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Old 04-15-2009, 08:07 PM   #1
darktower
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My first chapter (draft)

Hey everyone

I have never written a book in my life nor do i have the skills, but having my PRS 505 and reading quite alot got me thinking about making a book. I have typed this so far and let me know what you think!



Chapter one - News


The storm crashed down on the fields, sounds of airships passing, the sky was painted light purple with dark black rain pouring down. I looked up and prayed that i will see this through, that I would walk out alive and go back to my wife at home holding my child, but praying is too much to ask for in this world, I learnt that back when praying for my mother to get out of hospital, but she never made it, just like my father, both died in a raid, house set on fire while they were asleep. Sometimes I think back to that day and I wonder what change I would of made had I been in and not sneaking out to sleep with my girlfriend.

“Nero, you got your f**king gear all set?”
I faced the soldier with my eyes shut, I sensed the soldier was confused, I had no time to open my eyes and look him in the eye, not since I’m the General and he’s a soldier.
“I’m sorry sir but we have reports of a army of Greth’s heading our way about 3 days from here”
I opened my eyes and looked at he’s face, it was screaming with terror. I knew from then I had no chance but to prepare forces. The day went quick and the assholes from sector 4 kept reporting to me every minute, like I have a minute to spare. Every passing day I thought of my wife, the way she walked was like god telling me I had hope, the way we made love was bursting with energy and soul, She had long dark hair with a smell of heaven and looks so amazing it would make a General skip a beat.
I heard footsteps approaching my cabin.
“Sir! Greth are reaching the base faster then we expected! We must prepare now if we have any chance to survive!” This solider was about 6 ft 2 with a chip on he’s front tooth, a clean haircut like he was a virgin on he’s first date, but that don’t matter right now, nothing does apart from my wife back home holding my child, waiting for me to bust open the door and say honey I’m home.
“Rally all the troops and have them line up in the great halls for my briefing” the soldier looked at me with great confidence, like I was he’s wife telling him to go out and cheat on me and I would not mind.
He sprinted out and i heard a voice scream full of joy but those sort of men who find war fun are the likely to die first.

The world we live in is split in two, one side we have humans that survive every day like any other day and we have another side, the bug ridden side, the Greth side. We have no idea where they came from but they took earth and wiped out half the population without any warning. The world is not a pretty place since they came, now we have a high wall with defences that stop any sort of bugs crossing the border.
I picked up my gear and headed down to the great hall. The base was busy, soldiers rushing here and there, saluting me on the way. Some one tapped me on the back and as I looked around, I saw my best friend and my highest ranked soldier, Akiko.
“Nero, nice to see you well and moving but I got some bad news regarding your wife” Akiko is a well trained soldier, ranked the best in many eyes, he’s the type that will fight to the very end and when there’s no hope left, he will make it through and put hope in the next set of soldier's he goes with but there is a side to him which I find hard to understand, through all the battles he has been in, he still has time to joke around.
“Akiko tell me about this bad news you report to me” I said in a low voice, he looked at me with a smile on he’s face “I’m sorry to tell you but there’s another guy in your wife’s life” as shocked as I was, I knew Akiko all to well to believe such a statement “Akiko, this is no time to joke around, spill what ever you have to say” and again he looked at me with a smile on he’s face and spoke “she’s having a baby boy, a soldier in the making”
I met he’s smile and smiled with him before he gave me a tap on my shoulder and congratulated me, the news gave me more a reason to hold these bugs off and give up my badge then head home to my wife and son.

I opened the door to the great hall, I sensed the fear was gone, all the troubles going through my mind in the last few days have put me through a rough time with the medical staff. As I entered the hall I was amazed at the soldiers respect, they all were heavily armed and in line. They all saluted me on my entrance, 436 soldiers in front of me, not even one showed a sign of disrespect.
“hands down and resume your normal stance!” I shouted, they all did as I said.
“today is the day we are going to work together for the very last time, today is the day we send the Greth’s a warning of our forces! We will fight for our families back home and the future for mankind. As soon as we see the Greth army marching towards us, that will be the sign to shoot, no holding back and no running out. This battle is what we have been waiting for and if we can scare them off, it is likely they will tell who ever there leader is that we are serious and won’t just stand around and get killed, today is the day that will be remembered for our actions then words, this is not me nor is it any other higher ranked uniform, this is us as one. This is the f**king day we kill some Greth and write back home on how many we killed!”
The soldiers screamed in joy, waving they gun’s around but for me, for me this was a farewell, my last briefing.
“ One more thing before I locate you to your post’s, I am to step down from higher rank General and withdraw myself from the forces and head back home. I know this may be a shock to you guys but I have no choice. Akiko will be your General In Waiting in this battle and your General after”
Akiko looked at me with a smile on he’s face and I could see he’s eye’s watering up.
“Thank you sir! I am happy that you have picked me but I feel sad that you are leaving the forces when we need you the most sir!”
All my life I wanted to settle down with my wife and have a family. I kept having dreams that one day our child would grow up to be special, a child with powers that compares with no other, but my dreams never come true.
“Thank you Akiko but my duties now lie else where” I said as I looked down to my hands that had a photo of my wife, then I looked up to the soldiers and shouted “I want team 31 to man the tower at the top, I want team 59 to hold guard at the bunkers! Team 50, you are to split up and use each turrent located all along the base, I leave it up to you to decide who gets which one. I want Akiko with me, now get in to formation on the double!”

