quietly, wiping some snow off of from? my face.

"When are we going to get to the capital?" another man nearby croaked out. "The snow will bury us soon, this seems like an extra word that breaks up the sentence if we don't reach it quick enough."

True enough, I thought. It should take at least another day.

At this point, the group was passing through a ravine, long frozen by the ice.It is the “by” that seems wrong here, “Long frozen and iced up” maybe If there was one good thing about the ravine, it was that it protected us from the majority of the cold winds. This advantage? was offset, however, by the long, sharp icicles that hung, ready to drop at the slightest touch.

Roughly Things like this can leave the reader wondering “was it a little more or a little less than halfway? Which is distracting, usually better to be definite halfway through the ravine, I felt a tremble in the earth. I hurriedly looked up and saw a mass of snow tumbling down from the ravine's top. Other? People started looking up; screaming ensued. The mass hurtled downwards and slammed down onto the ground.

There was a stunned moment of silence. The snow had engulfed a group of people unlucky enough to stand underneath it. Pitiful cries from inside the mass were heard. Already several people had climbed up onto the mound to help them out. I hurriedly joined them.

I will leave it there, there should be some ideas you can carry forward to the rest of it. I would recommend trawling the creative boards for good critique. Then, when you find it, follow up the author of it and see what else they have to say.
Also try reading through what you have already written and honing it before you start writing each time you start a session. Sometimes reading it aloud can help you spot things as well

Kordain
September 6th, 2010, 12:13 AM
the character doesn't really seem to be surprised that his leg is gone. the doctor seemed very pushy which makes me wonder what their motives are. why the alarm? it pulls me in quite well wanting to know what will happen next. its pretty good.

Ramen 6378
September 6th, 2010, 12:31 AM
A lot of my comments are matters of style and only represent an opinion, for example I have Bolded some words which could be left out without changing the meaning.

Blast this snow, I thought as I struggled through the blizzard. Behind me was a long line of survivors of the plague, Of one thing, then of another, it might flow better if you used a construction like “a long line of plague survivors” walking desperately to the capital in hopes of refuge. I really can’t imagine how you walk desperately; I would put the desperate after the walking to the capital, so it applies to the hope of refuge The snow was falling by the second, the piercing wind whipping my hair in every direction.

Suddenly, a particularly strong gust of wind rushed toward me, causing me to trip onto onto implies from something, perhaps “slip on” the ice. I landed with an audible thud and had all the wind knocked out of me. A man extended a hand. "Thanks," I said quietly, wiping some snow off of from? my face.

"When are we going to get to the capital?" another man nearby croaked out. "The snow will bury us soon, this seems like an extra word that breaks up the sentence if we don't reach it quick enough."

True enough, I thought. It should take at least another day.

At this point, the group was passing through a ravine, long frozen by the ice.It is the “by” that seems wrong here, “Long frozen and iced up” maybe If there was one good thing about the ravine, it was that it protected us from the majority of the cold winds. This advantage? was offset, however, by the long, sharp icicles that hung, ready to drop at the slightest touch.

Roughly Things like this can leave the reader wondering “was it a little more or a little less than halfway? Which is distracting, usually better to be definite halfway through the ravine, I felt a tremble in the earth. I hurriedly looked up and saw a mass of snow tumbling down from the ravine's top. Other? People started looking up; screaming ensued. The mass hurtled downwards and slammed down onto the ground.

There was a stunned moment of silence. The snow had engulfed a group of people unlucky enough to stand underneath it. Pitiful cries from inside the mass were heard. Already several people had climbed up onto the mound to help them out. I hurriedly joined them.

I will leave it there, there should be some ideas you can carry forward to the rest of it. I would recommend trawling the creative boards for good critique. Then, when you find it, follow up the author of it and see what else they have to say.
Also try reading through what you have already written and honing it before you start writing each time you start a session. Sometimes reading it aloud can help you spot things as well
Wow. I feel intimidated now. Thanks for pointing out some things I need to work on.

Ramen 6378
September 6th, 2010, 12:32 AM
the character doesn't really seem to be surprised that his leg is gone. the doctor seemed very pushy which makes me wonder what their motives are. why the alarm? it pulls me in quite well wanting to know what will happen next. its pretty good.
Keep in mind that this was written a few months ago. When I went back to look at my first few chapters, it seemed very meh compared to the later ones. I know I need to work on dialogue and personality, though. Thanks for the insight.

