Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks

Moderated by: JazzFeathers


8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks is a creative writing exercise for our Storyteller community. The aim of the exercise is to inspire our writers and gather feedback on their work from others in the community.

The rules are simple: everyone interested in 8 Sentence Sunday posts an eight-sentences-long snippet of their writing project right here in the comments. The snippet can be dieselpunk or steampunk, and it can be in-progress or already published. All we ask is you keep your snippet in line with the standard rules on Dieselpunks (keep it suitable for teens and don’t be a dick).

Most of all, you have to engage. If you’re asking for feedback, you have to be constructive about at least one other member’s work as well.

Feel free to post links to your own websites and products on this thread as we hope to keep our corner of the alt-history continuum alive and dancing.

#8SS

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Comment by Alice E Keyes on July 12, 2015 at 4:38pm

Yep, we know why she is sneezing from a previous bit. She opened the window to watch the cows being moved and the hay is making her sneeze. Please don't tell me that she wouldn't be able to open the window. 

CW, on your snippet, I see the most important sentence being - Twenty Gs just to deliver a box? - so, I think making it the only thing that Hart says after von Osler's proposal makes the scene more dramatic. -Hart quickly converts deutsche marks to dollars. "Twenty Gs just to deliver a box?"

Comment by cw hawes on July 12, 2015 at 4:10pm

@Alice - OMG, that is funny! I love Uncle Teddy! My nit-pic is you need a comma after Uncle Teddy and before the but. Do we know why she is sneezing?

The story is in 3rd Person Limited POV. Hart being the viepoint character throughout. So it is close to first person but gives me the advantage of getting into Hart's head without him having to talk all the time.

I'm not sure I see the difference. But I'll read both approaches aloud and see which flows better. Thanks for the suggestion!

Comment by JazzFeathers on July 12, 2015 at 3:10pm

@CW - Well, now you have my attention! ;-)

@Alice - I love the amused mood of this passagge ^_^

Comment by Alice E Keyes on July 12, 2015 at 11:59am

@CW What could possible go wrong in delivering such a small item ;-)    The Story is in first person, right? So, just an idea, instead of Hart thought a moment - how about -Hart calculated the exchange between deutsche marks to dollars. Or something to that effect. Then drop -That's around twenty thousand dollars. I think it might make the dialogue flow a bit quicker.

Comment by Alice E Keyes on July 12, 2015 at 11:12am

From a new section of Miss Winsome and the Scientific Society (I feel for the artist(i.e. me) who has to fit this title and Alice E Keyes on the front cover.)

“Uncle Teddy, come! Look! Cowboys. We’re rescued.” She sneezed four times.

“Evelyn, we were never in danger and therefore, we are not in need of being rescued.”

“Yes, Uncle Teddy but do come look. They’re magnificent!”

He put down a file and joined Evelyn. “The horses or the cowboys.”

Comment by cw hawes on July 12, 2015 at 6:37am

Rand Hart’s conversation with von Osler continues. Twenty Gs to deliver a little box!

“I need this box in the hands of a certain person in Rio de Janeiro by noon on the eleventh of May. I will give you twenty-five thousand deutsche marks now and the person to whom you give this box will give you another twenty-five thousand.”

Hart thought a moment. “That’s around twenty thousand dollars. Twenty Gs just to deliver a box?”

“Yes.”

“What’s in it?”

“It is best if you not know, Herr Hart.”

To be continued!

If you write or read Dieselpunk, join in the fun: 8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks.

Comment by cw hawes on July 9, 2015 at 9:36am

@Alice - Ha! That sentence was just an example! But what a serendipity! Thanks for pointing it out! I've encorporated it in the text. It is an improvement. And I'm glad the explanation worked for you.

Comment by Alice E Keyes on July 8, 2015 at 6:48pm

@CW Once again your precise explanation has clarified a bit of grammar usage that was muddy before, thank you. And, I really like how you reworked it so that the reader can see the von Osler stopped Hart's action. 

