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Zer0
January 18th, 2011, 03:41 PM
Hey everyone. I'm new to this forum and below i have posted the 2nd chapter to my very first novel.

I have never written anything and i failed all of my english classes in school. which is why the grammar is a bit crap at the moment. I decided to write this because i've been told throughout my life that i have a massive imagination, so i thought 'why not put it down on paper?' also i want to prove to myself that i can do anything if i put my mind into it.

Just need some feedback, i've let my girlfriend read the 1st chapter and this part and she is really into it. she hates sci-fi stuff with a passion as well :D so there's a small acheivement already.

I've spaced it out for easy reading 8-)

here goes

----------------------------



Jessica found herself sat in the Captain’s chair on the bridge. She tried hard to remember how she’d ended up in such a place, but her memory evaded her. She tried to move, to get up before anybody noticed she was there. But despite her hardest efforts, she couldn’t move.


Ensign Lomez and Lieutenant Boss were in their respected positions at the ships helm. Various technicians were pushing buttons and staring at monitors. Nobody had noticed she was there. Jessica was starting to get frightened. She wondered what Captain Mason would say if he saw her sat in his chair. He wouldn’t be very happy.



She tried again to remove herself from the chair. But she wouldn’t budge. It was as if she was glued to the seat itself. Jessica looked over to where Lieutenant Boss was seated. She had known Boss for many years and the two of them were very close friends. If anyone could help her without telling all to the captain, it was him.


“Boss?” Jessica called out sheepishly in the direction of Boss who was still sat tapping information into the terminal in front of him. He didn’t seem to hear her and remained focused on the screen. “Boss!?” She tried again, a little more loudly this time. He turned in his chair to face Jessica. “Boss! Help me quick!” She protested before Boss could talk.





“Are you ok Ma’am?” Boss asked. Jessica wondered why he had called her Ma’am. They were of the same rank after all and they were good friends. He had never called her Ma’am before. She dismissed the thought. Boss was probably used to being polite to the many seniors that graced the bridge so often.



“Boss, get me out of this chair before the Captain sees me!”



“Captain?” Boss asked, a puzzled look on his face.



“Yes! Captain Mason!” Jessica was starting to get agitated. Boss was never normally this stupid.



“Ma’am, who is Captain Mason? Boss replied looking more and more confused with everything Jessica said.



“Are you kidding me!? Captain Mason! He’s the Commanding Officer aboard this ship Boss. Don’t play games with me!” Jessica warned.



“Ma’am…YOU are the Commanding Officer of the Liberty. Are you sure you’re ok?” Jessica’s heart skipped a beat.



“What? Boss, I’m serious!”



“You are Captain Jessica Entis of the Space Cruiser Liberty Ma’am” Boss informed.


Jessica felt like she’d been hit in the face by something. Every nerve in her body told her this wasn’t right. Something was wrong. This was impossible, it had to be. Jessica sat motionless in the command chair; her mind spinning fast as she tried hard to think of a possible explanation. I’m Lieutenant Jessica Entis! Not Captain! I’m just a medic!



The bridge doors opened behind her and a figure walked in. Jessica was suddenly overcome by a warm feeling that oozed its way around her body. Her heart was pulsating in her chest. Jessica lay back in the chair and rested her head on the backrest. As she embraced this immense new feeling she could sense a presence behind her. It slowly moved round to the left of her and then into full view before Jessica’s eyes.


It was a woman, and she appeared to be emitting a very bright light. It coursed through her body as bright as the Sun. Jessica shielded her eyes from the brightness before her. She tried to identify the woman stood in front of her but Jessica could not make out any facial features. Infact she couldn’t identify any part of the woman. Her face was a glowing blur; her body the same except much brighter. All the light seemed to be pouring out of the middle of her chest where her heart was as if she had exploded from within.


The strange figure moved closer to Jessica. Jessica wasn’t afraid though. She had an overwhelming feeling that this figure was friendly. What could it be? The figure moved closer to Jessica before stopping right in front of her. The pleasurable feeling Jessica had was intensifying. She looked up at the woman’s blurred face. What does she want?
Amazingly, the rest of the bridge crew hadn’t noticed a thing; or if they had, they had not paid any attention to it, almost as if it was normal. The glowing figure bent down and extended a hand towards Jessica’s face. It got closer, eventually her hand stroked Jessica’s cheek. Jessica suddenly inhaled deeply into her lungs. The warm feeling escalated tremendously. Her heart beat faster and seemed to flutter in her ribcage. This feeling was like no other. She felt full of happiness.





