I need opinions on a story -- Orion: First Flight

I've been writing for a while but I haven't asked many people what they think my work. That being said I'd like to know what you think of the plot characters what have you, I'm posting part of chapter one and I'll add a little more at times while i work on the first three paragraphs which means...

 With weeks of no contacts on sensors the United Nations Strike Core's newest flagship is about to launch for her first flight. Receiving the title of The Horizon, the ship will be sent out to look for new locations for outposts. She takes on a breed of ship all her own, The Horizon is an explorer and battle cruiser. Bigger than any other in the fleet she'll lead the final strike on the Phantoms. This is the story of the great battle that ended the war.


                   "This war is about to end," said the president of earth, "Those blasted Phantoms won't know what hit them!" The crowd of super city Icon cheered with great pride for their planet.

                   The president looks like your normal politician. Fancy Outfit, strong voice, and quite young, he only looked to be about twenty-five, twenty-six. His presidency only started a month before but President Kyle has done amazing things since he began. Now he has the great honor of launching my ship, his words not mine. The Horizon has been in the Orion dry dock for about 4 years now, and she's mine to command.

                   The way that the UNSC chooses their commanders is a little crazy but in the end it works. I got chosen to be part of the First class of command regime academy. An elite school under heavy guard and gets its founding from governments all over New Earth. Each candidate goes through tests that people would say are cruel but the men and woman who run the facility don't let someone who can't handle something continue in the course. I was one of the commanders that was chosen for future commands, so I was placed in cryo until I was finally needed. 

I threw in the opening paragraph for fun. Let me know thanks guys.


  • TenleyNadineTenleyNadine MichiganPosts: 681 ✭✭✭
    I like it, I'm intrigued by the rest of the story, which is what the starting paragraphs should do. 

    Small things: You say the President is "a normal politician" but then also say he looks young. Maybe its just me, but the stereotype for politicians is usually old white guys. He can absolutely be young, the phrasing is just a little weird. 

    Also, paragraph three is a bit of a "here are the facts" kind of thing as opposed to being conversational. I've struggled this in my own writing so I don't have a ton of suggestions for you. Since its just one paragraph though, if the story goes on and becomes more conversational post introduction, its probably fine.  

    "The world unwraps itself to you, again and again, as soon as you are ready to see it anew." Wicked

  • Matted2503Matted2503 UKPosts: 23
    So I want to preface any criticism I give by saying that it is gripping and I want to see where the story goes from here (which is arguably the purpose of a first paragraph.)

    That said, there are a few confusing tense mistakes where you move from present ('The president 'looks') to perfect ('he only looked'). These mistakes slightly obscure the meaning and add a little confusion (which are easy to fix).

    The only other mistake is one I myself fall prey to pretty regularly, you have a tendency to info-dump on the reader. If it was my story, I would try and remove points where the narrator moves away from the characters and takes an overview in order to 'dump' information. The first paragraph is a good example of that and is easily fixed by having the first person character describe the situation in voice instead of as a disembodied being as it is written now.

    This theme continues and the first person character (who I presume is the protagonist), does not have much focus on him. This is both less interesting and less effective as a method of information transfer to the reader as readers will likely not absorb the information as well because we are looking for some character action.

    The story shows real promise however, I look forward to hopefully reading future instalments.
  • Thank you both. Sorry it took so long to write back working on school stuff however I am finding some time to work on it in the mean time here's some more of the story.

    They put me on ice over 30 years ago and the kicker is I'm sixteen. "Now it's my honor to introduce the newest commander in the fleet. He's fresh out of cryo, three days to be precise. Ladies and Gentlemen, Commander Alexander Collins!" The president said my name? Everyone told me that I needed to go to the ceremony but they told me I wouldn't be going on stage. I swallowed hard and started for the stairs at the front. The crowd went silent as I climbed the steps. The President smiled at me and outstretched his hand. I shock it and stepped to the side. He stepped back up to the mic and started talking, again.

                       "I know exactly what you're all thinking. This is no military leader, he's just some kid." He said, "Well this kid has reached the top of our command listings and was picked by my predecessor." Again, what? "He'll do what's right and do his best to fulfill our requests, but in the end it's his decision on what missions The Horizon takes on." The crowd went berserk. The cheer of Icon city was defining and all of that was directed at me. They were happy that I was getting command of their greatest hope for a safe future.

                       The president turned to me and directed me off stage. We were headed for the air lock. "Your father left a message for you. It's in your quarters." I nodded, "One more thing. There are a lot of military personal that have never been under the command of a sixteen year old boy so it's gonna take some time for them to get used to this massive step forward. And I lied there is one other thing. Push this ship to the limit. See what she's capable of and not."

    I really appreciate your feedback and please don't hold back I'll keep a close eye open for your comments. :)

  • MoundfreekMoundfreek Colorado SpringsPosts: 17
    Excellent world-building. There's a strong sense of foreboding here to keep the story engaging. 
    I am a professional ecologist with ulcerative colitis .... but am not Hank. Books and nerds are my favorite.
  • littlewonderlittlewonder Nisshin, JapanPosts: 19
    I'm going to comment on both installments. Opening paragraph, first sentence needs at least a comma, as I got lost on the meaning. What are the sensors, what do they do? Paint me a picture (with words). Also, regarding info dump, you need to take out unnecessary comments. For example, what makes the President typical. If you're going to mention it, tell us after you explain. Also, give us clues rather telling us exactly what happened. Instead of telling us its been a month, tell how quickly he's won his audience in the month he's been in office, that sort of thing. Another way to avoid info dump may be by giving impressions; atmosphere, appearances, the character's feeling. If it was oppressive training to be a commander, show us the cruel overseers, what they did, how your character reacted. Give us a flashback.

    Another thing about your world, is it typical for authority to be young? Both the President and your character are young, and you listed his youth in reasons the President was typical. Was that intentional? Also, I think he needs a last name, to flesh out the world a bit.

    Show me where the character and the President are from the start, as well. I pictured the President on TV, and suddenly he's on stage introducing the character.

    Second installment had a couple of typos: 'shock' instead of shook, 'defining' instead of deafening. Also, maybe the President would be less conversational, more direct, but that could just be my bias. I also felt the last line could drop the 'or not'. Be less passive, because the President is making a statement.
  • MikeAaronohnoMikeAaronohno Posts: 59
    A little late, but I like it. let me preface this by saying I didn't read the other comments.

    The "Who, me?" would have been nice in its own line. Some of the writing felt a little thick. Then again, I guess that's not really a negative since a watered down work is really not amazing either.

    I don't really know how effective the flashback was here. I guess we'll have to see where you go with the story. Hope you took it somewhere.
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