Olly Buckle
September 6th, 2010, 12:41 PM
Wow. I feel intimidated now.I am sorry, that was not my intention. I commented to encourage you, because it looked as though the story might well be worth working on. I know there are people who write a first draft and send it off to the publisher, but my experience is that if I am going to produce something I find acceptable the initial, fun writing process is followed by twice as much revision to hammer the ideas into the shape I really want.

Ramen 6378
September 6th, 2010, 05:26 PM
I am sorry, that was not my intention. I commented to encourage you, because it looked as though the story might well be worth working on. I know there are people who write a first draft and send it off to the publisher, but my experience is that if I am going to produce something I find acceptable the initial, fun writing process is followed by twice as much revision to hammer the ideas into the shape I really want.
Yeah, I know what you're talking about. I'm happy to receive criticisms, and yours was by far the best one yet. I just didn't see that it has that many revisions to make. Not surprising in hindsight, actually, since it hasn't been revised even once.

Ramen 6378
September 7th, 2010, 01:38 AM
Chapter 2: Hangar 14
January 18, 2040

Looking over a guard's body, clinging to him by the shoulders...opening a door into a whirl of snow and wind...a mass of people, most setting up tents and ramshackle huts...crunching of the guard's feet through the thickly-packed snow...piercing wind against my cheeks...the long trek from the hospital...millions of hands reaching out, asking my escort for help...a tall, wide building with a giant hangar door...

***

The screams of victims of the plague were horrible, filling the air with misery and despair. I rushed to each bedside with several assistants, telling them that it would be all right, when I knew that it wasn't. I was needed everywhere; it was havoc. I caught glimpses of what the plague did to them: the pale faces, coughing up blood every now and then, the telltale red spots on their upper arms that bled easily when scratched, and the gradual falling off of fingers, toes, anything that the plague could get a hold of. I was hurried to the emergency room. Even outside, there seemed to be hundreds of families, anxious to get word of their relatives and friends. Strapping on a surgical mask, I leaned over the plague victim. My colleagues all glanced at me in search of some breakthrough, something that could help the victim. But I couldn't do anything. I couldn't do anything at all...

***

A bright light shined in my face, creating red spots everywhere. I squinted and put a hand over my eyes. Immediately, the light went away. I opened my eyes slowly. A nurse was leaning over a computer with a flashlight in her hand. Still weak from the effects of the sedative, I turned my head slowly to look at my new surroundings.

It was a huge building, complete with a large, gray hangar door. It seemed like millions of makeshift beds and tables were erected to accommodate the many people who needed medical attention. I heard banging and noise coming through from the other side of the door. My mouth felt sticky as I croaked out, "Excuse me, where am I?"

The nurse turned around, startled, and replied quickly, "Oh, you're awake." She turned back to her computer and started typing rapidly, "Well, to answer your question, you're in Hangar 14."

I waited for her to go on, but she stayed silent, typing away. I then said, "Why am I here?"

"It's where everyone in this room that they called for will be transported onto aircraft and taken to a safe location. Safe enough to get away from the plague."

"Wait, weren't we supposed to be taken to cryogenic pods and stay underground until the plague ends?" I blurted out, confused. Why would they take us onto planes?

The nurse turned around, finally looking interested, albeit a bit puzzled, "Cryogenic pods? Where have you heard this? I've never heard about it."

Suddenly, a pair of what seemed like military personnel came over. One of them said to me, "Dr. Evert, please come with me."

Still confused over the entire aircraft ordeal, I said, "Hold on, haven't you told everyone about..."

"Come with me now," the soldier said a bit more forcefully. He beckoned to his partner, who who dragged me up onto his back and hauled me away. My leg wound throbbed painfully as I said, "Wait, what's with the aircraft and everything?" The soldiers stayed mute.

After a while, we reached a large elevator at the back of the room, guarded by security. One of the soldiers showed a pass, and we walked through the elevator doors. Once they closed, one of the soldiers turned to me and said harshly, "Don't you know? About not telling other people about the cryogenic pods?"

"No..."

"Did someone tell you about not telling other people about the cryogenic pods?!"

"No, they didn't..."

The soldier, still looking exasperated, turned back to look at the elevator door, "If you're really telling the truth, then I suppose I better tell you.

"In order to avoid mass panic, the government secretly organized an act that kept the creation of the cryo pods under wraps. Anyone who was not directly involved in the development of the pods was not told of their existence. Instead, the rumor spread that a collaborative effort to fly people to safe places around the world was underway. This would never work. The plague is spreading far too fast, and resources are strained."

