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Ultraroel
August 25th, 2016, 08:07 PM
With calculated precision two metal pads attached themselves to a patch of organic tissue among a lump of metal mixed with meat of life-form 123-B. Before detachment, the Core Mk. IV performed the last functionality checks.

Online systems functional? Check...

Vitalbody systems operational? Check...

Connection ready? Check...

Experiment 213.5 – Final stage, ready for execution...

The Core checked the last connection of the pads to the tissue, then withdrew the arms from the lump. An armored-glass cubicle erected around the subject as the arms retracted. Experiment 213.5 Execution in 3...2...1...

An electrical shock rushed through the subject and the organic tissue twitched once, then laid still. Another electrical current pulsed through the body. The body twitched again, more violent than before.The Core registered a throbbing sound that distinctively increased in strength over a short period of time.

Initiation...Succes...

Stabilisation in progress...

Another metal arm popped from the ceiling above experiment 213.5. The firstsuccesful start up of the muscular tissue known as the heart. Itfiled away the settings and configurations of the attempt for laterreproduction. The beat of the heart was steady and regular. None ofthe hearts had done so before, it promised well for future attempts.Artificial pumps, started artificially inserting oxygen into thelungs of test subject 213.5. The Core left the mixed body where itwas, the succes filed away and no longer interesting for the timebeing. Camera's, microphones and other evaluating devices would warnwhen changes occured inside or outside the test subject.

The Core turned its attention to the Southern body. The main body of its offensive forces were attacking one of the bigger cities of Life-form 186-C. The life-forms were particularly stubborn and ... Its main processors were triggered by warnings of the laboratories. Testsubject 213.5. The heart beat regular, though its pace had increased up to ninety beats per minute. Temperature of the body raised and muscles of the subject started twitching, the limbs of the body whipping back and forth. The body fluttered for a good measure of time, while the Core Mk. IV meticulously tracked all changes with measuring instruments. It noted that the metal parts twitched and shook as much as the organical parts of the lump. Another issue on the battle-front alerted the Core, asking for his attention. It ignored the alert and kept watch attentively.

The twitching of the arms, legs and body stopped. The eyelid of the organic eye twitched, the ball underneath rolling violently in its socket. The eyelid slowed, then finally stopped. Heart rate regular, body temperature still rising, the Core shifted its attention to the battlefront. Communication with his front units had dropped. No communication had come in what happened. It started processing the last camera images of the units. Every machine in his command were equipped with camera's and microphones. Another component of the Core was dedicated to battle-tactic analysis and counter-measure production. The images showed the battle proceeding according to plan, then the screens went white. No image existed on any of the footage before the units ceased to communicate.

The one eye of test subject winked open. A clear, pristine eye stared into the camera, the diffused layer gone. Processors that reviewed the footage of the lost units aborted their tasks as the Core focused his attention on the test subject once again. The eye blinked again, moved from one side of the camera to the other, every movement the pupils of the test subject dilated more. The oxygen machine gave off warning signals as the body used more oxygen than expected. The lungs bulged deeper, faster. Muscles in the upper part of the subjects body bulged as the subject send electrical signals to the move.

The body shocked as the it send signals to all of it's limbs,wildy flailing arms and legs around and on the table. The dry, translucent red lips parted, the red lump of meat moved around.


"Grhrgrgrhhrll... Grhrgrgrhhrll.."

After a time, the arms moved less violent and stopped moving. A drop of liquid rolled from from the inner part of the eyelids down to the metal parts of the head. Oxygen usage dropped. The mouth and contents kept moving. The mouth kept twitching as time continued, till the heart rate slowly dropped. Despite the Core's efforts to warm up the body, the temperature of the body dropped and the oxygen usage dwindled to a minimum. For the first time in 213 of these experiments, Mark IV had managed to bring a non-functional heart, back to life.

_________

It's the introduction chapter to my story for the first cyborg in my world.
I've tried to keep the "MC" which is an AI component out of the story as it's AI and not a human with emotion.

Any kind of feedback is greatly appreciated.

Olly Buckle
August 29th, 2016, 10:33 AM
Do you have an issue with toast crumbs getting under the space bar :) Seriously, you have missed quite a few.

