Author Topic: Aliens in America  (Read 1206 times)

OscarWildebeest

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Aliens in America
« on: December 18, 2008, 12:57:35 AM »
Intrduction: Jonathan Thurgood's dog, Admiral, has been abducted by two aliens. We re-live an episode during the childhood of said aliens, which might explain the later abduction. Any and all criticism of this first draft is welcome, no mater how harsh, or direct.

..."Red sky, red sky!’ the eight year old Zoot shouts. Waving his four spindly arms madly, he runs as fast as his two spider legs can propel him. His single eye roves, attempting to keep his friend in sight. Being only 2 foot tall it is not easy. Not on the bumpy surface of Mars.

Snoot tries his utmost to keep up. One does not shout red sky for no good reason. Red sky was worse than being forced by a Plutonian to mime the leading role in some long forgotten opera. It means that a dust storm is blowing in from Jupiter. To a Martian it implies ckoking to death, if caught in one.

Suddenly Zoot ducks into the nearest crater. He plomps down, followed by Snoot. Then burst out laughing.

“Snoot, you poot!”

“Don’t call me poot!” Warily he stands up, balefully staring at his friend. Poot is the worst insult that one could inflict on a fellow Martian. It implies that you are a far lesser being than any earthling. And no Martian wants to be even remotely associated with anyone from earth.

“And don’t ever shout red sky again if it is not! One day I will report you to the Mood, and then you’ll be sorry!”

“I know a secret.”

“What about?”

“I’m not telling!”

“You can tell me.”

“So you can report me to the Mood?”

“Promise I won’t.”

“Ok, stick your finger in your arse and hope to die? “

“If I stick my finger in my arse I cannot breath!”

“Xactly!”

“Ok.”

‘Say it!”

“Stick my finger in my arse and hope to die.”

“I found a book.”

“So?”

“About life on earth. And in it there is a picture of an earthling!”

Snoot shivers. Having a book about earthlings was akin to an 8 year old earthling owning a stack of girly magazines. It simply is not on. If caught, a Martian, no matter his or her age is locked up in an underground cave. For ever, his dad has told him. His antennae trembles nervously. Yet, he wants to see.

“Sh-o-w m-me?”

“Can’t”

‘Liar, poot!”

“Don’t call me a poot!”

“Show me then!”

“Cant, I ate it.”

‘You never had a book about earthlings!”

“Did, can tell you what they look like!”

“Ok, tell me then?”

“They have long tails, and four legs, and spots, and if they are healthy their noses are always wet.”

“Wow! What noises do they make?”

“They bark. But the book didn’t say what it sounds like.”

“What do they eat?”

“Bones and stuff.”

“Wow.”

“You know what? ‘

“What?”

“One day we will have our own flying saucer. We will go to earth and snatch an earthling.”

“What then?”

“Just talk with him. He will tell us jokes, and stuff.”

“But, we can’t bring him here!”

“We leave him on the moon to find his own way home.”

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Aliens in America
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008, 01:14:21 AM »
I only found one typo:

To a Martian it implies ckoking to death, if caught
should be choking, I would think.
Skip

OscarWildebeest

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Re: Aliens in America
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2008, 01:39:38 AM »
Skip, your prompt reply is verily appreciated! A more than decent editor you would make out! Main thing that bothers a writer is whether or not flashbacks adds to the flow of the story! It also pays to keep it in a specific tense.

However, that typo is inexcusable, and thanks for pointing it out. Glad that it otherwise meets with your approval. Will return the favour in the same amicable manner.

Offline DC

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Re: Aliens in America
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2008, 01:59:48 AM »
Hi,
Well first, I picked up on the same typo as Skip. There are a few other points that hit me as well.

In the first paragraph:

Quote
His single eye roves, attempting to keep his friend in sight.

This suggested to me that, in spite of Zoot having been the one doing the shouting, his friend was perhaps some way in front of him. However at the start of the second pargraph, we find the opposite is true:

Quote
Snoot tries his utmost to keep up.

