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Revised Rough-draft-first -chapter

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RandomDent
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Revised Rough-draft-first -chapter Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 04:27 AM Reply

Thank you for your feed-back, and here's what I hope to be an improved version. I changed the names, and added a bit more description to the beginning. Also, to those who are wondering, this was a request by a fellow from the chat as a trial story, it being more of a test of my abilities for me, as this is the first non-school related piece I've written to my knowledge. Anyways, I hope you enjoy.

Ominous clouds loomed upon the dark sky, raindrops like gunfire amidst the dead of the night. Piercing through the darkness, a single light shone from a small home, somewhat secluded from the others. Inside was a man, reading a letter from an old friend. He sat and read upon his desk, decrepit and fragile, but bearing much sentimental value. It was a gift from long ago, when he had received his master's degree in astronomy. His friend, James Perry, had just been promoted in his occupation, working for NASA. The man, Raymond Haas, had been retired for quite some time, but hearing this news spurred an idea. His acquaintance could help him test a theory of his, which he had long abandoned, lacking the technology or resources to support it. He hastily made an appointment with him, and rested for the coming presentation.
The next morning, he tried his best to clean up. He shaved, used mouth wash, put on a freshly cleaned and ironed suit and tie, ate a nicely sized breakfast, and headed out the door. He entered his car and drove off, heading straight for James's office. Parking wasn't much of an issue, so he parked near the facility and walked in, sweating from anticipation. He noticed the young woman at the counter and made his way there, saying "Excuse me; I have an appointment with a James Perry."
"Yes, you're just in time. His office is on the third floor, the first door to the left."
He thanked her, as he headed for the elevator. After 2 pings of the door, he walked out and entered the office. There sat Mr. Perry, a man of similar stature to Haas, while an aura of confidence emanated from him. He asked, "So what is it that you wanted, Raymond?"
"I got your letter, and I must say; congratulations!"
"Thank you, but isn't there something else you want to ask?"
"Actually; yes." He said, as he placed a piece of paper on his desk, a well organized piece regarding his theory. "What do you think?"
"...this seems rather far-fetched."
"That's more the reason to test it!"
"Matter is constantly being created at the edges of the universe? You do realize that this completely defies the law of physics that 'Matter cannot be created nor destroyed', right?"
"I realize that, but wouldn't that make it even greater if it were true?"
"I know you're a close friend of mine, but what if this were wrong? Would you risk me getting fired for proof of your theory?! Besides, think of the funding this would need to carry out the test! We have the technology to do so, but it's still very expensive!"
"NASA receives plenty of funding from the government! Besides, who was the one who gave you this job in the first place?!"
"I know you did, and I'm very grateful, but we still have other projects we need to fund!"
"You've heard of the expanding universe theory, right?"
"Of course, why wouldn't I have?"
"Have you ever wondered how this is occurring?"
"Yes, but we haven't drawn a logical conclusion as of yet."
"That's my point exactly! In fact, have you ever wondered how the universe was created in general?"
"Again, we haven't quite found an answer to that yet."
"Well, my theory would provide an answer to both mysteries, and it's logical... to an extent."
"...you're lucky you're my friend. Fine, you've got me."
"Thank you! But who would we send for the test?"
"I have an idea..." He says, a smirk on his face.

Once again, opinions welcomed, and thank you for your previous feed-back.

Mestophales
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Response to Revised Rough-draft-first -chapter Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 08:17 AM Reply

I quite like it. Although, it does need quite a lot of cleaning and refining, such as the beginning, I don't really see the point in the simile, it doesn't seem to add anything, it just seems to be there. Also, there's the bit about his desk, sure it reveals some of his background, but I think the reader would pick up on that later, once it mentions how he was working for NASA. It just seems a little pointless. Another bit that needs tweaking, is when you say "just been promoted in his occupation", it doesn't sound right, and it looks like you've kept it vague, because you're not quite sure what his job is, just that he's 'at the top'. "Rested for the coming presentation", I see what you mean with this, but again I feel it doesn't really feel right. Also, don't make the meeting "the next morning" as it just sounds silly, since I doubt a person quite high up at NASA would really be that free. "Hearing this news spurred an idea", the word spurred doesn't really fit in there. And nor does the phrase "an aura of confidence emanated from him". There's a few other holes, but those seem to be the main ones.

EnactJudo
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Response to Revised Rough-draft-first -chapter Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 02:16 PM Reply

Points to consider:

At the begining, you try way too hard to sound well worded. "Twas midnight, under an darkness full moon as the wind howled bitterly against old stained faded windows of the dreary DARKNESS of the ominous house as the deathly crows CAWED in the dark midlight of the omnious, almost EVIL, night moon." That is what you should avoid. If you can't do it right, don't do it. The best hook, in my opinion, is a simple one.

Way too many comma splices, separating your ideas, and distracting me, as I read, your story.

Avoid exclamation marks. "?!" looks stupid.

It wasn't bad, keep working on it.

depes7448
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Response to Revised Rough-draft-first -chapter Mar. 22nd, 2011 @ 09:55 PM Reply

You have a decent use of vocabulary, but your first paragraph needs some fine tuning. A couple of the descriptions are off-putting as far as how you arranged them such as "He sat and read upon his desk, decrepit and fragile, but bearing much sentimental value." It almost seems like you're describing the person and not the desk itself. Also, you mention that the house is "secluded from others." Other what? Your first subject was light, so it implies that the house was secluded from other light. Or did you mean other homes?
Mestophales has a point, too. You started off by describing the rain using a simile. Usually, you'd describe the scene a little more, but you went to a light radiating from a house, and the scene description feels incomplete.
In addition, you made cursory descriptions, never really expanding on anything and not really developing much of a thought. There's also a need for character development. You began with a very brief piece of background information on Haas; that's a good start if he's one of your main charactrers. Be a bit more in depth with your detail.
When you write the dialogue with "he/she/it said" coming afterward, it is typically formatted "Hi," he said; not "Hi." He said.
A lot of your sentences, not including the dialogue, use the same basic structure. Try to make use of a variety to make your story more interesting and less mundane to read.
One last thing is that your characters seem to have the same dialect and way of speaking. Remember, these are two different people. I'm not saying to make some kind of drastic change, but subtle ones, enough so that they don't sound like identical twins always parroting each other.

~Depes Crystalline~