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Excerpt

Word Count: 726 [Not too long, I hope]
Summary: Part of the beginning of the novel that sets up the dilemma for the opening part.
Character Focus: Troy Avery, main protagonist.

Critiques are fine so long as they aren't focused on grammar. This is NaNo so I've not given too much consideration to grammar so long as the sentence still makes sense.

One thing I'd like to know is:
  1. Is the action easy to follow/interesting?
  2. As far a dialogue goes, is there a good feel for personality there? [I do know it's limited in this excerpt]
Static was broken on his comm by the sound of one of his wingmen; his men were getting a little bored with waiting. "We sight seeing out here? Ain't much to look at, command could have picked a nicer view."
    "I hear that. What ya think they got us out here for? Haven't heard much going on out here, the Terran uprising quieted down I thought." A second voice chimed in.
    "Dunno, must be something to send all of us out here. Wish they'd spit it out already, my ass is getting tired of sitting here. I'd just like to see some action, this better not just be command wanting to show off their new fighters. What do you think, Lieutenant Avery?"
    "I think you should cut the chatter, Alpha team." Avery said, shifting again in a vain attempt to get comfortable in the cramped cockpit. He agreed with his men but at the same time he had the responsibility to keep them in line out here. "This isn't an exercise, keep your composure, men."
    His comm sputtered a little before confirmations began filtering in. "Yes sir. So that does mean we're not out here on a drill, then?"
    Troy permitted himself a small smile. He could sympathize with his men and their impatience to know what was going on out here. Mars had a tight handle on the Terran uprisings on Earth, so he couldn't imagine why they had ordered him to take his men all the way into Terran space. "It beats patrol duty, Weston. Enjoy it while it lasts."
    "Copy that, boss."
    Another small shift brought minimal relief but before he could attempt another position his comm barked to life with the gruff sound of his commander's voice. "Alright men. We've got our orders. Direct your attention to your nav-sat computers, your target it highlighted for you. Complete annihilation is the word of the day, get to it."
    Even a seasoned fighter like Troy was stunned by the order, but his true shock came from the blinking green target information floating before his eyes on his nav-sat screen display. A colony bubble located in the western hemisphere. It was a fairly sizeable city.
    Troy grimaced. "Command, can I get a confirmation on these orders? You want us to destroy a Terran colony, sir? Permission to ask why?"
    "You have your orders, Avery, I suggest you follow them."
    Slowly the globe beneath his viewport turned, bringing the target area closer to his attack range. Fighting down a strange urge to tell his superior officer to go do inappropriate things to himself he watched the lit up area on the otherwise drab surface steadily spin closer.
    "Our orders, sir?" It was Weston.
    "Give me a moment."
    Thumbing his comm switch to private frequency he dialed the colony in question. "This is the Martian Space Defense Corps, patch me through to whatever Terran scum is in command down there."
    Silence.
    "I repeat, this is the Martian Space Defense Corps, if you value your pathetic lives you'll put someone on this damn line. I'm not big on patience and my superiors are considerably less gracious."
    Still nothing.
    He couldn't say he didn't try. As he thumbed his comm switch back to normal frequency his ears were assaulted by the sound of an unhappy commander. "--you a direct order! AVERY!"
    Well, he couldn't say he was surprised that command didn't take his personal chat--however limited--with the Terrans lightly. "This is Alpha 16, command," Troy responded almost lazily in his lack of concern. "What seems to be the problem?"
    Troy had to smile at the static pause, picturing his gruff commander's flushed features and the twitchy way his lips moved when he was trying to regain composure after exploding. "I gave you a direct order, lieutenant. I expect you to quit delaying and follow through. Immediately."
    "That's a negative, command. I can't carry out orders that I don't agree with. If you'd give me a good reason why we're violating a treaty to destroy a minor colony I'd have something to work with here." Troy knew he'd not get a favorable reply, but to make this heavy decision on his mind he needed an answer one way or another.
    "What you have 'to work with' here is my command, Avery. Destroy that colony. That's an order, god damnit."

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
out_totheblack
Nov. 8th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
I think you are doing good so far. It is interesting enough for me to keep reading and find out what is going on. Troy seems caring and likable. The Commander seems like a real butt.

Personally, I would trim the dialogue a little (in Dec.) I know we talk like that, but it makes bulky reading.

ie:"I hear that. What ya think they got us out here for? Haven't heard much going on out here, the Terran uprising quieted down I thought."

suggest: "I hear that. What ya think they got us out here for? Haven't hear of much going on since the Terran uprising quieted down."

Just my 2 cents. :) I hope that didn't come across as grammarie.
mightykeyboard
Nov. 9th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
Not a bad idea. I do tend to struggle with dialogue. I think in Dec I'll try reading it aloud to myself. I bet I'll find tons of conversations that might have sounded alright in my head as I wrote but come out all jumbled and clumsy when actually spoken.

I like the revised example, it helps see the difference between my clumsy dialogue and what actual speech sounds like.

Thanks.
out_totheblack
Nov. 9th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)
I didn't think the dialogue was clumsy at all. Hell, I couldn't even type right :)

I'm sure if you read my dialogue, you'd say, "now why in the world did she write it like that."
tenach
Nov. 10th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
I want to read more when you are done! The dialogue is done well, as it gives me a sense of their personalities. (:
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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