Weekend Writing Warriors (#1)

Saw this awesome logo with a sword and a pen and thought I had to know what that was about. Turns out it’s a weekly thing for writers to showcase a snippet from their writing.

To meet some new authors, read some great writing, or join in the 8-sentence fun, stop by at Weekend Writing Warriors!

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In this scene, our hero, space pirate Captain Roger, and heroine, actress/chauffeur/tour-guide Miss Xing, are trying to escape from the Royal Navy by hopping a tram.

 

Before I reached the top of the stairs, Xing was shouting down at me, barring my way. “Your plan, Roger?”

“Move it, there isn’t time!”

Her eyes blazed with anger, then she grabbed hold of me and kissed me.

The sudden, thorough, and altogether welcome physical-contact, the already established first-level skin-link, the adrenaline pumping, the urgency and the surprise, all made smithereens of my rational thought…. right as she passed a third-level skin-link request.

As our mouths mingled, and the rails screamed beneath us, my thoughts were laid bare to her: She knew my plan, and a heck of a lot more besides.

Her eyes opened wide and she broke off the kiss, pushing me back, and I wondered when I’d wrapped my arms around her waist.

“Got it.” She said, then turned and leapt up the remaining stairs.

I shook my head and scrambled after her…

 

A little more about what’s going on in this scene, so it might make a bit more sense: the day before, Roger hired Xing as his tour guide and chauffeur, ostensibly because he’s newly arrived and has a lot to accomplish in a short time. She’s only doing it because the economic realities in the colony are making it difficult for her to follow her dreams in the theatre, and so she needs the cash. There’s mutual attraction, but it’s early days.

Earlier during dinner, when they first noticed the Navy lieutenant watching them, Xing decided to open a first level skin-link between her and Roger’s minds (using the electronic implants that practically everyone has), so that they could plan their escape from the restaurant without needing to use The Net (which could be hacked), or to rely on speech (that could be overheard or lip-read). For the link they just need skin-to-skin contact, and then each needs to accept the link (with level one being only basic permissions like text or image transfer).

Now that they’re on the tram making their escape, there’s a high likelihood of a catastrophic crash looming, everything they’ve tried to stop the runaway carriage has failed dismally, and Roger hasn’t taken the time to explain his next plan to Xing. As you saw above though, she’s got a few plans of her own…

Hard to pick only a few lines from an entire novel, but these were a few where I thought that quite a bit happens in a short space. Would love to hear which parts you think work, or which don’t, or any thoughts at all really! 🙂

If you feel inclined, I’ve since written a WeWriWa 2 post, here.

Best regards,

D.R.Sylvester

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About D.R.Sylvester

A Clinical Research Associate by day (google it), writer by night, D.R.Sylvester lives in Sydney, Australia with his patissiere wife and Siberian Wolf. His interests include travel, music (predominantly Metal), reading, & archery.
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31 Responses to Weekend Writing Warriors (#1)

  1. This passage made me smile 🙂 I think it was the growing attraction between Captain Roger and Miss Xing. You are quite a good writer. I don’t like writing or reading action scenes, and you managed to make this enjoyable. And you did a great job not only showing how these characters were falling for each other, but managed to give the reader a taste of their personalities. Miss Xing seems like a bit of a bad-ass. I like strong female characters 😀 Roger seems a bit dumbfounded after that kiss XD
    I had to read this sentence again, “The sudden, thorough, and altogether welcome physical-contact, the already established first-level skin-link, the adrenaline pumping, the urgency and the surprise, all made smithereens of my rational thought…. right as she passed a third-level skin-link request.”
    Actually I like it, but it feels like there is too much use of the word “the”. I don’t know, what do you think? Everything else was great, at least in my opinion.

    • Thanks for the detailed feedback! Really glad to hear that you enjoyed it a bit 🙂
      Roger isn’t normally taken off guard, he’s normally swashbuckling and taking advantage of everyone left right and centre. This girl is just that much smarter than him, so he struggles to stay ahead.
      I agree about the looooong sentence, I think I need to watch for that kind of thing when I do my final edits. I could substitute “the” for “exacerbated by” or “compounded by”, but really I think I need to cut the sentence down a bit.
      Thanks very much again!

