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Author Topic: Opening sentence (now a few paragraphs) of a short story - open to thoughts  (Read 843 times)
Jim Williams
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« on: December 22, 2017, 11:52:12 AM »

WATER PLANET

He would never gaze at the night sky. In this regard, he was not alone. His planet, which was a larger, warm version of Jupiter’s frozen moon Europa, had oceans covering the entire surface. Like Earth, it teemed with life while orbiting in the “Goldilocks zone” of a different star. 

Different version

He never saw the stars of the night sky. His unnamed planet was in the temperate “Goldilocks Zone” of a distant solar system. It was a larger, warmer variety of Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. Like Europa, it had no mainland at all, its surface entirely made of water. Even as his planet teemed with intelligent life, only a few ever got to see what was above its oceans. All he knew for certain was he was not alone.

Perhaps this one:

He never got to revel in the sight of the starry night sky. As on many other inhabited planets, his was in the temperate “Goldilocks Zone” of a solar system. Like a larger, warmer version of a moon of Jupiter, Europa, there was no mainland at all, but a surface made of water. His planet teemed with intelligent life. However, only a few inhabitants ever got to see what was above the water line. Not once in his life had he seen the stars. All he knew for certain was he was not alone.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2017, 07:32:03 PM by Jim Williams » Logged

Munley
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2017, 12:32:03 AM »

I think all three versions have something good going for them, especially in the rhythms of your prose. As with any opening sample, it's hard to judge in full measure how effective a lead-in the opening is without knowing yet where it's taking us.

Two suggestions:
1)
   nail down something about where he is on this planet and some sensation it give him. (Eventually, it seems that he and others are in water with some sort of view-obscuring surface)

There's a jump in focus from some individual person/creature/inhabitant on the planet never seeing the stars to a broad view of the planet somewhere in the universe.
     I expect the second sentence in all three examples to be more about him, not where in the universe the planet is situated. It's like a sudden pull-back of the camera from him to something outside of the universe looking in at a geographic location. If you mean to talk about the planet right off, it might be better to start with the planet in the first place.

2) Consider re-posting this as a poll people can vote on with or without comments to explain their vote.
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Jim Williams
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2017, 07:30:56 PM »

Munley:
Thanks for your help. I'm very pleased you like the rhythm of my prose.You gave me a chance to go back and look at it myself.

I'm not so sure about a poll. I don't have the best reputation here at Query Tracker Forum. Nothing that bad about it, but it's just not that good, either. 


Help from AW

Water Planet

Joh never exulted after the sight of a starry night sky. His planet was among the many in the temperate zone of an unnamed solar system, a warm, larger version of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. So, even though its entire surface was of water, it still teemed with intelligent life.

Only a few inhabitants ever got to see what was above the water’s surface, and many continued to believe there was no such thing as stars. But Joh had not only heard of them but knew they were real. Sadly, as he reflected from the comfort of his underwater home, he accepted outside his sun not once in his entire life would he ever see a star.

Like the blind with their nonvisual senses acuter, in the absence of seeing space, another capacity developed on this planet and others. Telepathy reached across time, and distance, to enlighten most water planet’s inhabitants across the Milky Way. Even faintly, perceived wisps of thought could be recognized coming in from other galaxies.

“Do you think Earth will get the hint?” Joh thought out loud.

“I’m not so certain they will.” His friend said. “Their most intelligent species did evolve on land.”
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