The soldiers cleared out, I took a seat and waved Akiko to go. I can’t believe this will be my last mission, I am going to take out as many Greths as I can to make this a happy ending for my time here. I sat down and lit a smoke and laughed.

Chapter Two – The Greth

Last edited by darktower; 04-16-2009 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
Douglas Rhodes
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Real quick piece of advice: You use "As" repeatedly to begin sentences that don't need it.

The storm crashed down on the fields.

I opened my eyes and looked at his face, it screamed with terror.

I opened the door to the great hall. The fear was gone.

The soldiers cleared out. I took a seat and waved Akiko to go.

See, such little bits of editing and style go a very long way.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:54 AM   #3
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Thank you douglas, i have edited my post. any advice is welcome as this is my first ever story in the making! any sort of criticism is welcome!
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:08 AM   #4
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Good luck. Study "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White and "Writing Well" by William Zinsser. You'll be pleasantly surprised!
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:36 AM   #5
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I played with the first few sections (hope you don't mind).

Just for fun, I set it up like this...

The pounding rain of the storm almost blocked the sounds of the airships passing overhead. I looked up as they flew by and prayed I would make it home to my wife and baby daughter. The ground was already soaked and the water was flowing in tiny rivers around my feet. It was time to get on with it.

"Yes, Nero?"

“Sir, we have reports of a Greth force heading our way. They are about 3 days out.”

Poor Nero. I could hear the tremor of terror in his voice. It was hard to remember that I was once just like him. But, now was not the time to reminisce. It was my responsibility to get us all home safe.

Last edited by dreams; 04-17-2009 at 09:34 PM. Reason: change in black
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:12 AM   #6
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Darktower,

May I suggest you're going about this is in the wrong order. Before you write the opening sentences, you need to do an outline of the whole book - with special attention to the main characters. Do that before you start writing.

By the way, it used to be a joke in writing circles (maybe it is still is), that every amateur novelist always started his first chapter with the words, "It was a dark and stormy night". I'm not suggesting that you amateurish, but your "The storm crashed down on the fields" put me in mind of that.

Mike (Professional writer turned computer programmer)
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
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sigrosenblum - thank you

dreams - reads better then mine! i dont mind at all

mike - thank you for your advice. i am a amateur so im looking to hopefully get adice and improve. the person i was writing about was not the main character, but i understand what your saying. thank you very much
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
Darktower,

May I suggest you're going about this is in the wrong order. Before you write the opening sentences, you need to do an outline of the whole book - with special attention to the main characters. Do that before you start writing.

SNIP....

Mike (Professional writer turned computer programmer)
A very good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreams View Post
I played with the first few sections (hope you don't mind).

Just for fun, I set it up like this...

The pounding rain of the storm almost blocked the sounds of the airships passing overhead. I looked up as they flew by and prayed I would make it home to my wife and baby daughter. The ground was already soaked and the water was flowing in tiny rivers around my feet. It was time to get on with it.

"Yes, Nero?"

“Sir, we have reports of a Greth force heading our way. They are about 3 days out.”

Poor Nero. I could hear the tremor of terror in his voice. It was hard to remember that I was once just like him. But, now was not the time to reminisce. It was my responsibility to get us all home safe.
And to continue with my fun (remember I have no military knowledge nor writing experience)

"Assemble the men, 10 minutes."

"Yes, sir!"

I looked once more to the sky and down at my feet before turning to make my way back to my quarters. God, I hated those things! What the hell are they? How are we suppose to fight them if we don't know what they are?

Now, I have to send those boys out against something nobody knows anything about just so some organization at the top can gather more information. Yeah, great, our government can still continue thanks to the underground state-of-the-art bunkers but, they aren't the ones out here facing those "things".
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:31 PM   #9
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About Sigrosenblum's suggestion that you study "Elements of Style" I would like to direct you to not, as support for my saying Elements will lead you astray I offer this http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i32/32b01501.htm. It is a critique of "Elements of Style" by Geoffrey Pullum, the head of linguistics and English language at the University of Edinburgh and co-author of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language.

He tears "Elements" apart.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Rhodes View Post
About Sigrosenblum's suggestion that you study "Elements of Style" I would like to direct you to not, as support for my saying Elements will lead you astray I offer this http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i32/32b01501.htm. It is a critique of "Elements of Style" by Geoffrey Pullum, the head of linguistics and English language at the University of Edinburgh and co-author of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language.

He tears "Elements" apart.

Great article! I'd never read any article that criticized Strunk & White before, and so effortlessly.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:18 PM   #11
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Thanks. My brother turned me on to the article, it's almost like porn for word junkies it's so good.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Rhodes View Post
About Sigrosenblum's suggestion that you study "Elements of Style" I would like to direct you to not, as support for my saying Elements will lead you astray I offer this http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i32/32b01501.htm. It is a critique of "Elements of Style" by Geoffrey Pullum, the head of linguistics and English language at the University of Edinburgh and co-author of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language.

He tears "Elements" apart.
Yes, Pullum is interesting, if a bit bitter, perhaps, at not having a best-seller. Still, very worth reading. Thanks for this suggestion!
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