Seeking feedback on my baby, "THE 1K"

SpaceScooter

Cadet
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Hey, guys. Newbie to the site, here. To be honest, I joined because I'm looking for other sci-fi fans who might enjoy an original space adventure I'm writing called "The 1K" ((working title for now. May change it later.))

It is in the first round of edits, and will undergo a few more rounds - per the usual racket when involved with writing anything. I am acutely aware there likely exist some plot potholes, grammar issues, options for better word choices or sentence structuring, and pacing issues.

I have plans for many more episodic stories in this universe. It's meant to be open, with the possibility of endless stories from different points of view. In fact, if it does well after being published on Amazon, I'm thinking about trying to pitch it as as a show. Per the usual way I write, the big bad is a distant, yet constant threat that leaves you wondering when the hell they're show up while at the same time, the characters are dealing with multiple issues that arrive per chapter. But when the big bad does show up, .... hold onto your butts. It wrecks the universe.

If this catches on, I want the reader to feel like they can continue with their own adventures within this world. I'm writing something that contains all the elements of a story I would enjoy watching/reading.

(Remember if you do read the story so far and comment, please be kind. This is my baby, and I am actively working to improve it. Thanks. :) )

Will, Terra, Yune, and Selke, and even the Horizon are my precious kids.

If anyone would be interested in taking a read, here's the basic plot summary and 'elevator pitch' for "The 1K."
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STORY SUMMARY:
1,000 children between the ages of 6-18 are abducted from Earth mere hours before the turn of the 21st century, and scattered across the known galaxy in order to preserve their lives, their planet, and a precious hope the galaxy so severely needs. William Kade and Terra Kitridge are two of these children. This is their story, and the story of how they are used to further a last-ditch plan of desperation to end a 2,000 year war between the two major galactic powers.
(Link on AO3) -- again, it's in first edit rounds, and I'm constantly changing and fixing things.

This work is under copyright protection. Thanks. :)

 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
1,000 children between the ages of 6-18 are abducted from Earth mere hours before the turn of the 21st century, and scattered across the known galaxy in order to preserve their lives, their planet, and a precious hope the galaxy so severely needs. William Kade and Terra Kitridge are two of these children. This is their story, and the story of how they are used to further a last-ditch plan of desperation to end a 2,000 year war between the two major galactic powers.
The first thing I might consider is th pemise.
I imagine a coming of age story.
Been done so many times its busted.

The best thing is scattered across the GALAXY in the 21st century.
We are currently in the 21st century.
Granted we are in the beginning of the 21st century, we are currently at a specific advancement level.
While certain graces can be given as to technology level, things in reality move much slower than science fiction.
Don't get me wrong, anything is possible,

Then you have the premise of a 2,000 year war (which had to start in the 1800's) that they are suddenly;y in a position to end. 21st century means 2000's
But' lets say the history is not aligned with our history.
Still, you have a couple of adolescence facing down insurmountable odds.
Been there/ done that.

I'm not trying to dissuade you.
I'm just giving you feedback on what information you have given.
If the publishers like it and it makes you some money, who am I to critique?
I just know that I have read 100 similar stories recently.
I know what sells movie tickets and I know that a good science fiction story goes where nobody has gone before.

If your goal is to attract the public, chances are you will do well.
If your goal is to create new science fiction, not so good.
Science fiction is fiction based on science.
What you have presented is at most fantasy.
There is nothing wrong with fantasy, there are some great works based on fantasy.
Your story strikes me as fantasy.

This is not a ploy to dissuade you.
I just want you to know that from the information you have given, your story seems to be a fantasy tale more than a science fiction tale.
 

SpaceScooter

Cadet
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Thank you. I am not attempting to create new sci fi, rather an enjoyable story that I am well aware has a heavy fantasy element on purpose. My mechanical and "tech jargon" knowledge is limited, so whenever I want to add something technical, I research it, and then talk my way around it. I love science fiction. It's been in my blood since the womb. Though I am not technical minded, I still love space, and the stories created to live out adventures there-in. :)
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Like I said, I am not trying to dissuade you.
Thing is, the premise has been done before.
The ages and players change but the story is the same.
But...if it makes you some money, who cares?
The point is making money, right?

