Author Topic: January 20 - Asmodemon - Dark Eyes  (Read 1746 times)


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January 20 - Asmodemon - Dark Eyes
« on: January 20, 2011, 07:03:32 PM »
Well, turned out I needed a little more time to get this piece finished than I originally thought. Dark Eyes is a science fiction short story of about 7,700 words, set in the near future on Mars.


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Re: January 20 - Asmodemon - Dark Eyes
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 02:51:31 PM »
It was an interesting story.  I liked how you built the paranoia of the character.  The asides from the other characters, especially her partner, let's the reader know there is some truth to that.  I'd like to see a little more conflict with that aspect of the story.  Perhaps more chastening from the captain and other officers before he lets her go.  Perhaps have her thoughts go back to a dozen other times she's been wrong.  That way, the reader is beginning to seriously doubt that the main character isn't crazy.

I liked that she was a Dark Eyes and it never even occurred to her that her own people might try something like that.  It was a nice touch.

The only part I didn't like was the ending.  It felt rushed.  I didn't understand if they were actually aborting the plan or not, or how they could do that since all the Mist had already gone out.  And then bam.  It's over, everyone's safe and things are going back to normal.

I understand it's only 7k words and for that amount you accomplished a lot.  I just would have liked to see some more at the end.  Maybe some more character development between her and her partner.

All in all, a nice bit of writing :-)

Below I included some line edits I would make.  Completely arbitrary, but just some food for thought.

This time Nikola did manage to drown out the insistent public announcement, a little anger went a long way.
-I think you should make this two sentences instead of the comma.

Nikola put her hands through her hair, it was getting long again.
-again, two sentences.

At the bottom of page 5/top of page 6 you have several paragraphs of exposition.  There is some passive voice that lapses into "was this" and "was that."

The Dialogue on page 7 at the end between the captain and the main character seems a little sparse.  I wouldn't mind seeing a few descriptors thrown in so I can see how the two are reacting to each other.  You did that in the above paragraphs to great effect.  Otherwise, I'm unsure of the tone of the conversation.

At bottom of page 10, "was now focussing,"  is too passive in my opinion.  "now focused" is better.  There are several instances throughout the story where you choose slightly passive sentence structures over others.  To a certain extent it's a matter of personal preference.  You could say" the ATV was left behind in the center of the room."  You could also say "the ATV sat abandoned in the center of the room."  Alot of this is preference, but when they are half a dozen sentences strung together at once using a slightly passive voice slows down the pace considerably.
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Re: January 20 - Asmodemon - Dark Eyes
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 09:35:21 AM »
Your prose is pretty good – I thought it came off a little smoother than your citadel of thorns chapters, but i might just be remembering poorly. Your still use passive voice fairly often, though, so keep an eye out for that.

a few random thoughts:

I get the feeling you don't want to talk about the Mist too much so you can make it mysterious and all, but a tad more explanation would have been nice. I had to check back to to understand the link between mist and darkeyes, and I'm still not sure quite what makes the darkeyes so special.

"stim pack" makes me think of starcraft. I know its a fairly common scifi term, but it might be more interesting to tweak it a little to give the phrase a unique feel.

I think you underuse commas – I might have mentioned this in a critique of you thorns stories – but I also know that might just be me, since I overuse them.


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Re: January 20 - Asmodemon - Dark Eyes
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 11:21:11 AM »
The bad news is that I began to read that story a week ago, and couldn't get past the two first pages. I tried twice but put down the manuscript each time.

In large part, it was the setting bugging me:
* Are there solar flares on Mars ?
* What is this station built on Olympus Mons ?

I doubted that Mars would have strong solar flares on the surface. It took me a week to do the research, and though I didn't find any indication that solar flares do have an effect on the surface, they do have a strong one in the atmosphere. So, I convinced myself that solar flares could happen there.

For Olympus Mons, this is a volcano that was very active until quite recently. Mars volcanic activity being what it is, I don't see anyone wanting to build a station here, much less a city with a government center and such.

This might be an issue with me (well, it's very much why I don't write SF, since I have to explain everything), but that's where you lost me one week ago. It took me all that time to convince myself that though not likely, that setting could exist, and that I was allowed to read on. Once I did, I read the piece in one sitting.

The writing is fine, maybe a little confusing at the beginning.

Some things that didn't agree with me:
* I think you could have described a little more what being Dark Eyes really means and how they are viewed as a group.
* The interactions with the partner did seem a little cliché to me
* How was the partner's gun tampered with?
* The climax doesn't make that much sense (why keep on pushing the buttons? Reminded me of Lost there :-) )
* I don't know what the entire last section is useful for, besides telling us that everyone is fine, and explaining what we didn't understand in the preceding scene. You might want to rewrite the preceding scene so that we understand what's going on, and drop out the last one (or change it to something else entirely)

So, I'm probably not the best person for critiquing this piece : nice job though.