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The Sixth Day (1 Viewer)

glenn84

Senior Member
Hey escorial, thanks for reading! Not a biblical piece, I promise. Just the story of a guy who thinks he's Jesus reincarnated.
 

thepancreas11

New Writers' Mentor
Senior Member
I never would have thought to cross science fiction with religion like this. Just the setting gives off this tense vibe: two opposing forces, pulling humanity in opposite directions. That's a cool concept. I like this heretical prophet too. He's another paradox of sorts, just like all those holy cult leaders, kind of like what Jesus must have been to the Jews back in the day. As a reader, you're not sure whether to support him or to hate him, even after he kills poor David. Time machine pieces often play around with this kind of skewed morality.

I wish you had been more efficient with your description, though; that would have had me hook line and sinker. I mean, here you have a guy traveling back to the days of creation, and you've basically got him sitting in a box for a paragraph. Live it up there. Maybe the lights are strobing, maybe the machine is rattling, maybe the panel smokes and jiggles. You missed an opportunity to really get crazy with the lights and sounds. This is your live concert, and you've got a guy on stage playing the Triangle. Pump up the crowd! And then there's the fight with the serpent, where you kind of get into it, but there's just way more potential. What kind of pattern does it have on it's skin? What are the color of its eyes? This is an epic struggle between the MC and the devil himself, and the way you've written it, some guy is waving a knife at a snake. On the other hand, you have moments where the description doesn't make sense. You don't hear the pulse of another person unless you have your head to their chest. I'm not a huge fan of things like "looking with curiosity" either because that doesn't really say much about their appearance.

A couple of other quick points:
1) Don't use passive voice. Don't use it with your adjectives either. "Glowing of lights" or "life of 45 years" are awkward phrases. He LIVED 45 years. The lights WERE GLOWING red. The lights GLOWED red. Be direct. We want the plot to turn us in circles, not the writing.
2) The only two decades that this David can think about are the 1990's and the 1960's? That's it? That's his ambition? I understand the 1960's, but why not somewhere in the 1600's to visit Newton or Galileo? Why not ancient Egypt to see the glory of the undamaged pyramids? Pick something super cool.
3) In the bible, the only reason that Adam & Eve have any kids is because Eve was all like, "Hey Adam, eat this pomegranate," and Adam was like, "Sure, Eve. That snakes seems like a real stand up guy. We should listen to him." If they don't eat the fruit, they don't have the kids, and if they don't have the kids, then there's no Noah there to get all Ark-buildy. If you're suggesting that his effort was futile, then you need more than a hint there.
4) Hold on to your "but"s. Use them sparingly. When you're butting everything, you're contradicting everything. When you put two of them conjoined together, you're sentence structure is poop. "Caine swiped the knife at its arrowhead shaped head, but the Serpent swiftly dodged it, snapping at Caine’s hand in return. But Caine was ready." He did this, but he did this, but he did this. You have three realities here: Caine swiping the knife, the Serpent dodging, and Caine dodging too. You should really have only one reality, two at the most. Caine swiped the knife, but the Serpent saw it coming. The Serpent dodges, lunges for Caine, and he narrowly misses. Rewrite that sequence. (In general, be aware of repetitive words and phrases like "arrowHEAD shaped HEAD").

Not a bad start, but it's a long way from finished. A first draft, one that only you have read, is usually like this, so don't get discouraged. The important part is that you've got a great idea, and I would take a great idea over great writing any day of the week, not to say that this is bad writing, to be clear. Revise it and let me know, and I'll be happy to look at it again.
 

glenn84

Senior Member
Thank you for reading Pancreas and for the valuable feedback you've provided.

I feel in the beginning the descriptions of the Time Machine were sufficient to carry it along for the remainder of the story. Its "Golden Glare" appearance and the "Humming" sound it generated, as well as the lights that flashed red, orange and green. I didn't want to go into too much detail about the appearance of the inside of the Machine. Since it's a short story, I wanted to move the story along as quickly as possible.

As for the Serpent's description, I thought I did a good job of describing its features in this passage:

Caine heard a rustling sound come from nearby. There, hanging onto a tree, getting ready to snatch a bird from its nest, was the Serpent. It slid up the trunk like a thief in the darkness. Its red jewel eyes glowing, forked tongue flickering in and out from its mouth so fast it hardly made a noise. Its oily reptilian skin the color of grass. The head the size of a hand made into a fist bobbed up and down as it stretched itself the entire length of the tree, camouflaged from its prey among the branches and leaves.

“Now the Serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made,” Caine read the line in his head.

It gathered itself on the branch with poetic form; not one leaf fell as it coiled its entire weight into a heap, its elongated neck feeling the air. It sat there and watched the small bird as it pecked at a worm. Then, like lightning, it snapped the bird in between its airtight jaws, sinking its long, sharp fangs into the poor creature’s neck before devouring it whole.

I went ahead and removed the 1990s reference that David makes. Removed "pulse" and exchanged it for "breathing." You make some good points on the use of Buts, so I went ahead and restructured that passage with shorter sentences, making it much snappier and action packed in the process. I also went ahead and reworked "arrowhead shaped head" to a much less confusing "arrow-shaped head."

Thanks again for the feedback. Very much appreciated.
 
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