I just know that a lot of science fiction and fantasy works are
created with no intention of making money or fame.
To "go where nobody has gone" IS The POINT.

While you might have a great story, it needs to be unique to attract positive attention.
Granted, much of what you have shared is commonplace.
Since it is commonplace, it delves into ideas that have already been explored.
While it may be a nice addition to previous works,
I don't think the concept is a stand-alone, just more of the same
 
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SpaceScooter

Cadet
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Oh, I'm not dissuaded. I still think I have a good story on my hands, so I'll keep writing.
I do thank you for your opinion, though. I did ask for it, after all.
Perhaps I should embellish more on the premise instead of leaving it vague.
If you read the story, I hope you find a small amount of enjoyment in it, even if all it is is galactic popcorn.
Thank you. :)
 

Tiran

Ensign
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Notes:
We call our own "star system" the solar system.
Carl Sagan speak, not "Carl Sagan's speak".
But and although mean the same thing, don't use "But although" together.
Satellites don't go into the unknown. Voyager is not a satellite.
How does low orbit ISS maintain satellites in high orbit?
"Goods" are trade items used in an economic system involving people, so you wouldn't be sending them to Mars.
For a story set in 1999 involving what seems to be a pre-teen, there are a weird number of references to TV and movies from the early '80s. The dialogue sounds like people living in 1988.
People don't "decode", computers do.
"Well, he could, but he didn’t want to get pneumonia." This breaks the voice that had so far been used and reads more like one character's specific view, like first person
"Preppers" was not a term in use in 1999.
"She knew that even though he could pick up almost any insect, amphibian, and fearlessly explore the areas around their house, the only thing that would terrify him was complete and absolute darkness. " Picking up amphibians is a measure of fearlessness? Also, houses don't plunge into absolute darkness, even in fog.
If Charlie is an engineer, he wouldn't call a breaker a "fuse".
"fought the bind. " is not clear.

Not terribly written, but full of cultural anachronisms to the point that it isn't clear that Will is a child of his time or owns the POV.
 

SpaceScooter

Cadet
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Thanks. Some of those were typos, others I'd already fixed in the master copy that didn't get transferred over to AO3 yet, and some were things I had looked up, but was generally confused about, or didn't remember clearly from the 90's. I was a child during that time, so grant it, things are a little hazy.

I am also not an engineer, so I didn't know he wouldn't refer to the breaker as a fuse. And it's not something I personally learned or studied. Again. this is a rough draft, and I'm constantly going through corrections and revisions in the master copy. I'll make the changes. Thank you.

As for 'fought the bind," keep reading. They were hit with a 'bind' shot, which is the weakest setting on a pulse pistol - a particle weapon. The next setting up is 'stun.' These are the two settings the Regents prefer to use first - situational, of course.

Will is a kid, and mostly acts like it, but sometimes he'll display moments of intelligence beyond his years. This is the first chapter, so more will become clear later on in the book about his character.

THIS IS SCI-FI/FANTASY

Most of the technical jargon I know originates from Star Trek and Star Wars, so every time I want to use something, I have to research if the term is copy-written or not. If not, then I use it. If so, then I make up another word to do exact same thing.

"People don't decode." Yeah, they do. With tools, like computers, and their own big beefy brains. I assumed my readers were smart enough to figure out that Charlie used computers at work. Charlie is also a genius, but he had a fallout at NASA wherein he quit and didn't want to have anything to do with the Nova Star project anymore beyond helping the newbies if they had questions. Despite his issues, he still understood the importance of the crew's safety.

This is not our reality. This reality is obviously alternate from ours. Humanity was moving upward rather than being the clusterfest we know it to be. It has many, many parallels to ours, but is definitely not our reality.

