Sarah B

06/01/2020- SarahB-Ship'sCat-Writing exercise-2,100 words

27 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

This chapter is actually a writing exercise from from Writing Excuses. The goal was to communicate to the reader what kind of story it will be using the first chapter. This isn't a part of an ongoing project and will likely only every be a writing exercise, so please don't worry about doing a careful reading or edit. What I am hoping for is your answers to three questions after reading the first chapter:
 
1. What tone and type of story are you expecting?
 
2. What elements would you expect to see?
 
3. What big moment/climax would you anticipate, based on the first chapter?
 
Thank you for taking a look. Its approximately 2,100 words with (v) and (g) content warnings. non-graphic but present
Edited by Sarah B
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Welcome back! I'll refrain from my usual 'as I go comments' and just do your questions, as requested.

 

1. What tone and type of story are you expecting?

Marginal comedy with some gore. Space opera, likely, with a number of species, with humans as the aggressors trope

 

2. What elements would you expect to see?

Gore. Violence. Political commentary housed in a story, so all common space opera tropes.

 

3. What big moment/climax would you anticipate, based on the first chapter?

I don't know, because I'm confused. What does a cat have to do with anything? I enjoyed the 'humans are dense and stupid' take, but wasn't expecting the twist of the MC killing someone trying to communicate. I thought that actually changed the tone of the piece. Prior to that I found it humorus in the way it described humans, and was very on board. The way it ended was much more downbeat and not as fun. I'm going to assume the MC gets killed for being too aggressive? But it seems like aliens already expect that so I don't know why they would. They took a chance to have him on their ship so really, they should have seen this coming.

 

This has good bones and was a fun read!

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Loose answers...

1. What tone and type of story are you expecting?

Science fiction comedy. Maybe touching satire and self/humanity?

2. What elements would you expect to see?

Violence, action, exploration of and conflict between races

3. What big moment/climax would you anticipate, based on the first chapter?

I'm hoping to find out if humans have really changed into superhumans or if other races just weaker despite their armor and size etc. Maybe some kind of showdown, status reversal, or awareness of how things are. 

PS: I was a little confused about the scene with the kids. Also, I like how the chapter ended.

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Posted (edited)

Thoughts As I Go:

Pg. 1 – We have an AI as a narrator. Interesting choice. At the very least, I can be assured that it’s not going to be an unreliable narrator. (Unless it’s been programmed to be that way, of course.)

Pg. 1 – And crossover fanfiction has survived into the far future. Unfortunate, but then I supposed utopias aren’t impossible. (That was a joke, don’t get mad at me!)

Pg. 2 – ‘Semi-automatic harpoon gun’? Did you mean 'semi-automatic spear gun'? (That's not a thing either, by the way, but spear guns at least have multiple barrels.)

Pg. 2 – A proximity alarm – how does this ship work exactly? Ramjet, hyperspace, FTL?

Pg. 4 – I’m finally realizing that S’s job is basically ‘glorified babysitter’, and I feel that could be thrown into the exposition paragraph on page 2.

Pg. 5 – Ah, the ‘heavy world’ and ‘I’m from Australia where everything is deadlier’ tropes, and now we’re applying them to human.

Pg. 5 – How’d they get on the ship?

Pg. 5 – Teeth, yes. Waving, I don’t think as much. There’s not much which is inherently threatening about a moving limb.

Pg. 6 – ‘Legal issues would be worse than letting all your cargo get stolen’ – I can totally buy that.

Pg. 6 – Oh, goody. Humans are basically Wookies in this universe. An interesting choice to make the ship’s babysitter then, but Chewie was a pretty good caretaker in Legends.

Pg. 8 – He is a Wookie! Except instead of arms, it’s half a body.

Pg. 8 – I call shenanigans on the physics here. Also on the wisdom of having boots with individual gravity settings.

Pg. 9 – So, is the narrator the alien thing? Or is the narrator yet to be introduced?

Overall:

I enjoyed this submission. I like sci-fi a lot, and while this isn’t the hard science fiction I prefer, it’s perfectly acceptable soft sci-fi, and I enjoyed reading it. That said, I have a few comments. First off, I have no idea who the narrator is – you might want to add a paragraph or two introducing the narrator and why this short story is relevant if it isn’t the alien. And if it is, the opening monologue doesn’t really imply that.