In some ways this is background rather than essential plot line, and as such is a bit wordy in places; for example,

Camera's, microphones and other evaluating devices would warnwhen changes occured inside or outside the test subject.

could easily be

Camera's, microphones and other devices kept watch.

After all what else would they be watching for but change? Less is more, you don't need to spell everything out.

Llook, this is mostly deletion,

The twitching stopped; the eyelid of the organic eye twitched, the ball underneath rolling violently. The eyelid slowed, then stopped. Heart rate regular, body temperature still rising, the Core shifted its attention to the battlefront.
PEOPLE WANT TO GET INTO THE STORY, SO DO YOU, YOU SEEM TOHAVE ADOPTED A SORTOF SHORTHAND
Communication with his front units had dropped. No communication had come in what happened.
cOMMUNICATION WITH THE FORWARD UNITS WAS LOST WITHOUT EXPLANATION
It started processing the last images of FROM the units.

Every machine in his command were equipped with camera's and microphones. Another component of the Core was dedicated to battle-tactic analysis and counter-measure production.
NOT REALLY NEEDED, BUT, 'EVERY MACHINE' SINGULAR, 'WERE' PLURAL, SO 'ALL MACHINES WERE', OR 'EVERY MACHINE WAS'
The images showed the battle proceeding according to plan, then the screens went white.

No image existed on any of the footage before the units ceased to communicate.
I DON'T THINK YOU MEAN THAT, BUT 'NO IMAGE SHOWED WHY THE UNITS CEASED TO COMMUNICATE' ?

There are a number of minor issues of a similar nature to that last one, my experience is that if I read my work aloud they jump out at me as I try to read them, give it a go. My main issue though would be that people want introductory material kept to a minimum, they are there for ther main event, which holds some promise, let's get there! :)

Keep writing, good luck.

Ultraroel
August 29th, 2016, 10:55 AM
Thank you for the response Olly!
Most of it is clear and definitely solid as I notice I put it down and then have troubles reformulating it. Making it even more of a mess than it was :D

A few questions on what you mean exactly :

"PEOPLE WANT TO GET INTO THE STORY, SO DO YOU, YOU SEEM TOHAVE ADOPTED A SORTOF SHORTHAND"
What do you mean with a shorthand ?

Would you mind looking at a revision ? :D

Olly Buckle
August 29th, 2016, 11:55 PM
What do you mean with a shorthand ?
TBH I am not sure, I must have had some reason. Probably because this, '...body temperature still rising, the Core shifted its attention...' could be read as the Core's temperature rising as you have not specified otherwise. The repetition of 'the' is a bit awkward, 'The twitching stopped; the eyelid of the organic eye twitched, the ball underneath rolling violently. The eyelid slowed,', I was glad you didn't continue 'The heart rate; the body temperature' :)

More seriously,to tell us the twitching stopped, and then that it is still going is a bit of a contradiction, try something like this ;
The twitching stopped; then started again as the eyelid of the organic eye twitched and the ball beneath rolled violently, before slowing and steadying.

On the other hand there is this sentence,

No communication had come in what happened.That certainly felt like something is missing, like,
No communication had come in as to what had happened.
No communication had come in about what happened.
No communication had come in regarding what happened.
That is just the sort of thing the eye goes over, but jumps out when you read aloud

Hello Writing
August 30th, 2016, 12:17 AM
I Love ones like This, where they start out in a random part of the book so the readers Must Build up the Clues To Know What is Going on. Overall i think it was a great Read. :grin:

Jay Greenstein
August 30th, 2016, 02:35 AM
You're thinking cinematically, and describing what's happening in the scene you're visualizing. So that image generated the words, yes. But the reader will use what the words mean to them, based on their background and knowledge. So, knowing nothing about where we are, what's going on, or whose skin I'm supposed to be wearing, will the words give me a visualization even remotely like the one that inspired the words? Look at the opening as a reader will:
With calculated precision two metal pads attached themselves to a patch of organic tissue among a lump of metal mixed with meat of life-form 123-B. What in the pluperfect hells is "a patch of organic tissue among a lump of metal mixed with meat of life-form 123-B? You know. The beings in the story know. But the reader? Not a clue.