Were you around in the 90's? Television stations replayed 80's movies all the time. Will was also exposed to 80's movies because he was alive, and around people who knew about it, and constantly referencing it. Yes, in the 90's, we had memes. They just weren't called memes. I wasn't alive in the 70's, but I saw JAWS before I was 10 (my cousin was watching t.v. and I was in the room.)

It's not stated here, but Will was a latchkey kid. He watched a lot of t.v. and played a lot of computer games.

All that being said, I've made some changes where you did make good points, and corrected the obvious flaws in the master copy. For those bits of info I didn't know about and needed help with, I thank you.
 
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Tiran

Ensign
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Please keep in mind that I was not correcting things from a technical side, I was correcting how the passage reads.

For example: People can "decode" things with or without computers, but people who do that kind of work don't talk about it the way you have that character talking, and that will stick out to plenty of other readers besides myself. So will the timing of cultural references - it isn't that it is impossible for a 16 year old to have seen a lot of 20 year old TV, it just doesn't make sense that the only cultural references he makes are from before his birth instead of contemporary ones to 1999.

Whether you are an engineer or not, or this is an "alternative reality" or not, readers really get tripped up when everyday details don't feel genuine. In speculative fiction every little disconnect and anachronism is going to be treated as a clue, and when the odd word choices or references don't actually appear to be motivated by an altered reality, they will be viewed as distractions breaking the suspension of disbelief. I realize you aren't going to know what an engineer is likely to call the "fuse box", which is why I mentioned why it stands out to anyone who knows what a circuit breaker is. That's a little thing. All the old TV references is something you should be looking for when you write something set in the near past - most of your readers are going to remember both the 1980s and the late '90s, and will pick up on the fact that your characters seem to be in neither period. The goal isn't to write details that are possible, but ones that feel genuine enough to create richness without being conspicuous. I was pointing to all the conspicuous things in your draft so you can find ways of avoiding them. Challenge the reader with the important stuff and lull them with ordinary into forgetting they are reading fiction.
 

SpaceScooter

Cadet
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Edited down to just say 'thank you' and my references are there for a reason, so I'm not changing them. Thank you.
 
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Tiran

Ensign
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Edited down to just say 'thank you' and my references are there for a reason, so I'm not changing them. Thank you.
I read your original diatribe - it arrived in my email. You are simply unable to accept constructive criticism, and you feel it is helpful to post material for critique and then expect readers to telepathically know which parts you are already planning on changing and which parts you are blissfully unaware of the issues. Like all human beings, I am not a telepath, so I provided you feedback on what the issues are, and more importantly, why they are issues.

The "why" part is really the important part, because the people that provide feedback to you can't write the book for you, but they can provide you with perspectives you don't already have, which thoughtful writers can internalize as they write.

As far as alternate realities go, that's super cool. Decide what is different about the reality, and change those things - don't use that detail as a crutch to explain every anachronism and oddity because your audience won't buy it.


My critique of you writing was specific to a few issues and, as you'll find, extremely mild. Go to a real writers' forum and you'll likely get banned the day after you flip out about the feedback you don't like. Writing is hard - you're going to need some maturity and objectivity to get through it. Anger and defensiveness will not earn support or assistance and are signs that you can't think about what you're doing with a clinical enough eye.

And your expectation that everyone is obligated to offer some empty compliment before moving on to providing you with FREE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM is asinine. You're asking for the favor, not the other way around. Have your mom read it if you need to be paid compliments to tolerate discussion.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Personally, I think you should go with whatever you feel like going with.
Its yer story and yer life.

All I can say, is if it isn't working for you, try something new.
Thing is, only YOU know what you want to get from this.

Try to remember this: Who has your best interest in mind, you or someone else?
 

SpaceScooter

Cadet
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Which is why after I posted it and read it, and realized I was being defensive, I deleted it and replaced it with a thank you. Deleting it was me realizing I made a hasty mistake with my knee-jerk reaction of striking back when feeling attacked.
 
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