Crit: Opening for rewrite
- From: Jymesion <noreplies@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2012 08:40:11 -0600
I've been blocked long enough to know I probably won't come up with
the problem I need to continue my wip. It's time to give up and begin
a complete rewrite (<groan>).
(Some of you may be happy to hear it'll be without the girls because I
ran out of problems they can cause.)
One thing that will help considerably is if I have more confidence in
the opening. At times, it seems like every line is an infodump, and I
fear that making the backstory in it brief led to convolutions a
reader might not be able to follow.
I hesitated redoing it before because it wouldn't have the same flow
into the next section.
If it needs to be erased and started over from scratch, now's the time
to do it.
"Some thieves like to set up housekeeping in another when," the
security officer told the group in Authority's main lecture hall.
Jace wished he could take notes, but it'd look like a to-do list.
'Which is exactly what I need,' he thought.
"We caught a theft ring because one of them suddenly had cuts and
bruises that were half-healed although he hadn't been on a mission
recently. He confessed he was injured while building a house in 12,023
B.C., and he planned to use it to store the things he looted until he
found a buyer."
'MacAlister. Not a ring, just one idiot who ratted out everyone who'd
helped him get started smuggling.'
"So watch for travelers with darker tans, longer hair, or anything
else that means they've aged more than they should since you last saw
them. Any tip you give us that uncovers unauthorized activity earns
you five years' wages and a month's vacation. The Director has added
that you'll also be off cataloguing duty for a year."
Everyone in the room perked up, and some started eyeing their fellows.
Cataloguing was drudge work, something to do when the sociologists,
archaeologists, and anthropologists didn't need something from their
era and area of expertise. The inventors of travel had put receivers
in untold numbers of universes which were exactly parallel to each
other in all ways except the present date in them ranged from two
million B.C. to the early 17th Century. Only a few thousand had been
used since Authority began operations. Most of the rest were unknowns,
needing a quick visit to snap pictures which then took long, boring
hours of analysis to determine where the receiver was located, the
date in that universe, and how much the installation or use of the
receiver had skewed the natural course of time there.
"I hope you all remember how serious this is," the officer said. "We
don't want another Omaha."
'Omaha' echoed in Jace's mind. A billionaire wanting a dodo bird or
his own Mona Lisa was one thing, but why would anyone pay for the body
of a 14th Century peasant dead from pneumonic plague? And why would
any smuggler get him one, especially when the customer didn't have a
proper lab to quarantine it?
Comments greatly appreciated.