Second – the sci-fi. It’s kind of slapdash. I got the sense that you just tossed on a dozen alien species without assigning specifics to them as to what they did. It kind of feels cheap if you do that – you’re better off just using a handful, say three or four, and developing them so the audience can get a better sense of how exactly the aliens differ from the humans. Also, I don’t get how this ship works – multiple alien race implies some kind of FTL travel, but you can’t board a ship going FTL, at least under traditional circumstances. (I can discuss what kind of FTL travel is best for you if you want.)

Also, the physics at the end is a bit wonky. If you stumble because you’re moving backwards and one foot is heavier than the other, you have to be a klutz savant to stomp on the foot of something in front of you with that heavier foot. Second also – if the foot is pinned and the body is split in half, that means that the leg is sturdier and better connected to the lower body than the lower body is to the upper body, same goes for the suit of armor. That’s not a great design.

Answering the Questions:

9 hours ago, Sarah B said:

1. What tone and type of story are you expecting?

1. A light sci-fi with a focus on comedic elements rather than an in-depth discussion on the economics of asteroid mining based on metal extraction methods.

9 hours ago, Sarah B said:

2. What elements would you expect to see?

2. Dejarik, or some other version of space chess.

9 hours ago, Sarah B said:

3. What big moment/climax would you anticipate, based on the first chapter?

3. S failing in some epic faction because of general clumsiness and/or no one had humans in mind when designing things. Though I will accept in driving an AI insane by accidentally plunging it into some form of a logical paradox. Whichever event, given his love for cheap fanfiction, I'm also expecting some kind of stolen catchphrase during this sequence which is already wrong - i.e. some corrupted version of 'Beam me up, Scotty' or 'Elementary, my dear Watson'. (Both of which are never actually said in their respective series.)

Edited by aeromancer
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Thanks for reading @kais

7 hours ago, kais said:

 

I don't know, because I'm confused. What does a cat have to do with anything?  

This reference is probably out of place for a scifi story, my bad :-) Back in the day, nautical ships often had at least one cat on them to both prey on the rats and mice that would try to eat cargo and for companionship. That is what I based the idea of a standard "Ship's human" on. 

Sorry to hear the end put you off, I can see what you mean about the tone shift though. I definetly need to work on clarity of thought as this is not what I had intended. 

Very useful input, thanks!

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Thank you @Lost Owl Needs Tea

I have to ask, what kind of tea? I'm a black tea fan but always up for chai or oolong :-)

I can see how the kids scene is confusing, that was me trying to be clever with exposition and missing my mark. 

Thank you for reading and your replies! 

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Thanks for reading @aeromancer

I totally agree, there are enough tech plot holes here to fit a Dyson Sphere through :-) 

Normally I would agonize over these details more but since it was a writing exercise I really didn't put the time needed to flesh out that element. Or the aliens I mentioned, which I hijacked from the novel I'm writing. Sort of like a Cameo from an actor no one has heard of. 

Semi-automatic harpoon gun: Nope, that's what I meant in all its ridiculous glory. Because the only thing more impossible and useless than a semi-automatic harpoon gun would be Fankinstein's monster trying to fire it from the back of a dog sled. In the dark. 

I start giggling every time I write that, I don't know why I find it so funny. 

Thank you for your careful reading and your responses to my questions!

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Hi Sarah! Pleased to be reading more of your writing, and also pleased to see a Writing Excuses exercise up here. I always thought there would be more, and more crossover with our neighbouring thread, but there you go.

As requested, no detailed critique (which for me, is like saying read this out loud, but not in English :lol: ).

1. What tone and type of story are you expecting?

A - I'm thinking that either there is life after death, or the narrator is unreliable, since they seem to be narrating from the grave, as it were.

B - There are a bunch of different (alien) races on the ship, which hints strongly at Space Opera.

E/F - Politics, alien races, interstellar travel and trade agreements = Space Opera, but that does not particularly say anything about the tone of the story. I'm still not sure about that, not sure whether there is a supernatural element at all, or it it is only the narrator being unreliable and oblique.

