Hi, The Lost One , I'm really glad I read this. It is my pleasure to both read and comment on your work on behalf of "The Rockin' Reviewers" .
These are just one person's opinions; always remember only you know what is best for your story. I've read and commented on your work as I would try to read my own. If I didn't respond to it quite the way you hope, perhaps you will find something useful in the feedback or forget about it - it's all up to you. It's your story.
Here's what I best about "The Snowglobe in Space" -
This effort reminds me of what I did with my first scifi novel, a 200,000 word behemoth I spent almost three years writing and rewriting. I like that you have vivid images and scenes in your mind and that you put in so much into injecting colour and vibrance into every sentence.
Summary: James wakes up from hyper-sleep disoriented and meets Tim in a cafeteria. They arrive at Terrastra Sunshine, watch its star and see a snow globe float by.
To be brutally honest (and maybe you won't want any more reviews from me after this haha), I think it took too long for the reader to get a proper sense of what was going on. It would be much more helpful if the following line came near the beginning of the chapter instead of the middle. The reader needs to understand the context of all that's happening earlier, so that every action and description has more significance. The way this chapter is set up, you're simply blindfolding the reader, holding the hand and helping them brush a stroke here and there and when they open their eyes they still can't figure out what they're painting or seeing. That's not ideal.
With what little focus he can muster up, he tried to figure out just where the hell he was. The cafeteria, the cradle- no a pod- and the turbulence?
The protagonist is James who is travelling to a space station called Terrastra Sunshine, although we don't know why. We also don't know what he looks like until halfway through the chapter.
Who is he? What is he trying to do? Why? If these most important questions are not answered as soon as possible, readers tend to lose interest.
if he ever met the genius who put curved fucking walls through this wretched corridor that he would relocate his nasal bones.
Great sentence but the impact is considerably diminished because of a lack of context -- why would he find curved walls wretched instead of pleasant? Why such a violent reaction to them? The reader has no clue, because we don't know anything about this character.
"Ship!" He shouted, immediately slamming his hands to his mouth afterwards.
I have absolutely no idea what he's doing.
"How was the sleep, James?" asked a reddish-brown haired man as he sat opposite of him.
"It was fine."
James? Right. What?
The internal monologue reveals that he doesn't even seem to know who he is, nor the man speaking to him. Why is he even talking to him then, without even first finding out his identity and all those other burning questions earlier?
As I mentioned earlier, I appreciate all the effort you've put into 'decorating' your sentences, making them full and flowery. That was the same mistake I made in my first novel -- trying to show off my 'literary skill and prowess', and making the story take a backseat, or simply become a vehicle to showcase my 'incredible talent'.
The most important thing I learnt from far better writers than I on WDC is -- too much description and detail dilutes the effect. Readers stop paying attention. Save the details for something important -- a character trait or perspective, a unique or startling setting/ atmosphere etc. When you have colour and description everywhere, you stretch the reader's attention so much it becomes difficult to focus when it comes to the really important bits.
Also when you try too hard, sometimes you simply end up with descriptions that take too much effort to even understand, or maybe don't make sense at all. E.g.
The darkness left itself to the equally secretive white veil.
as clear as 6-degree myopia
The sentence flow below can do with some tweaking for clarity as well.
"The shuttle has a shuttle? I'll tell you why, because they are cheap pricks.
This chapter takes place on a spaceship of some sort, although the reader actually only finds this out towards the end of the chapter.
Right, now where was he going, where was he coming from and why the hell did he choose to ride in this piece of garbage?
Okay, so he still doesn't know where he is and yet somewhere he knows he's in a piece of garbage? It doesn't make sense.
he said as he took the carafe from the next table and poured in two glasses.
A few realism incongruities here -- earlier James experienced turbulence in space. Now I'm not sure whether you actually get that in space since air and water currents cause turbulence here on Earth and you don't have that out there, but giving that the benefit of the doubt, why would there be a standing carafe of water and glasses still on the table after the turbulence? Also, if the space line is really so cheapskate that they wouldn't even put in a toilet, why put in a cafeteria then???
One giant gap sat right on where the sky met with its strident counterpart.
This might be an awesome description but I can't really figure out the image it's supposed to paint -- too many big words is like having too many colours on a canvas. What is a 'strident counterpart'? Is this phrase necessary to achieve the particular effect you're going for?
5) Grammar & Diction:
These are just some observations and suggestions. Please feel free to use them or ignore them as you wish. Your words are in pink, my suggestions and impressions are in blue.
and a checker-designed ceiling
A moment of clarity run over him (ran)
Behind them was the rust-ridden machinery holding out trays.
Ahead of him was four rows of dull coloured shutters. (were)
With what little focus he can muster up, (could)
To Terrastra sunshine, the station? (Sunshine, since it's part of the name, right?)
Do beware of the star's light
the bureaucratic-looking second hemisphere. (what exactly does bureaucracy look like?)
almost toyish-looking trams passing along them at times.
the endless cues on grey exhaust-infested cities of the frontier.
I do like the closing image of the chapter -- a snow globe drifting in space. Surreal and some might argue unrealistic, but if you find a way to explain this striking phenomenon in later chapters, it would be awesome. That said, I don't like to make people change their style, but I found that I had to change mine in order to put the focus on the story and not distract from it. My humble opinion is that it would be beneficial if you tweaked yours to allow your story and characters to shine more as well. It was a difficult lesson for me to learn (it's never easy when someone tells you you're doing things 'wrong' when there's not supposed to be any right or wrong in art, right? But it all comes down to what you're trying to do -- tell a story, or show off your fancy writing?)
Thanks for a great read!
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