View Single Post
Old November 15 2008, 12:34 AM   #120
Rush Limborg
Vice Admiral
 
Rush Limborg's Avatar
 
Location: The EIB Network
Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Just began reading.

Nice story so far. My compliments.



Still...I noticed a slight problem with the pacing.

Now, there are many instances where I found myself skimming over long paragraphs (like in the first battle sequence). As a result, I felt like I'd missed something when I read the next scene, where Spirodopulous wakes up in prison.

I think that, while quiet, slow-paced "character-development" scenes (Like Macet's intro) can have long paragraphs, as little is actually happening, scenes full of action (and interaction) are best serves with a lot of shorter ones.

See, as a general rule, information given in the middle of a paragraph is noticed the least. The longer a paragraph, the less attention is payed to "middle-info".

Smaller paragraphs are less likely to be "skimmed over" than longer ones, and thus encourage the reader to hang on to every point.

I think if you split the longer passages into smaller parts, it gives greater emphasis to the info.

That, and it helps a lot if you want a fast pace to your tale. And, considering the dramatic premises in your tale (my compliments!), I think that would help a lot.

My advice: make the "breaks" just before "essential" info, which will begin the next paragraph.



Here's an example:

“How do you like it, you little kosst?” Folani shrilled as she grappled with her own target, gaining a decisive advantage. The young Cardassian’s eyes widened with panic as Folani drove her elbow deep into the space under his ribs—from the look of it, hitting a vital organ. “How’s this feel? Huh? Answer me! Or are you too cowardly to do it when you’re not smashing your boot into a little child’s back?” Her prey gasped for air as she pressed the assault. His bulging grey eyes spoke nothing of the antipathy he might have reserved for Bajorans—only the primal terror of looking death in the eye.

The first time I read this, I wasn't quite sure what was going on. I had a general idea, but I wasn't entirely certain.

I think I would break the paragraph like this:

“How do you like it, you little kosst?” Folani shrilled as she grappled with her own target, gaining a decisive advantage.

The young Cardassian’s eyes widened with panic as Folani drove her elbow deep into the space under his ribs—from the look of it, hitting a vital organ.

“How’s this feel? Huh? Answer me! Or are you too cowardly to do it when you’re not smashing your boot into a little child’s back?”

Her prey gasped for air as she pressed the assault. His bulging grey eyes spoke nothing of the antipathy he might have reserved for Bajorans—only the primal terror of looking death in the eye.


Here's another example:

A scaled hand clapped down immediately on his mouth. “Quiet!” hissed the Cardassian to whom it belonged, a bearded man with an uncanny resemblance to Dukat. “The sensors will pick up any speech in an alien language and report it to the Vorta. If you need something, you’ll have to gesture for it unless you know our words.” Spirodopoulos fought to stand, but found his right wrist bound by a cord tied around a metal loop protruding from the floor, perhaps to strap down cargo in its proper use. “Stop that—you’ll pull your shoulder right back out of its socket, the way we found it. There’s no need to struggle…you’re safe for now. You’re aboard the Trager, and we’re taking you somewhere to wait out the war. I apologize for the restraints, but they are necessary for the moment: we dare not divert power to erect a forcefield.”
Again, I wasn't sure what was going on, and I barely noticed the interaction here between the two. I'd probably break it like this:

A scaled hand clapped down immediately on his mouth. “Quiet!” hissed the Cardassian to whom it belonged, a bearded man with an uncanny resemblance to Dukat. “The sensors will pick up any speech in an alien language and report it to the Vorta. If you need something, you’ll have to gesture for it unless you know our words.”

Spirodopoulos fought to stand, but found his right wrist bound by a cord tied around a metal loop protruding from the floor, perhaps to strap down cargo in its proper use.

“Stop that—you’ll pull your shoulder right back out of its socket, the way we found it. There’s no need to struggle…you’re safe for now.

"You’re aboard the Trager, and we’re taking you somewhere to wait out the war. I apologize for the restraints, but they are necessary for the moment: we dare not divert power to erect a forcefield.”
__________________
"I have been wounded but not yet slain. I shall lie here and bleed awhile. Then I shall rise and fight again."

"Forget it, Jake...it's Chinatown."
Rush Limborg is offline   Reply With Quote