And you cannot say that if the reader continues they will understand, as more information is introduced, because reader's won't. Confuse or bore a reader for a single line while they're deciding if they want to read the story or seek one they like better and they leave, right then. You might have fascinating characters living an amazing story, but the reader will never know them because they are volunteers, not conscripts, and we must make them want to keep turning pages by entertaining them on each page. As the amazing Sol Stein observed, “A novel is like a car—it won’t go anywhere until you turn on the engine. The “engine” of both fiction and nonfiction is the point at which the reader makes the decision not to put the book down. The engine should start in the first three pages, the closer to the top of page one the better.”

Dig into the tricks of the fiction writing trade a bit to see what the pros take for granted and publishers expect. It's well worth the time.

Ultraroel
August 30th, 2016, 06:24 PM
Jay, thank you.

I started writing in December 2015, so I bet I have a lot to learn and probably will keep learning as long as I'm writing.
I'm trying to write as much as I possible can and try to adapt to most of the information that I read and try to implement this.
Its hard as a lot of people provide contradicting information and opinions.

Seeing as you pointed this out, what would be the best exercise to change this way of explaining it? Unfortunately I'm not a native speaker and I hardly have anyone around me that feels comfortable to provide me feedback.
Someone pointed me at an amateur website, but its so skewed to one type of genre that I do not fit in with what I'm writing.

Are there exercises other than the ones that Olly pointed out (reading out loud) that will help me judge how a fresh reader will write it?

Somehow my pieces don't seem interesting enough to receive a lot of feedback from people on other websites (I don't mean you guys, but getting things looked at by people you don't know is quite hard if you are not in a group of writers etc.) So I need to find a way to judge the quality of my own work. But as I'm merely new, I find it very hard to do so.


So both Jay and Olly said this is not an interesting start? Is it the narrative that makes it uninteresting or is it the scene itself that make it uninteresting? I myself thought it would be intriguing and interesting to see how it works out in the future.


Olly, thanks for the explanation. I realize and did not realize (hope you get it) that the repetition of the word 'The' makes a jarring start and disrupts the flow of reading.
I actually tried a revision of the part, but maybe it's still too fresh in my mind.

Some small pointers whether I repeat my mistakes or whether it's addressed would be greatly appreciated. I find it hard to judge this myself.
Again: All of you, thanks for taking the time to help a noobie like me :D

______________

Metal arms reached out to the sides of the reconstructed body of Experiment 213. Two metal pads stuck to the side of the organic tissue and two connected to the mechanical side of the chest. An Intubation tube was shoved down the throat of the test subject.

The Core Mk. IV double checked the functionality of the mechanical parts.

Online systems functional? Check...

Vital body systems operational? Check...

Connection ready? Check...

Experiment 213.5 – Final stage, ready for execution...

It retracted the metal arms and lowered the measuring instruments that monitored the vital functions of the hybrid-body.

Experiment 213.5 – Execution in 3...2...1...

The Core jolted electrical shocks through the metal pads into test subject 213. The body twitched, limps flailed, then laid still. Another electrical shock and the body twiched more violent than before. The instruments registered a pulsing sound that increased distinctively in strength. The Core initiated intubation, forced oxygen into lungs that had been idle for weeks.

Initiation... Success

Stabilisation in progress...

The first successful start-up of the muscle known as the "heart," the Core saved the configuration of the start-up process for later reproduction. The heart beat regular and steady, the experiment exceeded calculated expectations. The succes filed away, the Core switched its attention to the battlefield in sector 24,15. Camera's, microphones and other devices kept watch on the test subject.

The culling in sector 24,15 was proceeding according to plan, but Life-form 186.C had shown to be stubborn and creative. A troublesome combination that forced the Core to spend a significant amount of effort into actively commanding his armies. The life-form was a threat to the existence of balance, the culling was according to protocol, but it had proven to be demanding. The main processor triggered warnings, the monitoring devices registered significant changes in the functionality of the reconstructed body. The Core tore its attention from the battlefield.

