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Kordain
September 5th, 2010, 08:02 PM
this post has some violence




this is the first chapter of my first novel. i have the book written out in rough draft form and chapters one through six have been cleaned up some. this is my third revision of my first chapter. tell me what you think. i indented every thing but when i posted it it went back to this. please ask questions because there is so much in this universe i have made but i just couldn't fit in a dozen novels, just too much back story and other things. enjoy.


I ducked down quickly at the sound of a dropship crashing violently to the ground behind me. The ground shook and a fiery explosion leapt from its rear end, tossing already injured and disoriented men against the inside. I dove for a crater just as enemy soldiers began to fire. Plasma bolts struck many men before they could find safety. One man dashing between trees was heading in my direction. Before he got to me several plasma bolts struck him in the back. He fell down on his face right in front of the crater. I grabbed the handle on the back of his vest and yanked him into the hole.

As he recovered I shouted over the noise of the battle, “hey I thought command said there were nine adamants, I see more than that!”

“yea, where’d they learn to count!?” he yelled back.

“probably some back water colony.”

“mars!” he yelled pointing his thumb at himself.

“earth!” I yelled back giving the same gesture.

When the enemy fire let up a little the other man began to crawl towards the edge of the fox hole. I only noticed after it was too late three grenades stuck together without their caps on. The explosion created a white light and sent the other man straight back into me. I soared through the air, my arm hit a tree causing me to spin. I saw another tree speed towards me and heard my face plate crack.

All at once the scenery changed from a snowy forest to a very bright building, a Neromart to be exact. I lifted my head and opened my eyes. There I front of me was my granddaughter Katy Grudling, her brown eyes staring with concern up at me. I could tell she felt better when I stood up straight.

“daddy are you alright?”

“yea I’m fine.” I looked over and saw a flat bedded cart. Metal shelves had spilled off on to the floor. Two employees began to pick them up and place them on another one. The loud crash must have caused that memory to surface. The sound of the dropship crashing and the shelves hitting the floor sounded rather similar. These involuntary flashbacks were surfacing less and less often but Katy noticed more and more.

“daddy I know that you had another flash back.”

“bah, its nothing.”

“really?”

“really.” I said sternly.

“daddy I think that you would sleep better if you would just get it all out there.”

“who've you been talking to?"

“my friend, who is a therapist.” Her lack of contractions still bothered me.

“you’ve been talking to a shrink.”

“she is a very intelligent woman.”

“ah, well she’s a nice shrink,” I replied sarcastically, although I was about to say something to the effect of ‘oh if she’s a woman.’

“really just tell me and Korva a story.” I began to grumble but she ignored me. “tell us of your friends.”

“well I can only tell you what I know.”

“what else would you tell us, you can not very well tell us something you do not know about.” Once again her lack of contractions in her speech bothered me. Darn locals.

“you know what I mean. I can only tell you what I’ve gather from talking to the guys. The records aren’t for public use I can’t show the good ones to you.”

“I do not like the records. They are…graphic.”

“That’s why people should watch them, teach them a lesson.”

“About what?” she said seriously. “a lesson about seven ways to kill an adamant with your bare hands.”

“Actually only six, the neck snapping thing doesn’t work.” She glared at me. I turned and grabbed something off the shelf then placed it in the cart that had moved itself so as to catch it. Katy and i walked out of the store In silence, the cart followed close behind. Korva’s tran drove up in front of us and the cart placed the basket In the trunk, then the remaining flat bed and wheels drove back to the store.

We rode back home in silence, I could not come up with a single war story to tell her and her husband. I stepped out of the tran and it parked itself into a very compact space in front of the house. Korva was outside with his new lawn mower.

“mow.” He commanded it and it began to mow the grass. A small device the shape and size of a dinner plate began to zip around the yard mowing the grass as one larger machine began to pick up the grass behind it. “hey, hey did you get them?” he asked us both.

