HH Com 259 (256)

As an Imperial Agent, Caprica was trained as spy, bodyguard, and assassin.

Her newest mission, assigned by the Emperor himself, wasn't like any she'd had before: present herself to the Baron on the planet Mithreal - the only known source of the mineral mallusium, which allowed the Empire the use of powerful weapons that helped keep them on even footing with the two other superpowers in their galaxy. (56 words!)

Soon after Caprica arrived on Mithreal, rumors began swirling about mallusium in the possession of the rival Cassiopean nation. Immediately suspicion falls on the Baron. Caprica's supervisor insists that she hadn't been sent to investigate any such matter, and tells Caprica to continue with the Emperor's original plan. But when a Cassiopean Ambassador contacts her to learn more about the mallusium his people already have, the original plan is trampled under raider attacks and international suspicion.

This is all backstory, and blathery at that.
Short sentences will help you focus.
You can tell by now there's no antagonist and no stakes.
Focus. Use the hook format I posted at #239 and then start again.


Anonymous said...

"Present herself to the Baron" and do what? Just stand there? That doesn't sound like much of a mission.

Anonymous said...

mithreal... a fantastic metal, why's this sound so familair?

wavybrains said...

Caprica? BSG fan much? I'd shy away from using major characters of one Sci Fi series in a completely unrelated Sci Fi universe--but that's just me and maybe this happens all the time in the genre, but I didn't get past the Caprica!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you may want to think about a different name for the miracle "stuff", a vision of Bilbo's dwarvish mail flashed in my head. That's the key, the powers of the metal. One of the things that made me pick up the Dune books was the power of the Spice. It was the first thing Herbert described on the jacket cover, then he got into Paul Moadib. You need to do the same thing. This is what this stuff does (quickly and succinctly), then get into the battle and what her role is.

dancinghorse said...

I wondered if this was crossover fanfic: Caprica, mithril, feudalism.

Fantasy and sf are full of old ideas retooled and sold as new (hey, I write the stuff, I can say that if I want to), but there's a trick to it. One is to file off the serial numbers well enough that the original chassis doesn't show through. You may still see the shape under the new detailing, but it's obviously your own rendition.

Names are a good place to start. Invent your own. They can be based on familiar languages or characters but they should have enough of a twist, and enough internal logic, that they don't cause the reader to meep, snort, and throw the book across the room.

With different names and more practice overall, this could get somewhere. Keep trying, and keep worldbuilding--and keep writing, until you find your own voice.

Word verification: ozwajdo, the language of the gypsy tribes of New South Munchkinland

author said...

Thanks for the feedback! I was worried about keeping the name Caprica, once I discovered that BSG also uses it. The cadre of agents she belongs to all have names dervied from astrological signs, so I could tweak it and keep the idea.

And I didn't realize the LoTR connection, either. The metal is mallusium, the planet is Mithreal. I was trying to keep out too many unusual names in the hook.

Back to the drawing board. My initial idea was that her biggest problem started by not knowing what her new job was, then solving the other problem when it came up. I'll work up a stronger antagonist in the revision, someone around there must be more sinister.