Comment by Holly Gonzalez on July 8, 2015 at 4:20pm

Hello, sorry for the late post, it's been a busy week for me. My past snippet was a little out of context, an awkward conversation on both ends to say the least :P I'll try to pick a more workable one next time... Off to work but I'll have a look at all the postings later. Have a good evening guys!

Comment by cw hawes on July 5, 2015 at 11:34pm

I try to avoid using 'but', Alice, because I tend to over use it. :) 'But' is a negation and I suppose I could use it here. My years of writing Japanese-style poetry in English taught me to use 'and' as a connective in poetry to lend ambiguity and to join two seemingly opposing things to help generate thought.  

In this case, I think 'but' is fine. I chose 'and' to avoid 'but' and because the actions are two equal actions. Whereas 'Jimmy wanted to ride his bike, but it was raining' implies Jimmy did not ride his bike due to the rain.  Perhaps the difference is subtle. 'Hart reached for the box and was stopped by von Osler, who put his hand over it.' 'But' could be used, but 'and' is also appropriate. Rather subtle differences.

Comment by Alice E Keyes on July 5, 2015 at 9:10pm
Small quiery, CW, if von Osler is putting his hand over the box to prevent Hart from snatching it and looking inside, wouldn't you want a but instead of an and? Hart reached for the box, but von Osler put his hand over it.
Comment by cw hawes on July 5, 2015 at 8:15pm

Here's the box:

The German took a small box out of his suit coat pocket, put it on the table, and said, “This.” It was about the size of a deck of cards, fairly flat, brown, wrapped with a brown ribbon, and appeared to be made of cardboard.

Hart reached for the box and von Osler put his hand over it.

Comment by cw hawes on July 5, 2015 at 8:03pm

@lupachi - I'd have to see what comes before and after this snippet to see if it is too big a bite of info. It reads well, IMO. If it is in the midst of a lot of non-action, then following something along the lines of what JazzFeathers suggests might be a good idea.

@Alice - I like the air of mystery in your snippet. However, I felt a big gulf between the last sentence and the next to the last sentence. A little time in that bookshop might be very helpful.

And I'll put a description of the box in. I have one several chapters on in the story. I'll move it to here. Thanks!

Comment by Alice E Keyes on July 5, 2015 at 4:40pm

@JazzFeathers - I'm only working on one. The others are sitting there waiting for their turn. I'm on my last rewrite/nick picky edit of Miss Winsome and the Scientific Society. It really helped to have beta readers read it and CW's help was great in helping me see how to clean up the POV issue I was having.

I like how you reworked Lupachi's snippet. Sometimes having someone rewrite prompts one to get a feel as to how to tell the story.

Comment by JazzFeathers on July 5, 2015 at 4:05pm

@Lupachi - This is my jazz band: Jamie is the band leader and plays piano; Matt plays clarinet and is the star of the band; Zane plays bass, Harley at the drums, Roy plays banjo and Leo the cornet. Then there's Trish, who's the vocalist and Matt's girlfriend :-)

I'm very intrigued by the fact you're using the Armanian genocide in your story. I'm very curious to see how this will play out.

So, may I try to tighten your passe up. Just try ;-)

“The few who survived fled but never forgot the massacre of their people. After the war they formed pockets of resistance all over the world, groups like the Armenian Revolutionary Federation: volunteer soldiers who worked towards a free, independent Armenia—at any cost.”

“The past few years they have been busy assassinating high-ranking Turks they claim ordered the slaughter of their people. It made all the international papers,” he said, waving a hand at a pile a newspapers beside our table, some fresh, others yellowed and crumbling. He shook his head, his face all grim. “I thought the killing would end with the last Turkish official, involved in the massacres…but it seems for some A.R.F. members, that may not be enough…”

Knowing very little about these two characters and what they actually know about the massacre, it's hard to make suggestion, though from one of your earlier snippets I had the impression Lou doesn't really know a lot about this. 
So, what I normally try to do is building a dialogue rather than having one of the characters explain. It is still info-dump, granted, but the dialogue allows to make the info sound more natural and to insert different info, for example hints to how  the characters feel about it, that may break up the info-dump. 