Jessica sprang awake in her bed. She was out of breath as if she’d just run a marathon. Her face was sweating and her long hair stuck to the sides of her face. It was a dream!? She felt somewhat relieved and also upset at the same time. The feeling Jessica had been given by the strange woman was like nothing she’d ever felt. What was that!? She thought to herself. Jessica moved the hair from the sides of her face and glanced over at the clock on her bedside table. It was quarter-past five in the morning. You’ve got be joking? She shuffled to the edge of her bed and proceeded to catch her breath. She debated with herself whether to return to bed or just have a very early start to her day.

Sam
January 18th, 2011, 05:15 PM
Jessica found herself sat ('sitting' is also past tense and might work better here) in the Captain’s ('captain' should be lower-case. It's only when you put in a full title, such as Captain Jacobs, that it becomes upper-case; and also when someone is directly speaking to the captain, because then it's a title and they're capitalised) chair on the bridge. She tried hard to remember how she’d ended up in such a place, but her memory evaded her. She tried to move, to get up before anybody noticed she was there. But despite her hardest efforts, she couldn’t move.


Ensign Lomez and Lieutenant Boss were in their respected positions at the ships helm. Various technicians were pushing buttons and staring at monitors. Nobody had noticed she was (consider 'nobody had noticed her presence') there. Jessica was starting to get frightened. She wondered what Captain Mason would say if he saw her sat (you don't need 'sat') in his chair. He wouldn’t be very happy.



She tried again to remove herself from the chair (consider 'it' instead of repeating 'the chair'). But she wouldn’t budge. It was as if she was glued to the seat itself ('itself' is not entirely necessary. Aim for brevity. Less words = better flow and less things for the reader to trip up on. You don't want them going back to re-read sentences). Jessica looked over to where Lieutenant Boss was seated. She had known Boss for many years and the two of them (again, not necessary) were very close friends. If anyone could help her without telling all to the captain, it was him.


“Boss?” Jessica called out sheepishly in the direction of Boss (consider 'in his direction' to eliminate the use of 'Boss' twice in succession) who was still sat tapping information into the terminal in front of him. He didn’t seem to hear her and remained focused on the screen. “Boss!?” She tried again, a little more loudly this time. He turned in his chair to face Jessica (we're in her point of view, so technically it should be 'her'). “Boss! Help me quick!” She protested before Boss could talk.





“Are you ok (comma before somebody's name or a title associated with them.) Ma’am?” Boss asked. Jessica wondered why he had called her Ma’am (lower-case). They were of the same rank after all and they were good friends. He had never called her Ma’am before. She dismissed the thought. Boss was probably used to being polite to the many seniors that graced the bridge so often.



“Boss, get me out of this chair before the Captain sees me!”



“Captain?” Boss asked, a puzzled look on his face.



“Yes! Captain Mason!” Jessica was starting to get agitated. Boss was never normally this stupid.



“Ma’am, who is Captain Mason? Boss replied, looking more and more confused with everything Jessica said.



“Are you kidding me!? Captain Mason! He’s the commanding officer aboard this ship Boss. Don’t play games with me!” Jessica warned.



“Ma’am…YOU are the Commanding Officer of the Liberty. Are yu sure you’re okay?” Jessica’s heart skipped a beat.



“What? Boss, I’m serious!”



“You are Captain Jessica Entis of the Space Cruiser Liberty Ma’am” Boss informed.


Jessica felt like she’d been hit in the face by something. Every nerve in her body told her this wasn’t right. Something was wrong. This was impossible; it had to be. Jessica sat motionless in the command chair, her mind spinning fast as she tried hard to think of a possible explanation. I’m Lieutenant Jessica Entis! Not Captain! I’m just a medic!



The bridge doors opened behind her and a figure walked in. Jessica was suddenly overcome by a warm feeling that oozed its way around her body. Her heart was pulsating in her chest. Jessica lay back in the chair and rested her head on the backrest. As she embraced this immense new feeling she could sense a presence behind her. It slowly moved round to the left of her and then into full view before her eyes.


It was a woman, and she appeared to be emitting a very bright light. It coursed through her body as bright as the sun. Jessica shielded her eyes from the brightness before her. She tried to identify the woman stood in front of her but Jessica (no need for 'Jessica') could not make out any facial features. In fact she couldn’t identify any part of the woman. Her face was a glowing blur; her body the same except much brighter. All the light seemed to be pouring out of the middle of her chest where her heart was, as if she had exploded from within.