“yes we did.” Katy said proudly, a cart already taking the basket from the tran. After the clamps were in place the cart took off toward the house and zipped in through the front door. “real authentic chips and salsa and hamburgers.”

“Those are hard to get. I had to order them at the store to get them," I replied. “the beef is almost always expensive but I got it discounted at Neromart.”

“good going andy,” Korva answered. We walked inside and I knew that Katy was expecting a war story to calm me down just by sharing what happened, but that war was long, so long in fact there were people over the hill at war’s end that knew nothing else. I had so many stories in fact I could not choose one over the other.

“Korva? Where is flory?” asked Katy.

“she fell asleep with me watching the Lexer game. I do not know why she did, Lexer is the best sport.”

“I am sure it is,” she responded sarcastically. “I have never really figured out what those clubs are for.”

“they are ‘bats’ not clubs” Korva responded in a defensive tone.

“daddy are you ready?”

“for what?”

“you are going to tell me and Korva a story, right?”

“I don’t think you have time for this now.”

She placed her hands on her hips, “Flory is asleep and dinner is not for another two hours.”

“alright you've got me. I surrender.” I sat down at the kitchen table Korva and Katy sat down on either side. “where do I start?”

Korva began to speak, “just have the computer pick a random number.” He spoke to the computer that was the house, “pick a number between 0 and 25.”

The computer responded immediately, “five.” It said in a normal male voice.

“year five. where were you in year five, Andy?” suddenly my mind and thoughts were consumed by memories. My mind was trying to find year five of the war. Memories passed though my mind, gun shots, explosions, crashes, plasma bolts, yelling, and screaming burst from my memory banks and flooded my consciousness. Faces appeared, dirty, bloody and scarred, yet one was smiling, even singing. One name came to mind. “Johnson,” I spurted out.

“what?” both Korva and Katy said in surprise.

“Robert Johnson, he was sergeant in my platoon. He was a lucky one. He survived the whole thing which is saying a lot.”

“you survived the whole thing.” Katy said.

“we both fought during the second part. Katy your father fought during the third part, and Korva, you barely escaped the fourth part, just a little too young eh. Now you’re a professor of military history you should know what I’m talking about. Anyway I met him on this world here before the flash. we didn’t speak much but I always followed his orders to the best of my ability and we became friends. I’ll tell the story he told me, it is quite lengthy I doubt we could get in one day but I’ll tell you some now.”

Korva and Katy nodded in approval and I began my story.

Kordain
September 8th, 2010, 03:47 AM
does any one know how to indent in this thing because neither tab nor space works.

brian_o
September 12th, 2010, 06:53 AM
Okay, when you reply, you'll get the small quick reply box activated. From there you'll have to click the button that reads "Go Advanced" or something like that. The page will refresh and you'll have more options. In the row that begins with the Bold, Italic, and Underline option, keep going until you see the text block with the blue arrows pointing to the right.
The result will be this. It will also drop down a line, and stay indented so you will need to choose your battles.
Regarding your post, I haven't read through it yet, but upon a quick browse, I can see it seems much better than the draft that you let me read earlier.

I still see a lot of subject + verb beginnings. I know I harped on you before about this, but a varied sentence structure is key to writing that doesn't get dull and predictable.

Other than that, you should start sentences with capital letters and put a coma before or after a direct reference (when someone addresses someone by name, or even a "Hey, You.").

Also, one thing I noticed in my quick glimpse is this:


“Daddy, I think that you would sleep better if you would just get it all out there.”
“Who have you been talking to?”
“My friend who is a therapist.” Her lack of contractions still bothered me.He's commenting on her lack of contractions when he could have (and should have) then used who've.

Lastly, and this is something I struggle with as well, I was told in my Journalism class in college that the words "Just" and "That" are often unnecessary, and that they can typically be removed from a sentence without hurting it or changing its meaning. Typically, doing this actually makes it more concise and makes it have a stronger impact.

Just some thoughts. Other than those, it looks much better than the first draft.