G - I think this (see below) puts down a strong tone marker, and I really hope that's where we are with this story. It could be a bit more apparent from the start. I can sort of see it on reflection looking back, but I think it could be brought out more.

H - black humour.

2. What elements would you expect to see?

A - Transmogrification (see what I did there?), since Sh seems to have been a cat before being a person.

A - There seems to be some kind of supernatural element, if the narrator can see She life spread out for them.

C - After two pages, given that they are on a ship being transported to somewhere, I would expect them to arrive, or something to go wrong that prevents them arriving. But from the mention of Sh and the narrator being partnered for some time, I would expect that they must arrive somewhere. I don't know. It's not completely clear. The whole story could be told on the ship, it depends what the inciting incident is.

D - The fact that this has come so near the beginning tends to confirm to me that the ship itself is not really significant in the overall story, because it is not named, and there is not description of the crew sand their exploits. There's no feeling that the ship or its crew is important. This in turn confirms my point at 2C, above, that this is a longer story, and will largely take place elsewhere, and this an introduction of character, not of setting.

H - black humour.

3. What big moment/climax would you anticipate, based on the first chapter?

A - I mean, it could be the death of the narrator, but they say that they and Sh were partnered for some time, so, maybe not. I think it's too early to say what the big moment might be, but the narrator death is the only implied / expected event mentioned so far.

I - I don't know. I see no indication of what the arc of the story will be. Is Sh going to be a fugitive? I guess it could be that from the wristband, but I'm guessing.

Comments

So, as well as answering the questions, I have to post my reactions, as those will play into the questions, of course. I'm coding my reactions with a letter, is you can see at which point each comments arose. So, A is after the first paragraph, etc.

A - (first paragraph) - Very nicely written, nice flow, contours interesting ideas eloquently. No setting, or description, but that's okay at this point. Definitely intrigued.

B - (page 1) - So, now we're in Sh POV, and they're not a cat, but a human, the only human, it seems? I would put a break in after the first paragraph, as there is a change of voice. its quite disorienting to switch from the narrator POV to She POV without a clear marker, I thought. Although, I suppose it could be omnipotent, and the narrator just knows Sh's emotion and thoughts. It's a bit disorienting, IMO.

C - (page 2) - I'm going to have to make some comments where things get in the way of my understanding (thus impending me from answering the questions). "security deterrent" - I don't know what this is. It sounds like something that deters security, but that doesn't seem right. "The human gasped" - See, this is where I think I'm in the narrator's POV, although I thought I was in Sh's before. Not quite got a handle on the voice yet.

D - (pages 3 and 4) - Good action and threat here.

E - (page 5) - Confusion again: "walked towards his own crewmates" - You mention invaders, but I still found it hard to get a grasp of what is going on. There's very little tension in this scene if these are pirates who have come aboard. Why was there not shooting? They are already subdued? They must be rubbish pirates if they just walked on into the guns of the crew and laid down their weapons. Despite my confusion, this does nail down the Space Opera vibe. There is mention of more races / types / kinds. Not particularly clear to me, but clearly not human. So, this point doesn't feed into expectations above, it kind of gets in the way of them, IMO.

F - (page 6) - "you can’t expect them to understand Politics" - LOL :lol:.

(page 7) - There are lots of nice details and phrases that make this a pleasure to read, and I would certainly read more of it. I'm restraining myself admirably from comment on various grammar and formatting points, as requested ;) 

G - (page 8) - "tore him in half" - :o. "learned two things very quickly" - Ah, now then. This passage displays a comedic tone, but laced with tragedy and a degree of farce that gives this passage (not so much what has gone before) a strong flavour of some classic Space Opera, maybe even a smattering of Heinlein, a dash of Vance, a spattering of Niven. Don't get too excited ( ;) ), but it's that come-tragic way of delivering horrendous events with tongue-in-cheek that is a classic hallmark of some of the great SF of the past. Scalzi's good at this too.

H - (page 9) - "hard to argue innocence...entrails" - Oh, this is so funny. Well done! I laughed out loud for a good thirty seconds. This is a very strong and important element of Space Opera, IMO. I know you don't need it, and Hard SF / Hard Space Opera (?) probably would not have this kind of humour in it (apart maybe from one character's dialogue), I really like Space Opera that does take this approach.

