Jump to content

November 7 – Hubay, Protocol – short story


Recommended Posts

Whew. That took longer than i thought. I think it's worth it though. I'm pretty happy with the story and it served as a good break from Lord Domestic.

My main concern here is with the tone. The story itself needs some polish, I think, and I plan to edit it a great deal. What I want to know is how this comes off. I try to be funny for a lot of it, which is always a risk, and then the end changes tone a bit. I want to see how successful I am, and if any parts seem like they're trying to hard.

November 7 - Hubay : Protocol (L~,V~ This is a YA story) - 4,500 words

A robot designed to work on an air-filtering platform develops an environmental conscience.

Let me know what you think!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all I really enjoyed your story. It made me laugh but it also had some heart. I got two of the characters mixed up from time to time. I think this was because both names started with an 'S' So i would be reading and trying to figure out if it was the little girl or the reporter for a second before it became obvious. Also it wasn't clear how the girl got to the factory. Did she have her parents take her or did the company find her and bring her in to try and connvince the bots not to kill themselves.

All in all though I had alot of fun reading this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I thought this started off very well. The first two paragraphs really set a tone, and are fun to read. I would suggest going through with a sharp editing knife, however, and cut out as much excess as you think you can. I have a feeling the first couple of paragraphs might really be able to zing if they were trimmed up.

Actually, the trimming applied to the whole piece, but especially the first couple of paragraphs, before anyone is invested in the story.

I read the first section as setting the scene for the rest of the story, which means that after the wide-view narration in the first section, when I saw the first paragraph of the second section focus on Sheenah I expected a tight focus for the rest of the story -- no omniscient narrator. This expectation was blown up in the final paragraph of that section, where the POV had apparently shifted to the CEO, Mr. Davis, since it was detailing his internal feelings. After this section, the POV appears to settle down to mostly one POV per section, although there are a few times it is stretched (like describing what watching a robot read looks like). It makes the second section stand out even more; especially because I don't know if we really need to know Mr. Davis' feelings anywhere in here, other than what we can guess from physical cues observed by an intrepid reporter.

For a little bit more world-building projections, people have a tendency to make verbs out of nouns, such as googling and (already) youtubing. I would expect Sheena to say she'd "youtube it" or maybe "u-tube it" instead of "post it on youtube". There might be another couple of places you could rephrase things like this also.

Sally's dialog seemed a little old for six, to me. I realize some of it, at least, is parroting her parents, but I would expect it to still be rephrased with slightly simpler words. Of course, a lot of my experience lately is with nephews (none of my nieces are older than 3 yet), and they would be a lot more concerned with the robot itself, and less with what it did. They'd definitely try to play with the robot, climb on it, or try to get it to attack whatever random objects may be nearby.

I thought the story as a whole took an interesting turn half-way through when the robots discovered they were ineffective. The eventual result was not one I expected either, although possibly not in a good way. I can see how the robots' conclusions could be supported, but I expected more serious (and effective) objections to have been raised. Issues such as the possibility that the robots themselves could design a better process for making robots, or that the construction could be moved off-planet and run only by robots, or who-knows what else. They might even consider the sunk-costs of them having been made, and put themselves to sleep for twenty years or so until the technology may have improved enough to make a difference in their continuing operation, rather than incinerate themselves.

Finally, I thought the last paragraph was quite awkward, again at least partially from the POV shift, but also because I don't know why Mr. Davis would even be trying to offer consolation to Sally. It doesn't seem to match what I read of his character.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...