Saturday, May 28, 2011

Made of Awesome blogfest!

Title: Course Corrections
Genre: Hard SF thriller
Word Count: 77,400

First 250 of Chapter 1:

Five years ago

Neal was cooperative, even docile, until he saw the chair and the halo scanner at its head; then he planted both bare feet and backpedaled. His two guards had him by the elbows, his hands cuffed in front of him, and they picked him up easily in the low gravity.

“No. No, please!” Neal twisted in their grip, and with a bootstrapper’s instinct for low gee shoved one foot down hard behind him. He spun, facefirst, wrenching his elbows out of their hands. Shoving his palms against the floor, he zipped back a meter, put his feet down again and was bolting for the door when they tackled him.

“No!” His voice cracked, ragged, as they dragged him back to the chair. “Don’t do this! Don’t take her away!”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” the doctor said, sitting lightly on a stool beside the halo scanner to check the data on his handheld display. 

“Don’t wipe me,” Neal pleaded, tears coming. He flinched when the nurse touched an injector gun to the crook of his elbow, just below the uniform’s sleeve, and dosed him. “Don’t wipe me, please. Don’t take her away. I don’t want to forget.”

“Neal McBride,” the doc said as his patient was strapped down. “I’m Dr. Seitz and I’ll be seeing you through the first stages of therapy.”

The guards stepped back once Neal was tied to the chair and his head clamped under the halo scanner. Seitz nodded to them and they left the doctor and nurse with their patient in the white therapy lab.

Would you keep reading? :D All feedback welcome.

Blogfest hosted by Shelley Watters -- read more entries from the list here!

Sunday Edits -  tweaked the first paragraph according to comments... did my best to describe balking. :) Thank you everyone, and good luck!


Mary Kate Leahy said...

I would so keep reading! I really enjoyed it. Very high stakes, getting your memory erased. I also liked how low gravity is low gee. It's a little world detail that makes it seem like a real place. The one think I would mess with, which I don't think is wrong or bad just my personal preference, would be to break up the third sentence in the first paragraph into two sentences. But I really liked it. I loved the way you described low gee movement. Great entry!

Susan Fields said...

Yes, I'd keep reading! It was an exciting beginning to start with, but even more so when I realized they were going to erase his memories. Great job!

Charity Bradford said...

This is a great start and yes I would keep reading. Here's why:

I'm interested in learning about your halo technology.
I want to know who she is and why he doesn't want to forget.
I want to know why they would wipe Neal in the first place.

You do a great job with your descriptions. There were just a few places I stumbled because of word choice.

1st Paragraph--I don't think you need the word "bodily". For some reason it interrupted the flow.

2nd paragraph--"wedging" makes me think of sticking something into something else in a tight fit, not wrenching out of a grip.

That's pretty much it. Great job!

douglas esper said...

as the reader we were dropped right in the middle of the action and left to figure out what was happening and who to root for on our own which is liked and the line: "Neal twisted in their grip, and with a bootstrapper’s instinct for low gee shoved one foot down hard behind him."

is a great line. ready and willing to keep reading...unless my memory is wiped this weekend...

erica and christy said...

I haven't read much SF lately, but I liked this. My only question would be why the scientist would say "Don't be ridiculous" and then move forward with the procedure, but since this is only a first page, I would certainly read on to find out!

Kaleen said...

Great job at setting the stakes high right from the beginning. I'd keep reading!

Jen said...

I'd keep reading to see who the girl is. There's some great tension in the opening and draws the reader immediately into the action.

Neal twisted in their grip, and with a bootstrapper’s instinct for low gee shoved one foot down hard behind him. I had to read this sentence a couple of times. I think maybe a comma after gee would help it flow better.

Good luck!

Yelena Casale said...

I rarely read SF, but I would keep reading this. I liked that you started right in the middle of action. I want to know who they're trying to erase from the hero's memory and why.
The only sentence I wasn't sure I liked was "Shoving his palms against the floor, he zipped back a meter". I had to think about what exactly what he was doing, "zipped back" didn't sound right to me. But other than that, I liked it!

Huntress said...

Would I keep reading?
Most definitely.

You have created some fantastic mental images for me especially the doctor, so I've-seen-this-before kind of attitude. Very good.

Some places to cut: '...and needled him.' It is obvious she has some kind of injecter so there is no need for this info.
You might check the use of pronouns. Some of them you could cut. Some gerund use ('Shoving') but that is subjective opinion.
Overall, very good

Melora Bell said...

