Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Critique of The Rogue King

In response to my previous post, Aldrea Alien over at Thardrandian Thoughts submitted a page for review! So, here we go:

Koral looked up through the glass panel in the metal ceiling. The combined light of four moons made it difficult to see the stars. Only a scant few shone bright enough to punch through that pallid glow. Which one of those dots, out of the hundreds he knew were truly out there, belonged to the alien creatures raising him? They'd come from another world, somewhere beyond the moons and the twin suns. From a planet they called Earth. Nice nippet of world building in here. We already know it's another planet, with two suns and four moons, and humans have come to it.

He wished the same could be said about him. But then, he'd wished for countless things during the past twelve years of his life. None of them had come true either. I'm on the edge about this sentence. It's almost unnecessary, and slows the pace a little much.

"Excuse me."

Koral winced at the words. A weary sigh escaped his nostrils as he turned to face his birth-mother. Wait, why would his birth-mother be here if he's being raised by aliens? Or was his birth mother from earth?

Hands on hips, Amelia stood in the doorway of his tiny room aboard the spaceship. "Get your tail back to bed, mister." She was considered short by the men, who weren't much taller than her. Koral had recently surpassed all of them in height and their latest bio scans promised he would grow further still. Does he really have a tail? Have him flick it in irritation. Some people use "tail" as a synonym of "butt."

His gaze fell to her booted feet. How did she always manage to move so silently on the metal flooring? "Tell me another story," he said, giving her the smile that, usually, let him get his way. No commas necessary around the word usually.

"Very well," she said with a sigh, humour tweaking her lips. Amelia often indulged him. There were, however, times he felt certain he'd seen a flicker of unease in her dark-green eyes. "I suppose, seeing that it is your birthday, I can be lenient. Which one shall it be?" Are you from Europe, or the US? Using the "ou" spelling in words such as humour, colour, etc, is a European English thing. 

The battle won again, he dove under his bedcovers and waited while she tucked him in. "I want to hear about the space ship."

"Koral," she said, laughing. Loose strands of red hair bobbed about her pale face as she shook her head. "I've told that tale to death and you know it by heart." Thank you for using "laughing" responsibly!

"I want to hear you tell it."

Amelia smiled and sat on the edge of the bed. "A hundred years from now," she began, her voice taking on the steady tone of an expert storyteller, "fifty in Thardrandian time, there will be a ship in space as big as any city. Its sole purpose will be to discover whether time-travel is possible." If she's his birth mother, why would she use Earth time first? No dash necessary, just a space.

His gaze travelled (<typo) back to the glass panel as she continued talking. He'd never seen a city in his short life, only images on screens. Even then, most of what he'd seen was from photos or clips. His guardians never allowed him to venture outside for any reason. Out there was too dangerous. Now you say guardians. I am thoroughly confused about his living situation. Awkward wording in the highlighted sentence. Why not say "It was too dangerous out there"?

"Koral. If you want me to tell the story, you could at least listen."

"Sorry," he replied, the claws on his three-digit hands scraping lightly against the sheet as he drew it closer. He attempted to look as attentive as he could so she would continue. It's now obvious that the woman he's talking to is not the same race he is.

"Of course." One red eyebrow rose as parental indulgence replaced annoyance.

Overall thoughts: You said a couple from Earth was raising him, then said his birth-mother was there, then said his guardians wouldn't let him outside. Please clarify the situation. Other than that and a few spelling missteps, this looks great! I'm really interested in finding out more about your world, and why people have settled on it from Earth.

What do you think? Would you change anything else in this first page?


  1. Wow, you work quick. Nicely done and thanks.

    Oh, 'travelled' (with the two Ls) is the right spelling for European English. (Not from Europe, but we are technically a British colony) ^_^

    1. Happy to do it! This is one of my days off work, and I needed a break from outlining my NaNo novel.