(page 9) - "first contact" - I got not sense from the scene that this was first contact. This is a transport ship, I didn't get any sense that this was exploration. In fact, its explicitly stated that it is not, because these are established trade routes, I understand.

I - (the end) - OVERALL COMMENTS

Very good, and I'm keen to read more of this.

I must repeat though, I got no sense at all of what the big climax would be, unless it is the moment of the narrators death, BUT, since the narrator is telling the story from 'beyond the grave', I'm not really sure that is it, and, in itself, the death of one character would not seem particularly of a scale that would fit with Space Opera.

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4 hours ago, Sarah B said:

This reference is probably out of place for a scifi story, my bad :-) Back in the day, nautical ships often had at least one cat on them to both prey on the rats and mice that would try to eat cargo and for companionship. That is what I based the idea of a standard "Ship's human" on. 

I certainly completely understood the reference, and there is excellent precedent for cats in SF (Heinlein again, The Cat Who Walked Through Walls, Friday, etc.). I think the problem is that there is nothing really to day that the title of the chapter is  not to be taken literally, and then the narrator comes right out and says that Sh is the ship's cat. At the start of the story, IMO, the reader is looking for facts to hold onto and anchor them in the story, so they are going to take what it told them literally, even though the narrators then uses the phrase ships human.

4 hours ago, Sarah B said:

I totally agree, there are enough tech plot holes here to fit a Dyson Sphere through :-) 

4 hours ago, Sarah B said:

Normally I would agonize over these details more but since it was a writing exercise I really didn't put the time needed to flesh out that element.

I believe that, in Space Opera, the tech does not need to be accurately, it just needs to be convincing. This is not Hard SF: I strongly presume that is not where the story is heading. I really don't see any need for the tech or the physics to be realistic, just convincing enough, no more.

4 hours ago, Sarah B said:

I don't know why I find it so funny. 

I vote for incongruous juxtaposition :) 

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1) I'd expect a dark but somewhat humorous tone, with some kind of space adventure plot.

2) I'd expect to see a vast world (in the very loose sense of the term, not in reference to a planet), possibly cultural conflicts between alien races, and lots of flying around in spaceships.

3) My guess for a big climax would be the death of the narrator; maybe you're using the structure of "these are the events leading to my death, this how my death went, these are the effects of my death," and then all the characters have to pick up the pieces of a destroyed society afterward.
 
I liked your human vs. alien physiology -- really interesting concepts based on different genesis.
I was a little confused by the scene with the kids and thought that Sherlock, Watson, and Frankenstein's Monster were all going to play a part in the story.
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Tone and type of story: Pg. 1: Science fiction. Spacecraft, aliens. ‘Ship’ made me initially think of a naval, Pirates of the Caribbean-esque setting.

Pg. 2: Slightly comedic? Glowing faces, obviously joking narration involving Frankenstein and Sherlock.

 

Elements you’d expect to see: Pg. 1: An exploration of humanity’s superiority. The human is a pet. His agency is circumscribed. I expect to see his reaction to this.

Pg. 2: Humanity’s place explored. The band showing he’s ‘tame.’ Also expect to see why there is a security need. Pirates?

Pg. 3: Him caring for other species. Big, bad, and soft?

Pg. 7: Kind of expecting a political element now.

 

What climax: Pg. 1: Some form of battle to the death? Or perhaps an accidental death?

Pg. 2: A slightly comical death? Something involving the security risk?

Pg. 5: Gulliver’s travels vibe.

 

In sum:

There are elements of comedy, sci-fi, and (perhaps) political intrigue.

I imagine it will be a comedic romp through space in which S is a perpetual klutz, culminating in a final confrontation. We’re definitely going to get more politics in the future. Humanity’s place will be explored, and the protagonist will meet the narrator. This will spell the latter’s doom, but likely unintentionally.

The climax will likely tie this together. S will meet the narrator. The loss of his job is – presumably – the inciting incident which propels him to this meeting. I believe it will address the reader’s assumption that humans are superior.