I think I'd have said something like:

'His single eye roves, checking that his friend is still in sight.'

In the second paragraph, I might have joined the first two thoughts in to a single sentence with a semi-colon, thus:

'Snoot tries his utmost to keep up; one does not shout 'Red sky' for no good reason.'

Just makes it flow a little more smoothly to my mind, though others may disagree. Oh, and I'd have used quotes for 'Red sky'. Single, because that's how I was taught, but others may say they should be double.

A bit later, a slight problem with numbers:

Quote
His antennae trembles nervously.

'antennae' is the plural of 'antenna', whereas 'trembles' belongs with the singular.

'His antennae tremble nervously'

if he has more than one, otherwise

'His antenna trembles nervously'


Interesting idea, though. At first reading the language would suggest that this is aimed at the child's market. However as your reply to Skip implies, flash-backs can alter things, so this could be necessarily childish language in a story aimed at a more mature audience.

Dave.





Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to
skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - open throttle in the other -
body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming : "Woo Hoo, what
a ride!"

OscarWildebeest

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Re: Aliens in America
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2008, 02:30:35 AM »
DC, regarding your antennae/antenna, I hang my head in shame. All I needed to do is for 'word' to check it! Niggling issues like these pisses off an editor, and mightily so! Many thanks, and next time: please shoot me!

Regarding the roving eye that indicates the friend to be in front: Well, it happens because I did not plot my story properly. Furthermore, I did not flesh out my characters well enough in advance. Just shows you: if you do not prepare adequately, you will suffer because of it!

Yes, it is a short story "ALIENS IN AMERICA" (posted earlier, in this forum) which I am attemting to flesh out into a novel.

Ultimately, my heartfelt thanks to you for taking the time to give my writ a thorough perusal.


Orpheus

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Re: Aliens in America
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2008, 02:40:27 AM »
Honest opinion? OK, let's start with the mixed tenses. For example:
 
Having a book about earthlings (present) was (should be 'is') akin to an 8 year old earthling owning a stack of girly magazines

I don't like the spitfire dialogue but this is simply my opinion. It doesn't work for me. Also, I feel you use too many adverbs and you 'tell' rather than show. I have highlighted everything for you below:   

..."Red sky, red sky!’ the eight year old Zoot shouts. Waving (gerund phrase - you need to switch the subject to the start of the sentence) his four spindly arms madly, he runs as fast as his two spider legs can propel him. His single eye roves, (avoid body parts parts moving of their own accord) attempting (gerund) to keep his friend in sight. Being (gerund) only 2 foot tall it is not easy (telling). Not on the bumpy surface of Mars. (telling)

Snoot tries his utmost to keep up. (telling) One does not shout red sky for no good reason. (telling) Red sky was (past tense) worse than being forced by a Plutonian to mime the leading role in some long forgotten opera (eh?). It means that a dust storm is blowing in from Jupiter. To a Martian it implies ckoking (typpo) to death, if caught in one. (all telling)

Suddenly Zoot ducks into the nearest crater. He plomps down, followed by Snoot. Then (I think you mean 'they') burst out laughing.

I'll leave it there. You know what I think of the dialogue. Hope this helps.

OscarWildebeest

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Re: Aliens in America
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2008, 03:15:07 AM »
Orpheus, your considerable effort is verily apprecated. Mixng of tenses is a strict no-no. And telling readers, in the stead of allowing them to experience is preferred.

The roving eye, which I propose to explain at the beginning of the chapter, will clarify things. However, it is good to know that it bothers a discerning reader like you. For I expect that, timeously having the advantage of your opinion will vastly improve the chances of fobbing off one's writ to a publisher!
 
Yet, I have asked for it, and thus do not complain! I am forwarding the writ, together with your reply to someone else, in order to have it disected. An explanation of your explanation, sort off! he-he-he.

Thank you, once more.

Orpheus

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Re: Aliens in America
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2008, 06:33:57 AM »
http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=16047.0

Check out the above page - it may be of some help.