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Story about a girl

  1. Jan 21, 2016 #1
    At one time I was writing a novel about a girl who by chance inherited the "divine genes" that had empowered the ancient race of Homo divinis, contemporaries of the Neanderthals, who became extinct through racial mixing. The girl was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2033. As the story begins, she's beginning her a day at school.

    --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

    You don't know me, but you will. My mom is Helen Hostetter, and through her I'm German and Swiss. My dad is Bren Jones, and his ancestry is mostly English and Scottish. I get my blonde hair from both sides. I'm a girl, but I was named for my dad.

    It's my eleventh birthday, and I have to go to school. I live in Atlanta in the same general area as Druid Hills and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. My home and my school are in one of the nicer parts of Atlanta, though that isn't saying much. I'd really hate to live on the south side because it isn't safe there at all. When I asked Dad where he was sending me for middle school next year, he said "Parks," and I was horrified because Parks Middle School is infested with drug gangs. It's a place where the teachers rape the students, or the students rape the teachers, and there's always somebody shooting a gun at somebody else. It happens every day.

    But he was only teasing me. I'm going to Inman Middle School next fall, which is bad enough, but not nearly as dangerous as Parks would be. Dad said that a sociologist at Emory University did a study and found out that some of Atlanta's high schools have higher mortality rates than graduation rates. It used to be that low test scores were the biggest concern.

    I really wanted to attend Brookstone, but it's in Columbus over a hundred miles away, and my parents' apron strings aren't that long.

    My school is about half a mile ahead. I glance around the bus as it changes lanes, and most of my classmates don't impress me much. These same boys and girls were reasonably normal people last year, but now they're all quite immature. I don't know what happened to them. Of course, some of them are less childish than others, but they all seem pettier and shallower than they should be, fighting over small differences of opinion, casting friendships to the winds over trifles. I've seen kittens play pounce games with more dignity.

    Dad says that humanity needs a functionality upgrade. He's a computer technician and software engineer, and that's just how he talks. He's right, though. The next version of the human software is overdue. Maybe the improved hardware has to come first.

    The bus has turned into the school's parking lot, and that's a good thing because the four boys in the rearmost seats are growing rowdy, and it wouldn't have been long before they started picking a fight with somebody. Now we must gather up our gear and prepare to head into the education mines.

    Parked. Begin mass disembarkation.

    My name is Brenda Lynn Jones, and I'm heading into Morningside Elementary School on this 20th day of April, 2044, to begin my last month in the fifth grade.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2016 #2


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    And then...?
  4. Jan 21, 2016 #3
    I really don't know what you want by posting this. Are you looking for critical feedback?

    I think you write well. I like the way you describe things and the touch of sarcasm you add. However, the story itself does not pop. I have no idea where it is going. This is just the internal dialog or chatter of a child, but there is no drama.

    You need some thunder or something that grabs the reader and makes them want to turn the page. This reads like a long backstory. I would be asking myself, is this important or necessary? Typically, the first chapter should tell the reader what the problem space is. Some form of drama is taking shape that your main character needs to resolve.

    This example has to be the greatest beginning to a novel I have ever read:

    He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. – Earnest Hemingway

    In a single sentence Hemingway precisely describes the problem space. It begs the reader to ask what will happen next and keeps them engaged.

    Some little things I saw:

    You capitalized Dad in one paragraph, but it should be simply dad.

    "He's a computer technician and software engineer..." Well, being in the profession, I can tell you that he probably isn't both. That's akin to saying someone is a hygienist and a dentist.

    Your main character writes like she is much older. I find it hard to believe a 5th grader would think like that, but I have been out the 5th grade for some time now.

    Like I said, I like your style of writing, but this opening doesn't give me any indication of where the story is going nor why. Perhaps you could elaborate a little more about the plot?
  5. Jan 24, 2016 #4


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    Check out Jo Walton's book "Among others". That book will give you ideas on how to write about a girl in an "outcast" situation.

    For a book closely related to your "ancient race of Homo divinis", check out "The Lost Gate" by Orson Scott Card (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Mither...d=1453659058&sr=1-4&keywords=orson+scott+card).
  6. Jan 24, 2016 #5


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    It's pretty much been done already.
    Ell Donsaii series (12 books) about a girl with an accelerated nervous system. I liked it, but have never found anyone who has read it.
    Deals with the social, political, and scientific implications of a superior human (at a pretty juvenile level, I'll admit). Also has some very unique innovative thinking regarding the ultimate effects of suspending the limitations of certain scientific principles.
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