That being said, I don't know what shape the climax will take. I can guess what it will address and that it will involve the narrator and protagonist. Other than that, I don't know how the interaction of the two will bring out themes such as humanity's place.

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6 hours ago, Sarah B said:

Semi-automatic harpoon gun: Nope, that's what I meant in all its ridiculous glory. Because the only thing more impossible and useless than a semi-automatic harpoon gun would be Fankinstein's monster trying to fire it from the back of a dog sled. In the dark. 

I start giggling every time I write that, I don't know why I find it so funny. 

It would look like a comically oversized handgun with lines trailing everywhere and it would also be relatively useless. Also, was it the monster that Holmes was fighting? Because S identifies 'Victor Frankenstein, Father of Monsters', which I understood to mean the titular character. (I'm not sure it actually makes a difference, just wondering.)

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Thanks for submitting again!


1. What tone and type of story are you expecting?
--Scifi, space opera, colony life. I was actually expecting a short story, for some reason. A relationship between the narrator at the beginning and S.
 
2. What elements would you expect to see?
Ships, aliens, tech, Big Dumb Objects...
 
3. What big moment/climax would you anticipate, based on the first chapter?
Probably some sort of species relations or new threatening tech. Something to turn S from a human (?) to whatever is happening in the first paragraph. As @kais says, this took a strange turn from humor to violence near the end, which confused me a bit.

Overall, I got the reference to the ship's cat, but it was used so literally I at first thought S was some sort of sentient/uplifted cat. There would need to be some explanation.

Also, I'm not convinced by the humans being scary thread. Nonsentient, violent, lacking in hygiene, yes. But when I'm asked to believe that we're the only sentient life evolved on Earth-like gravity or greater? Physics starts to get in the way. We need a really good explanation, like all sentient life comes from the oceans, or the "normal" temperature is like -40c, or something like that. S should be ripping the flooring up and bashing through walls if he's that dense. Simply saying that humans are big and dense and scary...we're not.


Made some notes as I went along, just because.
pg 1: I'm assuming the ship's cat is somewhat metaphorical? Or it's an uplifted cat or something? Not sure how S is telling stories.

pg 2: "The contract band fitted snugly..."
--This whole paragraph is confusing. Not sure what it's saying. Also, is S a human or a cat?

pg 2: "human gasped"
--humans?

pg 3: "the human’s story"
--still confused on what S is.

pg 4: "Only I can open this locker"
--or any other crewmember? I'd be worried the kids would be stuck if S dies

pg 5: "go be a big scary human"
--alright, so he is human. What does being scary have to do with anything in an emergency?

pg 5: "Crushing gravity, deadly temperatures and a food chain overloaded with horrific predators"
--interesting twist, since we see the opposite a lot in SF. Still, I'd question "crushing graity," at least. There are species on Earth that can stand up to much higher temps and pressures, so I'd be suprised if we were more near the middle of the spectrum.

pg 5: "The breach alarm suggested the first"
--I...was not expecting invaders, for some reason. I thought this was a ship malfunction or collision.

pg 6: “Go take their weapons.” 
--so...not very good invaders, then.

pg 6: "afterall" -> "after all"

pg 7: "From the way the invaders gripped their weapons as he approached."
--something missing in this sentence.

pg 9: I have a lot of trouble suspending my disbelief enough to go along with humans being so dense compared to aliens that they can crush or rip them apart. We're just...not. Like physics-wise, Earth is not a particularly high-gravity planet, and humans are definitely squishy. Unless every other alien evolved on the upper fringes of a gas giant and are routinely killed by running into anything solid, I don't think this would happen. It's a cool concept, but it needs a really good reason why all the aliens are so flimsy.

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I have never critiqued for you before! Just so you know, I don't read the previous comments before I jump in, that way I am not biased. I know you didn't want a detailed critique, so I just put down my reactions. It's a good way to see how, as a reader, my viewpoint changes as the story continues. 

Thoughts as I go:

Pg 1, " It would be impossible for me to tell you my story" Based off of the aloof manner and the title, I am assuming the narrator is a cat.

Pg 1, "equally miserable before he ends my life" Cat decides to torture his/her human. Excellent. 