The strange figure moved closer to Jessica. Jessica wasn’t afraid though. She had an overwhelming feeling that this figure was friendly. What could it be? The figure moved closer to Jessica (again, not needed) before stopping right in front of her. The pleasurable feeling Jessica had was intensifying. She looked up at the woman’s blurred face. What does she want?
Amazingly, the rest of the bridge crew hadn’t noticed a thing; or if they had, they had not paid any attention to it, almost as if it was normal. The glowing figure bent down and extended a hand towards Jessica’s face. It got closer, eventually her hand stroked Jessica’s cheek. Jessica suddenly inhaled deeply into her lungs. The warm feeling escalated tremendously. Her heart beat faster and seemed to flutter in her ribcage. This feeling was like no other. She felt full of happiness.





Jessica sprang awake in her bed. She was out of breath as if she’d just run a marathon. Her face was sweating and her long hair stuck to the sides of her face. It was a dream!? She felt somewhat relieved and also upset at the same time. The feeling Jessica had been given by the strange woman was like nothing she’d ever felt. What was that!? She thought to herself. Jessica moved the hair from the sides of her face and glanced over at the clock on her bedside table. It was quarter-past five in the morning. You’ve got be joking? She shuffled to the edge of her bed and proceeded to catch her breath. She debated with herself whether to return to bed or just have a very early start to her day.



For someone who failed English, you have a good grasp of grammar. You just need to tighten your sentences and remove unnecessary repetitions. When we know you're referring to Jessica, you don't need to say her name again. 'She' will suffice. It's only when you're talking about two females that you need to change it, because 'she' could refer to either.

It's an intriguing opening but I felt let down by the ending. The revelation of 'it was just a dream' is sometimes considered a cop-out. Generally speaking, dreamlike or flashback scenes aren't the best way to start a first chapter either.

The writing shows promise. Good luck with it and keep at it.

fossiliferous_g
January 18th, 2011, 06:59 PM
Hi zer0 -
I agree with Sam's comments and suggestions. Dream endings do tend to be cliche; the oh-it-was-just-a-dream foreshadowing doesn't keep a reader in the story. It's not a bad thing to work a dream sequence into a story, but it's almost always a bad lead-in unless the reader recognizes it to be a dream. There are other ways to foreshadow - prophetic sentences, the if-he/she-only-knew-what-was-to-come approach from the narrator. Try reading Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood - she's a masterful writer and she has a way of surprising the reader in the end and combining story elements with devices that are atypical. It's not sci-fi, but there's a sci-fi element to it.
Otherwise, good writing - don't question grammar, there's lots of editors and writers out there who can help you with that - it's the story that's important. Good luck!

Zer0
January 18th, 2011, 10:00 PM
For someone who failed English, you have a good grasp of grammar. You just need to tighten your sentences and remove unnecessary repetitions. When we know you're referring to Jessica, you don't need to say her name again. 'She' will suffice. It's only when you're talking about two females that you need to change it, because 'she' could refer to either.

It's an intriguing opening but I felt let down by the ending. The revelation of 'it was just a dream' is sometimes considered a cop-out. Generally speaking, dreamlike or flashback scenes aren't the best way to start a first chapter either.

The writing shows promise. Good luck with it and keep at it.

Cheers for that Sam. That is exactly the kind of feedback i was looking for. By the way this isn't the first chapter, its the start of the second chapter. The ship Jessica is on has just entered an alien planets atmoshphere, there's an alien on the planet who turns out to be Jessica's sister (wierd i know, but thats the whole point of the story :D ) There's a mental connection between her and her sister which is why these dreams are happening. When her mind is relaxed, she can open a conversation with her sister on the planet through dreams alone. Thats why i'm going for the dream thing. its going to make a lot more sense as the story develops.

Thanks a million for that anylisis, ive read through your points and you really seem to know your stuff. i'll work on tightening like you said.


Hi zer0 -
I agree with Sam's comments and suggestions. Dream endings do tend to be cliche; the oh-it-was-just-a-dream foreshadowing doesn't keep a reader in the story. It's not a bad thing to work a dream sequence into a story, but it's almost always a bad lead-in unless the reader recognizes it to be a dream. There are other ways to foreshadow - prophetic sentences, the if-he/she-only-knew-what-was-to-come approach from the narrator. Try reading Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood - she's a masterful writer and she has a way of surprising the reader in the end and combining story elements with devices that are atypical. It's not sci-fi, but there's a sci-fi element to it.
Otherwise, good writing - don't question grammar, there's lots of editors and writers out there who can help you with that - it's the story that's important. Good luck!

