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View Full Version : Ripples-Short Excerpt of "The First Law"- Feedback Appreciated



LaMDoH123
September 10th, 2019, 02:39 PM
This is an idea I had for a scene in a novel I'm writing. It may appear in the book in this form, a different form, or not at all. Tell me what you think.

"Ripples"

LaMDoH123

2019

“Pal, take us to one gravity, please. Keep us there until I say so.”

“You got it, Seb. One g coming up.”

The pitch of the engines changed slightly as the Milton adjusted its acceleration. Becky stared at Sebastian, presenting an inquisitive eyebrow despite the grav-strain writ clear across her face.

“Will you be alright, girl?” She nodded.

They were sitting cross-legged on the floor in the training room, a wide, low bowl between them. Once the acceleration had steadied out, Sebastian proceeded to fill the bowl with water. They then waited until the water calmed and became still.

Both were silent for a while until Sebastian finally spoke. “Tell me what you see.”

“What?”

“Look into the water, and tell me what you see.”

Becky looked at the bowl. It was just a metal bowl. She looked back up at Sebastian, but he remained expressionless. She stood up, looking down at the water, trying to see what she was supposed to see. The metal of the bowl was polished to a mirror sheen, and she saw a reflection of herself. “I see myself. My reflection.”

“Exactly. That is what the Aether is- a reflection of our world, always present, always looking back at us. And if our world was as flat and calm as the water, that’s all it would ever be. But it’s not.”

Sebastian reached into a pocket and pulled out a handful of nuts, bolts, and screws. He tossed one into the bowl with a splash, ripples spreading out from the impact. “Sadness.” Splash. “Joy.” Splash. “Hate. Love. Anger. Lust. Pride. Ambition. Compassion. Greed. War. Hunger. Suffering.” Each word, punctuated by a splash, was pronounced with all the gravity of a doom. “Now what do you see?”

Becky stared down at the water, at the reflection now altered by the overlapping ripples. It was different, twisted, almost...demonic. Her eyes widened.

Sebastian saw the realization hit her. “That is what it is. That is what we fight. All of humanity’s emotions, all our best traits, and flaws, reflected back at us. It is a place without balance, without rules or restraint. It is us. We create it, we feed it, and it wants nothing more than to give us what we seem to want. And believe me, what we want would kill us. As long as a single living being exists, so will it. That is why this war can never be won. It can only be fought.”

Bmble_B
October 26th, 2019, 03:35 AM
I absolutely love fiction that really makes you think, and this doesn't disappoint. I found the ending quote "That is why this war can never be won. It can only be fought.” Extremely powerful. You ended this scene on a great note, and now I just want to read more. You also don't give too much away in terms of story, you answer only the necessary questions for the reader to be on the same page as Sebastian. Nice work.

In terms of critique, I feel that some points made here could be trimmed a bit to really hit home as hard as your closer.

An example is when Sebastian starts to list the human emotions: “Sadness.” Splash. “Joy.” Splash. “Hate. Love. Anger. Lust. Pride. Ambition. Compassion. Greed. War. Hunger. Suffering.”

I found this part a tad tiring to go through, had it been a few words shorter, I feel like its effect would have lingered.

But great scene, I can't wait to see more.

rarie
October 27th, 2019, 01:06 AM
Wow, really awesome! I loved how the scene ended.
One thing I would say is that the line 'Becky looked at the bowl. It was just a metal bowl.' felt a little repetitive.
But it really pulls you in, I can't wait to see what happens next.

LaMDoH123
October 28th, 2019, 01:13 AM
I'm glad you liked it! I am particularly proud of this scene. You may have a point about the emotions bit, though. I've also posted the first three chapters of the book on the forum, but I'll warn you. They're a little action-y. This is later in the book, during a more introspective period. For the beginning, I kind of throw the reader in the deep end.

LaMDoH123
October 28th, 2019, 01:14 AM
I see what you're saying. Maybe "There was nothing special about it"? Anyways, I'm glad you liked it! I am particularly proud of this scene. I've also posted the first three chapters of the book on the forum, but I'll warn you. They're a little action-y. This is later in the book, during a more introspective period. For the beginning, I kind of throw the reader in the deep end.

Tiger
October 31st, 2019, 07:25 AM
This was outstanding, I love this scene alot and the contrast between the bowl and the describing words of it were uncanny! Good job, I want to read more.

BenFitz31
November 29th, 2019, 04:48 PM
This looks amazing. One of those scenes that sucks you into the story. The writing style's really good to-- descriptive word choice, but not overdone.