The heartbeat of the body increased, temperature rose and the oxygen usage rose. Both mechanical as organical limbs of the body flailed to the sides, its chest shook as muscles contracted. Twitches pulsed through the body. Alarm signals of the battelfield required its attention, the Core ignored the requests and continued to monitor the performance of the reconstruction. The eyelid fluttered; the organic ball underneath rolled violently, before slowing and steadying. The seizures stopped as soon as the eye ball steadied. Leaving the instruments to monitor the body, the Core refocused on Sector 24,15.

The warning signals indicated communication with 46% of his front units had dropped simulataneously. The Core processed the last footage from the units. The culling had progressed according to plan, but an attack of unknown nature had disabled the microphones and cameras. Blind and without specific orders, the units switched to stand-by. Shortly after, communication ceased.

The organic eye of the test subject winked open. A clear, prisine eye stared into the camera. The layer of diffusion that clouded the eye gone. Processors that reviewed the footage of the lost units put tasks on hold as as the Core focused his attention on the test subject again. The eye blinked, than darted from side to side. Heart beat increased and oxygen usage increased to levels the Core had not registered before as the test subject drew breath deeper than intubation allowed.

"Grhrgrgrhhrll... Grhrgrgrhhrll.."

The limbs of the reconstructed body moved up, the organic arm tugging at the intubation tube. A drop of liquid rolled from from the inner part of the eyelids down to the metal parts of the head. It took a while before the oxygen usage dropped. The test subject released the intubation tube with a final tug. Despite the Core's efforts to warm up the body, the temperature of the body diminished and finally, the heart stopped it's regular beat. For the first time in 213 of these experiments, Mark IV had managed to bring a non-functional heart, back to life.

Olly Buckle
August 30th, 2016, 06:59 PM
Its hard as a lot of people provide contradicting information and opinions.
That rings very true; look at the comment from Hello Writing, what is not for one appeals to another.
Things like starting successive sentences with 'The', putting 'and' before every item in a list, or starting successive sentences 'She said...', 'She went...', 'She came..' etc. are usually things that people do without realising. On the other hand every so often you come across someone who has done it deliberately for a particular effect, there is a passage of Hemingway where he uses 'and' repeatedly in a list, and it works giving a certain desperate feel to it. In other words there are rules, but if you realise you are using a run on sentence or a comma splice, it's fine to break them.

Jay Greenstein
August 31st, 2016, 03:04 AM
Someone pointed me at an amateur website, but…Here's the thing: This is a great site, far better then most, and it's really useful in many ways. But an online writers site isn't the place to learn how to write because while the advice given is heartfelt, and sincerely offered, you haven't the knowledge to tell the on-target from the sincerely believed but inaccurate offerings. And when you're missing information, things that sound logical but aren't appear to have more weight than they should. After all, who best knows how to write for publication? Me, someone whose work you won't find in your local bookstore, or a publisher...or agent...or teacher...or a writer whose work you admire?

So stay here, talk, discuss, and spend time with people like yourself. That goes without saying. But at the same time. if you hope to be thought serious about your writing, does it not make sense to spend time and a few coins to acquire a professional bag of tricks—your writer's education? Knowledge is, after all, a useful working substitute for genius. And your local library's fiction writing section may have exactly what you need.

My articles on writing were intended to provide an overview of the issues, like why a strong character viewpoint matters so much and why we want the reader to mirror the protagonist. But in the end, I always point the hopeful writer to the pros. They may not always be right, or have advice that works for you, but at least we know it worked for them.

I'm not allowed to link to my articles in the body of a post, but I can link to a really great condensation of one way of providing a strong POV (https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing), and I strongly suggest you chew on it for a time, till it makes sense, then pick a modern action story that made you feel as if you were living it as you read, and see how that author used the technique.

Ultraroel
September 1st, 2016, 09:45 AM
The problem is that I'm not native, so the style and such does not come as easy as it might for someone else.
I live in Bulgaria, where there is not much about writing in English. ;)

I'm more and more considering writing in Dutch, though I don't really enjoy it that much.
I would like to say that I've tried to keep this piece dry. Its written from an AI perspective, it hardly has feeling and to keep the POV realistic, I did not add anything extra than the absolute necessary parts that an AI would notice. I'll chew and chew and keep trying to improve for now :)

Ignorant as I am, I did post another part that I wrote in this forum.
Its from the same WIP, but written from a human perspective, I think its quite different and I hope you guys might take the time to read this too, to see how the previous advice applies to this.