I'll try again ;-) (of course I'm making up the body language entirely, because I really don't know enough about these two characters, but just to give you an idea)

"Only a few survived." Ahmed paused, lowering his eyes.

It stirred a strange, warm and yet cold feeling inside me. "Did they distroy them, then?" I felt kind of sick.

Ahmed rasied his chin. "Nearly. After the war a resistance formed all over the world. Groups of volunteer soldiers started to work against the Turks and towards a free, independent Armenia—at any cost.” He nodded toward a pile a newspapers beside our table. "You might have heard about it. It was on all international papers."

Actually, I hadn't. Some of the papers were fresh, others yellowed and crumbling. I wondered how long this might have gone on.  

“None of the Turkish officials involved in the massacre are still alive," Ahmed said in a low voice and I snapped my attention back to him. "I hope that would be the end …but it seems for some A.R.F. members, the death of these officials may not be enough…”

Really, just an idea. I may help you some :-)

Comment by JazzFeathers on July 5, 2015 at 3:36pm

@CW - And what's in that box now? ;-)
Though I agree with Alice that I'd like to see the box, not jus tbe told that's on the table.

@Alice - How many novels are you working on? I feel like I'm lazy O_O
I like the snippet. Really sounds like a nice intro.

Comment by Alice E Keyes on July 5, 2015 at 1:29pm

@lupaci1927 I've been working on dropping -he said/she said- so you could change -papers,” he said, waving a hand- to -paper." He waved a hand-

Then, I would look at and see what info is absolutely necessary to move the story forward at this point. If the two in the conversation know this information, then why are they discussing it such minute details. If this information is important to the story, then find a way to break it up perhaps with a third person who knows nothing about this and is asking questions - just a thought.

Comment by lupachi1927 on July 5, 2015 at 1:18pm

@cw - nice snippet! can't wait to see what's in the box...

@Jazz - I like the fact they're cousins. Who plays what in the band, may I ask?

@Holly - your snippet seems intriguing. The "I'm sorry" bit seems a bit offhand, but I suspect that's intentional.

@Alice - your snippet is interesting. You describe a distant relationship well. It feels like the beginning of a chapter. Is it? 

Comment by lupachi1927 on July 5, 2015 at 1:07pm

Today I'm continuing the stuff on Armenian Genocide in Chapter 5. This bit occurs almost directly after the bit where Lou remembers kids selling strawberries to help the "starving Armenians." That particular international aid campaign, by the way, was what made the Red Cross into the global organization it is today. Here, Lou tells Ahmed that he remembers what the Turks tried to do—wipe out the Armenians for good—and Ahmed further explains the situation. It's a big pile of awkward info-dumping, so if anyone has any suggestions on reshaping it or cutting bits I'm all ears:

“The few who survived fled for their lives, but they never forgot the massacre of their people. After the war they formed pockets of resistance all over the world, groups like the Armenian Revolutionary Federation: volunteer soldiers who resisted the Turks and worked towards a free, independent Armenia—at any cost.”

“The past few years they have been busy assassinating high-ranking Turks they claim ordered the slaughter of their people. It made all the international papers,” he said, waving a hand at a pile a newspapers beside our table, some fresh, others yellowed and crumbling. He shook his head, his face all grim. “I thought the killing would end with the last Turkish official, Djemal Pasha, who was instrumental in organizing the massacres…but it seems the rumors I have heard of dissent within the ranks are true. For some A.R.F. members, the death of these officials may not be enough…”

Comment by Alice E Keyes on July 5, 2015 at 10:36am

Here's a snippet from a book I haven't posted from yet. It's about a town where many things are hidden from the outside world.

I spent my school years with Aunt Elsie. She took me on these short little trips around different small villages in New England. We never went to the big cities. Vinsula was the first trip. We wandered around, went into a few shops, and had a picnic in the park. She left me in a book shop saying she had a little errand which she had to do on her own. I nodded that I would be fine. We drove the two hours home to Swansea without a word passing between us.

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