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Stand at Carpo
So, various thoughts and comments below. Normally I would do this by inserting in between the relevant sections of the story, but since this isn't written on the forum, I'll just list things as I see em.

1) I would suggest tweaking some of the wording in the first paragraph and making it an excerpt out of some history or memoir of the Extraplanetary War. It could be written in italic and have a reference or citation at the end before the story stars.

2) You mention people saying things in 'Ganyrstrovian' multiple times in a single conversation. This is redundant and goes past being informative to hitting the reader over the head with the information. Two thoughts come to mind:

a) Does it matter to the story what language any of the characters are speaking? If the answer is no, either reduce the language reference to one mention or eliminate it entirely.

b) If it does matter, either tweak the opening dialog to make one reference to the language being spoken and then leave it to the reader to assume everyone is speaking the same language or work in the reference partway through the dialog. But don't mention it every time a character speaks. The only time that would be workable is if all of the characters speaking different languages was central to the story.

The same principle applies for any other instances of a character's language being called out.

3) Does the moon Carpo actually exist? If not, it might be better to use a real moon or, if you are going to make up the moon, indicate when it was discovered since it was presumably at some point in our future.

4) The timing in the beginning is confusing. We read about two months, 3 days, and one month all in close proximity and all apparently relating to the approaching fleet.

5) Most of your readers aren't going to have any idea what a Hohmann transfer or a Brachistochrone transfer are (Talking in terms of transfer orbits or continuous boost transfers so the reader knows what you mean could help). So you're just going to confuse them. Those readers who do know what they are, are likely to want to know if you are being accurate about them and may try to run the numbers, given the size of the Jovian planet and moons system. They will be annoyed with you and you will lose credibility as a storyteller if you get the numbers wrong. I'd suggest sidestepping all that with less precise language.

5) You don't need to translate the names of the spaceships.

6) The description of the Death Dragon uses the word 'craft' far too much and is much too detailed for a story. This level of info-dump is going to annoy your reader. A better option might be to work in bits and pieces of description throughout the story, perhaps as a particular part of the ship pertains to a corresponding part of the story. Another way to do with would be to create a sketch or technical drawing of the ship and place it in an Appendix or something.

7) On general principles - a good rule of thumb is that the same word (excepting things like 'the' and 'a' and such) should not appear more than once in the same sentence or in two consecutive sentences. There are times when even more spacing is required or simply scans better, but take the above as a starting point. I'd suggest 'combing' the entire story with this principle and removing or replacing words when you find parts that violate it.

8) Exclamation points already indicate urgency or speaking excitedly or rapidly. You do not need to also include filler like 'spoke in a hurried fashion'. You may sometimes want to say something like 'Character X rapidly explained the situation' or 'Spoke quickly but calmly' or the like. But generally punctuation and context should take care of this aspect of things for you.

9) It seems more than a bit iffy that 24th century computer technology would have a hard time with firing solutions. Note also that stealth is pretty much impossible in space and so hiding from ships or sneaking up on them is going to be tricky.

10) As others have said, cut back on the exposition. In particular, it is not necessary to repeat information you have already stated, especially if it is of no obvious significance to the current situation. The Battle of Thebe and the Siege of Pywill Crater are mentioned more than once but without it being obvious why they need to be.

11) You don't need to describe the tone of voice of each character so much. Generally this should be left to the reader's imagination plus the context of the situation being described.

12) This section of text:

The kinetic mines were deployed into the trajectory UNAPA was going to take as they approached Carpo. Carpo was a very uninhabited moon with little of note. It was three kilometres in diameter and they were a thousand kilometres in distance relative to it, and by the time those mines were deployed, Task Force 12 began its approach.

is probably not workable. First, because an object only 3km across is more of a captured asteroid than a moon, although some allowances may be made because gas giants seem to pick up a lot of this kind of thing. More importantly, at a distance of a thousand km, it seems highly unlikely that the task force would be shielded in any significant way by Carpo. If you've actually crunched the numbers, and this is doable, then a brief explanation of this is probably in order. But otherwise, this doesn't seem possible.

Finally, what is preventing the UN ships from adjusting their position by some number of kilometers so that they just miss the mines entirely? Space is very big and there is lots of room to do this kind of thing.

13) You speak of primary engines 'roaring'. There is no air in space and therefore there is no sound in space.

14) There is no air in space, so lasers are always invisible, regardless of what wavelength they are, unless there is gas or dust in their firing path that is vaporized by the passing laser beam and releases light in the process.

15) Why would any sane military commander leave to go to the washroom 'in frustration' in the middle of a battle?

16) Why does the larger UN force suffer 50% losses, but the smaller TF-12 also only suffers 50% losses? Twice as many ships were firing at them.

17) You switch from past tense (usually what is used when writing in the third person) to present tense in a couple of spots.

18) It seems unlikely that a combat veteran like Toparev is going to freeze up in the middle of a battle because his commanding officer has just been killed, especially because up to this point there has been no indication that they were particularly close in any way.

19) You have a character talk about needing the engines running. When did they stop running and why?

20) You have a whole section in which they shoot at each other, and then another section where they apparently shoot at each other again. But the second section is written as though the battle is just starting at this point.

21) Also, depleted uranium slugs aren't going to be bothered by electronic countermeasures - speaking of which, you should use the full name of a given thing (such as Electronic Counter-Measures) the first time it appears and then can use the abbreviation (ECM) after that. I don't think you do that for some of the technology here.

22) Is there some reason why the commanders of the UN expedition couldn't have anticipated, or at least theorized, that TF-12 would attack them in something like this fashion and so taken steps to counter TF-12s strategy? As described, they seem to simply fly on thru the attack while doing nothing more than shooting back and apparently having no idea that there is any kind of plan being carried out or even having the idea that any kind of plan was possible.

23) You don't really explain how the ECM systems on the UN ships somehow leads to them being destroyed. Inert kinetic rounds aren't going to be effected by ECM technology at all.

24) You describe the UN ships becoming 'space junk orbiting Carpo'. At only 3km across, Carpo would have a minuscule gravitational field that would be totally incapable of capturing debris moving as fast as these ships are presumably going. At such a small size, it's possible a human being might be able to jump hard enough to achieve escape velocity from this moon. The ships (and therefore the debris they have now become) are presumably moving at kilometers per second.

25) You have two different characters thinking things 'in their head'. Where else would they be thinking things?

On a more general note, there are various grammar issues throughout, but some of those may be fixed as part of addressing the other issues mentioned above. To address them more fully would require a more in-depth review and having a copy of the story in the forum where I could point things out with more precision.

Ok, I think that about covers things for now.

Hope this helps,


Messages In This Thread
Stand at Carpo - by Ace009 - 05-10-2016, 02:52 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Rynn - 05-10-2016, 05:30 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Ace009 - 05-10-2016, 09:33 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Dfleymmes1134 - 05-11-2016, 06:04 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Drashner1 - 05-11-2016, 01:47 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Ace009 - 05-11-2016, 11:04 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Rynn - 05-12-2016, 01:59 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Drashner1 - 05-12-2016, 03:12 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Ace009 - 05-12-2016, 05:21 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Drashner1 - 05-12-2016, 06:03 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Rynn - 05-12-2016, 07:08 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Ace009 - 05-12-2016, 10:45 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Drashner1 - 05-12-2016, 11:20 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Ace009 - 05-12-2016, 10:34 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Drashner1 - 05-13-2016, 01:38 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo - by Ace009 - 05-13-2016, 01:41 AM

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