Pg 1, " S was a ship's cat." Hold up, he's human but also a cat. I am assuming now that S is not a literal cat, but that he's more of a rat catcher or something. I am still under the impression the narrator is the cat.

Pg 1, "being the ship’s human" This makes it sound like he is the only human. Is S a shapeshifter? 

Pg 1, "Old Earth pop song" Oh! This is screaming future! Is this sci-fi? I hope they're singing the Backstreet Boys.

Pg 1, "other light perceiving organs" Ohhhh!!! S is the ship's human because everyone else is alien! This isn't probably a literal ship like I thought, but a spaceship! That makes so much more sense. 

Pg 1, " he faced the father of monsters" Hahahaha! I love it!

Pg 2, "a story in the deep of space" This is a sci-fi story! Awesome! Which probably means my assumption that the narrator is a cat is false.

Pg 2, " their job was as much as a security deterrent" So humans are dangerous? Treated like tamed wild creatures? Or more like a space bouncer that is nice when he can be and brutal when the job calls for it?

Pg 2, " his semi automatic harpoon gun" I have to know what this looks like in real life.

Pg 3, "at least as far as the insurance documents knew" Why does this instantly make me think that the ship took shortcuts and those doors are not 4/5 on safety ratings?

Pg 3, " careful not to squeeze or jar them" Yes! Save the children!

Pg 3, "maintained denial" Uh oh. What's worse than a comet?

Pg 5, "just being human was enough" This reminds of fondly of Monsters Inc, where humans are the most terrifying things imaginable.

Pg 6, "both gestures considered deeply threatening in most cultures." Awesome.

Pg 7, "humans were a barely sentient species" Ooof, but also understandable.

Pg 8, "accidentally, tore him in half." Whoops.

Pg 9, "Politics are Politics after all." Oh man, I love this humor. 

Requested Questions:

1. What tone and type of story are you expecting?
I'm expecting a fairly light-hearted sci-fi story that is probably going to make me cry at the end when S and the narrator (presumably) bond, and then the narrator dies because of S. I'm expecting to continue to see wit, satire, and a humorous reflection on humanity. Hijinks are probably in order, as well as plenty of S-caused lawsuits. I mean, tone-wise, this reminds me of a sci-fi Percy Jackson in some ways. 
2. What elements would you expect to see?
Character-wise, I expect that the narrator continues to be his/her witty self but will probably end up bonding with S by the end. S strikes me as a kind individual with a quiet sense of humor (his storytelling) who just wants to get his job done right, but tends to bumble things (like tearing an invader in half). I figure there will be action, but it won't be completely serious, dark action unless the plot calls for it. I suspect S will get screwed over by politics, which is probably how he will meet the narrator. Maybe they'll hate each other at first, maybe they'll be forced to work together. I expect explosions, but purposeful and accidental.
3. What big moment/climax would you anticipate, based on the first chapter?
Based off of the first page, I suspect the climax will be the S will kill the narrator, although whether that be because they are enemies, because S is a powerful human (accidental death? Like, dang, sorry I high-fived you so hard into that wall, bud), or because S has to do it to save the world, we'll see. 
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Thanks @Robinski

Classic space opera is my all time favorite so I take that as very high praise.

Too much cat, got it :-)

I can definetly see that the narrator's voice is problematic. I kept tweaking it but was never quite happy with the results. I'm afraid artifacts from switching tense and POV may have survived. My intent was a nearly-all-seeing narrator, a sort of tech augmented seer, with later interactions with S and a grudge. She was intended to introduce herself and her situation vaguely and then proceed to tell the reader about S. Instead there is a big seam that needed to be ironed out between the first paragraph and the rest.

Thank you for your restraint, I'm sorry to hear it was so painful! I just didn't want anyone spending too much time on my writing exercise that is destined to live in a slush file. 

I'll make sure next time I submit something that can be duly grammer checked. Thanks again!

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Thank you @PiedPeterPiper

On 6/2/2020 at 5:05 AM, PiedPeterPiper said:

 

I was a little confused by the scene with the kids and thought that Sherlock, Watson, and Frankenstein's Monster were all going to play a part in the story.