The elevator doors opened. The soldier stepped outside and gestured to his partner. He hauled me onto his back and stepped out. When my leg stopped throbbing, I looked around. It was truly an amazing sight. There were rows of what seemed like cryogenic pods stretching out across the room. The room itself was a long, yet not tall, structure with hundreds of lights hanging down from the ceiling. Elevators like the one I had come down in were lined up against the walls. The startling thing was that the room was virtually empty, save for a couple of people escorted by guards towards the pods.

The soldier nodded to those people and said, "People who tried to blabber, just like you. They got sent down here in a hurry, to avoid rumors of the pods' existence." He motioned to the soldier holding me and set off towards the nearest pod. The soldier slid his pass through a keypad by a cryo pod. He motioned me over. The soldier holding me leaned over so that I was close to the keypad. "Place your thumb here," the soldier siad. I placed my thumb onto a small, blank screen. It seemed to register. There was an audible click from the pod, and the soldier hefted the top lid up.

An alarm began to ring, red lights flashing everywhere.

The two soldiers began to put me into the pod. The soldier said quietly, "That's the alarm for activation of the pods. Pretty soon, people are going to come rushing in." He finished strapping me in and looked at me, "Well, I think that's all he needs to know."

"Wait," I said quickly. "All the people who're out there. The ones who don't know about the pods. They're all going to die?"

"Eventually, yes. It's an unfair world we live in. This is the best way." The soldier began closing the lid. Almost as an afterthought, he said, "You never know. Someone might make it. You know, when you come out. Good luck." The lid closed.

It was dark, completely black. I felt an intense sense of claustrophobia. Uncontrollably, I began to hyperventilate. I was in a complete panic when I felt a stabbing pain in the back of my neck. Immediately, the claustrophobia went away. I felt calmer as a computerized voice said soothingly, "Welcome to Dream World."

BoredMormon
September 7th, 2010, 02:33 AM
Just random thoughts as I've been reading through.

From the first chapter.

Way too many concepts in the first paragraph. Intoduce the setting slowly.

A strong gust of wind rushed toward you, causing you to fall over? That doesn't work. You'd fall over when the wind hit you, not when it come towards you.

Name the capital.

Start the story where it begins. The whole first chapter seems to be building up to the dream world pod thingies. Why not start there?

Chapter two

The repitition of 'tell' in the dialouge falls flat.

The whole thing reads more like a summary then a story. Slow things down a bit. Add in some more incidental description.

The dialouge is poor. People don't talk to one another in calm, dispasionate tones.

Ramen 6378
September 7th, 2010, 10:47 PM
I agree with more or less all of these, but especially the dialogue. I really need help on improving conversations, introduction of concepts and characters, and such. Any suggestions to how to improve this as a whole?

On another note, does anyone know if it's possible to change the title of a thread?

BoredMormon
September 7th, 2010, 11:53 PM
Practice. Reading and critiquing other peoples work. More practice. Keep a rubish bin handy. Books or websites on writing advice are good, to a point. More practice.

Unless things have changed recently its not possible to edit the title of a thread, you're stuck with it.

StrikingEagle
September 8th, 2010, 01:41 AM
Hello Ramen,

First I need to say this is an excellent story line. I am partial to medical/fiction/thrillers (not sure what genre this falls into) but this is not a biased reply. You have a great beginning here and do have me hooked, especially with what these pods are about.

Character development. The main character in this story appears to be the Doctor with the amputated leg. You might consider providing more background. Perhaps a flasback while he walking in the snow to a previous situation such as a hospital he worked at. Give some idea to his personality, skills, professional specality, family background, or whatever you may decide which will be pertinent to the story.

Below I have copied your draft with items I have noticed shown in red ink. Please keep in mind these are all suggestions. I really like this piece and that is why I spent a lot of time in my review and critique. I firmly believe this work has a lot of promise. I hope my suggestions are helpful.

Another thought: the Plague is caused by the pathogenic bacterium Yersinia pestis. Is this the pathogen in your story? It is still with us today. One form of the Y. pestis can be spread in the air. That said, why do you need an underground facility and the pods? Why 2 barriers against this threat? An interesting concept which has me curious and hooked into your story. Perhaps you may not want to comment for that reason...keep me reading :lol:.