  2. Wow! First of all, so glad you decided to join WeWriWa, it’s a great group of people! (Partly because, you know, I’m in it 🙂 Second, this is totally awesome. Space-pirates = even cooler than they sound. I really love it. It is so interesting, and ended up completely different than how I thought it would be. I like how he’s all falling into it and she’s like hey, calm down, I just wanted the info, now let’s go kick some ass 😉 I love her already. I really like the concept of skin-links, though it was a bit confusing at first out of context. I like the world you are establishing here, very vivid and different. Loving it, and can’t wait to read more! 🙂

    • You got me onto WeWriWa actually! I have you to thank (thank you!). It’s just taken me a fortnight to get my act together…
      Hahaha thank you! Really glad to hear that you like it. This is not the most piratey bit of the story by a long stretch, but there is certainly going to be a lot of this kind of thing in it (along with all the cannons and swashbuckling).
      The world is an odd one, for sure, but really cheered to hear that you’re liking it too. I spent half of last night trying to work out a rational sleep-cycle, when Ceres apparently has days that are only nine hours long(?!).
      Thanks again, really love the feedback. If you have any criticisms don’t hold back, this is still my first book I’m writing after all. Cheers 🙂

  3. D.R. I LIKE it! This is my favorite part: “…all made smithereens of my rational thought.” That is fantastic–using the word :smithereens”. I really like the dialect. And the skin link– quite creative! Scifi/fantasy is always my go-to when I want to be flat out entertained.

    Is this book published? I need to read this story. You have a great action voice–I so enjoy the hint of humor in it. 🙂

    Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors–we’re so glad to have your here with us. And I think it’s fantastic that our cool logo caught your eye. Dana Renelt, one of our Admins created it.

    • Thank you very much, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it! 🙂
      I haven’t published yet; I’ve been working on it for about the past 12 years or so, and I decided to make a big push on getting the second re-write done by the end of August, then edit and publish before my daughter arrives (this October). It was sitting at about sixty thousand, but in the past month or so I’ve done about another thirty five thousand words (new scenes and chapters, along with changes), and I estimate there’s another twenty eight thousand words before it will be time to start editing. If you’re really keen to read something like this right now, best I can recommend is my main influence – Jim Butcher. I’ve been loving and reading his books for the last few years, and his writing inspired me to get back into it in a big way.
      Dana is very talented, it’s an ace logo! I’m looking forward to reading through all the other posts on WeWriWa, and will be back next week for certain. Thanks again! 🙂

  4. alexissduran says:

    Welcome to WWW! I really enjoyed the snippet. This promises to be a very fun story.

  5. I really enjoyed this and am intrigued by the world you’ve got set up here. My fave section was this: “As our mouths mingled, and the rails screamed beneath us, my thoughts were laid bare to her: She knew my plan, and a heck of a lot more besides.
    Her eyes opened wide and she broke off the kiss, pushing me back, and I wondered when I’d wrapped my arms around her waist.”
    as it made me wonder what else she learned and also how it shows he couldn’t help himself with his attraction (arm around waist) and the way it’s worded, it gives me a hint into his personality

    • Thank you! Your world has some very 19th century stuff going on as well, right? Have you found a good source for how women used to sit down wearing the bustles? I’ve been needing to write that for one of the british characters who wears the big Victorian dress with the wire frame inside (the one they wore in hotter climes because the layers were too heavy and hot).
      Oh yeah, they learn a lot from each other, almost too much. Both have secrets (Xing’s secret is HUUUUUGE), and a mind-link is a bit like fencing. What’s on the surface they can both see, but it takes a lot of parry-&-ripostes to get to the layers underneath.
      Thanks very much again 🙂

  6. Welcome to WeWriWa. I have skin contact making mind contact easier, but only if particular genes are present on at least one side, not the way you’re using it. I look forward to more.