Jay Greenstein
September 2nd, 2016, 03:05 AM
I would like to say that I've tried to keep this piece dry. Its written from an AI perspective,Actually, it's not written from anyone's viewpoint. The AI is the focus character, in that you talk about it, and the sequence of events. Viewpoint is internal and what's presented is external. For the most part you're playing the camera and telling the reader what you see happening—what they would see were this a film. But facts have little emotional content, so the reader is being informed. But don't we read for entertainment?

Below is the same sequence of events, twice. First from a cinematic viewpoint, then in the protagonist's viewpoint. In this, a chunk from my WIP, Jim has accidentally viewed a mass execution by a terrorist group. Captured and transported to an estate by the terrorists, he's been confined to a room there, with no means of escape while they determine who he is. He's been questioned, and told that if he is what he says he is they will release him.
The door closed and Jim thought over the situation. That the man had lied, he decided, and he would be killed later that day. He would soon die if he didn't take action, and death didn't appeal.

“Not that way. I won’t go that way,” he said, banging a fist on the table. He banged again, angrily, saying, “Not that way, Jim. Not without company.”We know the facts, but we don't know the man. And there's no feeling that time is passing as we watch. We know what was said but not what drove him to say it, so it's a report, for all practical purposes, related by an invisible narrator in a tone free of emotion. And where's the fun in that? Sure, we hope he doesn't die, but learning if he does or not will be an informational, not an emotional experience. Contrast that with our being in the character's viewpoint, and knowing what drives him and why:
For a time Jim sat looking at the closed door. The man had spoken words of assurance, but he believed none of them. Someone surely would remember the screams that had accompanied the shooting. By necessity, their reasoning must run: Perhaps he saw and heard nothing. Perhaps he will say nothing in any case. Perhaps he has no idea of where he is now. But if we kill him, we don’t have to depend on “perhaps.”

Later that day he’d be conducted to the van once again, with the explanation that he was being taken to where he’d be released. When he found himself at the plant, they would tell him to wait inside the building until they’d driven away. And while he stood frozen at the sight of the bodies on the floor, realizing that he had just participated in his own slaughter, they would kill him.

“No!” His fist slammed on the table as the full realization of what would happen filled his thoughts.

“Not that way. I won’t go that way.” The last was a whisper as he shivered uncontrollably. He sat, eyes unfocused for a time, expression hardening. Once again he hit the tabletop, this time in cold anger.

“Not that way, Jim. Not without company.” Looking over the cold hard facts, he resigned himself to death. That was a given. But die without a struggle? Not without at least trying to take some of them with him. His reaction was very unlike the Jim Cross he thought he knew so well, but of necessity, he was no longer that man. Perhaps he’d die in the hall outside the room, perhaps in it, but he wouldn’t go along with them, a lamb to the slaughter, hoping a miracle would bring safety. Always and always he had accepted what life had in store. Now was the time to stop. There at the desk, for the first time in his adult life, Jim Cross clearly faced the idea of his own death. He saw it, and he knew quite clearly that it was inevitable, but he also rejected it. Unknowing, he slipped from his normal quiet acceptance of things as they were, to a state near that of the berserker. Anger replaced his normal calm, and he rose, falling into the fighters crouch without conscious volition.Great writing. Probably not. But look at the sequence. We learn his reasoning, based on what happened before, and experience the flash of understanding that gives lie to the promise to release him later. And we follow his thinking and emotional journey over time, moment-by-moment, rather than as a synopsis.

Jim reacts to that realization that they plan to kill him in a way that foreshadows the action to come, letting the reader know that he will try, so they, knowing the room and the resources, will (hopefully) think about what they would do in his place. Because we know the nature of storytelling, we know he probably will survive. After all, he is our protagonist, and it's early in the story. But the question is: how? So there's a hook, a reason to want to read on.