Chapter 1: Desperate Attempts by: Ramen 6378
January 18, 2040

Blast this snow, (remove all italiacs in this draft, unnecessary) I thought as I struggled through the blizzard. Behind me was a long line of survivors of the plague, walking desperately to the capital in hopes of refuge. The snow was falling by the second(overused cliché, consider another description), the piercing wind whipping my hair in every direction.

Suddenly, a particularly strong gust of wind rushed toward me, causing me to trip onto the ice. I landed with an audible thud and had all (delete )the wind knocked out of me. A man extended a hand. "Thanks," I said quietly, wiping some snow off of my face.

"When are we going to get to the capital?" another man nearby croaked out. "The snow will bury us soon, if we don't reach it (I know “capital" is understood, but “it” could refer to snow too. Consider clarifying)quick enough."

True enough, I thought. It should take at least another day.

At this point, the group was passing through a ravine, long frozen by the ice. (remove commas in previous sentence) If there was one good thing about the ravine, it was that it protected us from the majority of the cold winds. This was offset, however, by the long, sharp icicles that hung, ready to drop at the slightest touch.

Roughly halfway through the ravine, (remove comma) I felt a tremble in the earth. I hurriedly (wrong word, consider different adverb or remove) looked up and saw a mass of snow tumbling down from the ravine's top. People started looking up; screaming ensued. The mass hurtled downwards and slammed down onto the ground. (Note: you looked up, then others looked up. perhaps second “look” could be replaced with: searched, awaited, explored, etc.)

There was a stunned moment of silence. The snow had engulfed a group of people unlucky enough to stand underneath it (what you are describing sounds like an avalanche of some type. Consider replacing “it” with avalanche.). Pitiful cries from inside the mass were heard. (Already --> move to)several people had already climbed up onto the mound to help them out. I hurriedly (not my favorite word here but I have no suggestions, just sounds odd) joined them.

As I got to the mound, several hands had already managed to dig themselves out. Several (consider replacing with various, or another word to not duplicate “several” so close together people were already halfway out, thanks to the people who helped them. I grabbed the nearest hand and gradually got him out. The man was pale, his leg in an awkward position.

"It's all right," I said, examining his leg. I was a doctor before the plague had started. During the early days of the plague, the hospital had treated many cases before it overflowed with patients. "Your leg seems fine, just broken," I told the man, "Nothing that can't be fixed." He smiled uncertainly and nodded.

Suddenly, a whistling noise could be heard. I looked up and saw the (remove)icicles hurtling down towards us. The tremor earlier must have weakened their supports, causing them to inevitably fall. Once again, screams were heard. People dived towards the snow pile, trying to dig themselves underneath it. Others ran towards either end of the ravine. I quickly shoved the man with the broken leg into the snow pile. I
( remove to make one sentence) then ran as fast as I could to what seemed like to closest end of the ravine. I had(remove)almost made it,(period, then begin new sentence) luck seemed to be on my side, (remove comma) when I felt a sudden, (remove comma) burning pain in my leg. I fell to the ground and blacked out.

*** (Is this a time break? A new chapter? A place for you to insert more writing once you have completed it?)

I felt a piercing pain in my arm. My eyes flew open, (remove comma) taking in the hospital room and the doctor inserting the needle into my arm. He looked surprised as he said, "Oh, good, you're awake."

I looked down and saw that my left leg was gone. The doctor followed my startled look and said in a more soothing voice, "You remember what happened before?" I shook my head. Even that small action amplified my existing headache tenfold.

"Well," the doctor continued, "you were part of a large group that passed through an ice ravine. A small earthquake caused ice to fall. Unfortunately, one of them pierced your left leg. It was a serious wound. We had to amputate, (or) else you would have died."

I took this all in, but my mind was still in turmoil. "But, but..." I stuttered, "don't you guys have, uh, prosthetic limbs? We had them at my hospital..."

"Yes, we do, but it is being reserved for people who really need it, people who will die without one." (Suggest rephrasing or removing because people do not die without a prosthesis.)

I nodded.

"Anyway," the doctor said, turning back to the computer, "we will give you a pair of crutches, although I highly doubt you'll be needing them for long."

"Why not?"

The doctor glanced back at me, "You don't know? According to your records here, your name is Matthew Evert, yes?"

"Yes..."