thanks for that. i'm confident i can weave this dream idea into the story well. as this is the 2nd chapter, ive already developed Jessica's character in the 1st chapter, so hopefully the reader will already be interested enough to wonder why she's had this dream she's had (< Repetition again ! Sorry Sam :P ) As for the editors...i'm gonna need em ! :D

Luckystars1987
January 18th, 2011, 10:09 PM
Good going Zer0. I'm not going to give any critique on this one as it has all been said, i won't repeat it :) (like what I did there?!)
I know how you feel with needing editor's and advice, it's just a little bit scary too, I have yet to pluck up the courage and deem the work i've done so far as forum worthy yet (It's catching!)!.
I'm glad you posted this and would like to read more :)

Razzazzika
January 18th, 2011, 10:45 PM
I agree on the whole "its a dream" cop out, I was immediately drawn in by the story, however. If you had not called this chapter 2, and instead started a brand new story there, and made it NOT a dream sequence, you'd REALLY be on to something.

Zer0
January 19th, 2011, 12:17 AM
Good going Zer0. I'm not going to give any critique on this one as it has all been said, i won't repeat it :) (like what I did there?!)
I know how you feel with needing editor's and advice, it's just a little bit scary too, I have yet to pluck up the courage and deem the work i've done so far as forum worthy yet (It's catching!)!.
I'm glad you posted this and would like to read more :)

Don't worry, there's plenty more to come ;)

You should post your own material too. When i was in school i wrote a short story. My teacher graded it a G+. thats right, a G+! i got a D in my english language. in my English Literature i wrote five lines, gave up and fell asleep. Then for some unkwown reason, about 2 weeks ago, i decided to write a story. i posted on here and published authors are saying its got promise. that gives me more inspiration then ever to write more. So you should get your stuff up! :D


I agree on the whole "its a dream" cop out, I was immediately drawn in by the story, however. If you had not called this chapter 2, and instead started a brand new story there, and made it NOT a dream sequence, you'd REALLY be on to something.

Hmmm, i'm not sure. What i could do is make it not a dream but real life. and switch the scene so that she visits her late one night in her quarters. Seems iv'e got more thinking to do !

Luckystars1987
January 19th, 2011, 12:34 AM
I would like to see how you switch the scene, i'll keep a look out for the next part.
I will post eventually Zer0 I just give myself a hard time first before I let people read it :)
It's good that you're so enthusiastic about writing even if it has just come around all of a sudden.

Zer0
January 19th, 2011, 02:24 AM
I would like to see how you switch the scene, i'll keep a look out for the next part.
I will post eventually Zer0 I just give myself a hard time first before I let people read it :)
It's good that you're so enthusiastic about writing even if it has just come around all of a sudden.

not sure if im going to switch it yet. still have to decide. i've planned this for ages so it would be hard for me to just play switch-a-roo with the scenes.

everyone that knows me is amazed at my sudden enthusiasm. i'm the lad who sat at the back with nothing but the date and title written in his book while everyone else had written pages of material. seriously, i used english class as rest time so i could concentrate more on science. So now i'm determined to finish this and get it published. too prove to everybody that i don't have to have a pass mark in my english exam to be a published author :)

Tripp
January 23rd, 2011, 11:30 PM
Hey Zero,, I have to agree, your story has promise.
As for the debate about the dream, you might try doing something different aside from the normal cliché. She wakes up to think it's a dream only to see the light/her sister in her room, or her sister gives something to her that's in the room, or a goat enters her room to repeat something that was said in the dream. Something different. Think of the waking-up-and-it-was-only-a-dream cliché as making rice. Everyone can make rice. Add some spices or other ingredients to it, so it becomes unique to you.
Look forward to reading more!
Tripp

smkilby06
February 6th, 2011, 03:12 AM
I, like the others posted here, was with you until I found out it was a dream, and then I found myself greatly disappointed. On a happy note I think with a little re-writing you could let us know its a dream and I would be more than happy to accept that. Keep writing and posting I love reading everyone's stuff.

aesir22
February 10th, 2011, 04:56 PM
Hiya,

Yeah I liked it. It isn't my usual cup of tea but I would like to read it. You used her name a little too often...I think this was mentioned by another poster? Referring to Jessica as 'she' is fine. Just be wary about then overusing the word 'she' lol!

The whole 'it was a dream' thing is sometimes looked down on. But as long as the dream was relevant, and led to something, I think it is fine. Forexample, if the dream was really a memory floating to the surface. Or a prophetic vision of the future. I'd consider those quite intriguing personally lol, but I am no pro!