And as he reacts, and accepts the reality of his situation we learn of his character, and perhaps admire him for not giving in to despair. So over the time of several minutes, our mild mannered real estate man has morphed into a warrior—as have we. And that can't happen unless we understand the situation, his resources, and his motivation for acting.

The facts in both versions are the same. But when we're being shown the protagonist's world from the inside out we share it, and have reason to worry about our new friend. And that matters, because readers feed on worry.

The very best thing you can do is make the reader say, "Hmm...I don't know where this is going, but it sounds interesting, so far." Do that every page or so and they're with you to "the end."
Ignorant as I am, I did post another part that I wrote in this forumI looked. And as I expected, the approach to presenting the scene was the same, a focus on the events as explained by the narrator.

It's no reflection on you, your talent, or potential as a writer. It's that you're writing exactly as we all were taught to write: fact-based and author-centric, with a goal of informing the reader clearly and concisely. Remember all those reports and essays they made us write? They do that because they're preparing us to earn a living, and employers need people with nonfiction writing skills. So it's not a matter of which language you write in, it's that fiction's goal is to entertain, so the writing is emotion-based and character-centric—a style of writing that probably wasn't mentioned in your school days.

I know this is a hell of a time to learn that, but we all leave school believing that writing is writing, and that we have that part under control. And who's to tell us different? Certainly not the people who went through the same school system. And that includes most of our teachers.

The good news is that your local library probably has a fiction writing section, so the information is easy enough to find. And there are lots of online articles on it, including my own, so given that you've demonstrated that you can write using the set of tools and techniques we were taught, you obviously are capable of learning those that apply to making your fiction take flight.

Is that easy? Read a book and you're set? No. It took you time, study, and practice to perfect your current skills. But the good news is that if you are meant to be a writer you'll find the learning a lot like going backstage at the theater.

Follow that link I gave to the article on viewpoint. Chew on it till it makes sense, and then try writing a version of that other chapter using it. I think you'll find that it forces you to become her and view the situation as she does. As a sample of what I mean, you begin with Alexa running, and focus on all aspects of her running. But that's an external view. In her mind, her need to be certain she isn't about to be caught would be of far more importance than that the ground shook or that leaves rained down on her. Those are the things you notice. But it's what's important to her that matters. It is her story, after all. Right?

Hope this clarifies

Agrippa91
September 4th, 2016, 12:04 AM
I just wanted to pipe in to say that I agree with the above posters. Don't underestimate the power that can come from actually taking time to learn the "rules of the craft." Mind you, reading fiction -- and a lot of it -- is necessary for most of us mortals to become good writers. That said, nearly every story has an underlying structure (a protagonist, an obstacle, and a goal that the obstacle risks preventing the protagonist from achieving), and (furthermore) readers expect certain things like POV to be presented in an easy-to-understand manner that does not take away from the focus on the plot.

I don't know the forum rules about whether or not we can suggest books on writing, but if you go to the Kindle store on Amazon, there are a lot of great books that discuss the basic rules of the craft. You have potential -- it's up to you to develop that potential.

Ultraroel
September 5th, 2016, 04:14 PM
Thanks a lot.
Well, I think I needed a shift in looks. Recently I've been going over a lot of samish books and haven't really tried to analyze why I liked it and how it was constructed.
In addition to the information I received before, I've had some other feedback with a rewrite that showed me really well what the difference was with what I wrote.

I'm trying to change the way I write, try to take the reader more by the hand and show her experience rather than just describing, though it's a hard thing to "judge" of your own writing.

I'm completely rewriting some parts, hoping to find that way of writing that I like myself to read.
Too bad it's hard to find the "rules of the craft" if you are unfamiliar with that whatsoever.

Maybe cause I'm a non-native, but I've found a rewrite of what I'm actually missing in my stories very useful and clarifying, rather than a wall of text ;)
Anyway.. working on it and will definitely continue to try and keep going.

ultralight01
September 5th, 2016, 06:21 PM
Very nice. A Cyborg is an interesting subject for a book, and their creation is also questionable. I don't really know where your story is about to go, but it looks like you know how to write!
Good luck!