"Well, (remove comma) a surgeon will definitely be useful. You see, the government has prepared a plan for the future. The plague will not go away anytime soon, (remove comma) so they've(suggest replace with who. Perhaps name which branch of government) built a massive room underground, (remove comma) filled with cryogenic pods. Only the best and most accomplished can go into there, and you definitely qualify for ( replace with “as”) one of the best. A computer (hmm, need anohter word or few here, suggest: supporting the latest artificial intelligence will watch over the pods, and set a time for when the human population(human population implies everyone on earth. if only a number of people are going into these pods suggest a description naming that population.) should come back up to the surface."

Suddenly, (remove comma) an alarm began ringing shrilly.

The doctor glanced at the door and started pulling needles out of my body. He hurriedly said, "That's the bell for delivering the(remove) people to the pods."

I said, wincing (move to à), "Wait”, I said wincing, “so how long are we supposed to stay in these pods?"

"No worries, you won't even realize that you're in them. The pods have a program, called Dream World. While you're in the pods, the program will generate alternate lives for you to live fully, hence the name. Once the pods open, you will be free to go out into the real world." The doctor finished pulling out the needles and tubes. He opened the door and gestured to someone. Several guards walked in.

The doctor looked at me and said, "These guards here will escort you to your pod. Unfortunately, I have to sedate you in case you do anything stupid. Say goodbye to the world as you know it."

"Wait..." I couldn't finish, for a sedative was sticking out of his arm. "No!" I cried, but the room was already fading. "No..." I murmured. And then everything turned black.

Ramen 6378
September 8th, 2010, 02:58 AM
Well, that was very thorough. Thanks a lot for the detailed criticisms. I'll try to address the points that I thought I had covered.

- I can see all of the cliches, grammar mistakes, wording errors, etc. in the piece so I won't focus on those.
- The man asking about the capital. This is supposed to be normal dialogue between two people; naturally, most people would say "it" as referring to the capital instead of saying "the capital" again. Most people wouldn't constantly worry about correct grammar in normal conversation, especially when confronted by the elements.
- Nice point about the bacterium. I actually created a fictional disease, but a severe strain of one already existing could add a bit of reality to it, which is always nice.
- Protagonist's character. The doctor's character is gradually revealed through flashbacks in the story. His personality is also shown through his future actions and by how he acts around people. Though, perhaps I should make it a bit more clear.
- The people not dying by lack of prosthetics. I don't know that much about medical issues; I'm only in high school. Then again, that's what Wikipedia is for. I'll try to be more accurate.
- Asterisks signify either a time break or a change in situation, like a flashback.

Overall, thanks a ton for the great criticisms. Glad you enjoy it so far!

StrikingEagle
September 8th, 2010, 03:16 AM
Chapter 2: Hangar 14 by: ramen 6378
January 18, 2040

Hello Ramen,

I still like your story and have a few overall comments on chapter 2:

As a reader, I don’t have enough background on what occurred, who the main character is, how folks are chosen for pods, where this is taking place( other than near a capital). I need more information to keep the story interesting and moving in a less disjointed pace.


Please review comma usage. Here is a link from this forum:
http://www.writingforums.com/writing-101/58334-punctuation-guide.html (http://www.writingforums.com/writing-101/58334-punctuation-guide.html)

For Dialogue help you can also refer to this forum link:
http://www.writingforums.com/writing-101/59763-dialogue.html (http://www.writingforums.com/writing-101/59763-dialogue.html)

Possible source for dialoge help and other writing help you may want to consider reading is :
Evan Marshall 52 ways to improve novel. (this one is a free download, sorry no link).
I am currently searching for a decent book to help my fiction/novel writing and stumbled across this PDF document.



This is the second chapter and Main Character has no name yet. Seems odd.

“They,” the people who are taking the chosen ones to pods, are still not described and need to be.

What is the purpose of the first italicized paragraph? Is it necessary? I would omit.

The second paragraph is a flashback (based on what occurred in chapter 1. Suggest instead of using *** to signify a change in time use a summary mode of writing, possibly a narrative, to describe what is occuring from the main characters (MC) point of view. Describe how he feels, why he is there, etc. This is a good time to provide important information about your MC and supply the reader with some background data. Perhaps introduce the folks who are creating these pods. How do you get selected? There are lots of surgeons in the world. Why is your MC so special?

7th Paragraph:
"It's where everyone in this room that they called for will be transported onto aircraft and taken to a safe location. Safe enough to get away from the plague."
This paragraph needs repair, expansion, more description. First sentence has missing words.


“Still confused over the entire aircraft ordeal,”
Ordeal is wrong word. Suggest: affair

“When my leg stopped throbbing…”
His leg was amputated. His stump will trob.