Yeah, that was me attempting to signal the reader that, "this is all going to be a bit silly, sit back and relax." I probably should have cut it down, but I was too in love with the idea of c-grade rubber-suit monster stories being told in space. And the visual of a semi-automatic harpoon gun :-)

I guess that's why it's called killing your darlings eh?

Thank you for your responses!

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Posted (edited)

Thank you @TheDwarfyOne

 

Your responses were very close to what I was hoping for!

On 6/2/2020 at 5:11 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

 

That being said, I don't know what shape the climax will take. I can guess what it will address and that it will involve the narrator and protagonist. Other than that, I don't know how the interaction of the two will bring out themes such as humanity's place.

This is a recurring issue and unfortunately the primary focus of the writing exercise. Looks like I need to keep working on this skill.

Thanks for your responses!

Edited by Sarah B
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Thanks @Mandamon

There is definetly alot of editing and refining of concept that would need to be done if I was writing this as a short story or a novel.

I can see where I am pushing the suspense of disbelief too far in this writing exercise.

Thanks for reading!

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Thank you @Snakenaps

I hadn't considered the narrator being a cat, I like it!

1 hour ago, Snakenaps said:

 

Pg 1, " It would be impossible for me to tell you my story" Based off of the aloof manner and the title, I am assuming the narrator is a cat 

Pg 2, " their job was as much as a security deterrent" So humans are dangerous? Treated like tamed wild creatures? Or more like a space bouncer that is nice when he can be and brutal when the job calls for it?

Pg 2, " his semi automatic harpoon gun" I have to know what this looks like in real life.

Pg 3, "at least as far as the insurance documents knew" Why does this instantly make me think that the ship took shortcuts and those doors are not 4/5 on safety ratings?

Pg 6, "both gestures considered deeply threatening in most cultures." Awesome.

I, too, would love to see a semi automatic harpoon gun :-) 

And I completely agree, the ship was built by the lowest bidder and currency of some kind exchanged hands durring the inspection. 

Thank you for reading and for your responses! I'm glad you enjoyed the asides and humor. 

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3 hours ago, Sarah B said:

I'm sorry to hear it was so painful!

3 hours ago, Sarah B said:

I'll make sure next time I submit something that can be duly grammer checked.

No, no. It really wasn't painful at all. I just wanted to flag that there was 'stuff'. I've read much worse from folks who where trying to produce submittable work*!!

I once read an ARC from some guy in answering a request on Reddit, and it was...there were issues, loads of them, and he was like 'Oh, hah, yes, I suppose so.' And I'm like, 'Hey, you were going to (self) publish that, like next week. I mean, really?'

Anyway, not painful, not.

(*Disclaimer: this comment may or may not apply to anyone or no one who is currently, was ever or never was a member of Reading Excuses.)

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@Robinski I was not at all offended :-)

I just imagined that seeing editing that needed to be done and not doing it must be a bit like hearing someone sing the wrong words to your favorite song and not being able to correct them. I know that puts my teeth on edge!

Thanks again

 

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On 6/1/2020 at 1:49 PM, Sarah B said:

1. What tone and type of story are you expecting?

 

Schlock Mercenary type space opera.

 

On 6/1/2020 at 1:49 PM, Sarah B said:

2. What elements would you expect to see?

 

Cultural building.

 

On 6/1/2020 at 1:49 PM, Sarah B said:

3. What big moment/climax would you anticipate, based on the first chapter?

 

The cat.

Not much else to add to the comments above. The best part was handling so many different species in a natural way that was both descriptive enough for the moment but vague enough that I never felt like the narrative was being interrupted. If I had to pick a con it would be the narrative voice, which feels at odd with the narrative itself, but it's hard to tell how invasive it actually is based on 9 pages.

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@hawkedup

Thank you for reading and for your responses!

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On 6/1/2020 at 3:49 PM, Sarah B said:
1. What tone and type of story are you expecting?
 
2. What elements would you expect to see?
 
3. What big moment/climax would you anticipate, based on the first chapter?

1) Space political novel, but not like Leviathan Wakes. Slightly whimical in nature.

2) Lot's of space tropes. Maybe a generation ship kind of thing? Lots of species.

3) Follow some interstellar meeting, everything goes wrong, crew tries to stop in interspace war of some sort. 

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