Imperium - Book I, Chapter 1

Discussion in 'Writing' started by BlazingPaladin, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. BlazingPaladin

    BlazingPaladin Void-Bound Voyager

    This is my new sci-fi/fantasy series, about a substance called Imperium, that destroyed the world. They now use it for all their tech, but they can only ignore what it can do. There is a war among the floating remains of the planet, the rebellious Ultor fighting the Imperium Council. The Ultor believe that the use of Imperium will destry whats left of the world, and mankind will have nowhere else to go, but the government refuses to give up the advanced tech Imperium brings. This is chapter I of the story.
    That's what they call it. It means power in the old language, a fitting name for what it does, powering everything we do, from airships and weapons, to the force that keeps us from falling into the abyss that was our home. They try to convince us that it saves us, and true it did, but it was what caused the collapse. Earth as we knew it is gone, and a century later we live on its remains, biding our time until the second collapse. We all know it’s coming, but few of us choose not to ignore it. I am one of those few. We are the Ultor, fighting the Imperius Council to stop the overuse of imperium. My family was killed for supporting the Ultor, so I had nowhere else to go. This is my first mission, to sabotage an Imperium factory and salvage whatever we can.

    “We’re closing in on the drop zone. You ready rookie?” The Starhawk hovered over the facility, Imperium enhanced camo-reflective plating hiding the ship from view. “Ready as I’ll ever be.” I said. “Alright, get your gear. We drop on my mark.”

    Grabbing my sword, I leapt out of the hangar, switching my weapon into railgun mode. I hear the commander over the com “Activate camouflage. We can’t be spotted. Over.” “Roger that Delta-0.” “Delta-1 and Delta-2 are waiting at the other entrance.” “There is no other entrance.” “We’re going to make one.” “Copy that.” The commander gives the hand signal to cover him while he sneaks inside. I position myself in a good sniping position, and take out a few guards that were about to spot Delta-0. Eventually he gave the all clear, and we headed inside.

    This mission was vital, as we wouldn't get the chance to do this any other time. The security system was down for maintenance, meaning human patrols were more extensive, but we could deal with that more easily. Taking out a few guards, we make our way to the rendezvous point. Activating the grenades, we are joined by Delta-1 and Delta-2, “Delta-3, Commander.” Delta-1 says, saluting as Delta-2 exclaims “Who do I have to shoot first!?!” holding his shotgun readily. “Delta-2, with me, we’re taking the sabotage job. Delta-1, Delta-3, raid the armory and Imperium stores. Move out.”

    The mission went off without a hitch. We took out the guards, and reached the weapon depot without much trouble. Taking all the guns and swords we could carry, we destroyed the rest, and did the same with the Imperium. All that was left was to wait for the commander’s signal. Suddenly we got a com signal. “This is Delta-2. Bad news, more troops are coming and we almost got captured. Delta-0 is badly injured, and they’re disarming the bomb. We’ll meet you at the rendezvous point at the other ‘entrance’.” Delta-1 quickly replied “What about the mission?” “Forget the damn mission! If we stay, we’re all going to die!” “No. Get the commander to the exit, Delta-3 will meet you there.” “Then what are y-” “I am going to finish the mission.”

    I reached the second entrance quickly, and met up with the commander and Delta-2. We reached the Starhawk and waited for the inevitable. Delta-1 never reappeared, but soon we saw the factory burst into flame. We returned to the Ultor base, and Delta-0 was placed in medical bay, and Delta-2 was appointed temporary commander of Delta squad, although he seems overly happy, to the point I can't help think that he wanted it all along.
    Pangaea likes this.
  2. Pangaea

    Pangaea Forum Moderator

    Okay! The first thing I noticed is how short this is. Maybe too short to call a whole chapter but we'll get to that.

    Your dialogue structure is wrong and, as a result, confusing at times. Each new speaker should be a new paragraph. One speaker saying multiple things is usually one paragraph. The paragraph doesn't have to start with the dialogue and anything connected to the dialogue can be contained in the same paragraph. In addition, you have a lot of dialogue with no clear speaker. The reader has no idea who is speaking, creating more confusion. Whilst is can be a useful tool to have confusing dialogue and ambiguous speakers, you've only managed to confuse the reader. Also, I have no idea who the narrator is. Delta-3 maybe? Your lack of description and improper dialogue makes it almost impossible to easily know.

    You switch tenses throughout. Do not do this. Otherwise the text is confusing and can be jarring to read. You start in present tense but then have moments of past tense. Stay in one tense.

    You have a severe lack of description of the scene. Vagueness can be a useful tool in creating certain scenes and narratives but what you've done here is a complete lack of description. It leaves too much to the imagination. I could be envisioning a large, blue room when you mean a small, red one. Describe what's going on. Use as many senses as possible. You don't have to describe every detail but you do need to include enough so the reader can easily imagine what's going on. In addition, you lack description of characters. The reader feels no connection to them because they show no emotion. Were the saboteurs scared or nervous? Had they done this before? How familiar with their weapons are they? Do they train together for such things or is this a rag-tag team of random people? This is first person but you can still explain other characters' thoughts and emotions. What does the main character think they are thinking? What expressions and emotions are they conveying through their dialogue and posture? You actually did a good job with: Delta-2 exclaims “Who do I have to shoot first!?!” holding his shotgun readily. It paints the picture that Delta-2 is eager, perhaps too eager even. Do more like that. Some things you could explain are what exactly is imperium? Is it a solid or liquid? What colour is it? How is it made? How was it discovered? These are all questions the narrator would know and could answer in the opening paragraph. Also, "Grabbing my sword, I leapt out of the hangar, switching my weapon into railgun mode" is interesting. You could describe the weapon(s) to give us a clear idea. What kind of sword? How big is the gun? Where does the ammo come from? These don't necessarily have to be explicitly answered at the introduction of the weapon but they should be addressed at some point. You could also explain why this mission is vital.

    Is imperium supposed to be capitalised or not? You have both capitalised and not capitalised. Probably just a simple typo but it's important to remain consistent when talking about your world.

    How did the imperium save them? Too much exposition can be bad but having none is just as bad, perhaps even worse. The reader knows nothing about this world without you explaining.

    Lastly, work on your syntax. Some of your sentences are confusing because of how they're worded.

    With that out of the way, I see a lot of potential for this. The earth is destroyed? An intriguing start. People live on the remains of the earth? Even more intriguing! A mysterious substance that's both boon and danger? Very nice! A person who has a reason (and desire maybe) for revenge? Relatable. Lots of great stuff to work with. You definitely have some good ideas. They just need fleshed out.

    Edited to clarify something.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018

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