This may be a nit-picky question. MC just had major surgery then is immediately transported to a pod for who knows how long. What about infection which are a common post-op occurrence? Possibly deadly if left untreated.

Ramen 6378
September 8th, 2010, 03:27 AM
- Protagonist's name is Matthew Evert; I think it's stated a few times in the previous chapters.
- First paragraph shows him fading in and out of consciousness as he's transported to the hangar.

So, I guess my main problem is not putting in enough detail and background information, correct?

Kordain
September 8th, 2010, 03:40 AM
you've got me reeled in like a bass. just a couple of things others did not mention from both parts

the soldier does not seem to strain under the one legged doctor's weight.

the other doctor seems to be talking rather quickly and the second to last paragraph in your first part is rather awkward.

what are some more symptoms of the disease?

do the sick people look like they've got leprosy, or even the black plague, what does it look like?

what are the soldier's and meditechs wearing?

Ramen 6378
September 8th, 2010, 03:45 AM
Details, details, details. I really have to work on that. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone!

StrikingEagle
September 8th, 2010, 04:49 AM
- Protagonist's name is Matthew Evert; I think it's stated a few times in the previous chapters.
- First paragraph shows him fading in and out of consciousness as he's transported to the hangar.

So, I guess my main problem is not putting in enough detail and background information, correct?

Matthew is mentioned in Chapter One; once. Chapter Two: once. OK, I missed that.

You kept your main character's identity (his name) quiet until 1/2 through the first chapter. Kind of mysterious that way. Bet that's why I didn't notice it.
He is the only person or group specificially identified so far. Everything else is too vague:

"Behind me was a long line of survivors of the plague, ..."
"When are we going to get to the capital?" another man nearby croaked out..."
"You see, the government has prepared a plan for the future..."
"Only the best and most accomplished can go into there, and you definitely qualify for one of the best..."
"Wait, so how long are we supposed to stay in these pods?"
"Well, to answer your question, you're in Hangar 14."
"Wait, weren't we supposed to be taken to cryogenic pods and stay underground..."

I'm not sure if you have enough detail or background. What I understand as the story line, or plot idea, so far is quoted in the 7 sentences above.

You still have a wonderful story here, but it is presented in a disjointed manner, as I have said before. Perhaps that is what I'm having trouble with. You are trying to use flashbacks, which is a good writing technique when done properly. When reading, these time changes are not helping add enough information to the story.

When Matthew was identified this may have been a good time to introduce more details about him, perhaps in a flashback, possibly using dialague between Matthew and the Nurse, with the nurse asking questions about him.

When Matthew was having a conversation with the soldiers, that may be a good time to expand on which government branch was involved and why. When the doctor was selecting Matthew for those secret pods, this would be good time to describe some of the secret evacuation plan, or discuss the plague more, or the process of selection.

These descriptions, while they take place when a dialogue occurs, do not need to be expanded entirely in dialogue. Matthew, the nurse, or a soldier can be thinking and a narrative used describing what occured. A newspaper article could be found. Anything.

I think it's things like these that I am missing. This history or information would add more excitement to the story because I would know sooner than later what was going on and could help the flow be less disjointed.

joonho1
September 10th, 2010, 07:34 PM
I love this opening... I love chapters that I can make sense of, enjoy, and want to read more. This has all three. :D

I'm not going to criticize at all because 1) I don't feel like doing a 30-minute review of this, even though it's good and 2) I'm not that skilled in writing. I'm afraid I'm going to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. :D

However, two things I could say is that everything is... simple, and short, like a summary? I don't know. It just feels that way. And the second thing is that everything seems unexplained, mysterious. Maybe you purpousely made it that way, I don't know.

Good luck anyways! :)

Ramen 6378
September 11th, 2010, 02:55 AM
I love this opening... I love chapters that I can make sense of, enjoy, and want to read more. This has all three. :D

I'm not going to criticize at all because 1) I don't feel like doing a 30-minute review of this, even though it's good and 2) I'm not that skilled in writing. I'm afraid I'm going to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. :D

However, two things I could say is that everything is... simple, and short, like a summary? I don't know. It just feels that way. And the second thing is that everything seems unexplained, mysterious. Maybe you purpousely made it that way, I don't know.

Good luck anyways! :)
Thanks for the compliments! And yeah, I unintentionally made it short, I guess it seemed like a lot when I wrote it. Next few chapters are a bit longer. But I did purposely make it "unexplained, mysterious."