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Stand at Carpo (Text Version)
#3
Thoughts and comments below, along with suggested edits in bold.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: More than a century ago, the Solar System was set ablaze as colonies declared their sovereignty from Earth. Our people, when they first settled these worlds and established the colonies, had new hopes, new dreams, and new lives waiting to be built. These were eventually shattered, not only by a rapidly solidifying Earth, but also by the greed of many men. It was not one particular breed of men. It was many breeds of people and organisations. This meant corporations, national entities, politicians on the colonies, and like us, they all had their own goals and dreams. Then one day, those politicians on the colonies had found life’s bottleneck: phosphorous in vast quantities on certain moons of various gas giants, on Deimos, and in many asteroids in the Belt and some of the Trojan objects. In an instant, we had gone from territories administered by separate national entities on Earth and (in recent years) its de-facto military force since the various terror attacks of the 2370s, the United Nations Authority on Planetary Affairs (UNAPA) to various independent states which would not only compete against each other, but against Earth as well. The stories of the First and Second Extraplanetary Wars and the Interbellum between are many. These are some of them, including my grandfather’s, my mother’s and finally, my own.” - Ching Wei, Clash of the Worlds: Stories of the First Extraplanetary War, Introduction
***

This already reads better as an excerpt from another workSmile I've made some suggested changes in bold. The underlined section is a bit of a jumble - you sort of jump around a bit and leave out some connecting words and information - read it thru, slow down and adjust and/or add text to make complete and coherent sentences. Also, you may want to either drop the mention of terrorist attacks, provide a little more explanation, or replace that bit with a mention of whatever events led to the terrorist attacks in the first place. Terror attacks don't just happen for no reason, but are the result of people making a decision to carry them out for one reason or another. So, what was the reason and can you plug that in here without getting bogged down in details or expanding this small intro bit to larger than you really want for a small intro bit?

On a different note - while phosphorus is apparently rare in the solar system (per a bit of quick googling), such that the discovery of same would probably be important you don't really explain why or how this would have such a large impact. Does the discovery threaten or break some kind of monopoly? Lead to economic disruption? Something else? As you're doing this, bear in mind that just finding a rare and (presumably) valuable substance in space isn't going to matter much if there isn't any means or infrastructure in place (or put in place) to access and exploit it. So, how did people (or their robots) go about getting out to where the phosphorus was, mining it, and getting it back to somewhere where it could be used? Etc.

Finally, what is this battle/war actually about? The ships from Earth are coming to reinforce Terran troops already in the Jovian system - ok. But why are they in the jovian system in the first place? Putting down rebellion? Supporting a rebellion? Something else?

Oh, and why are there Russians around Jupiter and apparently no one else from any other country?

Again, the trick is to get this information to your reader without generating a whole lot of extra verbiage. So think in terms of an informative sentence or two rather than paragraphs of exposition. Ok, moving on...

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “Gentlemen, the situation has started to become more desperate than it already was.” spoke a man in Ganyrstrovian, a dialect of Russian, through the holoscreen. “The Gaians have already deployed reinforcements to assist their remaining troops in the Jovian system, and we have been suspecting of this for the past two months.”

“Agreed” spoke another man in the Operations Centre. “And we have only confirmed it three days ago, when the task force began deceleration burn.”

“Any destinations that we are looking at?” the man in the holoscreen asked.

“We have been able to accurately locate it within the past month” spoke a different high-ranking officer at the left of the board representing a 3D holographic display of the Solar System. “And they are heading to reinforce Callisto. However, we do have a plan to intercept the hostile fleet and cripple or destroy it.”

Various bits here:

1) Is Ganyrstrovian a real dialect of Russian or one you've made up for the story? Perhaps one originating on Ganymede? If so, perhaps include that here so the reader gets a bit more info on this and isn't left wondering. Or just say they are speaking Russian and don't drill down to the level of dialects as it is not relevant to the story and doesn't provide any relevant 'extra color'.

2) It's a bit iffy that these people would only 'suspect' that the Gaians have launched an expedition. As discussed earlier, stealth in space is pretty much impossible where waste heat is concerned, especially over a period of months. The more so if the attacking fleet used fusion drives (as we learn later) and boosted up to a speed to get them to Jupiter in any reasonable amount of time.

If flights too/from the Jovian system are reasonably common (or maybe even if they aren't), and you want an element of surprise in all this, I'd suggest having the attack be suspected, but also a surprise. Specifically, the Jovians have figured some kind of attack was coming but didn't know what/when. Then one of their remote satellites/drones/something else notes odd behavior on some incoming ships and looks more closely to discover they are the attack fleet. The attackers might have the ships disguised as civilian/routine craft, including fake hulls and transponders, for example. Only as they approach the jovian system do they jettison the hulls, which gets the attention of someone (which wasn't expected or deemed likely by the attackers), which leads to a closer look, which gets us to this point here.

Or something like that. Instead of stealth, rely on sneakiness in some form.

3) The timing seems strange here. If they've suspected some kind of attack for months, and confirmed that such is coming three days ago, why are they only having this meeting now? I realize that interplanetary distances and speeds result in a whole different form of military operations, but this still seems a bit...relaxed for a response to an incoming invasion. More generally, it might be good to give some indication or passing mention of the capabilities of your spacecraft (acceleration, speed of travel) during the course of the story. This need not be a big info-dump, just stuff in passing (e.g., Ship X began boosting hard, its straining drives accelerating it at a full tenth of a G OR 'We'll be in interception range in 16 hours...etc.).

On a related note, if they just detected the deceleration burn three days ago, how could they know where the incoming fleet is going for the last month? Especially since they only suspected an attack for the last two months.