    • Thank you, glad to be here! I like the idea of the links being related to genetics, is it more of a psychic/psionic link than an electronic/bionic one? Looking forward to seeing how your story progresses too 🙂

  7. I’m captivated by your style, story and oh, those skin links. I’ll take a box of six, thanks. Welcome to WEWRIWA.

    • Thank you! and thank you for the warm welcome. 🙂
      Haha, indeed, it’d be nice to have an option of sharing your thoughts with someone directly, wouldn’t it? Could be dangerous though…

  8. Oh my, that was a RIDE inagoodway! Fast, action-packed and definitely left me wanting to know all kinds of things about the backstory and what’s going to happen next. Terrific snippet!

  9. burnsmillie says:

    D.R. so nice to meet you, and welcome to WeWriWa! I really enjoyed this glimpse into your world, and I’m looking forward to future snippets. I’m loving Xing!

    • Thank you! Yeah she’s a cool girl. Pretty much unstoppable. Of course, she’s up against a hell of a lot later in the story… it will be a wonder if she can survive, let alone make it to the big-time show-biz.
      Great to meet you too 🙂

  10. backwrites says:

    This little snippet makes me REALLY want to read this book! If you need a first reader when you finish it… 🙂 It sounds really exciting!

    • Your comment just made my day. Yeah that would be fantastic, thank you! I will let you know at the start of September (all going according to plan). Unless you’re planning to have everything tied up before then, did you want to do a swap, where I look at The Fount of Magic at the same time?

  11. Joyce says:

    Sorry I’m late with my response. I was on vacation and wanted to give this piece a lot of thought after your critique of my work.
    You’ve got a few fireworks going on here. To turn up the heat, you might want to use another of the five senses.
    Xing was shouting down at me – I think this line could come off better, especially if it’s going to prompt the MC into a kiss. http://www.thesaurus.com is my best friend when writing. I’d look for a better way to say this. Perhaps there’s a word that could bring about the spark to provoke a kiss. I like the way her eyes blazed.
    You need a little foreplay with the kiss. Was it a quick tap or a full tongue on thrust? Be careful about getting technical with your description. This would be a good place to bring in another sense. What did this women smell, feel, or taste like? Put us into the action. I’m not sure what the levels mean.
    Her insight into his plan is intriguing and adds great interest.
    If it’s not the time for the kiss, what is going on to make it so? I’d love to see an external threat. This might be a good place to add sound. Does fire leap through the stairs? Perhaps you told us in a different eight lines. It can be hard to pick up in the middle.
    Sounds like a fun story.
    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

    • Thank you! Great to get some real feedback and critique.
      Hmmm I don’t think this is an isolated issue: – I probably need to go through the entire novel during my editing, looking for some more sensory stimuli (& and as you say, variety). Haha I guess you could be right about the foreplay, though I might have to work things out across the duration of the entire episode. There’s no time for much build-up in this one specific scene, since they’re about to die in a fiery explosion if they don’t do something.
      You like the eyes blazing? I was actually worrying about this, because I thought it was a bit too cliché. I left it in because I figured that sometimes cliché is exactly what’s needed for the reader to instantly get the meaning: to maintain clarity. I also left it because I figured if I hated it for this reason when I came back during the edit, at least it would act as a placeholder until then. What do you reckon? Cliché okay or cliché nay?

  12. Adan Ramie says:

    Wow, I like it! This is a really cool idea; I can’t wait to see where the story goes, and am looking forward to reading it when it’s published one day.

    Thanks for visiting and following my blog!

  13. Pingback: Weekend Writing Warriors (#2) | WRITES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  14. soulandquill says:

    Very nice. I’m now hooked, where/ when is the rest availiable?!

    • Thank you! That’s always an awesome thing to hear. I’m extremely glad you liked this little snippet.
      I’ll be doing my best to have the book on a few different online stores by the end of the year, and I’m keen to use Lulu so I can do print on demand. I want to hold it in my arms…
      Yeah I might be a little bit excited about my first book baby being unleashed.

      • soulandquill says:

        I get the “in print” thing. Physical books are so much more REAL then eBooks, but eBooks are where the market is at so I guess having both doesn’t hurt 🙂

        Looking forward to it!

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