| First Impressions:
I was immediately impressed by your grasp of science-fiction. You confidently use terminology that draws us quickly into the sci-fi setting of your world, which is something that I, for one, find extremely difficult to do . I felt you captured the essence of the prompt from a wonderfully creative angle. Great job! There are a few places that I felt could use a bit of expansion, but overall - a thoroughly enjoyable read!
Fantasy at its Finest:
I thought you did a wonderful job incorporating an original fantasy setting into your story. Not only did you introduce us to the physical attributes of your creation, but you delved deeper by exposing pieces of your characters' history and their politics. Words such as octosentients and bathysphere show to your readers that you have a firm grasp of the world in which your story takes place.
There are a couple of places where I specifically enjoyed the wording you chose to use. One of these is She had closed that door when she limped away from her former life. Another is She could almost smell the gunpowder and testosterone. Your word choices in moments like these truly invite your readers into the world that you've created.
Ah, here is another: It amused Anna that the octosentients had achieved world peace in ten brief years. The activists had to move quickly to find new causes. I must admit I chuckled a bit at this line .
My first suggestions is this: expand, expand, expand! You've got a good plot here, backed by a well thought out fantasy world -- but I feel as though you could do these things more justice by better executing the scenes you've already created. For example, Damian was different, subtly wrongfooting her, and making eye contact while he answered. You could expand this into a brilliant and witty dialogue between Anna and Damian. Show (don't tell) how their interaction went. . . Tease us a bit with the direction the story is headed.
I would also suggest going through your story with the pace of your writing in mind. There are some ideas here that could use a bit more development -- as some of the transitions are a bit awkward.
I would also like to hear a bit more about Anna's accident. You talk about the accident that happened briefly, but at the end you say, She flinched, remembering the night they had burned her. I found this a bit confusing -- perhaps you can expand on this a bit. I'm definitely intrigued
She held out her card for the bill and the captain reached past her, his thick arms inches from her face. She flinched, remembering the night they had burned her, and she pushed him under the water and held him there, years of yoga culminating in this adrenaline rush. This line shocked me a bit -- and not so much in a positive way. It seemed out of character for Anna, as she seems to be a bit reserved as a result of her accident -- but this is a bold and brash reaction. I could personally use a bit of explanation for this intuitive response -- or maybe a bit more lead in to it.
Damian was different, subtly wrongfooting her, and making eye contact while he answered. You don't need a comma after "her" in this situation, so this would become one thought: . . . subtly wrongfooting her and making eye contact while he answered. This also happens here: So she ignored his undertones, and hit his curve balls straight. I believe there are a few more places with this little comma glitch -- I would read through and keep an eye out for those.
Anna was used to staring, the accident that had chewed her up had caused a lot of second glances. In this situation, the comma separates two complete sentences, which is not what a comma is supposed to do. This can be remedied by either changing the comma to a semi-colon or completely separating the sentences altogether.
But this was different, she remembered flirting, she had quite enjoyed it, but she had closed that door when she limped away from her former life. Consider rewording this line, as this sentence has become a run-on.
Prompt Perception and Interpretation:
A wonderfully original take on the prompt. You introduced Anna as a strong character and then brought her to a unique moment of vulnerability. She was hardened by the incident and the scars it left behind, yet this story shows that someone was able to penetrate the thick walls she had built up. I hope that she learns to feel attractive once again .
While I may have had a few suggestions, I thought you did a wonderful job with this -- and it has a lot of potential to blossom into a great piece of writing. I think you should definitely give it a look over and make some corrections if you deem them helpful
. You have an impressive fantasy world built here and an endearing species to inhabit it. I would love to hear more!
Keep up the good work! Hope to see you again next month!
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