4) Finally, you have one man communicating via a holoscreen to a man in the 'Operations Center', and then another man replying to both of them with additional info. But the first man apparently isn't in the OC (because he's using a screen) and you only mention that the last man in high ranking, but do it in a way that indicates they are all high ranking and all in the same room together. This is a bit confusing and I'd suggest tweaking things a bit.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “And what exactly is this ‘plan’?” the man in the holoscreen asked the officer. The officer then zoomed onto Jupiter and the board displayed a map of the Jovian system. The officer then pointed to the tiny moon called Carpo on it.

“See that tiny speck?” the officer asked his superior. “That moon is where we will intercept and defeat the task force. A conventional Hohmann transfer is not an option, so we may have to do with a Brachistochrone Transfer. We can intercept them in about nine days.”

“Good. Any available task forces in the area?” the man in the holoscreen asked before the officer.

1) If a Hohmann transfer is not an option, then it would seem that there is no 'may' involved in doing a Brachistochrone transfer. Also, while I believe that a Hohmann transfer is named after a person (and so is ok to capitalize), I don't think you need to capitalized Brachistochrone.

2) If there were no available task forces in the area, would they be having this conversation? More generally, the defenders seem very calm and laid back about the incoming attack by a presumably superior force.

Perhaps make the question more general (what forces do we have available to intercept?) and add some words or short descriptions to indicated the stress level (the smell of old coffee, old sweat, and tension filled the room).

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “We do have one. It’s very small task force, but they are one of the best. Task Force 12. It currently has six functioning SDVs, two of each type. This means drone carriers, SOVs and SDeVs.

This is something I flashed on last night when I was planning to sit down and work on this. You are very heavy on the initials in this story, but don't explain what they mean. What is a SDV, SOV, or SDeV? These terms get thrown around a lot, but you don't say what the names are or what the difference is between each type of craft. As this continues thru the story, and especially during combat when you are describing different craft doing different things, it gets very hard for the reader to get a picture of what is going on (or to care about it) and eventually they may just give up altogether and stop reading.

At the very least I would suggest providing the full names that these acronyms stand for when you first introduce them and then use the letters moving forward. Perhaps even use the full names from time to time thru the story. You might even want to replace these terms with something the reader is more familiar with (and can instantly visualize as different types of ships) such as 'cruiser', 'destroyer', etc. Or use made up terms that make it clear which is which. Or a mix of real and made up.

Drone carrier is pretty self-explanatory and is fine to keep, however.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “I doubt that your plan could work, but I suppose we have no other option. Marshall Makhrov, I am authorising your plan, although I will mention that your plan is risky and dangerous. The probability of success might depend on twelve.”

“Thank you, Planetary Marshall. I will commence preparations immediately.” spoke Marshall Makhrov as the Planetary Marshall shut off his holoscreen.

Since there is no discussion of any other alternatives, how does the Planetary Marshall jump to this conclusion? Does it seem likely that Makhrov doesn't know the plan is risky and dangerous and needs to be told? For that matter, what is particularly risky and dangerous (btw do we need both terms that mean basically the same thing?) about this plan? We aren't told.

You don't need to run through an explanation of a bunch of other plans. Rather, have something along the lines of the question of alternatives being raised and a character explaining there's no other/better option. Or have the the Planetary Marshall come into the meeting stating he's already been told there are no other alternatives and Makhrov and Co. are to explain the details of this one. A few more details beyond 'we are going to intercept them at this point' would probably also be good. What is the plan, basically?

Finally, suggest changing the rank of one or the other to a different term. The use of Marshall and Planetary Marshall so close together is a bit confusing.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote:
***
The BKK Drakon Smerti (Death Dragon), and 5 other spacecraft: the BKK Ognennyy Shar (Fireball), the BKK Zhnets (Reaper), the BKK Adskyi Ogoni (Hellfire), the BKK Sila Yupitera (Strength of Jupiter), and the BKK Ruka Svaroga (Hand of Svarog), had already been en route to Carpo for over 4 days when planning of the actual battle began onboard the BKK Death Dragon.

What does BKK stand for?

Also, suggest either using the Russian names or the English names, but not both. Stating the Russian names here and then not using them for the entire rest of the story feels strange. [/quote]

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: The craft was massive, but tiny compared to even a small naval craft from Earth, with two habitat modules spinning around the craft, with each module rotating twice every minute, which would fold into the craft accelerates and and with the spacecraft itself powered by a fusion reactor. The craft had a fusion drive, a cluster of three nuclear thermal engines, and was equipped with several coilguns to strike a hostile craft on its horizontal and vertical sides, two for each side. The craft also had 4 primary radiators capable of being concealed in the battlefield, Between the engines and the reactor there was a spherical-like object that spun on itself as the craft moved and boiled liquid metal to radiate waste heat. It was called a Bubble Membrane Radiator.

Ok, queue Mission Impossible music -

Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to go through the paragraph above and reduce the number of instances of the word 'craft' from its current level (8) down to only three (or fewer). You can use synonyms, alternative phrases, or rewrite sentences or the whole thing to do it, but the goal is only three (or fewer) instances of the word craft, preferably separated by as much of the rest of the text as possible.

Ok, I've got to go get started on my day. More later as time permits.

Hope this helps,

Todd
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Messages In This Thread
Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Ace009 - 05-13-2016, 01:52 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-13-2016, 12:41 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-14-2016, 11:36 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-16-2016, 12:43 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-16-2016, 12:28 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-19-2016, 01:05 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-20-2016, 01:32 PM

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