I love SF and am happy to see it represented. Overall, it's a very good beginning. I stumbled over "Then he balked". That seemed a bit dry. I would rather have a description of emotion or action. I also didn't know you could "wedge" out of anything. I thought wedge meant into.
Good luck!

Lissa said...

I'm so excited whenever I see sci-fi, and this did not disappoint! I would totally keep reading. I really want to know more that I am sure would be revealed later, such as who is 'she' and why the doctor said "Don't be ridiculous."
I think perhaps you may want to substitute "wrenching" for "wedging".
I think there should be a full stop after "the doc said as his patient was strapped down" instead of a comma.
I really love the genre lingo. Nice entry, and good luck!

Jessica said...

Don't wipe him!! I really loved this. I was upset at the end of 250 words. I never read SF but this makes me want to. I am a little confused on some of the terms but that just makes me want to read on. Great Job

T. Romel Blossom said...

Very interesting. It really left me wanting to know more.

Elizabeth Light said...

I love this! Way to up the ante from the very beginning. I hope he gets away...

I did stumble over 'Then he balked' and the word 'bodily'in the first paragraph. I also had to reread the second paragraph as it was a bit confusing.

All in all, great start! I would totally read more!

Shellie said...

I don't read sci-fi, so I probably wouldn't keep reading but that had nothing to do with your writing. You did a good job conveying the chaos and panic your MC is feeling. I'm a little confused by his reference of not taking her away. I makes me wonder if he's nuts of if there some weird entity inside him Nice job!

Jody Lamb said...

Whoa! Intense! Completely intriguing. I feel a little stressed out right now, lol.

I also stumbled over "balked" and "bodily" in the first paragraph.

I favor realistic fiction so sometimes I have a hard time reading sci fi but not the case here. There's great action description here. You captured my attention and presented a believable story.

I definitely want to keep reading to determine who this girl is they want to wipe from his memory.

Thanks for sharing! Good luck!

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Gripping beginning! Most critique I have has already been said, so I'll just add my "I'd keep reading too" line and wish you luck. :)

Nicole Wolverton said...

Great beginning action sequence. My only suggestion is to try to get rid of the "was" from your first sentence.

Nicely done!

Erin L. Schneider said...

It's been awhile since I've read SF - but I will say, I rather enjoyed your excerpt!

As a reader, I'm dumped straight into the action and the world is spinning, spinning...leaving me with a bunch of questions that would make me read on. Nothing like a little chaos to start off a book!

I was however, just a tad confused to actions in the second paragraph - having a hard time trying to visualize if he's standing, on the ground, or half-way in between:

"He spun, facefirst, wrenching his elbows out of their hands. Shoving his palms against the floor, he zipped back a meter, put his feet down again and was bolting for the door when they tackled him."

And I'm not sure the word "zipped" is your best adjective here, as it doesn't quite seem to fit with the scene. Maybe "he thrust himself back..." or even hurtled or propelled would work, too!

I do like the nonchalant way the doctor addresses him at first, without bothering to stop what he's doing - which means he expects this reaction from Neal.

Overall, good submit - well done!

JSC said...

feels like the end of your story instead of the beginning? i have no idea as a reader what these memories are, so i have no idea why they are important to your mc. because of that, i don't feel any real sympathy for him.

strong writing, though.

Anonymous said...

You've dropped us in the middle of action, and grounded us quickly, which is hard to do, so well done. The pace builds and along the way we are given snippets of why his memory is wiped - something to do with girl. So you've got us hooked to know who this girl is, and what happened to get his memory wiped. Nice. Only line that confused me was 'Then he planted both bare feet' - were the guards carrying him, is that why he planted his feet on the floor? This threw me and stopped me from reading - had to read it again to make sense of it.

Good luck.

Crystal Collier said...

Great hook. Strong conflict set up here and I would be interested to see how it builds into the coming story. Great job!

Sentence two "Then he planted both feet..." I didn't like "then". If it had continued off the previous sentence it wouldn't have bothered me, but separate it jars me as incomplete. I do love the contrast set up by the first sentence.

Liana Brooks said...

I like it. Memory wiping is always an intriguing trope. I'd love to read more. :o)

S.A. Hussey said...

Love the pace and action. I agreeing with Liana - memory wiping is always intriguing. Would read more. One slight thing in the 2nd paragraph I'm not sure what "gee" is/means? Otherwise...AWESOME.


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